Lettie Belle

Lettie Belle
The world of a designer and Mummy.

Monday, 30 December 2013


Isla, or Isla Boo as we call her in the family is now 18 months old. When she was born, Scarlett had a hard time accepting her, the noise seemed to horrify her! Once Scarlett started Nursery a year ago, their relationship became a bit easier. 

They are both extremely head strong, which inevitably leads to big rows, usually started by Isla. As can only say a few words, she expresses herself with the odd slap if frustrated. She has a much thicker skin than Scarlett, and gets cross, and moves onto the next quickly. Scarlett on the other hand is very sensitive and cries quite easily. 

Many of Scarlett's school friends think Isla is cute and funny, which seems to have shown Isla to her in a different light. They often wrestle on the floor, while laughing their heads off, so I leave them to it (as long as it remains a game!).

In the last couple of weeks, we've noticed their relationship has changed, and a proper friendship is blossoming. 

Being at home for the Christmas break means Isla and Scarlett are spending a lot of time together! Rather than annoy each other, they are playing together properly and (gasp) Scarlett is sharing toys willingly and even helping Isla. She's also telling Isla she's proud of her, which is very sweet.
For some siblings these might be givens, but this is a big step forward here.

These two little people with huge personalities, amaze me every day.....one way or another! 

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas!


This is our first Christmas in our new house, and it now really feels like home. We've started some new traditions. These include, leaving sparkly stars and Father Christmas' snacks in the fireplace, and a treasure hunt of small gifts. This is our version of a 'Christmas Eve box'. The girls loved it, and the running about got rid of some Christmas hysteria!

Having children, or having some in the family renews the Christmas excitement I find. It is also a time to remember loved ones who are no longer with us. We all have someone we miss terribly. I miss my father who died nearly 9 years ago. I was very close to him, and Christmas was always a fun time in our household. As I got older, I saw choosing his present as a challenge. It had to be funny, witty or a bit silly.

My finest hour had to be the Christmas before he got ill, when I bought him the singing 'Karma Chameleon' phone from a BT advert. It was totally ridiculous, and also hilarious!

It's magical to see his humour in my daughters' personalities, especially at this time of year. 

Wishing you a fabulous Christmas, and very best wishes for the New Year,

Laura X

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Chaos Rules!

The end of term chaos is in full swing here, and Friday can't come soon enough! Scarlett is exhausted, but hanging in there, and refuses to miss school despite having a nasty cough. With all the orders I've been working on (for which I'm very grateful!), the house is a mess, and Christmas Day is suddenly on the horizon.

I've decided to keep my cool and enjoy the run-up. We have so many lovely get togethers, and activities planned between now and New Year. It's time to look forward to our first Christmas in our new house, and if I do feel stressed by the silly little things in life.....I just look at this crazy kid, and laugh! 

Here's Isla in the queue at Ikea today.....entertaining the masses as usual. 


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Hurry Up And Wait

This year has been relentless, full of changes, and a couple of unexpected twists and turns. Nothing good comes easy, as the saying goes, and this year has definitely proved that!

I was worried that two house moves in quick succession (first was to my mum's between house sale, and purchase) would be very unsettling for Scarlett (4). Especially as we moved in two days before her first day in Reception. She has adapted brilliantly and loves our new house, neighbourhood and school. This was helped greatly by being at the school's nursery (we got the bus everyday when living 6 miles away) and my Mum living up the road.

In nursery Scarlett didn't have any interest in writing her name,or any other words! It seemed to be a confidence issue. I encouraged, but didn't want to pressure her. She was only 3, and with a late June Birthday one of the younger ones!! I was more bothered about her getting on ok socially and making friends. 

Even in September she didn't want to write anything at home, but I knew she was practising at school. She does her 'S' backwards, but can write her name now, as well as sentences.She loves reading, and picking out words on signs etc.

On Sunday I found her sat at the table, writing Christmas cards to her class! It was a moment of absolute pride and joy that she had chosen to do it. We did them together, and even drew a picture for each one to put in the card. She still has a fair few to go! 

It reminded me that all this pressure on 4 year olds to do homework, read and write means nothing, until they choose to do it. It's so important not to put them off and make it fun. The work/life balance conundrum really does start young these days.

Scarlett started swimming and ballet in September. I was concerned it might all be too much, but again, she is trying her very best at both, and improving at swimming every week. Most importantly she enjoys both greatly. Her ballet class is filled with friends, and is another highlight of the week! 

I'm so proud of her throwing herself into everything she does, yet taking it all in her stride! I must however mention the tiredness, oh the tiredness which has resulted in some pretty bad behaviour. We've improved that with strict early bedtimes in the week, and limiting play dates. Along with new skills, school also seems to bring a wealth of attitude. Still, I'm focussing on the achievements and hoping everything else is a 'phase'!

All the changes were well worth it, though I'm hoping for a more sedate year 
in 2014.....fat chance, but never a dull moment. 

Friday, 6 December 2013

Christmas Happiness

So I think we've established that I'm a big fan of Christmas, especially family traditions, and making decorations. 

Decorating the tree with the girls was fun, despite 18 month old Isla shouting 'ballball' as she lobbed baubles across the room. Needless to say anything precious is safely near the top of the tree!

Here are a few areas in the house that we've made festive. I went a bit 1980s nostalgic in the playroom and put up tinsel along the curtain rail, had to be done when Nick was out (he's a member of the anti-tinsel brigade). I tend to add decorations that we've made right up to the 25th, any excuse to create!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Festive Vintage Button Decorations

After a short blog break, (thanks to mix of heavy work load and poorly/teething little ones) we are back and excited about the festive season! In between creating bespoke orders, I've been making Christmas decorations. I love the run up to Christmas, and have always been er, particular about how I decorate the house and tree! My sister will tell you that when I was in charge of decorating the tree as a child, I directed the placement of each bauble and drove her crazy. I have mellowed greatly, though may still 'rearrange' the tree when the girls are in bed! I would call the outcome 'eclectic mishmash' in style, and completely different each year. I think that putting out home made decorations year after year, combined with shop bought ones makes for a personal and unique feel. Since having Scarlett and Isla, I feel justified in putting the tree up at the beginning of December, rather than the week before Christmas as we used to, you know, for the kids (ahem). Making decorations is a great craft activity for them, and they love rediscovering their masterpieces year after year.

So far we've just put up garlands and adorned some corners of the house, while we wait for the tree to be delivered......then it's time to get serious!

Here is our hallway, with our beloved advent calendar and a few other bits. Hanging from the staircase are five ornaments I just made using felt and some of my vintage button stash. They are so easy!
1- Cut out two circles of felt, any size. I drew around a bowl. You could also do a different shape.
2- Stitch on buttons or beads to cover front of one felt circle. It doesn't matter what the back looks like as will be hidden. I grouped the buttons roughly by colour, but a mix would look great too.
3-Cut out a circle of card, about a centimetre smaller than felt circle.
4-Place card circle in between felt circles, and stitch around the edges. This could be a blanket stitch, or running stitch, in same coloured or contrasting thread.
5-Use ribbon, string or wool to hang

Let me know if you make any, I'll be sharing more home made decorations very soon!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

New Wall Adornments

Our new wall adornments feature one of our best selling motifs: Owls! Each is hand stitched onto organic cotton, with leather and eco-fi felt details. These look great hung as a set, or individually and are made to order. They are framed by an embroidery hoop, and hang very easily as they are very light. We think they are perfect for a Woodland themed nursery, or a child's bedroom. A unique, hand stitched gift to be enjoyed, and treasured forever. Any of our many designs can be made into a wall adornment like these, just get in touch to discuss your idea, lettiebelle@gmail.com

Set of Owl wall adornments, £70

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Transformation Thursday - Living Room Progress

When we viewed this house, I initially thought this room would be a great playroom. However, on a follow up viewing, it was clear that having the playroom at the back of the house was a much better plan! Our last living room was on the first floor of our town house, it was very long but didn't feel wide enough and wasn't very cosy.

This room is an unusual shape, which works nicely and creates a welcoming space. Our sofas are not ideal (husband's purchase for his first flat many years ago), and I cannot stand them, but for now they will have to stay. In time we will be investing in some lovely grey fabric sofas from Habitat. Until then, I add cushions to the leather ones hoping to hide them a bit!We purchased new furniture, rug, and curtains for this room as we wanted a completely new feel to our old house. I love grey and pink together, though it has to be the right shades of both to work! I love the parquet floor, which I think I may have mentioned once or twice before....

Initially, this room had a large gas fireplace and surround, which we ripped out straight away. We stripped all the 1980's style wallpaper. A coat of white paint, as in other rooms, did wonders and made it easy to add decorative elements. The ceiling still needs painting, among other jobs. This room is lovely to sit in every evening, and having the playroom means it stays neat most of the time! There are some old folding doors which can make it one room, rather than leading straight to dining room (see below). We never shut these, as the flow of the rooms is really nice with them open.

Below are some before and after photos of the living room, what do you think?