Wednesday 6 February 2013

Signs of spring ...

I had a much anticipated walk around Kew Gardens today with the lovely Kristina - I even remembered my 'big' camera! I'd forgotten how much it dislikes the chilly wind that was blowing all the delicate winter flowers around though and so, sadly, many of my {blurry} photos have disappeared into the recycling bin *sigh*.

Wrapped up in untold layers, and with coffee and cake in our tummies, we braved the cold, cold wind and grey skies.

I find it so cheering to see the emergence of the first signs of spring. My own garden is beginning to tease me with its new growth too. My last remaining patch of snowdrops is very thin on the ground as it seems to have established itself bang slap in the middle of a well-used doggy pathway beneath the big conifers.

Winter aconites are one of the first things to meet the challenge of the low temperatures of winter and early spring and I feared I had lost the few I had in my front garden, but today I spotted a solitary yellow bud and so I am hoping that mine are just extending their hibernation and getting up late. At Kew, however, there were lots of cheerful little clumps dotted around.

Swaying bravely in the wind, Kew's hellebores were the main casualty in the photography department today and this lovely lime green one was the best of a {very bad} lot. How I love them - a complete work of botanic art.

A new-to-me plant that is fast becoming a necessity somewhere in my garden, is witch hazel. I've absolutely no idea why they have been off my radar all these years of gardening. I adore the slightly scruffy flowers. This gorgeous yellow one caught my eye immediately so I can imagine what a focal point one will create if I planted one in the border at the back of my garden.

I love all the spring bulbs and cannot wait for my own garden to burst into colour over the coming months. I know for certain it is the anticipation of my tulips, narcissi, anemones and alliums that will get me through February now. There are signs of spring all around.

Friday 1 February 2013

feather your nest ...

I didn't mean to leave it quite so long to make my little announcement over here on the blog so here goes:

Do you see that little shop widget over there --->
(Perhaps not, I guess, if you're reading on Reader or your mobile device, you'll have to take my word for it!)

Having an Etsy shop is a project I have been thinking about for a very long time; a project that I have been working on for quite a long time; and finally, after all that time, have had the confidence to open up its doors.

After much procrastination I found that, along with some amazingly supportive friends, the Universe sent me a couple of gentle prods to set the ball rolling. I pinned the above picture just recently as I believe this to be very true of me. I cannot help making things and I'm certainly not happy if I am unable to make things.

But who knew that there would quite so many things to think about in opening up an Etsy shop? The actual making of the things I wanted to sell was the easy bit - I've had to think about mail bags and wrapping, postage costs, what I wanted to be a strong point for selling my wares. Many, many details that have kept me awake at night.

Then there was the actual name of the shop itself. 'feather your nest' was always my first choice but after trying to get past the first page of the Etsy template, I realised it wasn't very original. Other names were toyed with but there was always a negative comment when I was trying them out on people to get some feedback that really put me off and so I always found myself back at my first idea. Hence the numbers on the actual web address, which aren't ideal but I can live with it!

The biggest hurdle I had to overcome was one of pricing. It is a minefield and then serendipity handed me the thing I needed to read. Arounna sums it up perfectly in this blog post. I read it, digested it and it was the final thing my confidence needed to hit the 'open shop' button.

It feels good to have a direction to take my creative sewing in and I'm looking forward to becoming part of the Etsy community. I'd love for you to have a wander through and let me know what you think. I'm happy to do custom orders too so if there is something that you like but maybe have your own ideas or colours, then I can make it happen for you!