Saturday, 31 December 2011

Bye bye 2011 - it's been AWESOME!

A post to pay tribute to 2011, cos it's been a right blast! Here we go...

♥ January

I lost a bloody lot of weight!  No complaints here - shame it was down to the heartbreak diet. Onwards and upwards...

...I booked my flights for Austin, Texas!

♥ February

We ran our first co-hosted giveaway with Sick For Cute! to launch the 'Meet The Stockist' interview posts.

I did my first video blog!

I bought a pair of roller skates and started regular roller dance classes. I also gave roller derby a shot! (Turns out I don't like getting knocked about).

I went to London and had a really lovely weekend with Samantha where she got papped by Elle Magazine and we had gorgeous cupcakes from Selfridges.

Our Electric Storm necklace was featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine! Wowow!

I led a jewellery workshop with about 50 students there!

I watched a season and a half of Mad Men and lost another 8lbs.

♥ March

I learnt how to tie my hair in a big top knot, a la Breakfast At Tiffany's

I went to Lincoln to visit a friend that I hadn't seen in years. It was fun!

I haphazardly opened a shop in Leeds city centre

♥ April

I went on a girl's holiday to Barcelona which was very cool. A real whistle stop tour but saw everything I wanted to see and had a right larf.

I had my hair styled at GHD head office and they made me look red-carpet ready! All dressed up and nowhere to go...

♥ May

I had the wonderful privilege of being befriended by the Hebe Media team who were off to Barcelona to big-up the Leeds scene.  Sadly it was too late to physically join them on the adventure but they took my jewels over and interviewed me as part of their featured creatives.

I launched The Kapow Collection - one of my favourite collections to date!  The pieces got photographed by friend photographer Carla De Azevedo and modelled by Victoria Stansfield. Cute eh?

♥ June

I went to Austin for a fortnight which was freakin awesome.  I made new friends, spent lots of time with Kate and had a good relax!  I'll definitely be back there just as soon as I can!

I turned another year older!

♥ July

With Carla and Victoria, we did the first ever Kitschen Sink studio photography shoot.  It was loads of fun!

I decided to close the shop I had opened in March.  It was a really interesting learning experience.  I trust my gut feeling and instincts completely and on this occasion it just didn't suit my tight-ship, independent style of working.  I'd maybe try retailing again in the distant now I know what to look for in a premises, but I love the flexibility of design right now.

♥ August

I went to the Trafford Centre for the first time!

I left my day job in staff development for a promotion to a centre of innovation in medical technologies. Ooh lala! It meant I'd get to give more ideas, dabble in marketing and there's lots of talk of Intellectual Property, a subject I love!

I got accepted to sell at Saltaire Festival.

Kitschen Sink was featured on Le Look - a Barcelona based fashion blog, thanks to Hebe.

I won a unicorn onesie!

♥ September

I sold at Saltaire Festival and Reet Sweet!

I was shortlisted for TWO Leeds retail awards!

♥ October

I had a gander at the first ever Renegade craft fair in the UK.  It was OK!

I launched mini-pins as part of the Kapow Collection that are suitable guys and dolls... they really took off!

I took part in ReetSweet and we went for drinks after with some of the stall holders who are a great bunch!

Business Link ran a special event with two big names in the fashion business - Eric Musgrave and David Seabourne. It was inspiring!

I did my first ever outdoor market and found out I was accepted to BUST Christmas Craftacular in London!

♥ November

I took part in Super Duper Fair in Blackpool and BUST Christmas Craftacular in London... and another outdoor market!

My best friend got married and I was bridesmaid! It was on Bonfire Night. A really special day.

I learnt how to network properly - I know, right?!

I saw Friendly Fires live and had a really good night out afterwards involving a cocktail of shots. Wowza!

We encountered the worst train journey of my life - I was meant to leave London at 8pm, and I got home at 3.30am the next day!

♥ December

 I somehow managed to sell at three events over two days. Crazy sales!

The biggest and best news of the year - Russell Kane wearing a POW mini-pin on Twitter and then ON TV! Read the story here!


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Friday, 30 December 2011

Six 2011 ideals - did I achieve them?

Last year I set myself six guidelines or goals (here) - not really resolutions, I don't go in for that. I think if you want to make a positive change you can do it at any time of year.

So did I meet them?

♥ I want to save my money
I need to stop myself from ordering a take-away or buying a dress when that money could go towards a trip!
I didn't do too badly! I still got take aways, but I did watch the pennies!

♥ I want to see more of the world
I'm tempted to see if anyone in NYC wants to do an apartment swap... probably not but worth a try...?

Well, I got to Barcelona and Austin, Texas! That'll ding dang do!

♥ I want to develop my creativity
I've enquired about an Adobe Illustrator course, let's hope there's spaces left! I've also ordered an 'Illustrator for Dummies book'.  I also want to develop my own drawing and illustration skills and journal more.

I enrolled on the illustrator course, I can't believe it was this year?! I know pretty much as much as I need to know now.  I'd still like to develop my own illustration style.  I think this is going to roll over to 2012!

♥ I hope to continue to think positively
It's not always easy, but I've dumped a lot of negative influences and wear blinkers when I'm with those that I have no choice about being around.  If I'm unhappy about something, I make a change. Sometimes it can't happen over night, but if you don't make an attempt, you have no right to moan!

Smashed this! It was difficult in the early part of the year but sometimes now I feel like a star that's burning so bright with energy I might combust (hope I don't burnt out though?!)

♥ I'd like to lose a few pounds
Yawnz. The problem is, there's nothing wrong with my self esteem. I'm happy with the way I look. But carrying around extra flabber isn't just about looks, it's about health too. I'm an 'average' dress size - 'average' in an ever expanding obese population, so 'average' isn't really OK. I'm going to do some fun exercise classes wearing harem trousers. Yeah, baby!

It's the same every January, because I gain a good few pounds over winter!

♥ I want KitschenSink to be my bigger picture
I'm going to work hard on my business this year. Maximum exposure, big sales, fun times.
I took my eye off the ball a bit when I opened the shop in March.  But I have had chance to re-focus and think I got my buzz back (finally!). 2012 is going to blow up!


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Saturday, 24 December 2011

Our TV Debut courtesy of Russell Kane and the Graham Norton Christmas Special

The POW mini-pin gave Kitschen Sink its TV debut last night courtesy of Russell Kane on the Graham Norton Christmas Special.  The show was aired at 10.35pm last night on BBC1.

I had been led to understand that Russell would be wearing it after seeing his tweet last week... but after reading through his Twitter updates yesterday morning and seeing some photos he shot during filming (stalker alert!) I noticed he was wearing a Christmas jumper and I couldn't see the pin.  I was a bit gutted... Off I went to do the last minute bits of Christmas shopping...

In the evening:

Julia had spotted Russell wearing the pin on the ad before the news.  I was completely frozen to the seat! I had to ring her to make sure and she rewound it twice.  Fo' shiz, it was the POW pin!

He was joined on the couch by the guy who plays Doctor Who and Gillian Anderson (fellow hot ginge of X Files fame).

Check out Gillian eyeballing the pin badge!!  I wonder if she wants one too (call me if you do, Scully),

What a marvelous early Christmas gift for me!

The show is available to watch for the next seven days on BBC iPlayer here.

Sigh No, I won't be watching over and over again and drooling. I won't. Yeah, I will.

Find the POW mini-pin here, and the POW necklace here.


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Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Russell Kane ♥z Kitschen Sink... POW!

Look what Russell Kane was wearing when he tweeted today:

That's right, his very own Kitschen Sink POW Mini-Pin!  And he loves it!

Men have been asking for some Kitschen Sink-for-boys for a while but it's so difficult to get a good masculine:kitsch ratio.

These mini-pins have hit the spot perfectly - and Russell is just the sort of guy I wanted to see rocking them.

Russell Kane is my favourite comedian and TV personality and the only reason I watch ITV2.

Hot damn.



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Saturday, 3 December 2011

That was November...

Another busy month!

It was Andrew's birthday.  Andrew is a best friend, we met by freak coincidence. We went to a restaurant for dinner but it wasn't very good, but we all had fun anyway!

We tried smiling, we didn't like it...

I attended an Advanced Networking course which was very funny! Will Kintish is a comedian.

Another best friend's wedding! I was a bridesmaid. It was Bonfire Night and it was awesome!

Bonfire night parkin at the wedding

ReetSweet at the University of Leeds Student Union. A great day and met a few new crafters!

My second Artsmix in on Albion Place, Leeds City Centre.  Amazing takings, nice and busy, lots of coffee, and didn't get too cold at all!

Super Duper Fair! Carla from Maus Haus and I took a trip to Blackpool to take part in the Super Duper Fair.  We had fish and chips from Harry Ramsden's of course!

I scooted home as fast as I could and caught the second half of the Friendly Fires gig (oops!).  We had a fantastic night nonetheless... After too many vodka, sambuca and tequila shots, cocktails and rums!

Friends and me out on t'town
A friend from Lincoln was stayed for the weekend and we spent the day in Saltaire, mooching around the mill. A perfect Sunday afternoon :)

I visited SamARTha and Marco for the weekend in London.  Marco was working hard a lot but he did make some some delicious spaghetti. Samantha and I went to Winter Wonderland which was wonderful but busy to the point I got a bit panicky! Hehe!

Winter Wonderland in London - like a city of grotto fun

DaWanda, the online selling platform in Europe took me out for dinner in exchange for my advice! Very business-like, la-dee-da!

The craft highlight of the year, BUST Craftacular!!

Craftacular delight!

An horrendous train journey home - not getting in until 3.30am :(  but a really good time to catch up with my illustrating friend Helen Entwisle 'Memo' for a good few hours!

And it's another busy one in December including a mega weekend of three events in a two day period! Yowza!


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Wednesday, 30 November 2011

This Sunday: Leeds Double Whammy! ReetSwee + Varietease

God only knows if I can pull this off but...

Sunday 4th December starts with ReetSweet! Find me at the Corn Exchange selling all your fun gift needs for cool gurls from 11-4.30.

And Sunday finishes with... The Sunday Night Varietease! A burlesque cabaret, wowowow!!


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Tuesday, 29 November 2011

This Saturday! Designer's Marketplace, Middlesborough

This Saturday Kitschen Sink will be selling at the awesome bi-annual Designer's Marketplace at Middlesbrough Town Hall.

This designer's event is the biggest in the North East and we are super excited to be spreading the kitsch love there!

See you soon Middlesbrough!


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Spectacular Christmas Craftacular!

This Sunday was the highlight of my crafting year, BUST Craftacular!

This year I offered some lucky dips for those who didn't want to spend much money but also didn;t want to miss out on Kitschen Sink goodness!

I had a half stall, which is more than fine! Selling small things means I can put out pretty much my whole range if I squish it together a bit!

My highlights were:

Meeting Rachel from Hannah Zakari - one of my supah cool stockists

Seeing several friends from home (that'd be Bradford) there!

Kandi from Knit and Destroy in her Christmas gear - red sparkly lady Gaga style knickers and a green jumper!

Quickly catching Leona from Thrift-ola who came to enjoy the day rather than take part for a change!

Beeza, who is the sister of Nick in Kate's band, all the way from Austin. Wish I could caught up with her for longer

Plus! Kitschen Sink has been featured in this awesome gallery on the Crafty Crafty website.

Awful journey home.  All trains out of London Kings Cross were cancelled from 6pm and the option of taking a train the next day wasn't offered. I didn't get home until 3.30am! The only good thing about this was hanging out with Helen from Memo for the journey.


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Monday, 14 November 2011

This Saturday...

... find me at The Super Duper Fair, Winter Gardens, Blackpool, 10am-5pm

See ya there!!


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Monday, 7 November 2011

My best friend's bonfire wedding

I mentioned earlier this week that I was attending my friend's wedding on bonfire night as a bridesmaid.  I've known her since we were about 4. We met on what we like to call 'hula hoop day'. We lived on opposite sides of the road and neither of us were allowed to cross, so we'd play with our hula hoops and shout our conversations between traffic.

The date of the wedding had extra significance because here in the UK it was Bonfire Night.  On bonfire night we celebrate the failure of a plot to blow up the House of Lords in 1605.  There are lots of national and local traditions that she worked into this super fun day...

♥ Fireworks

All over the country spectacular firework displays were taking place and this was the major part of the wedding day.  We were so glad the weather stayed nice.  The fireworks ended with their initials 'M' and 'A' alight with a love heart in between.


Sparklers are like a mini firework you can hold in your hand.  At the party we all have a gold indoor sparkler each in a heart shape! Super cute.

♥ Toffee Apples

Another nation wide tradition, apples are stuck on a stick and coated in delicious bonfire toffee.  Bonfire toffee is much harder than regular coffee, and almost black.  Here the toffee is red in colour which is a little more appetising to look at.


Parkin is a more local (Yorkshire) tradition for bonfire night.  It's a cake that includes oats in the dry ingredients and black treacle in the wet ingredients.  Do not be fooled or allured by the parkin pig. This is merely a gingerbread pig-shaped biscuit.

♥ Pie and peas

I didn't get a photograph of this but the main food served in the evening was our local bonfire night delicacy of a hot pork pie with mushy peas. I chose not to eat and just get bladdered instead ;-)

And a couple of other things...

♥ The wedding flowers

Some of the nicest flower arrangements I have ever seen - they had crab apples and berries amongst roses and twigs. Very autumnal.

It was a beautiful, emotional but happy ceremony.  My friend cried as she said her vows which set us all off, and the speeches made us all bawl our eyes out too... thank heavens I wasn't wearing eye make up (more on that later!).  I couldn't be happier for her, she's married a really great man.

...and my hair? I did get the SJP do (it's fallen out of place a little at the back here due to dance floor movez)...

(parkin's great!)

Where's the bride? She looked magnificent, you will have to take my word for it. She's not an internetty girl and I respect that...


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Monday, 31 October 2011

That was October...

Phew - it's been super busy - here's what I've been diddling this month:

♥ ReetSweet at the Corn Exchange
Such a fun day hanging out with all the Reetsweet traders and Louis who cuts coins, who is a very cool guy!  I went for drinks with some of the traders after which was super fun!

♥ Calzone Challenge
I went to local Italian Restaurant with my new colleagues for the Calzone Challenge initiation ceremony to the team. I passed!

♥ Renegade London
I took a trip to London to visit SamARTha and Marco.  We had drinks just off Brick Lane is the tres cool Mason and Taylor before taking a very long journey back to Crouch End pretty late in the night!  On Sunday we went back to Brick Lane to the first ever Renegade Craft Fair in Truman's Brewery.  This time around I wanted to sound it out - the £300+ price tag for a space put me off trading at this - their first event in this country.  We caught up with Kim (and sat on the same train home) of Finest Imaginary who said she'd had a great weekend. There were some awesome illustration, jewellery, textiles and everything else handmade. Good timez.  We hung out in Leon in Spitalfields Market for a while and it was lovely to catch up!  The guys who worked there were flirty in a really odd way!

Samantha discovers what she identified as a lamp is actually a weird poster, in Mason and Taylor

I drink my coffee from a paper cup and my cake from a paper bag at Leon

♥ Craftea
I've been hanging out with some local fashion forward crafters lately at Dock Street Market, which is great fun. I will introduce you to them very soon when they get their websites up and running - watch this space you'll love them. I do!

♥ Be Inspired... with Eric Musgrave
As part of Sheffield Fashion Week I attended a presentation and question and answer session by Eric Musgrave and David Seabourne.  Eric Musgrave is a very dapper gentleman indeed, and so he would be, having 31 years experience on the fashion industry and also editing FHM back in the day!  Eric is passionate about keeping fashion manufacturing British - which was totally inspiring.  David Seabourne presented on his ladies wear label. Interesting he does not manufacture in Britain and outsources to Turkey. It was interesting to hear how he exclusively shares fabric with big names such as Gucci and has exclusivity to vintage Pucci prints.

♥ My best friend's hen do
My bezzie is getting married on Bonfire Night! I have the honour of being her bridesmaid and organised her low key hen party.  She was keen it wasn't tacky and kept a fairly quiet affair, so we had a great time over in Kobe in Horsforth.  They looked after the 25 of us really well and Michelle had a good time!  We plied her with lots of champagne, so she doesn't remember a lot of the night which is probably a good thing!

  Fun with friends at Kobe for low key hen celebrations

♥ Leeds City Centre Art Market (Artsmix)
I spent a Saturday in the cold to sell at Artsmix market on Albion Place in Leeds City Centre. It was a really fun day with Carla from MausHaus. We sold out things ate Pom Bear and drank tea with chocolate hobnobs! I bought some thermal tights in advance and didn't get too too cold.

 Stall at Albion Place in Leeds

Launch of Kapow Collection Mini-Pins
I added some mini-pin badges in the Kapow and Pow designs so that guys could enjoy them as much as the girls!

Booth Club
I go to this photography club - it runs every couple of months in an evening. The format is that a theme is given ('pissed' was the first) and you take a photograph on the theme and present it at a slide show on the night. It's really cool - I haven't submitted anything as yet and regret it on the night!

♥ Accepted to BUST Craftacular
I found out I had been accepted to BUST Christmas Craftacular which is super cool - I know it's tough getting in to trade at that, and I will be alongside some big names like Tatty Devine which makes me feel very excited and proud all at one time.

♥ Hair colour
I had my hair coloured and you can read about it in the post here

November is going to be super busy...argh!


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Sunday, 30 October 2011

Chestnut hair

I had my hair coloured! It's a little darker than I had anticipated but I think it's going to look gorgeous for my best friends wedding this coming weekend, where I will be a bridesmaid.  After that I think I'll put a more orangy colour of it to brighten it.  What do you think?

For the wedding I decided I am going to have an updo - a la SATC Carrie Bradshaw...

 The colour scheme for the wedding is black and gold, so I am going to make my own hair accessory with a giant foam rose in gold.  Still waiting for it to arrive though! Eek!  Also have eyelash extensions applied for the first time and can't wait to see what that looks like. It's going to be such a fun bonfire night!


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Thursday, 27 October 2011


Last week I got some of the most exciting news all year (Kitschen Sink wise)...(oh to hell, in all ways!)... I was accepted to sell at

BUST London Craftacular 
27th November 12pm-6pm, York Hall, 5-15 Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green LONDON!

If you haven't heard of Craftacular before, where you been at?! 

What they say...

About BUST:

"With an attitude that is fierce, funny, and proud to be female, BUST provides an uncensored view on the female experience. BUST tells the truth about women's lives and presents a female perspective on pop culture. BUSTing stereotypes about women since 1993.

Independently owned and operated, BUST Magazine has been a leader in the crafting movement since 1993. Now in its 18th year, BUST continues to support and influence the handmade revolution though constant editorial coverage, sponsorships, and events such as the BUST Magazine Craftacular. Always on the cutting-edge, BUST is a revered and trusted authority in the DIY and crafting community."

About Craftacular:

SHOP, CRAFT, DANCE AND MAKE MERRY at the BUST magazine Christmas Craftacular, with over 70 stalls of the hottest in handmade, DJs, drinks and DIY workshops.

What I say:

I can't wait to be part of this spectacular event! The cream of the nation's crafting crop, top workshops and cool DJs spinning the discs all day.  I am so happy to honoured to have been picked to sell here! 

 See you there! 


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Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Kitschen Sink Christmas Tour

This is it!  A goal I set at the beginning of this year was to take Kitschen Sink on tour. I haphazardly decided to open a shop in March and it got postponed, but what better time to target but Christmas gift shoppers for a mini tour!


Come along and say hello to me at one of the following events - I love nattering so ask me (almost) anything!

Saturday 22nd  - Albion Place Art Market - Leeds City Centre

Tuesday 8th - Reet Sweet at Leeds University Union - Riley Smith Hall, University of Leeds
Saturday 12th - Albion Place Art Market - Leeds City Centre
Saturday 19th - Super Duper Fair - Floral Hall, Winter Gardens, Blackpool
Sunday 27th - BUST Craftacular - York Hall, Bethnal Green, London

Saturday 3rd - Designers Marketplace - Middlesbrough Town Hall Crypt
Sunday 4th - Reet Sweet at the Corn Exchange, Leeds
Sat/Sun 10/11th - London TBC
Saturday 17th - Albion Place Art Market - Leeds City Centre


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Monday, 17 October 2011

Skull and Cross Buns: Custom Made Supplies #1

Aaahh I proper love stationery! Just something sexy about paper and pens isn't there?

So I am super lucky to be friends with Paul Jamie Kidd of Kidd81 - a creative designer who created some awesome branding for Kitschen Sink.  He's given me all the graphics I need to look super swanky - but I like to keep it a bit DIY and the handmade feel of everything I do alive using the graphix he's given me....

So when it came to thinking about paper bags and envelopes I decided to get a custom stamp made - hand made!! I have bought a couple of Skull and Cross Buns rubber stamps before and decided to take the plunge and get a custom stamp of my logo made.  What do you think?

I am very happy indeed.  I might make the envelopes a little more festive with the other stamps when the time is right!

I have another custom made supply (sort of) coming soon - I can't wait to get it, and to show you!


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Sunday, 16 October 2011

Mini KAPOW Collection Pins Debut

I've been locked away cooking up some stuff for all the markets I have planned on the lead up to Christmas... here's a peek at one...

Mini KAPOW Collection Pins - perfect for fellas!

The idea came from a male friend of mine (photos may follow) who asked for one.  Quite a few blokes said they liked the Kapow Collection and asked for something more laddish! So - here's what we came up with.  The colours were chosen by him too - and I double checked on Twitter and tweets confirmed these were good 'lad' colour (sorry to stereotype!).

The Mini Kapow Collection Pins are currently exclusive to my real-life stall only - online availability coming soon!  Do you like my new paper bags in the background?

These will debut at my shared stall with Carla from Maus Haus this Saturday 22nd October at Albion Place in Leeds City Centre.  Come say hi and p-p-p-pick-up a Kapow Pin!


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Sunday, 25 September 2011

I haven't been here much lately so...

...Why not come see me in person, and paw and peruse the jewels here...?

Kitschen Sink @ Reet Sweet
October 1st and 2nd (Saturday and Sunday)
at The Corn Exchange, Leeds

It's all really good quality, fun shiz! See ya there (so excited!!)


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