Monday, 5 August 2013

Closing Down Sale in My Etsy Shop

The summer break always seems to be when decisions are made in our house.  Maybe it is because we take time out, take a step back, relax and contemplate.  This past year has been one of big changes and new adventures.  Whilst I started retraining I pondered keeping a toe dipped in the crafty sellers pond yet I now realise I need to focus on one path.  My second year of my degree promises a heavy workload and I will still be commuting when on clinical placement so I have made a decision.  I am going to close my Etsy shop on Friday 24 August.  

I am in the process of listing various ribbons and trimmings in my shop at reduced prices to clear stock. Whilst I could keep it all for future projects I really could do with a little bit of cash as medical textbooks are very expensive! So if you need to stock up for future projects please take a look and grab a bargain.  

The next three weeks will be the end of an era for me, closing a door to properly commit to opening a new one.  Right now I am not sure whether to completly step away and also close my twitter account, but I do love catching up with you all there.  I am also considering writing a personal blog, no pressure for pretty pictures, projects and the need to review products sent to me. Just somewhere I can continue to write, as a place I can still be creative and stay in touch with friends around the country and the world.

More decisions to make but for now I am off to enjoy a cup of tea in the garden.

See you soon,
Zoe
x


Friday, 7 June 2013

Fabric Friday - Spoonflower

Morning! It's Friday and we've made it through another week.  My day started very early today as Jack is heading off on a day trip to Ypres with his school and needed to be there at 5.30 am.  Thankfully Andy is driving again so he can do the late pick up tonight which is very good news for me!  I thought today I would have a little fabric Friday indulgence and share with you the fabulous website Spoonflower.  I first wrote about this innovative idea a couple of years ago and have since watched the whole concept develop and grow.  Spoonflower is the place to go for any would be fabric designer.  



Since it's first foray into print your own design fabric production, Spoonflower has now extended it's products so that we can design our own wallpaper, giftwrap and decals.  Aswell as ordering these for our own projects other people can also purchase our designs and we can purchase other peoples designs.  I love everything about Spoonflower and one day will find time to try my hand at surface pattern design.  In the meantime I have discovered some fabulous designs on their website that I hope to use on projects in the future.  

Are you a Spoonflower designer?  Please get in touch (inspireddeco@gmail.com)so I can share your designs here.

Have a wonderful weekend and be sure to pop by for Designer Brunch on Sunday.
Zoe
xx

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Workshop Wednesday - Lino Print Tea Parties

Morning! I hope you are all having a fabulous week.  Andy is having his cast off tomorrow, so we are planning  a little celebration tomorrow evening.  It's been a long and difficult six weeks but we've got through it and can now get back to normal.  This will mean I have time to start my regular features again here on the blog including Workshop Wednesday.  So today I am excited to share the fab idea of lino printing tea parties.  I have yet to try lino printing but the idea of learning a new craft whilst drinking tea and eating cake sounds like a wonderful idea to me.  


Laura and Lucie are the super printing duo that started running these lino printing workshops earlier this year.  Once a month they invite printing novices to join them to learn to design and cut a rubber lino stamp then use it to print on a number of surfaces, including giftwrap, greetings cards and tea towels.  Whilst learning this new skill there is plenty of time for tea, cake and chatting amongst the guests and teachers.  These workshops are run from Craft Central in Farringdon and have ten spaces available for each session.  So whether you're a beginner or want to refresh your lino printing skills why not join Laura and Lucie this summer?  All you need to bring along is some ideas or inspiration for your stamp designs.


Course dates this summer
16th July 2013 (6:00pm - 8:30pm)
21st August 2013 (6:00pm - 8:30pm)

To book please visit Laura's website http://www.laurafelicity.bigcartel.com/

Enjoy the rest of your day and please get in touch if you run workshops and would like to be featured in this series.

Zoe
x


Monday, 3 June 2013

DIY Paper Anemones

Morning! I know I have been a little quiet recently but being on clinical placement, assignments to be written, studying for exams and having Andy in plaster for six weeks has meant life has been a little chaotic.  I have had to admit that I simply cannot do everything, hence I stopped blogging and have neglected my Etsy store a little.  But Andy's cast comes off on Thursday, I only have three more weeks on clinical placement and am on top of my academic work too.  So this means I can now allow myself to blog a little and start getting new products ready for the shop, ready to launch at the end of this month.  Today I wanted to share with you a very pretty tutorial I found on Pinterest that would make a lovely addition to your homes or as a decoration at a wedding or party this summer.  I am yet to attempt making paper flowers but this tutorial from The Elli Blog looks like a great place to start trying a new papercraft.


Paper Anemone Tutorial from The Elli Blog 

Have a wonderful Monday,
Zoe
xx



Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Happy Piece - Empowering Women & Brightening Our Lives

Morning! I hope you are all having a fab week.  After another trip to A&E, this time with my eldest I am beginning to think I should have some sort of loyalty card! Thankfully he has not had to have a cast but has a hairline fracture, which means he won't be able to test his new running gear he had for his birthday on Monday for a few weeks.  Whilst I could moan and grumble about the past few weeks I am always one to count my blessings.  Even though Andy is in his cast for another couple of weeks and Connor is on crutches, we have so much to be thankful for.  Life can be tough or even cruel sometimes but it is how we cope that makes us the individuals we are.  Which leads me to sharing with you a wonderful story of coping and how a group of women are being empowered by a fabulous project.  Happy Piece is the story of an amazing business started by a very dear friend.



Having returned from visiting her husbands family in Rwanda, Isa knew she wanted to share the work of some amazing women she had met through The Empowerment Project and providing sewing supplies to Aspire Rwanda.  With limited means to sell their beautiful handcrafted products, Isa returned to the UK determined to help these women expand their market and help to lift them out of poverty and created Happy Piece. Collaborating with the makers, Isa ensures these women have money to buy food, meeting the immediate needs but that they also gain business skills, through donating a percentage of the profits to Aspire Rwanda.  

I am sure you will all agree the accessories in the Happy Piece collections are beautiful, bright and a welcome addition to our homes and jewellery collections.  But the best thing about these gorgeous products is that aswell as brightening our own lives we are helping to make somebody else's future brighter.



To view all of the products and enjoy the journey of Happy Piece via social media -
website - www.happypiece.com
twitter - twitter.com/happypieceHQ
facebook - www.facebook.com/happypieceHQ
instagram - http://instagram.com/happypieceHQ

Have a wonderful day,
Zoe
xx

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Designer Brunch - Giddy Kipper

Morning! I hope you are all well and having a fabulous weekend. Life got a little crazy here the past couple of weeks but hopefully now I will have a bit of time to get back to blogging.  There are times when I have to admit that I cannot keep all my juggling balls in the air and I needed to drop a couple for a little while, but with my essay almost complete I now have a little more time.  As today is Sunday it is time to welcome another fabulous British designer maker for a chat over Designer Brunch.  This weeks guest is a dear friend and one half of super design duo Giddy Kipper.


Heidi is reguarly found with a paintbrush in her hand creating fun and beautiful wooden signs, decorations and more.  Starting Giddy Kipper several years ago with her partner Steve, they have worked hard creating fab products for their Not On The High Street store, trade customers and in the past attending Country Living fairs.  Working from their workshop in an old maltings building in the Lincolnshire countryside, the Giddy Kipper team have grown and added lots of products to their portfolio.  Alongside their handpainted wooden homewares and decorations, Giddy Kipper also have a fantastic weddings collection.  This has won them the prestigious Special Touches Award at the Wedding Ideas Awards, not once but twice, beating big brands and proving small businesses can compete with the big fish in the wedding industry.
I am delighted that Heidi popped down here paintbrush to answer my questions for this weeks Designer Brunch.  So please give a very warm welcome as we share her favourite way to spend a Sunday.

Best drink to start the day? 
Has to be coffee to start the day for me...I'm useless without my caffeine hit! Not very healthy I guess but it gives a kick as I'm not a morning person!!

Croissants or full English?
 That's a tough one! I love my food. if I had to choose it would definitely be croissants (or even better pain au chocolat) but then I'd be the size of a small planet so it's a bowl of cereal or porridge for me! I do have a Full English occasionally...especially on holiday.


Sunday papers or favourite magazines?
I am addicted to magazines! I buy so many and would sit reading them all day if I could!! Faves include Coast, The Simple Things, Vintage Life, Country Living, Junior, and every home and wedding magazine going!
Favourite blogs to read at the weekend?
 I love Lisa Jarmin's blog How To Be A Domestic Disgrace - it's very funny and has me laughing out loud. I also love Happy Loves Rosie - full of colourful vintage finds, fabulous photos of her kitsch homewares and general quirkiness. I'm a big fan of wedding and photography blogs... I've always loved Emma Case's work, she's a fabulous photographer who captures such lovely details. I've also recently discovered Candy Pop - a mix of fashion, photography and 'interiors with a vintage twist' and Hello Naomi - full of cute ideas and cake! 

Sunday morning playlist - 3 songs for Sunday brunch?
 I have quite eclectic taste when it comes to music....a like a bit of everything but on a Sunday it has to be something relaxing. I love the soundtrack to the film Chocolat and have listened to the album hundreds of times and never get tired of hearing it, so I'd listen to that album but if I had to choose 3 tracks it would be Teardrop by Massive Attack (still a favourite from way back) and then I'd choose a track by Imelda May and At The River by Groove Armada

Favourite local shop or market for weekend shopping?
Sadly I don't get to go out often on a Sunday as it's usually the one day I have to catch up with all the boring chores round the house! If I do get some time off, we tend take the boys to the seaside as it's somewhere we all love to spend the day. I do love having a good rummage around jumble sales and car boot sales when I get chance though and I try to have a sneaky peek in any charity shops or vintage shops when we're out and about. Not easy when you have 2 lively little boys in tow!

To view more of Giddy Kipper's products please visit
Not On The High Street - www.notonthehighstreet.com/giddykipper

Thank you so much Heidi for joining us for brunch and I hope you are having a lovely Sunday morning.  I am also a magazine addict with your choices being in my top ten too!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone,
Zoe
xx


Sunday, 5 May 2013

Designer Brunch - Moobaacluck

Morning! I hope you are all having a wonderful bank holiday weekend and that you all have had time to enjoy some of this gorgeous sunshine.  I spent most of yesterday having a big clean and tidy in the house but hope to get outside today, a pot of tea in the garden whilst spending an hour reading magazines is definitely on my list of priorities this afternoon.  Today I am thrilled to welcome my guest for this weeks Designer Brunch as she is a very dear friend of mine.  So please give a very warm welcome to Gabs of Moobaacluck and Gabriella Buckingham.


Armed with a paintbrush, listening to the radio, Gabs works happily from her garden studio in North Norfolk.  After working as a freelance children's book and greetings card illustrator for several years whilst living in London, she moved to North Norfolk with her young family.  Whilst being a full time mummy Gabs started turning her thoughts back to painting and soon found a local supplier to cut the various wooden shapes she wanted for her designs.  So Moobaacluck was launched and soon her candy coloured designs became very popular with buyers visiting Not On The High Street.  Aswell as hand painted wooden signs, Gabs also designs greeting cards and party invites for her Moobaacluck website and over the past few months has added other greeting card and giftwrap designs to her Etsy store, under her own name.  Alongside these in her Gabriella Buckingham store she also sells beautiful artwork, which is often how her designs begin.


Whilst time eludes us to meet up for lunch and a good ol' catch up, I am very happy that Gabs has joined me here today for this post and I shall now let her share her Sunday morning with you all.

Best drink to start the day? 
Definitely a huge cup of green tea. And then another.

Croissants or full English? 
Love croissants  and full English - can I have both? I rarely have either! We always have croissants in our family when one of us has a birthday. Usually it's some sort of oat based cereal for me and maybe some buttered toast with chunky marmalade.

Sunday papers or favourite magazines?
Sunday papers but these days don't often have time to spend reading it. Like a lot of people I suspect. I used to be a real magazine reader and now I treat myself to one or two occasionally my current favourite being Country Homes and Interiors. It's wonderful to see fellow designers homes featured there, especially when I know them personally. If I get to grips with this house and garden I hope one day that will be me! Another good source of magazines that I actually want to read is my library. If I am lucky I will find Country Living there, Vogue, and Norfolk Magazine.


Favourite blogs to read at the weekend?
This is a tough one as I don't have regular reads, I'm sporadic due to lack of time. I really like dipping into friends blogs, like http://www.dotsandspotsdesign.blogspot.co.uk/ and http://mrsbobobun.blogspot.co.uk/ written by Lisa Smith Clare who is a crafter and teacher and also organises a makers fair in Holt that I've taken part in. I really enjoy artists blogs too for example Celia Hart's http://purplepoddedpeas.blogspot.co.uk/. I love blogs that are supportive and educational for self employed designers too such as UK based http://noisetteacademy.com/blog/ by Isa Maria Seminega and US based http://Smartcreativewomen.com by Moncia Lee. Both great and very different from each other.

Sunday morning playlist - 3 songs for Sunday brunch?
I am incredibly lazy where music is concerned, I just put the radio on and tune into whatever I like the sound of and leave it on! I never just sit and listen to music. Or my husband will blast out something eccentric, if we haven't gone out. Later I love to listen to the food programme on Radio 4 with Sheila Dillon or Mornington Crescent - whatever happens to be on while I am cooking lunch.

Favourite local shop or market for weekend shopping?
Norwich generally is very good for shopping, there's a gorgeous artist collective called Veranda full of arty stationery, beautiful knitwear and ceramics on Upper St. Giles Street. The sad thing is that a few of the lovely shops there have closed recently; it's a little off the beaten track. I hope very much they manage to survive. Local to where I live in North Norfolk there seem to be an abundance of charity shops, although I have found some great things in them. One being my large old 1950s style suitcase that I've just filled with Autumn/Winter clothes that I am determined not to wear anymore as we should be experiencing Spring!! 

To view more the designs available from Moobaacluck and Gabriella Buckingham please visit -

Thank you so much Gabs for sharing your Sunday with us and I hope you are getting to enjoy the gorgeous sunshine today,  There are some fab blog choices there and Country Homes and Interiors is in my top five magazine list.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of the bank holiday weekend,
Zoe
x


Friday, 3 May 2013

DIY Home Decor - Cloud Cushions

Morning! We've made it through another week, hooray!! Whilst I love my job I also love having some time at the weekends to take life at a slower pace and even have time for some crafting.  So today I thought it would be fun to share a great crafty diy with you to try this weekend.  Perhaps you have accidentally shrunk a jumper recently and wasn't sure what to do with it, well I have found the answer for you.  I found this fab tutorial on the fab blog Making Nice in the Midwest, to make cloud cushions with old sweaters.


Have fun making and be sure to share a photo with me on Instagram or Twitter!
Wishing you a wonderful weekend,
Zoe
x

Monday, 29 April 2013

Creative Workspace

Morning! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend.  I have been busily ordering the last few things to make my new crafty kits this weekend and Lucy and I are planning to have them listed in the shop next weekend.  Whilst working away at my desk, in a  home office I share with my hubby and his online bookshop I spent sometime daydreaming about one day having a beautiful creative workspace.  I have regularly collecting dreamy workspaces on Pinterest for a while and with sunnier, warmer months hopefully arriving very soon I am definitely longing for a garden workshop.  So for todays post I thought I would share some of my favourite ideas as I am sure I am not the only one dreaming of a pretty place to make, create and work.





Be sure to take a look at my Workspace board on Pinterest for even more inspiration.

Have a great Monday,
Zoe
xx

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Designer Brunch - The Green Gables

Morning! I hope you are all having a fab weekend, even if it's raining.  I had planned to get outside and do some gardening this weekend but unfortunately the weather has other ideas!  It has been a busy week for me, especially as my husband managed to break two bones in his foot.  So I have been looking forward to a restful Sunday morning, with the papers and catching up with my favourite blogs.  This morning I am delighted to welcome Gabrielle of The Green Gables as my guest here on the blog for Designer Brunch.

Giftwrap from The Green Gables

Working from the beautiful Surrey countryside, Gabrielle left behind her daily to commute nearly two years ago to concentrate full time on The Green Gables. Having started by making plantable wildflower paper bunting Gabrielle quickly added stationery designs to her eco friendly business.   Her illustrations are often seen in magazines and her collections of notebooks, tapes,wrapping paper, greetings cards and bunting are reguarly being added to.  Earlier this year saw Gabrielle launch a fabulous new service for stationery lovers around the world.  The Eco Stationery Club is the perfect gift for anybody with a stationery addiction.  Every month they will receive a box of goodies from The Green Gables website, beautifully packaged to make one day a month a happy post day.  

I first discovered Gabrielle's designs when I wrote regularly about weddings and parties and have since become friends on twitter and met in 'real-life', which is always fab when you get on so well with somebody you have met on twitter.  So please give a warm welcome to Gabrielle and find out more about her Sunday mornings.


Best drink to start the day 
Always tea! As both my husband and I work at home we start every day with a cup of tea in bed and the dog hops up to join us too.

Croissants or full English 
I do love croissants but rarely have them, not sure why! Weekdays I usually go for unexciting cereal but at the weekends I love a sausage (veggie) sandwich after a long dog walk.

Sunday paper or favourite magazines
I combine the two by reading the magazines that come with the Sunday papers! Before I started my business I worked on a youth newspaper so became skilled at skim reading newspapers at high speed and as a result the enjoyment has disappeared a little. I'm addicted to magazines (I only worked on children and teen magazines in my past life so grown-up magazines haven't been tainted for me!), I could merrily clear a newsagent of all their interiors and food titles just to pore over for hours, if I had the spare cash to do so!

Seaside Writing Set from The Green Gables

Favourite blogs 
There are so many but a few I really enjoy are brightbazaarblog.comtravelingmama.netdecor8blog.com,abeautifulmess.comprintpattern.blogspot.co.uk I could go on

3 songs for Sunday brunch 
This is a tricky one! I'll go for Put Your Records On by Corinne Bailey Rae, Photography by Jamie Cullum and Overjoyed by Stevie Wonder.

Favourite local shop or market for weekend shopping 
The Cornerhouse in my local town, Dorking, is a beautiful interiors shop, everything, and I do mean everything, in there is absolutely gorgeous and hand picked by the lovely owners Clare and Clara. If you're ever in the area be sure to visit! thecornerhouse.eu

To view more of the designs available from The Green Gables please visit -


Thank you Gabrielle for joining me for Designer Brunch, I hope you are having a lovely Sunday.  There are three of my top music choices here and several of my favourite blogs too.  

Wishing you all a very happy Sunday,
Zoe
x

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Workshop Wednesday - Get Hooked on Crochet

Morning! I hope you are all having a fab week and managing to enjoy some of this gorgeous, warm sunshine that has arrived here in the UK.  I've had a busy week so far, even more so than normal as my husband has broken a metarsal in his foot.  Something it's made me realise is how we take doing small things for granted. As it's Wednesday it is time to share another great workshop with you and this one I am particuarly interested in as I have failed to learn to crochet.  So I was thrilled when Ali from Get Hooked on Crochet got in touch to share her crochet workshops.


Ali teaches beginners, beginners plus, improvers and intermediates from her home in North Dorset.  Each class is for two hours and lasts for four weeks.  As with many workshops distance becomes an issue so Ali listened to potential pupils and started online classes via Course Craft. There are two courses for right handers and currently one for left handers, with the second currently being constructed.  Since starting these online crochet classes Ali has helped many people learn to crochet.  I have added these classes to my list for my summer holidays from uni.  

So if you would like to learn to crochet visit Get Hooked on Crochet website for more information -

Have a fab day,
Zoe
x

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Designer Brunch - Dots & Spots

Morning! I hope you are all having a lovely weekend and getting to enjoy some sunshine.  After a long winter I really do believe Spring has finally arrived and the promise of warmer, sunny days is very uplifiting.  Perhaps you are planning a family brunch or lunch in the garden today or a lovely walk on the beach or across the fields. Today I am very pleased to share this weeks Designer Brunch post with you all and thrilled to welcome Becky of Dots & Spots as my guest.

Dots and Spots Studio

Becky is a very talented greetings card and giftware designer whose designs are always colourful and cheery.   As her business name, Dots and Spots suggests, she uses these in all of her designs.  Creating collages with spotty papers Becky then uses her designs for cards, notebooks, magnets, giftwrap, mugs, decorative tape and more.  Having launched her business as a part time venture whilst still working as a primary teacher she has allowed her business to grow steadily.  After working from home initially Becky had to move to dedicated premises as trade orders flooded in aswell as orders from retail customers, via her website and Not On The High Street storefront.  Before long Becky left her teaching job and now focuses full time on Dots and Spots. This year has seen Becky expand into the party business with spotty party bags, invitations, spotty balloons, and party bag packs.  I always love to read her blog and hear about her new designs aswell as her life in the pretty county of Somerset.

I met Becky via twitter and have since met her in real life.  She really is a lovely lady and I am delighted that she has joined me for todays post.  So I shall now let Becky share her perfect Sunday morning with you.  


Best drink to start the day?
Black coffee every time!
Croissants or full English?
Warm Croissants with rhubarb jam
Sunday papers or favourite magazines?
Favourite magazines Country Homes and Interiors, Country Living, Homemaker

Favourite blogs to read at the weekend?
I follow 100's and 100's - so catch up daily with Google reader. I'm too visual and scan images rather than read great chunks of text.
Sunday morning playlist - 3 songs for Sunday brunch?
The Corinne Bailey Rae CD on repeat for a chilled out Sunday brunch
Favourite local shop or market for weekend shopping?
Wells Market, Somerset although the Wednesday Market is best for food - fab breads, fresh meat and fish, artisan bakers, home grown fruit and veg, delicious jams and chutneys and sweet treat yummy fudge.

Find out more about Becky and Dots and Spots and to see more products visit -
Not On The High Street : www.notonthehighstreet.com/dotsandspots

Thank you Becky, I hope you are enjoying a late breakfast in the garden. Corrine Bailey Rae is a favourite choice for Sunday mornings in my house too, well when I get to the docking station first!

Wishing you all a wonderful Sunday,
Zoe
x



Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Workshop Wednesday - Angel Vintage Homestore

Morning! I hope you are all having a fab week so far.  The promise of the weekend always seems a little nearer by Wednesday.  I am very excited to share with  you today the first Workshop Wednesday post after a great response to last weeks post about my plans for Wednesdays here on the blog.  Todays workshops are in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside not too far from the city of York.  Angel Linens is a name I have been familiar with for a while and adore Kirstins beautiful linen cushions.  Aswell as designing these cushions she also owns and runs the Angel Lifestyle store, which moved to bigger premises in 2011, due to its enormous popularity. This year has seen Kirstin launch a fabulous programme of workshops in the new interiors workshop space at the back of her store.


Already proving popular customers have attended the workshops to make lampshades, crochet bunting and paper decorations.  Each workshop has space for 8 people and the different courses run reguarly to avoid people having to wait too long if a course is fully booked.  

Here are the dates for the rest of April and I will be sharing the summer course dates here on the blog very soon.




LAMPSHADE MAKING
Make your own lampshade in this wonderful workshop with Georgia Wilkinson of Jorja Wilkinson Design. Bring half a metre of your chosen fabric, or purchase from a selection on the day*, and transform it into a professionally finished lampshade in a variety of sizes.

Time: All workshops run from 10 until 12.30
Price: £45.00 incl. all materials* & refreshments
Dates: Thurs 18th April, Mon 29th April


CROCHET BUNTING
The perfect project for beginners, ‘returners’ and old hands alike! Make your own crochet bunting in this fun workshop with Kirstin Hodgson of Angel.

Time: All workshops run from 10 until 12.30
Price: £30.00 incl. all materials & refreshments
Dates: Thurs 2nd May



FRAMES & FABRICS
Create a framed ‘work of art’ for your walls, using our wonderful range of chalk paints and some lovely vintage fabrics, in this workshop with Kirstin & Susannah from Angel.

Time: All workshops run from 10 until 12.30
Price: £45.00 incl. all materials & refreshments
Dates: Thurs 25th April


PAPER DECORATIONS
Make your own vintage flower pom-pom’s & lace bunting in this wonderful paper workshop with Kirstin & Susannah from Angel.

Time: All workshops run from 10 until 12.30
Price: £30.00 incl. all materials & refreshments
Dates: Mon 22nd April


Discounts available for group bookings.
To book call us on 01347 822044 or call into our store [10am-5pm Mon-Sat]
Angel vintage homestore 23 Chapel Street, Easingwold, YO61 3AE

website - www.angel-lifestyle.com
twitter - @AngelAtHome

So for which course will you be booking a place?  I would love to try them all, but especially the crochet bunting as I desperately want to learn to crochet!

Have a lovely day,
Zoe
x







Monday, 15 April 2013

New in the Inspired Decoration Shop

Morning! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  Today I am heading back to uni with my weeks split between lectures on campus and time at my placement hospital.  I cannot quite believe I am in the final term of my first year! This will be a hectic term for me and my children as exams loom, including the first of some of his GCSE's for Connor.  But I know that weekend trips to the beach will relieve the stress of the coming weeks.


Over the weekend I have been adding some more buttons to the shop and just wanted to share a selection here today.  I am also hoping to add more ribbon and trimming sets this week aswell as finalising some of my craft pack ideas.

I hope you all have a fab start to your weeks,
Zoe
x

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Designer Brunch - Snapdragon

Morning! Another lazy Sunday has arrived and sadly the last one of the Easter hols. At least we have some bank holiday weekends to look forward to next month and I'm sure the summer holidays will arrive quicker than we think.  Today I am excited to share another new blog series, Designer Brunch.  This new series has been one of those ideas that I have spent sometime pondering and have finally got it started! Designer Brunch is a short interview with fabulous British designer makers, getting them to share their perfect Sunday morning with you.  So let's get started and meet our first designer for brunch. A very warm welcome to Jane from Snapdragon.


Jane is a very inspiring lady, working in the beautiful Scottish location of Loch Lomond, designing and making a fantastic selection of gifts and homewares.  Having retrained in Horticulture and selling the flowers she grew on her land, but as a savvy business lady realised the seasons limited her business, so added machine embroidery to her skills. Her business, Snapdragon, soon grew and she now employs a team of talented ladies and her business has grown so much that this month saw the start of building work to extend the Snapdragon workshop.  This is definitely an exciting year for Snapdragon as Jane has also recently launched her new website, where you can register to gain access to the members area.  This special part of the website has tutorials and printables, the latest being a fab paper doll, which my daughters love.  Jane also keeps her blog up to date and her weekly newsletters are always a treat to find in my inbox.  



I met Jane via twitter and am pleased to say I have since met her in real life.  She is a lovely lady and I am thrilled that she agreed to be part of Designer Brunch today. So let's now find out about Janes perfect Sunday morning.

Best drink to start the day?
A large pot of coffee - strong and black

Croissants or full English? ( or Scottish of course!)
I love to start every day with porridge - salty with cream- it really sets me up for the day. But on Sundays, if they are laying, I might have a couple of boiled eggs from our hens instead.

Sunday papers or favourite magazines?
Sunday mornings with the paper are very special- in fact the weekend papers tend to last all week.


Favourite blogs to read at the weekend?
I love blogs which show off people's obsessions and journeys - at the moment I am enjoying http://www.gonewiththewynns.com the tale of a mega campervan trip and Donnie Mackay's beautiful photo blog of Skye http://hebphoto.blogspot.co.uk/ somewhere we intend to visit this year.

Sunday morning playlist - 3 songs for Sunday brunch?
(At the moment) Edie Brickell Long Lost Friend for dancing round the kitchen
Mary Chapin Carpenter Why Walk when you can Fly as its kind of the family anthem
Victoria Vox &Pat Macdonald Out on the Rails - a recent discovery & love

Favourite local shop or market for weekend shopping?
When I get the chance I love to go into the West End of Glasgow and buy cheese at Ian Mellis cheese shop. 

Find out more about Jane and Snapdragon and to see more products visit -
Not On The High Street : www.notonthehighstreet/snapdragon

Thank you Jane, I hope you are enjoying your Sunday morning today.  The Sunday papers last all week in our house too and I love that my older children now sit and read them too.  

Wishing you all a wonderful Sunday,
Zoe
x

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Suffolk Saturdays - Orchard End Books

Hello again, I hope you are all getting to enjoy some sunshine today.  We have  blue skies and sunshine here in Suffolk and it's warm enough to pop to the village shop without a coat or jumper.  Suffolk is always at it's prettiest this time of year as flowers start to bloom, trees look less stark as they bud and blossom and there is a warm glow across the fields.  Having moved here twelve and half years ago, I always feel blessed to live in such a pretty and peaceful county and I thought it was about time I celebrated the place I call home here on the blog.  So I now plan to introduce you to independent businesses, that of course relate to the blog, based here in Suffolk aswell as some of my favourite places to visit in a weekly series called Suffolk Saturdays.


Starting today I want to introduce you to my husbands new business, Orchard End Books.  With a freelance career as a writer and being a historian he has a love of old books so decided to open a second hand bookshop online.  Searching local auction houses for fabulous stories bound in dusty covers to list in his virtual bookshelves is for Andy the ideal job.  He has also added a Props & Collectable department to his store this week, which is already proving popular.  Vintage lovers, stylists, photographers and wedding planners will love the old typewriters, Super 8 camera, records and suitcases aswell as the vintage Penguin paperbacks.  Book collectors around the world are becoming regular customers and I can see a business that is going to grow rapidly.  

So if you love books or are looking for something to style a photoshoot or wedding I am sure we will be adding you to our client list very soon.

Have a wonderful afternoon,
Zoe
xx

Friday, 12 April 2013

The Roost Tribe


It's Friday!! We've made it through another week and the promise of a warmer weekend here in the UK beckons.  Time to catch up on some gardening or to sit in the garden with a cup of tea reading my favourite blogs or magazines.  Today I want to share with you one of my favourite blogs, Going Home To Roost.  I have been reading Bonnie's blog for the past three years and love the way she writes and the content she posts everyday.  It has also been lovely to watch how Going Home To Roost has developed and how Bonnie has created a wonderful business.  As well as being a fabulous blogger she is a surface pattern designer and shared the fantastic news this week that she has designed her first collection for Art Gallery Fabrics. Of course I will share this amazing collection with you at a later date, closer to launch but today I wanted share another part of Bonnie's blog.


The Roost Tribe is a membership that brings you monthly goodies, including a set of printables, an Adobe Illustrator video tutorial, two seamless repeating patterns, ten graphics that you can use to beautify your blog or scrapbooking.  As if that wasn't enough there is also an occasional e-book and you also get some great e-books in your welcome pack, including how to write product descriptions, growing your blog and Going Home To Roosts creative journey.  Also included in the membership is a private facebook page, which has been great for meeting other members, a community pinterest board, a bookclub and monthly challenges.  This really is a community that I love being a part of and for $5 a month (about £3.25 here in the UK, less than most magazines) it is a wonderful investment. 

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. Be sure to pop back over the weekend for two new features, Suffolk Saturdays and Designer Brunch.

See you soon,
Zoe
x

Thursday, 11 April 2013

A Really Good Night In - Macmillan Cancer Support

Hello again! Following on from this mornings post I just wanted to let you all know about a great way to help raise money for a charity close to my heart, by having a night in.  Macmillan Cancer Support are asking for everyone to organise a really good night in on Friday 26 April, my sisters birthday, sorry Fay you'll have to stay in!  This new fundraising idea asks for you to donate the money you and your friends would spend on a night out and all stay in together instead.  So I thought this would tie in perfectly with the new book Girls Night In.  Macmillan offer a huge support to people and their families whilst coping with cancer.  We are lucky enough to have a Macmillan Radiographer in my placement hospital and I know how amazing Macmillan Nurses are as I am sure many of you are too.  I reguarly use the Macmillan website for my studies as a starting point in understanding the oncology and treatment part of my course.



A Really Good Night In is an easy way for you to help raise money for a fantastic charity.

Have a lovely afternoon,
Zoe
x

Girls Night In Book Launches Today!

Morning, its a busy day ahead here, more stock to add to the shop, emails to read in response to yesterdays Workshop Wednesday post and children to supervise, nevermind some studying aswell! But I wanted to pop in and post about an exciting book launching today.  Girls Night In by Hannah Read-Baldrey looks to be a fantastic book and the perfect excuse to get friends together for cocktails and crafting.  Now that sounds like my kind of party! To celebrate the launch of her new book Hannah has a fab competition for you all on her Girls Night In website, where you can win a Vintage Hamper crammed full of wonderful things.  All you have to do to enter is share a photo of you and your girlfriends having a night in, with one of you preferably holding a copy of the book.



I am sure some of you have recognised Hannah's name.  She is aso the co-author of Everything Alice and Everything Oz. I reviewed Everything Alice a couple of years ago, whilst working as blog editor for Les Enfants  and am sure Girls Night In will be even better! Hannah's new book promises to help you and your friends have the perfect night in.  Complete with ideas for crafting, cakes, cocktails, party games, decorations, beauty and much more I feel this book maybe our new bible for many fun girls nights in.  I also highly recommend making a nice cup of tea and taking a look around the Girl's Night In website.  There are tutorials and videos and even a playlist put together by Hannah and her friends.

So what are you waiting for?! You can purchase Girls' Night In: Crafts, Cakes and Cocktails for the Ultimate Party from today from Amazon.

Have a fab day!
Zoe
x

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Workshop Wednesday

Morning!  The middle of the week or hump day is here again and whilst the promise of the weekend is nearer it still seems a little far away.  Whilst planning my new shop I also have spent some time thinking about this blog and ways I want to develop it.  I have always been keen to promote the work of designer makers here in the UK and from around the world, which I will continue to do in various ways.  But I also wanted to encourage us all to be more creative in our everyday lives and after much thought I came up with Workshop Wednesday.  I reguarly see courses mentioned on twitter, in magazines and in general conversations so thought I would dedicate Wednesdays on the blog to sharing great ideas for craft and design courses, mainly here in the UK.  Workshops and courses are a great way to develop our skills, indulge in a new hobby, spend some quality time with a friend or our mums or even our grandmas.  There are even workshops for hen parties to make things for the wedding, champagne and sparkles sound like a good combo!




This is where you can all help too.  Perhaps you run classes or courses and would like to be featured in Workshop Wednesday. Or maybe you have been on a fantastic course and would like to share it here? Whilst I write about courses I find or maybe even attend, (oh to have the time to take a screen printing class), I think it will be great for you all to be involved too.  So please do get in touch, my email is inspireddeco@gmail.com.  I shall look forward to hearing from you.

Have a lovely day
Zoe
x

Monday, 8 April 2013

Inspired Decoration on Etsy

Hello, I hope you all had a fab weekend and managed to get outside and enjoy some sunshine.  We certainly did with lots of gardening, cleaning cars and a trip to Rendlesham Forest.  Today I am very excited to finally share with you all a new venture for me.....Inspired Decoration now has an Esty shop!


I know it seems a little empty at the moment, but fear not, I have plans.  This shop will be me indulging in  my love of haberdashery and I will also be adding crafty kits that I have designed aswell as embroidery patterns and kits.  For the past few months this idea has been whispering to me but I just felt like I couldn't do it, not now, not when I'm studying.  But the idea just wouldn't go away so I started taking it a little more seriously, looking into suppliers, planning kits and curating packs.  Suddenly I realised I could do this, in between everything else I can do this! As many of you will know I love curating things, I love making things and love sharing ideas for making things.  This shop is me, pure and simple, no frilly packaging, although my parcels will be pretty.

So the next few weeks, months, years, will be busy as I add to stock in the shop and build this blog, alongside everything else, but do you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way!

Have a lovely afternoon,
Zoe
x

Friday, 5 April 2013

DIY Fabric Frame

Morning! It's Friday and we've made it through another week.  It's certainly been a busy one here.  I've busily been working on something in between being mummy and keeping the children amused as the weather has thwarted many plans for the school holidays.  But I am hoping by Monday I will be ready to share an exciting new venture for Inspired Decoration. Perhaps you have seen some sneaky peeks from me on Twitter or Instagram this week? Right back to this mornings post!  As it's Friday I wanted to share an idea for a diy project for you to try this weekend.  Maybe you will be spending the weekend trawling charity shops, flea markets or auctions and come across some sturdy picture or mirror frames but want an interesting way of upcycling them.  Well how about using some of your fabric scraps stash to adorn your frames?  This fab tutorial to make a fabric covered frame from Moda Bake Shop has all the details of how to do this.

Fabric Frame Tutorial on Moda Bake Shop


Be sure to share your projects with me as it's great to see people trying out the diy ideas I've shared here.
Have a fab weekend,
Zoe
x

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Crafting Kits for Children

Hello again, I hope you are all enjoying the school holidays. Kitty and Amber have braved the windy cold garden to practice roller skating again, having customised their retro style skates earlier with fabric glue and sequins! I have always encouraged my children to be creative and reguarly have crafty afternoons with my three daughters.  Sadly my sons are no longer interested in glue and paint, but are great at helping in the garden.  A few years ago I ran and taught craft sessions for preschoolers and then for children aged 3-11 in the school holidays.  I always loved planning these as much as running them and spent hours cutting out templates for some of the activities.  Perhaps you are not lucky enough to have sessions like these near to you or actually just want to stay cosy indoors making and creating with your children.  There are many tutorials available on the internet for childrens crafts but today I wanted to share some crafty kits for children.   The ones I have chosen are probably aimed at older children rather than preschoolers, that allow them to practice sewing.



This is just a tiny selection but I am sure will inspire your children to get sewing and making.  Be sure to share photos of any items stitched and sewn by your children with me on Twitter or Instagram.

Have fun
Zoe
x