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Diary of a sandwich wrap: 7 days of zero-waste!

Apparently my biggest girl’s sandwich wrap (yes, she’s 15. Yes, its Tinkerbell.  Yes, it’s her choice) has all the fun.  Its been around and about and I thought I’d take some photographs of its adventures.

When we went camping a couple of weeks ago, wrap came too…

Sandwich wrap goes camping
Sandwich wrap goes camping

Well, okay, lets be honest, I’m actually showing you how flexible it can be.  Bagels, wraps, pastry.  They all transport fabulously in a wrap.  As does a run-of-the-mill sandwich:

Wraps for sandwiches
Perfect!

Today The Wrap is having a little day off.  However eco-friendly and zero-waste I attempt to be, even I would not put pasta salad into a sandwich wrap!

Its not just for sliced bread
Its not just for sliced bread

Totally easy-care

The Wrap even had a little spin in the washing machine last weekend.  I don’t often need to wash it but some ketchup had got onto the fabric outer so in it went.  The only casualty was that the “OnTheGoDesign” logo on the ribbon washed off 😦  I guess I need to invest in woven ribbon next time.

If you would like to create fun adventures for sandwich wraps, there are plenty more here who’d like a fun day out…

http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/OnTheGoDesign

Bagels in a sandwich wrap
Flexible enough for a couple of bagels

Festival

We’ve just got back from our first festival as a family.  Probably came to it slightly late as my offspring are now 15, 13 and 11 but music isn’t my best beloved’s first love so not a high priority in his world.  However, our best-friend-family (is that a thing?) have been to the Big Church Day Out in the south of England for the last couple of years and convinced us to join them.  It wasn’t hard to win me round as not only do I love music but my youngest (the shaggy one from the previous blog) is a musician in his soul and spends a significant chunk of his time watching his sisters and dad do sport so it felt only fair that we got our music hit.

It was a darn fine weekend.  Firstly it will go down in history as our first family break where taking the kids hasn’t cramped our style due to freedom they had.  The festival is in the grounds of a stately home and there were 6 kids altogether so the rule was they had to always be in pairs and we had various meet-up points during the day.  We did a main meal at the tent at lunch time and after that they took a packed tea and snacks so parents weren’t required to provide food.  The only “have I given them too much freedom?” moment was waiting in the tent at midnight for the girls to make their way back to the tent in a thunderstorm having been to a comedy club to watch Tim Vine. Bearing in mind their sense of direction is better than mine (everyone’s sense of direction is better than mine!) there was, of course, no problem.

There were highlights aplenty. Rend Collective were as superb as expected, as were Casting Crowns. My eldest is currently managing hip problems but seems to have tolerated the several hours worth of jumping up and down type dancing and the youngest was overwhelmed by the amazing and different bands he listened too with a few of this weekend’s making it into his favourites as well as appreciating and learning from the incredible talent on show. 

And best beloved? A friend took this photo…

festival2

Can I just reveal what is going on in my best beloved’s head? Something along the lines of… “I don’t care how fantastic this band is, and I don’t care how much everyone else is jumping in the air, my feet will be staying firmly on the ground, thank you very much”. Don’t get me wrong, he had a perfectly enjoyable time. Completely enhanced by the sound desk at main stage not doing a perfect job on day 1 so that he could spend the rest of the weekend analysing their efforts and comparing them with the other venues/bands/times of day/what he would do. I almost wonder if they turned the bass up just slightly too much purely to make him happy. #marriedtothetechie

My perfect moment was sitting in a tent with a massive rainstorm going on around me, drinking beer (which, I found, fits perfectly into the WaterOnTheGo bottle holder that is clipped to my bag!) discovering a new-to-me band. I’m adding The Abrams to my list of Favourite.Bands.Ever. I know Bluegrass isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but these guys play such a level of rocky and talented Bluegrass that its no surprise how many awards they’ve won.

festival beer

Throw in time with friends, on the whole superb weather (the thunderstorms politely kept themselves to the nighttime) churros and the obligatory festival experience of not enough sleep or washing and I’d say that the kids’ first music festival was a resounding success. I did enjoy my shower and decent coffee when I got home though!

 

Who is the most shaggy?

l and sheep

It’s my smallest’s birthday today and I did the obligatory Facebook update with pictures to remind the world of this fact and I came upon this picture which was taken a year or so ago.

There is SO much I love about this picture and I will be able to link it to my business so just bear with me….. 😉

My youngest is such a dude.  He’s been a drummer since he could hold something in each hand and you can tell from the hair, can’t you?  He also the appearance of a surfer which he hasn’t had chance to have a proper go at but we have been told that he’ll be a snowboarder one day.  This is a long story, the short version involves him being taken to a snowdome when quite little and, while his biggest sister was learning to ski, he decided the little sledge area wasn’t enough fun and managed to go across that slope and into the queue of people waiting to try out the luge.  He took out two people waiting and started going up the luge run the wrong way….

He’s also the child that doesn’t read the signs:

l in the mud

Any guesses which he sign he didn’t read just before this was taken?

However, I promised to link the first picture to the theme of my blog!  We are all very out-and-about as a family, so most photos will have one or other of us looking a bit windswept!  And my gorgeous boy is making friends there with a sheep.  I am a huge fan of sheep and, as well as my sewing business, my other outlet of creativity is knitting (and gazing at, and stroking and sometimes buying) stunning yarn.  Preferably the natural stuff – that comes from a creature like the one pictured above.  The sheep – not the boy!

Things that make me smile

I confess.  I sent a message on Friday to one of my buddies that said “My motivation is so low this morning I actually briefly considered doing my tax return…..”.  I’m great and all buzzy at the beginning of the week but it all begins to slow down by the end!

As I’ve blogged about before, a one-person small business does involve me doing everything from the bits I hate (social media being the number one by a mile) to the bits I love, which of course would be the sewing.

I worried, when I started sewing for business that I would lose the love.  Mostly I don’t but I do forget to sew for “me” sometimes.  My lovely eldest daughter had bought me some beautiful fabric for Mother’s Day (its in March here in the UK) and I’ve spent several evenings on Pinterest debating what to do with it.  Having had a couple of days investing a lot of time in activities I had to rather than I wanted to I decided to just get on with it.  The kids were in bed, my best beloved otherwise engaged so I switched off social media, switched on the radio and got on with it.

In most areas of my life I’m a bit of an instant gratification girl (it does beg the question how I enjoy knitting but there must be another blog post there) and fortunately, the advantages of sewing for business I don’t have to worry about needing to buy the stuff I need as I have most of it to hand.  51cm of lace?  Yup, I have a stash of that somewhere.  My usual motivation for sewing kicked in: stylish yet practical, and in an evening I managed to knock up a really beautiful laundry bag…

P1040432

Zero-waste sewing

As I was putting another teeny tiny scrap of fabric into my scraps tin, it made me ponder about how the zero-waste ethos fits into my work life.

I love beautiful fabric and its hard to resist.  Fortunately I don’t have to because I get to create and sell products that help others work on their zero-waste goals!  I do, however, do my best to manage the offcuts, and here’s how I do it…..

To start with, the most obvious, is that I use the cloth as efficiently as possible.  By purchasing larger amounts I can be more efficient with my cutting and, as it gets smaller, I will be selective as to what product this piece of fabric will become.

There will be a point when, even with seaming, the remnant isn’t going to make it into a sandwich wrap or water bottle holder.  That’s when I start measuring…

I have another little business, Handmade by Sarah-Kate, where I create a wider range of products and I also attend craft fayres.  There are a number of little items that I sell which I can squeeze out of a much smaller remnant…

And the beautiful fabric bookmarks or infinitely useful key ring pockets (for a USB stick or a lipsalve) sell really well, especially in the lead-up to Christmas.  Smaller pieces of fabric get measured, cut and sorted into piles to be sewn up when I have some slow time.

P1040424.JPG

Finally, there is my tin of scraps:

P1040423

Its overflowing right now, which is probably what led me to reflect.  But this will go to a lovely lady in my village who childminds.  And the little ones that come to her can cut and stick to their hearts’ contents and take home pictures to their parents or carers, using the same stunning fabric that I couldn’t resist in the first place.  And now I can add community to my list of wins!

Happy days 🙂

Its not always about the sewing

In fact its quite a lot not about the sewing *heaves a sigh*  This is a shame because I would happily and delightedly sew all day.  However, apparently my merchandise will not sell itself.

As its early days in my business, I’m taking all the help I can get and I’m currently setting myself up for the 100 day challenge that Julia over at The Business Bakery runs.

This is why instead of sitting in my craft room with this view:

P1040383

I actually have this view:

P1040384

Why do it?  I really believe in my products.  I’m not just making the items I do because I like sewing but because I actually do want to my bit towards changing the world.  And creating multi-use items which reduce waste I am combining my two passions of beautiful fabric and saving the planet.  I just need to tell the world that I am doing that, hence blogging, social media and a notebook with a page of actions in it.

The silver lining is that I’ve always quite enjoyed writing and blogging is providing an outlet for utilizing a skill (I think!) that has been dormant since school.  And I’m also reading other blogs and learning more about how to channel my enthusiasm.

However, apparently I should be spending 25% of my time marketing so I suppose I best get on with it….

And if you share my eagerness to make our personal difference to the world, then do hop over to my Etsy shop:

p1040177
OnTheGoDesign

Two things

Today’s blog is a blatant business post but I’m enjoying that side of my life right now so I’d still like to share!

The first has to be the very happy dance I did when I read the blog written by the lovely Zoe at faithtrustandpixidust where she reviewed my sandwich wraps.  I’ve had some great feedback from customers recently too on my Etsy shop so in general I’m feeling pretty good about that side of my business.

maddybottle (2)

The other happy dance this week is for the school holidays.  Fortunately we’ve been blessed with sunshine for pretty much the whole time so we’ve been out and about a fair bit.  We’ve all got water bottle carriers which makes the zero-waste part of our lives a lot easier, as well as the healthy-keep-hydrated message.  One of mine is doing a superb job modelling hers above.  Mine clips to my bag so its handy to get at even when I’m carrying the general detritus that seems to go hand in hand with any trip out.  And I had no sympathy whatsoever with the child who put his water bottle in his bag and it leaked on his jumper….

Feel free to just enjoy my musings, but if you’d like to see more about the water carriers then either hop over to the product pages or visit my Etsy shop:

OnTheGoDesign