Sunday, 8 July 2012

All sewn up!

Finally! I am now ready for testing. The final pieces were sewn up tonight (pizza set and cabbage) after having a few days off from sewing. I was so unsure of the cabbage. I dont want to leaves around the edge to come away during the testing so took a while to figure out the best way to solve this worry, but it happened first try!

Managed to get some clamps after searching for 3 days. I was avoiding the likes of Homebase and B&Q in the hopes of finding them cheaper, but to no aveil, so I caved and brought them in B&Q, and my brother has the required blow torch needed for the flammability testing, so hoping all testing can be completed in the next 3-4 days... exciting times.

Anyway here are the completed veggie and pizza set ready for testing: What do you think? 

Cabbage, carrot, button mushroom, asparagus and a potato
Pizza 1/4 (will be sold in 4's to make a whole pizza)
I love the toppings, but I am so limited as I cannot make them too small otherwise they wont pass the safety tests!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Midnight snack anyone?

Anyone hungry? Just looking at all this food makes me want to eat it, good job it's felt and not the real thing.

With the new felt arriving this morning, and Amara finally tucked up in bed what better way to spend the evening then sew up the sandwich set ready for testing. What do you think? Does it make you hungry too?

Sandwich  testing set

On the left we have a slice of ham, chicken and beef. in the middle is a slice of bread (I only need 1 for testing, the set will of course include 2) and on the right there is a slice of cheese, lettuce leaf, tomato and cucumber slice.


It allows you to create different combos of your favourite fillings... and here is mine, ham salad. I think the testing of these will be rather quick as they are not stuffed, and just layers of felt, so I may even do it tonight, and fill out the paperwork, which should leave me more time to test the fruit set once the clamps have been brought.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Testing: Round 1

With my new felt arriving this morning (great service, considering I only ordered yesterday at 3pm) I was able to finish up the rest of the fruit set, so I am now ready to carry out the testing, what do you think?

Some of the items I shouldnt have to set fire to as they are small enough but I think the pear and banana are definately going up in flames (not too many I hope!)

I should also be able to sew up the entire sandwich set tonight, as there is no stuffing involved and then I can concentrate on the vegetable set.

Testing results to follow....

Friday, 29 June 2012

What a week!

So it's been almost a week since ive wrote a new post, how time flies!

I brought a brilliant pack from a place called 'Conformance' which lays out everything I need to include in my technical file. It has a great checklist, to make sure each toy is safe and some great pictures on how to do the testing.

I am quite close to being able to do all my safety tests on the fruit set,  they are looking so good, Amara even tries to eat them! I have also put in a new order today for different coloured felt ready to sew up the fruit set and the sandwich set, so they should be with me early next week.

So I've been in contact with a lovely lady on Facebook. She messaged me out of the blue and said she would love to help me create a logo. I cannot believe the kindness of people sometimes. What we have been working on looks amazing and 1000x better then what I cam up with, so watch this space for a new logo!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Getting artsy

So it's 2.36am and I am still not in bed. I have too many ideas running around in my head, some which have lead to me feeling very satisfied and hopefully mean I can settle down to sleep, ready for the 6am wake up call from Amara!
Tonight has been an artsy night as I have sat down and drawn the first designs of 18 products. These will comprise of my first three sets, so once the felt arrives I can really crack on with trialing the 'Fruit Bowl Set'

Now this is the thing I am really happy about from tonight, I have had a go at creating a logo (You might think I am getting ahead of myself, but I actually need it sorted in order to create a section in my tech file, as I dont intend on having labels sewn onto my products. Instead opting for a card label which will accompany the product brought) and I really feel it captures what Amara's Market is about. What do you think? 

I am going to add it to my personal Facebook account so I can gauge people's opinions of it and whether they think it needs tweaking at all. Feel free to leave a comment here on your views of it too!

Friday, 22 June 2012

The good and the bad

It's always the way... something good happens, then something equally as bad follows...

The good
So I have been fortunate in finding two lovely people to be my testers for my first product the 'Fruit bowl set'. As my products are nowhere near being CE marked I am offering these products as 'gifts' in return for a small review and maybe some pics to use here. I am hoping that I can use it as a good bit of market research. The 'Fruit bowl set' contains a whole banana, 2x apple slices, orange slices, banana slices, a watermelon slice, 2-3 half strawberries and kiwi slices. Quite a good range I think, and should allow the children to understand some different shapes, as well as the different fruits available. Kiwi's had to make an appearance seeing as these are Amara's favourite fruit!

The Bad
I am stumbled across a hurdle, which I am hoping is just a small one *crosses fingers*. The food imitations regulation. I have searched so much online, but everything seems to be linked with soaps that look like bits of food, mainly slices of cakes and I cannot find anything linked with felt food. So I am just waiting for Trading standards to get in contact with me and I can quiz them over this.

But back to a more happier note: I have made my first order with the felt supplier that I will be using. I have never used their felt before, but it looks lovely. I have ordered a colour chart, so I can hopfully match things accurately; I want the foods to be a realistic as possible. This felt will go towards Amara's set as well as my two testers, and give me a good indicator on how well it will work with my products.

So watch this space... I should be able to add lovely pics of my 1st potential product in Amara's Market!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Ideas, ideas, ideas...

I've been very lucky today in that both suppliers I am hoping to use have provided me with the documentation that proves their products comply with EN.71 This is one of the first steps needed to get the ball rolling. The other is communication with Trading Standards.  I have sent them an email, so it's all just a waiting game.

So in the mean time I have been thinking of product ranges I can start off making and selling. I have decided on 3-4 sets of foods as my base. I have so many more ideas in the pipe line, but dont want to get ahead of myself, there is always room for expansion at a later date. So my first pack will be fruit, things such as banana, apple, grapes, kiwi etc. Second pack will be vegtables like mushrooms, carrots, cabbage. My third potential set is meat/fish based, and the final set would be a pizza making set, where you are able to select up to 3 toppings, in addtion to the usual cheese and tomato base. I think Amara would enjoy creating a pizza and popping it in her little oven to cook, and serving up a fruit salad so I hope your children would too!