Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Out with the old..

The sale has now ended which can mean only one thing..new stuff! Woo!

I'm very proud of everything I've made in the past, but my tastes have changed a lot since my time out and lately I've been yearning to create things that reflect my new style.

I said a few posts ago that I was going to add new items to my Etsy shop after the sale. That's still the case, but they are going to trickle in slowly now rather being added all together in one batch. I pride myself in making things well so I don't want to sell anything that I wouldn't buy myself. So with that in mind, a little more time is needed to master some new techniques first!

I seem to be tweeting more about my projects nowadays so if you'd like to read more and see the occasional photo, you can do so here. Despite all the obstacles that have been cropping up, progress is being made and I'm very excited about the new direction I'm moving in. 

Even if progress is a lot slower than I thought it would be! 

Sunday, 29 May 2011

How does your garden grow?

Last year was the first time I grew my own vegetables and as you would expect, there were some teething problems. My tomatoes got blight, caterpillars got the cabbages, my pumpkin plant got something I later found out to be powdery mildew and don't get me started on the slugs.

So this year, I got organised. I knew what I was going to plant, where I was going to plant it and I readied myself for the inevitable garden pests.
However, there was one pest I did not take in to account. Forget caterpillars, beetles, slugs, snails and greenfly. All of those combined have nothing on the sheer destructive force created by three curious hens. Four great escapes later and the veggie patch is still holding it's own. And I have pictures to prove it.

I found this little guy stuck in the conservatory. I put him on the lavendar and he stayed there for the next three hours.

Sweet peppers

My new favourite spot in the house

Pumpkins and sunflower

Courgettes, sunflowers and the surviving sweet peas

My one remaining gherkin plant


Tomatoes, sunflowers, pumpkins, courgettes, sweet peas...oh my!

The hens watching me tidy up after their mess making..again


Kitchen herbs

And this here is the patch that got the worst of it. The plants died and now it's all bare so I'm going to fill it with salad leaves. We'll see how long they last!

Friday, 27 May 2011

May's musical treat - Sam Brookes

Ok so granted I've already blogged about Sam in the past, but he is such a talented bloke and well worth checking out as his voice really is something else. At least, in my defence, I've posted a different song this time. In Weeks has been released as a single and if you're interested you can buy it on iTunes and Amazon.

Right, musical pimping over. I'll leave you to simply listen and love now.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

A change of plan

Does any one remember my grand plan of unveiling brand new stock next month?

Well since then I've had a case of the light bulbs and as a result my plans have changed a bit. My old stock is still up for sale for another week and as planned any remaining pieces will go to charity. Unfortuantely, at this point my old plan starts to get a bit squiffy..

I've decided to put a few items in my shop next week, but not as many as I was originally going to. Right now my head is crammed full of new and exciting ideas and I want to do ALL of them. It's very distracting.
And this is where the problems start because not all of these ideas are feasable with a full time job. I only have so much time to devote to them so something has to give.

That's why I've decided to change my original plan and hold back on the big shop relaunch for the time being. As I said, I will add a few pieces though. I love creating things and I really want to get the shop up and running again in some form or another.

I'm a little nervous if I'm honest as what I currently have in mind takes me well out of my comfort zone and I could of course, fail spectacularly. I'm not quite ready to go into more detail than that at the moment simply because I'm not even sure what I'm dealing with myself just yet!
It's all just a mess of ideas, thoughts and scribbles in notebooks right now. Rest assured when I'm clearer about what it is that I'm aiming towards, I will definitely share it here too.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Etsy Love

A while ago, the company I work for moved offices and since then, everyone has added personal touches to their desks. You know the sort of thing, family photos, plants, pretty pictures etc. Everyone that is except me. I'm not sure why I haven't done it yet, but my desk still looks the same as it did when we all moved in.

Enter Etsy! Last night I spent some quality time getting together a collection of work space related favourites and I thought I would share them here.
I absolutely love this cross stitch kit. It would look so cute on my pin board. And as I already have an old baked bin tin as my pen tidy I'm half way there!

Well let's be honest, we all have days like this and because I've seen so many "keep calm and carry on" prints that they've lost all meaning to me. Also because it makes me smile.

Probably one of the coolest mouse mats I've ever seen

Cute! Nuff said.

Unfortunately I have little to no natural light at my desk so I'm not sure anything would survive, but still. Surely even I could keep moss going?

And of course the obligatory family photos. I don't have in my house let alone on my desk, but I could be tempted to by these. 

Unfortunately these might have to remain on my favourites list for a while longer as I'm going to be flat broke for the next few weeks. But as good ol' Shakespeare said, poor and content is rich and rich enough. Although to be fair, he hadn't seen that mouse mat.

Friday, 20 May 2011


I haven't made it very well known, but I have a Twitter account so if you have one too, pop over and say hello!

I'm afraid I'm one of those annoying people who have made their tweets private though. No major reason, my tweets aren't top secret or anything. I'd just like to keep them private from work colleages. Ok so that does sound sort of juicy, but it's really not. I'm just a bit anal about who gets to know about my blog.

Which makes you guys spesh!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The Furries

It occurred to me recently that while I talk about them occasionally , I've never really introduced my kittens. So I'm here to put things right. Girls and boys, introducing to you, my cats.

Named as such because Lord of the Rings was huge when she was an actual kitten. She was this tiny little thing and when she hid in the dark, all you could see where these huge round eyes staring back at you. And well, Smeagol sounded better than Gollum don't you think?
Best known for: Giving good cuddles, talking a lot and being a stink.

One Christmas I was playing Disney's Trivial Pursuit with Dan's family and one of the questions was "What is the name of the raccoon in Pocahontas?" The answer was Meeko and I don't know why, but I just loved it and decided right then and there to call our second cat that even though we hadn't got her yet.
Best known for: Being a big, fluffy cutey, eating everything in sight and being a bit mental.

So there you have it folks. You've just gotten to know my family a little bit better.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Pumpkin - Plant to Pie

Earlier this spring, I started growing some pumpkins to make pies out of in the autumn. I did it last year and I swear the pumpkin tasted so much better than the shop bought ones you get around Halloween. What I didn't do was take many photos, so I thought it would be fun this year to document the whole process from start to finish.

Then I forgot about the idea and continued to not take photos of the whole process. Way to go Kim.

But I'm back on track now, photographs have been taken and so here it is folks, instalment one of another new feature, my Seed to Pie process.

I planted six seeds in total as I wasn't sure how many I'd get, four as it turned out, two in each pot and that's two more than I need. Pumpkin vines can get pretty big so I'm not sure what I going to do with the other two.

Still, these have been growing happily in the conservatory since March and are ready to be transplanted outside which I'll hopefully get a chance to do pretty soon before they burst out of their pots!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Happy List

Last winter I found getting up in the mornings really hard work. It was dark, I was tired, the bed was warm and the bedroom was not. Crawling out of bed in such conditions did not a happy Kim make.

So in order to distract myself from the cold and to try and maintain some level of positivity on those miserable winter mornings I created a little game for myself. As I blindly fumbled about in the dark, I would start listing ten things that I was grateful for. Needless to say back then, my big, fluffy dressing gown and woolly bed socks would usually appear in the list somewhere!

I play this game all the time now as it really does cheer me up and refocuses my thoughts on what is really important in my life. So I thought, why not make it a regular feature on my blog and share the things that make me happy with you guys too?

So here it is, ten things that I'm grateful for and that make me oh so happy right now.

1) Dan - I love just how much he makes me laugh, even when he doesn't mean to. For example, he mumbled something about a "stupid arsed bee" the other day because it kept flying into the window, then turned around and walked into the washing line. Ladies and gentlemen at the top of my list, my stupid arsed husband.

2) Sunflowers - As I mentioned in a previous post and can be guessed from simply looking at my blog picture, I like sunflowers. A lot. But then, who doesn't right?

3) Coffee. Another obvious one maybe given the title of this blog, but I really do love the stuff. Odd because when I first tasted it I thought it was the foulest thing I'd ever had. For the life of me I couldn't understand why anyone would drink it. Those days have long gone!

4) Friendship bracelets - I'm having something of a friendship braclet revival. I used to make these all the time at school so it's making me feel seriously nostalgic and happy to make them again.

5) Friday afternoons - Specifically that moment when you leave work and realise that you have the whole weekend stretching out in front of you. It's a feeling of relief and freedom and excitement all smooshed up in to one happy moment.

6) My vegetable patch - Regualr blog readers will know that I like to garden and my little veggie patch is keeping me well entertained this spring. It wasn't until I added it to this list though that I realised I don't have a photograph of it yet! So in the meantime, this one will have to do..I love the gardener's shoes!

7) Sunny weather - I know, I know. How British of me to bring up the weather, but as I am British, I am also only too aware how unpredictable it can be. We're having lovely weather at the moment, but this could soon disappear and we could have rain for the rest of the summer. It's happened before so I'm intending to enjoy it and be grateful for every ray while it's still here!

8) Rainy weather - Seeing as we've established that I'm a stereotypical Brit, I may as well include the rain in here. In little spurts, this is the good stuff. It waters my garden for me, fills up my water but and makes my plants look all green and happy looking.

9) Pimms - Sod it, let's stick with the British theme  shall we? I love, love, LOVE this stuff, but I can only drink it at this time of year. It's a summer drink and drinking it in the winter would be like having a glass of mulled wine right about now. And that would just be crazy.

Image source

10) Visits from old friends - And moving on from the Brit theme to a Dutch one instead, number ten on my happy list is the thought that my dear friend Lona will be back in Blighty tomorrow for a well overdue visit. She is a photographer and an awesome one at that. You can check out her work here.

So those are the things that are making me happy this Tuesday, what about you? What things are making you smile today?

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Roses are red, so is this brooch

So have you checked out my Etsy shop yet?
I've put my old stock back up for sale for a limited time only (the next 3 weeks). After that they will be gone forever so this is your last chance if you've seen anything you like.

I'm also offering free shipping to all my lovely blog readers! All you have to do is quote "FREEPOST01" when you go to checkout.

My shop is called The Small Things and I will be writing more about it in the future as I work towards building in to what I hope will one day be, a viable business.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Fabric love

Isn't this fabric AMAZING?? I fell in love with it the moment I saw it and even more so when it arrived in the post! Dan's not so convinced though. When I asked him what he thought he looked unconvinced and simply said "it's bright". 

I'm going to make a pair of curtains out of it for my little sewing corner. When I have time to start writing my Project Wednesday posts again I'll do an update. Until then, it will just have to sit next to the sewing machine and be patient.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Motivational poster

So the holiday is finally drawing to a close and it's back to work I go. I can't put into words just how amazing this holiday has been. In no great way, it's simply been very restful and fun. I feel like it's recharged my batteries and I feel more prepared for the busy month ahead.

I've also spent a lot of time thinking about time and how quickly it passes. About how easy it is to let a day slip through your fingers. You'd be forgiven here if you think I'm referring to those days where you procrastinate and don't check anything off your to do list. However I'm not.
I'm actually talking about those days when you have a to do list the size of your arm and you use up all your energy completing it. By which time, not only are you completely frazzled, but you don't have much of the day left to enjoy anyway. I do this a lot. 

This holiday has opened my eyes to that and made me realise that while it's good to have lists and get things done, it's about quality, not quantity. Make a list by all means, I am still a big fan of lists as they keep you focused, but keep them short. No more than five things, less if they're big jobs. Make your time count and whatever you do, make sure you've got time afterwards to enjoy your day. As trite as it sounds, you'll never get it back again.

So that's the story behind my little motivational poster I guess. I'm going to print it off and pin it on my board at work. What's even more fitting is that it was taken at work during my lunch break. So even while I was stuck there, working on someone else's to do list, there was still the opportunity for some quality me time.

Go me. 

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