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Saturday, 26 April 2014

Why Winnie the Pooh?

We have re-instated our blog to concentrate on our love of classic Winnie the Pooh (no Disney!), Dr Seuss and Alice in Wonderland. 

Our collections of illustrations and information has grown so big! So this blog is moving in a slightly different direction. I do hope if you are a fellow Pooh bear fan you will let me know what you think and if you have any comments I would love to hear them.

General Pooh Facts

Winnie the Pooh was created by A A Milne. His son, Christopher Robin Milne had a teddy bear that he had named Winnie-the-Pooh. It is said that Christopher Robin would visit a bear in London Zoo who was named Winnie and a swan their was name Pooh, and this was how the teddy bear was named. Pooh was born in June 1921, in 1925 the Milne family went to live in East Sussex, near to Ashdown Forest, and this became the setting for the Hundred Acre Wood and all the amazing Pooh stories.

Winnie the Pooh made his first appearance in a poem, Teddy Bear, published in Punch magazine in February, 1924.

The collection of stories about the character was the book Winnie-the-Pooh (1926), and this was followed by The House at Pooh Corner (1928). Milne also included a poem about the bear in the children’s verse book When We Were Very Young (1924) and many more in Now We Are Six (1927). All four volumes were illustrated by Ernest H Shepard. 
Check back to the blog for more posts to follow about A A Milne, E H Shepard.

Our favourite Winnie the Pooh Illustration

So, to begin! I have such a large collection of pooh bear illustrations I thought it would be nice to share a few with you, and the history behind them.

                                                               E H Shepard illustration
                                                                      Pooh & Piglet 

This illustration of pooh bear and piglet walking on a very 'blusterous' day was first seen in the book The House at Pooh Corner, chapter 8 in which piglet does a very grand thing. I love this one line taken from the chapter 'Let's go and see everybody' said Pooh. 'Because when you've been walking in the wind for miles, and you suddenly get to into somebody's house, and he says "Hallo Pooh, you're just in time for a little smackerel of something" and you are, then it's what I can a Friendly Day'. 

What's you favourite pooh illustration?

Do you have an illustration you love? contact me and I will search my archives and showcase on this blog.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Public Domain & Vintage

Just recently I have been looking a lot at vintage images and have come across public domain images. These are images that are no longer copyrighted and as such, are free to use.  There are also lots and lots of sites that you can pay 'credits' in order to download images, usually they are images not easily available on the internet.  As part of my vintage obsession I developed the following to add to the Crofts range.

I saw an image almost identical to these pillows, however I also noticed that another shop was already selling it so decided to design my very own! Everything about these pillows are totally original to The Croft and the flowers are vintage.

Items over dictionary pages seem very popular, I found an image of the Poppy and then decided to make up my own design, luckily I have a trusty old dictionary that I could scan pages from!

Nautical! I could not resist these images. I love them! The ship is English. Again, these are images found and tidied up before printing.

 I thought it would be nice for the Men to have something. Cushions/Pillows not exactly something you would think of for a man. When I saw these images I just new that they would look fabulous in a study, billiard room or even just a fav chair.  Both are public domain and genuine vintage.

Then there is the French Shabby Chic range. These images, again are genuine vintage and I managed to research each item and my listing on Etsy has their full stories. For instance the dancing lady was originally from the USA and ended up dancing at the Folies Bergere, which was a very famous music hall. The Eiffel Tower image was originally a souvenir from the Paris Expo of 1889. As I said full stories on the listings. I am being rather lazy to retype.  I really enjoyed the research into these.

Last but by no means least, is Marilyn -

I have quite a vintage image collection  so over the coming days and weeks I am going to list them all on my blog so that if you wish, you can download and reuse for your own projects.

Must go, have homework with the children now.  Thanks for reading!


Thursday, 20 September 2012

Catch up!

So much has been happening with The Croft recently that I have just had no time to pay attention to this blog, for this, I do apologise.

We have been featured in a nice glossy magazine Wiltshire Society, this front cover pic was taken in my studio, the very first items I ever made and my gardening hat!

The feature was so well written, to read more please see my website

We have also been working on lots of new designs.

 One of my most recent items. We have good friends whose husband is in the Army, their children miss him so much they sleep with a photo under their pillow when he is deployed, so I was asked to make a pillow for their children. I made 2 with this in mind, one for Military children and one for the Mothers.

Army Moms. This one is for those based in the US, we do however have UK/Australian flags. The poem says' My Son is a Soldier, He is often gone away, To some far off country where he has to stay, I have this little pillow to place where I sleep, I know he is always with me, his heart is ours to keep.

This is the Childrens pillow. So sweet! I am hoping to upload a pic very soon of the reverse side which shows my friends son and Dad.
 Christmas!! Of course, it wouldn't be me if I didnt make a Christmas postcard. So I have come up with a range designed for children, adults and babies alike.

Please visit the Etsy shop for full details of these items

Short and sweet, but am hoping to update more soon!

Thanks for looking.

All the very best to you.


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Toooo Long!

Its been way to long since I last blogged. I have been painting up my studio and getting it ready for 'work'. My youngest will be starting school this year and I wanted the studio to be completely different from the rest of the house.

At one time the studio was the kitchen to the cottage, 10 years ago we extended and had a new kitchen so the old room became redundant, its been an office and a snug, now its my studio/office.

As the old kitchen it also has its own little external door which is wonderful on sunny days and when local customers come to visit.

As room that has been rarely used, I really do feel like I am out of the house, I'm thinking perhaps a kettle will be rather useful too.

Yesterday, I had a photographer come for a mini photoshoot, as part of a feature in Wiltshire Society Magazine (part of the Salisbury Journal). The journalist was here last week, did my usual, talking non stop, I was actually rather nervous!  The circulation of the magazine is fab, so here's hoping.

The postcards are still proving very popular which is wonderful.  I am so fortunate to get to know my customers, there is a story behind everyone that I do.  I recently undertook a commission for a photo transfer cushion with embroidered message (in Portugese) on reverse side.

I have also opened an Ebay shop.  Its a little more expensive than I would like, but I'm going to give it a couple of months and see how we go -

Look what I found at a carboot sale - aren't the just lovely! 

Still no further forward with #SBS, I will not give up! One day, Mr Paphitis will RT me!

I'm going to sign off for now. Thanks for reading


Sunday, 17 June 2012

#SBS and Theo Paphitis

Today, in the world of Twitter is #SBS. Theo Paphitis, an extremely successful business man retweets 6 business' who have tweeted him about their business. Its called Small Business Sunday. So, for a few weeks I have been trying to get the mans attention. As I am rapidly turning into The Postcard Lady I tweeted this to him....

Fingers crossed! I will let you all know.


Saturday, 16 June 2012

A Business, Customers and a Studio.

Traditionally us Brits call the month of June 'Flaming June' I assume this is because of the glorious weather. This June is basically NAFF! Not only is it raining and cold, their is nothing but football on the TV.  Im not much of a TV person but im finding the football very very annoying now. 

Anyway, onwards! This week ive been featured in 2 local publications, one is a shiny glossy magazine called Wiltshire Magazine  I was so pleased to see it.  I stood in Tesco's with my 4 yr old and was literally thrusting the magazine at anyone who so much as looked at me! I often have a slight problem in that I call everything I make 'my stuff'. So I was saying very loudly My Stuffs in Wiltshire Magazine. Talk about a selling point! The website has certainly had a fair bit of traffic.  Then I was contacted because I had been seen in a small local publication called Valley News, sounds Welsh dosent it? But we are Wiltshire.  They did a write up based on my first press release a couple of months ago. 
So, for me, all this has been very exciting and positive. 

My postcards have been ever so well received and I am so so so proud to have them being sent all over the USA.  As part of the 'service' I email a copy of computer proof to the customers, it has been such a pleasure working with my customers.  The pillows have only taken 9 days to get to their destination which I think is extremely good.  Ive also just finished doing one in Welsh. Customer sent me the wording. Easy. So the postcards can be in any language at all! Yet another selling point.

Oh and the other great excitement? I have a studio!!! Our house is very old, it has 2 extensions 50 years apart and is rather all over the place.  The old cottage had a very small kitchen which is now my studio. Whats exciting is I have my own external entrance.  I made some new little curtains yesterday, from just 2 mtrs of fabric I made the curtains and a new seat pad for my office chair and 2 small little drawstring bags. Needless to say there really isnt much of it left! The window that has a single curtain is my little door! Sweet!

This is the curtain fabric. I love it! Very retro 50's but as the studio is very plain and bright these give it a much needed touch of colour and most of all fun! Wasn't very cheap I must admit (£12.50 pm), but its gorgeous! 

 So wonderful to be able to shut the door and know that it will stay exactly as ive left it! At the moment im constantly keeping it tidy but that wont last. My husband did a wonderful job of moving it all, altho I have to admit I found it extremely stressful. Tears and tantrums.

So, The Sewing Croft has been on the go for 6 months. Actually, I learnt to sew 6 months ago and now, I have a business, a product, customers from far off places and my own studio.  Its amazing. Perhaps the 60 hour weeks ive been working are paying off after all.  Lets hope so!


Friday, 8 June 2012

Just a quickie ;-)

Hey everyone.

Am dying to do a proper blog post, so much is happening at the moment.  So for now, I just wanted to show you my latest 'product' line.  Im really pleased with it and its taken hours to put it together.

Western Union Telegram Personal Message Pillow Graduation, Birthday, Birth, CelebrationIts in my Etsy shop

I am taking lots of orders from America for my vintage postcards, such a pleasure to do and loving sending them to the US.  One of the reasons I decided to do the telegram, was becasue I am so pleased and delighted to be sending the pillows to the US.

I shall update about the jubilee later, dying to tell you about my Vicar of Dibley village...the old well to do lady on her quad bike, tweed skirt, alsation dog tied to her hand, barking NON stop.  Was a very hilarious scene, how many quads do you see doing 0 mile an hour? 

One last thing, this is a FAB treasury........

Im afraid I havent managed to figure out how people take a screen shot and put it onto a blog, if anyone reading this knows please leave a comment!

For now, thats me done