Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Day 8

There has been a major LACK of crafting over the last few days, due mainly to the increasing pile of work i have on order at the mo...dont get me wrong im not complaining but i just wish it was a bit more consistant instead of nothing then half the world and his dog places an order! *ponders* Do dogs wear jewellery???
Anyway today me and the girls had a lovely morning, we took the long way to the local Home Bargains for some supplies, rice and such then stopped by the library on the way home.
The kids got a few books each and i got the Hummingbird Bakery book, long story short, not overly impressed!!
Managed to get through a quarter of mums cross stitch but time is creeping up on me, not sure ill have it ready for her birthday EEEK!!
In other news my silver clay kit came today *squeels* EKKKK cant wait to use it!! AND... the vintage wedding ring set i got from America on Ebay for 99c, thats 68p to you and me :) Now its stamped 18K but im not convinced, plated quite possibly but i could be wrong. The stones arent diamonds of course but it is the CUTEST thing i've ever bought

And no im not getting re-married but when we did get married me and Mr Geek Pants where in such a rush we just got silver bands and after almost 2 years of heavy wear they are very badly scratched and ive longed desperatly for a vintage set, now of course Mr Geek Pants cant wear the band, it wouldnt fit him for a start!! but its a good start!

L xx

Monday, 30 May 2011

Bank Holiday Spring Clean Sale

so spent the best part of the morning cleaning and tidying and clearing out the kitchen, was long over due and found like a million things we dont need or use! in fact i filled a box and two huge bags full of stuff!
So heres the start of the goodies for sale or swap, once i get everything photographed ill add to the post :) There is also a huge list on ebay at the mo http://shop.ebay.co.uk/simlongy/m.html?_trksid=p4340.l2562 stop by for some goodies :)

First up is this cute flower ceramic cream tea light holder £2 plus postage

Next is a pair of printed alice in wonderland framed pics, these have been printed onto vintage dictionary paper £10 the pair plus postage

Wacky Baby Knits book £5 brand new

Lot of cosmetics, most have never been used, the peach nail colour has a few times. £2 the lot

and last but not least for this upload is two lamps with shades £10 the pair

Email me at lizipants@yahoo.co.uk or tweet me @chicuniqueuk or  comment below to enquire, buy or swap any of these items... more to follow :)

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Baking Sunday

Sunday has always been baking Sunday in our house but of late Ive been preoccupied with well... i dunno but that's my excuse anyway!! so today i kind of made up for it, i mean you cant have to much cake can you??

First is Jayne's award (my award!!) winning cookies (recipe on the blog), i used strawberry shavings and marshmallows this time for an extra gooey biscuit...

Then i made up a cupcake mix, this recipe can also be found on the blog, somewhere lol , but thought id have a go at some mini cupcakes but i made to much mix!

So with the extra left over mix i decided to make a cake, dropped some caramel and chocolate spread onto the top of the mix hoping for a swirly cake, they sank! so lets hope its marbled inside!

And yes i will need bigger jeans after eating all these!! lol good job i have mini ppl to help ;)

L x

Day 6 and 7

Yesterday was day 6 of the handmade year and to celebrate, 'almost a week' of being good i chose not to do anything but spend time with the girls! I also squeezed a little bit of painting on the upstairs landing.

So today it seems i am making up for it! Today's make of the day is a collar necklace. I took the simple pattern from Mollie Makes magazine but i didn't want to use felt as they had advised...so instead i used some pretty fabric.. what an utter mistake that was!! Not a complete disaster but I'm not 100% happy with how its turned out so back to the drawing board i think. Looks like the felt is the best way to go after all!!

My want of the day are these amazing printed friskar scissors... totally cute AND practical!

and last but not least is swap of the day. This huge card making set i got off eBay a few days ago as i wanted an aperture card to put the cross stitch i did in for daddy's fathers day card but when they came none where big enough and i wont even use any of the papers etc so figured this would be suitable for one of my lovely readers, I'm happy to sell the lot with papers, cards, envelopes etc for £5 plus postage as its heavy or swap for some stiffened felt of any colour!

tweet me at @chicuniqueuk or email me lizipants@yahoo.co.uk for more info or to swap!
Thanks for reading and have a lovely bank holiday now the sun has come out :)

L xx

Friday, 27 May 2011

Living with Emma

As some of you may know our middle daughter Emma has a rare genetic condition called Prader Willi Syndrome, and tonight's post is dedicated to her...
When Emma was born, at 3.30am weighing 5lb 14oz i was as happy as any mother could be but it soon became clear that there was a problem. She didn't feed the whole time we where at the hospital and she was really limp. i mean babies are, obviously, but differently floppy if that makes sense. But at 23 and with a 2 1/2 yr old already i tried to put it out of my mind, the doctors ok'ed us to leave and i went home to my simple life. But she was increasing hard but easy work. She fed consistently every hour or so throughout the day, and slept the rest of the time, sure its fine during waking hours but at night it was a killer and even after being released from the midwife etc it wasn't getting any easier so after endless upsetting trips to the health visitor and funny looks every time i said she was feeding this way yet her weight gain wasn't supporting that we took her to the doctors to be checked over for the millionth time.
The doctors couldn't find a reason for her behaviour so we where transfered to the hospital under specialist consultants, 9 pain staking months of screaming blood tests, sweat tests and any bloody tests they could find we where still at a dead end.
Finally we where transferred in Pendlebury children's hospital for a second opinion and praise the lord after one more blood test they found a reason... prader-Willi syndrome. Like you are now i googled it, yes i cried too, then took stock and figured, shes beautiful and shes mine who cares what labels they stick on her she will always be special to me.
Then 2 years of physio therapy, occupational therapy, dietitians, specialists and equipment later and this is who she became..
here she is about 3, she was sitting, crawling, feeding herself but couldn't stand for longer than a few seconds and wasn't talking. It was a painful time, more for me than her, she cruised along without a care in the world, nothing fazed her and with each new mile stone a glimmer of hope that she wouldn't be severely effected by her "label".
Emma is now 4 and 3/4, shes walking but it causes her pain in her upper thighs, she gets tired so easily when playing, she has amazing social skills and laughs uncontrollably over the stupidest things! She loves books and dolls and has a huge love of fashion like mummy. Shoes are her fave and she has a massive soft spot on Mr tumble, she isn't talking but tries very hard and has taught herself sign language and has made up her own too :) she surprises me every day with what and how she learns and really enjoys nursery. She has the brightest eyes and has a big smile for everyone. She also loves cuddles and having her hair stroked, she could also spend half her life in the bath!!!
But there is another side to Emma that has been slowly rearing its head more and more and even though i want to say its an overwhelming urge to eat its not, its her constant repetition, obsessive compulsions, strict routine, aggression and general naughtiness.
Its getting to the point where i cant cope with it, for hours she will repeat the same signs and gestures over and over again, her constant yearning for the next part of her routine is so painful and if you dare say something along the lines of NO then all hell breaks loose. She will cry and scream uncontrollably and hits and kicks. Now i don't know if this has anything to do with PWS or whether its something that she has picked up. Shes spoilt, especially by daddy, hes always over compensated for her. She cant do no wrong and for all the things he THINKS she wont be able to have or do he gives her now. Don't get me wrong all the girls are spoilt daddy's girls, (in a nice unbratty way!) and i do understand but shes such hard work! Can i break these habits for her, does she need to start seeing the specialist again for more support? Am i just doing to much and not spending enough time on her? I just feel like a ball of over worked under appreciated emotion right now i cant see the wood for the trees?? Are all 4 yo bossy gits? am i just blowing it all out of proportion because she has a "label"? would i treat her differently if she didn't have this hanging over her?
Every child is indeed different, labeled or not and 9 times out of 10 shes an angel but at others she reduces me to uncontrollable tears, more for failure than anything else. I don't care what she has or doesn't have and i really appreciate how her nursery have accepted her and worked with her to make it accessible for her, i love how she has friends and they all make such a huge fuss of her i just wish we had more of that at home instead of the anger and frustration.
i can only imagine what its like for her in that little body wanting so badly to do what all the other kids do but even through all the tears and pain i wouldn't change her for the world!
So this is for all the mums and dads and brothers and sister of very special people...

L xx

post 5 and make of the day

I hate Fridays... since the kids started school Friday's have always been such hard work. They are both over tired and don't feel like facing the day and I've had about as many tantrums as i can take and to top it off Mr Geek Pants does the early shift, and as much as i love him being home for 3pm i have all the school runs to do and will grumpy princesses that's never a good combination!
Today was no better... as I'm writing this Emma is having a nervous breakdown because i said she doesn't have a bed for dolly! Now we both know its because she is tired, but will she accept that fact?? Not on your life so she is screaming blue murder because she has a snotty nose from all the excessive crying! Now however i have a headache and don't really feel like dealing with it.
But on a sunnier side its half term next week, or maybe that should of been gloomier side!!
Oh and just to make it worse on Emma's seriously bad day on Wednesday it was photo day, she had dressed herself and looked like something out of a seconds factory which i wouldn't mind so much but i had asked nursery to make her look presentable and they had changed her top into the most tartiest thing they could find so I'm not best pleased as u could probably imagine! That photo under no circumstances with grace our home!
So all in all a pretty shitty day really!

Now for something a little different, maybe get you out of that downer i just put you into... (sorry BTW!)

My Fridays make was a collar necklace. Ive had aspirations of making these for a while but after seeing the lovely things Mollie Makes did with them i found a quiet 15 mins to knock one up to see how they look! i have a million and one ideas of where i want to go with these and all will be revealed... slowly... so hears a sneaky peak at my first prototype... its is back to so no unsightly stitching on show :)

L xx

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Thursdays Make

So as my handmade year has restricted me from buying ANY presents this year for fathers day i have taken the time to consider the gifts seriously (even tho i only have a few weeks til the big day AND we are away that weekend!!) so to start i thought id cross stitch a cute card for daddy from the girls and THIS is what i came up with..

it just needs mounting into a card frame and then let the girls loose designing the inside! i would actually really love making these to sell they are sooooo cute!!
His present will need a make ALL to itself... Ive never made anything like it before :)

L xx

Jayne's Cookies

Last week i popped a post up with the recipe that Jayne had given me for simple cookies. Admittedly i have never been able to master the art of cookies, they are either under or over done so for years i have always put off making them until Jayne suggested i try this simple recipe and see how i get on.
Well as you can see from the photo evidence..

It has made fool proof perfect giant cookies! Tho the giant part is more down to my size of dough!
I'm really looking forward to getting my gob round one after tea!
Thanks Jayne you have saved my cookie making sanity and i suggest you all give it a go :)

L xx

SWAP of the day

Todays swap of the day is a pair of Roxy trainers. They are a size 3.5 but are narrow in the foot, i wore them once outside so still like new. They have elastic down the side, like all skate trainers, inside so they dont slip off the foot. I have cut the laces are they where to long but replacements can be bought for pennies.
Im looking to swap for some girls clothes and/or shoes from size 6(infants) to size 11. ages of clothes 7, 4 and 2 in any condition.
Thanks guys

Post 4 of handmade year

Yesterday i had the biggest blogging FAIL ever! i also did not make one thing handmade for myself, i did however get THE biggest bargains at a local factory seconds shop.
Last winter Monsoon had the most amazing khaki military coat and as much as i wanted it i couldn't justify £80 for a coat and even after the winter the sale price wasn't as attractive as i would of liked so i let that one go! But yesterday i found the most amazing Dorothy Perkins military coat which looks almost identical. As its a factory second it has missing buttons to the front but for the whacking £2 i paid for it I'm quite happy to spend the next 6 months trying to find a perfect match!!!
i also got a pair of Wallis navy linen trousers for £5, i think they are sized up wrong as they are a perfect fit but marked as a size 10.
A gorgeous pair of topshop military tapered leg trousers, in an off cream colour with turn ups. There is a small snag in the bum so need to find an ingenius way of fixing them. but for £4 they are WELL worth it!
Also a pair of black palazzo trousers also from topshop, the hemming has come undone on one leg but need turning up due to my sever lack of height anyway so for £5 I'm more than happy :)
We also popped into the charity shop on the way home from school and i got a crafted t-shirt for 50p, a vintage single sheet for £1, a school summer dress for Emma for £1.50 and lis bought a Pokemon annual and 2 figures for £1 oh and a pair of pink gap surf shorts for £1.50.
Was a very GOOD day for bargains!!


Tuesday, 24 May 2011


ive had some jewellery findings up for sale over on the chic unique blog and yet to have much interest so decided ill pop them on here to for all u lovely ppl to have a look at. I would rather sell these and the prices are stupidly low but i am also open to swaps of course :)

Here is 3 bags full of mixed beads and charms all in good condition with a few pieces of ready made up jewellery £5 for the lot

2 bags of acrylic charms with some laser cut charms and words. all unused £10

small bag of gold tone charms beads and a few ready made pieces of jewellery £5

bag of felt and crochet charms, fabric ribbon bows and some fabric brooches £5

huge bag of wooden tea pot buttons £2

approx 40 small and medium wooden plaques and shapes ready to decorate. great for xmas gifts and presents £10

assorted polystyrene shapes £2

mixed craft supplies. felt, image maker, fabric pens, a stamp, etc £5

mixed lot of packaging. there are approx 50 favour boxes, some made up some not, small note cards and envelopes and some little plastic bags, tags etc £5

3 craft books, the cath kidston one still comes with the free gift, never used. gorgeous images and how tos approx £12 a book retail, have the lot for £20

Either leave a comment below, tweet me or drop me an email at lizipants@yahoo.co.uk

L xx

PS i am in desperate need of that silver clay kit :)

post 3 of handmade year

Today has been a generally lousy day for crafting so far, i have however decided on what to make MR Geek Pants for daddy's day thought this does require a silver clay kit which is £113! Though it will also mean i can start this custom order that's been hanging about for months, two birds one stone and all that.

So anyway, my craft of the day is cross stitch..again! but this time its going to be a card for daddy. I have found a little pattern for little people and chose on that resembles Mr Geek Pants and changed colours etc to suit him perfectly, then i am cross stitching We Love Daddy onto it then framing it into a card for him.

Here's a sneaky peak, but however i have ran out of forest green and peach... so it does look like a dodgy pirate at the mo!

Also brain wave for mothers birthday present came to me.... I NEED THAT SILVER CLAY KIT!!
Feel free to donate.. hahaha

L xx

Monday, 23 May 2011

Post 2.2 of handmade year

We switched the tv off and settled down with a colouring book and new crayons. Within 5 mins all the kids had sloped off leaving me colouring AND talking to myself so i took five mins before tea time to knock up this little scissor/glasses case.
i took the inspiration from a kit i got from the new Mollie Makes mag and as i dont find it practical to use a case for my iphone, and i dont know anyone that does, i edited the pattern to make it smaller and changed the layout to suit me. My glasses fit perfectly and handy to pop my scissors in when the kids are about.

I used a sewing machine to sew on the applique, i used a large stitch and tried REALLY hard not to keep it neat for a fun and quirky look.
What can you make in FIVE mins ??

L xx


Up for my swap of the day is some fabulous skin care that i was given at the LOOK show but unfortunatly for me i cant use it on my skin or ill have a dreaded spot breakout!
Its all brand new and never used and all branded.
I'd really love a vintage oval frame in return for these but i am more than happy to consider anything, i need buttons, binding, pinking sheers, i obviously dont expect anything to be new, i want your old stuff for my old stuff :) Always after girls clothing as well :)
Well heres the photo of the goodies up for swap!

Feel free to comment below or tweet me @chicuniqueuk

L x

Project funky Rug

So in the spotlight this week for craft of the week is rag rugging. Ive been so tempted over the years to give this a go but have never gotten round to it so when i found this dead simple tutorial in MAKING magazine i have decided that this will be my first major project.
It fits in perfect as we are off for new flooring in the hall over the next few weeks and a new rug for the door way will be perfect :)
I will not be buying new fabric etc i will be using scraps from old projects and old clothes that i cant upcycle etc to it may take a while!
But here is it, the rag rug tutorial, feel free to copy the picture and keep for yourself. If you do would love a pic and your thoughts!!

Cant wait to get started :)

L xx

Post 2 of handmade year

Yesterday was Sunday and i was under strict instructions not to "social network" in any way shape or form... well u all know i did so that didn't go to well did it!... but it did reflect in my blogging :s so to make up to it today we have a few things going on, first off is my first EVER swap post (coming soon!) and i will endeavor to list an item a day Mon-Fri.
Also i will be doing a little post on a craft once a week that i will be making during my year of handmade!!

So yesterday, just to keep you up to date, was pretty boring! We got wet going for pet food... we have a few not mentioning the kids ;) then we came home and i worked ALL day!!
I made a start on @createdotnet 's custom order of 6 round yellow cushion covers... long story short i ran out of binding (bugger!)
I then made a start on the pearl bracelets that are mounting up. Got 3 out of 8 done.

So now its monday and due to the horrendous 80mph winds and torrential rain this morning i kept the girls off school, slap my hands and tell me off all u want but i ask anyone to walk over half a mile to school in heavy wind and rain then we will see what you'd do!
So kids entertained, fed and watered i managed to sneak this little cutey in...

Ive aptly named her Bunty!! i had forgot just how much i LOVE LOVE LOVE cross stitch and now i have all these wonderous ideas i want to do, what i do need tho is some gorgeous vintage frames (swap anyone???)
Hope you like her and thank you to all the support ive been getting regards to the handmade year... its exciting and fun, though not sure how long that will last, already seen some GORGEOUS shoes i desperatly want! And keep up the hard work to all the lovely ladies who have decided to get on board and do it themselves!
Even the hubby seem margionally interested in what im doing, vowing that the kids are now on a health kick, no sweets or choc! So far so good :)

L xx

Saturday, 21 May 2011

cookie receipe courtesy of the lovely @JayneJRead

4oz butter
4oz brown sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
6oz self raising flour
30z of goodies

Pre heat the oven at 180' and bake the cookies for 12 mins.
mix butter and sugar then add the syrup and mix
add half of the flour
then add goodies then once combined add the rest of the flour
separate into approx 14 balls but do not flatten as they will spread.
once cooled you will have perfectly soft centred cookies

Thanks jayne cant wait to give this a try :)


post 1.1 of handmade year

About a year ago i bought this beautiful chiffon black slouch jacket from our local steals. it is a topshop one, size 6 but it had terrible split seams where the delicate fabric hadn't caught properly while it was being stitched, it was a whopping £2 and i figured, i can sort that in five Min's so off i popped to pay!
When i got it home i noticed that they was much more damaged than i originally thought so  i accepted defeat and it ended up in the back of my wardrobe with the rest of my "to do" list.
After altering a load of kids clothes to fit the next one down i figured ill see what i can do, and five Min's later (as i predicted!!) and a good iron and it now looks like this!

and here it is in all its glory. it has 3/4 length sleeves, huge pockets and has the cutest tuxedo collar. Ive styled it with a little gold tone vintage umbrella brooch i got on eBay for 99p.
now i just need a FABULOUS event to go to to wear it!

L x

Post 1 of homemade year

This could possibly be cheating slightly (i baked last night with emma as she couldnt wait until today!)
But my first post is in homage to cooking....
Me and Emma made this beautiful caramel and choc cake!
its a simple reciepe of 3 eggs, 4oz caster sugar, 4oz butter, and 4oz flour. i then put in to big spoond full of caramel and chocolate spread
i think it was a little to wet as it took a little longer than normal to bake but tastes divine.
i spread caramel on top then melted choc and caramel shavings, then popped it in the fridge to set. Why dont you give it a try!!

Traders Page

This page is open to everyone, add your name and what u have to trade/swap for and if you like what you want to swap it for and contact details either for twitter or an email address.
And let the swapping begin!!
It can be anything from what you make to sell, services such as mentoring or graphic design, old clothes, kids toys, recipes etc etc absolutely ANYTHING at all. To get your name on to the trade list either tweet me your details, comment on the original post about my 12 months of nothing new or email me at lizipants@yahoo.co.uk


I'll swap craft supplies (buttons, lace, ribbon) for ...eerr craft supplies, that's right just changing owners LOL. Email me microbio.shop@gmail.com or tweet me @microbionoar

@aimirowe would like to be tweeted with swaps

@chicuniqueuk ill be posting a swap or two a day up on the blog for u all to see and place your offers

I have a Busy Bee fragrance bar that i win in a mini comp but cant use as its the one smell I can't stand - rose!!
Willing to swap for beads or any jewellery making equipment, tweet me @meetjosmith 

Friday, 20 May 2011

my 12 month handmade, pre-loved task

Lately I've been thinking... as you have probably gathered from my last few blog posts, that there must be more to this than throw away culture. I hate high street brands, big business and all things "normal".
So I've decided to go on a 12 months handmade and pre-loved journey. I endeavour to hand make, up cycle, recycle clothes for me and the girls and buy only second hand, pre-worn, vintage and charity shop finds. This also goes for furniture and home accessories.
I also plan to home bake much more than i already do and only cook meals and snacks. No more fast food, take aways and crap. If i can make, grow, reuse it then i will!
Obviously theres things i cant avoid and will have to buy conveniences but from tomorrow (sat 21st may, which freakily is supposed to be some sort of apocalypse) i will be updating daily of the things i make, buy and reuse to cloth and feed us.
I'm hoping to take a lot from this. To see how well we cope without the things we take for granted, also i want THE coolest vintage home and this is a great way to point myself in the right direction. Theres nothing I'm yet to come across that cant be reused and remade into something amazing AND practical!
We have a stores full of clothes the girls have outgrown, but really its all just pre cut fabric ready to be remade into something that's unique AND practical.
I just don't want my kids growing into greedy so n so's! They shouldn't be concerned with the cost but that its a new (to them) toy or item of clothing!
we have a book self full of kids books that have been read to death! now how cool would it be to swap them for other books that they haven't read yet!
Those old toys and games and even shoes and clothing that could be swapped and revamped to suit yourself. no need for cash to change hands just wonderfulness of knowing that item can be loved elsewhere!!
Would be cool to get a few of you lovely readers on board to... maybe do a swap once a month, everyone post the items on their blog they don't want anymore and swap them with someone else that does want them.
After all if it is gonna be the zombie apocalypse tomorrow then money wont mean a thing!!

L x

oh and in all seriousness if you would be interested in a toy/clothes/furniture/recipe swap then pls get in touch and we can set up a list of all swappers

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

mum... is it a job or a way of life

I've been a mum now for 7 and a bit years, i started with 1 and ended up with 3 very beautiful and very clever little girls.
Now from time to time I've had part time jobs, more of something to do than for the money, there is of course only so much baby babble and day time TV one person can take!!
Now as much as i love my girls, any mother does, at times it all feels a bit like a chore than a joy! The 5am starts are GRIM and the working conditions are pretty dire. You don't get a lunch break and there's always little feet right behind you where ever you try to hide!
Now don't get me wrong, once they are in bed and all is quiet in my nest i wouldn't have it any other way but surely if i did a job in these conditions it'd be against the law?!
I'm always broke, I'm constantly feeding and watering and changing nappies, i look as rough as a bears arse dragged through a hedge with a hangover! i don't even own a pair of heels or an item of clothing that isn't stained by chocolate or tomato sauce... in fact i don't even own a pair of trainers!!! that's how unloved i am fashionably right now and to honest its starting to become a slight obsession. Each day brings a new low and my poorly dyed blonde streaked hair looks like something off Jeremy Kyle's sofa!
You may think I'm totally over reacting and surely this poor girl has more time for herself and doesn't just drag on the closest, clean(ish) thing to hand at 8am right before we leave for the school run...well you'd be wrong, very very wrong! Yes it is that bad. So bad in fact that i haven't worn make up in the day for oh at least 2 years, i don't have a skin care regime and i defiantly aren't in the yummy mummy category in the school play ground.
To be fair it isn't the girls fault... yes they run me ragged and i barely have time to scratch my arse but its not written in the unwritten mummy handbook that u have to look like shit to have kids, I've grown lazy and well totally uninspired by the high street.
Nothing lasts or looks stylish or practical longer than one wash, and being short and slim and with 3 kids in tow at all times in trackies i look like some chavvy throw back!
Yes i am crying out for style! Ive lost my way and I've become complacent! I was ALWAYS the funky, quirky hippy type in my younger days and well basically i didn't care what ppl thought! But having kids made me aware how ppl stop, stare and judge not just how well behaved your children are but what you as a mother look like on the outside.
Sure, i shouldn't let this bother me in any way shape or form! I have never followed "crazes" and I've never wanted to look like everyone else, NEVER, so why now at pushing 30 and 3 kids and a Mr Geek Pants later I'm suddenly so bothered how i look??

OH MY GOD... I'm having a midlife crisis.......

*weeps into my mug of tea*

Poppy Cat Review

When i was so kindly asked to review some fabulous Poppy Cat merchandise in the run up to the new TV show coming to Nick Jr I was all over it like a rash as my eldest LOVED the Poppy Cat books when she was little.
We fell in love with her by accident really as one of the lovely board books came in one of those first readers bags you get from the health visitor way back when.
We read it over and over until the board pages where frayed and splitting and i was positively sad when she eventually outgrown those simple books. Relieved for more content for sure but so sad to leave little Poppy Cat behind.
Who's Poppy Cat you are probably now screaming through the screen at me well here's a little bio:

The first Poppy Cat book was published in 2003 by Campbell Books (Macmillan). Written and illustrated by Lara Jones, the series has sold over 2.5 million books across 30 titles to date. 1.5 million of these have been sold to a number of international territories, including Spain, France, Italy and Brazil.
Poppy Cat books have won many awards including: Book trust Early years Award – Poppy Cat’s Farm Practical Pre-school Awards – Swap the Scene, Poppy Cat
Right Start Best Toy Awards – Poppy Cat Hug Prima Baby Reader Awards – The Poppy Cat series

By Kate Boutilier & Eryk Casemiro Poppy Cat begins where the Poppy Cat books left off. Lara Jones’ colourful and appealing characters spring to life from the page to the small screen in stories of friendship and fantasy play. The series is aimed at the upper end of the pre-school age range, but the stories are suitable for children of all ages.
Seen through the eyes of Poppy’s young owner, a little girl called Lara, each story is a celebration of imaginative play as Poppy Cat and her friends embark on fanciful journeys through fantastical lands. Told with humour and great heart, these stories give children a glimpse of their own potential for imaginative play and creativity through the tales of a very special cat and her equally interesting band of friends. Each episode is eleven minutes long and comprises an ensemble cast of three boy and three girl characters.

At the beginning of each story we meet Lara, a girl who invents fantastical and extravagant stories for her beloved cat, Poppy. Created with a child-like whimsy, Lara’s stories feature a hero named Poppy and are the sort of adventures she believes her own cat would have in a make-believe world. But whilst featuring fantasy-play adventure, the stories of Poppy Cat are primarily about friendship, focusing on social and emotional development relevant and familiar to a four year-old child. As the leader of the group, Poppy approaches every situation in an enthusiastic, creative way, and her imagination takes them all to the most exciting places.
Each of the main characters is broadly drawn to maximize their comedic personalities while allowing a core curriculum to be addressed. The characters are Poppy Cat’s best friends but most of the challenges arise directly from their real and relatable flaws: fear, vanity, recklessness, self-importance or naivety, and these are played out in their adventures.
While our friends never fight amongst themselves, their character flaws will often steer the adventure, for good and bad. It’s then up to Poppy and her non-judgemental, compassionate stance to lead them to safety, leaving our characters with a greater awareness of themselves and the world. In the world of Poppy Cat and her friends, modes of
transportation can appear in a flash, distant locations can be travelled in one day, and there is no problem that Poppy Cat encounters that cannot be solved.

And now to my utter surprise (I'm so not on the ball when it comes to Nick Jr now a days as my youngest two are cbeebies mad!) She now has her very own show!!!

Joanna Page becomes the voice of Poppy Cat
on Nick Jr.’s new adventure packed show

Launching on Monday 2nd May at 10.00am on Nick Jr and shown every weekday throughout May
An animated series full of adventure and fantasy for preschoolers

Joanna Page, who won the nation’s hearts in Gavin and Stacey, will make her preschool TV debut in May on Nick Jr.’s new animated series Poppy Cat. Joanna voices the show’s leading character, Poppy Cat, a cat with a thirst for adventure and a colourful eclectic mix of animal friends. Based on the award winning books by Lara Jones, which have sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide, Poppy Cat will take preschoolers on fantastical adventures and excite their imaginations. The series features 26 x 10 minute episodes.

The show revolves around Lara, a young girl who invents stories for her beloved cat Poppy. Once she starts reading, preschoolers are transported into the fantasy world of Poppy Cat where animals walk upright, talk and have extraordinary adventures. With a flick of Poppy Cat’s patchwork bandana, fantastic vehicles appear, such as sailing ships and hot-air balloons. Poppy Cat and her friends then travel to magical destinations, including the Marshmallow Mines and the Trumpet Tree Forest, where they encounter other animals - pink dolphins, royal toads and even giant space squids! 

Poppy Cat celebrates the fun and power of inventing and sharing stories. Preschoolers are encouraged to use their imagination as a way to solve problems and pursue their goals. The stories of Poppy Cat also focus on friendship, and on social and emotional themes which are relevant and familiar to preschoolers. But above all, Poppy Cat is about Making Adventures Extraordinary!

Poppy Cat premieres Monday 2nd May at 10.00am
…only on Nick Jr (Sky 615, Virgin 715 and TalkTalk 318).

Now here's a little interview by Joanna herself on the lovely new series:

What is the Poppy Cat series about?

The Poppy Cat series is about Poppy Cat’s adventures with all of her friends. They all play together but then every episode something happens — there's a bit of drama. Then Poppy Cat unfurls her bandana and magics up a ship or a rocket or a submarine and they all go off on an adventure together and solve the problem.

What was it that attracted you to being the voice of poppy cat?

I was attracted to being the voice of Poppy Cat because Poppy Cat is just brilliant! I’ve always wanted to play some sort of animated character and I adore animals, so to play a cat is just fantastic. But I also love Poppy Cat because she’s strong, she’s determined, she’s not scared of anything, she’s very brave, she’s lovely and kind, she’s not selfish, she looks after her friends and she doesn’t back down from anything — and I think I’ve got some of those qualities! It’s just really exciting to play a cat who is so strong and really up for it. 

And also everybody loves Poppy Cat; the books have been such a success. So to actually play Poppy Cat is such an honour – I’m over the moon.  

What preparation did you need to do for the role?

My preparation for Poppy Cat was actually to study my Jack Russell dog! I’ve studied her for about ten years of her life and I think I’ve incorporated all of her animal ‘things’ into my voice. Listening to all of the other characters it’s really funny because everybody is so suited to their character. And it’s so well written, that you just say the lines. And they’ve cast it so well that naturally you’re very similar to your character. So I find that when I’m reading Poppy Cat I would probably react the same way as she does about lots of different things.

I think my research is to make sure my voice is okay and to make sure that I don’t go too fast and that I get the right feel for it because it’s aimed towards children. Just to try and get the story, try and put across what you want to put across, and make your voice understood. Try and get the essence of Poppy Cat; try not to be too giggly or too scared — just know the way that Poppy Cat would play the story.

How different is being a voice artist to appearing on stage or on television?

Being a voice artist is completely different to performing on stage or on TV. You’re very lucky – if you’ve got to be in very early in the morning, you could turn up in your pyjamas if you want to! You don’t have to wear any make-up or look particularly good because it’s all in your voice. 

But because it’s just your voice that people hear you have to know what you’re playing. You have to know the story, completely commit to it and know what’s going on. Because if a voice artist is feeling a bit nervous, or they’re not confident, or they don’t know what they’re doing the audience will hear it straight away and you won’t believe it. Whereas on TV and in the theatre there’s so much going on and the audience is watching and listening to stuff so you can get away with a lot more. But if you’re on radio or you’re voicing a character you really have to be spot on.

How long does it take to record an episode of Poppy cat?

With the rest of the cast recording an episode of Poppy Cat can take all day because we’ll be giggling and messing around a lot! But the other day I was on my own – I went in at 1.30 and I worked until five and I recorded 12 scripts, because I don’t like to stop; when I’m in the flow of it I like to just keep going and doing all of the episodes. So it takes a good few hours and I’ll probably go through and record about 12 episodes.

Who are your favourite characters from the series?

I love Egbert because he’s so sweet! I love his voice. And I feel so sorry for him because you want to include him. All the other characters are really sweet because they do try and include Egbert and he’s the one who doesn’t really want to be included. And I also absolutely adore Owl. I love it that he’s so wise but also slightly sarcastic. I do think that adults watching will like Owl as well. He does make me laugh! I can’t listen to Chris [Neill – voice of Own] because when he’s speaking to me all I see is a big owl and that makes me laugh so much! And I love Zuzu’s voice! But I’ve got to be honest: Egbert and Owl are my favourite characters.

What are you favourite moments from the series?

My favourite moments from the series are always when we’re in a submarine and we’re underwater. I think it looks absolutely hilarious when we’ve got our scuba diving helmets on – and when we’re swimming. You can see Zuzu's feet and Poppy cat’s feet just sort of floating and it looks so comical! I adore all of the scenes when we’re all under the water.

How does it feel to hear your voice spoken by an animated character?

I always think it’s really strange hearing your voice spoken by an animated character because I don’t think I sound like I do – especially when I’m doing Poppy Cat’s voice which is slightly higher and a bit cuter. In my head I think I’ve got a very deep mature-sounding English voice. And then I hear my voice as Poppy Cat and think, “Oh my gosh, I actually do sound like I’ve got quite a lilt in my voice and my voice is quite high.” 

If you could be an animal which would you be and why?

If I could be an animal I would like to be a dog because they get a brilliant life. I would basically like to be my dog because she gets fed amazing things, she gets smoothed all the time, she gets to sleep in bed and she’s carried around everywhere. My life revolves around making her life really good fun — so she gets amazing clothes, amazing food, she gets pampered, she gets to sleep and I massage her all the time as well. So I would like to have the life of my Jack Russell dog called Daisy.

So after all that reading and background info, lots i clearly didn't know, me and the girls sat down for a snuggle and watched the two episodes that i was so kindly sent.
Well the girls certainly loved it, we had peace and quiet for the entire episode and like me they marvelled at how well the characters came alive. We are used the reading the books so seeing how well it translated into TV was glorious.  They had managed to keep the lovely bright colours and the glorious charm of hand drawn characters from the book. The voices all worked well and i was as equally happy to sit and watch as the children where. I find with most book adaptations that a lot of the appeal from the books is lost once it reaches TV but not this, the whole charm and loveliness is there and i think that's what children find endearing. You can now go away and read the books and match the characters with real voices and personalities. Long may children's TV be as glorious as Poppy Cat!

You would be mad to miss this lovely show so stop by Nick Jr weekdays in May for a chance to catch all their exciting adventures!!

L xx