Friday, 24 July 2015

A special present for a very special friend

Today is the birthday of one of my dearest friends.

 Alice (co-creator of 'A Yuletide Tale') is one of those rare and special friends you just instantly click with and know you are going to be great friends with for life. 

Special friends deserve special presents, so I decided to make Alice a little book of the story of our friendship so far.

I'm relieved to say it was a hit!

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

The Arter- Stratford's home of handmade

Yesterday I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to spend the day at The Arter, run by the lovely Paula and Rachel. This is a beautiful shop filled with the produce of local artists and craftspeople. Everything is handmade and everything is absolutely gorgeous- I've not yet managed to visit without coming away with a few goodies!

The Arter

The shop is part of Hall's Croft which was the home of Shakespeare's daughter and granddaughter. It's a fantastic setting and I thoroughly enjoyed eating my lunch in the beautiful gardens. I was also given an excellent tour of the house by the lovely Rory. For my fellow foodies, there is even a cafĂ© on-site. I was in heaven.

Hall's Croft

I am very proud that my prints, greeting cards and notebooks are stocked in the shop amongst such talent. The Arter also has a special place in the collective Smith family heart because Paula and Rachel also stock lots of Mum's ceramics.

It was such a treat to spend the day surrounded by so many beautiful things.

Jenny Knight's super colourful ceramics

More Jenny Knight- we have a few of her pieces at home

Jacqui Law's quirky copper and enamel jewellery

Vicki Lafford-Garside's delicate embroidered jewellery. Again, I have one of these at home!
See if youcan spot the Lit Smith necklaces here too!

One of my prints behind the till sitting proudly next to the Best Independent Shop Award!

My lunch time walk through the garden

Perfect picnic spot

Unfortunately, I can't show you my shopping haul from yesterday as it was for a very special friend's birthday present later this week!

Thank you so much to Paula and Rory for a wonderful day and I look forward to seeing you soon! 

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Bonnie Scotland

We have just returned from a fantastic holiday to Ardnamurchan (the most westerly point of the British mainland). The West Coast of Scotland is one of my very favourite places. We have spent many a family holiday visiting the islands, but Ardnamurchan has a special place in our hearts, hence this being the fourth visit.

Ardnamurchan, known as 'Europe's rainforest' for the spectacular plant and wildlife, is far too beautiful for me to ever be able to justify it in words. Our wildlife sightings this year include deer, pine martens, otters, seals and mink.

We will be back!