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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

MILLY'S DIARY

Hello everyone

Well, I don't feel so bad about missing the occasional blog post because Jill didn't do her weekend post!  Said she was too busy, lots of other things to do, excuses, excuses.  Anyway, I am here bringing you all the Christmas Pie news that Jill would normally have written about.

We are still waiting for our new shed to be delivered.  Why does it take so long for human beings to sort these things out?  Parts of the garden look a little like a scrap yard - hope Jill doesn't read this - tools and racks and pots everywhere.  It's also rather like musical chairs here too.  Jill bought a new bench at the Plant Fair she went to recently and that has meant moving things around to accommodate it.  Not as bad as it sounds really because the bench in our front garden  has parted company with itself and chairs from the back garden have been moved to the front.  We like lots of places to sit and watch the world go by.

Nancy and Nellie have a viewing this evening - I doubt the people coming to see them will be able to resist them (Jill asked me to write that!).  They do like to play a lot and their favourite game is playing with paper balls and then pulling them apart.  Jill has given them some catnip twists that she bought for them - glad she got extras because I like them too.

Time for me to go out and play - the sun was shining very early this morning then it disappeared.  It's back out now, so it's playtime for me.  I will be back next week with an update about Nancy and Nellie.  Have a good weekend everyone.

Milly


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

MILLY'S DIARY

Hello everyone

Another late post, but it's been a  busy week.  Richard has finished taking down the old shed, the ground is prepared and we are just waiting for the new shed to be delivered.  I have given my advice of where it should be situated and how big it should be - not too sure if my recommendations will be taken on board though.  Yesterday we had the tree gang in; one tree that I call the Curly Wurly tree had to be removed because it was almost falling over and one of our very big Prunus trees had lots of branches chopped off.  I was very surprised to see how much sunshine was coming in after the tree gang had finished.

I know Jill told you about our new foster kittens, Nellie and Nancy, in her weekend post and as you know I tend not to talk too much about the kittens she fosters because as far as I am concerned I am the only kitten in her life.  Yes, I know I was one of the kittens she fostered and yes I know I share my home with four other rescued cats, but I am number one, end of story.  However, because Jill keeps saying how lovely they are and how one of them looks like me, I thought I had better check them out and yes, one of them does look like me!  Very scary.

Nellie and Nancy are now nine weeks old and Jill has given Nellie a nickname: Duracell!  She keeps on going long after Nancy has fallen asleep.  She has taken some more photographs of them and I said she could put them in my post:


Nancy having a bit of a rest


Nellie having forty winks

If you would like some more information about Nellie and Nancy or arrange to visit them go to the Woking Cats Protection website and fill in the request form.  If you are very lucky you might also get to meet me, but that's probably not a good idea because you will fall in love with me and want to adopt me instead and I am very happy where I am!

Time to go to bed - I am almost falling asleep as I am typing  this post.  Have a good week everyone, see you next Wednesday.

Milly

Sunday, 13 April 2014

RELAXATION TIME



Hello everyone

Another beautiful sunny day - how lucky we are to have them at this time of year.  Hope the Easter weekend is good as we have family with us on one day and spending the day with friends on another.  Around this we will be putting up a new shed and planting, planting, planting.

I have done very little work this week, apart from a million and one emails and spreadsheet work.  I want someone to tell me how we existed before emails and if our internet connection goes down, which sometimes it does, I worry because I am out of communication with the rest of the world?  The telephone almost seems defunct because of emails and text messages.  Letters?  Good grief, what are they?  Isn't it odd how something that seems rather unusual when first introduced becomes something we cannot exist without?

Many years ago I remember thinking that 5.25" floppy discs would never, ever be replaced by its 3.5" relative.  Now?  Who knows what the next type of computer storage will be.  Look how small and light computers themselves have become.  If someone had told me when I first began using them (and they took up a whole room for storage and the equipment then) that one day I would use a computer that would easily fit into my handbag, I do think I would have thought they had escaped from somewhere.

This coming week means back to working on future events, makes for those events and catching up on everything else that got left behind last week.  No photographs of makes this week, but I am sure you will love the following two pics of my current foster kittens: Nancy the long-haired kitten (she has a tiny black spot under her chin which you can just about see in the photograph) and Nellie the short-haired one.  They will be nine-weeks-old on Tuesday and are absolutely gorgeous.  I hope they get a new home soon, although it is always hard to part with the kittens I foster.



Have a great week everyone and I hope you have a lovely Easter too.  Don't forget to drop in on the Handmade Monday bloggers to see what they have been doing this week.

Jill

Monday, 7 April 2014

AFTER THE BALL WAS OVER

Hello everyone

It almost goes without saying that last week was hectic.  I had left Friday fairly clear to do some last minute leaflet dropping, produce some directional signs and check I had everything packed and ready, then disaster struck!  The people running the pop-up vintage tearoom cancelled due to illness!  I spent most of the day trying to book an alternative, crazy really because if someone was free was that good sign or bad?  However, friends came up trumps and stepped in to save the day.

Thank you Dawn for locating and delivering a water boiler and flasks and thank you Linda for manning the tea table all day.  It was hard work getting everything sourced, bought and set-up and this was in addition to Dawn having a stand at the event.  We had a much reduced refreshment area, but we did it and it was very much appreciated by the stallholders and customers.

As they say on the television, the day of the event dawned bright and clear - well eventually it did because it was still pitch black when I was up and out putting up the 'today' banners.  I made my way to the venue and put up some bunting and balloons:


We set-up the hall, welcomed the stallholders in and while they were setting up I began to feel I should have changed my name just before I opened the doors.  One the whole the setting up went without too many hiccups.  Doors opened for customers, balloon man on the front door, face-painter in position, everyone ready to sell, refreshments set up and ready to pour.  The customers came in waves - slow waves and bigger waves.  The Mayor and Mayoress of Godalming were lovely and spent a long time with us - they visited all of the stands and spoke to stallholders and customers; the Mayor had some face-painting on his hand and they both had some coffee and cake with their daughter.

As with all events of this type, some stallholders did very well, some not so well, the odd moan and groan
was heard, but in the main the stallholders were brilliant.  Feedback has been positive and very supportive - lots of good ideas, some already thought of and discounted because of cost, but it's so helpful to have lots of new ideas to take forward to future events.  I wish had been able to count the footfall and will try to do this next time - it does help to have this information to pass on to people when they are booking a stall..

Advertising for this event was extensive: local newspapers; friends, shops and businesses displaying posters and handing out flyers; around 3,500 flyers were dropped through letterboxes in and around the Godalming area; Facebook, Twitter and Streetlife were used extensively to promote the event as were other paid and unpaid online sites.  On the day I fixed placards to roundabouts coming into the town centre and one on a roundabout just off of the A3.  Could I have done more?  I am sure I could, but what?

On the whole, it was a very good day and I enjoyed it and I feel the stallholders did too, which to me was the most important thing.  A great atmosphere, visitors were pleased with what was on sale, stallholders were friendly, welcoming and worked hard throughout the day to promote their work.  Now it is on to the next one: flyers already printed, some distributed, all places nearly sold, floor plan nearly completed, so I am hopeful it will be easier next time around - fingers crossed.

Finally, I did have a sneak away-day with a friend on Tuesday.  We went to the RHS Plant Sale in their Westminster Halls.  As fabulous as the show was (I bought plants, seeds, bulbs and a new bench!), the highlight for both of us was a tour of the library - we turned out to be the only two booked onto the tour and we had the undivided attention of one of the librarians.  We were shown gardening books, guides, botanical prints and seed catalogues that were, in some cases, over 300 years old.  It was 90 minutes of pure heaven.

Here are a few pics of the plants we saw at the show:




Isn't the Hosta stunning?

I am late with my post this week, but off now to link up with Handmade Monday.  I will be back next week, hopefully with some of my makes as getting a little behind with them  Have a great week everyone.

Jill

Sunday, 30 March 2014

MOTIVATING SUNSHINE

Hello everyone

Long lovely sunny and warm days are very motivating - but often in the wrong direction.  When you work for your self you know how easy it is to make excuses not to do something.  Mine seems to be 'I can do that this evening' or 'I will definitely do that tomorrow'.  The warm sunny days make me want to be outside working in the garden - I think because it is so rare to have weather like this in March, that I want to make the most of it in case we have snow, rain, wind and frost!  We have experienced this in April before now, so perhaps I will carry on gardening just in case the weather changes (see, yet another excuse).

Whether it is the experience of being a stallholder on many occasions or the prospect of being on the other end of the event stick, I am not sure, but I have spent more time this week trying to think of ideas to increase footfall, awareness and popularity of the Godalming Independent Markets.  Sadly, I have abandoned the Easter Bunny and as the Stilt-Walker was too expensive, that has also gone by the wayside.  However, in addition to the face-painter and balloon modeller, the Mayor and Mayoress of Godalming will attending the event on Saturday.  Apart from being something of local interest to event, it will also bring publicity for the stallholders as the local newspaper will be there taking photographs.

I nipped into Godalming bright and early this morning (well as bright and early that losing an hour could make me) and fixed my banner to the front of the Godalming Borough Hall.  Hirers are allowed to do this for the week prior to their event and as it is opposite Waitrose I am hoping that it will draw lots of attention and encourage people to visit us.  Here it is:



My pottery course finished this week - we have a long wait until the next term begins on 1 May.  I have been making figures recently and this is one of my most recent ones.  His (or her?) eyes are hidden by a rather large hat:


He stands about 9" tall and the top part of his hat is empty - I could either use him for a very small pot plant or place a tea light in his hat.  My plan is to make a much larger one next time that I can use as an outside planter.  There are two previous figures that I left for glazing over the break - one has three eyes.  The reason for this?  Because I couldn't get two eyes lined up so I just added a third for interest!

My floor plan is calling - it's almost complete and as with all of us who have taken part in a fair, the concern is will I (or in this case, they) like where I have been put.  I will let you know next week when I do a post-event blog.

Have a great week everyone, I  hope you have lots of sunshine but don't forget to have a break from all that relaxing in the sun and drop in on the Handmade Monday bloggers.

See you next week

Jill

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

MILLY'S DIARY

Hello everyone

Well, what happened to last week's diary post?  I have to put it down to there being so much sunshine that I that I just ran out of time - sorry about that, but I do love sunshine.  I was born in August, so that explains it really.

We are foster-kitten-less at the moment - although I am still really a kitten.  Primrose and Jasmine went to their new homes last week and have settled in very well.  Jill donned her blue Cats Protection fleece last Friday morning for some fund-raising at Byfleet's Pets at Home - she bought us some new catnip twists.  One was very, very strong and I feel asleep in a basket after playing with it!

Richard has been dismantling the shed and we have been helping him.  Coco jumped out of a tree where he was working and frightened the life out of him.  Every time he moves a piece of wood we all take turns at jumping into the space he has created.  I don't think he is very impressed with our efforts to help him though.
It's quick post from me today, or rather tonight, because it really is my bed time - lots to do tomorrow if the sun shines.  Have a great week - see you soon.

Milly

Sunday, 23 March 2014

THE UNTITLED BLOG POST

Hello everyone

It is often hard to come up with a witty, snappy blog post title isn't it?  This week I couldn’t come up with a witty, snappy title so went with the one I have - not inspiring but, hey, it's a title.

How are you?  It seems we are about to drop into some freezing winter weather - apparently this is what we have missed over the last few weeks.  Just when the Camelias are flowering the Magnolias thinking about flowering and certain other plants that normally hate frost are peeping, the weather will be against them.

In between event organising and make cards and decorating bags, I have managed to spend time in the garden this week.  Apart from weeding (do weeds ever stop growing?) I sowed my tomato seeds and decided to give gherkins a try.  The problem is I may forget the gherkins and will end up with courgettes, possibly marrows!  Not too bad really as we like all of them.

I haven't found the Easter Bunny for my event and discovered that a Stilts-Walker would cost a frightening - amount but could I do it?  No way.  However, I have booked a lovely face-painter, Artyfacial, and also Mr Magic who will be doing balloon modelling.  Less than two weeks to go and, boy, am I getting nervous!  I am still up to my eyes in flyer and posting delivering and posting and the crazy thing is this is only one of six events this year!   By the end of this year I should be stick-thin - wishful thinking.

I took part in the Play Kenya Craft Fair yesterday - this is an event that runs twice each year and I have been part of if for the last two years  It is well organised, very well supported and attracts a great range of sellers of handmade goodies.  Next door to me was one of the stall holders taking part in my 5 April event - really nice to meet Jill Stobbart of the Gilded Raven.

My stall had my new range of cards using the gorgeous hats, boots and flowers I have placed on here over recent weeks as well as my Easter-themed jute bags - these included three new ones in the ever popular cat range:




I did a bit of Godalming Independent Market promotion while I was at the event.  Lots of interest and one lady has already contacted me.  However, I was very surprised when one stallholder said 'if I have to buy insurance I am not interested'.  I pointed out that apart from it being a requirement of my event insurance, it was in her own best interest.  Her response was that her work would not harm anyone - I said how about your table set up, table cloth, boxes?  I said I would forward details of my PLI so that she could see it was not as expensive as she assumed.   Surely it is better to be safe than sorry – it is also much, much cheaper. 

The hailstones have stopped, so I think I can just get some more pesky weeds pulled up before it gets too cold and frosty.  Have a great week everyone, thank you for your comments on my blog post of last week and don’t forget to join in and visit this week's Handmade Monday blog party.

Jill

Sunday, 16 March 2014

CRAFTING AND CLOWNING AROUND

Hello everyone

What a fabulous weekend, lots of gorgeous warm, sunny sunshine - long may it last.

Firstly my apologies for not commenting on any of my fellow Handmade Monday blogs last week - I will try to do a double whammy this week, I promise.

This sunshine is very motivating and I have been working on making stock for two events I have coming up in the next three weeks - one I am 'just a stallholder' in, the other is the first one I am organising.  Many years ago I disliked decoupage - I think mainly because I am a pretty impatient crafter and the fact that it took a long while to build up a picture meant frustration at not having something made more or less immediately.  Things change and I love decoupage now, I like the fact that it takes a while to build up a picture and also that I can change how it likes by adding extra bits in or leaving bits out.  This week, as well as two decorated jute bags, I have been busy on the decoupage front and here are pics of some of my work:


The cat bride and groom - couldn't resist this one


Beautiful dark red lilies


Gorgeous red poppies


The Easter bonnet bag


The Easter bunny bag

The title of today's post doesn't mean that I have been clowning around this week, but I have been looking for a clown.  I want something to attract visitors to my first event and thought a clown, a magician or something similar would be good fun.  Easier said than done apparently - I have contacted a few and hardly any have replied.  Apart from the fact that I think it is very unprofessional not to reply, it is also very time-wasting - my time that is.  How long does it take to say 'no, we don't do that' or something along those lines.  It has been back to the Internet today looking for potential entertainers - I have asked a few friends if they fancy dressing up as the Easter Bunny!  I am sure you can imagine the replies.

Time to do some pruning while the sun is still shining; it would be lovely to get the grass cut, but unfortunately, our garden is still very soggy.  A couple more weeks of this lovely warm sunshine would help though.  

Have a great week and hopefully this time next week I will be able to tell you that I have tracked down the Easter Bunny!  Even better that I have tracked down the REAL Easter Bunny.  Don't forget to visit Handmade Monday - top of my list of blogs to visit this evening.

See you next week

Jill

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

MILLY'S DIARY

Hello everyone

Just woken up from an early morning snooze - well I have been up and about very early today.  Jill said something about the dawn chorus, not sure what that is but it did wake me up.

Our foster kittens, Primrose and Jasmine, are going to their new homes next week.  I am sure they will be very happy and a big thank you to Woking Cats Protection - without them I wouldn't be living here.  there are still lots of lovely kittens and cats looking for new homes, so don't forget to check out the CP website.

While I was out this morning got together my collection of stuff that I had found on my travels.  I brought home a large bone - Jill said it could be chicken - and yet another feather.  I still cannot understand why Jill isn't pleased with the presents I bring in for her.  On Monday I brought a frog in for her - it was alive and jumping around, so what's wrong with that?  I am one confused kitten.

What else have I been doing since my last post?  Chasing creatures in the field at the bottom of my garden, climbing trees, playing with Poppy (who follows me everywhere), chasing Coco.  I have given up chasing Jazz and Daisy - they are so much older than I am and like to snooze a lot.  I think Jill said they are six years old.  Ancient!

That's me blogged out for this week - time to play.

Have a good week everyone - I will be back next week.

Milly

Sunday, 9 March 2014

SUNSHINE SUNDAY (AND SATURDAY)

Hello everyone

Sunshine!  What more can I say?

Many thanks for the lovely comments on my blog post of last week - always appreciated and it is so nice to have feedback.

A busy week  and as I sit here tyring to remember what I have done, I can't, although I know it was a busy week.  A friend of mine writes a Done list every day rather than a To-Do list - makes more sense really as you can then recall what you have done and been proud of it.

I took part in a wedding fayre at the Frensham Pond Hotel today.  It was fairly quiet but I took definite order details from three people, so fingers crossed more may follow.  There were less stands there than at previous events and we were wondering why.  Those people taking part at today's events were regulars and those that weren't (from memory) were ones that we could not recall from previous events.  It is such a lovely venue.  I don't know if you know Frensham Ponds in Surrey?  It is rather like having the seaside on your doorstep.  Here are pics of some of my today's display:



This proved to be a very popular range and although the ivory ribbon and pink butterfly looked pretty, several colour ranges are available.

This week is a mix of preparing a set of accounts for a friend's church which I then have to present at the parish meeting on Wednesday evening, yet more event work, card-making, getting ready for an other wedding fayre next Sunday, making stock for an event I am taking part in on 22 March and trying to sort out the website I have set up for the event part of my 'hat' collection.  How I managed to book two wedding fayres so close together I don't know.

A fairly brief post for me this week - before the sun completely disappears I am going to take a nice cold glass of wine into the garden.  Don't forget to visit the Handmade Monday bloggers and and catch up with their makes.  I will be back next week and in the meantime have lots of sunny fun.

Jill