Hello my dear friends and followers!
I hope this blog finds you well, in good health and in a good mood as well. So… how are you?
I am well. Well… I am without a fixed job and put a pause to my studies from March because of this situation, as I explained to you on my first blog. But not complaining. Yes, it can be hard at times because we have three children. But hey… it could be worse. We do what we can. Let us stay on the positive side. We won’t die because of hunger…we are going on, let us put it this way.
Unfortunately, there are more people that are in a worse position. So, let us (let me), shut up and start my blog number two.
For whoever doesn’t know me; I am a very organised person. I like everything to be in order and in its place. I like my mind to be specifically trained for my daily schedule that is why I always plan my days, my weeks, my months… hehehe and even year. But I will come to that later 😊
I feel sometimes that I am robot – programmed to work very effectively. And you know what – I wouldn’t want me any other way. Because if I wasn’t the way I am – very efficient – nothing will be done around here!
So… let me explain to you a clear picture of my typical day..
I wake up at around 0500-0530. Yes.. everyone is still asleep and I can enjoy a few moments for me. As soon as I open my eyes, I go directly to the washing machine and put in the first load. Then I head to do myself a coffee. After I stay for around fifteen minutes sipping my coffee and strolling round through the various social media application on my mobile, I head to the sink. I see if there isn’t anything left from the previous evening and I put it in its place.
Then I clean the carpets, shake ‘em a bit and put them up.
Afterwards I head to the various bins around the house and empty them in the main trash.
After washing my hands for 20 seconds…hahaha…(got used to the timing now), I get a clean cloth and antibacterial spray and clean all the kitchen and lounge surfaces. Then I clean the rubbish bin from the outside start the next task.
Sweeping time baby. Obviously, I am very careful not to make any noise in order not to wake up anybody. So, I sweep everywhere. And if there is the need in washing the kitchen, I will do it too.
After I am done.. I prepare all the mugs ready to make teas, hot chocolates etc…
Then I go for a shower – some blissful me time again 😊
After having a shower, I go upstairs on the roof and I water all my plants. I sweep and wash the roof sometimes too – most of the days – because of the dog’s poop.
While I am there, I say hello and play a bit with the lovely cats that come and say miao from I do not know where :/ But I do not complaint. It is like that became ours now.
I prepare their bowls, and the dog’s bowls with food and water. And then I go and get the washing, pit the second load in and go and hand the clothes on the roof.
After I am done, I head downstairs and start cooking. Usually I am all done from the most important things that I need to do around 0830-0900.
Afterwards I come back upstairs and put the washing up again. If there is the need to do more I do them.. well I do what there is the need to.
But then I come up here, in my shed to check up with the orders.
I start working and doing other various things, like catching up with the clients messages and emails, buying supplies for my business etc..
At around 1100 my stomach starts grumbling and usually at that time I go and eat.
I take of the washing after eating and put them in their place. Mind you – I do them in a sequence accordingly to the rooms I will by first to last passing by so that I waste no time.
After that I usually try to rest for half an hour. Mind you – I try to close my eyes and maybe sleep?! But my brain is always active. So, every single day I give up – and get up and continue doing what I was doing prior this.
At around 1600 it is a BIG MUST in our house to have tea. I do not know how we got into this thing from since I can remember. But there isn’t a day that does go by that tea is served at 1600 sharp. Sometimes I prepare the ironing board and switch on the iron to heat up while I am having my tea, so when I am done, I go and iron some clothes up.
After this – it is usually shower time for me again – because my battery stars lowering at this time of the day. So I go have a shower and freshen up and afterwards see what I have got left to do regarding work.
Then when my hubby comes I usually go down so we can greet each other and stay downstairs with him and my youngest daughter – if not they will come up.
At around 1900/2000 we go on the sofa and watch something on tv. Its is usually something on YouTube or else Netflix.
At that point.. My battery goes down to maybe 10% …and my eyes start shutting down… I try the best I can to stay awake. And when I cannot take it anymore I come upstairs, in our bedroom; take off the million pillows that decorate the bed.. get comfy – watch something on my mobile which will help me sleep and goodnight my friend.
That is my daily routine mostly.
There are days which are non-stop for me; were I have to dust and wash the whole house from top to bottom.
There are days where I do not stop cooking.
There are days which I would like to stay and read a bit instead of watching tv.
Of course, there are days where we go and do our shopping.
And last but not least there are those days, where the weather just calls us to get up – dress up – and go and live the life!
P.S. Sorry I am going to mention my yearly planning episode in this blog! But I will surely do it in the next.
I will have some tips for you which will make your life easier – so make sure you do not miss it!
Until the next one…
Stay positive – stay safe – love you loads,
In my free time, I like to create new things such as posters or colourful posts cause they make me happy.
I have created this poster for all who are interested in printing it and sticking it on your wall, fridge or anywhere you want 🙂
It is completely free. I hope I can bring you some happiness in these difficult days.
Let us brighten up each other's lives in every possible way we can.
Mary Anne xxx
I have designed this colourful October calendar because I love adding colour into my life. I feel it makes me more positive and gives me a sense of joy - to have colourful things around.
I wish you a beautiful and most positive October, to all of you!
Stay safe !
Thank you for stopping by.
Yes... I am going to go on about it again, so if you don't feel like reading all of this; thanks for stopping by!
I have been doing handmade items all my life, but it was from 2011 that I decided to start my own business. So I decided to open up a page on Facebook, and start selling my items.
I first started doing handmade cards. They used to take me around 60 minutes-90 minutes each. Because you have to print the inside with a poem - maybe photos - embellish the card - etc etc.. So let us say 90 minutes right? How much do you get payed for that as per minimum wage in Malta? €4.33 an hour? And what about the costs of the cardstock? The envelope? The ink? The embellishments? Those have to be added up to the hourly amount. And I used to charge €5 minimum a card.
Let us say it all, there were those clients which used to come every week, cause they appreciated handmade items - but there were those that used to say that they were expensive!
That was one of the main reasons I stopped doing handmade cards - cause I used to spend a ridiculous amount of time on them, and I wasn't even getting payed for all the time I used to spend doing them & getting back the cost of the supplies.
Now, let us go to felt items...
First of all - The designs - I have spent hours and hours to come out with all the designs - to draw them - to see that each and every one looked perfect. For anyone that does not know this, I was the very first one in Malta to start selling them. A friend of mine which was an artisan too, asked me to do one for her son. So I did, and then after the first one I started designing more felt names - and obviously selling them. I have sold hundreds of them, plus other handmade felt items. Every thing which I have sewn, I did it by hand. I tried to use a machine but sewing by hand was always easier for me. It felt that the product was entirely handmade.
I attended to so many fairs and I have always sold nearly everything by those people that loved and mostly - APPRECIATED handmade items.
Now... I buy mostly of my materials from abroad. Why you ask? Because the quality is better - the sellers are more reliable. I tried many times to go and purchase my fabric (for example) from a local shop - but what I wanted - they never had in stock. So, yes I had to. I get all my materials from abroad.
So now, let us talk about the making. let us say for instance one felt name. It takes me about an hour or two to cut all the design for just one felt name.
The sewing you ask? It takes me around 12 to 15 hours to hand sew just one felt name. You have to stitch it all up - stuff it in. Attach all the pieces one to another. Make sure everything is neat and perfect.
So, Let us say that is 17 hours in all. Let us multiply those 17 hours to Malta's hourly rate shall we? It comes to €73.61. Now let us say that the cost of all the materials used cost around €12, and we add it up to the hourly amount. That comes to €85.61. Do you understand the concept of handmade now? And that cost is for a basic five letter felt name.
Experience - In every job there is out there - you have to have experience. And with experience comes job titles and promotion. I cannot expect myself, doing my job every single day, not getting better at what I do! So, I gain experience - I gained a lot of it. I get promoted too and with every promotion comes a rise in the salary. So do I!
I have decided to write about this because I have heard - and been told several times - that handmade items are expensive. But, have you ever stopped for a moment to think about this? Sincerely? Did you ever?!
I cannot tell you the amount of times, I was approached by foreigners, telling me - why do you under price your items? That is not right - you should price them higher! Get payed for your work.
I have searched all over the web, and I came across so many foreign websites selling handmade items from all over the world. And yeah - unfortunately they were right. I used to look at designs similar to mine - and you know what? They were double and even triple my price! And you know what is even better? They were selling so many of their products, as if they were pastizzi here in Malta.
So, I ask myself... is it the problem here in Malta?
Aren't we artisans underestimated?
What is wrong?
It feels for me that we are so very unappreciated. We spend hours and hours working to bring every single customer the best of our products and that is what all the others have to say? That our items are expensive? It seems to me that a big majority of Maltese people want everything for free. Hey - you know what sites you should try? EBay, Joom & Aliexpress. I am sure you will find something there for you!
So you know, if you are wondering, YES!! I am Maltese - born and raised - pure blooded!
It is amazing how foreigners support each other - buy their own products from their own country.
It is amazing how they advertise each others work!
Oh let us talk about the Maltese people and food. How much do you spend when you go out and eat at your favourite restaurant? How much time does it take you to eat that food? How long does it last in your stomach?
Weddings? How much did your last outfit for that wedding cost you? How many times you wore it? And that shoes? And that jewellery? And the make up? How much did it cost? Gosh!!! Only for one night?!!
Now, you might be saying.. why don't I go and work like every other person does? You know what? I did stop for three years and I did go and work. But I had to stop in March 2020 because of this pandemic. And because of health reasons that some members of my family are facing - I cannot return as yet. I was working, and started studying again you know. But unfortunately I had to put it all on pause for now. And this is was my last resort. To return back to my work from home. I love what I do. I am constantly working hard to bring all the people out there new things. I am constantly working hard to improve myself. To find a way to create new products so that more people can afford.
So please, before ever saying that handmade is expensive - think about it and refrain from saying so - Mostly to the person doing that work!
I would like to say so many other things, but I better stop here because I have already said too much!
One last thing I want to say THANK YOU to each and every single person that has purchased any of our products all throughout these years - but mostly now in these hard times. Thank you for helping me out in supporting my family, for believing in me and for every little thing that you do in order to keep or tiny business going.
Thanks and keep positive! Wishing you the very best of happiness, health, love & joy. Stay safe!