Do Not Buy my Christmas Cards

It has been almost a year since I last posted here. No, I am not back for the annual "BUY MY CHRISTMAS CARDS!" appeal. I've sort of decided to skip Christmas this year, with regards to promoting my shop. It feels a bit weird, now I write it. I haven't not promoted my wares at Christmas since I first started selling online. It's not that I've given up, but a lot has changed in the past year, and truthfully I haven't worked an ounce on my business in all that time.

For anyone who is interested, there was a spike in my business last year, which was due to me having more time to focus on it. I quit my poorly paid full time job in retail for a part time job in marketing that afforded me the same income, but more free time. I was able to attend meetings and pitches, and work on personal projects as well as freelance ones.

This lasted about 6 months, until the company-wide redundancies hit. "Don't worry! The Co-op will have you back in a heartbeat!" said those well-meaning people, with absolutely no idea how miserable that would make me. I knew I couldn't face retail again, so I frantically scoured the internet and pestered agencies, and as luck would have it, I was able to finish my job on Friday, and start a new one on Monday.

Since December last year I have been working full time - first as a graphic designer, and now as an account manager (essentially an evolved version of the role I got made redundant from, for the same company - but that's another story for another time, perhaps). I suddenly have lots more money and lots of ideas, but alas, much less time. Even less than when I worked in retail. I take on occasional freelance work, although nothing time-intensive, but I haven't really made time to sit down and think about where I'm going.

So that's where I am right now. I don't have any 2015 Christmas cards to share with you. I don't even have any words of wisdom to impart. I just wanted to check in.

Christmas Cards 2014

It's that time of year again: I've unearthed my cutters and ink and there is now a new batch of lino print Christmas cards in the shop. Well, I say new, but you'll find last year's nutcracker brothers, and the super popular jumper card from 2012, reincarnated.

Each card is lovingly hand-printed by me from an original lino block, and is blank inside for your own Christmas wishes. There's nothing better than giving handmade at Christmas.

Currently there is a limited run of all cards, so get yourself over to my Etsy shop and snap some up before somebody else does. You can also save some money with my multi-buy listing.

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Autumn Cleaning

This Saturday will be my final shift in food retail. Are you happy for me? I'm kind of nervous for what lies on the other side. What if I still don't know what to do with myself even when I'm only working a "day job" three days a week?

Today I had my first day off alone in a long time. In preparation for this new lifestyle I'm heading for, I decided to gut our spare room, which is also my studio. It's tough living in a modest flat with another person when you're a hoarder like me. I've tried to be ruthless none the less and the result has made me feel much better about the weeks and months ahead. I feel I can work here again.

I'm going to show you the before-shot of my desk, as shameful as it is, just so you can see how a little bit of condensing and reorganising can make a difference. (Honestly, I mostly threw away paperwork, some junk that isn't in shot, and all the non-bic ball points I'd somehow managed to accumulate - the horror!)

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And just like that I can tuck my chair under the desk again and maybe even do some drawing. We do still need to look in to more storage for this room. What you can't see behind me is a rather tall (but now tidy) pile of boxes, filled with things that might one day like to belong in a drawer or two. He also keeps his bike in here.

I'm always fascinated to see other people's working environments. I could spend hours on Pinterest browsing beautiful studio spaces. Sophie recently wrote a great post on the importance of building a studio that inspires and works for you. You should definitely go read it and swoon over her window.

New Era

I don't know if any of you have noticed, but I have been on a bit of a hiatus since Spring. It wasn't planned or anything, I just sort of stopped drawing and tweeting and blogging, and then suddenly it was very difficult to get back into it.

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have heard that I bagged myself an awesome new day job (hooray!), but currently I am still working the old one, too (boo!). I assure you this won't, and can't be the case for much longer, which is going to free up so much time for me to get back on track. This is the plan, anyway.

Meanwhile, I have discovered Squarespace and its boundless opportunity to create awesome websites, and have all my online stuff (work, blog, shop) in one place with minimum effort. I'm a bit sad to leave blogspot and Big Cartel behind, both of which I think are excellent, but I think the pros will surely outweigh the cons. Hopefully if you follow my blog already, you'll be kind enough to catch me over here now. I know I'm not a real blogger, in that my posts are infrequent at best, but it's good to know someone is reading all the same.

The shop isn't ready yet because I want to get some new snaps taken, but you can still get all the stuff over on Etsy. I've returned to the name 'Slices of Quince', because it's never left me and I think that in a dream scenario where I manage to sell anything wholesale, a quirky brand name is better than my own.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say in the most convoluted way possible is:

Welcome to my new website!

p.s. Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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