Sunday, 13 November 2011

Sunday Skirts

As this isn't the first time I've mentioned Christmas on here, you won't be surprised to know that I've already started on the mulled wine. I figure I'm allowed as I'm making Christmas presents, with the added bonus that if they turn out well I'll develop some more lines to sell in my shop.



I haven't quite gone as far as playing the Christmas tunes yet (the boyfriend draws a line when it's still this early), but I was pretty pleased with this cute little skirt. Next I'm planning a range of different fabric and sizes (this one should fit a 2 year old). I'm thinking of making one for my goddaughter in a Liberty print and I'm already regretting not buying some of their adorable Hello Kitty fabric. It seems to have sold out online but hopefully it wasn't just a one off collaboration.


(Photo via: http://www.liberty.co.uk)

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Renegade Craft Fair Comes To London


This weekend, the successful US based Renegrade Craft Fair came to London for the first time. It was great to see so many crafters that I follow online and to discover new talents as well.

Of course, I might be biased but I thought my friends Robin and Mould had one of the best stalls and their new fox prints were certainly proving popular. I managed to buy some early Christmas presents from them - although I’m already thinking about keeping one of the fox cushions for myself! 

Photo from www.one-ofakind.co.uk

I also bought a sweet tea towel from the lovely One of a Kind which sells beautiful textiles designed by Kate Rawlinson. Her stuff features lots of trees - which I love!

I took a break from stocking up on loads of hand-designed cards by stopping off at the Honksville stall run by British artists Katherine and Rebecca. I fell in love with this brilliant beard-lovers badge and had a go on the tombola on their stall. Although I didn't win anything, I think the tombola and lucky dip they'd put together were a great idea. It reminded me how important it is for vendors to have some affordable options so people can have fun and still take a piece of someone’s artwork home, even of their budget doesn’t stretch to a print or cushion. All notes I’m filing away for when I get around to having my own stall at a fair!

Photo from www.honksville.com
I also managed to grab handfuls of business cards for some online shopping and I’ve booked out my diary for the Got Craft holiday fair on 27th November at the Tooting Tram and Social. It's another craft fair with connections across the pond, it looks ace and anything with a Christmas theme is always a winner with me - see you there!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Sunday Sewing


Thankfully, I managed to stay in long enough this weekend to start making things again - which is just as well as I have some pre-orders in for some bibs and the babies are on their way. I also finally got around to making some cushions with this Orla Kiely Car Park Print material that I've had for ages.


As you can't seem to buy Orla Kiely material by the metre, (surely there would be a market for it?) I ended up buying some pillowcases and picking them apart. I used the smaller print on one side to cover a footstool from a junk shop and always intended to make cushions with the larger car print on the other side. I managed to cover the stool almost a year ago, so I'm very pleased I can now cross the cushions off my to do list. They were so quick to make I'm not really sure why I put it off for so long.  


I've seen on Twitter that a few crafters are already talking about Christmas. I have to confess that I started thinking about it on the first day of September. (I get a bit over-excited about Christmas so I'm banned from talking about it until this month.) So the next job is researching some new product ideas which I'm looking forward to - a glass of mulled wine anyone? 


Sunday, 31 July 2011

Another happy customer...




I can't resist sharing this adorable picture of Leonard. He looks very happy to be modeling the Happy Hedgehog bib that his proud godfather Tom bought him as a christening gift.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Summer Slacking

Can it really be July already? Apologies for neglecting the blog for a while but things have been pretty hectic with me leaving my old job, decorating, going on holiday to France and starting a brand new job. Usual service will be resumed shortly with updates on new products and sunny summer inspiration.
In the meantime, here's some French macaroons (or macarons) to keep you sweet!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Shop Talk

Exciting news this week as my bibs are going to be stocked in a real life shop! Kirstin from Rocket and Fairydust is setting up her very own shop in Merstham, Surrey. Alongside the hand-painted furniture that she produces, she'll be stocking lots of lovely gifts and homeware for children including my Stars and Buttons bibs. I've been building up my stocks so I can send a load down to Surrey for the shop opening. Will try to post some photos of my stuff in the shop when I make it down there.


 Rocket and Fairydust opens from midday on 11th June.
38 Nutfield Road, Merstham, Surrey, RH1 3EW
 

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Collecting Vintage Children's Books

With bookshelves already bulging, the last thing I need is more books. But how could I resist these classic covers?


I love the fact that Jo's Boys still has the original inscription inside: "With love from Cousin Jill, 11th August 1954 xxxxxxxx". That's the great thing about pre-loved books, you can't help imagining who owned them and what sort of life they led.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Styling it up at Petersham Nursery

I have a bit of an obsession with interior design magazines and blogs. If I spent as much time tidying and decorating my own flat as I do looking enviably at other people's pristine homes, I'd be much closer to living the stylish dream. But a glass of wine and oggling a bit of someone else's styling invariably wins out after a day in the office.

Recently I felt like I'd walked straight into the pages of a magazine during a visit to the beautiful Petersham Nurseries in South West London, a short walk along the river from Richmond.

The lovely Teahouse is filled with shabby chic French style garden furniture and the shop is styled amazingly well while still managing to look relaxed and casual. A very difficult thing to achieve.





Now I'm not only lusting after a gray linen cabinet, yellow vases and giant pots of tulips but a massive house and a garden that look like Petersham wouldn't hurt either. Oh well, back to Hackney.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Hope you had a cracking Easter

Although I ate more chocolate than I should have this weekend, I did manage to fit in some more traditional eggy treats too. I wanted to share the story of how I acquired this cute Boiled Egg & Soldiers plate as it represents everything that is wonderful about Etsy.

(Photo from The Village Pottery)
Those of you that use Etsy to shop online will already know that it is a treasure trove of unique and lovingly-made things. However, the ability to create your own circle or 'favourite' other people's items or shops can lead to all manner of new and exciting conversations and interactions. It truly is a social community in ways that loads of other online sites only claim to be.

After reading about The Village Pottery in one of Etsy's brilliant regular emails (which never fail to introduce me to a new designer that I like) I favourited this spotty plate. I have a thing about all things polka dot as well as being a massive fan of a boiled egg and buttery soldiers brekkie. Seeing that I'd favourited her plate, the lovely Jen at The Village Pottery got in touch to say she loved my bibs and that they would make a perfect gift for her young niece - could we do a swap? What an ace idea! One of my Happy hedgehog bibs was dispatched and I think it's a great swap-a-roony for this lovely egg plate.





Now I'm looking forward to a whole new world of Etsy swap-a-rama!

Jen's studio is based in Bristol where you can drop by and even sample homemade cheesecake in the on-site cafe or you can check out her great hand-thrown ceramics at The Village Pottery store on Etsy.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Marvellous new material - a birthday bonanza

It was my birthday this week and I was lucky enough to get lots of great presents. Included in my pressie stash were lots of new fabrics from my generous friends and family.

This beautiful selection is part of the limited edition collection of printed fabric from the Victoria & Albert Museum. They're available from the Victoria & Albert Museum shop online.They were given to me by my lovely friend, fashion blogger and V&A expert Amber Jane. (Read her insightful fashion history blog at Theatre of Fashion.)

My thoughtful sister brought these two pieces all the way from Singapore for me. I think they're perfect for all the bright, colourful kids clothes that I make.


And this is some hand-printed batik fabric that my mum bought from a little batik workshop in the East Coast of Malaysia. Perfect for something summery...now I just need to start planning some new things.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Vintage Knitting Patterns

Some lovely old knitting patterns I discovered in a charity shop.




Now I've just got to work out what to do with them as I'm not really a knitter. I'm thinking of framing them one day if I ever get my own studio.

And here are a few more that are not childrenswear related but I couldn't resist them...



Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Rummaging...

This is the last post about our week rummaging our way through the antique, junk and charity shops of Sussex. I just wanted to share this picture with you of the wonderful shop Roberts Rummage in Hastings Old Town.

It's literally stuffed full of all manor of odds and ends, crockery, pictures and....buttons!!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Made in Hastings


While on our holiday in Sussex, we were exploring Hastings Old Town and I stumbled across Made in Hastings. I immediately remembered reading about it in Country Living magazine: it was set up by a group of women who wanted to open a shop but knew they needed time to make their own things as well, so they joined together to run it as a collective. It's not just their own stuff though, they also stock other unique and handmade gifts providing a valuable platform for local artists and makers.




When I read about it, I thought it was a great and idea and exactly the sort of set up I'd love to be part of one day.



It's full of lovely stuff and I would have loved to buy lots more things, sadly my budget only stretched as far as this lovely bird print tea towel and owl card.



I'm definitely hoping to go back if I'm in the area again as there were loads more things I was lusting after, and I really think supporting this sort of shop is worthwhile. It would be a great place to stock up on original Christmas presents.
(Oh dear I really can't seem to go very long without mentioning Christmas, is it wrong to be thinking about it already? Don't answer that!)

You can find out more about the talented ladies at Made in Hastings on their website.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Spring Break

We've been on a little holiday to the country; to 'see the sky' as my boyfriend puts it.

That's my way of explaining why there hasn't been any blog posts for a while!
We had a lovely time in the super quaint town of Rye in Sussex in our own little cottage. And were amazingly lucky to have warm and sunny weather all week. That never happens in England! We spent our days strolling on the vast beach at Camber Sands, walking in the country, drinking in quintessential pub gardens and spent hours in antique, junk and charity shops. I'll post more photos and show off our vintage finds here soon. I came back so inspired that I even developed a new product for Stars and Buttons the day I got back. A great excuse to rename all future holidays as 'research trips'.



Wednesday, 9 March 2011

My new model Holly...

OK so as her godmother I might be biased, but I think this picture of Holly is totally adorable. I thought I'd share some new photos her mum has kindly taken for me to use in my shop.



Holly's modeling the Reversible bib in Retro Rocket which is proving to be the most popular design out of the bibs that I'm making. And while we're at it, here's another super cute shot of her being fed by her proud Daddy!


You can buy these bibs at my Etsy shop.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

My business cards...

...arrived!


And I'm super happy with them. They came from Moo, who were brill if you're in the market for some.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Presenting the purses...

This is a busy time of year for birthdays amongst my friends, so I've been making purses as presents.



I love this traditional Liberty print and the fact that the friend I gave it to knew immediately it was from Liberty as it's so quintessentially English!
I do like a fabric shop and the textiles department at Liberty is definitely in the premier league. The beautiful building is stunning and don't even get me started on the shoe boutique!

Have a look at some of lush fabrics here...as expected though they don't come cheap! The fabric I used is called Pelagia B and you can buy it online.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Loving the new(ish) location of Labour and Wait


I was recently trying to hunt down some bakers twine to use as packaging for my shop, so I headed down to the fabulous Labour and Wait. I thought it might be the sort of thing they stock as they sell gorgeous traditional homeware like enamel kitchen stuff and beautifully made wooden brushes. I'd forgotten it had moved so, after a brief diversion to the old shop, I was pleasantly surprised to discover it's new home in Redchurch Street, East London. It's a beautiful, green tiled building that looks like it might have been a pub in a former life. I especially like the juxtaposition with the graffiti.
 I didn't manage to get any bakers twine, but I did fall in love with a mustard-coloured enamel coffee pot. You can just about make it out on the table and shelf in these interior photos. Sadly, as the pot was imported from Japan it was a bit out of my price range. But if you find yourself in East London, it's worth checking out this lovely, unique shop.


Interior of Labour and Wait (Photo via http://www.labourandwait.co.uk/)
 



Lovely old-fashioned shop counter (Photo via www.labourandwait.co.uk)





Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Pinterest - my new addiction!

Photo by Dana Miller @housetweaking.com
I already spend hours looking at craft, design and photography blogs and now I've developed another addiction as well - Pinterest. It's basically a virtual pinboard which means all the images I discover online can be 'pinned' together in one place. If, like me, you regularly rip images out of magazines to put on your noticeboard this is the same idea but for the digital age. Perfect if you're browsing online magazines and blogs.

You can create boards for specific projects or just for reference. Keep them private, share them or work together with other people on virtual boards for a communal project. So far I've been lusting after more stylish homes that my own, like that of Dana (great name!) at House*Tweaking who shared a headboard tutorial on her blog (photo on left). I just love the colour and texture combinations.(I discovered her blog via the excellent Poppytalk blog.)

 
And I'm also keeping a note of visual references to inspire my business. How cute are these little boots made by La La Shoes?

It's not just a virtual pinboard, the whole idea is to be social so you can 'follow' other users, 'repin' images to your own boards or just 'like' someone else's images. It's in the beta testing stage at the moment so you'll have to sign up and request an invite. Trust me it's great fun but be warned it's very addictive!
You can find out more about Pinterest on their website and blog.
If you're already on Pinterest my profile is http://pinterest.com/starsandbuttons/