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Top Alternative Christmas Books for Younger Children

I've been thinking about the sometimes overwhelming gift giving season coming up and wanted to do a blog post about some alternatives to the mountains of plastic that line the shelves and catalogues.

I'm a huge fan of books as gifts and some of the most beautiful stories are set in the winter season, these are perfect books as stocking fillers or just to have by the nature table to tie in with the seasons change.

1. Tomten and the Fox  - Astrid Lindgren
2. The Story of the Snow Children - Sibylle von Olfers
3. The Tomtes Christmas Porridge - Sven Nordqvist
4. Winter Story (Brambly Hedge) - Jill Barklem
5. The Tale of Jack Frost - David Melling 
6. The Longest Night - Ted Lewin
7. The Yule Tomte and the Little Rabbits: A Christmas Story for Advent - Ulf Stark
8. The Winter Solstice - Ellen Jackson  Not a story book as such just a few tales about the Solstice from around the world and some information explaining how it happens.
9. The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice - not a s…
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Top 10 Tips for Festivals with Children

With my last big festival of the year approaching next week I thought I'd let people know my Top 10 Tips for doing Festivals with children.


Tip 1 - Ear defenders are a must even if you aren't right down at the front their ears need protecting, we personally use the Edz Kidz ones.

Tip 2 - When you are setting up your sleeping space insulate ground under you more than the covers you have on top. Use blankets or foil space blankets, even newspapers do the job.  Practice safe co sleeping as the easiest way for everyone to keep warm! Hats/socks and lots of layers are the best way to go. My boys take their duvets as well as sleeping bags.

Tip 3 - These plastic trugs are perfect for storing wet weather gear and welly boots when you get back to the tent. The tent stays clean and everyone knows where their boots are when it's time to go again.

Tip 4 - Take lots of snacks and fruit, also refillable water bottles are a lot more environmentally friendly and cheaper long term than the …

Beautiful Days 2017

We are going to be at Beautiful Days Festival again in 2017.
So excited, it is one of my favourite festivals rain or shine although obviously prefer the latter!



Hopefully we will be in the same location as last year just over the bridge to the left on the track towards the village shop. Good location for us last year.

I am planning to take my machines and a fabric selection again so I can make to order for you on site, and do a price list for repairs as I ended up doing a few last year.

If you wanted to order something to collect send me an email and let me know!

I will be there with the woolly goddesses from Felt Fusion (amazing hand dyed wool) and Knittastic (gorgeous wool knitted up into garments)

Some pictures of our stall from last year


2017 line up
Really looking forward to some of these!

New Pinafore Dress

I've offered reversible cotton pinafores for ever and always meant to do a jersey version but there are just so many patterns out there that I never got round to it until now!

The pattern has been lurking for a while but I couldn't decide which fabric to launch it with, then this fabric arrived yesterday and I knew it had to be the one.
 This pattern is only lined at the top of the bodice, I steered away from doing a reversible version because of the bulk on the seams and this will be cooler on warmer summer days



Each shoulder fastens with a snap.


The top of the bodice is top stitched for a clean line and it holds the lining in place.


This adorable toadstool fairy house fabric reminds me of the Gnomeville cotton that was so popular a few years ago. The toadstools are the houses and little fairies flutter outside.

Available in sizes 2 to 6 years. Click here.

Fabric Strike Off Test For LLFAB

This time round I'm testing LLFAB's custom cotton Lycra print.

My youngest was beside himself as he LOVES the film this print is inspired by.

Print quality is good, fabric feels nice in the hand, only a cm lost after the initial pre' wash, subsequent washes haven't shown any noticeable shrinkage.




With custom prints such as these I prefer the fabric to do the talking with a simple pattern, plus I have boys so complex patterns with frills and flounce don't really appeal!

They picked a t-shirt (with explicit instructions to make it a bit too big so it would 'last forever', and a pair of boxers.
First up is the t-shirt, he chose which fabric for the arms and the back as we had a large panel for the front.
T-shirt pattern is one of my own.






Next up were the boxers, I used the Made By Jacks Mum speedy pants as he favours these and we had to do some piecing together as there wasn't quite enough to get them out of a single piece.
We chose a solid purple for the …

Instagram 2016

There's a clever website where you input your instagram name and it will show you your most popular instagram posts.
My instagram at lizdsd is a mix of personal and work pictures as is shown in my #2016bestnine




Pantone 2017 Colours

Pantone the colour institute have released their colour trend predictions for Spring 2017, colours are generally muted and earthy with a couple of pops of bright colour.



The overall colour for 2017 is Greenery
They look at the fashion houses and runway shows, entertainment and general trends to identify what they think will be the colours featuring in our fashion and lifestyle choices for the year ahead. Pantone’s executive director Leatrice Eiseman puts it this way: “Greenery symbolises the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose.”

No black but I guess black is always 'in' if you are an old goth like me ;)