2009 Round Up

As is traditional, here is a recap of the year just passed.


Brr, it was cold. January should be quiet, but it was pretty busy and set the tone for the whole year. Amongst other things I grew some mushrooms, started my amazing art wall, bought a vintage cuckoo clock, finished that bloody poodle cushion and went to Edinburgh with Jo and Marceline and ate sausages. It was fun.


February was another busy month of sewing interspersed with buying things at low prices. I learned the magic of wearing boots in winter to keep your feet relatively dry. I sewed a gazillion samplers for my first proper big wholesale order. I was in the UK DIY Exhibition, the promotional material for which one of my pieces was on and it snowed a bit.


March felt a bit like the calm before the storm. I was sewing like a demon to get stuff done for the UK Craft Mafias exhibition and several new stockists. I took time off to have my 30th birthday and a day trip to Edinburgh with Jo. I scored more charity shop bargains including a great art deco-y cabinet for a fiver and Spike the monkey came into my life. I also got a fringe and never looked back, hair-wise.


Ah, April – the arrival of Jeff the embroidery machine, our new ally/nemesis in the good fight of craft. I also was very pleased to have my work stocked in Red Door Gallery in Edinburgh, which was one of my crafting goals. And, as if that wasn’t enough, Marceline and I did a guest article on Etsy and all hell broke loose over on Super Cute Kawaii.


Well, thank goodness we went on a 2-week holiday to Rhodes in May or we wouldn’t have gotten away. We had a splendid time soaking up the sun and I didn’t sew a stitch the whole time. I did have horrible toothache, however. Apart from that I attended the worst craft fair ever in the history of mankind at Nude on Ashton Lane, ate nice homemade bread and stroked Basil’s velvety ears.


June was when things started to get a bit mad. I did a market at Oran Mor and used my new shelves. I sewed the Make Tea Not War above which was to lead to bigger things later in the year. I found loads of great things at a car boot sale. On the down side, I had to visit casualty, my first of 2 visits in as many months as it would turn out, to have my earring removed from inside my ear lobes as my body started to freak out…


July was the month that my gallbladder broke but also the month that Catherine and Lee’s baby arrived – on the same day! The following months fell into disarray a bit, online-wise due to this (the gallbladder, not the baby).

We did manage a day trip to Helensburgh, we got a new telly and I invented the cross stitch badge, one of the best sellers of 2009. I also had a huge series of destash giveaways over at Miso Funky, some prizes from which I still have as some people are extremely ungrateful!


Pretty much all that happened in August was that I was ill and was sewing. I took some time off to invent the I Hate Washing Up tea towel and to buy a really nice mirror. Make Tea Not War was featured in the Sunday Times via Hunkydory Home and therefore I had to sew 18 million of them in the space of about 3 weeks. I was back and forward to hospital and doctors all the while trying to get surgery organised to remove my dodgy gizzards.


I thought September was mostly taken up with being ill, as I didn’t manage to blog on my personal blog at all. But it turns out it was one of the busiest months of the year. The Sunday Times craziness continued and I had to think about taking on staff. I was featured in an Australian magazine which garnered lots of interest from Down Under. I took part in a documentary about small businesses with the Glasgow Craft Mafia/Enterprise Nation. I got lots of orders, wholesale interest and new stockists.  I lost a lot of weight as I didn’t have time to eat. And the Make Tea Not War mug arrived in time to build up to being one of the best-loved products of the year. Phew!


October was the month that I finally had surgery to remove the gallbladder. But I still managed to squeeze a lot in before that including buying a badge machine of my own and making a kajillion badges, doing a very cold market in Newcastle, visiting Hadrian’s Wall and finally enlisting Sarah as a pair of hands to help me with the sewing – I’d have been totally sunk without her. I went into hospital at the end of the month and returned home gizzard-free.


I have pretty much no written record of November as much of it was spent in bed recuperating but I did somehow manage to still get out a billion orders, stock new shops and generally get a lot done, thanks in no small part to Lee running around after me, Sarah sewing as fast as she could and Marceline keeping Super Cute Kawaii’s fires burning without me.

In between it all I got an iPhone, bought some shoes online that look like Cornish pasties, introduced several new products including the Irn Bru can portrait and tote bags, sewed some foul-mouthed Christmas decorations, received some awesome get well gifts and had my matchbox tags featured on TV thanks to Katy.

Towards the end of the month, I also finally launched the Miso Funky Stitch Your Own kits, with a lot of help from Marceline, and a new chapter in the business was opened. I also had an entire month off work to try and get my skin to hold together, which was nice.


December was it’s usual heady mix of panic and adrenaline trying to fulfil all the orders for Christmas. I also ventured to London to do my first market there which was a bit of a mixed bag – we didn’t sell all that much and we were both sick as dogs and lost a lot of money in general, but on the plus side, we did have Beard Papa cream puffs.

December also saw lots of press for Hamish, including the Channel 4 website and the Guardian and also a lady in Argentina got my robot design tattooed on her. Blimey!

To compound the ending the market year on a low note, I did a very mediocre market at Oran Mor the following weekend, followed by the second worst market ever in Edinburgh, in which we sat in sub-zero temperatures whilst water dripped all over our stuff in a tent. It did snow though, which pleased both Marceline and I immensely – and in fact, it’s hardly stopped since (the snow, not the being pleased immensely).

I also sewed up a David Bowie sampler for a friend’s galpal along with lots of other Christmas orders, which Sarah valiantly sewed on for too. I spent a few days at real work (fancy!) which eased me back in gently to the real world.

I had a lovely Christmas with my family and a quiet new year drinking frozen margaritas in my pyjamas and shouting at the telly.

So, that was it. The busiest year for Miso Funky yet and also quite a varied one otherwise. I’ve ended the year with a much bigger business and an organ lighter – both of which I didn’t fully expect this time last year.

I have such huge plans for 2010, which I hope to really be the year of the giraffe. I also have big plans for being a better blogger – I really tailed off in the latter part of last year. I don’t plan on losing any more organs.

Happy new year to all of you – lang may your respective lums reek!


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