Tiddler and Fox News
Its a pretty new phenomenon here in the UK to decorate our houses for celebrations such as Halloween and Easter, but its becoming more and more popular each year and I love that it's become a 'thing' over here.
I try to do something to mark those occasions and this Easter I've used my white display tree (you can buy them at Hobbycraft here) and my own decorations to bring a bit of spring colour to my kitchen.
As you would expect I've used my own handmade hearts (available in my Etsy gift shop here) and a few padded hanging hearts made from scraps of material along with some lovely hanging eggs I bought a few years ago. I hope you like it - simple but a nod to the celebration this weekend and to sunny spring days. A few more ways to bring Easter to your table:
You'll find lots of inspiration for Easter decorating on my Pinterest boards here. It doesn't have to be costly or time consuming and could be just as simple as having lots of flowers in the house or a simple floral arrangement on the table for Easter sunday lunch, using different vintage homewares, such as bottles and jugs as shown below.
They still add plenty of warmth and atmosphere in the evenings whilst it is still chilly. Plus if you buy them this weekend, there's 10% off all candles!
Wishing you a light, bright, fresh and happy Easter.
Until next time x
Autumn's Simple Pleasures - Things to do This season. We have been so lucky this past couple of weeks, I actually can't remember when it last rained here in Somerset and I've been able to enjoy my morning walks without fear of getting wet and the sunrises have been incredible each and every day, it really has been an amazing start to Autumn!
I'm so lucky living where I do and having a stunning garden to boot is a real pleasure even at this time of year. Being able to sit outside with a coffee on cold or frosty autumn mornings is one of life's simple pleasures for me.
So what does autumn mean for you? I've had so many conversations lately about it being a new beginning and a time that people love for lots of different reasons but each season really does bring it's unique pleasures and here are a few ideas of simple pleasures that you can incorporate daily for a really special season.
Play in the fallen leaves - children optional
Drink extra special hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows and make the most of seasonal drinks on offer at your favourite coffee shop
Dig out those cosy jumpers and get wrapped up and go for a nice long walk - make it easier to get out by having a treat ready when you get home as a 'reward' for the exercise. Make it something you don't have very often but something you'll look forward to the whole way!
Appreciate the outdoors without getting horribly sweaty....not just me then?!
Get the fire going (if you have one) or light those lovely scented candles you've bought from that lovely website tiddlerandfox.com.....
Break out the DVD's or decide which box set you'll start watching on Netflix now the nights are drawing in.
Collect conkers - again, children optional...
Get those cuddly blankets out of storage and get them cleaned if you need to but pile them up on the sofa for cosy movie nights and make your home super cosy. Need lovely soft new throws? Click here.
If you are crafty, look for new projects you can work on in the evenings. You might try your hand at some handmade Christmas gifts or simply something for the home. The ultimate time-waster that is Pinterest is a fabulous place for inspiration for all things craft and handmade.
Plan your Bonfire Night/Halloween/Christmas celebrations to take away any stress related with last minute plans. Five minutes here and there to think about Christmas in particular will be time well spent.
Any books you've been meaning to read? Nows the time to enjoy them.
Try lots of new recipes that are perfect for all the lovely autumn seasonal veg. These are usually great value and can make meals go a long way for not a lot of cash. Super tasty soups and casseroles are perfect for this time of year and are great for feeding families. I love to get the slow cooker (crockpot) out and make my favourite beef stew amongst other recipes. The smell that fills the house all day is divine. (Recipe coming in next weeks blog post - stay tuned!)
Have a bonfire with all the garden rubbish and fallen leaves.
Start a journal - this is one of the easiest and simplest way to appreciate the day to day and focusing on the things you have. Great also for goal setting and making plans and for keeping on track with them. Watch your positivity grow!
Simply enjoy the colours, scents and magic of this time of year.
Let me know if there is anything you love doing in autumn and things you look forward to at this time of year. Need a little more inspiration? Find my Pinterest board for Autumn here
Until next time...x
Christmas is coming! I know, I know...it's only the 4th October, but I've been planning and making for Christmas since July so this doesn't feel weird for me, but I do appreciate that it may be a tad early for some. Now that my Christmas collection is on the website for all to enjoy, with further products to follow over the next couple of months, I thought I would briefly share with you how I have gone about planning for the festive period.
As this is my first year as a fully fledged retail business owner, the thought of starting my planning for Christmas in July seemed a bit daft, especially as I was sat here in shorts and t shirt whilst doing it (very difficult to get into the right mindset of snowflakes and silly jumpers when its over 24 degrees!) but I was so glad I did. The retail world really does start to think about the festive season in January, and in a way I wish I had too and I will be doing just that for 2017.
However, having said that, the past year or so has been a massive learning curve and my ideas, goals and plans have evolved and changed constantly over that time, so any Christmas ideas would most likely have changed too.
So, not having the faintest idea where to start I stumbled upon a course run by the lovely Jenny Hyde, called Christmas Support (www.thejennyhyde.com). Run over the month of August with five live webinars, a Facebook group and the chance to ask daft questions to Jenny too, it was money well spent. Not only was I able to have my questions answered by someone who didn't think I was an idiot, it was great to know that I was not alone in needing the support for this coming festive time, that Jenny was able to give clear guidance on all the different aspects; financial, social media planning, designing, making and creating that I should be thinking about. We were encouraged to visualise what our ideal Christmas would look like and how our products would be used and what feelings they would provoke.
I had a vision of what I wanted my Christmas plan to look like, what images I would need and the feel I wanted to create. I've tried really hard to achieve this. Not being an expert, I'm fairly happy so far, with plenty more to do, but my skills don't quite live up to the results I wanted and neither does my budget! However, by the end of this month I hope that I will have created something festive, cosy, nostalgic and warming, evoking that feel of a traditional Christmas that I love and that I hope my customers (you!) do too!
So along with making and creating new products, ordering festive products from my suppliers (candles and candle holders) and making decisions on what to stock when, I also had what seemed like the mammoth task of deciding what my social media strategy and images would look like. Wow. I put this off for about two weeks, not really understanding how to go about it. I already plan a lot of my blog posts, newsletters and social media posts in advance but doing it for a theme like Christmas that would pretty much cover two whole months or more left me feeling a bit overwhelmed - where do you start?!
Well, the answer to that is wine...no, not really...instead I made the decision to set aside an afternoon to plan. So armed with about 20 sheets of A3 paper, notebooks and lots of lovely colour pens, I sat on the living room floor and basically didn't move until I have a plan laid out in front of me!
I had a list of images I wanted to post on each platform, for Instagram I now have a list of images for every day in November and December, which is a first for me, as it means I'm not winging it for a change! Twitter and Facebook and my website all have a plan with topics and images mapped out. Still some gaps to fill and I haven't tackled Pinterest yet (LOVE Pinterest!), but I have blog posts planned and some drafted, and now as I write this, the Christmas collection is live too.
After two days of photography and editing and a whole 8 hours of uploading and writing listings, it's there! Phew. Still more lovely gifts to come but I'm so pleased that I've managed so much this early in October. You can see it here
It does mean that the office wall is covered in wall planners and sheets of A3 but I can go into the Christmas season feeling so much more confident and hopefully, ready!
I now promise that I won't mention the C word again until next month!
Until next time...
Well, here it is, the round up of September I promised you last week when I blabbered on about pretty much nothing!
So what has Tiddler & Fox (otherwise known as me!) been up to this month and have I discovered anything new and fabulously entertaining for you?
Well...on the blog I talked about how to create a cosy home for autumn (read how you can do that here) now that the nights are drawing in, it's time to hunker down and get snuggly. We haven't yet lit the fire but it won't be far away until we do and we have a log store full in anticipation. The kittens are in a lot more now too so that means winter is on it's way. You can also find an Autumn Collection on the website highlighting beautiful buys to make your home nice and cosy this season.
13th September was Positive Thinking Day and I wrote about the power of positive thinking and how to enhance the every day here. Five simple steps that you can take to make each day a little better.
Last week I discovered Home in Castle Cary, a fab new cafe/restaurant serving vegetarian and vegan food that even my other half liked! If you fancy checking out the lovely menu on offer, you can find out more about them here.
I attended several fairs and markets, in lovely Lymington, Wells and Yeovil and also the Vintage Brocante at The Larmer Tree in Wiltshire, a stunning venue with beautiful gardens. If you would like to visit, you can find out more here.
Behind the scenes I've also been to Autumn Fair at the NEC, a twice yearly trade fair and visited my suppliers for candles, the amazing St Eval Candle Co, and you will be pleased to hear that I placed my order for Christmas candles and I'm eagerly awaiting their delivery as we speak! They will be on the website asap and you won't be disappointed, they are truly beautiful and smell incredible. If you want to create an inviting festive atmosphere in your home this Christmas, these scented candles are a must.
Also, work in progress is my planning for Christmas and there will be lots of making going on, all ready to go so far are my limited edition handmade tree decorations - watch this space, they too will appear on the site soon, along with a range of handmade and vintage inspired gifts. Gift collections will be available in October, helping you to choose that perfect gift.
I'll be adding a blog post next month about my Christmas planning as I appreciate that September might be a little too early for some to be whittering on about that!
I hope it's been a good month for you, I'm looking forward to sharing more autumn and winter ideas with you next month, with recipes, ideas to enhance your interiors and suggestions for days out and enjoying autumn weather! Until next time...