Monday, 21 February 2011

Cath Kidston Giveaway - Winner

Wow, so many entries for the giveaway to win Sew by Cath Kidston. Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter, it's lovely to know there are still many Cath Kidston fans out there!  I have used the Random Number Generator and the winner is -

Catherine Miller (@katylittlelady)

Be sure to check back in a couple of weeks as I have another book to giveaway.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Fabric Friday - New Collections

It is Friday again and of course that means it's time for some fabric indulgence.  Continuing from last week I am going to look back at previous features and share some new collections from designers that have apepared in Fabric Friday in the past year.  As today sees the start of London Fashion Week I feel it apt to look at some of our main British textile designers.

Cath Kidston

I first featured Cath Kidston for Fabric Friday back in April last year and am excited to see what new designs she has released.

Whilst other design houses release new collections usually in line with the fashion seasons Cath Kidston does not clearly announce new designs on her website.  However I am sure that Circus and London Scene are fairly new designs and are both fabulous.  Cath Kidston designs are synominous with quintessential English ideals and the theme of London Scene I feel ties in very well with the Cool Britannia trend that is still popular.  The Circus print reminds me of childhood trips to the big top and again airs that feeling of nostalgia that Cath Kidston prints evoke.

Designers Guild

Designers Guild were first featured in a Fabric Friday post in the Summer last year and I have since been fortunate enough to review Tricia Guilds book, A Certain Style.

There are several new collections released by Designers Guild that fit with the fashion seasons of Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer.  This new Spring /Summer season has seen thirteen new fabric collections, including the fantastic Arles collection resulting from a collaboration with Christian Lacroix. There are also three new wallcovering collections, Linnaeus, Around the World and Essentials Oxbridge.

Here are three of my favourites from the new collections, I especially love the solid vibrancy of Piave, reminiscent of catwalks for S/S11.

Lisa Stickley

Lisa Stickley has become a household name, especially since joining the line up of 'Designers at Debenhams'.  I first featured Lisa Stickley in the middle of the summer last year.

Whilst there is a new homewares collection available from Debenhams Lisa Stickly has several new designs available on her website.  Here are a few new pieces -

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Wall Decals for Bigger Kids

There comes a time when our little ones are not so little anymore and they no longer want trains, cars or fairies on their walls. As promised last week I have found some great wall decals for our older children. 

Banksy Apache Wall Stickers from Brighton POD

My sons want this when we decorate their room this month.

Space Invaders from Brighton POD

Retro cool that would work for girls and boys!

For all our budding rock stars.

So our intrepid adventurers can plan their future trips.

A bit of glamour in hot pink.

from Nutmeg

Cool Britannia is still a hot theme

I am reguarly heard saying this!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Bags for Spring

It's coming, I can feel it's warmer sun, see the daffs poking their heads through the ground, the mornings aren't quite as dark, Spring is on it's way.  Just as nature offers us a burst of colour after bleak winter days I'm starting to think of  brighter colours as we move into the Spring months.  Bags are a staple that can be changed reguarly, whether they are just to carry our purse, keys and phone or as a style statement.  As a fabric addict I love the idea of a bright bold bag for Spring and here are some ideas.

Large Flouncy Bag by Poppy Treffry

I adore Poppy Treffry's designs and was fortunate to meet her at the Country Living Fair back in November.

Joanna Hand Held Tote by Lisa Stickley

Fabric Friday fans will know that I am a big fan of  Lisa Stickley's designs and of course I chose a green bag, it's my favourite colour!

Rose Tote by Emma Burton

Emma's designs are full of colour with hints of vintage designs yet she uses up to date digital printing to create her fabric designs before making a selection of bags, purses and scarves.

Haversack by Susannah Hunter

Huge daisies have to be favourite flowers.

Satchel by Breagha

A splash of yellow, even if tweed does make us think of winter.

Velvet Bag by Clouded Yellow

A pop of colour to brighten those rainy mornings.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Fabric Friday - New Collections

I thought for the next three weeks I would look back at designers I have featured on Fabric Friday and take a look at their new collections. 

Birch Fabrics

Birch Fabrics launched their first collection, Circa 50 last spring and I first featured them nearly a year ago -

Circa 50

Circa 50

Since then Birch Fabrics have release two further collections, Marine by Dan Stiles and Circa 60 Beach Mod, which is another collaboration with Monaluna.



Circa 60

Circa 60

Birch Fabrics have another collection, Avalon by Jay-Cyn Designs, launching in April.

All Birch Fabrics collections are printed onto 100% organic cotton.


Monaluna collaborated with Birch Fabrics to produce both the Circa 50 and Circa 60 collections.  However I shared Monaluna's own collections, for Robert Kaufman, with you back in April last year.

Urban Blooms


Metro Market

Last Summer saw Monaluna launch their own collection, Monaco, which is printed onto organic cotton.

Monaluna will be launching two more collections, Anika and Marin, later this year.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Book Review - Sew by Cath Kidston

Having designed many fabulous collections of fabric it seemed like a natural progression for Cath Kidston to write a book all about sewing.  For several years we have used her fabrics to make cushions, pegbags and much more besides, but it is the recent trend to learn to sew that possibly led Cath Kidston to provide her fans with projects they can recreate themselves.

Sew by Cath Kidston is jam packed with projects for even a novice sewer, however I recommend that you trace the patterns from the sheet for each project.  Following on from the introduction where Cath Kidston explains that she wanted to create a book of projects for even a novice sewer that didn't resemble a sewing manual, the 'Sew Basics' section helps you plan for the projects and understand the different sewing terms.  This section is clear and concise helping you to choose a sewing machine, create a pattern, explaining the difference between a circular seam and a T-junction seam, to name a few. The Sew Basics section also teaches the finer points of applique and quilting.  Armed with these informative basics the book moves onto the projects.

When writing 'Sew', Cath Kidston explains that she set herself a challenge to design projects that were both practical and pretty and she certainly has accomplished this.  There are several cushion designs to make aswell as five bag patterns.  Other projects include aprons, oven gloves and a quilted hot water bottle cover.  there are also projects for the little ones in our lives, with a pattern for a cot quilt and a bird mobile.

Whether you are a die hard Cath Kidston fan or just looking for some well written sewing projects for your home, you will not be disappointed with 'Sew'.  With Mothers Day only a few weeks away I am sure you could gain some extra brownie points by making one of the projects in Sew for a gift, or even buy Sew as a gift this Mothers Day!


I am thrilled to have a copy (the little book version) of Sew by Cath Kidston to giveaway to one of my lovely readers.  To enter please just leave me a comment on this post to let me know which is your favourite Cath Kidston design.  I will randomly select a winner on Monday 21st Febraury at 12 noon.  Good Luck xx

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Business Wednesday - Product Photography

image from Etsy

Over the past few months I have looked at many photographs on Etsy, Folksy, NOTHS and peoples websites to use in various blog posts.  Good images make the difference between me featuring a product or not, which sometimes is a real shame as the product is great but the image is poor.  Whilst many of us know that poor lighting can effect the quality of our photos there are other things to consider too.  Props are great for creating an atmosphere or idea, when I made my clutch bags I wanted to evoke thoughts of old fashioned glamour so took shots of the bags with Martini glasses and leather gloves. Another example is if you are selling bunting make sure you take photos of the bunting in situ, whether this is outside on a tree or inside on a wall. Yet it is easy to over do it! Too many props and the potential customer will not be sure exactly what is for sale. Another important thing to consider is the surroundings, I am sure you don't really want people to see your washing drying on the airer! 

Etsy has some great tutorials and advice about taking good photographs, in their Guide to Photography.  To ensure your photos are at the correct size you can always resize them on Webresizer or Picnik.  I use Picnik alot and have now paid to use their premium services as I put together alot of photo collages, however you can use a good selection of their services for free.

Another option you may consider is having your products photographed by a professional photographer.  Whilst some of us are lucky enough to know a photographer, there are many of us that need to find a photgrapher to take professional images of our products.  Shot By Lucy is a great photography agency that will provide you with a product photo shoot without the expensive fees often associated with using an agency.  I have seen the results of their work and they are now the recommended photographers for Gift Wrapped & Gorgeous partners. 

So if you were thinking of giving your shops or websites a spring clean be sure to read Etsy's Guide to Photography or even consider professional images from Shot By Lucy or another photographer.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Wall Decals for Childrens Rooms

I thought I  would continue with the wall decor theme for childrens rooms today but look at a fairly new idea of wall decals (or stickers).  I love the idea of wall decals as they can change a room in an instant and provide a focal point in an otherwise plain room.  Wall decals are available to be used all over the house but today I will consider some that are perfect for younger childrens bedrooms or playrooms, then next week I will look at wall decals for older children as I know my sons outgrew pirates & dinosaurs a while ago!

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