April - Puddings and Lambs

A month of inspiration here in the Isle of Skye.



Spring is sprung! Don’t you just love this time of year? Everything, and everyone, putting a tentative foot out of winter hibernation. Usually at this time of year I would be completing last minute preparations for the local Easter Craft Fairs – eager to set up my stall with a new range of Indigo Berry creations!

Indigo Berry stall at 2015 Easter Craft Fair Isle of Skye
Easter Craft Fairs - those were the days!

This year, like 2020, things are a little different. There are still lots of Indigo Berry creations that I am eager to share, of course. But still no Craft Fairs. With lockdown currently still in place, the island is quiet and it almost feels like we are holding our breath until the visitors start to arrive again (possibly after 26 April).


But this doesn't mean that I won't be busy this month - far from it! So, what does April hold in store for Indigo Berry?


Making (of course!)


As soon as the clocks go forward for Spring, I am off the starting blocks – eager to spend more time in my craft room (aka the spare bedroom!) and bring my ideas into reality. Winter always seems to fly by. By the time I have recovered from Christmas, the days are so short and cold that I seem to spend more time by the wood burner than I do in my craft room. The winter is a time for preparation and planning. But in April, the gloves are off!



This month, I am practising my wire wrapping skills and focusing on fossils and gemstone pendants. I will be sharing my new creations with you on the website. I made these pretty orange agate earrings in March and they are one of the latest additions to the online shop! Believe it or not, now is the time that I begin planning my silver designs for Christmas (I know it seems early but they do take a lot of planning and a lot of time to complete!)



Walking


I love Springtime in Skye. On my walks, there are signs of Spring everywhere – little buds beginning to appear, dancing daffodils and primroses. I am so lucky to live in this inspirational place! I really don’t need to walk too far to see positive signs of life beginning to burst out.As usual, the lambs seem to have a knack of waiting for a brief return of the winter cold before they make their entrance. Just now there are at least two sets of twins towards this years 'lamb gang' on the croft land beside the house. They were born in a snow shower the other week!


The Cuillins have mostly lost their winter snow, and there has been a new mystery visitor on Loch Harport. A large blue boat. For the last week or so I have watched it steaming up from Portnalong each morning to anchor all day, and I was wondering what it was up to. Was it a crew of fishermen who were stuck onboard due to lockdown? No. Turns out its a new state of the art vessel for the fish farm. The Aqua Skye is capable of turning sea water into freshwater. Wow - who knew!




Posting


Being a one woman small business, means its not all about sketchbooks, creating and sipping Earl Grey tea whilst I stare out the window at the loch. Oh no! There is so much more! Promotion and marketing, reaching out and engaging with you lovely lot, keeping accounts (my least favourite bit!), wrapping and posting your orders (thank you!) business planning, and trying to fit in some time to improve my skills and industry knowledge.


Over the last few weeks I have been ‘attending’ a series of online Business Gateway Webinars. So informative and inspiring! Why has it taken me all this time to discover webinars? One of the many positives to come out of lockdown. I’ve been refreshing my knowledge and (limited) understanding of keywords and SEO, and trying to get to grips with social media. Judging by the number of small businesses who were also spellbound by some of the webinar topics, I am not the only one who has been fumbling around out there! So, in addition to my Facebook page, I am now brave enough, to share so much more on Twitter and Instagram and start experimenting with my posts! So - watch this space! And if you are on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook why not check out @IndigoBerrySkye and follow what I am up to. Just be kind about my fumblings!


Thinking about puddings!


You know, Gaelic is an amazing language! I used to work with a native Gaelic speaker for over 10 years and love to hear it being spoken. Did you know that the Gaelic word for Spring is Earrach (I know, looks a bit like ear-ache, right?) Perhaps of more interest, is the translation of April into Gaelic - A 'Ghiblean. I love that this apparently means Pudding Month! But before you go thinking of apple crumbles and sticky toffee pudding drenched in custard (mmmm), pudding up here is something completely different! Pudding Month most likely refers to a village tradition of cobbling together the winter left-overs of animal fats and oatmeal, and would almost certainly have been a savoury affair. Think white pudding or even haggis and you’d probably be closer.


Watching


Finally, something to watch! The new TV programme All the Glitters started this week and already I am hooked! So many reasons to like this!


1. its set in my old home town of Birmingham - in the world famous Jewellery Quarter

2. its showcasing lots of different jewellery making processes

3. its one of those Bake Off formats which mean that there will be nail biting competition and emotional goodbyes each week as one of the jewellery makers gets booted off. What’s not to like?


So that's April - the month of the pudding! Enjoy coming out of your lockdown hibernation and whatever you are up to - do it safely!

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