This time next week we will be preparing ourselves for the second installment of the sale, let's just hope we have enough goods left over from the morning so as not to leave too many disappointed customers from across the city.
We've reached the stage where some of us are really starting to feel the time pressure of finishing and pricing items with a week to go. I am swinging between absolute confidence that all the items will sell and the sale being a massive success to having to take mountains of lovingly handcrafted items home with me and having no money to hand over to our two charities.
Needless to say, the reality will be somewhere between the two. There are people who have packaged their items so beautifully that they could hardly fail to sell them, whilst some people are putting items in even lower than the suggested £3 mark which will obviously please the youngsters with pocket money and the more frugal customers out there. There is no reason why the sale should not be a success, we have all worked hard to make sure there is something to sell, the event has been well publicised across the city and Trago have kindly promoted us in the Lounge. They have also agreed to give a verbal notice of the event at quiz night on Monday which is perfect as they have about 100 customers in so it will reach a wide number in one hit. On Sunday evening I am giving a little 'spotlight' interview at Highfield Church which will reach another large number of people, many of whom have some level of disposable income and will have a desire to support the ward and CLIC so ... what on Earth am I worrying about?
Let's stop thinking about next week for a moment and focus on today shall we? Being half-term, we always expect a depleted number of adults and an increased number of miniature crafters. My littlest and her best buddy sat and knitted together (yes ... KNITTED, at 6 years old) between playing with baby N and drawing and colouring with some of their friends. I and Alison managed to knit about 4 rows between us, not what you might call a roaring success but hey, Friday mornings are about more than what we actually craft. Claire is feeling the time pressure to get her cross stitch ready for the sale, that said, it is looking really good and looks close to completion to my untrained eye. Marion and Lesley sat together, I wasn't aware of what they were working on but I know both of them are experienced in knitting for charity and we're excited to see what they show up with next week. I saw Sarah, but not to speak to sadly. I do hope she is okay at the moment. A lady called Brenda came along with Sharon to see if this might be the kind of thing they'd like to spend their Friday mornings doing. Hopefully we showed them that it's a very relaxed affair and that they would be really welcome? Emma (Coffee) pitched up with Sheena (Mum) and E, her youngest. She's looking shattered, but with W nearing the end of round 4 (ding ding) of his chemo, all of the strength they have used in dealing with this, and all of the emotion of the last four months can finally start to come out. I saw Jilly too, and Carol, I am sure there were more but my brain is SO not good at remembering who I've seen and what they were up to ...
Suffice to say, there was a healthy number of people there this morning, a lovely atmosphere in spite of Trago undergoing some home improvements, and a sense of anticipation of next week.
If you read our blog, and find yourselves in Southampton next Friday, DO come along to the sale. Even if nothing takes your fancy, Trago Lounge sell really good coffee, tasty cakes and have such a chilled ambience that you'd be mad not to pop by.
So, we have many many many items crafted and ready to sell, Trago Lounge is booked and organised for two sessions of selling, posters are up all over the city, invitations are being dished out to all and sundry but ... what have I forgotten?
Well, I actually don't think I have forgotten a thing, but I have neglected to deal with a couple of problems that I did know about.
1. What do we do with unsold items? Well, Sue (Coffee's MIL) can take unsold items to her church craft sale and the proceeds will still go to Piam Brown Ward. Failing that, Coffee and myself can also take unsold items to the Christmas Market at A Handcrafted Christmas and negotiate which charities would benefit as they are supporting the Hannah (Foster) Memorial Academy in India. 2. How will people retrieve their unsold items? I propose that items arrive individually priced, ideally somewhere between £3 and £20, with 'Handmade By' on the reverse so that I can return unsold items to their creator.
Needless to say, we are rather hoping that there will not actually be any unsold items and that there will be a number of disappointed people in the city who decide to join ACC as they weren't able to buy all the handicrafts that they had their eyes on. We want to see Piam Brown Ward and CLIC Sargent presented with lovely juicy cheques with which they can improve the lives of the children in their care and their families.
We are going to have some serious thanking to do at the end of all this, but some people have donated anonymously. If YOU popped into Trago Lounge this morning with a bag of needlepoint/cross stitch goodies for us, THANK YOU so very much. This will be made into kits to sell at the sale.
I think that's all for today. See you all next week when I am anticipating my stress levels reaching quite a high. Much love C (&C of course) xxx
Having said, "I'll meet you there, I'm driving" in the playground at about 9.00 this morning, how is it even possible that I rocked up at Trago Lounge at almost twenty five to ten? I got chatting with one of the school mums who I know makes jewellery but who I found out is entering an amateur interior design competition. I invited her to come along to ACC one day to see what we're all about, it turns out she had heard of us but didn't know I went along (I don't remember if I mentioned that I actually co-founded the group).
As I approached the doors of Trago I could hear the buzz and hum of chatting women busy crafting, drinking coffee and eating cake. It is lovely to walk in late sometimes and just hear those happy sounds and absorb the atmosphere. I sat and pulled out my latest item for the sale, a lovely grey scarf with a really textured stitch pattern. It is a ten row repeat and is really easy for me to remember making it a very portable piece of work. This is a good thing because scarves do actually take a while to knit up if you want them to be a decent length.
I cannot believe the array of crafts that are going to make it into the sale. Karen has made cards and now beautiful, little, fabric needle books wrapped in cellophane and tied with a pretty little gift tag. She is so talented. I saw a couple of people working on toddler jumpers and one childs hat being knitted up. Emma is knitting at ACC and sewing at home at the moment, some of her wonderful 'Smockets' will be ready for the sale, as will some bags that she made in a fit of peak and a whole load of Alice in Wonderland inspired jewellery. It is interesting to note that many of the stunning, handcrafted items already have huge potential to be sold within the group to those with different skills. The ruffle scarves in particular are going down a storm and people are even reserving them in advance of the sale!
Sarah is contributing a great deal in terms of publicising the event, so many of us have large groups of contacts outside ACC and we are really tapping into those to promote the event. It is exciting to hear that people have heard of us and have heard about the sale too.
Anyway, enough of my musings for today. Back to the knitting sticks as my son calls them. Lots of love to you all. C&C xxx
So, we've only 4 weeks to go until the big sale and much crafting has taken place over the last week. I am astounded by the willingness of others to help us to raise money for Piam Brown Ward and CLIC Sargent.
So far, two members of ACC have offered stash raids so that we all have materials to work with, thanks Sarah and Emma. John Lewis Southampton have JUST got back to me saying that they too will put together some goodies for us to craft with at some point next week! Trago Lounge are donating 25% of their coffee sales on the day and everyone in the group appears to be beavering away making things to sell. Since last week I have seen a completed beanie hat, a shoe box full of beautiful greetings cards, a baby dress, a baby jumper, a baby cardi, an almost complete toddler jumper, a girls' scarf, a carrier bag FULL of jewellery and I know there is MUCH more on the go.
I waltzed into Trago this morning a little later than I usually would because I stopped by the office to pick up the posters and invitations cards, hot off the press. I am thrilled with how they look, and people were clammering after taking away posters to put around their workplaces, churches, surgeries, schools etc etc. Upon my arrival I noted a fair few crafters working already, the place had a lovely buzz to it that steadily grew from 9.35am until about 10.15am. It felt like we were bursting at the seams which was wonderful, I just feel the sale is going to be a huge success. I mean, some of our members are really talented! I know there are novices like me, but even I can turn out something salable. In fact, I am using some of Jelly's leftover fabrics to make rosettes for hair clips and bands right now. Then I need to think up some ways of using the yarn stash I have acquired to make pretty salable items, oh, and I need to finish a lovely 'Old Shale' blanket I started, not to mention deciding whether to carry on with my k1, yo, k2tog scarf ... In fact, what am I doing writing a blog post with all that to be getting on with?
Maybe Coffee will take a break from her virtually constant (currently hospital based) knitting to add to this?
We meet for coffee and bring along any craft project we may be working on at the time. Some of us are teaching others to knit. Some of us are learning to sew, cross stitch, embroider, the list goes on.
If you have spare 'materials' you are prepared to share, do bring along some for people to try their hand at something different. And, if you have never made anything before, come along empty handed to see if making is your thing.
The group is open to anyone of any age who is available and interested in attending. Our primary aims are to forge relationships, and of course to share in each others' expertise and delight in each others' creations.