Wednesday, 28 December 2011

My Simple New Year New You Diet

For a very long time I have continued adding the pounds to my poor heavy waistline, so now is the time to do something about it - and as Helen is of a certain age - I will use her as my inspiration.

I have always found that diets are very time-consuming.  Thinking about what to eat and sometimes a very long list of produce to buy, not to mention the shock to your system of following a regimented diet.

In the end we all know roughly what is good for us and what is bad for us and deep down we probably know that the regular portions of chips, sugar, sweets, cokes etc are doing us no favours.

So my diet is really simple and easy to follow - it is about making one small change each week to your normal eating habits.  The weight loss will not be fast but hopefully it will be steady.  For instance, I am 99% sure that eating bread bloats up my stomach and leaves me looking as though I am 8 months pregnant - so for Week 1 I have ditched the bread.  Sadly nothing can replace one of my favourite foods, so I have simply said bye bye to bread.

Next week I will swap all of my coffees for tea - simply because I take sugar in coffee but not in tea.  The week after I will give up my bed-time cake or biscuits, then followed by losing the chips and replacing with boiled or baked potatoes etc.

It is not the most eciting diet in the world but I am feeling quite sure that those pounds will slowly start to melt away and hopefully next summer I too can wear a bikini in my 50's !!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Loving the Mollie Makes Magazine

I so love to see the January magazines - with no Christmas stuff in them.  It is a time of new beginnings, and January 1st is my most favourite day of the year - a wonderful feeling of a new slate to fill with dreams and ambitions.  I so love to wake up on that morning and feel greatly excited to stride boldly into the New Year.

It is a fresh and new time of the Year and the Mollie Makes cover sure hits the spot - for those overseas unable to get a copy I have them for sale in my etsy shop here.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Our First Order for Our Red Telephone Box Mirrors

Just so excited that we have taken our very first order for our fabulous Red Telephone Box Mirrors which have been designed and hand-crafted by my wonderful better-half.  Sadly our photography leaves a lot to be desired and some effort made to make them really pop - but hey, our first order has now got to be put together over the Christmas Break and will then be winging its way to a home in Colchester :)  So, so happy with bells on....


Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Handmade Ryan Gosling

This is a fun blog to follow if you are a crafting girl - with images of a perfect partner :)

It so made me smile.....

found here

Monday, 12 December 2011

Leave Our Kirstie Alone !

Our lovely crafting queen Kirstie Allsop received some bad press this week from the attention-seeking Sally Bercow.

On the one side you have a feminine, ladylike, classy, graceful, home-making, crafting enthusiast - and on the other a non-ladylike, publicity hungry, person - so unfamous that I am not even sure what she does - apart from being married to Mr Speaker.

But the lady could sure learn to have some self-dignity and maybe to dig out a crochet hook, some knitting needles or a sewing machine and learn to appreciate the joy of crafting and to understand the enormous pleasure of finishing a one-off item to treasure or give to a friend.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

the indignity of it all - my first mammogram !

One of those wonderful joys of hitting 50 - along with chin hair, grey hair and poor vision is your first appointment for a mammogram.

The day arrives and it is in the shower with as many smellies as you can find - as part of being 50 you also have to contend those wonderful sudden hot flushes.  Out comes the razor for the swift removal of unwanted and never wanted underarm hair, and if you have time a quick clear of the fuzz that likes to appear on your chin.  This is followed by lashings of nice smelling sprays and a little prayer that you will not "glow" during your examination, and off you go.

Mine happened to be in a supermarket carpark in a big vehicle with Breast Screening written on its side in nice big letters......., and then up the metal steps and in you go.

You answer a few small questions and wait a little while and then you are directed to a small cubicle with another exit into the xray room.  You are asked to remove all of your top clothing and sit there waiting whilst feeling very peculiar and very uncomfortable listening to the odd mechanical sounds and beeps beyond the door.

Eventually you are called through (along with your handbag) - note to self that next time I will most certainly dilly and dally removing my clothing - and in you go.

You then have your breasts placed one at a time with instructions to lean here, there and everywhere into the machine which does a very good imitation of a nasty clamping monster as your poor breasts are each flattened like a pancake from top to bottom for one xray photo and then squashed again from side to side for the next photo - and finally you are done after about 5 minutes of your time.

Back into the cubicle you scurry to get dressed again in record time and out of the vehicle you pop, taking those steps carefully and fully hoping that you don't have some creepy guy in close proximity with his big cider bottle ready to obliterate any memories of his day.

Treat yourself to a nice dignified cup of tea and a scrumptious cup-cake is an instant cure for the indignity of it all :)

Thursday, 6 October 2011

claiming my blog

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Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Big Society Dept Store

This is where we have a small shop in a big shop on Hamlet Court Road in Westcliff-on-Sea.  The store has an eclectic mix of antiques, collectables, hand-crafted, vintage, shabby chic etc.

Step inside for a world of treasures.......

after taking a peek into the shop window.........

my blue painted chair and crocheted cushion peeking around the corner.........

two of my fabulous crocheted lamps.........

 my eclectic space of treasures and hand-crafted goodness............

 a pair of my fabulous chairs gracing the window display.............

chabby chic and vintage china .................

a wonderful display of antiques .................

and more..................

Next time you are in the area do stop by and take some time to browse around :)

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Mollie Makes

 Mollie Makes is now available in my etsy shop along with the other fabulous magazine Making.  Both of these titles are truly inspirational for anyone who loves or has wanted to have a go at crafting - especially for those who live overseas and have not yet managed to get there a copy.

The Mollie Makes has a little craft kit to make your own sweet coin purse and can be found here

and the Making magazine which can be found here has quilting projects as well as many other articles including how to reupholster a chair !!

Perfect reading for a lazy Sunday afternoon :)

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

comes from a pet and smoke free home

I so, so hate this saying on listings on both ebay and etsy.  It just seems so pompous and snobby and makes me want to contact the sellers and ask if it also comes from a home where no abuse is happening, where the Dad or Mum is not getting drunk all the time or doing drugs and whether the children are cared for, loved and with mature healthy minds.

I also want to know if the products are being made in some far flung corner of the globe by children, whether they are rip-offs or genuine, and if they are going to rip me off with the postage costs.

I often feel that pet free homes tell me that the owners are busy with jobs, live in a unsuitable place for pets or  just might be a little bit uptight, scared of a few hairs, dirt or my favourite....... cat hair balls !!  And as for smoke free homes I say each to his own, as long as the product has not got a cigarette burn, cigarette ash all over it and if it smells of tobacco has had a lovely fresh wash.

All I know from the "comes from a pet and smoke free home" is that it is not listed by Dot Cotton, Audrey Hepburn, Jilly Cooper, Liz Jones,  Marilyn Monroe, and any other pet loving or smoking person..... but it just might be coming via someone who is cruel, bitchy, violent, nasty, arrogant or worse.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Permed Hair

The lovely Michelle of The Royal Sisters wrote about having her hair permed which so made me smile.  She mentioned the difficulties in keeping a perm - which I remember from my other life being a total hassle.  But how much happier is a perm than hair that has been pressed and ironed into place - a girl with a perm is just so much more fun, happy, groovy and retro.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

so trendy Edward & Mrs Simpson

although I have been quite busy, busy I just had to post this image I came across of Edward & Mrs Simpson with Union Jack cushions - there we are in this day and age being flooded with union jacks - but of course Mrs Simpson had to get in there first.  The image makes me feel a little sad to think of edward abdicating for love and being tucked away somewhere in Paris - with his little reminder of home in the shape of a cushion.

I also love the fact that on the picture below his jumper has rolled up at the front, so makes me think of little boys being told by there mums to pull your jumper down, pull your socks up - and straighten your unruly hair....

Sunday, 21 August 2011

my first etsy sale :)

just a quick note to say that I have had my very first etsy sale - I am so chuffed and excited and it is going to the lovely Josephine in Singapore - how cool is that - woo woo hoo!!

Friday, 19 August 2011

and the winner is........

The Lucky winner of my yarn giveaway is No 16 - which I believe to be Amanda Makes!!

A big congratulations and please send me your mailing address and your choice of 10 colours.

A big big sorry to all those who did not win - I never realised that having a giveaway can make you feel happy and sad - all at the same time.

Wishing you all an excellent weekend - and I may well have some more giveaways in the future, once I have got my shop open and can think more clearly...

Thursday, 18 August 2011

The Fabulous Making Magazine is now in my Etsy Shop

If you have not yet tried this fabulous Making magazine - and just spend all month waiting for Mollie Makes to comes around - then I think that you might really like this one.

The magazine regularly features news relating to interior design, whats on, sewing, knitting and crafting projects, recipes, art, lust list, making toiletries and much, much more.

This edition includes:

Full Size Pattern for Retro Dress
Cup Candles
Mod Target Cushion
Pom Pom Garland
Brighton Rocks - fabric typography
A psychedelic quilt
Garden Tips
Picnic Roll Up Placemats
Scrabble Tile Magnets
Print on Porcelain
Teatime Treats
Unused Records Kitchen Clocks
A Button Light Pull
Rose & Red Clay Cleanser
Embroidered Passion Cushion by Emily Peacock
Make a Beaded Necklace, a Stylish Mini Dress, a Baker Boy Hat
Arm Candy Handbag, a Stool with built in Storage, a Pop Art Canvas

If you love the Mollie Makes magazine - I think this will become close or an even better favourite monthly read!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Bringing the Giveaway Forward!!

As the response has slowed quite rapidly and I am also busy trying to get everything into place for opening our shop I thought it would be a good idea to bring the giveaway forward.

So I will now randomly draw the lucky winner on Friday at 12 noon - so if you haven't entered yet by becoming a follower you still have the best part of the week to do so.

Good Luck to each and everyone of you - and a big big thank you for taking part :) x

Friday, 12 August 2011

Keep Aaron Cutting Donations

This is Aaron Biber who is 89 years old and had his small barbers shop wrecked by the rioters, I heard his story on the news tonight and just had to send this charming and lovely chap a small donation to help keep him in business - after all he is 89 - still working - and is not likely to want to try a career change at this time of life.  You can read his story and make a donation here .

Well done also to Björn, Sophie and Omid, 3 young interns who used the power of the internet to help Aaron - a lovely warm story after a battered and turbulent week.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

My most excellent giveaway - some rules

I have had a tremendous response to my giveaway so far and it sure has kept me busy today - it is so uplifting after the misery of recent news in our poor battered country.

But to be sure that nobody misses out - do please ensure that if you want to enter - that your name pops up in my followers section.  If you enter you will (in time) receive your allocated draw number from me.  If you just leave a lovely but anonymous message, then I have no way of contacting you and cannot enter you in the draw.

Of course - if you really, really want to remain anonymous - then you can also contact me direct to

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Stylecraft Special DK Yarn GIVEAWAY !!

I am so so happy to announce that I am now the proud seller of the Stylecraft Special DK yarns - which are sitting sweetly in my newly opened etsy shop!

To celebrate this happy event I am giving away a fabulous bundle of not 1 or 2 or 5 or 7 - but 10 fabulous balls from my beginners selection.

I know that a lot of the lovely blogging crafters adore this wool for there many bold and colourful projects and think it would be a lovely and special treat to receive in the post.

So how can you get a chance to win this scrumptious pack of wool - well it it so easy peasy to enter - all you have to do is just be a follower and say hello :)

As each follower pops in they will be numbered from No 1 onwards, so Kim is No 1 and Mrs Balfour is No 2 etc, etc.... and then on the 1st September I will use a random number draw thingy to pick the winner - SIMPLES - and if you are from good old blighty or from timbucktoo - there will be no postage costs cos I can be nice like that :)

Good Luck to each and every one of you - and just a little nugget of info I will soon be selling the most fabulous and newest crafting magazine soon - me thinks that will also be another top notch giveaway !!

Friday, 5 August 2011

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Deryn Relph

my latest inspiration for my virtual pin-board is the wonderful work of Deryn Relph who is a textile designer, with a love of colour, pattern and texture, who likes to think creatively about the use of textiles she designs and constructs.  Her web-site can be found here

wishing for top notch photography skills

I am finding that one of the hardest things in setting up my own web-site and etsy shop is my total lack of top notch photography skills.  It just all seems to difficult and I know that a good photograph is vital in helping too sell my items on-line.

The trouble is not just the setting and the lighting, but the time needed, you spend ages clicking away - then another long-winded time downloading them - only to find that they mostly look rubbish and need deleting.  At least when I open my first shop people can see how things look, and hopefully the item will sell itself.

So so so frustrating..........

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

sweet milly james

Here is an illustration of my very sweet Milly James.  Like me she is into designing and crafting, although unlike me she is younger, has had an excellent education, probably owns a fabulous London-based interiors store that sells a must have range of her own beautifully designed accessories and is regularly mentioned in all the best blogs and magazines.  I am not yet sure if Milly is married to a Mr James or is single.

new beginnings

welcome to my new blog.  I am Susan Potter and alongside my lovely and very much appreciated husband we are setting up our first small business named Millicent James in Leigh-on-Sea within a fabulous store called What The Butler Saw. 

We are due to open on the 1st September and are hoping to sell an eclectic range of hand-painted and upcycled furniture, crocheted products, interesting interior accessories, collectables, prints, crafting magazines and yarn. 

So for now I wake up each day in a mad haze of panic, will we have enough stock, will it sell, will anybody like what we do, what if we sell everything all in one go, what if my hubby ends up out of work and we cannot afford the rent to give it a chance to grow.

Please do also take into account that this year I reached the grand age of 50 - so therefore wondering if I am a little bit crazy for taking this on :)