Tuesday, 24 May 2011

News of Norfolk

Good evening all,
I hope you all had a lovely weekend. After an early morning 'event' dress deliver, we packed and got ready for some 'time out'. We went to Norfolk on Friday to spend the weekend with some very good friends of Chris, and it was great.
On Friday we set off just before lunch after stopping at Mums for a quick cuppa, Chris driving at a plod pace for him, saving on the fuel!!!
Although we were staying in Fakenham, we found our way to the coast, driving through many pretty seaside villages, looking for more than a sand bank and distant view of the tide! I wanted to throw some roses into the sea, not that its symbolic, I was just being a mushy bird and wanted to do it to mark my Dads birthday. Nice thought, but most of the coast we visited in the first hour or two was adjacent to ‘The Wash’ and the tide was well and firmly ‘out’.
Our last port of call before heading inland was the very pretty ‘Cley Next The Sea’ where we headed out to a shingle beach and after climbing over the mountain of pebbles we found waves.  We ceremoniously watched our roses float away and bimbled back through the village, a mixture of cottages, tiny shops and guest houses, complete with windmill restaurant and B & B. Definitely one to put on the ‘must visit and stay sometime’ list.

After a pleasant evening with our friends, Saturday dawned bright, warm and calm. We took the steam train from Holt into the very lovely Sherringham, where we enjoyed the market, the crab and lobster festival and some time on the beach, even having a paddle in the chilly sea!

The town itself is busy and traditional, with a lot of the shops being small independent retailers, refreshingly the town wasn’t the same as every other high street. And of course I was drawn to every fabric/dress/wedding shop, as usual!  A large number of the shops had signs in their window, drumming up support for opposition to a planned supermarket development. It was obvious that any massive superstore would ruin this gorgeous place, and the town would end up like most of the other high streets in this country – closed and ‘to-let’, such a shame.
Anyway, I shall get off my soap box, for now!  Norfolk was welcoming and pretty, coupled with the great company we had, it really did go too fast and I for one, cant wait for the next time we all get together again .
On the work front we had our phone and broadband installed today, so it means I can photograph and upload from work, which will help. I am just finishing off a list of orders  and can now concentrate on filling the shop with one-off dresses and vintage style wedding gowns. I have got to get myself a curvier mannequin, as my old bird is rather skinny! I have been watching them on ebay, but they all seem to be miles away, buyer collects!
I am currently reserving  models to suitably show off the new range, and fortunately my daughter and her friends are on-hand and keen! Us girls, we will always love a good 'dressing-up' session.
Well, better go for now, need to put another wash load in before bed and I am yawning away, as usual! Bye for now, see you soon
Love Sue x

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Birthday thoughts for Dad

Today is my Dads 80th birthday. Those of you who know me are aware that Dad died just over a month ago after bravely trying to fight the effects of a massive stroke, eventually letting mother nature take him to a quieter place.
We surely would have gone out and done something special for his big day, so I am sending out much love to family and friends who would have been with his today to toast him with ‘half a lager shandy’!
The sunny chair in the corner of the conservatory is peacefully silent most days. Dad isn’t there flicking through the paper, passing the time of day, or rattling dried peas in his personal pigeon shooting stash on the coffee table. Dads catapult hangs still on the back of the chair, and happy pigeons flutter on by.
Mums been up today to lay flowers, and tended to the still blooming funeral flowers from his bright but sad day only two weeks ago. I am sure Mum said a few birthday words to Dad in a whisper.
Mum misses him terribly, she is so strong but I know she has her ‘moments’. We all miss the old bugger. Him leaping out of the chair to twitch the nets when someone drove by.  His memorable words of ‘CAFE’S CLOSED’ when we came in and Mum disappeared to the kitchen to put the kettle on, Dad knowing she’d return with a small spread!
We are away this weekend, not far from the North Norfolk coast, so I shall go to the sea and throw in a nice pink rose from the climber around my front door and I shall remember the good times and send Dad some love and birthday thoughts to where ever he is now. And maybe have a bit of pigeon pie, that’d make him laugh.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Sweets and Shops

Good evening folks,
I hope this finds you well! I thought I ought to fill you in with my goings on... in between seriously sewing like crazy!
Having spent the last 30 years dressmaking, most of it on a part time basis for additional income, and now and then dipping the toe into 'craft shop land',  two weeks ago Chris and I went to view some new premises as it was becoming impossible to work from home any longer. I have been increasing my orders weekly, and dressmaking in a small studio at the back of our house is now proving difficult. 
The final realisation that there are people out there who will buy a quality, hand made, unique British garment has pushed me into making the move into commercial premises. We trawled the internet for somewhere suitable, not necessarily a shop due to massive rents, and came back to a company called ‘Evans’ who offer light industrial, workshops and office space in Nuneaton, about 3 miles from us. Well, they pride themselves on ‘easy-in’ process and we viewed one day, had the required checks and had the key the next day – brilliant.
The studio can be used for retail but is primarily a huge amount of light, clean, new workspace. Admittedly, I would have loved a tumbling down house with sash windows and a fusty carpet, but being realistic this is ideal for where I am at. I have a small stock of clothing, but as I have been mostly making to order for some time, I do have some serious work to do to fill my rails. I will post a few pics of the new gaff!
My intention is to have a small sample selection, but to primarily 'make to order' specialising in one-off, couture Bridal Gowns. I have done my home work, and feel the market is now flooded with cheap import frocks, which seem to be porr quality, and small to say the least. So bring on the English roses, I will make your bridal dreams come true!
On a cost saving front I am making is hitting Tate and Lyle and Bassets in the pocket. You see I have felt a bit ‘off’ for a while, and after a visit or two to docs and some blood tests, the lovely but skinny doc has told me off in no uncertain terms. I am a proper trough-er , I indulge my ample self in home made cakes and a copious amount of confectionary every day. Well....it turns out I am borderline diabetic with a blood sugar running at about 10.9..ooops. I HAVE to adopt a sugar free diet, or else the insulin might be beckoning, and I don’t want that! I  am scheduled for some more tests, so I hope to have reduced the numbers by then. I have been sugar free for a week almost and it so hard! So I will say goodnight for now, I am off to bed soon, to dream of sherbert dibdab.