Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Catch up of the week!

We went to my Annual Childminding Borough Ball last Thursday and they presented me (and 2 others in the borough) with a HUGE bunch of flowers for getting the top grading this year at our OFSTED inspection. Was a big surprise (altho Lance knew about it, cheeky boy!), and a lovely evening.

They put on this dinner dance annually as a thank you for the hard work the childminders do for the kids in the borough. We are like mini nurseries anyway, doing the same paperwork, curriculum etc. that nurseries do, just within the home setting. The Early Years team recognises this and appreciates us... which makes the job all the better!

Baby stuff
We have been busy busy our side making appts and are seeing a fertility specialist in Johannesburg in January... interested to see how that goes!!! We have heard back from a couple of Spanish fertility clinics, but are trying South African
fertility clinics first. It makes practical sense as we will be holidaying there next month.

The heavy meds I am on are having certain side effects.. and one of the things I have with them is being a scatterbrain and you need to repeat yourself a couple times sometimes! I also get tired easily. There are worse side effects though (like going blind!), so I think I am doing okay. But rather that and being able to breathe... they are also adding on the pounds tho, which is upsetting! I do hope I'll be able to only be on the two inhalers and not the steroid tablets when we return to South Africa.

Work in South Africa when we return
I have had strong interest this week in supplying my handmade paper products to a couple of retailers in Johannesburg. I used to have a product design company in Cape Town and we supplied hotels, retail chains, owner shops, did wedding stationery etc.

This closed when we emigrated to England.

Now I had two inquiries, which is exciting as I am glad they love what I did, but I am unable to start providing them with products now, will have to be in 2010 earliest! When we have returned to South Africa.

I have used up all my stock a long time ago, so cannot show actual products to the two potential buyers - but can show pictures of course in January - it's worth talking about now, even though at an early stage.

I am far too busy with my childminding and design freelancing to even fairly contemplate any more work now anyway. I have also been asked by the borough Early Years head to run workshops in the New Year for prospective childminders (at £25 an hour... not a bad idea!), and I am so passionate about it I would love to give this a go. Would be on Saturdays.

Having said that, I am keen to get going when we return to South Africa - 2010 is not far away... We will ensure we have premisis for a decent-sized studio for me, and I could make the paper, then the cards, crackers, invites etc. I am not keen to have a factory and all the staff like I did before tbh, but working from my own premisis and with a couple of helpers during busy times is fine.

I will not supply chain stores again due to the high quantity (and veeeery low prices!) needed, but it would be super to have some consistent clients like the two aforementioned - offering them a variety of quality products within the same product range. This would also lend them exclusivity in the area. They could then also add my wedding stationery to the wedding services they already offer.

So, I will just explain that we will have to wait a bit. We need to do this properly. At least they know the products are good quality (SA Woolworths quality!), can be customised etc. and will be LOCAL!

I am also keen to start a little (maybe even half day only - will see what the need is) playgroup with a few kiddies. I am passionate about kids and paper and design and would love to have a good mix of both... much like I do now - childminding and freelancing - but a tad differently of course! I miss working with my hands and creating different papers. We are also keen to have some kind of self catering business... so lots on the cards, just not too sure how it'll pan out.

At least we know the area we will return to live in in South Africa - somewhere where nether of us have lived before, or have family, and will explore it a lot more in January - we have been keeping a good eye on house and farm prices and like so many, so are confident we'll find one that suits our needs. We will have to buy one in 2010, prior to our return. Would be great if I have a few orders to already start when we move out there!!!

Exciting stuff!

What does the future hold for you do you think?
What plans have you got?
Do you live life on a 'wing and a prayer'?


  1. Congrats on your score at the Ball - that's wonderful! Your work is just beautiful - love those papers!

  2. Sera, thank you so much!!! I had my product deisng company for 5 years and it was so successful. I have since moved on and started another business overseas but miss the manual making of paper. No room in my London home! lol