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Have you seen my bento lunches recently on Instagram? I love them! They’re a great way of giving children fun, portion-controlled lunches that they’ll really enjoy.
I think I get my enjoyment of making food look nice from my Dad. One of my earliest memories is of a dinner me Dad made for me that was laid out like a picture of a train. I had a fish finger train, green bean train tracks, mashed potato steam… It was amazing!
A couple of years ago I came across bento boxes and all the amazing accessories you can buy. I made loads of lunches that looked really cool for Eleanor, but then we had to put things away for a while when weaning her sister. I came across them all when I was de-cluttering the kitchen over the summer and an obsession was reborn! I’m so pleased Phoebe is old enough now!
The girls current favourite things are the shaped boiled eggs. I’ll admit, I amused myself by making them the fish-shaped one to go with some chips. “Look, you’ve got fish and chips!”
I think my Dad would have had great fun if we’d had this stuff as kids. I might have to make him lunch sometime soon!
Excitingly, I’ve been chatting with a couple of companies in Japan about selling bento accessories; I really want to share these awesome fun lunches with everyone. I’m still working a few things out but soon the Little Squish shop will be expanding!
Wow, it’s been a while hasn’t it? Back in January when I decided to extend my break I didn’t think it’d last this long, but it’s been nice to focus on other things. I’m starting to get ready to relaunch Little Squish, and I’m looking forward to making some changes and getting stuck back in. This blog is in for a total overhaul too; no more sewing posts, just family-friendly posts that fit with the ethos of Little Squish. (If you’re looking for my sewing posts, they moved over to Thimble End a while back.)
Here’s a peek of changes to come. What do you think?
This post has been a long time coming, and I’ve been putting it off since before Christmas really. Here’s the short version:
Little Squish will be taking an extended break in 2016 and I’m not sure when I’ll be back.
Here’s the longer version:
2015 was an amazing year for Little Squish, the highlights included:
If you’re a regular follower here or on social media, you’ll know that I also took on running a local Etsy group which then led to finding business premises for 2016. The purpose of this was to not only have somewhere to work, but to also provide creative space for my Etsy group. We found a beautiful rural location, announced it to the world and then, as is often the way, it all fell to pieces. Both the landlord and the letting agent were not up front about various extra charges and, to cut a long story short, it fell through. I was devastated. Not only for myself, but for the group I feel I let down. Within a week of that, I also had to rebrand Little Squish for reasons I’d rather not go into, but let’s just say it was unexpected.
I started having mild panic attacks and feeling unable to cope with everyday life in all honesty. Not good when you’re an at home parent to two small children and you also have the added pressure of being Managing Director for the company that brings in your family’s main source of income (not Little Squish!).
The timing was bad, I was gearing up for the festive season and hadn’t long gotten my products into a great local children’s boutique. Something had to give though, I decided to temporarily close Little Squish and focus on my family.
I won’t lie. I enjoyed the break and I needed it. I was also overwhelmed by how many of you took the time to email me and ask how I was, it means a lot and I must have been doing something right! I decided to move my sewing blog away from this website and set up a separate blog and I spent some time selfishly sewing for myself and I even learnt to knit.
I thought long and hard about the future of Little Squish; I originally had so many plans for 206. In the end, I decided to continue to put Little Squish on hold and focus on myself and my family. It’s definitely not goodbye, more “see you soon”. I have no firm plans for when I’ll be back, and I’m ok with that.
In the meantime, if you’d like to see what I’ve been up to, my sewing blog is now http://sewvictoriablog.wordpress.com
Little Squish has had a makeover!
When I started Little Squish, almost two years ago, I had this vague idea that I’d make nice children’s clothes. I had no idea about creating a brand identity really, so I had no game plan about the kinds of garments I’d create. Over time Little Squish has evolved; I still sew, but I also screen-print onto clothing too. Little Squish has become known for unisex clothing with bright colours and simple bold designs and I felt it was time for my branding to reflect this.
It’ll take a bit of time to get my labels and stationery re-printed, so if you’re ordering anything please be aware that your garments may come unbranded for the time being.
Let me know what you think of the rebrand!
Recognise the fabric? It’s some of what was left over from my Girl Power skirt (which I love and wear far too much!). Of course, since making this bag, it’s been pinched by my girls and is currently in their bedroom housing an enviable collection of My Little Ponies!
My favourite part of this project was using these eyelets:
Don’t they look great? I think they give something like this a more professional, rather than homemade, look. They were so easy to use too!
There are more projects for William Gee in the pipeline, all nice and simple, and I’m looking forward to sharing them with you 🙂
When you craft, particularly as a business, you can find it a bit lacking in chat sometimes, right? Sometimes you just want to chat to someone who knows what you’re talking about, and whilst Facebook and friends are good for getting chatty, sometimes somewhere a little more private is in order.
If you’re nodding, then Creative Brew is the place for you my friend! A forum filled with like-minded crafty people – a place to chat, make contacts, swap craft supplies or have the odd rant. I’ve been using it since January, and it’d be lovely to see some new faces (or some old ones rejoin us!). Unsurprisingly, my user name is LittleSquish, so I’ll be easy enough to find if you fancy a chat. I’ve just been promoted to admin with special magic powers too (ok, not really magic, and I don’t even get a cape!) so give me a nudge if you need any help with anything 🙂
Speak to you soon!
We love any kind of crafty activities here, so when CICO Books got in touch and asked if I’d like a copy of one of their latest titles, Make Your Own Zoo by Tracey Radford, I couldn’t resist!
My girls are only 2 and 4, so they are a bit young to do any of these activities without adult help and supervision (the book recommends the activities as being for ages 6 and up, with adult help), but it was a great family activity for one of those rainy afternoons we’ve had recently. We decided to all have a go at making a lion, as that was the first project that grabbed Eleanor’s attention.
The instructions are clear and very easy to follow, aided by some great photos. Here’s what we came up with, what do you think?
Even if you’re not the craftiest person in the world, don’t worry! Along with clear instructions and step-by-step photos for each animal, there are also a selection of templates at the back.
If I were still teaching I’d definitely be keeping a copy of this book in my classroom; the animals would look great as part of a display. I have a feeling that we will soon end up with quite a sizeable zoo at home too; I think this is a great craft book to have to hand during miserable rainy days. It’s also given me a few ideas for some other creations, using these techniques as a starting point.
Thank you to Polly at CICO Books for providing me with a copy of Build Your Zoo. All opinions are my own.
I love September. There’s a real sense of it being a brand new start, a time to achieve stuff, a reboot of the year. I guess that’s the teacher in me, I always loved the start of the year with a brand new class. And new stationery.
The blog, and my Twitter account, have definitely been stagnating a bit over the summer months, but as you’ll have seen on Facebook and Instagram, I’ve been out having adventures with the squishes. We’ve had such a lovely time together.
But now autumn is here again, so it’s time to refocus. For me, September is all about:
*Eleanor starting school – I actually can’t believe that my big squish is old enough for school. I’ve got to say it’s a very weird feeling being the parent and not the teacher.
*Phoebe starting pre-school – She can’t wait, even though it’s only a few hours a week.
*100 Day Goal – I’m going to spend 100 days working towards a main business goal, doing lots of little actions along the way, with the support of Julia from The Business Bakery (who I’ve mentioned several times before!)
*Getting fit – Thanks to my FitBit motivating me, I’m going to make a proper commitment to doing regular exercise. And hopefully lose some weight along the way. I also promise to stop posting my FitBit stats on Instagram, I really don’t want to turn into a fitness bore (but it is exciting when everything turns green!).
*Getting organised – A bit like a spring clean, I need to organise my sewing and screen-printing supplies, they’re kinda taking over the house. On that note, has anyone seen my zipper foot?! (I also have an awesome way of cataloguing sewing patterns to share with you!).
*Sewing – I realised the other day that I haven’t sewn myself something that I love for far too long. And that was kinda meant to be the point of this blog really, so it’s high time I got down to business! I bought the wrap dress pattern I mentioned before, so that is one of many things I’ve got planned.
*Catching up – I’ve got some fab tutorials to finish for the guys over at William Gee and other bits and bobs in the pipeline that need finishing.
Are you pleased September is upon us again, or are you already longing for the lazier days of summer?
The main reason I started writing my blog was to keep a record of the things I’d sewn and to see my progress over time. Of course, there were things I made prior to starting my blog, which I’d actually forgotten about until Facebook reminded me. If you’ve got a Facebook account, you’ll know that every day you can look at your “memories” which is basically just showing you your posts on that date for each year you’ve been online.
Over the past week or so, I’ve been reminded of some of the first things I ever made, so I thought I’d share them with you. I think it’s fair to say that I’ve got better, and I’m so glad I persevered because I remember getting so frustrated with those first little projects! Please excuse the appalling photography, at this point my photos were literally just for my personal profile!
Well, who knew I’d end up organising a quilt project for Project Linus UK? No one who saw this that’s for sure! This came about because I’m on a pretty large group of mummies on Facebook; we were all due in June 2011 and the group is still going now. We decided that everyone would make a quilt square and they’d all get put together for a purpose I’m not entirely sure of now. I don’t think it ever happened, but the square I made was entirely hand sewn as I didn’t have a machine then. At the time, I remember being so proud of this, but I’m a bit embarrassed now. Just goes to show that you can absolutely improve your skills if you keep going though!
I made this three years ago (whilst watching Usain Bolt in the Olympics actually) because my then one year old daughter was obsessed with bags. Nothing changes actually, I just bought her a My Little Pony handbag the other day! I made this with no pattern and no real clue as to what I was doing, as it was only the second time I’d switched the sewing machine on (after the quilt square I ended up borrowing my Grandma’s machine). It’s made out of felt and I hand-stitched the heart on the front using a blanket stitch. Which would have been far easier had I done that before stitching the bag together! Anyway, Eleanor still has this bag and still loves it so that’s a win right there.
Camper Van Skirt
I love this fabric so much! I made this for Eleanor when she was two and she loved it. We had so many compliments on this skirt whenever she wore it, although credit where it’s due it’s entirely down to that fabric. I must get myself some of this for a skirt (which is completely acceptable as this skirt has long since been donated to the local charity shop). I have no idea why I decided to attempt a pretty awful and basic headband here. When I made this, Eleanor’s hair had just started growing properly, so I was probably a bit over-excited before I remembered that I don’t really like headbands, haha,
Bias Binding Hem
This little skirt was an absolute bargain; it only cost £1.60 to make! The fat quarter I used to make it was only £1, I remember being very impressed by that. I made this so that I could have a go at using bias binding for the first time, I wanted to see how it would look finishing a hem with it. A quick Google for some videos on YouTube and I was all set – turned out it was really easy! I loved how summery this skirt looked. It would fit Phoebe now and I know it’s still about somewhere in the girls’ wardrobe so I might dig it out later.
I bought this awesome doughnut fabric on eBay, about two and half years ago, which some vague idea of brightening up our kitchen with it. Aside from making a noticeboard, that didn’t happen, so when we bought Eleanor a little patio set I decided to make her a little tablecloth and seat pad. I wanted to have a go at making something reversible, so it has little cupcakes on the other side. This is also still in use now, which makes me smile.
So come on, dig out some of your first sewing projects and share them with me, I’d love to see them. And if you’re reading this because you’d like to start sewing, I think this post is proof that with a bit of effort you will improve!