Textile Designer Lynda Shell has become a regular face at Little Otter Markets showcasing her fantastic collection of bags and accessories. Lynda's journey began at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, in 2001 where she studied BA (Hons) Contemporary Textile Practice. She then went on to establish her own successful business, becoming a Member of the Makers Guild in Wales, whilst looking after her growing family.
Ahead of Mothers' Day on Sunday 31st March, I asked Lynda to tell us a little bit about her family and how she has found motherhood...
When did you become a Mum? Hattie was born in 1996 and is now 23, Freddie was born in 2007 now age 12 - so a big 11 year gap!
How has motherhood been for you?
I have loved being a mother, it is both the hardest and the most rewarding thing I have ever done.
Was it what you expected?
To be honest I didn’t have any preconceived expectations of motherhood I have always just gone with the flow.
What have been your biggest challenges?
I don’t think I have had one big challenge, every stage of a child’s development into adulthood and beyond brings a new challenge to face, you just deal with them as best you can and move on.
How do you find juggling family life and your own business?
Well it's not always easy but I somehow make it work. I think it's good for my children to see me work hard at something I feel passionate about, hopefully it will inspire them to do the same.
What advice would you give to a new Mum?
Trust your natural instincts to guide you, there are no hard and fast rules to being a mother, just do what feels right for you.
What do you enjoy the most about being a Mum?
The smiles, the laughs and the cuddles for sure!
To see more examples of Lynda's work, and to find out how to get in touch with her, please visit Lynda's directory page.
Nothing makes you truly appreciate everything that your Mum has done for you than becoming a parent yourself. All the heartache, the worry, and sleepless nights...not to mention the physical drain of pregnancy and labour. Mums are amazing aren't they. I am so grateful to my Mum Anne and my Dad Alex for being such loving parents, and every day, I thank my lucky stars that I have two wonderful daughters Awen and Tirion.
I realise that, sadly, not everyone is in the same situation - some friends have tragically lost their Mums far too young or are estranged from them; others have problematic relationships with their Mothers. Some friends desperately want to become mothers but have not been able too. So I know that Mothers' Day can be a terribly difficult date in the calendar and I send lots of love to anyone feeling low at this time of year.
If you are looking for a gift for your Mum - or a female friend who deserves spoiling - and you didn't manage to shop at our recent Mothers Day special - fear not! As I have put together a list of present ideas from our talented directory makers. (Links are given underneath the photos to take you to the maker's page.)
And starting tomorrow, I will introduce you to some of our makers who happen to be Mums themselves as they share their experiences and thoughts of the crazy ride that is motherhood.
Back tomorrow and in the meantime, have a browse......
New little Mini Ziptop bag from Lynda Shell Textiles. £45. Perfect for a small spring/summer bag when you don’t want to be weighed down with a huge heavy bag! They will fit in your purse, phone keys and a few small essentials. Available in colours: natural, wine and mid blue.
Penarth - Framed Textile Illustration, 10 Inch Wooden Embroidery Hoop from Stitch City. £60.00 plus delivery.
Welsh Mother's Day Card, Sul y Mamau, Mam Arbennig - Lovely Mum - in a zesty orange design by oh! Susannah. £2.50
Mummy's Bestie matching set from Zac and Bella. From £20.
Ceramic art dish from Love & Lovelier. £14.
Electric blue and gold design on pale grey suede clutch bag from Seascape Curiosities.
Ribbon and metal disc bracelet and earrings set from p&d Designs.
Orla Keily oilcloth accessories from Tommelise Danish Design.
Sterling silver necklace featuring the word ‘love’ from Lou Gray Jewellery. The text is hand drawn, laser cut and finished with a delicate silver belcher chain necklace. The total necklace length is approximately 16". £45
Gold French macaron favours from Majestic Macarons and Cakes. Gluten free. 12 luxury treats in gold, vanilla flavour. £24 plus delivery
Beautiful handmade cushions from The Pocket Pirate. £45. Made from reclaimed upholstery fabric for an individual, hardwearing cushion cover – no two are the same! Zipped at the edge for easy removal of the internal duck down pillow.
One of the best things about coming along to a Little Otter Events market is the chance you have to chat to makers and find out a bit more about them and their inspiration.
So ahead of Penarth's Handmade Market on Sunday 18th November and Rhiwbina's Handmade Market on Sunday 25th November, I will introduce you briefly to our makers and showcase some examples of their work to give you some gift inspiration. For a bit of fun, I have also asked them to share with us details of how they spend their Christmas too.
First up, the very talented and very lovely Tommelise Danish Design....
What are you working on ready for Christmas?
For my stall I’m working on re stocking as I’ve not been able to replenish for a while, and I will bring traditional Danish Christmas decorations.
Something new this year I’ve worked in partnership with Cardiff rural Crafts, and will be hosting workshops in Danish Christmas Hygge, where participants will make three folded paper stars and get to taste gløgg and brunkager. These events are on Thursday 6th Dec from 7-9:30pm and Friday 7th from 10am-12:30pm. Booking via Cardiff rural crafts.
What's your favourite thing about Christmas?
Spending time with my family in Denmark - this year it’ll be a Danish Christmas so that means we will celebrate on Christmas Eve w meal, dancing around the tree followed by presents. You are going g to ask what we do on xmas day now..... we eat and drink and play with our new toys
What do you love about Christmas?
Christmas hygge, especially up to Xmas, the songs, smells, present shopping, lights outside etc
What's the worst present you have ever received?
I haven’t got a worst present, but Paul was once gifted on video tape: Peter Ustinov’s guide to the Vatican - we still laugh at that
What's your favourite Christmas song?
I like them all, especially choirs but not before end of Nov / early Dec please.
Come and meet Lise at Rhiwbina's Handmade Market on Sunday 25th November, 11-4pm, Rhiwbina Memorial Hall. For more info on this event, and a map, visit our RHM page.
My garden is full of pink flowers at the moment, and it is a real joy to see all the cherry trees laden with pink blossom in Rhiwbina. Pink is such a happy colour and it is a shame that most people think pink is only for girls. Right up until the 1930s, boys were dressed in pink and girls in blue. Men wore red as it was considered to be a strong colour (used in uniforms), and so pink was seen as a variation of this colour for 'small men'.
Do you have any pink in your wardrobe? Let me know about your favourite item in the comments below!
Here is a pink collection from our directory makers. If you are on the look out for a gift or a card for a pink loving friend, we have it covered!
Bespoke pink dot oilcloth bag, made to order, Tommelise Danish Design
Pink tourmaline and sterling silver stacking ring set, £40, Lydia Niziblian Jewellery
Pink geo harem leggings, £12.50, Zac & Bella
Pretty pink and red fabric knot bracelet, £14.50, p&d designs
Unicorn French macarons, Majestic Macarons
Penblwydd Hapus, cute cupcake card, £2.50, oh! Susannah
March has been such a strange month hasn't it? Sunshine then snow, then rain along with biting winds. It seems that every time I get a summer dress out, the forecast changes and I put my Saltwater sandals back in the box. Let's be optimistic and ignore any reports of the return of the snow in time for Easter! Bring on the blossom please!
Here is a bright and sunny collection of gifts from our talented directory makers to remind you of sunny days, blue skys and flowers in the garden...
Flower pot cake by Lolo's Cake Away.
Braided fabric knot ring by p&d designs. £14 plus postage.
Foldover mini clutch bag by Lynda Shell Textiles.
Organic clouds romper by Zac & Bella. £23 plus postage.
Floral collection from Seascape Curiosities.
Personalised icecream notebook by oh! Susannah. £5 plus postage.
Blue and mustard leather messenger bag by Pocket Pirate. £320.
April Liddell. Founder of Little Otter Markets. Lives a crafty life. Loves going for walks with her dog Betsi, listening to music, and eating chelsea buns.