Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Meet the Maker: Jessica @Stone Lodge Crafts

Welcome to my first Meet the Maker feature!!
I'm hoping to do this regularly, so that you can get to know some of the loveliest crafty people out there, and hopefully find some fab makes that you just need to have in your home!
I'm kicking off with one of the nicest people I have the pleasure of knowing, virtually at least!...

Hello! :) My names is Jess and my little business is Stone Lodge Crafts!

Where are you from?
Originally I was born and raised in the picturesque market town of Ludlow in Shropshire. Now my husband, my 2 boys and I live in the Lodge, which is located along the Offas Dyke on the English/Welsh border of Shropshire and Powys.
What’s your favourite colour?
My favourite colour is blue! I'm so in love with this colour and its beautiful variant shades. It hasn't always been my utmost favourite though. Growing up I was obsessed with yellow from my bedroom walls to my pretty summer dresses. Even though blue is my first love, I very much appreciate the beauty of all colours! I still hold a flame for yellow and also love the freshness and calm that green offers :)
What’s your favourite food?
Pizza! I could literally eat it every day. At the age of 8 my mum and I went to Italy and I got to see pizza being made and cooked in the traditional Italian way. It was amazing! I'm also a huge 'puddings' fan with my all time favourite being rhubarb crumble and custard!
How would you spend your perfect day?
My perfect day would be spent with my wonderful husband and 2 beautiful boys (6 months and 2 years.) Biggest Little loves to run and explore so spending a warm summers day at the seaside playing in rock pools and picnicking in the dunes would be absolutely ideal. Sometimes it's just the little things :D
What do you make?
I make fairy cakes, beds up, cups of tea and cheese sandwiches most days but when I do get the chance I sew, draw and paint for Stone Lodge Crafts :) S.L.C.'s makes include miniature toadstools, multimedia artwork and pocket cushions to name a few!
What’s your favourite thing you’ve ever made?
Aaarrgghh this question is too hard! I really don't have a favourite! I was so proud the first time I made a pocket cushion. I sat on my living room floor with card, scissors and fabric everywhere, making templates and seeing if my ideas worked in practice! Hubby was away with work and both boys were asleep. I'm surprised I didn't wake them or disturb the neighbours, I literally screamed with happiness! I love my miniature toadstools too... they're so quirky and fun! 
Why did you start your business?
I started making hanging hearts and bunting when I went on maternity leave with biggest little. It was something to do in the run up to becoming a mummy as I had already washed all of the little vests, packed my hospital bag and assembled the moses basket stand! I started up again on maternity leave 'take 2' with littlest little but this time I wanted to do more and achieve more! And from this, Stone Lodge Crafts was born!
What are your inspirations?
I'm very much inspired by nature and I love 'folk' design but my boys (AKA 'the littles') are truly my main inspiration! The first pocket cushion was created last Christmas after a conversation my husband and I had about letters the boys would write to Santa when they were older. I hated the thought that we would send them away in the post never to be seen again so I had an idea! Why not  make a cushion they could put out before Christmas with their letters to Santa tucked inside? Most fabric choices I make are now based on their likes and personalities! I try to focus on gender neutral and 'boyish' fabric choices as I think the high street shops just don't cater for little boys like they do little girls! Without them I wouldn't be doing what I do!
What would be your one tip for anyone taking up a new hobby, or turning that hobby in to a business?
Take time for you! Don’t allow the thing you love to become a chore. The reason you started it was for the sheer enjoyment right? If you've decided to make it your business as well, then you must really love it! In that case remember that even the things we love become too much at times so whether it's a holiday or a cup of tea and a biscuit, you can always come back to it once you've taken a breather :)
Yay! So that was my first ever Meet the Maker, and isn't Jessica just lovely?!
If you'd like to see more of her adorable makes, or to purchase any of these, please click here
See you soon,
Ms Bee


Saturday, 22 March 2014

Our Travels: Marrakech

I'd always wanted to go there, so when my mum announced that she wanted all of us to go there to celebrate her 50th birthday I was soooooo excited!!
This was our view of the stunning Koutoubia from our first hotel at breakfast.

It's such a completely amazing city (I think it's a city, if it's only got town status it definitely needs to be upgraded!!) By day it's a wonderful, such culturally rich place, and once the sun sets it's like another world!!!
I've watched all of the travel shows visiting Marrakech that have ever been shown I swear, so I couldn't wait to meander through the souks, stuff my face silly at the Jemaa el Fna food stalls (they really are something else! They literally just pop up out of nowhere, and the smells and the noise is just astounding!) and relax in our beautiful riad.

While we were there we jumped on a train up to Casablanca for a few days in the middle of our trip, mum had always wanted to visit, and we were super excited about trying out the Morrocan transportation system.... I'm not sure anyone else was mind you, but me and mum were! That train was sooooooooooooo HOT!! I mean so sweaty you're sliding around hot! The sort of hot where you're more than willing to hang out of the open doors as you chug along with the locals otherwise you might pass out hot! And I certainly wouldn't recommend using the toilets onboard!!!.... But would I do it again? Hell yeah!!!
Casablanca was definitely worth a visit!
Oh and the taxis!! People say that Italy's roads are crazy... Trust me, they don't have a patch! We witnessed, were involved in, ran away from numerous accidents, and that's before we get on to the constant horn honking!!

These photos always make me smile! Above is the taxi driver, my brother, Darren, who kept having his inner thigh rubbed every time the driver changed gear, and Mr Bee who would've hung out of the window for want of more room if it wasn't so crazy out there!!
Dad, me, my brother's fiancé Claire, and mum

And here we are in the back! I haven't sat on my dad's knee in aaaaaaages, poor bugger, I was really squashing him!!
And you'll be pleased to know that the suitcases only fell off of the roof once in all of our trips backwards and forwards!

It's such a different way of life, everyone's so happy, so welcoming, friendly and nice, and it's really humbling to go off of the beaten track and hang out with the locals!

If you're visiting, you definitely, definitely have to visit Jardin Majorelle, it's amazing!!
The gardens were owned by Yves Saint-Laurent, his ashes are scattered there, and when he died he left the gardens to the people of Marrakech. Interesting huh?!

It really is the most tranquil, and amongst the most beautiful, place I've ever visited.
Another beautiful place to visit is Bahia Palace (there's another pic of it near the top) it's such a lovely place to relax and wander through.
Oh how I miss Marrakech!! Do you reckon I can convince Mr Bee to return for our honeymoon?!!
Ms Bee



Friday, 14 March 2014

It's all about me...

So, here I am, with my own little blog... Hopefully some of you will know me from here and if you don't you really should pop over!

I thought I'd start off with telling you a wee bit about myself. I live in a lovely bungalow in Weston-Super-Mare, with Mr Bee and a house bunny named Barnaby. During the day I'm a course recruitment officer in a college, but by night I'm a baking mad, cake eating, sweetie sharing, cushion cuddling, crocheter, with shopaholic tendencies, and an obsession with shoes, bags, and nail varnish!!! I love pretty, girly knick knacks, but also skull adorned gothicness... I swear too much... I don't eat my vegetables... And I really hate housework!!!
Before all of this I studied a bit, got a degree in business management, partied quite hard, and vowed to never - EVER!!! - settle down... There's currently 400 days until our wedding day! Who would've thought it?! (definitely not my parents!)
That's about all you need to know for now I reckon, thanks for popping by! xxx


Hello and welcome to my first EVER post!!
There'll be lots more to come but at the mo I'm just getting my head around things!
Ms Bee xxx