April - round up!

and so another month has passed! 7 weeks free of my day job and still no regrets. it had to be done and i am realising how much i can actually get done given the time. which sounds silly - of course if you have more time you can get more done. but i can only imagine how long my to-do list would take if i was still working a day job!

i will admit i had a bit of a blip this month. i had such a 'full steam ahead' straight after leaving my job that i think said steam finally ran out. boo. so i spent a week in london to rejuvenate myself. i went to a couple of markets for inspiration and had some more studio days with Liz of Elle Jane Designs. it's good to talk things through...especially the amount we can natter for! 

i visited the Crafty Fox Market and the Renegade Craft Fair. both were fantastic and full of brilliant designer-makers. i found some real gems amongst the isles including Ginger Doodles and Lucie Ellen. I got to catch up with the lovely Jo Clarke and finally got to meet Caren Barry after, ooh must be over a year now, of regular chit-chatting online.

i also took part in another superb workshop from Patricia of The Design Trust via the New Creative Markets programme. it was all about creating my business plan. so lots of brain work required! i'm still working through the tasks but it is raising some good questions as to where i see myself in 3 years time and what my priorities are. it is making me question a few things, which i'll admit, is a wee bit scary, but it has to be done. so doing it i am!

i was accepted onto 2 spring fairs - i will be at The Fairy Tale Fair at Brighton Open Markets on the second May bank holiday (Sunday 24th), and i will also be returning for another year with City Showcase, this time we'll be at Victoria Embankment Gardens just by the tube on Sunday 31st May. i really hope you'll be able to make a visit, they are both fantastic shows and i'll be airing different products at each event with special market offers, so be sure to get to as many as you can!

i have been working on a project, something a bit different from anything i've done before. it's for children, it's illustration based, it's colourful, it's fun... it's gonna be a-moo-zing. that's all i'm giving you. i'm just putting the finishing touches together and then i can share!

another 'new thing' are my newest products. something i'm about to release just in time for my spring markets - brand new wash bags and purses! yes, i know, very exciting! they are in a variety of prints and will soon be up and running on my Etsy store. but for now here is a sneak peek... i'm so pleased with how they have turned out, a huge thank you to Robyn of Archie Mac London who made these beauties, she is very very talented.

i have a strict(-ish) new schedule in place to help me work through my list of projects and all my admin work. so far it is proving useful! hopefully it's not just the initial excitement of a new spreadsheet to work to, haha!

March - round up!

this will only be a quick round up today as i've had a burst of inspiration for a new project and i really, really, REALLY wanna get started! and to be hones there isn't much to share for March...

* the biggest thing of course will be that i left my admin day job - hoorah! i'd been there 7 years and had started building the design business alongside it. 7 years is a long time and i have made some awesome life-long friends there... but i can honestly say i do not miss it. (i write that with a huge grin on my face!) the time was right to move on and so i did, no regrets. (yet, haha!)

* and along with leaving my job i moved back home. i have given myself 3 months to get myself in order, and then i will be venturing back to London, this time the SE corner. so there's been a lot of unpacking and alas there is still some more to go but i'm sure i'll get there...just as i need to pack it all up again to move once more!

* i have spent a bit of time rejuvenating my online store. it was in need of a makeover and i'm rather pleased with the new look - lots of new fabulously colourful photos to show off the bold prints and gorgeous colours of my homeware products. it's actually made me fall in love with them all over again! 

* i've bought back some old favourites from last year - the button jewellery was pretty much a sell out last summer - so it is back in new colours, something to suit every occasion, and the tea towels are currently on a special 'Spring Clean' offer - BUY 1 GET 1 FREE! it's that time of year where we all need to have a clear out and clean up so what better to persuade you than some glorious pattern accessories!

* my newest addition to the shop are my greetings cards - a selection of birthday, occasion and blank cards from my both my 'Amsterdam' and 'London' ranges.

* and that's not all folks! there is more to come! i have new products that will be popping up over the course of the next few weeks so keep your eyes peeled. and if you want to be the first to hear about all of these new goodies you can sign up to my newsletter here.  not only will you hear about new products first you'll find out about my events and projects and you'll also get your hands on some special coupon what are you waiting for?! 

* i found out that all of my designs for Muckboots' kids range Puddletons have been accepted and will soon be released! so very excited! i got to see some photos too and they look great...i can't wait to share them with you!

* on a similar note i will (hopefully) be able to announce a new collaboration in next couple of involves bold colour, graphic prints and a product to do with the home...haha, teasing again, sorry...but just hang on in there and you'll soon find out!

right, now you're all caught up i'm off to doodle-town (sung to the tune of Funky Town). have a fabulous weekend everyone!

you can achieve a lot in 90 days...

day 4 of no day job. it feels great it really does! well, it does right now, but i'm pretty sure in a few days time reality will hit and i'll have a little panic and wonder if i did the right thing and oh my god i have no security and lots of scary things like that.

but then i'll stop and think and realise that of course it was the right thing and all is well and good and i'm pursuing my dream and everyone should have that chance and i am very lucky to be able to give it a shot. and everything will feel wonderful again.

phase 1 of my plan was to quite my job - check! phase 2 was to move back home, and by home i mean back with family to save some pennies and be able to concentrate solely on design work - check! well, i'm physically moved in but i'm not completely unpacked. turns out i own a lot of things, and these things need to be sorted. and that takes time. which (rather ironically for someone who just left their job) i don't have. ha!

but it is for good reasons. i have a lot of freelance work at the moment which i am thoroughly enjoying working on again. it has been a while since i worked freelance but it is great working alongside Laura Olivia on various projects for some great clients. i also have my new brief from Muckboots Fall '16 collection due in the next week. so it looks like the unpacking will just have to wait a little longer. darn.

it really is great to get to work on projects set by someone else and not just what has been dreamt up in your head. and this is where i have a little some fun ahead of me - phase 3. i asked a few friends and put out a call on social media for volunteers. these lovely people who accepted the challenge have set me briefs acting as a client. i will post the brief and my final pieces as i work through them...i'm quite excited about this as a i really want to push how quickly i can work and how varied my style can be. it should get me working wit some different mediums as well. yay!

if you're interested in helping me out and setting me a mini project there's still time! get in touch at'd love to hear from you!

but if that all seems a bit much, do keep an eye out on my facebook and twitter pages as i will be putting a call out for a special project in the next few weeks... it'll be nice and easy (for you!) but rather more of a challenge for me... the only clue you get is it's hidden somewhere in my pinterest boards...

in between these mini projects i plan to organise my finances (encouraged by my recent workshops from Dean of Tax By Design and Ally of Business Bright); approach shops with my new products; update my own online shop - i have a few new ideas up my sleeve!; research lots of exciting companies to collaborate with and then of course approach them with a marvellous offer!...i won't burden you with my whole to do list though...

but what i will share are a few of the other things i wish to achieve in the next 3 months that are not design related...i signed up to learn spanish, something i studied briefly at high school and became fond of again after my trip to Peru last year. i have a short trip planned in May so that is my target! ; i want to cook more and now have a wonderful kitchen to do so. the cook books are still in the depths of the unpacked boxes though which could cause a delay to this venture... ; i do however have my yoga mat and trainers out and at the ready! which means i can get back into pilates and jogging again as i'll admit i've been rather slack at this the past few months. tut tut.

hmmm...sounds like i won't be able to fit a new job in what with all this going on!  i am so excited about the next 3 months and what i could's a whole 90 days for just me and my business...what would you do?

January to February - round up!

february started off with a * bang * ... spring fair!! and with much of January dedicated to the show preparations there really wasn't much time for anything else. final samples to get made up, props to buy and paint, suitcases to pack, invites to send out...oh you know how it is.

setting up for spring fair was pretty straight forward (i like it when there are no surprises or complications...makes things far more appealing!). i had some bloody fantastic neighbours and the whole of the Design Lab group were an all-round great bunch of people to be stuck with for 5 days ;)

i made some good contacts from spring fair and set up meetings with a few companies to discuss potential projects. some rather exciting ones at that! so keep following and you might hear more about them all in the next few months...

my full review can be read here

i've been fortunate enough to attend yet more fantastic workshops from the New Creative Market scheme these past few weeks. both rather scary (one on tax and one on finances!) but both very informative and have given me lots to think about. in a weird way i'm actually looking forward to settling down and getting my spreadsheets sorted!

you may remember a couple of months back i announced that i was working alongside laura olivia to produce collections for our supermarket chains. what started off as a couple of designs ended up at over a dozen! there were some fantastic projects that i got to work on, a great variety of styles and themes...and to see them in production would be simply fantastic!

and of course let's not forget the big news...i quit my job!! i only have one more week at my day job and then i have 3 months focusing solely on building my portfolio (and sorting those spreadsheets!) ...i absolutely cannot wait!

the secret is out...

i do apologise for teasing you with my news and then disappearing whilst setting up for my second trade show at Spring Fair...but I'm here now to tell you all about it...

i quit my job!

yes i did. after 7 years of working admin i decided enough was enough and had to take a step to up my design game. i managed to drop down to 4 days a week last year but I simply need more time to spend on design, portfolio, promo, manufacturing, commissions...oh the list goes on and on and on!

not only that, but i am also moving flat. i absolutely love Teddington and will be very sad to leave but it's got to be done (it's rather expensive around this area so my manufacturing budget is less than i would like!). so i am moving back home for a couple of months to spend time really focusing on a few projects and getting my portfolio built up. 

so that's it, i have about 3 weeks left and the i'm off. woohoo!!! [queue George Michael's 'Freedom' as my soundtrack]

but what afterwards? well, i will be venturing across the city to the SE of London to play studio days with Liz of Elle Jane Designs (i'm trying to persuade her to get an actual studio space with me one day but she's not having it. not yet anyway.) 

so yeah, exciting times ahead!

off the back of Spring Fair (which was a very different show to Top Drawer, not least in size) i am definitely working more towards the commissioned/licensed work and collaborations. i had a few meetings with various companies and have some exciting projects lined up...but again i'm only able to tease you on that front right now...sorry! i'll tell you more soon, i promise!

2014 - how did it go then?

i don't know about you but 2014 went so fast. beyond ridiculous really. for me anyway. and i bet we all look back and go 'oh god, what did i actually achieve last year?' and then panic that we didn't do anything and didn't see friends enough and we're still stuck in that job and we didn't take that holiday...

but what about all the things you DID do? huh? don't be some blooming hard on yourself! there is only of of you and you can't do everything, and when you have big projects going on in your life (like starting a new business by yourself, from scratch) you have to make tough decisions, miss that night out, eat in and not out... it's hard but it makes it possible to get that bit further in your grand plan. i know i am guilty of working a lot but i do allow myself out. sometimes ;) i just have to plan my time wisely. i want this to work...i'm determined! i have big plans for 2015 and i WILL see them through dammit!

but anyway, as i was's always nice to look back on what you DID do and what you did achieve...try it. you might just surprise yourself. dare ya. 

and i would like to say an enormous thank you and have a big group hug with everyone that supported me this year - the bloggers & magazines, the stockists & pop-up shops, everyone from the courses i have met, all my new design buddies, all my friends and family...all of you. you're great. that is all. 


...Top Drawer. wow. my first trade show. LOVED IT! a lot of follow up afterwards which proved fruitful and my first 2 wholesale orders! completed 2 Pattern Observer e-courses.


...i started the Creative Hub workshops at The Fashion and Textile Museum, there was another Edinburgh hen do (seems to be the place to go!), my huge parcel of cushions arrived (much to my flatmates joy!) and first orders were shipped. possibly the biggest change was dropping a day at my day job to make more time for decision. just need to drop another now ;)


...i was accepted to become part of the We Make London family and sell in their Camden shop. i could finally announce my collaboration with Muckboots which had been very hard to keep schtum about! there was also a Glaswegian wedding, a jazz night, 2 German birthdays, and some pet shopping! 


...seemed only right that i deserved a little treat after the trade show and went back to Alexander Spa for a weekend of relaxation. i saw my lampshades in the window of their first stockist...a very exciting thing to see.


...ok so maybe another treat - a weekend in Rome with mama Smith - not quite so relaxing this time though! 2 fairs this month - one a roaring success, the other not so much - but hey, you gotta try these things!


...second hen do of the year this time to Bristol for a Crystal Maze (you all remember that right?!) experience in the woods!


...i got to play florist once more for my friends wedding in a beautiful country setting. Jools Holland was an awesome gig at Kew Gardens, and i returned form my 2 month creative block - thank goodness - and went full pelt at designing my new range. 

AUGUST first colour festival - surprisingly fun throwing powder at strangers in a car park, especially with some amazing house tunes playing. i went Back To The Future, oh yeah.


...i visited Autumn Fair to suss out my space for Spring. but most excitingly an amazing trip to Peru took this month over. i experienced some amazing things saw some jaw dropping sights and enjoyed the South American culture for the first time. pretty sure i'll be back at some point but more Asia to see first methinks! whilst away i was accepted onto the New Creative Markets mentoring scheme which is full of amazing workshops plus 1-2-1's with Patricia of the Design Trust - wowee! i was featured in the 2 big greetings card mags with my new Christmas card range.

OCTOBER flat mate left...boooooooo! but i got a new one - yeeeaaah! i finally sussed out Illustrator, my Kickstarter campaign was successfully funded for my new range of tableware, the samples arrived, and i teamed up with Laura Olivia on some freelance work for high street retailers.


...lots of workshops and learning this month, and planning for the first of 3 Christmas fairs of the year. that takes up a surprising amount of time - especially when there are manufacturing problems to work around! i was also offered a spot on Print & Pattern blogs 'Designers for Hire' directory...roll on the commission deals!


...another 2 Christmas fairs dominated this month alongside the standard Christmas dinners and work parties. most excitingly this month was the release (finally!) of my new Morocco and London ranges...went down a storm, especially the London coasters. yay :) i ended the year with 8 new stockists which i'm going to pat myself on the back for... and here's to 2015 and a whole host of new exciting projects and releases!!

festive fair finds! is the first saturday in about a month where i'm not either at a Christmas fair or planning for my next one! i'm still in bed and it's delightful (except for the fact i have a nasty cough and cold). i enjoyed all of my markets (for different reasons!) and wanted to share some of the work of the amazing designers i met whilst exhibiting across the last 3 weeks.

i was located in the basement but i was surrounded by 10 other fantastic designer-makers with a great selection of goods. 

i have a soft spot for ceramics and instantly fell in love with Sally McGill's new collection - bold blue and coral on white...right up my street!

another great selection of ceramics were on offer from my show neighbour Jane Sarre - i'm always a sucker for that olive colour, and putting it on beautiful vases...well, i'm not sure how i resisted! 

and of course Katie Victoria was my very lovely and very Welsh neighbour for the show. gorgeously bright and bold knitted scarves, cushions and a rather lovely bobble hat i had my eye on all show!

hosted for the second year at the Truman Brewery there were over 100 stands selling homewares, jewellery, prints, furniture pong games!

the stand to catch my eye the most was from the lovely Winter's Moon, a combination of mid-century finds and new retro inspired prints on an array of homewares - my ultimate weakness!

i caught up with Sophie Home who i first met at the Wimbledon Art & Design Fair earlier this year, once gain selling her yummy geo knits

winner of the Best Stand was Reclectic, a company that sources vintage furniture to hand paint with imagery inspired by that era. we happened to be opposite so could gaze at it all day!

i'll be honest - this was by far my favourite market - the atmosphere was just amazing and the dj's and live Voodoo Love Orchestra were bloody fantastic! the first time it has been held at Spitalfields but it went down a treat.

now unfortunately i was so caught up in the dancing that i didn't actually take any photos! but probably a good thing otherwise i'll end up giving away some of the Christmas presents i have bought people!