Friday, 12 October 2012

Mumsclub Top 100 Business Awards

 A huge thank you to everyone who voted for me and Knot Just Jigs in the Mums Business Club Awards 2012, I am really very proud to announce to you all that I have been voted into the Top 100 winners of the MumsClub 2012 Awards!! A big thank you to you, my lovely customers, friends and family that have been a massive support to me and the business. Without your ongoing support and encouragement I don't think I would have got this far, Thank you x
There is going to be an award ceremony sometime in December so I will keep you all updated as and when its announced, how exciting (new frock, shoes and bag shopping here I come!)

Where did the time go ?

Five whole months have past since my last blog post, where on earth did that time go ?
Talking about time I had a conversation with a friend about learning children to tell the time, it's not as easy as you think is it ? My son grasped it quite quickly (or so I thought) but when I asked him the time last night he looked at our clock without numerals and was quite flummoxed, I 'thought' he would have been able to work it out but he couldn't so a little more work needed, I am using one of our Learn the time clocks that's quite grown up and helps learn with the Hours, minutes and 24 hour clock too.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Red, White and Blue...Let's Celebrate the Jubilee!

Not long now before the Jubilee celebration's start so we thought we'd try and tempt you with some Jubilee gifts and goodies to get you in the mood!
Union Jack Apron  £7.99

 Available in sizes 4-5 and 6-7

Pink Union Jack Cushion £6.99 - 8.99

 Available with or with inner

Union Jack Bunting only £10 ! (9 flags)

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Our Precious Gifts

I know as a Mum of 4 I get stressed, shout, nag and at times reach the end of my tether but tonight I thank God and hold them a little tighter in the knowledge that my beautiful children are here, alive, happy and healthy.
I woke this morning and prayed for a beautiful boy, lewis
Mighty aged 7 (the same age as my youngest son) lewis has been battling against the dreaded and awful disease, Cancer. The news was not good,Lewis sadly lost his brave battle at 2.30am with his parents by his side, no parent should ever go through that. I can't even begin to imagine the pain they are feeling right now but one thing I do know is Lewis was loved, admired and touched the hearts of many people across the world and his name and legacy will live on.
Rest In Peace Lewis you brave and beautiful little boy x

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Hickory Dickory Dock

Thought you might enjoy this, our gorgeous Mice are available from Knot Just Jigs at only £7.99 each or 2 for £14.00!

Hickory Dickory Dock,
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down!
Hickory Dickory Dock.
Hickory Dickory Dock,
The bird looked at the clock,
The clock struck two 2,
Away she flew,
Hickory Dickory Dock
Hickory Dickory Dock,
The dog barked at the clock,
The clock struck three 3,
Hickory Dickory Dock!
Hickory Dickory Dock,
The bear slept by the clock,
The clock struck four 4,
He ran out the door,
Hickory Dickory Dock!
Hickory Dickory Dock,
The bee buzzed round the clock,
The clock struck five 5,
She went to her hive,
Hickory Dickory Dock!
Hickory Dickory Dock,
The hen pecked at the clock,
The clock struck six 6,
Oh, fiddle-sticks,
Hickory Dickory Dock!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Mojo, Mojo where art thou Mojo ?

Whilst being unusually productive my Mojo seems to have been washed away with this dismal damp weather and I need to find it ....and quick!
I am one of those people that
1, hates rain
2, hates getting wet
3, hates mess
4, hates being disorganised
and at the moment my life seems to fit all those categories.
I can't seem to function when any of these are happening and I don't know how to pull myself out of it.
I can't do bugger all about the weather so that's 1 and 2 out of my control (which is actually another of my pet hates) but how do I tackle 3 and 4 when I can't do one without the other?  and I just don't know where to start ?

I've just re-read this post and there's lots of question mark's ? lol perhaps I need to start making lists and working my way through them and prioritise .....

Any other suggestions ?
If you happen to stumble across my Mojo on your travels please return via commenting below, reward for its immediate and safe return.

Monday, 23 April 2012

No Batteries Required...

Today I read an article in Toy News that said that 44% of children play outside, this is an increase over the last 2 years. Whilst this is promising, in my opinion its still not enough!
Gone are the times when we as children used to disappear all day on our bikes with a bottle of pop and some sandwiches and only come home for tea. I know that society doesn't feel safe enough to let our children do that but I do feel as responsible parents we should encourage our children to play out doors whenever and weather permitting as much as possible.
After school this afternoon I commented to my hubby that whilst my son loves to play on his DS or Wii when its wet in the nice weather he actually needs nothing more than a stick and a stone as he will play outside making up games and digging, climbing and generally running around the garden, the cost of this ...nil, no initial cost, no electricity and no batteries required.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Heimess Dummy Chains

We are really pleased to have a lovely range of wooden dummy chains and wooden clip on toys starting at a bargain price of only £5.99.
Made by the German manufacturer Heimess, who produce a range of baby toys that are renowned for their safety and are strongly constructed with robust wooden pieces and safe natural colours. Their products are hand crafted using non-toxic materials and more importantly they are made from saliva resistant materials as we know what little ones are like for putting things in their mouth!
The dummy chains are great way to stop baby dropping their comforter and either getting it dirty or even worse losing it!
The clip on both products is strong enough to prevent it being pulled off but still safe enough not to snag clothes.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Product Review: Wooden Transporter Lorry

We thought we would share this fabulous review of our ever popular transporter lorry with you,

This amazing lorry keeps my son (aged 2.5) amused for hours, he loves brumming his cars up and down the ramp and using his small vehicles to load up on the transporter too. His brother who is 5 also loves playing with it so I can see we will get loads of play value out of it. We are always stuck as to what to get Jake as his older brother has lots of things and most things that he likes are too old but this lorry is suitable for younger children whilst still fun for older ones. Great value for money, great quality and really sturdy which is a must for my boys!

Wooden Transporter Lorry £20.99
Thanks Sarah, really glad your boys like the wooden transporter lorry, we bought this my son for his 2nd Birthday and was still playing with it at 6 ! its now passed down to my Grandson and is still played with daily and going strong 5 years later, now that's what I call value for money!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Great Traditional Travel Games.

Last week we took the opportunity to go on holiday in a caravan, you know the ones where you save the tokens from the paper.
We have been doing these for the last umpteen years with the kids and have only been disappointed once.
This year we didn't have much choice as we wanted to go in the Easter holidays, actually we didn't have any choice as the only one left and available was a Park Resort Holiday in Withernsea (York's)
We decided to upgrade to the Gold accommodation (so glad we did!) The park itself was nice, clean and quiet. It had a mix of caravans, tourers and a few hardened campers!
The weather on arrival was atrocious, but as a family we love these holidays as your away from too much technology and making your own entertainment is all part of the fun.
Pick Up Sticks £2.99
We took a few 'old fashioned' games with us that all the family could play when it as too wet to go out, pick up sticks (the men/boys love this one!), Jacks, Dominoes and Mini Skittles.
When the weather cleared we spent most  of our time at local attractions or walking and climbing along the beach playing skimming in the sea or searching for nice stones.
Jacks £3.99
Skittles (Also vailable in Fairy) £6.99

Dominoes £4.99

Monday, 9 April 2012

Your Votes are Needed, Pretty Please

This blog post is a bit of a begging post, Knot Just Jigs have been nominated in the Best Children's Party Supplier catagory in the "Whats on for Little Ones" Awards sponsered by Konfidence.
To get nominated you had to have 5 seperate nominations from customers which then gets you into the next round which is a public vote! This is where you guys, my friends, customers and supporters come in WE NEED YOUR VOTES !

Just click this  Whats on for Little ones link and scroll down to to the next to bottom catagory, its really easy to do. Thanking you so much in advance of you vote, we will be keeping our fingers and toes crossed!

Friday, 6 April 2012

Good Friday ?

Yes I think so, I was treated to a lie in and a cup of tea in bed!
Hubby had last night off so we could go to the Nottingham Playhouse with friends to see 'Reasons To Be Cheerful', a play set during a time of political change and economic hardship.

 It’s 1979: Labour loses to the Tories, strikes rock the nation and Ian Dury and the Blockheads’ Reasons to be Cheerful (Part 3) climbs the charts. As the ultimate fans, Vinnie and his mates would do anything to see Dury at the Hammersmith Odeon, only the gig is sold out. But life has a habit of throwing strange things at you, and one night of frustration becomes something else entirely…

We didn't know what to expect, except we (or should I say 'I') was a bit of a punk in my early days and loved Ian Dury and The Blockheads music, although at the tender age of 12 wasn't quite aware of the political views of his lyrics.
Excellent part play/part gig, thoroughly enjoyed it, a bit cringe worthy at times as the language (and some of the back drop images)  were quite colourful ;) Its left me singing 'Hit me with your rhythm stick' all last night and today!  Would definitely recommend it.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Easter Gift Guide

Buy a gift that lasts longer than chocolate!
There is still a couple of days left to buy an Easter gift rather than the obligatory chocolate egg!
Here is our top 5 and they are all under £6
1 Pull A Long Wooden Duck £5.99
2 Rabbit Night Light £5.00
3 Design Your Own Farm Bag £3.99
4 Wooden Flower Press £5.00
5 Animal Cube Puzzle £3.99

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Making products for the Olympics ?

As a crafter I am always aware certain words, designs, logo's and trademarks are protected, yestreday I came across a post that I thought might interest you and provoke lots of discussion.
Have a read of this document it gives you a comprehensive list that are legally protected  marks owned or licensed to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Ltd ( LOGOG)

I agree with the most part of this document but the one I am gob smacked at is the protected use of 'Listed Expressions' ! This is going to be a hard one to police ?

The Listed Expressions are :

-any of the 2 words : Games, Two Thousand and Twelve, 2012, Twenty-Twelve


- any word in the list above with one or more of the words:

London, Medals, Sponsers, Summer, Gold, Silver, Bronze.

I expect those big companys wanting to cash in on this massive marketing oppotunity will be racking their brains trying to get around this.

What are your thoughts ? 

Tuesday, 3 April 2012


I have been making bunting now for a few years and when I am setting up my stall at craft fairs and adorning my gazebo with a vast array of colours and designs it never fails to raise a smile.
Its so cheery and welcoming and can be hung any where inside or out.
I like to make mine in flag style and double sided so that it can be hung in front of a window and be seen both sides but I know for quickness some people make it one sided and edge with pinking shears.
Over at Knot Just Jigs we also offer some stunning bunting made from embroidered butterflies, dinosaurs and vehicles!
Our personalised bunting is really popular and can be used for names or even to advertise a business.
I looked into the history of bunting and its origin and can't believe that it can be traced back to the turn of the 17th century when they manufactured signal flags for the Royal Navy!

The lovely Jenny from a fabulous bog called WINNIEBRIGGS HOUSE have written a wonderful blog post about bunting, complete with a step by step tutorial of how to make your own!
Go on have a go, its very satisfying :)

Monday, 2 April 2012

My Creative Friends, Bambino Beads

I am surrounded by very creative people and would like to dedicate a few posts on telling you about them and their businesses.
Firstly my friend Helen Keightly who runs a lovely business 'Bambino Beads' making personalised children's jewellery .
Helen is a busy Mum of 5 year old twin boys as well as designing and handmaking all her jewellery for Bambino Beads. I have always admired Helen's work but have never had the occasion to buy any of her products until Helen launched her new line of 'Mummy Bracelets' these stunning bracelets have the name of your loved ones or children personlised on them, they come in one or 2 strands dependant of how many children's name you want on them (I have 4 !) and was so impressed with the quality and price of them that I keep trying to think of people I can buy them for!

30 Day Blog Challenge, can I do it ?

I can talk for England and I can probably come up with enough subjects to cover a 30 day challenge but have to be honest I get bored very easily. I really really need to get my bum in gear so I am going to take up the blogging 30 day challenge of April.
I know I should blog more not only to keep my friends and customers up to date with things but also its good for the seo of my website, something I have got to work very hard on now as I have had to start back at the beginning since my "Old" website is no longer, if you want a nosey at our new website (waiting for our designer to refurb) we can be still be found at
I apologise in advance of my blog posts but in the name of seo here I go .....

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Handmade Gifts

I love making things for people but am sometimes wary about giving gifts that have been handmade, I would only give a handmade gift to someone I knew would appreciate it as it takes a lot of time and effort to make. I love receiving handmade gifts and my friend Dawn always makes me the most adorable crocheted ones. This year has been especially tough money wise so I have made quite a few gifts such as cushions, bunting, owls and personalised alphabet cushions, which I am really glad to say were really well received.
Here's my Friend Chris (hiding!) with her Penguin fabric cushion, she adores penguins and was lucky enough to find some fantastic penguin fabric!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Another Outlet

Its always good to explore other avenues at which to sell your products, at the moment I sell via (in no particular order lol)
1,Crafts Fairs
2, Events such as Baby Shows, Steam Rallies/Dogs Shows/Boat Shows and Festivals
3, Shop (rent space)
4, Our Website Knot Just Jigs
5, Amazon
6, Ebay
7, Wholesale
8, Charity Events
10, Markets
I also have account with craft selling sites MISI (Make It Sell It) and wowthankyou but haven't got around to uploading things on to them yet as they are specifically for handmade items these require me to keep stock and as quick as I make things they sell ! (I am not complaining though)
I don't sell all my products at each of the places on the list, I set my "stall" accordingly.
Are there any places that you can think of that would be a good avenue to explore or that has worked for you ?
Today we became a new stockist at a local shop that has recently opened in Eastwood, Mummy's Bump and Beyond by a lovely chap called Darren, his shop is an eclectic mix of handmade (by other work at home parent's) vintage homely products and pre-loved high quality children's clothes. At the back of the shop is a specially built photographic studio where Darren offers family shoots at a very reasonable price.
Here is a picture of our space showcasing a small range of our lovely traditional toys at Mummy's Bump and Beyond.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

By Special Invitation

If you have come for a nosey at what I invited you to "like/follow" then your here because your on my friends list and hopefully will want to support me (and probably laugh at me) in breaking through this technophobia I have, I cannot actually believe I have set up (and installed codes!) myself on a networking blog! For anyone who knows me and knows that we have had a Wii for a couple of years and I still don't know how to turn the bugger on will know how big an achievement this is for me, if you are prepared to support me bumbling my way through then I Thank You from the bottom of my heart x x

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Challenges for 2012

Whilst I have my "blogging mojo" back I am going to start by saying I am NOT going to make any New Year resolutions because I always set myself up to fail so I have decided to set myself goals and challenges instead.
This post will be a business related one and I will also do myself a personal one, I will do them monthly and tick them off as I complete. Anyone care to join me ? I challenge you!

10 Business Challenges for January 2012

1, Sort out office into some sort of defined work space/sewing space
2, Finish last years accounts (I know, I know this should be number 1)
3, Book fairs for the year and list on websites where to find us page
4, Set aside one day to schedule blogs/twitter and face book posts
5, Pencil in Mondays to get ALL paperwork up to date and pay invoices etc..
6, Sort out re-vamp of website
7, Buy new fabric (yippeeee)
8, Re-stock handmade items and try out new designs.
9, Plan PR campaign for events during the year.
10, Source new stock.

Looking Back

Looking back...I couldn't even type that without singing Mike & The Mechanics "Over My Shoulder " here goes some of my high (and low) lights of 2011
At the beginning of 2011 Knot Just Jigs signed another 3 month contract to carry on trading at our retail until in the Nottingham Victoria Centre, this was both a highlight and low light. The experience taught me a lot, it opened new doors, closed some old ones and also helped others along the way.
I started the new year with the resolution that after all this time of being self employed I needed to crack this work/life balance thing once and for all and vowed that I would take at least one weekend off a month and do something with my family and friends, this is the one and only resolution I have stuck to (with the exception of November) and one that I feel has been my greatest achievement of 2011, as anyone who knows me knows I am a self confessed workaholic!
The second quarter of 2011 saw the closure of the unit in the Victoria Centre and a huge sigh of relief and a big weight taken off my shoulders, although I am a workaholic being tied to opening 7 days a week and a minimum of 9 hours a day was taking its toll. On the upside of this it also encouraged me to be more creative and make more things to sell, this side of my business has grown gradually and for me it doesn't feel like work!
Suddenly were half way through the year ! Summer craft fairs are my favourite....
We had a pretty decent summer of craft fairs weather wise, a bit more windy than previous years but hey at least they were dryer!
We did the Nottingham Riverside Festival and the Moorgreen show as usual, both of these excelled our expectations and sales compared to the last 5 years we have traded at both of those events.
Autumn, we have 2 huge (in terms of rent, expected sales, stock required and footfall) events planned Chatsworth House and Lincoln Christmas Market, both of which were meant to happen in 2010 but Lincoln didn't due to snow and Chatsworth wasn't as good ...due to weather lol.
Both didn't disappoint, they were amazing in all ways and whilst being completely knackering (16-18 hour days!) they were worth while doing and made our Christmas much much more manageable ;). My last event was 16th December which was a lovely traditional Christmas Market at Loughborough and I was effectively on holiday (apart from posting out website orders) from then until today, I feel very lucky and very blessed to have had such supportive family friends and customers. Belated Happy New Year to you all x