Kind Designs

Kind Designs
Fabulous fingerplates

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Toasty tootsies!

Second Christmas market done -  big tick! And, quite frankly, a big pat on the back (using thermal padded gloves of course!) for braving the gale force winds and stormy conditions! We had everything thrown at us on Tuesday - strong gusts that threatened the fabric of our stall, cold rain and hailstones so fierce that we all stopped and stared - mostly because it was so loud we couldn't hold a conversation!
We arrived at lunchtime to set up, and were met by other stallholders turning on their tails and going home as conditions were just too bad. Mad as we are, we persevered and put the gazebo up, only for it to blow 3ft in seconds, even with 8kg weights on each leg! We looked around and other traders were just shaking their heads at us!
To cut a long story short, we managed, through a mixture of luck, good fortune and being in the right place at the right time, to get a plot undercover! How often does that happen? To say we were ecstatic would be the grossest understatement ever! Christmas had definitely come early for Kind Designs! So we didn't even have to check out the waterproof-ness of the new gazebo!

The night was busier than previously - the atmosphere was lovely, the Arctic-like conditions abated, and people were showing interest in our stall and I received many complimentary comments about the fingerplates. Our fingerplates are totally unique and you won't find them anywhere else - trust me, I've looked! They are different and certainly fill a gap in the market - quite literally on Tuesday! So we just need customers to think a little differently, and realise that you don't have to plump for the traditional brass or ceramic plates - ours go that little further and bring contemporary design into it, with vibrant colours and beautiful reflective surfaces. 
And the news gets better - I've found a pair of boots that keep my feet warm! I've only been searching for such an item for about 20 years! No chilblains this week! As long as I didn't stand still for too long, the tootsies were toasty! So doing a festive jig to accompany the carols playing was quite productive!

Kitchen update: slate floor is down and grouted. Tonight it's going to get its first coat of sealer - before the two adorable children rub unmentionable mess into it and stain it forever!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Second time lucky!

We're braving the gale force winds and heading to Totnes Christmas market again - let's see if the Kind Designs fingerplates are wind-proof!
Please come and give us some moral support and bring some festive cheer and warmth to our stall on the Market Square!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Roll up, roll up!

Well, Kind Designs have done their first Christmas market! We braved the rain and wind to appear at Totnes Christmas Market, and we had a lovely site on the Market Square, right behind the stage where the Samba band and other entertainers were performing!
Setting up was an experience - when we arrived, as soon as the car doors opened, so did the heavens! So everything was put out on a soggy floor whilst we (I mean myself and my friend from the Barnfield Workshop) opened her new gazebo for the first time and tried to assemble it!
It turns out reading an instruction booklet in the rain, and trying to work out which pole was A, B and C wasn't the best idea! But up it went, and then up it nearly went again - this time being swept away by the strong winds! It was by pure luck, and the fact that we were hanging on to the corners, that it didn't take off gracefully across the Totnes skyline!
Weights in place, the gazebo decided to start falling apart at the highest point - hence a quick dash to find a stepladder and strong tape!
Finally we were all set up, stock in place, fairy lights up and candles lit and looking truly festive and 'grotto-like'.

Then the heavens opened again and we quickly discovered that it wasn't a waterproof gazebo! The roof started leaking quite dramatically, so even though we were 'inside' it felt like we were outside, as the raindrops fell onto our heads and drowned out our candles!
So all in all, it wasn't the best introduction to the life of festive markets! There were quite a few people about, but the inclement weather did dampen everyone's spirits I think. And I am the proud owner of two chilblains as a souvenir!!
The Kind Designs fingerplates were generating interest, and a lot of business cards were given out, with customers asking if I was going to return next week.
And I've just been told that more stormy wet weather has been forecast for this Tuesday - do I stay or do I go?

Monday, 5 December 2011

Do I need a sheepskin coat like Del Boy?!

It's December! What do I need to get into the Christmas spirit?
Fairy lights - tick. Father Christmas - tick. Carols - tick. Musicians playing on the Bandstand - tick. Mulled wine- tick (or hick!).
As a family we were lucky enough to have all these this weekend during the spectacular Candlelit Dartmouth.

On Friday evening we shivered in the rain whilst the Christmas tree lights were switched on - plenty of lights - I am not a big fan of huge trees with only a few bulbs glistening. You have to go the whole hog and festoon the branches with hundreds of twinkling sparkles!

We then cheered the arrival of Santa by boat - not his traditional form of transport, but totally fitting in a naval town.
Saturday saw the lantern parade through the crowded streets, with handmade lanterns in all shapes and sizes, from ducks to ships. The naval theme continues!

The countdown to my first Christmas market has begun - 16 hours and counting as I type! With icy conditions predicted tomorrow, I've dug out my thermal everything and I spent all day wrapping fingerplates!
Here's our new display board - what do you think? The fairy lights do make the bevelled edges sparkle!

Here's hoping all the visitors are feeling in the 'present-buying' mood. Any profits I make I will instantly go and spend on other delightful stalls I expect!
We're at the front of the market square in Totnes, so please come and visit Kind Designs and the Barnfield Workshop. You'll find lots of Christmas goodies awaiting you!
I'll let you all know soon how it went - that's assuming I still have feeling in my fingers to type!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Exciting news - Kind Designs is taking to the open road! Fingerplates are going on tour! Actually we're appearing at the famous Totnes Christmas markets, hoping to share the fingerplate love with a whole new audience!

We would be thrilled to see new faces. Please come and join us on Tuesdays 6, 13 and 20 December from 5.30pm. We have a place on the Market Square in Totnes, so please come and visit us and say 'hello'!

We're sharing a stall with the Barnfield Workshop, which sells handcrafted slate and wood items - imagine how your house could look at Christmas, with new slate placemats, coasters, and a sparkling fingerplate or two! Go on, give your house a gift too!

We're planning on making the stall look and feel as festive as possible - think fairy lights, candles and perhaps the aroma of mulled wine!

Any tips on keeping warm behind a stall in the depths of winter would be appreciated!

Hopefully see you there!

Kitchen update: the slate floor is slowly going down - actually it's only 1 tile at the moment, but I'm hopeful more will follow! The thing is that we're doing it all ourselves, and work, family life, responsibilities and general routine get in the way of the pursuit of our gorgeous home! But we'll be out there tonight grafting - once I've published this of course!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Feeling festive!

I have come over all festive in the last few days, thanks to the first frosty morning of winter, and am thinking about decorations and how to turn our partly-finished house into a seasonal delight of sparkle and cosiness!

I am quite a traditionalist in terms of Christmas decorations, and wheel out the same old baubles in red, gold, silver and white. Add in touches of greenery, a vast amount of glitter, and I'm a happy Christmas bunny! I do treat 'the house' to a new adornment every year, building up memories - son number 1 already remembers where we were when we bought the sleigh, train or star. His memory puts mine to shame! Now, what was I talking about?!....

And I've just thought of another way to bring a touch of festive glamour to our home without the tree branches groaning from the weight and sinking slowly to the floor - glancing at the Kind Designs glossy vibrant red fingerplate, it seemed exactly the right shade of red to match Santa's suit! Add a sandblasted starburst and the whole door becomes a cheerful 'ho ho ho' all of its own!

Or plump (Father Christmas style!) for a mirrored beauty, where the bevelled edge will sparkle against a backdrop of candlelight and twinkling fairy lights.

Kitchen progress: Ceiling painted and sockets fitted (brushed chrome in case you're wondering!). Two authentic Art Deco globe lights will be hanging over the island (when the island is built, that is). Are we getting there?

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

My first foray into the world of blogs!

Dipping my toes into the new (for me!) world of blogging, launching my new business, and undertaking a house renovation - all five weeks before Christmas! Sheer madness! Will my sanity still be intact for the festive season?
Let me introduce myself - I'm a wife, mother, daughter, part-time worker, PTFA volunteer, founder of Kind Designs, avid auction bargain hunter and lover of all things 'housey'! I am a bit of a magpie and am drawn to sparkle, vintage, quirky and eye-catching.
However all the chaos, drama and general excitement that is generated from all the above roles is offset by the fact that I'm lucky enough to live in beautiful Devon. The coastline, quaint villages and individual towns ensure that there is an escape route from the hustle and bustle.

I am hoping to give you insights into the delights of Devon life in future blogs, as well as regular news, gossip and pitfalls from setting up Kind Designs (in a recession! What was I thinking?!).
Add in a major obsession with summer fetes and Christmas fayres, searching markets for the perfect vintage poster for our new kitchen (only the exact shade of duck egg will do!), canoe trips up the estuary, and will the Aga be fitted in time to cook Christmas lunch (the clock is ticking!) - I have a lot to share!
Wish me luck!