A Blog about Blogs – Part 2

Hi Baere fans.  It’s about time I gave you all some more reading material and general creative eye candy.  The next three blogs that I follow like a stalker are:


  1. The Style Files – www.style-files.com


This blog is mostly focused on interior design.  The spaces featured are always cool, white, airy spaces that make me want to pack my bags and go on holiday immediately.  There are often little food, DIY and fashion gems but the main focus is definitely on stunning interior spaces.  Have a look and find yourself whisked away on holiday in your mind.  Don’t look up, you’re probably still at work L


  1. Patternbank – www.blog.patternbank.com

This one is a great source of inspiration for pattern design.  There’s amazing art work, fashion design and trend predictions for upcoming seasons.  This is a great go to guide for print and pattern geeks but also features some exciting art and design.  Check it.


  1. A Beautiful Mess – www.abeautifulmess.com


This is a favourite of mine as it combines interior design, food, fashion and crafty DIYs.  Two sisters manage this blog and they are just going from strength to strength.  They have developed their own photography apps, launched a clothing range and renovated a house to give away to a family in need – all off the back of the success of this blog.  Now if that doesn’t make you feel inspired, I don’t know what will.  I love the idea of focussing all of my interior design passion on donating a house to a family in need.  One day.

If you like flamingos and cocktails and cacti and gold accents on everything, this blog is definitely for you.


Enjoy!  3 more next month x

August roundup – Wedding, London, Broadstairs, London, Edinburgh, relax

Hi everyone.  I hope August has been as fun for you all as it has for us.  We’ve had a real mix of adventure and exploring and quality home, cleaning and organising time.  I love both of these things (although I do have a slight preference for home I confess). 

We ended July with one of the most relaxed and clever weddings we’ve been to.  Our friends got married in a gorgeous church in Otley and then bussed everyone out into the countryside, where they had hired an amazing property on air bnb.  With a marquee in the garden, free flowing booze and fantastic food, it really was idyllic.  I was incredibly jealous of everyone drinking the homemade limoncello.  The groom’s aunt had brought it over from Italy and I had a little taste.  It was absolutely delicious and I would have been in a world of trouble had I been able to drink it properly!

Here are a couple of snaps of the day, including one of me and husb looking scrubbed up for once (I never wear makeup anymore since working from home and I love it, but it’s nice to dress up from time to time).



My products went on sale at the interior design pop up shop in Farsley at the beginning of August. It is such a  great space in the converted Mill, there’s a fantastic café next door and a gallery around the corner in the next mill building.  We are so lucky to have these fantastic spaces in such a small village.  I worked in the shop for a day to help out and it’s really popular.  Here’s hoping it sticks around for longer.

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We seem to have squeezed a lot into this month.  Next on our agenda was a trip to Broadstairs via London.  We met up with a friend who took us to Dinerama in Shoreditch which is run by Street Feast who have created street food markets in different locations around London.  It’s all very chilled with a pop up feel.  The food was delicious, we had ribs, brisket, amazing wedges with all sorts of oniony amazingness on top.  The cocktails were also great, and it was scorchio so we just enjoyed sitting and people watching in the sun.

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We headed down to Broadstairs for Folk Week, an annual festival which takes over the whole town.  It’s so popular, there are thousands of people out in the streets, wandering from venue to venue soaking up the music and the atmosphere.  The beach is always jam packed and there’s plenty of people watching to do, there are some fascinating characters.  I planned my days around visits to the local ice cream shop Morellis.  I really have never tasted better ice cream than theirs.  Get yourselves to Broadstairs everyone!

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We visited Margate, of course.  We have loved watching Margate slowly come to life over the years.  Chris’ mum first started taking me there for the furniture shops and an enormous haberdashery.  There was very little else at the time but now it is heaving with great shops, art, music and craft and it’s wonderful to see it starting to thrive whilst still somehow maintaining an edge.  We didn’t visit Dreamland as I wouldn’t have been able to go on any rides, so we’ve saved that for when the human arrives.

The Turner centre is always a must for me when we’re around.  It’s a fantastic space looking out over the ocean, its free of charge and they have some incredible exhibitions.  This visit has to be my favourite so far.  Two exhibitions showcasing two of my favourite things.  Colourful textiles and geometric shapes.  Heaven.

“Seeing Round Corners “ is a curated exhibition celebrating all things circular in art.  From Leonardo Da Vinci to Barbara Hepworth, there is something for everyone in this collection.  I particularly liked the “Cloud Arc” by Roger Ackling.  He used the sun and a magnifying glass to scorch marks into the surface of either wood or cardboard. 


Yinka Shonibare has two stunning installations on the ground floor of the gallery.  Exploring the themes of conflict and immigration, his first piece has a major impact as soon as you enter the building.  Floor to ceiling bookcases are filled from top to bottom with books covered in brightly covered wax fabric.  The spines have all been stamped in gold lettering with the names of first and second generation immigrants who have influenced British Society.   

His second piece features two men with globes for heads, rocking on a see saw.  The globes represent the two opposing forces of the First World War, gently pivoting to signify the delicate balance of conflict.

If you are in the area, check it out, it’s a fantastic space and the two major exhibitions compliment each other really nicely.

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After 4 days of folk, ice cream and sun, we jumped back on the train to London to see some other friends and to catch the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.  I love going here with my husband, he is incredulous at some of the work, and some of the prices, whereas I walk around trying not to buy all the little pieces with price tags of less than £500.  Painting on a piece of toast anyone?

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When we got back from London, we had a quick turnaround before heading up to Edinburgh for the festival.  Again, we go every year, mainly to support my brother who takes a show up most years, but also to catch up with friends and wander around the stunning city, laughing like idiots.    I didn’t take many pictures in Edinburgh, I don’t know why.  I did manage to snap pics of an amazing bakery in Portobello, and this cute moment with ‘Crisp’ and his new best friend Henry.  Delicious and adorable, in that order.

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Back to reality and we had a lovely bank holiday weekend in Farsley, cleaning and sorting bits of the house in preparation for the arrival of the human.  7 weeks to go!    We also managed some quality pub time with the Farslies and popped in to watch some cricket in the rain at Farsley Cricket Club.  An impromptu bbq on Monday night rounded the weekend off well.


SO, September beckons.  We have a few DIY projects planned for the human which I will try to document and share with you.  Chris’s sister Jo is having a wedding party in London which I am so excited for so expect a giddy post next month.


Have fun everyone x









Is it too early to start getting excited about autumn?

It is isn’t it.  Sorry.  I promise I won’t mention the C word for at least another month (despite how excited I already am).


So, many of you will be more than half way through the summer holidays.  How has it been?  Have you managed to occupy the kids?  Have you managed to occupy yourselves?  Have you kept working all the way through?  If you answer yes to any of these questions, you probably deserve a little treat.


Pencil cases.  Who doesn’t love a new school bag, pencil case and a trip to Paperchase to buy all new pens, pencils, post it notes and note books?  I am a stationery obsessive and I don’t even mind admitting it.

If you’re a scientific calculator, compass and protractor kind of person (do they even use these in schools any more or is everything done on laptops/ipads now? You can tell I went to school in the 90s) then a larger flat pouch or even a small washbag might be perfect for you to store your treats.


Find them all here, and make the end of summer that little bit more baereable (sorry).







A Blog about Blogs


Hello all.  Hope you’re enjoying the summer so far.  It’s not bad is it?  Here’s hoping for a hot August with as much outside time as possible.  There’s nothing better than taking dinner out into the garden.  The dog must wonder what on earth we’re doing, but to be honest, we wonder that about him all the time.

I had an idea about a series of blog posts that I am keen to write.  I want to share with you a few places I go to every morning to warm up, get inspiration and set myself up for a productive day.  I don’t know about you but I find being surrounded by people and creativity to be a real kick up the bum.  Unfortunately, I’m not working from a creative studio space (yet) and getting out and about to talk to people every morning would take a huge amount of time and energy, so instead, I load up my favourite blog pages and dive in.

The bloggers I follow are a mix of crafters, interior designers, textile artists and pattern designers/trend spotters.  This combination gives me an insight into various areas where fabric designs, colour and products are used, which has a huge influence on my work + I’m a bit of an interior design voyeur.  I like nothing better than having a snoop around other peoples homes and the fact that I can do this without getting out of my chair is just wonderful.

I’m going to share 3 different blogs with you on each post – I follow loads.  I think this will be enough to give you a sneaky peek without bombarding you.


1.       Design Sponge – www.designsponge.com


This is the first blog I started following.  I’m sure most of you will have heard of or already follow Design Sponge.  They are based in America and write about interiors, crafts, DIY, creative businesses and importantly, women in business.  Their content is always on point, and their photography and style is beautiful.  Their DIYs aren’t ridiculous and the whole blog is written by a group of people who clearly love what they do.  Check it out.


2.      Junkaholique – www.junkaholique.com

This blog makes me want to up sticks and move to the depths of the countryside, somewhere near water, and buy all of the motorhomes I can lay my hands on and fit my sewing machines into.  Artemis Russell is the author and she is a jeweller, crafter, creative mum and all round stylish person whose lifestyle I am envious of.  Am I getting that across? Take a look, her kids are adorable.


3.      Addicted2Decorating – www.addicted2decorating.com

This one is a bit of an acquired taste as it follows a woman in Texas who is an ex interior designer turned DIY blogger.  She is doing up her house almost single handed and although we have very different taste, her ability to tackle huge tasks and learn new skills is admirable.  She has learned to install basic electrics, plasterboard, a whole kitchen and bathroom etc.  She writes detailed explanations of everything she does and I’m in awe.  This one might not be for everyone, as I said, she is creating her own home so it is all about her individual taste and ability to tackle projects, but man does she make me feel like I can do anything!

So, there we have the first of these blogs about blogs.  Let me know what you think and if you’d like to see more.


July round up – Mexico > Wales > Farsley

TheboyzWhere on earth did July go?  The schools have broken up for the summer, my mum has gone on her annual 6 week jaunt to Canada and we have the pleasure of these adorable beasts until she’s back.  They are as soppy as they look and Albert is happiest when his best friends are around.


At the beginning of July, Chris travelled to Mexico to celebrate his sisters wedding.  It was really tough being left behind and missing this amazing occasion, but, I was only ever a Facetime call away and I managed to see the ceremony and give my love to the bride and groom which was great. Thank goodness for technology.





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Chris came home looking tanned and relaxed, we had a couple of days together at home, catching up over homemade cookies and the ever growing bump, then we headed off to Wales for a week.

We had such a fantastic time, the beaches in North Wales are beautiful and it still feels unspoilt, although we’ve only ever been out of summer holiday time so it might change quite drastically once the beaches are full of kiddos rather than dogs.   Albert had the time of his life, I’ve never seen him so happy or so exhausted at the end of each day.

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We met up with some friends in Rhosneigr, we ate too much, explored and got sunburnt in 16 degree heat. Well, I did.  I had no idea how sensitive my pregnant skin would be.

Oops. Still, it was a great week, and we were sad to come home.


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We decided to extend the last weekend as much as possible by having some of the Farslies over for pizza.  We have a pizza oven in our back garden which Chris built.  He was inspired by something he saw at Glastonbury one year and we’ve had 4 pizza ovens in our gardens over the years.

So, back to work and back to reality.  Since our holidays I have taken my wares to another PA event in Leeds.  This time with Grant Thornton.  It was a really lovely evening meeting lots of new customers.  I’ve been asked to go back in November for their Christmas event which will be great.


Grant thornton stallPizza 2SBM posterI’ve also peddled my products in the village.  Sunny Bank Mills have taken some of my stock for an interior design pop up shop they are running over the summer.  It opens tomorrow and I absolutely can’t wait to see my stuff in a real shop. 


Happy Friday folks.  We’re looking forward to a wedding this weekend which should be a raucous affair, followed by a couple of trips away, one to Broadstairs Folk Week and then our yearly jaunt to the Edinburgh Festival.  Look forward to lots of pics at the end of August.


Take care all x









Starting a new creative Business – design, print, sew, repeat.

Taking the plunge

Hello.  My name is Alaina and I recently took the advice that my husband, friends and family have been giving me for years.  I resisted, ignored and refused their advice for such a long time.  Why?  Because they were encouraging me to follow my heart and my talents to pursue my dream job.  I know, bonkers.

I wanted to be a full time crafter for years. Ever since finishing University in 2004, I have been secretly picturing myself sitting in my kitchen with the sun streaming through the windows, writing blog posts and stitching up a storm, but giving up the stability and security of a full time job to leap into the unknown always seemed too intimidating to contemplate.

A conversation with a friend changed everything.

*Cue this friend reading this blog post and realizing it was them that inspired my daring move.  Yes, it was you.

This friend has recently taken a job in London (we all live around Yorkshire) to take the next step in his career.  As a thirty something with a house and huge network of friends in and around Leeds, this was a really big decision, one that I admire him for.

During one of our slightly boozy, Friday night Ginathons, conversation shifted to work and inevitably to my job and what on earth I was doing.   I gave the usual garbled excuse for still being in the same job and approaching my 11th year.  “I’m happy, I’m comfortable, one day I’ll start my sewing business but it will have to be when…blah, blah, blah, kittens can fly” – you know the excuses.

He said to me, “what’s the worst thing that could happen?  You could fail, but so what?  No-one will judge you for failing.”

No-one will judge me for failing?  Hang on just one cotton picking second, the thought of failing has always kept me from doing what I really want to do, fear, insecurity, lack of confidence in my abilities and how everyone will perceive that (totally normal yes?).  You mean to tell me that no-one will care?  Everyone will just carry on with their lives if my creative business isn’t the success I want it to be?  Right.  I see.

I started to weigh up what was more important to me, to try and possibly fail? Or to stay in the same job waiting for the next 10 years to creep by virtually unnoticed?

The fact that I have written this post to the soundtrack of my dogs gentle snores (and a little Paul Simon) should tell you that I’m now well on my way to launching my business, 12 years after graduating from university, and nearly 11 years after entering the corporate world, but also, exactly when I was ready.

What do I do now?

Now, I have my days to myself and can really concentrate on doing what it is that makes me happy.  Over the past few months, I have been designing fabrics and practicing making products that I really love and hope you will too!  I start with a sketch and some colour ideas, I then scan my sketch into photoshop and plough through my pantone colour chart until I have the right combination.  Once I have completed a successful pattern repeat, I send the design off to a digital print company who print onto a whole range of fabrics.

I have taken the time to source local suppliers for my materials, I have taken courses to improve my skills and I have basically gone back to the basics of design.  I have loved it and I think Albert the Labradoodle has enjoyed the company.

Process -The most important part

When studying Fine Art at University, I was always encouraged to focus on the process of making something, taking inspiration from my surroundings, from established artists, my peers, the technicians and tutors on the course.  Keeping sketchbooks and playing around with ideas helped to develop strong themes and ideas in my work which generally resulted in a successful final piece.

My textiles work follows the same principles that were instilled in me early on.  I explore pattern, colour and products until I have a combination that works.  It’s a lot of fun and it’s a natural progression from a small idea to a finished product.

For me, the process is the best part.  Gathering ideas and playing with them is a great way to start and the rest follows quite naturally.  If I get stuck, I go back to the basics, get outside and explore the environment to get inspiration, go to an exhibition, talk to friends, start again.

The joy of seeing a project through to a finished piece is immense for a maker.  If I have created something that looks good and functions well, I’m a happy Baere.  If I can make a living from doing this every day, well, that would be one occasion where I wouldn’t mind hearing hear a chorus of I told you so from family and friends.

If you’ve read this post to the end, thank you!  I realize that was a little self indulgent but I probably needed to write it to give context to what I’m doing.

I hope you’ll continue to read and follow my musings, I’m on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook, links are on the homepage.  Please do get in touch via the comments section, the idea of any blog is to connect with like-minded people, I would love to hear your stories of being inspired to make a big decision, by a friend, family member or even a stranger.  Have you been given great advice that you just couldn’t ignore and did it inspire you to do something different? Tell me EVERYTHING.