Yes, I know for some of us it is too early, but we are now in November with just over seven weeks until Christmas. It all comes around much faster than I expect and it always surprises me. I don’t know why it should because, as we all know, it is an annual celebration.
And, there’s been an extra surprise this year, a nice surprise, as I received an email from the folk at ‘Make It British’ informing me that one of my scarves has been featured in their ‘Christmas Gift Guide’ for 2022.
It can be found in their section ‘Gifts for Her Under £50’. I particularly like their description of this section beginning with the ‘From classic to quirky’.
‘Quirky’ is a great word and suggests that something is unconventional perhaps even eccentric, definitely not run of the mill. It also hints that something can be interesting, but not necessarily extremely expensive.
We’ve been attempting quirky in my family for a couple of generations. My mother was a flamboyant character and liked to dress me and my sister as children in ‘quirky’ clothes.
A fancy dress competition was all she needed to go full, amateur costume designer.
Naturally, I blame her entirely for a variety of odd and colourful combinations I have worn in the past, particularly the orange sock phase.
Next Wednesday, 9 March is ‘Made in the UK Day’. The campaign is the idea of the folk at ‘Make it British’ – a community of UK-made brands and manufacturers.
This year I’ve decided to mark the day by offering 20% off my hand painted silk scarves. Even though I have been running my online shop for over eight years, it is only recently my daughter showed me how to use the backroom tools to make a ‘Coupon’. It magically gives my customers the discounted price when they add the code during the checkout process.
It is gloomy weather and gloomy times with the Covid pandemic raging again, and it looks as though Christmas this year is going to be a muted affair. And, along with many other changes, Christmas shopping is going to be a little different too.
One difference for me will be that I won’t be exhibiting at the annual British Crafts at Blackthorpe Barn as this year it is not running. This is because despite the barn being a large space it isn’t possible to have the crafters and customers physically distanced enough with the required ventilation. I see also that many indoor craft events across the country have been abandoned and the Christmas Markets in Edinburgh, Bath, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds and even Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland have already been cancelled. It’s not all negative news though as the folk at ‘Make It British’ have worked hard to offer customers and makers alike a virtual pop-up experience with plenty of Christmas gift ideas.
In these weird and ghastly times it feels strange to me to have temporarily changed from painting silk scarves to painting and making silk face masks. It seems even stranger to me that face masks have become a ‘small gift’ or ‘Christmas stocking’ item, but that is where we are at the moment. In another way I suppose it is about making a bad situation slightly more tolerable.
Anyway, this ‘virtual’ event is on for just three days and many of the participants will be offering special promotions and discounts for all shoppers who register.
Earlier this week I had a pleasant surprise to find that one of my scarves (Portia apple) had been selected and featured in an Etsy festive ‘Editors’ Picks’. Apparently, there are over 30 million items listed on Etsy so I’m genuinely surprised and very grateful to have something selected for the ‘Under £100’ gifts category.
I must be a bit thick as I only found out my work had been featured when I kept seeing referrals for this scarf on my stats page coming from ‘Editors’ Picks’. Well, anyway, thank you to the Editors!
And, also thanks to the folks at Make It British who also included one of my scarves (Hilda ruby) in their Christmas newsletter.
Oh yes, and whilst I’m spreading the love, today (3 Dec 2015) sees the arrival in UK bookshops of ‘I Belong to No One’ written by fellow blogger Gwen Wilson. Congratulations to Gwen and hopefully lots of sales!