Saturday, 31 December 2011

My personal 2011

As with any business, home life runs alongside it and with 2 children to focus on too, sometimes the work / home life balance sways. Sometimes one or the other gets more attention, leaving the other feeling slightly neglected.

I do my very best to keep things on an even keel and share some of our family life here on the blog so a better understanding of the reality of running a home and business can be realised. I have chosen a few personal images from 2011 to remember.

The arrival of Evangeline - the papier mache mouse,
made by the very talented Vanessa Cabban
A little treat to myself!

My heart tour of the house
I really didn't know I had so many hearts!

Has to be, Tulips - always a bunch in the house,
my favourite flower

I had to do a double take when I looked back at April, at just how warm it was,
we even had the paddling pool out!

It was also the Royal Wedding celebrations

I treated myself to this Flea Market find
My Retro Cabinet

TAKE THAT!!!! Live
Fabulous 40th present from my Hubby!

The end of an era - Sophie left Primary School

Farewell Ditcheat Primary

We celebrated 15 years of wedded bliss!
I was moved to tears by the little video clip Jeff put together

I also, actually managed to grow some flowering sweet peas!

Sophie started Secondary School - and is loving it!

Spotty Pumpkins

Cosy days at home

Christmas - I LOVE Christmas!

So there is a little round up of my year and here's hoping 2012 is just as good.
I wonder what will come our way - we have our first family holiday abroad booked and secretly I would love to move house and start a new decorating project but we will have to see!

Wishing you all a very
Happy and Healthy 2012

dots and spots 2011

Well what a fabulous year 2011 has been for dots and spots. I still have to stand back and sometimes take in, all that has been achieved - when it was never my original intention to do it at all. dots and spots has naturally evolved from a set of 8 designs and has grown in response to each event, happening, saying yes, instinct, I'm not sure how to otherwise describe it, rather than any big business plan. Possibly not the best way to tell people how to start and build a business but it is the honest story behind dots and spots.

Our first trade exhibition at Top Drawer
a design led show at Earls Court London

We moved into new, bigger premises
having outgrown our previous unit within 6 months

This little blog celebrated 500 fabulous followers
Thank You

I left teaching for good!
A big step but one that needed taking!

Our first set of gift wrap was designed
Something I have ALWAYS wanted to do!

Very Exciting!
Holly and Nicola came to style and photograph our little house for a major glossy magazine
(It's out in the next couple of days!)

We exhibited at Harrogate and produced more wonderful products

I hid away all summer to produce, pick and pack our biggest order to date.
Over 90 BIG boxes were sent out

August also saw me receive an retweet on twitter from no other than
Theo Paphitis - one of TV's Dragons

Our Big order made it out into the store's
30+ Dobbies Garden Centers around the UK

We also produced a set of Christmas Gift Wrap

I treated myself to an i-pad - a little treat for the business and
to make life a little easier!

I also had some design time working on new products
to be launched in the next few weeks

Our Advent Calender was launched onto you all and sold really well
Another product I've ALWAYS wanted to do!

I also worked closely with Owen, photographing our new products
for our new catalogue which is currently sat in boxes
waiting to be sent out any minute now!

And finally we are here today, on the last day of December.
I spent last night folding order forms ready to send out with our new catalogues in the next few days. I never seem to stop but I wouldn't have it any other way.

I wonder what 2012 will have in store!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Christmas in Cornwall - The Movie!

Determined to have proof that he did really go swimming in the sea on Boxing Day, my OH has put together this short video of his exploits.


Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Christmas in Cornwall

We have just got home from spending Christmas with my side of the family down in Cornwall - the first time in 11 years that I have not 'done' Christmas. So a big thank you to my Mum and Dad for looking after us and feeding us all so well.

Sophie loved her sewing machine and is looking forward to getting it set up, now we are home.

Sam has not been seen since we got home, as he's been upstairs building his Harry Potter Lego.

My little niece Ella, got a bike - what a fab pressie to find under the tree.

And my 88 year old Granny got lost for an hour or two on my i-pad - maybe next year's Christmas present!?!

As we were in Cornwall, Jeff my OH got to tick off one of his lifetime wishes - to take part in the Boxing Day Swim. He's always seen it on the news and always wanted to do it and so this year, he had no excuse.

He was lucky as it was 11 degrees - mild for this time of year but still a little crazy, if you ask me!

But there were quite a number of other like minded, crazy people to share the big event with!

And due to a low tide, there was quite a run to do before you even got to the sea!

But he did it and quite enjoyed it too!

Now to enjoy a quiet few days at home, there are a few orders to put together and there is my studio mess to tackle but I have an afternoon with the sofa booked and a couple of days of relaxation planned, before New Year arrives.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Merry Christmas to you all

Being a card designer, I really do take notice of the Christmas cards I both give and receive.

My poor husband says he doesn't enjoy choosing me a christmas card but every year I love his choice. This year he got me this gorgeous Mistletoe Letterpress card by Bobalong NOTHS

I bought Jeff's from Paperchase this year - very festive I thought.

The above 'CHRISTMAS' card was bought from BHS - a combination of red, spots and glitter - you can't go wrong!

And finally our family Christmas card this year.

I'm going to be taking a little festive break now but would like to thank you all for supporting me and dots and spots throughout 2011 and I would like to

Wish you all a very

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

It's all in the detail

I LOVE Christmas as you know and every year I find something new to add to my festive collection. Every year the favourites come out and make Christmas, well Christmas! I thought I would share with you a few new and old favourites that make me smile.

My new rag wreath by Edamay

My spotty Cath Kidston candles and one of my favourite Christmas cards from BHS

A spotty IKEA bauble

A gorgeous little gingerbread man made by my very creative friend Sharon

One of my large glass baubles that hang in the window every year

A gorgeous glass, holly garland around the mirror

A sparkly snowflake

One of the little Christmas mice, once found in a stocking

A little felted wobbily Christmas tree on the mantlepiece

A red berry garland on the retro cabinet - looks fab against the blue

A gorgeous bowl of vintage baubles

Mr and Mrs Christmas Mice knitted for me by Jeff's Grandma - my first present from them now 19years ago

A simple wooden Christmas tree

Festive Christmas bunting and everyone's favourite Father Christmas

And finally one of my spotty wooden Giddy Kipper stars.

That is just a small selection of what makes Christmas in my house - I'm off now to bake flapjacks with the children - hoping your festivities are building nicely for the big day too.