|Riverside in |
There are many positives surrounding unexpected good weather - smiling happy people, fresh air, no need for artificially heated rooms and generally feeling much healthier. However, there are some potential pitfalls - and having booked a fair yesterday taking place in a dimly lit church, the potential for a very quiet day was more than a little concerning - after all, who was going to leave this beautiful weather outside and go indoors to a small fair in a dark church? I resigned myself to the fact that it wasn't going to be a very good day but at least I would have a stunning stained glass window to look at...
How wrong I was! Whilst the show was never exactly packed out, the visitors came and seemed to be ready to buy their Christmas decorations and early Christmas presents and we ended up having a great day. Whats more, with a 3.30pm finish, we also arrived home with the whole evening ahead of us - a complete luxury!
Thursday was another luxury - our tenth wedding anniversary - so a day off was planned and we decided to head down to the coast on the train. We started out by going to Arundel for lunch - somewhere we have driven past many times on the way to fairs but never been able to stop. A riverside cafe was the setting and a quick walk around before heading back for our next train, this time to Portsmouth Harbour and a trip up to the top of the Spinaker Tower where the most amazing views awaited us from the viewing area 100ft in the air. The lift takes less than a minute but you actually don't feel like you are moving at all. The photo on the right was taken from Gosport Harbour opposite and shows the amazing structure and cloudless blue sky!
|Spinaker Tower - Portsmouth|
We had already decided that we wanted to have our evening meal at a lovely restaurant in Brighton (we went there last year for our anniversary!) so with a little time to kill before our train from Portsmouth to Brighton, a quick trip on the ferry over to Gosport added an extra bit of fun for the day and gave us these amazing views of Portsmouth Harbour opposite. With this beautiful weather, we couldn't have had a better day out anywhere in the world!
Despite not remembering the name of the restaurant in Brighton (!!) we vaguely remembered that it was close to the theatres so headed in the general direction - after a quick visit to the obligatory amusement arcade, of course!
Finally, we found the restaurant - it is called 'Cote Brasserie' if you are interested (and I can come back to this post when we can't remember next year!!) and it serves the most amazing food at very reasonable prices. Well worth a visit if you are in the area.
So, Christmas selling has very much started and with some really big shows coming up, I am trying to build up a good stock of both new and very popular designs. One of the newbies for this year is this quirky Santa and Rudolf design which I hope will become a new bestseller!
|New for Ali's Craft Studio 2011 - Santa and Rudolf - a new bestseller??|
One thing I have noticed in the years I have been selling is the dilemma of a customer buying a design as a present and struggling to decide upon the right design/colour to suit someone elses taste. So, on went the thinking cap and I am now selling Gift Vouchers They can be spent online, at craft fairs or used for mail order sales so the location of the recipient is not an issue. They are available in any denomination of £5.00 increments and are valid for 12 months after purchase. Gift Vouchers are available now from our stall at fairs or online here
I have some really busy weeks ahead but have managed to factor in a weekend without fairs to try to do some additional stock building which hopefully will cut down on the number of customer orders required to complete in the lead up to the Christmas break. Of course, personalised and bespoke orders will still be plentiful but I might be able to stay one step ahead on the regular stuff (wishful thinking??)
Christmas orders have already started coming in and I am able to take orders up until the beginning of December however, after the terrible winter weather and postal problems last year, I really recommend any orders should be placed as early as possible to avoid disappointment.
So, whilst I will try to blog regularly, please forgive me if I appear a little neglectful - I promise it isn't personal! In the meantime, head on over to Handmade Monday to see what everyone else is up to this week - I bet it isn't just me who is already on the Christmas treadmill!