• lucyshaplandart

Crying over brown envelopes...

So I did it, I launched my website, I launched my art and I promptly launched myself back into bed. Most people that know me, know I like to sleep (I’d like to say it is not entirely my fault, as it is definitely a Shapland family trait).

So, what have I been up to?

As eagle eyed as ever, Clare, also a fledgling businesswoman (@C.W Photography), spotted an advert for a Summer Arts Exhibition, Salisbury. So of course, naturally I jumped on the bandwagon and before we knew it we had snapped up a shared exhibiting space. In classic Lucy fashion, I misread the dates and thought I had a further weekend to prepare… errr turns out … I was wrong! It was for the 11-12 July meaning we only had 2 weeks to prepare. Eeekk!!

As this was the first stall for the both of us, we needed to organise and sort everything! Sunday 28 June, I woke up 0700 (as far as Sundays go, this is incredibly early for me!). I could not for the life of me get back to sleep (not normal).I was worried about how I could hang original framed art pieces in a gazebo? I snuck downstairs and made a cup of tea… 2 just in case. I creeped back into bed with my laptop and set about googling.Unfortunately, my unusual morning activity woke up a sleepy Sam; although unimpressed by the early awakening, his eyes lit up on spotting his cup of tea on the windowsill. Phew! And of course, even after being rudely awakened Sam came up with a solution.Sam explained he would collect some off cuts of waste wood from work and use them to hang originals by securing them up against the gazebo. Satisfied, I left this to Sam, although that didn’t stop me from worrying about it... cue dreams of the gazebo falling over along with my paintings!

So, my original paintings were framed and ready to go, tick. I ordered many prints and mounts; they were ready to go, tick. Greetings cards… Well I had such a success with my greeting’s cards that my pilot order of 120 instantly got snapped up! So very much like most of my decisions in life, I decided to jump in head first and put in my next order of 1,000! On the 30 June, Clare put in a joint order between the two of us for 1,800 cards. So we waited… and waited.. we started twitching… and twitching some more! After some chasing, we had news that the cards were on their way.. thank goodness! Clare forwarded the email onto me. It turns out the order was delayed due to their being a shortage of white envelopes, meaning they had topped up the order with brown envelops. I had ordered brown envelopes.

Initially, I misread this email. Please bear in mind before I continue, it was 8 o’clock at night, I hadn’t eaten yet (uh no!) and for the past week I had been very busy working full time job and working late into the evening on the exhibition. I was a busy busy bee. And this busy bee was tired. So now I have laid down my excuses, I’ll continue. So I misread the email, I though it meant I did not have brown envelopes instead I had white… Let me pause there…I thought I had white envelopes instead of brown ones… No big deal! Who cares? Well I can tell you right now at that moment in time I did indeed care… a lot!

I started crying. That’s right crying over brown envelopes! Between slobs I remember saying ‘I know there is nothing I can do about it now and I should just get over it.. but I wanted brownnnnn’. Sam tried to console me but settled on getting dinner out of the oven quickly (wise man)! I took the time to re-read the email and realised I was a complete banana donut woman who had read it wrong and then you guessed it I got more upset about what a complete melon head I had been and my god, how Sam puts up with a lot.

So, Friday I woke up suitably abashed by what a wonderful man I have! Went to work and managed to collect the cards from Clare. The cards arrive flat packed which meant Friday night, Sam, mum, dad and I were folding and packing, folding and packing, folding and packing! I took great joy in shouting out how good a stripper Sam was. Now before you get too excited Sam’s job was to remove the sealing strip on the cellophane and stick it down which he was obviously great at! The room looked like a bomb had hit it but we got enough cards ready for Saturday morning. Everything was prepared just in time for a midnight finish!

I was awake at 06:10 on Sat 11 July the day had arrived, and I was a mixture of nerves and excitement! We arrive at the venue and thankfully Sam managed to park our car by the gazebo! Sam set about sorting the display, measuring planks, custom hand sawing and safely securing them to the gazebo! What a superstar! Clare and I unpacked and sorted everything else. As I had a lot of stuff, Clare was also an absolute superstar and helped me set up!

By 10:00 everything was set up, we were happy and ready to go! We sat back and let the fun begin! The first sale of the day was one of Clare’s cards, we air high fived (obviously not touching...COVID an all), then the second sale was one of my cards…Woohoo! I don’t think I’ll ever forget the tingle of excitement from making the sale. A £2.50 sale. It didn’t exactly break the bank, but it got me hooked! They day flew by, it was lovely to meet and talk to people, discuss what I love and have them enjoy my art.

The next day was more relaxed as we knew what we were doing. It was only myself and Sam manning the stall on Sunday and as I had to leave the stall for 20 mins Sam took charge. I came back to Sam having made 5 sales while I was gone! What a salesman!... I thought maybe I could just leave him there so I could go put my feet up with a cuppa! Before I knew it our first exhibition stall had been a success and it was all over.

Both now absolutely knackered we packed up and picked up our crazy doggo, Minnie, from Sam’s parents along with a delicious home cooked take away meal and breakfast supplies (very spoilt!). We got home and collapsed (the dog included!).

What a weekend!

Of course, the weekend would not have been such a success without Sam, Clare, my mum and dad and Sam’s family as well. It truly was a team effort and for that I am extremely grateful!

In the run up to the event, it wasn’t always the smoothest of ride and sometimes I suffered a crisis of confidence. Some days I seem to lose all confidence in myself and think what am I doing? But Sam and the weekend opened my eyes to that fact I do not need to be afraid, I am the best investment I could ever make, and this is what I love to do and what I would like to do with my life. I am good enough to make it and I will. Watch out world!!

So, what now? All 14 of my original paintings are back up exhibiting in The Bowridge Gallery, Gillingham, Dorset until 8-9 Aug. Sam and I are both fully rested and recovered from the weekend so naturally I’ve signed us up for another one! So, if you think you can bear all this crazy in person then why don’t you come see us! We would love to see you!

We will be at the Summer Arts Craft and Music Festival 8-9 Aug 2020. A two day event 10:00 – 17:00 on both days on The Greencroft Salisbury. The closet car park is Salt Lane Car park which is a two-minute walk to the festival.

Thank you as always for reading, thank you for supporting and remember brown envelopes are not worth crying about! I learnt the hard way! Haha


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