6 May 2008

All merged together.

Just a note to say that from now on I will be combining my business and family life blogs on Pipany & the Poltisko Memoirs to hopefully make my life a little easier, but also because they are so closely linked that it now feels wrong to seperate them - explained it all over there.

Hopr to see you there! xx

29 April 2008

What a difference a day makes.

This post should make a pleasant change as I feel 'habby' and flowery, hence the photo of blossom which sort of reflects my mood (though thanks Blogger for NOT letting me move it further down the post!) For once, I refuse to moan which will be a blessed relief to those of you who regularly dip into either this blog about my business or my other blog about our family life (Poltisko Memoirs). Lately has been a rather turbulant time of broken cars and much expense and skin of teeth financially speaking - just filling in any newcomers - thus making my blogging space a place for off-loading and well, whingeing quite frankly. Not today however, not today; no, today I am 'Mrs Very Important and Far too Full of Herself for Her Own Good' of Cornwall. You see, one or two nice things have happened (about time too) and I wish to share them with you...

First up for your consideration is the phone call I received on Monday afternoon, a call which I thought was from a friend who needed a lift with her children to collect her car from the garage - huh, cars...who needs them? (well, me actually) - anyway, I thought the ringing of said phone heralded said friend reminding me of my promise of help, yet the voice on the other end was unfamiliar:

"Hello, may I speak to Pipany please?"
Vacant pause from yours truly
"Hello, who's this?" says I.
Unfamiliar voice asks uncertainly, " er, who am I speaking to please?"
"Pipany," in tones of slight annoyance.
"Oh, hello Pipany; this is Emma from Marie Claire Magazine. I've just seen your showroom on Not on the High Street and went to look at your website. I really like your stuff and think you would fit in really well with our advertising campaign here at Marie Claire."

Well, I picked myself up off the floor and tried to sound professional as we discussed the ins and outs of media and marketing and international publication...as you do. Now, I am not stupid and am aware that this lady, my new best friend Emma, was trying to sell advertising space BUt - and for me it is a very big but - she liked my stuff enough to check out my website and 'phone me!!! Out of all those other people on the NOTHS site, she noticed my dear little products, my Babbits and mop caps and bags and sachets; let's just say something finally made Pipany beam a great big smile and for that alone I love Emma of Marie Claire Magazine.

So, there I am trying to inform Dave of this frankly small but lovely nonetheless saga when he interrupts to tell me he noticed I had two emails to open. Off I went to find one from a very lovely and happy customer who had received her parcel of goodies and had mailed to tell me how thrilled she is with her order; I love this side of the business - getting feedback is almost always a really positive thing and makes the whole thing worthwhile for me. The next email was from NOTHS to inform me that Wedding Magazine had requested my embroidered lavender sachets for a photo shoot for their Aug/Sept publication!!! I was almost on the ceiling! As was Dave! How many more !!!!!s can I use?

So there you are; Pipany is smiling and cares not that Emma from Marie Claire (name dropping) magazine probably rang the entire NOTHS seller list trying to sell space or that my sachets may not end up actually in the magazine in Aug/Sept or may be just a blur in the background. No, all I care about is that I must be doing something right to have been noticed in the first place and for that alone I shall keep on going and trusting my instincts as I have up till now.

Now I really am Far Too Important to chat anymore today and have to bask in my own glory for a while longer before I bump back to Earth with a wallop. Sooo hope that being happy won't jump up and bite me with a bout of things going wrong just to spoil it all (lawks, I sound like my mother now!). Oh, and as a final thing to mention, I am thinking of merging both my blogs together as the business and famil life are so closely related that it seems hard to know which one to write what in sometimes - let me know what you think.

Have a lovely, lovely day everyone

Pipany xx

21 April 2008

The trouble with hats...

A quick post today as I have a weather chart to make with Isabella before she heads off for a nap - I realised that I have been allowing tthe work for the business to start encroaching on my time with Isabella and I am determined to re-address the situation. After all, the time with her will soon go and can't be replaced, and much as I love my little business and could happily spend every minute on it, I need to remember that it was supposed to work around her until she is at school; then I can give it every moment, but in the meantime sticking things onto paper and messing around with paints is what we are planning for this morning and the afternoon will see me glued to the sewing machine while she sleeps!

Here are a few things which brightened my sewing room this weekend - cheery flags all waiting to be attached to tape to become reams of bright bunting for an order. I loved working on this as there was so much of it - 8metres in all - and the room almost glowed with colour; really lovely

I have also been making lots of little mop caps for ages 0 - 3 years in such pretty fabrics - gorgeous cotton poplins in delicate pinks

and lilacs

and even a beautiful sprigged yellow, usually a colour I struggle with as it can tend towards harshness).

These are all lovely and make me think of Jane Austen!

I do have to admit to finding the hats difficult to photograph for the website; Isabella, my model for the 2-3 year range, is just not ready for her close-up! These were the best I could get...

Just look at the way her dear little curls spring out from underneath the cap (sorry, mummy moment there!)

I think I need to wait for a sunny day when she is playing in the garden; hopefully, she will continue to enjoy wearing hats just long enough and I have a baby in mind for the tiny ones, so fingers crossed! In the meantime I will just have to put them on with the pictures I have managed to get so far and hope for the best - sometimes those super-models can be so difficult!

Bye for now
Pipany xx

9 April 2008

Of Mice and Material

ARGHHHHH!!!!!! Yesterday was such a frustrating day. The computer was playing up - just peachy when I had new things to load onto my website and emails to reply to and..... well, let's just say that I was not a happy bunny. Today all is well thanks to a friend who sat quite happily staring at the screen, clicking away with a passion that completely bemuses me until he finally looked up to announce with that glee peculiar to the computer-literate, "yeah, your mouse is shot to sh*t! Oh. Right. Cheers then. So the fact that an entire day of screen jumping, page changing at inappropriate moments and lost uploaded photos was all because of a rodent? Mmm....

Now that's off my chest I will swiftly move on. Business continues to be good - a steady flow of orders which suits me fine and a lovely mix of goodies is filling the shelves. This pleases me most because it means that I must be offering something for everyone which was my aim when I started out. It also means I get to do a little of everything - embroidery, applique, etc - while handling the most gorgeous fabrics (I know all you fabricaholics out there will know exactly what I mean!).

Talking of gorgeous fabrics, I found a bargain of giant proportions during the Easter holidays - actually it was Dave who found it, truth to tell; there I was, sprawling like a lazy thing on the bed, commenting that I really didn't feel like doing anything when he happened to mention that while strolling through Falmouth the day before, he had noticed a small sign stating the legend '£5 per roll' over a basket of what looked to be end of bolt Sanderson fabrics. Yes, that's right - £5 for Sanderson fabrics!!! I was out of that bed, dressed and demanding why there was a need to shave his face before leaving the house? Didn't he understand the urgency? I would have gone on my own but i needed to not waste time trying to park - no, I had better things to do with my time, like snarling if anyone went near the bolts I had placed to one side.

(yes, some of this one became a Hawaiian shirt for Dave on his request)

Each bolt was 3 metres long of the most gorgeous, sumptuous materials. I grabbed them all (though goodness only knows what I may have missed out on before Dave decided to inform me of this news; I really must get him to understand!), raced home and shook each one out to discover these beauties you can see dotted throughout my blog. Ahhh, aren't they wonderful? I hate to provoke envy (!) but I paid £35 for 21 metres of fabric which would normally have sold for £26 per metre! Wayhay!!!!

Now I am over my boasting session I will sign off for the day - I hear the sewing room calling...

Pipany xx

8 April 2008

Sunshine and bunting.

I went out in the sun, the snow and finally the dusk trying to get photographs of bunting. Anyone have some tips on the best way to get pictures that actually show the merry flags looking as lovely as they actually are and I will be one very grateful Pipany!

See my point? A very pretty picture which shows Dave's little writing room, the hens and, oh that's right, the bunting! The problem is there is no real detail. Still, it is pretty - I tried again...

and again...

and again...

The bunting comes in lovely summery colours - a mix of bright spots, red gingham and a little leafy green to provide a calming note, and to finish it off I included some beachy ticking (I do love ticking) as a contrast. I think the whole brings a touch of the festive; sort of reminds me of birthdays and Maydays and seaside breezes. We hang bunting in the house for celebrations and Lucy has some in a different colourway hanging in her bedroom too, but for the moment it is this one which I have named 'Bright & Breezy' which will be available on my website. It comes in lengths of approximately 2 metres (including ties) with 11 flags, but extra lengths can be ordered too.

Roll on summer!

Pipany xx

6 April 2008

New things.

I can't believe that the Easter holiday is over here in Cornwall. I know that some places have only just started the holiday, but our children go back to school today. I was against the break being so early initially though now it feels as though we have truly said goodbye to the winter and hello to spring - apart from the light dusting of snow which is frosting the garden in the early morning sunshine today that is!

The Easter proved a good time for the business: bags, bunnies and Babbits were all popular and as such provided me with a little confidence boost, proving to myself that I was judging both my products and the market correctly. Of course the challenge as always is to see whether this can be sustained when there isn't a major event such as Easter or Christmas to cater for. So what new things are emerging from the pipany sewing room? Let's have a little look...

I said there would be a new addition to the family some time soon and now the stork has been - good grief, obviously I don't mean another real baby (what you don't think seven children between us is enough?!!) - may I introduce Baby Babbit to you...

Isn't he sweet? As ever, working with these little creatures is such fun and I played around far longer than I should have to get these photos of Baby with the classic Babbit. The children want me to write a story about them because they look so like they are having a conversation - wonder what they are talking about?

Baby Babbit seems to enjoy a spot of gardening too, though I don't think he realises that sitting on the plants isn't the best way of planting them...

Back to ask for some advice from One Who Knows...

Ok, ok, I'll stop now! The Baby Babbit is also available filled with lavender and chamomile as I thought this would make it a soothing present to sit on a shelf in a baby's nursery (how well I know those nights of pacing the room). On this note, I have also been working on lavender and chamomile cushions for a child or baby's room; here is the first with more to follow later this week...

photographing this cushion has been such a challenge as the light keeps turning dull with such a harshness in between that it bleaches the colour out altogether. Never mind, I did the best I could and tomorrow is another day! This shows the close up detail of the appliqued crib with a touch of course of embroidery just to keep me happy.


I have also been replenishing the Lauren tote bag stock during the holiday as they have been selling well - I think people are beginning to get in beach mode (ever-hopeful here!) and these bags do provide plenty of storage with both interior and exterior pockets; why is it then that I still manage to lose my mobile? The most popular options seem to be the Grape and Teal

Lavender and Rose

and for those who like bright and zingy, Tropical Lime

Right, that's me done for now; off to finish the lovely bunting I will be showing tomorrow which is full of gorgeous, summery fabrics. Suppose I had better load the new stock onto the website too!

Bye from me - and Baby Babbit of course

Pipany xx

7 March 2008

Babbits once more.

Goodness, who would have thought that something as simple as a soft toy called Babbit would be such a nightmare to photograph? I seem to have spent the last few days taking endless pictures of the little thing in a variety of poses and situations so that I can put it on the website; first there ws not enough sun, then there was too much (can there be such a thing?) and all the colour bleached out to leave it looking like a Babbit who had seen better days. Finally I managed to get the photos I was after - I think - and here is the finished version... you can click on the images to enlarge...

First the original picture

and this one which was also shown on my Poltisko Memoirs post

So far, so good but having initially said I would be making a little bag for Babbit containing a hat, shells, etc I was made to do a re-think based on the fact that so many people - both virtual and local - have expressed an interest in buying one for babies. As those of you who read my other post will know, I was making this for Lucy's tenth birthday and was showing it off online! The reaction was truly lovely and Babbit seems to have stolen a few hearts (I have to admit to being more than a little taken with it myself if that's not too big-headed to say!). However, babies and shells don't go, and so I decided to make Babbit a home of her own (may be a boy Babbit - not too sure) which looks like this...

It is made from calico with a calico lining and features an appliqued house. Of course, there was no chance that it wouldn't have a little embroidery on it somewhere - 'Babbit's House' is what I found myself sewing and then it just needed a few flowers either side of the door, some stitching to highlight the walls and the window frames - you know how it is, too much fun to be had!

So there is Babbit and her bag, now available from my website www.pipany.co.uk (blatant advertising but it
is my business blog after all). In fact, I so enjoyed making this one that I am planning a whole range - a little one called Baby Babbit perhaps; a boy one with a stripey top in the best Cornish tradition carrying a bucket and spade called Beach Babbit; hmm, the list seems endless...

Hopping off now (groan!)

Pipany xx