New on Etsy (finally!)

I spent all of last weekend working, working behind my sewing machine and then behind the camera to try and prepare my Etsy shop for a little boost. The hardest part of it all is finding the time to edit the photographs and then uploading them to create the new listings. Seriously time consuming… I imagine it’ll get faster once I have a set list of tags and stop experimenting so much with those, and once I get my descriptions perfect first time. That would save 20 minutes for each listing that goes into getting the wording just right!

1photo 2My house is always a disaster when I’m photographing! The Belgian is very good about it and doesn’t even comment one little bit about the mess in the workshop and the dining room and the kitchen and… everywhere! But you can’t make an omlette without breaking a few eggs, right?! Something I have been wondering for a while is how to bring a human touch to the photographs. I try to make them look as appealing as possible in my little set up at home, but there’s no comparison to being able to touch something, especially textiles, when you are thinking of buying. So, this Sunday, in an effort to bring a little more warmth to the listings and to show how wonderful the welcome baby boxes are, I spent an afternoon with the most glorious little model you can imagine. How adorable is she?! She adored the sets and rewarded our efforts with so many generous smiles!

photo 5I’m constantly talking about time, and the lack of it, which is why I’m writing this blog post at ten o’clock at night! But it’s a serious issue. I have so many ideas of what I want to do with these photos. I took about 400 with our sweet model, of which I have about 8 brilliant ones that I can definitely use, but the time to sit down and properly think about where and when to use them is just not there. I have all these great resources – a light filled workshop, a great sewing machine, a good camera, WIFI at home, models who are happy and willing to participate, and ideas, ideas, ideas… I just need time dammit! Phew, so frustrating…

Rant over. Sorry about that.

IMG_2880 Here are a few photos from the weekend’s shoot, and I sincerely hope you drop by the Bazaar Collective Etsy boutique to check them out! These little soft rabbit doudou’s are my favourite. There are no parts that come off in a small baby’s mouth, and they’re filled with polyester stuffing, but not too much so they’re super floppy!
1photo 1I used to look after two small boy, twins aged 3. We were often stuck indoors on rainy days and playing with them I had the idea to try soft toy balls that we could throw around inside. I made them each one with scrap fabrics that I had at home, and they were instant winners! The boys adored them and we spent ages kicking and throwing them around, without breaking one single thing in the house! I think these three balls that are a part of the Welcome Baby Box are exactly the right size and weight to make fun for babies through to toddlers to small kids.  These are in the orange and linen set up on Etsy now.IMG_2851And bunting. There has to be bunting. This set is up on the shop now and I’m happy with how that looks! There are also sets with much stronger colours, for people who have are looking for something a little more defined. This blue and red set is made with vintage fabrics so it’s a limited edition!

IMG_3135This guy was hanging around me all day while I was shooting. Watching. Waiting for me to leave the table unattended so he could push things onto the floor. He’s shedding a LOT at the moment so I had to keep a rolly sticky brush handy to keep the table and area clean of stray hairs! I’m not sure what he’s staring at in the photo. Possibly a piece of fluff that could turn into a creepy crawly for him to chase if he just keeps on staring at it…..

photo 4I also shot my recent finished oversized vintage scarf cushion. I was really unhappy with the resulting photos and I realise that the set up all wrong for photographing these. I need a clean living room with not much furniture, and all white furniture if at all possible. Which is definitely not our house! We have lots of things and things and things… And mostly dark/black furniture. So I have a few of these up on Etsy already but I’m going to try to find a better setting to photograph the new ones which will really show them off.

One last thought – this video from the Guardian made me really happy today. People taking care of each other. We need to take better care of each other…

a x



Pinterest tutorials

On my work table at home I have about 10 different unfinished projects, that are all very near completion. I’m just missing the time to put into them. There’s a quilt with one side of the binding on, it’s just missing the final hand-stitching, and there’s a matching cushion that I decided to line and zipper instead of simply stuffing and sewing shut as usual. There are eight Welcome Baby Boxes to go up on the Bazaar Etsy shop, almost finished but missing either a matching fabric for the bunting or they’re waiting for the mobile clouds and birds to be stuffed and stitched! And there’s this nursery floor mat and matching cushion, a gift for a friend.

Nursery Floor Mat

The nursery floor mat is made with a tutorial I discovered a long time ago on Pinterest, from a website called Cluck Cluck Sew, which I adore! The tutorial is for a Sprocket Pillow (Cushion to those of us who speak UK English…) so I just took the template and expanded it for a much larger size. I used the original template to make the matching cushion top. I’ve used this template so many times now and it’s been perfect since the first time. I love this about Pinterest; I know exactly where to find the tutorial on my boards, so it’s handy when I need to use it again.

Quilt & Cushion in situ

(Apologies for the dark pic, it’s an old one!) Usually when I make one of these round cushions, I use a large button to seal the centre opening. This won’t work for the nursery floor mat, partly because the opening is too large but mostly because it’s totally impractical if a baby is rolling around on the floor mat to have a button in the middle of it! So I’m going to circle applique the centre. I haven’t done this before but I have a rough idea how it would work and I imagine I could whip up a quick technique for it. However, that would require some hit-and-miss trials before it’s a perfect applique. The thing is, I’m time poor at the moment, so I want to do it once, and it has to be perfect! So, it’s back to Pinterest for another tutorial!

There are lots that use some products like a fast drying glue to seal the frayed edge, but I don’t have any of these products and I’ve no interest in buying them. I found two that I quite like and one of which should work fine.

pin 2

This one above is super straight-forward. It links to the website Rainbow Hare with decent images of each of the steps, which is so important in figuring out if you’re on the right track. This tutorial is quick, easy and sufficient for what I need.

pin 3

The above image is from a more complex tutorial, but which would probably result in a much stronger and longer-lasting circle than the first. The Happy Zombie tutorial again has good images for each step. It will most likely take longer than the first but might be just that bit more suitable.

In any case, regardless of which I use in the end, I love this about Pinterest. I know that a quick google search would throw up as many results, but the best thing is that after trying one of these, if I really like it, I’ll save it to a board and always have it handy!

Having said that, as much as I love Pinterest, I went through some rubbish to find these two good tutorials. Which brings me to my next point: Pinners! It is ABSOLUTELY frustrating if you come across an image that says “circle applique tutorial” and the image links to the image and not to a site with a tutorial. Why?!! Just don’t do it! I’m asking nicely this time…

a x

My new favourite shop // mon nouveau magasin préféré !

I just discovered my new favourite shop in Brussels. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to figure it out because I’ve been following lovely Pepin la Lune ‘s blog for some time, but I guess it’s my (ahem!) “developing” knowledge of French that meant I didn’t realise she actually had a shop of the same name in town! Everything chic & sweet that you could want for your little ‘un is under that roof.

Je viens de découvrir mon nouveau magasin préféré a Bruxelles : Pépin la Lune. Je n’arrive pas à croire que ça m’a pris tant de temps pour le découvrir, puisque que je lis leur blog depuis quelque mois, mais j’imagine que c’est ma connaissance (ahem !) “développée” du français qui m’a trompée. Vous y trouverez tout ce que vous pourriez rêver de chic et chouette pour vos Petits.


Pepin 5

It’s wonderful. Just wonderful.

C’est extraordinaire. Simplement extraordinaire. 

Pepin 3

Full of baby things, the whole shop is gentle and Valérie works hard to create an atmosphere filled with calm energies. If it’s the kind of style you’re into (and it’s definitely my kinda style!) then everything you lay eyes on will charm you!

Rempli de choses pour les bébés, le magasin tout entier est délicat. La propriétaire Valérie a travaillé à créer une atmosphère d’énergies calmes. Si c’est votre style (et c’est absolument mon style !) tout ce que vous y verrez vous charmera !

Pepin 2

There are heaps of handmade things, pieces from Belgian creators and you’re likely to recognise the work. (Also, when I popped in to say hello the very talented Alice de Page was there chatting to Valérie!!) And also a few fancy pants things like these gorgeous soft muslin cloths with pictures of “slebs” who also happen to share my taste in beautiful textiles!

Il y a beaucoup de choses faites a la main, de créations de créateurs belges, et vous reconnaitrez sans doute leur travail (d’ailleurs, quand je suis passée pour dire bonjour, la talentueuse créatrice Alice de Page était là !). Il y a aussi des chose plus bobo, comme ces tissus de mousseline pour bébés, avec au dessus la photo des “stars” qui les utilisent… et qui partagent mon goût pour les beaux textiles ! 

Pepin 7There is a definite vintage flavour to the stock, with quite a few vintage treasures mixed in with the new and handmade things. All of it kid-related, you’re likely to find desks, chairs, cots and baby seats dotted around the room.

Il y a un goût vintage à la sélection, avec quelques trésors anciens mélangés avec les nouvelles choses et les créations faites a la main.  Toutes sont pour les enfants. Vous trouverez des bureaux, des chaises, des lit d’enfants, et des chaises pour bébé un peu partout dans le magasin.

Pepin 1I love the vintage suitcase tower above. It’s very similar to a display we have in our own room at home and I’m always keeping an eye out for new additions!

J’adore la tour de valises vintage ci-dessus. C’est vraiment comme une réalisation dans notre chambre à coucher chez nous. Je garde toujours un oeil ouvert pour  de nouvelles idées ! 

Pepin 8

There’s really something for everyone’s price range in there; whether you want to blow it all out with that extra special present for your first godchild or you’re looking for a nice set of sweet notecards to keep in your bag to write a quick Thank You note, you’ll find something there.

Il y a quelque chose pour chaque fourchette de prix : quelque chose de spécial pour son premier filleul, ou de petites cartes à garder chez soi pour écrire un petit merci. 

Go see the shop. Buy a stick-on tattoo. Be charmed!

Allez y ! Achetez-vous un faux tatouage. Laissez vous charmer ! 

a x


I tried something funny with the title of this post – just in case you hadn’t noticed… My fiancée is here laughing at me… Not with me, at me…

So this is a wee break (interlude) between two long posts because some beautiful pictures of sweet baby Lou arrived in my inbox, courtesy of her mum Gaëlle.


Here she is modeling her new autumn dress, made especially for her by yours truly! I wrote a short post on the dress a while ago but this is the first time I’ve seen her in it. It’s a little big yet but she’ll have it for the autumn with some funky tights.  Also featured in these pics are the quilt blanket she’s lying on and matching cushion I made when she arrived three months ago. Cute as a button!

Such a charmer! Here she is sporting her new ladybird bracelet which was a wee present from her Godfather, my Belgian!

I really should start writing bi-lingual posts now that I’m back at class – je dois commencer les post bilingue maintenant!

And here’s my favourite thing about Lou – she’s a smiler! She recently started laughing too and it’s something special to her her laugh! I hope there’ll be more features with this lovely lady in future, I just need to work on more baby pieces!

Oh, also! I just started using Photoshop Elements to work on my photos for the blog and I did a little work on these pics. Any comments or suggestions are most welcome, both here and by email!

a x