Popsyclunk Christmas Decorations in Your Dog Magazine
How exciting! My Personalised Doggy Christmas Decorations are now in the December 2017 Issue of Your Dog Magazine, The UK’s Best Selling Magazine dedicated to our furry companions
The magazine came out on Tuesday 7th November and I was so excited to pick up my copy ( or 3!) from my local Sainsburys . It is available from most major supermarkets and all good newsagents nation-wide ( I’ve always wanted to say that! ) I felt like I could jump for joy. It was brilliant to see one of my best selling products in print and now I am painting lots of red bones so I’m ready for the orders.
I love seeing all the doggy names coming in. We really are a nation of dog lovers! These are very popular in the USA and Canada too!
You can order one for your very own canine best buddy by emailing me on my contact page or through my Etsy Shop.
These were first inspired when we lost our gorgeous doggy Marley in 2015, and as one of my friends said this week, ” I think Marley would have been so proud”. This one’s for you Marley……….
Golden Wedding Anniversary Memory Box New to my Etsy Shop
In September I had the pleasure of making a Golden Wedding Anniversary Memory Box. You can see them in my Etsy shop here
Golden Wedding Anniversary Memory Box Gift 50th Wedding Anniversary Golden Wedding Gift Golden Wedding Keepsake Gift for Parents
This Large Wooden Golden Memory Keepsake Box is perfect for a the Happy Couple to Remember 50 Happy Years together. Personalised with their initials its the perfect gift.
This lovely wooden box is handpainted in gorgeous contemporary colours. The one shown has cream based and sky blue lid with Golden Letters but if you would prefer different colours please just ask in a ” request a custom order” message or state when ordering.
These wooden memory boxes measure 25cm x 25 cm x 12 cm with a lift off lid.
The box is meticulously handpainted in my Derbyshire studio . Each letter is individually handpainted and the box is finished with a light clear varnish meaning that it is easily wipeable.
Please specify the Initials you would like when ordering.
This memory box has travelled from Derbyshire up to Scotland where the recipients were thrilled! One of the lovely parts of running business like Popsyclunk is learning about the journey that my products go on and how well they are received. It makes gifting really unique and thoughtful and there are a lot of thoughtful people out there.
With Christmas coming up please order early as my memory boxes are very popular and it’s just me who designs them, makes them, does admin, packs, wraps, cooks tea, walks the dog ooh and I’m a wife and mummy too! I love my work and will always try and accommodate your special requests to make the gift as unique and beautiful as the person receiving it.
*Plus Postage. I ship worldwide. Please enquire when ordering
For UK Memory Boxes I used Royal Mail Signed for First Class. For International Parcels I use the “Signed For” Airmail Service.
Hello and welcome to my first blogpost in a little while – It is a lovely March Day in Derbyshire and it feels like Spring is finally here.
Back in September last year I was lucky enough to secure a place with an earlybird offer on the first module of Lyndsey James’ Photocraft E-Course. For those of you who haven’t come across Photocraft before it is a business run by the lovely Lyndsey James. She has spent years as as a professional photographer, and now also helps creative business owners around the world take great photos for their brand.
Bloggers, Artists, Designers, and Retailers have all learned how to take better photos through the Photocraft e-course. She also provides a weekly tips programme, free workshops and live workshop events.
I set up Popsyclunk over four years ago to address the need for lovely memory boxes for my two daughters. I left behind my public sector office job and set off on my adventure, looking to work creatively whilst allowing flexibility to work around my girls.
My memory boxes are intended to be the perfect antidote to instant everything and trawling though things in a “cloud” sometime in the future. Instead they enable people to pick up and hold memories to tell the story of their child’s life, their love or their travels through a lovely box designed for them. They can enjoy the process of filling it with photos and momentoes of their life.
For a while I have been striving to marry my interest in Photography with the need to take good photos of my products .
I have a website and for the last 18 months I have also been selling my products on the popular handmade website Etsy. I have just gone past the 180 sales mark and I’m convinced this is because my photos are bright and clear and draw people in who are looking at lots of images in one go.
However, as well as being a small business owner, I am a mummy of two fairly young children and so time and money can be tight. I have made my own photo backdrops in the past but this takes time which is often better spent on making the products themselves.
Once I’d completed Module 1 of the Photocraft e-course it co-incided with Lyndsey launching Photoboards.
Photo Boards™ are 1:1 scale, high-resolution, small photography backdrop boards that make product, food and lifestyle photography easy for Designers, Makers, Artists and Bloggers.
Lyndsey asked me, as a designer maker, to trial one of her Photoboards and blog about my experience, so here I am!
The main feature of Photo Boards is that they look super real, just like actual wood, stone, fabric or metal, so people will think they are the real thing in your photos! Simply drop them into your scene as a new surface or background and shoot.
I was sent the whitewashed wood Photoboard which is the 60cm one and it was so easy to use. It also comes with a link so that you can read helpful tips about how to position it which makes it even more user-friendly!
Large Wooden Rainbow Memory Box
Unlike most large vinyl or paper backdrops, these mini backdrops are super high-resolution so look perfect even during close-up product photography.
What I liked about this particular backdrop was that it is light and airy to allowed me to keep the contemporary feel to my products. This particular memory box is bright and colourful and I think the Photoboard will allow it to really stand out when people are looking through my website or Etsy shop.
There are so many different styles of backdrop from “Sail’ white to ” Patisserie” and ‘Riveria” so they offer the choice of fitting in with your brand style. Whether you sell jewellery, fabrics or cakes, there is sure to be one that will be perfect for you!
For my popular wooden suitcase memory boxes, I used the Photoboard as a background rather than placing the memory box onto it. I really liked the feel that this gives and allows a more subtle feel. I already feel like it gives and air of style to my products which is definitely how I’d like them to be portrayed.
The Photoboard was equally as adaptable to be put with the detail vertically rather than horizontally as in this photo. They are incredibly versatile and I was equally as home using them with my pastel memory boxes such as this Tilly design one.
My next plan is to start using the Photoboards for flatlay photos. Not only is this very on trend and Instagram – friendly but I have also started an additional blog over on Tumblr which is where I will talk more about the story contained within the Memory Boxes. I think the Photoboards will be perfect for these Flatlay photos I have planned. Everyone has a story to tell and my “Memory blog” posts will start to explore that aspect of my work.
I’m hoping to use the tips that I learnt from Lyndsey’s free Instagram e-workshop that I took part in earlier in the week to really use the Photoboard to style my Instagram feed for Popsyclunk and make it really stand out in the crowd.
So if you are a designer-maker like me, or a blogger, or just like to take lovely photos I really would recommend Photoboards. They are a must!
Here’s a reminder of where you can find Photoboards, Photocraft and Popsyclunk!
Family Glamping – a weekend in The Wagon at Puckshipton
Last month, as part of my 40th birthday celebrations, we travelled down to Wiltshire for the weekend to the fabulous Wagon at Puckshipton.
Isn’t it beautiful! When I looked into booking something, about 6 months before for my big celebration, it started off being a weekend for me and my hubby, in Paris, then after some thought, I realised I wanted a weekend with a difference with my family, and Otto. I thought I’d like to try glamping as we love our sleep so wanted comfy beds but equally wanted to go back to nature. I started off looking for a treehouse, and soon came across Canopy & Stars, which is an amazing company. Their website was so easy to use and I instantly had access to a wealth of glamping options both home and abroad.
I came across and decided on The Wagon in Puckshipton, near Pewsey, Wiltshire as it was just about the right amount of distance from Derbyshire (just under 3 hours) for us to get away from it all but a justifiable distance for a weekend. It also accommodated 2 adults 2 kids and a dog. PERFECT.
With a nod from the hubby and a moan from the kids – “What no electricity ALL weekend – no TV?” We don’t even watch that much TV! and it was booked!
I must admit on the run up to the weekend I thought lots about whether the kids would like it, would Otto be ok as he’s still quite young and would me and hubby get to relax. I didn’t need to worry. AT ALL!
It was mid September so the nights were still fairly light and we had a good drive down so it was still light when we arrived. Juliette, The owner met us there and she offered the perfect mix of showing us round but also leaving us to just get on with it too.
It was clear straight away that the perfect seclusion that we enjoyed at the Wagon allowed Otto to run free at all times. He’s still young at 18 months but he’s amazing at recall for his age and came back at a whistle. The Wagon was surrounded by trees so you could hear him ferreting about for sticks but he never ventured too far so he couldn’t see us. This was a real sign that he’s bonded with us and sees us as his family for life.
The Wagon itself was just beautiful – it was obvious that James Noble was a master craftsman as the attention to detail was stunning. The girls has a bunk bed one end of The Wagon and there was a comfy double for me and hubby the other end. The wood burning stove was fantastic and we all set about finding sticks to crank it up so we had hot water to wash up and for the (outside – more about that later) shower. The Wagon also has these amazing solar lamps that charge up during the day and gave us plenty of portable light when the sun went down. I read up on them when we got back and apparently they were invented in South Africa for when there were frequent power cuts. We have some in our house now too.
Not only were the solar lamps practical they looked equally as beautiful.
As the sun went down, I looked round at my family pottering around, the kids and hubby collecting kindling to start a fire, Otto sniffing about with dreams of running free already collecting in his head. This place was starting to infiltrate into our souls. Osmosis of the setting and serenity taking place before our eyes.
Before we knew it a fire had been made and the smell of toasted marshmallows was filling the air. It was still pretty balmy for September so we sat round the fire and before we knew it were talking about the science of the best size of marshmallow for toasting, not a mention of TV and phones had been switched off for the weeknd. Discarding them until we got home was amazingly therapeutic.
We flopped into bed that night feeling fully content, smokey hair, fresh air in our lungs and love for this place in our hearts. The only thing that could have woken us was Otto’s animated dreams. If he could speak I think he would have given us a thousand thankyous.
The next day was a fabulous mix of messing about in boats that came with the hire of The Wagon and exploring the local walks, in abundance from our doorstep. I thought I could handle the rowing boat and just managed to go round in circles so had to get rescued by the others in the canoe. We fell about laughing as I proved I wasn’t quite as ” Swallows and Amazons” as I first confessed to being.
There were plenty of walks from the Wagon and we loved the beauty of the surrounding countryside. We found an amazing horse chestnut tree nearby and the kids excitement for finding fresh conkers on the ground was lovely to see as they filled their boots with nature’s bounty. All this with regular glimpses of the famous white horses of the Wiltshire landscape.
Later in the afternoon we cranked up the wooden burner inside The Wagon again so we had hot water for the shower and to wash up. To be totally honest it took a bit of courage (and a beer at the local pub) to work up to the shower as it was outside in the trees just behind The Wagon. I don’t know why I was bothered though because as soon as I stepped in it was just amazing. The girls soon joined me and squeals of delight ensued as we looked up and felt the exhilaration of showering al fresco. It reminded me of travelling round the Yucatan Peninsula in my early 20’s and regularly showering with lizards for company.
That evening we fired up the pizza oven that’s just near The Wagon. We cheated and took pizzas from the supermarket ( and from a well know pizza chain at that – other brands are available) but oh my goodness – they tasted just amazing. Proper wood- fired pizza (washed down with a couple of glasses of Prosecco for the grown – ups – it would be rude not too) . We were in heaven.
Another evening of toasted marshmallows and chatting round the fire and modern life seemed a million miles away. The “risk’ had paid off. We all LOVED it. My littlest little loved the washing up outside and trying different food cooked in different ways. ” I love surviving”, she said.
My bookworm biggest little loved lying back in the hammock with her book. She’d never been in a hammock, or messed about in boats. I could almost see the memories filling up in her little head.
We had another amazing night’s sleep and then it was nearly time to leave which we were all really sad about. This weekend had been the perfect retreat from everyday life for ALL of us. The girls got chance to be in the middle of nature, Otto ran free and fill up his store of “best sniffs”. We as a couple got to appreciate and look at what really matters to us in full technicolour, without a theme park or sugar coated fabricated “day out” in sight. Most of all this weekend has been afforable and in all aspects more valuable then we could ever have imagined. If you can, please do something like this with your littles, your partner, your doggy or all three. You will not regret it.
The Wagon was the perfect choice for us, so much so we have booked again for next year. Perfect serenity in A World that can sometimes be challenging just by the nature of its speed and intensity. Memories are so important, make them, keep them and hold onto them. These guys are my World, and sometimes stripping back to the bare minimum just reinforces how important your World is and how important memories are to family life.
I’ll leave you with his image that sums up how I felt at the end of the weekend. I would definitely recommend a break with Canopy & Stars for the perfect Family Glamping Weekend! If in doubt just go for it!
Hello and sorry I’ve been away from the blogosphere for a little while. It’s been a busy few months! Last month I turned 40 and I wanted to write about what it’s been like and how the World from my eyes is looking right now.
I have so say it’s not a moment that filled me with dread at all, but I know it does to some people so let me explain. I’m on the other side now so hopefully for those if you it is an imminent realisation for, don’t worry.
One of my school mummy friends turned 40 a month before me and I can remember at the time asking her how she felt. She said that she was happy with her family and her life so she was happy to celebrate it as she was in a good place. That made me think that that’s pretty much how I felt too.
If you’d asked me a few years ago when my children were very small then I would have said I’d like to jet off somewhere just me and the hubby to somewhere lovely just for some “us” time. When it got nearer to the time I realised that was the last thing I wanted to do.
We’ve worked so hard to grow our little family and grow our respective businesses and really I wanted to celebrate that. So the weekend before I turned 40 we set off for a weekend totally off grid, no phones, no electricity and just total serenity. This in itself will be my next blog post as I think it deserves its own dedicated slot, but it was the best decision. Spending time with the ones I love in such a beautiful place was just bliss. It shows that if you strip away material things and the other things that make our lives ” busy” you can enjoy the exact reason why you are a family; each other. It was AMAZING!
The weekend of my birthday we had the most amazing fun by holding a 80’s/90’s throwback party with our very best friends. It was hilarious – as everyone dressed up, adults and kids. We had everyone from Boy George to Beetle Juice to Jamie and his Magic Torch. A good few hours of eating drinking and dancing and I was left feeling very loved.
Three weeks on and we went to a surprise party for one of my loveliest friends who was also turning 40. Her hubbby worked so incredibly hard to make it special for her and it was FANTASTIC! I had butterflies that morning as I wanted it to be special for her and it was brilliant. I think she also felt very loved.
On the morning of my friend’s party, my youngest daughter was on a doggy walk with me and read a sign for the ” Community Woodland” we are very lucky to have on our doorstep. “What does Community mean, Mummy”, She asked. I came back with the usual – people who all live in one area or place, but the as we talked the more I thought about it. Turning 40 I have realised I am part of the most wonderful community that is bound together by friendship, love and common values. My friends that came to my birthday party and the ones that went to my friend’s party this weekend, some of us have know each other practically all our lives, and we are all party of an amazing community. We don’t all live in the same place anymore, some of our friends couldn’t make it as they live too far away. Our common bond though is our common friendship and love for each other. We all have the same values and we all look out for each other and want to celebrate each other’s beautiful souls.
I am the first of my 8 childhood friends to be 40 and I can tell you it is a lovely feeling to feel so celebrated and so loved. This common bond we all have just seems to get stronger and stronger.
40 is great, and for different reasons than I ever imagined. Happy 40th Year my beautiful friends!
Happy Friday Everyone! Just a quick post about my exciting week at Popsyclunk.
I started off the week taking part in a fantastic Product Photography Webinar by Lyndsey James over at Photocraft. You can read more about what she does Here
It made me look at photos of my products in a different light (pardon the pun) and was perfect timing for launching my new range of map design memory boxes.
At school I was always fascinated by maps and paint (weird I know – I was a geek!) and my new product marries the two perfectly. With my new suitcase memory boxes, you are able to request a significant reclaimed map for the top of the box or if you’re not fussed, I can surprise you!
My hubby got involved this time and even though he runs a business of his own (you can look at it Here ) he advised me on the sanding process to make sure that the map is an integral part of the lid.
I have also been working hard on polishing up my listings for my Etsy Shop, and as well as this mini map suitcase I’ve also added some designs for the larger suitcases for Children as well as Wedding, Anniversary and Engagement suitcases.
I have used reclaimed maps for my new map suitcases, If you have any atlases you no longer need, I’ll always be interested in adding them to my collection. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This month I had a lovely chat over Skype with my best friend Clunk, who lives in Melbourne, Australia, and who is the namesake of Popsyclunk. She talked about her new found love of mindfulness and meditation. It was really interesting and re-inforced in my mind, about being present and living in the moment, especially with our children. With this in mind, I asked my daughter to show me what she had put in her memory box recently. She showed me the top of a seed that had popped off when her sunflower had started growing, as well as a paper sandwich bag that I had doodled on for her packed lunch on World Book Day. Both of these things made my heart happy. It really is the little things that our little people remember, because to them, the little things are actually the big things.
With this in mind, we planted more sunflower seeds in the garden recently as our annual family sunflower growing competition is underway. Look who wanted to help!
I have also started adding more boards to Pinterest this week, as a lovely customer said she found me on there, so it must be working!
I raced back from my appointment this morning to catch Lauren Laverne’s Morning Show on BBC 6 Music. I knew it would be bittersweet as we have just lost such an icon however I am sat here listening to her show, with the hairs on my arms standing on end. Those of you who know me know how much of a HUGE music fan I am, but Prince is something else.
My sister first introduced me to his music, for which I will be forever thankful. I spent my formative years literally playing his music, particularly Diamonds and Pearls, Love Sexy and Alphabet Street, till the tape wore out with my friend Sarah. Ahem I know, my kids won’t know what a tape is!
His music is just so creative, an eclectic blend of funk, soul, rock,R & B and Psychedelia like no other. Even though I played his music over and over again, I would hear something different in it each time. He introduced me to the incredible talent of Mavis Staples. Sinead O’ Connor’s Cover, yes cover, of “Nothing Compares 2 U”, written by Prince was surely one of the iconic pop videos of a generation.
I grew up to Prince:” Alphabet Street” ( I still know all the words to the rap!), “1999”, If I Was Your Girlfriend”, “I Wanna be Your Lover.” I have too many favourites. “Purple Rain” makes me cry every time.
My kids were asking today “Who is Prince?” Well I went straight to Amazon and bought Love Sexy on CD (My tape’s still worn out and don’t worry, I’ll censor it for their young ears! ) and ” Kiss” came on just then. My littlest instantly started to wiggle her bum and break into a boogie. Great to see my love of Prince is carried on into the next generation!
Today is one of those days where I feel privileged to do what I do, Working for myself and listening to a morning of amazing music, a whole show dedicated to the Purple One – Thanks Lauren, I knew I could rely on you. I think if we look up to the sky tonight, it will have turned purple. Prince you changed my life. Your creativity is an inspiration to all music genres, all walks of life. If creativity is fundamental to the soul, then all our souls are richer for your very being.
New Baby Gifts Girls Wooden Bunting. New Year New Babies! It has just been my daughter’s birthday and although people might get the January blues it us always a happy time for us as we celebrate her birthday. So here’s a picture of one of my latest strings of Wooden Bunting made for Lucy. The pretty pink flower reminds me of the bright colours of Spring which is just round the corner!
Today is my birthday! “Hip hop hooray”- said no-one ever when in the middle of the night wiping snot from a colded up child, in the realisation that tomorrow, her birthday was not going to go as planned.
Don’t worry. That was me at 12am, 2am, 315am and ooh 555am this morning but it does have a happy ending! You see I had plans for today; my first proper “birthday DAY off” for 7 years now both little people are at school. I was going to go into Nottingham with my mum, have a look in the shops, even source some photo props for Popsyclunk then go for tea and cake! Yey! ( cue needle on the record screeching to a halt) . When I finally “woke up” at 615am! I looked over at said colded up child lay diagonally across our lovely big bed so that I had ooh about 30cm square of room for me to cling onto. I looked at her beautiful blonde mop of hair cascading over my pillow and had a little word with myself.
Yes my day of pamper and self indulgence has gone out of the window but I would get to spend it with my littlest little. Toy Story 2 on loop and “help” opening my cards. Snuggles on the sofa made up for the snot!
Next my hubby came upstairs with my most favourite breakfast ever – thickly spread marmite on toast, a gallon of OJ and a hot (!) mug of decaf tea, accompanied by a little vase filled with beautiful blooms he’d just picked from the wildflower garden ( me and the kids had a guerrilla seed scatter in the spring) . Biggest little then jumped into bed with handmade cards (made with super granny) and lovely gifts not expensive in value but rich in thought. My day just got better.
School run and a beautiful friend gave me the most lovely and thoughtful gift -a framed photo of our new pup Otto. This meant so much as I’ve struggled so much with the loss of out beautiful Marley nearly 6 months to the day. Losing my best friend in canine form has made my heart sad every day, we went through so much together that some days I cannot bear to be without him. That said having Otto in our lives has given us so much pleasure. This photo cemented the fact that he is part of our family just as Marley was and always will be. He has big paws to fill but he has a gentle soul, which was why we loved Marley so.
Then a whatsapp video message from my best bud just before her and her littles went to bed in Australia. A happy birthday sing song which just melted my heart. Thankyou Clunk!
Next I had lovely cards and pressies from such lovely friends and family. I’m not materialistic at all but everyone had lovely words and thought. A fantastic recipe book from my sis, full of gorgeous illustrations ; A CD from my hubby with all my favourite Saturday Sessions from Dermot on; fab pampering treats from my lovely friend, sunflowers from my lovely friend, and a gorgeous bracelet from my best buddy with the words ” she dreamed she could so she did” on as well as superhero pants!
…and a colouring in book from my hubby. I really love the idea of colouring in to relax so for the rest of the day……you can find me mostly colouring in…. Ooh and eating cake.
My sad heart is feeling warm and happy. Enjoy your days everyone. I know I am enjoying mine even though it didn’t turn out quite as planned!
***This blog post has been brought to you by cake, full fat coke ( ahem I know- the healthy eating starts on Monday!) , Vicks (other menthol cold remedies are available) , calpol, Toy Story 2, child snot, puppy licks and beautiful beautiful people.***