Customer Orders – February 2017

Our blog has been pretty quiet lately as my Fibromyalgia has been playing havoc so I have been concentrating on working on customer orders and not spending as much time on the computer but I’m hoping that as my current flare starts to settle down I’ll be able to post more regular updates.

Today I thought I would share with you some of my latest customer ordered, personalised handcrafted greetings cards. All of these are eight inch square cards with designs chosen specifically for our customers requirements – I hope you like them as much as I enjoyed working on them πŸ™‚

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Cards And Candles For All Occasions

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A New Year, A New Plan… Moving Our Business Forward

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We are back!!!

Happy New Year, I Hope you all had a wonderful festive period with your loved ones and are having a great start to 2017.

Today we re-open Cards And Candles For All Occasions after our extended, one month, Christmas break and along with those closest to me we have decided that I need to make some changes to the way I run the business.

As much as I love the handcrafted work I do and dealing with so many amazing people, both customers and suppliers, over the past few months I have been forced to stop and look at my own health too. Since launching Cards And Candles For All Occasions in April 2010, I have been working full time hours every day of every week, some times working straight through the night to meet customer deadlines or get things all done and the realisation has now come to me that I cannot continue in this way.

At thirty six years old, I have been suffering with Fibromyalgia, Depression and Anxiety for a number of years and especially over the past eighteen months my health has been deteriorating, there are days where I feel unable to function but I sit at my desk doing the best that I can to fulfill all of my commitments to our business and customers.

The end part of 2016 was particularly difficult for me as my health was not in a good place due to the hours I was working, I was taking on more orders than I could handle as I did not want to disappoint anyone and in turn this was adding to the need for working excessive hours and stress levels were rising. It was getting to the stage whereby I could barely function effectively as I was so exhausted, in huge amounts of pain and I constantly felt stressed. Something needed to change.

I took the decision to have an extended break over the Christmas period to give myself some time to recharge (I slept most of Christmas, only really waking up for my pain medication), re-evaluate the future of Cards And Candles For All Occasions and plan the best way to move forward with my business. The thought of closing the business was considered and discussed, but this is the last thing I want to do. I know what I want to do, I just have to put those plans into action.

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Over the last couple of weeks we have made a lot of decisions about the future of Cards And Candles For All Occasions and how we plan to move the business forward… in order for me to be able to continue with the handcrafted business which I love, the biggest change I have to make is to reduce the hours in my working week.

Until now I have pretty much been working seven days a week, every hour possible and it is having a detrimental effect on my health – the increasing pain, the insomnia and exhaustion, the mental effects of Fibromyalgia, they all contribute to making me miserable and the thing I have found hardest of all is accepting that I cannot keep up with the lifestyle and working life I held before Fibromyalgia took over.

I never thought I would end up in a wheelchair with a chronic illness at just thirty five years old!! But here I am, this is the life I have and now I have to move forward with a plan to make the most of what I have, make things so that they are manageable and in the bigger picture remember to look after myself too.

I need to find a suitable “Work + Life = Balance” otherwise, as a friend stated this morning:

You need to stick to the plan sweetheart or you will be permanently closed. Invest in you xx

The last thing that I want to do is to be forced by my health to close my business, but I can totally agree with the above comment as the way I was going before Christmas I was heading for a serious burn out and I cannot afford either physically, mentally or financially to risk this in the long-term.

Today is a big day for Cards And Candles For All Occasions as not only are we re-opening for 2017, but today is also the day we are implementing the changes which have been decided upon which will allow me to continue to work with you, our wonderful customers, on the unique, handcrafted and personalised products we all love.

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As I have said above, the biggest change we are making to Cards And Candles For All Occasions is our business working hours, with immediate effect our working hours are as follows:

Monday – open from 11:00am until 5:00pm

Tuesday – open from 12:00noon until 6:00pm

Wednesday – CLOSED

Thursday – open from 11:00am until 5:00pm

Friday – open from 11:00am until 5:00pm

Saturday – CLOSED

Sunday CLOSED

We hope that you will understand our reasons for reducing our working hours and in time, once we adjust to our new schedule we are hoping that it will make us more efficient in dealing with your enquiries and processing/handcrafting your orders. My hope is that by reducing my working hours it will help to improve my mental and physical health allowing me to be more productive when I am working, therefore if all goes to plan there should be minimal disruption to our customers.

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The second change that we are making to Cards And Candles For All Occasions to help in moving forward more efficiently is lead times for our orders, with immediate effect we have listed below the minimum amount of notice we will require for each product we sell to allow us to source materials, design and handcraft your product ready for dispatch:

Standard Greeting Cards
Minimum 10 days notice

Keepsake Cards (eg. Bookatrix, Easel Drawer, Handbag)
Minimum 14 days notice

Exploding Box Keepsake
Minimum 21 days notice

Ecosoy Candles
Minimum 14 days notice

Wooden Gifts (eg. Themed Frames, Plaques, Candle Holders)
Minimum 21 days

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and look forward to working with you throughout 2017 and beyond.

xxx Love Laura xxx

Cards And Candles For All Occasions website

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Blogs I Follow – The Fat Cactus

I recently found a new blog to follow – this blog belongs to one of the lovely ladies who works in the craft shop I regularly use. The Craft Room at Garners is my favourite local craft shop as it stocks such a wide variety of crafting supplies and the ladies who work there are all fab, I can easily lose hours in this shop between browsing and chatting πŸ™‚

When I found Teresa’s blog I knew that I would be adding it to my “following” list and checking it out regularly as her work is amazing and she incorporates so many different techniques and it’s definitely a blog to follow if you’re looking for inspiration, on those days when the crafting mojo has gone walkabout.

While browsing this morning I came across this blog post “THE EAST WIND NEW RELEASE – TRANSFORMATION” and I instantly knew I could relate to the sentiment of this piece ‘It’s never too late to find out who you want to be’ as with all the life changes I have gone through in the past twelve months and personal challenges I continue to face, this is a really important sentiment and something we should all remember.

Teresa’s use of colour and patterns in the background are beautiful… the main image and sentiments are stamped perfectly and coloured in such pretty colours – she has a wonderful talent!!

Its all perspective

I would definitely recommend that you pop over to visit “The Fat Cactus” blog and take a look around for some amazing work and lots of inspiration πŸ™‚

Thank you for sharing your work for everyone to enjoy Teresa!

xx Love Laura xx

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It’s 2016 and we’re open for business!!!

πŸ’» 🎨 🎈 βœ‚ πŸŽ‰ We are back!! πŸŽ‰ βœ‚ 🎈 🎨 ☎

We are now OPEN for business, back to normal after our Christmas break.

Thanks to the flare up of my Fibromyalgia and damaging the ligaments in my knee while visiting family in Scotland over the festive period, I thought it was bestΒ to extend my break by an extra week to recharge my batteries and hopefully get the pain, etc to a manageable state.

I am determined to control my Fibro, it won’t control me… I have a business to run!!

So here I am… as IΒ sit here looking at 2016, thinking about the year ahead, Β I have lots of new ideas to work on, I have some new stock which needs to be photographed and uploaded and a few pieces of new stock just to be framed which will then be ready to go 🎨

Is there anything in particular you would like to see from Cards And Candles For All Occasions throughout the coming months?

We are looking into a few different sales avenues to run alongside our website and this page and will update you on those as soon as any plans are finalised.

It’s great to be back, but please bare with me as I get back into the swing of things and get all of our new year admin sorted out πŸ“– πŸ“ πŸ“– πŸ“ πŸ“–

Let’s hope it’s a great year for us all!!!

Looking back over the past twelve months, I would like to share some of my favourite makes of 2015:

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Valentine gift box

Badger’s Woodcrafts – Hairband Display Stand

We have been ever so busy here at Badger’s Woodcrafts HQ, now we have finally moved into a unit rather than working in our back garden we are far more productive.

We are proud to tell you that we are now sharing premises with Buzzworx, Cards And Candles For All Occasions and Kelly’s Enchanted Castle.

We were recently asked by Kelly’s Enchanted Castle if we could design and make a bespoke headband/hairband display stand for their range of hand made hair accessories and as we are hoping to expand our product range to include display and storage solutions for crafters, this was something we were eager to get to work on.

Kelly’s Enchanted Castle Website

The only things which were set in stone with regards to this order were that one rail needed to fixed for stability and to display alice bands and the other needed to be removable to add the crochet headbands for display. After chatting over designs and styles with Kelly and sketching out some ideas, we unveiled the finished piece on Friday and everyone seems very happy with the result.

This display stand is thirty inches in length, the bottom ‘alice band’ rail has been covered with a velvet fabric, while the top removable ‘headband’ rail has been painted in a purple acrylic paint.

Badger’s Woodcrafts on Facebook

Badger’s Woodcrafts Website

These stands can be made in any length to suit your requirements and we would be happy to discuss the size of display you require.

Kelly couldn’t wait to try out her completed display stand and here it is with a few of her handmade hair accessories to show the structure.

Price for this item is dependant on size, please email us at info@badgerswoodcrafts.co.uk to discuss.

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Cards And Candles For All Occasions’ Website

Are you looking for someone who is an expert in the field of custom camper and van conversions and maintenance? Perhaps you are looking for some carpentry, joinery or vinyl sign-writing work to be done? Would decals for your business displayed on your vehicle help to boost your business? Or maybe you even have the vehicle you want, the in-car entertainment you’d like but are looking for someone to install it for you? For any of these needs, then look no further than www.buzz-worx.co.uk where a talented team of hardworking enthusiasts will be happy to discuss your requirements.

Buzz-Worx on Facebook

Buzz-Worx Website