January – on taking things slow…

I went out for dinner with some friends last week, our main topics of conversation were:

  1. How tired we are
  2. How busy we are
  3. How much we’d done that day
  4. How quickly time is flying by

You get the picture and I’m sure you’ve probably had very similar conversations yourself.

I am a busy person, I struggle to sit through a film, the cinema would be my least favourite outing of choice because it involves sitting still for more than half an hour.  With both work and home I plan tasks in my head that I ‘must’ get done that day, if I don’t I feel I have failed. I can’t watch telly without doing something else at the same time. It’s why I knit, at least I feel I am doing something with my hands and something productive with my time. In short, I struggle to slow down – I know I’m not alone!

In the run up to Christmas life was so busy, as it is for everyone, with Christmas shopping, working on the business, getting orders out, school activities, productions etc.  In the week or so before Christmas I struggled to sleep at night and by the time Christmas came I felt quite stressed and exhausted from the lack of sleep.  Once  Christmas got going though, with no work and a lovely lack of routine something strange happened – I started to relax.  I would watch tv and be able to concentrate on what I was watching,   I read at night in bed and actually got into what I was reading and enjoyed it, I had a long bath rather than a rushed shower. I began to allow myself to spend time doing the little things I enjoyed and actually allowed myself to enjoy them and not feel guilty for not doing something ‘productive’.  As a result, I started to sleep better and felt happier and more relaxed than I had in a long while.

This got me thinking, I am one of those people who is constantly amazed by how fast the days, weeks, months fly by and  I get frustrated because I don’t feel I can take enough of it in.  But is the reason it does fly by so quickly because we are so immersed in the busyness of life to notice what is actually happening in the moment?  For me I think it is.  There’s almost a pride these days in how busy we are, how many clubs our kids go to, how many nights of the week we are out – but why?

I mentioned the other day on Instagram that in the past I have struggled with being a stay at home mum working on my business while my children are at school because I feel like I constantly have to justify my time, although no one is actually judging me but me.  I feel almost guilty sometimes about stopping for a cuppa and half an hour of telly where I could be working or doing the washing or getting the dinner prepped.  We all know how these tasks never end, but on the times I have allowed myself a break I have been a lot more productive in the hours that follow.

So this month, even this year I am going to try and bottle those feelings of enjoyment at making time to do the little things I enjoy.  To slow down and make time to read, go for a walk with the dog without feeling rushed, watch tv in the evenings, without being on the laptop at the same time, do some exercise (yoga and running for me) and make some time for myself without feeling guilty for it.  What’s that saying – ‘You can’t look after others if you aren’t looking after yourself’ or something like that.

So January, for me, is going to be my slow month.  Even if my slow month does mean slowly Marie Kondo-ing my way through our house along with the rest of the world, it’s good for the soul you know…

Take care!

Sally xx

POPPY & PRIMROSE CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE

Lots of us are choosing to ‘shop small’ this Christmas, looking to buy something unique and made with love and it’s such a lovely way to support handmade and small local businesses.  Here’s a little guide I’ve put together of some gift ideas from my own handmade shop – I hope you like them!      

FOR HER
My personalised cushions are not only for little girls.  I’ve been asked to make ‘Nanna’ cushions, cushions with house names on for the hallway, town names and of course ‘Mummy’ cushions for Mum’s special chair.  Something pretty for the home and something she probably won’t be expecting! 
 
And of course there’s always a pretty Christmas stocking for a before Christmas treat too!

FOR HIM
Men are always hard to buy for aren’t they!  So how about, instead of the usual socks this year, you treat the men in your life to something more personal.  Maybe a string of bunting saying ‘Dad’s Office’, ‘Grandad’s Shed’ or of course there’s a personalised cushion again for their special seat in the house.
 
FOR GIRLS
I find girls the easiest to buy for, if they’re anything like my daughter they will love anything pretty.  So, for girls, I can offer my pretty name bunting in your colour choice, a co-ordinating name cushion, perfect for making their bedroom their own.  Or how about a trendy personalised initial letter cushion in a bright colour, or even a pretty, on trend pom pom trim cushion.  This one would be perfect for a budding ballerina!

 

FOR BOYS
It’s difficult sometimes to find things for boys that are bright, colourful and unique.  Similar to the ideas for girls, how about a brightly coloured name cushion, or one in a monotone design for older boys in blacks, whites and greys.  There’s also a colourful string of bunting – which doesn’t only have to spell a name and of course I also offer those ‘on trend’ initial cushions for boys too which can be made in the colour of your choice!

 

FOR BABY
Baby’s first Christmas is such a special time!  Why not treat that little one in your life to a beautiful personalised patchwork quilt or blanket, something special that they can keep and treasure for years to come. 
 
My blankets are super snuggly, perfect for all of that out and about Christmas visiting baby will be doing.
Or, If you’re looking for something to add a pop of colour to baby’s nursery, how about one of my bright baby print pom pom cushions which look great on a nursery chair, cot or bed.

I hope these ideas have been helpful.  I haven’t been able to include photos of everything of course but everything mentioned or shown here is available to order on my website and I’m always open to bespoke orders too – time permitting.
 
Please don’t forget that my closing date for made to order items will be FRIDAY 7 DECEMBER.  I’m getting busy already and am so grateful for every single order!
 
Thank you for reading!
 
Sally x

October – Monthly Round Up…

October is one of my favourite months.  I love it when the days start to feel chillier and the sun glows that beautiful orange through the trees. It’s been a busy month for me both at Poppy & Primrose and at home.  Here’s here’s what I’ve been up to this month…  

Loving – Autumn walks, our dog walks and our walks to school and back have been so pretty in the sunshine.

Hating – Getting up in the dark, it feels like the middle of the night at 6am!!

Wearing – Cosy jumpers and winter boots, loving oversized knits at the moment.

Sewing – A bit of a variety of orders this months but it’s mainly been pumpkins and blankets.

Dressmaking – Cosy jersey dresses perfect for wearing with tights and boots – hello Coco!

Drinking – Hot chocolate, I’ve never been much of a fan but this year I’m loving it with plenty of marshmallows

Eating – Casserole, it’s slow cooker season, I’ve dusted mine off and it’s in action!

Buying – Sewing patterns and fabric, we’re supposed to be saving but I can’t seem to help myself with all of the lovely Autumn designs there are out there.  A corduroy Tilly & The Buttons Cleo dungaree dress is next on my list!

Watching – Snatch season 2 and This is Us, at opposite ends of the scale but I love them both!

Reading – Jayne Eyre one of my old faves, I read it at college and loved it!

Thinking – About Christmas and all of the things I want to sew, it keeps me awake at night!!

Realising – If you want something done you have to do it!  Sounds silly but it’s true!

Looking forward to November and some serious Christmas planning!  What have been your favourite things about this month?? 

Sally x

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve compiled a blog post of frequently asked questions that I’m often asked before customers decide to buy. I hope these will be helpful but as always if you have any other questions don’t hesitate to message me:

QUILTS & BLANKETS

Q: Can the quilts and blankets be machine washed?

A: Yes, my quilts and blankets are machine washable on a cool 30 degree setting. It’s helpful to use a laundry washbag or a pillow case if you have one as this can help to prevent bobbling. The nature of patchwork is that it will pucker slightly over time the more it is washed but this simply adds to the vintage style of the item.

PLEASE NOTE: The patchwork top may be ironed on a cool setting but felt lettering and dimple minky fleece should never be ironed!

Q: Can I have a quilt or blanket personalised?

A: Yes, for both blankets and quilts I have a listing for both personalised and non-personalised items.

Q: Can I choose my own colour scheme for my quilt or blanket?

A: Absolutely! If you are ordering a ‘made to order’ blanket I am very happy to discuss your fabric choice and colour scheme with you before ordering and work with you to get the best fit for your needs. Please note that on some occasions the price may need to be adjusted accordingly depending on the cost of the fabric you require, this will always be made clear before ordering.

Q: Can I have a ‘ready made’ quilt or blanket personalised?

A: I’m afraid not as my names are stitched in before the quilt is finished but always ask and I may be able to replicate or create a similar item and personalise it for you.

NAME & INITIAL CUSHIONS

Q: Can the pillow cases be machine washed?

A: Unfortunately, due to the nature of the applique, my pillow cases are spot clean only.

Q: Can I request a different colour scheme or shape?

A: Of course, I’ll always try to accommodate your request where possible.

 

PERSONALISED BUNTING

Q: Can I request more end flags?

A: Yes! Just pop me a message to let me know how many extra end flags you would like and I’ll cost them accordingly for you.

Q: Do you make plain fabric bunting?

A: I do, if you would like to order some plain, non-personalised, bunting simply message me and I’ll cost up a custom order for you.

It’s now or never…

You know that saying ‘get out of your own way’ well that’s what I’ve finally realised I have to do if I’m ever going to start writing this blog. 

It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of ‘everyone else is doing it, how will I ever get noticed’, ‘what will other people think of me’, ‘I’ll never be as good as her/him/them’.  The list goes on, well my list does anyway.

Well there’s also that other saying ‘You Do You’…. So that’s what I’m hoping this Blog section of my website will be, a little extra bit of creativity where I can write about everything I love.  Sewing, dressmaking, home, mum-life and whatever else takes my fancy.

Thank you so much for being here, I really hope you’ll stick around and join me on this next little stage of my Poppy & Primrose journey.

Lots of love

Sally x