Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Dottys dresses, fashion for fairies

 Happy Christmas eve everyone, as my regular friends on my blog know I have started a woodland collection and promised I would share snippets on here, this week and last I have been working with some gorgeous shot silk, netting and pearls from old wedding dresses and have enjoyed myself so much, I love that I can sit by the fire whilst its all blowing a gale outside and hand sew to my hearts content whilst watching films on Netflix, its especially good this time of year to be home sewing with the twinkly christmas lights, tasty puddings and blankets on my kneew, the dog likes lying on my feet too and even though he gets pretty heavy he is very warm too - free hot water bottle!
So the top picture is a floral corsage necklace I did, I stayed up till 2.30 am making it because I wanted to finish it, I loved making it and am in love with it now, its such a soft pretty and girly piece. I am going to be teaching a workshop in January at our shop in Blackpool on how to make them.
The next pic is a close up of a dress I have just started to make, there are rows of tiny beads and I am going to sew the panel around the front of the bodice
Here is the basic shape of the dress so far, the shoulders are going to have these custom made epulets that have layer upon layer of tulle, satin and silk petals, I have made one and it took me about 8 hours, I have to make the other yet!, will share a picture soon.

I am loving the freedom and creativity I can have, I do enjoy making gorgeous things I choose to make rather than churning out the same thing over and over, although because my rabbits and owls are good sellers I do make a lot of these, each one is different though so I dont get board  

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas day whatever your doing, even though this can be a difficult time for some of us it can also be a wonderful time. If you have love, a home and food your very rich and blessed. It's only a day like all the other days, don't put any expectations on it, just go with the flow and enjoy having a day at home. I am very grateful I have love, a home and food, friends that care anything else is a bonus xxx

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

What have I been making for Christmas?

I have been a busy bee making lots of lovely handmade things for Christmas, I can't say who they are for as that would spoil the surprise,
Love this fabric, I love the colours so much I made myself a pair of curtains for my dining room with it, I lined them in calico to keep the cold out.
These little mushroom brooches I made one for myself and the green one for my friend http://alovelylittledeer.blogspot.co.uk/ I have already given it to her so I can reveal it!
Which ever one is left out of these unique creatures ( my work colleague/friend calls them freaks :( ) will be going to a special nephew, they are all sitting on a shelf at our shop waiting for new homes, the large one on the left is Peanut
These kits (only 2 left now) will be going in the craft prize basket when we do craft bingo at our Christmas party on Friday. We have invited all the ladies who have been to our craft workshops since we opened in August to come to a Christmas party where we will have food, drink, make some crafty items and have craft bingo! I can't wait. We then break up for our Christmas holidays, it will be nice to spend time at home but I think I will miss the shop, we meet so many lovely people and have a real good laugh at work.

What have you been making this year?

Monday, 16 December 2013

What I have been doing this week

This week I have been mostly working in my sketch book collecting inspiration pictures and drawing, I'm doing this for my woodland collection I'm going to make. I've enjoyed it so much but have felt slightly guilty because I feel like I'm just playing around. This is crazy I know but it's normally all go for me and taking the time to focus and concentrate on this project is great but I'm having to get used to it and that it's ok for me to do this. 
Here's my messy work area! Are all creatives this messy?

Friday, 13 December 2013

woodland collection inspiration

I have been spending time on Pinterest which if you don't know about it is a photo sharing site where you have mood boards you can pin photos too and share them with others, it is the best source of visual inspiration I have found on the net because one picture leads to another and another and because everything is in collections its easier to find similar things. If you haven't been on it I implore you to take a look but don't blame me for all the hours you spend on it! ;) 

So I have been gathering ideas and sources for my new collection of woodland fairy clothes and have found some amazing textile artists who I want to share with you. First up is Kirsten Chursinoff who makes the most beautiful embroidered pieces. She takes her inspiration from nature, flowers, seed heads, insects feature highly in her work.
Imagine how many hours it takes to stitch each piece! She is based in Vancouver, Canada.
It says on her website "Kirsten’s fibre art techniques span the “Art Quilt” realm and include hand stitching, raw-edge appliqué and free-motion machine embroidery.  Having a comprehensive grasp of techniques is important for her work, and has propelled the development of her unique style of illustrative expression" 
 you can find her website here

Next is Alice Wolfe, her knitted creations are amazing, I adore the huge birds she makes using beautiful Machine Knitted loops of yarn and Stitches, lots and lots of stitches,
                      All set up at the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace
She has won all these awards:
The Christine Risley Award, Goldsmiths University – Runner up, 2011.
Global Color Research, Trend Awareness Award 2011.
Eric Mead Fashion/Textiles Materials and Books Award 2009.
Adam Jaffer, Curator of World Cultures, The Birmingham City Museum selected my work for an exhibition space at university 2009.
you can find her facebook page here

Finally is Annemieke Mein, dutch born but lives in Australia the subjects of her sculpted textiles are birds, frogs, gum and wattle blossoms, and invertebrates such as moths, dragonflies, wasps and grasshoppers. Her fondness for insects and her sympathetic images, often greatly enlarged and showing normally invisible colours and textures, have revealed new aspects of the everyday world.
"The artwork of Annemieke Mein is unique. She combines fabric, paint and sewing threads to produce works that are realistically accurate but that also breathe with life and action, and are emotionally breathtaking for the observer.
Annemieke’s art is difficult to categorise. Textile work has traditionally been ‘craft’, but Annemieke has moved it into the world of ‘art’." Phillip Mein
I think she is awesome, the size and detail in her pieces is outstanding, I love the colours and textures.
It almost looks real! 
You can find her webpage here

Thursday, 12 December 2013

What a great start

Today I started to design a woodland collection of clothes I really want to make, I got myself a brand spanking new sketch book and collected images from magazines, had a lovely time in the library looking for inspiring books too, I have started on one page and not finished it yet, so photos will come tomorrow, its given me so much positivity actually choosing my own destiny and doing something I have wanted to do for the past year but never made it important enough to do, on reflection of my mums anniversary of her death I thought long and hard what is important to me right now, and I found I need to submerse myself into this, I need to stop doing all the little jobs and orders ( which I am grateful for) but take up so much of my time and really go for it. I did some seed heads on the sewing machine and am so pleased with how they have turned out, can't wait to get them onto clothes.

So I get accused of living in a dream world and having too many ideas, I like living in a dream world and everything ever made started off with an idea so I'm not worried! But sensibly this project is going to make me focus and have ideas just about the collection, I think as a creative your mind is all over the place every day and its hard to reign it in sometimes. I hope you will look forward to sharing my journey as much as I am looking forward to posting pictures and updating my poor neglected blog.

       A fairy inspired dress I made recently.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Craft workshop/ Knitting corsets

Who's coming along to my workshop this Saturday at our wonderful shop in Blackpool, come along to our lovely homely workshop room, enjoy tea/coffee out of vintage china cups, eat delicious home baked cakes and learn to knit and sew and embellish a one off gorgeous creative garment. Please share with any lovely folk who could be interested xxx

Eclectic, Dotty's Delightful Emporium and Handmade Heaven present a vast array of furniture , vintage and retro curios, homeware, vintage clothing

I would like to welcome you to our new and different shopping centre, on the ground floor is Eclectic, selling all sorts of furniture from different era's and different styles, items for the home, collectables and antiques, there is an onsight makeover basement to where unloved furniture will be transformed into gorgeous new pieces. Commissions will be welcomed.

On the first floor is Dotty's Delightful Emporium selling all sorts of vintage, retro, unusual and hard to find items, art, vinyl, furniture, homewares and more. There is also the clothing den, rails upon rails of wonderful vintage clothes for men and women from different local vintage businesses, you will be spoilt for choice. There will be a 'wants' book too, in case you need a certain item sourcing. Tea and coffee in fine china will be provided for customers.

On the second floor you will find Handmade Heaven, a wonderful attic filled with handmade delights and glorious haberdashery, there will be various craft classes held including felting, hand embroidery, dress making, toy making and more, one to one sewing tutorials from how to use your machine and basics to more advanced sewing, stitch and bitch on Wednesdays, evening classes and fabulous fabric.
Our shop is at 277 Church street, Blackpool, FY1 3PB. 

sometimes its slow on here....

thats because I am always posting photos on Tumblr you can find my feed here

I love the simplicity of it, its ease of use and how my Instagram/Tumblr/Facebook/Flickr are all linked together on my iPhone, technology is so amazing!

I am running a self employment support group tonight at our shop in Blackpool and have been researching social networking and media, I didnt realise that there are over 197 different social networking outlets/websites! How crazy is that, I can barely keep up with 5 haha!

Living your own life in this moment

This is so true, how many times do you watch a romantic film and wish your life was more like that, how many times do you imagine what a day out will be like and have all sorts of notions of how perfect it will be?, how many times upon returning from work do you imagine what the evening will hold only to be disappointed? How many times do you read other people's blogs and imagine if your life was more like theirs it would be amazing?
We have to remind ourselves to live in the moment, that our lives are perfect for us right now, that we should be grateful to have days out/a home/family/Internet/friends but it is hard sometimes! Xx

Monday, 22 July 2013

Procrastination, Facebook and Instagram

Hey fellow crafters, artists, musicians in fact anyone creative, what do you do to work best and get things done?, I really struggle with this, I have a million ideas and each day want to complete...something but bedtime comes round again and guess what...nothing is finished. Not sure if this is to do with having a family and children as 'normal' life gets in the way of spending hours on a project or do single, childless people feel this way too?
Do you think its because we are bombarded by so much to fill our minds and time?
I know I have a serious facebook addiction, I use the excuse its for work, well it is a lot but I bet if I worked out how many hours I clock up on Facebook doing nothing really except reading about life instead of living it, it would be a lot of hours.
I do love it, its informative, I have met some wonderful people on it, my fairs wouldn't do so well without social media but its a time waster.

I have just read this article in the telegraph about how workers waste an hour a day on facebook.  According to them:

 Top twenty personal things Brits do during work hours
1. Online banking
2. Check the weather forecast
3. Check/reply to personal emails
4. Read news sites
5. Research holidays and search for best deals
6. Pay bills
7. Browse clothes online
8. Browse social network sites
9. Call friends/relatives
10. Online clothes shopping
11. Book a holiday online
12. Update social network sites
13. Arrange nights out with friends
14. Book dentists/Drs appointments
15. Look for discount codes
16. Look at photos
17. Call companies and organisations for personal reasons
18. Read sports updates
19. Shop or sell on eBay
20. Compare insurance prices


This is office workers they have targeted, I wonder how many hours self employed people waste?

Instagram, have you got the app yet? I love it, I encourage people to get it, its a photo sharing site that's global, you can follow others on it and they can follow you, you can also search #hashtags for interesting things, I love it because when you share a photo it gives you the option of sharing to twitter, facebook, tumblr, flickr and email contacts all at the push of a button, this saves time and its great to update lots of your sites at once. I think Instagram is not too much of a time waster as there is only limited photos to look at unless you follow hundreds of people of course, but I pick and choose who I want to follow carefully, the only thing I hate about it is now the spammers have gone on it and they try and get you to get extra followers and likes, but you can ignore them.

So how much time do you waste?, what tips have you got to stay on track?

Saturday, 20 July 2013

dear universe......

Dear universe if you are reading this, thank you, we have a dream, a dream which we really want to happen, were not quite sure how or when it will happen but have every faith that it will.
We live in a seaside town called Blackpool in Lancashire, UK. We have lived here all our lives, we don't fit in. We need to live somewhere that's warm, beautiful, rich in love and life. We live a different life to most in our area. We already have chickens. We have converted our back garden to be full of raised beds so we can grow our own veg and fruit.

We want to live in Portugal or France, Portugal first choice France second, we are going to have a house that's detached on its own land, the house needs to have at least 4 bedrooms, an open plan lounge/kitchen/dining room, another room that can be my craft room, a bedroom with a balcony that overlooks the mountains, big windows, wooden floors, a natural pool outside would be lovely as would a river/stream running through the land. An area for chickens, an allotment, an orchard and a large area for the dog to run around and for us to play games/sunbathe.

We are going to have an organic retreat, grow all our own fruit and veg, meditate, practise yoga and have affordable holidays for people who want to come over and switch off from modern life. Were going to have a couple of cottages at the bottom of our land that I will make all the soft furnishings for and decorate plainly to give a fresh airy feel for holiday accommodation.

I am going to run courses on pure living, these will be part of the holiday if required, I want to share my wealth of knowledge about living pure with anyone who is interested. I feel its my duty to share what I have discovered and feel many children and adults would be so much better off and healthier with the knowledge. 

We are both self employed, have two teen boys living at home who are home schooled, we rent our house ( have lived here for 12 yrs this September) so are free to move as soon as the opportunity arises.
We need to fund this dream and I am writing an ebook all about living without chemicals, I want it to have so many sales we can live out our dream. I am working on finishing it very soon

Thank you universe for already making my true love dreams come true, I have every faith in this one coming true too.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Wild swimming in River Hodder

 So my friend and I set off on a girls day out with the intention of wild swimming, well Shelli would be wild swimming I would be wild wading as I can't swim, this hopefully will be rectified over the next couple of weeks with river lessons, I'm pretty nervous about it but feel at 37 you should be able to swim and need to push through the nerves and learn something new. We droved for about an hour and found this wonderful place. The River Hodder is a river in Lancashire, England. The river is a County Biological Heritage Site. It rises on White Hill and flows for approximately 23 miles. We stopped under Cromwell's bridge, the water was clear and upon entering rather cold ( hence the shocked face second pic below)

 Once in though it warmed up and was such a lovely experience to be in the water, there were blue/green dragonflies hovering around, a heron stopped further up stream, fish were swimming around us, I was a bit worried about one going up my particulars!
 The water wasn't very deep but in a way we was glad as this was our first time in the river and it broke us in gently, it was such a brilliant feeling being so free and having a different perspective on the view. Our skin felt lovely afterwards with all the minerals in the water.

 We stayed in for quite a while then got out and dried off, we then led in the sunshine feeling so relaxed and listing to the sound of the tricking water and sheep now and then bleating in the field, after a while we went for a walk at the other side of the river to discover a deep area, it looks so inviting, can't wait to go back next week. In parts the scenery looked like France, with fields full of sweetcorn, high trees and a chateau type house, the area is so beautiful and green, I do love being in nature, Tolkien who wrote the lord of the rings was inspired by this part of UK, I can understand why, its magical.

We went for a drive and found ourselves at Longridge fell, what an amazing view, 2 old ladies stopped to talk to us and we asked if they could take our photo (hence the finger covering up part of the lens)
It was such a wonderful experience and I would recommend it to anyone, just don't go in canals, reservoirs or urban rivers. There has been much ado about drowning in UK but I think if you look at the statistics, its mainly young men, who probably have been showing off jumping in no doubt. As long as you are sensible, I see no harm in it.

Monday, 15 July 2013

feeling like your 12

I had a thought today, it wasn't a pleasant one, I came across another person online whilst on facebook (I'm rather obsessed by it) who I found incredibly rude. Now I don't know this person, shes a friend of one of my friends, I saw her comment on a post so replied with the advice that she should look into soya and hormone problems as she has lots of it, wasn't trying to be funny I genuinely wanted to help, unleash the fury, it was quite unreal, I realised I should maybe keep my opinions to myself, but I don't know about you but I presumed because she is friends with my friend she would be similar to us, would be easy going and nice.

Its made me look at this, just because you have a good friendship doesn't mean you will be friends with their friends does it, do you think we have different friends for our different parts of our personalities? do you think we have various friends to do different things with, to fulfill gaps in our lives.

It made me feel a little sick to be honest, a bit shaken, maybe my bubble of loveliness at home and the people I choose to surround myself with protect me from the outside world to some degree, I think that's why I love the homeschool route too, I know my boys don't have to deal with the bullies, mean folks, some may say its not good to shelter them in this way and they have to learn to deal with such people, but think about it for a minute, why do they?.

Can we not be happy and loved, can we not surround ourselves by good, loving relationships? Of course we can, its all about choice.

I guess that's the down side about social media, you cant really choose who and what your exposed to unless you only have about 5 friends on your page. Which is ok to do if you don't use it for networking.

I organise fairs and need to be able to share events with as many people as possible that's why I have so many 'friends' on fb, that's why I come across idiots who could ruin my day if I let them but I wont, I take a few minutes to look at why I'm feeling the way I do and move on.
can you spot the 5 yr old me?

Friday, 31 May 2013

Lovely life of me!

I  always blog loads of words, today I thought it would be nice to share with you some of the photos and quotes from my life

My Susie trike

Penny Lane

Truly outdoor fair

Snapped on the bus

Dotty makes

my fairs

my inspiration

Joanne Jones bonkers friend

My true love
Have a fabulous weekend, your amazing just the way you are, mucho love Dotty <3 i="">

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

What to do?

I've been going through lots of changes in my mind these past couple of weeks, I have started reading the magic by Rhonda Byrne and putting into practise the gratitude and positive thought processes. If you've not heard of "magic" then I ask you first go to you tube and watch "the secret" by Rhonda Byrne, it really will change your life. I have also been watching videos on self discipline, I struggle with focusing on one task and following it through to the end so these videos have helped me.
I'm not sure if its the creative brain or this happens to all people but I find my mind wandering from one idea to the next, always thinking of all the different things I can do. Trying so many varying things and leaving a trail of unfinished things behind me.
I want instant results. This is hard for me to realise that it doesn't happen really, maybe I have too many things going on in my life, I'm a mum, home edder, run a shop, organise fairs, make clothes and crafts to sell, try to grow veg, look after chickens, keep 2 blogs and a webpage ( is it any wonder I'm always sporadic at posting ) Facebook, twitter, Instagram. I have 3 different emails for different things, my phone never stops ringing. Plus all the other things in normal life.
Now don't get me wrong I am grateful for my wonderful life, I'm so grateful that I have so much going on, I'm grateful that I have all the things, outlets and friends that I do.
I'm just expressing my self to try and work through my issues of time and get some order in my head.
Do you ever feel overwhelmed? What do you do when this feeling takes over? I would love to hear from you lovely readers xx

Sunday, 19 May 2013

tri monthly catch up!!

Yes, I know I've not posted again for ages, my poor readers I am terribly sorry, life just gets in the way and trying to keep up with facebook, instagram, twitter, shop, life, mum duties, fair organising, looking after pets, home and garden, blah blah takes so much time my poor blog gets left out.
I have been busy working at my shop since my shop partner dropped out, I nearly closed down but things have picked up and for the moment I'm staying open, its pretty hard work being there and away from the family as I miss them loads but on the upside I have a sewing room so I can create whilst I'm there, I'm currently working on a new range of Dotty Wear, I can't wait for it to be finished so I can share it.

I'm also busy organising another vintage and handmade fair for June, I have a smaller outdoors/indoors one at Catforth village hall on June 2nd and the large venue of the winter gardens on June 29th - 30th.

I have other ideas and things in the pipeline too but sometimes it all seems to much, some days I would love to potter around the gardens, read a book or just watch romantic films without the constant guilt feeling that I should be doing something else, being self employed is blumming hard work sometimes, theres ever really a day off as such until your rather rich but then the bigger you become the more demands are put on you. Any way I'm so grateful for all the opportunities given to me and I do love having so many things to do, I'm not moaning about it just expressing myself. Have you got any tips for me to time manage more effectively?

Can I share this too, I have just read a blog post on Galleries, studios, theatre and it is so apt, I could of written it myself! do you know I could of written this myself, its so wonderful that she shared these thoughts because she is right we do fake it a lot, I think if more of us opened up then less of us would feel like we have to pretend. x

Friday, 22 March 2013

Do you know Dotty has a shop?

Did you know I have an handmade and vintage shop in Blackpool?, its called Penny Lane.

You can find it at 28b King street, just around the corner from the Syndicate nightclub, 2 doors away from Junes fabrics (for the locals).
Its an eclectic mix of old and new, handmade, upcycled, vintage, retro, mod, boho, hippy, indian, kitsch and much more.

I sell clothes, furniture, natural bath and beauty products, handmade toys and gifts, accessories, artisan foods, records, vintage electricals and lots of unusual one off pieces.

Everything in my shop is for sale except the rails, Im open to swaps, offers and showcasing talent. Just pop in and have a chat.

I run a stitch and bitch class on Wednesdays and Saturdays, 12-4, its free of charge and includes free tea and coffee.

I will be having a heritage collection coming soon in time for summer where the clothes will be all 'Made in Britain', I think this is important to support our countries makers and designers.

I also have a naturals range including soap, bath bombs, fluoride free toothpaste, natracare natural sanitary towels and soy candles. There will be many more products being added to the range over the next few weeks too.

I also am pleased to say I stock Old Fatty Jones chutneys, jams and preserves. In the coming weeks I will also be stocking fine herbal teas.

I also have a vintage tearoom serving tea and coffee, I have rice milk too for non dairy drinkers and clipper decaff tea and coffee.

I am open tues-sat 11.30 - 4.30. I would love it if you came and said hello, please share with your friends too, there is nothing else like my shop in Blackpool and I would love your support.

Photos by Edwin Firminger hair and make up by Hazel Tyler location and clothes Penny Lane

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The fair at the winter gardens was amazing, the best one yet, there was so many amazing stalls, acts and customers, we had a blast. There seemed to be a different feel to the fair, more relaxed and calm. We had some new entertainers too which went down a treat with the public and stallholders including belly dancers, a 1940s trumpet player Ricky Hunter and singer/songwriter Karima Francis. The regular entertainers from Preston came too including Baxter Rhodes, Jamie Brewer, Bill Orrick, Katie Ryan and Mobius loop.
There was some new food stalls too including Old fatty Jones who makes unusual jams and preserves, his monkey butter was a sure fire winner with customers, The Real Thai pie company who had the most delicious thai curry pies, I tried the beef and the veggie option, great pastry, lovely filling, all british meat too. As always the Love Cheesecake boys and Cupcake were there selling the best in sweet treats.
We was super busy in our vintage tearoom, in fact I had to set more tables up!
We had a new set up this time to with Hazel Tyler on vintage hair and make up make overs, The Vintage Wardrobe providing clothes and Claire Griffiths taking photographs, our vintage photo booth was a big success.
There was new and regular stalls, too many to mention but all wonderful.
We had a raffle to adopt a donkey and the winner Christine Jennings won an array of handmade and vintage treats all provided by our kind stallholders.
If you missed out this time on visiting dont panic there are two more dates for this year, 29-30th June and 30th Nov-1st Dec at the winter gardens.

Photos taken by Tom Holmes