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Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Finding Inspiration

I am often asked by my readers, family and friends, how do you find inspiration? How do you keep creativity flowing? Well, I thought it would be best for me to share my answers. I wrote a post last year about what was inspiring me at the time. The thing with inspiration, is that it's constantly changing and with it your work. What I was inspired by last year is completely different to what is fueling my creativity now. I
move with my influences and channel this inspiration into my work. My love of horror inspired me last year to create character cushions, but now I am inspired by it in a completely different way. 

I recently watched Frankenstein (1931) and I sat right on the edge of my seat, not because of the monster, but because of her veil! I sat forward and analysed her veil, 'how was that made?'. I almost paused it! She looks absolutely stunning and what a dress to be frightened in! She looks absolutely beautiful! I really think the 30s style cap veils are gorgeous and is something I would like to explore. I guess it seems strange being inspired to make something beautiful by a monster film, but it goes to show that inspiration comes from many different sources. 

My other love is for vintage and old movies from the 20s through to the 60s. I love looking at photos of old movie stars from all the different decades and it's interesting how they change. I love Marilyn Monroe and I know I am not alone; How can you not love her? I love the pictures from her wedding to Arthur Miller. She wears a modest but classic dress, and she makes it look fantastic!
Grace Kelly is probably one of the most famous brides to have ever walked down the aisle! A movie star that became a Princess, women and little girls have read this fairy tale for hundreds of years. Grace's dress and her look has inspired countless designers and brides and most recently, Kate Middleton. Kate's lace gown was obviously inspired by Princess Grace and the classic design is as stylish today as it was 60 years ago.When I am creating a veil I think about classic design, it will never go out of fashion and will always look amazing. I guess what I am saying is that there is nothing wrong with not moving with the times, great design will never die so use it to your advantage. The past is a great resource and it is all around us. 

Inspiration is not something you can force, you have let it come to you! Try to remember what has inspired you and start from there. I have often gone for weeks without feeling inspired, it's a terrible feeling but it never lasts forever. I thought I would write a list of tips I have found useful in my quest for inspiration. 

Take a long walk with your camera

Have a movie marathon

Watch your favourite film

Go to a museum or gallery

Read a magazine or book

Window shop

Go to antique markets or car boots

Browse Pinterest

Read your favourite blogs

Organise your work space

Cook an exotic meal

Wear something you never wear

Take a little sketchbook or notebook out with you

Look at old brainstorms or create new ones

I hope this post helps you on your creative missions. Don't freak out if you have a dry spell! Try one of the tips on my list! Get out there and soak up the world around you! 


Monday, 2 July 2012


I would like to introduce two new garter designs! I have never made anything like this before so I was pretty scared when I started cutting. I am super happy with the end result and would love some feedback!

Saturday, 30 June 2012

My New Craft Studio!


When we moved in to out new house it was clear we needed to freshen up the studio walls. The blue was bringing the room down and it was crying out for some TLC. I took a little trip down the garden and was excited to find some magnolia paint left for us to brighten up the joint. We have spent a few days painting and the end result is amazing! The room looks so much bigger! Soooooo after years of moaning about magnolia paint, I have painted my studio magnolia. 


I feel blessed to have this amazing space all to myself! I have also created a little space in corner for my painting and I am currently looking for a comfy chair to snug on in the winter months. I decided to have two desks, one for sewing and the other for writing and drawing. I used to waste a lot of precious energy unpacking and repacking materials which had a huge impact on the amount of work I could do. I am looking forward to getting all my pictures up on the wall and settling into my new home :) 


Sunday, 17 June 2012

Brighton Blogger Bash

Last week I went to a fantastic event! The wonderful Steph set up a bash for Brighton bloggers at Super+Super in Brighton. The aim of the event was to network, make friends and share tips with one another. I have followed many of these blogs and the writers on Twitter for months and so it was great to finally meet the people behind them. It was a great opportunity to share what we do and exchange tips on content, and how to drive new visitors to our blogs.

Since the event we have all been in contact and new friendships are being made which is fantastic! People blog all over the world but bloggers are active in your community! Why not get out there and meet them? I believe Steph has truly formed a community that will continue to meet and share blogging experiences.

Great blogging tips

Be unique
It was clear at the bash that many of us have crafts blogs, but as Steph pointed out they all come from a different point of view. Some are thrifty and 'refashions' blogs, others like mine are from a business and health point of view. If you want to start a blog don't mimic someone elses, find your voice and blog about what is important to you. So many of the successful blogs out there do well because they have their own spin on their chosen subject. 

Keep ideas to yourself
When you have an idea for a project or post, try to keep it inside. Don't advertise what your next move is so then in case someone uses it and takes credit for it. This was a great tip! It protects you and your blog so always keep this in mind.

Guest post
 Guest posts are awfully popular in the blogging world, but it is a good way to boost your stats and will help to drive new visitors to your blog.

Contact Companies
 A great tip from Claire, one of the joint owners of Super+Super, was to contact companies related to your blog. It only takes a few minutes to write an email! What if they don't reply? Well, it's just an email and you haven't lost anything! Claire talked about some of the companies that sponsored her and it was all because she asked! Great advice from a successful blogger!

Be confident! 
This is something I was talking to Lauren about. I alway care what people think of me. Why should I? Why do I waste all this time caring when I could just be care free and enjoy my life. So, I am moving on! Be confident in what you do and you will become a success!

Brighton Blogger Directory 


Friday, 15 June 2012

A Fun Guide To Starting A Business

Today the lovely Georgy sent me a fantastic article!!! It's an inspiring article by Andrea Scher, a creative business owner with years of experience. Andrea has put together a list of tips to help new business owners enjoy what they do. I have posted the link below because it has really inspired me as a business newbie and I am hoping it will inspire at least one other person. Fingers and toes crossed! 

The tip that is most helpful for me is to create a friendly and fun environment to work in. I currently work in the hallway which is not ideal and I find it hard to create staring at a wall. I am moving next week and I will have a room dedicated to my business. Hooray! I plan on making it an inspiring space that I want to spend most of my time in. I am already dreaming about wall colours and storage solutions. UH-OH!

The next tip I found useful is to create a work plan that fits around you and your body. Fantastic! I am not the only one! I recently created a work plan to fit around my m.e and it has really helped. Great advice. I think this is essential if you don't want to burn out or become sick of your work.

Ohw shh Abbey! I don't want to hijack this article as it speaks for itself. I am so glad this article reached me! I hope you all find it as handy as I did. 

You can find out more on Andrea's blog 


Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Goodbye Hove!

If you follow me on twitter, you will know by now that I am moving again. I moved in with my lovely boyfriend four months ago to a modest flat, but since we moved the flat has had endless problems with leaks. A few weeks ago my brother announced he was moving and asked us if we would like to rent his house! My response was obvious- uhhhh yeh! So after 4 months we are moving again and we only have a week to pack! Goodbye little flat and goodbye Hove!

Me! Happy silly face!

I love Hove beach! I will miss it.

We say our goodbyes. 

Monday, 11 June 2012

New Dolly Designs!

I thought I would share a few photos of what I have been up to this week. I have been working hard on new designs and these are two that I have finished.

Pink sating corsage fascinator with a netted bow

Gold pearl tulle veil


Saturday, 2 June 2012

Art Is Smart

So, my two week sewing vacation has come to an end and I feel so much better. Taking a few weeks to myself, to relax and get back to my first love- drawing.

I love to draw! My qualifications are in textiles AND fine art. My love of drawing began as a young child at the kitchen table with my dad. We used to pour the crayons and pencils on the table and create masterpieces for the fridge and we would practice drawing each other.

Art is great therapy and I was told by one of my m.e doctors that if I didn't have my art then I would still be in bed making no progress. He believed my passion for art pushed me to make more of an effort. Whenever I draw I go into my own little world and completely relax and unwind. My thoughts and feelings gush out of me on the page in front of me and I then reflect on what I have created.

I went to my parent's house this week to spend the day with my Dad. We talked about how I have been struggling with balancing life and sewing. We came to the conclusion that sewing has been completely draining me mentally and physically which is extremely bad for me. I have now decided to take an extended break and just sew for fun, not for business.

Art has now completely taken over and it's great therapy. I am much happier and determined to progress. I thought I would share some of my doodles with you all.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

My Two Week Sewing Vacation

The last few months I have busy sewing new projects, blogging like crazy and trying to get my shop ready for it's relaunch. Unfortunately, my health has taken a real knock and I was constantly getting sick due to the stress. During these down times I contemplated putting my business on hold to focus on other things, but I couldn't stop thinking about all the things I want to make and share. My boyfriend came up with an excellent idea to take a business sewing vacation, two weeks of relaxation and fun projects.

The first few days of my vacation were hard and I was tempted to abandon my plan and start work again, but I persevered and started to enjoy myself. I am now a week in and feeling much better. I have been watching movies, taking walks in the sun, making gifts for family and cooking yummy treats. I had forgotten how to enjoy the energy I do have on myself and not spend it all on my work.

I have had some amazing support from my readers and followers, which is greatly appreciated and spurs me on everyday. I am a stubborn Missy and I am determined to make this work! I will make it work!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Giveaway Winner!

Thank you for all your entries! 

Annnnnnd thhhheee winnnnerrr isssss...... 



I will be contacting you shortly :) 


Monday, 30 April 2012


The giveaway has finished

Hello readers! Great news! I am having yet another giveaway to celebrate new beginnings. I have an awful lot of past stock sitting in the office, things I have made that have not gone on sale. These accessories are all made with love but I have decided to move with my business and develop a new path.

I want to celebrate this with you all by giving you a chance to win lots of goodies! This is a chance to win something I made when I started out and began dreaming of starting my own business.

I want to thank you all for reading and supporting my blog this last year and I hope you enjoy whatever comes next.

Pink & white brooch! Pink skull fascinator! Skull earrings! Pink skull hair slides! Wowza!

How to enter

Simply leave a comment below

Extra entries

1) Follow me on Twitter
2) Follow my blog through Google Friend Connect, RSS or BlogLovin
3) Share this giveaway via Facebook, Twitter or your blog
4) Like me on Facebook

Please make sure you leave a comment for all extra entries.

The deadline date for this giveaway is the 14th May 2012! The giveaway is open worldwide! Hooray! I will choose the winner at random and announce the winner right here on my blog! I will contact you directly if I can or please check back here on the 14th to see if you have won!

Good luck!


Saturday, 28 April 2012

I Love Dress Making

I thought I would share some photos of this week’s dressmaking adventures. I love making clothes but it is extremely tiring at times so I don't do it very often. I have gained skills over the years which have become extremely useful in making my own clothes. I remember when I made my first skirt, it was a complete disaster, however I learnt a lot from my mistakes and the skirt turned out well. Looking back I do laugh at some of the things I have made. My best advice for anyone wanting to start making clothes is to take a class! Books are great but having someone there to guide you is invaluable. If you can't afford to attend a class (they can be pricey on top of materials) then it’s best to use YouTube! I recently needed to refresh my concealed zip knowledge and found a great tutorial to help me. 

The blue dress was made one afternoon after a trip to my favourite shop for a zip. I ended up leaving with a big bag of fabric! Whoops! I love vintage fashion and as you can see the two dresses below are very 1950s in style. I find it really difficult to find clothes I like at an affordable price, so making my own is a great alternative. Dress making can be expensive but if you're clever about where you shop and what fabrics you you use, you can make savings. My top tip is to try and recycle fabric, zips and buttons from old clothes if you can. I have been pretty lazy with that recently, giving my clothes to charity when I moved house. 

The cream dress was made for a photo shoot I am going to do soon. I make bridal accessories and I needed a dress for a model to wear. I spied a dated wedding dress in need of TLC in a charity shop recently and even that was £100. I can't afford to buy a dress or even hire one, so I made one which was actually a really good idea! It fits the style of my future brand and I made it for around £20! It is made from satin and has spotty lace type fabric over the top which reminds me of my Mum’s wedding dress. Ohw I love how a basic cut can look so stylish and chic! 

I managed to make two dresses for around £40! Kaaapowww! I doubt I could buy on decent dress for £40! 


Thursday, 26 April 2012

Unique Bride Magazine

It's here! Since I stumbled across 'Unique Bride' I have been looking forward to getting my hands on a printed copy of the magazine. I am not getting married but I have a keen interest in bridal fashion. I have recently been working on my own bridal range and have needed a great magazine to give me some idea of my target market. I dislike the usual bridal magazine in the shops, full of weddings that look clean cut and frankly quite boring. 

I have never conformed to 'the norm' always dreaming of celebrating my future special day in my own unique way. I am over the moon that I am not the only one and it has all been laid out in this fantastic magazine!

From the first page I began to get excited, reading the editor's intro I could tell that this magazine was for girls who have felt pressured to conform to others expectations. It's a magazine to inspire people to do things their way, to get ideas and find their own wedding style. 

Flicking through the magazine my eyes were darting around the page. It is full of fantastically bright and interesting photos of weddings, gowns, accessories and fabulous ideas for your big day. I don't want to give too much away because you won't get the same surprised and excited feeling as I did. If I was getting married this would be the perfect reference for my big day. Ok, so some people may think it's a little far out and non-traditional but that's the best thing about it! Why can't you have a non-traditional or traditional wedding? Keep the church but wear something different or have your wedding in a random place? Do what makes you happy the magazine screams! Brides of Britain! I urge you to go out and get a copy of 'Unique Bride', You won't be disappointed! 


Find Unique Bride Magazine in WH Smiths Or Online 

Abbey x

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

New Fascinator!

This week I have been working on a new fascinator. I was sitting here one night watching Alien3 slowly getting bored (lets face it Alien is the only good one) and I started putting this together. I often sit in front of films and put together pieces like this, I find it calming and a great bad film distraction. This fascinator is extremely versatile, it could be for brides, a day at the races, prom or even just to add a little something to an outfit. I love glamour and I want the women wearing my designs to feel as beautiful as Elizabeth Taylor or Marilyn Monroe. 

The fascinator has a black base which is adorned with luxurious organza corsages and beads. The netting is a light beige colour and covers the face to add a vintage touch. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

My Birthday Week

New Dress

I had a fabulous birthday full of fun trips and presents! I usually get depressed around my birthday, a habit I have had since I was a child. I have had some great birthdays and some rotten ones, the bad ones always overshadowing the good. The last few years have been fab since I met my boyfriend Dan, but not having a big circle of friends can make these special times tough. I am fortunate to have a crazy fun family who make my birthday at home super special but we are missing some members of the family as they live on the other side of the world.
The Royal Academy

This year I planned (by accident) a big birthday fest! My birthday celebrations began by going to the David Hockney exhibition with my Dad. It was fantastic! I love Hockney and the new exhibition was extremely moving and a celebration of the seasons. We left the Royal Academy and had a lovely dinner before running for the train.


My actual birthday was a chilled out day with Dan watching movies. I filmed a cooking tutorial for my food blog Miss Dolly Cooks The Blues. We had a lovely dinner with a nice bottle non alcoholic wine to wash it down with. I needed to relax to prepare for the next part of my birthday.

My Cake

Sunday we made our way to my parents for a family dinner and cake! Cake! My mum is amazing at baking and has been taking cake decorating classes. Ever since I was a child my mum has made big elaborate cakes for our birthdays and this year she made me a yummy metal inspired one. The Victoria sandwich had fresh strawberrys between the sponges, and yes I ate a a lot of it all by my self (whoops). I was lucky to receive some amazing gifts and I feel incredibly spoilt! My birthday was a success! I am so so glad I managed to enjoy my birthday without ruining it for myself and everyone else trying their hardest make me happy. Thank you everyone!


Monday, 16 April 2012

Evangeline Veil

Finally, Evangeline is finished! After a week of stabbing my fingers and sweat dripping from my forehead, the veil is finally finished!
I sewed every little bead on by hand with a great deal of patience, which is unusual for me. I sat on my bum for days and days sewing, listening to my vintage playlist and watching cheesy movies.
I love sewing but it's hard on my body, this project took everything I had and more! I am extremely happy with the result and I cannot wait for it to go to a new home (it will be on sale very soon). I hope you like my new veil as much as me!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Work Update

Hello! I have been working extremely hard these last few weeks on my new bridal collection. I have been surrounded by Tulle, ribbon and beads! I have been posting up photo updates recently so I thought I would share some photos of my new project Evangeline.
Evangeline is a headband veil adorned with petals and pearls. I still have a lot more beading to do! Golly! I will be doing a photo shoot in a few weeks and my new work will be on sale shortly after that... Yesss!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

New work!

I have been working on this bridal headband/belt for a week or so. It is made from organza petals which are adorned with many different beads and pearls. The headpiece is tied to the head or waist with a long satin ribbon which looks extremely elegant and luxurious. 

Abbey x