Handmade Creatives

Our High Streets are wonderful and it is lovely to see some of them being reinvigorated! However, there is nothing nicer than finding handmade creatives who are producing something unique and truly bespoke.

On Muff and Teacake I enjoy sharing and showcasing those smaller companies and individuals who offer something different to the shops we usually visit, and provide a service which is second to none.

As someone who struggles to creatively make things, but is sometimes capable of a creative idea, it is lovely to find companies out there offering a truly bespoke service and putting my ideas into practise in a way I would never be able to do.

Candlelit Hygge

Having previously written about the absolutely lovely danish concept of hygge (pronounced hue-gah!), I thought I’d start a series of posts on how to achieve those qualities of life we all aspire to – warmth, cosiness, peace, tranquility, togetherness and contentment.

Today I want to focus on an inexpensive and very easy way to achieve a little hygge cosiness in your home this autumn – candles!

Candlelit Hygge

For the Danish hygge lighting and design are especially important, lights (including candlelight) are used to make spaces feel relaxed and warm, and the Danes have fully embraced the trend of low-slung hanging lamps in kitchens and over dining tables! Candlelight in particular is very flattering, bringing a warm peachy glow to a room – and everyone in it!

Scented candles add another dimension, creating an extra layer of warmth and cosiness in any room in your home. I know many Danes work with a scented candle on their desks. They change the scents to improve their productivity by encouraging creativity, clearer focus or even to de-stress – what a great idea!

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to receive some candles from Shearer Candles – they are a complete joy to behold, and smell!

Founded in 1897 by Mr Shearer and Mr Harvey on the outskirts of Glasgow, Shearer Candles is the UK’s longest established lifestyle candle company. Their best-selling Amber Noir candle is amazing, and reminds me of a lovely Caron perfume I used to wear! It contains the essence of tuberose, violets and amber, and is warm, sensual and mysterious. Hygge in a jar! The packaging is luxurious and will add a splash of dramatic colour to any interior!

Amber Noir – My favourite!


I also love their Cranberry and Ginger tea lights – perfect for winter hygge, and I’m sure they’ll be finding a place in a few Christmas gift bags this year! Think festive red berries with a splash of orange liqueur and a hint of fiery ginger spice…

Cranberry & Ginger Tealights


So, if you want to give yourself or your friends a little winter hygge treat, why not pop over to the Shearer Candles website, it’s filled with tempting purchases to create candlelit hygge!

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Memory Bunting

I’ve been having a sort out and a declutter over the past couple of months, and have had the opportunity to go through lots of my children’s old clothes and toys! Many of them have a special sentimental value, and whilst Marie Kondo might not approve, I’m keeping them all as treasured childhood keepsakes!

Memory Bunting

My children’s baby clothes are carefully packed away but I did find some of my daughters toddler tops and dresses, and decided that I could use them to create something special. I have known for some time that I wanted to replace the Next bunting in her bedroom, and using her toddler tops seemed the perfect solution. I couldn’t have sent my children’s baby clothes away to be chopped up, but her toddler tops seemed perfect – especially as I’d kept the ones made from the prettiest of fabrics.

Memory bunting made from baby clothes.

I had a seamstress, Tamsin from The Patchwork Angel, recommended to me (I am absolutely terrible with a needle and thread!) and contacted her about my idea. She was so encouraging about the whole project that shortly after I sent a parcel of pretty tops and dresses to her, carefully posted by Recorded Delivery!

In no time at all I went to pick up my order and I now have some beautiful and totally meaningful memory bunting for my daughter’s bedroom. It makes me smile whenever I see it and I couldn’t be more pleased!

Thank you Tamsin for such beautiful work and for providing me with something to treasure for ever!

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Introducing Crochyay Boxes

Today I wanted to stop by and introduce a fantastic new subscription idea from my lovely ‘Instabuddy’ Lucy!

I have been following Lucy for several years on Instagram and was fascinated when I saw her growing love of crochet has now been used to launch a fantastic new subscription concept!

Introducing CROCHYAY Boxes

Fancy getting a box posted through your door every month packed full of lovely crochet treats, exclusive patterns and projects to crochet along with?

Crochet Box Subscription
Worldwide Shipping
Projects to inspire…


Here’s what Lucy has to say…

It’s taken months of hard work but we’re finally live and ready to bring CROCHYAY boxes to your door.  Monthly crochet subscription boxes bringing you unique patterns each month, crochet goodies and lots of other freebies. 

We have some FABULOUS crochet designers lined up with some very exciting projects for you to crochet along with. We’ve even teamed up with Sun Jellies to offer our first 50 subscribers a FREE retro Jelly Bag perfect for storing your wool.

Sign up to our newsletter to make sure you are the first to hear when subscriptions open for our first CROCHYAY Box.  

It’s a fantastic idea and Lucy is busy gathering lots of fabulous patterns and goodies, why not leave your email address and she will let you know when subscription opens for her first CROCHYAY Box.

Great gift idea!

As well as the monthly subscription, you can also order a single box, a one year subscription and a birthday box!

Good luck with your venture Lucy, it’s fantastic!

Happy crocheting!

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Happiness from The Happy Paper Club

Having long been a fan of The Green Gables, and followed Gabrielle on Instagram, I decided last month to treat myself to a delivery from Happy Paper Club! I absolutely love stationery, and having the opportunity to receive a surprise parcel of stationery was just too tempting to refuse!

Happiness from The Happy Paper Club

Happy Paper Club is a monthly stationery subscription service which delivers boxes filled with papery goodness, happy and inspirational messages, and more to really boost your happiness and spread a little joy. It’s a lovely idea and certainly brightens these cold and sometimes dull winter months when the weather can be so unpredictable!

Happy Paper Club


Along with a selection of The Green Gables’ stationery, each box includes exciting items which are exclusive to Happy Paper Club. Just to add to the suspense and element of surprise, the contents of each box is kept secret until it arrives at your door at the end of the month!

Members of Happy Paper Club also benefit from a discount on everything at The Green Gables, and can look forward to a little surprise treat for their birthday month too…

You will need to register promptly though, as on the first day of each month a limited number of boxes are available to purchase and once they’re gone, they’re gone until next month!

There are four options to choose from:

• Purchase one box to get a taster of what Happy Paper Club is all about.
• Buy a three month subscription, with free UK delivery, and receive a Happy Paper Club box every month for three months.
• Buy a six month subscription, with free UK delivery, and receive a Happy Paper Club box every month for six months.

• Take out a rolling monthly subscription, with free UK delivery, and receive a Happy Paper Club box every month for as long as you’re a member.

My February box was simply wonderful! I received a lovely letter with some happy living advice, a letter writing set (I loved the house and garden theme!), a pocket notebook which really made me laugh out loud, a postcard with envelope, a mini print and a set of four cute magnets!

I’m definitely going to subscribe to a few more of these, a little happy treat to myself!

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Diana Fegredo Designs, stunning artwork!

Today I wanted to stop by and share with you the work of a wonderful artist, Diana Fegredo who creates colourful and vibrant pieces of stationery and homeware with a floral theme.

I came upon Diana’s work whilst having a virtual wander around Not On The High Street, and found her gorgeous range of floral stationery. Her floral cards caught my eye and I wanted to order some to give to friends and also a couple to frame as small prints! Diana has also introduced some beautiful pieces of homeware into her range and I’ve already earmarked a couple of fabulous cushions for a small interior design home office project next year!

Beautiful watercolour flowers…


Diana Fegredo Designs

Diana has a countryside studio in Leicestershire, and is ‘helped’ by her cats and a long suffering artist husband! She is particularly excited about her growing range of homeware as textile design is a huge passion of hers, and she loves working contemporary watercolour paintings into fabrics for cushions and lampshades.

Gorgeous homeware!


Since designing a few websites I’ve found I’m getting more and more fascinated by the use of colour in design, and I know the appeal of Diana’s work for me lies in her gorgeous use of colour combined with my other passion, flowers!

I know that bringing a piece of Diana Fegredo artwork into my home will guarantee an extra bit of happiness and colour in my everyday life, and that can never be a bad thing! I can see some lovely Christmas shopping in the pipeline!

Do you have a favourite artist whose work you admire, and who has ventured into the realms of homeware and design, I’d love to hear your recommendations if you have!

(If you love the designs of Diana Fegredo, you can also find and follow her on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram)

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Teacher Tote Bags

Personally, I can’t believe how quickly the school year has flown by, and now I’m already thinking about what to give all my children’s teachers! My daughter has three teaching staff in her nursery, and my son has two in his infant class! That’s quite a lot of presents to think of!

T is for teacher…


My concern about teacher gifts is always the knowledge that other children will be buying gifts and sometimes it can be difficult to think of something different. I was once given 26 boxes of chocolates, a little too much even for a ‘chocoholic’ like me!

Parent collection gift cards are always welcome, but if you want something special then I’m a great believer in going down the ‘personalised’ present route…

Teacher Tote Bags

I recently came across Hope and Rainbows, and love their teacher tote bags! The tote bags come in different sizes (long-handled and mini) and make perfect gifts on their own or with a few treats inside! Kate very kindly sent me one for my daughter’s nursery teacher and I know she will be thrilled, especially as the chalkboard on the bag has been personalised!

Personalised chalk boards…


Hope & Rainbows began in 2013. Owner and designer Kate Hope digitally draws each of the illustrations in her collection and prepares and wraps every order herself at home in the beautiful Hampshire countryside.

In November 2014, Kate was thrilled to be awarded the MUMPRENEUR *FUTURE STAR* AWARD. Hope & Rainbows has gone on to be featured in the WALL STREET JOURNAL Art Gift Guide in December 2014 and, more recently, The Telegraph weekend supplement in May 2015.

Win a Tote Bag

Why not get to know Get Kate better… follow her days in photographs at @hopeandrainbows on Instagram. Make sure you follow @muffandteacake as well, and one lucky follower of both our accounts will win a personalised mini tote bag from Kate!

The give-away will finish at midnight on Sunday 28th June, so make sure you are following us both, and keep an eye on our Instagram accounts to be in with a chance of winning!

Good luck!

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Original artwork and photography © Kate Hope, Hope and Rainbows