Thursday, 4 April 2013

School is out!!!

Life in the home of Dotty Red is upside down with the holidays, full of happy chaos.   I still have to keep my hours up with working from home but also need and want to spend time with my family.  Getting the balance is no easy task. My home has been turned into a full sized play ground and for a couple of weeks I am just letting it go and enjoying my children using their imagination and getting outdoors in the fresh air as much as possible, walking on the moors, playing by the sea or time at the farm. 
 I have had some time spent with some special people and as a Mom to boys when my friend came for a few days with her children I made the most of all the 'Hello Kitty Girliness' and took full advantage of all the extra cuddles. Easter itself was such a blessing, I was welcomed into a family to share Easter dinner, in fact Easter proved to be a holiday of lots of yummy food with many meals being cooked for me, a rare treat indeed.
  I have managed to keep the sewing machine purring. With the children on a weekend sleep over I am able to keep up with my work.
 Last week was a  week of cases... kindle cases, glasses cases and phone/gadget cases.
 A few personalised cushions and a special order for a baby quilt using her mama's maternity clothes, I love making such personal items for clients.
 Dotty Red as a business is going from strength to strength and my order book is almost full for this month. 
I have made many changes this last few months in all area's of my life, personal, emotional, family and work. It all came from some news I wasn't expecting, something that has made me totally re-evaluate my life and literally forced me to make some changes. 
 I have to confess to it being scary but necessary and whilst some of the changes I wish could have gone a different way, the majority of changes are empowering and allowing me to keep my children happy, look after my health and take my cottage industry to a new level.
 So a lot of thinking time has been needed and what better place than sitting on a wild beach watching my children play and enjoying my doggy running and leaping on the sand and playing with other dogs. I took the boys away for an adventure weekend by the sea and we had a blast, the cottage was wonderful, we had the pool to ourselves most days and whilst the boys did a sea scooter and snorkeling session I had a little "Mama SPA time". I had my nail s painted which with the amount of work I do with my hands was not the best decision made but it was lovely to be pampered, we had such a blast we booked our next stay there as soon as we got home.  
With a stay in hospital on the cards I still feel a little nervous about the future but with the love of my family, friends and all the wonderful people and customers 'Dotty Red' is bringing into my life I feel blessed and excited about the future.
Yes, indeed sitting on the beach, with the hint of spring in the air is such a magical place to be it lifts my soul and makes me feel that the best is yet to come...

Friday, 8 March 2013

Mothers day

 Sunday is Mothers Day, a day we give thanks to the woman that has carried and cares for us all our lives if we are fortunate enough.
 Maybe your a Mum yourself, as I am, and it has a completely different meaning. But as a women we have this amazing gift to create, nurture and grow. We do it in ourselves and we teach it to our children. 
 Sometimes the word 'Mum' can be a difficult one, for many reasons, I am adopted and I find this weekend difficult, I find I think a lot about my roots, my birth mother, who and what kind of a person she is now. 
 I know people who are hurt by their upbringing, how it effects their day to day life. Being a Mum is difficult job, getting the balance right and especially in today's society. I chose to be a stay at home Mum, I choice I have never regretted. Personally however you become invisible in society, I am part of a group of women that spend their time just looking after others and I move through my day without anyone telling me I have done a good job, there are no meetings on my progress and their is no promotion. I know its the best job in the world for me.
 With all the emotions of Mothers Day it is still a day of celebration, as a single Mum no one is there to tell my children to buy a gift or send a card to me. Its been a wonderful experience this year as many daughters and sons have bought my homemade DOTTY RED creations as a gift to their mothers, I have seen first hand the love and the bond that is created in the place we call FAMILY.
I will visit my Mum and me and my children will treat her to lunch, give her presents and a card. But that is not the point, the point is being strong in your role as a mother knowing your doing the best job in the world, your creating individual little people, your a role model, the only thanks I need is to hold my children close every day, to feed them, to put a safe warm and cosy home around them, for them to be secure. Their gift to me is their laughter and their LOVE.
 So as a women, a daughter and a Mother I am proud of my family each and every day. I count my blessings, some days are easier than others but as I watch my children go from being made and grown within my body, to nursing them as babies, teaching them to walk, talk, love and laugh, the difference between right from wrong, watching them grow in to healthy, happy little people (well not so little, they grow quick) I am so proud to have this title of MOTHER. I might not get the accreditation of a promotion, I might not change the world, I have no need to be significant or to be known, I am a naturing soul and never happier than when in the loving fold of my family, sitting around the kitchen table sharing a meal cooked by our own hands and laughing and chatting about our day. My gift to my children is my time. This fulfills me and no thanks is needed. 
Happy Mothers Day

Sunday, 24 February 2013


I realised that there was some negative stuff going on here at the home of Dotty Red and priorities and life in general had swung out of balance and it was time to draw a line under some stuff that had gone very wrong before it caused even more damage. It was time to work on the things that mattered not that didn't.
 It all sounds very serious but sometimes in life you have to reach a low to be able to grow and for the best bits to be given a chance to shine. So with this in mind I scooped my children up and we headed to the East Coast for a few days for some half term family time with no other interruptions but to spend some time laughing, playing in lots of fresh air by the sea and lots of country walks.
 We even managed a day in York city, as you know I am so not a city girl by any stretch of the imagination, I like to be in the fresh air and in wide open spaces, but I can stretch to York as it holds precious memories for me, and you know with Cath Kidston and White Stuff next door to each other in the Shambles it was a little spot of retail therapy I actually enjoyed (detest trawling around mindless shops as a rule unless its fabric).
Our home for the week was the sweetest of cottages, not me the fancy high life of hotels, no cute and cosy is more more my thing and the boys loved the miss shaped rooms, the two fires that they eagerly built each day and all the squeaky floor boards plus a garden filled with the most prettiest display a carpet of snow drops.
 We laughed so much it was such a wonderful and special time. The sea runs through our veins for sure. To be on a beach with the wind blowing and the sound of the sea lapping up against the sand truly allows my soul to feel happiness to its very core. My teenage son now so grown up from the little surf dude with long hair into a the body of a young man with all the attitude and confidence that goes with teenage years, despite the cold he did 'HIS THING' much the horror of this mama who thought, 'How will he ever warm up again'. But you know he's just in his natural habitat on the beach and I have learnt to trust him.
 I happily beach combed hand in hand with a special one and we laughed watching Rosy my doggy play rough and tumble with the big dogs. My heart just filled to bursting, I actually started to cry, with lots of nurturing comments as I have had a few tears of late, my boys laughed at their mama when I confirmed that these tears came from joy...
 Time was spent with friends, children and doggies, quality time you just don't seem to have time for in your day to day. My art pad was sketched in and my camera took many pictures capturing those  moments I didn't want to lose. I felt so blessed to have such super friends that took the time out to care and spend time with us. (Thank you from my heart).

           After the days on the beach we warmed up with Hot Chocolate.
 Little hands clasping the cups for the warmth they offered to frozen little fingers. Once warmed up a little snacks to keep us going through the evenings...
 Seeing how quick my children are growing and as DOTTY RED grows I am aware of the absolute importance of keeping the balance and holding dear to my heart all the important things and protecting them as only a mother can.
 After all the fresh air with full and warm tummies the children soon fell into deep sleeps...
 Then it was my turn to rest and chill a little with some pampering...
 A little bit of grown up time 
 As I snuggled up for an evening in front of the fire I counted my blessings, grieved over my losses and let the hurt caused by careless people wash away like the tide and I eagerly looked forward to the next chapter in my little journey through life.
A time for reflection, a time to gain balance and make plans for the future, a time to spend with those I love and  I welcomed new people into my life. 

 So after all this precious time new adventures are a head, re branding of Dotty Red, launching my Spring range (which is already in a couple of lovely shops) a few study business days a head also. So what started out as a week with a heavy heart turned into a healing time of throwing away all the negativity and concentrating on my loved ones and out of that came so many lovely possibilities. It was just one of those weeks that had such an impact on everything around me. I returned home counting my many blessings...

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Don't give up us baby!

 Its that time of year, the time of year I wish as a human I could hibernate. The short days and the cold don't suit me. I am longing to feel the suns warming rays shine upon my skin. However I have to confess with the return of the snow I have slipped back in to walking, wearing many layers, the woollen sweaters have once again been pulled out of draws and freshened up and wrapped around my body to keep the chills out. Curling up in the evening, closing the curtains and lighting a candle, snuggling up by the fire under  handmade quilts with my children and sipping Hot Chocolate, this year the January blues are a little more bearable.
 As we slip through January in to February we move into the month of 'LOVE'. A time to show our loved ones how special they are and hold them close, or maybe they don't know you love them and its time to show them a token of your emotion. But you know for some, its also a sad time.
I had mixed feelings when asked to make a small range of Lavender and linen hangers for the Broken Hearted. However, and I giggle to myself, it wasn't that hard to come up with some words, I wanted to use rich fabrics, a sparkle of Diamond to just hint at the lost promise of spending your life with someone you love, the gift of 'forever'.... Yes I was a little daunted by making this range but I have to say, it was lovely to do something a little different.  But I am hoping that you will sharing February14th with the person you love.
 With all the snow and the cold my heart skipped a little beat when I rummaged through my fabrics to search out a colour for my Spring cushion commissions.
 Pink seemed the way to go, not a colour I would usually go for and whilst I consider myself a girlie girl I could never say I was a  Pink Girl... yet here I am eight cushions down all in pink...of course you cant go wrong with a little bit of frivolous bunting to chase the dark skies away...
I had to post a snow picture, well you just do, its the rule... it really is so pretty and I am so enjoying my doggy walks this week, but defrosting my little pooches frozed legs when we return home to the welcoming warmth of home is not a part  of the snow I can say I enjoy.
However my children are out in it at every opportunity, sledging and snow balling, they return with excited shouts of "Mom that was ACE! Can we have some Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows". I found myself out in the road with two jugs of Hot Chocolate, squirtie cream and lots of marshmallows as my boys and their friends had a little snow break. Erm might change my name to Dotty Red Cafe!!! Now there's a thought!!!

I hope you are keeping warm and cosy in this chilly January weather and may be, just maybe your having a little fun!

(NB: please feel free to email me if your interested in any of the makes on my posts or pop over to my facebook page which is updated daily. )

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Making up in 2013

 Wishing you a super 2013, full of love, laughter, good health and HAPPINESS!
                  What a year last year was, full of highs and lows on this amazing journey.
             I wanted to share with you a year in photographs, but life is just moving a little fast...
    I took time out to spend with my children over the Festive Season and made some special memories.
 Working from home tho means little time to turn off completely so the sewing machine sung out its usual tune and I managed to make up some stock. But the New Year is here and my order book is open and I have work to be done...
                     BUT for just a few days more my time is for 'my' family... then the work begins....
I hope you have some special memories of this season and you start the New Year of with a blank page full of possibilities.... All the very best from the home of  DOTTY RED

Friday, 7 December 2012

Jingle bells Jingle Bells...

At the home of Dotty Red I am just getting to the end of making all things 'Christmas'! 
Lots of lovely delights going out to new homes.  I love this idea, the idea that something I have made, that I have put time, effort and love into will be received by someone who will give it a new home and hopefully love it!
In fact I managed to get on top of my orders last weekend I even had a little bit of free sewing time and started on my spring range, I had plans for lemons and greens with a dash of vintage pink... mmmmmm think I might still be needing to be warm and cosy as the Fox and Rabbit cushion is much more warm and cosy than fresh and uplifting. I rummaged amongst my vintage tin of delights and came up with the doilies and vintage lace and a splattering of buttons.  Yes it was fun play session and I am pleased with the results, I had made them to sell but you know they look great in my armchair by the fire...mmmm can I part with them?
On a night I couldn't sleep I came down in the early hours when the house was silent and made my little Wit Woo Owl pin cushion, just for the joy of it.  This goes under the heading of Silly Sewing! Makes me smile!!! I actually got half way through making it and thought a puppy face with a big black nose would be cute!
Each year I make a Christmas wreath, with my floristry background they are usually big door wreaths with ample amounts of holly and ivy. But this year (whilst I had my vintage box of goodies out) I thought I would make a different one.  Actually it started of as part of my spring range, I was going to make one with daffodil felt flowers on it, but my head was still to full of reds and greens and rich tweed fabrics...
My favourite part to this is the holly, made from some much loved tweed, which I have had for years, backed with some good wool felt for stability and the loveliest (and last of) shell buttons.  I used the buttons back to front as I adore the texture of the shell rather than the smooth shiny side. The sparkly button was a button I pinched off a sweater that had a hole in it and I didn't really want to throw it away so I kept this button as a memento...
I leave you with my Santa's Magic Key, my second best seller at the Christmas fairs, (I can smell the mince pies and mulled wine as I type and cheesy Christmas music which is essential to a good fair). These childhood essentials are such fun to make and every one was different. I added little sleigh bells on so when the children look up in to the sky to see if Santa is on his way, you might just hear those bells jingling!

It will be a different Christmas here this year, I am a little surprised we are still in the family home, of course my children are delighted as they love their home and so do not want to move.  But money is a little tight and I am really going to focus on the meaning of Christmas and keep away from the commercially styled Christmas, I have tried to buy mostly handmade to support other home workers but with a teenage son to buy for I might need to make a small exception.  We will be hunkering down for the season and sharing our time with special friends, friends who have been a wonderful support to my family this year who are welcomed into my home with love. So I hope your seasonal plans are making you happy and you to will be sharing this magical time with those you love. I cant wait to see my children's faces the morning of Christmas, those magical moments stay in your heart forever.

Monday, 26 November 2012


A lot of my time at the moment is spent sitting in the car...waiting! Waiting for school to end. Waiting outside cubs or scouts. Waiting outside a house for a play date to finish. Waiting for band practise to end. Waiting for the Christmas show rehearsals to end... you get the picture...
 It just seems to be such a lot of time is wasted at this time of year with all the preparations for Christmas. We all do it - I see Moms and Dads all waiting... Its hectic and we have only just begun the madness of the run up to Christmas. But to be there to watch each event, to know the children are safe, to know that it is part of their education, learning to communicate to participate, its all part of being 'MOM". I am thankful that I can be there for them, its not easy working from home and no one to share the duties with but the upside is I get to be there for my boys.  Only sometimes my head is so full of things...the other day I drove right past school and my littlest one shouted 'MOM SCHOOL!!!' I was so busy thinking of my next appointment I drove to it and forgot school...GUILT!
 In between all the 'Christmas run up Mom duties' I sit at my machine and happily sew...package up and pop to the post office.  They know me in the post office now, they usually give my parcels a little squish to release the lavender fragrance within. It makes me smile!
 I have had a little break from all the Christmas red and gold and spent a little time on a gentler shades.
My sketch book this weekend has been scribbled in and I need to spend a little time on 'colour' this week as I start my design for SPRING!!! Kinda excited...

So lovely to see you hadn't given up on me, lovely comments and emails from some special people, I thank you, it warms my heart! Have a super week and see you next week...