Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Summer Love

image via timbir

Isn't it a lovely summer so far here in England, lovely long days and warm nights perfect for garden entertaining. So give your garden shed a brush up and show it some love with a coat of paint and of course that summer garden essential....bunting.

Photo credit Laura Moss

Pretty vienna cabin from Simply Log Cabins

Cavania lace doilie bunting in stock click here to purchase.
This is my little garden shed come summer house and I painted it with the Wickes Garden Colour range of paints. They are the best outside paints I have come across and give a great finish and coverage to any exterior wood furniture. To get my shed colour I mixed the Bluebell with a touch of Herb Garden to get a subtle Smokey blue.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Inspirational Stores & Display Ideas

Store - Kates Paperie
Location - Soho, New York
Products - Stationery & Paper Goods
Display - Giant paper flowers.

Love these huge paper flowers that decorate the store, very creative.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Where did this week go?

I can't believe it's Friday already, where did this week go? I seemed to do lots of random bits of projects and still don't feel I managed to really get anything done, Cavania is busy as ever. I finally made myself start and learn the Wacom drawing tablet that Christian gave me just before our trip. It has been sitting in it's box staring at me and feeling completely unwanted. The truth is I was so scared to even turn it on as it took me forever to learn how to use Photoshop and this was all about relearning with new buttons and shortcuts, very daunting. After a couple of days of a few hours each I think I have managed to master a few of the techniques, really I should watch the tutorial but I don't do manuals or instructions!

A lovely surprise in the post arrived on Wednesday Cavania's little girl Juana, in Guatemala sent us a letter and a up to date photo. We have been sponsering her now for two and a half years and it is such a delight to receive mail form her, I feel as if she is part of our family. We sponsor through Actionaid and you can find out more about sponsoring a child by clicking here.

Whilst rummaging through the mountain (sea container actually) of vintage buttons I found an bag of little pearlshine buttons and knew they would make perfect button hearts so my now sore fingers have be making hearts all this week of an evening, I need to find some pretty flowers to decorate and finish them off with scrumptious ribbons. I will let you know when they are ready and in the shop next week.

The garage..... well to be absolutely honest I have hardly done anything to it myself, Christian and a builder friend from his squash club have spent a few days on it over the last week and it is coming along nicely. Not ready for me to paint this weekend, maybe next! But Sukai has a dry home to sleep in at night now.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Building Project - The Garage

Never a dull moment in this house as there is always something on the go some where.... we have decided a new garage is needed as the old one has been on this site for over 20 years and is past it's best. Despite my mini makeover and coats of paint it was time to say goodbye. Christian is building a wooden slated garage to match the little shed at the bottom of our garden which we built last year. I think it might have been something to do with all those gorgeous wooden houses we saw in the USA on our travels that spur this new project on.

A photo of the little concrete garage that really was to small to work in let alone try and put Sukai in out of the rain.

Last night the roof came off and in the skip and the end of today saw little Sukai looking at her new home to be.

I just managed to get the furniture finished in time to go into storage whilst the new garage is being built.

I often used the old garage as a work room for painting furniture and making things in, the new one will be much bigger and easier to move around in. It was impossible to get Sukai in the old garage which was more like the size of a shed as you can see, I am now thinking about the finishing touches..... should I wallpaper this inside of the garage tooooo :)
Have a lovely weekend, I think you know what I'm doing.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Inspirational Stores & Display Ideas

Store - Sabon
Location - Soho, New York
Products - Bath & Body
Display - Vintage furniture, basketware and potted plants.

More from our USA trip......

We spent our first day walking around Fifth Ave and Rockerfella Center with Faye showing her the sites and exploring. I have wanted to take Faye to the American Girl store since my first visit back in 2003. Back then I just had to get Faye a doll she was only 8 and for many years they spent hours playing together, so I was delighted to find American Girl had all the year dolls lined up, a perfect photo opportunity.

Real lemonade at the Rockerfellas, it was so hot we needed these ice cold drinks.

A trip to one of the Magnolia Bakery stores, of course we just had to try the 'Carrie Cupcakes'

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Inspirational Stores & Display Ideas

Shopaholics beware....... For the next few days I am going to share photos of some inspirational stores and their display ideas that I came across whilst visiting the USA, the attention to detail made them stand out on their high streets.

Ralph Lauren store in East Hampton, yes before you say "of course it's a nice store it's Ralph Lauren and they have a huge budget" but little things like plants outside and the white decals on the windows just add little finishing touches that don't cost a fortune but make the outside look more inviting.

As you know I have wanted to have a shop of my own for some time and Cavania has decided to to open a flagship store. I have found the perfect site but as yet the landlords are undecided so I have my fingers and toes crossed. Cavania has grown beyond my wildest dreams in the last seven years, she will be 7 on July 13th. So many stores across the country stock our goodies that a visit to our showroom is constantly being requested. The office team would also be coming and so the store would also be a showroom to display all our product mix so any of the Cavania stockist can pop by at any time for a chat, I look forward to making interesting inhouse displays and sharing the ideas and presentations with you all.

Furniture BEFORE..............

For the past couple of days I have been stripping and painting furniture I found in one of my locally stores , lots of interesting pieces of furniture for the trade shows as well as in the back of my mind my Cavania HQ. When I was in the USA a couple of weeks ago the stunning high streets that we visited were full of boutiques and innovative stores and displays, and bustling full of shoppers. In the UK our high streets are slowly losing their identity as the big boys take over, we have to make a point of difference. Which brings me to my next topic Mary Queen of Shops is back on the BBC, and did you see last nights episode? If you are a store you just have to watch this series, I have mentioned Mary Portas before and as you can guess I am a fan of hers, anyone who is set to take on the task of changing the high street and helping the shopkeeper survive gets my vote. No matter how great we think we are at running our own business there is always room for improvement so listen to the free expert advice that she gives, I have learnt a lot from her myself and still learning daily.
See you tomorrow for more inspirational stores.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Cavania Hampers

Cavania hampers have been featured in a Here Comes Summer feature.
Gift Focus - May/June 2010

Thursday, 10 June 2010

From Britain with Love

More featured stores 'From Britain With Love'

Make your own over at Clothkits

Scrumptious finds over at Vintage Vanilla

Fun hide aways over at Judith Needham Willow Design

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

HiHoHiHo it's back to work I go

Back at work again and full of energy, our trip to the USA was fab and I can't wait to find a spare hour to go through all the photos and video we took. There are so many things I want to show you and places you must see, but for today I have been putting on the finishing touches and hanging swing tags on our new crochet doilie bunting, this is limited edition so hurry as only a few were made in our first batch.

The bunting is so cute you cant help but want to hang it up around the house and throw an afternoon cupcake tea party for all your girlfriends to come round and gossip under it. Now there's an tea party just waiting to happen, wheres my polkadot cup cases?

CLICK HERE to purchase the doilie bunting, or click on our stockist finder to find a store near you.

Photos taken at the bottom of my garden when I did the photo shoot a couple of weeks ago. Just when I thought my little shed couldn't get any cuter.