Wednesday, 30 November 2011

still here

hello! how have you been? sorry i haven't been around too much of late but things have been a bit hectic around here. you know when you have so much going on and the goal you had of posting to your blog, etsy, facebook etc.. consistently ie. daily or 3 x weekly  suddenly seems like the most ridiculously unrealistic goal and in fact, an absolute impossibility. well as you all know this is what happens when life happens. things have been so hectic around here but the seas have calmed now so i will be back more regularly. thank you for all staying with me - not one of you has jumped ship. in the middle of lots of things happening i have managed to get lots some decorating done - yippee, and i will be posting details in due course. 

i love the above picture by catwalk that i found via etsy. the print is called 'adrift' i think it's the perfect image for this blog post - don't you?


Thursday, 20 October 2011

a little studio tour

 i have finally tidied up my tiny cupboard studio and took a few pics for you to see where i create my cards and invitations and of course write this blog and drool over other blogs and etsy sellers! 
above is my adjustable easel desk - it's from Ikea and is huge. it's ideal for working on as there is such a large area but the only downside is that it is a tad too big for my tiny workspace. behind my teeny tiny laptop are a couple of paintings my nan painted and gifted to me (along with many others) she is a fantastic painter. i love these because they remind me of her and really cheer me up and inspire me to keep on creating. i have two notebooks that i constantly use, one is for my all of my 'to-do's' and the other is for planning blog posts (which is kind of empty right now but wont be for much longer thanks to this). the old wooden box is a car boot find and contains my equipment such as my glue gun and paper-craft tools. i often take product pictures on here too for a more rustic effect. the Eiffel tower picture is actually a card from fellow etsy seller, Paula from Picard Creative, i received it as a thank you for ordering some of her hilarious magnets one Christmas for my girlfriends.
top left is my humble shelving unit - i think i got it from Argos and it was originally a yellow pine colour so i painted it white. i keep my card supplies, printer and mailing envelopes on here as well as my folders for various boring important bits and pieces. on the top is a white cushion i decorated with some old scarves and the rest of the scarves were used to make my makeshift blind. to the left of the cushion are some of the art dolls that i made with the help of my mum, she created all the hair and amazing clothes (they remind me of Downton Abbey) i had some children that we made and they went to a lovely home in Saudi Arabia in the end which is great. 
 my typewriter is my absolute favourite possession (a gift from my mum) and i use it all the time for adding text to my cards and and invitations quickly and easily. the ink still hasn't ran out and i have had this well over a year now. above the typewriter is my little washing line style photography area. the light here is best as it is right next to the window. i peg my cards up with the little pegs or a bull dog clip and snap away.
above left is a picture of my wonderful mum. i normally have her positioned so that she is looking at me and spurring me on to get things done. i am very lucky in the fact that she has always supported my creative endeavours and will often come round with a bag full of supplies for me to use in my projects. this picture was taken about 20 years ago when she was about a year or two older than i am now. isn't she beautiful?
i made the blind myself very quickly by sewing together two Laura Ashley scarves that i found in a charity shop (!) i then pinned it up above the window with some diamant√© pins that i slotted into some holes that were already there (bonus). the fabric is so light that they hold it up really well. i then took a cut off from one of the scarves and pinned that to the left inside edge of the window so that i can tie the blind back as and when i need to. it took about and hour and half altogether.

well, that's it, my little tour is over - sorry it wasn't much but it really is a very small space. but it's my little haven really. here are some of my favourite studio tours from around the web.

+ fieldguided's tour
+ creature comforts Ez's workspace
+ industrial style
+ studio set up tips


new logo & website update

you may have noticed that i have a new logo for the blog. it's a slightly fancier logo than the new one for the shops and website. what do you think of them? i was getting bored of the old logo. i still have the same font but have now added 'handmade papergoods'(as that will now be my main focus) underneith and a bit of colour for the back.
i find that i change my mind a lot when it comes to my logo and website design. i get bored so easily and never feel quite satisfied with my choice of design. especially when there is so much amazing inspiration around from other blogs and designers. do you have this problem too? how do you cope with the desire to constantly update/redesign your logo and branding? i would love to know if you have any tips for branding and being happy with your choices?

for the website i have changed the body text to typewriter font and the colours are now black, brown and beige for a warmer softer autumn/winter feel rather than the dark blue and mustard theme from before.

love to know your thought on my new designs. i am loving the branding on this popular and beautiful blog i had to force myself not to add some pink roses around the edge of my new logo!

please don't forget my birthday discount code which ends at the end of October.there, i have added some pink now ;)


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

shop update

new Christmas cards and Santa gift tags available in the shoppe. take a look at the whole Christmas range here.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

twelve by 2012

when i read this post from Danni from oh,hello friend i just had to participate. i don't normally get involved with challenges and swaps etc.. but as i have been meaning to get organised and get things done for ages so, i reasoned that by doing it this way (ie publicly) i may well get some things done for a change!

basically it is a challenge to get 12 things (or as Danni says 5 or 10 or whatever you feel you need - no pressure) done by 2012. i have a few things i have been meaning to accomplish and with time passing as quickly as it has been (have you noticed that?) i think by setting a goal it is going to make it a lot easier to achieve.

so, here is my list of goals to achieve by 2012

1. create more wedding invitation samples
2. list some covered notebooks in the shop
3. create a nice Halloween display for the house
4. paint the conservatory
5. get Christmas presents organised before December
6. make some more scrapbook pages for my mums album
7. strip and paint the bedroom
8. take down hideous folding door in kitchen
9. clean out kitchen cupboards 
10. blog at least 3 times a week
11. list a new item or renew an item every day in the shop
12. put everything back into the dining room dresser (it was painted yonks ago and i still haven't put everything back!!)

if you would like to participate then go over to Danni's blog for more details. i will be posting updates on my progress on the blog - that takes care of number 10!

+++if anyone else is joining in please let me know, i would love yo follow / encourage you!+++

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


it's my birthday today so i thought i would share a bit of the joy with a discount code for the shoppe. simply use the above code - BIRTHDAY for your discount which entitles you to 20% off anything in the shoppe. it is available for use in both my etsy shoppe and the big cartel shoppe
offer is valid till the 31st of October and can be used by anyone who follows/reads my blog, comments on the blog (before the end of October) and/or likes my facebook page. the discount code can be used for as many transactions as you wish until the end of October.

please note, i will be adding new items soon including unique Christmas cards and tags so keep checking back - i think you will like 'em!

the above photo is from Jaime Mancilla on etsy. i love her styling.


Monday, 3 October 2011

colour burst : seafoam

i'm not sure if it's all of the amazing weather we are having at the moment or the impending bad weather but i am feeling in need of summery colours and no colour says summer more than seafoam (or turquoise).
top left illustrates a great way to add colour to a room without having to overhaul everything - simple add a painted piece of furniture, even this small table makes a big impact on the right is a gorgeous vintage print via etsy (original source is unknown). love the colour in jumper form - not sure it would suit my colouring though. bottom right, this is such a unique take on a traditional vase, it would brighten up a hallway no end.
hope you have a lovely weekend and made the most of the waning sunshine.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

nice thing to look at : etsy faves

i thought i would share with you some of my favourite etsy finds. i have so many Etsy favourites at the moment but sadly they are usually sold by the time i get a chance to buy any of them! not to worry, at least i can still look at them and share them with you.

one: bark decor
two: pink elephant jewellery
three: russian soul vintage
four: curly cue design

i especially love number four the 'Buster Cotton Patch' by curly cue design, they also have some amazing steam-punk paper doll puppets, ideal for Halloween.

this weekend i am going camping and canoeing, i can't wait, i have never been canoeing before. my husband has been several times and he loves it and i know i will too as i love anything to do with water so it should be fun. the weather here (in the UK) is incredibly warm for late September and considering we are expecting snow in October - rather bizarre, but thats British weather for you!

here are some links for you to enjoy this weekend

- a song i cannot stop listening to by Kate Bush (my favourite artist ever)i love the eerie black and white video too
- a lovely online magazine
- a new favourite blog - this lady is soo creative
- i am trying out a new nail varnish this weekend, it's baby blue - not too sure but will see how it looks with my fake tan on
- getting a much need haircut tommorow still not sure weather to go back to a bob but definitely need a fringe, my face is way too long without one!
- a london street style blog that has given me loads of new ideas 
- some nice recipes to try out soon

have a great weekend - wish me luck in the canoe...

Thursday, 22 September 2011

simple things - creature comforts

sometimes everything goes wrong (or seems to) or you get ill - like me right now laying in my bed with a nasty wisdom tooth infection. all you want to do is go home and hibernate in your nest and surround yourself with all things cosy,such as blankets,pillows and candles, your favourite movie or book. and of course lets not forget the gorging. do you ever feel the need to gorge on anything in sight in the vain hope that it will make you feel a teeny bit better? that's me. i especially like lots of tea and lots of cake. it doesn't work but at the time i feel a whole lot better.

are you like me or, do you not feel like eating when you are unwell?
do you feel incredibly sorry for yourself at being ill? i do. sometimes i feel bad that i am making such a fuss and should be grateful that it will eventually go away. that's when we need the inexpensive pleasure of cosiness to make us feel better.
if you are feeling like me or are totally fed up for whatever reason, i hope the above images will lift your spirits - especially if you are hunched over a desk at work right now.


above images

collage 1 
left - source unknown,top right - interior alchemy,bottom right - blue velvet chair

collage 2
left - tig-fashion, right - paris 2 london

collage 3
left - delly star, right - source unknown

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

shoppe update

 i have added some new collage love cards to the shoppe. they are made with vintage papers and have heart shape detailing and typewritten text. hope you like them!
 if you are in the UK and prefer browsing in pounds, please view my big cartel shoppe here.


Monday, 12 September 2011

a porcelain tale - photo shoot

a couple of months ago i  was invited to send some of my paper goods to Ireland for a photo shoot by Pearl from Pearl and Godiva - who provide vintage china hire and are also stylists for weddings, magazine shoots and press events. the resulting shoot, a collaboration between Pearl (one half of Pearl and Godiva) and Shane from Aspect Photography, was set in the stunning location of Ballynatray Estate on the Cork/Waterford border.

of course i was delighted with the prospect of having my items photographed and styled by such professionals, and was surprised to hear that my humble cards and gift tags were featured alongside such amazing talent as Bonzie (handmade clothing) and Moth and Bay Leaf (beautiful handmade accessories)to name but a few. 

100 layer cake has featured this inspirational photo shoot, plus a video of it here 

all above photos Aspect Photography - please visit the website, Shane's photography is astounding.


Friday, 9 September 2011

shoppe update

i have been busy making things and updating the shoppe with the above new items. 
did you have had a good week? i have had a pretty boring one to be honest but here is a brief round-up of my activities, learnings, likes and finds -

- i love this shop that's filled with really sweet 'comfort boxes' and fantastic illustration cards and plates

- check out these clever collages 

- time definitely goes faster the older i get. it seems like only yesterday when i was dreading the big 30 and that was very nearly 2 years ago...

- not having a fringe makes my face look incredibly loooong. time for a fringe again i think.

- one good thing about getting older is that i definitely need less sleep - which is good news - more creating time!

- writing things down really helps me to get things out of my constantly churning mind and now i can do it securely online here

- i am really quite lazy sometimes but apparently it is a libran character trait so it's not really my fault...

- watched my favourite British movie again this week, Confetti. if you have not seen it you must - it's so funny

- came across this lovely song while listening to a chill out playlist on napster. this is the only online version of the song i could find and at the end it turns into another song which is annoying but you get to hear most of it.

- finally some happiness for these chimps


Thursday, 25 August 2011

simple things - {cheap} treasure hunting

one of the simple things in life that i love to do is to rummage around charity shops and car boot sales. what i love about  thrifting is that it costs next to nothing to find really cool stuff for the home and to wear. i shop a lot in charity shops and it's nice to know that what i do spend is going to charity. i feel so satisfied when i find something i really love for a fraction of the price and for a lot of people, myself included -  it is becoming a necessity to be more thrifty with the pennies. 

my mum and sister also love thrifting and my husband has also started to enjoy visiting the local car boots. once he had gone and seen all the gadgets on offer - that was it! my sister recently found some teal (i think they are teal - or turquoise) linen palazzo trousers that were still wearing thier French (get me ;) )boutique price tag of 95 euros. my sister paid 50p for them but they weren't quite right for her so she gave them to me - i was thrilled - they fit me perfectly and are just what i was looking for to wear for a party. 

this weekend i found a cute dried flower locket from a local charity shop, it's really sweet and only cost me £2.50. i wouldn't find anything like it on the high street - let alone for £2.50. it reminds me a lot of the picture i found on one of my other treasure hunting expeditions.

two of my most treasured possessions is an my old treadle sewing machine from the 1850's and my gorgeous vintage 1930's  typewriter that my mum picked up for me from a 'reuse and recycle' shop and a vintage shop nearby. it's so great when my family are into second hand things too - we look out for things we know each other will like. 

my three thrifty shopping tips

1. if you really like it - get it. if you don't you can be sure that next time you look for it it will be gone.

2. if it isn't the right size (too big) don't worry. if the material is of good quality then it is well worth taking it to a tailor to be taken in for you.

3. make sure to visit the fabrics/home section. they will often have curtains, duvets and pillow covers at amazing prices. i bought a Laura Ashley cushion for a few pounds and a beautiful new cotton duvet set for about the same price. if you are clever with a sewing machine (or have a relative or friend that is) you can even have them make things for you to wear or for the home at a fraction of the price. you can spend a fortune in a fabric store for material that you didn't even really like.

               ALL VINTAGE SHOP                                                  NORTH BROOKLYN DRY GOOD

some links to give you some ideas and tips for your own treasure hunting - 

- Mary Portas (Queen of Shops) top tips for charity chic here 
- thrifting tips for travellers
- Alexa Chung goes thrifting
- a chic apartment featuring lots of flea market/vintage finds

my favourite vintage loving blogs

- rubyellen's adorable blog cakies 
- this lady is vintage through and through
- this lady made a career of thrifting or as she calls it 'junking'
- cool american vintage finds with miss modish
- these guys sell thier finds via an little vintage shop on wheels
- mixing second hand with new sfgirlbybay

for those of you seasoned {cheap} treasure hunters - do you have any tips for bargain hunting for second hand things?
what's your best bargain to date? 
what is the most unusual thing that you have come across or purchased? 

R x

Monday, 22 August 2011

in process

hello - hope you all have had a lovely weekend? i was able to get started on some new card designs that will be available to buy in the shop by early September along with some other cards and 'paper goods' style stuff for you to peruse - will keep you posted on those.

i am so glad that autumn is coming soon. i have enjoyed the summer but for some reason i don't ever have much inspiration during the summer months and i can feel it coming back now - phew!


Wednesday, 17 August 2011

simple things : flowers

sometimes in this ever more materialistic world we inhabit it's hard not to get obsessed with success and money and having more and being more..sometimes it's overwhelming and hard not to feel that things are lacking. so, i have decided that i am going to try to focus more on the simpler (sometimes free - but always inexpensive) things.

flowers are one of those things. simple. beautiful. ethereal. and always here for us to enjoy. they don't ask for much - just a bit of water and sunlight and they will grow happily and abundantly. they don't need anything else to survive in this world.

flowers are not just lovely to look at - they have amazing healing properties too, from aromatherapy and use in medicines and body products to even healing the mind.
for some flower inspiration take a look at one of my favourite websites and some stunning wedding flowers and styling at Amy Merrick here.

find out more about the healing properties of flower remedies for all kinds of emotional states here - i often use them and they work wonders.

photo credits
collage 1 -
left style me pretty right a well travelled woman

collage 2
amy merrick

collage 3
top the sweetest occasion bottom haven vintage

collage 4
left naturalist collection right edward bach

p.s hello new readers - thank you so much for visiting x

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

fellow brit handmade seller - primchick

 if you are a fan of well made handmade accessories, jewellery and paper goods with a vintage whimsy feel you must go and take a look at my blog friend Marion's shop PrimChick.
i ordered this yummy lip balm locket from her recently and i just had to take some pictures to show you how lovely the packaging and detailing wasthe locket lip balm is such a good idea - i'm going to pop mine on a  vintage style chain and wear it constantly - i am addicted to lip balm but it always goes missing so, now it wont!

some more of Marion's handmade goodness -

Marion also has a wonderful blog - tales from our cottage where she shares updates on her shop, car boot finds (love those posts) creative inspiration and more. please be sure to stop by and say hi!


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

wedding decor ideas - table numbers

hello everybody, hope you are all doing great.

i am doing a bit of research on details for my wedding range (it's small but i'm getting there) and found these really unique ideas for table numbers. sometimes i am simply astounded by the level of creativity people have when it comes to wedding details and decor aren't you?!

here are some more ideas -

- display in frames - either an empty frame with the label strung from the top of the frame and then positioned leaning against a decorative item such as a vase or prop (ie. just the frame alone with no glass etc.inside) or, you could have a normal frame with the backing still in place (but no glass) and decorate the back of the frame with nice wallpaper or doilies and then stick the label into the centre of the frame.
for the frames you can get lots of cheap frames from flea markets and charity shops etc.. you could also paint the frames to match your theme.

-hang the table numbers from a wine bottle or vase

- wrap, tie or stick your table number onto a selection of vintage books. if you want to tie the number on then some nice bakers twine or velvet ribbon looks really good for this.

- use photo stands to display them with - the ones that have those clips that you clip the photo onto

- underneath a glass cloche or dome either on it's own or with a selection of decorative props

- or simply leaning against something in a prominent position on the table ie the centrepiece area or at the end of the table

do you have any other unique ideas for table numbers that i could add to the list?



Thursday, 30 June 2011

strung picture frames

 source unknown

    pottery barn

      simply seleta

hey you! how have you been? today i wanted to show you these lovely picture hanging ideas - aren't they unique. i love the use of ribbon and string to hang picture frames - the one with the colourful picture frames with the clever use of string and mini pegs to hand the photos inside. i think the colours of the frames really works well with the colour photos. i have never been too keen on colour photos but they look really good this way.
i adore the top and last pictures the most - just my style. which is your favourite?