Sunday 30 October 2011

Happy Halloween

Tomorrow is Halloween
The children are excited about going trick or treating but for me Halloween is all about pumpkins - I love them!

I thought I would share with you just a few images I have been collecting over on Pinterest

Love these collage faces

Colourful pumpkins

Velvet pumpkins

Check out some more pumpkin inspiration here

The above pumpkin is simple and very effective - just use a drill to get a spotty effect!!

Friday 28 October 2011

Thank you

The other week I received an email from someone thanking me for writing the blog, sharing my journey and the day to day happenings in the world of dots and spots. I often receive lovely comments on here, on Facebook, via email, on twitter and even over the phone but I am not very good at shouting out about them and blowing my own trumpet.

I do however really appreciate them all. I try to respond, reply, comment but sometimes time just doesn't allow it! Please be assured that I do read every single one of them and always really appreciate that someone has taken the time to get in touch.

So a very heartfelt

to you all!

Thursday 27 October 2011

I only went and...... an i-pad!!!!!

I choose the fancy blue cover,

and ta-daaa, there you have it - my OH has set it all up and I'm good to go!
Daughter has promised to instruct me in adding i-tunes at a later date.

I do need a little bit of uninterrupted time to 'play' and get used to it and I do need to test the connection at school etc for when I am sat in the car waiting at pick up time but I do think - so far, so good!

Other recent purchases include this lovely ribbon from the White Company - I always LOVE their Christmas stuff.

I've also added to my 'tin collection' - this fab Emma Bridgewater tin, ready for the Christmas chocolates and....

....this fantastic Whittards red and white starry tin - full of biscuits ( a nice little bonus!)

Trouble with me is, that I buy things for Christmas pressies and want to keep it all for myself!

Monday 24 October 2011

2 months today....... will be Christmas Eve

As you can see from the above pictures, we have lots of festive goodies to tempt you with on our website - why not take a peek.

Saturday 22 October 2011

Christmas Money

We all love Christmas in our house and we all love to buy and give presents. We always do rounds on Christmas day, whereby everyone has a present and we all open them together, so you really see what people get given.

The children are coming to the age where they are responsible to start buying their own Christmas presents for the main members of the family. They were set the challenge last January to start saving up - what ever they managed to save - I would double!!

This morning was cash day - with out warning I asked them to hand over their purses/wallets and bring me their Christmas funds. I was truly surprised - every now and again they have been putting away the odd bit of Birthday money, pocket money etc.

Sam - for whom money burns a hole in his pocket, managed to save £34 and Sophie managed to squirrel away £46. True to my word I have now doubled what they have managed to save.

Together we have come up with a list of people they feel they want to buy for. They each have a little notebook to write down what they spend and at the end of December we will cash in what money is left and halve it. The idea being, that they now don't spend all this money on themselves and in Sam's case treat himself to loads of lego!

I think it will be a good way to start being a little more responsible about money and be aware of just how much things cost and they have both amazed me, that they have both managed to save!

I did remind them that Mum's do so much for them and that at least half their budgets should be spent on me!! LOL

I will let you know how they get on!

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Gift Tags

Now gift tags and I don't really go together. When I first started out I made each individual gift tag by hand. I then moved on to a printed version but each tag needed to be hand punched and strung. Cutting out 100's of pieces of ribbon was one of my most loathed jobs. So now I have my gift tags printed and strung to match our wrapping paper, packing tags are no where near as bad as it used to be.......

......well unless you are talking, packing 100's!
We are offering our Christmas gift tags in a variety of ways.
The pack above is a pack of 6 tags - 2 each of 3 designs, if you like the pattern side on the wrap.

This pack is again a pack of 6 tags - 2 each of 3 designs of the fronts of the wrapping paper.

We have a mixed pack of 6 tags where you get one of each or..... can choose a pack of 6 tags of one design.

You are simply spoilt for choice - happy wrapping!

Sunday 16 October 2011


This morning we had to go to Bath and whilst there, with Sam counting down the minutes until opening time......

..... we headed to the Apple store to do a little research!

Both children are just so intuitive with new technology, within minutes Sophie was on iTunes and You Tube......

.......and Sam was on Angry Birds and all sorts of games. I was still trying to navigate to my blog and work out how to use the keypad! I am more convinced after talking to one of the 'Apple Guys' that it is what I need but will take hubby in half term to see what he thinks. I know it will get huge amounts of use from 2 little people if not by me!

After a couple of hours in Bath shopping, we went over to my sister's house and to the main event - my gorgeous niece's 3rd Birthday celebrations.

She is adorable and Sophie and Sam love her to bits - it's just like having a little sister!
Happy Birthday Ella.

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Prima Christmas Makes

A couple of days ago I was alerted by the lovely Aldona (via twitter), that our tape had been spotted in the fabulous edition of Prima Christmas Makes.

This morning I found a copy and there on page 111 was our festive Decorative Sticky Tape.

It's listed under the name Berry Red, as that is the lovely stockist, who has fabulous PR and is very good at getting her lovely stock into magazines. It was the day we went on holiday this Summer, when I got a call from one of her team asking for samples. I said we were leaving for our holiday, could it wait a week - 'No' was the reply - samples were needed 'yesterday'. So we delayed setting off, I rushed together a box of samples, raced down to the Post Office and thought nothing more of it.

So glad I did them, as it's always so lovely to see things that you have designed in print.

It is a lovely magazine - full of fabulous festive ideas.
Can't wait to see if any of our things pop up in any other magazines over the festive season.

Monday 10 October 2011

Design Time

I spent a lovely afternoon in my studio on Sunday and you know when it just clicks....

.....without any effort, the designs just flowed.

The designs are for a new product to be launched at Top Drawer in January.

One for girls and one for boys.

I've had the thumbs up from my 2 children so.....'s off to the printers to get the ball rolling - so exciting.

Friday 7 October 2011

Having one of those moments....

This isn't a moan, I know how lucky I am to have my own business but just an honest opinion of how I'm feeling today.

I tweeted yesterday evening that I was feeling a little over whelmed by the sheer amount of what I have to do at the moment. It's the time of year when we are extremely busy with trade orders, retail orders are steadily building up and quietly behind the scenes I am supposed to be working on all my new designs for Top Drawer and our launch of new products for 2012.

I was awake between 2am and 5am, my mind just racing - I did manage to work out the new catalogue layout or so I thought, until I saw my scribbled notes done in the dark in the early hours!!

My studio is a tip - just piles of things beginning to crop up in any available space and then there is, the 'on the side' commission work to do - the things I should say 'no' to because I don't have the time but the things I say 'yes' to because I don't want to let people down.

Every now and then, I just completely stress about all I have to do. This year is different, in that I do have 2 mornings of help but of course also in that time, the business has grown.

It doesn't help that I try and squeeze in a new set of wrap designs before the end of the year. Not only is there the initial design time but then also the visits to the printers. Everything has had to be photographed for the website and then made 'live'. The order form has had to be done, samples for my agents made up before I even begin to tackle the orders.

Steve - my fab printer came and delivered all the wrap....

.... and stacked it all neatly on the shelves.

The gift tags are also here and are beginning to be made up into their various packs.

I managed to take a few photos today before I rushed home with all the orders, checked through the numerous phone messages and emails in my absence and then onto the school run.

What I really need is one of the above. I only have a cheap pay as you go phone and so don't like the smallness of the keypad etc so am debating whether to treat myself to an i-pad or a netbook with my 'BIG' order payment, so I can check on emails etc whilst over at the premises. If you have an i-pad - is it any good?

At least it is now the weekend, although it is already full to the brim with things to do. I am desperately hoping I'll be able to slope off to my studio for an hour or two if I'm lucky!

Okay, mini moan over, just feeling a little stressed by the enormity of what's ahead but I know it will all be fine in the end - plans are being made to do things differently next year, just little things to ease the stress and slow things down just a little.

Have a lovely weekend.