Wednesday, 30 November 2011


Tomorrow is December the 1st and marks the start of Advent - always the marker in our house that Christmas has officially started. I found a few ideas on Pinterest which I thought were lovely...

This idea was from this Norwegian blog

Love these little houses - source

And of course there had to be spots involved somewhere - this fantastic idea found on etsy

In our house the Advent calendars have been put up,

Sophie's mystery mini lucky dip gifts have been wrapped and numbered.

And Sam.... well Sam begged me to let him have a lego Star Wars Advent Calendar this year. He does love his lego, so I relented this year but fail to see how it is festive in any way!

The new Christmas chocolate tin has been filled and

the Christmas hats dusted off ready for the festive photo.

Last year we really went to town but time hasn't seemed to have been on our side this year so we will have to ease into Christmas gently - love that clementines are now on sale and taste delicious - a real taste of Christmas.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

My brave boy

Life here at dots and spots HQ is a little disjointed at the moment due to my children. Sam has to go into hospital on Thursday to have some dental surgery - which he really is not looking forward to having done but wants to just get it over and done with now, as it's been hanging over us now for nearly a year.

He fell badly in Reception aged 4 and really damaged his 2 front teeth. One of them has grown normally but the other, had to be removed and x-rayed, as they were unsure if he had an adult tooth. He has in fact got an extra baby tooth which is blocking the way of his adult tooth. They are going to remove the extra tooth, attach a clip and chain to his adult tooth and fingers crossed, all going well, they will gently pull his adult tooth down into position with the aid of a brace over the next couple of years.

As with these things, nothing ever goes to plan and my normally healthy boy developed a bad cough on Saturday, so has spent the day with me today, trying to get himself healthy in time for Thursday. Tomorrow Sophie's school is striking and I guess Sam will be home with me on Friday recovering. In between all this I am madly trying to keep up with orders, complete my card designs and finalise all the art work for the new catalogue. Never a dull moment I guess - I'm looking forward to Saturday when it's all over!

I will endeavour as ever, to get orders out to you as quickly as I can but they may be a day or two later than normal - sorry.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Christmas at the Barn - Mells

This morning Sophie and I went to 'Christmas at the Barn' in Mells organised by the very lovely Rebecca.

It is set in a beautiful barn and although on a smaller scale - the sellers are all offering quality, handmade items so well worth a wander. You can see the full list of stall holders here but let me share with you, a few of Sophie and my favourites.

So first up the lovely Rebecca of edamay and organiser of this lovely event - her stand looked gorgeously festive and I was enticed, without much persuasion to open my purse.

I treated myself to this lovely, colourful wreath, already hanging by the fire,

This lovely scented pudding hanger and a pudding card to put on my dresser this year.

The lovely millie moon where there and Sophie treated herself to a few sewing kits.

And she was also tempted by these chocolates by 'Coco-Bella'

I bought one of these hyacinths from 'The Little Flower Company'

(another treat for myself)

These two wooden signs are possibly presents bought from a stand by Gaynor Ringland, but the trouble is, I like everything I buy, so could happily keep it for myself.

And finally there was a lovely stand by 'Jo Lucksted Ceramics' who actually has her studio in Shepton Mallet and I didn't even know!! Her things were beautiful and I bought a selection of little bits and pieces to add to gifts.

It was a lovely start to the Christmas festivities and Rebecca should give herself a huge pat on the back for organising such a lovely event. It is on again tomorrow so if you are local to Frome - pop in and have a look.

I do hope my twitter friend Rachel over in Bristol, has had a successful day too - 'Christmas at the Orangery' I really wanted to visit there too but things sadly didn't work out but of course, there is always next year!

Thursday, 24 November 2011


Yesterday I spent all day preparing all our products that needed to be photographed for our new catalogue. They are of a mix of old and new but have to fit in to the new catalogue layout, due to be printed in the next few weeks. As always due to time restraints, these things always seem to be rushed as a deadline looms but they will be well worth it.

I've been working with Owen of Owen Lucas Photography - he is a teacher at my husbands school and is married to a family friend. They trusted me with designing all their wedding stationery for them almost 3 years ago now.

Owen is building up a very good portfolio of wedding photography but was happy to help with some product shots. I've been setting up all the shots, many of which, are just of single products.

The tricky part is making sure, that say 12 shots of the same type of product, appear nearly the same. It becomes quite comical as I hover over a set up shot with a product, as Owen slides the previous set up out of the way!

The photo's are looking great and really make the products sell themselves.

Our ever popular tape, looks fantastic all piled up high - watch out for a special 'Christmas Tape Offer' coming very soon and a special 'Christmas Tape Giveaway' to be announced the beginning of next week - it will make those festive parcels stand out.

Our Advent Calendars have sold fantastically well and I guess you now have only a week left to purchase one, if you want it to arrive in time for the start of Advent.

I'm back over to the premises tomorrow, to hopefully finish taking the remaining photo's, whilst packing orders and then it will be time for a big tidy up and back to 'proper' work!

I think you'll agree the photo's so far are great and I will have many more to show you, when I share our new products with you very soon.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

millie moon

On Monday I had to go into Wells, my nearest town (although it is actually a city - the smallest city) to go to the bank, visit my printers etc. Whilst I was there I popped into the very lovely millie moon. I used to visit their other shop in Frome but now I no longer teach, I very rarely get over there, so it is lovely to now have a shop over here in Wells.

It has been open since the beginning of October and although I can't even sew, I have been tempted through the doors each time I visit.

I seem to see the lovely Rachel who I have known since visiting Frome - she is always lovely and smiley and very helpful.

There is always a lovely tactile display of buttons,


fabric and

finally ribbon - oh how I love the ribbons - I could spend a small fortune.

I can't tell you what I bought as they were Christmas presents but will share with you their website and sewing school.

They also have a blog you can follow.

All I need now is a little time to learn to sew!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Thinking about Christmas?

For some reason this year, Christmas seems to be creeping upon me very quickly - I LOVE Christmas sooooo very much but will be enjoying a break from doing all the festivities this year as we are off to Cornwall to spend it with my sister and her family at my Mum and Dad's. So really I have a lot less to do but already seem to feel a little behind.

To get you in the mood and maybe help you get a few Christmas presents tucked away - why not support these 2 local'ish Christmas Festive delights if you can.

The first event is 'Christmas at the Barn' is organised by the very lovely Rebecca at Edamay. I went last year (read about it here) and it was truly magical with the first dusting of last years snow. It's in the village of Mells and is , this year, a 2 day event. The perfect setting to get you in the mood.

The second event is over in Clifton, Bristol - 'Christmas at the Orangery'. This festive event is organised by the lovely Rachel of Rachel Goodchild Designs. I have never actually met her yet, only tweeted but feel I know her already.

Sadly both events are on the same day but with 'Christmas at the Barn' being a 2 day event, you could do both!! Click on the links to find out more.

Good luck ladies - I'm sure both events will be full of Festive loveliness.

*I will not be exhibiting at either event, just sharing my blog support*

Wednesday, 16 November 2011


Time to announce the Advent Calendar Giveaway Winners

Thank you so much for all of you who took time to leave a comment - very much appreciated and you have given me lots to think about for next years design and when I say lots, I mean LOTS!!

Having spent over half an hour writing out names to put in a drawstring bag, the 3 random names picked out of the bag were........

and finally

Congratulations to the 3 lucky winners - if you email me your address details I will get them in the post to you ASAP.

Email :

To show my appreciation to you all for entering, I will do a festive giveaway at the beginning of December, so keep a lookout for it - thank you.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Nice emails

This morning I received a lovely email -
"I wanted to share this with you, back in September when my son turned 1 years old. We bought him an owl poster when he was born, so it was fitting to have a dots and spots inspired cake!"
What a lovely idea - thank you Leanne - I think the cake looks fab. I love getting emails like that.

Our Owl Posters have been around now for well over a year and a half now and sell so well. I thought I would share with you the process of how they were created.

I draw out the initial design just to get the scale correct....

then trace through the design in reverse, onto the chosen paper, via my light box.

I then tear around the pencil line to create the shape.

The smaller detail then gets torn out and stuck onto the design....

and inked in.

Slowly the design begins to build and take shape.

The worst bit to do at this stage, is the inking in - get something wrong now and it all has to be started all over again!

This design was titled 'One, Two Twit Twoo'

The alphabet design was a little trickier, particularly at the composition stage, trying to fit in all the letters.

This design was named the 'Owl- phabet'

Finally the third poster in the set - 'The Owl Family Tree'

All 3 posters get sent out in their own red tube, so ideal to give as a gift. They are available in 2 sizes and as you can see from the above photo, look fantastic framed. They fit an Ikea Ribba Frame perfectly - made to measure!

I really do need to start thinking about my Christmas shopping - it seems to be creeping upon me so quickly this year.