The phenomenon of #selfcare. How can we can embrace the hashtag in an authentic way to improve our wellbeing in the long termRead More
Update your home for winter and Poppy and Honesty’s Interior Design ServiceRead More
I am in the very fortunate position of being able to work from home for Poppy and Honesty. A situation that gives me enormous flexibility, the opportunity to pick up my children from school and permanent access to the fridge. Unfortunately this also means that sometimes I don’t speak to another human being all day long, which in spite of the efforts of my enthusiastic spaniel. can be very lonely. Enter the Pod Cast, the isolation buster that makes me feel like part of a wider conversation and stops me going bonkers in my little Cornish studio.
Below I have compiled a list of my current favourite podcasts. I couldn’t possibly rank them as my choice depends on how I am feeling and what I am doing. I generally don’t binge, but listen to them periodically like a much anticipated soap opera that comes once a week.
The Adam Buxton Podcast. King of Pods, Doctor Buckles has a wonderful interview style, light hearted and rambling he talks to some interesting people. Often very funny but with some serious content.
Favourite episode. : Charlie Booker.
How To Fail by Elizabeth Day. This podcast ultimately appeals because it celebrates things that haven’t gone right in life and discusses how they have opened doors to better things. Host Elizabeth Day talks to some excellent people who open up about their experiences of failure.
Favourite episode : Sathnam Sanghera
The High Low. Journalists Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes discuss popular culture and more serious current affairs and issues. I love this because it brings me up to date with whats going on, provides excellent book and box set recommendations and also entertains with highly amusing bants.
Favourite Episode - A Bumper Back to School Book Special
Griefcast. Comedian Cariad Lloyd talks to other comedians about bereavement. The results veer from being shocking, revealing to very funny.
Favourite Episode : Adam Buxton
Table Manners by Jessie Ware -Warm hearted foodies Jessie and her Mum Lenny invite famous guests over to dinner at their homes. A wider discussion about food and family generally follows.
Favourite Episode : Sadiq Khan.
What pods do you love ? Do you have any tips on combatting isolation when working from home? I’d love to hear from you.
Like it or not, Autumn has arrived. Embrace the new season and Moomin like a boss with key pieces from Poppy and Honesty’s new collection.Read More
Don’t beat yourself up about school holiday fatigue. Summer memories are made from moments and not 42 days of Enid Blyton adventures.Read More
We all know there 'aint no party like a Gatsby party and this was the inspiration behind Poppy and Honesty's latest photoshoot. Our summer collection is all about sumptuous velvets and decadent tropical prints. Comfortable oversized cushions are finished with silk piping and tassels, the perfect spot for flappers, bounders and scoundrels to enjoy a glass of fizz. The hedonism of the roaring 1920's with its flawed characters and fast cars was the perfect setting for our luscious and over the top range of home accessories.
We would like to thank Potager Garden for the use of their stunning greenhouse. Please do check out this wonderful cafe and setting on your next trip to Cornwall. Beautiful images taken by Laura Bailey Photography. We are very grateful to Willow and Stone and Ludgate House Antiques for the loan of precious pieces to use as props in our photo shoot.
I am an emphatic reader. In fact I would go so far as to say that I am not happy unless there is a good book by my bed. Fiction is a wonderful escape and respite from reality and getting stuck into someone else's story gives me new perspective on my own. Matt Haig puts it perfectly in his latest book Notes On Nervous Planet.
Reading isn't important because it helps you get a job. It's important because it gives you room to exist beyond the reality you're given. How minds connect. Dreams. Empathy. Understanding. Escape.
Summer books often imply suncream stained Jackie Collins' novels. Whilst I am very partial to a little Rupert Campbell Black, these are my top 5 reads for the sunshine. Take with Mr Whippy and icy cold beers.
Bonjour Tristesse by Francois Sagan. When I read this I felt like I was having a long languid siesta in the South of France. Totally French and absolutely immoral, you'll feel the scorch at the heart of this story.
Heartburn by Norah Ephron. Protagonist Rachel feels like your best friend and who better to take on holiday? She's wonderfully witty and acerbic, you'll have a great time together.
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald. Scandal and wild summer parties doing the Charleston in Jay Gatsby's mansion? Yes please. Make mine a Long Island Ice Tea.
Instructions For A Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell. The tension amongst this dysfunctional family will make you feel so much better about your travelling group. It's also a lovely tangled tale of family relationships.
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris. An excellent travelling companion. David Sedaris will charm your socks off with his outrageously funny stories of family and living in France.
I'm sure that you have got many books that I could add to my list. I'd love to know your suggestions.
This is the last post in our series of Meet The Maker blogs and we have a lovely treat for you. Here at Poppy and Honesty, we regularly get asked if we make liberty print children's clothes and the answer is no (too fiddly for these Frank Butcher fingers) but we know a woman who does. This week we meet Amy from The Handmade Clothing Company...
I’m Amy, Mum to three, Seth (11), Theo (6), and Eden (4) and the founder of The Handmade Clothing Company. After a few years working different Visual Merchandising roles in fashion retail stores I decided to go to uni. I graduated from London College of Fashion just before having my second son. I was so fed up to have ended up in another retail role that I decided to start sewing things to sell to have a creative outlet. I started with mainly bunting and simple items of clothing. After the birth of my daughter in 2014 a fabulous friend from uni suggested using Liberty fabrics and so the idea was born!
I started making childrenswear samples using classic prints and had a photoshoot at the end of 2014. I finally settled on a name for the brand and launched the website and Etsy store in January 2015! Gradually more styles were added and I gained loyal customers through Instagram that have really been instrumental in raising the awareness of the brand and growing the business. I wouldn't be where I am now without those first customers that still come back today! At the beginning of 2017 I was so busy that I was able to give up my part time job and to work in the business full time! This has meant so much to my family, I can do every school run, I don’t have to worry about childcare in the school holidays and really be there for my daughter who is still undergoing investigations for an Autism diagnosis. Every single order really does mean so much to me!
This year I am continuing to collaborate with the amazing Magnificent Stanley which is an absolute pleasure! We have an amazing collection of prints for this season and some lovely new styles for Summer. I am also working to grow the womenswear offering which is really exciting! The current items in the womenswear collection have been popular and I can’t wait to have more products to offer to the fabulous women that shop with me. And if things continue to grow at the rate they have been for the last year I will be needing much more space to work and some help!! I am really excited to see what we can achieve once all the kids are at school full time!
We do hope that you have enjoyed our Meet The Maker series. We always like to support our fellow crafty handmaidens and burly handymen, so if you would like to be featured on our blog please get in touch.
Can you believe it's time for the big bunny ? Other than the supermarkets bursting with confection, I'm not even sure you would even know it was Easter. Whatever the weather, get into the chocolate and have a lovely long weekend.
Our maker this week is Sarah, founder of Birdy and Pearl, a small business that makes beautiful liberty print teething jewellery. I first became aware of Sarah's fabulous work when I was looking for a present for my sister in law. She is a proper eco - warrier (not in the trendy, man bun shouty way) and she genuinely doesn't want anything she doesn't really need. Sarah made her the perfect teething necklace, my sister in law wears it all the time and it is always available for my nephew to chomp on.
I set up birdy & pearl in the autumn of 2015 as a way of nurturing my creative self and pursuing a dream I had had since I was a child - opening my own shop. Previously, I had worked in publishing and then as a primary school teacher, a career which I put on hold after my second child was born.I have always adored Liberty of London's art prints and fabric, I actually worked at Liberty while I was at university. I also love babies - hence my rather large family. I came up with an idea which would Birdy celebrate these two things.
I initially started making wooden bead-knotted necklaces after stumbling across a tutorial online. I found out that these necklaces were often used by mothers as nursing or teething necklaces. Their purpose was to distract and engage babies while they were being fed or held, preventing little fingers from scratching skin and pulling hair. I loved this idea and wished I had found or made such a product years before when my children were little. I quickly realised that my sewing skills were not up to producing a product I could actually sell (should have and meant to go for lessons!). So it was back to the drawing board...
The internet has been such an amazing resource for small businesses and it was here I turned to continue my research. My heart-lurching, light bulb moment came when I discovered that Liberty made a cotton ribbon cord on which I could thread my beads, making my sewing machine redundant.(My first necklace was very similar to the one I made your sister-in-law. It was in Betsy P!) Not long afterwards, while sourcing the wooden beads which I originally made my nursing necklaces from, I came across gummy, tactile silicone teething beads in the most amazing shapes and colours. Keen to be original and unique I did further research and established that although there were companies, mainly then in America and Australia and at that time only a handful in the UK (not any more, sob!), that made and sold teething and nursing necklaces, there was no one making them using Liberty ribbon cord! This then was to be my USP and birdy & pearl was born.
I created my Etsy shop at the end of 2015 and officially opened in mid-January 2016. Sales have grown steadily and my customer feedback has been really encouraging and deeply rewarding. Instagram which I'd used (@thepitts) as a magazine substitute since 2011 has been a fun and effective marketing tool for me and a way of meeting friends and other creative makers like you! (bloody algorithms though. Really impacting sales at the moment. Definitely relied too heavily on ig for sales!) My goal for this year is to carry on growing the business steadily, launch my own website and introduce my necklaces and birdy & pearl to a wider audience.
Thank you so much for tuning in to our blogs during March Meet The Maker month. Next week we have another fabulous small business to share with you.
Happy Spring (brrrrrr)
As part of March Meet The Maker month, Poppy and Honesty is celebrating some of our favourite crafty businesses. We can testify that all the makers (movers and shakers) featured here, have excellent products and come highly recommended. These blog post give you a little window into the livelihoods of small business owners. Frequently they are mothers working at kitchen tables, snatching a moment to make something beautiful and some much needed dosh. Small businesses frequently offer women the opportunity to work flexibly at home as other professional doors are sadly closed to them after having a family. Although your goodies may not arrive at the click of your Amazon prime fingers, small businesses offer a much more personal service, a better product and you will in fact get more bang for your buck.
Today we meet Jo, the life force behind Eddie and Bee, a beautiful handmade children's clothes company based near Winchester. Eddie and Bee is also part of the Lobella Loves platform, a website that makes donations to mental health charities with every purchase made.
Growing up I always knew what I wanted to be. I wanted to be a fashion designer and I wanted to train at Central Saint Martins, because that’s where John Galliano and Hussein Chalayan studied. So I did. I studied women's wear fashion design and then went on to work a design and production assistant.
The reality of being a designer was very different to the 3 years of creativity I experienced when training ( and I fell in love and followed my now husband to the south coast) so I left London to become an Early years teacher.
What sets our clothes apart are the carefully selected unique prints and high quality natural fabrics and simple design.I make sure that all of our leggings are made from organic cotton jersey and use low impact dyes. All of our other fabrics are sourced from a high quality producer of Japanese printed fabric and are printed in small volumes which adds to the rarity and uniqueness of the fabric and helps to distinguish our clothing from mass market, high volume competitor.
I know I speak for makers everywhere when I say that every time you guys place an order , we have a little flutter and a new spring in our step.
For the whole of March we are showcasing some of our favourite makers. Meet Lucy from La La and Pom.Read More
Talented stylist Selena Mitchell from Iggy Mint London created a beautiful fairy tale photo shoot for Poppy and Honesty. The photographs include our bespoke quilt in Liberty of London classic print 'Betsy' with the softest washed linen and a pom pom trim. We hope you enjoy this dreamy series of fairytale images.
Hello blog-cats, I am sorry its been so long ! We've been so busy developing Poppy and Honesty that I have neglected you like a bad boyfriend. It's been a bonkers few months that has seen the construction of our new studio and expansion of the team to included marvellous Carol and Karen. The studio (glorified shed) is a fantastic 6 steps commute from my front door and whilst its not to proper designer spec, its a darn site better than working at the kitchen table. Also, your orders are far less likely to get dropped into the butter. It's hard to be professional when sharing workspaces with kids, a mad dog and a diy enthusiast. I confess to once including a piece of lego in a customer's order.
We are now a fabulous team of 4 local crafts people based in Cornwall. Everyone works flexibly in their own time and space to bring our beautiful products to life. We have just launched our Spring Summer Collection 2018 which brings together some delightful prints from Liberty of London to create magical unisex bedding and homewares for children.
'Doe A Deer' is one of this season's heroes from Liberty's 'Alpine Symphony' collection. We fell in love with the gentle cartoon style illustrations and the secret scenes of animals in the woods. Reminiscent of early cartoons such as 'Bambi,' we think your little people will adore finding all the wonderful characters including rustling hedgehogs and pretty bluebirds riding deer.
Sky High' is another favourite of ours from the our new season. Part of Liberty of London's ' Pocket Full of Memories' collection, it is beautifully illustrated with early inventions of flight. The print reminded us immediately of Atticus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang bang with his wonderful car. 'Sky High' features so much detail including shooting stars, a random pair of binoculars and exploding rockets, perfect for little explorers. Furthermore, the colour pallet is really gorgeous and includes a strong mustard yellow, which is so popular with contemporary interior design.
We hope that you enjoy our Spring/ Summer 2018 collection. It has been an absolute pleasure to work on. As I've ranted and rambled on in previous blog posts, I do tire of children's design being specifically 'girly or boyish ' in a very homogenous unicorn or tractor way. We understand that not all your girls want flowers and not all your boys want trains. Hopefully this gorgeous Liberty print interiors collection will be just the ticket.
Thankyou all so much for your support. We'd love to hear your feedback.
Check out the full collection here.
As a result of living in a hot country for 14 years, cool pastels have been my interiors game to date. Seeking respite from the stonking Australian summer, meant our home was full of cottons, minty greens and we had minimalist aspirations (never to be realised due to the never-ending trail of tat). Having re-acclimatised to great British seasons, I now find myself poking around in antique shops and lusting after velvets, sheepskins and rich colour palletes. We will never abandon the meadowy floral Liberty prints that Poppy and Honesty has become known for, however the time has come to embrace the dark side, particularly as our grown up range continues to evolve.
On a recent trip to Barcelona, I felt inspired by gothic architecture and found myself looking more closely at William Morris' textiles. As the Godfather of the Arts and Crafts movement, Morris revived medieval style in his wonderful block printed fabrics. His neo-gothic designs are very much inspired by nature, as detailed in our favourite Morris print 'The Strawberry Thief'. This block printed beauty took him six years to complete. Crikey, how different was the Arts and Crafts Movement to our 'want it all now /next day delivery' culture?
William Morris was a staunch supporter of craftsmanship and as such I hope he would appreciate Poppy and Honesty's slow style of handmade production. I like to think that we could have a cuppa and maybe play some Victorian parlour games. The neo-gothic style favoured by his posse tends to lend itself to maximalism, more detail, more luxurious and ultimately more expensive. Therefore as much as we would like to make our new range ridiculasly opulent, we are having to reign it in a little, to make it affordable to our punters. Don't worry though, we have sourced the softest of velvets in rich jewel colours that would have Oscar Wilde quivering in his knickerbockers.
We'll keep you posted as our vampy range continues to evolve. Be prepared to unleash your inner Moticia Addams and light your candleabras...
New Cushion and Bedding range launches Nov 17th.
'These arts...are the sweeteners of human labour, both to the handicraftsman, whose life is spent working in them, and to people in general..'
William Morris. "The Lesser Arts" December 1877
Here at Poppy and Honesty HQ we love to work on your weird and wonderful bespoke orders. Much of our current range has actually been inspired by your requests, it seems that our customers have impeccable style and taste. Sometimes you guys just want something we already have in a bigger, smaller, canine or dolly version.. At other times you'd like a current design in a different fabric. We will hunt through the Liberty of London archives and all 4 corners of the world for a swatch and send this to you to help with your decisions and conundrums.
Sometimes our customers come to us with the starting point of a paint colour, an antique or style. In consultation with you we will source fabrics and develop a design in order to create a piece that is completely unique and fit for your purpose. It is always fantastic to watch ideas unfold and sometimes we end up going full circle and working on something completely different. Projects have included window seat cushions, bean bags and curtains amongst lots of others.
We charge very little commission on bespoke orders because we don't have the capacity to hold a huge range of beautiful products and also we love them. Frequently our bespoke orders are for a particularly special occasion. A very dear project we worked on was a nursery set, for a Mum who had been waiting years for a child and had finally adopted a little girl. Another project that springs to mind was a hand-stitched personalised quilt, commissioned by grandchildren for their Granny 's 90th birthday. It is such a treat for us to be a tiny part of these moments.
If you would like something special please indulge your inner diva and get in touch here. Our record number of email exchanges for a bespoke project is 121 ! I dare you to beat it.
*Please place bespoke orders before November 25th to guarantee Christmas delivery.
*For more information on bespoke orders check out our page.
Our gorgeous liberty print bedding range for grown ups.Read More
The best thing we can do to mark World Mental Health Day is to look after each other even more carefully. It's not easy to know what to say or do for someone who is experiencing a mental shit storm, but staying schtum and keeping our distance can leave folk feeling more isolated and crazy. After my second child I had crippling depression, anxiety and a stint at a MBU (Mother Baby Unit). Obviously, everyone is different but here are some suggestions to help you support someone who needs a friend.
Just be there
You don't need to offer up advice or conspicuously try and cheer your pal up Pointing out all the jolly marvellous things in their lives may well make them feel even worse as sufferers of depression frequently feel guilty or inadequate for not being able to 'see' the good stuff. Instead try and accept that this is shit for your friend. Look them in the eye, tell them that you are there for them and that you will get through this together.
There is nothing wrong with polishing off packets of biscuits and drinking all the wine, however good nutrition is an important part of recovery. I used to forget to eat ( very hard to believe these days). Bringing over good home cooked food or going out for a meal will help your friend feel better. Comfort food is comforting.
I am not suggesting that you plan a schedule of activities in the manner of Heidi Hi. However follow your friends lead, if she suggests going to the park, go. Other activities you may like to suggest include a feel good movie, a cuppa in a nice cafe or a rummage in a cool shop. Your friend may feel anxious about crowds or groups of people, therefore gentle activities that ease isolation are best.
Do nice things
A mental health nurse once told me that one way of reversing the cycle of depression is simply to do nice things. Therefore it may be helpful if you could do some of the boring chores that will enable your friend to do things that she/ he enjoyed before they felt so bad. Offer to take out the bins, do some laundry or tidy up. Jobs can seem very overwhelming to someone feeling unwell.
Nature and Exercise
Both of the above have been known to ease depression and anxiety but it can be difficult to get motivated and easier to stay home and feel sad. Breathe some fresh air together and suggest a walk or bike ride. Being outside and around nature can be very calming to a shouty mind.
You don't have to commit hours of time to supporting your friend. Short regular bursts of contact will make them feel supported and loved. Remember that you aren't their doctor or counsellor and point them in the right direction for professional help.
It's all gone a bit Dr. Phil here but mental health illnesses are horrible, stigmatising and debilitating. It's amazing how a small kind gesture can make a difference and I really feel that little cups of tea and outings with my girl gang helped me to recover.
I had better sign off now before I get too cheesy and start quoting the lyrics to Heal the World.
Poppy and Honesty are proud to be partners with Lobella Loves, a beautifully curated website that makes a donation to maternal mental health charities with every purchase made. Head on over to their pretty pages.
Halfway through the school hols is not the ideal time to write a blog on traveling with kids. However some of you may be fortunate enough to swoop up good deals outside of the holidays and it's always nice to hear that wanderlust doesn't have to stop after procreation. With family on opposite sides of the globe, we have traveled on 9 long haul flights to and from Australia with our little nippers. A bit battered but still here to tell the tale, I thought we'd give you a little insight into these bonkers adventures.
Plane travel is the least civilized way to travel with kids. After being confined to a germ box for numerous hours you may end up hating your children, partner and questioning all your life choices. When children are old enough to be plugged into games and movies, plane travel is so much easier. However you'll have to be an expert in fixing gadgets that have been pressed and frozen three million times. I'll put a list of survival tips below, but most importantly if you are traveling alone, you must tell the airline staff as they can provide amazing support. After 16 flight hours of breastfeeding/baby passed out at the boob bar, a sympathetic stewardess took my little one for a walk. This potentially saved me from a complete public meltdown or throwing myself out of the plane. The lovely staff will look after your kids when you need the loo and bring your food out at a different time so you can feed the nippers first and don't have to negotiate towers of trays on your lap.
Our family enjoys traveling on boats and trains. We can all move around and the journey is most definitely part of the adventure. Boats often have very questionable cabaret/clown acts which are always entertaining. Some even have cinemas and designated kids play areas. There is always the danger of a rough crossing. but the bonus of many travel sickness remedies is that they may make your child sleep all the way ! On trains, the buffet carriage is a highlight as is the fantastic treats trolley. Board games can be spread out and dare devils will enjoy crossing the wobbly bits between carriages.
We've always felt that the benefits of exploring new places and seeing loved ones far outweighs the challenges of family travel, even if we are hissing at each other and the kids learn some more bad words along the way.
Top Tips for Long Flights with Small People
1. Loo always just before boarding.
2. Games/Toys that won't end up immediately under seat (stickers, etch-a-sketch things with pens attached)
3. Change of top for yourself if you are feeding a baby on your lap.
4. Buy large kids headphones that will fit the tv jack. Also be prepared to bolster them up on cushions so that they can see the screen.
5. Millions of snacks.
6. Valium .......
Rain most certainly did not stop play at Port Eliot Festival, however those still standing on Sunday night deserved a medal for epic British spirit or at the very least a laminated certificate. At first we were all soooo cool, tipsy and glittery that it was fun to dance in the rain but then the biblical storms started and some of us stayed and some of us ran to Premier Inn which felt like a 5 star holiday resort in Barbados by comparison.
We thought that folk would stick with their mega Sipsmith bloody Marys rather than brave the swamp to the Workshop Barns, but no, you came and we had a great time at our Liberty Print Workshops. The Grown ups made fabulous sequinned Liberty Print Corsages which glistened against the mud and the kiddos made regal feather headdresses adorned with jewels, liberty prints and beads. Everyone was fantastic, confirming that you can't keep a crafty minx down and blinging accessories are part of an essential Quagmire survival kit.
Poppy and Honesty were in such great company at Port Eliot. Some of our highlights included modern calligraphy with A'Laise, poetry from Lachlan Murray Young, food from the epic Bhangra Bus and music from Son of Dave and Sister Cookie. We're already thinking about the gorgeous things we want to make with you next year and will let you know when the first wave of tickets are on sale.
Yours with damp feathers and sparkly sequins,
Enter PROMO CODE : PORT ELIOT for 10% OFF
I have fleeting Enid Blyton daydreams about the school holidays where my children go on wholesome adventures to catch butterflies with picnics consisting of homemade bread, jam and lemonade all wrapped up in a checkered tea-cloth. But then reality kicks in and I actually feel a bit sick. I meet lots of enthusiastic Mums in the playground who relish the school holidays' lack of timetable and ample pj time. I am most definitely not one of these Mums, what is the secret to their sparkiness?
I don't have a strategy other than booking the odd holiday programme. With Mr. P away for most of the hols (inciting giant green envy) I know that I will need a break to get on with Poppy and Honesty stuff. However I have my reservations about plugging the kids into devices as I am not sure the knock on effect is worth it.
Just talking about screen time opens up a can of worms almost as wriggly as breast feeding or childbirth. I am certainly not going to judge anyone using screens to entertain, educate, or buy themselves some time to go to the loo alone or call the emergency plumber. However we've got rid of the screens for a while and the kids have been much nicer. They seem less reactive and more able to engage. Perhaps because they are not thinking about their next move on Clash of Twats or hilarious emoji to send to their pals? Also their testosterone levels appear to have slumped as they are no longer busy wiping each other out on computer games. They are having to do 'other things' and entertain themselves, even if this involves maiming each other with a tennis racket, surely it's better than watching a bored teen fidget spinning on You Tube? Maybe this is just my own self fulfilled prophecy but family life certainly seems a lot more harmonious without the plug ins.
We've been Device Cold Turkey for x 4 weeks and so far so good. Obviously I will probably break after Week 1, when I have to locate a Poppy and Honesty order that has gone awol. However, it has definitely been an eye opener and something you may want to consider for a while to change things up.
May the force, all the wine and deep breathing be with you for the next 6 weeks. If you are a sparky school holiday Mum, can you let me in on the secret, pleaaaaase?