focus on: Isak

Have been madly busy over the last few days with work. I'm lucky enough to be working with a supplier from Sweden at the moment, who were over for a few days (I'm hoping that I'll be able to get a return visit soon!) So in salute to all things Scandinavian, I thought I'd indulge in a few pics from one of my fave shops: Isak

I just love this penguin print wallpaper and blanket

As well as having the most gorgeous products, I love the way their website looks too.


A new corner

We took advantage of the wet weather on Sunday, by finally putting up some of the frames and shelves that I'd been stockpiling

When we decorated the Boys room before he arrived, we moved the doorway about 3 feet into the hallway (it was rather oddly coming off of the chimney breast into the room diagonally, if that makes sense?!). This did seem like quite a lot of work to only gain a tiny amount of space, but somehow the room felt a lot bigger by making this small change. The only disadvantage was that we were left with an awkward corner, that was a little bit too small to put any furniture into, but somehow felt a little empty. I decided to put up some ikea frame shelves to display some books, and I'm so pleased with how it looks

and more importantly, it's really encouraged the Boy to swipe a boy on the way past and sit down to have a read!


brum brum

Was going to make this up into a birthday card, but I ran out of time to get it made up and sent (sorry Dad)
(humm, perhaps should have put the iron over that before I got the camera out!)

I'm really loving getting a bit of practice at embroidery on my machine again. I just need to start making a few of these things up into things to sell. The problem is that I always feel a bit impatient at sewing straight lines after I've gone freehand!

Feeling a bit disappointed this evening; I thought I'd found myself a nice craft market to sell at, but unfortunately the trading prices are going to be too prohibitive. On the positive side, it'll give me a bit more time to work on things without having to rush.... and an outside stall in November could have been a bit chilly. brrr



I've had my eye on this ikea bedlinen set for a little while now. The scribble print is very reminiscent of the Virr Varr formica print of which I am so fond. I didn't necessarily want it for bedding you understand, but nevertheless I couldn't quite justify buying it to chop up. Imagine how happy I was then, to find a set in the bargain corner for the princely sum of £3. That's right £3! I will now have no qualms whatsoever in chopping into this, and I think this little quartet is just a perfect project waiting to happen

...if I can ever bring myself to cut into the OK fabric that is.

As this is supposed to be a crafting blog, I realised that I've been quite negligent in mentioning anything to do with craft recently. Mainly - sadly - because I haven't really been doing much. Things are set to change on that front though; I really have no excuses now that I have my own craft area set up, which has just made it about a million times easier to sit down and do anything. I've found a very small but very lovely craft market that I'm going to get a stall in, and I've decided to join in the Folksy monthly listing group to help me build up stock for it. I've also realised that - having put a lot of thought into my branding, to ensure I didn't limit myself in terms of the market I would appeal to - I have placed myself into a bit of a niche in only producing childrens goods. So I've decided to open up my options a bit more, to spread my wings and to produce a bit more of a variety of things. I've been playing about with my machine over the last few days, just to see what happens really, and I think this little chap might be putting in a bit more of an appearance soon



Folksy Friday

"I spend my whole life getting a fringe cut and growing it out" This is a quote I once read by Sienna Miller, which feels a lot like me (alas, this is where the similarity ends!) I'm currently sporting a very heavy blunt fringe, and am trying to decide if it should stay or go. The thing that's stopping me growing it out is knowing that I'll have to encounter that annoying hang-in-your-eyes-won't-quite-tuck-behind-your-ear stage, which usually happens shortly before I decide it might be a good idea to get a fringe cut again. What's that you say? Fickle? Me?

With all of this in mind, my theme for Folksy Friday today is...

Hair Accessories

another Sun Studio(I just couldn't choose!)

Have a good weekend.


Lucky me!

Luck is not usually on my side when it comes to competitions (I think the last and only time I've ever won anything previously, was when I won a box of sticklebricks in a Milkybar colouring competition cicra 1984) so imagine my excitement, to have won a giveaway, which furthermore I had unwhittingly entered, by becoming a follower of HeartZeena on Twitter.

These are my lovely goodies - aren't I lucky?!

You can find HeartZeena here and find Zeena's blog here so please go and check out all of the fantastic things she prints and makes.


It's nice to be nice

I wasn't going to post today. I couldn't really think of anything positive to write about; I've got a stinking cold, had a bad few days at work, the Boy has been grumpy and miserable with a tooth coming, and to top it all off the boiler has died.

but then

I settled down on the sofa with my laptop and found that I'd had some lovely feedback from the sale I made at the weekend for one of my onesies. And now I'm feeling all happy again.


so, more on my finds from the weekend. This envelope with stitchcraft printed on it roused my interest

when I peered inside and saw thin pattern paper, my heart started to flutter.

I didn't find what I was expecting, but in fact turned out to be something even better.

Flower embroidery transfers

The lady on the stall told me they were her mums, and the frank on the front says 1961, so they've been untouched for all this time, just waiting for lil old me to come along and ooh and ahh over them! and all for 25p!

And I couldn't leave these behind either - gummed jam labels. Not entirely sure what I'll be using them for yet, but I knew it would be best to grab them too!


Some vintage finds

I went out to scour a few charity shops earlier, and I stumbled upon a little antique/flea market. They only had about 5 stalls, but those stalls were goodies. Will show more soon...


Folksy Friday

There is a flurry of activity going on in my craft room today (oops sorry, meant the guest /craft room); The frenchman put a shelf up for me yesterday (merci!), so I'm finally getting myself organised and trying to make the place look a little bit prettier along the way. And if that weren't enough, I've also got an order - woop - to get stitched up and sent out, as well as a few presents to make. All the while I've been listening and singing away to Sir Stevie Wonder, so my theme for today's Folksy Friday (which I hope isn't in poor taste - it's certainly not meant that way!) is... sunglasses. Now, it probably wasn't the wisest time of year to focus on sunglasses (although it's always wise to keep some sunglasses close to hand to ward off those dreaded crows feet!) but I've still managed to come across a few beauties:

This Lovely case from girl of the sixties, doubles up as a little wristlet purse. I love that flower fabric too.

Grab yourself a bargain with this lovely case from Erin, which is currently on sale
This cute little case from Sarah Waterhouse is also reduced. If, like me, you like handprinted fabric, then do go and have a look in her shop, I guarantee you'll swoon.

Happy folksy Friday everyone.


Work In Progress Wednesday

there be pirates

I've been trying to put together a new pirate stationery pack for the past few days. I'm not quite feeling the love yet.. I can't quite put my finger on what I need to do, but it needs a bit more work yet. Or maybe to be left alone for a few days (if that makes sense).

I'm desperate to get a bit more stock into my shop and am thinking of aiming for the October Folksy listing club - what are peoples experiences of doing this? Is it a good, bad or mad idea?! I'm thinking - once I've got the extra stock together - that it might be worth spreading my wings a little and opening up another online shop, so I'd also love any comments on peoples experiences of how different sites (etsy/misi/big cartel) have worked for them in terms of sales. Talking of comments, I'd like to apologise to anyone who has kindly left me a comment if I haven't responded (an I've been pretty tardy about doing so, so chances are I haven't) I promise to try harder!


Corners of my house

We've lived in our house for 2 1/2 years now, and having re-located for the Frenchman's job from a house that we'd only just finished renovating from scratch, we opted to buy somewhere that we could kick back and just enjoy living in without having to worry about any decorating. So we thought. I guess things never really work out like that.. as you live somewhere, you find there are things you love, things that drive you a little bit nuts, and things you downright hate (the horrid red carpet on our stairs would have to win that award). Sometimes it's easier to focus on those things, rather than the bits that made you want to live there in the first place.

But getting back from a few days away at the weekend, it just feels nice, and homely and all ours (well, a bit the banks too). The standard lamp in the dining room has been living quite happily in our sitting room for the past few years. Just lately though, it's been leading the rather precarious life of being pulled, climbed on and generally terrorised by the Boy. So when we got home on Sunday, I decided it was time to give it a rest and move it in to the dining room. And then wondered why I hadn't done so years ago. It seems to fit in there perfectly, although is perhaps calling for a cosy armchair to snuggle up with a good book by the log burner.


the lonely shoe

This little fellow used to have a friend. Until Saturday, when the Boy decided it best to separate the troublesome pair, by dropping it's partner in crime from a great height into river Holme.

Oh well


Some new little lovelies

I returned from Yorkshire, to find not one but two little parcels waiting on my arrival. Yippee. I'm not sure what happened last week, but I obviously had a bit of a brooch thang going on. And here are my two new little lovelies:

I first learnt about Joanna Rutter here, and couldn't help myself when I saw this beautiful hedgerow brooch. I actually thought I was pretty restrained not to have spent a lot more, so lovely are all of her designs. The parcel arrived in the most wonderful packaging too, which, had I not been so excited to open, would actually have been worthy of a photograph in its own right.

My next little lovely is from Jaqueline Wagner, which my already lowered brooch-buying defences could not resist this either.

All I have to do now, is decide which one to wear first.

And perhaps stop looking at brooches for a while.


Folksy Friday

I've been struggling to think of an idea for my Folksy Friday theme all week, then this morning I found inspiration right outside my window. It's looking positively autumnal today... just the kinds of weather where a big snuggly scarf is the order of the day. I'm absolutely terrible at knitting. Admittedly, I haven't tried for some time, but every time I do, I inextricably end up with enormous holes in the middle of whatever I try to make. To such an extent that even people who can knit, can't quite understand how I've managed such a feat. I therefore have a lot of admiration for people who are able to produce lovelies like these

This is from Miss Freckles. I love it. (I love the shop name too!) I can just imagine myself all cosied up and warm wearing it

This flap scarf from Dolly Knits is also seriously cute. I just love those pom poms

Isn't this collar scarf from Rhea Clements divine? I love how different it looks each time one of the buttons is undone

Lest the Frenchman forgets I actually have a neck, I've also spied this lovely delicate vintage scarf from From Frankie. Very pretty.
Lately, I've noticed myself posting slightly too regularly for comfort about things I have bought and collected ostensibly for the Boy, are perhaps a tiny weeny bit for myself. With this in mind, perhaps he deserves a lovely snuggly scarf all of his own. This cattepillar from Sara Carr might be just the job.

We're off to visit friends in Yorkshire for a few days and then (uugh) I'm back to work on Monday. I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend x


a sneak preview

after deciding to repurpose a corner of the guest room for crafting yesterday, I went straight out, fast as a fast thing, and bought a desk and some storage. I was half expecting my ikea boxes to clutter the house for weeks to come, because there was quite a bit of furniture shifting to be done, but we got on and made a start on it this afternoon. We (that's the royal me, meaning the Frenchman) still need to put up a shelf above the desk, so it's not the finished article yet, but ... tah dah

It's looking a bit sparse at the moment, but I'll work on that. I felt a bit mean moving a gigantic chest of drawers - that previously lived in this corner- into the Boys room , because it just seemed so enormous compared to the rest of his furniture. We'd also gone to quite some lengths before he arrived to paint all of his wooden furniture a matching off white (if you've ever sanded, primed and painted a cot, you'll know that this was quite a mission) but I most definitely can't bring myself to paint this addition as it's so lovely and old. After moving it in though, and standing back a few times to ponder, I decided that I actually prefer how the room looks now ... there's lucky. It did all seem to be a bit jammed in there, so I decided to move out the componibili cupboard that you can just see in the pic above. I'm trying to build the Boy a collection of modern furniture, which I hope he'll appreciate in years to come, and have also invested in an Eames rocker, but as both are white, and the cupboard has already met the wrath of a blue wax crayon, it's perhaps as well that they've been distributed to other rooms for the time being. I'll have to post pics of how his room looks another day, as he's sleeping now, and I aint gonna wake him for a photo!

I had a bit of a splurge in Habitat blitz earlier - and as well as getting the cute little desk lamp, picked up this lovely little box, which I thought would make the perfect addition to my new room. I really had to restrain myself not to buy a lot more, as they had a lot of lovely new things in there - but I think I'll have to get on with making and selling a few more things before I do that!


Please don't eat the daisies

lately I've kind of lost the love for my sewing machine. Well, not my machine so much, and not even sewing so much, but more the silly arrangement where my crafting cupboard and my machine are at opposite ends of the house. Today, I mustered some enthusiasm to start sewing, went upstairs to use the iron, came downstairs and realised I'd forgotten the fabric, went upstairs and realised I'd forgotten the scissors, went back upstairs from collecting the scissors and had somehow lost the fabric, then went downstairs again and threw a strop. I wish I was joking, as it's been a while since I was a teenager.

I've been resisting giving up the guest bedroom to make a craft room for some time - I just can't reconcile doing so in my own mind, but I decided (once I'd picked up all of my toys) that there could surely be some kind of compromise, so after a bit of pondering, decided to shuffle around a bit of furniture, relocate a chest of drawers to the boys room, and then put a desk up in the guest room, so it can be a craft room as well. Then I sat down to sew, and or the first time in ages, just enjoyed doing nothing in particular, other then just see what I could come up with

These daisies are what happened when I did. It's not a masterpiece by any means, but I had fun.



For a little while now, I've been collecting vintage ladybird books

they're for the Boy, of course

although everyone knows who they're really for

this is the latest addition to the collection.


Oh I do like to be beside the sea

We took the Boy for his first visit to the sea at the weekend. He seemed to have fun poking about in the sand

He dipped his toes in the sea

and found a few shells

all of which resulted in one happy boy



I'm on holiday for the next week, so I'm having a short blog break. But I'll be back soon..

And in the mean time if you need a twoforjoy update, come and find me on twitter.