Sunday 28 December 2008


I'm having fun and if this looks all right I'll do more in different colours and themes. The big diamante buttons are my favourites.
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Saturday 27 December 2008


Lucky me!
I hope your Christmas was as happy as mine was!
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Sunday 21 December 2008

Extra Lights

I bought this extra set of lights for the tree as one set is not long enough . It is too short for the tree and didn't match the tiny twinkly tree lights. I think it looks quite nice around the mirror above the fire place. Even better if the flex was transparent. But nice anyway.
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Saturday 20 December 2008

A Big Tree

Dragging the tree into the house took almost superhuman effort. See how much wider it is than the doorway!
You can see how two strong men failed to get this tree into the tree wrapping machine. I took this picture late last night. Once I have daylight I'll try again. The lovely fairy on the top was made by Louise Brownlow.

Last night I sat in the dark watching the fairy lights flashing. Magic. Doesn't Christmas bring out the child in everyone? That sense of innocent wonder while twinkly lights brighten up the darkness.
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Friday 19 December 2008

Christmas struggle

Is everyone struggling to be ready in time for Christmas like me?
The house still looks like a craft factory and the family are due to arrive. I bought a Christmas tree which totally fills the room. And although it is beautiful it requires a superhuman effort to get it to stand upright, preferring as it does to lean drunkenly to one side.

I have been to various towns and I wander round looking for presents but I usually completely fail to buy anything. I just don't find things I like. And it's not just that. It's also finding things that you are confident the other person will really appreciate. Also have you noticed how the small shops where I used to find unusual bits and pieces are now filled to the brim with Christmas decorations and not gifts? Little shops have sprung up in my town just selling decorations. What about after Christmas? Presumably they have very short leases and will close for good on December 24th.

I could also have a Scrooge rant on the price of gift wrap. I picked up three nice pieces and guess what - £1-75 each!!! What? I am bored with the brown parcel paper look but this year that or, even cheaper, newspaper makes good economic sense! For a totally affected look you could buy a Japanese or Arabic newspaper to wrap your presents in! Maybe tissue paper -Tesco have some pretty colours in cheap packs. Wrapping the present first in white typing paper means less layers of tissue.

I love nice gift wrap. My family think I am totally sad in that I like to save it from one year to the next. But often it irons really well!! Actually ironed old gift wrap under tissue paper. There's a good compromise. No?

Saturday 13 December 2008

Perfect Peonies

I bought these fake peonies from a flower shop yesterday and I am thrilled with them. I'm thinking SJP style corsages but before that incarnation I think I'll tie them into a lovely Christmas wreath first. Watch this space!
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Easy, cheap and effective wrapping idea

Take a four hole button and thread across cord or ribbon.
Laying it on your parcel cut a length of cord that will go round the parcel width and lengthwise allowing enough extra for a bow. Adjust cord so button is in the middle.
Wrap cord round parcel coming up and through other two holes. Tie tightly making a bow then tying bow again for strength.
Not my idea. Think it's traditional in some countries.
You can layer up the buttons as I have done to make it even nicer.
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Friday 12 December 2008

Christmas is coming

You can see I cut out these stockings by hand as they are all different!
I started making them in 2004 and they sold out at Christmas country living very quickly.
The following year they were featured in the magazine and then I thought I'd knit stockings as well. I used wonderful nubbly colourful wool but they didn't mix in too well with the subtle colours of the stockings above which I also do in dyed raspberry and pale blue and off-white which I embroider in red.
I've stopped doing so much knitting now and I'm back to just making stockings like this. With nine foot high walls on the stands at Country Living they are just the job to have in the first three foot of stand that you can't reach up to.

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Monday 8 December 2008

Cold and Frosty

Yesterday I set up shop in Petersfield's Lavant Street as part of the Christmas Festivities. It was minus five degrees and certainly the coldest fair I have ever endured. But the customers, bless them, braved it and bought their Christmas presents - sometimes for themselves, sometimes for others! And thank you One Tree Books, seen behind me, for the life-giving cups of tea!
The huggy girls embraced the cold!

This dolly, keeling over with the numbness of frost bite, is keeping that British stiff upper lip expression while she waits to be sold and put into someone's nice warm shopping bag!
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Thursday 4 December 2008

Great badges!

Today I received this beautifully wrapped parcel from Abi and Bryony of
I am seriously impressed with the presentation. Receiving something well packaged really makes you feel good! They made these super badges using fabric I gave them. And they are perfect. Thank you girls!
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Tuesday 2 December 2008

Christmas windows

Beautiful windows at Fortnum and Mason's on the theme of The Snow Queen.

Yesterday I went to London and for the first time, went inside Fortnum and Mason's (or shall we just call it Heaven?) I kept saying Wow out loud, embarassingly often. Wow to the fabulous decor and products and wow and double wow to the prices!
I bought a gorgeous sheet of gift wrap by Cavallini of San Francisco. Luckily they didn't fold or roll it. They just put it straight into their largest size carrier bag. Just what I wanted!
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London lights

Peter Jones, swathed in lights above and lights cascading through all floors inside pictured below. Spectacular.

Approaching Fortnum and Mason's below and one of their windows on the theme of The Snow Queen. Magical.

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Monday 1 December 2008

Berry colours for Christmas

Berry coloured velvet flowers for Christmas 'neckpieces'.
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Saturday 29 November 2008

Tatler deluxe

Christmas is coming and I can't resist posting these gorgeous pics from the December issue of Tatler magazine.The jewellery, clockwise from top left is by Asprey; Mikimoto; David Morris;Moussaieff; David Morris again; Cartier and Adler and the photo is by Karen Berndl. But what about the sumptuous cupcake in the front? That is also a work of art!!

These boots by Jean Paul Gautier are just fabulous. And the pretty torn chiffon skirt by Blumarine - fit for a fairy doll!

Berry reds for winter. These dresses left to right are by Lanvin at Matches; Jaeger and Daks.
Well a girl can dream...
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Favourite things

I bought these pretty cut glass containers in a charity shop for a few pence.
Ideal for holding pretty velvet flowers and my favourite mother of pearl buttons!
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Friday 28 November 2008

Bye badge

I sent her off in an order this week. And I'm wondering if I can paint her again. There is something a bit soulful in her expression that I like.
I met two girls last weekend who really like my face badges. And I realise they're not everyones' cup of tea! The girls make cute jewellery out of fabric and silver. You can see it at It is pretty. It is definitely not scruffy. Am I showing my age here? Maybe 'scruffy' means super cool now? !!
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Monday 24 November 2008

Daring to be different

There's an awful lot of samey stuff out there. And I think the path we creatives are on is towards finding our own style. And making things which totally express who we are. Or in other words daring to be different. Daring to show the true 'me' to the world.

It's very tempting to play it safe. Follow the trends or make something similar to what we've seen. But when we let our imaginations run free and draw or write designs without being conscious of anyone else or anything we've seen it comes out right. We're all different and our work is different and people want to buy that individual truly original piece.

In the present economic climate people are being very choosy about what they buy for presents. They can't afford to waste money this year. They are looking for something special. Something made with love that speaks to them and will speak to the person they are buying for.
This year more than any time before I am noticing that what people want to have is the one-off , slightly eccentric gift. The total opposite of anything that can be found on the High Street.

Wednesday 19 November 2008

Carluccio's - our treat!

I just want to share with you a fab night out at Carluccio's in Islington. After a long day on our feet selling what could be nicer than to sit in comfort amid the Christmassy products like the boxes of panettone above with scarlet walls and dimmed lighting to savour every delicious mouthful of Italian food.
My meal, pictured above is antipasto verdure - artichokes, roasted peppers, aubergine, beans and mozzarella and foccaccia. Then chocolate liquer flavoured sponge with ice cream to follow. The rest of the week we picnicked on bits from the supermarket eaten late at night in the bed and breakfast but this was a well deserved treat at the end of a tiring but enjoyable week.
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All that hard work was worth it!

I met some lovely people last week. People with style, confidence and a real appreciation of hand made one-off products like mine.

I had thought that the 'credit crunch' would stop people spending. But it didn't. Perhaps the spending was more focused than usual. Lot of Christmas lists being referred to and specific not random spending going on.

I always wish I'd made more of some things and less of others. Textile jewellery sold really well; bead jewellery less well. By and large people are looking for the unusual, things they haven't seen before and gifts with the wow factor. For me this means daring to be as original and wacky as possible in my designs. And always producing new ideas. They bought the old designs last year - this year they want something different.

Selling at the Show

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