Phew! This is about how I feel at the moment - I could just turn turtle and let everything go.
It's been an exhausting few weeks. Every time I think I've just got a hold on all the different threads, one of them slips, and I have to race to grab it, and try not to let them all get tangled again.
There has been the major issue of a car bill for £1600 - but Thank Goodness I AM mobile again. And vet's fees. And a pony with a sore back that needed a new saddle. The owl daughter rode bareback for a couple of weeks, but Marlene needed a good saddle that was comfy. Studio rent combined with Steve going into hospital for an op (not major, but means a couple of weeks off work). Etc.....
So this meant I needed a rethink, and the upshot of that was the decision to pull out of the nice rented studio, and move back to my shed in the garden. Actually, this doesn't feel like a step backwards - I was struggling to find time to get to the studio, and felt like my whole family was suffering by me being stretched too thinly.Even the dogs were miserable and Daisy was stressy at being left alone all day - she does like company. Instead I have spent the last few weeks madly trying to reline and waterproof the old shed, as well as building a small new extension on the front of it. It's great, and it means I can work in the evenings without abandoning the children.
I even did most of the building myself! I'm pretty handy with a drill and saw :)
Being done on a shoestring meant some head scratching over a few issues - for instance the insulation. But I had a sudden brainwave, and raced down to Proper Job recycling centre where I gathered an armful of old single duvets. These fit nicely, one to each shed panel, stapled into place! It does however make the shed look rather like a padded cell.
So I'm finally ready to work again, and, even better, BT came out and fixed my phone line at last, so the Internet works properly again. To celebrate, I have spent the last 2 days uploading originals and new prints to my Etsy shop. There are still a few more to go, but they should be finished by the weekend. BUT I'm afraid prices of prints are going to go up, as ink and paper prices seem to have increased disproportionately since I last bought them. I wont adjust them until next Monday, and, as a special 'Thank you' to all my blog readers who have faithfully stuck with me despite my appalling lack of updates recently, I am offering a discount code giving 10% off everything in the shop (including originals) BEFORE the price rise next Monday. It's only valid until Monday morning, so now is the chance to grab anything that you really want :)
You need to quote PAYTHECARBILL2011 at the checkout and your 10% discount will automatically be taken off.
Meanwhile, between working in the garden and mending the shed, we have spent lots of time with the ponies. Captain has been pretty much taken over by eldest daughter, and is universally adored. He is beginning to learn to jump, and is enthusiastic about logs and ditches, but quite bemused by coloured poles!
Marlene is working hard, and reaching that adolescent stage where she is beginning to test her boundaries. She is a bright little pony, and easily bored, so we have to keep doing new things with her.
I've even found time to start my baby Piper, who is very keen to start work and go out with her friends. I haven't been in too much of a hurry with her as she is still growing, and higher behind than at the wither.
The exciting news that has happened while I have been busy, is that a fabric printing and transfer company, Kats Magical Patches, has been using some of my images under licence to make a range of printed fabric patches and iron-on transfers. Do have a look at them - they are really coo, and you'll find several familiar artists there :)