Friday, 29 March 2013

Friday Funny....

Anyone else have kids & husbands under their feet today?

Enjoy time with your family.

Love Anna & Sarah

For more Mummy humour head over to our Pinterest boards

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Happy Easter

Special Easter wishes for all our special friends, family, lovely clients and facebook, blog and twitter followers
Sarah and I will even do a little sun dance for us all to try and keep the sun shining!
You never know...
Happy Easter

we love bunnies!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Gramatical error not mine. I spotted this on Pinterest!

This is my Daughter to a T.
Two years old & already taking on the world.

Teacup Tuesday... beautiful things & necessities

We're tired of bad service so we're taking our custom elsewhere!

We're fed up of having to tell people our website and email is down. Enough is enough we are moving on to a new domain host.

But as with our old domain host the transfer isn't turning out to be simple. The old company wants to delete the site before we move to the new company. It's customer service like this and unreliability that means we are moving. *SIGH* Why doesn't everyone care about their customers like we do?

On a more positive note, we've started a u-ni-k gifts Pinterest Board! Both Anna & I have been on Pinterest personally for a while but it's only recently that they allowed businesses to also have a page. So we've started a few boards based upon the things that inspire us, crafty things we can do with the little ones, beautiful things and of course, no u-ni-k Pinterest page would be complete without the "We love Bunnies" board.

There's a little something for everyone; Mummy (parent) humour, some of our favourite pieces...

So come over and take a look at some of the beautiful things we've found while looking for makers and inspiration for our own crafty lives!

Monday, 25 March 2013

Monday Maker- Sarah Papworth

Name: Sarah Papworth
Year of Birth: 1980

Current City: Evesham 
Company name: Beetroot Press

How would you describe a typical Sunday?

On Sundays I like to get up a little later than usual and potter around the house in the morning.  I might tend to my veggies I'm starting to grow, bake a simple cake to eat during the week, or occasionally visit the Malvern flea fair to see what bargains I can find.  If it's a nice day, my partner Juls and I like to go for a walk around our local area and pop into our village pub for a quick drink. Or on a cold wintery afternoon I love to watch an old film while stitching a few patches onto my bedding quilt I'm up-cycling, or make something for our home, like another draught excluder for our drafty barn we live in!  Generally, in the evening I plan out my forthcoming week, (although I rarely stick to the plan), and relax by watching a good drama on the telly.  


And here a quite obvious question: How did you become a talented crafts person / designer? What inspired you to do this?

I kind of just flowed into it really.  I have always been creative from a young age, sewing my own rag dolls, bags, purses from my Mum's vintage fabric stash, and drawing brightly coloured patterns and pictures. I went to Winchester School of Art to study fine art and while I was on my foundation course, I switched over to textile design as I realised what I loved most was creating marks and texture on the fabric which then came together through colour and design.  I hadn't studied textiles before, so the small amount I learnt off my mum was very useful.  After university I got a job in retail buying, then moved into surface pattern design, I got the experience and inspiration I needed within the design environment and the confidence to start doing my own thing.  I wanted to be able to create my own products featuring my designs, which lead to starting up Beetroot Press.  I love to learn new skills, so between that, and being naturally crafty, they drive me to gain more knowledge in what I do, and in new ways to create wonderful things.  

Its Fill-in-the-blanks time. So, please fill in the blanks:

I love Spring  because it brings new life and colour to the once wintery land.  

If I could live anywhere I'd live in the Malvern hills, Worcestershire.

If I weren’t a designer / maker , I would be an upholsterer/furniture maker, or aromatherapist! 

People who like whimsical and eco-friendly designs, inspired by vintage picture and pattern, will like my creations.

Sarah's gorgeous illustrations will be added to the website very soon. Email us for a preview of her work.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Monday Maker....Lucy Litchfield

Introducing one of our newest Mummy makers.

Name: Lucy Neeve
Year of Birth: 1978
Current City: Wells, Somerset
Company name: Lucy Litchfield
Significant Others: Husband Mr Neave and our lovely daughter Winifred Judy Rose

How would you describe a typical Sunday?
It rather depends whether I am teaching dressmaking or not! If not, hopefully a late start depending on Winnie's lie in, then coffee and pancakes, followed by a walk in the farm yard chatting to the chickens and cows and watching the sky. A simple lunch of cheese and crackers followed by playing with Winnie whilst cooking a roast dinner.

And here a quite obvious question: How did you become a talented crafts person / designer?
I have always had an interest in Sewing, I guess because my mum was a wonderful sewer and knitter. I used to make skirts out of vintage pillowcases and sew huge flares into my jeans as a teenager. After a journey through art diplomas, a degree in Fashion and a stint in the fashion industry, I realised I didn't belong in the fashion world and that I needed something more real, honest and enriching to do with my life, so I became a secondary school art teacher. I have always had a passion for the old fashioned art of beautiful dressmaking, and admired the way in which the vintage clothing I was buying was so carefully hand made. After years of disbelieving in my creative and technical skill, the death of my mother and birth of my daughter within 8 months of each other gave me the push I needed to get designing and sewing.

What inspired you to do this?
My mum was a huge influence on me, she was a very creative person, sewing many of her own clothes as-well as for my sister and me and lots of knitted garments for our Barbies! Because of a passion for old fashioned living my wardrobe has always been made up of old tops and dresses from the 30's, 40's and 50's and whenever I went high street shopping I always found myself saying "I could make that, and better!", so I never bought anything and just adapted and re-sized vintage clothing or made my own. Now that I have the wonderful Winifred in my life it is her that inspires me the most. My great grandmother was also a dressmaker so maybe it is in my blood too!

Its Fill-in-the-blanks time. So, please fill in the blanks:
I love tea in the pot  because I love the ceremony, it makes me feel old fashioned, and it tastes better.
If I could live anywhere I'd live in Somerset.
If I weren’t a designer / maker , I would be either a farmer or a cleaner I guess! 
People who like well made, unique, ethical and vintage things will like my creations.

In my everyday life I attempt to live by a practical, utilitarian and ethical philosophy. I therefore only use materials that have either been created fairly, organically and ethically or vintage, found and up-cycled.

Coming Soon to u-ni-k gifts

Monday Maker- A Montage of Lucy's Wares

Lucy also has a new little business inspired by her Woodland Picnic wedding

Wordless Wednesday- Bunting, Available to order & be personalised for you!




Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Teacup Tuesday- Support

As I am sat drinking tea watching the rain splatter over my garden I’ve been thinking a lot about the degrees of support you rely on as a Mum and as a small business owner starting out.

Support comes in many levels and degrees.
Friends and family support us unconditionally. When we are ratbags, when we probably don’t deserve it and especially when we really do. They normally pull it out of the bag and astonish us with the level of help they offer.
Without them we’d be useless.
The support comes in many forms- As a degree of encouragement, a source of energy, to baby sit when tirelessly working, a person to bounce ideas off, to make sure you've eaten when you've been too busy to, to remind you to go to bed and most of all to believe in you.

In the past few weeks I have beckoned for help from friends and family, trying to pull together ideas and support. Always supporting other family members and friends as they too try to start something fresh and new. It’s important. What’s the point of keeping something you are good at and saving it for only you. I hope that for those who have helped me I can help them in some way soon. And for those that I have helped I hope I can call upon them when I need them. It's not a condition of helping, it's just nice to know you can call upon people. People who matter and can help.

From speaking to many starting out at the beginning of their journey, or somewhere mid point- It’s a hard time, a struggle and most certainly a time when self confidence is at it’s lowest. Even if you know you are on to a winner, at the beginning it can be tough.

So with the knowledge that I couldn’t do what I do without a little bit of help, I ask you all to do the same. Share your talent by helping someone else. Whether is be proof reading, giving advice, sharing your trade, helping to energise  someone dipping, looking after baby so you can get on or simply by making a Cuppa when they are mid flow- it all helps! I promise.


Share the love,
Share your skills,
Share and support

Together we can do it!

P.s.......thank you to those who have helped in any way!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Spring is coming...

I've been wandering about the garden looking at all the tightly closed buds. Spring is coming, it's just too cold at the moment to entice the plants into their Springtime glory.

It's been a long winter but today's sunshine is making me feel like a Spring Clean is overdue... And I'm going to start in DangerBaby's room. (Actually she should be DangerGirl now as at nearly 3 she's not really a baby... Except she's always going to be my baby!)

It's time to turn the nursery into a big girls room! We'll keep our soft toys, our memory blanket and rainbow maker...

DangerGirl is currently into Tigers, no the Tiger that came to Tea tigers but real ones that go "ROAR!". So I was thinking we could put together a few wild creatures to make her room a little more tiger friendly...

Mibo Wild Bunch all made up and on her bookshelves

Africa Coat Rack on the back of her door at her height so she can hang up her own clothes or put them in her wash bag!

Red Shuktara to give her reading sofa a little more of a exotic feel

(minus Samson)

This way when we have a Tiger come to visit, she'll feel more than at home in DangerGirl's wild creatures room.

Come and take a look at other nursery / room decorations we do at

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Teacup Tuesday- who is with me?

Our Teacup Tuesday blog at the end of last month was about the increase in postal charges we had swallowed up until now. We finally admitted defeat and rose our postage costs to cover Royal Mail's charges,  only to, shock horror, discover that on 1st April they are due to rise again. So time and effort has been taken by Sarah to amend all charges just a week or so ago only to now need to increase them yet again! This is only until we are able to find a safe, fast and reasonable service as an alternative to Royal Mail.
To read about the changes to our posting charges read Sarah’s blog  here

With this rant and bother, Sarah and I have been grumbling about over the last week or so, It has made me reflect on how hard it is to be a small on line business now days. Or indeed any small business without a Big overdraft or a Head office and multiple shops to spread the administration costs over and to swallow up the additional fees and surcharges applied.

At the forefront of my mind is always that we are small because we choose to be. We don’t want to be a BIG company with multiple staff and multiple overheads. Our little company is to enable us to be creative, to showcase other small independent makers who work from home  and to keep the importance of a one to one special service.  And of course to enable us to be with our children as they grow.

My blog of last year “We are who we are!” Where I explain a little of the life of a small business and how important we are to the makers we work with. It is a rant yes, but I think it sums up what is important and quite honestly how I feel shopping should be. Not about mass produced nasties that swallow up all the independents who have personality and substance. Sadly independent fishmongers have slowly been disappearing from the highstreet……to make room for more Primarks, John Lewis stores & other super duper stores!? Are we to wait till all independent stores are a thing of the past that we can only tell our grandchildren about like an old story? 

So today, with my glue gun and fabric at the ready I have decided to use this grump and frustration delve it into a positive thing and turn it round into being constructive and creative. I down my laptop and pick up my paintbrush and pencils and try and make a stand against the Big wigs. I take a stand for handmade, beautiful craftspeople and makers. 
For independent companies.
Lets strive to buy local, buy handmade and support small independent businesses over the BIG DOGS!

Whose with me??
Lets make a difference.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Monday Maker....Lucy's Lovely Creations

Today we look at Lucy's lovely creations themselves.

Lucy’s portfolio of wares so far consists of;

The Bespoke Winnie Pinafore
Lucy adores the old fashioned principle of pinny wearing and wishes for this tradition to continue. A pinafore is a loose, protective yet beautiful garment worn over your day to day clothes.
The Winnie Pinny is designed for children with practicality in mind,styled on a vintage French children’s pinafore. The Pinny is beautifully made using early 20th Century mangle linen. A fabric that was used traditionally to protect clothes from any damage whilst being washed in the mangle, and turned to eek out the water. 

Each piece of fabric used is unique with beautifully darned areas and different selvedges, creating totally unique one off pinnies. Each pinny is stitched with 100% cotton thread. Wear them whilst playing to protect clothes whilst playing or all the time. Also perfect to make any outfit pretty for a party!

Washing Instructions- 40 degrees 
100% natural fibres (linen, cotton binding, cotton thread) 
*linen can become stiff after washing. Steam iron to soften

Find Winnies Pinnes here

Organic cotton Winnie pinafore
Based on the same shape as the Winnie pinnies, this pinny uses a Organic fair-trade cross weave fabric. Top stitched beautifully in 100% cotton red thread.
Washing Instructions- 40 degrees 
100% natural fibres (cotton, cotton binding, cotton thread) 
*Coming to the unik website soon*

Lucy is hoping to add adult aprons to her list of  made wares soon!

Bespoke Bunting & Mice sets

Upon the birth of her niece Lucy wanted to make her something special that would be cherished forever. Using a combination of plain and patterned fabrics, padded with 100% cotton wadding amongst remnants of fabric used in her card making and second hand stuffing for a more sturdy appearance. These Lavender mice are a unique addition to a nursery or bedroom. Using combinations of the same fabrics, the mice can be accompanied by bunting the perfect adornment to any nursery.
*Coming to the unik website soon*

Each item is beautifully packaged in Lucy's own packaging which is 100% recyclable and bio-degradable.

In her everyday life, Lucy attempts to live by a practical, utilitarian and ethical philosophy. She therefore only use materials that have either been created fairly, organically and ethically or vintage, found and up-cycled.