Plans for 2014...

Well it's been a while since I have blogged over here - things have been busy on my other blog and I have been busy working on new ideas for my Folksy shop in 2014.

My Sweet Kitty range went down a treat last year so I plan on continuing that line - I have some wonderful Scandinavian fabrics in beautiful colours and prints to play with and hope to produce one or two limited edition Sweet Kitties a month.
The little handstitched Sweet Kitty brooches have also been selling like proverbial hot cakes so I will continue producing those including, again in limited numbers, brooches to match each month's Sweet Kitty.

The first of these limited editions will be coming in February so keep your eyes peeled!

In the meantime I have been developing another range of cute, lavender stuffed critters. These are a little different however as the main body fabrics are all upcycled from old clothes.
Using luxury fabrics - mostly those with high wool content, such as tweeds and tartans - I have been working on these cute little pups.

Aren't they adorable?

They come with a little hoop stitched securely into place on top of their head so you can hang them up or clip them to a key ring or bag charm.

They are stuffed with a mix of dried homegrown lavender and rice (the rice gives a nice 'weight' to the pups) which sits in the bottom half.  So not only do they look good but they SMELL good too! The top half is filled with high quality toy stuffing.

I use co-ordinating wool mix felt for the heart patch, noses - which are hand stitched with stranded embroidery thread - and the ear linings too.

Oh the ears! Held in place with the dinkiest little wooden buttons!

All pups come with a ribbon collar (I use fab Jane Means ribbons - they come in such a wonderful range of colours and patterns).

I am also working on cat and rabbit designs in this range. And who knows what other critters may suggest themselves to me?

One thing is for sure - lavender bags have never been so cute!

The first batch of Upcycled Lavender Pups are now available from my Folksy store here.   As they are made from upcycled clothing they come in very limited numbers plus hand finishing means every single pup is a little bit different

Anthea xx


Folksy Friday - Twigs & Branches

There is something about a naked tree silhouetted against a pale blue winter sky that always makes me catch my breath. Add a bit of snow and I am in complete awe at how beautiful nature can be - even when she sleeps...

This week, then, I have been searching Folksy for twigs and branches...

1. Simply beautiful Winter Trees Slate Coasters by Ladybird Cottage  2.  Lovely Twig imprint Ceramic Bowl by Cat's Ceramics would make a perfect little trinket dish for a dressing table  3.  I love these Tree Paper Lanterns by Green Caligo  4. I must find some wall space for this Winter Tree Print by ialbert - love the white tree silhouette, love the patterned background, adore the little red birds!   5. A few leaves still cling to the branches of this 'Tree' Hand Silk Screened Cushion Cover from By Charlie's Hand. It comes in lots of different colours too so there's bound to be one that suits.   6.  Gorgeous glass Tree Pendant by Artyscapes

I hope you enjoyed this selection. If you want to see more beautiful twiggy objects just hop along to my Folksy Finds Pinterest board.

ps - as this is my first post for 2014 I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you all a

Happy New Year!

May it be full of love and joy and handcrafted gorgeousness!

  Anthea xx


Special Christmas Discount Code!

This morning I was reliably informed by my son (who got it from Disney Jr so it must be true) that there are only ten sleeps till Christmas!

Only 10 sleeps to get everything ready. Are you ready? I know I'm not (in fact my Christmas mojo seems to have gone AWOL

Don't fret - there is still time to make a few last minute purchases. There are still a few Festive Felines and scented Christmas decorations left in my Folksy shop  and I have now added all the Sweet Kitty brooches and a few fabric puff brooches with vintage buttons which make great stocking fillers.

My last posting day is Friday 20th Dec and if you need any incentive at all I am also offering a massive 25% off all orders (including sale items) placed before midnight on Thursday 19th Dec.   Just pop the code FB25 into the 'note to seller' section at checkout and I will arrange your 25% refund via Paypal.  

Just a little thank you for your support over the past year. Without you all Forest Flower Designs would still be a little dream...  :-)
I will be closing my Folksy shop for the holidays on Friday so that I can concentrate on Christmas with my family but I have lots of exciting plans and ideas for the New Year that I can't wait to share with you. 

In the meantime may I wish you all...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year


I've been 'Folksy Favourited'!

Things are pretty busy here at Forest Flower HQ -  I have been finishing off the last of this year's decorations and getting them listed on Folksy as well as giving the house a spruce up ready for our own Christmas decorating that begins this weekend.
As if I didn't have enough to do I even decided to make a start on painting the kitchen

Earlier this week I had a lovely surprise when I signed into Twitter and found that Folksy had added one of my little star burst print Christmas birds to their #favouritefinds list.

Here it is on the front page!

Getting a little Folksy endorsement can only be a good thing and it has certainly driven up visitor numbers to my little shop and added a couple of sales to my tally - so thank you Folksy!

Have a lovely weekend!

Anthea x


Folksy Friday - Oh Deer!

The deer trend has been around for a while now but still as lovely as ever and perfect for this time of year.

This week I have mostly been lusting after cute deer earrings and that fab nail art by Kate Broughton is a definite must have!

In fact already have... (I couldn't resist!)

1.  Cute laser cut bamboo Deer brooch by The Owl and Otter  2.  Adorable Reindeer Fawn made from log offcuts by The Log Basket (I am also a little bit in love with their white birch candle holders) 3. I love these Deer Nail Art Stickers by Kate Broughton so much I bought some :-)  4.  The sleeping fawn illustration on this pocket mirror by Nemke is just too beautiful...  5.  A magestic stag head adorns this cute locket and charm necklace by Dear George Designs   6.  This pair of beautiful, handprinted Deer & Stag cushions by HELKATDESIGN would make a beautiful wedding gift for a special couple.  7.  Lovely big Deer Mug  by Charlotte Macey Textiles - just perfect filled with cocoa and marshmallows!  8.  Running Deer Brooch from Art you Wear features artist Justine Nettleton's tree branch artwork representing the deer's dreams of running free. Just beautiful.
9.  These dinky little Deer Earrings by Beadish Delight are on my Christmas wish list but I'm not sure I can wait that long! 

Hope you have enjoyed my Folksy Friday selection this week. As ever there is a pin board with more deer delights over on Pinterest   

Happy Friday and I hope you have a lovely weekend!

Anthea xx


ps: have you seen these in my Folksy shop? 
'Deer Heart'  is made with a fab print of leaping reindeer, pretty snowflakes and festive trees. Completely sold out in green but there are still a couple in the sumptious crimson and raspberry pink colour combo left...


'Revealing Craft' on Kickstarter

Have you ever heard of Kickstarter?

No me neither until recently when I read about a fab collaboration between Folksy and photographer India Hobson - Revealing Craft

If you are a regular reader of Mollie Makes you may have already seen some of India's photographic studies of designer-makers in their studios - this book contains much more of the same promising to 'tell the life behind the work of each of the thirteen designer-makers as well as India's narrative of her meeting with this people in their homes'

What is unique about this book is that it is, through Kickstarter, funded by your pledges. Folksy need to reach a goal of £6500 to pay for the 1st edition print run of Revealing Craft and they are asking for your 'pledges' - effectively pre-orders - in order to raise the money.  You can find out much much more about how it all works here

I have made my pledge for a signed and numbered copy of the book in a presentation sleeve. It is my Christmas present to myself and I very much hope that they reach their goal. I cannot wait to see the finished book.

There are, as I write, only 5 days left to reach the goal and just over £1000 left to raise.If you too want to be the proud owner of a piece of Folksy history why not hop over and make a pledge.

Everyone is keeping everything crossed they make it!!


Christmas craft fair weekend

I have spent most of the last two weeks frantically sewing up a bunch of stock ready for Christmas craft fairs.

I do this every time - craft fair looms, I go into panic mode, realise I don't have nearly enough pretties to fill a table (because you lovely peeps keep buying them from Folksy! *not complaining* ) and spend every waking moment with a needle in my hand. The house gets completely ignored, and it's truly amazing how quickly kids and partners go feral when they have to find their own tea...

And for what?

This weekend I did two events - one billed as a 'ladies Christmas shopping night', the other was in a local pub.  Both were a terrible disappointment...

Not a complete waste of time to be fair - I covered my table costs and I have an order from another trader for a personalised bunting banner for her own stall. I also had a lovely chat with the organiser of the pub fair about how we could all work together to make a successful regular event. (More on that as and when... )

I have blogged about the craft fair conundrum before over on TFMP and every time I come home from one I ask myself the same question. Why? Why do I do this thing?

The truth is I enjoy them. I come from a retail background and I enjoy setting up shop! I enjoy meeting customers and talking to them. I get a thrill when they point things out they love or pick up my work to get a better look or take a card so they can check out my blog and online shop later. I love wrapping up a purchase and popping it into a bag and handing it over with a smile and a thank you.

I wish I could do more of it.

I just wish more people liked to shop that way...

What are your craft fair experiences? Do you love them or see them as a necessary evil? Do you have any tips for a 'successful' fair experience?

And if you are a customer what makes you make a purchase? Do you have any advice for stall holders on how to attract the attention - and the purses - of potential customers?

I always love to hear your opinions.

We are all in this together after all....

Anthea xx