Monday, 29 June 2015

Arden has arrived!

So my last post was about my fun pregnancy announcement which seems like a lifetime ago because now our little girl has arrived and it feels like she's been here forever already!
Arden Mae Dorothy arrived eventually on the 7th May 2015 after 2 and a half days of being induced!! She wasn't ready to come out but when she finally arrived I have never felt more love, happiness,  shock, fear and wonderment pour out of my very being, all in an instant!
My husband was the upmost pillar of support and my own personal cheerleader through all 70 odd hours of induction/labour. I honestly would have tried to leave and go home if it wasn't for his constant words of encouragement and praise.  We both cried like loons when the doctor held Arden up. She was just so perfect and so unexpected with her head of dark hair and beautiful olive skin. My first words when I saw her head? - "oh my word she's not ginger!" - gas and air does funny things to a girl! At one point I thought the best idea I ever had was to speak french to my incredibly attractive french doctor...thankfully Mark talked me out of that idea!!
The cliche is true that the pain of labour completely disappears once you lay eyes on your little bundle and it really did...until my body decided to keep bleeding and panic everyone in the delivery suite. I didn't even get to hold my baby for more than 2 seconds before I was being attended to by 4 different doctors and midwives, stitching, putting drips in my arms, putting an oxygen mask on and generally trying to pretend that everything was ok. All the while Mark was holding our brand new little baby while I looked on from the bed wondering why I wasn't getting to have my skin to skin contact with my little girl.
At this point my main concerns were 1. Is Arden ok? And 2. When can my family visit?
One of the 'bribes' (for want of a better word) the midwife used to get me to soilder through exhaustion and keep pushing, was that if I had the baby now (11.37am) she would be ready for visiting time (2pm-4pm). Obviously she couldn't predict that thw drugs they were giving me would make my body go into labour amd not stop itself, so she couldn't have known of the trauma that followed Arden's arrival. It meant instead of going to the normal ward I had to go to the recovery ward where visitors aren't allowed. I was upset at not being able to see my family, especially my wee Mum. I really just wanted one of her big squishy hugs because those hugs still cure all (even though I'm 31!).
Next visiting time was 6-8 so I figured we'd be moved by then seeing it was only 2pm. My poor family hung around hoping to be able to nip in and see our little beauty. My Dad even tried to use some sorr of Jedi mind trick to get past the front desk but no such luck.
In the meantime my beautiful little lady had had her first feed and I was so happy I was able to feed her myself. She was like a little baby bird searching for food. I was completely mesmerised by her instinct to look for my boob and start feeding. Seriously, how do they know they have to do that?! She was a matter of hours old and already knew what she wanted. I've never felt so proud, being able to feed my baby just filled me with pure joy.
We finally moved to the normal ward but it was 8.10pm so no visitors allowed. I was devastated.  I didn't want to tell anyone else of her arrival until Mum and Dad got to see her and I definitely didn't want to tell anyone her name before they found out. We phoned my mum, who had been in the waiting room the entire time. She couldn't wait any longer so we had to send some pics to her phone and tell her what her granddaughter would be called. Arden is a Shakespearean name, inspired by the beautiful town my husband originates from.  It's also a real place - the forest of Arden and has magical connotations, perfect for our little fairy!
Mae is a variation of the name Maureen, which is my wee mamabears name. This had a huge effect on why I didn't want to tell her over the phone.  It was so special to us I wanted to tell her as she held Arden in her arms.
Dorothy is my husband's late Nan's name and was a front runner for a forename until we discovered Arden and then every name was discounted. Mark's Nan died 4 years ago on the day of Arden's birth, so it was more fitting than ever.
Finally the next day at 2pm my mum and sister were allowed to visit! It felt like an absolute eternity since I'd seen them because we weren't really allowed visitors during the induction process. Mum had popped up before she went home on the first day and that was it. I must say, without mobile phones we would have been lost. The midwives actually told us to tell family not to phone the ward,  just to phone us for updates. What did they do before mobiles?
My Dad got to visit at 6pm and spent the duration of the visit with tears in his eyes.  Arden is incredibly beautiful (if I do say so myself!) so it's hard not to be overcome with emotion when looking at her. She is the first granddaughter on my side so her arrival is that extra bit special!
It's easy to forget how important your family are, but times like this bring it home with a massive bang. My Mum, Dad and sister were the only people I wanted to see and not being allowed to was infuriating.  I understand rules are there for a reason, but after all the drama, it would have been nice to even have 5 minutes of a rule break just to let them see we were ok.
The most important thing was we were both good and our little family had begun. The days that followed were the most challenging I have ever endured, but at this moment in time we had never been happier.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Player 3 has entered the game!

So excited to finally reveal our big news!!

We had to do this in the ultimate geeky way of course so combined our love of video games with our announcement!

We are so excited about meeting our little Duckie in May next year! It's a bit scary to think its only 6 months away, but gives us a deadline to get the nursery sorted.

The nursery is currently my beloved shoe room. I have mourned the loss of my beautiful room haha!

We're having to have the biggest clearout known to man, getting rid of years of collectables, dvds, games and all manner of other randomness! We're not going to be those parents who change their personalities for their children. ...we just have wayyyy too much stuff!!

So excited to be a Mummy! Eeeeeep!!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Saying goodbye to Squibbs.

This week I had to say a very sorry goodbye to a wonderful lady.

Her name was Doris Flack, but everyone knew her as the ever-lovable Squibbs! She was 102 when she sadly left this world, but what a 102 years they were!

She was born in London in 1911. She loved to dance and joined dance troupes who toured and performed everywhere!

I first met Squibbs when her daughter asked me to make a photo slideshow for her 95th birthday party. Her daughter, Gay, has been a family friend since I can remember so I agreed happily, thinking it would just be some normal family pictures.Then the photo albums arrived.

They were filled with signed pictures of starlets and actors from the past 80 years, old theatre posters and hilarious images of Squibbs in her hay day. I was invited to the birthday party and couldn't wait to meet her, though knowing she was 95 I figured she her spirits might have been dampened as the years went by.

Squibbs did not disappoint. She was wearing a purple suit with matching purple eye shadow and hot pink lipstick.  She giggled at the images, reminiscing and telling stories to go with the pictures. Sipping on her daily Guinness she told me one tale and getting caught out with 2 chaps in a car, in what could have been a dangerous situation for a girl on her own. When they tried to convince her to go astray she simply replied "F*** off" and walked home. I spat my drink everywhere because I wasn't expecting such an elderly lady to be so youthful!!

She had such an impact that I used her photo as one of my table pictures at my wedding. I had images of starlets from the 40s and 50s as table names and thought Squibbs belonged there too. This same picture was used on the funeral order of service.

I was invited to her 100th birthday party and made another slideshow for her. No duplicates were needed because she had so many photos to choose from. She thanked me in a lovely note and said it was like watching a film of her life.

What an absolute legend of a lady. She drank Guinness like it was water and even until the very end wore her hot pink lipstick and purple eye shadow. Instead of flowers my Dad asked me to make the family name cloud frames. Flowers slowly die, whereas these name clouds will last forever.

She was one of the most colourful, hilarious, lively, fascinating women I have ever had the pleasure to meet and this world will be a much emptier place without her presence. If I live to be even close to her age I hope I have the ability to be as fun, interesting and courageous as she was. As her great grand daughter said after her funeral service, the legend will live on, probably another 102 years!

Goodbye Squibbs x

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Happy 1st birthday to Lulu Makes Things!

Wowee it's been a whole year since Lulu Makes Things was born!!

Can't believe time has flown in so quickly,  but as the cliché goes, time flies when you're having fun, and I really am!

I could never have dreamed my little handmade goodies would be so loved! :) it's a great feeling when someone buys one of my creations, especially when they're going to give it to someone as a gift!

I also love the fact that I still get to have a creative outlet. Coming from an environment where I used to get to design stuff all day, every day, to one which involves general admin work, was difficult to adjust to at first. I was worried I was going to lose my little creative spark at first, but then Lulu Makes Things was born and I worried no more!

It's funny looking back and seeing our sales from the first day compared to now. That day we sold 2 posters and a magnet and you would have thought we'd struck oil the way we reacted haha! Having someone buy something you made yourself is the most awesome experience, so the fact 3 people bought things was insane (at the time). Nowadays it's a different story. We have the stall laid out so everything can be seen and flicked through for ease, the branding all matches, we have official price signs(not bits of card scrawled on with a sharpie) and if we don't get at least 2 pages of sales in our little sales book, it's been a quiet day!

Looking at pictures of our stall then and now makes us giggle.  We hadn't a clue how to display the bunting so people could pick out their letters and I hadn't dreamt up even half the creations we have on sale now!

Love my little company and love my wonderful family for being so supportive throughout the process. My poor Dad still drives us to st Georges market every Sunday (I have a fiat500 so could fit about one box in the boot haha).

Also have to thank all our wonderful customers, without them we would have been another fading face at the market like we see coming and going every week!
So excited for what is coming next and can't wait to see where we'll be this time next year!!

Monday, 24 February 2014

Wedding guest books are so 2013!

This week I launched a new product with Lulu Makes Things, a finger print guest frame!

It's such a cute alternative to a traditional guest book and relieves the pressure on your guest to try and come up with something witty or meaningful off the cuff!

Each guest pops a finger or thumb print onto the tree as a leaf or the bicycle as a balloon and then writes their name beside it. A really lovely memento to display after the day too!

I was nervous to launch this as it's something I've been playing around with for ages, but was overwhelmed by the postivity of everyone's response!

I sold out of trees within a few hours and everyone loved the concept! I love being able to launch things and get instant feedback.  Sometimes things work right away, other things take a few weeks to get going and other things just never make it. It can be surprising the things that people love, like my little greeting cards! I never thought people would love them so much because most if not all of them are personal to me and my sense of humour.  A french lady bought a whole pile of them on Sunday so it's pretty cool to think I have a French mind twin!!

Going to work my butt off this week to make lots of new designs this week.

I really love my job! :)

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Greeting cards for weirdos!

I'm not the biggest fan of greeting cards. This is because most cards I have recieved are clichéd and impersonal.

Occasionally a card arrives usually from a close friend or family member that I love, and this one usually ends of being framed or staying on display on a shelf forever!

I decided I should create my own version of typical greeting cards and trialed a few samples at my Lulu Makes Things stalll at st George's Market last week. The response was insane!!

I had so many people laughing and bringing friends over to see my little creations! I have never felt so flattered! It was such a lovely response but being the socially awkward creature that I am, I pretty much looked like a tomato all day witj a big red face (or beamer to those from good old norn iron!).

This week I made a tonne more! I like making funny cards that are a bit weird haha! There are so many fellow weirdos out there just like me so I know things that amuse me will amuse them too!

Why give an ordinay greeting card when you can give a weird one! The one that's proved most popular so far is the cat in a cupcake hat with my drawing of a cat! Who knew I had such artistic talent Hahahaha

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Valentines day craft for free, quick tutorial!

If you're looking for an inexpensive way to give your favourite person a token of your love, then look no further than these super cute bookmarks!

All you need to do is go to your local DIY store, raid their paint sample card supply and you're pretty much set!

I used a little heart cutter to punch out hearts up the side and bottom fpr the ribbon, but a hole punch works just as well! Heart punches are available in most craft stores for around £2-3 or online for a little cheaper!

Perfect craft idea for kids too due to it's simplicity! Hope you enjoy!

Lulu x