My partner and I recently started a new series of articles for Strong Island called Dwelling. Its about the homes of Portsmouth residents that are in some way beautiful, interesting or tell a story.

You can read the interview with participants Rudy and Anna here and view all the images on a blog we set up for Dwelling.

I think you’ll agree there home is unique and full of love.




Rabbit Day winners




I asked you to tell me why handmade toys are better than massed produced factory ones?

I got so many wonderful answers via instagram and the website, it was very hard to choose three winners. Please don’t be sad if you didn’t win, as I said it was a very close call.

The three winners are…

Billie Cawte

Debi 9 Kids

Making Mondays

I liked Making Mondays response…

I’ve always loved handmade toys. My grandma used to sew me stuffed animals and my grandpa built me some wooden ducks. They were very cool, they were just for me. None of my friends had anything like that. And now that my grandparents are gone, the toys will be a way to share part of my grandparents with my children.

I think we tend to keep handmade or artisan products for generations as it means so much more and is not just a disposable item. The wooden ducks sound adorable.

Please email your postal addresses to oohlalapin@gmail.com

ooh la lapin

I love Julie Arkell



If I can be half as good an artist as Julie Arkell one day and as radiant oh that would be pretty neat. I first came across her work about 5 years ago and it instantly made a huge impression on me. The mix of paper mache, and fabrics, fairytale characters and folk art, I was smitten.

Artists like Julie inspire me to keep making toys and to never let go of the childlike innocence that drives my work.

My life has been filled with lovely things but also terrible things, from a very anxious childhood where I was bullied and always unsettled to an early onset of mental illness around age 12. Perhaps thats why I do what I do, I can finally be me, make animals and dress in bright clothes and dye my hair bright colours. I no longer have to be afraid.

Thanks Julie, from your inspired fan, Louise x





Happy world rabbit day competition!

win rabbits

Hooray there are three chances to win a bunny today to celebrate World Rabbit Day. My wonderful namesake, the first toys I started to make were very simple hand stitched rabbits. This is why I chose the name Ooh la Lapin.

So how do you win one of these cute guys?

Simple tell me why handmade toys are much better than a mass produced factory one?

You can either leave a comment on this post, on the facebook page, via twitter using the hashtag #oohlalapin or on instagram using the image above and the #oohlalapin hashtag. Wow so many ways.

im looking for heartfelt answers and a celebration of handmade!

Good Luck and big love to all the worlds bunnies x

Things I like…

Every now and again it’s nice to think about whats currently inspiring you as a creative, I guess thats why Pintrest and Tumblr et al are so awesome. So I guess this is what’s making me feel rad at the moment and things to look forward to.

I really like listening to Plume Giant. Gentle, whimsical, poetic and perfect for staring out of windows too and cuddling up in a blanket. Also great to make stuff to!


Another favourite past time when I’m not working, running around after kids/dog or looking after the house is curling up with a good magazine. Two magazines I have fallen in love with recently are Flow and Lionheart.

Flow hails from the Netherlands (I love it there, so much beauty!) and is filled to the brim with inspiration, imagery, fabulous articles, recipes, creativity and each page makes you smile. The 2nd international edition is available now.


Lionheart magazine is perfectly handbag sized and is produced in the UK. I really enjoy the tone of the publication, its like going for a cuppa with a great friend who recommends ace places to visit and tells you entertaining stories and gives you enviable style advice.  It’s well worth £5 as it has a great coffee table feel with its thick paper and wonderful artwork, a real keeper!


I want to go and stay at the Flying Pancake B & B in Amsterdam. My partner and I are planning a trip to Amsterdam by train this winter and I think we have found the perfect place to stay and we have searched endlessly for the perfect mix of style, design and location. Just outside the hustle and bustle it will be perfect for the much needed getaway with a touch of romance. It will be my first holiday in three years and the first time I have spent more than one night away from my disabled son for a long time.



Autumn and winter food and drink!!!

Apple and Cheddar scones from Smitten Kitchen.




Creamy Pan Fried Mushrooms and Poached Egg from Island Menu, truly wonderful photography and food!




700th post giveaway!

Hooray I have hit my 700th post! So to celebrate I will be giving away a toy duck to one of my lovely readers.

Im so happy with the blog and things will be changing soon, you will reach a static homepage and be able to find the shop, blog posts and other bits from this page. It might not be for awhile so keep an eye out for changes.



To win this patchwork duck just leave a comment telling me what you love about Ooh la Lapin!

Good Luck lovely readers!

Fresh Mackerel Pate


Beautiful, fresh and abundant. The Mackerel inhabits the waters around Britain and is a great alternative to more expensive farmed fish. 

  • 2 deboned Mackerel fillets
  • Soft Cheese
  • 2 Spring Onions finely chopped
  • 2 pickled gherkins cut into small cubes
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salt & Pepper to season

Fillet your Mackerel or get your deli counter/fishmonger to do so. Leave the skin on for the cooking precess.

Cook for a few minutes on each side till lightly browned. Leave the fish to cool and then flake the fish into a bowl.

Add 2 large tablespoons of soft cheese, the chopped spring onion, gherkins, 1 large teaspoon of mayonnaise to the flaked fish. Mix together until smooth, season with salt and pepper. Yum!