Tuesday, 28 June 2011


No not these lovelies....definitely not. Today I had to get a grip of myself and help C empty and demolish the shed. It was here when we bought the house, its old and smelly and full of spiders and other creepy crawlies. I don't have a phobia of these things, they just make me physically sick. I am pleased to say that I lasted the whole of the afternoon without complaining and squealing too much. Its quite some time since I helped out with the house renovations as I've just been so busy with bagladee. So I've taken the opportunity this week to 'do my bit'.

So that's the garage sorted and tidy, shed emptied and demolished.....next is to tackle the giant weeds in the front garden before we start moving the top soil around in the back garden.

Now I couldn't very well write a boring post about chores without popping some pretty photos in. These were taken before Bath, pre-framing session. Some (but not all) are now listed on my website here.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Rain dance?

Were still sat here waiting for this so called down pour that was expected. Its been a glorious day today, but I think the rain is needed to clear the air. There's not much going on in the sewing department but there was an afternoon of clearing the garage. Now normally I would be moaning that it was one of those chores I'd rather not be doing but since its a necessity to move on to the next stage of the outdoors renovation I am more than happy to get stuck in.

Last week was spent taking photos of new items for my website, I have started listing some but there are still a lot more to go :)

I seem to have lost my sewing mojo and I haven't sewn a thing since my return from Bath. I'm not in the least bit worried, there are a lot of other bagladee things to be getting on with. One of those being looking for some Christmas fairs. I know some I will be too late to apply for but I'm sure there are still some out there that haven't reached their closing date for applications. Any suggestions?

Saturday, 25 June 2011

This ones for you Annie!

Thought you might like to meet my Mam's westie Ted!!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Taking part, what do you think?

After not taking part in last years Race for Life after a 5 year run of raising funds, I knew that this year there was no way I was missing it. And the fact that I could do with a little exercise is added motivation.

So on my return from Bath on Monday I signed up to take part in the Holme Pierrepont race on 31st July at 11am. I have started collecting sponsors from the day job and have set up an online page too. There are always 'Donation Stations' at the event where you can donate your unwanted good quality clothes and home ware, so I've been keeping all the bits and bobs that I usually take to the Charity shops in a box to take along on the day.

As an added boost I thought of maybe doing an auction or raffle on my blog. I have a load of stock which I no longer sell through my website. I wanted to get your opinion as I wasn't sure which way to go with it. One option could be to list it all individually on a blog post with a donation value, if you wanted to buy it you would email me and I would list it as reserved you could then make the donation. Or I could group them up into 3 packages and then hold an auction/raffle. A raffle will mean you make a donation of an amount and I would draw a winner from the donations, an auction would obviously be bids the highest would win. Would anyone be interested???

For anyone who is interested here is my online sponsor page : www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/emma-castle

Back to sewing tomorrow after a well deserved break :)

Monday, 20 June 2011

HIB 2011......done

4 days in the beautiful city of Bath and I am now home. Hitting the ground with a little bit of a bump having to go back the day job this morning. Set up and the preview evening was on Thursday and then we have 3 days open to the general public.

Its been quite sometime since I last did a 'retail' or craft fair if you like, infact I think it was getting on close to a year. Other than the fact Handmade in Britain was being held in such a beautfil location and city and that I had already made my own assumptions of what I thought it would be like, I hadn't read or spoken to anyone who had previously shown at this event.

The Assembly Rooms have to be one of the most pretty buildings I have seen inside. The chandaliers were gorgeous and the fair was held in the 'Ballroom'. The detailing on the ceiling was beautiful.

It made for a 'perfect' venue for showcasing British Designer makers..........however. Attendance of the Private View evening was dissapointing, the only Trade customer I spoke to was a shop owner that I already supply and I had sent her a free invite so I'm guessing that doesn't really count. Over the 3 days I did make some sales and there were quite a few people through the doors but not half as many as predicted. Was it just a sign of the economic climate? No one can know for sure. If I were local to Bath and didn't need to pay for accomodation for the 3 nights and petrol to drive there and back then I think it would have been a very different outcome for me. This is just my personal opinion of my experience and if you were thinking about showing at next years show then I would get a collective opinion of other crafters who exhibited this year. But for me it just didn't work.

On the postitive side of things: I did get to visit Bath. I made some lovely new crafty friends. I made a couple of contacts which might lead to other things. C and I got to spend some time together on an evening without me being distracted by sewing, internet surfing or Tweeting :D And all in all I had fun.

I am quite the person where I didn't feel down that it hadn't been a success for me. I've just taken it on the chin and I am moving on. I loved how my stand looked, same set up as BCTF, but with an added perspex shelf for my purses and it was full, full, of bags. I swtitched the bags round a couple of times trying out different layouts and said goodbye to some of my bags.

I did finally meet the very lovely Judith Brown whom I have been chatting away to on Twitter since BCTF, her jewellery is so gorgeous if you have never seen it before check out her website. I also had the pleasure of having a stand next to Maya Wilson who designs hand printed textiles and makes the most gorgeous cushions and lavender cats, very stylish table runners and napkins. Helllooooo to my new friends *waves*.

So whats next on the agenda for me and bagladee??? Well at this exact point I have no idea :/ there is nothing booked in for me until April next year. So I guess I'll follow up some of the contacts and work on my website for a while. And maybe I might just get round to painting the upstairs of the house?? Who knows.....

Friday, 17 June 2011

Handmade in Britain Preview Over......Day 1

After a 3 hour journey which turned into a nearly 5 hour nightmare we arrived in Bath very late yesterday afternoon. We were quick and efficient at setting up and even though I felt a bit dishevelled it was time to get my 'game face' on for the Preview evening.

Today we had the first full day open to the public, it was a little quiet but I think part of that was due to the very wet weather. Here's hoping that tomorrow is busier. There are so many stands with beautifully hand crafted work, if you are able to pop in and have a look at whats on offer you're certainly in for a treat. And what is better than a craft fair?? A craft fair with credit card facilities!!!!!!

Come and shop until you drop!! Hopefully see you there tomorrow :)

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

2 days to go until Handmade in Britain 2011 Bath

Well its technically 1 and a smidge but if I say its 2 it has a strange calming effect that doesn't want me to start blabbering on about how 'not ready' I am.

*enter stage left : drama queen!*

Lets not get into the I dont think I have enough stock. I am over that already. One outburst to C was quickly quashed with a "what if you dont sell anything at all". Now I know that sounds like a harsh comment to make but it did make me think that I was overreacting and that it was better to have a happy medium than an overkill of stock and a extremely exhausted Emma :) So after a good long chat I am CALM (on the outside!).

I am just grabbing a well deserved break accompanied with a cup of tea (and a few biscuits, well it would be rude not too) so I am sat with my laptop in the garden.

So how's the prep going I hear you all screaming! Well good to be honest, I have a good mix of shoulder, slouch, saddle and clutch bags, LOTS of cosmetic pouches (thanks to a trade customer who decided after 2months that she did not want her order >:/ that's one for another day) and a little collection of purses. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to make any of the utility bags, which I am gutted about but as I am a 'one woman band' I don't think I'll lose any sleep over it.

C as always has complete and utter control of the display, I am so thankful that I don't even have to think about it, I've started calling him my creative director. He likes that title :D

So the display stuff is all sorted, I just need to go and ravage the stocks of bubble wrap in Tesco's this evening and that is that done. All paper work is printed and sorted and all my other bits and bobs are stuffed into a box.

I am sooooo looking forward to Handmade in Britain, I have never been to Bath before and it is such a long time since I sold at a fair. Its normally just trade for me so it will be a refreshing change.

If any of you are able to pop in and say Hi and look round the stands post your email address in the comments and I will send you a 2-for-1 voucher for admission. I will be on stand HIB 49 and I love to chat so come and say hello.

Handmade in Britain
@Assembly Rooms, Bath.
17th-19th June (with a private view evening on 16th).

See you there.

I'll be back with some updates soon......ah and some photos too.

(thanks for hanging in there in my absence)

Friday, 3 June 2011

I know I shouldn't be here but...........

...........I am in need of some crafty help urgently. My current supplier is out of stock of some of the plain coloured cottons that I use for lining and I am in desperate need of some fast. Do any of you know of somewhere in the UK (that can deliver) that stocks a wide variety of colours. Only 2 weeks until Handmade in Britain and I've run out of lining fabric.

All I can say is that I would like to give myself a right good kick up the a**e for not checking stock sooner!!!!!

I would really appreciate any suggestions.....many thanks.

:) xx