Jingle All The Way!

Here at Bumbleblue, everything is in full festive swing. It’s the last day of November and I already feel like I’ve painted a truck load of Christmas decorations!

As well as painting orders for my fabulous customers, I’ve been trying to carry on with experimenting and keeping my creative juices flowing. It was actually a Christmas song that inspired my newest little creation – This is a good twist of fate as now I can argue that festive Michael Buble is educational!

So, I had Jingle Bells in my head and fueled by a fresh cup of tea I opened my cupboard that holds a bit of everything and had a root around. At the bottom was a big bag full of my wrapping bits and bobs; rolls of pretty paper, bags of beautiful ribbons and tonnes of gorgeous tags.

Hmm, gift tags…

No present you wrap is complete without a tag. It identifies the sender, offers sentiment to the recipient and also makes the whole wrapping process complete. The more I thought about it, the more I started to feel sorry for the humble gift tag. We put so much thought into choosing which paper to buy, matching it up to ribbons and tags and when all’s said and done, we tear the package open and throw it all away.

A few more cups of tea and a few sketches and the ideas started flowing, I just needed one little thing to bring it all together…..

bells

jingle bells tag 2

jingle bells tag 1jingle bells tag 3jingle bells tag 4

Jolly Gingerbread Men

As well as being decorative and delicious treats, gingerbread men also make cheerful Christmas decorations. They have a cosy and rustic charm that is perfect for your home at Christmas.

The Bumbleblue gingerbread man has become a bit of a favourite of mine both to make and to hang up around the festive period. To be honest, there’s one that sits in my kitchen all through the year – just couldn’t wrap him up when we took the decs down last year!

They start their days as simple wooden shapes, but with a little love and care, and of course a splash of Farrow and Ball paint, they soon turn into little men. Each one is smartly dressed with the finest mother of pearl buttons and a little red bow.

These little chaps are all waiting for their own homes to go to to share Christmas with someone.

Something Borrowed, Something Bumbleblue

It’s a day where nerves, hopes and high expectations float around everyone’s minds.

The two people at center stage will spend months, maybe years before merticulously planning every detail to make sure nothing is less than perfect. All this excitement and anticipation just for one day? It must be a wedding!

Everyone wants their wedding to be the most special and unforgettable day and more and more are looking to add personal, creative touches to make theirs unique.

I’ve got to admit, I never really got the whole wedding hype. Yes I want to get married but I haven’t been visualising my wedding dress since I was a little girl. It was only when my sister got married and I helped with her stationary, I started to see what all the fuss was about.

Some of my creations are perfect for someone wanting to add a bit of a handmade touch.

The idea of one of my creations helping to make the perfect setting for a bride on her wedding day is a great thought. Knowing how important the ‘little things’ are, I will hand craft every product to ensure every bit of my care and concentration makes the perfect favour or sign.

And lets not forget after the ceremony…

Just What I Always Wanted!

“Perfect – it’s just what I’ve always wanted!”

It’s great to hear that after giving someone a present, but it takes some work. I’m not someone who can buy a present in a hurry – it’s got to be just right, and if it’s been uniquely hand made just for one person, even better!

Online market places are great to shop and seek out those specially made products. I have shops on a few selling my wares and it’s a selling point to be able to say everything is hand crafted for each individual customer.

A new venture in this field is a fantastic new website ‘What I Always Wanted’. It all started with two friends Ann Ellison and Deborah Bancroft, who started a mission to showcase ‘…the work of creative and innovative British gift and homeware designers…’

I first spoke to Deborah a few months ago when I received an email from her telling me about a new website to sell hand made products. I’m always intrigued when it comes to new selling platforms and the enthusiasm of these two was infectious! They have created a clean and fresh backdrop for the most gorgeous products (including mine!) All the individual designers are introduced  so customers know who they’re buying from. Shopping online can be a very ‘robotic’ process, so I love this personal touch. You can browse products by category or by designer if you like the work of someone specific.

With Facebook and Twitter accounts and a blog which regularly features the sites sellers, What I Always Wanted is constantly promoting themselves and with that, us.

If you haven’t already found them, I would really recommend paying them a visit especially if you love browsing through carefully designed and lovingly created products. You’re sure to be spoilt for choice!

www.whatialwayswanted.com

Spring has Sprung

We had a real taste of Spring last week. The sun shined, the sky was blue and even the daffs in the garden made an appearance.

Encouraged by my new seed cards, I planted some sunflowers, sweet pea and foxglove seeds to encourage the bumble bees and butterflies to visit when they flower.

Well, after looking out the window this morning I think my new little seedlings will need blankets and any visiting bees will need to have their rain coats on!

Snow in April? A little odd, but I’m determined to keep a Spring-like mind. I headed over to Folksy to have a look at Spring themed products and have found some gorgeous things;

All beautifully hand made – pop over and have a browse!

Painting Presents

I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog front recently and for this I’m sorry!

As usual, I’ve not been twiddling my thumbs but painting two big projects, one of which being a present for some friends. They had a little boy last August called Ben and I know it’s what you’re supposed to say when friends have children, but he really is gorgeous. When he first came home we took him some name blocks for his new room.

I said on the run up to Christmas I didn’t want to over do the handmade present thing, so we hunted the highstreet and online for the perfect present. This turned out to be a lot more difficult than we first thought.

Quite often I will imagine a present for someone before I’ve seen it. This isn’t wise to do because what you imagine, nine times out of ten doesn’t actually exist and therefore can’t be purchased! Excellent start.

Me and Ed spent many evenings discussing what we could buy and ruling everything out just as quickly as suggesting it. We got side-tracked and started talking about things we had when we were young – favourite toys or games that kept us amused and amazed for hours. Luckily our friends escaped many childhood remembered treasures including a noisy penguin steps and slide game which, oddly enough I was reunited with by my sister!

Another memory was being measured against a door frame and the date being scribbled on to show how much we had grown.

Light bulb moment. A height chart! And what better image for little Ben to be measured against? Big Ben of course. So knowing this very specific present wouldn’t exist, it was off to Homebase to purchase a tall piece of wood and lots of paint.

The actual image took quite a bit of sketching and measuring and even more measuring, but eventually Big Ben was taking shape.

Now it’s with it’s happy new owners and waiting for Ben to grow!

Bee My Valentine

I’m slowly learning, when you hand make your own wares you have to always be a few months ahead.

I was baffled when people on Folksy were saying they had started making products for Christmas…in June! Don’t get me wrong, I’m Mrs Christmas, but I couldn’t imagine painting snowflakes without some festive music – and believe me, Ed would be less than impressed if I was blaring out Jingle Bells for more than one month a year.

Apparently I’m a bit late already for Valentines Day, so I’ve had a little assembly line on the go to include a few loved up goodies, especially for the one area I always struggle to shop for. Cards.

Every year on the run up to Valentines Day, I wander round card shops picking up cards reading super soppy verses and seeing far too many ‘horny devils’ for my taste. I like nice cards, and I’ve had a go at making some simple and stylish designs.

I know not everyone will like them, but at least I will have one ready to give to Ed!

Treats for Tots

A really close friend of ours is about to have a baby boy. Of course I want to make her something special myself, but on many a late night wander on the internet I have stumbled upon some gorgeous and completely unique present ideas for  little tots.

I couldn’t keep such fabulous treats to myself, so here are just a few that I found…

When you start looking, it’s amazing how many talented and cleaver people there are out there!