Tuesday, 25 February 2014


...excuse me while I indulge in a little giddyness...
"I'm in a book"
Last year I was asked by stylist, designer and blogger Torie Jayne to contribute to a new book that she was writing.  The book was to be an informative look at how to display, show, brand and sell your craft products.  Torie hand picked a range of makers from around the globe who she felt would be able to contribute to specific areas and chapters of the book itself. 
Within the pages and chapters I am amongst so many people I admire such as Emma Lamb, Nest Pretty Things, Elyse Major from Tinkered Treasures and many more, -  I really do have to pinch myself and feel very privileged to have been asked.  So, after being interviewed  and chatting to Torie I was later photographed, with my stand, at Selina Lake's Hand Made Fair.  It seemed such a long while until the book was published but now we are here and I have my very own copy.  You can purchase yours over at Amazon or pop into your local Hobbycraft.  Not only is it published here but it is currently available in the USA and Asia and I hear that it will soon be available in Australia.

When I first ventured into running my little business I had a few makings, a half attempted business plan, didn't even know what my 'brand' was, the internet was just starting its fight with joint ownership of the telephone cable, Facebook were two seperate words and had yet to be joined, I had heaps and heaps of passion but wasn't too sure which path to walk. There were endless business courses to attend but they were all a bit too corporate and generic.  There is only so much room in my brain to retain information about tax and profit and loss and spread sheets and we all know that they don't scratch the same decorative itch that fabric and thread seems to reach. 
Now I am not just about to gush about this book because I am in it, but I really do wish that there was a book like this for me in the beginning of my journey.  I have read it from cover to cover, made notes too from its suggestions and advice.  It doesn't matter which point you are at in your business journey I am sure you will find this book rather helpful as it is easy to follow and filled with sound, practical advice.
Heading of chapters: Getting Started, Branding, Selling In Person, Marketing, Words of Wisdom, What Next?, Social Media. 
There are lots of DIY projects too.  There are also great pages that talk about areas such as creating a virtual shop banner, how to write listings, photography skills, packaging tips, studio storage, designing an avatar, market research, brand building, organising your work space, selling in shops and so much more.....


So do you fancy winning a copy?
All you have to do is leave a comment below and it would be rather wonderful if you clicked to follow my little blog here too if you don't already - I natter away here quite regularly (you can see the follow link at the bottom of this page) - then tip tap the keys to create just one sentence about why you would like a copy for your book shelf.
I will select my favourite comment and the 'Winner' will be announced on
Thursday 20th March.

p.s the book has its own Facebook page too. 

Sunday, 23 February 2014

a sunday sigh

..have you noticed how much lighter it is of a morning...the first signs of Spring...

Saturday, 22 February 2014

the gathering wall

...before I make, I gather. 
Filling the walls with panels and fabrics and cut flowers...
how can you not feel cheery when your workplace looks so chirpy.

I'll record how it changes over the days.
I wonder what the end results will be....
for me, that is the exciting part,
not quite sure where the garden path with take me.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

the making table

preparing cushion compositions today
(one of my favourite tasks)

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

cushion composing

...it is currently half term and the most important task is to ensure that my girls relax, have fun, create memories and most importantly make life stop for a little while.  Even though they are only young (6 & 9) they work hard - far harder than us adults at times - their teeny brains exhausted.  
Term time is full of learning and doing alongside after school activities, homework, they are little machines.......as a Mum I have only just recently accepted that it is 'ok' to simply do not that much at all at half term, especially this time of the year.  No tearing around for miles and miles....just letting them escape into their own little worlds, ocasionally popping out for a saunter here and there....

 ...working from home means that I can just pop into the studio and spend a couple of hours a day preparing for the next few weeks.  The splendid joy of sorting and tidying and gathering materials for the next collection....I can spend hours just laying fabrics next to each other, playing around with compositions as if it were a board game.  I am , over the next few weeks, working on this seasons collection of cushions.  I only make so many a year and each being a one-off treasure.  I keep two for myself and sell the rest either at fairs or over at my Etsy store The Vintage Drawer.

So here is a little snippet of the next makings...
I'll keep you informed as to how I get on.
...And if you fancy joining in then you can grab yourself some floral pretty over at
- lots of fabrics and lace and trimmings to get those making hands stitching....


Sunday, 16 February 2014

Sunday, 9 February 2014

...papering the living room....

.....I have a rather 'out of control' collection of Victorian decoupage papers.  So, as part of my potterings on a Sunday, I thought I would sort through and see if I could part with a small gathering over at The Linen Garden shop next week.  I started to attach them to the corners of my paintings in the living room - they look rather cheery that I don't actually want to take them down.....

(ppssst) it is now a few days since I wrote this post...these (or similar) are now currently for sale over at The Linen Garden...

Monday, 3 February 2014

...the Friday-Monday rule....

...I am trying to stick to my new routine of work/family/sanity balance that only allows me to check into my work room on a weekend to answer emails or to indulge in a little internet meandering.  I don't own a mobile phone so my visiting Facebook or Pinterest or Etsy is one taken by being sat at my bureau infront of my pc. 
It is so important that work has a completion line that closes one week and allows the next in line to commence with a refreshed eye.   I have chosen to be a tad organised on a Friday.  This may seem a bit confusing but I leave my work room as if it is the up and coming Monday morning.  I leave new trimmings hanging on the wall, new found visuals positioned on floral grounds, re-awaken textures, tidy and sort and leave the studio with exciting compositions in place.  A sense of a new week before we even approach.  
...so this is how my Monday morning looks to me....I have a list in my diary of orders needing to be completed and sent and while I work on those I ponder what to do with the new fabrics and ephemera that have recently arrived in the studio...I take an acknowledged consideration and nod to completing projects and products that are still only half made - even if it is only another quarter of a mile of stitching I will be still closer to completion that I was last Friday.
....do you have any routines you can share...I love hearing how others organise their week - sometimes I wonder how I manage to complete deadlines when there are so many distractions.....but I do and satisfaction is felt....