Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Sunday Post

It's all systems go in the studio at the moment in the build-up to the two Country Living Fairs we will be doing in November. We've been working on new linen coasters and placemats (above: spotty, below: puddings), as well as re-jigging tea and coffee cosies and a few other bits and bobs too. 

We always find in the preparation for fairs - whether retail or trade shows - that having our whole range laid out, is a great time to assess how everything works together, especially having introduced new items over the last few months. It almost feels like a spring clean, although I suppose it would be an 'autumn clean' in this case! It's great to look at our packaging, designs, the coherency of the new items with the older items, etc... 

...and all I can say now is that I cannot wait until the Country Living Christmas Fairs, to see everything displayed all together, like a little CMT pop-up shop. 5 days in London. 4 days in Harrogate. So very excited. xo

Sunday, 7 October 2012

The Sunday Post

HELLO! It's a crisp morning here today and the sun is streaming in through the studio windows keeping it nice and snug ready for a day of sewing. Yesterday the November issue of Country Living dropped onto the doormat and to our delight we discovered our 'figgy pudding' tea cosy on page 24... 
It's really made the weekend for us, and we are now even more excited about the upcoming Christmas fairs in November! But there's a lot to do before then...

This week we've been working on stock of linen and cotton tea towels, including our new natural linen tea towels, and a new design too - wine glasses. We're hard at it this weekend, working on napkins, aprons and new placemats... time to get back to the sewing machine, happy Sunday everyone! xo

Sunday, 30 September 2012

The Sunday Post :: our week

HELLO! Hope you've all had a lovely week, I honestly don't know where the last seven days have gone, and all of a sudden we are a day away from October - eek! We had a delivery of festive chicken mugs earlier in the week, which have all been snapped up! We are now awaiting another delivery... so if you would like to sip your tea or hot chocolate out of one of these this winter, we will have more in stock soon!

Although still early (I know, we haven't even had Halloween yet) we've been quite focused on Christmas this week. People have been getting their orders in early, so we've had plenty to keep us busy in amongst trade orders, also for lots of Christmas goodies! And inbetween the wind, rain and clouds, we've had spells of beautiful Autumn sunshine, like this..... x

Sunday, 23 September 2012

The Sunday Post :: our week in pictures

HELLO! I hope you are all having a lovely leisurely Sunday, we started the day here with tea and croissants - a perfect Sunday morning. This week we have started to think about our upcoming winter and Christmas fairs. And with that in mind we have a little announcement...

We are going to be exhibiting at the Country Living Harrogate Christmas Fair (as well as the London fair two weeks earlier) - so if you live further north and can't make it down to London, I will hopefully see you Harrogate from the 29th November - 2nd December!

Earlier this week I also made a custom apron, to wear to our winter fairs. It's a chubby chickens design with my name embroidered at the top, almost like a name badge, and with a big floral pocket for change and my essential fair items... a pen and notebook!

And a last-minute note to let you know that we have just launched embroidered linen chicken placemats, to co-ordinate with our embroidered coasters. Available in sets of 4 and made from beautiful rustic linen, we are so pleased with their subtle style. 

Catch you next Sunday! x 

Sunday, 16 September 2012

a week of launches...

HELLO and happy Sunday! This week has been a week of launches - from our new natural linen tea towels (lovely and rustic, we're so pleased with them) to our Christmas Shop! And I'm excited to say that the Christmas orders have been coming in already... yesterday was our busiest day of the year so far!

Our 2012 Christmas Shop features everything from jolly figgy pudding napkins, to tea towels, cosies and Christmas gift tags - that I started last night. Each one is hand-drawn and painted and this year I am doing three designs: robins, puddings and penguins. It was great to pack my first festive tags of the season!

This year we are also producing a range of 3 Christmas cards: Merry Christmas (below), Let it Snow and of course, Figgy Pudding. They are available individually and also in a Pack of 6, which includes 2 of each design and lovely recycled brown envelopes too. On that festive note, I am off to pack a few more cards... have a wonderful week and catch you all next Sunday! x

Sunday, 9 September 2012

the last days of summer

From wading in thick grass full of clovers, to beautiful clear blue skies, the weather this last week has been pretty much perfect. For the majority of it we've been inside sewing lots of things for trade orders, but it's been lovely to sew in bare feet and to have the studio doors and windows wide open.

We've been making bunnies, egg cosies and notebooks to head up to Yorkshire, as well as framed pictures, cards and (more) egg cosies to be delivered to one of our local stockists this week. Whilst we're out and about delivering goodies this week - fingers crossed it won't be raining - we'll be dreaming of the perfect blue skies and hoping they will return again soon. x

Sunday, 2 September 2012

A trip down to sunny Devon...

I spent the last week in South Devon with my family, our annual pilgrimage, and every year see the trip as a wonderful time to take photos of the beautiful scenery, the sea, quirky boats and lobster pots, as well as a chance to get the watercolours out, and I spent a lovely few hours drawing boats, painting their sails and doing smaller, quicker sketches of boats and yachts using pen. 

It made a lovely change to use pencils, paint and paper, as I spend the majority of my time 'drawing' with my sewing machine, so it was great to be creative using a completely different medium to my usual fabric and thread.

Our holiday breakfast's were made complete with one of our coffee cosies, and we spent time wandering around the pretty coastal towns, walking around the beautiful Devon coastline, and stopping for well-deserved coffee and cake, or treating ourselves to delicious cream teas!

Monday, 20 August 2012

Adventures in Wales

This weekend I spent a glorious couple of days by the sea. We stayed in Mumbles, where I had visited as a child and where my auntie and her family grew up. We visited beaches (above is Rhossili Bay - a beauty!), got our toes sandy, paddled in the sea... 

...ate delicious food...

...and found wonderful cafes. The cafe pictured below is Ty Junction - the food was great, the decor quirky and rustic, and they even had lovely things to buy too, a must-visit if you are heading to Mumbles (Ty Junction: 2 Woodville Road, Mumbles, Swansea).

On one of the rainy mornings we popped into the Oyster Gallery - one of our stockists! We found them at the top of Newton Road (the main street in Mumbles), met the lovely staff and took a couple of snaps of our products in the shop. The Oyster Gallery is a beautiful shop, bigger than I had expected and a treasure-trove of seaside delights! (Oyster Gallery: 70-72 Newton Road, Mumbles, Swansea). xo

Sunday, 12 August 2012

chickens, cushions & cards

HELLO & happy Sunday! It's been a busy week here with retail and trade orders, from sewing spotty chicken cushions with added bumblebees, to our new woolly sheep stitched pictures...

I spent the majority of yesterday 'stand-planning' for the Country Living Christmas Fair in London in November. Deciding on how to display our new and existing stock is a tricky business, and after several rough stand sketches, I think I'm finally getting there... all will be revealed in November!

(below: our stand at (left) Country Living Christmas 2011 & (right) Country Living Spring 2012)

In front of the Olympics this week we also set to the daunting task of organising our ever-amassing card range. We now have 13 designs (10 all-year and 3 Christmas cards to be launched in September!) and after realising just how many cards we are now stocking, the time had come to group them all into designs and seasons. I love being organised!

Hope you have all had a wonderful week and tune in again next Sunday for the weekly low-down! xo

Monday, 6 August 2012

our weekly round-up...

The intention of my blog when I started it over two years ago, was to post at least once a week, usually on a Sunday, as there would definitely be spare time on Sunday 'the day of rest' to sit down and have a think about what I wanted to write and share about the studio goings-on during the week. However in recent months my posts have become more and more sporadic, as Sunday's no longer seem to be quiet and finding a spare moment has become surprisingly tricky!

However I think it's important to share our news from the studio, so I'm going to make a concerted effort - and Stitch Tales will be coming to you every Sunday (all going to plan!)

There were two exciting bits of news from last week...

Firstly the creation of our NEW linen coasters. At the moment we are making embroidered chicken & printed yacht coasters, and they are available in sets of 4 from our website.

And secondly, our notebooks have been featured in the September issue of Country Living. They are quite tiny in the picture and we haven't been credited for their use, but they are in there nonetheless, which is great! (below: a close up from the magazine, the notebooks are sitting on top of the table)

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Three Choirs Vineyard

To make the most of our last day of sunshine yesterday we ventured to the Three Choirs Vineyard in Newent to sample some wine, sit in the sun and learn about their wine and sparkling wine-making processes.

It was fantastic, I've never been wine tasting before and the experience was just splendid... 

We had a detailed tour around the winery, as well as a glimpse into their micro-brewery 'Whittingtons', also squeezed into their not-very-huge winery building. It was all very impressive. If you aren't too far from Newent I would highly recommend a trip, and the wines were delicious too... always a bonus!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Home & Gift 2012

For the majority of last week we were exhibiting at the Home & Gift trade show in Harrogate. We headed north last Saturday to set up, and it doesn't matter how many trade fairs I do, being faced with the bare stand always seems a little daunting at first... but we got there!

We had a great few days, meeting new and potential stockists, as well as lovely fellow exhibitors and new friends. We even squeezed in a couple of trips to Betty's for some 'tea room blend' before the show opened in the mornings!

We are now home safe and sound and have been invoicing and sorting through post-fair admin...

...and celebrating my birthday! I was even treated to a surprise birthday chocolate cake on the last day of Home & Gift (clearly the girls I met already know me too well!), which was delicious... but back to work tomorrow, we have orders to get cracking on!

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Midsummer Sale!

It's Midsummer Sale time here at CMT HQ, and we have added some one-off (or last remaining) items to our SALE page. Our spotty bunting (above) - available in either spotty teal, charcoal or blue is now only £14, and our last 2 sets of croissant napkins (below) are also £14!

We've been Jubilee and Union Jack crazy for a while now, but we've decided to add our Union Jack tea cosies to the SALE too... 
WAS £38, NOW £25!

 Our white cotton beach hut aprons are also, yep you guessed it, £14 
(bit of a price theme going on here!)

And last but by no means least... we have a couple of navy daisy tea cosies left in stock, now only £18 (£20 off!) So pop on over to our SALE page and have a browse, now is the time to stock up on birthday presents, or even to get in early for Christmas (sorry, Christmas is on the brain!)