If you go down to the woods today…

you’ll see lots of teddy bears wearing sweet party hats under a pretty bunting banner! If I have anything to say about it anyway!

More new party decorations are popping up in my etsy and folksy shops. The Teddy Bear Tea Party (or Picnic, you choose) invitations have been going strong for a while, so I am slowly developing the matching range of decorations. So far we have hats and bunting banners and soon paper balls, place cards and pinwheels will be coming along too…

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And don’t forget to check out the new spooky decorations that are also popping up…

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Boo! It’s almost Halloween

Halloween Treat

Halloween isn’t the most celebrated event in the UK, but it’s probably my favourite holiday thanks to many childhood years spent in the US. It had the same feeling as bonfire night – the magic of staying up late, glowing candles, decorations and activities unique to that day, meeting up with friends and family – with the added joy of dressing up. In the US, Halloween costumes can be anything, you don’t have to be a skeleton or a witch, a ghost or a zombie. You can of course be any of those things but the variety is unlimited. I once dressed up as a shower. I remember our teachers dressing up, bus drivers, shop clerks. It was like everyone was at the same fancy dress party. And of course there were lots of sweets…

Since moving back to the UK, I still keep loading up on bowls of sweets and carving pumpkins. Not sure if we’ve ever had a trick or treater but it makes me happy! My son, who was almost born on Halloween, had a spooky first birthday costume party (and from that came the growing range of spooky invitations and decorations). In honour of this great day, I’ve got a treat (no trick) for everyone ordering 2 or more packs of my printed personalised invitations. 5 free spooky cupcake toppers so you can make your little ones, or yourselves, a little Halloween treat.

throw a prehistoric bash

I’ve been working on selling children’s party decorations for a while, I had sold a couple of digital packs of print your own versions, but recently I’ve had people asking for made ones. Hooray, nothing is more fun than cutting and sticking all night long! So here’s the first collection, the full dinosaur bash suite:

Pinterest: I’m addicted!

I know bookmarking things have been around for ages, but I’ve never really got the hang of them – Skirty? Zoopla?. But I love Pinterest. It is the next step to my usual method of printing images, cutting them out and sticking them in my notebooks. Because it’s even more, now I can peek in other people’s notebooks and they can peek in mine, but I don’t feel the pressure to make ‘friends’ and tell everyone what I’m doing 24/7.

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You can make several pinboards so organise different things you find and as far as I can tell you can ‘pin’ any image you find on the web. You can ‘explore’ other peoples boards and follow different general boards. You can click other people’s images and go to the original websites so even if someone doesn’t describe the image they’ve pinned you can still find out where it came from.

It’s a brilliant way to do moodboards for design jobs and it’s also a great, visual way to keep track of craft projects you might like to try, recipes, home decorating etc. I’ve started keeping track of project to make for (and with) George:

pinterest for george

Keeping Cy Twombly’s spirit alive

Ok maybe not Cy Twombly quite yet, but he’s got the spirit! Today was a rainy rainy day so we got out the paints for the first time properly. George does lots of flyby painting at children’s centres, but this was the first time he sat down and had a proper dedicated painting session. And I was thrilled that he loved it. He actually sat and painted for at least an hour. The only thing that’s ever got that kind of dedicated attention so far (other than books) is lego. And he even asked to do more tomorrow. So bring on the rain!

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masterpieces!

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And of course, there’s always time for…

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Dino-mite! Starting to come together

There are so many things I’d like to develop and offer in my Etsy/Folksy shop that I often have difficulty focusing and have ended up feeling like it’s all spread a bit thin. It’s normally through customer requests that I start developing things a bit more logically. I’ve recently had some requests for printed decorations that I don’t currently carry. It’s given me the push to move away from just offering pdf versions of things to keeping part of the fun (cutting and pasting, yeay!) for me. So first up is the Dinosaur suite of stationery and decorations:

There are cupcake toppers too, but they still need to be photographed. Next up pinwheels, bunting banners and party blowers. Then on to all the other party suites and hopefully still time to get Christmas going.

Reading to George: time for a catch up

This isn’t the only blog that was abandoned for a long while. Reading to George is a place for us to keep track of the great children’s books we’re discovering and in particular the ones our son becomes really fond of. I hadn’t updated it in over a year so I have a huge back log of posts to do covering all the books he’s enjoyed over the past year, plus we’re discovering new ones all the time. So if you’re looking for some new children’s books or if you have any great recommendations please visit Reading to George.

UK Inspiration: Thereza Rowe & Crayonfire

This week, here’s some strong, bold colourful and characterful graphic illustration:

1. Thereza Rowe – London

thorn in the heart

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2. Crayonfire (Neil Stevens) – St. Albans

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UK Inspiration: Lil3Birdy & Naughty Dog

A couple of talented UK based surface designers to get me back into the swing of things.

1. Lil3Birdy (London) beautiful, intricate designs with birds & geometric patterns.

Bird Gift Tags, Illustrated Art Designs, Turquoise Blue Grey

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Cute Bird & Flower Gift Tags, Illustrated Art Designs, Blue Green Pink

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Owl Gift Tags, Ink Drawing Designs, Brown Black White

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2. Naughty Dog (Hartlepool) really lovely cushions with line drawings of dogs, shoes, butterflies…

Appliqued Dog Cushion

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Shoe Cushion

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Dog Cushion