Red Fuchsia, Purple Meadow and Christmas
Fiona Small Messenger Handbag in Purple Meadow

Red Fuchsia, Purple Meadow and Christmas

Finally!

Wow, has it been a while since I wrote a blog post.  In early October I got a call from the RTE Nationwide office to say that the following day they intended to show the piece they filmed with me , as part of a package relating to the Local Enterprise Office “Women in Enterprise” day.  This was exciting, so I prepared myself for half an hour of hiding behind the couch as it was broadcast and then possibly a few extra online orders. I sorted out all my cutting, denim, straps and metalwork.

And that was the start of it. Suddenly I had amazing customers from the length and breadth of Ireland (and beyond), and I have only just finished up and completed the last of the orders yesterday.  I had to close the online shop on Friday 11th December  because An Post brought forward the last posting date for parcels to be delivered before Christmas to 15 December, and it takes me a while to make each bag.  The last order went into the post on Monday 14 December, with a couple of deliveries locally to be done in the coming days. And that’s it.

An inside zip pocket with stripy denim lining
An inside zip pocket with stripy denim lining

One thing I noticed is that lots of people loved the option to have an inside zip pocket in their Sallyann Bag.  I use denim to make these pockets (of course), and as you can see from this picture above, every now and then the denim I find is stripy. Funky pockets!

New Fabrics

Clare Large Messenger Bag in Red Fuchsia
Clare Large Messenger Bag in Red Fuchsia

As promised in my last blog post, I did produce new colour ways of two of my most popular fabric designs, Fuchsia and Meadow.  So please welcome Red Fuchsia and Purple Meadow!

Tara Large Zip Top Handbag in Purple Meadow
Tara Large Zip Top Handbag in Purple Meadow

I was really pleased with the way these two colour ways turned out, so I got them printed onto my super soft neckband fabric as well. Both have proved popular, with Red Fuchsia neckbands proving a particular hit at the Chapel Lane Markets I’ve done recently. The good people of Ennis and Clare obviously like red.

Neckband in Purple Meadow
Neckband in Purple Meadow
Neckband in Red Fuchsia
Neckband in Red Fuchsia

As the wearing of face coverings continues to be important, I’ve found that I actually do not mind wearing these neckbands over my face, especially on the recent cold mornings we’ve had.  I always did like to wear a scarf most days in the Winter anyway as I really don’t like having a cold neck, but I’m now a definite convert to a neckband. For a start, they don’t become loose and fall off – they remain snug around my neck.

In the coming weeks I hope to introduce some warm fleecy neckbands which will be perfect for keeping the January chill off – watch this space!

Winding down

As Christmas approaches and I have completed the major items on the to do list, I’ve been enjoying my morning walks a bit more. The pressure to get up and down the road in quick smart time has decreased. I’m walking just before sunrise at the moment, and the skies can be quite beautiful sometimes.

Sunrise
Sunrise
Simnel Cake
Simnel Cake

Regular readers of my infrequent blogs will know that I love to bake, and last Sunday was the first day I managed to make a cake in a good few months.  Mike, my husband, is the only member of the household to like fruitcake, and his favourite is not a dark and dense Christmas Cake, but a simnel cake. Technically this is an Easter cake, and it involves two discs of marzipan, one baked into the body of the fruit cake and one placed on top. Here it is before the top disc of marzipan was placed on it. If those dark bits on the top were chocolate I’d be fighting everyone off the cake, but as it is fruit not chocolate, Mike will be enjoying this fruitcake all to himself. He’s not complaining.

Sea swimming is back

One thing that had to get put aside whilst I was so busy was my trip down to the beach for a swim. The time it takes from my day, and the fact that the sea is more than 5km from my home, means that especially during lockdown a trip to the sea couldn’t happen. Now I have a little time and space, I am planning to start back again.  I suspect that the first few times will be very brief, as I haven’t been in nearly 3 months, and I haven’t had the last few weeks of regular swims to acclimatise to the cold water. I reckon the first swim will be a 30 second dip, but the best thing will be to see my sea swimming friends down at the beach.  A Christmas Day swim is an annual tradition here even for people who wouldn’t normally swim in the sea on the hottest of July days, so I’ll definitely be down on Christmas Day too.

Happy Christmas!

Bag Making HQ's Christmas Tree
Bag Making HQ’s Christmas Tree

Thank you to all of you for making 2020 such a remarkable year, despite everything that has been thrown at us all by Covid 19! Thank you for shopping locally, for supporting small Irish businesses like mine and for discovering the joy of things made by small producers. And here’s hoping that as 2021 arrives, along with the chance to finally beat the virus with vaccination, we can begin to emerge and meet each other again, to enjoy the simple pleasures of meeting friends for coffee and making plans for events like Bloom. And continuing to enjoy shopping locally…who knew there were so many fabulous bookshops (my personal shopping weakness) to choose from around here?

My website will be re-opening for orders very shortly, for delivery of handbags and neckbands after Christmas, and you’ll be pleased to know that the Clare Large Messenger Handbag will be available in Red Fuchsia when it does reopen!

Have a wonderful, restful, safe and virus free Christmas and New Year. With luck, a vaccine and a fair wind we can look forward to a very different year to 2020!