Advent Calendar Idea

It’s been far too long since I posted! I’m very excited as Christmas is just around the corner! I have been busy designing and making new lines for you all.

My son and I were talking about his advent calendar this week and he has come up with a fabulous idea. He suggested that in each advent pocket he gets an activity.

The best thing is this idea can work around working parents but gets you all interacting and spending time with one another. You can save the longer activities for the weekends or Christmas school break.

Here’s some ideas

So December 1st- bake a chocolate cake

December 2nd- play monopoly

December 3rd-decorate gingerbread houses

December 4th- make a Christmas decoration

Fathers Day!

Its nearly here, its a few days away! Its fathers day this Sunday and its so hard to find something to give dad which is pocket money priced.

You don have to go crazy to tell dad you love him on this special day.

These rather lovely Sass and Belle “I Love U Dad” are definitely on the money!

So go on, show him you care!



Cath Kidston redecorates Bournemouth Beach Huts in FABULOUS PRINTS

Today it actually feels like summer. I am feeling extremely nautical and wish I had a beach hut. Recently the Cath Kidston #randomactsofkidston came  to Bournemouth and redecorated some beach huts. I can not pin which one I prefer. I love all the fabulous prints. River Fish is currently in the lead as I am feeling rather nautical today.

Which one do you prefer?


Beautiful Bournemouth Beach Huts

For all you wonderful local lads,  lasses & holibobbers, there is also a competition when you take a lovely selfie outside one of these fantastic huts. Go check it out…. details in the image below



Lets Bake! 

I love a cake! I love a slice or 2! I also love baking. I can zone out, I don’t have to stick to the rules, I can go mad, add a few extra spoonfuls here and there to suit my taste. The best part of the baking for me?  I can never say, there are so many wonderful factors leading up to the cake itself. There’s the part where I get to satisfy my taste buds from the very naughty raw mix taster,  to the final just warm baked delight. Then of course there is the excitement in the preparation.  I’m sure you know it, when you  open the cupboard to immediately put on your apron. Dressed for the occasion you become a new woman, you are Queen of the kitchen.

I retrieve my mixing bowl, grab the spatula, cook book and whisk. Swooning about in my apron feeling like a true goddess of baking,  I can take on the most complex of bakes; because I have an apron. It’s really that simple! Put one on and see how you feel, it instantly makes you feel you are unstoppable and you are a true baker.

As a rough weigh-er of ingredients,  I line up my measuring cups but do not ensure they are exact when I fill, I like rustic bakes without the precision. Homely bakes, like granny makes. I throw the ingredients together that bind in harmony,  then the demon breaks out-  the raw mix finger licker.  We’ve all been there, wanting that childhood memory of when mum let us lick the bowl. It fills a spot, warms your heart and soothes. I hold back till I fill the tins with the delectable batter. Only now is it time to arch over the spatula and make for the kill. I won’t deny I like to bake alone,  I like the remains for myself. “Spoils” or so I call them. My only accomplice in this is my spatula, a good one at that too;  he insures I get every last remain. I melt away reminiscing of times when I was little and had to fight to lick the bowl from my siblings.


I don’t like to remove my apron for a while, it makes me feel content when I make a quick brew and take in the smells. So I sit, enjoy and wait.

When its baked, cooled and the room has filled with its heavenly scent its only then I can consider removing my apron.



Bake away, bake today, bake and indulge and drift away.

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It’s never easy working out ways to best dress your wedding. There are so many themes and ideas on the web that we can get mixed up and confused during the process. With the joys of Pinterest we can make hundreds of pins only to discover a board full of fabulous but unconnected ideas.

Why not try adding a colour board first to see if it fits with your theme ideas as it will help you narrow down your pins. Bright colours are not ideal for a vintage travel theme which is an array of soft sages, turquoise and fawns. If you are going bright try thinking oriental- pom poms, lanterns orchids which come in a gorgeous array of colours. It doesn’t require you to have a oriental dress but it would help if you are having a long demur style dress. Bright colours are often overlooked at weddings but its a celebration. Be bright! Even nostalgic fans of the 70s can be vibrant, many prints from this era are “out there” and bold.

As I’m a pastels person,  my wedding will be rustic, with a vintage twist so think mason jars, hessian, old glass bottles from trees with flowers in. Surprisingly given I like so many themes I have been very firm my decision and have not strayed. I want to execute it well and not have it appear messy.

If you find you are stuck between 2 styles why not see which items you have pinned more frequently. It may help you make that final jump to committing to the theme. Don’t be dismayed when you look at other themes and start having doubts, you can not compare your theme and idea to another as its completely different. The best way to showcase your theme is by your presentation table.

The Delilah Range is a stunning Vintage style which can work well for Travel or for a Romance theme. You can remove the artwork in the frames and replace with old childhood photos of you both and of your family growing up. Even a picture of a map where you met would work for both themes.




If you are thinking more rustic then opt for a more natural picture frame 38a_Frame_MultiWood



Another word of advise is don’t be scared to be different and break away from the “NORM”. It’s your special day and if its not your guests cup of tea so what! It’s not their wedding. Make sure YOU can look back and say it is every part of what you wanted and how you wanted it to be. Enjoy it and get pinnning!



Easter Time

This year is flying by, I can’t believe its already Easter.

I hope you all have some lovely plans.

I will be making decoration felt eggs with my son to hang on my tree whilst consuming cake and tea.

These are so easy to create and are bundles of fun! Everyone loves an Easter Egg whether it’s chocolate or not.

If you want to check out some ideas take a look at these wondeful free examples and templates to do.

Where to go

There are always so many fabulous places to go and buy your bits and bobs these days.

I love having a good look around vintage fairs and places such as Molly’s Den. These are where you find those little gems.

Soon enough I will be having a small space in Molly’s in Bournemouth. I will be offering a mix or up cycled items as well as my lovely stocked items.

Sometimes it’s nice to have that one unique piece that no one has and team it up new bits and bobs to create the perfect display.

I will also be over at the “NEW” Christchurch Emporium which is currently being built. It will be like Molly’s but you will find it is more in keeping with some of the more kitsch markets  from London, with in-house artists and designer lane.

I will keep you all posted on my progress and how my displays look.

Mother’s Day

Its not long until its mothers day! Have you sorted out a lovely gift? Don’t you find though many of us get stuck in the rut of chocolates and flowers? From my point of view as a mother is I do not want the chocolates- its nearly summer! I have a bikini to squeeze into!

I tend to buy my mum a gift that she can keep, it does not need to be expensive though. I often opt for scarfs – simply because most women these days will wear one to accessorise their outfit. There are so many available too. Something for everyone from, floral, stripes, animal themed, it also makes it a little more thoughtful rather than just flowers, or chocolates!

Do you buy for your gran too? Again a lovely gift that she can wear again and be reminded of you every time it goes on!

Original work vs Cheap knock off’s

I felt I wanted to speak out about this topic. I have been a victim of this and quite often on forums and groups I have seen posts of upset and broken artisan’s so I want to speak out from our side about cheap copies and how it affects us.

Its not just frustrating for the artist on the discovery of their  work being “ripped off” or copied, it destroys what makes them unique. An artist is not just a painter per se,  an artist is someone who sees and creates, the materials they use defines them, which in turn unfolds mesmerising pieces  for  eyes and minds to open and discover.

Our creations are part of us and we have battled over our design ideas, usually  equating to being up all hours perfecting things- something which is often never reflected in the price of our work. Many of us will only charge for the time to make the actual pieces requested or for the final creation. The pre-attempts become irrelevant in pricing which can add up more than 10 hours for some.

We take time and consideration on each piece- unlike those who attempt to replicate our work.  You can not justify them as creative, clever or have anything defining about them. If they are unable to think of an idea of their own in the first place, how will their work achieve the levels of a true artist? The answer is plain an simple- it won’t. Its very clear when you have an original and a copy in hand, the consideration, care,  effort and soul of the original piece shine through which helps to make what it is, where as a knock off,  well,  there is something lifeless about them.

I’m not sure who I feel for most in this situation, the person without the ideas, desperately needing to feed off someones hard work or the artist who has been stolen from.  In some sense its flattering that they want to be like you and produce the work you do but yet it is so soul destroying.

What’s more is they probably have never considered the reason why prices are not a few pence. It is because this is our job! We have over heads and expenses to pay.  Its not just buy some bits, put it together and voilà. No, its not that black and white.

You see, this is usually our primary job so, surprisingly we pay taxes, national insurance, private pensions just like the everyday employed person. We do not get an hourly wage either. We earn from our creations, so all that thought and care in designing is our free time! This usually consists of hours upon hours of work to get it right before we go ahead with our final plan.

We work all hours, we don’t rest. More often than not we work more hours than the average employed person. Christmas time alone I was working 7 days a week for more than 12 hours a day often not going to sleep until past 1am with my work schedule. On top of this I am a mother, so I have to fit in the every day things on top. I do not get a wage slip at the end of the week and go spend my pennies.

We have to pay for websites to help generate traffic/customers. This is one of the biggest expenses for a small business/sole trader. Without this or a retail shop how would we find potential customers to expand. I’m sure many of you are unaware the cost of a great website and if like me you are not able to create your own you have to pay someone.  Websites are not fixed and finished when you are handed them, they are an on-going project and require upkeep, attention and training. Lets not forget that there are annual fees and payments for training. To give you an idea a decent eCommerce site for a non tech individual is around 3k, plus annual hosting fees of around £100+ . The cost of this has to be recouped from the business and an extremely small percent is added to the cost of products. I’m always on my site trying to think of ways to improve, develop and further train my skills.

Marketing, is another role we do, many people are paid well in this position in the working world. This is part of what we have to do in order to grow.

Overheads such as electrics for lighting, P.C’s, heating etc things you often take for granted working for an employer. Yes we too have bills to pay for being at work not just when we go home.

The cost of tools and materials.  We have to charge for the materials, the maintenance of our tools and servicing.   Did you know the reason large stores can charge a little less for an item is they have the power and funds to buy in large bulk, not hundreds here or there they buy in the thousands, which means competitive prices, prices small companies can not even compete with.

Then there is the need for staff. Some small companies get to the position where they need help. To need to pay another person to do admin work or assist to keep things a float requires a cut from your piece of the pie, more tax work, needing to know new laws and legislation. Health and Safety needs to be in place and this can be time consuming.

Finally, the money you do make is put back into the business to invest in it’s future.  Advertising, marketing, stock, tools etc. So after all the hard work, you plough back what you have into the business to enable it to grow. Resulting in you working for peanuts.

To break it down for you, the artist is actually working for a very small cost &  percentage wise has been made a a mockery of. The copy cat has just walked off with your money, someone else’s idea and has taken far more profit than that very talented individual who offered a piece of their sole. Just because an item is cheaper on the label, doesn’t mean the artist is a fat cat exploiting your purse.

Maybe consider who is the bigger fool in all of this. It’s sad to say, but it is the customer.  By opting for what you deemed as a cheaper alternative, you  have managed to con yourself from having  a one off unique item for what you deemed to be cheaper, but the reality is what you though was  cheaper is actually another persons greed, avoiding the taxes and costs to run a legitimate business.

I support the artist and always will, I wouldn’t buy a knock off designer handbag- I’d be too embarrassed. Why do it with art?




The Royal Bath and West

This year I will be trading at the Royal Bath and West Show from May 27th – 30th. I am really looking forward to trading here as it’s away from my home area and there will be lots of lovely new faces.

One thing I love about what I do is meeting all the lovely individuals. For further information, tickets and prices please click on the below link.