26 December, 2013

Christmas Greetings

Vegetarian 'Christmas' Platter & Seafood Salad (background)

Hoping you all had a wonderful Christmas Day! I made my usual seafood salad (which everyone has come to expect--there is bitter disappointment if I don't!) and another tray of separate offerings for vegetarians etc. The seafood salad actually worked out a bit nicer this time. I think it changes slightly every year--I should jot down this combination of ingredients before I forget...

2014 is going to be a busy year, with lots of things on my plate. I have some new plans to improve my hobby business but I won't be pushing it too hard due to family and other commitments.

Best wishes for the New Year, and I look forward to receiving your new order requests, whether it be for handmade cards, event stationery or something else you're interested in.

Cheers,
Melanie

2013 - Year in Review

It's been a whirlwind of a year with periods of extreme busyness, as well as a significant break in the middle when I visited family in Europe (the last time was 33 years ago!)  Travelling sure is addictive. I think it's a combination of experiencing new things as well as leaving reality behind. I always seem to be in a dream state when travelling to new places--I just love the aesthetics and beauty of different environments. Paris, in particular, is full of eclectisim and creativity. I'd love to return one day... 

Productivity has been inconsistent this year due to preparing for and going on this trip. For a couple of months I had to put everything for 'Green Gifts' on hold. Of course, I still had the pay online fees etc., but that's life! At least these fees aren't anything like the financial pressures faced by a 'bricks and mortar' store.

Despite the break (which was wonderful btw), my little hobby business has continued to grow. I am working towards it becoming a fully self-supporting business by June 2014. I have continued to diversify my handmade stationery range and have improved the quality of these products too. I have also figured out more efficient ways to communicate with customers, as this has been a great drain on my time in previous years.

On the markets front, I have been surviving, just. Tourism in the Blue Mountains has dropped due to roadworks, bushfires, inclement weather, and global economic pressures on visitors. It is getting to the stage of not being worthwhile but I will stick with it for the moment. Most days, I walk away with very little for my 8 hours at the market.

I am so glad that I have been able to persist with this hobby business. Daily creativity is so important to me and the teaching profession was gradually suffocating that love. It has been extremely hard, and many times I have nearly given up, but it is becoming a little easier as time goes on. There have been some great sacrifices, but I think it has been and will continue to be worth it :)


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