Big update.........

My next story post was supposed to be in January and I was all ready to update you but then January came and has long gone!!! This year has started so well for Sweet Pea and I’m enjoying it so much, ideas have gone from strength to strength, so I will re cap briefly from my last story at the end of August.

September my little one started back at school now in year two and I had delivered Liz from Lottie Brown’s commission in the summer, Liz asked me to design her logo for her new business. So we met up and talked about her ideas which she loved. At this point I also had an email chat with Kate from Flock & Hare to meet up and show me her finished logo which I designed. I was super excited to see it and Kate had a sample throw with her for me to see. I’m so thrilled to see my designs come to life, from the initial chat with a customer to seeing the design on such wonderful products makes me feel so proud. Working with Lisa King has become a great partnership and I look forward to future collaborations with her.

At this point new work was evolving and I wanted to update my website with photos of myself creating and foraging so people could connect with me whilst looking through my website. So the wonderfully talented Liz from Lottie Brown came to take some photo’s of me at home and in my village. I was taken a back with the quality of the photos and just how Liz captured me. I love them on the website dotted about and have used them on social media too. I think they help show you a little about my personality which connects with my work and you feel comfortable navigating through my site.

The far right photo ment such a lot to me and brought me to tears. I’d highly recommend Liz if your looking for a photographer it was a pleasure to have her her for the day.

By the end of October I was concentrating on evolving my work and exploring lots of different ideas. Through illustration and watercolour which I’m now using more and more. I was enjoying the autumnal days and planning further workshops ready for the festive period. We had family over from Australia and it was lovely to enjoy the half term as the frosty starts had begun.

November I delivered my first festive workshop at The Little Shed, creating hand made illustrated wreath cards and gift tags. It was wonderful to meet another group of lovely Ladies who totally embraced the evening. Since Anney asked me to deliver my first workshop last June I’ve enjoyed it more and more. I was so nervous for the first one but the Ladies are all so lovely and I get so much out of the workshop too.

This year many of my customers ordered personalised clay shape for the busiest gift buying season. My clay shapes went down so well, so thank you all for your orders. I also had an idea to have a pop up shop at my home too for school Mummies and friends which was such fun, with tea and home made cakes on a Friday morning, something I’d definitely think about doing again.

This year I made the decision not to attend the Christmas Market at The Roundhouse with a stand but attend as a customer. I thoroughly enjoyed my day as I went with a friend as a VIP, sometimes I think it’s good to take a step back. I often question events and if they are right for my little business or not. It’s a wonderful event but for the two days quite an outlay for me. But I did attend the ‘Joy of Christmas’ Nicky from Joy Interiors first event in her pretty village Appleby.

The event was so beautifully styled by her and the team and I enjoyed it so much. I met some new stall holders and customers which made the day so worth attending. This event for me was targeted perfectly to my customer and it inspired me with my work and where to go next.

A few commissions and deliveries to post and Christmas was here so quickly. A very busy lead up to this time of year which is when we also celebrate our daughters birthday. Her first sleep over with her best friend as a birthday treat on the last day of term and we went to see the new Mary Poppins!!

A well deserved break with our family, wrapped up country walks and toasted our toes by the fire with a mug of hot chocolate snugly in our cosy home was bliss.

January arrived and I wasn’t at all prepared for how busy I was going to be! I had a commission of some fabulous ewes to paint, promoting my workshops, preparing for the Spring Market at The Roundhouse and started to also promote my new venture with Jemma from Unconditionally Nourished ‘Escape & Create’ Retreats.

The design’s that I created a few years ago for Styleboxe where out and being stocked by companies such as Party Delights and has sold out within two weeks of them stocking it!!! I was promoting ‘Escape & Create’ every day and meeting with Jemma every week. Then at the end of the month it was my birthday and the weekend before one of my besties and I took off for a weekend in York.

I was feeling amazing and couldn’t believe how 2019 had started for me. York came at a good time to get away for a few days and recharge. I had so much fun and plan to try to get away more for myself. I also enjoyed an extremely inspiring visit to Devol with my friend celebrating our birthdays after having brunch at the Appletree gift shop and tea house. I’d ordered some tiles for the fire hearth in our bedroom made by the tallented Hannah Livesley ceramics, collected them there and can’t wait to show you them when they are in situe.

After enjoying a wonderful birthday, I delivered the second ‘In bloom’ watercolour workshop at the Little Shed in February. This year I have also made the brave decision to finish working part time with the pre school I attend on a Tuesday morning. It feels right to be pursuing what I really want to with being self employed and cant wait to take on the new challenges. So in the children’s school holidays I’ve launched ‘Make your mark’ children’s workshops, first ‘Self portrait with a difference’, art workshops for those children that think outside the box.

This year I am also stocking at The Makers, Ashbourne an independent makers shop run by the lovely Sally. I’m promoting my workshops to be delivered here too, the first ‘Spring Wreaths’ was in March. The shop is a lovely old building with three floors another fabulous venue to run my workshops.

Throughout February I was meeting Jemma putting together our ideas for our ‘Escape & Create’ Retreats alongside planning and running my workshops. Getting stock together for my next event and organising my children’s workshops. I completed my next commission and delivered it to my happy customer which was a joy to create, my first time painting ewes and I loved it.

March, started gently and progressed very quickly!! The wreath workshop at The Makers went so well, I thoroughly enjoyed it and so did the attendees. One was a 12 year old who produced the most amazing piece, I was so thrilled he was on the workshop. I started promoting the next one there ‘Boho Bunny’ which sold out in a week.

The venue was decided for the ‘Escape & Create’ Retreat Day and Jemma and I were talking promote, promote, promote as I think we underestimated how much we needed to do! I love collaborating with others and working with Jemma has been a great collaboration and organising future events with her are already in motion.

The beginning of March is a difficult time for me because this is when I lost my Dad two years ago but with so much positivity going on it carried me through to many happy days. Working on the retreat I have also been collaborating with Laura Elizabeth who’s been sharing her skills on flat lay with me and produced some fantastic styling for our day. In January I organised ‘Creative Meet ups’ because I’m leaving Pre School and meeting each week with colleges, I can do this at the end of each month with creative like minded self employed followers. So this month were on our third meet and Laura and I go together as she and I live in the same village! It’s a small world!

At this point in organising our ‘Escape & Create’ event for the first time and heavily promoting we found that our flyer needed to be re vamped which we did and found it helped. All these things definitely will be implemented for further events together. But having never organised an event before we have lean’t so much which we will take on for next time.

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After the success of the workshop at The Makers, a Lady who attended contacted me to design a watercolour that would be used for the invite for her wedding. I was thrilled with this ask and of course delivered this unique request. Steph was thrilled too and shortly will be able to show you how the invite looked, I love this part.

To finish March off with a bang I featured in my first publication, ‘Mollie Makes’ Magazine! On a page promoting ‘Posters and Prints’ with some other wonderful creatives, I was over the moon. A dream to be featured in a magazine with my business, one day my home too!

On the 24th March I attended the Spring Market at The Roundhouse, Derby for the third year. It was a great day, bit nervous as I’d not been at the event for a while but met some lovely new customers and took some new work came back with new contacts and opportunities. One idea I’d had was to print my designs on tote bags, the bag looks fantastic and hope to purchase an order in the future with this design and more.

The second of the workshops was delievered at The Makers ‘Boho Bunnys’ and we were now into April. After a lovely Mother’s Day at home with all the Mum’s, my thoughts and concentration were firmly now on the very first of Jemma and my ‘Escape & Create’ Retreat Day at Shottle Hall, Derbyshire.

I had a few creative logos to design the week leading up to the event, whilst pulling everything together for the day. Jemma and I had sourced independent businesses that would also help to bring our event together, with homemade gorgeous biscuits, candles, lovely note books and personalised prints for the goody bags. Each person booked onto the day also enjoyed a hand massage during lunch time which was an added bonus from the lovely Alison.

I created natural clay shapes for each person too and Jemma provided a copy of her own publication on self care. We had signs made for the grounds of Shottle Hall by Laura Elizabeth which we dotted about ready for our morning walk. The room came together so well after all our planning, the tables dresses beautifully and I also made little posy’s of flowers picked from my garden.

We had 10 on the day in the end and each Lady gave us such wonderful feedback. Jemma delivered a fantastic morning session on self care for the everyday which I too sat in on and took note of things to fit into my routine. Listening to the other Ladies honestly talk about self care was really up lifting. Whilst we then broke off for a mindful walk around the grounds of the hall, Amanda Wight came to capture our day and took some wonderful photographs. She involved herself in the group well and felt like one of us. It was relaxed and non intrusive and the images we now have are fantastic for future events.

Once the morning session was delivered, the walk was enjoyed, lunch was laid out and Alison brought her hand massage skills into practice. It was so lovely to chat amongst the ladies and see how relaxed they were finding the day, giving themselves time to unwind and embrace self care.

Once lunch was finished I filled their afternoon with a watercolour wreath workshop. Taking in the skills they had learn’t in the morning and to think about how art can be used in so many different ways. For me being creative is second nature and I have always been passionate about creativity. It doesn’t come easily to everyone but it doesn’t matter. Being creative makes you stop and relax and think about you. Getting lost for an hour using watercolours is inexpensive, relaxing and therapeutic.

With tea and cake provided before finishing their watercolour wreath the Ladies enjoyed the afternoon and day. The feed back we had was so positive and soon we will be advertising the next retreat day. So if you missed our first day, like the look of how the day was organised, think it sounds like a day you’d enjoy then please contact us and we’d love to hear from you.

After such a busy start to the year and achieving so much I was ready for a break. Lots of new ideas are in the pipeline, workshops at new venues and I’m ready to embrace them all. Easter came at a good time for me to stop and re charge the batteries plus my husband was off for the second week which is unusual this time of year, so we managed a few days away too, visiting Cambridge, lovely villages and the seaside in and around Norfolk.

The weather was fantastic and once back I delivered my first workshop at the Buttermilk Coffee House with the lovely Chloe. After the Spring Market at The Roundhouse in March, Chloe approached me asking if i’d be interested in delivering workshops at her coffee house so we have now a diary full till the end of the year. This wonderful opportunity led me to deliver the second ‘Vegtastic’ children’s workshop there. The first was in my village church hall and both were a great success, the children loved printing with the veg and getting really creative.

So now my next event is ‘Joy of Spring’ with the super lovely Nicky from Joy Interior. I will have a stand there and am delivering a watercolour workshop in the afternoon. My Mum too is having a stand which will be lovely to see as she’s worked hard to get to this point with many family commitments taking priority.

Looking back over the last six months has been interesting to see where my little business is growing and how it is evolving. I love being creative and now this is my full time dream job. With my family and friends fully supporting me and being able to be there for my daughter, I’m looking forward to what the next six months bring. So I hope you have enjoyed reading my big update and I look forward to my next blog story, till then take care.