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Happy New Year and the first post of 2024

Yeah I know I’m late with that but it’s been a heck of a year already and it’s only February. I've been meaning to kick off 2024 with this first post to explain the crickets on my socials but hey, these things take time. Decided to write January off as I wasn’t in any kind of mindset for meaningful discourse. Multiple reasons but the main one was big son went up to Scotland for a week in December and came back a few days before Christmas feeling and looking absolutely grim. Christmas Eve I started to get an irritating cough, Christmas came and went, then boxing day hit and oh boy did the illness start swinging punches. I lost two weeks with having a raging flu (did the test and apparently wasn’t covid) and it took several weeks after that before I could stand or walk without pain or sheer exhaustion. I’ve not been that ill in years! Our whole house was floored with it but lucky me, I got hit worst. So that was January out the window and rather than forcing it, I took a step back to concentrate on finishing the final 5 trees on a commission I’ve been working on over a few months. That’s been an intense personal challenge; 15 trees (16 if you include the trial one to see if it was suitable) in a similar windswept design. Challenging because usually I’ll flit from one tree design to the next, different colours, styles of leaves… and that’s the kind of thing I thrive on because it’s always something different to be working on or aiming for. This was more ‘production line’ type making which I thought I might struggle with but nope, when my head was in a non flu / non anything else going on to distract me type space I totally ran with it. It wasn’t all samey anyway as I made each one a little bit different either with slight colour variation or changed the leaf patterns a wee bit throughout each tree. It wasn’t planned that way but that’s just the way it progresses sometimes. So that was January and some of February. And in the midst of that going on, I’ve had two poorly dogs that have required multiple vets visits resulting in one going on a hypoallergenic diet and me going off on a tailspin reading as much as I can about how best to manage everything. I can summarise it neatly in a few lines here but it’s been an ongoing concern for a few months now. Turns out having dogs is a lot like having children and certainly no less stressful when they’re unwell. Also, if anyone wants to have a glimpse into what it would be like without the NHS, just buy a pet and see how quickly the costs mount up when any health issues arise. To say I’m grateful to still have a functioning business right now would be an understatement. All that aside, I’ve managed to organise my space a little better by buying a lovely tall bookcase / shelving unit thing. See, I bought a load of Really Useful boxes last year thinking this would help … and it did up to a point. But it was still a faff shifting them all just to get to the one I wanted (which would always be under heavier ones). They were also stacked under my desk, beside my desk and on other units; basically everything everywhere still. And now it’s all in one place and so much easier to access. Living in a small space sure gives you great tetris skills! Seriously though, when you work from home, it takes over your life in ways you don’t even think about and this one relatively small change has already made a world of difference to my headspace as well as the physical one.

A shelving unit in wood effect with black metal frame, filled with see through storage boxes containing wire trees, paints, and other business related stuff
We love storage!

The end of February is near and with it brings the annual SBS event in Birmingham. I’ve managed to attend one event which was in 2020, a month before the first lockdown. So strange thinking back on that now and still find it difficult to process the enormity of it given the lack of precautions in place now when covid is still very much in circulation. But I digress. I won’t be able to make the event this year, not because I’ve been unceremoniously kicked out or anything, but the whole transport/cost/care duties (human and canine) means my time from home is always limited. I’m sorry to be missing it as it’s a chance to meet up with people in real life that I only generally converse with online, not to mention all the guest talks. I hope everyone that is going has a fantastic day and I’ll look forward to seeing everyone’s photos.

A round badge with an orange and turquoise border with text #SBS official winner Twysted Roots Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday
SBS Winners badge

And that's it for the first post of the year. Hopefully won't be as long until the next one. New tree so I have something pretty for the post thumbnail.

A deep pink and purple bead and gunmetal coloured wire tree sitting on a reel of wire. Tree also has gold effect beads dotted through it
Newest tree make as of 20th Feb 2024

Peace out!


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