For years I’d been aware of the Hay Festival, and always thought I’d like to go. You know, one day, just to say I’d been. Oh, yes, I went to Hay, once… But I lived too far away, and the distance, the expense, and 2 young children… It just didn’t happen.
Then we moved to South Wales, and Hay is about an hour’s drive away – and I still had youngish children, and a very limited budget – so I still didn’t go. There was that constant nagging feeling that Hay was maybe not for me, that I’m not a Hay type of person. That, I’m somehow not good enough to be there. Hay is a festival for literature, for the academic, the intellectual. Not for me.
Two years ago Cerys Matthews was there – and I had no idea what she was doing, only that I wanted to see whatever it was. So, I got tickets, and went. Just on a whim, on impulse, just because. She was part of a panel reading Dylan Thomas poetry. She read poetry, she talked, she sang, and I surprised myself in how much I enjoyed it. While waiting for the show, I wandered the festival, soaked in the atmosphere, wandered into Hay-on-Wye town and ambled about a bit. I didn’t not fit.
This year I spotted Amy MacDonald was playing. I first came across her when she sang for the returning athletes after the Olympics in 2012, and I’ve liked her music ever since.
So, as 2017 seems to be a year of, sod it, let’s do it, and I had a teenager and friend who wanted to see her too – we went. After a long day in work, we made it to Hay in plenty of time and had a little wander. It was quiet, security was tighter than before, but we were expecting that after Manchester. But the atmosphere was alive with creativity. Amy was brilliant live – a show packed with old favourites and new material, some politics, plenty of laughter, and some joining in.
We had a great time, and both teens wanted to go back for more of a mooch around the books, the stalls. Today we gathered a car full, and we went back.
It was packed, crowded, buzzing with people. There were armed police among the crowds but no-one seemed bothered. We wandered for a couple of hours, and it may sound silly, but I can almost feel the creativity starting to spark again. I’m starting to wonder, what’s next?
After a lovely day out last week, I have a few images that I think might make striking greeting cards to add to the range, but I’d love some input from you.
I’ve added the images to an album on my facebook page, and to a gallery on this website too. All you have to do is either like the images you would like to see included, or comment on the gallery – links to both are below.
At the end of each month I’ll check the likes and comments and add up the votes and then decide how many new cards to add.
Thank you all so much for helping test the new shop. There were a few wrinkles to iron out, as I suspected, and as is the purpose of such testing. But I think we have them sorted now. Should you come across any issues please let me know and we can try to solve them as quickly as possible.
There has been extensive work behind the scenes, and repeated testing and edits, but there comes a time when you have to just take the plunge and declare, “It’s as ready as it can be.” So, with no fanfare, no blowing of trumpets, no rolls on drums, no applause…. I can declare the Sarah Barnard Webshop, Open!
Feel free to come on in, have a browse, and use the code open25 at checkout to get 25% off your order as an opening offer.
This offer is not valid in conjunction with any other coupon or offer, and can only be used once per customer. This coupon is only valid until Friday 26th May 2017.
Right then folks, I need to test my shop. I’ve tested it with paypal sandbox and I think it looks all ok and good to go. It look like it’s all working as it should and transactions seem to be going through properly, but I want to test it with real people and real sales.
So, if you want to help out, and give it a whirl for me, put the code “50testmay” into the checkout and that will give you a whopping 50% off any greeting cards or ebooks you purchase. Your purchase is real, and you will receive whatever you order. The code is only valid until midnight on Friday and I’ll be posting any orders out on Thursday, and again on Saturday morning.
Any feedback on how it all works, or anything that doesn’t work as it should, would be fabulous.
This past week has seen a new idea begin to take shape. It all started last Christmas, when I was given a camera, my first DSLR – Thanks Dad! The beauty of digital is that you can take literally thousands of pictures, and then delete them all when they’re completely rubbish. But now and then, once in a while, there’s an image that sings, that stands out, and you fall in love with it.
First I set out to take a picture of a gull, in flight. They are magnificent hanging in the wind, wings outstretched. They’re almost boring sitting on the ground, hunched against the weather. I managed to capture some lovely images, and friends and acquaintances commented that one or two could be good enough to be commercial. Further opportunities came about, and I found myself planning trips out to capture particular images – usually wildlife, or nature in some form.
I printed a handful, made them into cards and sent them to friends or family as birthday cards. The response was good.
Then, as part of the digital media course I am studying, we had to create an online shop. So, I thought, I have my books, and I’ve added some of Mum’s hand crafted items, why not have some of the pictures as cards as well?
The first few arrived a few days ago and I’ve been adding them a few at a time. There aren’t many of each print, and I think I’ll keep it that way for now. If you’re interested, check out the “Greeting cards” link on the left side of the page.