craft camp debrief

Oh how I was looking forward to this last craft camp just gone. I missed the last one as it came right at the end of the week when mum's small cell lung cancer was diagnosed. She was out of hospital by the Saturday but it was a pretty heavy week and I don't think I would have had it in me to go to craft camp. But I missed it, I missed seeing everyone and I missed the Queen's birthday craft camp being part of the rhythm of my year and I missed the injection of new winter clothes into our wardrobes. And since then things have been a bit tricky here, I miss my old job (in ways), I miss the structure and the money. The new things I am doing remain a great big learning curve. Also we are looking at changing Grace's school and well, mum still has cancer. So when this craft camp rolled around I was pretty damn excited and looking forward to a break and all the good things of craft camp. I voted by post, I cut everything out, I was organised.
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It was so great to be there. Really it was. To hang with (most of) the lovely women. To hang out in the studio on Friday making mini bears and chatting. To take in the view. To just be there. If I could bottle that Friday night Sewjourn feeling, I would. As it was I stayed up far too late on Friday night, chatting. By the time I went to bed I was spinning and overtired. When will I learn? Saturday was lovely too but come 6.05 pm on Saturday night just five minutes after the polls closed there was talk on social media that the coalition had already won.  I think I suggested after tea that we turn on the telly. Half of us headed to the telly and the other half to the studio. It was quickly apparent that things were not looking good. At one point I cried. Silent, wet tears. Thinking about what it might mean for my little family. Oh well.  And I think to say that the election result was a great big downer, was not at all understating it. It wasn't like it wasn't expected but I did have that tiny wee little bit of hope. Kind of like when your footy team comes back from being 40 points down at three quarter time. Unlikely but while there is hope, there is hope. Except now there isn't. Not for a good few years at least.
- On Sunday, it was also obvious that some of us really weren't well. I had a few sniffles and sneezes but didn't think much of it. It was nice to get home and hug Grace. She immediately loved her two mini bears Adam (after Adam Bandt) and Annie. They are now the children of Grizzle and Bluey. She was less thrilled about the clothes I made but those mini bears are pretty damned cute.I put most of my stuff away and enjoyed being home after the break. The next morning...... lurgy time. Yuck. Sick as a dog. And five days later I'm still hacking up a lung. Grace and G have been sick too, although not as bad. Seriously there were a couple of days that were awful. Including one day where I just couldn't get warm. And a spiral into despair. I'm more or less better now, except for a hacking cough (I get this every time I have a cold or flu - must be from being a smoker back in the day). Grace and G have both recovered quickly. Very sneaky little bug.
- Still, it was good to go to Sewjourn and hang out with the lovely women. I sewed a t shirt for me and one for Grace. A denim pinafore and most of one for Grace. A summer dress, two mini bears and two zippered pouches. And I have a whole heap of things cut out and ready to go. Because, as usual I was a little over ambitious. Oh, and on Sunday morning I got up early and meant to go back to bed but there was fog. I love fog! -

so much to learn, grasshopper

In the lead up to the last market, I discovered a few things. Stuffing woollen toys with polyfill is a linty, linty business and no amount of brushing will remove the film of polyfill from the outside of the toy afterwards. I'm thinking of fillings other than polyfill and also thinking of making a kind of cloth funnel to help with this but in the meantime I googled lint removal and the answer had me going d'oh. Sticky tape. Wide packing tape wound around my fingers. Very effective. The bears went to the market with their ears pressed and lint free. I was very proud of them.
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I also discovered that even though I didn't leave everything until the last minute, I was pretty busy the day before and also that I am still capable of a painful, chest tightening panic attack. Even though I knew there was nothing much to worry about, really. It's not really about the market per se. More about my slowness in moving any of my endeavours to a better paying basis. There is just so much to learn and do. The market was not a failure but also not what I would call a success. Although I think I did better than some other stalls but not as well as the stall next to me which was really well thought out and set up. Indeed I spent quite some time watching the lady and her stall. Lots to learn there.
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I need to get the paypal thing on my phone working. Or find another one. The PayPal customer service is really pleasant but they tell you different things about how it works. One section says there is a card reader and another says not. They also said it would work way before it actually did. Anyway, it really needs to be working before my next market. I also should design and order sew in tags for all my toys and sewn goods. I don't really like tags in toys myself but you would be surprised the number of people that have asked or commented about this. I have found a tag that I think will be soft and not too obtrusive so maybe it will be good.. Also need to devise a label for the wooden toys, perhaps a brand or a stamp, get proper business cards, design and print a card for the buttons, make/get a box for the buttons, agree on a finish for the buttons, learn all about shopping carts and various components for my website, finish said fecking website, find a way to make a banner for my stall (the computer prints wash out), work out a feasible stall set up and get G to make the props. Then I need to also make things. This is the fun bit but sometimes it gets lost under all the other stuff. I really need to get cracking on our Christmas season stock, replenish the nibbles, lizards and soft jumper toys,  develop a small bear and make some clothes for the big bears.

And I need to vote. Because I'm going to craft camp! Yay!