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  1. Just getting over a busy weekend. Friday evening we went to the witches cauldron at Badsey and although the event had a fairly light footfall we had a good response with the dried fruit christmas decorations really taking off. The Pot Pourri was very well received on its first outing.

    Got home at about 10.30pm and left the house again at 7.30am to go to the Pumpkin Day at Bewdley. We took two cars this time as we wanted to take the spare stock in anticipation of the Christmas period starting. Lovely spot on Severnside North by the river but unfortunately the closeness of the buildings meant that we were in the shade for most of the day and it was VERY cold! A north wind coming off the river didnt help but fortunately our gazebo held its own and acted as a good wind break. Good response from the local populace and although we were pleased to pack up at 4pm it was a very good day with sales of the Pot Pourri really beginning to gather pace. We even had someone wanting to buy as we were loading the car as she had seen someone else walking round the town carrying one of our wreaths.

    We were also pleased with the way the new hand made scented candles were proving popular. We actually buy these in from a social project that employs people with learning and physical disabilities. I was actually at the factory last week and met some of the workers and we feel that the candles are not only unusual and attractive in themselves but we are helping this project as well. These will be listed on the website over the next few days as we feel they will go well for Christmas.

    Well we're having a couple of weeks now without events as next weekend seems to be more firework events than anything else and the following week we are off to a family wedding. We return back to the business the following week with a two day event at Coventry Motor Museum. Its the first time we have been there but everyone tells us its always very good so we are looking forward to it.  

  2. Warwick turned out to be one of the best days of our year so far. Lovely event. Hill Close Gardens is an area next to Warwick racecourse and in Victorian times it was divided into a number of gardens and allotments and used by local business owners as weekend retreats from living 'over the shop'. There are currently about 4 acres of these allotments left divided into about 18 gardens (I think! but that number may actually be greater) some of which are grass gardens, some with varying degrees of vegetation and others as allotments. A lot of them have lovely brick built summerhouses. There is a great visitor centre and its not very expensive entance fee either.

    It was a great sunny day, there were only half a dozen stalls or so but hundreds of people! The christmas wreaths, garlands and dangles were popular and the newly launched christmas tree decorations were really popular. Some lines sold out on the day and a sign that the festive season is fast approaching.

    The candles were well received, so much so that we had to put in a new order. We had the last weekend off so I went to Wales for a short break and on the way there called in at the social project that manufacures them to pick up the order. Had an interesting few minutes looking round the manufacturing plant in a small market town seeing how the candles are hand made and meeting some of the employees who have learning and physical disabilities. Great to feel that whilst running our own business we are also supporting this worthwhile project.

    Whilst down in Pembrokeshire I also did some driftwood collecting and after the recent storms there was lots of interesting pieces in the cove below our cottage. Whilst gathering the wood I also found a small beacon cast into the sea as part of an arts project by the Cillrialaig Arts Centre in Kerry, Ireland. Apparently a number were cast into the sea in September in the hope that they would end up on the east coast of America. Apparently this is the second one found in Pembrokeshire in the last few days! Collected lots of driftwood and have started drying it so we can produce some new mirrors and dangles, and possibly other decorations, over the winter to put on our stall and website in 2013.

    This weekend sees Halloween events. On Friday evening we are at the Witches Cauldron event at Badsey Village Hall, Worcs between 7pm and 10pm. Despite the late finish we will be up at the crack of dawn on Saturday to return to Severnside, Bewdley for the pumpkin day event under the gazebo by the River Severn. Forecast is for a cold but sunny day so it will be on with the thermals and hopefully lots of sales to keep us busy.

    We are also booking up our final events of the year so keep an eye on our calendar page to check out where we will be. 

  3. Hartlebury turned out to be better than expected with quite a few sales in the last 30 mins. Can't understand why some stall holders pack up early even if things have been slow while there are potential customers about it pays to stay open. We have often made sales while we have been packing up after closing time so can't understand why some people go early. I think we've only been the first to pack up once and that was when we were in the gazebo at Evesham when a thunderstorm effectively finished the event and would have damaged our stock.

    Anyway off me soapbox and onward this weekend to Warwick. We are going to Hill Close allotments' apple day. Never been there before but apparently its a set of allotment gardens established in Victorian times on the then outskirts of Warwick and was used by shopkeepers etc who lived over the shop but wanted some outside space. Apparently they've been restablished as working allotments and often sell older varities of plants etc. There is lots going on apparently and we are looking forward to the cider tasting .... and making lots of sales of course!

    A new service we have introduced is the virtual party plan or eparty. We have been invited to a number of events this year run by charities which have conflicted with other events already in the diary. In this case we have offered the organiser the opportunity to have a group sale from the website (excluding the calligraphy cards) and have 20% of the proceeds to the charity. This replaces the table fee we would have paid if we had gone to their event. Anyone who is interested in having an eparty should email us for further details as we have a factsheet we can email out. We would point out that as the order will be handmade on receipt we have a cut off of 30th November for anything required before Christmas so anyone interested should contact us sooner rather than later.

  4. Well where did September go to. Peopleton village fete turned out to be a really lovely event in good weather with lots of customers. It was a really traditional event Kids races, tug of war between the village pubs, wi marquee, gardening and art competition, and lots of vintage cars. There even WW1 bi and tri planes over flying at various times. We followed that up a couple of weeks later by going to the Soroptomists Fun in the Park in Solihull. Again the weather was good and the event was a pleasure to be at. We started displaying the christmas tree decs and had some success with them. The only off putting was some of the local bands playing the stage perhaps should have a bit of voice training - there again others were very good and I'm not one to speak as I can't sing a single note let alone get up in front of other people and do it.

    Last weekend we spent two days at the Belbroughton Scarecrow Festival. Two contrasting days weatherwise but that didnt affect us as we were in the school buildings. Fabulous turnout of people and the village really does go to town. It was our first event where we had the scented candles available and they really went well. The different shapes all had their supporters and it won't be too long before we have to re-order! With the onset of autumn thoughts of christmas are in many peoples minds and we did well on the dried fruit decorations. The candle and fruit table decorations sold out and we had our first order for the garland design that we are selling by the half metre length (commission for 1.3 mteres!). So a really good two days there and Frankie went to Stirchley Market last night where the dried fruit decorations again proved to be a great hit. Not only that other event organisers were so impressed that we had invitations to go to other events - not sure if we'll be able to accommodate everybody but we'll see.

    This weekend we are off to the 'countryside' event at Hartlebury Castle on Sunday. Although we are inside again we are hoping for good weather as the event needs that to draw in the crowds. The following Sunday we are outside again at Warwick at the Victorian allotments by the Racecourse so we are hoping for a fine autumnal day. See our events diary for more details.