Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Stuff & Things

I have had a busy fortnight. When I say 'busy', I've not done anything interesting, noteworthy or exciting but the hours and days seem to have disappeared up the big old time hoover. Gone. 

Now, before you read on, there are rants ahead. Skip the next few paragraphs if you don't want to experience my grump ... 

Last week I had big stress over my website domain transfer. Honestly, on Thursday I was ready to give up. I mean totally. Things got shouted, threats about selling my lampworking kit got made and I had a massive strop. Sometimes, this self-employment thing gets to you. In Evita, Madonna sings "Sometimes it's very difficult to keep momentum if it's you that you are following" and she's not wrong. Team the nightmare domain transfer with a load of other niggly bead-related stuff including an email telling me that my "work is very nice and everything but far too expensive" and yeah, you've got a recipe for Bad Mood Laura going on. (And to the woman who emailed me and told me my work is too expensive - no, no it's not, and in future please refrain from telling people who make stuff for a living that their work is too expensive because you probably don't quite get what goes into making it and your words are confidence-knocking and insulting, thank you very much.)

So yeah, I had a wobble and then I gave myself a good old talking-to and told myself to woman up and get on with things. 

Tell you what, though, I managed to retrieve half of my old mailing list. Okay, so it was only half of it but half is better than nothing at all. This meant I was able to import the list into MailChimp and send out a "Hello, remember me?!" email to folk. So that was good. 

Whilst I'm on the subject of mailing lists, and this isn't a moan or a whinge, have you ever marked a mailing list email as spam? And I don't mean unsolicited emails; I mean ones that you personally signed up to or agreed to receive when you made a purchase. By marking that email (that you asked for) as spam, you can get the company's list suspended. Now for a one person outfit, that can be quite the hindrance. So, instead of hitting the 'mark as spam' button, scroll down and use the 'unsubscribe' link instead. 

Okay, I think that's my narkiness all typed out. Thanks for reading all that. 

Tell you what, though; A Very Excellent Thing happened, people. I finally reached my Slimming World target weight!

Slimming World target rewards

In ten months I have lost three stone four pounds, dropped from a size 16 to a size 10-12 and I feel a bazillion times healthier for it. I reached target a couple of weeks ago and now I'm trying to maintain that weight. I still go to my Slimming World group every week to get weighed plus I'd miss everyone if I didn't go. Doing Slimming World has made me think differently about food and I cannot recommend it enough. 

My shed shorts are too big!

I've got to have a wardrobe sort-out. Such a textbook look-I-lost-weight pose but these were the shorts that I used to wear in the shed last summer and also the garment that made me go "Laura, you need to lose weight, woman!" Height of fashion, right? Fiver from Tesco. Size sixteen and the buggers used to dig right into my thighs when I sat down, even with the buttony side legs bits unbuttoned. I put these on the day after I reached target and they literally, actually fell straight off. So yes, I need to get new shed shorts and new dresses.

I'm going to stop typing now because I have beads to make and packages to post but I'll be back later today with another (less moany) post. I know right?! Two posts in one day!

Have a fab Wednesday,


Janine - Cherished Tea Party Hire said...

Pleased you didn't pack it all in! I would miss your beady lovelies and I can't remember the last time I bought lamp work from anyone else (not that there is a lot of bead buying at the minute as my money is mostly going on nappies and breast pads but you get my point!

To the woman who emailed you to say they are too expensive... why bother emailing such tripe? I have been a happy customer of Laura's for about 6 years now (really?) and every single bead I have bought has been worth every penny. Each bead is lovingly made and is perfection, and I mean perfection I can see the amount of time that has gone into making each bead let alone the materials to make it!

Well done on the weight loss Laura! I am so jealous of that tummy right now!

Laura Sparling said...

Thank you SO much, Janine. That means an awful lot. And SIX YEARS?! Blimey.

Lots of love to you and that bump. Nearly there …

L x

Danny Thomas said...

Sounds like you had a poor time, but don't forget a number of people also jumped to your defence, which hopefully made you feel better.

By the way, the shorts shot looks great! Well done!

Anonymous said...

Laura, Congrats and well done on getting to target weight! It is very encouraging to me that you made it. I joined SW about 10 weeks ago and have a similar amount to lose as you had; so it is nice to hear a success story. As they say "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels".

In recent years I have tried to buy gifts from artists like yourself - so much better than buying massed produced goods that are produced cheaply at the expense of often poor voiceless workers. Just a few good things that will last a lifetime are better than many things that will be dumped into a skip after one season.

And on the point of working for yourself - I get that this must be difficult at times - trying to stay motivated. But on the other hand you could be like me - working for a big greedy corporation - sometimes so disheartening.

So keep going, many of us love your beads and quite a few family members of mine wear them!!!

Lots of good wishes, Theresa. (Cambridge)

Laura Sparling said...

Thank you, Danny. And yes, they did but it's always the way; negative feedback seems to overshadow positive feedback. It makes you doubt yourself.

And Theresa! That's fab. How are you finding SW? Give me a shout if you want any recipes or encouragement. :-) Thank you so much for your lovely words.

Laura x

Sandy Burnett said...

I always love it when people say my prices are too high (especially when it comes to stained glass repairs). I then react and say, "OK, I'll do it for FREE, but you have to be there the whole time...oh, and plan on about 5 hours to fix your $20 suncatcher." That seems to shut them up REAL fast...all the sudden my prices aren't so high. Offer that to the lady - then maybe she'll realize just how economical our handcrafted items are - better yet - offer her a free class! Then she'll really appreciate your talent!

Caroline B said...

Well done you skinny thing! Wish I could raise the enthusiasm to do the same.

I totally agree with your rant on being 'expensive' - I've had that thrown at me on numerous occasions and it never fails to smart. I think there are children in Asian sweatshops that get paid more per hour than I pay myself if I was to sit down and work it out. Can't remember which artist it was that when someone complained about having to pay £100 for a sketch that took half an hour to do gave the great reply 'Yes, but it's taken me fifty years of hard work to be good enough to draw this in half an hour.' We appreciate your skill, don't get disheartened!

TiaraHelen said...

Wow well done on loosing weight, that's what I have to loose too. Except my tum will never look as smooth as yours does even if I lost SIX stone!
Stoopid lady who emailed you about charging too much - you can charge whatever you like and anyway I think your beads are great value.
Keep up the good work, helen x

Laura Sparling said...

Sandy - I like your style! Nice one.

Caroline - yep, I hear you. I don't think I'm even on a pound an hour when I work it out. And yes, whenever anyone asks me how long it takes to make a bead I say "About ten minutes and nine years".

Helen - thank you very much for your lovely words. Much appreciated.

Thanks for all the weight loss compliments, everyone!

Laura X