Work

The Stitchery Studio

stone built studio.jpg

It has been a super exciting weekend for me - I got the keys to my new studio on the beautiful Castle Ashby estate just five minutes from my home. 

I have been self-employed for nearly three years now and during that time I have been working from home.  It has been a bit of a challenge for me, to be honest.  I like 'going out' to work; I like the change of scenery, driving with the radio on and the routine that working offsite provides.  I am too easily distracted to work from home full-time!  Our house has been pretty messy, with boxes piled high in the spare room and the dining table is rarely clear.  All of the components for The Stitchery* are made and compiled in-house and it soon became apparent that I needed more space in which to work.  Finding the studio felt like fate, it hadn't been advertised and the current tenant was going to be out at the end of the month.  

I have been popping along to the unit every so often to measure spaces and drop off furniture but to finally have the keys this weekend and be able to start painting is so exciting!  We are going to be working really hard over the next two weeks to get the place ready to welcome visitors.  The downstairs space will be a working studio and shop; upstairs is room for me to work.  There is a little kitchen downstairs so that I can offer my visitors tea and cake, and a tiny WC.  I will share pictures as I decorate but think gorgeous old chippy furniture, tiny drawers filled with old lace and buttons, and handmade soft furnishings.   It is a lovely light and bright space so I am going to dress the windows with simple pelmets hiding roller blinds.  The furniture and accessories have been bought from independent businesses where possible and other makers whose work I love.  

My plan is to work there every day Monday to Friday and I will be holding a Stitch Club on Saturday mornings for people who want to bring their current WIPs and have a bit of a natter.  Any stitching goes - crochet, patchwork, embroidery, knitting... just a nice drop-in social session.  I will post more details here when we're up and running.   I will hold my workshops at the studio (don't worry if you have booked to come to the house, it is a stone's throw from my home) and I plan to have a few shopping events and embroidery taster sessions too.  

The studio is opposite a lovely country pub called The Falcon which is currently undergoing work to become a boutique hotel.   It should be open this summer and the plans for it sound wonderful.  There is a rural shopping area at Castle Ashby with deli, cafe, gift shop and home interiors store, amongst others, plus a pottery studio (which I am personally very happy about, desperate to try a bit of hand built pottery). 

If you haven't visited the gardens at Castle Ashby before you are in for a treat.  I plan to spend a lot of time there; so much inspiration for art and embroidery.  The Orangery is very special indeed, built in 1872 with a heavenly central pond.  The house is occupied, I think, by the owner Lord Northampton and not generally open to visitors but there is a  walled garden tearoom and plant shop with a play area for children.  

I can't wait to share more and hope you'll join me for the next stage of my journey.  Working for the bank seems so long ago.  In the meantime I am working hard preparing the gorgeous March boxes, putting together catch-up kits and making journals.   We've had very bad (beautiful) snow this week which has rather thwarted our attempts to make good progress with the decorating so we are bringing in the big guns (mum and dad) during the week to help get it sorted!  My family has given me so much support and physical help with The Stitchery, I am very lucky to have them.  Thankful too that dad took early retirement! 

Have a wonderful week and enjoy the last of the snow, friends.  Spring will be here before we know it and these magical, sparkling days will be a distant memory.

Love

Nicki x

* If you haven't heard of The Stitchery, check it out here.  It isn't too late to join; catch-up kits are available and we are still able to make journals to order.  

Fair Season has Begun - Come and say hello!

 Our stand at Fair in the Square

Our stand at Fair in the Square

 Fresh flowers were provided by the lovely Lou at The Little Red Robin 

Fresh flowers were provided by the lovely Lou at The Little Red Robin 

 One day I will make a tabletop cover but in the meantime I am using old linen sheets.

One day I will make a tabletop cover but in the meantime I am using old linen sheets.

 A stack of notebooks with beautiful handmade paper and my 'Day at the Allotment' embroidery framed with reclaimed wood.

A stack of notebooks with beautiful handmade paper and my 'Day at the Allotment' embroidery framed with reclaimed wood.

 Pink hydrangea embroidery in handmade chippy frame.

Pink hydrangea embroidery in handmade chippy frame.

 Tiny drawers, velvet flowers, linen string and handmade paper notebooks...  A few of my favourite things.

Tiny drawers, velvet flowers, linen string and handmade paper notebooks...  A few of my favourite things.

 Blue hydrangea in handmade chippy frame.

Blue hydrangea in handmade chippy frame.

 My 'The Secret Garden' embroidery based on the logo for the Little Green Door.

My 'The Secret Garden' embroidery based on the logo for the Little Green Door.

 Labels for my handmade items, artwork by Kate at  Oyster Bridge & Co .

Labels for my handmade items, artwork by Kate at Oyster Bridge & Co.

 Our conservatory and where I can be found most days, stitching and watching the birds.

Our conservatory and where I can be found most days, stitching and watching the birds.

 The conservatory.  The old wooden box houses my painting supplies.  The patchwork cushion was a gift from my mum (it is a Tilda pattern using Tilda fabric).  She made two cushions and a matching quilt for my 40th birthday and I love them!

The conservatory.  The old wooden box houses my painting supplies.  The patchwork cushion was a gift from my mum (it is a Tilda pattern using Tilda fabric).  She made two cushions and a matching quilt for my 40th birthday and I love them!

 I keep pretty sweet company when I work.  Here she is, watching watercolour YouTube videos with me on the laptop.  

I keep pretty sweet company when I work.  Here she is, watching watercolour YouTube videos with me on the laptop.  

Brocante season has begun! It was our first fair of the year at the weekend.  We had a stand at The Country Brocante Fair in the Square in Midhurst. I had planned to launch my embroidery pieces online at the end of March but being invited to stand at the Fair in the Square changed my plans a little and I decided it would be nice to use the opportunity to display a few pieces of embroidery and see what sort of feedback I received.

In the weeks leading up to the brocante I had the most nervous tummy.  It is one thing attending an event where you have bought in items to sell but when you've made things yourself it is a whole other thing... It has become personal and I was struggling with my confidence. 

The day of the fair was bright and sunny.  The marketplace was full of gorgeous stands, all decorated with flowers and bunting.  It was beautiful.  We were in the town's Old Library which is a stunning old building and provided the perfect backdrop to our stand.  I couldn't have hoped for a better reception to my embroidery.  I had so much wonderful feedback and I feel inspired to continue.  Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by and especially those who gave me a few words of encouragement about my work, it meant such a lot to me.  I sold a few pieces and took a couple more orders but for now I am back in my workroom finishing a few stitcheries to sell at the Larmer Tree Brocante in Dorset this bank holiday Monday. 

It is my first time attending the Larmer Tree Brocante but having followed the team on instagram, I am super excited by the list of exhibitors and the prospect of a ukulele performance in the 'Singing Theatre' during the day.  It sounds wonderful! 

I am lucky to have two rooms in the house that I can use as workrooms.  I am in the conservatory today which is the room I use for painting and stitching because the natural light in here is, obviously, fantastic.  I have a sewing room at the top of the house, in the eaves, where I have a cutting table and a sewing machine.  My sewing room is a terrible mess at the moment as I have bought a few new (old) pieces of furniture and need to have a bit of a sort out in there to declutter.  I am looking forward to getting home next week and having a long overdue tidy up and organisation session but in the meantime I will enjoy watching the birds in the garden, listening to Spotify and embroidering a floral bouquet.  Hopefully see you in Dorset on Monday!

Love

Nicki xx

Find me on YouTube!

I am really pleased to have finally started my YouTube channel.  I would love for you to have a little look and let me know what you think.  I have been meaning to start a channel for months as I love watching podcasts when I work from home and I thought it would be a nice way to connect with my online friends.  Share what I'm up to, and chat a while.  I work from home on my own every day and have no one to talk to.  I try to involve Lizzie but there's only so much knitting natter she can cope with before she flops to the floor in a bored heap!  

My first video is just a quickie, showcasing the little zinc tags that we have in stock.  I'm going to be doing lots of little videos in future to show the goodies that I'm selling but I'll also be doing some chatty vlogs where I tell you allll about my crafty adventures as well as books I've read, films I've watched and recipes I've tried.  I am going to really bend your ear.  Haha. 

You can find my youtube channel by searching for Nicki Franklin on the YouTube site but there is also a tab here on my website that will direct you straight to it.  It's just in the navigation bar under the website header.

Thanks for being such a kind and lovely bunch, supporting me on my journey as you always do.  Couldn't do it without you.

See you soon 

Nicki 

x0x

Christmas Preparation

I had hoped to blog much more often than this but time is whizzing by.  I could do with a few slo-mo days to be honest.

There were lots of lovely photographs shared on Instagram and Facebook for my little 30 Days of Hygge challenge and I'll share some of those later in the month.  They will make you feel super cosy; check out the hashtag if you get a chance in the meantime.   I am planning another little challenge for January, to get through the winter months.  Emma at Silver Pebble always has a lovely 'making winter' hashtag on Instagram which I get lots of inspiration from and I can definitely recommend that you take a peek at that too.  

Anyway, we're all busy so I'll keep my news brief and to the point:

  • I had my eyelids flipped inside-out today at the opticians.  Super-glamorous optician was apparently checking the underside of my lids for allergies and irritants.  I was quietly appalled.  It was gross.  Who even knew you could tuck your eyelids inside-out and they'd stay put? Bleurgh.
     
  • I haven't cooked a proper meal since mid-November.  We are living on ready-meals which we never have.  It feels kind of treat-y.  And those packets of ready prepared vegetables; how luxurious!   Marks & Spencer Gastro-pub Shepherd's Pie is my absolute favourite. 
     
  • I have developed a penchant for Whittard's Christmas Tea, a box of which was gifted to me by my lovely friend Laalaa.  It is so refreshing and festive; delicious with a small slice of Christmas cake.
     
  • Speaking of festive bakes, Nigella's gingerbread and Cherry Menlove's buttercream mince pies are at the top of my To Do list next week.
     
  • I always have my eldest niece Izzie in the Christmas holidays and I am enjoying preparing for our day together.  We are going to paint Christmas cards, decorate gingerbread houses and watch a Christmas film. I am so excited! Mum is going to join in too, so we will have a lovely day. 
     
  • I am currently reading The Girl in the Photograph and absolutely loving it.  
     
  • On Tuesday I will be attending my first ever watercolour class.  I am excited and nervous in equal measure.
     
  • My grandmother is preparing to have a pacemaker fitted.  My sister and I had an interesting conversation tonight about what a pacemaker looks like.  I envisioned a kitchen timer, she thought perhaps more like a SIM card.  I was closer to the reality, which surprised me.

My biggest news is that The Little Green Door celebrated its first year of trading this week.  I am so proud that I have made it this far and built a good foundation for a second year of trading.  I haven't taken a salary at all this year so money has been tight but it has been so worth it.  

We are off to Bath this weekend for some quality time together and then I am attending a small local fair on Sunday afternoon before we pack away our stall for the year.  We will be processing website orders and posting them all over the Christmas break but if you are shopping for bits and pieces in time for Christmas then I would recommend ordering by Friday 16th December for guaranteed delivery.

Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by.

Nicki X 

 

The Country Brocante Winter Fair

 Little scandi-style gnomes, handmade from antique linen.  Small army coming to the brocante.

Little scandi-style gnomes, handmade from antique linen.  Small army coming to the brocante.

 Making little wool houses, drinking tea and eating prettily wrapped chocolate.

Making little wool houses, drinking tea and eating prettily wrapped chocolate.

 Love little houses.

Love little houses.

 Pretty silvered glass votives and distressed metal chamber sticks coming to the brocante.

Pretty silvered glass votives and distressed metal chamber sticks coming to the brocante.

 Furry supervisor.

Furry supervisor.

I have got my head down at the moment, rushing around preparing for the Country Brocante Winter Fair which we will be exhibiting at this weekend.  If you are planning to attend, I'd love for you to pop over to say hi.  In the absence of any 'proper' photos I have attached a few iphone snaps which give a flavour of my week.

Andrew, my husband (and head of finance, packaging and logistics for The Little Green Door) is running the stand with me this time.  He has taken some time off work to travel with me, set up the stand and he plans to run the stall each day with me too.  He *says* he wants to meet customers but I think he is going to keep his eye on me; the shopping there is fantastic and last time I came home with a pair of pale pink garden chairs in my friend's already jam-packed car! 

We are staying in a shepherd's hut close to Cowdray and I am so excited.  There is a tiny kitchen area, cute shower room and a little woodburner so we won't miss many home comforts.  I hope it is as romantic as it sounds!  My lovely Mother in Law and her dog Daisy are babysitting Lizzie so she will have a wonderful time too.

The fair is at Cowdray Park in Midhurst this Friday 25th and Saturday 26th November.   Buy tickets and find more information here

Right, I am off to dig out my blackboards, attach noses to gnomes and then I hope to embroider a few hanging hearts in front of The Crown (have you seen it?  It is SO good.  The music gives me goosebumps).  

See you soon! 

Love love

Nicki 

xOx

The Beehive Embroidery - Beginning

My next embroidery project is in the hoop!  I have spent the last few days pulling together some images and flicking through my vintage books for floral inspiration.  I have also pulled out the fabrics and some of the threads that I think will work with the colour palette I am using.  This piece is going to be a framed picture; an antique style wooden beehive surrounded by flowers in delicate blues, soft whites and poppy red.  I have sketched a (very rough) design just to give me something to work from in terms of sizing and placement but now that the beehive is in situ I can just randomly add flowers and grasses to where I think they look best as I work.  I prefer that my embroidery develops in this way because it means that each piece is unique.

I have cleared my diary to ensure that I have plenty of time to work on the beehive and there are a few films that I've been wanting to watch for ages (Testament of Youth, XandY and Enchanted April) so I'm going to have a really lovely week!  

I joined a restorative yoga class last Tuesday and I'm off to my second session tomorrow.  It is absolutely the most wonderful thing I have treated myself to in ages.  The venue is beautiful, the teacher is hugely inspiring and the practise is just what I need to help calm my busy mind.  The yogi, Lisa, also teaches on the use of essential oils for wellbeing and I went to a workshop on Friday evening.  It was amazing.  Such a warm and nurturing experience.  I am skeptical of the benefits these things claim to bring but also open-minded and wanted to give it a try.  I created a personal blend, with input from Lisa, specifically to help me focus and clear my mind.  I spritz myself every morning before I sit down to a ten-minute guided meditation (I like the app 'Calm' which I use on my phone) and - I am not kidding - I have been so productive every day!  I feel like I have magic fairy dust shooting through my veins, haha!  Next I think I'd like an essential oil blend to stop me eating so much chocolate..... 

Thanks for stopping by; have a great week.

Love

Nicki 

xOx

The Spooky Month!

pumpkin hollow final.jpg

I am so excited to welcome October and release the final Autumnal scented candles that we have in stock from 1803 Candles.  Hocus Pocus, Yummy Pumpkin Seeds and Pumpkin Hollow are all really gorgeous autumnal fragrances and their jar labels are very festive! Perfect whether you go all out for Halloween decorations or like to give just a subtle nod to the season.  Shop now here

I have lots of plans for October, both from a work perspective and personally.  I had fun updating my Bullet Journal this afternoon with my plans for the month and I have written a blog schedule so that I can blog every day without having writer's block.  

I was given the all-clear to wear contact lenses again on Thursday as my eye has healed.  Hooray! I am taking it steady and only wearing them for short amounts of time at the moment but my mood has improved vastly!  It is so nice to see properly without a thick and heavy pair of glasses on my face that steam up every time I pull something out of the oven or slide down my nose with sweat. It is also brilliant to be wearing make-up again and remember that I do actually have a pair of eyes rather than two tiny raisins squished into my face (which is how I felt in my specs).  

Oh! And I can drive Mabel, my new little car!  My lovely friend Lynda (Laalaa) came to visit me again yesterday - we have managed to get together loads this summer, it has been great - and we had a proper tour of Northamptonshire in my minty pride and joy.  We had such a lovely day fabric shopping, stationery shopping, lunching and drinking coffee.  Although it has to be said, Lynda still gripped the door handle a little too tightly when I was driving, I think I still scare her even though Mabel is much slower than my Mini.   To top off a lovely day I went to an aromatherapy class at a divine yoga studio yesterday evening with Debs.  There's really nothing better than spending time with treasured friends is there.  

We are going to settle in front of the TV now to start Season 3 of The Bridge.  We have boozy drinks, blankets and a bowl of Hula Hoops.  Perfect Saturday night in doncha think.

Love love

Nicki 

xOx

 

An Autumn Evening Walk

It has been all over social media today; the first day of Autumn, officially!  The Autumn Equinox. 

It has been a beautiful day.  The sun has shone but it has been pleasantly cool.  I started the day slowly with my knitting and a cup of coffee, watching the birds feeding in the garden.  It's nice now that the hedges are losing their leaves as the birds are more visible.  The longer I sit, the braver they become; I could spend the whole morning there given half a chance.  

I like to start my mornings slowly and mindfully where possible as I find it a really positive way to begin the day.  I try to get up when Andrew leaves the house at 6:30am so I have a good hour to dedicate to breakfasting, knitting and quiet reflection.  I also use that time to review my bullet journal and the things that need to be done that day.  

These last two weeks have not been ordinary for me at all.  Having damaged my cornea last week I have had to take time out to rest and recover.  With my eye particularly sensitive to light, it has been difficult to watch the television or use my computer screen for any period of time and so I have been mostly listening to audio books, stitching, knitting and snoozing.  I have had lots of (mainly edible) presents delivered from my lovely friends and Debs came to fetch me yesterday to take me to knit club at a cosy cafe.  It was only for a couple of hours but so nice to see the knitting ladies again over tea and crumpets.

Fingers crossed, I am over the worst of it now and feel much better. The sun was shining when Andrew got home from work and so after a hasty snack for dinner we laced up our walking boots and headed for the nature reserve with the dog.  The sun was just setting and the hedgerows were laden with rosehips, berries and crab apples.  The meadows were alive with rabbits and the sky was full of flying, honking geese.  It was, as always, utterly peaceful and I feel content having ended my day in much the same way as it began.  

Earlier today I updated the website with some new arrivals of Autumn candles and soy melters. White Pumpkins, a Little Green Door bestseller (and my personal favourite) is back in stock and I can totally recommend Apple Butter House if you fancy treating your home to a fruity, autumnal feel as the nights draw in.  If you haven't tried 1803 Candles before and you're not sure you will like them, it's worth picking up a couple of packets of melters.  The scent throw is fantastic and they are great value for money as each block breaks into six squares; you use one or two depending on the size of your warming device.  Grandma's Kitchen and Cookie Kitchen are lovely nostalgic baking scents, perfect for the heart of the home.  I have a Lavender Buds melter in the bedroom, Cider Mill for the living room and Nutty Pumpkin Waffles in the kitchen. (It's worth me mentioning that I only have one lit at a time because the scent throw is so good that it lingers around the house and any more would be overkill.)

I am off now to finish writing my Autumn bucket list; I have a cosy blanket, hot tea and fluffy pink slippers waiting for me. Then - excitingly for me - I have new beauty products to try including a pumpkin enzyme face scrub and avocado night cream.  A cheer-up gift from my lovely man.

Love love,

Nicki 

xOx

Windy Days and Scented Candles

Hello hello! I am going to start by saying happy birthday to my lovely dad.  He's had a bit of a rubbish day by the sound of it so I want to just remind him how ace I think he is and how much I love him.  (I'm also a bit broke, dad, if you've got a spare tenner?....)  Haha.   It's my friend Mel's birthday too *waves* happy birthday lovely! 

It has been so windy these last couple of days, I hardly slept a wink last night.  I know that our house has remained standing for 400 years but it still gives me the heebies when I hear the wood beams creaking and the window frames rattling.  I am not a fan of being outdoors in the wind - it gives me horrible earache.  Lizzie no likey either, so we've stayed in all day.  I got some knitting done (I have joined in with the Martin Storey knit along for Rowan) and watched the last few episodes of The Affair.  I really loved that series.  Loved it.  I did not love Noah (in fact I felt quite repulsed by him) but Cole goes a long way to restore your faith in a chap.  The scenery and cinematography was a treat.  Next on the 'To Watch' list is War & Peace.  I've recorded them all and haven't watched a single one so I will pick a quiet day when I can watch them back to back.  So excited - everyone seems to have loved it.

I've had some new deliveries in this week that I need to add to the site.  Today I received the first batch of my 1803 candles order.  I have been so excited for them to come in.  They are only really available in America - I have become just the second distributor in the UK which makes me very happy.  If you haven't tried them before you really should - they are divine.  They are hand poured soy candles and the fragrances are delightful.  They come in gorgeous packaging and, unlike a lot of scented candles, the scent throw is really good. When I light mine I can smell them all the way through the house.  The little rustic tin buckets arrived first, in the following 'flavours':

Lavender Lemongrass: Used for generations to sooth the weary soul...A blend of Natural Lavender and Lemongrass

Cabin on the Hill: Simple and peaceful the cabin looks on the hill...Woody Spice, Leaves, and Fresh-Cut Greens

Hearth Cakes: Just baked cake kept warm by the hearth...1803's snickerdoodle cake

Friendship: Old friends are never far away...Spices with a warm pie crust

The Lavender Lemongrass and Cabin on the Hill are both quite fresh, outdoorsy scents.  Hearth Cakes and Friendship are cosy, spiced baking scents.  All are lovely.  I don't know which to light first! 

More, larger, ones are en route as we speak.  The next lot are in mason jars with black lids, still very rustic and primitive in a few difference scents.  It is so nice to have found a good scented candle in an attractive jar.  So much nicer than Yankee Candles and I even like them more than my old favourite, Bath & Body Works.  I urge you to try them! You won't look back! 

I've also had a bumper delivery of fabric ready to be transformed into lovely things for the Lollyrocket fair on 27th February.  I will, of course, be listing some handmade pieces in the shop too.  I had carved out the whole of this week to break the back of my to do list but so far haven't even switched on my sewing machine. I will definitely *definitely* start tomorrow.  No more procrastination.  

Enjoy your week, everyone.  Thanks, as always, for stopping by to read my ramblings.  

Love

Nicki 

x0x

 

 

 

 

 

Busy-ness

Hello hello!  I have been so busy this week, it has been ace but only now do I feel even remotely organised or relaxed.  I had quite a big House Doctor order delivered to me earlier in the week which I'd placed before Christmas and it has taken a lot of work to sort through.  I was really excited for everything to come because the glass candle boxes are so different from a lot of things that we get here in the UK.  The rustic simplicity of them looks perfect with the faded florals I love so much.  I'd sampled a few candle holders prior to ordering but I've sneaked myself a copper one and the gorgeous pinky tint of the metal looks really lovely with my white John Lewis lantern in the conservatory.   I'll do a bit of a show and tell either tomorrow or Tuesday because obviously there are some in the shop for you too!  :)

I still have some bits and pieces to upload and I'll have new stock coming in on a weekly basis so I'm trying to get myself into a bit of a routine.  (Currently obsessed with this website at the moment, where inspiring people share their morning routines!)

It's hard work having my own little shop but I'm enjoying every minute of it.  I am gaining experience in all areas of small business and it's a learning curve doing everything myself.  I lug heavy boxes around (thanks to Health & Safety training at my previous job I've got the golfers' lift off to a tee*), I sumo wrestle with giant rolls of bubble wrap and my vocab is far more varied than it used to be - you should hear the swear words I've blurted out when struggling with techy things on my website.  I'd make a sailor blush.  I'm not earning any money so I can't afford treats but I'm happier than I have ever been.  

Although I've had some late nights with stock and orders, this week I've still managed to spend an afternoon knitting in front of Once Upon A Time, took my niece to toddler group and had brunch on Friday morning with a lovely new friend.  

We went to my MIL's for one of her amazing roast dinners today and I came home to cuddle up with a book and a blanket.  Promptly had a two-hour nap.  It has been the most perfect day.

Have a good week everyone!

Nicki 

xox

*sorry

PS My site doesn't automatically accept paypal payments; I am working on an acceptable solution (learning curve, much?!) but if you'd rather pay by paypal please feel free to email me and I'll send an invoice super-quick for you to pay.  

School Fair and Shop Launch

On Thursday evening I had my first fair for The Little Green Door.  It was  just a school Christmas fair at my niece's primary school and I didn't expect to sell much but knew it would be a good opportunity to practise setting up my stall and trial my handmade display boards.  It was also really lovely to be in the vicinity of my niece who, in her silver sequinned dress and hairband was dashing around the school hall with her best friend in an excitable frenzy.  (She'd got 'Santa' sussed though and told me with a puzzled expression that "it wasn't Santa, it was Mr Foster.")  I had to concentrate really hard on keeping a straight face.  

The fair was good, if a little quiet.  It was pouring with rain on Thursday which I think kept people indoors, which was a shame.  Happily, I had a lady selling amazing macarons next to me and she kept my blood sugar levels up.

My gingerbread man wreaths were the most popular item on my stall and I've been making more this weekend.  Since going live with my little online shop this evening, I've sold out again but if you were hoping to bag one don't worry as I'll be making more tomorrow.  Please email me if you'd like me to make one to order.

Truth be told, since going to the Caroline Zoob workshop on Tuesday, all I have wanted to do is make paper decorations, cards and gift tags.  I've been buying loads of antique papers and a huge spool of antique linen thread so I'm going to have a nice afternoon to myself one day this week, with a mince pie and some carols on the radio.  

If you ever have the chance to attend a Zoob workshop I would definitely recommend it. Caroline hosts them from various venues around the country but the two I have been to have been in the most amazing homes of her friends.  Tuesday's workshop was in a lovely country home in the Cotswolds.  The host, Jane, was very warm and friendly - she also made the most delicious lunch.  We finished the day with mince pies and tea by the log burner.  I could have stayed the week.  It was so relaxing.  Caroline brings with her a stash of vintage fabrics, antique papers and her lovely patterns.  We made loads on Tuesday, it was very productive day! 

I'm about to give the husband a 'boost' into the loft so that he can fetch down the Christmas decorations.  We bought our trees today - a bit earlier than usual this year but next weekend is set to be a busy one so I thought I'd start the festivities early.  

Have good week - speak soon.

oXo

PS just wanted to confirm to my international readers that I am happy to post overseas.  If you select the 'international' option at checkout I will contact you separately to confirm postage costs.  I will send by the safest and most economical method for you and will check your preference before actioning.  

 

  

Christmas is Go!

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I have been overrun with gingerbread men.  This is not a bad thing - I love gingerbread men.  An idea to make a couple and attach to a wreath turned into a full-scale military operation this week as I prepare for a Christmas fair at my niece's school tomorrow evening.  Sewing gingerbread men and watching the Christmas Movie channel is getting me into the festive spirit and this weekend I'll be pouring my first snowball.

Niece is very excited about my attendance at the fair.   (The gingerbread man idea was hers, she thought they would be nice for teacher gifts, I think she'll be excited to see them on wicker wreaths.)  Only last week she was apparently writing up recipes so that we could both make cupcakes together and sell them:  "You should get a shop, Auntie Nicki.  I'll come and work for you when I'm 30."  She rang me after school today to let me know that she's bought "something Christmassy that you can eat!" as a present for me.  When I subsequently quizzed my sister, I found out that Izzie bought some biscuits at Waitrose over the weekend that she thinks we can sell.  Love her.  

I'll be back on Friday with photos from my stall and - all being well! - I'll have started to list a few bits in my shop.  Remind me to tell you about my day with Caroline Zoob, making Christmas cards.  I went to one of her workshops yesterday and had the loveliest time.  I feel all chilled out and Christmassy now.

Laters, loves! 

Nicki 

oXo

PS Have you tried M&S Shimmering Snowy Road Bites?  You must! They are amazing.