It has been a long while since I have wrote my blog, I always have ideas for blogs but don't seem to get round to it. But as it is nearly the end of the year it would be nice to reflect on 2013.
It has been a tough year the craft fairs have not been as good as they used to be & every trader I speak too is finding it hard going. We have changed alot over 2013 we how print more than we handpaint but as long as I can hand paint the original artwork I'm happy. I guess every business has to evolve to survive & we have changed more in the last year than since I started in 1996.
We have added lots of new products to our range including children's gifts like this Money Box.
I have really enjoyed painting for the Childrens range of gifts my latest design is one of my favourites "Moon Rabbits". A customer requested a design to go with the wording "I love you to the Moon & Back" so at first I thought of painting Owls sitting in a tree with the moon light but they ended up as Rabbits.
I guess things don't always work out as you first think but sometimes it is for the better, a bit like 2013. We had some bad shows where we thought we would never sell again only to come home & find loads of orders for printed items waiting for us. We were lucky to get orders from most of the Tourist Informations in Northumberland. So I spent the summer painting Alnwick, Berwick & Puffins. We also added Friends of Durham Cathedral shop to our customers, they had a really busy summer with the Lindesfarne Gospels so we were constantly getting orders for Durham Mugs, Magnets & Bookmarks.
But the seasons change & the orders for the Tourists die back like the summer flowers to be replaced with Holly, Robins & Snow. I was asked if I would like to place an advert in the December Prima & Vogue magazines but I needed a new mug design for the winter. I only had a few days to the deadline so one September weekend I did a painting of a Winter Footpath, printed the mug on the Monday morning & sent it off to the Magazines on the same day. I think I work better under pressure. The mug has been selling really well & makes me wonder if that is the way to go in 2014 more magazine adverts as they are a similar price to alot of craft shows but there is a much wider audience. So now I am trying to get my mind on Daffodils & all things spring for House Beautiful March issue but that is not easy when you spend every other day painting snowmen & Robins.