I love that my job is to make things. Ok, that's a lie - my job is to run the whole business which means so many hats, but really what I love is that in my job I use my hands every day to craft products.
A lot of designers use their mousepad and software - on an average day I probably use about 30 different tools, a couple of different software packages and a machine or two. I create chaos in my workspace and generally end up covered in ink, thread and goodness knows what else. I got home the other day and caught sight of my skirt and had no idea what I'd managed to get on it but it wasn't coming out! I am in massive admiration of those that create beautiful things using just a computer and their imagination, or simply a pencil and some paper though - I just know that's not my skill.
It's rare I have a day of just making one product, however when I get big wholesale orders sometimes I have to clear my diary for a whole day to concentrate on one area, which is usually cards! Although I really enjoy the variety in my job anyway, a day of concentrating on one area is a really nice thing to do, and often is a great way of coming up with new ideas, streamlining processes or just becoming a better craftsperson in general.
I won't tell you the whole process (*psssssst* you will soon be able to buy a book where I give away a lot of my secrets though!) but believe me, the process that goes into making my greetings cards is long.
I rarely make just one card on its own, and tend to make a lot in one go. I work in two different ways - one where clients order an amount of the same designs from me, and the other where they leave me to come up with bestsellers and just create what I want. I bet you can tell which is my favourite way! Once I have everything printed I love matching up the photographs and backgrounds and deciding what caption is going to be on which, or trying something completely new.
When I've made a big run of cards and I go through them all at the end I feel so much joy as they really are my favourite thing to make. Even the little stickers that go on each of the poly bags are handprinted! I have done a couple of events recently where I've had customers laughing all day long, and it feels so nice. My favourite quote (possibly ever!) came last weekend when one lovely lady announced to her friend "well I know plenty of them so I've bought all the 'knobheads'"!!!!!!!!!!
Not only do I feel so lucky to do what I love for a living, but I also am so happy to do something that uses my skills and my body rather than just sitting in an office all day (I mean I do a lot of sitting down still, but lots of running around too!) Last Friday when it was glorious I took a big pile of cards out into the courtyard and packed them in the sunshine. One almost included a little ladybird too but I saved her in time!