Sunday, 30 October 2011

Sunday Bookclub - Spooky Tales for Little Ones

Morning! Half term is almost over and the laziness of Sunday is here again, although we didn't get that extra hour in bed as the clocks went back. Did you? I'm sure we'll gain the extra hour this evening instead! 

Tomorrow is Halloween and I know it's not something we celebrate here in the UK but I thought for my first Sunday Bookclub post I would share some of my childrens favourite spooky tales that even little ones will love.
The Funnybones series of books, by Janet & Allan Ahlberg, are a huge favourite in our house.  Whilst they have that air of spookiness as the skeletons creep around at night in their 'dark, dark house' and around the 'dark, dark town' the pictures and text make for some funny adventures and laugh out loud fun!

Winne The Witch by Valerie Thomas & Korky Paul are great stories for slightly older children, probably the 5-8 age range, although Kitty loved these from the age of about 3 and a half.  The wild and wacky ideas and adventures of Winnie and her long suffering cat, Wilbur, make for great reading.

I remember Meg & Mog from my own childhood so they must be of some antique value by now! But the stories are still fantastic now and the colours and simple pictures are perfect for little ones.  Perhaps this is where the inspiration for Winne The Witch came from as we are left feeling a little sorry for Mog and Wilbur as their eccentric owners continue to pursue weird and wacky ideas.

I know there are many other stories that are a little spooky but not too spooky for little ones but these are our favorite three.  I would love to know what your top three are, maybe leave a comment here or over on our Facebook page.

I hope you all have a restful Sunday,
Take care

Friday, 28 October 2011

Fabric Friday - Ness

Plaid, tweed, tartan seem to be everywhere this Autumn and I have to admit I do love these in bright, bold colours.  Earlier this year I discovered a Scottish company who are not afraid of colour in their tartan and plaid designs.  Ness have been creating stylish clothes and accessories since 1996 and are determined to keep their Scottish heritage by using tartan in their designs yet with a modern twist.

Whilst tartan is often associated with heather, tins of shortbread and walking in the Highlands of Scotland Ness are reinterpreting the traditional checks to make them a stylish and contemporary fashion statement.  Colour has been seen on the catwalks this year and Ness certainly do not shy away from mixing bold colours in their checks.  In their contemporary style they offer fab clothes, especially coats, and we all know how much I luuuurrrrrve coats! But something else that has caught my eye in a recent email from Ness is the Henriette shoes, beautiful high heeled mary janes in their bright bold tweeds.  I tend to opt for flats but would love to see a pair of these land in my christmas stocking (please Santa I've been very good!). 

The Ness flagship store is rightly situated on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.  They have a further five stores, only one of which is south of the border, in York and also have over 500 stockists throughout the UK and internationaly.  Sadly there are none in Suffolk but looking at their stockist map I can get a fix in Cambridge or Norfolk!! Although I am pleased to say they have a gorgeous mail order catologue which I am always excited to see land on the doormat. 

So are you a fan of tweed, plaid or tartan?  How about these designs in bold colours, love or loathe? Now I only hope they start doing sofas or chairs, imagine one in your studio or office to sit and relax in when you're mulling over your next designs or projects with a nice cup of tea.

Have a fabulous weekend

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Astley Clarke

Last week I was due to attend a special gemology evening at Astley Clarke in London, but unfortunately had to cancel at the last minute.  I was very disappointed as I was looking forward to seeing their beautiful jewellery and learning a little about the gemstones used in their collections.  However I was also very disappointed to be missing out on meeting some amazing bloggers that had also been invited to this special event.  Tucked away in Suffolk I sometimes feels I miss out on alot of networking and would have loved the opportunity to put faces to names whose words I so often read. 

I have meetings planned in London in November so am hoping to make time to visit the Astley Clarke showroom to indulge in some window shopping and planning my christmas list!  In the meantime I wanted to share with you their gorgeous new Stacking Rings which I personally love.

Aren't they gorgeous?! I actually want all of them but think I'll settle for two or three for now. But which ones do I choose?   Which ones would you choose?


Thursday, 20 October 2011

Remembrance Sunday - Handmade Poppies

Good Morning!  I hope you are all well on this frosty Thursday.  Today I wanted to share with you a wonderful idea from my dear friend Viv, the designer behind Poppy Sparkles & editor of the fab Poppy Sparkles blog.  Viv is making gorgeous ribbon poppy corsages for Remembrance Sunday and for every poppy sold she will donate £1 to the Royal British Legion. So if you would prefer to have something a little more stylish than the paper poppies and still make a contribution to this worthy cause please pop by the Poppy Sparkles website to buy one.

Red Poppy Corsage in aid of The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal

Thank you everyone,

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Review - The Liberty Book Of Home Sewing

Morning! I hope you're all warm and well this chilly Wednesday. Autumn has defiantely arrived here in the UK and I even heard mention of snow in the Scotiish Highlands on the weather foracast this morning.  Although I actually welcome the cooler days and darker evenings as it means I can spend some time crafting, making and sewing.  So I was thrilled to be sent a copy of The Liberty Book of Home Sewing to review as I hoped to find lots of new projects for the winter and beyond.

The Liberty Book of Home Sewing as you would expect contains plenty of images with projects made in their fabulous fabrics, even the cover features two of their designs.  For anyone who loves fabric you would automatically pull this book from the bookshops shelf as the pretty spine is very enticing!  But is it just a book full of pretty things to make in Liberty prints or are there useful and fun projects aswell?  After several sewing books being published over the past couple of years I wondered if there was room for a new title or would it be another book just recreating the projects seen before. 

The book is divided into four sections, Essentials, Organisation, Luxury and Sewing Basics.  The first section, Essentials offers projects to make, basic cushions, curtains, an apron and a shopping bag among others, which are essential to everyday life but also an essential ingredient in a book about home sewing. 

The second section, Organisation has a fantastic project to make fabric book covers, which I plan to make for notebooks this Christmas and the keepsake board looks very pretty with Liberty print bias binding.  The third section, Luxury, is full of gorgeous projects, including a rather delectable Rose cushion that I am attempting.  There are also projects in this section for quilts and lampshades, a kimono and a corsage, which are definately not just recreating projects seen in other sewing books.


The fourth and final section, Sewing Basics, is essential to any sewing book.  This allows even the most novice seamstress to access the projects as this section of the book explains the various sewing terms and offers advice in choosing fabric, haberdashery and equipment.

Therefore do we need this book when we already own ample sewing books? Yes we do, the projects are fabulous even if some are a variation on a theme. The instructions are clear and concise with handdrawn images for most steps to show us how to do something.  Whether you are new to sewing or have years of experience this book caters for everyone.  Also who wouldn't want a sewing book filled with projects made in Liberty print fabric?

How many of you have this book on your Christmas list?

Take care

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


In all the chaos of Riot Raffle ending I wanted to take a few minutes out and reflect on September.  A month of new beginnings and change for many as a new school year starts.  It certainly was a month of new beginnings in our house!  I have just about got used to Kitty being at school full time, although still have days when I wish she was here instead of there.  My older chidlren seem to have settled into the new school year quickly, although already feeling the strain of homework.  Connor started CCF, Jack has a part in 'Guys & Dolls', Lucy's teacher is amazed at how much her drawing has improved over the Summer, Amber is preparing for her Piano Prep Test and Kitty is learning to read.  Nevermind the results on the Rugby pitch and the bruises to show for it!  I am incredibly proud of all my children who are all incredibly talented in many ways. 

Jack, Lucy, Amber, Connor and Kitty at the front pulling a funny face!

As for me September has been incredibly busy!  I started as Blog Editor for Les Enfants Parties at the beginning of September which has been lots of fun and has created lots of  guest writing opportunities already for some major blogs.  I am also thrilled to say through this I now have a second client starting this week, for whom I will also be a Blog Editor.  I never imagined this is where I would be now but I am absolutley thrilled.  You all know how much I love writing, blogging, creating inspiration boards so this is like my most perfect job. 

My lovely new cushions I made after raiding my fabric stash!

I have also made some new cushion covers for the lounge.  Yet I still have to make new curtains but I can't decide on the fabric! I also need to make some new cushions for the dining chairs and I have decided all the glossing in the lounge and hall must be finished before 1st December.  We have plans to tidy up the hall too, sort out proper storgage under the stairs, fit a wooden floor and use stripy runners as a carpet on the stairs.  So not much really, there's still a couple of months!!

So now it's October, thoughts turn to cooler days, Kitty's birthday, Halloween.  I love Autumn as it means I can start wearing my fabulous coat collection again and those of you that know me know I have a few!  I hope September was kind to you and thank you for your support when I was feeling a bit lost, I really appreciate it.

Take care
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