Sunday, 4 November 2012

Autumn Adventures

Fru & I went into the woods for a wander.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Don't get your Knickers in a twist!

Wow OK, so back in college during my fashion and clothing course I decided I wanted to have a go at making some undies when I had a chance. Well, I finished that course over five years ago now and either this is my absolute worst ever case of procrastination OR I must've been a seriously busy bunny since then. I like to think it's the latter though the former seems much more realistic. My to do list pretty much goes to the moon and back a few times and unfortunately cool stuff like this just get pushed way back and gets all dusty and forgotten about. 

For the first time in a few weeks I've found myself with a spare couple of afternoons to play with so grabbed the opportunity and spent my free time pattern cutting. It took me a while to get my head around it all again, I'm a bit rusty on the drafting front as I haven't actually sat down and done this properly since college so this was a really good exercise for me and once I got back in to the swing of things I was on a roll! After my fourth draft and a pile of toiles made up in hideous fabrics I finally cracked it ('scuse the pun) and here you see my very first totally finished pair of knickers! These were made using a cute vintage bed sheet I had sitting around and some lace-edged elastic. There are definitely a few things I need to adjust but in general I'm really happy with how they've turned out and I'm so excited to expand this project, I've got some cool things in the pipeline revolving around these little panties! - What do you think?

And just because this is super adorable, this little fella was mooching about in the garden today, HOW CUTE IS HE?
Don't mix him up with your knickers though . .

Sunday, 21 October 2012


It's SALE TIME at Dearest Jackdaw! Not only do I have various items in the sale of my etsy shop already but I now have tonnes of prints with a whopping 50% OFF! I am selling all of my remaining stock from my print shop "What the Jackdaw Saw". I've gone through each and every print and grouped them into sets of images that compliment each other and look just as good together as they do apart. Just click here and use the shop section menu on the left hand side to navigate your way to the sale. Absolutely perfect for gift giving, stocking fillers, adding a little bit of colour to your home, office or studio. Come and take a peek!

Sunday, 7 October 2012


Good news, after going two and a half painful months without my beautiful sewing machine I finally have her back and SHE WORKS AGAIN, YEY! I'm so excited to get on any make lots of new things I've been dreaming up in her absence. To celebrate her return I've been on a couple of recent supply splurges (definitely not necessary based on the state of my studio right now, there is stuff pouring out of every nook and cranny. Who am I kidding.. Of course it was necessary!) so have lots of cool stuff to create some beautiful new bits and pieces.

Whilst attempting to clear up my workspace this afternoon to make way for her majesty, I found these little pendants I made back in the Summer hiding at the bottom of one of my stock drawers so they've gone into the shop today! I've also revised all of my postage costs to keep the costs as low as possible for my customers.
In other news, M and I are planning a collaboration for the near future. Hopefully it'll be ready for the new year and we're both very excited about it, I won't go into too much detail right now but soon soon soon I promise. Until then ♥

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

TUTORIAL - Paper Mushrooms

These. Are. Awesome. Big and little paper mushrooms perfect for table decorations at weddings, parties or for your mantle. So VERY easy to make too - read on to find out how!

Thursday, 26 July 2012


On Sunday 22nd July I drove from my little home in West Sussex across the border and through the stunning landscapes of Surrey to photograph my lovely friend Francesca in some of my dresses. We hadn't seen each other for well over three years, it was so lovely to see her after all that time!

We spent our afternoon wandering the local area. For the first set of images we strayed from the path into the woods, tunnelling through a forest of fern taller than us until we came to a clearing with a tiny stream and dappled light glittering from the treetops onto our feet - it was like we'd stumbled onto the set of a fairytale film! Francesca wore my newest Ragdoll dress with bare feet and looked like a little elven princess, she looked amazing. A-MAZ-ING!
Emerging from the woods having momentarily lost our trail we headed back up the track and followed the sandy paths leading across the colourful heathland. Surrey is so different to Sussex, there are towering pine forests and valleys filled with heather and bumblebees. The colours were incredible, an ocean of purple as far as the eye could see. Francesca lay amongst the flowers and did her thing - she's a natural.
For the last set of images we drove a small way eventually ending up at a small lake surrounded by fallen pine cones. The sun was slightly too high for the light I usually crave so Francesca paddled out into some shade and we shot the atlas dress in all it's glory.
All I can say is what a glorious day. Amazing weather, beautiful surroundings, a perfect opportunity to pick my camera up, lovely girlie giggles and a long over-due catch up. 

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

FEATURE - Kitty Gallannaugh

When I first set eyes on Kitty Gallannaugh's beautiful photographs, I became instantly hooked and have followed her work ever since. At just 21 she has already achieved so much and is forever working hard on projects and following her dreams. Her photographs and stories exude an ethereal dream-like quality you can so easily get lost in and her kind-hearted personality shines through each and every piece of work as though part of her soul.
I have watched Kitty's work flourish into instantly recognisable works of art and will always turn to her portfolio when I'm feeling uninspired. She puts so much of her time towards helping others and interacting with her followers - her 'army of dreamers', and I'm truly grateful to her for sharing her vision so openly. Read on to find out more about Kitty and to see some of her amazing photographs!

Monday, 18 June 2012

TUTORIAL - How to Bleach Ombre Denim Shorts

I hear Ombre things are in these days? I'm not usually a trend follower unless it's something I completely love, but these are definitely one of those things so it's a win-win situation right? You get a cool tutorial and I get some cute shorts! Read on to find out how to create your own.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

TUTORIAL - The PERFECT distressed denim cut-offs from old jeans!

I've been looking for the 'perfect' pair of denim shorts in what feels like forever and since I still haven't quite found them yet, I thought it best to make some and show you guys how to make your own too!
In this tutorial I'll talk you through the basic process of turning that worn-out old pair of jeans into some super cool wear-with-anything denim cut-offs, showing you how to measure up and cut properly without that awkward 'oops I cut too short now my butt-cheeks are hanging out' mistake and finally distressing, to give you the perfect summer wardrobe must-have.

Read on to see the full tutorial and If distressing just doesn't cut it, check out part 2 for bleach ombre here!

Friday, 8 June 2012

TUTORIAL - Old Vest to Tiered Maxi Dress

I come across problem after problem when looking for the perfect maxi dress. Infact, I came across SO many problems in the shops this year I decided it would probably be for the best if I just made my own. After browsing online for a tutorial of some sort to help me out a little I couldn't find what I was looking for so I decided to shoot a step-by-step for anyone else wanting to take this on and I hope this helps others looking for the same or a similar kind of thing!

In this tutorial I'm going to show you how to make a super simple tiered maxi dress with minimal effort and potentially zero spend-out! If you use my tutorial I would LOVE to see your results and will be happy to post links to your blog if you're flaunting it!

Monday, 14 May 2012

She wears the world

Those moments, we've all had them - when you go to the store and buy stuff just because you can. because it's so beautiful/the price is great/it's that last bit on the roll and it's discontinued. Well that's exactly what happened here. Lots of fabric with no planned projects. And then out of the blue I decided to make a dress and here it is, just finished up - isn't it gorgeous?

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Summer 2012 Jewellery Collection

I thought I'd just show off my new jewellery range. Each piece is a one-off, hand cut and created using reclaimed leather offcuts from my books - I suppose you could call it reclaimed reclaimed! 
Find out more about each piece by clicking the images, or you can visit my shop by clicking here!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

One year on Etsy!

I've just taken a quick peek in my diary and seen that it's one year today that I officially launched my etsy shop! How time flies huh? The first thing I ever sold on etsy was this gorgeous plaited bracelet! I kept behind a vintage buckle to make myself one similar but never got around to it *adds to list of things to do*

Friday, 23 March 2012

Photography Lull

Over the past year I've been going through what I can only describe as a photography-lull. It seemed everything that could possibly get in the way of me being creative would get in the way - First of all my favourite lense died. Then my favourite camera started flashing the dreaded "ERROR 99" at me (that's it's way of saying - something's wrong, but I don't know what. I still don't know what over a year on even though I've tried everything). I have been stuck with my back-up camera ever since. Don't get me wrong, it's a great little camera - a Canon 450D, but there are little things that annoy me about it. Mainly cosmetic things, but reasons to be annoyed all the same. It's too light. It's too small. The electronic "PSCHHHHH" shutter noise annoys me.. to name but a few. Then our PC died. Then we spent hundreds of pounds on a new one and I treated myself to the newest version of Photoshop to get me back into the swing of things. All was well for approximately one month until my hard drive died, we moved home twice, studio once and my back up camera went in his bag and didn't come out again, and all my lovely old film cameras went to the back of the attic never to be seen again. The combination of all the above issues made me feel so.. I don't know.. 'meh', about it. Getting the camera out became more of a chore than an adventure and medium for creativity. The only time I took any photos was shooting stock for my etsy shop or embarking on a sadly very rare photoshoot with friends (which I ALWAYS have a blast at!).. 

HOWEVER - Something's happened. I don't know what it is, but I'm slowly falling back in love with my camera and rediscovering my love for photography. Finally! Perhaps it's the first signs of spring? I don't know. I don't even care right now! I'm just looking forward to getting out there with the camera again and shooting and what better way to get things going than a quick afternoon shoot over the weekend?

Back in this blog post I mentioned that Miss Miller and I would be returning to the chapel ruins to shoot. It was a bit of a last minute thing in regards to ideas, but Nat already had something in mind so we went back down at the weekend with Lizzie. I ended up with some beautiful portraits and I'm playing with a new editing style which is less contrasty than my previous work, with soft subtle colour changes and this shoot suited the new style perfectly. We put ivy and paper flowers in Lizzie's hair and Nat played artistic director photographer lady and mover-of-big-branches. The ground was a bit sludgy from rainfall earlier in the day - it must've been a miracle we missed it, it rained before and after the shoot, but remained nice and dry in the middle - perfect!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Birthday, Sale and Free Prints ♥

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEEE! Well, not ME, me.. but to Dearest Jackdaw for she is ONE YEAR YOUNG TODAY! I even made a cake or 12. (The rest were long gone before I could snap this piccy!)

So, what has the year taught me? That I love my job? Yes indeed I do. And I cannot WAIT to see what the next year has in store - there are already so many things I want to do I'm finding it tricky to keep up with myself!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Becki Button Love ♥

This post is long overdue but there is no better time to post than today. Let me get this straight - I LOVE receiving packages in the mail. Even boring supplies that most of the time I've forgotten I bought, I just love it. And I love it even more when I flip the package over and it has Becki's address on the back! This girl is far too good to me and I have had so many goodies from her over the past couple of years she is deserving of an enormous package from me some time soon! So this post is dedicated to the lovely lovely Becki Button and her utter creative awesomeness.

I received this today out of the blue. Just in time for my favourite season - Spring ♥ HOW CUTE IS THIS? It's a laser cut lamb necklace complete with white felt woolly fluffiness!
Excuse the non-make-upped face, I was so excited to upload this I didn't have time to spruce myself up for the photo!

Monday, 6 February 2012

TUTORIAL - Freezer Paper Stencils

I know I know I know - there's approximately one hundred billion freezer paper stencil tutorials out there in the blogosphere. But what better way to celebrate this entirely made up fact than to create my own? (you can never have enough tutorials. Fact)

In this tutorial I'm going to show you how to create a simple stencil using freezer paper and then transfer it to fabric. Now, first of all - I couldn't find freezer paper ANYWHERE in the UK so ended up buying mine from amazon for a reasonable price. UK folk, greaseproof paper is NOT the same thing - unfortunately. If you manage to find any please let me know!

This is a great project to do with kids, just keep small fingers away from sharp and hot things! Adults do the hot and choppy bits, small people do the messy bits. Perfect. 

Saturday, 4 February 2012


Caroline and I went for a wander in the woods at Brandyhole Copse on Thursday to shoot some headshots. We found a huge clearing where some trees had recently been felled and stacked in groups and the sun was setting behind the trees with a gorgeous orange glow. After we'd photographed what we needed, we thought we'd shoot a few arty things before she headed home. We didn't particularly have a plan, but the sun was setting quick and the light was amazing so we just went with the flow with what was available at the time. Here's one of the shots we managed to get before having to take a trip to A+E for a non-twig related incident! (Don't panic, all is well!). Doesn't she look pretty :)

Monday, 30 January 2012

Dearest Jackdaw HQ

I snapped some shots of the studio today whilst it was still tidy! It's been a work in progress over the past couple of months but it's slowly getting there. If you click on the panoramic image it'll open in a new page with notes over the top for those of you as curious as me! ♥
Dearest Jackdaw HQ

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Hello January!

Hallo! Not getting off to the best of starts for 2012 on the blogging front now am I? So I thought I'd do a little update on what I've been up to this month with some photos - Enjoy!

Music, maestro:

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Welcome, 2012!

2011 is well and truly over and I feel I've achieved so much in the past 12 months. My main achievement has been the little beginnings of Dearest Jackdaw as a business and watching it grow month by month. I'm really excited about what 2012 has to offer for both myself and Dearest Jackdaw, I'm just itching to get on and do so many things!

I'm definitely not one for new years resolutions, as I mentioned in my last post I always seem to fail them. But I do want to achieve some little things this year which shouldn't be too difficult - here they are:
  • Explore the United Kingdom
  • Keep a journal
  • Take more photos
  • Shoot at LEAST 3 personal photo stories
  • Discover amazing music and art
  • Blog more
  • Organise my studio

Here's to 2012 ♥ Below is a photo of mine from each month of 2011. Enjoy!
January 2011
Freezing cold product photo shoot in the woods with the beautiful Rachael Holmes