Friday, 29 April 2011

The Royal Wedding

Photo courtesy of AP

I couldn't let this remarkable event pass by without at least writing one little post. I have watched the celebrations on and off all morning and finally sat down with C just before 11am to watch the ceremony in Westminster Abby.

Catherine looked absolutely stunning in her Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen dress, understated, classic and beautiful. William looked very handsome in his uniform and don't they make the most adorable couple.

Photo courtesy of Reuters

But I have to say that I am absolutely smitten with Pippa's (Catherine's sister) bridesmaid dress. Since we got engaged last year I have been wondering what type of dress I would like to wear to get married and not being able to make my mind up. I text my Mam straight away and said "Are you watching the wedding, Kate's sisters dress is what I want to get married in!"

That's settled then, just need to find someone who will make it for me (when we actually get round to setting a date).

I am excited where this new marriage in the Royal family will take us, I think its like a breath of fresh air and just what we all needed in the UK for a boost.

Congratulations to the happy couple.

And I cant go without saying didn't the Queen look stunning in her Saffron outfit?

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Bagladee De-stash on Etsy

Just a quick one this morning before I emerge myself in a mountain of cut out pieces of bags :) Yesterday I took the plunge and opened ANOTHER shop on Etsy, now before you think I have had a mental breakdown (again) ;) let me explain.

I have the most ridiculous fabric stash -FACT. Its ridiculous because some of the fabric I have had quite some time and I have either never used it or for some crazy reason I bought in excess of 5 metres. Now as you now I only use small increments of fabric to keep my bags limited and exclusive so being left with this extra fabric is such a shame. There is so much of it there is enough to fill a shop! And I am not ashamed to say the cash will come in very handy - FACT. 

OK so here it is, click the image to go to the shop. All of the fabrics have been kept in excelent conditions and come from a non smoking enviroment. Anyone who knows me knows I treat my fabric like its gold dust :D Some of the fabrics I have for sale are going for about £12.00 a metre elsewhere on the internet, but since I want to de-stash and it to go to a home where it can be used I am selling it for £3.50 a yard. BARGAIN?!?!?! Well I think so.

I still have about 6-8 fabrics to list which I will get round to doing later on this evening. So if you want a bargain you know where to go...... BAGLADEEDESTASH!!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Much needed supplies

Are these purse frames just sooooo cute, 3 and half inch. They arrived this week and just in the nick of time too. I had completely run out and needed them to finish an order. There are lots more supplies due to arrive in the coming week......gorgeous new fabric *swoon*, more clutch frames, rhinestone flowers, interfacing, zips, and hopefully some plain cottons. Why is it you always run out of everything at the same time :D Not complaining though I love getting parcels, even if they are just supplies.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Wrapped lovliness

I am hoping that Alex over at Daisie Days has received her prize from my blog birthday giveaway. Congrats :) as promised I popped in an extra prize but I cant tell you what yet until I know its been opened. Well I dont want to spoil the suprise do I?

Pretty pink tissue and sealed with bagladee 'B' Moo stickers. I love wrapping!!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

From Emma To Emma

I have been meaning to write this post for weeks (sorry Emma) but I just haven't gotten round to it. Pre-BCTF when I was stressing myself silly, Emma from over at Moo and Mouse asked me if I'd ever tried Lavender to help calm and de-stress myself and then kindly said she would send me something in the post.

I was so excited when I saw this envelope in the post box!!! Isn't it soooo pretty hand stamped and coloured by Emma herself, I love it.

And inside (sorry there was no time for photographing wrapped parcels as I was too busy ripping off the wrapping...oooops!) was this gorgeous handmade lavender heart, which smells divine.

Beautiful embroidery.

It is hanging just above my sewing desk so that it can soothe me whilst I work and when the door has been shut over night it fills the studio with the lovely scent of lavender....all ready for a days work.

Thank you so much Emma, it was a lovely gift and very thoughtful. xx

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Sewing + sunshine = makes me happy

Its a beautiful sunny morning again, we have builders in the back garden so its not so peaceful but good to see progress at last. If you've been reading my blog for sometime you will know that since we moved into our house everything has been ripped out or changed. Now the house is complete its time to get the garden/outside sorted. After 5 and half years I think its about time :)

We already have a new fence (the old one was decrepit) and we are having a garage built, decking laid and a new (very much in need) lawn as its all just weeds at the mo. Thankfully C is sorting all this, I have enough on my plate to be getting on with without worrying about builders :)

Posts have been lacking here on my blog simply because I have been in the studio every day working on orders. So far so good, but I'm very conscious that in only a month or so I have to have some serious stock in place to go to Bath. Progress is slow but its not a race. So slow is good for me for now. This is a photo of what will be Ruby's doppelganger and soon there will be triplets.....but alas they will be separated soon, one is going to Devon, one to Cumbria and one will be travelling to Bath with me. I have booked me and C into a lovely, modern B&B for the duration of the show. Yes I did say both of us......can you believe it, he's been such a trooper with my shows he really is the crutch that holds me up when I'm being crazyladee and stressing. I don't know what I will do when he goes back to work :(

Well today is going to be spent partially in the studio (until the builders have gone) then I think I will walk to the shops and then have lunch in the sunshine.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Bagladee on ukhandmade

Remember these bunnies? Well about a month ago ukhandmade contacted me asking if I would like to contribute this tute or any others to the Makes section. Very chuffed indeed I said yes.....

Click the image to go and check it out!! :D

A very big thank you to Annie over at TheFeltFairy *hugs* if it weren't for her commission these bunnies wouldn't even exist. Aren't they sweet......bless'em.

I had lots of fun making these bunnies, I especially love the ones with the headbands. Dont forget to check out the link at the bottom of the tutorial to go and visit Annie's shop :)

Monday, 18 April 2011

Blog Birthday Giveaway Winner

And the winner is...............

Comment number 8 :: which was Daisie

Yey, congratulations!!!!

If you could email me with your postal address I will get the cushion out to you this week.

Thank you for all the Blog birthday wishes and for entering. It really means a lot :D


Emma xx

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday bagladee blog

UPDATE :: as someone has rightly pointed out I totally forgot to say that the birthday giveaway closes tonight at Midnight (GMT) and I will announce the winner on Monday.....sorry for getting a bit carried away :) Who would have guessed back in April 2008 that 3 years on I would still be writing on my blog? Not me.....I thought it would be something that would be just a passing phase, not managing to reach 554 posts, have 331 followers (and many more readers) and had 35,000 visits!!!
To say a little thank you for your support, friendship and encouragement I though it would be nice to give this sweet little cushion away. Its lovely and soft, being made of felt and has little rhinestones in the centre of the flowers.
Easy one, just leave a comment on this post. Please leave a way of me contacting you in that comment so I can notify you if you win. I will post worldwide so anyone can enter. Only one entry per person.


p.s. told C about my fabric shop idea, thinking he would think it would be a good idea, he just raised his eyebrows as if to say are you mad woman!?!?!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

If I won the lottery

I would open a fabric shop and sell beauties like these. (My latest purchase) How fantastic would it be to have a brick and mortar shop where you could make people happy by supplying them with lovely fabric. I would be in my element for sure. :D Cant wait to get cracking on this little lot.....and then maybe there will be some more on its way to me very soon. Honestly I do make things from it I don't just hoard it away in my studio!! ;) Well some fabrics I do....
I am feeling 'a very lucky lady' at the moment, I never take anything for granted but every now and then I have a day where I think 'wow' and smile to myself. I hope you have those days too? Its my blog birthday tomorrow so I'm thinking a little giveaway might be in order? I'll see what I can dig out.

Yippeeee its nearly the weekend! :D

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Here we go again

Its only been 1 week since the end of BCTF 2011 and already I feel like my feet haven't touched the ground. And its looking very likely that they're not going to anytime soon either. In the middle of getting orders ready and contacting possible new customers I am trying to compose myself for longer than 5 minutes to prepare for this..... Handmade in Britain 2011 at the very gorgeous Bath Assembly Rooms. It is a trade and public fair, which I have never attempted before. Talking to buyers, selling and networking at the same time....easy (I hope) ;) I am so excited its ridiculous, especially since I received my Exhibitors manual and floor plan today. Look at where my stand will be situated (little red box)..... ....right next to one of the very beautiful fireplaces, how apt :D If you would like to come down and have a look/shop/natter here are the details:


Stand : HIB 49

Handmade in Britain 2011

Assembly Rooms, Bennett St, Bath. Avon BA1 2QH


17th-19th June (Private view evening 16th June)

Tickets are £3 and that's including a catalogue (BARGAIN!!)

I still cant believe how bagladee is blossoming and how far we have come since last year, its amazing. Doing something that I truly love for a living, I never thought that would happen. I hope that I have made the right decisions for this year and I am writing something towards the end of the year along the same lines.
I LOVE BAGS!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

Sunday, 10 April 2011

BCTF 2011 Review (well a guide really)

Since I have had a couple of days 'rest' trying to get back to normal (or what ever normal is) I thought I would write a post about BCTF just in case there were any crafters out there who would like to give it a go themselves but are a little unsure.
(layout of stand mocked up on the PC)

The BCTF (British Craft Trade Fair) is a trade fair featuring the UK and Ireland's leading designer makers set in the Yorkshire Show Ground in Harrogate every April. At which over 4,000 buyers and visitors attend. Last year was my first year exhibiting and to be honest I didn't have a clue what to expect, the organisers website is extremely helpful with lots of hints and tips of what you will need to exhibit but I thought it might be nice to hear a little input from an exhibitor, first hand. I'm not going to lie, there is a lot of preparation needed before exhibiting and can be a very time consuming process but I'm sure if you are like me and you really want your crafting business to be a success then a little hard work is nothing out of the ordinary ;) It is fun though too, you will meet lots of other like minded people who have the same passions as yourself, buyers from boutiques and galleries who are looking for new and exciting products to stock, students from near by colleges (some people aren't keen on students coming to look around, but I think its good that we are there to inspire the next generation of designer/makers, after all if we didn't then crafting would be a dying art at which would be lost) and general visitors which are normally people who would like to exhibit and are there to find out what its all about or friends and family of the exhibitors.
(price lists and press release)

You will also see members of the press there who are looking for designer/makers or products to feature. I will try to cover all aspects of what you will need to exhibit and explain what I did last year and how I used what I learnt to exhibit this year. OK so things to think about:: stand layout/theme, press packs, press release, price lists (trade and retail), business cards, stock that you will be exhibiting, pro-formas and whether you are willing to sell 'sale or return', will you have anyone else on your stand with you, questions you may be asked by buyers.
(press pack)

Stand layout/theme :: think about your products and the audience that your products are aimed at so if you sell children's toys make your stand fun and colourful, or if you sell glass or ceramics maybe it needs to look sleek and sophisticated?? Try to use as much of your exhibiting space as you can, I have found that it keeps buyers at your stand longer as they are looking at all the products you have on show. As my bags/accessories are colourful I try to keep the stand as neutral as possible to make the bags 'pop' so to speak. This wasn't a planned strategy last year as I've said before I had no experience of this but it worked so I carried this theme through to this year adding bits and bobs here and there.

(press pack CD)

Press packs/press release :: its not compulsory but I would recommend writing a press release. Last year my press packs were very simple: typed copy of press release, CD including a few images of my work and a business card. These were just put into a A5 envelope with 'bagladee - press release' on the front.

I would advise not spending too much money on exhibiting in your first year, even though newcomers get a discount it is still a substantial amount of money and until you find out how the buyers/market receive your product I think its best to keep it to a budget. This year knowing what I had learnt the year before, my press packs were still a typed copy of press release, CD including images but I popped them in a little gift bag and added a few extra goodies. As you can see from the picture above (press pack) I fastened a business card on the front and embellished it with a felt flower. I always struggle to write a press release but as always there is a minefield of information on the Internet, Google "How to write a press release" you will find lots of sites that tell you how the layout should look and what content you should include.

Price lists :: well I think that this subject is always a difficult one and not everyone agrees. You will need to consider your retail price, I would guess that you have already established this and are quite happy with them. OK now consider this, most buyers will want to double your 'trade' price and add 20% (for vat). So technically speaking if you half your retail cost and then deduct 20% you will get your trade price. Now don't faint or panic when you see that you will be making them for a pittance/loss. Take a deep breath! Not everyone does this, I certainly don't. Just use this as a guideline, I always work out what it costs to make the item and how much of your time. Now I know you're probably thinking well that's how I would out my prices for selling. Well maybe you will realise that you have been underselling yourself. I did last year! You want to make a little profit from your work don't you? Try and find a happy balance between your retail and trade price. Buyers who have a brick and mortar shop can always charge more than the rrp price, that is up to them. Since you only have the Internet and are among a competitive market try not to overprice your items.

Now sometimes I contradict myself, handmade goods are special and not something that you should sell at a lower price just because people tell you they are too expensive. Yes we can all go to Primark/tesco/China and buy things for next to nothing but remember, what you are selling is an exclusive product because its made and designed by you, there is a certain charm, quality and uniqueness about owning something handmade. Its a tough one and I have spent many hours battling it out on paper. You could always offer a little bit more discount if they order in batches, say if you bought 1 it would cost £10 if you bought 5 it would cost £40. Does this make sense, if anyone is struggling with pricing, I'm not an expert but I would be will to help where I can, drop me a line

(stand on set up day)

Business cards :: pretty self explanatory this one, just make sure you have enough to give out I would say 100 is a good start, its always good to include your name, email address, website (if you have one) and a few words or picture of what you do.

Stock you will be exhibiting :: you don't need masses of stock, you cant sell while you are at the trade fair, you can only take orders on a proforma/sale or return basis. So a good selection of what you have to offer is sufficient.

Pro-forma/Sale or Return :: OK now the difference between the two is, pro-forma is where the buyer places an order with you and you give them a copy of the pro-forma order form (whether that be at the show or you email it to them once you return home from the trade fair), they then arrange with you to make payment by what ever means deemed by yourself and then you dispatch the goods at a date agreed with your buyer. I normally say 4-6 weeks for a large order.

Sale or return is much different and if favoured by galleries. This where you send a selection of goods without payment with an agreement of say 12 weeks, where if your products sell they will pay you (probably minus a commission fee, if they have not already placed this fee on top of your retail price). If after the 12 weeks the products have not sold then the gallery will return the items to you (in the condition originally sent). I have to say because of the nature of my bags (only 3 of each made) I am not really a fan of sale or return, but I must stress that this will limit the amount of orders you can take as there are a lot of galleries attend BCTF. So think about this carefully.

(close up shot of stand)

Phew!! are you still there reading, well done if you have made it this far!! :D Last things to add is maybe you would like someone to be on the stand with you, if can be very tiring days and although there are a lot of lovely people to talk to if its your first year then you maybe want a friend or family member to be there to support you. Also think about what questions the buyers might ask you, "is it all made by yourself, are they your own designs, what is your background (have you studied this or is it self taught), do you do commissioned work, do you do sale or return, what is your lead time for orders, do you do discount on bulk orders". Don't be afraid or feel intimidated this is your opportunity to sell positive and enthusiastic, they are interested, they wouldn't be asking otherwise.

Lastly even though it looks scary and a lot of hard work, it is sooooo much fun and so inspiring and uplifting to exhibit amongst such talented designer/makers. On the last day of last year I signed up for this year as I had such a ball and again this year signed up for 2012 on the last day. If you do decide to exhibit or are already an existing exhibitor please pop by my stand next year and say hello, I would love to meet you all.

A big hello to all of you lovely people I met again from last year and the newbies this year, thanks for a great show, looking forward to next year already!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


Well I would love to start by saying I've had such a relaxing day after the last 4 days but unfortunately I had to go to work this morning :( those bills just dont pay themselves do they ;) and I have to admit that I haven't even unpacked any of my kit. All the bags are still packed in their travel box and they are all waiting on the landing to be put into the studio. To say that I had an attention span of a nano second at work would be an understatement, too tired and dreaming of bag related things to even concentrate...not good!! I did, once home manage to get some washing in and start tidying up a little. Then I had a mountain of emails etc to go through, I'm only half way there so bare with me if I haven't got to you yet. Both cats have fallen out with me for leaving them, Oli because I accidentally tread on his tail while trying to get the fireplace off the roof of my car :/ and Nell because she is a little princess (madam) and does not like being left. Even though she was spoilt rotten by Grandma and Grandad (yes I do know that they are cats not children). I decided that after BCTF I was having a week off from sewing to relax and get the boring things like the house and ironing back on track (neglected doesn't even come close) but I just don't think that's possible! I am itching to get into the studio and sew.....I even managed to sneak onto a fabric website this afternoon and order some more. Sssssshhhhh don't tell anyone!!!!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

On our way back...

Took quite a while to pack up but we are now on the A1 heading home. Achey feet, hungry and tired but all so worth it. Orders from new and existing shops and boutiques, met lots of people and received some very flattering comments about my bags.

A huge thank you to my wonderful other half C for designing my beautiful stand and for being such a trooper the past 4 days, setting up, keeping me company and breaking down the stand. Oh yes and driving the terrifying drive up and down in a Ford Fiesta with a huge fireplace strapped to the hero ;) xx
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Monday, 4 April 2011

2nd day over...

Had a really good walk around the exhibition hall this morning. Taking it all in so that I could vote for the 'Wow factor' award. The lady I voted for won!

So many different genres of crafts with a really high standard of craftsmanship. Legs feeling a little tired today but again a worthwhile day, another couple of orders and I have sold out of some items so I've had to re jig my stand.

Last day tomorrow, of which I am always sad, as I really enjoy BCTF. But I will have plenty to keep me going once I get back...orders to fill, website to restock!
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Sunday, 3 April 2011

1st day over

Only just realised that the photo I posted yesterday was of my stand with a bag missing from the display. Doh! I will take another tomorrow.

So with the first day over I am feeling pretty shattered but I think that's due to the last 4weeks catching up on me. A good day all in all, some said the footfall was down on last year for the 1st day but I thought it was pretty busy and with 2 orders in the bag I'm definitely a happy camper.

I've caught up with some of the crafters I met last year which was so lovely and have already made some new friends.

Being surrounded by so many talented people is such a privilege and can appreciate the time and hard work that is put into their creations. Feeling very inspired today. Now off for a hearty meal and a well deserve glass of vino.

Cheers! X
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

All set up

After quite a scary ride up the M1 with a fireplace strapped to the roof of my poor little fiesta and me being a very nervous passenger we eventually made it in one piece.

Set up didn't take that long as it was all planned to the T. And I have to say Chris did a fantastic job with the display, it looks amazing, what do you think?

I'll be back to report on the first day later :)
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Friday, 1 April 2011

Me??? Well.....pppfffff

Just a quickie as I'm running round trying to get the last bits sorted for BCTF. And just like last year the press release was left until the last minute. I was putting it off looking for other jobs to do until finally I had to sit down and put pen to paper. Now this next sentence may come as a shock to you blog readers but I hate writing about myself. As hilarious as that sounds coming from someone who writes numerous times a week about a load of old stuff, here I always feel comfortable to just say it how it is. Not worrying too much about grammar or whether or not what I'm writing is too personal, I feel as though I am among friends. Ask me to write something professional about myself on the other hand and well......writers block takes over. After a lot of huffing and puffing and writing about myself as a third person, yes bizarre I know, I managed to get something credible written down. A few tweaks reading it out loud to C and were done! Take that press release! ;) OK I'm signing out now, hopefully I will get to post after the first day........wish me luck :D