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30 November 2014

Handmade gift sets

Today I'm sharing my handmade gift sets. I currently offer three different gift sets: the Autumnal Accessory Gift Set; the Gentleman's Gift Set and the Lady's Gift Set. They're entirely made by my own fair hand and come in a range of colours and patterns. All three are available in my Etsy and NOTHS shops. Included are a mixture of accessories in matching patterns. They make the perfect Christmas gift as all the hard work of gift wrapping is done for you...all you have to do is choose!

28 November 2014

Black Sale Friday!

Today is Black Sale Friday!!!
That means a tonne of discounts EVERYWHERE! Loads of places are taking part, including Not On The High Street. And I've got a load of my handmade products up for grabs in my Not On The High Street shop, with a whopping 30% off! It lasts for 24 hours only, so get in there quick folks!
Happy shopping!

27 November 2014

Black Sale This Friday!

On Friday it's Black Sale Friday! 

That means a tonne of discounts EVERYWHERE! Loads of places are taking part, including Not On The High Street. And I've got a load of my handmade products up for grabs in my Not On The High Street shop, with a whopping 30% off! It lasts for 24 hours only, so pencil it in your diaries folks! 

23 November 2014

Handmade Cufflinks

Today I'm sharing my handmade cufflinks, which are available in both my Etsy and NOTHS shops. They come in a range of colours, patterns and are gift wrapped in a cute box, complete with ribbon!

I make all my cufflinks to order in my little ol' studio in Leicester and I really love creating them! And ooh, did someone say they might be featuring in the Black Sale Friday on the 28th November on NOTHS?!? Well, they sure will, so stay tuned and I'll be sharing more details on my blog next week.

21 November 2014

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

I've got this song by Bombay Bicycle Club on repeat at the moment. It's gorgeous. It's beautiful. It breaks my heart. It makes my stomach do flips. Love it.

19 November 2014

Making your own Christmas presents and buying handmade

This year for Christmas I'm either making presents or buying handmade gifts from awesome, small businesses. 

Making gifts for friends and family is always great! Coming up with the idea or finding a lovely sewing/knitting/crochet pattern to use is half the fun, including going to find that perfect fabric pattern or soft, snuggly wool. This year I'm knitting a load of goodies for family but can't say what...or show a sneak peek as it would ruin the surprise! I particularly like knitting gifts because it means you can watch a good film at the same time or work your way through a cracking tv series! Although, I may well be knitting until the eleventh hour at this rate as I've got loads of work on and other commitments all the way up to Christmas!

Shopping handmade is real important to me. As a small business owner myself, I think it's essential to support your fellow sellers. They work really hard and their products come totally from the heart, are unique and not mass produced....and buying from them makes their day!

Are you making your own gifts this year or buying from small businesses? Any recommendations? I'd love to hear what you're making and who you're buying from this year!

17 November 2014

Handmade Personalised Gifts

Last week I was showcasing my Christmas themed accessories and this week it's the turn of my personalised accessories!

Available in both my Etsy and Not On The High Street shops, I have designed all of these from scratch and make every item to order in my little studio in Leicester. I love making personalised accessories because each one is unique and means something special to someone. I especially love it when I receive an order from someone giving the item as a surprise gift! Knowing that person's going to open it and it will only make sense to them, fills me with happiness!

So, what personalised gifts do I sell?

Well, I sell three styles of personalised, adjustable rings. These are made entirely by hand, with the letter of your choice hand embroidered on to the ring. They come gift wrapped for free and are totally adjustable, so they will fit any size. 

My personalised necklace designs are also available in three colour combinations, are handmade, hand embroidered and come framed in silver plated pendants, with a 24" inch chain.

Also available in three colour combinations are my handmade, personalised brooches. These make great gifts for hen-do parties and they come gift wrapped for free!

Finally, my personalised handkerchiefs are available in 16 different colours choices and now also in white, with coloured hems! They are made entirely from scratch, using a combination of machine sewing and hand embroidery. Personalised options include having 1-11 letters or a memorable date of your choice embroidered entirely by hand on to the handkerchief. Every hanky is gift wrapped in my NEW gift boxes, oooh!

Personalised accessories make great, unique gifts for those who truly appreciate handmade, so why not pick something up for Christmas!

And stay tuned for my blogging action this week as I share my thoughts on making Christmas gifts and of course, my latest 'What's on the dukebox, Jo?' song!

Have a great week everyone!

14 November 2014

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

It's a week/weekend of celebrating my birthday, so it's all about happy tunes that get me dancing! This AWESOME song by Django Django fits the bill nicely.
Happy foot tapping!

11 November 2014

Make your own gift wrap Christmas ribbon!

Hola folks! Today I'm sharing this DIY ribbon post again. It's a great Christmas handmade project for adding a little something extra to the whole festivities! Just think what your bestie, other half or aunt Mavis will say when they see your handmade ribbon, beautifully wrapping up their pressies!

Oh and did I say this project is totally addictive AND easy peasy lemon squeezy? Ha, well it really is. It's a super DIY for all ages, can be done in front of the tv (in the run up to Christmas), is really portable and doesn't require expensive, bizarre tools. Good eh?!

So, lets get cracking! And don't forget to send me your pics of your finished ribbon! :-)

  • Card
  • Scissors
  • 7 x 2 metres of embroidery thread and/or ribbon in any colours of your choice (this makes 1 meter of ribbon)
  • Some Christmas tunes to sing along to (optional)

  • Cut out an octagon (8 sided shape).
  • Cut 1cm slits into each side of the octagon and a hole in the middle.
  • Place your 7 threads/ribbons together and tie a knot at one end. Slip this through the hole in the middle of your octagon.

  • On the opposite side to the knot, slot each thread through the 1cm slits. The eighth slit does not have a ribbon in it. This is called the working slit.

  • Take the third ribbon from the working slit (this is the red ribbon pictured below) and pull it over the ribbons (these are the pink and orange ribbons in the picture below) clockwise and slot it into the working slit.

  • Like so...

  • You now have a new working slit.
  • Take the third ribbon from the working slit (this is now the blue ribbon as pictured below) and pull it over the ribbons clockwise (these are the yellow and green ribbons in the picture below) and slot it into the new working slit.

  • Like so...

  • Repeat this pattern and your ribbon will start to grow out of the reverse side of your octagon, like so...

  • And grow, and grow....

  • ...until you approach the end of your threads/ribbons. When you do reach the end of your threads/ribbons, remove them from the slits, place them together and tie a knot. Cut the loose ends down, so that they're neat, tidy and the same size as each other. You now have homemade ribbon, perfect for wrapping up Christmas presents with!

I chose rainbow coloured embroidery threads but you could choose any range of colours or use different types of thread and ribbon; maybe some glittery thread to add a touch of sparkle! You can also make your ribbon as long or as short as you wish and ooh, maybe one made out of wool. In fact I might give that a go!

Don't forget to send me your pics when you're done. If I have enough pics I'll showcase them on my blog.

Happy Christmas crafting!

8 November 2014

Handmade Christmas Accessories

I think it's safe to say that Christmas is on the horizon and so I have filled my online shops with my handmade goodies, which make perfect chrimbo gifts! I will be sharing a selection of these over the next few weeks, giving you a taster of what I design, make and sell.This weekend it's all about my Christmas inspired designs, with this selection of handmade handkerchiefs and brooches.

Starting out as sketches - usually drawn on scraps of paper on the kitchen table (maybe I'll add a sketch book to my Christmas list? ;-) ), I then fine tune these designs by testing the embroidery of them on to fabric in a range of colours, until I'm happy with the right combination.

Each handkerchief is made entirely from scratch on my trusty machine, with each of my Christmas designs hand embroidered in the corner. Due to the detail, these are made to order only and are gift wrapped for free in these cute boxes, with pretty shredded paper. 
These are available to purchase in both my NOTHS and Etsy shops.

And here are my Christmas brooches! These are miniture versions of the Christmas designs above, which I've hand embroidered on to calico fabric, before hand pressing them on to a button and topping them off with a brooch pin at the back. These are also made to order and come in free and cute gift wrapped boxes! They are available in both my NOTHS and Etsy shops.

Next weekend I'll be sharing more of my handmade accessories. Until then, have a great weekend everyone and remember to shop handmade for Christmas!

7 November 2014

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

This week I've had my ears glued to Radio 6 Music. Lauren Laverne's Bio Rhythms series is soooo good that it's had me in tears the songs are so beautiful.
One song that's been coming up a fair bit is the new single by Kendrick Lamar, called "I". It's awesome and has been giving me that kick start to days and evenings of making Christmas shop orders.
What have you been listening to? Any tunes that give you the much needed kick start to the day?

4 November 2014

Hanky history, part 2

Last week I was talking all about the history of the hanky - seeing as I make and sell them in my online shops, it seemed rather fitting to find out more about the background. It transpired there is quite a bit of history about that square piece of cloth, to the point that I had enough material for part 2, woo!

Did you know that  handkerchiefs were so highly thought of that they were listed in Wills? They could be so expensive that some Brides would have to borrow them on their wedding day, rather than buy a new one. And on that topic of weddings, hankies were apparently used to send secret, explicit messages as part of courting, oooooh! According to Handkerchief Heroes, Queen Elizabeth I developed a whole language of handkerchief gestures, my my!

In the 1930s,  handkerchiefs became the only affordable accessory and became so fashionable that Vogue magazing would feature a handkerchief of the month. I think we should see the return of this! 

In the 1950s hankies were all the rage and commercial artists used them to feature their designs. For me this brings to mind the world of Man Men and Don Draper. He pretty much always had his handkerchief neatly folded in his suit jacket and here's a great tutorial for folding your hanky Don Draper style.

Sooo, tell me, are you a hanky fan? What is it about handkerchiefs that you like? I'd love to hear your thoughts folks! 


The above handkerchiefs are designed by Adventures & Tea Parties and can be purchased online here.


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