Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy Hogmanay: 2011 Highlights

I say it every year- but I can't believe how fast this one's gone. There's been a lot of hard work, and I feel like so much has changed after looking back on my blog posts from this time last year. I'm planning on celebrating Hogmanay and the end of a really good year with the people closest to me in Glasgow this year. Here's a run-down of my highlights of 2011:

  • I introducing a new collection of 6 cushions throughout the year
  • Meeting some exciting new stockists (who I'll be unveiling in 2012)
  • Receiving the Dundee Craft Maker's Award

Happy Hogmanay Everyone!

Friday, 30 December 2011

Spotted PLUS at Top Drawer Spring 2012

With the whirlwind that is Christmas and the festive season almost over I'm making plans for the coming year. Thank you to everyone who visited my shop this festive season- I hope that everyone who received a biscuity gift this Christmas was chuffed with it!

I'll be blogging a round-up of highlights from 2011 tomorrow- but until then I can't wait any longer to announce that I will be returning to Top Drawer Spring this January as part of Spotted Plus! While I was part of the Spotted feature last time around (see my blog post), Spotted Plus is a new addition to the Spring show. I've been invited to be part of Spotted plus alongside 5 other Spotted exhibitors from the 2011 Autumn show: Goodwin + Goodwin, Snowdon Design, Laura Spring, Bong & Rag, and Cutture.

I've been seriously lucky this month- and was awarded the Dundee Craft Maker's Award- which will be used to fund my attendance at Top Drawer this January.

The Top Drawer show mag popped through the letterbox this morning- and I'm very lucky to have had one of my Custard Cream cushions featured! I'll add a link to the digital mag as soon as it's released- until then there's a few snaps above.

If you're planning on coming along- don't forget to register. They'll give you a shiny show-badge to wear!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

A Day In The Life: Boxing Day 2011

10:45am. Wake up after super-long lie. Was dreaming that I'd quit my day-job and was living in Cyprus. Nice!

11:00am. Get Bacon and Pita Bread for breakfast. Stay in PJ's.

11.30am. Help my mum design her new kitchen. She's excited! I am too- I like organising spaces so this a treat for me!

14.00pm. Stop kitchen-designing for lunch. This is homemade Nigella Lawson babycakes and Swedish Glace icecream. My brother calls them Heart Attack puddings. He's probably right.

16.30pm. The kitchen design is complete!

17.00pm. Start making dinner. Play with my mum's cat, Alfie. Discover that he loves it when you sing to him- it makes him roll on the floor!

18.30pm. Dinner time!

19.00pm. Settle down on the couch for the Boxing Day Eastenders. My brother improvises a song on the guitar about the on-screen drama. There's not enough memory in my phone to record it!

20.00pm. Brother announces he has a new business idea. Asks me to design his website layout. He is impressed by my knowledge of typefaces.

22.00pm. Website design complete. I realise that I have accidentally done a fair bit of design work today. Try to watch Ocean's 12 on the TV but it is awful. Playing with the cat is far more appealing. He's hyper.

22.30pm. Eat a mini Turkey sandwich and have a cup of tea. We watch something on the telly but I can't remember what (food coma setting in).

00.00am Bed!

Click below to read about other blogger's days:

Friday, 23 December 2011

A Day in the Life- December Date

For those of you who regularly read my blog posts you may have noticed a few posts entitled A Day In the Life. It's my turn to choose the date for the next post, and I have chosen Sunday the 26th of December- Boxing Day!

Everyone has their own rituals at this time of year and I thought it would be nice to share a slice of our lives at this much-hyped time of year. If you're taking part- don't forget to leave me a comment with your post's url so that I can collate them all at the end.

You can read the lovely Laura's belated Day In the Life from November here- along with a list of all of the other posts from this day.

Happy blogging!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

FLASH Giveaway

I totally forgot that I'd made up these little gift selection boxes, (contents pictured above) so I'm having a FLASH Giveaway over on my twitter this evening (closing at 9pm this evening)! If you don't already all you have to do it follow me, and Retweet the giveaway tweet- when I tweet it!)

I only have 2 of these available only in my folksy shop- at the price of £15.00, including totally FREE postage for Christmas. These wee boxes contain £19.00 worth of my stuff- and come gift-wrapped up all nice, ready for you to give to someone for Crimbo!

Get yours HERE or head on over to my twitter for the chance to win one this evening!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Get it for Christmas 2011: Last Posting Update

If you're keeping up to date with all of my news at the mo- you'll know that my last posting dates for standard UK delivery have been and gone.

I know how busy everyone can be at Christmas (I, for one am nowhere near finishing my Christmas shopping) so I thought I'd give folks a chance to carry on shopping and still get their orders delivered in time for the big day with the option to upgrade your postage.

I'm offering an upgrade to First Class, or Next Day Special delivery, starting at only £1.00! This is available only for orders from my Big Cartel Shop, so avoid my folksy or etsy if you want to go for this! Check out the listing here for more information.


Hope everyone's starting to get into the Christmassy mood now! If you're not- here's a really brilliant How-To by Flora of Through the Round Window for beautiful Eastern European Embroidery inspired paper chains! She's even included printable PDF's of the lovely patterned paper she used. Thanks Flora!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

A Festive Week in Pictures

TOP (Left - Right): Snowy skies over Perth; Hand-painted tree decorations; Twinkly lights on our tree; Wrapped up warm in a Hilary Grant Scarf; Festive Nails with emerald Swarovski; Our tree this morning

With less than 2 weeks until Christmas (10 days if we're being precise) it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in our wee flat! Here's some photos from my week via my beloved instagram.

This week sees the last order date for Christmas in my online shop which is tomorrow, the 14th of December!

I'm also looking forward to the Creative Dundee Christmas Party, and posting my #TwitterSecretSanta gift. Hooray for Christmas!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Stay Cosy STORM Discount

The severe weather warnings were dished out early this morning with winds reaching up to 100MPH up here in Bonny Scotland!

Take advantage of being housebound today by putting the kettle on, doubling-up on the wooly socks and getting some Christmas shopping done from the comfort of your living room!

To help you in your quest for cosy home-shopping, I'm giving 10% off everything in my Big Cartel Online Shop for today only! Just enter the code STORM at the checkout.

You can use the code on absolutely anything in my shop from badges to cushions- until 23:59 GMT tonight. Remember, the discount only applies in my Big Cartel shop- the code won't work in my Folksy or Etsy.

Have a great day- and stay toasty!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Vitra Christmas Market 2011

My fabulous central Glasgow stockist, TOJO Design at The Lighthouse are setting up a little slice of TOJO magic as part of the Vitra Christmas Market at the Vitra Showroom, Clerkenwell London. (Above is a photo via Someday London off last year's market. Doesn't it look lovely!)

They'll be showing my Teacake and Caramel wafer cushions as part of their stand at the market which opens today (Monday 5th December) and will run until the 22nd of December 2011.

You can stop by Vitra for all of your Festive shopping (which in my opinion is always more fun when the shop looks like a little Swiss Chalet!) as well as picking up some classic design for your home (Santa- if you're listening- you could pick me up a nice Eames Chair for my studio desk!)
Check out the Vitra Blog for the official press realease. Hopefully I can squeeze in a trip to London before the end of the year to have a look myself and see how my cushions are getting on!

UPDATE: The nice people over at @VitraUk have tweeted some photos of the market as it is- now all set-up and open to your good selves! Here's their snap of my cushions alongside the beautiful work of Donna Wilson!

Photo Blog: Bunty and Bella's Boutique Bash

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Let's Hear it for the Boys: Festive Gift Guide 2011

One of the reasons that I love taking my work to shows and fairs is the fact that it's a great opportunity to speak to my customers and get their feedback on my designs. One thing that stood out at the Ideal Home Show was that lots of folks were buying my Bourbon Cushions as gifts for the boys in their lives!

So- I've decided to put together a gift guide of things that would make great presents for your special chap this Christmas:

1. Chaos Theory Print by John Alan Birch (£8.00) A Giclee print from an original illustration of an Old Icey. It's slogan reads, "Without Ice-Cream There Would Be Only Darkness and Chaos". Brilliant.

2. Bourbon Biscuit Cushion by Myself (£30.00) Hand-Printed giant version of the biscuit-tin favourite.

3. Geometric Circle Scarf by Hilary Grant (£46.00) Super cosy lambswool circle scarf (also available in Magenta/Oatmeal or Cornflower/Coral)

4. Homework Pencil Box by Present and Correct (£24.50) Old fashioned pencil box with new-fangled laser-etched designs decorating its lid.

5. Secret Agents I Met and Liked Notebook by Archie Grand (€11.95) One of a plethora of coloured notebooks with neat round edges and Witty titles detailing different people you may meet, and like.

6. Box Pattern Leather Wallet by Backerton on Etsy (£24.42) Hand-stitched leather wallet with a nice box-inspired pattern printed on one side- I do like a bit of geometry in pattern!

I hope everyone's enjoying the Festive season so far- stay cosy! I can't believe it'll be December tomorrow...argh! You can buy both Hilary Grant's lovely scarves and my cushions at Bunty and Bella's Boutique bash here in Dundee this Sunday.

All product images belong to those as noted above.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Shop Handmade: Bunty & Bella's Boutique Bash

After I missed being part of the last Boutique Bash (have a look at the beautiful photos here) I am so excited to be part of the next Bunty and Bella extravaganza at the Maggie's Centre in Dundee this Sunday the 4th of December from 1pm - 3pm. It's FREE to attend- and a great chance to do some of your Christmas gift-shopping straight from your local designers. I'll be there, cushions in tow, along with Hilary Grant, Yoke, Lovely Pigeon, Claire McVinnie and loads more fabulous Dundee-local makers.

Maggie's Dundee is a really beautiful building- and if you've not been it's definitely worth a trip! You can find it- here.

If you're feeling creative you can also come along the Festive Printing Workshop to carve your own stamps- perfect for personalising gift-wrapping and making your own cards this Christmas. It's £20 to attend the workshop- which includes all of your materials, tuition AND homemade cake AND tea/coffee- which sounds like a totally perfect afternoon to me! (In fact, if I disappear from my stall at the'll probably find me here!)

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Getting Festive at Say No To Plastic

After a whole week zooming around London it's great to be back on home turf in bonny (rainy) Scotland!

It's been a busy few days catching back with everything that I've missed whilst being away- and I've been very lucky to be offered a stall at this Sunday's (the 27th of November) Say No To Plastic Craft and Vintage Sale at Oran Mor on Byres Road in Glasgow.

I'll be in good company alongside fellow Scottish maker and twitter pal Miso Funky, as well as We Are the Robots and Peony and Thistle

To celebrate being north of the border again, I'm giving a 10% discount to anyone who shops with me at the fair on Sunday. Just snap a screen-shot of the voucher below on your phone (iPhone peeps: use home button + lock button- not sure how you'd do this on other handsets) or just print it out and bring it along with you. The discount is valid on my range of cushions purchased only at Say Not To Plastic on the 27th of November- so get yourself down to Byre's road to shop hand-made this Christmas!

And if you weren't already in the Christmas mood- here's a wee tune (by the master of movie soundtracks John Williams) from one of my favourite Christmas movies of all time: Home Alone! See you Sunday peeps!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

A Day in the Life

I thought I'd do a visual Day in the Life blog post this time- so I took a few photos to mark my day at the Ideal Home Show at Earl's court.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Nikki McWilliams at the Ideal Home show at Christmas

If you've been following my blog over the last few weeks you'll probably have guessed that by now I have set up shop for the week at Earl's Court exhibition centre in London for the Ideal Home Christmas show!

It's taken a lot of planning but with a little help from friends and family it's all come together nicely! I'm really pleased with my stand and it's actually a bit scary how close it is to my original plan sketch- but what can I say- I do like being organised! My very talented friend Lauren Gentry did my pretty chalkboard price list- I love it!

Today was the first day- there were absolutely loads of people in and I had a really fab response from those who stopped by my stand- favourites of the day were definitely the Caramel Wafer and my Custard Cream.

We'll be open tomorrow for late night shopping from 10am until 9pm (and then 10am - 6pm thereafter) so if you're in the area and you'd like to swing by, say hello and hug your favourite biscuit, please do! I'll be at Stand 2C81- upstairs in the shopping section!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Ideal Home Show at Christmas: an exciting update!

With only a few days before I leave for London to set up shop at this year's Ideal Home Show at Christmas- I'm all prepared and starting to get properly excited about a week in the capital city at what is shaping up to be a super-festive show!

I've been lucky enough to have had my cushions selected as one of the show's Top Gifts: they'll be featured in a special display at the entrance of the show- which is a really fabulous opportunity! I've also been asked to contribute cushions to the show's famously inspiring Room Sets- along with Top Drawer friends Goodwin + Goodwin and Design Bark.

I wanted to share this time lapse video of the build-up of last year's show- the transformation from empty space to the show in it's finished state is truly incredible!

If you're in London between the 16th and 20th of November- pop along and say hello! I'm travelling down for preparations this Monday- so you can keep up with me while I'm on the road via twitter and instagram.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Last Christmas Posting Dates 2011

With the nights drawing in and the Scottish air getting cooler every day I can't believe how quickly the Festive Season is approaching us!

So without more ado, here are the last Christmas posting dates for 2011 for all orders from my Online Shop (Etsy and Folksy included): please ensure that you order before these dates to make sure your biscuity goodies arrive in time for gift-giving!

Last International orders: Friday 2nd December

Last UK orders: Wednesday 14th of December

With last year's winter weather and subsequent postal delays in mind I would of course recommend that orders are placed ASAP to avoid disappointment.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

AWOB (Absent With Out Blogging)

Night owls- I've been super busy and therefore a bit absent from the blogosphere- so here's a wee video (it was made entirely using my phone- filmed and edited- so don't judge!) of what I've been up to- for those who are interested! With only 8 days until we leave for London for the Ideal Home show- I'll be doing a lot more of this in the days ahead- it's cushions-a-go-go here!


p.s- It's stated at the end of the video- but music is by Frightened Rabbit- they're pretty great, I think!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Ideal Home Show at Christmas: Giveaway time!

I'm still working hard to get everything ready for setting up shop at the Ideal Home Show at Christmas this November but in the mean time I wanted to celebrate via the blog with a little pre-show giveaway!

I'm giving away three pairs of tickets to enjoy the show (worth up to £26 per pair) courtesy of Nikki McWilliams design and the Ideal Home Show! Tickets are valid on any one day (Wednesday the 16th right through to Sunday the 20th- including late-night (9pm) shopping on the Thursday night!)

All you have to do to be in with the chance to win is leave a comment below with:

1) Your favourite item from my Online Shop.
2) Who you'd to take to the show with you, and why.

I'll announce the three winners on Monday the 31st of October. If you're more of a facebook-er than a blog reader, you can also enter via the Nikki McWilliams Design Facebook page!

Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Shake It Up, Baby

I first watched Ferris Bueller's Day Off about 15 years ago during an inspired late-night sewing and making session with my wee cousin, Danni. We were hopeful and young (we must have been early secondary school-age) and the prospect of taking a sneaky Day-Off to have an adventure in a big city was so exciting.

Over the years I've come back to this film with fond memories. It's not just a story about some school kids skiving- it's about aspirations, taking chances and living life.

And with that (and you might be wondering where this is going) I am pleased to say that within 4 weeks- I will be 100% self-employed and will no longer have a day-job. Leaving the security of a regular income and the familiarity of a workplace which I have been part of for the last 4 years was not an easy decision for me to make- while it's the end of one (longer than anticipated) chapter in my life it is also the start of a new one- and I'm so excited!

In the famous words of Ferris (and at the risk of sounding super cheesy): "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it". I can only hope I havn't just reversed the metaphorical Ferrari through a plate-glass garage wall: wish me luck!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Ideal Home Show at Christmas 2011

I had an excellent time on my last trip to London which is why I am super-excited to announce that I will be returning to our capital city again this November for the Ideal Home at Christmas show at Earl's Court!

I'll be setting up shop for 5 whole days (including one Thursday late shopping night) between the 16th and 20th of November at stand 2C81 (directly across from the Christmas food market within the Ideal Shopping section) so pop along and say hello!

If you're coming to visit me- be sure to use the code EXHX11 for a 10% discount off your ticket price.

See you soon, London!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Biscuits of Excellence

When I last blogged I was looking forward to a trip back to my secondary school, Alloa Academy to the annual Open Evening. I made a bee-line for the Art Department (as I did pretty much every day when I was a pupil there) and I was not dissapointed!

There was a truly excellent enormous cake-stand filled with giant papier mache biscuits made by super talented Third Year pupils who clearly (judging by the high standard of work and attention to detail) had really enjoyed their biscuity assignment!

It was great to see a few familiar faces and I had a lovely night. Thanks to Miss Wilson for getting in touch and inviting me along!

Monday, 10 October 2011

Going Back to My Roots

My friend Sarah and I on our last day of School, Alloa Academy c. June 2003
(At the dawn of digital camera technology- check my 1MP photo!)

This week I'm stopping off in my home town of Alloa to attend my former secondary school, Alloa Academy's Open Evening. I was contacted by one of the current Art teachers (who is also a DJCAD grad) a week ago to invite me along, as some of the kids have been making biscuit-inspired artwork!

I was one of those geeky kids who actually really liked school (especially in 6th year when Art & Design/Portfolio work made up about 80% of my timetable) and was sad to leave.

Although the original building is now long-gone, the new and improved school is now home to a few of those who taught me between 1997 and 2003, including my ever-supportive and inspiring Art and Design teacher! The new school's running some new subjects too, including "Creative Cake Production" which I wouldn't mind studying now!

To go along with the pupil's biscuit inspired artwork, there's also a Biscuit inspired prize-raffle for attendees of the Open Evening- which includes one of my Bourbon Biscuit cushions, along with loads of other biscuity goodies!

Friday, 23 September 2011

London, Rain & Raffaellos

It's now two weeks since I set off for London and Top Drawer-and it feels like yesterday, and months ago all at the same time. I've had loads on my to-do list since I've been back, including blogging, which has steadily been getting further and further down my list. So- today I am catching up- here's a fortnight in pictures and a wee bit about what I've been up to!

Top Row: Sticking up my logo vinyls and catching the train to the Olympia at Top Drawer
Second Row: Lovely birthday chocolates from my friend Veronika and meeting kittens
Third Row: The dawn sky from the London to Glasgow sleeper train and drinking champagne at Zandra Rhodes' Jewellery launch
Bottom Row: Insanely lucky charity shop find: New Toffel Swedish Hasbeens for £6.00 and our gloriously sideways Scottish weather

With daylight hours getting shorter, and the familiar sight of fairisle emerging in the shops- winter is approaching fast! Time to dig out the scarf and mittens to brave the cold- and a pair of 150 deniers if I want to give the Hasbeens an outing in 2011.