Sole Dependent

Being pregnant means my body is going through a lot of changes right now. Phrases like ‘Braxton Hicks’, ‘Vbac’ and the ‘linea nigra’ are starting to become part of my daily vocabulary after 34 years of having never heard of such things.

There are many ailments associated with pregnancy. I managed to get through the first trimester without experiencing any nausea or sickness whatsoever, much to the envy of other mums-to-be who spent weeks with their heads down the loo, poor things. However, my time to suffer had to come along sooner or later.

One of the things I’ve been struggling with the most over the past few weeks is Sciatica. Again, I’d never even heard of it until about a month ago and now it affects me every single night, with intense pain running from my lower back and down to my legs. I try everything to soothe it; wrestle with pregnancy pillow, throw it on the floor, prop myself up with cushions instead, give up on those, stand up and stretch, get back in bed, get out again, go to the bathroom and lie awake for the remainder of the early hours. The only place I feel vaguely comfortable is on the sofa now.

A contributing factor to some of this pain, apart from the obvious growing pressure on my pelvic region, is possibly the shoes I’ve been wearing. We’ve had a bit of (very welcome) warm weather here in the UK recently so shoes with padded soles have been ditched in favour of flat sandals, offering no support for my expanding pregnancy tootsies.

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Cue a package in the post from Souls, who specialise in designing and manufacturing insoles for expectant mums. They really couldn’t have arrived at a better time. It was the weekend and my hubby and I had decided to visit the stunning Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Watergardens. Knowing there’d be a fair bit of walking involved (although I didn’t know quite how much) I slipped the leather soles into my pumps.

 

My feet were met with instant comfort, thanks to the smooth leather finish, air cushioning and strong arch support. My first few steps were noticeably more springy than without the insoles so I was all set for a day of pregnant rambling (being pulled up hills by the hubby as I was getting out of breath ridiculously easily).

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Fast forward 4 hours and my feet were still feeling good. We’d trudged down steep slopes in woodland and clambered over ruins of the old Cistercian monastery and yet I remained undefeated.

As far as I’m aware, my foot size hasn’t increased yet but with 4 more months of being pregnant to go, this could all change. Thankfully I’ll have these trusty insoles ready and waiting to slip into any pair of shoes I’ll be needing!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now I must go and pack them into my suitcase as I’m heading over to Menorca early in the morning. Please note that my Etsy shop will now be closed for business until Monday 19th June.

Hasta luego!

 

It’s Wedding Season!

Save The Dates

It might be bucketing it down with rain here in the UK (no change there, then) but it’s officially wedding season! Hurray!

I feel incredibly honoured to be asked to create Save The Date cards and wedding invites for our friends, Mille and Calum, who are tying the knot in just under 12 month’s time. Their Save The Dates have just been sent out to their prospective guests and I’m now in the process of crafting their invites.

The happy couple opted for a clean, white style with oh-so-now fonts and white ribbon embellishments – something a bit different for me as I’m usually a rustic, brown-card-and-garden-twine kinda girl but there’s nothing wrong with diversifying!

If you’re planning a wedding and want to incorporate some handmade touches into your big day, get in touch with me and we can discuss your requirements. I can also create pretty ‘Will You Be My Bridesmaid?‘ cards if you’re looking to pop that question to your besties soon.

Or perhaps you’re attending a wedding this summer and simply want a unique, handcrafted card to give to the bride and groom. Have a browse around my Etsy shop and see if anything takes your fancy. I’m also open to commissioned work so if there’s an idea floating around in your mind, tell me about it and I’ll see what I can do!

A customer in the USA recently got in touch with me via my shop to see if I’d be able to hand-punch two small boxes of wedding confetti made from the pages of 2 vintage Jane Austen novels; Northanger Abbey and Persuasion with baby pink and purple accents. I love helping brides-to-be with their with their wedding preparations so I jumped at the opportunity. Susannah was so pleased with the results, she left a lovely review on my Etsy page, which was really heartwarming.

 

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Bump & Beyond

On Saturday 13th May, local events management business, Avocado Events teamed up with York’s plush Hotel du Vin to host the city’s second Bump & Beyond fair. Designed to bring together new and expectant parents, local makers and antenatal/postnatal organisations, the event featured over 18 different stalls, including Nutkin Avenue!

It was the first time I’d done anything like this before so I was a little nervous to begin with (this kind of thing is WAY out of my comfort zone). But once I’d unpacked my new baby cards and set up my stall, I felt much more at ease. I even made myself walk around the room and chat to the other sellers (again, totally out of my comfort zone) before the doors officially opened.

I was relieved to discover I wasn’t the only first-timer. My ‘neighbour’, Belle + Bear who create beautiful wooden baby accessories were making their stall-running debut too. Phew!

Once the guests began to arrive, the mocktails flowed and the Avocado-branded cupcakes circulated, adding to the warm, relaxed vibe. I chatted to some lovely fellow mummies-to-be, new mums and creatives – and even sold a few cards! Hurrah!

So, all in all, it was a huge success. Thank you to everyone who made a purchase, picked up a business card (luggage tag) or simply took the time to browse my card selection. And a very big thank you to Kate at Avocado Events for allowing me this fabulous opportunity. I’m sure everyone who attended will agree it was a wonderful afternoon.

 

 

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BABIES

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I’m super-excited to announce that my hubby and I are expecting our first baby, due in October!

And that’s not all! I’ve been given the amazing opportunity to showcase my handmade greeting cards at local event, Bump & Beyond next month.

Organised by Avocado Events, Bump & Beyond will be taking place at the plush Hotel Du Vin in York on Saturday 13th May and will give mums-to-be and mums the chance to learn helpful tips on pregnancy and parenthood as well as a taste of Yummy Mummy pampering, pre/postnatal yoga, baby swimming, first aid and hypnobirthing from local support groups and businesses. There’ll also be prize draws and lots of stalls to browse and buy from.

Fancy coming along? Tickets cost £5 each and include a goody bag, mocktails and cake. Yum! Contact Kate@avocadoevents.co.uk to reserve your place.

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On the cards

Since the launch of my Etsy shop, I’ve been busy crafting greetings cards for a number of different occasions. From woodland-inspired wonders to wedding, new baby and Mother’s Day cards, the collection is really starting to grow.

All the cards follow my trademark style; minimal, rustic and a little bit ‘shabby chic’. Garden twine, glue, a scalpel, patience and good hand-eye coordination are my essential ingredients!

Planning a wedding? Thinking of opting for simple, handcrafted Save the Dates or invites? Let’s talk! I designed and made the invitations for my own wedding in 2015 and would love to help you make your big day just as special. Get in touch via my Facebook page if you’d like to talk through your ideas.

Keep an eye on the shop for new additions!

 

Wedding / engagement card

Wedding / engagement card

New baby card

New baby card

Woodland card

Woodland card

Woodland rabbit paper cut card

New Etsy shop launched!

Vintage Confetti from Books

It’s been a couple of years since tying the knot and in that time I’ve realised that crafting decorations and little gifts for people who appreciate the simple things in life is what I want to do for a living. So I’ve launched my very own Etsy shop! It’s very early days and I know there’s a lot of hard work ahead but I’m determined to make it (quite literally).

The name ‘Nutkin Avenue’ has derived from my latest obsession with squirrels (or ‘Nutkins’ as I like to call them). There are hundreds of them living on the leafy, tree-lined avenue just around the corner from our home in the beautiful city of York. And as I spend a lot of my time taking photos of the cute, beady-eyed creatures and running or walking down the avenue, the name just seemed perfect. My other half agreed to it immediately!

At the moment, I am stocking greeting cards, hand-punched vintage paper confetti, hand-cut and stitched vintage book butterflies and framed motivational quotes but I have plans for a very special product range in the pipeline. Just watch this space!

Vintage Butterflies from Books

A day to remember…

…except that I don’t remember it all that well…

I’m still being sent photos and thinking ‘I have absolutely no recollection of posing for this’ – and most of said photos were taken before we’d got to the reception. It’s all such a blur!

However the bits I do remember were great fun and it was amazing to see my vision come to life. Guests got stuck into the fresh bread, paté and artisan cheeses from the picnic hampers and helped themselves to the hog roast, dressed salmon and salads. It was a very laid-back affair, exactly what we were aiming for.

I vaguely remember the first dance. We attempted some choreographed silliness to The Smiths’ This Charming Man which mainly consisted of me flamenco dancing (in bare feet – my shoes killed me) around Gavin. I still can’t bring myself to watch the video.

Anyway, here are a few of the day’s snaps, in no particular order. I’ll post more soon.

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Photos courtesy of Momenterry and Firgrove photography