Friday, 27 December 2013

He Came, he saw, he left presents....

So, the big morning came - did the magic happen? Oh yes, take a look at Toby's evidence that Santa did indeed visit and left not one thing off his list for him but 2!

even the present St Nick left had a lighty up bow on it!

...and the result? One very proud happy owner of Hot Wheels Mega Loop Mayhem and a Despicable Me 2 calendar. 
Hmmm, and on the subject of St Nick we did tell Toby that Father Christmas is also a saint not that we could say a thing to his reply "you have to be dead to be a saint"
That boy is way to smart for his own good.....

Here's to Christmas magic 2014 not much beats those first 2 hours on Christmas day.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

It's the most wonderful time of the year... apparently!

So it's the weekend before Christmas a time of stress, debt and pleasing others. I love this time of year normally - but no idea when it turned into the nightmare before Christmas. Toby has asked for 'a happy day' we did say could you not ask for any toy in the world, it would be easier. We're shattered from clearing and tidying, broke from spending and seem to be more bothered about relatives rather than the boy who is and should be the focus of our Christmas - he's 6 and the magic that's involved in this time of year for his will fade I want us to relish it for as long as we can rather than stressing about what relatives we're seeing and when.

I'm hugely envious of friends that have planned their day, just the pair of them; a takeaway so they don't have to cook and wash up and their present to each other - booking a holiday online, and curling up by the fire watching TV.

Well, the boxes of random stuff won't shift themselves..... back to work - Happy Christmas y'all!

Monday, 9 December 2013

England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales....

One little beauty that would be a great present for a teacher is the England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales mug - it was going to be called on the British Rails but I must have been the only one in the playground doing that one.

The fine bone china mug features not exactly well known landmarks but just ones I really wanted to do and that worked. The UK mug (less of a mouthful) is available here along with the matching sticky tape - well you'd need to wrap it with some thing - and of course they're both made in the UK! 

England - Stonehenge

Ireland - Giant's Causeway

Scotland - The Pineapple, Dunmore

Wales - Caernarfon Castle

Just Driftwood...

"....hollow and of no use" - I don't think so Travis! 
The rather lovely Loraine Spicknell (anyone recognise the surname) in her spare time has created these cute houses. Would make such a fantastic new home or wedding gift. 

Its like Balamory!

on the street where you live...
You can contact Loraine via her facebook page 

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Who? Me?

Being the little sister of a Dr Who obsessed brother at school he was known as the Doctor because of knotting school scarves together. (his favourite Doctor - Sylvester McCoy - eh?)
The Cybermen scared the life out of me -  not on the screen but when I saw one at a Dr Who exhibition in Blackpool and I fancied the Dalek.
Enough of that me thinks, here's a bit of a Whovien inspired selection seeing as well, todays the day n all...

Bow Tie by Cleo Ferin Mercury from the Museum of London

Thursday, 21 November 2013

John Lewis

I'm well and truly chuffed, yesterday I went into the Oxford Street branch of John Lewis and saw my work in there; Toby was with me who was just as excited.
You can be stocked in a lot of places but there are some more than others that get the 'wow' reaction.
I think I can say from mothers everywhere John Lewis gets the salute!

EXCLUSIVE tape and fine bone china mugs

oh yes - magnets


A very proud Toby

Friday, 8 November 2013

Pet Corner

If I ever take a photo of your pet there might be a reason....

Logan the Ridgeback

Nugget the hen

well, I ever got your name... but it was nice seeing you at London Zoo

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

'allo John Gotta New....

...supplier? Yes John Lewis I'm on about. Starting with a tad of the Capital...

The range will be in the Oxford Street branch very soon

and yet again 'me lovely photography is by Kellie Spicknell

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Animal Magic (2)

Monopoly crazed woman and well dressed friend Elizabeth from Mountain and Molehill has left her saucy pin up girls behind and come up with some rather lovely prints. Created from old animal etchings she's brought them to life with Penguin Parades, Stag nights and personalised pieces for weddings and names.

Animal alphabet! ah yes.... this I know about. In case you missed my jabbering before I went on about my jewellery pieces when I did my degree back in (ahem) well let's just say I know way too many people that were only just born then. 
The major piece was a Noah's Ark crown with an animal for each letter of the alphabet. Very toy like I made it so things moved or went up and down and some of the animals were hidden so you had to find them.
 So obviously I love Mountain and Molehills new creations! Well done Elizabeth, keep up the good work!

Friday, 1 November 2013

Last Chance for Less

Last day of the pop up shop Saturday 2nd
open 1-6pm (email for earlier)
Here be some of the deals just in time to stock up for Christmas!

Oranges & Lemons tea set £240 £150 (6 x tea cups, 1 teapot)

Gull n Chips jug £30 £20

Reversible bag £55 £40

Gull n Chips apron £25 £15

Animal Kingdom linen cushions £55 £45 (each)

Friday, 25 October 2013


I'm just packing goods for this Mondays pop up shop. Bargains too be had along with ex display and old stock including handmade Christmas decorations, if I can find them!

To give you an idea Oranges & Lemons tea cups and saucers are normally £25 heck not for the shop - £15, side plates down to £10 and teapots £60 (usual price £90) its a really good opportunity to stock up for Christmas or to treat yourself. The Animal Kingdom cushions will have their first outing and for a limited time will be £45.


Monday 1-8pm
Tuesday 1-8pm
Wednesday 1-7pm
Thursday 12-7pm
Friday 4-9pm
Saturday 1-6pm

If you do want to come, whoever you are, out of hours please feel free to email me as I will be about.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Now he is 6....

Toby's birthday also means the start of Tobyboo so what's the year been like for the the real Toby boo?
Well, Toby has mostly been making lego creations, reading Rainbow Fairy books and carrying on with his Carole Vorderman style maths head. The cake for birthday number 6...? well he gave me a choice one of which was a maths cake with heaps of sums each equalled 6, a London one or the Eiffel Tower... in case you can't tell I went for the Eiffel Tower. He was happy.

Children's parties end up like weddings, the guest list causes as many problems. The location, the entertainment, the cake - you get wedding headache from it!

Siblings are like the plus ones that your friends insist that "they're the one" so please squeeze them in and then they split up at the wedding - you feel you have to invite them. Toby's obviously friends with some "plus ones" but not all and when you're on a tight budget you can't exactly invite everyone especially when it doesn't go 2 ways as he's an only child.  There were 17 at his Stuff a Bear party (Dave said about 6 or 8)

Things I have learnt for next year:
1) don't have a party
2) if number 1 has been forgotten then don't have more than 8 children (just like daddy did say) 
3) think of your own child not others.
4) don't do an Empire State building cake even if he begs.
5) so long as he enjoys his day nothing else matters.

Things Build a Bear Workshop need to do:
1) when you start the party can you let the adults know so they don't just think they're kids have gone off.
2) make sure the children and the big people understand about the whole "what bear can they have"
3) when you decide to play hide and seek could you please a) tell the kids not to go out of the shop and b) have a member of staff on the door in case they don't listen to (a)

Happy Birthday miracle boy Boy - 7 years in the making and 6 years of being here.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Fair Trading?

So if you read a story about someone that worked as many hours most days up to 3 in the morning, supporting a family with a young child, the person had a talent that made their work unique and desirable and couldn't do any other job, that same person was paid well under minimum wage and with some outlets they ended up in loosing so much to meet the prices buyers demanded they were actually paying them ..... no it's not someone in a (ahem lets just say nice supermarket) add promoting Fair Trade it's me.

There is nothing at all to protect small businesses or sole traders here to anything thats vaguely fair, yes some people can walk away and have the choice of doing something else but not always. More and more everyone now doesn't just desire British Made they expect it but they want it at made in China prices. You'd expect certain high street shops to support the little person working their heart out over here producing original work that in turn makes the shop look great wouldn't you? The truth is it's one thing buyers battling you to take your prices down to pretty much the price you end up in paying or they can't get their margins right - they have to have big margins - high street shops have huge overheads I get that but not to the point of selling something for half the price it should be.

You may have read that John Lewis now have a rebate scheme for suppliers - the more you sell the more you have to pay them, this isn't the profit you make its how much they sell. The BBC news article on it is here but please someone tell me how on earth this is fair trade? I don't pile up my basket, get to the till and expect them to give me money rather than pay for it but thats exactly what's happening here. All I would like is to earn a living by what I do best and not be in debt, sadly the more I sell the more debt I'll be in.

Customers need to start paying the right price and if they can't afford it then shop elsewhere not tut and moan about the price of things, you pay for what you get. At this rate the high street is going to turn into one great big hole of generic gift shop products and pound shops - oh yes most of them have .....

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Pillow Talk

Oh those boys from Ohh Deer are very clever, not only have they built up one heck of an illustrative brand they know how to use it. The Pillow Fight (the sequel) follows the rather successful first - where any Tom, Dick and Harry can enter, upload your cushion idea et voila you get to see it as a cushion and whats more its for sale straight away...clever.... its addictive to take part and great to look through the varied entrants.

They're on the hunt for a new contributor - its a fantastic opportunity so if you are an artist/designer there's not much of a reason not to enter you've got till the beginning of November.

Was going to put some of my favourites up but didn't want to get a slap for not asking permission,  so I highly recommend that you just look for yourself.

Ere's my contributions....

Badger Balloons

Heavy Load

Mr Crabby
Images from Ohh (ta)