Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Bye bye 2008!

2008 has been a pretty amazing year for me, I feel like I have achieved so much, getting my Masters and setting up my business in the Craft Centre has been brilliant. Setting clear goals for myself has really helped, so I'm going to do the same for the up coming year.
Of course, it hasn't been without it's trials and heartaches, but I've learnt that negative feelings won't last forever.
So 2009 is all about positive thinking, hard work and hopefully some adventures!

Monday, 15 December 2008

Positivity abounds!

Despite some rather reckless festive behaviour over the past few days, the week has started on a distinctly positive note. My work has been featured in an etsy treasury for the first time, so I'm pleased.
Also, I got a reply to the email I sent to small, the gorgeous online kid's magazine I mentioned a wee while back. They like my work and have bookmarked my site for a later date! Hurrah!
Sales have picked up over the past few weeks and this girl is feeling good!

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Support your local independent designer-makers!

By coming to this!

Christmas gifts ahoy at the Whitworth Gallery this Saturday and Sunday. I'll be there on Sunday selling my wares, so obviously that's the best day for you to come on down - or just come both days and get yourself some exquisite and unique presents for your loved ones.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

The warming glow of 50s advertising!

It's real real cold, apparently there's quite a lot of snow around, but I don't see any!
We have one of these in our house, but it's red, it's pretty good news :)

I love the colours in these old adverts, and the simplicity of the shapes, it's my design philosophy!

More here.

Monday, 1 December 2008


It's so cold in Manchester today, been snowing and everything. I'm hunched in my studio trying to draw and be more proactive but I'm wearing about 8 layers! Not good.
Any way, the uber hot Omar at Bones Magazine has bigged me up on his blog. Thanks sweetheart!

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Cord after One of a Kind

The Thursday late night shopping event at the Craft and Design Centre was a roaring success, so nice to see the place busy and buzzing. It's a great venue for bands to play, so I hope we organise more evening events in the future. We had food and booze in our studios, I made pear, goats cheese and cinnamon tartlets from a recipe I found on design*sponge (I'm such a blog fiend these days!) and was rather tipsy by about 8 o'clock!
Tomorrow sees our first Sunday opening of the season, so we're celebrating with a launch from 1-4 pm. Come on down, make your own Christmas decorations, listen to live music from Manchester Community Choir and the rather splendid Dr Butler's Hatstand Medicine Band. You can also enjoy 10% off all purchases, so get some beautiful and unique presents for one and all! I will try to remain sober.
Christmas is a-coming!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Hittin' up the airwaves!

I did a little interview for BBC Radio Manchester yesterday afternoon. They were doing a live broadcast from Cup, Mr Scruff's cafe in the Northern Quarter and chatting to folks from local businesses. They only spoke to me for about 2 minutes but I think it was ok! I may have said the word 'organic' about 5 times mind...They also asked me what my favourite cartoon is - Spongebob Squarepants if you're interested!
It's the Craft Centre's open evening event tonight so come on down if you're in the area from 6-8 for live music, free food and drink and 10% off all purchases.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008


Finding all sorts of wonderful companies I like the look of at the moment. As my kid's stuff is selling so well I feel it would be wise to expand the ranges and contact some of the lovely websites to see if they would be so kind as to stock my goods.

Monkeytail and Wellington
is my absolute favourite. Fun fun fun!

Monday, 17 November 2008


I love this online magazine! Such lovely stuff...

Saturday, 15 November 2008


Originally uploaded by little nell smith
It was the preview of the IDEAS exhibition at Bury Art Gallery last night, curated by Laura Minta Holland. I was delighted to find my work was in the centre of the gallery, thank you Laura for displaying it so beautifully!
The whole show looks great, get down there if you can. The cross over between art and craft is in full effect. There's some lovely work by Tamsin Howells, Sarah Terry of Guerilla Embroidery fame and my fellow Craft Centerites, Ellie and Lou.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Selected work for Great Northern

Bird Circles
Originally uploaded by little nell smith
I also had some work selected for the stand, this canvas and a couple of my printed and embroidered scarves.

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair

Last week saw the first Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, held at Manchester Grammar school. The Craft Centre had a stand, so I took one for the team and got up early on Sunday morning (well, not that early as the clocks went back) to look after it and spread the word about the beauty of the Craft Centre.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Future Savings Tees

Future Savings Stand

I spent a good part of last week stressing and sweating over a hot print table, trying to get 100 T Shirts printed up for the Future Savings event at Urbis on Saturday 25th. I was really pleased with how they turned out, definitely worth the effort!

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

MA Show piece

MA Show piece
Originally uploaded by little nell smith
Cripes, I've been ever so busy! First off was the culmination of my Masters - so proud to finish after everything that's gone on - I am a strong independent woman! Lovely to see lots of people at the preview, especially my degree tutors from Leeds College and Art and Design, hurray Paul and Julie!

Monday, 6 October 2008

New products

Originally uploaded by little nell smith
I've been working hard, creating new treats galore. Here's an uber cute, organic cotton baby grow, inspired by my Autumn-themed window display. I'll be up dating my etsy site real soon - hopefully tomorrow in fact, so you can buy online.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Showcase in Urbis

As part of Manchester in Fashion, a range of my work has been selected to be showcased in Urbis, the uber cool museum of urban life in Manchester City Centre. I've also snuck on to the guest list to see Wayne Hemmingway talk on Thursday about being a fashion entrepreneur, hoorah!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Leaves apron

This is my entry for the Howies/Folksy competition, 'Life is complicated, sport is simple', with the slightly tenuous suggestion that baking should be a sport...well, it should!

Monday, 15 September 2008

just be simple

just be simple
Originally uploaded by little nell smith
There's been a bit more activity in the Craft Centre today, apparently we were in the Guardian on Saturday, which might be why...
I've been doing some experiments in my sketchbook, loving ,my scalpel today!

Saturday, 13 September 2008


Well, it's the preview of the Yorkshire and Lancashire Textile Open this afternoon, where I'm exhibiting a piece of work. But I can't go as I have to look after my shop! So no free booze and canapes for me! Boo :( Let's hope it's a busy day with lots of sales to make up for the disappointment :)

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

shop window

shop window 365/2
Originally uploaded by little nell smith
...all the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey...Well not all the leaves, but the sky is definitely grey! So my Autumn window still has a touch of s/s about it so I don't get too miserable. But I'm working on my A/W collection, so watch this space! I'm gathering lovely warm, luxurious, organic fabrics together to make some cosy treats.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Exhibiting opportunity

Hoorah, got an email from a lovely lady from PAD gallery who came into my shop and liked what she saw! They want to show some of my work, which is so great, feel like things are coming together and my hard work is paying off. Sometimes it's really difficult to stay positive when you're having quiet days and customers are a rare sight, just goes to show that things are always bubbling away under the surface...

Monday, 25 August 2008

I've been reading this book today. It's great!
Wish I had some money, yo! Then I'd get me all kinds of treats...

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Feeling a little more back on track, life is absurd sometimes isn't it? I wonder about reality...
Anyway, I'm doing some 'real' things this evening, to make up for a day of lazing and reading the Sunday papers. I received my Pfaff 2170 on my return from Italy, so I'm just installing the software. I can't wait to get embroidering! Got some ideas for accessories on the boil...All will be revealed. Here's a lovely picture of an olive tree in Tuscany to remind me of holiday time, a lifetime ago.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

The Dead Frog Diaries

Originally uploaded by little nell smith
Back from holiday, back to reality. I've got the blues...

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

I'm alive!

Ooh, ooh, oo, my website is finally up and running! It may not be the most handsome beast, but it's a beast nevertheless! Check it out here

A house is not a home

Fun snail
Originally uploaded by little nell smith
Found this little guy in the garden yesterday evening. So much better than a slug!

Sunday, 10 August 2008


Originally uploaded by little nell smith
I've been thinking about what to do for my autumn/winter connection and considering life cycles and transition as a key theme.

Thursday, 31 July 2008

website headaches

I really need to get my website up and running, all I want is a really simple layout so that I can give people a web address that they can go to and then navigate to my etsy shop. Online sales are so important at the moment, the weather sucks and no one wants to feel like they're spending real money. Hard times for the small business owner...

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Feet still on the ground...

...but I'm flapping my arms real hard. I'm new to all this so am just going to get on with it and see how it goes.
My little shop was quiet today but I've been putting more on my etsy site, always got something to do.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Learning to fly

Getting inspired and trying to imagine the whole world is interested in me and my work!
It's hard, but I'm glad that I'm taking a risk and doing what I love...