Over time, a lot of people have asked me where I get my ideas from, and I used to be a bit stumped to answer. I don't mean to sound arrogant when I say this - not at all - but the ideas pretty much come to me. Even when I don't ask them to...they're a bit like dreams in that respect. When you close your eyes at night, you don't think "tonight I'll have a dream that I'm about to catch a train with my mum who is Lauren Graham in this dream, and we'll be carrying old shoes and keep dropping them" (and yet I really did dream that once)
Dreams are very rarely intentional - the dream comes, out of the dark little pockets of your mind that have been quietly collecting the jigsaw pieces of the day - things you've thought about, snippets of conversation, fleetingly seen oddments, clips from films and songs. The little pockets collect these pieces and while you're asleep, they try to put the pieces together, mixing them with older pieces, in the dark. And sometimes, unexpectedly, two mismatched jigsaw pieces will fit somehow and become a story. I believe that ideas come the same way. The main difference being that some people can access those dark pockets full of jigsaw pieces whilst they're wide awake and doing something boring like chopping an onion. Sometimes the jigsaw pieces spill out to the front of your mind without you asking for them.
I often wish that J.K. Rowling's 'pensieve' idea was a real life gadget. The ability to take thoughts and memories out of your mind for a bit, to relieve yourself for a while, is very appealing to me. I think it is both a blessing and a curse for creatively minded people - the sudden inspirations, that leave your mind running at a mile a minute. Notepad and pen in hand, trying to scribble down and keep up with an unexpected flow of 'jigsaw piece' ideas.
I have found that sketching out thoughts and noting down ideas is a good thing - an essential thing when I find myself awake at 2am, unable to switch off the flow of jigsaw pieces until I've 'got it all out'. I have ideas for the Treacle Toffee shop, for Scatterbox Originals, my oldest shop...and now I find a new and different thing has been born in my mind...and after a while, I gave it a name that I liked, and quietly snaffled up the domain on Etsy. The third shop is, I suppose, my way of having another table to put my interesting new jigsaw onto...as close as I can get to a pensieve.
The New Idea is different...it involves recycling as a main feature, and there are a few potential types of items I'd like to make, but there's a theme, running through all the designs, of woollen stitches. I had a discussion recently with a good friend (the kind of friend who wisely always tells you the absolute truth) and she said to me "why have three shops on Etsy?" She raised a good point - promoting three shops is, basically, thrice the work. I currently have two blogs - this one and also www.scatterboxtwo.blogspot.com for my original Etsy shop. I thought that I should promote each shop separately, which meant separate blogs.
Now I have given it a lot of thought, on my long walks. For now, yes...I will have three shops. I feel it will help me to keep track of how each type of idea that I have goes down with buyers. But as for the blogs, I think I need to be more cohesive. Keeping up two blogs has been tricky. It's all very well when it comes to talking specifically about designs and ideas for one shop, but I often want to blog about Other Things (like my walking post, below, or my recipies posts) I may have three shops on Etsy, and they may have different styles and likely different audiences, but I am one woman. The same woman who came up with El Bandido also came up with organic cotton feathery patterned handbags. The same woman finished a degree in Illustration five years ago, ate the same breakfast this morning (peanut butter on toast followed by homemade banana cake and a mug of tea), the same woman is wearing the same pair of socks right now. Actually she's wearing two pairs of socks at once, because they're getting thin and she needs more cushioning for all the 5 mile walks she's doing...but you get the point!
So, folks, what I intend to do is focus myself on one blog for all three Etsy shops (I will most likely keep my less-known, quieter blog for my Illustration endeavours separate for now). This blog is my youngest one, but for the rather dull reason of it being easiest to type, this will be my main blog now. For anyone wishing to only see posts relating to a particular shop, I'm going to try to tag each post with it's relevant shop name, if it relates to one in particular, or 'all shops' if it is a more general post. The 'scatterbox blog' will remain up and viewable, if anyone wants to see it.
I want to do all three shops justice, which means that I am going to become more focussed in what I do within each shop, more specific in terms of items. For Treacle Toffee, and Scatterbox Originals, this means I am gradually going to try to streamline what I make, focusing on popular designs.
As far as the New Shop goes, the name is JumpUp and I'm hoping to have it up and running by early Spring.
This is a brief preview of some of the jigsaw pieces that are beginning to make up JumpUp (very rough sketches here are all for plush dolls, but you can see the shop's main page: www.jumpup.etsy.com for the current 'sections' I intend to have)
I hope that you, dear blog readers, will support these changes. Thanks, as always, for reading!