Monday 28 February 2011

dots and spots in print - this time a double page spread!

Back in the beginning of February I received an email asking for some product images for a magazine. I was happy to oblige and thought no more of it, a couple of days later I received another email....

.... asking me if I "would like to be our designer interview for the first issue" You see this magazine is brand new and I was extremely flattered to be asked to be the first interviewee!

Simply Homemade came out onto the shelves on Thursday 24th February.

So over the weekend, after lots of tweets and facebook comments telling me I was in a magazine - I just had to get a copy for myself! I soon found the Gift Ideas page and smiled to myself and continued to look for the interview, expecting it to fill a little corner somewhere.

Well I couldn't have been more wrong - it was a double page spread!!!!!

Although I say so myself, I think it looks great and really does sum up my journey so far with dots and spots.

Thank you very much to Diane and Lindsey for asking me to be part of their first, fabulous edition. It still amazes me sometimes that dots and spots has made it, into the bigger world and that people recognise it, want to tell me they have seen it and actually buy it - I feel very honoured and thankful to you all!

Sunday 27 February 2011

Braving the showers for Flea market finds!

So this morning it was time for The Giant Flea Market at the Bath and West Showground in Shepton Mallet! I have learnt from experience, that it is worth getting there early as the queues are huge.

The weather forecast wasn't good, so I wasn't surprised to see that this field, usually full of stands, was empty!

It was grey and miserable and I knew what I was looking for, so I quickly looked around the outside stands, just to see what was around. I then went back to those that interested me, then dodged the showers inside.

This stand always catches my eye - she really makes an effort, is always busy and sells her things in good condition, at a reasonable price - check out her website

I wish I had a bigger house - but I already have 2 lovely mirrors in storage as I have no room.

I did buy these 2 lovely frames £25 each or the 2 for £30!

I also got this bedside table for £20

And finally this trolley for my studio for a bargain £22
Not a bad morning's work!

The next Flea Market is on Easter Sunday and as the weather improves, so the number of stands increase. It really is worth a visit - but do get there early - as I left at at 11am there was at least a mile long queue backed up to the roundabout, full of cars waiting to get it!

Friday 25 February 2011

A rare morning off!

Yesterday I enjoyed a rare morning off - I was reading a blog, which mentioned that Julie Arkell had some of her fabulous pieces in an exhibition in Frome. Well I just had to go and see them for real!

The exhibition was on at the Black Swan Arts Gallery in Frome - just 30minutes up the road.

The exhibition was entitled ' SMILE'

There were a variety of artists exhibiting but I was really interested in the work of Julie Arkell.

Remember at Christmas, her book was on my wish list.

Well I was not disappointed!

She basically had a row of figures along the back wall - they looked just as lovely as I had imagined up close - the detail and finish was perfect!

Sadly my camera battery decided to run out so I was unable to get the detailed shots I wanted but this gives you a flavour of her work. The exhibition is on until the 20th of March, so if you are in the area - do go and have a look - it's free (donations appreciated!)

In the next couple of days I shall be updating you about the work of my other favourite papier mache artist.

Wednesday 23 February 2011

We're in!

So welcome! to our new premises - literally 4 meters away from our old but that bit bigger!

As you can see we kept the stone floor in the first half and have our big rug in the second half where we work the most!

The entrance is not much different from before - but will store all the packaging stuff to box up the orders - it helps to have it all in one place.

You can then either turn to the right, into what we grandly call our 'Warehouse bit'! or go straight ahead.

Straight ahead takes you into the bit where I will spend most of my time! I've positioned my table near the window for some natural light and fresh air come the summer (wishful thinking!)

We now have 3 additional packing tables in the center, which will be fabulous when we have large orders to put together and pack. They can be moved around too, so will make life a lot easier depending on what we have to do!

Rachel who helps me out now on a weekly basis has her own table too.

We are surrounded by all the things we need to make up, pick and pack orders. With all the stock behind in the 'Warehouse bit!'

It all looks very tidy and I will do my best to keep it that way. It's only when we are extremely busy that I get a little messy - often because time is not on my side.

So there you have it - Posh isn't it?

A huge thank you to my husband again for all his hard work and for my moving team who worked tirelessly to move everything, so all I had to do today was tweak things in to place!

I'm hoping that I will have the space to 'grow' now, for at least a year or two but I have spied my next space as and when!

Well you have to be prepared and think of the future!!!!!

Tuesday 22 February 2011

Wow! What a start to the day!

WOW! What a day! I went onto twitter this morning and was welcomed by numerous tweets telling me I was on the print and pattern blog! What a fabulous way to start the day!

Every day I turn on the computer, open up about 10 tabs, where I open up websites I use daily and print and pattern is always one on them. It has been on my '2011 Achievement List' to be featured on this fantastic blog this year. I always thought it would have been as a result of me sending an email not randomly seeing myself there!

So two things ticked off my achievement list this week with today's feature and finding myself in the What's Hot? section of Progressive Greetings - there are a few other things on the list but I still have 10 months to get there!

Another HUGE achievement today, was that we managed to successfully move everything from our old space into our new - EVERYTHING! There is still masses to do, to get it all organised but hopefully I can get myself in a position to start making up orders by tomorrow afternoon.

Forgot to take any photo's as we were so busy - will do so tomorrow!

Sunday 20 February 2011


So 'progress' as in shelf building rather than the new Take That album!

Building the shelves hasn't gone quite to plan but Hubby got there in the end. Why is it that the simplest of jobs take much longer than first expected!?

I braved it this afternoon and paid him a visit, armed with chocolate (His favourite treat!) - and Wow! what a lot of empty cardboard boxes and .....

.....what a lot of orange and blue industrial shelving!

There seems an awful lot of it but I've bought plenty so that I shouldn't have to buy any more for a long time. Everything else gets moved on Tuesday and should be easily homed! I'm also hoping the cream Ikea shelving might hide it all away too! Bright orange and blue is not my normal colour scheme!

What's HOT!

The most recent edition of Progressive Greetings dropped through my door on Friday - it is the card designers bible! Feeling under the weather for the past few days it has just sat on the kitchen table, un-opened. Well today, feeling a little better I took a peak.

A little while ago we had been asked to contribute to a feature on the Good Life - that was easy as so many of our cards are in that vein!

But then I read the What's HOT? feature!
Various retailers are asked to list their favourite / best selling card design studio's and comment on them. I have always thought it would be nice to see my name one day ....

..... and there it was - dots and spots, mentioned by the fantastic shop Beach at Troon

I felt even more proud when I noticed the other companies mentioned - to be associated with such fabulous designers certainly put a smile on my face!

A little gift!

A little while ago I received a facebook message from Elizabeth Kvammen asking me if she could send me a little something for my new premises.

I didn't realise for one minute that she was sending it from Norway! So was very surprised when the parcel arrived.

Inside was a lovey, handmade LOVE sign with little clip attached so photo's could be added.

Plus a little bag with some loveheart sweet treats.

Well in the next few day I shall be moving everything over into my new premises and I will have to find a little home for this too - pop over to her facebook page Sirimuse Crafts and check out the other things she does.