Thank you so much for all the continued support throughout 2017.
That's it for me until 3rd January. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.
This year has seemed to fly by and I am very grateful for the opportunities I have had this year to work on a wide variety of projects, no two days the same. With today’s blog post I’d like to do a little reflection on the past year and say a few heartfelt thank yous along the way. This post is illustrated throughout with the illustrations from my advent countdown that I have been sharing daily over on Instagram and Facebook....
I love collaborating with others and 2017 has provided plenty of great collaborations to get stuck into. A particular favourite was developing my wildlife and nature guide collection into a range of greeting cards and gift wrap. I thoroughly enjoyed working on that, it was a dream project for me. The cherry on the cake was spotting those cards in gift shops and Waterstones in the summer when I was out and about with the family. How can something so pleasurable be called work? I feel very blessed and am filled with gratitude and thanks for the publishing team that made this happen for me. They have been championing my work for a few years now and with what’s on my desk at the moment, I am looking forward to continuing working on great projects with them in the new year....
I’ve also been lucky to work with some lovely designer makers and local small businesses this year, to help bring their visions for their websites, new products and marketing communications to life. I get very excited by these projects, I’ve been doing these sorts of designs for a few years now, but it still gets me fired up because no two briefs are the same and being involved in the start of something new keeps things fresh for me too. Working alone can feel very isolating sometimes, but these collaborations are a real tonic as it puts me in touch with wonderful like minded souls. You know who you are - thank you all so much for allowing me to get my hands on your branding and marketing this year, it keeps my little imagination fired up and helps me feel part of a wider team....
On the subject of tackling that isolating feeling working alone, I want to say a thank you to Helen at The Creative Business Network for organising meet ups here in the South West. What she has created and brought together is frankly, amazing! I recently popped along to the meet up in Exeter in November. It came at just the right time for me. It was during a very busy month work wise and I felt like all I did was live between my desk, the school run, the post office and my kitchen. Thank goodness for the school gates and the post office to get a chance to talk to people during the day! Fed up with feeling that way, I got the train to Exeter and strolled into the coffee shop where the Creative Business Network meet up was taking place . I was welcomed with the warmest buzz of lots of creative business women chatting, laughing and sharing stories and generally letting off steam, enjoying each others company, inspiring and supporting one another. Turns out I was not alone feeling this way and have made lots of lovely friends through this network. My little creative business celebrated it’s 7th year this year - I truly believe one of the things that is key to the sustainability of any small business is the wellbeing and support of the person behind the business. I thoroughly recommend networking events such as this to feel invigorated and part of a wider, supportive community. Sometimes we all need is to just get out there and find our tribe, now I feel like I have definitely found mine!...
The BIG highlight and challenge for me this year has been preparing a portfolio of new designs to get to my new agent to showcase at Surtex in New York, back in May, for the very first time. It all happened a bit sooner than I imagined. Before my agent approached me at the end of last year, I had it in my head that around now I would be approaching agents with a view to doing this sort of thing. Needless to say at one point I wasn’t sure whether I would have enough new work to show. However, somehow I managed to get a folder together and off it went. I am so glad I did it and I’m very thankful to my agent for taking a chance on me and taking my work to Surtex as I have learnt so much from the experience and had a positive response. I now know what I need to do for this coming year and am really looking forward to creating lots in 2018 with a new sense of direction and purpose...
Finally, a very BIG thank you must go to everyone who has bought products from my online stores, I am very grateful to you for each and every order, you help keep me doing this job that I love. I'd also like to say thank you to everyone who continues to support my social media efforts, especially those who have joined my mailing list - your support keeps me going.
So all that’s left to say is that’s it for this year, my Folksy shop is closed, my Etsy shop remains open but has been set to holiday shipping times, which means any orders placed will be shipped from 3rd January when I get back to work.
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!
With thanks and best wishes
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I hope this blog post finds you well during this season of festivities. Now that advent has begun, this blog post is unapologetically Christmassy, as I show you what can be found over at my Etsy and Folksy shops for gift wraps, cards and planners...
This advent I fully intend to have another go at the daily advent countdown illustrations over on my Instagram feed, but I will also share this on my Facebook page too - so that's something to keep an eye out for.
I've done these for the past couple of years, but always seem to not get past that week before Christmas as it all gets a bit much to ensure everything is ready in time. I will see how I get on this year, but at least it's a bit of fun for the first few weeks of December....
On the subject of things getting ready on time, here's a handy list of deadline dates for UK Christmas posting....
Royal Mail Postal Dates:
First & Second Class:
Thur 21 Dec - 1st Class
Wed 20 Dec - 2nd Class
International Standard (Airmail) and International Tracking Signature Services:
Sat 16 Dec - Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg
Fri 15 Dec - Austria, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands,
Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain,
Thur 14 Dec - Canada, Finland, Sweden, USA
Wed 13 Dec - Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland
Sat 9 Dec - Greece, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand
Thur 7 Dec - Caribbean, Central and South America
Wed 6 Dec - Cyprus, Malta, Asia, Far East, Eastern Europe
(except Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia)
Sat 2 Dec - Africa, Middle East
If you are ordering from my Etsy and Folksy shops, the deadlines for guaranteed pre-Christmas delivery are generally 2 days before each of these Royal Mail deadlines. For example, UK orders the deadline would be Tues 19th December . This will allow me time to process and pack your order and get it out before the Royal Mail deadline....
As I did last year, I will be keeping my Etsy shop open over Christmas, but it will be set to Holiday delivery times. Which means shipping dates will be approx 2 weeks rather than few days, but this will all be clearly marked on each listing. My Folksy shop will be set to holiday mode until 3rd January 2018 - which is when my Etsy shop will return to the normal 3-5 day delivery turnaround....
So that's all the main details I need to tell you for this side of Christmas.
I hope all your plans and celebrations this month go well and that you are filled with plenty of Christmas spirit and joy. I raise a socialable sherry to you and wish you a very
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