gingerbread house

Today was my first day of Christmas holidays, and after a lazy start where Holly and I read our books in bed we had lots of fun making our gingerbread house. The house was bought from Ikea as a kit, so we didn't make the gingerbread, but we did melt boiled sweets to make stained glass windows and had lots of fun with icing and sweets! Oh, and the eyes on our strawberry santas were chocolate strands, have fun if you make some! Merry Christmas! : )

strawberry santas

What do you think of our strawberry santas? I've had these in my head for a while since I saw them in the background of picture in a magazine, (I can't for the life of me remember where!) and Holly and I finally got round to making them yesterday as we had some friends coming round. Holly had great fun putting their eyes on, although they didn't last very long! : )

a hedgehog!

I found a great free tutorial here a little while ago, and have just finished making my first hedgehog, which is going to be a Christmas present for my 9 month old niece. I am pleased with how he turned out, and so is Holly - she has requested one now! So I’m going to try and squeeze in sewing another one in time for Christmas. I’m looking forward to deciding which fabric to use this time, this one was done in the cutest little print I got from here.  I’m also itching to start on our first ever gingerbread house, I’m trying to hold off until the weekend so it doesn’t all get eaten before Christmas! : )

paris for the day

Today I am very very tired after spending yesterday in Paris with work. We went on Eurostar which meant getting up at 5am, and getting home again at midnight. But how wonderful that you can do such a trip in a day, and we all had fun seeing the sights and having a lovely dinner. And a lovely surprise today was discovering a set of my soft stars as a folksy top pick! : )

custom boxes

Stuck for a present for someone? How about choosing a custom box for them? I have just finished this listing in my etsy shop, you can choose from 19 colours, and four different motifs to be handpainted on the front. So lots and lots of combinations to choose from! : )

snowflakes made of straw?

I've had half an idea going round in my head for the last week or so about how I could add some christmas decorations to our kitchen/dining room. This is what I came up with, I found these lovely super-light straw snowflakes in Heals at the weekend and they are just perfect for what I had in mind. There are 36, to each of which I attached some sparkly thread (a present from my sister last christmas!) and then hung them all from our skylight. I was too impatient to wait for better photos and the light was already going when I took these but you get the idea. I love the colour of the straw, it goes perfectly with the kitchen and they even move in the air so it looks like it could be snowing! I know I put these up quite early, but once I had bought them I couldn't wait! : )

seeing stars

We or rather I, have been having a slow weekend so far, as everything takes longer to do when you only have one useful arm! We did manage some christmas shopping yesterday which was quite successful, and Stuart has done lots of wallpapering with only a tiny amount of useless 'help' from me. But I have been managing to list some more soft stars so I am getting some things done, just not as quickly as usual! : )


I’m feeling a little bit sorry for myself and very sore today, after managing to fall over last night while I was out running. The three of us ended up spending most of the evening in Accident and Emergency, and I came home with three stitches. I don’t quite know how I managed it or what I tripped over, but I certainly went flying and probably made a few passing motorists laugh anyway! I have managed to badly graze my hand, bash my shoulder and thigh, and lost a big chunk out of my elbow, which is where I now have the stitches. Don’t read the rest of this sentence if you are squeamish – (I’m pretty sure I could see my bone). I had already run over three miles but then had to run another mile to get back to the car and Holly at her dancing lesson, I ended up having to ask in a shop for some tissue as there was quite a lot of blood. Nice! So today I have been frustrated by having to use my computer mouse with the wrong hand, and only really having one arm. Isn’t exercise supposed to be good for you?? : )

dotty - with kisses!

Do you remember the quilt I made for Holly over the summer? Well I finally managed to finish making her new covers for the pillows she has on her bed using some of the left over fabric. I kept them quite plain and simple so that they didn't look too busy all together, and the two smaller ones are simple envelope covers hand sewn out of one piece of fabric. The largest cushion cover did get a bit of special treatment, I quilted the front with 'kisses' in some of the white spots, which ties in with how the quilt itself was quilted. They are quite small, can you see them? Anyway, these three have had the seal of approval and now reside happily on her bed, all ready for lounging! : )

Tutorial: how to create your own designs on fabric at home

For the new picciolo 2009 soft Christmas decorations I created my own snowflake design rather than use an existing fabric. This meant that I got exactly the effect I wanted and can be sure that my picciolo decorations are unique and can’t be found anywhere else. This is how I did it: 1. First, I drew my rough design onto A4 paper, then scanned it into photoshop (you could use any drawing programme). I then redrew my design with the elements on different layers. 2. Using layers makes it easy to change the colours. For my design, I have a couple of layers of white snowflakes over the background layer, then I changed the colour of the background to give me a wider variety of options. You could of course just use your original drawing. At this point I also added another layer to show the outline of the shape I use for my decorations. 3. Now print your design using an inkjet printer onto tshirt transfer paper. As there is white in my design I used the paper meant for dark fabric. 4. Then, once you have your printed transfer, the fun starts! (Follow the instructions that come with your transfer paper as they all vary slightly.) I cut out my shapes first and then ironed them onto felt to create the sides for my decorations, but you could use your whole piece or any sections of it and use different types of fabric as your base. 5. Experiment! : )

3 sides, 5 sides

So here they are, this years picciolo christmas decorations! There are six coordinating colours to choose from, and two styles, 3-sided or 5-sided, all of which can be mixed and matched.
They are made from soft felt and have been embellished on each side with an original snowflake design which I created and added to the felt. They have a hanging loop in a complimentary colour and are lightly stuffed.
And the best thing? **For one week only** if you buy any two of these you can choose a third one free!
Check them out here: 3-sided 5-sided
: )
*update* I've had an enquiry about how I created the snowflake design which embellishes the felt on each side, watch out for a tutorial tomorrow!


It seems to have taken me hours this weekend to finally get these into my shop, I'll be back tomorrow to tell you a bit more about them. : )

Turning Seven

My little girl turned seven on Friday, (Seven already? Where did that go?) and we took her for the weekend to Disneyland in Paris! We booked it a couple of months ago and have been getting very excited ever since, and I must say it was a really wonderful weekend, even more so than I would have thought possible. We went by Eurostar and the whole trip was really easy, which meant that out of the three days we were away we had two and a half in Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios. I took loads and loads of photos, too many in fact as the battery ran out on my camera, I'll post a picture or two once it is charged up again. Tonight we are all exhausted, but I have managed to start the christmas ball rolling in my etsy shop, with some soft snowflakes and some soft stars, come and see I haven't shown them all here. There are some more soft stars to come tomorrow, and towards the end of the week I am planning to list this years new design which I gave you a sneak peek of last week. I just need to write descriptions and sort out the photos...
: )

Christmas is coming!

I’ve tried really hard this year not to get going on Christmas things too early, but I have now spent the last few weeks designing and refining this years picciolo decorations. I will show you them in more detail soon, this is just a little taster of what is to come – and they will start appearing in my shops from next week. There will also be a very limited number of my ‘soft snowflakes’ and ‘soft stars’ appearing soon, I’ll let you know when!

Thank you for your kind words and migraine advice, I now have some great pills from the doctor that mean within about half an hour I can sort of function again, as opposed to usually the whole rest of the day being knocked out. So that is a great improvement and takes away a little bit of the stress of worrying if I am going to get one! Any miracle cures out there? please let me know! : )


How is this for great timing - spend all day at work, get home and go straight out for a run, come home and run a lovely bath, get in, pick up my book (I love reading in the bath) and wham. A migraine. How wonderful, just in time to wipe out my friday night and most of the weekend. I still did everything we had planned but didn't feel quite on the same planet as everyone else! Oh well, here's hoping I won't see another one for a good long while (fingers crossed very tightly). Hopefully a proper post will appear tomorrow, I have lots of thing to show you. : )


Hey everyone, thanks so much for all your comments and emails about my new website!

This little box is the first of a new design, following on from my new line of purses/pouches. I'm enjoying finding new colour combinations and I love the strong lines and the texture of the tranfer on the felt. As it ha been heat set these are hard wearing too, just what you need from a useful little box.

And this is my most very favourite lamp, purchased at the weekend on my shopping trip to Ikea ith my sister. This is quite a dark photo of it, but it is beautiful and I could sit and look at it for ages! : )

**Today is launch day!**

Come and visit the brand new picciolo web site, at I would be very grateful for any comments, I’ve been looking at it too closely for a while now and wouldn’t spot a spelling mistake if it hit me on the nose. Please tell me what you think! This has been ready to launch all week, but my time has been filled with other more pressing and not so fun things, like our fridge-freezer breaking down and then getting locked out by the delivery men that brought the new one. But that is a long story that I haven’t yet really recovered from! I did manage to enjoy a little bit of Autumn on Wednesday when I went on my usual run through a local country park. I was quite conscious that it would probably be the last time I could run that route before the clocks change so I made sure I looked at the gorgeous colours of the trees as I ran. It was also fun running through the leaves and kicking them – no-one was watching! And I even stopped for a moment and stroked a horses nose, which is not something I would ever normally do as I am quite scared of them. So hopefully this evening won’t be full of fridge related events and I can finally relax and get some sewing done that has been sat waiting for me all week – I don’t want to miss the opportunity of taking photos in the daylight over the weekend. If you do get a moment to visit it would be much appreciated! : )

special edition

New! This set of three special edition cards has now been listed in my shop, they have been created by printing my leaf designs onto soft white denim and then attaching them to the front of each card. They are very tactile and you could even use the little denim patch to decorate something else once the card is finished with. How is your weekend going? So far I have had a day of cleaning and tidying, and hedge trimming. This morning Holly and I went to the very first farmers market in our town, it was very busy and brimming with lovely things - we came home with a full bag and had a lovely lunch, I was too slow to photograph anything, we bought bread and butter pudding (for Stuart), a pasty (for Holly), some greek coconut cake (for me), some olive oil, some olives and some delicious pate. It was well worth going and great fun, we will definately go to the next one. : )


How can it be Monday again already? The days are just whizzing by at the moment, we are very busy at work, trying to get lots of diy done at home, get the garden tidy for winter... etc, the list goes on. And yesterday I felt distinctly under the weather so got nothing done except for a few photos, which took me ages and I don't think they are going to be any use to anyone. Oh well, I feel a bit better today, work is a bit more under control, the house is slightly cleaner after having rubble and plaster dust upstairs yesterday, and I've managed to list this second soft pouch. Hopefully later I'll be able to do the sewing that has been sat patiently waiting. : )
Ok, so here it is, the first new little pouch/purse that I hinted at the other day. I'm really pleased with how these are turning out, they are really soft and have two compartments inside to hold all your things. This one has been embellished with my new circles design on the front and on the inside under the flap, this one is in my etsy shop - the others will be coming shortly! : )

a quick peek

Here's a sneaky peek at a few things I have been working on, hopefully one day soon I'll get time to show you properly! : )

New, and new.

This week I have been working on some new items and some trusty favourites. This new 'home for pins' and fabric box are now in my etsy shop, where there is now more to choose from than just one in each category. And other new things are starting to come together, helped somewhat by a big powercut at work on Tuesday which resulted in me coming home and having some extra time to take photos. I'll show you these next time! : )