Thursday 30 March 2017

Going, going.......

.....nearly gone!
Just to update you - the website will close on Tuesday the 4th of April for any final web sales. Thank you for supporting the SALE so far. I do then intend to take stock of what's left and offer some one off purchases during the following couple of weeks eg, a stack of postcards, remaining reels of ribbon, bag of badges, packaging items etc These items will not be packaged but raw stock, at low prices, so watch out for these, the week commencing Monday 10th April - they will be listed over on the dots and spots Facebook page. 

Sunday 26 March 2017

Happy Mothering Sunday

Wishing my lovely Mum a very Happy Mother's Day and 
thinking of Jeff's Mum, who sadly in no longer with us.

I've been spoilt by my two and the sun is shining - perfect x

Hope you have a lovely day with your Mum or children 
or have fond memories of those no longer with us. 

Tuesday 21 March 2017


The website will close tonight and re-open on Sunday. 

This will give me a chance to catch up on orders, give Jeff chance to organise the post, before I teach all day on Friday. If any different, I will notify you here, on the blog or via our Facebook page.

Monday 20 March 2017


She passed!!!!!

So pleased for her - 8:20am in busy Yeovil and she passed with just one minor!

She's had a great instructor - would highly recommend him. 
Sam's booked in for August 2019! 

I will take some of the credit though - we have spent many an hour driving around together, reversing around corners, hill starts, reversing into parking bays, parallel parking, roundabouts - oh yes! 14 roundabouts a day on the school run. She's been extremely motivated and I guess now, well, when she's insured as a 'driver', she'll take over the school run - whooppee!!

Well done Sophie - just like your Mum, passed first time xx
Very proud of you x

Saturday 18 March 2017

Website re-opens tomorrow (Sunday)

I am spending today packing orders (fuelled by coffee)
The website will re-open tomorrow (Sunday) for as long as the number of orders dictate! 

Please note however, that all orders placed tomorrow will not be sent out until Thursday morning.

Wednesday 15 March 2017


Due to another busy day of orders, I have temporarily closed the website. I can then work my way through the orders and fairly deal with any stock issues, if they arise, on a first come-first served basis. I would hope to catch up and complete all orders over Friday/Saturday (I'm working at school all day tomorrow) and will then re-open the website again. 

Sorry for the inconvenience this may cause but I don't want to get in a muddle and disappoint anyone. I will keep things updated here on the blog, so do check in if you want to be notified and not miss out.

Sunday 12 March 2017

Bit of un aupdate

As you know, orders last week all went a little mad! You ordered in the 100's (thank you) and as a result, I have had to temporarily take down the website. I have been working my way through them all on a first come, first served basis, in case any stock issues arose. This has meant the process has been slower but fairer. I should finish these today and then my intention is to do an updated stock take on Monday and Tuesday, making the website live again on Wednesday. It will close again, if and when there is a big flurry in orders,  I will then catch up, re-open and continue with this cycle if necessary, as I'm also doing supply teaching all day Thursday. 

I can't thank you enough - there were a few of you, 5 I think, who had problems placing your order and I shall be in touch with you as soon as I've updated the stock levels.

I'm off now to get making up, picking and packing - the postman is going to love me in the morning!

Have a great Sunday 

Tuesday 7 March 2017

You loved this too much!

Due to the sheer volume of orders today, I have had to close the website temporarily.

I will endeavour to work my way through the orders as they were received, so any stock issues which may arise, are treated fairly on a first come, first served basis. I will then do an up to date stock take and make the website live again. Realistically this will be some time next week, as not only are there a lot of orders, the quantities within the orders are big.

Thank you for your custom and supporting the sale. There is still plenty to go around but I do need to check on some items with smaller available quantities, so not to disappoint future customers,

Saturday 4 March 2017

The time has come to say.......

......farewell x

After 8 years and 10 months, I have decided to say goodbye to dots and spots. It has reached a natural conclusion and I long to do something different, be around people again, be part of a busy work environment.

What started out as a little creative ‘playing’ in my studio whilst still teaching back in 2008, became a business bigger than I ever intended. 

 (How young do they look here!)

Something to ‘fit in around the kids’, soon became something ‘the kids had to fit around’. 

I gave up teaching and after a truly successful five years of designing and trading at the big London shows, we stocked just over 400 Independent retailers in the UK, including large orders to Dobbies Garden Centre’s and Harrods to name a few. However, we started the business just as the recession began and with increasingly difficult trading times, coupled with Jeff's unexpected redundancy in 2013 and subsequent ‘full on’ new job, we made the decision to scale the business back, rather than take the risky decision to employ staff and move into bigger premises etc.

So, for the past 3/4 years the business has taken on a steady platform, selling through our own website, and selling wholesale to some loyal independent retailers. Over this time we have not been designing new products, as we didn’t want to take any financial risks on big print runs and Jeff doesn’t have the time or enthusiasm to add new things to the website etc.  The orders are easily picked and packed with plenty of spare time on my hands. 

I’ve dabbled helping out in my friends shop, which I loved but sadly it closed. It did make me realise though how much I enjoyed other people’s company, I miss being part of a ‘place’, a busy working environment. 

Since moving house last year, I have used the extra time to manage the extension build and decorate our new home but with my dots and spots unit still over in Shepton, where we used to live, 25 minutes away and with the desire not to fill this house with dots and spots ‘stuff’ and move it all over here, the time has come to say goodbye.

We have given notice on the unit for the end of April. We will be holding a *CLOSING DOWN SALE* over on our website throughout the month of March, with 75% off everything starting on Tuesday the 7th March and in April, will possibly sell off other bits, cello’s, packaging, postal tubes etc before we ‘give up’ the unit at the end of the month. 

(Poor Jeff - one of the many Ikea flat packs he's put together over the years!)

Want a bargain, want good quality items for fund raising projects or to sell on yourself, then ask? 
( )  We do still have larger quantities on some items (notebooks in particular) a few 'full' boxes of tape and are more than happy to discuss a sensible price/offer. Live locally or have a van and want IKEA Billy bookcases or the old IKEA 5x5 Expedit, now called Kallax shelving units, then ask.

New job – who knows!?! I need to do something to bring some money in and still fit in around the children but with Sophie learning to drive and hopefully soon passing her test, I won’t be restricted by the school run for a year or so. I have no idea what I want to do, I’ve done a little supply teaching recently but I’m not sure I want to go back to it. I would be frustrated as a classroom assistant but I don’t want the responsibility/workload of a full on teacher and I hate the short notice of supply. I just know that I want set hours, a regular income and to be around other people.

It won’t be long before Sophie will be off to university and I guess Sam will soon follow. Jeff’s job in term time is all so consuming, so ‘now’ is a time to find a ‘little’ something for me. I like to be busy, I like to feel I am contributing to the family pot, I like to know what I’m doing and although dots and spots gave me reasonable flexibility, it was also so very in-flexible and unpredictable, as you never knew how busy or quiet you would be. 

Family time during the Summer holidays and Christmas were often our busiest times, so I am actually looking forward to the 9-5 routine, set hours and holiday time, weekends on/off, a payslip at the end of each month, no surprises. 

No customer enquiries late on a Sunday evening, no ‘just popping to the post office’ en-route to somewhere else to drop off mail sacks, no worries about money coming in or going out, no chasing late payers or saying goodbye to £1000's because someone goes under. No dealing with customer enquiries whilst on holiday, no more waiting around for couriers, deliveries, lost parcels and hassle!

So it is with a little sadness that I say goodbye but also with a big smile on my face, for what I have achieved and for what is ahead. I’ve just got to find the right thing.

I would like to thank you all for your encouragement, support and custom over the past 8+ years. I have loved sharing the ups and downs of running a business here on the blog and have loved engaging with people over on Facebook, Instagram etc. The website and Facebook page will close shortly (end of April) as all the loose ends are tied but the blog will still continue in the vein of recent years, more as a personal diary for me to look back on.

I do have to say a few thank you's but will write another post - too many for today.

So farewell to dots and spots x 

Wednesday 1 March 2017

Pinch and a punch......

I love the start of a fresh month - hello March!
The promise of Spring just around the corner. The hope for warmer, sunnier days ahead. 
I really do not enjoy the winter months, so welcome March with open arms.

February was a something and nothing month - most of my time has been taken up with driving with Sophie, the odd cinema trip and the rare sign of Spring just around the corner.

I have however spent a lot of time reading, researching and planning the role 'Sugar' plays in my health and well being, so go into March and 'Lent' with my 'Sugar Free' focus, well and truly ready to go! I will really give it a proper go for the Lent period and see how it makes me feel - no cheating, no odd nibbles (it doesn't matter) 100% 'sugar free' for the next 40 days or 44 if you are counting exactly (something about Sundays being days off in Lent!) There is of course sugars in lots of food, including healthy fruits and vegetables, so I will be aiming for no more that 6tsps a day. Fruit will be limited to 2 portions a day and of a certain type, maxing out in the veg department instead and I will do my best to limit all the sugar I can in other foods - no refined sugar. I've opened a new Instagram account @beckyswandsprouts to track what I'm eating and share any 'Sugar Free' gems.

Have a great March!