Goodness me.....I am So ashamed that I haven't posted anything on here for almost a year. I know it's been a crazy time for everyone, but that is no excuse for not making time to update on here.......I'm sorry!!!
So, 12 months in a paragraph makes my head hurt, just thinking about it.....and 12 paragraphs would have anyone reading this heading for the paracetamol....or the gin......so I'm going for 4 paragraphs, one for each season, which seems doable.
Autumn: After a very emotional few months, Autumn brought the most awesome colours on the acer in the garden, a couple of visits by the red squirrels that have been re-introduced in the woods on the edge of the loch, and planning my first Christmas in the shop. I really wanted to have a special event at the beginning of December to celebrate with locals, artists, crafters and the like.....but like everywhere else, lockdown prevented it happening.......so the shop was decorated, complete with an awesome wooden Christmas tree my husband, Kev made.....the Christmas stock was out in the shop and I had a lovley time sharing the space with the customers from near and far.
Winter: After closing the shop the weekend before Christmas, I cleared away all the stock and headed home to Elphin with the view to re-open again sometime in March. At this time of the year in the Highlands, daylight is limited to say the least ~ from around 10am to 3pm if we are lucky ~ but I absolutely love it. It's a time of hunkering down in front of a roaring fire and creating new stock for the shop when it re-opens in the spring. Well, that's what I meant it to be like......but as usual, I spent far too much time reading, listening to music, cooking and doing jigsaws rather than making more soaps, solid shampoos, cards etc as well as thinking about new things to make. I did manage to get some knitting done, but that's about it. If I was still at school, the report would say "Must try harder"!
Spring: The arrival of snowdrops, daffodils....and my eldest son Ross and his partner, Trish, who both made the very brave move to leave their home and jobs in Bristol to move up to Kishorn and set up their own picture framing business, next to the shop - Freedom Framery. Ross has worked in a Bristol art gallery framing for the last 10 years......and my late father-in-law "Turner Bear" spent the last few years of his life persuading Ross to make the move. It's such a shame that he didn't get to see it in person, but I'm sure he knows and is smiling somewhere. Again, lockdown dealt me the joker card in relationg of re-opening the shop in March, but there was plenty going on helping Ross and Trish settle in. The shop finally managed to open in May and I managed to get my stock levels back to where I wanted as well as introducing a couple of new crafters' work in the shop, including some Shetland wool scarves and shawls woven on pin looms.
Summer: Now for me, I always think of summer as the months of July, August and September. With the easing of restrictions, the roads got busier and busier .....and whilst there are some people in the Highlands that hold their hands in the air and wail about all the issues with campervans/mobile homes' users on the North Coast 500, I can honestly say that all of the people that make my little shop door ring have been nothing but kind, thoughtful, complimentary and delighted to look at all the lovely artwork and crafts......and I am truly grateful that they took the time to break their journey and pause for a time in Freedom Works Kishorn.
So, that's me caught up for now. The next post will be to share photos of the Christmas stock that I will be slowly introducing onto the shelves from late October (in case there are any tourists up here during ther school holidays that want to take a piece of the Highlands home with them for the festive season.) I'm also hoping to get a couple of new trade accounts set up, as there are some ethically sourced products that I'm looking to add, so as always, watch this space......and I promise you won't be waiting as long for the next update....honest indian!!!