Welcome to the blog for Ali's Craft Studio by Alison Lloyd. I am a crafter of peelable stained glass designs & handpainted keyrings and I look forward to sharing with you my news direct from Kent (the Garden of England)

Make sure you visit the shop at www.studiocrafts.net to purchase your own handmade decorations to bring fun and colour into every corner of your home

Monday, 8 August 2011

Letter to the Weather Gods - part 2!

Dear Weather Gods (again)

Oh Ha Ha Ha - you do make me laugh!!   What part of the five-days-yours-two-days-mine deal did you not understand??  This weekend we had a wonderful corner position in our gazebo - lots of wonderful exposure from two sides to the visitors to the show and what did you do??   You blew and pee'd on us!!

Today, when I am tucked up in my cosy studio working on orders, I almost need sunglasses to block out the bright sunshine you have bestowed upon us (OK it is still windy but that is still a 50% improvement!!)

Now, I am not an aggressive person and I know we all have jobs to do but please, give me a break would'ya! Two days... TWO DAYS - that is all I am asking for.  So, here's the deal - I have a two day outdoor event coming up next weekend, that is Saturday AND Sunday (at the place you had a hissy fit last time - I'm sure you remember it - I certainly do!) please can you bring the sunshine (fluffy white clouds too if you really want to, I don't mind) and cool it on the rain and wind - and that includes overnight when the gazebo will be braving the elements on its little lonesome.

There is a list of fairs on my website - please can you study it and make sure that you save the decent weather days for all those listed there...

OK - you play along and I will remain upbeat and calm (and if you are really good, I might even buy you a nice present for Christmas!)

Thanking you in anticipation....

The lady who is finding it really difficult to keep smiling through your fun and games.
Ahhh, that feels better!   Well as you can probably tell from the above, this weekend's fair - the Lingfield Steam and Country Show - was plagued with windy weather with some really heavy showers thrown in for good measure.   Today, is beautifully sunny!  Go figure!

Fortunately, the visitors were there and thanks to a lot of repeat customers (which is great) and some new customers (which is even better) we still had a good weekend, albeit a little stressful with tables blown over at one point (hubby fortunately was looking the right way at the time and caught the gridwall before it landed on him unexpectedly!) and the 'rain cover' extension to our gazebo had to be taken down early to avoid it being blown apart.  This left our tables exposed so thanks to some help from our neighbouring stall, we managed to move these to a sheltered position inside the now-reduced-in-size gazebo.

Anyone who has done outdoor shows will know how stressful it can be with the weather (Wendy, I know you are with me on this one!) as it can affect everything from your stock, visitor numbers, sales and your temperament.  However, I decided a long time ago that there is no point getting upset about things you have no control over (apart from writing long letters - see above!) so hubby and I still managed to laugh and giggle our way through the day and had a long drink when we got home to celebrate our survival!!

One of the advantages to a customer buying handmade from me is that it means that I can usually help with any design request.   One of the things I have been really pleased to do this past week was to keep alive the memory of a beloved pet tortoise who had recently unexpectedly passed away at a very young age.   As this was an unusual breed with unusual colouring, etc. there was little chance of a factory made item being available and I was thrilled to receive a phone call of thanks from my customer when she received it along with information of another few items she plans to order from me next time I see her.  I will try to post a photo of the tortoise in an upcoming post (it is still sitting on my camera at the moment!).

I have been persuaded by Hubby at recent shows to give my WWII planes more exposure on the stall (they are very fiddly to make!), and have found at fairs that they do bring lots of attention and orders both from young people and older generations who had a direct link with the aircraft - some flew the Lancasters and Spitfires and some built them.  I love talking to these inspirational people as they are always so proud to have been around these machines and speak so lovingly about them and I am happy to play a small part in bringing back the happier memories through my work.

Avro Lancaster Bomber

Supermarine Spitfire
I have a total of six different aircraft to choose from at the moment (plus patterns for many more) and I hope to create one of the Concorde (at Hubby's request - can you tell he is an aircraft fanatic!) before we go to Shoreham Airshow in a couple of weeks so if you know anyone, young or old, who may like one of these - they can be ordered online now - they are great as unique Christmas gifts! (Yes, I said the 'c' word again!)

Anyway, I'm off now to make a lot of planes to cover the orders from this weekend so please do go along and check out Handmade Monday at Wendy's blog.

See you all soon.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Handmade Monday #27 - Glowing in the Dark...

Handmade Monday rolls around again and I am pleased to say that hubby and I survived the 'Greenhouse' yesterday and came out unscathed!   It was very, very hot still but there were more clouds around so this helped it to not be quite as unbearable as it was there last month.  I am fully booked for all the weekends in August (plus Bank Holiday Monday) so I won't be back there until the end of September which means the temperature should be much more pleasant (keep an eye out for 'it was so cold' posts!!)

As a result of the more comfortable atmosphere, we had a great day and met some wonderful new and regular customers.   However, after being really pleased to have completely finished all my orders, I now have five pages of orders to complete this week!!  I love the fact that as a maker of handmade work, I can adapt colours and designs to suit a customer's specific needs - OK, they may cost a little more than mass produced stuff but you simply don't get this personal detail on factory made, shop bought items.

Last week I mentioned the Glow in the Dark stuff I have been making in readiness for Halloween (which, bearing in mind it is August already will be here quicker than I care to think about!!).  These are now available in my online shop and I have shown a couple of them here (click on link below each photo to be taken to the shop page for each one):

This is going to be a very short post as I have tons of orders to get started on plus lots of stock to try to make up ready for the Lingfield Steam & Country Show this coming weekend.  I guess this week is also going to be full of making steam engines...

Head on over to 1st Unique Gifts blog to see what everyone else has been up to this week & have a great one yourself.