Feeling a little discouraged…

Now the initial excitement/nervous energy has worn off, I must confess to feeling slightly downhearted about things.  Logical me knows that building up a customer base and getting orders takes time and hard work.  Illogical, anxious, doubting me though is finding it hard work at the moment.  All the social media time spent going ‘hey look at my amazing products’ is not in my comfort zone at all and the fact that so far my orders are still below the number 10 has allowed the negative me to have a slight wallow in the miserable mud.

I am determined to shake this off though and soon!  The hard work will continue and in time I am sure that I will reap the rewards….okay I am not feeling sure of anything at the moment…trying to keep the positive hat at least near my head if not actually on it.  I have been spending time drawing up plans for how I want social media to work for me and planning some expansions to my range.  Going to start working on these soon – fingers crossed they ignite both my happiness and sales!

Showing off my 'amazing' drawing skills. Good job my business isn't selling my artwork...

Showing off my ‘amazing’ drawing skills. Good job my business isn’t selling my artwork…

52 Week Dogwood Challenge

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Over recent years I have found myself exploring my artistic side more and more.  It has always been there yet I think I pushed it aside thinking that it was not something for someone like me, I was supposed to have a sensible career where I achieved many great things.  Seems so silly to me now looking back on it.  Struggles with illness, anxiety and depression lead me to explore who I was and to find things to occupy my overworked little mind.  I started trying out many things of a creative and artistic nature and this is where Mr B’s Button Jamboree came from as well as new found hobbies such as knitting and sewing.  Photography had always been something I had enjoyed doing, though it was mostly point and shot photography of quite a typical nature.  Over the last few years though I have been developing more of a sense of the style and type of photography I really enjoy doing as well as making tentative steps away from the automatic settings on my camera!  Here is a small selection of some of the many thousand that I took on our travels…

 

Phillip aka Colobus Yeti (check out his blog!) bought the 52 Week Dogwood Challenge to my attention.  It is designed to challenge and develop photography skills both technical and creative.  Despite my misgivings over the fact that about one third of the weeks focus on people photography – an area I really am not keen on, give me inanimate objects any day of the year – I have decided to go for it.  Developing my photography was on my list I drew up in the New Year mentioned in my post on 7th Jan and so this seems such a thing to help drive me on to do so.  Is quite tough putting my photographs out there for people to see, hopefully the experience will help me to develop as a person too.  So here goes…my entry for week 1 in the 52 week challenge was…

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Inspiration behind the name

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So you know Mr B’s Button Jamboree is a small business that makes button jewellery…where does the name come from though?!  I thought I would explain the thoughts behind the name.

Buttons:

Being a business all about buttons, the word buttons needed to go into the title – you never know how people might come to your business, any search for buttons may well lead someone to my door.

Jamboree:

Quite simply I love this word.  It is so full of exuberance, life and celebration.  The jamboree part of the name reflects how the bright and colourful buttons that I tend to use make me feel.

Mr B’s:

This is perhaps the most important part of the name.  I once had the remarkable good fortune to have in my life one of the best cats I have ever encountered…Arnold aka Mr B.  Okay I may be a little biased as he was my cat, everyone that encountered him though said what a special cat he was.  I knew before I even saw him that he was meant to be mine.  We went to the cat shelter to get a new cat, a cat for me as Phillip had got his cat on our last visit.  On our first walk round, Arnold was nowhere to be seen in his enclosure.  After walking round and seeing many fine cats, something in me said I needed to go back and make sure I saw him.  So I did and this time, his little face was peeking round the corner at me and that was it, he was mine.  We always shared a special bond and he would pine when I wasn’t around.  It is impossible to put into words why he was so special – funny, tolerant, fluffy tummy, noisy, protective, fond of ginger cats and no others… all words that describe him yet are not him.  When he died 4 years ago, he left a huge gap in my life and I still miss him heaps.  So as a nod to my wonderful cat I named my business after him…now you know the reason for the cat logo too 🙂

Happy New Year! (for 6 days ago)

Yes I know…I am a little late with the new year wishes…

I decided to give myself a nice long holiday over the festive period and am only just getting back into the swing of things.  The second half of 2015 had been been so hard, busy and chock full of changes I felt like I needed (and deserved) a break away from Mr B’s Button Jamboree.  Our festive break included visitors from Kent and Japan.  My mum and dad (hello!) spent Christmas with us and stayed in a posh holiday cottage at Lanercost Priory

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Christmas Day with my parents

Immediately afterwards we had a flying visit from one of our friends from Tokyo.  She came all the way from Japan to spend a week in the UK before spending a few nights in Berlin – her time in Cumbria was a whopping 21 hours!

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Pub time and a windy visit to Hadrian’s Wall with Takemoto-san

After all that visiting I gave myself a few days of nothing – it was lovely though we both found it weird being at home where we both work…and not working.  The perils of working from home I suppose!  I did spend some time thinking about how I want to be spending my time when not working.  I really want to make the most of this new way of life for us both and so drew up a little list of the hobbies and interests I want to pursue or develop as well as things I want to get sorted.  Over the years I have realised that getting things down on paper is a good head clearer for me and a useful reminder of what I want to achieve.  So whilst not quite New Year resolutions, they are a reminder to enjoy my time and spend it wisely.

Hello 2016 and welcome…I look forward to all that you bring.