Monday, 10 December 2012

Busy Busy Busy

Hands up if you think I am the worst blogger alive! I am so hopeless, I keep forgetting that I started this blog and that I need to write on it regularly.. 

Anyways, I thought I would share some pictures of all the things that have been keeping be so busy lately!

Miss Miranda is one of the dolls that I have created recently and sold in my Hand-Made shop

I Love Hand-Made! It has been a fantastic process setting up and selling on there! Here is the link:, pop on over and have a looksee at all the gorgeousness available <3 

On the weekend just gone we celebrated my daughters 5th Birthday Party (her birthday isn't actually for another week but since it is so close to Christmas we had her party early). Here are a couple of pictures!

Double Barrel White Chocolate Mud Cake with Butterscotch Frosting made by the amazing Chelle H. xx

Gorgeous Cupcake fondant cake topper Made by Chelle H. xx

Cupcake Party Favors

I had to make 30 of these buggers! Do you know how long it takes to cut cellophane into squares and wrap 30 round cupcake cases filled with a few lollies and Smarties? I think it took me approximately 3 to 4 hours! I don't think I ever want to see another cupcake wrapper again!

I have also been busy with a few personal crafty creations! 

I made this T-Shirt and matching hair clip for my daughters Kindy Graduation (Shocking picture sorry, but it is super cute on her!)

This T-Shirt I made for the kids Christmas Concert.. I had found a couple of templates on Pinterest and liked elements of both so I kind of meshed them together to create something new! The original template links are : and
My daughter loves it, she wants to wear it to Kindy in the morning! I love making things my kids love!

Since we have established that I am a lousy blogger I think I will leave it at that and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I may as well add Happy Easter too while I'm at it since we don't know when my next blog might be! hehe.. then again, I could surprise us all and turn this into a regular thing lol  xxx

Thursday, 7 June 2012

What is 'Rest'?

I wonder if Doctors are really serious when they tell mothers to rest? Surely they are internally laughing at the very idea, right? Because I don't think I know a single mother out there that can actually follow that advice!

For 3 weeks now I have been "under the weather" .. Just when I think I am over it, WHAM! It decides to knock me back on my butt! I am almost positive these germs are having a lot of fun at my expense. I don't know how many times I have sent them the message that I am over the "death warmed over look", they keep persisting on making me look and feel like a zombie.

I had a 5 day window where I felt mostly human again, which was so lovely. I had started to forget how nice it was to breathe through my nose and how my bones don't really creak and groan with every movement. Naturally though, that is when my 3 mini monsters came down with their versions of being unwell. But they couldn't all be unwell at the same time though. No, they all had to have there own separate turn of cuddles and days off school. I am sure it was the germs way of sabotaging my recovery. Just as my youngest mini monster started recovering I started with the sniffles again.

And all the lovely doctor recommends is rest. HAHAHAHAHA. I wonder if the doctor would like to come and enjoy my version of rest and all the work that goes with it!!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


I don't know how other handmade/home based businesses feel, but lately I have found myself comparing my business to a pregnancy... post natal depression included!

Firstly we have "Conception" - The big idea of turning a hobby we are passionate about into a something more.

The "Trimesters" -We spend months nurturing the idea, researching how to make it happen, pouring all our hearts and souls into the big moment when we launch ourselves to the public.

The "Birth" - The moment when we place our business out there and lap up the "oooh's" and "ahhh's". Just like a new mama with her baby! When we look at our "baby" our hearts swell with pride and we smile to ourselves, thinking how awesome we are to have created such a perfect little biz.

Then the dreaded "Post Natal Depression" starts to sink in...

We go through "teething" problems, trying to learn things that never even occurred to us .. lets face it, we are crafters, artist... essentially butterflies in disguise lol. 

We suffer sleep deprivation trying to keep up with our gorgeous customers who all want to own one of our creations. Not that I am complaining at all. I am just making the comparison to having a new bub and the sleep deprivation we feel at that time of our lives lol.  Hmmm, I wonder... is it possible to get a business sitter just so we can catch up on some sleep??? lol  

We have bouts of self doubt. Have we made the right choice? Are our products really that great? How can we handle being everything to everyone that we need to be? Can we make our business grow and flourish? 

Then there is the loneliness... Just like a mum with a bub feels lonely, as a home business we are essentially by ourselves (or with young children) day in, day out. Some people seem to think we have it very easy. In some ways we do. We have the luxury of taking our kids to school and picking them up each day. We can drop everything to go on excursions for them and never have to worry if they are sick and need us home for the day. We could even go shopping and catch up with friends for coffee everyday if we felt like it. But then who would run the business? Who would create the items to sell? Who would source new supplies? Think up new designs? So, if we want to be successful we need to be at home. And that can be rather lonely at times ... 

All I can say is thank goodness for Facebook! I have formed some amazing friendships with some equally amazing business women in the 9 months that CottonBerry has been running. Talking with them is like taking my business to "playgroup"! We can discuss the "sleepless nights", the "teething problems", all the in's & out's of running a business at home, (we can even get an ego boost when needed lol) and know that someone understands exactly what we are saying!

So many comparison between starting a business and becoming a new mum!  

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Enter My Mad House ...

A lot has been going on behind the scenes in the House of CottonBerry!

Tomorrow will be my first child free + appointment free day that I have had in what feels like forever! I hope to have a completed Berry Girl available super soon. I just have to say a big thank you to you all for your patience and ongoing support! I play "single mum" to 3 mini monsters while my gorgeous husband works away and recently I feel like I haven't stopped! 

I have been flat out researching a very exciting idea that I have had for quite a while and have been feeling the urge to pursue more and more of late. I would love to share with you all, but I am not ready just yet! *secret squirrel* 

I put my hand up for Collaborate for a Cause this year. I am so nervous about it but I have teamed up with some gorgeous ladies and we are hoping to pull together a beautiful package for the auction. More details to come still! 

My Big Cartel shop is almost ready to use! I am not a computer person. In fact, I am pretty positive computers hate me! Except for Google.. Google has become my very best friend recently lol. I have managed to figure out how to basic customise my site, now I just need to get cracking on completing some of my Berry Girls and some robots to upload to it!

I'm going to leave you now with a quote that has been driving me over the past few weeks.. 

Dannielle :) xx

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

It was all about the purple sneakers ...

Shopping with my 4 year old daughter is fun. Seriously, I love it! She has such a fun sense of style, and really knows what she likes. That can cause a few problems too though ...

We live in a smallish town. We have a Target Country, a Big W, 2 sports stores, a Just Jeans and a surf wear shop. (There are a few others, but for the point of my tale, I shall just point out the main ones where I tend to shop)

So anyways, back to my little fashion diva!

She wanted purple sneakers. Of course. Because what 4 year old, fashion forward missy wouldn't require purple sneakers! They couldn't be pink with purple details. They couldn't be white with purple soles. They had to be purple. And, of course, I had left buying them until the day before kindy started back so she needed a pair right now! So there was no time to get a pair sent from another store, and no time to travel to the next major town on the off chance they had purple sneakers.

We looked everywhere! We were down to the last sports store in town when we struck the jack pot! The smile on my little girls face as she found her purple sneakers was priceless! I didn't care that she had managed to jump from a size 9 into a size 12 shoe, and in doing so the price of the shoes had jumped up by $20. She had her purple sneakers and she is as proud as punch!

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

who boxes a lounge???

Last Wednesday saw the arrival of our new, much longed for, gorgeous lounge suite. My old one I hated from the day we bought it. I had envisioned a beautiful low lying couch full of plump cushions. My hubby wasn't sold on that idea and was looking at recliners. The sales assistant was so pushy, I really did want to slap her lol .. every time I tried to draw my hubby's eye towards what I liked she would intervene and point out that my hubby is very tall and would need neck support blah, blah, blah .. too bad she never took into consideration that I am not so tall and the stupid head rest would push my head forwards ensuring I could never sit comfortably on the hideous thing!! 

Anyways, after 5 years of hating the lounge that filled up my living room, reminding me on a daily basis how much I loathed it, I finally got my way and we bought a new lounge (insert a pleased, somewhat evil chuckle hehehe). It is beautiful. Low lying, leather base, full of plush, squishy cushions that I could lay on all day (or would if I didn't have a billion and one things to do every day lol)

There was a slight hiccup in the arrival of the new lounge however. The delivery guys rocked up and brought it inside... in boxes. Yes, boxes. 3 giant lounge sized boxes. Do you know how hard it is to try and get a chaise lounge and the 2 seat component out of giant lounge size boxes that fill up the room? By yourself? With 3 excited mini monsters wanting to help (because of course hubby was away at work when it arrived and wasn't going to be home for a couple more days!!) Bloody hard I tell you!! lol. After much maneuvering, a lot of cursing of the delivery guys (who wished me luck as they made a speedy exit!!) I finally had the new lounge out of their giant, pain in the butt, boxes. Phew lol. 

It looks so nice, and I am so glad that we got it... Now I just need to find the time to paint the lounge room! I'm thinking a feature wall of deep amethyst purple to match my dining chairs.. Oooh, I can't wait :)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Bring On Term 1!!!

6 more days until school goes back!! Did I get that right? I think so lol. 

That means only 6 more days until I am a ball of blubbering mummy mess as I kiss my baby girl goodbye and leave her at kindy for her official first day.

It also means I will be child free for the first time in 10years.. yes, 10 years!!! It is going to feel so very weird, but I am sure I will adapt lol

That is not to say I'm not going to miss my mini monsters. I love school holidays and would keep them home with me forever if I could, but there will definitely be a few benefits to having 2 full days with no children at home!! 

For one thing, my food shopping will be cheaper and quicker... I swear my grocery bill has tripled over the holidays!! Having two growing boys aged 8 & 10yrs is soooo expensive!! We were going through so much milk and cheese it probably would have been cheaper to just go buy a cow!!! Then there are all the "extras" that seem to magically appear in the trolley... K-Zone magazines, play-doh (that would be my miss 4yo) kinder surprise eggs, colouring books, reading books (I made the mistake of saying within their hearing that I don't mind buying them books as they are educational.. they use it against me every time!! lol)

There will also be far less dishes to do... for the last six weeks the words "put your dirty glass on the sink" has probably come out of my mouth a dozen times a day!! My darling mini monsters are just like their dad, they don't seem to understand the concept of rinsing and re using a glass.. It drives me nuts lol. Oh and maybe, just maybe, I wont sit on a plate of vegemite toast that got left on the couch under one of my beautiful faux fur throw rugs!! I was so unimpressed with that episode of school holidays, though I can laugh about it now lol  

My house will stay cleaner... well I hope so anyways :P lol... Oh, who am I kidding, that is not going to happen until they have left home!!! LOL

I will have more time to sew Berry Girl dolls!! That one I am rather excited about lol. I might finally have time to experiment with a few designs I have drawn but not turned into anything as of yet. So many ideas tumbling around inside my head, I can't wait to bring them to life and share with you. 

Two full days to myself, with no children, sounds so heavenly right now, and while I know I will miss my mini monsters like crazy, I really must say Bring On Term 1!!!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

CottonBerry Vs Husband...

Husbands, we have to love them .. don't we? I adore my husband, we have been together for 13 years, he is my best friend, my everything. But omg!! He is sooo disruptive to my routine and plans!! lol 

I started cutting the sweetest little Berry Girl a couple of days ago, but she is still sitting on my work table awaiting detail stitching... I'm sure I have watched Toy Story way too many times because I actually feel guilty for leaving her there in pieces.   

Then there is the kids routine... I am positive they haven't gotten to bed before 9:00pm in the past few days, and by the time they go to sleep it would have to be at least 10pm. Way later than the normal 7:30pm bedtime I enforce when dads away at work!! Thank goodness it's still school holidays!!

I should explain that my husband works away a fair bit of the time, so when we have him home the whole house goes into holiday mode. We have movie days, and shopping trips, we catch up with family and friends, we just try to spend as much time being a family as we can (housework goes out the window too.. I currently have half a cubby house built in my lounge room, and haven't done a load of washing in 4 days.. please dont knock on my door right now!! lol) 

So, even though I love him to pieces, miss him like mad when he is away, and love spending every moment I can with him while he is home, it doesn't mean I wouldn't love to hit my darling husband over the head with my quilters ruler every now and then for throwing all my well laid plans into chaos!! lol

Current Score: CottonBerry - 0 Husband - 1 ...

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Its Alive !!!

Ok, so writing a blog is a bit weirder than I had thought it would be. I even spent a week practicing, writing what I thought would make a good blog and sending it to my friend to read. And now I have "stage fright" lol.

I guess I should start with who I am.

My name is Dannielle, and I am a craft addict. Ok, that sounds like I am in some sort of therapy group, and while I don't deny that I possibly should be, what with the amount of supplies I am currently surrounded by, I think I wanted to tell you a bit about who I am lol 

Take Two!!

I am the superbly brilliant, magnificently talented Dannielle, creator of gorgeousness at CottonBerry - Designs for Kids. Hmmm, possibly a tad overboard, but at least I'm honest hehe ;)

Seriously though, I am the person behind CottonBerry - Designs for Kids, though I think for my blog I will just refer to it as CottonBerry. 

I started CottonBerry officially 4 months ago, though I had been planning for it since the start of 2011. I researched the business side, I spoke to my accountant, I bored my husband and friends to death with business talk and all the ideas I wanted to see come to life (they are now experts in all things "doll" and "CottonBerry", much to their disgust lol)

My Berry Girl dolls are the current stars of my business, and I now have 3 collections, which I am so excited about. Perfecting my design, having something that was unique in an environment that is overwhelmed with doll makers, was all important to me. I hope to expand on my range in the future, but it will have to wait for a little while yet :)

I am so proud of what I have been able to accomplish in the months since I started. I have met some other wonderful ladies in facebook world, and am continuously inspired to present the very best of myself to my "likers". The future of CottonBerry is definitely bright!!