Friday, 13 July 2012

June-July Ups and Downs

It's been a strange few weeks.  My sales over at Etsy have dipped dramatically, although I have had quite a few enquiries the last few days so fingers crossed the lull will soon be over.

The bear shop on the Cromer seafront, Allsorts of Bears took 11 of my little bears and I decided to try renting a space at Alice's Bear Shop, Lyme Regis.  I must say I was pleasantly surprised to hear that they had sold two of my bears within a couple of days.
Snowball 6" SOLD

Tyler 6" SOLD

I also decided to up my artist bear listings on Folksy.  I am sorry to say I had neglected them whilst building up the vintage bear side of the Etsy shop.

Here are the two latest little bears, Jade and Miss Teddy.  You will find the links to my online shops and website to the right of this page.
Jade 8"

Miss Teddy 6"
I had bears listed with photos that I was not happy with so I took new photos.  These show the bears off much better.   There are still a few that I need to redo.
Hairy Harry 7"

Minnie 5.5"
I have been deciding all week what to do about ESA/JSA - could I work - can't I work - sign on to JSA - appeal against ESA turning me down? It was really stressing me out and after much deliberation, I decided a couple of days ago to go for the signing on option.  I know I probably should have appealed, but it is so difficult to put down in words how the arthritis affects me on a day to day basis.  I feel quite a sense of relief and calm now I have made a decision.

I was tired of the whole process and, if truth be known I would like a little job if anyone would take me, given that I walk with a stick and have days that I move like a little old lady!
The ESA say I am capable of work, so I will give it a try.
I have not worked now for 12 months since having to stop doing my previous retail job (too much standing/walking).
There are many limitations in what I could do - no standing or sitting for long periods, no lifting, no distance driving.  Must be part time as I would never get through a 40 hour week without seizing up completely.  Temporary to cover a maternity leave would be ideal as I am due to get my state pension in 8 months.

With that in mind I checked out the Job sites and found two part time receptionist jobs to apply for.
One is 20 hours a week and the other 24 hours for maternity cover.  I will keep my fingers and toes crossed (it will hurt, but I will try it) for success. 
I have never had to sign on in my working life and have always worked, apart from bringing up the childred as babies.  To have to do so now with 8 months to go is so annoying.
On the plus side, it cheered me up this week when I got a small tax rebate - thank you Mr Taxman :)

Note to self - must get the 2012 tax return in - they might give me another rebate!

I will leave you with a photo of a Chiltern old timer that I listed on Etsy and my website last week.
He is a Chiltern Hugmee c1930 and a handsome bear.  I had moved the two bears to photograph some others,and just loved the way Tumbleweed the Pud Bear was cuddling against Chester the Chiltern Hugmee.  Not a set up shot, just how they fell together when I put them down.


  1. Your bears are gorgeous. )

    Feel for you re the ESA/JSA dilemma. The appeals process is so stressful, I expect many claimants just won't have the strength to go through it. Which, no doubt, is what the government hopes. :(

    Sending hugs.

    Rosie. x

  2. That does sound really stressful. Cheer up though - you make the most adorable little bears. You may not be able to do the kind of jobs you used to, but you have just swapped one skill set for another. It is difficult to make a living from this at the moment, but a lot of craftspeople are in the same position right now (and not just craftpeople). Good luck with the receptionist jobs though - I will keep my fingers crossed for you!