My Etsy shop window

Friday, 19 December 2008

rikrak - Etsy shop

Well, seeing that this year is our first family Christmas, I decided to splash my cash and get the three of us a Christmas stocking each and rikrak was the lucky Etsy shop to get my cash. And I'm glad they were - how lovely are these...

rikrak: eco felt stockings
The orange one is for ME, the grey one I figured was kinda manly so picked that one for Ben and Oli's favourite colour, so far, appears to be yellow so HELLO BRIGHT YELLOW STOCKING, you'll be Olivers.

Visit rikrak's Etsy shop >

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Matte Stephens

I love Matte Stephens' work. I've mentioned him a few times before (here and here) and the number of prints of his I'd love to own just keeps getting longer and longer.

I still haven't got the hang of blogging images via Flickr. It never does what I want it to. I can't get the image to centre align and I just spent ages typing out a descrption for this entry and I have no idea what it did with it, so I've just had to manually write it in here only for the image info from flickr to now disappear! ggrrrrr.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Dragon House of Yuen - Etsy shop

I find hares mysterious and haunting and to be honest, they freak me out a little bit. I think it's probably got something to do with Watership Down which I've never been able to watch all way through for the same reasons.

This beautiful 'baby hare' by Dragon House of Yuen possess these same qualities for me. I love it but feel slightly sad and uneasy by it. I think the word is melancholy actually. Bagpus also made me feel this way as a child.

Baby Hare Arkasha Soft Sculpture
This one on the other hand is just lovely... no strings attached

Baby Hare Sally Soft Sculpture
Visit Dragon House of Yuen's Etsy shop >

Monday, 8 December 2008

Christmas stockings

I've never really had a Christmas stocking so I thought I'd have a look for some handmade gems on Etsy and came across this bunch...

Clockwise from top left:

"eco stocking" by rikrak
"Days of Our Lives Merry Modernica Alexander Henry Ta Dot" by Corkyscookies
"Two Christmas Stockings II" by fashiontasticone
"Wool Felt Holiday Stocking by b. handmade designs" by rschreiner
"peace dove stocking in green" by 3rdlife
"Delightful Swinging Monkeys (suede) Christmas Stocking" by buckland
"Chic Black Stocking" by bebesniklefritz
"Personalized Pink and Green Floral Chenille Christmas Stocking" by withlovefromalabama

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Dribble bib

Dribble bib
Originally uploaded by JaneHostler

I made this dribble bib in the hope of catching some of the waterfall that constantly
flows from his mouth.
I've never used press studs before and now I want to add them to anything that moves!
You might recognise the material from here:

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Camilla Engman

I know I've mentioned Camilla Engman a few times in this blog (like here and here) but I don't think I've ever dedicated a post entirely to her work.

I was just perusing her Flickr updates (like the social networking stalker that I am) and was reminded of some of my favourite things I've seen of hers - I have one of these as my screensaver.

Camilla Engman: island3
Camilla Engman: island
Camilla Engman: island2

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Paloma's Nest - Etsy shop

This is one of those Etsy sellers that just keeps popping up. I love the simple, rustic style and natural colours. Perfect gift material really. I've started thinking about Christmas presents already and reckon some of these would be perfect. I love the idea of the Christmas decorations.

Paloma's Nest: JOY TO THE WORLD round text tile ornament
Paloma's Nest: set of 6 medallion ornaments in wooden box
Paloma's Nest: PEACE dove tiny text bowl
Visit Paloma's Nest Etsy shop >

Saturday, 8 November 2008


i know i know, i haven't written much lately so here's a summary;

Oli's first cold
Visit to grandparents
Freelance work
New cameraphone
My birthday
iPod nano!

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Saturday, 25 October 2008


Originally uploaded by JaneHostler

To me, these Gladioli ended up looking more beautiful when they were dead

Thursday, 23 October 2008

holly - Etsy shop

I bought these vinyl wall art decals a few weeks ago from Holly's shop on Etsy. I couldn't wait to get them up on Oli's walls. I think they look fantastic and I'm itching to get some more. They've got an addictive quality - it might be something to do with having never been allowed to put stickers on anything as a child. This is legal and looks wicked!

There's the set of 3 Small Bird Wall Decals, the Large Wood Owl Wall Decal and the Large Rocket Ship Wall Decal.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Back at it

This is the first thing I've made in ages. Since Oliver was born in fact.
Somewhat inspired by Laura Baxter, it's for a good friend and incorporates her two small daughter's initials.
I thought once they were old enough she could give them each their initial to wear, and she would be left to wear the 'twig' that represents the two of them.

Jane Gallagher
Jane GallagherIt's given me some ideas for new designs too.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

the big itch

I'm getting a real itch now to get back to creating.
Oli is now 12 weeks old and is in a great routine that means I could potentially have some time to put in to being crafty again.

I got a real urge to start drawing too which is bizarre as I can't draw and it's never really been my medium. I also keep finding myself arriving at blogs written by such creative and insirational people that it's making me drool with the endless possibilites of how I could be spending my time.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Monday, 6 October 2008

isak posters

There is still some empty wall space in Oliver's room so I've got my eye out for some stylish child friendly art to go up there.

These posters from fit the bill perfectly...

isak: 1-20 bird counting poster
isak: 1-10 counting poster trees
isak: abc alphabet poster trees

Friday, 3 October 2008

All new shiney Bristol

The centre of Bristol is now an entirely new thing to behold. And if you like to shop in chain stores then it will no doubt make you quiver with excitement - there are over 120 new shops.

In short, Bristol was heavily bombed during the war and 60 years later Cabot Circus was built...

Cabots CircusWe even have a Harvey Nicks which seems to be revered as a shopping temple unique from all other shopping temples and I'm not entirely sure why yet. The ironic thing though is that it's sat right where there used to be a pound shop.

Harvey NicholsWe also have an Apple store now which is a worrying prospect for our future financial situation

Apple store

Thursday, 2 October 2008

What to do

This morning I went to look at a possible nursery for Oli to join when I go back to work.

I can't actually believe how quickly that's come around.
When I was pregnant and looking towards my maternity leave, it felt like I was going to be away from work for ever. But now the months are starting to speed by and I need to make some decisions.

I'd initially planned to be away from work until Oli was at least 6 months old and then it would be down to how poor we were as to when I would return. Now the little chap is here though, I understand why people find it so hard to leave such a small person in the care of strangers (essentially).
I'll only really be happy leaving Oli when he's more of his own person and not so dependent. I hate picturing him just lying there with no stimulation or being ignored. I know that that's a worse case scenario and not likely to happen but still.

There are so many things to consider right now. Like whether to even return to my job or to take the opportunity to build up my personal creative empire. To be honest though, a potential £600 monthly childcare bill kind of dictates that I go back to a paying job!

I do still enjoy my job. And love that the first thing I do in the morning is open Photoshop. And I get paid for being creative.
And as much as I love to romatically picture myself in a studio space (oh to live like Camilla Engman), and spending my days with similar beings, I just don't think it's feasible. I'm not convinced it's the best time to become a starving artist. Then again you only live once! Oh I don't know.


Friday, 26 September 2008

90 years of Henning Koppel

In 2008 Georg Jensen celebrates the 90 years anniversary of the great master of form by launching a range of the very best of Danish Design.
Henning Koppel pitcherWhen I was studying for my silversmith qualification, I wrote an essay about Henning Koppel who was one of the designers working with well known Danish designer Georg Jensen.
Koppel not only designed striking organic style jewellery but also fantastically elegant and modern hollowware and cutlery. It was those pieces of his work that really inspired me at the time and had I been doing a full time course I would have spent a lot of time hammering and shaping metal in this vain.

Here are some things I did spend my time hammering and shaping...

Jane Gallagher: silver balls

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Misheard lyrics

If you ever feel like a good hearty laugh, you should look up some misheard lyrics.
My wrong/made-up lyrics have always been somewhat of a running joke in our house as I just love singing. To anything - right or wrong. So if it's not exactly clear what they're saying I'll just pick the closest sounding word whether it makes sense or not. A good example would be "We're Austin Music" i.e. "Lost in Music" by Sister Sledge. I guess there's no excuse for that one though considering it's the title of the bloody song!

You can't really be blamed though when listening, for example, to Pearl Jam. Eddie Vedder is a big giant mumbler (albeit a lovely one) so I think anything goes in that case. As proven hilariously by some of the ones listed on such as:

Ham apple pies
actual lyric

I'm still alive

The Beatles...

She's a big teaser
She took Miss Hathaway there
actual lyric
She's a big teaser
She took me half the way there

Led Zeppelin...

Got a hole in my glove
actual lyric
Gotta whole lotta love

The Eagles...

Decpition paint on ice
actual lyric
The pink champagne on ice

I had too heavy at my cycle gym
actual lyric
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim

HOURS of fun

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

It's nearly new camera time!

Ever since I got my first mobile phone it's been renewal time at Christmas. That meant I got a free toy for myself every year whilst braving the crowded streets doing my Christmas shopping.

Since they start incorporating cameras however, I've been growing more and more impatient as the year progresses, eager to get my mits on a better and better camera each year.
So I couldn't wait till the bitter end of my last contract to come up to upgrade my (by then) ancient 1.3 megapixel camera (V600i) to a 3.2 one (V800i) and so I forfeited my Christmas toy for last year and got in to a much longer term contract.

In fact the new contract felt it was going to end so far away in the future that I told myself never to think about upgrading again as I'd only disappoint myself at having been so impatient last time.
But it just occured to me last week that SURELY it's now been ages enough, so I checked and found out I can upgrade again as from the end of next month! woohoo! I'll be able to dump my now shite 3.2 megapixel camera for a massive 5 megapixel one.

But this is the best part... by then, the guy in the shop reckoned there should be an 8 megapixel camera available!


Monday, 15 September 2008

A lovely afternoon in Bristol

Oli and I have had a lovely afternoon stroll around the docks this afternoon.
Luckily that lurgy has just turned in to a cold so I am well and the weather is good (it's been raining here AAAAAAALL summer) and a slow wander in beautiful surroundings was just what the doctor ordered.
To top it off there was even a busking jazz trumpeter playing whilst I sat and enjoyed a coffee :)

Bristol city centre docks
What a lovely start to the week.
Tomorrow, Oli has his first set of jabs!

Friday, 12 September 2008

Another lurgy

Since the last month of my pregnacy, my body has been through the mill but has still yet to come out the other side. Just when I think I'm back up to par another ailment rudely slaps me round the face. I completely expected to be knocked about whilst I was pregnant and expected a recovery period but it feels like I'm the sticky fly paper to all the bugs that are within a square metre of me.

I felt like logging these ailments as I'm starting to loose track so consider this my illness diary (I'll understand if you don't want to read it).

When i was about 6 weeks off my due date I noticed a lump in one of my breasts which grew and became red over a couple of weeks. It all pointed to being milk related, being that I was pregnant and so close to the due date, so the doctor put me on antibiotics thinking it could be Mastitis (something you only normally get once you start breast feeding).
The main priority was to have a working breast so I could feed the baby, so after the pills didn't work the doctor wanted me to see a breast specialist before the baby arrived. However the NHS being what it is meant that the soonest (even after the doctor put in an urgent referal) I could get an appointment was for two weeks time which actually took me three days PAST my due date. Monday 14th July. However that turned out to be the day that my midwife sent me to the hospital with preeclampsia so I missed the appointment.

The preeclampsia then became the big issue. Because of this, the birth became a worry for the hospital and once they got my blood tests back and saw I had 'abnormal' readings they were more worried. The put me in a high dependency room where I had fantastic care from some wonderful women. They induced me as quickly as they could and checked my blood pressure every hour (even through the night) and had me on all sorts of drips as well as a catheter. I was on pills to keep the blood pressure down, I was on a drip to stop those pills from making me fit, I was on an inducement drip and had two monitors on the baby. I couldn't get off the bed basically. I then I started getting contractions.

In brief, they hurt. A lot. The Tens machine was crap. The gas and air was good but then became less so!

After the inducement stopped progressing (even through all that pain? go figure) they wanted to whack the drip right up (essentially turning it to 11) so gave me an epidural. This then started making the baby unhappy so they decided a cesarean would be the best option being that we needed to get the baby out as quickly as possible whilst keeping my blood pressure down.

So that's how Oli made his way in to the world. Luckily a very healthy boy.

The problem with the breast lump then raised it's head again because it's location meant that Oli was physically unable to feed from that breast. So I decided to express the milk which then made the lump angry and created a very nasty absess which then needed urgent minor surgery. All of this happened before my rearranged appointment, but lets not discuss the NHS right now!
So to cut an already long story short I have only been feeding Oli from one breast so you can imagine how my breasts look - like a before and after!

ANYWAY since then the smallest of ailments seem to have hit me really hard. From ongoing embarrassing things that I won't mention, to things like a ripped nail that became infected and started tracking up my arm, to a sore throat that got so bad I couldn't swallow. Every other week it's been something else. I'm not sure if it's because of general rundown-ness and then lack of sleep for my body to recouperate, or whether the amount of pills I've been on has made my body even weaker.
For somebody that's never normally ill though it's a horrible shock. Especially when you need all the energy you can get to look after your new baby.

Hopefully, my current lurgy is on it's way out in time for a nice weekend with my new family.

UPDATE: Turns out I had Mastitis.

Sunday, 7 September 2008


I'm wearing my old jeans! 7 and a half weeks after Oli was born and I'm wearing my pre pregnancy jeans! As Jimmy Savile would say... "How's about that then?"

After being the same size since the age of about 12 (I still wear the belt from my Brownies uniform for crying out load), it's was a very strange experience during pregnancy to watch my face getting fat and my clothes gradually getting smaller and smaller. Even the sleeves! And my shoes.

I can't believe it. That means that my thighs (that had grown to rub together) and ass have now returned to their former state.

It is a slightly early celebration though as the jeans are actually hipsters and sit below the tummy bulge that is still there :)

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Wooden knobs

I came across this great idea a couple of months ago via a series of internet coincidences.

Firstly I was on Camilla Engman's blog and had to stop at this picture to admire 'The Dots'.

Camilla Engman
I was then reading Skinny laMinx's blog and followed a link to a shop in London called twentytwentyone only to find them for sale on there!

The Dots
A bargain at only £89.00!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Gift goodness for Oli

Look what my blog buddy over at Modern Classics very generously sent Oli as a welcome gift!

Elephant print
Nursery Rhyme BookplatesThank you Jaimee!

You can visit Jaimee's Etsy shop Modern Classics: Kids here >

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Little girls clothes - Etsy shops

Ben has always complained about how much choice woman have compared to men when it comes to shopping for clothes, and since I've been keeping an eye on all the children's clothes on Etsy I would have to agree.

Look at all these gorgeous dresses...

Clockwise from top left:

'Reversible Joon Toons Flower Dress' by Joon Toons
'Follow your heart - linen dress' by syko
'tulip' by mette
'Linen Pinafore' by PAMELATANG
'Rainbow Windowpanes Infant Dress' by April Scott
'baby smock' by belkemp

Friday, 29 August 2008

Jewellery stands

I always have my eye out for decent jewellery stands so here are a few that shine out...

Jewellery stands
Clockwise from top left:

"Japanese Cherry Tree" by TimothyAdamDesigns (on Etsy)
"Boudoir jewellery stands" on plumo
"Vintage jewellery display" on plumo
"Silver Jewellery Tree" by Menu (on
"Red Dragon Earring Shrine" by psoriginal (on Etsy)

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Funny story

An excerpt taken from the BBC News site >
A man who chose "Lloyds is pants" as his telephone banking password said he found it had been changed by a member of staff to "no it's not".

Steve Jetley, from Shrewsbury, said he chose the password after falling out with Lloyds TSB over insurance that came free with an account.

He said he was then banned from changing it back or to another password of "Barclays is better".

The bank apologised and said the staff member no longer worked there.

Mr Jetley said he first realised his security password had been changed when a call centre staff member told him his code word did not match with the one on the computer.

"I thought it was actually quite a funny response," he said.

I tried 'Barclays is better' and that didn't go down too well either
Steve Jetley

"But what really incensed me was when I was told I could not change it back to 'Lloyds is pants' because they said it was not appropriate.

"I asked if it was 'pants' they didn't like, and would 'Lloyds is rubbish' do? But they didn't think so.

"So I tried 'Barclays is better' and that didn't go down too well either.

"The rules seemed to change, and they told me it had to be one word, so I tried 'censorship', but they didn't like that..."
Read the full story >

4 generations

Four generations of my family: me, my nan, my mom and my son.

We went back home for a friends wedding this bank holiday weekend (congratulations Maria & Alan!) where Oli met the most amount of people yet in his short 6 weeks, including some of my oldest and best friends.

It ended up being a bit of a full-on weekend for our first time away with Oli but he was so well behaved and met lots of important people in our lives, one of which was my 95 year old nan.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Pistachio Press - Etsy shop

I just received my latest Etsy purchase which is another set of gorgeous blank cards from Pistachio Press on Etsy.

Pistachio Press: Beautiful blue pattern
I had bought this set in my initial buying up of cards but soon ran out. I think I should be buying in bigger batches to be honest - I'm getting through them pretty fast.

Pistachio Press: Eyelet laceThey all so lovely I don't really like giving them away!

Visit the Pistachio Press Etsy shop >

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Those mystery seeds

Remember when I wrote about those mystery seeds?

Well, they did grow, only they were still a complete mystery to me.
I was sure I'd harvested them from either a Poppy, Allium or Aquilegia but it soon became apparent to be none of these. In fact, it looked like i'd actually just grown some weeds.

Chenopodium album
And it would turn out that's exactly what I'd done!
Well, it's apparently "commonly regarded as a weed" and is called Chenopodium album.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Lucie Sheridan

A few posts ago I mentioned a local illustrator here in Bristol called Lucie Sheridan who's work I really love.

She's done some great illustrations of local landmarks such as...

Park Street

Lucie Sheridan: Park Street
Bath Crescent

Lucie Sheridan: Bath Crescent
Three Lamp Junction

Lucie Sheridan: Three Lamp JunctionThis is my favourite, not just because the Three Lamps Junction is local to my neighbourhood but as with all the images in this series, I love the colours she uses.

Something about this one also reminds me of one of my other favourite artists Matte Stephens.

She also does lovely images such as these...

Growing Love

Lucie Sheridan: Growing Love
Peacock Dress

Lucie Sheridan: Peacock Dress
Check Lucie's site out here >