…… !!!!!! For me, you could always tell it was far to early for Christmas when a friend of mine started singing the old Cliff Richard tune in the office! It is still way too early to be thinking about Christmas, but for me it is increasingly a feature of November life.
Since returning from Portugal a couple of weeks ago things have been somewhat hectic. I have been co-managing a pop-up-shop for Cards for Good Causes, selling Christmas Cards at Tyndale’s Baptist Church on Whiteladies Road. It’s difficult not to think about Christmas, when you are working with it 4 days a week. The cards on sale are fantastic, there is a huge range on offer and over 20 charities are represented. More than 70% of the money made on the cards goes to the charities. If you are able, do pop along, or check if there is a shop in your local area – even better, volunteer!!!! I have found the whole experience surprisingly challenging! I’d forgotten how difficult it is to be the ‘new girl’, but the bizarre experience here is that many of the volunteers actually know more about running the shop than me!
It is also the season for craft fayres. So other than working in the shop I have been crocheting and sewing like mad to build up some stock to sell in forthcoming fayres – which at this time of year tend to be Christmas Fayres. To date, I have made Christmas bunting, stockings, a selection of baubles and finished making the flower brooches I started on the beach a few weeks ago. There is still a fair way to go, but I am hopeful to have enough goods to fill my table. My first fayre is at Broadway Infant School in Yate on 15th November, closely followed by St Gregory the Great, Horfield on 19th November. I particularly keen to do well at the latter fayre as it is a very popular venue throughout the year. You can also visit my Etsy shop or Facebook page to buy or order items. This is a whole new experience for me, and I have realised that you are permanently out of season. Christmas items need to be made in September / October. Summer items need making in spring. One piece of advice I was given was to sew like mad in winter as there don’t tend to be as many opportunities to sell.
I’ve also been making some crochet baubles – which I just adore. I went to a lesson at Paper Village in Bedminster to learn how to make the baubles, and have had great fun experimenting with designs. I have surprised myself as I tend to stick fairly rigidly to patterns – but I am increasingly frustrated by how badly written crochet patterns are. Many are written in the same way as a knitting pattern, but it doesn’t really translate and 90% of the time they are plain wrong! I’m desperately keen to get to the next part of the Diploma in Crochet so that I can start to write my own patterns for publication.
I’ve started making a Broomstick crochet cushion for one of my projects for the course,but have also created a sample square for a top. I visited Mint Velvet with a friend earlier this week and decided I could make half the things in the shop. I found some amazing thread (again at Paper Village – the most amazing shop) – it has a really lovely sparkle to it. I thought using the Broomstick technique would create a beautiful lacy top, and I intend to add a lace trim to the edges and sleeves. However, it is incredibly fine, and I am incredibly slow – so it may be finished in time for next Christmas! And there we are again – Christmas time …………!