Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Jubilee

I love any excuse to get the bunting out and even though we will miss the Jubilee as we will be away on holiday, I couldn't not fly the flag for such a fabulous occasion! My Mum and Dad will be staying in our house whilst we're away so if not for me, for them!!


I also marked the occasion with these special handmade, limited edition mugs from the wonderful Lexi Loves - I will raise a toast to the Queen whilst sunning myself on a Majorcan beach!

A little reminder that today is the last day to place orders if you want immediate dispatch - all orders placed after today - Wednesday 30th of May will not be dispatched until Wednesday 13th June .

Monday, 28 May 2012

Press Launch Day

Yesterday was the big day in the life of a swan artist - it was Press Launch day - 20 of the 60 swans, on display on Cathedral Green, Wells, Somerset. It wasn't until I approached the growing crowd surrounding the swans that I realised........

........that our swan 'Royally Dotted and Wells Spotted' was one of the 20 on show.

The BBC and ITV were filming but the footage was minimal, sadly blink and you missed it LOL!


It was a very proud moment to see my swan in such impressive, creative company.


The swans looked fantastic against the wonderful backdrop of the Cathedral and their presence certainly drew lots of attention from locals and visitors alike.

The swans will now be put into their new homes, where they will remain for the Summer.


Martin Roberts from BBC's 'Homes Under the Hammer' was there and is going to be the auctioneer, when it comes to selling off all the swans in late September - so get saving if you fancy buying one - all money goes to support local charities.

So a fabulous morning followed by a special lunch in the Swan Hotel for the Artists and Sponsors involved. Remember if you want to find out more - just pop over to the official website

The Grand Reveal

Official press launch over (will share that with you tomorrow!)

The Grand Reveal - at last!


Drum roll please...............








So at last here she is in all her glory - the finished Swan.

Royally Dotted and Wells Spotted

We asked for your help back in April to come up with a name, a number of your fantastic suggestions were then put to our other sponsors - St Andrews Press and Maddie Brown and unanimously, we chose the above name for our swan - sums up me - the artist (dots and spots), occasion (Jubilee)  and location (Wells)  very well we thought. So thank you to Rachael Neale for your suggestion - a collection of dots and spots goodies will be heading your way.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

the Amazing Arona Khan

Way back in January whilst we were exhibiting at Top Drawer we met Arona Khan - an International Gift Wrapping Expert. She was interested in our lovely new gift wrap and tapes and said she wanted to use them   when running her workshops/courses which you can find out about here 

She recently tweeted a photo from one of her trainee wrapping sessions and kindly emailed over a few more  photo's for me to share with you.




Aren't they beautiful? So very talented indeed!

I love the way the double sided wrap is used to show off both designs.
You can find our wrap here and I'll let you into a secret, I'm working on a set of new designs at the moment!

I hope you have a lovely weekend and make the most of the gorgeous sunshine.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Wells

 I love Wells - it's the smallest city in England because it has a Cathedral but has the hustle and bustle of a market town. I pop over to have a wander, usually on a Wednesday morning if I can as it's market day.

 I went this Wednesday to go to the bank and also check out my spot for the Swans of Wells - our location had to be changed, so we our now going to be located outside of Phase Eight, just beside the archway leading you to the Bishop's Palace and Moat - a really great 'spot'!

 It's also right on the edge of  the market which is always really busy - lots of yummy local fresh food on offer too. It's always there on a Wednesday and Saturday in the market place at the top of the main street.



 Towards the end of the high street is a rather lovely new shop - Poppy Greens Home - it's been there since Easter and has an ever changing mix of lovely things on display.

 I must confess I am very tempted to buy one or two things I don't need, just because.......


 Next door is the lovely Millie Moon - they tweeted a picture of some gorgeous new Summersville fabric that had just arrived - I follow Lucie Summers the designer on twitter and have always admired her talent so I bought some fabric for Sophie (any excuse) I'm going to put it away and surprise her in the summer holidays when we have more time to give her sewing some attention - I just couldn't resist and the lovely Becky (owner) was very encouraging!

 So a lovely morning followed by a lovely lunch

 and delicious, locally sourced roasted vegetables for tea - perfect on a sunny evening.

 If you are visiting this area of Somerset over the next few months then do visit - it really is a very lovely place to spend a day and soon......

....there will be a flock of colourful swans to spot too.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

10 sleeps until.....

 It's only 10 days until dots and spots is taking a little break and going on our first trip abroad for 13 years. 

We decided back in September last year that we all deserved a treat, so with the extra money from our 'big order', we decided to book a holiday. The children have never flown and we gave up our annual 2 weeks in Greece years ago, when we had the children. So it was new passports all round and it's been something to look forward to over the past 8 months.

 We decided on a week to see how the children coped with the heat and went for Majorca as we could fly out of Exeter and it was a relatively short flight. So it is coming around quite quickly and the excitement is building. Mum and Dad are making use of our house whilst we are away, so can water the garden if the sunny spell lasts.

On a more practical note, it does mean that our orders will not be sent out as speedily as normal. Any orders placed after 
Wednesday 30th of May will not be dispatched until Wednesday 13th June That gives me all Thursday to get everything packed and out with the couriers/ post on the Friday before we fly out on the Saturday.

So anyone wanting Father's Day gifts or any stockists needing top up orders do get them to us sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment.


Monday, 21 May 2012

My session with Jo Sheldrake

I HATE having my photo taken!

Maybe if I was a couple of stone lighter it would be okay.

But I received a phone call from a local photographer last week, Jo Sheldrake - she saw my Theo Paphitis article in the local paper and wanted to come and see the studio and take some photo's!

She champions women in Rural Business and photographs them at work, including interior shots of their home. I'm more than happy to have the house photographed.......  but me!!!


She is just getting to grips with twitter and a new blog so please give her some support, I'm sure as she finds her feet, there will be some lovely posts in the pipeline.


You can find out more over on her website

Friday, 18 May 2012

The swan has left the building

 On Tuesday I finally varnished the swan - there had been a problem with the varnish drying so it was applied with, I must confess, a little bit of fear! I certainly didn't want all the hard work to be ruined at the final hurdle but I jumped for joy when I checked in and saw a lovely shiney surface gleaming back at me on Wednesday morning.

So yesterday saw the swan, leave the building!
She has gone over to the swan's nest to be photographed and assembled with the other 59 swans, ready for the press launch and grand reveal on Monday the 28th May on the Cathedral Green in Wells, Somerset.

You can follow them on twitter and keep up with any news over on their website.


Wednesday, 16 May 2012

A little mention

This morning I received a tweet from Alison Wren from @PaprikaMktg saying she had mentioned us in a blog post she'd just written - I grabbed a screen save but it's so small you can't read it, so I've copy and pasted it below



Becky Peabody manages to combine running her business and family life AND creates fabulous blog posts every other day – an achievement that leaves me awestruck. Read a couple of posts and you really feel you already know her and want to know more about her business and gorgeous products. Every post includes fabulous pictures, some incredibly simple, but effective and the updates are also posted on Twitter and facebook. As a result, Dots and Spots has lots of fans across social media and every increasing brand awareness.

It's a lovely little write up and does sum up what I try to do on the blog, twitter and facebook.  I don't want to bombard you with sales pitches and boast about this that and the other, I want to share with you a little insight into what goes on behind the scenes. I do link some posts on twitter and facebook to try and reach a wider audience but I am always grateful to those followers who have been sharing the journey with me for a while now and keep popping in to see what's going on. 

I'm enjoying a day at home today - I have the studio doors open as the sun is shining. 
Hope it's shining where you are - it really does make all the difference.

Thank you Alison for the little mention too - it made me smile.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

My Notebook!

 I have an old diary as my notebook of choice at the moment - probably because it is spotty but partly as it's carried over from last year. I jot EVERYTHING down in it and don't want to even think about what I'd do if I lost it - it's my life!

 It's full of lists, ideas, projects, sketches, bits of paper, doodles more lists.....

 At the moment I have many things in development for next year - the most frustrating thing is not being able to share any of it, in any detail with you as yet, as I have to keep everything under wraps. We would normally be finalising and launching a range of new products to coincide with Harrogate Home and Gift but we have decided to do just the one Trade Show this year and with it just the one set of new products. The idea being, to take a Summer off and have time to enjoy the children as they're growing up soooo very quickly and to slow things down a little from the pace I'd been working at, over the past 3 years.  

So the normal design process is ticking along quietly in the background, decisions are being made, projects are being ticked off in preparation for 2013.

I'm hoping it will be worth the wait!