Monday, 31 October 2011

Life's Big Canvas CRAFTFest Stall

Today has been BUSY - I've been updating the website and getting my album ready for CraftFest - a two day long online craft stall! Have a look, join in if you have a business, and get ready for Christmas craft fair shopping from the comfort of your sofa!

Find more photos like this on Creative Connections

Monday, 17 October 2011

Opportunities within the shop!

So as we creep ever closer to Christmas, I find myself looking for help in the shop. I'm open 6 days a week, all of which I need to cover now I'm not sharing.

Every Friday a wonderful lady called Shelly works for me - in return she has space in my shop selling her monster toys and accessories under the name The Monster Project. It occurred to me there might be other people out there who might like the opportunity to volunteer within the shop, and in return have some space selling items.

So, in order to do this, you must live in Leeds, or be prepared to travel to Leeds for at least one day a month. The shop is really close to the bus station, about 2 minutes walk, and only about 5-10 minutes from the train station. Unfortunately I cannot guarantee car parking, but there are secure car parks nearby, they're just expensive. In return I will give you space for your items, and we come to an agreement about how much commission/rent I take depending on how many hours you are happy to work.

It's great experience if you want to go into self-employment but are unsure about whether it will work. I started by doing something similar on the ground floor of Bird's Yard, working every week in the shop, and learning how to deal with customers, and see what they would like to buy. I can also give advice on pricing your items, packaging, branding, selling online and so on.

If you wish to just volunteer and don't sell items, that's fine too! As a thank you, I'll give you credit towards spending in the shop. I cannot pay anyone, as that will mean I'm an employer, and throws up a whole load of awkwardness.

Please email me at and we can have a chat, or if you're close enough, pop in and visit me in Bird's Yard. I'm there every Tuesday to Thursday, for definite, but it might be best to email me first to check.


Monday, 10 October 2011

20 random things about my mum

This is copied from my journal of March 2007. It's probably too confusing to add stuff now, another four years later, in bold, but let's have a go


"going through my diary, i found this bit of writing about mum, and thought i'd share it, partly as 
Margi said she wanted to see more stories in my journal, and i think this sort of qualifies - anything in italics i'm adding today as i'm typing it up. i wrote this not long after she died, i don't really know why. a lot of it relates to my dad as well to be honest."

20 random thoughts about my mother

1. She always discouraged me from buying things when there were hundreds on the rack.
I can't decide if she'd have liked primark or not, as she loved a bargain, but would have hated the racks and racks all the same.
She would have loved Bird's Yard, of this I am certain.

2. She would never buy anything if she thought she could make it herself. She'd often say 'I could make that' and go and do just that.

3. She loved a lot of music i did, and when she didn't it was usually for a reason like, 'that sounds too tinny' because it was a dodgy demo of someone I was having to review.

4. She once superglued my brother's hair into dreadlocks

5. She used to help me dye my hair and never batted an eyelid no matter what the colour

6. She was unbelievably bright - if she'd gone to university she would have excelled. She often complained that where she worked she was wasted.

7. Her feet were tiny - a size 3 in fact
8. She always let me make my own mistakes. whilst dad would often say, 'I told you so', mum would never judge before or after the event.

9. She (well and my dad as well) let me listen to stuff no one else's parents would have let them, or had even heard of. I distinctly remember one Christmas giving them a list of really obscure vinyl, and they managed to find a clear 12 inch by revolting cocks (their cover of d'ya think I'm sexy) with baby oil floating in the plastic outer sleeve. I hadn't even asked for that, they just thought I'd like it.

10. Mum always understood boys who are friends aren't necessarily trying to get into your pants, even if I was trying to get into theirs... (e.g. DS - gawd, I haven't thought about him in a long time)

11. She gave me lifts to and from loads of places before I could drive

12. I was allowed to go to concerts and stay out all night a long time before my friends - this is probably because I never betrayed her trust. I never slept around, and I never took hard drugs (of course, I conveniently forgot here that I used to sleep in my car, but there we go)
13. She understood why I don't want to look like everyone else

14. She only ever tried to make me lose weight for my health. I can't remember her ever criticising the way I looked, even when i weighed 24 stone. she'd ALWAYS focus on the effect on my health.

15. She was really sarcastic and dry, but laughed at the most ridiculous things. I will always remember her reaction to Baby's Day Out (she would have LOVED Mousehunt...)
16. I often think she'd like films when I see them. for example she would have loved The prestige
17. She always taught me to get the nasty things out of the way so you can enjoy the nice things. For example, we always cleaned the house on Saturday morning so we could go and shop in the afternoon
18. She made sure I knew how to cook and clean and so on by making me do it. A lot of my friends at uni had no idea how to do anything for themselves, which i found really odd, as I'd always done everything for myself from a young age. I'm really grateful for that every day
19. She would have been totally fine if any of us had been gay. In fact, I think she would have been proud. She often told my brother that she wouldn't mind if he came out as long as he was happy. (He didn't have many girlfriends when he was a teenager)
20. She didn't blink an eye when I rang her from Moulton and asked her to pick me up as TS had thrown me out. She never asked what happened, but I told her anyway. (sorry if you don't know what I'm on about here - I don't know if I've ever talked about it on here except to get morose when I was drunk one evening, and I probably talked about TS in relation to him looking like Richard Beckinsale...)

Monday, 3 October 2011

Winning! A sort of 'What I wore today' post

I won the award for Best Jewellery - in Leeds, I hasten to add, not the UK. It was unexpected, and all a bit ridiculous. I wore a pineapple covered dress, matching sunglasses, a hat based on a pineapple, and the most ludicrous shoes you've seen in your life.

giving the speech - something like 'I don't know what to say, but thanks' and then I mentioned Bird's Yard

the shoes - I'm having trouble walking today

The hat - made by Melissa Dawson of Parlour Millinery, who was also up for Best Local Designer. Bo Carter with the orange jacket won this category. I'll probably talk more about her another day

Michelle with her award for Best Vintage, and me with my award - you can see the jewellery I chose better in this. Recycled blue multi chain necklace, vintage metal button bracelet and dragonfly earrings

Sunday, 2 October 2011

New shop

I moved into a new space! I have a window, nice floors and white walls, and it's all MINE!

I loved sharing with all the people I shared with, but having my own space, and now having to rely on the other side of the shop being occupied is a lovely feeling. It means working more hours, but I've got offers of volunteers, so fingers crossed I won't be working every hour of the day and night. Although, if I do, being self-employed is the best feeling ever

If you want to see around the shop, here's a YouTube clip