wow, where have I been!

Hmmm the last time I wrote anything here seems to pretty much correspond with my son’s first steps. Coincidence or just a new kind of tired? Not sure, but it’s time I got back on track. I’m going to pick up where I left off with UK Inspiration and Mini Inspiration and see where that takes me. It’s been far too long to go without seeing all the beautiful things people are making.

As well as running around after a (very fast) toddler, I’ve also been busy with graphic design projects, bit of traveling (love San Diego), and adding designs to my stationery range. I’m still focusing on personalised invitations and working on matching thank you cards and decorations. Here are few of the latest. All summer, garden inspired funnily enough:

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new birthday invitations

I’ve finally listed a couple of new children’s birthday party invitations: a spooky theme and a teddy bear tea party. The spooky one was designed for my son’s first birthday party and the other for his friend’s but they’re both now on Folksy.

spooky birthday invitation

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teddy bear tea party

tooting baby

When I restarted this blog, as well as talking about design and craft I had also had it in my mind to post about local activities for families, parents and babies etc. But somehow time has got the better of me and I think I only ever did it once. Well lucky for me and all the other Tooting mums, dads and carers, another (more productive) mum has saved me the trouble – www.tootingbaby.co.uk – a brilliant resource for anyone with a small child in the area.

I have been very blessed with a brilliant NCT group and there’s pretty much not a day that has gone by since our babies were born almost a year ago when we haven’t passed several emails and although we meet up quite regularly, it’s always a bit of a production finding a day and place everyone can make. So having another little group of local mums is brilliant. There’s always someone on the common or heading down to a playgroup or just up for a cup of tea. But it took a while to find them, because it took a while to find the playgroups and children’s centres. It was a bit of a word of mouth thing with people recommending different things and then you start realising that the mum you know from one group knows the mum you know from another group because they do something else together etc. So if you’re feeling a bit stuck at home with a little one and you’re in the Tooting area have a look at the website and don’t be shy, we’re all in the same boat after all.

UK Inspiration Caroline Cowen & Robin and Mould

Finally some time to find some more UK based inspiration. Another random search on Etsy brings up some lovely silver jewelry and beautiful hand screenprinted home textiles.

1. Caroline Cowen (from Hertfordshire) – beautiful handmade  jewelry in quirky, pretty designs.

sterling silver and cold enamel retro flower necklace

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gerbera daisy earrings

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sterling silver and purple felt bow necklace

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2.Robin and Mould (from Devises, Wiltshire) – beautiful handmade and hand screenprinted home textiles.

hand screen printed sleepy dog in teal

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hand screenprinted owl toy in yellow

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hand screen printed dream big cushion in teal



Folksy Friday on a Saturday – rain rain rain

We’ve been getting ready to go away so although I picked out my Folksy picks on Friday I didn’t get a chance to post. Luckily or unluckily Mother Nature has kept up my theme for me. Rain rain rain. Not my fondest thing when I’m trying to get loads of clothes dried. But luckily some crafty folksters have used the theme brilliantly:

Teeny Rainy Day Studs from Joanna Rutter

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Rainy Day Child’s T-shirt from Rocky the Zombie

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Raining Cats and Dogs from Emma Lee Cheng

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Rainy Day Brooch from Nelli D

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Breadcrumbs Screenprint from Fancy and Fondant

(can’t believe it’s already time for another) Folksy Friday – cheeeeeese

How is it already Friday? Is it really Friday? I’m pretty sure it’s Friday so here’s my Folksy Friday. This week it’s all about cheese. We love cheese in our house. I am particularly amazed that someone has created a card that actually says exactly what Jeff and I say to each other pretty much on a daily basis. George is fitting in well. Yesterday all he would eat for dinner was a nice vintage cheddar, some Carr’s water biscuits and grapes. Pretty classy for a 10 month old.

Red I Love You More Than Cheese Card from Storeyshop

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Grain Chopping Board from Lee Borthwick

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Say Cheese Camera Case from KraftyKorner

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Enid Mouse (the cheese is in her bag!) from Mia Design

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Cheese Board from Woodturning Craft

Folksy Friday – Get Well Sooner

In our house we seem to have spent this week making each other poorly. Yesterday was my day to be properly poorly and here are a few things that would have made me feel better:

Chirpy Little Birds Mug by Julia Smith

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Lambswool Robot Hot Water Bottle Cover from Sara Carr

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Catch some Zzzz’s Pillowcase from Sixes & Sevens

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Red Long Winter Socks from Lebyviel in Rivendell

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Large Granny Square Blanket from Alice Makes

It pays to do Folksy Friday!

Hooray my brother, sister-in-law & nephew bought me the bag I posted on my birthday Folksy Friday! Will have to do that every year. The bag is really beautiful in person. So well made. I have sewing envy! It would take me weeks to make this bag and then it would be all wonky and crooked. This bag is perfect.

Russian Dolls Satchel from Jenny Gale

UK Inspiration – Summersville & Ruth Robinson Ceramics

I’ve been doing Folksy Friday for a while now and I really like Folksy and what it is growing into. I’ve also started getting involved with UK Handmade which is very exciting and very inspiring. There’s nothing more motivating that meeting and building relationships with people with like interests. Especially when you’re a work-from-home mum like me. Sometimes it can feel a bit like I inhabit my own little universe. Etsy UK seems to be stepping up a bit of late which is great as although I love Etsy and have for ages, recently I’ve been feeling like it’s a bit too US based. There are alot of very talented artists, designers and craftspeople in the UK, but the public opinion of ‘craft’ definitely needs changing. There are still a lot of old-fashioned WI style things around (and I probably have an outdated vision of the WI!) if you’re looking but there are also many hand-crafted products that could match and outdo any commercially made product for ingenuity, craftsmanship and uniqueness. Looking back, for the most part I have been focusing on UK makers, but going forward I’m going to make a stronger effort to find inspiration from the UK.

So here are a couple of wonderful designers I had never heard of but found by doing a couple of random searches on Etsy:

1: Summersville (from Suffolk): Beautiful screenprinted prints, notebooks & fabric

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scandi hand screenprinted fabric

twist hand screenprinted fabric

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2: Ruth Robinson Ceramics (from Cheshire): Gorgeous ceramic buttons and hairclips

Handmade blue porcelain owl hairclips

Handmade green porcelain buttons

Handmade grey porcelain buttons


Folksy Friday – It’s My Birthday!

Today’s my birthday! So this week’s Folksy Friday is full of things I’d buy myself:

Russian Dolls Satchel from Jenny Gale

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Slate Coffee Table from Free Range Designs

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Wonderland Silver & Garnet Ring from Sian Bostwick Jewellery

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Ship’s Crew Russian Dolls from hole in my pocket

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Dark Navy Cotton Asymmetric Long Full Pleated Skirt from Fashion Couture