The joy of buying handmade!

Don’t be afraid to give handmade, crafted or vintage as gifts.

A staggering 80% of my birthday gifts this year were handmade or vintage/charity shopped. I think a good rule to give yourself for buying gifts this Christmas could be 50/50, it’s manageable and fun to track down locally produced goods and the other 50% can be whatever you like. If you can manage 100% local shopping, handmade/designed/crafted then that’s fantastic, but my 6 year old wants a Furby and even though I am self employed as a toy maker by trade not even I can manage to make one of those annoying things!

I will be trying to stick to my 50/50 rule and hopefully get a bit more handmade so perhaps a 70/30 split?

I actually think it makes you happier, I can’t scientifically prove it but I think it does. Here are some gift ideas to make you happy.

 

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Noodoll stamp set

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Oooh Betty (who donates 25% profit to charity)

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Mica Peet

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Felt Mountain Studio

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These Folk

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Kitties, new logo and shop.

I have some lovely soft cuddly Japanese printed linen kittens now in my store. Many more little ornaments coming soon, crochet and woodland themed toys. Check out the redesigned Ooh la Lapin shop.

Hope you like the new logo too, cotton presentation bags for all purchases will be printed with the round rabbit and stickers and pin badges will be available soon. All purchases will include these for free!

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Flash sale in my shop!

It’s time to make some room on the shelves of the little Ooh la Lapin shop. Most toys have a generous 50% off so its a great opportunity to treat yourself to a new friend or save one for someone special as a gift! Handmade cards are also in the sale at only 90p each.

The sale only lasts for one week so I hope you find a happy stitchy friend to love!

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Supplies, studio and fish.

I am so super lucky to have a fantastic craft cafe minutes away from my home on Albert Road. Make is a shop, cafe and offers tuition in a range of crafts from crochet to dress making in a relaxed and creative space. There is a good range of Japanese chino fabrics, designer prints and plains. I opted for some locally hand dyed fabric, beautiful trims and some plain cottons.

To have a play around I decided to make a hanging fish based on locals favourite catch the Mackerel. I also took some snaps of my studio space which is starting to fill up with toys and other handmade pieces. Expect more on Make soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lovely things: lacasadecoto

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You can find all these beautiful items for sale in the lacasadecoto shop on etsy. To be honest who wouldn’t love one of the colourful chunky crochet cushions?

I really like the rag rugs and saw some similar handmade ones on my travels in the Spanish Sierra Nevada mountains a few years ago. Makers were sat outside small mountain village houses weaving and rag rugging in tiny streets. It’s so wonderful how craft can evoke so many memories and feelings. Just one of the special things about owning a handmade piece.

 

You can also visit the beautiful lacasadecoto blog for more wonderfulness!

Flo & Stan have a new home!

Beautiful Southsea boutique Flo & Stan have moved a short distance for Albert Rd to the corner of Exmouth Rd. Lorna and Del the owners have been longtime supporters of my art work and stock my handmade toys. They also stock the most wonderful range of vintage, handmade, design and curios.

It makes me so happy to see my work alongside the likes of Rob Ryan and Phoebe Richardson!

The new shop is small, cute and very bijoux. Here are some pics I took on Saturday of the new space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Handmade shopping: Yellow

With all this happy beautiful sunshine it influences how I work. I feel like using yellow, green and orange fabrics and paints. So even when the dark wintery weather returns you have captured some sunshine in your handmade items.

The weather really does effect shopping habits and I think I am far more drawn to bright colours. Well. actually I’m drawn to bright colours anyway being a totally kitsch colour lover!

Here are some beautiful sunny handmade pieces for you to enjoy…

 

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Plush Fox Pillow by Laura frisk

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Natural wood earrings by Redemption Shore

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Seagull Print by Showler and Showler

 

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Custard Cream Cushion by Nikki McWilliams

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Backpack in Cable Cars by Ben The Illustrator

Off to market.

We all do it, spend wistful hours window shopping on the net. Im moving home in the next few weeks to a much bigger nest and cant wait to find new homes for all my precious tat. By this I mean my bunny and owl ornaments and charity shop paintings.

I also get a studio which I have to reluctantly share with my super organised photographer boyfriend. Half each, so guess which side is going to be wall to wall colour and kitsch?

Here is some lovely stuff I would like to buy, if I had money!

 

Urban Outfitters Toadstool £75

Inside out Mid Century Lamp, Folly and Glee £65

Crochet Hook Roll, Blue Rabbit House £21

 Bertoia chair and footstool, Lovely & Company £449

Boxed Soap, RE £5

Blanket Tote, Bonjour Johanna 80euro

Artist crush: Angela Chick

Recently I had the pleasure of being introduced to Angela Chick a talented illustrator who is leaving the beautiful seaside city of Brighton to come and reside in Portsmouth. Portsmouth is my hometown and I guess its not as awesome as Brighton, we still have a long way to catch up with Brighton’s vibrant creative personality. We are getting there though and the more lovely creative people who move here the more we are able to increase our reputation as an artistic hub especially my neighbourhood Southsea which has a great reputation for such goings on.

image of Southsea beach courtesy of: Often Hover

Here is a little bit about Angela:

Angela has experience with print and illustration, and has produced works including limited edition prints, accessories, soft furnishing textiles, and illustrations for magazines – as well as writing and designing two books on introducing art in early education. Most recently, Angela has launched a line of children’s wear featuring her playful illustrations.

It is so exciting to see fellow female artists and makers doing what they love, making it work and being successful!

 

 

 

 

You can find Angela’s work for sale online in her store or via Not on the High street.