Not yet

I'm not quite there yet. Yes, yes I do feel a little guilty for not posting in a while but I'll be back again. When my list of things to do doesn't look like a scribble on the page, and when I can finally allocate 10 minutes to loading the diswasher instead of a slightly overly time managed seven!

I will be back again, just not quite yet.

A few small changes

I've finally managed to set aside some time for a think lately, about my life, my normal day to day and my shop, more specifically the direction I need my shop to go in.

I don't know what it is about the Summer holidays but they always seem to set me off on a "new things" kick and while there's nothing wrong with that, it can be too easy to let it get out of hand and all this development can put a lot of strain on a girl's time.

And so after a fair amount of thought and planning and stopping myself from making my usual snap decisions I've decided to make some changes, hopefully for the better.

I've decided to reduce the volume of different things that I make and really concentrate on the ones that I love to make, the ones that are my own designs and this will mean that I am more able to make them in quantity for my customers because they aren't (or shouldn't) be available anywhere else:)

The card and coin purses will stay.



I love these little things and it's surprised even me how handy they are, especially when I'm out and about with Chloe and could really do with having two hands free. Sometimes I just don't need a bag to carry as well as anything she happens to need.

The regular coin purses will be leaving as soon as they sell or delist. To help them along they've all been reduced to £2.50 and once they're gone, they're gone.


The large ladies wallet will also be leaving in it's current form, a slightly more compact version will replace it later on this year. The last of the wallets have been reduced to £6.00 to clear.


The Kindle sleeves. I actually quite like making these and would be happy to keep doing so, these started as commissions and I decided to offer them in my shop as standard. The only problem I have is that, on their own, they don't really feel like they belong in the shop. It feels like I should also be offering other gadget sleeves for phones and MP3 players and that will likely just send me off on another "new things" kick. These have been reduced to £5.00 and maybe next year, definitely after Christmas at least I'll give some more consideration to extending the range and adding them back into stock. In the meantime, I'm still happy to accept custom orders for them.


The brooches, pendants, plain cuffs, a couple of bag designs and some homewares are all also going, they've all been reduced to clear as well and you can find everything in my half price sale

It seems like I'm cutting back a fair bit doesn't it, it's not as bad as it looks honestly!

The glasses cases will stay. They're very popular and they'll be joined by a zipped case later in the year.



Everything else that you know me for will also be staying, the kids and adult bike bags have been a huge success and more will be added in plenty of time for Christmas. The clutches will also stay in mini, the soon to arrive midi and the maxi wrap clutch. The shoulder bags will also still be available and will be joined by one more design for Spring next year.

The plain cuffs have been replaced by more intricate beaded and embroidered designs and I'm currently working on more of these.

In place of the brooches and pendants will be 100s and 1000s. It's my second shop on Folksy and managing two separate shops is becoming a wee bit time consuming so over the next few weeks I'll be removing the stock from 100s and 1000s and moving it to it's new home at Leanne Woods Designs.


Hopefully all of this works out to give me a better handle on what I'm doing, give me time to introduce a new range of homewares that having been in the planning and making stages just a bit too long, it should definitely make supplies orders easier to manage and with a bit of luck it should also free up a lot more time for making during the free hours I have to myself which will leave me with a lot more time to spend with my family. If it doesn't, I'm going back to making snap decisions:)

And so normality returns

or so you would think. Ok, so maybe "And so normality sort of returns on a part time, job share basis kind of thing with flexible working hours" would be a bit more accurate if a hell of a lot more waffly.

Summer is over and Chloe's back to school again, not to mention wanting to go to just about every club run by the school and a few that have nothing to do with the school. If she had her way a) I'd never set eyes on her, and b) I'd be broke. Those clubs are not cheap and she wants to dance and sing and act and play tennis and kick some ass in karate too, plus she has her heart set on GB this year and football, she wants to play football. Why does football arrive with the rain? Rain, hail, sleet, snow and the odd five minutes of sunshine that makes it all seem worthwhile and all of this played on a pitch that child haters walk their dogs across at weekends. Do you want to do that load of washing, because I'm not sure I do.

So with all that I'm to be left with a lot of time on my hands every day. Lots of lots of lovely long stretching hours rolling out in front of me and I'm having trouble getting back into the habit of not filling them with the Gruffalo and jungle ginger cookies.

Because I loved our Summer this year. Chloe seems to have morphed into a real little lady this Summer, maybe it was going on holiday earlier this year, maybe it's me giving her more leeway, maybe she's just at that age but I can merrily while away hours just listening to her talk about everything and nothing. At times she still seems to small with her childlike outlook on the world and at others she's far wiser than her years. It's been great spending so much time with her this Summer, but I have to admit that sometimes at the end of the day when she was all tucked up in bed I'd feel fidgety, itching to do something or make something but with no time or light left to do it in. The notion passed come morning again and I'd happily fall back into the land of all things Chloe without a passing thought of work or accounts or paperwork or much of anything else if I'm honest.

And now I'm sat with all the time in the world and the fidget just isn't playing the game. Maybe it only creeps in during the wee short hours ... or maybe I'm just a chore of a woman who wants what I can't have when I can't have it.

What I could do with is a kick up the backside, if someone would be so kind as to oblige.

The Rose Garden

Plenty of flowers, paths, nooks and crannies to explore and a beautiful sunny day ...


makes for a happy little girl.


and a very happy daddy.


and a fairly chuffed mummy too.

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

This is what happens if you take your eyes off my husband for more than a minute!

What a lovely pair

Oh all right then, if spelling's more important than funny, I mean pear:)


Or pears even.


Do you remember earlier in the year, after a couple of years of no pears whatsoever I said I would go out into the garden, cotton wool in hand and give the bees a little help this year?


Yep? Might have went a bit over board!


There are at least a half dozen on each branch and the poor tree is straining under the weight.


I see a lot of pear crumbles, pear chutneys, pear jams, pear tarts, and probably upset tummies in our future.

Looks like fun


Think I know what we might be doing this weekend.

All alone

That's what I am.

It's a little after 7.00am, I have my coffee and the news mumbling quietly in the corner for company.

I have a day planned, or as planned as it gets in the Summer, a bit of baking, bit of tidying, a walk to the park maybe or even just mucking about in the sprinklers in the front garden, it's a bit parched looking out there. The grass is definitely greener on my neighbour's side of the fence:)

Chloe's still in bed sleeping off a long lazy weekend playing with friends in the sun, and the husband is off to work.

His first day in his new job.

He's back to work.

I miss him, of course ... but I'm glad he isn't still here.

Fist Bump

Woohoo!!

We've just found out today that Chloe's P2 teacher will be taking P3 from next year and we've got her again. She must have really liked her class this year, either than or it's my mad present making skillz.

Woohoo!!

I've said that already haven't I?

She's not everyone's favourite teacher, some consider her a bit iron fist for their little kiddies but I think she's absolutely brilliant. Chloe sometimes has a habit of being offered an inch and taking a mile so having a teacher who makes her expectations known in no uncertain terms is perfect for us.

I found her teacher in P1 was a bit airy fairy with an attitude that kids should learn in their own time and there wasn't any rush, so the kids took their time and entered P2 a fair bit behind the other two classes. In one short year all that malarky was well and truly fixed.

What makes it even better is that our current classroom assistant will be moving along with them too. She's the fount of positive reinforcement and works perfectly with the teacher, I don't think I've ever seen a better team and it means Chloe gets the best of both worlds, a firm handed pat on the back if you like. She needs the strictness to make her sit down and concentrate on her work but she likes a bit of praise for a job well done when she's finished too.

Hopefully we're looking forward to another great school year.

Last week of term

I'm amazed at how fast it seems to arrived this year. Mind you, bunging a holiday into the middle of June probably didn't help me be any more organised than I usually am, but sure.

With the last week of term comes the usual panic about what to get for the teachers. I've loved Chloe's teachers this year and I mean love them. You can only really appreciate what it is to have a truly wonderful teacher in your life when you've suffered a not so great one and we've been there.

But this year has been great and we want to say thank you to her teachers, but what to get.

Nothing too big obviously, there's only so many presents a house can hold and I'm sure our wonderful teachers have houses crammed to the rafters by now. Nothing too clich├ęd like pens and books and what have you.

Chloe really wanted to give them bracelets to match the necklaces we brought home from her holiday for them and so I obliged and made them to match but jewellery, as lovely as it is, doesn't really scream "you're a fandabbydozy teacher and I love you".

So I went trawling t'interwebs for some inspirations and found this gorgeous set of flash cards over at Urban Bliss.

As luck would have it I also happened to have some magnetic printer paper handy, so a little bit of resizing later and we have three sets of cracking little fridge magnets for our absolutely brilliant teachers.


I really hope they like them.

Folksy Top Picks

I was all chuffed today when I noticed that Folksy chose my Pimms themed pinterest board for the site's featured items.


Why not pop over and take a closer look at all the lovely fruity things I've picked.

The quick as a flash holiday recap

There'll be more, I promise, but I'm still tired, still ignoring the laundry and still enjoying being home with my husband.

We baked in the sun, me more than anyone else but sure what else is new.


We played at the beach and carried half of it back to the apartment.


We relaxed in the pool.


We got bored of relaxing and had water fights instead.


We fed the lizards vanilla wafers in exchange for photo ops. Probably not their natural diet.


We walked up them thar hills.


Almost to the top!


And in amongst the few dozen or so very long walks, park visits, zoo visits, pool days, beach days and a few other days I'm having to look at the photos to remember, we found some time to just chill out.

Cheerio

See you all in a fortnight!

What a difference a few days make

Sorry, I know that last post was a bit grumpy.

It was panic, maybe, at least I think that's what it was.

I'm all better now though, I promise.

All my outstanding orders are cleared and I was even able to just faff around with a couple of new things yesterday.

I made a new cuff bracelet and I'm really trying not to keep it for myself ... might have to make another one though:)


We had mad hair day on the last day of school. I even found the time to customise Chloe's shop bought wig with a big blue bow which she told me made the wig cute but not mad, so I flung every drop of glue and sequin I could find in the house at the thing until it was deemed suitably mad. I know you can't see the bow but my lovely husband doesn't take photos with me blogging in mind. He'll get there though, won't you husband?



Chloe's really starting to rub off on me as far as the holiday goes. She is so excited and now we're down to our last 3 sleeps she'll be nearly impossible to contain. So I'm just going with it, letting her rub off on me and getting a bit excited myself.

It helps that I've found the time to iron everything and the cases are packed, well except for the couple of things that are still drying after being hammered by hailstones on the line yesterday. Do you think the weather knows it's May?

Anyway, the point is I feel much better now. I'm all cleared up and don't have that panicky feeling that I won't get finished in time and I'll let someone down.

Now the only thing left to do is get Chloe back for her last day of school on Thursday and try to find some way of tiring her out enough to get her into bed really early on Thursday night because we have to get up at 3am for our flights on Friday morning and I don't know if I've mentioned it before but Chloe getting out of bed early in the morning makes Kevin look like a precious little angel. Does anyone have a treadmill I can borrow?

Holidays are coming

Or looming depending on how you look at it.

I'm still not sure if I'm looking forward to this holiday or not, there's no doubt it couldn't have come at a worse time.

For a start Chloe isn't well at the minute. It's only a dose of the cold but it still means all hands are on deck trying to get it cleared up before we leave in two weeks.

I said back at the start of the year that the whole point of the holiday was to take Chloe away for a couple of weeks. My mum has been promising to take her away on holiday since she was three and my dad (the sensible one) kept putting it off because she was just too young to be away from us for more than a night or two ... but then my dad was diagnosed with cancer, had most of his bowel removed and was eventually given the all clear. Today you would never know to look at him how close a call he had last year, he's as fit and healthy as he ever was, even more so to be honest. But he doesn't put things off until later any more, so when the idea of a holiday came up before Christmas it was booked to include Chloe.

Of course then the realisation dawned that taking Chloe away on holiday for two weeks meant spending two whole weeks with Chloe:) She's not a bad kid, in fact after some of the play dates we've had this year I'd say she's a complete dream but she is constantly on the go. You need a lot of energy to keep up with her.

And so the booking was changed so that her own mum (that would be me folks) could go and play babysitter.

I'm not ungrateful, I know from all this it sounds like I am but really I'm not. They're spending a lot of money, and it all comes from a good place. They know we've had a crap year and think a holiday will help and it probably would, if Robert were coming too. Instead he gets to stay at home and carry on having a crap year while I have a crap time 1700 miles away worrying about him.

Plus I'm 30 years old and having a holiday entirely paid for by mummy and daddy so I feel rotten about that too.

Plus it means taking Chloe out of school for two weeks at the end of term meaning that she'll miss most of the fun end of term stuff including a couple of school trips.

Plus, business wise, if I have a busy time it's as Summer approaches and I'll have to close. I can't exactly ask Robert to handle custom orders, which is the vast majority of what I do these days.

And we're selling the house and need to have a good clear out and tidy up to make it more presentable so that's another thing landed on Robert while I'm away.

Does it sound like I'm feeling a bit guilty? It does, doesn't it?

Nose to the grindstone

Wahay, the kids are back to school again ... for three whole weeks.

Still it's given me time to catch up on all the things (more than a lot but less than a helluvalot) that were set to one side during the never ending Easter holidays.

But for now it's back to normality again, making, designing, doodling, filling orders and cutting out more panniers than you want to know about. Seriously I have bicycle bags coming out of my ears, who knew they'd be so popular.

I did manage to free up a morning for a good cause though. You can pop over and visit Louise at Sew Scrumptious for the full details but basically Louise is kindly offering to coordinate and send handmade dresses to Hope 4 Women International's "Dress a Girl Around the World" campaign. The idea is to make pillowcase dresses, as many as possible and these in turn are distributed to little girls by Hope for Women International.

I managed to make 3 in one morning.


They're very easy to make once you get going, but truth be told I'd never made a pillowcase dress before. I've seen plenty though and the little white ones always look lovely so I set about making my first white pillowcase dress (I know what you're thinking but give me a minute, I'm getting there).


When I was finished, I hung the dress on a hanger and stood back to survey my handy work. I grinned, congratulated myself and gave myself a mental pat on the back, I'd successfully made my very first pillowcase ... nightie.


Some colour was definitely called for ... and a matching scrunchy for each. I hope you agree.

If you'd like to whip up a dress or two yourself Louise links to a great tutorial and you have until the end of May to send them.

I didn't chase the postie this morning

I do love a morning when the postie brings absolutely no grown up post whatsoever.

NO bills.

NO snail mail spam.

NO election leaflets.

NO appointment letters.

Just oodles of lovely things for me to play with:)

Karen of All Things Blonde was in need of a new name for her lovely bias binding in blues. Now I'm fairly rubbish at coming up with names, but (luckily for me) the winner would be picked randomly from a hat, so I had a bash and my gorgeous new bias binding arrived in the post this morning. Thanks Karen!


I genuinely couldn't make my mind up which colours to choose so left it up to Karen to surprise me and she sent a gorgeous selection of reds. I'm particularly fond of the floral one at the bottom and Chloe has already earmarked it for a little reversible top I had planned to make for her. I think I may go the whole hog, order a few more metres of the cherry red and whip up a sun hat while I'm at it, a few metres of the lime green may sneak into my basket while I'm there ... for a skirt. A girl can never have too many skirts.

In other news, the ladybirds also arrived this morning and so the big green beaded leaf has made it's way over to 100s and 1000s.


After having a featured item on Folksy, the past couple of days have been very busy over Leanne Woods Designs so it's high time I got my finger out and photographed my new range of bicycle bags, the shop seems to be getting very light on stock and I get antsy if it drops below a certain level.

Time to get myself out in that sunshine, don't you think?

A New Venture

I must admit to having a bit of a thing for seed beads.

I kind of like them ... a lot.

And I buy them, lots of them, in all different colours and shapes and sizes and finishes. On the face of it there isn't any good reason for me to have so many, I make precious little in the way of jewellery, nothing at all really beyond the very rare custom order, maybe a wrap bracelet or two and I keep my mum in earrings because as much as she loves them she's forever losing them.

And yet I've drawers full of tiny little glass beads. It was time to use them.

They're like the little work horses of jewellery, almost always there, playing supporting roles to bigger more impressive beads, tying everything together and they're mostly overlooked.


Maybe that's why I like them so much, hard at work and getting very little credit. They're a bit like the wadding in the quilt, all the glory goes to the gorgeous fabric, but it just wouldn't be a quilt without the wadding.

They're fairly time consuming little things to make, usually with anywhere between 200 and 400 individual beads to sew, but I enjoy making them.

They're a bit too different from what I usually make to sit comfortably in my shop, so I've opened another. So far I've been wrapped up in brooches but have plans for pendants and maybe some earrings too.


You can find them all now at 100s and 1000s on Folksy, well all apart from the leaf which is eagerly awaiting the arrival of a little ladybird.

Mo, this is everyone.

Everyone, this is Mo.


Our newest family member is settling in quite nicely and proving to be a lovable little ball of squeaky snuggles.

Mo, meet ever

Winner Winner

Not a chicken dinner though ... sorry.

The good news is that the pin has been found!!!



I honestly thought it was hidden about as well as a giggling 6 year old hiding behind a curtain that's about 8 inches short of the floor, but it was only found by two people.

Still, it means that none of my lovely customers will be poked with a pin, fictional or otherwise, when they open a parcel from me.

And now for the winner. From the two people who found the pin (Gill and Stephanie), Random.org picked ... [insert drum roll here] ... Gill Watson.

Congratulations Gill, I'll drop you a wee email now, feel free to have a browse and choose your prize.

Put a pin in it - Giveaway

I have, rather stupidly, left a pin in one of the items in my Folksy Shop.


It could be in absolutely anything and I need your help to find it.


I'd be really grateful if you could just pop over to my shop and locate the pin. As I say it could be anywhere. In return for finding the pin I'm offering a free £20 voucher for you to spend on or towards anything you like currently in stock.


When you've found the pin all you need to do is come back here follow or subscribe (if you haven't already) and leave a comment simply saying "Found It" then drop me a line at seethewoods (at) gmail (dot) com to let me know where it is. On Monday I'll use random.org to pick a winner.

Good luck!!

The usual giveaway fine print
  • Vouchers can't be redeemed for cash, only goods currently in stock
  • Giveaway is open to UK entrants only (sorry)
  • Voucher must be redeemed within one month from the date of winning
  • Vouchers can be used as part payment on orders totalling more than £20 however vouchers will not be issued for any remaining value if used on orders totalling less than £20
  • P&P costs will be included on any order

Pears a Plenty

Hopefully!


After being butchered right back this year our little pear tree has come good and is now teeming with blossom.


I really don't remember it being quite so packed last year.


They're very pretty little flowers though very papery and delicate. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that we don't have too many high winds until the bees have had a chance to do their thing.


Though something tells me I might have to get out there, cotton bud in hand, and give those little bees a bit of help this year.