Thursday, 28 April 2011

A good spring clean!

My little studio had been getting messier and messier for the last few weeks - which really gets me down. There were piles of fabric everywhere, with ribbons, papers, buttons, receipts, bank statements and all sorts of other things all jumbled up everywhere I looked! 

Although I'm usually a complete neat freak, I am a messy worker - I like to be surrounded by everything as I design, but it is so tempting at the end of a long day just to do a cursory tidy up, put everything into piles and close the door! Especially as more often than not I know that I will need it all again the next day.

But last weekend, I decided to have a complete spring clean, and it looks soooo much better now, and so much more lovely to work in...

I sorted out all my cottons into my vintage letterpress tray where I keep many of them.

I then set about tidying my fabrics... I bought about 30 clear plastic baskets and sorted all my fabrics into them by colour. I also made 'scrap' boxes for each colour with all the tiny fabric scraps I had lying around, which I can use for my applique designs.

I also organised all my stock into plastic boxes and sorted all my badge, mirror and magnet components into separate baskets too so they are all easily to hand when I need them.

I then organised all my sequins and jewels into individual compartments in various plastic containers and baskets. I also sorted all my jumbled up bags of ribbons into individual little grip seal bags to make them easier to find - yes I really was that pedantic - once I got going with it all, I just couldn't stop!

There is just something I find so satisfying about having everything all neat and ordered again. It's amazing how many things I found that I actually had forgotten buying! So I am going to try my very best not to mess it all up quickly because I really do find it so much more pleasant and productive to work in.
Anyway, thanks as always for popping by, hope you all enjoy the Royal wedding tomorrow! I for one will be watching the coverage on telly with a couple of friends (didn't know this til this morning though so not really planned anything special!) Have a wonderful long weekend too, let's hope it's another sunny one xxx

Friday, 22 April 2011

Beach Huts and Bunting

It feels like ages and ages since I made anything just for myself but I've had a real urge recently to spend a day doing just that. So much of my time I spend sewing, but often I am just making up stock of designs I already sell, or stitching personalised orders for other people... It's not that often that I have either the time or enthusiasm to actually make something for myself. 

I decided to make a picture because the walls of my studio are looking quite bare, and I wanted something cheery to brighten them up... and what is more cheery than a row of pastel coloured beach huts? And of course there's lots of bunting... which you can never ever have too much of! 

Though I probably should have been sewing the pile of lavender bags on my desk which are all cut out waiting to be stitched, I promptly set about making an absolute mess, completely surrounded with fabric and very much enjoying myself as I decided on the colours I wanted to use...

Being super organised I bought the frame before I started (bargain from Wilkinson's) which is actually most unlike me. Usually I jump right in and create something with such odd dimensions that then I can never find a frame to fit!

All the fabrics I've used are just bits and pieces from my stash, but I made sure to use lots of my favourites.

It's not quite what I had in my head when I started, but then things never quite turn out like that, and I'm quite pleased with it in the end. The pink and aqua make a nice change from navy and red when sewing my beach huts - may even try and develop it into a future design/line, but for now, it is up on my wall and feels just right for the beautiful Summer weather we've been having lately. In fact, talking of which, I'm going to try and sneak half an hours sitting in the sun now before it disappears behind the hill :) 

Thanks as always for stopping by and reading my blog, I hope you have a wonderful Eastery weekend, filled with much sunshine and chocolate! Back soon xxx

Monday, 18 April 2011

Easter Biscuits

This weekend was a very rare one in that I did no work at all! This is almost unheard of, as I'm always usually working on something or other, but I had no urgent orders to make, and anyway, I had plans...

Spent a lovely surprise day in Bath on Saturday with mum and sister Harriet who were in Wiltshire visiting friends, then yesterday, I decided to bake! Those who have been reading my blog for the last few months will know that I recently discovered the art of biscuit icing, haha! This is my third go... you can see my previous efforts here and here!

I bought the duck and chick shape cookie cutters in Bath, but for the others, including the cute little lamb (my favourite!) I made cardboard templates and cut around them with a knife.

By popular request, I made the Super Chocolatey biscuit mix again, though it was quite hard work - the dough did NOT want to stick together but I got there in the end, and cut out all my little shapes. Then I made my  icing and split it up into various piping bags and bottles for all my separate colours. This took ages - way longer than I planned, but as I've learned before, it is all in the preparation!

Then came the fun part! I find controlling the icing quite similar to the control I have to have when embroidering my tiny badges which I think is why I like it so much, and I now find it relatively easy to maintain a smooth-ish piped line! (Dots on the other hand still get the better of me, but hoping this will come with practise, haha!)

I have to confess I haven't actually eaten any of them yet, mainly because I wanted to photograph them this morning but also because they just look so pretty I can't bear to! (I have mind you had quite a few of the un-iced 'spare' ones I made - very yummy they were too!)

Already I'm thinking of my next biscuit baking session, though it probably won't be for a few months yet... maybe I'll do beach huts and seagulls, just in time for Summer! Any other ideas?

Anyway, thanks for popping by and I hope you all have a super lovely week, Jenny xx

p.s forgot to mention that I'll be doing another giveaway when I reach 200 followers - not many to go now! x

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Hey Little Cupcake!

Over the last couple of months, I've begun supplying several new stockists all around the country, one of which is Hey Little Cupcake!

Hey Little Cupcake! opened in Spinningfields, Manchester in February 2011, selling an amazing selection of yummy cupcakes, alongside a range of cupcake themed gifts. 

The cupcakery stocks a selection of my cupcake badges, mirrors and lavender bags, and just looks like the most amazing place, I can't wait until I'm 'up north' again so I can pop in myself!

How fab does the interior look? Love the bright pink and white floor tiles, and the gorgeous artwork on the walls! And then of course there are the cupcakes themselves...

You can find out more about Hey Little Cupcake! by having a look at their lovely website, or find them on facebook and twitter. And if you are in Manchester, definitely make sure you pay them a visit! Mmmmm yum... if only I didn't live quite so far away! 

Will be doing more blog posts about some of my recent stockists over the next few weeks, but now you are all now suitably hungry for cake, I best go... have a lot of mirror making to be getting on with! Thanks for stopping by, hope you have a great rest of your week, 

Jenny x

Images 1, 5 and 6 in this post are copyright of Hey Little Cupcake!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Happy Weekend

Who knew there would be so much enjoyment to be had from one small pack of mini eggs... a perfect Saturday morning treat before we go out for the day!


Have a brilliant weekend in the sunshine xxx

p.s thanks to Helen and Lou for the mini egg inspiration :)

Monday, 4 April 2011

Something new for Easter!

Right, well this was actually the post I was supposed to be writing yesterday before I got distracted! I wanted to show you something new which I've been working  on this week - printed pocket mirrors! They are the same size as my fabric embroidered ones, 58mm diameter, but instead have the image printed and protected behind a layer of cellophane!

They are much quicker and easier to produce than my embroidered ones,hurray! - Obviously, since I don't need to stitch each one individually! The other good news is that because of this, I can sell them a lot cheaper, so they are only £3 each, and like all my handbag mirrors, come with an ivory organza bag to keep them safe and clean. They can be found in my NOTHS shop for now if you would like one:)

This has felt like a little lightbulb moment, as lately I have been thinking about ways I can expand my product range without too much hard work, time and money and these are an ideal way to do just that.

This way I can use some of my most popular printed designs from both my greetings cards and my Pingg collection too - whilst they are still in keeping with my overall style. So far, I've only got as far as this little Easter collection, but I hope to add a few more designs soon... If you have any suggestions, feel free to let me know!

The other lovely news this week is that Claire from Knitted Back Together has very kindly awarded me the Liebster Blog Award. This is the second time I have been given this award lately, but am no less honoured, thank you muchly Claire, it is very much appreciated! This award is slightly different from some of the other blogging awards in that it celebrates handmade and artisan blogs, with 300 followers or less. The aim is to promote small handmade businesses and encourage more readers to their blogs and more visitors to their online shops, which is a fabulous idea.

Since I passed on this award not so long ago, I won't choose any more blogs today, hope you understand, but I really do appreciate being given it!

So that is all for now, have got to pop to the Post office now... grrrr... can't believe how much the price of stamps has gone up. I stocked up on a load last week, but not looking forward to the day I run out. Plus I need to post some bigger items today too, which no doubt will cost me a small fortune. Right moan over, have a super week everyone, Jenny x

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Happy Mother's Day Mum!

I am very lucky to still have both my parents alive and well. I don’t get to see them very often though, and I only usually talk to them once or twice a week, but I just wanted to let them both know how much I love them.

A couple of people I know this week have lost loved ones, and it's really reminded me of how much you should appreciate and look after your family, so I thought I would write this impromptu post since it is Mother's Day after all!

There are lots of reasons and memories why I love my mum, many of them may seem random or trivial but to me they mean a lot. Here are just a few of them...

 ♥ She has always encouraged me to be artistic, from those early days of mixing up buckets of flour and water glue for me, to letting me paint to my hearts content at my easel when I was a toddler. I’m sure the enjoyment I got out of creative activities when I was small has played a massive part in what I do now.

♥ She would always have the fire lit when me and my brother came home from school when we were little. Home was always a welcoming place to come back to, still is, even though I am in well into my twenties!

♥ When my cherished blanket got packed up by mistake by the removals people when I was small, she spent the next few hours sewing me a replacement toy clown so I wouldn't be sad instead of helping pack up the rest of the house.

♥ She would spend hours helping me out with projects and homework when I was younger, thinking of ideas and going out of her way to buy me materials for what I needed. I'm sure I wouldn’t have done half as well at school if I hadn’t had her help and inspiration!

♥ When I finished my A-levels, and lots of people were encouraging me to do something more academic, I know she supported my decision to go to art school instead. It was one of the best decisions I have made, and I’m really glad I was encouraged to follow my heart.

♥ She made sure we learned how to swim and ride a bike, as she never had the chance herself.

♥ She is my mum and hairdresser all in one. Whenever I go back to visit, I always have a trim and hair-dye session!

♥ I know things can’t have been easy for her over these last few years, with all of us children now having flown the nest. I’m really proud of how she has got back in touch with old friends, joined the gym and is making more time for herself.

♥ She has also recently started to learn to use a computer and it’s something I am also really proud of her for. It’s not something she grew up with, but I think it’s wonderful she is taking it on now, and even fathoming out the mysteries of facebook!

♥ When I was sad and upset last year, she was the one I called first. She listened and gave me advice and never once said ‘I told you so’.

♥ She always listens if I call her up to have a moan (quite often!)

♥ I know she will always love me no matter what.

So mum - and dad too - if you are reading this, I love you lots... Hope you have a good rest of your day and I will talk to you soon xxx

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...