My blog is moving…

Hi all,

I just wanted to let you know that I have moved my blog to: http://www.kerdesigns.co.uk

Hopefully you’ll join me on my new blog! 🙂

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Chocolate and coconut milk cupcakes

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As I’ve used up all my scents and my orders are still somewhere in the postal system, I decided to make a soap using normal everyday ingredients but make it a fun soap.

To do this, I decided on cupcakes as I love soap cupcakes and think they look so good.

I wanted either the base or the icing to be as white as possible and as I don’t have any titanium dioxide I decided to swap some water with coconut milk for my liquid and tried to use lighter coloured oils, so rather than my soap being Olive Oil heavy like it normally is, I switched some for Canola Oil. I added cocoa powder to the base to give it a ‘chocolatie’ look and a slight chocolate scent.

Nothing was added to the ‘frosting’ as I wanted this to be as light as possible.

I’ve always had issues with the ‘frosting’ part though as I can never seem to get it right, but thankfully it doesn’t look too bad this time, although I think I should have made it much thicker as it was still quite soft when I started frosting.

Enjoy!! 🙂

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I had some batter left over from the frosting and as I hadn’t made it too thick, I was able to pour some into a little loaf mould to make some little creamy natural bars.

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Felt hearts

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One of the products I showed the shop were my felt hearts which they have asked me to provide so I have been busy getting them ready. The longest and hardest part was deciding how to package them as I wanted customers to be able to see them easily, but that was also in keeping with my business and that was elegant looking, but not too fussy.

These are very easy to make and to making a couple of changes gives the hearts a different look so they don’t all look exactly the same.

image  This is all you need to make these lovely felt hearts.

I have used beads to decorate the front of the heart, but you can use buttons or anything you have in your stash.

My Brother Scanncut was used to cut the hearts out (I cannot cut neatly to save my life) and used beads and buttons and ribbon I had in my stash.

A smaller heart out of red felt was cut and a few beads were stitched onto the front. The red heart was attached to the top piece of the white heart using blanket stitch.

Front of felt heart

Front of felt heart

Ribbon was fastened to the back of the heart using very small white stitches then the bottom piece of the white felt was attached to the top piece using blanket stitch. I started at the top by the ribbon then stitched all the way round, leaving a small gap at the side to add some stuffing. I finished the blanket stitch and make a couple of small stitches through the top of the heart and ribbon and tied in a small knot.

imageThese are a few of the different designs I have made, I hope they sell! 🙂

K.E.R Designs and Cosmetics are in a shop!!!!!

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I mentioned the other day that I was going to be selling some of my items in a shop. Well that has now happened. It’s just a little shop that sells books, craft items etc at my sons school but i’m really pleased. They sell good quality products and are always on the look out for items to add to the shop.

At the moment I am selling some of my soaps and felt owls (tutorial will be in a blog coming soon) but they have asked me to provide some examples of luxury cards for customers to order as well as some felt hearts (tutorial coming 6th May) so I have been concentrating on getting those items made and hopefully they will do well! 🙂

My little hearts ready to head to the shop

My little hearts ready to head to the shop

Nearly time to get soapmaking!!

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This is just a short blog today to say how excited I am. My first order from Bramble Berry is nearly here!!!

I was getting so frustrated at not being able to get the supplies I need out here and desperate to get on with my soap making as I have started supplying a little shop (more on this in my next post) that I had even started looking at the cost of flights to Dubai for the day just so I could pick up some fragrance oils, but I popped onto USPS and my order has cleared Saudi customs!!! I know it still has to actually be delivered, but it’s a start! 🙂

Nearly here.....

Nearly here…..

I think it’s safe to say I’ll definitely be ordering from Bramble Berry again. From the very beginning when I was first enquiring as to whether they would ship out here, they were so helpful, even providing me with a list of Fragrances they can ship overseas.

My first card design for K.E.R Designs

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I was asked to make a birthday card for someone’s wife. They wanted a larger card than I normally make (I don’t have envelopes in the larger sizes) so decided to make a pretty little box for it to go in.

I wanted the card to look quite elegant so decided to use black as the main colour of the card and stuck to just a couple of colours.

The box was a bit of a pain to make though, I tried to rush it and wasn’t really paying attention so ended up having to make the box a fair few times to get it right! I made the box the wrong side, then made the bottom far too small compared to the lid, I cut all the side tags off and numerous other mistakes, but finally, I got it right!!! 🙂

To make the box lid a little bit special, I made a little tassel which I threaded with some beads and pasted to the box lid.

 

Just for you...

Just for you…

New name…………

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Whilst we were on holiday I had a look at the types of soaps some of the shops were selling as well as the packaging and prices. Doing this got me thinking about the name of my business. When I chose Little Items Boutique as a name, I chose it as I wanted to show that I made a number of different, good quality items and felt the name showed that, however after talking it through with my husband, I’ve now realised that it isn’t the right name for what I do (thankfully, as no one really knows the name, it’s the perfect time to change it)!

I wanted a name that shows what I do, but without confusing customers. It needed to be specific however as I enjoy making a number of different things such as soaps and cards and although I really want to concentrate at the moment on the soap making side, I still want to spend some time making a go of card making and cross-stitch hangings so we decided on a name that I think enables me to cover the different aspects of what I do, but also sounds like I’m serious about what I do, so for the soapmaking side, we came up with: K.E.R Cosmetics

The idea behind this was that K.E.R are my initials and by using them across all my different products, it will eventually enable me to have a proper brand name that covers everything I make. K.E.R Cosmetics will give me the space to expand my soap making into other products such as bath salts, lotions and so on, and K.E.R Designs will enable me to sell my other products such as cards etc all under the K.E.R umberella.

That’s the dream anyway, so we’ll see. I’m still toying with the name but I do really like it. Now to come up with a Logo……..

If you have any thoughts on the name, I’d be interested in hearing them.

Bye for now 🙂

Work + holiday

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As I write this, we are one and a half weeks through a two week holiday to Malyasia and Singapore. I came here when I was a child so it was lovely to come back some twenty years later with my son and husband. One of my memories was visiting the elephants so we definitely had to visit them, but it’s very different from when I went as you are now no longer allowed to ride them, but it was still absolutely amazing!

Feeding time!!

Feeding time!!

Mmm, lovely bath.

Mmm, lovely bath.

Yummy, dinner!! :-)

Yummy, dinner!! 🙂

A bit of space from Saudi was definitely needed, mainly just to have some normality but also for me to be able to go outside without having to be covered up. I didn’t think it would bother me that much but it’s surprising how nice it felt for me to be able to wear shorts and a t-shirt on a hot day without having to cover it all with an Abaya.

Anyway, although we are on holiday, I have found I’ve been using my downtime to work on ideas for soaps and cards. This is partly due to reading The Soap Queen blogs. She really inspired me to be more organised and to make sure you plan, well in advance. This is definitely something I need to work on as my Mothers Day cards and soaps, by fluke, managed to sell well, but if I had been more organised, I don’t think I would have been working late in the night making cards last minute and I would have made soaps that were actually relevant to Mothers Day.

So, with this in mind I have downloaded free office software onto my iPad (I seem to be glued to it at the moment) and I have been coming up with receipe ideas for soap cupcakes, soap cakes and ‘Man’ soap. I’ve ordered some amazing fragrances from Brambleberry that I think would work brilliantly, so fingers crossed, they should arrive soon. However no matter how much I try and plan and be organised, I am very reliant on my supplies from outside Saudi and it seems to be very hit and miss about what actually arrives. I ordered card supplies a good couple of months ago, and I’m still waiting!! I suppose I could start ordering a year in advance……….

Well, I suppose it’s time to go now, so thanks for reading.

P.s. If anyone has any advice on how they keep organised, it would be greatly appreciated 🙂

Having a play with Faux stitching

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In my earlier post I mentioned being into simple looking cards at the moment, along with this, I have also started having a play with faux stitched cards as I really like the look so I decided to try and incorporate both types of design into one card. It also meant I could get back into using my scanncut as I haven’t really been using it much recently.

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Stitched Easter Chicks

Here I am having a little play making Easter cards incorporating both styles. I used the scanncut to cut out the little chick as I am terrible at cutting!!! I don’t think they look too bad for a first try but I’m not sure if they are missing something. I just need to figure out what….. 🙂

Simple yet stylish

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I’ve been making cards on and off for a couple of years now, but recently I seem to have found the style I like. They are very simplistic, and yet I think they look really nice and stylish (although I may be a bit biased…..)

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The design is simple, but just by changing the colour gives the cards a whole different look, and changing the stamp design means they can have a specific meaning, or can be used for anything. All you need is a blank card, I used white A4 card and trimed to size, then layered the card using white card and coloured card of your choice keeping the lines crisp and sharp.

I also think that by having small boarders of colour are what give the cards just a little pop of something, but doesn’t detract from the actual look of the card, instead, it ends up with quite an elegant feel. I hope you like them 🙂