The Day Job intervenes and becomes the Night Shift!

Apologies for the late post, but….

I think I told you I have been getting ready for an exhibition. Well, today was the day.

We took over the little shop at half past seven last night. An empty space which needed filling. After unloading the first lot, John went home for load number two. We had arranged for friend Dennis, who is a furniture restorer, to bring some of the items he has been working on, and he arrived promptly with a van full of lovely pieces that we could  use for display. It took a while to get the various desks and chests out of the van and into position and then Dennis took off and it was down to John and I to sort out my stuff into something resembling order.

We worked until about ten, transferring everything from the plastic boxes in which I store, out into the big wide world. Then we called it a night and came home. I still had lots to do, but that needed an iron and ironing board and could be done at home. The silks were duly ironed, the jewellery pieces collected up and made ready for the morning. I wrote lists of what might be forgotten and finally we were able to go to bed and attempt to sleep (think in my case that was about 2.30 a.m).

I had already priced and labelled what was in the shop in advance, which was a great help. Each label explains the fibre content of an item: I work with merino wool, silk, alpaca, baby camel, and cashmere, adding recycled fibres, recycled velvet, recycled sari fabrics, artisan hand spun fibres, banana fibres, feathers, sequins and anything else that looks as though it might combine with wool and look attractive and/or interesting.

First thing this morning – well, as first thing as I could manage – we were up, collecting mugs, teas, the kettle and other essentials to hold body and soul together. The car was piled up yet again. Back to work by eight thirty. Setting up my mannequins and heads, draping scarves, attaching corsages, dressing the windows, all took time, but needed to be done before the opening time of 10 a.m.  Tacking up  muslin at the windows and erecting a curtain over a particularly dreadful door were the last jobs. And eventually it was finished. In fact the doors were open from about 9 o’clock. People drifted in as we worked, wishing us luck and saying lovely things about the display.

And then John put the kettle on and we settled down to wait – but not for too long. A lovely lady popped in on her way to the bank and decided to rummage in my bargain trunk. She selected a purple flowered corsage, paid £5. and we had broken our duck. At this sort of do, it isn’t red dots on frames, collect at the end of the week; people want to take their item away. I need lots of stock if I am to show-case my wares. And this time, I don’t have lots of stock. If we have a good week, the place may be looking a little depleted by the end. (I hope it is!)

Thursday is a quiet day and we begin in earnest tomorrow, so wish me luck.

If you would like to see some of the other pieces I have on display, I will upload them to a separate page so you can take a look. I have called it Pat’s Pop Up Shop, since that’s really what it is.

And I hope there will be no more night shifts!


34 responses to “The Day Job intervenes and becomes the Night Shift!

  1. I love your displays and items. You are talented in so many ways. Good luck with your sales. Do you sell things on line as well?

    • Thank you for commenting and glad you like my creations. Some of them can be a bit mad. These are the saner ones.
      Do a Craft Fair in November where I can sell more bonkers hats and stuff: snow boarder mad ones!

  2. It all looks lovely. I love your way of displaying things. I hope you sell lots, you should do. There looks like a lot of present potential there.

    • That’s the idea. Hoping to have picked the right week – people with Christmas in mind.
      Have everything from £3 to £50 so hoping I have pitched it right.

  3. Just checked out your pics! b-e-a-tiful stuf Pat!!! To bad there’s this big body of water seperating us :/ between your creations, mine and Candace’s we could take the crafting world by storm…lol
    You should post what you have left over – one might want to purchase them….hint, hint ;
    Wishing you good luck for tomorrow 🙂

  4. I wish I could write about my day job and make it sound as fun as you do, Pat. Unfortunately, I happen to be a Project Management Consultant and there’s only that far I can go to make that colourful and exciting. Believe me I have tried!

    Also as a middle-aged male I’m unlikely to be a potential customer, but I have you have some really nice, innovative pieces. Too bad I can’t wear any of it! (see above….)

    • Please pardon the extra “have”. And the last line should read ‘Too bad I can’t wear any of *them*’.


    • You’re very kind. It was quite hard work getting it all together, but I was pleased with how it looked in the end.
      And I have painted silk for middle-aged men! Was once asked to paint silk boxer shorts, a waistcoat and a tie for a guy in Australia’s fiftieth birthday. They were all pretty colourful, I can tell you. And they were to celebrate his love of Southwold in Suffolk so I had to incorporate a lighthouse.
      And the answer to your (probable!) unspoken question is no!
      Thank you for stopping by and taking time to comment.

  5. It looks great! Well done, you’ve put in a lot of work. Hope it goes really well. I’ll try to pop in next week.

  6. Do so wish I could see, touch, and smell your works. I am one of those ridiculous people who needs to smell every fibery thing she puts her hands on.

    • Not ridiculous to me.
      I can tell you that the fibres all smell different and differently amazing. I love the smells associated with fabrics. They are wonderful.
      And I use olive oil soap (Savon de Marseille for preference) which has its own amazing smell and is lovely for the hands. When I first started, I used washing up liquid. It was horrible. It did the job, but wasn’t nice.
      The feel of the olive oil soap and the textures of cashmere and silk and alpaca under your hands is pretty good.
      It’s quite hard work, but it has its rewards.

  7. Sounds like you’ve been busy and will continue to be. I guess I learned something new in your blog. I didn’t know they skinned baby camels. Who knew? 🙂 Good Luck.

    • No – no, not skinned!
      Just gave their underbellies a little hair cut.
      No animals were harmed in the making of these items.
      Well, actually, some silk worm caterpillars didn’t last too long, but the little Thai ladies who unravelled them will have eaten the grub, so nothing went to waste.

  8. Good luck Pat 🙂

    Can’t wait to hear all about it!


  9. How exciting to embark on a new venture like this, wishing you loads of success

    • Hank you, but no, not new.

      Been painting on silk and making felt for years. This is very much the day job, but I usually sell through other outlets.
      This pop up business is a one week a year thing and usually I manage to share.
      Only done it on my own once before and it is a lot of work.
      After this week, I go back to putting my stuff in galleries and in the little hairdresser’s who takes my stuff for his window.
      So, very exciting, but I couldn’t possibly keep this up. Takes too long to make one piece to fill anything like this permanently!

  10. Don’t know how you do it.
    Good luck! It sounds very exciting.

    • Wasn’t very exciting today. Grey skies, pouring rain, soggy people with little enthusiasm.
      Never mind, supposed to be better tomorrow!

  11. These are fabulous. 🙂

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