Saturday, 24 November 2012


What a week! When starting Literary Emporium I never thought I would be completely rushed off my feet with orders but this week has been mental!

I’ve hit a major order milestone on my Not on The Street shop and I’m so very grateful to all my customers for giving me such a positive start to my craft business.

Not on the High Street warned all sellers of a large increase in orders in the run up to Christmas. They weren’t lying! This is orders from last weekend. The Post Office loved me on Monday!

I’m still working full time at the moment so my evenings have mainly consisted making, packaging, and everything else that comes with running a business. It’s no exaggeration when I say I haven’t had a free minute spare during the day.

Luckily I was able to put the man to work and he’s been amazing with helping me with everything from setting up a stamping production line.... making me lovely food.

I've only got four days left of employment and then I’m on my own! So despite having no time to sit down at the moment, I’m so pleased that it’s going as well as it is. So thank you to all those literature geeks out there who have bought items from my shop – I’m very grateful :)

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Mixing old with new

In my last post I mentioned that we have got a house sorted in Frome for our big move in December. It’s a lovely little terraced house with a garden but there’s one tiny negative – it’s completely unfurnished. The flat we currently live in is furnished so we have the expensive task of kitting out a house with new furniture. Whilst this is a daunting prospect I’m going to give myself a challenge to furnish a house on a shoe string budget which means I will have to get a bit creative.

 eBay and Gumtree are your friend when hunting for cheap furniture. I managed to buy this solid pine box for a really reasonable price on eBay. I’m not a fan of the orange pine colour but 3 coats of cream paint later and it looks much better (luckily my Dad is very handy with a paint brush and kindly painted it for me although I will be trying to do future painting projects myself – gulp!)


This TV stand was saved from being thrown away so we got it completely free!!  The chips just need to be painted over and then it will be perfect!


We took a trip to Ikea to look for cheap furniture inspiration.

Our one splurge is going to be this beautiful metal framed bed. I think it will be one of those classic pieces of furniture that will last forever.

 Hopefully the mixture of old and new furniture won’t look like too much of a mismatch but I’ll keep you updated with any bargain pieces.

 With only 6 weeks until Christmas I have given my shop a bit of a festive makeover...

The Christmas shopping rush has definitely started and I feel honoured and flattered when someone chooses one of my Literary Emporium creations as a Christmas present for someone :)

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Quarter of a Century

Bonfire Night was also my birthday and as the fireworks exploded outside, I felt very miserable about being quarter of a century old. This is the first birthday were I have wanted to decrease my age instead of increase it! I think it’s because I’m now nearer to 30 than I am to 20 and I officially waved goodbye to my teenage / university years. Anyway, I soon got over my dark mood as I was thoroughly spoilt by everyone.

 My mum made me this amazing birthday cake inspired by Lorraine Pascale’s ‘Let them eat cake, cake.’

 And yes, it tasted as good as it looked. I didn’t last long.
I got some lovely presents including:

Cath Kidston stationery for my new office (not to be used until we move house and I actually have an office).

Cath Kidston iPhone cover

Cath Kidston birthday card (there’s definitely a theme going on here) and huge tub of Jelly Bellys (I love them so much but I have to pick out all of the liquorice and coffee flavoured ones).

The Craft Business Handbook by Alison McNicol – I hope to pick up so useful tips from this. I might do a book review on it if anyone thinks this would be useful. I’ve added this to my reading pile but there are currently about 5 books in front of it so it may be a while before I do the review.

Ok, so this present may seem random but it is so useful. It’s a wooden Royal Mail size guide for posting letters. It’s beautifully crafted with all the measurements and will look lovely on my desk (yes, I am obsessed with this desk/office situation!). Ian said he bought it off of eBay, so if you want one (every well stocked office needs one!) then search on there.
In other news, we had confirmation from the letting agents that we’ve got the house in Frome that we wanted! I’m absolutely over the moon as the pessimist in me was convinced that it was all going to go wrong. Finally having somewhere to live is one big fat tick off of the to do list. We get the keys in the beginning of December so I’m sure I will write a new house blog post sometime after.
This week, one of my top sellers in my shop has been my Oscar Wilde inspired glasses necklace. This is also the necklace that I love wearing most myself as it goes with absolutely everything I wear (even this bargain £6 Primarni jumper). Get your glasses necklace here before they sell out (I only have 5 left!).


Saturday, 3 November 2012

Catch up

This week has mostly been spent catching up on orders from and making a mess in the lounge while I try and package items without having any space to do so (see previous post!!)

I’m really pleased with my sales from so far and I hope it continues in the run up to Christmas. I quite worried about a decrease in sales in January as this will be the point when I will no longer have a job (or any money!). I’ve only got four weeks left in my current job so I’m squirreling away any extra money in anticipation of being destitute in January. I’ll get the move and Christmas out of the way and then look for a part-time job to supplement my Literary Emporium income.

On the subject of the big move, me and the boyfriend went the Frome to view some houses and we think we’ve found somewhere. Finding somewhere to rent has been a lot harder than we first thought as for every house available there are around three other people interested in renting it! So fingers crossed for the house that we want!

When we were in Frome we came across the Garden Cafe, a lovely little place which seemed to be very popular with the locals.

As a vegetarian I often find that the veggie options on the menu are quote uninspiring but the all the food in the Garden Cafe is free of meat (and in some cases vegan) and their menu is great!

We both had the all-day veggie breakfast which was incredible. I ate every lat bite. I can definitely see breakfast at the Garden Cafe becoming a regular occurrence when I’m a resident of Frome.

I didn’t have a chance to wander around and take photos as we were busy viewing houses. I did snap this pretty little side street which was hidden away. I’d like to live down there please.

Other things that have made me happy this week...

Little early birthday present and a lovely letter from a very good friend that I don’t see as often as I like. Nothing beats getting a handwritten letter through the post.

Vintage penguin book about cats. Penguin books and cats are two of my favourite things so this was an amazing find (on eBay). I was originally going to sell in Literary Emporium but I think it will work its way into my bookcase instead.


Designing new things – this necklace features a little ships wheel charm and I love the quote by Louisa May Alcott. This will be available to buy from my shops later this week. Hope you like it.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Office space (or lack of)

As you may know, I’m moving to Somerset in December, and one of my specifications for my new house is to have some sort of space to work, make jewellery and pack orders in. At the moment we live in a 2 bedroom flat, and although it is quite big, I have no room for any of my Literary Emporium stuff. Every inch of the living room is crammed with boxes, supplies and books!


This is my dresser current storage space for all my business stuff! It may not look very businessy but it has been a life saver when trying to find home for all my stuff (and it was a bargain eBay find. But now I have outgrown it and the drawers are overflowing!


These Cath Kidston tins are probably meant for the kitchen but they are used for all my jewellery making supplies.

Cath Kidston Tins

This lovely Alice in Wonderland tin was a charity shop find by my Mum and is used for all random bits and bobs like glue and ink.

Alice in Wonderland

 I don’t have a desk and every evening I take over the dining table to make and pack orders. It’s not very time efficient and it makes a mess!


So I am aiming to create an office / work space area in my new house. I’ve got a bit carried away on Pinterest looking for inspiration!


One can only dream....

If any of you have a nice desk area / work space, or any ideas of how to design a cheap office do let me know!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Exciting news...

In my last blog post I mentioned that I had some exciting news to tell you...

I’m very pleased to announce that a range of Literary Emporium products are now available to buy from Not on the High Street! is the leading online market place for creative business and also one of my favourite websites so I’m absolutely honoured to my selling my products on there.

Pride and Prejudice Confetti

With 500,000 monthly visitors to their website, I’m hoping that selling on will give me the boost I need if I’m to give up my full time job to focus on Literary Emporium. I’ve had about 8 sales since I went live this week and I’m hoping things will pick up more in the run up to Christmas.

 If anyone is interested in starting their own home-based / craft business, I will be blogging about my experience in the coming months so keep checking back for updates.

There are some amazing sellers on there so be sure to browse the site for Christmas shopping inspiration – I know I will!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Giveaway winner!

Just a quick post to announce the winner of my Oscar Wilde Pocket mirror blog giveaway.


Drum roll please...

And the winner is...
Gemma Barret! An email is on its way to you to get your address details :)

Thank you very much for all your entries and keep checking back for more blog giveaways, I hope to do another one soon!

P.S I’ve got some exciting news to tell you but I’ll save that for another blog post :)


Saturday, 13 October 2012

New challenge

This week has been very busy in my Etsy shop and many evenings have been spent with my table resembling a little production line.

Necklace Making


Rubber Stamp
As someone who works full time as well as running an online shop, I’m finding that time is a luxury I don’t have. But all this is set to change....

In two months time I will be embarking on a completely new journey and leaving behind Dorset to move to Somerset. My partner has been offered a new job which means we will have to relocate. I’m seizing this opportunity to do something I have always wanted to do – concentrate on running my own business. I’m quitting my job in charity fundraising (a job that I love and will be sad to leave) to head into the unknown. So I’m faced with the daunting and exciting prospect of making Literary Emporium a success.

We hope to live here...




 A little town in Somerset called Frome. Frome is famous for its thriving arts and crafts scene so it’s the perfect place for me to live if I’m starting a craft business. It’s got loads of independent shops and cafes along with being very pretty with lots of countryside. You know when you visit a place and you can feel some sort of positive atmosphere about it, well I had that feeling.

Millie Moon, Frome


So my current ‘to do’ list is:
1.     Look for houses in Frome

2.     Make Literary Emporium a success

I’ll let you know how it goes!
P.S If you haven’t already entered my giveaway to win an Oscar Wilde pocket mirror click here

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Mirror Mirror - Blog Giveaway

I’m very pleased to be doing my first blog giveaway! But let me first tell you a bit about the item up for grabs. 

Browsing through Pinterest the other week I came across this quote by Oscar Wilde and I decided that I needed to create something with it on.

After giving it a lot of thought I came up with a design for an Oscar Wilde Pocket mirror. This quote reminds us that everyone is unique and what better time to remember this than when you’re looking in the mirror. Here’s the finished design! I hope you like it!


Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. The giveaway will run for 10 days so will end on Tuesday 16th October. Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway