Wednesday 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween

 Hard to believe that it is Halloween already - it seems to have crept up rather quickly and scarily, it means it's November tomorrow!

We've hung up the spooky decorations, 

........ scooped out the pumpkins and 

this year, for the first time, the children created and cut out their scary faces all by themselves!

VERY scary!

If you are out Trick or Treat later have fun!

Monday 29 October 2012

One happy customer!

My gorgeous girl turns 13 in 6 days and wanted a bedroom to match. We haven't had to do too much (she lies!) but just bring it up to date for a teenager. 

A trip to Ikea was a must as her room is up in the attic and flat pack was essential to get everything up on to the 3rd floor. We ended up buying these BILLY shelves, which at £35.00 each, make a fab feature wall for her desk area. This is becoming the favourite corner to chill!

It's perfect for all those stationery must haves....

How many pens and pencils? Takes after her mother for sure.

A further BILLY bookcase is placed side on, to her bed and houses all her most precious and well loved books. Being a library assistant at school, all her books are in alphabetical order!! Bless.

She has a cosy corner for her bed and at the end of it..... her sewing table and a new table for all the cutting out

We then move around to her beauty and music area.

And at last a home for the bunting she made.

The main thing Sophie wanted was a new wardrobe. We went for a PAX set up, as you can pick and choose every aspect from the frame size to the doors...... the rails and internal drawers and shelves. 
We stuck on some of their wall stickers to just finish it all off.

So there you have it - one very happy girl enjoying her new space. All ready and waiting for the birthday sleep over on Friday! (HELP!)

I now keep peeking into Sam's room and thinking how we can best make use of his space - maybe that'll have to wait for his birthday next year. I have to leave a little gap between Ikea building projects or Jeff would leave home!!

Sunday 28 October 2012

Harry Potter Studio Tour

Back in the Summer I tried to book tickets for the new Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour as a Summer holiday treat but left it too late and only very little availability was left. So I booked for half term, put the tickets in a safe place and I guess, forgot about it.

Until today and 2 very excited children. The clocks going back was on our side and we had a good 2 hour drive to Watford, ate a packed lunch in a very cold car park and waited for our timed slot.

It was so easy to get to and all very efficient. We killed time in the shop - just looking!! We had been warned how expensive it was so had already decided on a programme each and that was it, no fuss.

Of course there were the the books - where all the Harry Potter magic begin.

Now I must confess I have not read one of the books myself but duly bought each one, as they came out for Jeff as a present. This was pre-children back in 1997. The first 3 copies I bought with the adult cover but once Sophie was born, bought the children's version in case she might read them one day. 

I can't thank JK Rowling enough for giving my Sam, a child who doesn't necessarily 'do' reading, such enjoyment from this set of books. He spent the whole of last Summer with his head in a Harry Potter book. Sophie, I think is now reading them for the 3rd time. They have of course watched the dvd's as we missed the films on the big screen, as they were too young at the time.

I was quite impressed by how much Harry Potter info I had stored myself, from watching the odd snippet of a film and listening to many a teatime quiz or conversation about Harry Potter around the dinner table.

I have been very selective in the photo's I have chosen to share with you - I don't want to spoil it and give too much away if you are planning to go yourself but if you watched the films or read the books, you'll have a great day. They suggest it will take 3 hours, which is about right if you really want to take it all in.

I loved it - it was really interesting and it was great to see the children so enthused by it all. For me the best bit was all the scale drawings and paper models and the final room (which I will not reveal)! 

So if you are a Harry Potter fan it is a must and even if like me, you know very little you will still enjoy it. Make sure you click on the day you wish to go on the website, as at a glance you think there is lots of availability for the day but there are timed slots you have to book, which may be unavailable on the day you want to go.

If you do decide to go - have a great time.

We did!

Saturday 27 October 2012

dots and spots HQ

During the photo shoot on Thursday, Owen persuaded me to have my photo taken - I HATE having my photo taken! Maybe in 6 months to a years time, when I have lost another couple of stone, I may be a more willing subject. If you ignore me, it shows off dots and spots HQ extremely well. 
You can see it better  *HERE* over on my facebook page or just click on the photo!

Have a lovely weekend 

We're off to the Harry Potter Studio Tour tomorrow, a treat for the children.
Will duly report back early next week.

Friday 26 October 2012

Thursday 25 October 2012

Photo shoot day

 Today has been a good day, no a great day - it was photo shoot day and Owen has taken some fab photo's in preparation for our new catalogue and loading new products onto our website.

 These are my photo's so ignore them in terms of lighting and colour - Owen's are a million times better. I know I can style a good shot and that Owen can take a fab photo, so we are a good team.

 We had an early start, I got over to the premises to pick and pack as many orders as I could before we began. Jeff very kindly took the children to school and picked up some spotty, helium filled balloons. Rachel spent the morning making up all our Christmas cards so I have plenty of stock made up for half term.

 I'd baked a cake the night before - no prizes for guessing our theme for one of the shots!

I still can't reveal too much yet as you never know who could be looking and taking inspiration from what you are doing.

A huge thank you to Owen for giving up a day to help. We've had to book in another session for a couple of weeks time as we have more products to style once they arrive. I'm so relieved a year's worth of hard work is culminating, just how I imagined. I'm going to start sorting out my stand for Top Drawer soon. It's not until January but I have so many ideas after today for how to style it all - exciting stuff.

Wednesday 24 October 2012

We have now received a standard response from Etsy - with a set procedure to follow. No comment from the seller but as the offending item has now been taken down, matter closed. I do hope that the seller has had a bit of a fright and learns from this.


On Monday I received a message via facebook from a dots and spots customer. She had found, whilst searching the web, our camper van image copied on to a vest top. We contacted the site it was listed on and the seller directly and still over 48 hours later have not heard back from either, which I feel is really poor show. 

I decided to write a comment on my facebook page earlier this morning tagging Etsy the site the item was listed with, asking how long it takes to receive a reply - still nothing but as a result of that comment, the offending item has been removed. All I wanted, was for this to happen but I also expected to hear from both Etsy or the seller. 

 Our camper van design is a best seller and thankfully a well recognised design. I am very thankful to the person who messaged me as I wouldn't have had any idea!

We had a similar incident in the summer - Sophie spotted a Union Jack design that looked just like mine. I replied that a union jack is such a popular image that it couldn't be a copy but when I looked in detail, all my original ink lines, tears and rips were there and the person just changed the patterns. We could place our image directly on top of the copy - carbon copy.

We got a swift response and the offending design was removed but it still doesn't make it all okay.
There is many a debate about copying and I guess it is out there and there probably to stay but we all need to remain vigilent and support each other.

So thank you to my very valued customers for making me aware and for taking the time to get in touch. It really is much appreciated.

Sunday 21 October 2012

At last....

I can share with you some fabulous new wooden gifts we have selected just for you. We don't make them but a wonderful couple - Steve and Heidi and their team cut, hand paint and create these fabulous wooden gifts.

They have been residing over at the premises for the past couple of weeks, waiting for me to find a moment to photograph them and yesterday afternoon, I did just that.


 I just love the colours and designs we have selected for you.

The stars and hearts come in 2 sizes and are spotty, stripy or plain with a spotty or white satin ribbon.

We have also chosen these gorgeous stumpy boats and some fab spotty toadstools.

As you can see the colours all tie in with our dots and spots range perfectly.

 These are perfect gifts for your Mum and we have spotty stars for your Dad's too.

Because the items are hand made, hand painted and hand finished, I am not in a position to reorder quickly. Knowing just how busy they are, I doubt I will get any more this side of Christmas or if I can, it may take 6 weeks. So if you see something you want, get it now rather than wait as I only have a few of each.

You can find everything on our website *HERE* just scroll to the bottom of the side menu under wooden gifts. These items are not available to TRADE but we are happy to share with you, the fabulous team who create them - just email me for details.