Monday, 12 December 2011

Super duper special christmas offer x

Help me and get a super duper bargain at the same time..! Sound good? Then read on to find out more...I am longing to design some new products in the new year and have already done sketches for a 'good morning', 'good night' cushion, a trevor bear cushion with ears and some tree screen prints...I can't wait to turn my sketches into lovely new products, but alas I am running out of space in my little upside down house in Parsons Green and need to clear some space. So I have decided to have a sale to create some room for new things in the new year and also to thank my lovely customers for all their support with my business over the last six months...

So here goes with the special offers...I have reduced my lovely bird reversible shoppers and meadowsweet reversible shoppers from £20 to £6 (more info below)

Lovely bird shopper in natural cotton. Printed in peach. The lovely bird shopper is lined with co-ordinating peach stripes and is fully reversible. All shoppers come packaged in a cotton drawstring bag for snug and safe storage and with a hand printed gift tag and tiny badge to personalise.

All badges are handmade so illustrations and colours will vary but will co-ordinate perfectly with your meadowsweet shopper.

Height: 41cm, width 37cm, straps: 62cm.

Perfect to carry your groceries. Great to store children's toys or even as a baby girl's nappy bag.

Meadowsweet shopper in natural cotton.

Available in beechy brown embroidered in cream and peach and in cream embroidered in green. The meadowsweet shopper is lined with co-ordinating beech brown or green dots and is fully reversible.

All shoppers come packaged in a cotton drawstring bag for snug and safe storage and with a hand printed gift tag and tiny badge to personalise.

All badges are handmade so illustrations and colours will vary but will co-ordinate perfectly with your meadowsweet shopper.

Height: 41cm, width 37cm, length of straps: 62cm.

And I have reduced the last few clementine wooden hoop bags from £34 to £12...!

Clementine wooden hoop bag in two beautiful colour ways. Choose from natural cream cotton and blue or cream and green. The cream and blue Clementine is printed and embroidered in blue and is lined with co-ordinating blue stripes . The cream and green Clementine is printed and embroidered in green and is lined with co-ordinating green dots. Both Clementine bags are fully reversible.

All Clementine bags come packaged in a cotton drawstring bag for snug and safe storage and with a hand printed gift tag and a selection of three badges to personalise.

All badges are handmade so illustrations and colours will vary but will co-ordinate perfectly with your clementine bag. Each Clementine bag comes with one large badge and two small badges. One of the small badges is embellished with faux pearls or tiny crystals.

Clementine bags measure approximately 23cm by 30cm by 9cm

All of these products are available on my Not in the High Street shop, but to receive the super duper special offer which is on until 19th December please send me an email to and I will send you a paypal invoice...happy shopping x

ps buy two or more products and receive an extra drawstring bag of badges to customise your bags x (and the boring bit...I will add £2.00 to your paypal request to cover postage and packaging)

Friday, 9 December 2011

Spreading the word...x

I'm well aware that many designer makers are featured in lots of magazines and blogs but as a relatively new face on the block I'm not really at that stage yet so when my good friend sent me a photo of my name in the Evening Standard newspaper I was thrilled and this was followed my a picture of my dearest Melancholy tree cushion in West London living...yey x

Here you can see my little press snippets which will hopefully soon be joined by more as January and February are going to be all about the press well as working on some new designs. I have also been featured on some really lovely blogs...please check out the links. Craft Central's blog, Amelia's magazine, the super talented jewellery designer Sarah Hallowes and last but by no means least a super lovely customer Anna, who writes a wonderful blog Creative mischief and me who wrote a simply gorgeous post about my packaging...

Thank you everybody, you have made me very happy x

Christmas fairs...x

Oh my goodness, what a busy bee I have been over the last few weeks...I am slightly worried that my poor baby will have forgotten who his mummy is, although he has been extremely well looked after by my other half and his adoring grandparents! Following on from Renegade and Spirit of Christmas I then popped over to Clerkenwell for the Craft Central open studio event and then to Notting Hill for the Design Fair...

It has been a very busy time but also extremely enjoyable. Nothing beats meeting your customers face to face and getting instant feedback on your work. I got some good constructive criticism and also lots of lovely compliments particularly on my urban garden range and cushions. I had lots of special offers as I know people are really watching their pennies at the moment and it was wonderful to see so many of you doing some of your Christmas shopping with one/of a kind boutique...

My favourite product is the melancholy tree as I love the idea of adopting a sad little tree who is all alone in the forest and giving him a cosy new home. He now comes with a 'happy face' badge in a little pouch as well as his 'glum face' badge so once you have given him lots of lovely cuddles, you can change his sad face for a more cheery one. It made me very happy to see so many melancholy trees going off to their new homes...x

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

New trees growing in the Urban Garden...x

I am super busy at the moment wrapping and packaging up orders as Christmas shopping seems to be well underway. I particularly enjoy parcelling up my little trees complete with their story tag and tiny badge to send to their new homes all over the country and in some cases all over the world as I sent a Miss Peabody to Washington yesterday and a set of Tree Triplets to Guernsey!

It is nice to think of the trees arriving and being unwrapped and displayed in all kinds of different places and I hope that their new owners will read the stories and have a little smile! All of my trees are limited edition and when Spring arrives I will be working on some new designs to add to the collection. I have already begun sketching a 'You are lovely' tree as well as a new arrival tree to celebrate babies born in 2012...

The little tree triplets...Percy, Pippa and Sue have been very popular so am wondering about a little twin set of trees, along with maybe a sleepy tree or dreamtime tree...

I would love to know what you think...any ideas for new little trees to bloom and blossom in the urban garden range..? x

Come and say hello at Craft Central x sooner is the Spirit of Christmas fair over and I've got home, unpacked and just about got back to normal than the Craft Central open studios is about to begin..! You may remember that I applied to take part in this show a long while ago and waited patiently to find out if I had been selected. I was thrilled to be included as I will be exhibiting alongside some very established designers such as Michelle Mason, Lucie Pritchard and one of my absolute favourite deisgner makers Esther Coombs...

I am excited to have my make one/sewing kits back in stock after a complete sell out at Spirit of Christmas. I have been beavering away putting them together and making lots of lovely samples to show people the decorations, key rings and brooches that you can produce. Please do pop by and say hi if you are in the Clerkenwell/ Farringdon area...I have lots of special offers as well as a couple of new products that won't be on my website until the Spring! Must get back to packing up my bits and pieces...x

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Getting ready for Spirit of Christmas x

Oh my goodness, I can't remember the last time I was so busy...I really underestimated the work involved in taking part in so many fairs...I am in the middle of getting ready for the Spirit of Christmas fair at Olympia next week, which I'm super excited and extremely nervous about. I have just received my beautiful new Love Apple tea towels from the screen printers and have had them printed in lavender as well as the usual dusty pink. I really like them and just need to tie them with twine and add a little apple badge and story tag to complete them for the fair...

Earlier today, when my 'to do' lists were getting quite out of hand my other half decided it was necessary in fact essential that I had some fresh air and a break from any kind of design or crafting so bundled baby Jake and I into the car and we headed to Richmond park for a much needed change of scene....

Bliss...he was right! Just a couple of miles away from home and I felt the weight lift off my shoulders and put everything back into perspective. As my mum always tells me 'everything is going to be ok...' and she is usually right. What a beautiful autumnal day with piles of leaves to stomp through and a bench for a rest and a cuddle break...

A lovely couple of hours and now daddy is in charge and it is back to work for me! Just a few more make one/ kits to put together before bed and then packing everything into boxes before heading to the fair to set up bright and early on Tuesday morning. Please do stop by and say hi...I am at stand GL51, mention that you follow my blog and I will give you a 10% discount. Sweet dreams x

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Renegade - part 3 x

Two more people I want to quickly mention before I go off to bed...the first is the super inspirational Daniel from the drawing machine. His stand really captured my attention, tiny little models of buildings with the most intricate detail. He was presenting a collection called faces and places. My favourite was definitely places...small blocks of wood in interesting shapes all illustrated to become pieces of fantasy architecture...

The aspect of Daniel's work that really appealed to me was the way that he sold his work which was by the cm rather than by the piece...what an interesting and unusual concept. The consumers were invited to create their own town by putting together a range of miniature buildings and towers...I really want to buy a town..! It reminded me a little of my urban garden range where people can buy one tree or lots of trees to create their own mini forest or woodland...I love the idea of people being able to interact with the products they choose to buy.

Also I just loved the beautiful presentation of the drawing machine's stand...simple, striking and really effective. Please Father Christmas bring me a miniature fantasy city...

And finally, finally...I need to mention the amazing Ethan. He was at Renegade with his mum Desiree. Desiree had a gorgeous stand selling her fantastic furry creatures, unfortunately the photos I took are a little blurred but you can see her lovely work here. Her son Ethan had a little corner of her stand and was selling his own comics. He has written the stories and illustrated them himself and when I asked him more about them he was quick to give me his very own business card, I was super impressed! It made me think fondly of the days when I will be able to bring Jake along to fairs and that maybe he will make his own little comic or toy...I think I have a few years to wait as he is only 4 months old..! Please check out the dog boy comics and you can listen to the theme tune here. Now I really must go to bed, before Jake wakes for his dreamtime feed x

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Renegade - part two x

Sorry guys...a few days later than anticipated, here I bring to you Renegade part two...Meet some of my neighbours from the fair...firstly the lovely Alice Gabb with her beautifully curated stand. Alice is an amazingly talented illustrator and stationery designer, her work is thoroughly British and has a vintage, traditional and quirky feel. She also makes beautiful bears, as you can see in the photo. Once I had made a few sales I decided to treat myself, I will show you a picture of Alfred in his new home in Parsons Green sometime soon...

Another Renegade favourite of mine was Robin & Mould...Amy and Christian, a husband and wife team who had travelled from rural Wiltshire to take part in the show. They design and print a range of homewares, including tea towels, tea cosies and the most delectable cushions. My favourite is the mustard and yellow owl cushion which is on my christmas present list.

I loved the styling of their stand, it complimented their products perfectly and really opened my inexperienced eyes to what can be done in a short time to create an amazingly eye catching display. I really can't praise their products enough and only wish I had managed to shop with them on the day.

Lovely stacks of cushions and
yummy tea cosies , doesn't it make you want to layer your sofa with blankets and cushions and pop a super cute cosy onto your tea pot...

You can read an interview about Robin and Mould on the Creative Control blog. Here is a little snippet...Our work is inspired by…anything and everything, small random combinations of colours/textures/type spotted in everyday things, illustration, graphic design, interiors, patterns, architecture…we could go on forever. We’re inspired by much of the same things but the design process is quite different for both of us. Somehow it always comes together with Christian doing lots of sketching and scribbling and Amy writing down ideas and beavering away on Illustrator. To read more click here.

I must apologise again for my rather slow blogging of late, baby Jake is teething and I am not getting very much sleep which is resulting in a very slow mummy! x ps just saw my very first shooting star, so excited...I made a wish x

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Renegade - part one x

What a lovely, if slightly hectic weekend I had at Renegade. Unfortunately I didn't take any proper photos once I was all set up as suddenly I had a flurry of customers and completely forgot. So you will have to make do with some work in progress shots that I was sending to my other half so he could see how I was getting on...they should give you an idea of the finished stand.

You can just about see my mum peeking out from behind the display, I really couldn't have done it without her...

And finally some closer shots of my cushions...I had some very interesting chats about my Melancholy tree cushion which seemed to divide people with its terribly sad story about his lost love and very glum face. I personally love Mr Melancholy tree and think it is good to balance the super sweet Happily Ever After tree and You and Me tree with a small touch of sadness and let's face it we all have our melancholy days from time to time and it is nice to know that the Melancholy tree is there to empathise..! Thank you to the lovely ladies who have given my melancholy friends a new home...he really is a very special little tree x

I will be back tomorrow to blog about some of my lovely neighbours at Renegade and to show you a couple of my purchases...night night x

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Renegade here I come...x

Super busy getting ready for Renegade craft fair at the Truman Brewery this weekend. I have been printing, sewing, stuffing and now packing...As you can see it's all hands on deck as Baby Jake has helped me do a quick stock take!

He was slightly concerned that I might accidentally pack him in one of the bags...

Do pop by...there are so many super talented designers and makers taking part it will be an inspirational and fun weekend. I am slightly worried that I will do so much shopping that I will come home with more stuff than I sell. I am particularly looking forward to seeing Alice Gabb and would love to buy one of her handmade bears...Captain Bert is my favourite! I am also excited to have the talented Julia Pott as my next door neighbour as I have been a fan of hers for a long time! Please come and say hello...x

Friday, 30 September 2011

Inspiration from Holly Becker at Anthropologie x

What could be better than one of your favourite bloggers hosting a book signing at one of your favourite shops...not much I hear you say. Well I agree wholeheartedly! Which is why I skipped along to Anthropologie to meet the lovely and extremely inspirational Holly Becker from the blog Decor 8...

I had a lovely afternoon listening to Holly's presentation on how to create a moodboard and I have to say I was more than a little star struck! I read Holly's blog most days and never fail to get inspired by her posts and I particularly love the way she reaches out to her readers and really puts herself out there so you feel like you (almost) know her. Sitting down to read her blog always gives me a little pick me up and helps me to keep on going with my creative business even when things are feeling a little tough. Anyway I have drifted off track...above you can see the before and after shots of her lovely moodboard, which she produced with the wonderfully talented Leslie Shewring who authors another beautiful blog called a creative mint. If you are ever stuck for some inspiration or just a little bit of positivity then you should definitely stop by their blogs.

I have to admit that I am a bit disappointed with myself as my nerves got the better of me and all thoughts of chatting and networking deserted me :( I had started the day full of confidence and armed with business cards to share with other creatives and left feeling a little cross that I had been so timid. I really wanted to share with Holly and Leslie how much I enjoy reading their blogs but oh dear I was too intimidated and left with all of my business cards and thoughts still in my head. On a positive note I did buy another copy of Holly's book Decorate, I already own a much thumbed copy...complete with many post it notes and scribbles, however I thought it would be the most perfect present for one of my dearest friends. I won't say who as it is going to be part of her Christmas present, but she is in the process of buying her first home so I thought it would be a perfect and very helpful gift. Anyway, I promise to be bolder and braver next time...x

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Parsons Green Farmers Market x

I love living in Parsons Green, particularly the lovely community feel about the area. Last Sunday we headed to the new farmer's market which is just a stone's throw from our little upside down house. The sun was shining which is always a bonus and it was nice to see a good turn out from the locals.

We were quite spoilt for choice with lots of yummy food and drinks and I am pleased to say that we managed to steer clear of the cakes although they did look extremely yummy (we've promised ourselves meringues next Sunday!)...we did buy a huge bag of golden yellow cherry tomatoes which we have eaten with every meal this week, from pesto, tomato and mozzarella sandwiches, to fresh pasta with tomato sauce and my favourite yummy tomato stew with salmon. You have to get a bit inventive when you have such a vast quantity of tomatoes to get through!

I was very pleased to see Chegworth Valley Farm in attendance as I am quite obsessed with their delicious apple juice and always buy a bottle whenever I spy it in coffee shops and deli's. I sampled some bramley apple juice and beetroot and apple juice but in the end settled on rhubarb and apple juice...yum yum! It didn't last long in our house, despite me trying to ration it to last the week. I will definitely be buying another bottle next weekend...x

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Hot chocolate and cake at Petersham nurseries x

Everybody has a favourite place, somewhere you feel calm and happy even when the rain is pouring and the wind is blowing a special place or at least one of them is Petersham nurseries in leafy Richmond. I absolutely love it and would go there everyday if I could...

I met two lovely friends there last week and enjoyed a delicious hot chocolate and a huge piece of scrummy cake as we caught up on each others news. The weather was terrible, but it didn't matter one bit as we were warm and cosy inside one of the green houses that make up the nursery.

After we had warmed up in the cafe we had a good look round at all of the gorgeous products on offer, the buyers do a fantastic job of putting together the most beautiful arrangements. How I would love to do a photoshoot here one day...We played the game, what would you buy if money was no object and spent a serious amount of time deciding, I loved the window frame mirror pictured below as well as a wonky red stripy jug and an old green metal chair...

Even the most utilitarian and mundane of objects take on a kind of magical quality here and I am always left with the desire to buy hundreds of plant pots and then stack them in deliciously artful ways around the place...

Oh how I love Petersham nurseries, as you can see from my big smile...I'm not sure baby Jake is quite as enamoured, but I am confident that he will change his mind just as soon as he is old enough to drink hot chocolate and eat yummy cake x

A special order x

One of my favourite products in my new range is the 'you and me' tree. I wrote a little story about her...

'from the moment we met I knew you were the one, you were cute and funny and special, you made me new and different and here it is for the world to + me = us x' This story is printed onto a recycled cardboard tag and comes with every little tree.

I was inspired to write this story by a very special person and each time I send one out into the world wrapped in crisp tissue and tied with a ribbon it makes me smile to think about both the giver and receiver of the you and me tree...

Last week I was asked to personalise a 'you and me' tree as a wedding gift. I thought this was such a lovely idea to celebrate a 'you' and a 'me' becoming an 'us' I made a little badge with the wedding date on and have since made two more with dates of engagements...Please let me know if I can personalise a tree for you with either a date or a name x

Friday, 2 September 2011

Crafty trail x

I am writing my blog today from cupcake, this is my refuge when staying in the house with Baby Jake becomes a bit lonely. Cupcake is a family centre just around the corner from my house and we come here to do baby yoga, sing nursery rhymes, dance about to music and to meet other mums and babies so I can have a chat and Jake can have a gurgle! Today I had the brainwave to bring my laptop to try and do a bit of work whilst Jake has his nap.

I have managed to send a few emails and start working on a new tree design for the urban garden range...very exciting, I have a lot more work to do but will give you a sneak peek when I have made a bit more progress.

If you are in London next weekend (10th and 11th September) you really should head to the Thames Festival, it is a wonderful celebration of the city with dancing, singing, racing on the river as well as delicious feasts and a fantastic arts festival. There is also a crafty trail this year and as a member of We make London I have donated some small prizes for the goodie bags as well as a bigger prize for the winner. My badge maker has been put to very good use!

If you take part in the crafty trail activities you could receive one of my super cute badges as well as lots of other treats from designer makers in the city.

I am really looking forward to heading over to the festival and taking part in lots of the exciting events...

Maybe I will see some of you there...x