Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas wrap

I like to take early morning snaps of my stall set-up before the crowds arrive.

Phew! A whirlwind of back to back Christmas markets for the past five weeks is over!
And, I'm exhausted.
Near sell-outs at every market left me gob-smacked and ecstatic that people oohed and aahed, and happily purchased my wares.
And yet devastated, knowing that I would be working into the wee hours at the beginning of each week glazing madly for the kiln, to ensure a fully stocked stall the following weekend.
Even though there were plenty of items in boxes under the table to replenish, at each day's end, the boxes were practically empty!

A meltdown after the third market, had me ingesting copious amounts of coffee and chocolate to get me through. In fact, this was my mantra during the last few weeks...

Never in my wildest dreams did I anticipate this. Clearly. As, at the beginning of it all, I honestly thought I had made enough to stretch over five weekends. My studio was overflowing!
This has made me realise that if I am to take on the same amount of markets next year, then, I'll need to begin Christmas production just after Easter! That is, if I'm to be as fortunate with sales next year.
It's been a learning curve for sure.
And, I'm not complaining - I'm very grateful indeed.
Just, weary.

It's not over yet, one more to go. The big summer holiday market on the coast is on in two weeks. And, I'm still in production mode.
No rest for the wicked, as they say ;)

I've thought often about my favourite blogs here in blogland. And, sad that I've missed so many posts. I hope to catch up on reading what everyone has been up to the past month or so.

It's been important that Jack gets his walks, and that hubby and I catch up over coffee and short drives around the mountain when we could.
Hubby and son have been very patient with my "absence", and our boy has provided delicious meals regularly when he is home. What a joy.

When I could remember my camera, I've tried to capture micro moments in time, and would like to share a few recent random snapshots...

We have been blessed with glorious weather on market days, which ensured great turnouts.

A peaceful return to quiet after a bustling twilight market at a local racecourse.

Although, there have been some chilly weekdays when we've asked each other, "isn't this meant to be mid-summer?"
But, I'm not complaining. Cool weather, instead of blistering heat, is welcome anytime :)

And, there have been warm, sultry days which brings the critters inside.
After shaking out our bedding one morning, this little fellow fell on the floor.

Even though his sting isn't (apparently) much worse than a bullant's, I'd rather not test the theory - something about being grasped by pincers and lashed from the hypodermic-like tail end, gives me shivers.
He was removed promptly, and safely, to a far corner of the garden and scuttled under some bark.

Perfect partners - roses and rustic rails.

This garden sculpture made me think of my full focus and current tunnel vision.

Hello kitty.

When I spotted this sweet silver tabby sunning herself in a local (stock-feed) shop window, I had to go over and say hello.
I know that her official title must be "resident mouser", but I couldn't help feeling that all she wanted was company and to play.

She was a friendly wee thing, and I wished I could could rescue her and bring her home and lavish her with cuddles. But, after a while, she settled down and seemed content.

Though, my heart went out to her all the same.

Great coffee, and occasional breakfasts on a café balcony have been much looked forward to treats, and fuel for the day.

Jack believes his job is "taste tester" whenever we go out.

Hard to resist that face, isn't it?

All in all, it has been a great wrap up to a wonderfully productive year. I am so grateful to the Universe. Truly grateful.

And so, I want to wish you all a very heartfelt, happy Christmas and a safe, cheer-filled holiday season.
May your days indeed, be merry and bright, wherever you are in this great wide world.

Yule Dog

See you in 2014!