Sunday, 11 December 2011

Jingle Bells

I'm having a bit of a moment - Little Miss L and I decorated our Christmas Tree together for the first time yesterday.  For years, Christmas was more about enjoying the time away from work but now thanks to our 2 year old, we've got the magic back and we're stirring up the excitment of Father Christmas and his reindeer so much I'm starting to believe again myself!  To see her little face light up with all things Christmas is so lovely.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Rugby Ralph Lauren Tweed Run

The recently made blue and yellow bunting was used at the London Tweed Run on Nov 26th held in partnership with Rugby Ralph Lauren.

The Tweed Run is a super stylish 12 mile bike ride across London with cyclists dressed as dapper gents and dashing ladies - click here to check out some photos on flickr.

Being such a small and new business, getting the Ralph Lauren order has been such a confidence boost which I need to keep building on.  I have to admit that I was more than a bit chuffed to see my stuff being used!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Mega Bunting Delivered

Mission accomplished!  Managed to complete the 100m of bunting on Tuesday and then pack it all up (which took 2 hours!!!) and deliver it to Ralph Lauren yesterday in time for their event at the weekend.   I'm so pleased with myself that I was actually able to do this - the longest I've made is 5m so 100m seemed very daunting not least the thought of making 400 flags!

I had to call in the big guns (my Mum) just to help me make a good start as I had my first craft fair in between too - but we got there in the end. 

Making such a big order has shown that I need to make a few changes around here for us all to be able to work and live in the same house as the mega bunting took over the whole place!  So, top of my Christmas Wish List is a new bigger house or a lovely warm large shed in the garden - Mr L, what do you think??

Failing that a bigger ironing board would be most useful! 

Sunday, 20 November 2011

How did it go?

Christmas Fair yesterday...........not sure how I feel about this yet- not quite success, not quite a failure.

I was so nervous - what if nobody bought anything, what if people turned their nose up at my stuff, what if the other sellers things were much better than mine!  I set up my table and checked out the competition and have to say that I easily fitted in so no more worries on that note.

As for sales - I only made 1 in the first 2 hours!  I was starting to get really disheartened - at that rate I wouldn't even cover the cost of table.  After a pep talk from Mr L (and a much needed packed lunch!), I changed my pricing and things picked up a little - I may have just have broke even.

Still, this was my first craft fair and I can't expect to be a success at the first attempt - I learned a few things and would do things differently next time although having Little Miss L as a sales girl  was quite a draw so she's a keeper!

In the meantime, I still have that large order to complete....25 meters to go

Monday, 14 November 2011

Need to keep going...

Last week I had an unexpected phone call requesting 650m of bespoke bunting in 2 1/2 weeks.  Unsurprisingly, I had to turn that down....but, they rang back and asked for at least some!  I crazily took this as a sign and agreed to make 100m - my biggest order yet!

So, here I am...not quite half way through and shattered.  We still have the Christmas Fair this weekend and I have a few things left to make and Little Miss L is recovering from having croup.  Fingers crossed at least some sales this weekend and at least a couple of good nights sleep!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Date for your diary - 19th November!!

I've made a bit of a leap and have booked myself a stall at a Christmas fair in November.  It seemed a good idea at the time but now I realise that I need to make a tonne of stuff to a) fill up my table space and b) sell!

I've been thinking about having a stall for a while and then came across a poster for the fair at the Community Centre nearby - it seemed an ideal opportunity as it's indoors and the table is provided meaning I don't need to fork out for any equipment.  So, even while Little Miss L and I were spending a few days away with family last week, it means spending every available minute making.

The Christmas Fair is the 19th November at the Hythe Centre, Thorpe Road, Staines  - come along if you happen to be in the area......there's even an inflatable snow dome (I don't really know what this is but it sounds intriguing!)

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Handmade Christmas Decorations now available

Gosh, it was just as well I started Christmas prep early, turns out we have no tree!  We could have easily got to just days before Christmas and not even realised - is this what is meant by "everything happens for a reason"?  I start a business, make decorations for sale and discover we have no tree prompting a quick online buy of tree.  Mmm, I'm hoping starting a business will lead to slightly bigger things but I'll take it for now.  We have narrowly escaped a frantic Christmas Eve chase for a tree!

Well, everything is sorted now.  Below are pictures of said new tree with handmade Christmas decorations now available from my shop - reindeer, Christmas puddings and snowflakes.  Prices start at £5 for a set of 3 reindeer and snowflakes and £6 for 3 puddings.

We will be having these on our tree this year as I really like the homemade look of them; the puddings are my favourite!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Christmas Countdown

It is totally against everything I have always done, but this week - October 3rd, I started preparing for Christmas!  Previously, any early prep involved stockpiling Christmas food treats which were then found and eaten by Mr L; my usual routine is too think about Christmas a lot but leave most things until the last minute.  Every year, I think that we could do with some lovely new decorations for our little tree but leave it far too late and am left with a hotch potch choice of garish and broken glass!

Not this year though!  Our tree will be decorated by these lovely handmade decorations which I'll also be selling in my shop.  These are only a prototype to get the shapes right, the colours will be different and a few more finishing touches will be added but you get the basic idea.....

It seems especially odd to make Christmas puddings and snowflakes in 28 degree heat!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Taking Photos

Gosh, it feels like a while since I wrote - umm, let me think what I have been up to - finishing orders, sending out quotes, making curtains for Little Miss L's playhouse, book-keeping (at last, I think I may have got my head around it!), thinking about new products and trying to make the best of my limited photography skills and equipment!

Now that the weather is turning, I will have to find another way of snapping my products for the shop. All my photos so far have been taken in my garden making the most of the little sunshine we did have this year but I don't think a grey drizzly day really sells bunting!

So, I brought a pop-up light tent on ebay and a daylight bulb for my lamp to try out some indoor photos:

I think the photo's turned out much better than my previous efforts:

However, there are some minor issues:

1. The light tent is soooo big, it practically takes up my whole sewing space and I have to get in it to arrange anything.

2. Mr L recently pointed out that my camera has about 9 million pixels less than the cheapest camera currently on the market (mmm, a new camera might be in order here!)

3. My pop-up lightbox won't fully pop-down.  It is one of those annoying flexible frame things that is supposed to fold up and go back into it's little dinner plate sized bag but I have been fighting with it all afternoon and it's not happening.  Still, won't need to workout for a while with all that wrestling!

Thursday, 8 September 2011


Mr L has come over all hunter-gatherer.  Last night we went on a butchery course at The Ginger Pig in London; as he was back late last night and up early for work this morning I haven't had a chance to find out if he enjoyed it. 

However, I was a bit shocked this morning to find this in the fridge - it's huge!!

It's taken up half the fridge! I'm not even sure it will fit in the oven - I hope he knows how to cook it as I guess this is Sunday lunch....and Monday lunch, Tuesday lunch.....

Monday, 5 September 2011

A new look

The eagle eyed of you will have no doubt noticed my blog has a new look!  I have recently had a logo designed which I'm really please with and so I'm working my way through all my online bits and pieces updating everything.  Whilst doing this, thought I would add a gallery page so that you can keep tabs on all my products - please take a look on the next page.

Also, a special hello to all the readers in the US, Germany and Russia!

Here is my new logo - what do you think??

Thursday, 1 September 2011

New Wedding Bunting

I've just added a new line to my Simple Things eshop - wedding bunting in 3 designs.

All 3 designs are shown in cream cotton fabric with black lettering and matching black bias binding (which I think looks really good) but if you would like any or all of this bunting to match your wedding colour scheme, please let me know.

Wedding Bunting:

Just Married Bunting:

Mr & Mrs Bunting:

Each length of bunting is available for £20 each or all three designs for £50. 

I hope you like it.  (Thank goodness for sunny days - not sure what I'll do in the winter!!)

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Libraries Rule

Our router died on Friday night.  Mr L spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to persuade internet people that we will need a new one - it took about 5 phone calls over 3 days to get it sorted! A bit of a problem when you have an on-line shop, facebook and blog to keep up to date but never fear, the local library has come to the rescue!

Free internet use for up to 2 hours a day - result!  I've always loved a library....

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

New - Personalised Baby Bunting

I've recently added 2 new items to the Simple Things website - Personalised Baby Bunting. 

The Baby Bunting will be made up of 10 flags and feature your chosen name in either raspberry pink or white - both available from

Available in pink with lovely raspberry pink lettering:

And blue with white lettering, perfect for little boys:

Coming soon - brand new wedding items!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

It worked

I'm so happy my previous post worked worked - I actually added some HTML code!!! Crikey!

This somewhat cancels out the fact I have just added myself 3 times (yes, THREE times) to someone else's website by mistake.  I have so much to learn!

Pinterest - Get Inspired

I've just come across Pinterest - a website that lets you collect all those fabulous images you've seen and want to keep for inspiration.  I've gone in a started a board for my new home (Mr L - I hope you're taking note!) - if only we could get ours to look this stylish (and clean!) - check out my boards here.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Wedding Bunting a Success

Congratulations to my sister Jo who married Scott on Saturday - it was a lovely day and I hope you danced the night away!

The wedding bunting I made for Jo and Scott looked great at the reception and really fitted in well with the vintage look she had created.

If you like this bunting, you can find it in my shop here: Simple Things Wedding Bunting

The fabric can be changed to matched your wedding colours or we can use a lovely floral fabric to match your chosen theme.  Please contact me via my e-shop if you have a request:

Monday, 8 August 2011

Thank you postie!

Last night Mr L and I tried to make sense of bookkeeping.  Not an easy task given that neither of us has any experience in this area - I went to bed feeling more than a little overwhelmed with how much there is still to learn and set-up for Simple Things.  I naively thought that I would make some bunting, set -up a little website and watch the orders flood in (maybe not flood in perhaps!) while I enjoy creative moments and afternoons with Little Miss L in the sunshine.

I have so many To Do lists, I'm getting a bit lost.  I decided I just need to get my head down and plough on through and at some point I'll emerge with a shipshape business (and a clean home).  Elevenses might have to be postponed for a while!

I had just come to this conclusion when the postie knocked on the door to deliver my lovely new shoes for my sisters wedding this weekend - all is not lost!  I was momentarily distracted with my beautiful new shoes (8 cm stack heel with a hidden platform - perfect for some-one of less than average height and an issue with walking in heels).  I decided to do what women are best at - multi-task - press the fabric for my next project while wearing my shoes.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

An order!!

I'm very excited - I've just completed my first order!  Hopefully, the first of many.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Open for Business

At last I have managed to publish my very own website, horray!!

Please check it out for lovely fabric bunting and also my bespoke bunting service.  More products to come soon...

Monday, 25 July 2011

A little project

I'm now late at publishing my website by over a week - perhaps I was a little optimistic in my abilities to build a website.  Ask me about Good Clinical Practice and EU Directives and I could hold my own, even a debate about Charlie & Lola versus Peppa Pig and I could come up with something coherent but start talking HTML, variants and code.....I'm lost.

I'm making small steps every day and getting closer but my enthusiasm is taking a dip.  Couple this with attempting to get Miss L to say goodbye to her dummy is making for a tough time.  In order to try and keep my interest up, I've ordered some lovely faric that I'm hopig will arrive soon and in the meantime, I knocked up a little storage bag for Little Miss L's toys.....don't you hate it when all the little bits get lost at the bottom of the toybox never to be played with again.  Hopefully this should help (and probably explains why my website is late - oopps!)  

Monday, 18 July 2011

The Idea

This all started about 18 months ago when Mr L gave me a sewing machine.  At the time I thought it a bit odd and it sat in it's box for 6 months - then little Miss L's first birthday came up and I decided to make some "Happy Birthday" bunting for her party.  Since then I've been hooked making things for my home.

Returning to work after maternity leave didn't really work out - I had to travel and Mr L's working hours are long and inflexible.  Plus having built a career and then finding it nigh on impossible to find a part time position at the same level I was at previously - I had to take a step back in responsibility and salary.  Probably not an unfamiliar story for most working mothers!  So, I had been racking my brains for an alternative.  I had a brain wave, Mr L said go for it so here I am very close to launching my own business and hopefully making family life a bit easier.

Hope it all goes to plan....

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

My first post!!

My very first post at, well, a little past elevenses as it's taken me a while to get up and running!  So, now we're all here, why read my blog?

6 weeks ago I quit my job to try my hand at running my own business - making simple things to brighten up your home and selling them from my website -  (coming soon!).

Sounds simple.  However, having been an employee for the past 15 + years, going it alone has been a little dauting.  Throw into the mix a toddler fast approaching her second birthday (who it seems has been sick more times in the last 6 weeks than ever before) and a home that doesn't seem to want to run itself - there seems to be a few things going on.

The plan is to share with you the ups and downs of setting up Simple Things whilst also looking after my family and hopefully having the opportunity to try some other creative things.  Hope you enjoy reading.