I was over the moon to be invited to be a featured maker, and join a select group of wonderfully talented UK-based makers, artists and designers. Each of us are interviewed for the Folksy blog (quite challenging – it made me really consider what I do and why) and there’s also a Folksy Instagram Takeover!
I am so glad I went with opening a Folksy shop for my side hustle Rudy and the Rowan Tree – the team are really helpful and supportive and the wider community of sellers are a lovely bunch! I like the fact that the Folksy platform is relatively small and easy to navigate, and is always my go-to place for good quality, handcrafted gifts. Starting as a little sideline to use up some wooden off-cuts two years ago, RATRT has become a part of my business where I can just mess about with paint, experiment with colour and texture, and generally go where the mood takes me! Who knows where that will be, but it’s guaranteed to be fun (for me if not for anyone else!).
Thanks for reading and please check out my Folksy interview here x
So we’re about to enter our third week of lockdown in the UK.
There’s a sentence I wasn’t expecting to write!
Full disclosure: my daily routine really hasn’t changed due to already living an extremely quiet, solitary (if you don’t count the dog and the husband) existence in the countryside, mostly making things and going for walks. I’m very fortunate in that regard. So this blog post is not going to be about how daily life has changed beyond all recognition. I feel for all the people who’s world has been turned upside down by this current crisis, most of all those who have succumbed to the virus, and their families who are dealing with a personal tragedy amid the chaos. I think about the NHS and frontline workers, the parents, the carers, the people who are struggling to make ends meet until funds come through (if they come through). The small business owners who could lose everything they’ve worked so hard for. Here’s hoping life can return to relative normality soon before too much more damage is done.
For me, the first few days of lockdown were spent keeping my head down, avoiding listening to news reports and distracting myself with making, making, making. Firmly staying put in my happy place. But slowly I started to feel like I was unravelling slightly; I could no longer concentrate on anything, hours would go by and nothing would be achieved. My little workroom is stuffed with wood, cut and ready to go, so why can’t I just get on and do it? Every day I venture in there with good intentions and every day ends without being any further forward. An awful lot of time is spent gazing out of the window, wondering when the lambs are going to finally join us, or thinking about the raised veg beds we’ve been planning to build. But then I feel guilty about having a nice garden and views while so many people don’t. I’ve been wildly veering from feeling happily oblivious, to feeling so angry at the world. But these are trivial concerns in these dark days.
With regards to keeping things going with my business…I’m constantly questioning whether to post out orders from my online shops because I don’t want to add to the postal service’s problems with non-essential items, but I also don’t want my income to dry up completely. But then, are people even spending money on non-essential items? I’ve kept my Etsy and Folksy shops open otherwise it really would feel like there’s no point in making anything! Anyway, this blog post is much more of a downer than I was intending, so I will finish with what I have managed to produce since the start of this craziness – a wee range of completely unique printed wooden necklaces!
They are available from the Folksy shop (incidentally the folk at Folksy have been very lovely and featured a lot of my work a lot of late, which has cheered me up no end) and can be posted via the letterbox rather than the post office. But then some poor postie’s workload still gets added to…oh, I don’t know!
I think I’ll end on a positive note – a picture of Rudy surveying his domain…and looking a bit feral (but aren’t we all these days)