I can’t believe how fast time has gone since writing the last newsletter! I think it’s with all the work I’m doing on Christmas orders. Autumn is my absolute favourite time of year and I can’t get enough of the smell of wood smoke, griddled sausages (woo hoo Linda McCartney syn-free red onion and rosemary sausages which I bulk buy like everything else here), sliced raw red apples with cinnamon, huge slow cooker stews with celeriac and sweet potato and the electricity in the air after the clocks change.
I hope you’ve all seen my little request on Facebook for some more admin help. As our admin manager Joanna looks after her new baby, she finds it hard to get the time to answer your queries. Please, if you know someone, send them my way! It’s such a rewarding position, mostly working from home, ideal for someone with disabilities because I’m flexible
Opening a Shop
In January, we’d really love to open a small workshop here in North West Bristol where we’ll have a bit more room to make for Tree of Opals and Keepsaker Supplies (relaunching soon) and as a base for importing gemstones from Tanzania (which has been in the pipeline for a few years). Now that we’ve stopped offering breastmilk jewellery and I have several artists helping me with resin and glass jewellery, I know that I’ll have that extra time needed to make the move a reality. Now we’re looking around for the perfect space.
My Weightloss Journey
You can probably see that there’s a big focus on food for me this month. Those of you who have been following me for a while know that 18 months ago I went to Poland for a gastric band. Thinking I’d gradually lose weight I have actually stayed the same ever since and it finally dawned on me that I had two big issues with food – the first was emotional eating, which the band and the cognitive behavioural therapy have sorted, the second was my addiction to rich and fatty foods. Even though I’m vegan, I was still having a huge amount of oils. That in itself would probably be ok if it weren’t for my chronic fatigue. I just don’t get enough exercise to burn off those calories and it’s a bit of a battle between finding the energy and finding the time to work out. One of my goals is to start going back to the gym for classes soon, but in the meantime I’ve gone back to Slimming World. Last night I lost again, bringing my total loss in two weeks to 6.5lbs (about 3kg), which is a newborn baby! I’ve got a little more energy which helps with making jewellery and doing my admin.
This Month’s Memorial Jewellery
With the return of kits for our Christmas jewellery having been cut off (I gave everyone a couple of extra days, adding one to the list which arrived this morning) I now have it set in stone which orders I’m making to send out Mid-December. We’ve had 102 returned in time and I’ve got 58 left to finish! So in the next five weeks that’s around 12 a week, which is no problem, and the extra week for a buffer for emergencies. I do still have the occasional request for pieces for holiday delivery but it would be unfair to everyone who has ordered since the cut-off. I’ve been so proud of the pieces we’ve made and we’ve had nothing but fantastic feedback. Today I’m sending out 10 and planning on working into the night. This week we also made dozens of new moulds which are vital for good quality resin work, and I’ve been photographing fewer pieces so we don’t have too many duplicate/similar photos on the website (cremation ash ring with teal on a bubble band is a really popular choice recently).
I do all of the photography and editing myself and it takes an awful long time. I think it’s worth it, and is the reason we rank so highly on Google because each photo gets a really detailed description. Even stock photos get an image description to help visually impaired clients
This time last year I was writing about 2020 weddings for our newsletter and asking people to think about ordering memorial jewellery for their special day and that’s still really important. Finally, Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you all (atheist hubby and I are celebrating Yule this year).
This blog contains affiliate links meaning I may receive a small amount if you make a purchase after clicking on the link, with no extra cost to yourself. I use the occasional Amazon gift card for books for Ayla and Sebastian so every click is appreciated.