Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Shopping With Integrity

It may seem a bit odd for one business to be sad about a "competitor" closing but the recent closures of Canny Crafts, Cotswold Keepsakes, Scraptastic and several others are sad times for most of us with scrapping businesses.

No store can stock everything and as most scrapbook retaillers are also scrappers ourselves we tend to shop around at other sites for the items we don't carry. Clare has a very interesting article on her blog today about how as scrappers we are responsible for how we choose to shop.

This is always a very difficult area for shop owners to comment on, it is difficult to make a comment without being seen as being afraid of or disliking competition.

My personal view is that in order for scrapbooking to continue to grow we NEED a good range of shops both online and bricks and mortar. We also need big stores and little stores, what is damaging is stores set up as a hobby to "make a bit of pin money" or simply to allow the owner to access wholesale prices for their own use.

These stores where the store owner has no intention of running them as effective businesses are then able to turn over stock at nearly wholesale prices i.e with very little profit whatsoever. In the short term this is great for the customer seeking a bargain but in the long term it leads to what we are already beginning to see; closure of larger stores which have overheads and large investments to protect and who cannot afford to run a shop making hardly any profit. The end result is that many of the shops which are run as a business and by people who work at it as a full time job will be gone and what remains will be a marketplace where a very small range of stock will be available relatively cheaply but the diversity that we see when looking at many of the shops we have now will be gone and the UK Scrapping market will be back to square one.

Once again I feel I need to say that we are happy to have competition - it is good for the customer to have choices and it leads to great customer service as everyone wants to provide a good service to attract customers, however when I shop for personal stash for items we don't carry I will certainly be bearing in mind the words of Clare and Sally R and many others and aim to shop with integrity.

Are You Speshal?


You must go and have a look at the fantastic new home of these inspirational dares. Each week a challenge is posted along with the layouts from the Speshal Girls which includes several super talented UK and & IReland based scrappers including Kirsty and Clare from our design team!!

Make sure you are there adding a link to your version of the challenge. :)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Playing With Paints

Last night Darren was at a parents evening til late and Isabelle was tucked up in her cot so I managed to get out the Gesoo, Gel Medium and Paints and play about with making some ATCs. I haven't quite cracked it yet and my creations don't quite live up to what I imagine them to be when I start out but hey, playing with paint is so theraputic! Will add some pictures when I have got around to photographing them.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Ooohh I've come over all technical!

Thanks to fabulous instructions from Clare I have made my very first banner for my blog, gone is the boring old generic one and in it's place a not very exciting one made by me, but it's a start!

You know in cartoons where the character runs in mid air and never gets anywhere (except for falling off a cliff!) well thats what I am feeling like at the moment. I am the total antithesis of a Domestic Goddess - I am really untidy and it's even starting to get on my nerves, I need a week with no work, no internet, someone looking after Belle and a minor miracle to get the house back in some sort of order. On top of that we have piles of stock that has not made it as far as the website and needs to go on. We have a craft fair this weekend so will spend Saturday preparing and Sunday at the event. Needless to say I have got no scrapping done for ages. Ho Hum, if the world could just stop for a day or two and I could get off, whizz round doing everything that needs doing and then I could get back on that would be grand!

On another subject I need advice! We have no cash but that hasn't stopped me thinking I might need a new camera. I have been looking at the Canon ES350D which isn't cheap when you factor in the price of a couple of lenses but I am hoping to do a photography course at the local Adult Ed centre and I would love to be able to take gorgeous photos - so I need a decent camera (am I convincing you? I am trying to convince myself LOL) So, let me know what camera you have, would you recommend it? Do you have the Canon ES350D - is it the bees knees as I have heard they are? Lenses? Any camera advice is DEFINITELY welcome. Answers on a postcard or just in the comments or via e mail. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Fantasy Football!

Football! Football! Football! I know that not everyone loves football as much as I do but I am thoroughly enjoying this world cup so far. In previous years I have only bothered with the England matches and those of the other home nations if and when they have been in it. This time it's different, I have watched or listened to a bit of every single match so far! OK not the whole match but part of it and you know why? I am checking out players for when I can transfer in and out of my fantasy football team and seeing how the ones I have at the moment are performing! So I thought I would introduce the ATDML Allstars! So cheer them on for me please!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Come On England!

Isabelle is offt to spend some quality time at her Grans until tomorrow morning and Darren and I are off to spend some quality time in the pub watching the match! COME ON ENGLAND!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Just A Quick Post

Love this http://www.evolutionofdance.com/ - saw it on Anams Blog. Very funny, go and watch it! Back later with a proper blog update! Also go visit www.kapturedbykirsty.com where Kirsty from our design team AKA Wanna_Scrap? AKA Scrap Yourself Challenge setter has launched her great new photography business. You gotta love the shoe shot in the weddings section :)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

3 Cubs on her Shirt

Today is Englands final warm up matchb efore the world cup and the day before Isabelles birthday. Izzy and Darren got in the party spirit in their England gear. I just love this little T Shirt I got Belle from Sainsburys with 2 little cubs on her shirt! OF course it is from the boys section, there are no nice girls football t shirts - they all say things like "When I grow up I want to be a footballers wife!" YUK!

While Darren watches the match this afternoon I am missing out as I have to go and get the last things we need for her party tomorrow. We are have a Service of Thanksgiving at the church where we got married followed by a birthday party. We decided on a Service of Thanksgiving as we wanted to do something but didn't feel we should have a baptism as we do not regularly attend church and we think if she wants to be baptised when she is older then she should be able to make that choice.

I hope to have lots of lovely pictures to post tomorrow night of all our friends at the service and the party.

Right, I am off to buy cocktail sausages!

PS It seems that Blogger is not letting me upload my picture and my new music code isn't working :( HOpe to edit it an get it working soon.
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