Southsea Night Markets on BBC Radio Solent and in The News!

As if it wasn’t exciting enough that lots of local businesses, crafters and the public have been enthusiastically supporting the Southsea Night Markets, in the last two days Tom and I have also been interviewed on BBC Radio Solent and The News have written an article, which is in today’s edition! We are so excited about the markets launching this Friday, whether you would like to sell your work or pop down for a browse, please come along and support handmade industry in Portsmouth!

Southsea Night Markets on BBC Radio Solent

Southsea Night Markets in The News

The photo of Tom and I in The News was taken on Southsea beach, by Matthew Cleveland.

Southsea Night Markets



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Cotton Reel Sign Holders!

When I take my toys to a market or fair I’m always trying to think of new ways to display them and items that I can take with me to make my stall more interesting. A mini sewing machine nearly always comes along and my set of mini drawers to hold mini monsters is essential! Today I thought I would share with you a great way of displaying little signs on your stall, which could be used to give your customer a bit more information about the lovely things you make or simply to indicate prices.

Cotton Reel Sign HoldersTo make your very own set of cotton reel sign holders you will need a selection of wooden cotton reels, a workbench and a saw. I used a hacksaw because I wanted to get a fine cut. You can leave the thread on the reel or wind it off, like I have done. Pop your cotton reel in your workbench to hold it steady, but don’t over tighten it because you will leave marks. Gently cut your slit in the top, taking care not to rip the paper label.

Cotton reel sign holdersYou can cut your slits at different angles to make an interesting set. I avoided the names of the colours because I think this is a really interesting detail! You could varnish the paper labels if you liked with a little bit of watered down PVA glue to keep them in place.

Cotton Reel Sign HoldersYou could also use them as place settings, especially if you are planning a handmade wedding! We cut up some branches for our place settings so that they matched our wooden centrepieces. Happy Making!

If you fancy making your own sign holders then you can buy some useful supplies from Amazon. If you purchase anything through the links in my post you are helping to support my blog as I get a small referral fee from Amazon. Thank you!


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Monsters at the Love Southsea Market!

Next weekend will be a very busy couple of days in Southsea! The Southsea show will be on the common and the Love Southsea Market is taking its usual place in Palmerston Road. I will be setting up shop at the market, with a wonderful selection of toys and games, including an army of mini monsters in my favourite colours!

Mini monsters with spools

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Our Handmade Wedding : Hand Stamped Silverware by The Faded Nest

I wanted to give Matt some handmade presents to surprise him throughout our wedding day. He loves fonts and typography, so I thought that a set of hand stamped cutlery would be the perfect present for him to find when we sat down for our first meal as husband and wife! I contacted the lovely Gem through her Etsy shop The Faded Nest to see if she could set me up a custom order for some cutlery. She was very helpful and I got to choose the silverware and the exact messages to go on them. I couldn’t be happier and Matt loved them too!

Hand stamped cutlery by The Faded NestHand stamped cutlery by The Faded NestPhotographs from our wedding taken by the wonderful Antony Turner.

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Our Handmade Wedding : The Centrepieces

I grew up in the countryside and my family and I spent a lot of time walking our dog through the woods. Matt and I love walking and exploring and we wanted simple, natural decorations for our wedding to reflect this. We thought that slices of tree trunk would make lovely centrepieces, so I contacted a local tree surgeon to see if he could help! He was extremely helpful and gave us advice about how best to store and treat the wood.

It took a good three months for the wood to dry out properly and then the very long process of sanding began! My Dad lent me his electric sander and I used 40 grit sandpaper. You can see the process in the photos below.

Our Handmade Wedding : Our CentrepiecesTo complete the centrepieces we used old bottles, dug up from my parent’s garden, and filled them with gypsophila, nigella, lisanthus and baby eucalyptus.

Our Handmade Wedding : The CentrepiecesOur Handmade Wedding : The CentrepiecesBottom two photos by the wonderful Antony Turner!

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Shiny new PDF patterns!

My felt Christmas decoration kits are now available as PDF patterns too, which means that they are instantly downloadable so that you can pick your pattern and get stitching straight away!

Felt Christmas Decoration Kits

I know that the sun is shining outside and you may not be thinking ahead to December, but Etsy is having a Christmas in July promotion, so as well as releasing my patterns, there is 20% off all my kits and I will be sending a complimentary felt tinsel kit with every order!

handmade felt decoration kits


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The Southsea Night Market!

When you go to the seaside do you love having a paddle, treating yourself to an ice cream and enjoying the scenery? Well now you can do all these things, plus you can also visit The Southsea Night Market on Southsea Promenade, every Friday evening in August! There will be lots of stalls selling handmade items that have been made in the city. Portsmouth City Council has kindly opened up this space so that anyone with handmade goods, a table of their own and public liability insurance can sell here any day of the week. The Southsea Night Market aims to get lots people all together in one place to highlight the amazing things being made!

So whether you want to sell your work or browse handmade items, join us one Friday night soon! If you have any questions just send me an email at

Southsea Night Markets


The idea for the Southsea Night Markets was born from a conversation between Tom and myself. This lovely poster was designed by Kendal James.

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My scrappy progress

After untangling a big pile of yarn, I’ve started my first scrappy blanket, using odds and ends left over from past knitting projects. I’m knitting garter rib and I keep knitting until my mini balls of wool run out!

Scrappy knitted blanketI didn’t want to join any colours halfway through a row, so I measured the amount of wool it takes to knit each row. If you want to do this, simply measure one metre of wool and attach a safety pin to mark this point. Knit until you reach the safety pin, then measure down again. Keep a note of your measurements as you go and you will be able to add up your total. As a guide, I need about 3 metres of double knit wool to knit across 123 stitches on 5mm needles. Happy Knitting!

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Christmas in July!

I’m joining in with the Christmas in July sale on Etsy and my felt Christmas decoration kits are back in my shop! So for all those very organised people out there, you can get started on your handmade decorations and enjoy 20% off all of my kits! I am also popping a felt tinsel kit in with every single order! This lovely promotion runs until the 20th of July.

Felt Christmas Decoration Kits

Felt Christmas decoration kit

handmade felt decoration kits

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My Neopolitan Cacti!

As you may know I really love cacti! They were everywhere in Naples, on balconies, in shops and there were even botanical gardens full of them. We found a market stall just off Via Toldeo in central Naples that had loads of tiny cacti, most of which I had never seen before.
Naples Honeymoon Naples HoneymoonAfter checking the government guidelines on bringing plants into the UK, I spent ages selecting my three favourites to bring home! Matt made them travel pods from plastic bottles and they made it back safely in our hand luggage. Now I am on the lookout for handmade pots to put them in!

Neopolitan CactiNeopolitan Cacti Honeymoon 2014 Honeymoon 2014Photos (except number three) taken by my wonderful photographer husband, Matthew Cleveland!

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