Monday, 29 March 2010

Spring 2010 - UK Handmade Magazine

Spring 2010
Originally uploaded by Karen / Chalk Hill Studio
The Spring issue of the fabulous UK Handmade Magazine is now available online to read at UK Handmade Magazine

This inspirational resource features interviews with designers, reviews, tutorials and much much more!

I am honoured to be involved with UK Handmade, and hope to do lots more writing for them. My first piece for the magazine is a book review and can be found on page 72. Happy reading!!

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Home: Leggy Peggy

If you know me, you'll know I love a bit of vintage, charity shop chic and junk shop finds. Something that has a  story, a little kooky, upside down or back to front.  It's a running joke that I can't pass up a charity shop.

Don't get me wrong, over the years I have bought wonderful pieces like my Edwardian dresser, my oak kitchen table, period wardrobes and vintage blackboards, but I have also hoarded lots of cheap and cheerful finds.

I found the legs (Leggy Peggy as we call her) on a holiday to Cornwall, David lovingly carried her back to the car, took one of her legs off - stuffed this in his canoe on the roof and her other leg and arse came in the car with me and the kids.  Leggy Peggy shared the main bedroom in the caravan we were staying in with my friend who had popped in for a visit, much to her amusement as she's a Debenhams kind of girl.

Leggy Peggy loves her new home, and came to life when I sprayed her gold - she changes pants from time to time.  She's partial to polka dots, leopard print, the odd French knicker and NEVER sports a thong *shudders*.

Peggy is waiting on the arrival of her friend - Headless Edna - who currently resides in sunny Cleethorpes, and is being cared for by my Nan, due to arrive sometime this summer.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Bobby Pins

Bobby pins are great for adding that finishing touch to any look.  These sell really well for all ages (children love them and I have even sold a couple to a lady at a craft fair who was 70 and had a short Mary Quant style bob, she, looked amazing in them).   

This photo reminds me of ice cream - I think it's the shades together!  Good enough to eat I'd say!

Bobby Pins are available at Mimi Pearl and all independant stockists / galleries priced at £5.00 - £6.00, and come in a handmade pouch for storing.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Peek Into My Week.......

Monday - saw me finally get back into action after over two weeks of illness and frustration! Started work on my own personal project of a simple quilt from Cath Kidstons book.  Purchased some of her floral fabric at the weekend, along with other florals and set to work.  The quilt will be for my bed - so king size - and will feature birds, hearts (CK design) and wordplay from me to make personal.  Finshed the day off with yoga session with the fantastic Kirstie who runs .

Tuesday - on a roll today, started off with home session of yoga, making jewellery, hairpins and French Lavender scenters for stockists in the most scrummy fabric from Amy Butler.  Spent an hour or so photographing my new bag design, boudoir bags and scenters.  Made a few minor alterations to my online boutique, and took in a delivery of stunning amethyst and rock crystal stones.

Scenters by Mimi Pearl filled with French Lavender

Wednesday - meeting first thing with a client for a commissioned necklace, spent some time sourcing semi precious stones, completed delivery for Maisies Boutique in South Queensferry - day has flown in!

Thursday - The Line Gallery in Linlithgow is opening a new exhibition on Saturday entitled Blue.  Blue isn't a colour I work in for jewellery designs (I veer more to muted soft colours) but made a very pretty blue boudoir bag in vintage fabric, scenters and hairpins to compliment my jewellery already on display there.  Had an evening meeting with potential wedding clients for jewellery, always honoured to create pieces for someone's special day.  

Boudoir Bag in Blue Floral Fabric

Friday - delivered stock to The Line Gallery first thing, had a quick chat with Gail the co-owner, pleased to hear my pieces have been selling well!  Laundered and ironed vintage fabrics, in preparation for making more boudoir bags.  My cold that I thought I had battered into retreat, has reared its ugly head again - feel rubbish, don't want it scunnering my plans for the weekend so retreat to a friends and enjoy vege stew and chilli dumplings, with ice cold beer, followed by an early night.

Saturday - new plans for newsletter are going slow, coming up with errors with Mailchimp, so threw in the towel and emailed them for support.  Spent a few hours doing admin then clocked off for the day.  Celebrated in style at night for a friends birthday by shaking my thang at Dancing Queen at the Festival Theatre.  Fell into bed at midnight, woozy on champagne.......

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Amethyst Creating a Statement......

This stunning necklace has been created using semi precious stones in amethyst, rock crystal, ametrine and sterling silver.  I love creating one of a kind pieces and this one was particularly special as I was commissioned to make a necklace for a fellow designer, Lynn Wilkins of , who makes fabulous jewellery wraps (I wonder whether she will make herself a special one for this?).

Lynn has THE most stunning blue eyes and great bone structure, so I wanted to do something that wouldn't detract away from her features too much, I wanted her to wear the necklace, not it wear her.  Lynn wanted amethysts to feature somewhere, purple can be a strong colour, but with chunky rock crystal at the centre of the piece, married with ametrine (beautifully translucent) and delicate stunning amethyst facetted beads - the effect is stunning.  

Bespoke jewellery does not have to cost the earth, to find out more contact

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

A Glittery Glimpse......

For ages now I have wanted a useful little bag that would transcend from day to night, fit all of the junk I tend to carry around with me (tissues, purse, mobile, notepad and pen for ideas, camera, lipgloss, keys, action lists....) and most of all be easy to carry about and not either dangle about like a spare part or be clutched to my side in case I drop......

Last week I put my pattern making skills to good use and came up with bag design. 

I have been amazed at how many people have admired my bag already (does 8 in one day count as good?).  Unfortunately I only had enough of this fabric to make one bag, so the search is on for the perfect fabric to make more.....

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Mothers Day Ideas......

Mothers Day will soon be upon us, here's a few of my favourite picks.....

Brooch by rebeccamaryjane for

Wooden Butterfly Pendant by gossimarwings on etsy at

Porcelian Wall Flower by PrinceDesignUK at

Me? I just hoping for a homemade card, tea and toast in bed!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Behind the Camera....

Nadin Dunnigan

My "other" job is PA for the fabulously talented photographer Nadin Dunnigan. I love doing this a day a week as it is so varied and I get to do cool things like photograph a photographer!

I think it was a bit weird for Nadin being the other side of the camera, probably a little nervous that she had placed her trusted (not to mention expensive) equipment in my hands.

Nadin and Mitza

I'm thrilled with the results and away to give myself a HUGE pat on the back for creating such fab images (having a good teacher helped no end!).

Nadin specialises in all aspects of photography, including wedding, lifestyle and commercial. To see more of Nadins work go to

I didn't escape getting photographed either .........

Monday, 1 March 2010

Yoga Eye Pillows.....

Yoga Eye Pillow in Lavender Gingham

I'm partial to a spot of yoga, but after all that hard work - what better way to completely chill out at the end of a session?

These eye pillows are handmade using soft cotton gingham (trimmed on one side with lace and ribbon) and filled with organic wheat and French Lavender which releases the most wonderful aroma. Lavender helps to aid relaxtion - and these pillows are great for aiding sore eyes, soothing headaches - not just for use after yoga. Complete bliss......

Available at Not Mass Produced