Archive for January, 2010

Today’s the day…I’m featured in Bead Magazine

Thursday evening

If you have come here via Bead Magazine welcome! and welcome also if you’ve arrived via my advert in the Making Jewellery courses supplement. I have new course vacancies on my tuition page and these are currently changing daily.

I’m very pleased to be featured in Bead magazine in the ‘Makers Profile’ slot this month, and if you’ve read the article you’ll know that my objectives for this year are to direct my business to be a more web- based one. To that end we’ve been working really hard the last week to bring my web site up to date and give it a bit of a makeover. I’m very pleased with how it’s looking now. I have a lovely fresh gallery with lots of lovely photos, and an updated front page (thank you Dickie). I’ve also re-stocked my bead shop at last, the first of many re-stocks this year. I have other changes to make but I’m not going to bore you with that, it’s for me to do and you to find when I’ve done it!

I’ve also been very busy this week getting ready for the bead fair at Ardingly this Sunday. I will have my usual mix of colourful beads, some new silver chains suitable for my Cloud Beads and I’m having a bit of a spring clear out so will have some reduced price sets and of course I’m refilling my popular bargain pots. Do come and say hello.

Here’s a peek at the new beads in my shop

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Friday evening

They’ve been sat outside in our new nut dispenser for birds since Sunday now, and have they touched them yet? I’ve been concerned about the birds and wanted to feed them during the snow, and I know it can take up to 3 weeks for them to find a feeder, but how sad that they don’t seem to have noticed it yet. My daughter thought she saw movement on it late this afternoon, let’s hope she right. I’ve been trying to entice them with fresh water in the large pot saucer that the blackbird normally uses, that definitely caused a stir when I uncovered the dish and refilled it yesterday with slightly warm water… a female blackbird came and wallowed in it for about 15 minutes while all the other birds bobbed around to see what she was doing. I also moved the filled coconut shell near the bath and nut feeder and put out a halved apple. If that doesn’t work I don’t know what will!

It’s been a lovely week watching the birds forage for food. They’ve been raiding the Bud-lea next door and the shrub we have which I don’t really like, but I may decide to keep for the sake of the bees in the spring and the birds in the winter. We’ve had our regular robins and blue tits, sparrows and blackbirds. But we also have some other finches, I’m not sure yet what they are. Don’t forget next weekend is the Big Garden Birdwatch, you can get details from the RSPB website

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Snooooooooooooooooowwww again

Wednesday evening

And again, all over the place. Woo hoo it looks so lovely but also means that our daughter was home again today. More work has been done on her igloo, and she even made a snow girl. We had to use celery instead of a carrot for a nose as I can’t eat celery and I’m reluctant to use what veg we have left! Needless to say I’ve found it very hard to work again today after my huge success yesterday when I worked hard ALL day and ALL evening not stopping until midnight. I think I burnt myself out, oh dear. I was also worried about getting to the surgery for my flu jab as I thought I’d have to walk there and back (3.2 miles) in the snow and ice. Fortunately I got the car off the drive and we had a quick jaunt there and back. So I finally succumbed and had the jab! Well they did ring me and offer it, so I thought maybe I should have it, although our daughter did get swine flue in the summer and we certainly didn’t. So far no odd effects, not even the achy arm she promised.

And today I also got excited about my first advert! If you get Making Jewellery magazine I have an advert in the free courses guide, complete with a photo of my pink frit swirlers as can be seen on my tuition page and the home page….yes….more excitement, Rick actually put some new photos up for me. And even more exciting….they used my photos on the front page of the courses guide too. If you’ve looked at my tuition page since yesterday you’ll also see that I have at last announced my first special courses. Just drop me an email for details on how to book and to choose your dates.

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Tax doesn’t have to be taxing

Tuesday morning

Still snowy out there, and very cold. Far too cold to be in my studio at the moment, but hopefully it will be warm and snugly by February when we’ve put in the insulation.  Normality is sort of returning, as today is the first day back at school since all the snow, they had 4 days off in total and my how it disrupted my work plans.  I’m taking a very quick break from doing my accounts, as I have thrown myself headlong into getting them done in time. I have so much to do this month it’s crazy, as I also have a bead fair at Ardingly on 24th January, and lots of other jobs to be ready for the 20th January….but I guess I can’t tell you about that, you’ll have to wait and see what I’m not talking about ;.)

I’d have to agree with the statement of my title, it’s not taxing, but doing my yearly accounts is. I was feeling very despondent last night as it all seems to be taking so long and all the things I did throughout last year to make things easier don’t seem to have worked particularly well. I appear to have a few receipts missing in action, although these are from when I was officially on sick time off and following that when I was technically taking it a lot easier. I have to admit that my head was a bit all over the place then, and they’ve probably been ‘put’ somewhere that seemed sensible at the time. Some of the processes I put into place did work, sort of, but it’s still a mix of some bits been entered and others not, which means I have to check everything. NNNNrggghhh.

I really want to get to grips with this so I don’t have so much stress next year. So I have another resolution…..wait for it…to try and do my accounts monthly or every 2 months (sounds familiar doesn’t it!)…..if possible…remembering that I need to work a couple of months behind so that I have all the relevant paperwork and statements. I honestly tried so hard last year, but as I was trying to do January at the end of Jan I got unstuck straight away. Hmmmmm, I wonder if I will manage it?

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Thursday evening

Snoooooooooooooooooooow. Yes it came 2 nights ago and there’s loads of it. Yesterday we went for a walk and admired all the huge snowmen and women. Normally when you make a snowman all the snow on the lawn disappears and you get left with patchy snow and a straggly sad looking snowman. Not this time. There are loads of monster snow families around the place and still masses of snow left to play with. We had several snowball fights, my daughter came off worse than me (oops) and I made my first snow angel. So she’s home again tomorrow, that’s the third day in a row, let’s hope she can go back next week or I’m really going to struggle to get my work done. I’m loving it, but below I’m going to have a rather huge moan about something…..

So my question is, what on earth is going on with this country when people are too scarred of being sued to clear the snow? I remember when I was a kid, most people used to clear the snow in front of their house, much to my annoyance. Now it would appear we all sit home and whinge about the councils not gritting everywhere, instead of taking responsibility for our paths and clearing up. This really gets me hot under the collar, especially as my approach to life is that if you need to complain, then something obviously needs doing about whatever you’re complaining about, so why not get off your derrière and do something about it? But apparently now people won’t clear the snow because if you do and someone has an accident, then it’s your fault! What’s that all about? I think this government should do us all a favour and make it compulsory to clear snow and ice like many of the countries in Europe and stop pandering to this compensation culture. I think things have got into a bad state when people are too scarred to help their fellow human beings when help is needed. Moan over!

I have to say though that all this snow keeps reminding me of a Cat in the Hat story I had as child. The Cat had a bath and left a pink ring around the bath, and his friends tried everything to get rid of the pink, which gradually got transferred from one item to another. Things came to a head when they used a fan and splayed all the pink on to the snow outside and ended up with a huge pink snowdrift! And on that note…have a pink warm and toasty evening.

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It’s here again!

Tuesday morning

Oh yes, it’s the time, and it seems to have come around so quickly, that I have to do my tax return. And guess what? I think you’ve guessed it! If it was just a matter of filing in a form with a few details it would take about half an hour tops, but of course it isn’t. Yet again I have let the finance side of my business slip dreadfully, and actually this year it really bothers me, well it sort of does and kind of doesn’t. I was reading an article in Glass Bead (the magazine by the ISGB) about the 7 deadly sins of business, and ‘Running in the Dark’ was one of them. So what is this?….It’s what I’m doing! I have a rough idea of how much money is coming through my business, but I don’t know exactly how much until I do my yearly accounts. Hmm. This would be a real problem if I was driven by my company profit (or loss), but I’m not. I am doing this professionally to earn money, and I am running a business, but huge profits are not my primary aim.  My main objective is to be creative and to teach others the wonderful creative experience that is glass beadmaking. I guess this attitude goes with being creative, I would rather use my time making beads and jewellery than doing boring accounts. Oh well.

So maybe the question is should I get all accounty and do forecasts and monthly accounts? Would this help me focus more or would it just use valuable marketing time? You see the problem with running your own business, especially where you spend time personally creating art to sell, rather than buying in stuff and selling  it on, is that you only have so many hours in the day, and way too many other jobs to do to keep up with everything. I have written about this before, probably last January and the one before!

Anyway, I’m not going to ponder this issue for long, well, at least not here. I have stuff to get on with, and maybe I should be grateful I have to do office stuff this week as it’s way too cold outside and I still have to go get my warm studio boots from my friend. I’m not procrastinating my jobs, and have ‘set to’ with vigour to get this done, the first thing being to finish tidying my desk, especially since I need to fit a new larger laptop here.


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