West Elm Wonderfulness

I’m writing this very early, whilst sitting in bed and drinking coffee, because the very rare occurrence of the boys being away for the weekend means that I can – hurrah! (Sods law I still woke at the crack of dawn, though)dsc_0196I’ve spent a lot of time recently trying to work out the best way for me to balance making a living, with looking after the boys. My oldest finally has his official diagnosis and Charlie will (hopefully) be getting his in the coming year. Having children ‘on the spectrum’ means I am quite restricted in the hours I can work, especially with being a single parent, and having gone through a quite difficult transition into Secondary with Felix it just demonstrates to me how dependant the boys will be during certain periods of their lives. So, it really does have to be working from home (for the moment, anyway) as that offers the flexibility I need, and it has to be sewing, as I’ve already invested so much time into establishing a ‘business’, plus it’s the only thing I really know how to do. The difficulty is it’s getting increasingly hard to compete with commercially made items, especially now that ‘vintage’ (sorry, there are lots of quotation marks today…..always makes me thing of Ross in Friends and I cringe slightly that I use them so often!) is so mainstream, and handmade (resisted the urge to stick quotation marks there) is also so fashionable. I’m not complaining, I love how much lovely stuff you can buy these days, I just need to take some time out properly in January and plan how best to present my work to either differentiate it from commercially made things, or to compete on price. I see beautiful pieces of work on a daily basis where I think about the price versus how much I would have to charge for something similar in order to make it scale. Tricky, but doable. I have faith in me 🙂

So, in a slightly tenuous link to above, I’m bringing you some eye candy that you will thank me for.screen-shot-2016-12-17-at-06-59-33Every year, I buy the boys some form of decoration critter that goes in their stocking, usually it comes from Anthropologie (See the top photo for this year’s bits and pieces) but as I was reading Facebook this morning, the cutest thing popped up in my targeted adverts from West Elm UK. screen-shot-2016-12-17-at-06-59-18Clearly I’ve shopped there before, for their link to appear in my social media, but I haven’t had a look for ages and I got sucked into a good browse this morning.screen-shot-2016-12-17-at-08-08-24I love the collaborations with artists pieces and this year, I’m really excited to see they’re working with Erika Barratt again (I write again, but to be honest I didn’t know they’d worked with her before until I did some research). How cute are these little ornaments? They are in the sale at the moment on the UK site (sold out in the US, I think).screen-shot-2016-12-17-at-07-02-15They also have Mimi Kirchner owls!!! screen-shot-2016-12-17-at-07-06-13Sooooo cute.screen-shot-2016-12-17-at-07-05-22I was a bit gutted to miss out on a Doug the Pug from the ASPCA Animal ornaments (F would have LOVED one of those!)screen-shot-2016-12-17-at-07-00-31but I did get a couple of Brimley Cats, which the boys will be very exited about (in case you don’t have internet crazy kids, this collection is inspired by famous internet pets).screen-shot-2016-12-17-at-08-23-29On the US site you can even get tea towels!screen-shot-2016-12-17-at-07-01-39If the above don’t work for you, what about some Fair Trade handmade ornaments?screen-shot-2016-12-17-at-07-03-01or (and this is probably more my kind of thing, at the moment) some sequin clip-on birds?screen-shot-2016-12-17-at-08-29-57They have quite a few pretty Christmas bits, much at half price right now, so it is worth popping over for a look.

It’s interesting as having put this post together, I realise that at full price many of the little ornaments are actually more expensive than mine, relatively, so perhaps I do need to be more brave with my pricing? One to think on, anyway.dsc_0193We’ve gone for retro tack again this year, our favourite thing being the foil flowers Mum took off some crackers in the 1980’s. You don’t have to try hard to work out who I get my hoarding tendencies from, I mean, who keeps tacky cracker decorations for 30 years!!dsc_0203My plan for today is to wrap gifts, write cards, and it was to photograph a new Christmas apron for the shop, but the light is so bad I don’t think that’s going to be possible…dsc_0187I might even find time to watch Elf and eat a mince pie 🙂


14 thoughts on “West Elm Wonderfulness

  1. Hi Beth it’s looking beautiful at yours….your tree is wonderful…just what I love about Christmas trees. Enjoy your day to yourself and I hope you get your list ticked. Wishing you and your dear boys a very Merry Christmas and every happiness in 2017.

    1. Hello Jane. Thanks so much for commenting, I’m shamefully behind in my reading. Hoping to sort that out this week, but have vertigo and headaches at the moment (on antibiotics for it now) so I can’t read much as it hurts my eyes 😦 I’m getting old – ha ha ha. Wishing you and all of your lovely family a very Merry Christmas!!! Looking forward to catching up on all your news via blogworld 🙂 Bxx

  2. Do you know what Beth I know it will all work out for you!! Wishing you and your boys a wonderful happy Christmas and heres to more beautiful Linen Cat makes in 2017!
    And thank you for all the wonderful animal eye candy in this post, just my cup of tea, I need to go and check out all the links!
    V x

    1. Hello V, thanks for sticking with me and commenting 🙂 You are right, it will work out, I am ever the optimist in these things and thing everything is always ‘for the best’. I hope you are ready for Christmas and that you have a lovely time with your family and friends. Here’s to a terrific 2017!! Bxxx

    1. I’ve been really organised this year and have enjoyed some really nice days, taking my time over wrapping and cooking for Christmas. It’s quite nice that there is no pressure for the main event, just being me and the boys. Wishing you and yours all the best for 2017 and hope you have a lovely Christmas 🙂

  3. Lovely post. I really enjoy reading your blog and, for what it’s worth, I think your products are so beautifully made that you can absolutely be competitive as well as putting up your prices. Look forward to seeing what you will make next!
    Cat ^..^

    1. Hello Cat, thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂 I’m so glad you’re still reading and enjoying the (occasional!) post that I write. It should be a much busier year for The Linen Cat, and one I’m quite looking forward to, I’ve missed sewing for the shop and blogging. Thanks for really lovely words about my work too, makes me very happy. Merry Christmas to you! Bx

  4. Hey dear Beth,
    I have faith in you too 🙂 I’m sure it will all work out for you with your beautiful work, your a lovely person and very talented and I know it will happen for you. It can be so tricky to balance a working life and home life and I take my hat off to you with two young boys, wishing you all a wonderful Christmas. Love your beautiful tree and decorations 🙂 Looking forward to seeing your beautiful work in the new year too 🙂 Love Safxxx

  5. Oh my, this has been an age, sorry! A rotten cold has lasted since Christmas Eve, this afternoon is the first day I’ve done a thing. I do love reading your posts (and oh my, so much to go off and look at today, thank you – we have a pug obsessed boy). You seem to have had so much to deal with this past year, I do hope 2017 is a gentle year for you all. Hope you are having a merry Christmas time

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