Tag Archives: etsy

The Brighton Miniaturist

I’ve been quiet on Our Little Organic Life this year. Well, not ‘quiet’, so much as ‘absent’. There was a pandemic, homeschooling…you know the drill.

I’ll must admit to using Amazon much more than I’d have liked to in 2020. It was convenient and in all honesty there weren’t many alternatives for buying ‘non-essential’ classified items (such as homeschooling materials) in London for much of the Spring of 2020. But that being said, I also signed up to a local CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) fruit and veg box scheme and we started regularly using our local bakery, butchers, greengrocers and fishmongers – much more than we ever did. And those businesses have thrived.

But while some small businesses have thrived and tripled or quadrupled their usual profits over this past year, the arts and culture industry continues to suffer. Many small businesses run by artists and artisans are not thriving and they need our support if we’re able to give our patronage and business to these makers.

And so what better time than this to open my own Etsy shop? Yes, my lifelong hobby of making hyper-realistic miniature dollhouse foods now needs to pay for itself! I’m launching my shop, The Brighton Miniaturist today and it is now live on Etsy. Stock is increasing each day – can you imagine the teeny, tiny chocolate chip cookies, sponge cake, pancakes dripping in maple syrup and a variety of pies? They’re stinkin’ adorable, if I do say so myself. They’re all being prepared for the shop right now and if you ‘favourite’ my shop you’ll get notifications when I add stock to the shop. I also do earrings in my designs as well as custom phone cases. (The pancakes dripping in melted butter and ‘maple syrup’ on my phone case right now are ADORABLE!) You can always see what I’m up to, follow my stories and contact me for custom orders by following me on my second Instagram page @BrightonMiniaturist

1:12 scale miniature cinnamon bun on a plate
1:12 scale blueberry pie
1:6 scale cookies which I made into earrings!
1:12 scale baking scene of jam thumbprint cookies
1:12 scale baguette and butter
1:12 scale prawn / shrimp

And while I wanted to tell you about the launch of my own shop, I wanted to share a few other of my favourite Etsy shops to help promote small scale artisans during this time when they need our support and patronage the most.


I recently bought one of their dresses (the EMILIE below) and I love it so much. It is the most comfortable thing I have ever bought and I can’t wait to buy another piece for my collection. They also do a beautiful range of home linens in their heavy weight Ukranian linen with a variety of colours and patterns. They also send you a free envelope of all their swatches when you make an order so it makes making your second order all the more enticing!


These little drop earrings are actually on my ‘want’ list and I haven’t bought them…yet! Naoko has a small but beautiful range of jewellery crafted in Melbourne, Australia and as I am one of those rare souls without pierced ears I appreciate her natural stone options in a clip on/screw on option. I don’t wear earrings that often, but I’m looking forward to pairing these beautiful earrings with my favourite linen outfits.


I ordered a couple pieces of John’s work for my husband for Christmas a few years ago and we still love the pieces and have plans to order more. He’s incredibly nice and will make something bespoke for you if you ask him.


Simplydita is based in Latvia and her Waldorf dolls and doll clothes are beautiful. My daughter already had her own Waldorf doll brought by Santa, but it was dressed in one of Dita’s beautiful and sturdy linen creations. I say ‘sturdy’ because if its seams and hems can survive the rough love of my 6 year old, it can survive just about anything! I adore the little coordinating bonnets, cardigans and lace trimmed slips she makes too!


This next item has been in my Etsy basket for…oh ages. And one day I’ll actually buy it because its great for Waldorf homeschoolers, families with a child who attends a Waldorf school and really for anyone doing a nature-based curriculum who want to be more aware of the seasons and their relationship to nature. It is beautifully illustrated.


Well, I hope you’ll enjoy some of these Etsy stores which I’ve mentioned. You can check out my Favourites pages in Etsy for some more similar crafters and ideas. And I look forward to seeing you check out my store, The Brighton Miniaturist as well!

*This post contains affiliate links for Etsy. If you shop from Etsy using a link in this post, I will receive a small commission.

Eco Friendly Kids Room Ideas

We recently redecorated our daughter’s bedroom. I won’t say it was a total eco job, as due to her large scale artistic proclivities (i.e. she draws on the walls) we had to use special washable paint on the walls rather than a natural pigment paint like Frenchic. Also the gorgeous giant tree and animal decals on the wall aren’t very eco friendly, but I know she’ll enjoy them for a very long time. I was originally planning to paint something myself – like a totem pole mural – but my husband ordered them on a whim and she loves them, so that’s that.

1. Toy & Book Baskets

These beautiful baskets from the Sourced by Oxfam online shop are fantastic. They’re made from Kasia Grass by a pioneering fair-trade organisation called The Jute Works in Bangladesh. They empower socially disadvantaged rural artisans within the local indigenous community and those living with disabilities. They’re great for shoving toys and books into, but also make great laundry baskets too, really for any room in the house. Here’s the links for the smaller basket at £9.99 and the larger basket at £14.99. They’re beautifully made and are marvellous value, as I’ve spent far far more on similar items at Anthropologie and the Conran Shop in the past.

Honestly, I just like lots of trugs and baskets around my daughter’s room to make clean up easy for her.  At 3 years old she does have some household chores and one of those is the tidy up her own toys at the end of the day, to book any books back on the bookshelf and to put her dirty clothes in the laundry bin.  It doesn’t have to be neat or perfect or put away in the “right” spot, she just has to do it.  Does it reduce the amount of mess she generates during the day?  No.  Do I feel it’s good for her to have some routine and sense of ownership for simple responsibilities which will help her develop healthy habits as an adult?  Yep.

2.  Trade in Old Clothes for New

Surely I’m not the only person with the unsightly and ever growing bag of kids clothes my little one has grown out of.  I sometimes struggle with giving away “special” pieces to the charity shop, but I love the concept of Treasure House, where you can join up, get £15 credit to spend on second hand children’s clothes from their site, and they’ll send you a baggie in the post so you can send in your used and outgrown children’s clothes and they’ll give you more credit to use in their online shop.  I think it looks like a great idea and am excited to try it out. There’s everything from high street Zara, Levi’s and Boden to designer Chloe, Bonpoint and Marie Chantal. While I don’t really wear much designer stuff myself these days (nothing new at least), I must admit I do enjoying spoiling my little girl with pretty pieces and it does help declutter.

Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 17.25.15

3. Choose Natural Materials

Now, I’m not gettin’ preachy on y’all here.  We love our Playmobil, Tiger Trunkie, giant Melissa & Doug giraffe and plastic baby doll with matching stroller as much as anybody else.  But there is a gentle feeling to a child’s room which is filled with more natural materials.  It softens the space somehow. In our home, this means decorating with natural baskets, using unbleached organic cotton bedding, thick cotton drapes, a simple wooden bed, and more wood, felt and paper toys as well as a good wardrobe of dress up clothes.

Our daughter and her friends all love their wooden balance boards. They use them as side-to-side rockers, turn them into bridges and ramps and integrate them into their imaginary play.  We bought ours from a company in Hungary called Creatimber and they come in lots of colour options. They’re hand crafted, eco friendly, and they help improve children’s body awareness, spatial awareness, balance and coordination skills, they help build self confidence and encourage creative sensory play.

We are also about to commit to doing a regular nature table in our daughter’s bedroom as she loves collecting all sorts of seasonal bits when we go out – conkers, pebbles, leaves, sticks, seashells…you get it.  Setting these out on a table with a few decorations, such as naturally dyed play silks to create grass, ground, lakes and rivers (my grandmother bought our daughter hers from an Etsy shop) and some lovely Holztiger and Ostheimer  wooden animals from Germany looks quite magical.


Zero Waste Shopping

So its 9 days into my Zero Waste Challenge and I’m feeling uncomfortably close to having filled up the jar where I’ve been keeping all the non-recyclable and non-compostable household waste.  (With the exception of the biodegradable nappies we use for overnights on our baby…I’m not storing those up until the end of the month.) Regardless of the outcome, I promise to be honest and to share with you how much garbage our household produces this month.

It has become very clear over the last week what the main culprit is for us: the non-recyclable plastic film that the big supermarkets like Sainsburys and Waitrose use to package EVERYTHING. There is no reason that this film cannot be made from a recyclable  material and indeed sometimes its not even necessary at all.  Ideally as a zero waste family would make the time to go to a bulk food store or join a food co-op, but its been a slightly difficult week or so for us as my husband has put his back out and I’ve been running the  entire household on my own.  So time has been precious, meaning quick trips to the supermarket have been the reality of the situation when it comes to shopping for food.  But that’s fine because most people shop at supermarkets and it means I’ve been having to try to figure out ways of acquiring less garbage with my food while shopping in this type of environment.

Check the label:

I know, I know.  You’re already checking the label to make sure the stuff is GMO-free, organic, yadda yadda yadda, and now on top of all that, you have to check whether the packaging is recyclable.  To be entirely honest with you, if I have to choose between some kind of GMO, canola oil, glucose-fructose filled piece of junk food in recyclable packaging and something organic and healthy in non-recyclable packaging, I am probably going to opt for the latter, with some amount of accompanying guilt.  But usually it doesn’t come down to that.  Just check the packaging for what you’re buying and if it isn’t recyclable, just try to keep it to a minimum.  And obviously, buying ‘real food’ from the bulk aisle helps a lot.

Take your own produce & bulk food bags:

These little produce bags are great and you can shove them inside your main shopping tote, or even stash a couple in your handbag in case you need to do some unexpected shopping while you’re out.  They’re light, so they roughly match the weight of the plastic bags provided by the store, and can be used for any type of fresh produce.  They’re also great in the bulk section of the supermarket because they just as easily hold dried grains, beans & pulses, nuts, flours and even dried fruits (as long as they’re not too sticky).  Finally, they’re also useful in the baked goods section as they will hold loaves of bread or bread rolls and will store them nicely at home too.  You will want to throw them in the washing machine for a short cycle after each use to avoid any cross-contamination.  I liked these organic cotton, linen and silk ones which I found on Etsy and I’ve included the links in the photo credits at the bottom of this article:

Zero Waste Produce Bags.jpg

Take your own shopping totes:

Since the introduction of the 5p per bag charge here in the UK, I think we are all getting better at doing this.  I always keep a foldaway shopping bag in my handbag as well, in case I end up buying something on the hoof while I’m out.  Here’s an article I found on realsimple.com road testing the various brands reusable shopping bags.

When you get home:

At this point you may wonder “Okay lady, I’ve brought home my bulk food packaged in its organic, reusable packaging…now what?”  Well, now you need something to put your stuff in to store it.

Its up to you at this point, but for dry goods I recommend opting for glass storage jars for your family’s health and wellbeing for these reasons.  The easiest solution for a really slick look is head on over to Ikea, choose a design you like which is going to be practical and air tight,  as well as something that comes in a variety of sizes from little jars for peanut butter to mahoosive jars for flour…and then stock up.  But if you are on more of a budget, you can use recycled jam jars (I love empty Bonne Maman jam jars and use them for everything) and mason jars are great too!  You may find larger jars at vintage shops.  I would recommend investing in a wide mouth funnel to avoid the frustration of spillage when transferring from the bags to the jars.

Fresh fruits and vegetables can be placed in the fridge, the fruit bowl or in a wicker storage basket lined with a clean linen cloth, as appropriate for each item.

Jars for Storage

Photo Credits: Pexels (header) Kootsac (silk bags), OhHelloHenry (linen bread bag) and TheLandofWishes (organic cotton bags), Ikea and Mason (jars)