Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The winner is...

Hello, just a quick one today... to finally announce the winner of my cushion giveaway, sorry again for the slight delay! It's been a bit of a mission to collate all the names, comments and shares, especially on my facebook page - there were hundreds of them, 516 in total including all the comments on my blog post too!

I couldn't figure out how was best to do it - the random number generator was no good this time because I didn't have a simple list of names/numbers like usual, so I had to do it the old fashioned way, with pen and paper and a big bowl (couldn't find a hat!)

It's taken over two hours but the winner is.........................

Nickie M Smith... who shared and commented over on my facebook page

Well done Nickie, if you can get in touch by email at and give me your address that would be fab and I will get your new cushion sent out to you!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered, I really was overwhelmed with the number of people who joined in and I really appreciate all the support, shares and new fans who have come my way! I know a lot of people have asked over the last fortnight if I have any more of these cushions for sale... I have actually stopped making them now to concentrate on my smaller embroidered products, but I will be making one last small batch and running a little special offer to anyone who is interested, but it probably won't be until after mother's day now. I will let you know the details soon :)

Anyway that's all for now, hope you are having a good week, will be back soon xx

Sunday, 26 February 2012

New things

Hello, have you had a nice weekend? It feels a bit odd to be here writing on a Sunday, I usually do my posts mid week... Now I know this was supposed to be the giveaway winner post, but I do have an apology to make - I may have to leave it for a day or two, I'm so sorry, as I have so much still to do this evening, and with all the various names/shares etc on my facebook page in particular, it is not just a case of doing the random number generator thingy like I usually do, it's going to take some serious name writing out I think!! But I promise I will do it in the next day or two.

Things are still quite busy, and I have commission work deadlines looming this week, as well as quite a few orders trickling in for Mothers Day already. I have also been trying to organise all my online shops a bit better and spent quite a while this morning sorting my Etsy shop out! It's been pretty much neglected since before xmas, I hadn't listed anything new for weeks and I hadn't even taken my Christmas products down. But I gave it a little spring clean and it's looking sooooooo much better!

I've also been making new pretty mirrors and lots of new cards in the last few weeks and have been working hard to get them all photographed and listed in my shops... it takes so much longer than you think to write all the copy and edit all the pics doesn't it??

So these are some of the new designs I've been working on lately...

'Jug of Roses' embroidered mother's day card, can be personalised with your own message, and can be found in my Etsy shop here

'Best Mum'embroidered card

Embroidered cupcake card, really for birthdays but as it can be personalised with your own message it could just as easily be a mother's day card too! 

 Birthday balloons embroidered card...

...and some new mirrors too.... how I love this fabric especially the turquoise!! I've actually been on a bit of a fabric buying binge in the last few weeks, with the excuse that I 'need' it all for my work.... so looking forward to lots of parcels arriving this week!

You can find them here and here

I also made matching magnets as I had quite a few spare bits of fabric which weren't quite big enough for mirrors but a perfect size for the slightly smaller magnets and badges!

So that's about it for tonight as I can't believe it's gone seven already, so quite short and sweet for once! Anyway hope you've all had a bit of sunshine these last few days... We've had lovely weather this weekend (makes up for the miserable weather last week when I was completely miffed as everyone else in the whole country seemed to have sunshine) but haven't actually been out much in it. It just makes such a difference to have the house lovely and bright with the sun streaming in the windows... Really hope Spring is on it's way and it's not just a little tease!

Anyway back soon with my giveaway winner news, have a good week xxx

Monday, 20 February 2012


I've been hesitating a little over publishing this post, but then I thought 'well why the hell not', it's not me in the wrong here!!

You might wonder what I am talking about... well a couple of months ago, just before Christmas actually, I was randomly searching on the Internet for something  (anchor print fabric I seem to remember) when I came across some images of some beach hut hangers that literally made me gasp and do a complete double take...

Look familiar?????

Yes, I thought so too... I could hardly believe my eyes... Practically identical to my beach hut lavender bags! A quick search on Google and I could see this wasn't just some home crafter being a little too 'inspired'. 

©Jenny Arnott

I managed to find out the name of the company who are selling them, which is a large gift wholesaler here in the UK, but with manufacturing overseas I think. They have a huge range, and a massive customer base from what I can see - they exhibit at lots of trade shows throughout the year, so if you attend these sort of events, you may well have seen them or even bought from them.

I don't know whether they design in house or buy artwork from freelancers, but wherever they got the idea, in my eyes it is very clearly mine. I have been selling my beach hut lavender bags since 2010 and have lots of evidence to back this up, including sales of the items, as well as dated picture uploads on this blog, and places like facebook etc. 

I do actually have an example of their knock off product and their version is a cheap, rubbishy copy, obviously made in some factory somewhere. It retails for less than half of what mine does but boy does it show! Plus their product photography is awful.

Now I'm not claiming to have invented beach hut lavender bags at all. There are many, many examples if you look around the Internet, I certainly wasn't the first to make them. But what makes mine different from the rest are the fabrics I've chosen, the shape and the details such as the bunting, door number and knocker, the life ring on the roof... basically all the separate elements which make up the design and the way I put them together. I felt so angry and upset when I first found out... I mean how lazy and unethical do they have to be?! They have used practically every single element of my design (bar the fact that theirs have no lavender in them.) 

I immediately contacted the company directly, basically asking them to stop selling/making the product at once. They  agreed there were 'some similarities' (some???) between our products but agreed without putting up a fight to remove their beach huts from sale. It is difficult to know for sure whether they have kept their word. I know they have removed it from their trade website at least, and I have people on my side who were keeping an eye out for me at Spring Fair to make sure they weren't exhibiting with it.

However, they did not accept liability for copying. To be honest, I didn't push it further at the time. It was Christmas, and I was just glad they agreed to remove them from sale. To pursue the legal route would take money I don't have, and I don't think I could handle the stress anyway! Plus, you only have to change a few minute details on a design for it to be classed as a 'new design' anyway so they may have changed just enough to get away with it in the eyes of a court, even though it is quite clearly 'heavily inspired' by my work.

I'm not really sure why I am writing this post now, as technically it is done and dusted now... except it still keeps niggling away at the back of my brain. It's just frustrating that as a small business, it is difficult to come up against the big boys and they just get away with it. That's probably what they count on when ripping off other people's designs. That they know nothing will really happen. If they get found out, they just stop using the design, and probably move onto someone else. They've probably done it many times over.

Copying unfortunately does go on all the time in the design world... every time I log on to facebook there are always pages stealing other people's images and designs. Inspiration is fine - we are all 'inspired', consciously or unconsciously, every day by the things we see around us, especially with the Internet making everything so accessible these days. Plus there are only so many ideas out there - you would be hard pressed to find something so new and innovative that it is truly 'original'. But there is a  definite line between being inspired and just direct copying. And it's obviously not just small scale crafters to blame. I have read so many awful stories in the last few months about big, supposedly reputable companies who have used other artists' work and designs, it is really shocking how widespread the problem is.
So anyway if I could ask you all to keep an eye out for these hangers when you are out and about in the next few months, I would be really grateful. If you can let me know if you see any anywhere that would be appreciated. Little boutiques and gift shops are where they are most likely to be found. Hopefully though they have kept their word and are no longer selling them.

Anyway, thanks for reading, will be back soon with a more 'normal' post xxx

p.s My cushion giveaway is still open - I might have to close it early due to the huge volume of entries I've had on my blog/facebook page, so make sure you enter before it is too late! x

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

♥ Giveaway ♥

Hello again! Gosh, two posts in a day... it might be a record! (And actually I have written another today too, but that one is saved for next week.) Anyway, so here's my giveaway as promised earlier!

I have been thinking hard about the prize. In the past, I've done quite a few mirror/badge giveaways, so this one I thought would be different.

So this is the prize - one of my embroidered natural flowers cushions... I hope you like it? I chose this one in particular as it is quite neutral so hopefully will go with lots of people's colour schemes... The reverse is a lovely soft duck egg blue colour and it comes with a feather pad.

Anyway, there are two ways to enter to keep it nice and simple. 

One is to be a follower of my blog, and leave me a comment on this post.

The other is to like and share the giveaway on facebook. There is no need to come back and leave a second comment here if you don't want to, as I will be able to see the list of people who have shared on fb, and will just add all the names to one great big pot! Oh and I would really love to reach 2000 likers on my facebook page if that is possible??? It's a way off at the moment, but you never know so pretty please get sharing!)

This time the giveaway is UK only, due to the weight of the cushion for posting and will end a week on Sunday, 26th February at 3pm.

So that's it I think... except for good luck and thanks for entering xxx

A granny at 27!

I'm not really sure how to start this post, I'm kind of feeling a little quiet and lost for words today... just pottering around in my own little world...

The days seem like they are just rolling into each other at the moment, which is actually quite scary because we are already halfway through February! The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a blur of making personalised Valentines cards... I only had a couple of designs but they were really popular and they were taking up quite a bit of my time.

Things have quietened down quite a bit now though, which has given me time to work on a few new ideas... My personalised designs are by far my most successful, so working on the principle, 'if it ain't broken, don't fix it' I came up with these...

All of which can be found in my Not on the High Street Shop here.

Some are a little Valentines-y (have missed the boat as usual) but hopefully they will appeal to romantic souls throughout the year!

Anyway, talking of Valentines, did you do anything nice yesterday?? We don't make a huge deal out of Valentines day really but we kind of celebrated at the weekend instead with a cosy night in with a dvd which was nice (though very similar to pretty much any other Saturday night really!) We also don't give massive gifts to each other, though I was over the moon with mine... 

The amount I have harped on about these you would think I am being sponsored by them or something... (sadly not) but they are AMAZING! You heat them up in the microwave for a minute and they come out toasty hot.... they are absolutely the best present I could get as my feet are always little blocks of ice especially in the Winter, though I have a feeling these will be used all year round.

So my feet are now very happy :) Might go and heat them up now actually, I'm a bit chilly sitting here writing this.  Haha I am aware of just how much of a granny I sound these days! I will make an awesome granny one day though... I'll have had sixty years practise! 

Talking of grannies (see what I've done there) my granny blanket also got finished this weekend. It's been sat borderless for weeks now but I finally got around to it...

a proper ta-dah post will be coming soon, but for now here is a little peek of it all lovely and stripey

I fell in and out of love with it whilst I was making it but I am smitten once more. It's funny how I am drawn to such brightly coloured yarn, as with the exception of my studio which is nice and bright and cheerful, the rest of the house is so neutral! Will try and take some more close ups if we get a nice day later this week.

I actually also have my next blankety project all lined up in my head. I told Karl I was going to make another one, and his incredulous 'another one?!!!!' said it all. I think I am definitely a crochet-a-holic!

Anyway am off for now but am planning a giveaway later today so could well be back a little later on! Have a lovely rest of the week, hope you are managing to stay warm xxx

p.s another sign of granny-ness - I first titled this post 'A granny at 28' before I actually worked out that I am only 27 (I think). I seriously have a problem remembering how old I am... I actually have to count back the years in my head... doesn't bode well does it?!

p.p.s the giveaway post's now live, pop over if you have a minute! :)

Monday, 6 February 2012

Snowy memories...

Seeing all the snowy pictures all over blogs and facebook this weekend has made me want to do a snowy post too! We didn't actually get much here in Somerset though, a little dusting really, though the local children were out in force building snowmen and making snow angels on the ground. So I am cheating a little bit with today's pictures, they are all from a few years ago, at my parents old house in North Yorkshire. 

For much of my childhood, we lived in an isolated house out on the moortop between Reeth and Richmond. We used to get a LOT of snow each Winter, and would often get days off school as the school bus couldn't make it up the hill. It brought a lot of excitement to us as children and we had a lot of fun in the snow, me and my brother Laurence and then later, with our sister Harriet too. We owned a large field at the back of the house, and used to sledge down it with dad - I even remember him skiing down it one year! Unfortunately I haven't got any of these really old pictures to show you, though there are lots in albums at mum and dad's.

These photos are actually from a couple of different occasions, 2005 and 2010 I think, when I had gone back to visit them over Christmas.

As I've grown older, the magic of snow has worn off a little... mainly because everything seems to grind to a halt even when there is only a couple of inches on the ground and I just find it so frustrating... I still find it breathtakingly beautiful though, especially when it is as crisp and clear as this day was.

 Believe it or not there is actually a dry stone wall under all this snow!

 Can you see the moon still out? (I think it was only about 8.30 in the morning when I took these)


...and this is one of my all time favourite pictures, in fact I still use it as the background on my computer. Dad took when he was out on his daily walk one year. It is looking back at their house over the fields - if you look just to the right of the centre of the picture just below where the hill meets the sky, that little dark patch is their old house and garden. I love the crispness of the snow with the blue sky and the patch of mist in the valley. 

They actually moved away from the area the year before last though and I do miss going back to visit. At times when I was growing up, it seemed like a bit of a pain because of the isolation and it was really easy to take the stunning views for granted, but it really was a beautiful place to live. I don't know whether I will ever live anywhere like it again, but looking back, I definitely feel lucky to have lived in such an amazing setting for so many years.

Don't get me wrong, there were some very bleak, horrible weather days up there too, as it was just so exposed and open to the elements. In fact, the day I took these pictures, me and dad had gone for a little walk just to get out of the house and oh my goodness, it was the most windy day I have ever experienced in my life. Once you got down the hill where these are taken it was fine, but out on the top road, I felt like I couldn't even breath, it was really awful actually. Every time I took a breath, the wind whipped it away before I could get it down!! I had to walk backwards, with my scarf over my mouth and still could hardly get enough air to breath... not a nice feeling at all!

Anyway I'll leave you for today with this photo which always makes me smile. I think it's from the same Christmas... Me and Harriet built a snowman in the garden, then she built a teeny weeny baby one next to it! Just look at it's little scarf and hat... it does make me smile every time I look at it! Anyway, hope you are managing to stay wrapped up cosy and warm - have got all my thermals in use here and my hot water bottle is never far away either! Back soon xxx
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...