It must be January.

Happy New Year everybody. I only have one resolution this year but its a biggy. This is the year I get organized. And not just in a tidy up my desk and buy some nice stationery kind of way which is what I usually mean when I tell myself I need to be more organized. I mean learning what it takes to be properly organized and developing habits that make it happen again and again.

The lessons I learnt (that’s what I’m calling it) last year about being a mum and running a business all boil down to this one thing. If I was more organized it would be easier to cook healthy meals. It would be easier to get everybody out of the house in time for playgroup, nursery or just to walk the dog before it gets dark. It would be easier to jump between the kids and work, and all that is bound to make day to day life a lot easier for everybody. Sounds to good to be true, right?

I don’t think I’m a lost cause, its just becoming clear that my old ways aren’t cutting it anymore. So no more staring into the fridge hoping for inspiration I’m going to make meal plans. No more running around the house looking for one welly boot there will be a place for everything. And all appointments and goings on will go on the calendar (Ok, yes I did buy some nice stationery). I’d love to hear how you keep organized, what apps do you use? or what habits do you have that keep you on track? I feel like I should know all this stuff already.

I have printed out the above image and stuck it to the wall to keep me on track.

Emma x

Mini christmas stocking DIY

I don’t know what it is about christmas that makes me want to make even more stuff than usual, I am planning to make stockings for the kids but for now I put together this mini stocking DIY. It felt a whole lot easier (and more fun) to just make a bunch of small stockings to hang on the tree. The idea being that you could give them out to guests over the festive season as a sort of christmas party bag. Also I was thinking they would make a nice little gift for kids and if you filled them with a few toys to keep them amused perhaps the adults might get a chance to have a proper conversation. I live in hope.

Before I start though a word of warning. If you follow my posts on instagram or Facebook you may have seen this image below. But what happened here was that I got quite absorbed in the stencilling and even remember thinking to myself how nice it was that Bruno seemed to be enjoying himself too. No. This is what he was up to…

Anyway, if you want to have a go, the details are below. If you’d rather just paint your arm, try and use paint that washes of easily!

 

You will need:

1. Print your stocking template, cut it out and trace around the shapes onto your fabric.

  1. Carefully with your craft knife cut some Christmas shapes from your plain paper. I like to make two or three different sizes to give a bit of interest.

  1. Hold your cut shape over the fabric and with your sponge begin slowly dabbing on the paint.

  1. Carry on stamping, making sure to give enough time for your paint to dry so you don’t smudge it. Its really tempting to place your template close to wet areas so I like to work on both sides of the stocking at once to reduce the temptation to stamp too close to wet areas.

  1. Once your paint is dry, cut out your stocking shapes and pin your decorated sides together.

  1. You can now sew your stocking up. I used my sewing machine but these are small so won’t take long to sew by hand.

  1. Once sewn, turn your stocking right side out.

  1. So that you can hang your stockings on your tree, sew your ribbon pieces to the back.

  1. Now you can fill them and leave them on your tree.

Dogs in Jumpers

I feel like I’ve been working on these for ages. Everything takes at least 10 times longer now I have two little people taking up way more of my time than I ever imagined. But they are here at last. Three new hot dogs and a very limited number of little canvas mushroom purses.

The dogs aren’t completely new. Our three best sellers have had a make over! Here’s how it happened…

It is clear that I need to cut down the amount of physical making I was doing myself (blaming those kids again). So rather than screen printing the Hot Dogs myself I decided to have them digitally printed. Only with digital printing there is no limit to the number of colours you can use and I love lots of colour! so it was too good an opportunity to miss, I had to put jumpers on them! Only three for now but the others may follow soon.

There are still small amounts of the screen printed dogs available but these won’t last long.

Emma x

Halloween Decorations DIY

Hi Guys,

I have a DIY post live on Bloesem Blogs, I’ve been making these Halloween Decorations and if you’d like a go too, here’s how to:

You will need

  • Polystyrene balls – I used 4cm balls
  • Black and orange paint
  • Black pipe cleaners
  • Black cardstock
  • White paper
  • String or cord
  • Paintbrushes
  • Scissors
  • Black pen
  • Glue
  • Darning needle / thin knitting needle

Step 1: paint your polystyrene balls. Paint some black for bats and spiders, some orange for pumpkins and leave a handful white for your ghosts.

Step2. For the spiders: Cut two pipe cleaners in half and half again making the eight legs, push them into the sides of a black ball and bend into shape. Cut out eye shapes from your white paper, draw in the pupils and stick in place

Step 3. Make the bats: Fold a piece of black card in half and draw on one wing shape, Cut this out and push or punch two small holes in the fold. Using a small piece of pipe cleaner attach the wings to the back of a black ball. In the same way as before stick the eyes in place.

Step 4. To make the pumpkins: Use your black pen to draw on some pumpkin markings, add your eyes and push a small piece of pipe cleaner into the top to make a little stalk.

Step 5. For the ghosts: Cut a strip of white paper long enough to wrap around a white ball. Cut a wavy shape into the bottom of the paper and stick around your polystyrene ball. Cut large black eyes from the black card and stick to your ghost.

Step 6. Using a thin knitting needle or long darning needle push holes through the centre of the polystyrene decorations. Thread a large darning needle with your string and push through the holes. Tie knots in the string to stop the decorations from slipping down and carry on adding as many decorations as you like.

Hang them around your home, or just play with them like we did. Enjoy, Emma x

Making Cards with Kids, i.e. letting them help but still ending up with something half way decent.

This weekend was fathers day and a very good friends 40th birthday (which is an alarming thought) not the fathers day thing but having friends turning 40. I’m not really ok with this. But that aside, I decided I’d put the kids to work creating cards for the occasions.

Step 1. Give pack of pens and some paper to a two and a half year old and try not to over think the result too much but instead make helpful suggestions like, “Hay perhaps we could do another colour over here”, “and “lets try just drawing on the paper and not the train set / your legs or the carpet”

Step 2. Cut the letters out yourself. I’m not sure when your supposed to give scissors to a child but I’m pretty sure I can’t trust mine not to do lasting damage yet.

Step 3. Glue them on – its up to you and how much of a control freak you are as to weather you let your kid do this bit themselves or if you just get them to tell you where they think you should stick the letters before ignoring them and putting them where they are supposed to go.

Tada: A card that a kid made that doesn’t look too much like a kid make it!

Product Photography – Alphabet Badges and Magnets

I’ve been trying to work on my product photography lately. I have tons of ideas for new products I’m itching to get working on but I decided to make myself have a good look at the ones I already have first and try and make the best of them. My photos have always been so-so. Not awful, (I hope) but definitely with plenty of ‘room for improvement’ which is the same phrase Michael uses to describe my catching skills so we know there not great! I’m trying to read, learn and keep trying to make them better. I’ve started with the Alphabetti badges and magnets which area a consistently good seller especially on Not On the Highstreet but with very old photos they were due for an update. Here’s what I’ve got so far…

Mummy days – playing with rice

I have this vague memory from when I was a kid and as a special treat sometimes we would get to play with a big tray full of dry red lentils. I remember driving cars around in it, scooping them up, pouring them through little water wheels and generally thinking it was the best thing ever. Anyway, I asked my mum about it last weekend so I could try and recreate the magic and she managed to totally shatter my romantic memories by saying something along the lines of ‘oh yes, I think I just tipped a bag of lentils into an old cat litter tray’ lovely, cheers mum!

Anyway, here’s our version, a couple of super cheap bags of rice and a big flat plastic tub. We added in some cars and a digger and it kept this little guy quite happy. Next time perhaps I’ll add in some toy animals or spoons and a funnel.

Where we live

It’s practically compulsory to eat ice cream and take a walk by the sea on sunny days. Even if it’s only sunny in-between hail stone showers.

Society 6 iPhone case

I finally got a new phone, after almost three months of frustration trying to get my old one to connect to the internet. Feeding a tiny baby at all times of the night and day I really need something to keep me occupied (and awake!) and peering bleary eyed at my phone is the easiest way to do it. So last week I finally qualified for my upgrade and to celebrate I got myself one of my phone cases from society 6. They have free world wide shipping and $5 off every item so it was pretty easy to convince myself it was a good idea. Plus I was really curious to see what it would actually be like.

And, I’m really pleased with it, its great quality and the print looks good. The colours are exactly how I hoped they would look and its quite a lovely thing to own.