Ah, ah... why am I drippings with goo?

Because you name the adhesive and chances are I've been elbow deep in it at some stage this week!

Gift bags (birdhouses*) for Chloe's garden party/mad hatter's tea party/sugar fuelled kid frenzy themed birthday party on 2 April. Ten down ... 18 to go! Along with a stack of 30 rolled paper lolly pop sticks ready to carry 30 cake pops to school for her actual birthday on 4 April.

Fabric Easter egg pendants for Totally Bazaar on 3 April

Fabric disk pendants for the same shindig.

All in gorgeous vintage cotton prints.

And a new display for the pendants. I had a clear one but somehow managed to snap it in half after my last fair. Not that I'm complaining, it's one of those things that I ordered, received and immediately didn't like but because the only thing inherently wrong with it was that I didn't like it I couldn't justify replacing it. Does anyone else do that? I like this one a lot more than the last, it was black acrylic and black isn't really me either but because I picked this up as destash I felt perfectly happy blitzing it with sandpaper and smothering it in glue.

Don't pay the wrinkles no mind either, honestly it's still damp they'll flatten as it dries.

They will!!

Also on a related note, all manufacturers of Super Glue should be brought up on charges by trading standards. Super Glue is not super, at best it's barely OK, so so even. Henceforth all Super Glue should be referred to as either OK Glue or So So Glue.

*The Birdhouses - I think I originally spotted these on Flickr sometime last year and I've seen them pop up all over the place since then so I don't really know who to credit for the idea. They're fairly simple to knock up, but if you need a tute, Just call me Martha has a lovely one already for you.

Killing dead things

Nine times out of ten if you hear me say that I've been killing dead things all day, what I really mean is that I've been doing all those stupidly annoying little jobs that build up over time, keep me out of my mind busy for an entire day working through them and leave me shattered and worth tuppence, slouched in a chair come 10pm and someone else could scour the house for hours on end and not be able to tell what I'd been up to all day. The things that need to be done and are a nightmare to do but make no visible difference whatsoever. Think renewing car insurance!

Every now and again though, I'm talking about the little jobs that matter to me and only me. At the end of the day I feel completely satisfied knowing they're done but they make no difference whatsoever to anyone else.

Like I finally sat down and recycled all this year's Christmas cards into tags for birthdays and Christmas this year. It might not be much but it makes me happy.

And I finished two more circle skirts and a little dress for Chloe to wear when we're on holiday in June. It's a bit dark and miserable to take photos of the skirts now, but I managed the dress earlier.

Besides a circle skirt is a circle skirt is a circle skirt, if you've seen one ...

And not only that, but the repair basket is only half filled now instead of overflowing! The hubster's work trousers are sorted, I've finally taken up two pairs of my own trousers (they've only been waiting a year or so) and I've let the hems down on Chloe's school trousers too. She's grown 6 feet since the start of the school year (she has, I swear she has judging by the number of hems I've let down since Christmas) and we still really need those trousers. It's just a wee bit too cold for a skirt just yet and Chloe hates tights with the venom only a five year old at the head of the bathroom line with 30 kids waiting impatiently in line behind her can muster.

So I'm done for the day and it's high time I treated myself to a nice hot brew and a curl up on the sofa with a good book for a while.

Gift it?

I'm asked more and more often by my customers these days if I'm willing to send items as gifts and the simple answer is that I'm more than happy to send any purchase direct to the giftee if need be.

Image courtesy of Swirlyarts

I get that we're all busy beavering away, between work, kids, housework, school schedules and just trying to find five minutes to sit still once in a blue moon it's all too easy for one day to blur into the next and before we know it birthdays, Christmas, Mothers Day, Fathers Day and all those other days loom before us and sometimes schedules just don't allow for us to make the trip home or to see a friend on exactly the right day or weekend. Even thinking of Christmas this year when travel of any kind was pretty much a no go if not downright dangerous and the thought of a gift making it through the post once, never mind twice was stressful enough.

That doesn't mean that you don't want your gift to arrive on time though, sure you can always visit at the weekend later.

So, if you need something sent directly just drop me a line with the recipient's UK address at the time of purchase and I'll sort the rest. All gifts are sent gift wrapped in simple ribbon tied heavy cream calico gift bags with a handwritten tag and the usual confirmation bumpf (receipt, shipping label) will be emailed to the customer, rather than included with the purchase as they normally would.

The bags are entirely reusable and can be used again and again for gifts or storage or even to fill with dried lavender or herbs and used as a scented bag.

Gift wrapping is free of charge on all single purchase items, however if you purchase more than one item with the intention of each item going to separate UK addresses then the full postage cost of each item as stated in my shop will apply. This amount will be invoiced separately via paypal.

Oh and if you happen to order a purse, coin purse, one of the minis, full sized wallet or whatever it is, it'll be sent with a new penny in coin compartment for luck because you can't give an empty purse as a present.

Reasons I love you - #1

Because even though you're five and should know better, in fact probably because you're five and do know better, you still call nostrils "snotrills" and I think you might be onto something.


Business Decisions and Shop Update

I've been mulling over a few things in the back of my mind for the past six months or so regarding my little business and I've finally made a few decisions which will lead to some changes in how I run things here.

Most of these changes are small, many will go completely unnoticed by everyone but me. However, the first and perhaps biggest change which I've put in place this morning is that Leanne Woods Designs will no longer ship worldwide.

I realise for a business this probably seems a little bit counter productive. I've effectively reduced my customer pool to those living on the tiny group of Islands known as the UK but after some thought I'm completely fine with that, if anything I'm happier.

It's always been a goal of mine to use as many locally sourced materials as possible. Many of the fabrics I use are manufactured right here in the UK a smaller quantity are made in neighbouring EU countries however those were still purchased locally, I never add to the volume imported where possible. With things like zips and some hardware which just isn't manufactured anywhere in the UK I will import but I try to offset these items by using carbon neutral companies for things like stationary, business cards and packaging or by making donations.

Because of this I never felt comfortable with the idea of shipping worldwide, it was something I did way back when I first set up shop and it hasn't sat well with me since then. The idea of sending a purse or a handbag halfway round the planet when I'm completely and utterly positive that something could have been sourced closer to home seemed ludicrous to me.

I'll announce any future changes in time, but as I say they're teeny tiny compared to this and most won't have any dramatic effect to the shop or products on offer.


Mini Pocket Purses - Now in Stock

Passing the buck

So I'm getting more than a little bit concerned about our upcoming holiday (if you missed that post by "our" I mean Chloe and I, Robert will be living the life of a bachelor for a fortnight).

The thing is Chloe is very independent for a five year old, you could never describe her as being clingy or attached to my apron strings. She's also very familiar with the area we live in and the town as a whole, because I don't drive most of our time together is spent locally so she always knows exactly where she is. If anything this has made her even more independent and I'm confident enough in her ability and the fact she has some common sense that I let her have a lot of free reign, or at least what she considers free reign.

I let her go into shops by herself while I wait outside and I don't make her stay within arms reach of me while we're out and about. She's always in sight but for instance I'm fine with sitting outside The Streat having a coffee while she plays in the square with whatever kid she's just met for the first time. Plus we've more safety nets in place than I could even list here, if we were to become separated Chloe knows exactly what to do and where to go depending on what part of town we're in whether it's the statue in the square, my old office or any one of dozens of shops staffed by people who know her and know my number.

Giving her so much leeway also makes it a lot easier on both of us when I have to take it away for one reason or another. Like if we're at the museum, obviously they don't want kids tearing all over the place and because it's a one off thing Chloe's happy enough to stay within arms reach without being frustrated or getting an attitude. She always knows it will be business as usual once we're home again.

The problem, and I know this is a complete cop out, is that I've always passed the buck when I need to reign her in for while, "the museum don't allow kids running around", "Kids have to stay with their mummy in the supermarket, the manager says so!". You get the idea. It never started as intentionally lazy, we just genuinely only visited places with rules about kids to begin with, but sometimes for the sake of a quiet life I have stooped to blaming someone else for her having to stick by me.

I know, trust me I know!

Only now we're off somewhere for two weeks to a place neither of us have been before, we won't know anyone from Adam and I can hardly tell her the entire country wants her to stay close, can I? She just isn't that gullible.

I've tried explaining that she'll have to stay a lot closer to me than she's used to, and we've had lengthy conversations on the subject where she'll spend a good 30 minutes agreeing that it's much better and much safer to stay close, only to walk away after we're finished talking and casually fling a comment like "sure the pool's not far away", or "Aimee's been before, I'll stay with Aimee" over her shoulder. Aimee's 8 by the way. I've visions of much frustration and tantrums on both our parts. I may need a holiday to recover from this one.