Day in the life of …. Barefoot Mahala

Hello, I’m Nicola, owner of the Nottinghamshire Precious Memories studio and author of the Barefoot Mahala blog.  I’m mum to two wonderful children, five year old Cian and Cacha who is almost eleven months old.  My job as a castings artist/life caster means I create 2D and 3D casts, mainly of children’s hands and feet, although I also cast adults and pets, and even pregnancy bumps!

You’ll notice this post is called “A Day in the Life of …” and not “A Typical Day in the Life of …”, since it seems that no two days are alike when you run a Precious Memories franchise!  There are some things that happen a lot of course.  My days usually include at least one ten mile round trip to my son’s school, and often two.  So most days begin with a mad rush to get him up, fed and ready for school, and then breakfast starts again when I get home – this time it’s Cacha’s turn to eat.  I also do some volunteer work every week,  as a breastfeeding peer supporter and this takes up to 5 hours a week, depending on where I’m needed.

So, on this day in the life of, we’ve been really quite busy.  We had to collect a parcel on the way home from school, and then whilst Cacha played next to me, I made my way through a list of clients I needed to call, all wanting to book appointments for castings.  After that I had some emails to send and then we went out into the studio.  The weather is lovely today, so  Cacha played on the lawn whilst I set to work.

I have a shelving unit full of casts at various stages in the process, along with a jobs list so I know what I need to do next!  Today’s first jobs were painting a pair of casts and beginning the sanding on a set of sibling casts.

At lunchtime a client popped by to collect her frame – she was thrilled with the outcome and then soon afterwards, another client arrived armed with some great drawings her children had done, which we will make into cufflinks.

Time for lunch and a well-earned cup of coffee!

While Cacha had a nap, I grabbed some quiet time to do some writing – I always try and get that done whilst she’s asleep – it might be letters, press releases or blog posts; anything where I need to concentrate.  Then in the afternoon, we played, before heading out to post some paperwork.  By the time we got back from that, Cian was home from school with his Daddy, so work stopped then and it was time to concentrate on spellings homework and listening to Cian read. I try hard not to work after Cian comes home until after he’s in bed, since he’s away at school all day.

The evenings are spent relaxing as far as possible but if I’m honest I’m likely to be found on the sofa working away on my laptop with a glass of wine or cup of tea close by!  There’s always something to be done, but life is certainly never dull! I like the fact that I can plan my week out, deciding what I’ll do each day and making sure I fit in plenty of time for the children as well as working.

Nicola Kelsall


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