Firstly, thank you so much for all your lovely comments, emails and kind wishes you sent about my shop site (and even purchases!). Also, thank you to Lynsey (who has her own lovely shop here - best known for her wonderful trademark chicken doorstops, I've spotted that she also makes egg-box sewing kits...which I think is such a fantastic idea) who featured my site on Cuteable within a couple of hours of my announcing that my shop was open - what better start could I have possibly asked for? Ian was flattered to hear all your positive feedback about his design...and I am so grateful to him that he spent so many hours perfecting all that pink and red girlishness for me....he will be rebalancing by being generally butch and mannish this week.

Anyway, onto things delightful: last week Julia had very kindly offered to send me some soap nuts as she knew that I'd wanted to try some (for those of you that haven't investigated them already...they are a strange sort of nut that produces a natural soap making them a perfect environmentally-friendly substitute to washing powders - I will be trying them on my next wash). But goodness, what unexpected goodies arrived with them. I am slightly ashamed to say that despite having always taught my children that it is polite to open a card before a parcel or present, I quite forgot myself (I think it was the sight of the 'let's sew' badge on the outside of the fabric packaging that did it!) and they both crowded round and together we unwrapped the little parcels. Inside we found this collection of buttons (shown at the top). Zebra-girl gasped as I poured them out on to the bed (for she was having a day off due to being poorly), and studied them one by one, unable to believe her eyes at so much sparkly, shiny loveliness. The little stars and a packet of tiny necklace beads made me a little suspicious that I may not be their intended recipient and on opening Julia's card I was able to tell Zebra that all the things that she could see, that she was so breathlessly coveting and wishing to possess, had actually all been sent for her. Words can't quite convey her delight on hearing this, as well as her surprise and happiness that someone whom she has never met chose to hand-pick such treasures.

Julia has somehow surmised from my posts exactly what would appeal to my little Zebra and so there were tactile pieces of softest, drapiest velvet, as well as satin specially picked for its colour being identical to that of a ballet shoe.

After lunch (attended by Zebra with one of Julia's lovely hair clips in her hair) Zebra-girl was inspired to sew and as Dinosaur-boy was home I felt torn by my wish to always say yes when she makes such a request, but also not wanting to spend hours doing something that would exclude her brother...which is why we ended up making squid. After reading this excellent book, both children have become completely captivated by the mystery that surrounds the Giant Squid and the dark inky blue of one of the velvets that Julia had sent seemed perfect for such a project. Dinosaur-boy picked out his own fabrics and was emphatic that this old Amy Butler print was what was needed, accented with some turquoise velvet for squiddy tentacles...he even hand-sewed some buttons on for eyes (with a little help), but unfortunately the little Teacakes ran away to have squid battles before I could photograph the finished creatures.

And look, Julia sent something for me too! This beautiful Cloth Store piece of is exactly what I would have been unable to resist buying if I had seen it myself.

We felt utterly spoiled...but the resounding sense that I have been left with is happiness at the idea that someone could have been quite so kind, generous, thoughtful and sweet. Thank you, Julia, we will treasure the things that you sent.

And finally, after having friends over for dinner last night, I woke with the wish to spring clean (a little too much wine can do that to a girl, I find) and every cupboard in the entire house has now been restructured and re-ordered...but what I really wanted to tell you about is my new partner in cleanliness. Our old vacuum cleaner had a habit of overheating, sports a plug held together with sellotape after being suctioned back into its storage port a little too enthusiastically and hitting furniture on its way, and finally Ian threw an essential part of it in the bin on his only venture into bag-emptying, which meant that I was recently given the task of buying a new one. Hours of research (but no PowerPoint presentations...which signifies that I was some way from melt-down) happily left me with only one option. I had no idea that a vacuum cleaner could be such a delight, and had never dreamt that something could gobble up stray threads from a carpet in the way that I have since sewing sessions were normally ended by a lengthy combination session of vacuuming, picking individual threads up and cursing the fact that someone was yet to invent a giant Velcro pad that would more easily grapple the threads from their tangle with the carpet (that sounds alarming like a Giant Squid, I know)...but no more, it appears as though I've just laid a new carpet after vaguely waving the nozzle in the direction of the room for less than two minutes. Amazing!



  1. you must show us a picture of inky blue squid... how lovely the DB chose the fabrics.
    So delighted for you on the launch of Made by Florence... it is so pretty and i am very tempted by the kimonos. Well done to Mr teacakes for getting it finished just in time for when we are all starting thinking about Christmas gifts. I am sure you will get lots of orders.
    with love
    Ginny xx

  2. What a great parcel! You are having a good week - lets hope this one is as good! Oh and thanks for mentioning both me and Cuteable :)

  3. Florence, I thought I had ordered the tea rose pin cushion from your site but it doesn't seem as if the order has gone through (I've not received request for payment!) Do I need to order again? You can email me on textiles(at)ginaferrari(dot)co(dot)uk. Thank you!

  4. Glad the launch went so well - I'm sure you'll have nothing left in your shop come Christmas :)

    Isn't Julia such a sweetheart?

  5. Hello Florence. Thank you again for the lovely pincushion which is every bit as lovely as I hoped it would be.
    Gorgeous gifts and how lovely for Zebra girl to receive some too. xx

  6. Congratulations for your first week of trading, your success is well deserved. I think the shop is great too.

    What a lovely parcel you received.

    I have a miele bought nearly 3 years ago and I still love it.

  7. Never mind about the spring clean, sit down for a few moments and the urge will pass! Good luck with the shop.

  8. oooh florence i just got some soap nuts too! well, i say just, but they've been sitting in the cupboard a while now, have been dithering deciding what i should wash first with them and then forgot i had them. lovely post :) and lovely to chat to you today - happy thanksgiving! :) xx

  9. How lovely! Zebra girl must have been thrilled!
    happy hoovering!

  10. I have to say how much I love to read your blog! I really enjoy sitting down with a cup of tea hoping that you will have a new post for me to read and should I have missed a post it is double the excitement! I also have a love of fabric but do not sew as much as you as I seem to dabble in a lot of other things.


  11. What an exciting week. I'm suffereing from button envy - those little gingham pink buttons are beautiful. Good luck with it all.


Post a Comment

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x