It's me, Ali!
Who's that I hear you ask! I know that I haven't blogged "as me" for quite a while and I do apologise for that. I have been so caught up with the Cheeky Chats and the Cheeky Blogs, that I have had no time at all to put together a blog from me to you. So here it is, a summary of what's been going on in my Cheeky world recently.
Sorry I had to have a picture of Tom in todays blog and the only reason he is there is to match up with the title, "What's New Pussy cat". Well that and the fact I think he's fabulous :)
so what's been going on in my neck of the woods?......................
On the work front, this week has been very exciting for me. You may have heard that I have been asked to write for Contemporary Handmade Alliance. Me!! I couldn't quite believe it when I got the e mail from Christine, the editor. Even my husband was lost for words and admitted he was rather proud of me!! Now that's a first. I have always loved and respected The Contemporary Handmade Alliance and have been a fan of their FB page since I first set up my own. So I am truly honoured to have been asked to write for them. I was very, very nervous writing my first piece, but was told to just be myself. So I did what I was told (there has to be a first for everything) and my first post goes out next week!! I am very excited. Have you noticed? This is me on the contributors page!!
other exciting Cheeky Chat News...........................
The other exciting news is that I will now be collaborating closely with Tanya from Tickle The Imagination. When Tanya read my blog, saying that I was wanting to back off from the Cheeky Chats a little, as it was taking over my business page, she offered to help me out. The Cheeky Chats will continue, but over on Tanya's FB page. Tuesdays at 8pm. We have decided to hold them once a month as we wouldn't want you all to get bored and this way it's something to look forward to. It will be nice and relaxed, lot's of chat, no experts and we will all hopefully get together and come up with some fabulous topics. All you will need to bring is your preferred beverage and a few nibbles :)
The next chat is Tuesday 20th March, 8pm, Tickle The Imagination's page
My website is being designed as we speak by the lovely Bianca over at Little Big Box, so for the first time ever you will be able to buy my work without having to contact me first. Very excited to see the website.
what's new with my work......................................
Since starting the Cheeky Chats my business has headed off onto a totally different path. It's not the path that I had planned, but it's been very scenic and I've enjoyed trying out new things, networking with some amazing ladies and making some lovely friends along the way. These friends have helped me realise, especially Jane from Snapdragon and Becky from Dot's and Spot's that the only way for Cheeky Pickle to move forward is to really concentrate on what I want to do. To spend time tweaking what I have worked hard on, making my product better and better. So this is what I'm currently doing. I've totally stopped custom orders and I am using that time to experiment with all the ideas that have been roaming around in my head for a very long time.
About six months ago, you may remember me trying out some layering techniques. I really wanted to push these ideas, but just never had the time. It's only now that I have been able to get some of my many ideas down on paper. These first two photo's are of my initial layering ideas six months ago.
So once given a little time to experiment, I really started to push my ideas. I really LOVE these new designs pictured below. These are ME, these are Cheeky Pickle! Hope you like them too. Here and here are the rest in this series. Watch out for many more designs with this organic and free feeling
not feeling my cheeky self......................
Apologies if todays blog isn't it's usual Cheeky self. It's because I'm not feeling MY usual cheeky self! Running a business from home is hard. Yes I know going out to work is hard too (my hubby likes to reminds me of this fact every day!!) but trying to get on with some work when you are being shouted at by the kids and with a pile of washing and ironing permanently staring at you, makes it tricky to focus on anything.
So looking back on last year, yes I do feel like I neglected my children slightly and the mothers guilt is as massive as ever. My business was taking off, I was making money and I was managing to do it all around the kids with very little child care and no family back up. I know, Superwoman!!
My youngest started 3 year old Kinder a few weeks ago (she is actually 41/2 but I held her back). To cut a very long story short she has a few medical issues (from birth) and we were a little worried as to how she would cope with Kinder. However, she had been to occasional care before and has had no problems coping with separation anxiety.
But it's clear after only a few weeks that she isn't coping with the changes that have happened this year. The last few weeks have been emotionally exhausting and heart breaking for the whole family to see her struggling so much. So we have decided to pull her out of occasional card and I am going to "be there 100%" for her from now on.
things have changed.............
So things have changed for Cheeky Pickle this year. Family comes first, business second and time to work is almost non existent. I have future plans for Cheeky Pickle. BIG plans. I would love to have my designs in shops all over the world, to print on canvas and make my work HUGE. To print on material and have items like aprons, T Towels, oven gloves, pencil cases, bags, T Shirts, wrapping paper, mugs. You name it I want it.
But my little one won't be 4 ever again. She is having a really tough time of it right now and if I don't just stop and support her, then I am not worthy to call myself her mother am I really?