I thought it had been another so-so week filled with all day needle felting sessions, housework and the odd walk, but in retrospect, it has been rather action packed. My polar bear trio proved to be more exacting than I anticipated; trying to sculpt three almost identical white blobs is quite tricky, the simple shape brings out the worst of the perfectionist in me, and I am still tweaking infinitesimally small contours here and there.
I finally got round to designing a catalogue (well, a small poster really) for my card range. I've been a bit lazy about bothering shops recently, even the ones who've stocked me before. The first one I sent out had an immediate response, and I am really pleased that the gorgeous shop Ark of Cambridge - the Norfolk Street branch - now have a selection of my designs. I had some blushingly nice feedback from the shop manageress about the flyer, and apparently a customer spotted it, and said how beautiful all the colours were. It is good to have them all laid out like this; a bit more professional than a handful of samples and a 'please stock me' letter.
A fat little packet smuggled across the border from the mysterious Adanaland arrived in the post. Full of delightful letterpress scraps, which made me ache to have the space to get my own neglected kit out. (The adorable shire horse is printed by the Incline Press: coincidentally, Sue of Mouse Notebook has just blogged about her day printing there, with scrummy closeups of type and nice papery things - lucky sausage).
Also enclosed were another batch of 'The Travelling Urchin', produced exquisitely and lovingly by Alan Brignull, the founder and benign ruler of Adanaland - I love these little A6 treasures, and am very grateful to him for my growing collection.
It was a welcome little diversion as I plodded on with the next trio for my trade order.
Jackie of Dog Daisy Chains and Karen of Moonlight and Hares asked about RSI and stabbing myself. Ladies, it is no and yes. No, I am lucky enough not to get RSI, just tired bits when I work for more than 8 hours a day. I try to do regular carpal tunnel exercises and I have a super-duper wrist support with two thumb splints, a hand splint and padded bead palm, which really helps when I'm on a marathon session.
Stabbing, however, is a regular occurrence. I frequently hold tiny bits of felt (for instance, beaks) and stab them into hard little shapes, often driving the needle straight down into the pad of my thumb. So I'm experimenting with using two thimbles for protection. It's not as sensory as using my naked fingers, but it hurts less when the needle slips.
I've probably mentioned at least a dozen times that I don't get out much. Getting out can be a bit expensive on a narrow budget, but kind Andy whisked me off to Cotswold Wildlife Park this week, which, despite it being rammed (because of the Easter holidays) was utterly brilliant. The last big day out we had was at the Barrington ploughing match, last September. I get quite giddy with the sheer pleasure of new surroundings and experiences; I came away with my head whirring, over a hundred reference photos and two tiny glass animals...
Nobly, I have restrained myself from posting an endless line of yet-another-zoo-animal here. (Collective sighs of relief!)
BIG EDIT - I had awarded this big, sharp rhino horn to a certain large company who seem to be taking unpermitted advantage of one of Little Cotton Rabbits lovely designs. At last they seem to be responding, but I'll save my half hearted cheer for when they actually do something positive. So the rhino stays.
Oh, by the end of April I will be able to stop thinking in threes!