Saturday, 31 December 2011

I know Christmas has been and gone but...

I never got round to blogging about it! I was so busy with Christmas stalls, and making presents (and wrapping up my 'real' work for the year) it all passed by without me managing to get on the computer. Plus I've still be spending way too much time on Twitter! (@thisiswiss)

This is Wiss made it's last appearance of 2011 at Dulwich Market, and although I was very disappointed with the lack of Christmas spirit (I was the only one with a festive antler headband!) I was really pleased with the way the stall looked. Thank you to all of my customers, I really appreciate your support and hope you had lovely Christmases. And I am pleased to report, all of the Rudy's found good homes!

This was Wiss's second Christmas but the first that he has actually been involved in. He can recognise Santa, and Rudolph, and learnt how to open a present in record time! I wanted to have an Advent Calendar for him so he could get an idea that something was approaching. He doesn't like chocolate so a homemade one with small gifts was the way to go. I'd seen a wooden framed 'calendar' on a Dorset Cereal promotional photo and this was my starting point.

I made a 5x5 grid from clear perspex which gave me 25 pigeon holes in which to put presents. I had some little numbered pegs that I bought from Tiger and some small striped paper bags. The presents varied from a Santa bouncy ball, to some festive magnets, some tree decorations or Christmas related books. (Anything too big was hidden elsewhere with a clue to its whereabouts in the bag instead)

I do think it helped to lead Wiss into the big day itself, and we were able to talk to him about Christmas a little bit each day. On Christmas Eve, Wiss got a Christmas Crumpet! (Crumpet is his special toy that goes everywhere with him) and all 3 Crumpets (New, Old and Christmas) joined him in bed to wait for Santa!

We put out a mince pie and a Bailey's for Father Christmas, and of course a carrot for Rudolph. There was something very special about taking part in this wonderful ritual - a first for us too as parents! - and so sweet when Lewis discovered Santa had eaten the 'biscuit' AND left some presents in his stocking. To be honest, Wiss was happy with the first little present he opened and would have been content to stop there!

Our main present to Wiss a vintage Fisher Price garage - bought from eBay for about £10 inc postage but it was in terrible condition. Unfortunately, I lost the 'before' photo when I changed phones but believe me, it was in a dreadful state: filthy dirty, no stickers or graphics and the lift didn't work. But a bit TLC transformed it into...

This garage is over 30 years old and it brought back so many memories for me and my husband from our own childhoods (and maybe you too?) that it is wonderful to see how much fun Wiss has with it already.

I'll be back with a post tomorrow to wrap up the year, and to look forward to 2012. I LOVE new years resolutions!

Monday, 5 December 2011

This is Wiss at Dulwich Farmer's Market

After what seemed like weeks and weeks of slaving away at the kitchen table sewing up more stock, This is Wiss returned to Dulwich Farmer's Market Craft Fair on Sunday. I was pretty pleased with amount of stuff I'd made - loads of waterproof bags as they were so popular last time, some gorgeous new fabrics, and I launched my new chWISStmas bobby horse 'Rudy' too!

I had also had plans for improving the stall but didn't get a chance to make what I'd wanted for this week, but it will happen. It's such a learning curve and every time I have a stall I notice what works and what doesn't, check out other people's stalls and what I like about their displays, plus it's so interesting to see how people interact with your products. I think it's going to be a constantly evolving process getting to the best stall design, and especially for the next market as it's a special Christmas one! I'm going to go all out on festivities and decorations :)

It was a much quieter day this Sunday than the last market, I think because it wasn't the regular slot in the calendar, but even so we had a flurry of people braving the chilly weather. It was lovely to meet so many people who showed an interest in what I am making. The feedback is invaluable and a real boost to one's confidence. It's also great to meet other stall holders at these events - so hello to Arty & Bella and Little Red Press. They are both making beautiful things so check out them out!

I will be back at Dulwich Market on the 18th December so if you can make it along I'd love to see you!