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Creative Business-Mamas: Poppy Treffry

The second in our series of interviews with creative businesswomen-mamas is with the hugely creative and inspiring Poppy Treffry. 

Poppy Treffry

Poppy's first baby was her popular business mixing freehand embroidery and quirky design to create everything from tea-cosies to stationary. She's also mother to a little girl so delicious you grin when you look at her...

Describe how you are feeling RIGHT NOW in three words?

Chilly, bit demented, busy.

What's your creative business?

I run a small company designing and making textile accessories for fashion and the home. I started it 10 years ago on a shoestring after being bossed about by a business advisor.

I was looking at my Christmas Party list this year and I have 16 people who have worked for me this year to invite!

best things about being a mum with a creative business?

The best things are being flexible, loving my work, and it keeping me sane. And my daughter loving spending time in my workshop.

And the worst? 

The worst things are doing complicated payroll and accounts things when you haven't slept properly for weeks...

What is the biggest challenge that you've faced and overcome as a creative working mama?

The biggest challenge has been finding time to actually be creative.

Having a littlun means I have worked less and all the other adminny things always come first. The time to design and just play slips very far down the priority list.

I am clawing that time back now she's at school though!

Poppy Treffry - sewing gift setWhat advice would you give a mama starting a creative business?

If you're just starting a creative business then you really need to focus on the creative bit for as long as you can. It's that period of freedom and playing that will fuel you through all the rest of the 'running a business' jobs.

What are you working on right now that you're most excited about?

I'm working on some new tea towel designs inspired by St Ives where my new shop is. I've just done one really detailed design that combines loads of different sketches I've done over the years. And I'm about to start on one with lots of buxom swimmers on it and maybe one with pasties on! 

If there was a Creative Working Mama Fairy, what would you wish for?

A couple of big customers who place big, uncomplicated orders, pay on time and love what we do!

Poppy Treffry team

Find out more about Poppy over at Poppy Treffry.

What does being a creative business-mama mean to you?

If you'd like to share your story with us, we'd love to hear from you.

You can read other guest interviews in the Creative Business-Mamas series here.

Come play Bad Mummy Bingo

Join us on twitter on Weds 11 December from 8.30 - 10pm UK time / 3.30 - 5pm EST (find your timezone here). We'll be making our own Bad Mummy Bingo Cards and attempting to play along...!

Use #somum to find us on twitter, and add it to your tweets so that we can find you.

Be warned: I am very jet-lagged having just returned from our fabulous trip to New York (see some pictures over on our Facebook page), so this may be a completely delightful disaster...

But here's the plan - we'll get together on twitter to do the following:

1. Either print off your own blank template to fill in from the Bad Mummy Bingo page here (if you click on 'read more' and scroll to the bottom of that page, you'll find it as a downloadable PDF - or you can just print the photo here really big) or simply doodle your own. Remember, it doesn't have to look professional - draw it, paint it, crayon it, just use whatever you have to hand.

2. Fill in the 12 circles on your bingo card with things you do (or have done, once, never to be repeated, cough cough....) that make you feel like a Bad Mummy. That's a lot, so if you get stuck thinking of things (I could personally fill several bingo cards, but I'm sure you are much less of a Bad Mummy than I am...), try giving your bingo card a theme - such as Bad Mummy things to do at Christmas, or linked to school, or when you have a teenager...

3. At the Make Date, we'll attempt to take turns sharing one Bad Mummy thing from our bingo card... If someone else shares a Bad Mummy thing that you have on your bingo card, you can cross it off.

I Am Normal - even when I win at Bad Mummy Bingo - badge from www.storyofmum.comAnd we'll see who gets to a full house and call out "Bad Mummy Bingo Full House" first!

At the moment, there's no actual prize other than the glory of being the Baddest Bad-Ass Mummy in the world and your printable Bad Mummy "I am Normal" badge, but...

...I have a plan, and if I have time to do it, there may yet be a superbly unique and rubbish prize. Hold your breath...!

Hope to see you to play later. And if you're wondering what on earth a #somum Make Date is, you can find out more here.

The gift of dance

In support of the launch of the Rainbow Way, this 'Creative Heritage' post celebrates the gift of movement from my beautiful inspiring mother for Lucy Pearce's carnival of Creative Women.

(Apologies, it has been rather hastily written between kiddy bedtime and leaving for New York, but I really wanted to join in so I'm slamming it up here anyway!)

Who taught you that you had the power to invent? To create? To be your own you?

I remember pretending to be a tree.  Walking like a giant, then a mouse, then running running running until a gang of children collapsed on the floor in my mum’s playful dance and drama classes.

I remember jumping from cushion to upturned rocking chair without touching the floor in our front room, kicking and waving and star-jumping off the rocking chair to Racey’s Lay your Love on Me and Ian Dury’s Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick.

I remember sitting under a blanket, off sick from school, watching men and women in leotards leap beautifully, making lines across cold mirrored rooms at the Laban Centre, my hard-working mum waving them along, and waving up at me.

I remember where I learnt to love dance. Where I learnt to love moving in response to music. To start doing without judging. To explore creating a space with my body. To create  - movement, me in a space, joy.

Penny Best as a child, dancing!

This is my creative heritage. 

My mum was a dancer (that's her on the right). She still is.

I’ve never had a dancer’s body. I had a brief fling with ballet until I overheard the ballet teacher telling my mum that I couldn’t be in the Nutcracker because I was too fat. I don’t remember going back. But I didn't stop dancing.

Dance marks so many of the important chapters of my life. It was the only physical activity I enjoyed at school. From indie mosh-pits to Madchester to rave, I danced and danced to find myself. I wrote, and I danced.

On my 30th birthday, I won a dance like your dad contest – it was easy really, I just danced to a completely different tune in my head. Although funnily enough, my dad’s a pretty good dancer.

I was first attracted to my husband on the dancefloor. Now there’s a man with a sense of humour and masses of confidence in his own unique moves…! I love and still love that about him. He was so enthusiastic when we danced at our wedding 'first dance' that he pulled a muscle. Heroically, he carried on, just with a slightly tighter smile and less crazy leg movements...

Recently, I hosted a business-mums’ networking workshop. A woman I hadn’t met before arrived, and grinned delightedly as she saw me. “I’m so glad it’s you! I’ve danced next to you before, and you’re a great dancer. You love dancing, I know this will be good!” It was one of the most wonderful ways I have ever been greeted.

It felt like she had connected with my essence in some way, the creative bit that now is rarely shared as a mother who doesn’t get to go out and dance very often.

Now, I do zumba. Along with yoga, it's my precious time for me. You have to follow someone else’s moves, but the teacher creates a really supportive fun space and I love moving my body there. I grin the entire way through.

But it's when I dance my own steps, that I feel truly connected to me. I feel beautiful and free.

me and daughter dancing

It has to be the right space of course – a friendly one, not a preening one. I miss the days of losing myself in night clubs, but I don’t miss the performance.

The front room is fine. A party with friends is better. I used to go to a regular barefoot disco which I loved, and tried 5 Rhythms dancing once. One day I'll try a silent disco.

As a mother, it has become even more important to me to find those things that connect me to me. I am not a dancer, but I love to dance. And I love to create.

My mum continues to inspire me. Together we have created Story of Mum, this creative space for mums.

And the two of us are waltzing our way over to New York together tonight, to share our exhibition of mother's stories!

There is no dance in the exhibition, (at least, not yet!) but it is very much fuelled by that gift of creative heritage - by being given the tools to be free, that space to connect to my creative core.

I’m passing it on to you here, and on to my kids in front room discos and beach picnic parties. And I am so grateful to my beautiful dancing mother. 

I can't wait to spend 5 days in New York together! Find out more here and join our events at the Museum of Motherhood on Thursday 5 December, and Sunday 8 December.

And find out more about Lucy's wonderful book The Rainbow Way.

Join our Family Make Date in New York!

Join us 1-3pm on Sunday! British mother-daughter team Pippa and Penny Best of global mums’ community Story of Mum join the Museum of Motherhood’s Family Day to host a pop-up Family Make Date as part of their touring exhibition and events programme: Story of Mum: Mums Making an Exhibition of Ourselves. 

Story of Mum Family Make Date at the Museum of Motherhood in NYC
Sunday December 8th from 1pm to 3pm.

The Family Make Date offers a rare chance to take some creative time out to explore your identity while your children play and get creative by your side. 

Add words to a giant communal mothers’ poem, hear other mothers’ stories, make your own Mama Mash-Up collage, have your “I’m a mom and a…” photo taken, and visit the Story of Mum exhibition with your family.

Story of Mum: Mums Making an Exhibition of Ourselves draws on participatory creative activities to investigate identity:

25 short films from a diverse group of mothers describe the everyday joys and heart-breaking challenges of motherhood, each film connecting the next to a greater mothering narrative.

At each event, a wall of Mama Mash-Up collages are created by mothers to capture different aspects of our identities, inspired by the work of artist-mother Suzi Banks Baum.

Pat Kelman's photo of Story of Mum Make Date at Photographers Gallery LondonThe exhibition’s ever-growing communal mum poem has been guest curated by UK poets Hollie McNish, Sally Crabtree and Caroline Davies on the tour so far. Mothers also complete the sentence “I’m a mum and a…” for photographed portraits, including many collected by M.O.M. this year. Multi-taskers and dreamers, entrepreneurs and cleaners, taxi drivers and secret singers. What else are you?

Story of Mum is a community of creative mamas celebrating the ups and downs of motherhood and sharing their stories at www.storyofmum.com. Let’s play together at our Family Make Date.

If you know any mothers in New York, please let them know we're coming and we'd love to see them there! 

 

photo credits: Andra Alexander, Pat Kelman

Join us for a FeMail/Story of Mum Mash-Up Make Date!

Spend two hours making art and building sisterhood with online phenomenons Pippa and Penny Best of the Story of Mum in Great Britain and FeMail artist Suzi Banks Baum of the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. 

Join us for a FeMail and Story of Mum Mash-Up at the Museum of Motherhood in NYC: Thursday December 5th from 5 pm to 7 pm

Suzi Banks Baum of Laundry Line Divine and FeMail

When Laundry Line Divine blogger Suzi and Pippa Best, co-creator of Story of Mum, a vibrant online community of mothers (yes, that's us and YOU!) met on twitter, they created a bond through sharing their work with and for and as mothers through the arts online.

Suzi’s art inspired the Mama Mash-Ups of Story of Mum’s touring exhibition and events programme: Story of Mum: Mums Making an Exhibition of Ourselves. With Story of Mum’s other half, Pippa’s mother Penny, a mighty collaboration has been forged.

Come make Mama Mash-Up postal art with these three dynamic fire-starters.

Learn some simple art techniques you can take home and help support the Museum of Motherhood by contributing to the art archive with a piece of mail art. In this workshop we will be making mail art to send as messages of hope to other mothers and creating a group poem.

Pat Kelman's photos of the Story of Mum Make Date at The Photographers' Gallery London 

The Museum of Motherhood is excited to host this art workshop and a inaugural reading of An Anthology of Babes: 36 Women Give Motherhood a Voice by several of the contributing authors, Cheryl Paley of Hoboken NJ, Joanne Tombrakos of Manhattan, NY and Lori Landau from Mahwah, NJ.

These mother artists will read stories from the book.

An Anthology of BabesThis special event, hosted in partnership with Laundry Line Divine and the Museum of Motherhood, also marks the New York launch of Story of Mum: Mums Making an Exhibition of Ourselves, Story of Mum’s exhibition and events programme from Thursday 5 December to Sunday 8 December at M.O.M.

Join www.storyofmum.com’s community of creative mamas in New York to celebrate the ups and downs of motherhood, share your own story, hear moving words from the mouths of wonderful mother-writers, and make an exhibition of yourself on and offline....

If you know any mothers in New York, please let them know we're coming and we'd love to see them there! 

 

Image credits: Suzi Banks Baum, Pat Kelman

Story of Mum: Moms Making an Exhibition of Ourselves

We've found the perfect home for our inspirational exhibition tour this December in New York’s The Museum of Motherhood, a unique education and exhibition centre dedicated to the exploration of family. In New York. Did we mention we're going to NEW YORK!!?

Story of Mum's exhibition comes to New York's Museum of Motherhood

In case you don't know already... Story of Mum is a community of creative mamas celebrating the ups and downs of motherhood and sharing our stories here at www.storyofmum.com. Our tour, Story of Mum: Mums Making an Exhibition of Ourselves, visits New York from Thursday 5 December to Sunday 8 December, with M.O.M. hosting an exciting programme of participatory events. 

What's happening when?

Mama Mash-Up by Suzi Banks BaumOn Thursday from 5pm to 7pm, visionary FeMail artist Suzi Banks Baum joins Story of Mum to present an evening of Femail Mama Mash-Up art-making alongside readings from writers Cheryl Paley, Joanne Tombrakos and Lori Landau from Suzi’s powerful book: An Anthology of Babes: 36 Women Give Motherhood a Voice.

Led by some truly inspiring mothers, this hands-on workshop launches the exhibition and offers a unique chance to get creative (even if you think you’re not), exploring our identity within a global community of mothers.

On Sunday from 1pm to 3pm, Story of Mum joins the Museum of Motherhood’s Family Day for a pop-up Family Make Date. Bring your kids to play and add your own voice to the exhibition...

What's this exhibition thing?

Pat Kelman's photographs of the Story of Mum Make Date at the Photographers' Gallery, LondonStory of Mum: Mums Making an Exhibition of Ourselves draws on participatory creative activities to investigate identity:

25 short films from a diverse group of mothers describe the everyday joys and heart-breaking challenges of motherhood, each film connecting the next to a greater mothering narrative.

At each event, a wall of Mama Mash-Up collages are created by mothers to capture different aspects of our identities, inspired by the work of artist-mother Suzi Banks Baum.

The exhibition’s ever-growing communal mum poem has been guest curated by UK poets Hollie McNish, Sally Crabtree and Caroline Davies on the tour so far. Mothers also complete the sentence “I’m a mum and a…” for photographed portraits, including many collected by M.O.M. this year. Multi-taskers and dreamers, entrepreneurs and cleaners, taxi drivers and secret singers. What else are you?

Pat Kelman's photographs of Story of Mum Make Date at The Photographers' GalleryCreativity can connect us deeply to who we are and what we want. And sharing our stories reminds us that all mothers are different, the same, and amazing. 

Visitors to Story of Mum: Mums Making an Exhibition of Ourselves have described the experience as stimulating, entertaining, thought-provoking and beautiful. They felt proud, humbled, exhilarated, joyful, inspired and honoured, their opinion of motherhood changed: ‘I have a new respect and awe for my own mum and mums everywhere’; ‘I’d disconnected with how I felt about motherhood. This event and project reconnected me’.

Join www.storyofmum.com’s community of creative mamas in New York to celebrate the ups and downs of motherhood, share your own story, and make an exhibition of yourself on and offline.

If you know any mothers in New York, please let them know we're coming and we'd love to see them there! 


Image credits: Suzi Banks Baum, Pat Kelman

Creative Business-Mamas: Marie Hall of Bloom Remedies

We're starting a new guest post series: Creative Business-Mamas! Our first mama at the front-line of managing a creative business while mothering is the lovely Marie Hall of Bloom Remedies.

What's it like to be wired and inspired at 3am, set up a business from scratch, and manage the feelings that you're not giving enough time to either your business or your kids...?

Creative Business Mamas: Marie Hall of Bloom Remedies

Describe how you are feeling RIGHT NOW in three words? 

Calm.  Pooped.  Inspired.

What's your creative business, and when, why and how did you start it?

My business is alchemy, aromatherapy, tinkering with formulations and creating lovely skincare and bodycare products by hand in a little workshop in beautiful and inspiring West Cornwall.

There wasn't a black and white 'start' moment for the business really, I've loved essential oils for years, pre-kids and relationships even.  

Then after relationships got settled and kids appeared I really got back into them, so took a 2 year part time diploma in essential oil science with Neals Yard Remedies and starting making bespoke balms and blends for private clients.  

They all enthused, and I started to realise that actually making the products appealed to me more than the personal 'therapy/massage' side of my trade so the seed of an idea began to form.  

I set up the company 'properly' shortly after we moved to Cornwall (2 and half years ago) and got the products safety assessed and registered and ticked all the crazy EU paperwork boxes - which all sounds very simple, but in actual fact took forever to get sorted - from sourcing wholesale ingredient providers, to researching bottle companies.  

It all took a lot of time and effort!  In fact it took over a year to sort out, and the company started trading as Bloom Remedies to the public just over a year ago.

Bloom Remedies

What are the best and worst things about being a mother running a creative business?

The absolute worst thing - and something that I'm struggling with a lot lately - is the classic female trait to want it all to be 'perfect' and then struggling with the guilt that comes with the absolute truth - that it never can be!  

I'm always feeling like I'm not giving enough to the kids as I'm flitting between them and the laptop, or that I'm not giving enough to the business as I'm fielding calls while grabbing their swim gear. Sometimes it really sucks and gets me down.  The wake up call this week for me has been accepting that this has to change - so I'm going to work it out in the form of a tighter schedule.  

A bit of a yawn... and not my usual way of working but I am going to HAVE to write down ME time, THEM time (ie kids) US time (ie hubbie) and WORK time on the calender and absolutely stick to it in order to keep my sanity.  Fingers crossed its going to work!

Bloom Remedies bath time

What is the biggest challenge that you've faced and overcome as a creative working mama?

Confidence!  I had such low levels when this started but I've met so many amazing people in the last year, and doing this has helped boost me, my identity and my strength. Whilst simultaneously zapping it with a cattle prod from time to time of course ;) 

What advice would you give a mama starting a creative business?

If you love what you do, believe in it, are passionate about it, and have a bit of support behind you then you can do it!  

Don't think you have to be a martyr and do it all alone, or think that no-one is interested.  There's always someone out there willing to lend a hand if you LET them. 

What are you working on right now that you're most excited about?

Calendula and Camomile Baby Eczema Balm, Bloom Remedies

I'm getting all my research underway for the next set of awards I can enter as we have just won in the finalist category for the Beauty Shortlist Best Baby Balm 2013 award, with our Calendula & Chamomile Eczema balm.

I never thought we'd win as we were up against big national companies, but we did!  

So I'm now feeling inspired to go for it and enter some of the big awards that are coming up next Spring.

If there was a Creative Working Mama Fairy,
what would you wish for?

I always get my 'wired and inspired' head on in the middle of the night.  Thankfully this doesn't happen too regularly (well once a week *sigh*) but it means that I'm up googling and typing at 3am.  

If the fairy could get me in that wired and inspired state at 1pm, before the kids need picking up, instead of 3am when I really should be tucked up in bed - well, I'd really appreciate it!

 

What does being a creative business-mama mean to you?
If you'd like to share your story with us, we'd love to hear from you.

From caring comes courage

Us mothers are a courageous bunch. Our last #somum Make Date had us sharing the stories of our bravest moments, and sharing the fears we'd most like to overcome.

"From caring comes courage" Lao Tzu

Our children inspire us to be brave. As mothers, we're less afraid of what other people think of us. Less afraid of making mistakes. We're less afraid of never finding love and wearing red lipstick, of gaining weight. 

Yes, we're still afraid of social situations, of flying, of rats, spiders and the dark. We're afraid of passing on our fears to our children. Of losing ourselves in motherhood. Most of all, we're afraid of losing those we love.

But everyday we get up. We care and that gives us courage. Getting out of the house, answering back instead of people-pleasing, and saying no even though we're scared of letting people down.

Looking life's big challenges in the face - moving to another country, leaving a marriage, resigning from a job to start a business, speaking up about a sexual assault, admitting to having PND, ending a much-wanted pregnancy, making a commitment to art and creativity, and sometimes, just getting through the year. We are brave.

We made Encouragement Cards to remind other mothers of how brave they are too, and shared them here. We would love you to make one too.

And if you need one, just let me know and I'll send you one. With love.

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says 'I'll try again tomorrow'" Mary Ann Radmacher (via lovely @thisiswiss)

I'm off to New York at the start of December to share our exhibition at the Museum of Motherhood, so I'm going to need all the courage I can get. NEW YORK?! If you know anyone there, send them our way and we can be brave together.

You can read a storify of some of the Make Date highlights below.

Win Freya Laughton cut-out-and-make advent calendars

Freya Laughton nativity advent calendarLovely Freya Laughton has given us two stonking pairs of her gorgeous advent calendars to give away to YOU.

They are ADORABLE and she always sells out fast, so don't miss out on a wonderful alternative to kiddies' Christmas chocolate melt-downs.

freya laughton advent calendar

 Hello freya... how are you feeling right now?

Fulloftoomanybiscuits (is that one word?) knackered also, overwhelmed (big to-do-list, not to-done...).

tell us about your creative business - what's your story ?

Freya Laughton calendar sketches

Both my parents have been self-employed for most of my life, so I thought it was normal.

I've always loved to draw and make things, they really encouraged me, and didn't seem to mind that I couldn't spell or understand numbers. I obviously wasn't going to be a hot shot lawyer or doctor!

I suppose I officially became self employed in 2005, but it has felt like a natural path that I started on fairly young.

When I finished an art course at Penwith College, I went to an art centre in America for a few months to work with some artists out there.

I came back and got a part time job with Poppy Treffry, who I still work part-time for now, almost 10 years on - she's a fantastic boss and it's a great company to work for.

With the rest of the week, I've been building up my own business, which started out as very textile-based. I made bags and other accessories, childrens and adults' aprons and cushions...

But in the last couple of years, I've stopped making as much with fabric and started to do more illustration work. 

freya laughton sketches

I illustrated a little Pocket Cornwall book, Cornish Feasts and Festivals, written by Liz Woods, an excellent food blogger, published by Alison Hodge (who also happens to be my mum).

I really enjoyed the illustration process, finding out about what I needed to draw and coming up with characters to tell the story.

I still love textiles, and spend a lot of evenings in my studio making things with my huge collection of fabrics, so I don't think I'll ever abandon the sewing machines.

What's the best bit of your working day?

I love doing rough sketches for something, especially people, they're totally anatomically incorrect. I think I probably pull funny expressions when I do the faces, but I like to scribble. I also like biscuits.

freya laughton nativity advent calendar

Why a cut-out-and-make advent calendar?

When I was little my aunt sent us each (I have an older brother) a traditional advent calendar. It was one of those cardboard ones with doors to open every day.

I loved uncovering a picture. Sometimes it would take ages to find the door, but that was what I liked, having a little activity.

I don't know when chocolate advent calendars really took off, but I know we stopped getting the cardboard ones. 

Freya Laughton advent calendar cottage

I watched children I knew with several chocolate calendars on the shelf - some would be empty a few days into December because the chocolate proved too tempting to wait for. Surely that was missing the whole point!

So I wanted to do something that was all about the activity, and pictures - not just cheap chocolate.

The first calendar I did last year was based on houses round the world. I wanted it to be fun and interesting. There is a different house for every day, with a little bit to read about the building and where you might find one. People live in some amazing structures. I really enjoyed doing the research.

freya laughton shepherd nativity advent calendar

There are islands in Peru that are entirely man-made out of the reeds that naturally grow in the lakes! The islands, houses and boats are all made from these reeds. I didn't know anything about them before last year. (Now everyone knows about them because Stephen Fry mentioned it on QI a few weeks ago...)

People seemed to like the concept of the Where We Live advent calendar, but there was also demand for something more traditional. 

So this year I started earlier, and did the Nativity calendar, which I liked drawing because it's people and animals, so I got to pull a lot of different expressions!

I hope the chocolate won't be missed, but everyone gets plenty on Christmas day anyway. And with one of these calendars they'll have a little model nativity, or world village to enjoy playing with too.

I’m already starting to think what topic I can do next year...

Freya Laughton Where We Live advent calendar

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Come encourage another mama on twitter

Come join us for our next #somum Make Date on Wednesday 13 November from 8.30-10pm UK time (find world times here).

This month we're all about sending a little courage to another mama who needs it.

Join us on twitter to make them together and talk about what gives us courage as mothers - how can we support each other? Find out more about what we'll be making and how at Encourage a Mama

I've made a simple template for an Encouragement Card that you can make and send. Send it to yourself, send it to a friend, send it to someone whose courage you see when they may not. 

Sam Osborne notebook and gift cards - make your own encouragement card to enter to win

Not only will you make another mama (or yourself) feel good, you might even win some fabulous prizes...

Lovely Sam Osborne is offering two lucky winners a gorgeous gift-pack of cards and a notebook (like these gorgeous ones here). 

To have a chance to win one of these lovely packs, just upload your encouragement card to our gallery some time this month - we'll draw the winners at the end of November.

Sam is a fantastic designer who makes beautiful useful things. Right now, the wall planners in her etsy shop are going like hot cakes...

Secondly, the wonderful Teika of Mothers' Milk Books is also giving away some goodies from her shop, The Mother's Milk Bookshop, which is chock-full of mothering beauty, in the form of books, cards, art and poetry prints. 

Greetings Cards from Mothers Milk Books - join Story of Mum #somum Make Date to winYou can enter to win a pack of 10 beautiful Mothers' Milk cards simply by joining our #somum Make Date on Weds 13 November and adding #somum to your tweets (choose either those on the left, or another pack which is equally gorgeous). 

PLUS you'll win a free entry to the Mothers' Milk writing competition (how's that for inspiration to get a little bit braver!)

Teika also published the inspiring anthology of art and words from mothers, Musings on Mothering. Do take a look if you haven't already...

We'll choose a winner randomly at the end of the Make Date from everyone tweeting using the #somum hashtag.

Then add a photo of your card to the online gallery here and you'll be entered to win the goodies from Sam at the end of the month too...

What is a #somum Make Date?

If you haven't joined us before, you might be wondering what on earth we mean by a Make Date on twitter.

Well, it's a chance for mums to get together on twitter and tweet while we attempt to do something creative - like doodlingtaking a photowriting poetrymaking stuff or even squidging plasticine.

We give ourselves some creative me-time and connect with other lovely mums. We do it every second Wednesday of the month and we would love you to join us. New friends are always very welcome.

You don't have to be a clever crafter, an artist or wordsmith. We're all about having a go regardless of talent or experience. Most of all, it's about getting together and having fun.

If you just want to chat, that's completely fine. If you just want to make something and lurk and never tell us you're there, that's fine too. We're just happy you're making time for you. 

Be brave and join us to spread some courage! 

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