Flossy and Jim; Illustrators Extraordinaire!

Flossy and Jim; Illustrators Extraordinaire!!

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It has been my pleasure recently to have worked with local, award-winning illustrators Flossy and Jim. Their designs are vibrant, colourful, quirky and above all fun!  I sought them out for a secret project I have been working on and during this process I can absolutely say we have become good friends. (More on this at a later date!! Shhhh!)

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They are a hugely creative couple, with degrees in Illustration and Visual Communication, who are bursting with ideas, bouncing with enthusiasm, overflowing with colour and fizzing with creativity! They are also supportive of good causes and on the national kids strike back in May they organised an event in Brixham which would be fun but also a learning experience for those children who were on strike from school for the day. That day those children learnt about news, media, politics and how to illustrate murals. They are proud sponsors and supporters of the charity Circus Starr, a touring Circus providing disadvantaged and vulnerable children, their families and community groups throughout the UK with free tickets to shows and raising money for local charities. More information can be found by following this link http://www.circus-starr.org.uk/

 

 

When I first met Flossy and Jim I was very much …pregnant! So much so (and with the SPD condition see previous post https://thealohamummy.wordpress.com/2016/08/25/spd-2-pregnancies-on-crutches/) that I was housebound and they drove to meet me at home from their lovely office in stunning Dartmouth. Their car is simply smile-inducing! I spied them coming along the road and as they parked up on my drive a little smile crept across my face – these were the people who could help bring my dreams to reality!

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Over tea and cake (naturally!) we discussed my requirements and after a lovely morning which passed so quickly we had a project in place. We chatted about many a topic often veering away from what we were meant to be chatting about but these two are just so easy going and down to earth that you feel like you have known them all your life! We chatted about cake (Obvs!), nose piercings, autism, cave houses in Spain, bras,  England rugby players, babies, tattoos, weddings, rings and my project!

This couple is so enthusiastic about what they are creating and as such have won several awards for their business; most recently the #TorbayHour Social Media Awards for Best Business Blog Award but also Best New Business. They are now through to the finals for 3 categories in the Venus Awards in Devon:- Business Mother of the Year, Marketing of the Year and Customer Service! They have been busy giving talks about new business start-ups and networking, creating their own book range The Magical Unicorn Club , working with clients in America,  designing costumes of their character creations to bring them even more to life, collaborating with Boomf marshmallows and creating apps such as YUBL.

 

On top of this they have been establishing their homewares collection with designs featuring on cushions, mugs, towels, designing personalised portraits for clients, perfecting greetings cards, hair brushes, phone cases and Tote bags all with their distinctive designs and quirky slogans.  Oh and they’ve also got married (to each other!) and moved offices!!  They are now located at the very atmospheric Cockington Court complete with views out of the window to the horse and cart rides, cricket matches and a tea room on the ground floor! What more could you ask for…there is even a chocolate shop on site and in the festive season if you’re lucky you may even glimpse an Elf or two carrying out jobs under orders of the big man in a red suit! Magical!

 

They have given me some of their new line of products to have a look at and, although given to me for free, the opinions stated on here are of course honest and true to what I believe!

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I was given one of their hair brushes featuring a very cute little iced gem and the slogan ‘You are a Gem’, a selection of greeting cards and 2 baby grow suits. I think one of the reasons I love their work so much is that it reminds me of when I was in Secondary School and my best friend and I had pens, pencil cases and bags with the Bang on the Door images of Spider, Bat, Aardvark, Hippo etc. We loved these designs and I still have the Spider pen even though it ran out of ink yonks ago!

The hairbrush is a bright yellow plastic brush with the design across the handle and back of the paddle. I have this in my gym bag. It makes me smile every time I use it and reminds me after a hard workout that I am indeed a gem! The brush runs smoothly through my hair and yes…I have had a good old sing along with the microphone hairbrush!! (But I am yet to pluck up the courage to film it and send it to them for their #hairbrushkaraoke!!) It’s a great brush and on their shop online you can choose from a selection of 4 different designs. Having used this product I would be happy to pay the £20.00.

The greeting cards I was given were of 4 different designs – You are a Gem, Cutie Pie, Totally Cray-Cray, and their signature blue Unicorn. They are square, blank so suitable for any occasion and such lovely bright colours that they would brighten anyone’s day and bring a smile to their face!

I am a bit* of a crafter (and dare I say it hoarder) so when I find cards that I really like I find it very hard to part with them!  I am thinking that with these I will create a little feature in Bubs’ bedroom, buy some square frames and display them on the wall!

The baby grow suits are bright yellow and just adorable! Flossy and Jim kindly gave us 2, one with the Cutie Pie design and one with Blue Unicorn and Bubs looks adorable in them both!! She does seem to have a long torso and legs for her age, and so is tending to be fitting a larger size of baby grow when it has feet, but as these were without legs at 4 months she fitted them just fine. They also make my washing line look wonderfully colourful when I hang them out to dry…I’m sure the neighbours are a little bit well jel!

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I think that my overall top design is the dozy looking doe deer….I’m very close to ordering my own Dat Face Doe tote bag! I am also very tempted to have a portrait commissioned by this über talented Hubby and Wifey! They capture so much more than just an image when they create around your personal requirements and their customers are always super SUPER pleased with their finished artwork!  So come on! Let’s add to their already enormous work load and get commissioning our own portraits; let’s fill the world with Flossy and Jim images and brighten up our lives!

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You can find all of their products online at http://www.flossyandjimshop.com/

Their website with information on all the fabulous work they do http://www.flossyandjim.com/

For a weekly giggle and to keep up with the busy live of this pair head over to their AWARD WINNING Blog http://flossyandjim.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter @flossyandjim

Facebook Flossy and Jim Ltd

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 *mega crafter; I am never without a speck or thousand of glitter!

The Aloha Mummy

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Diary of an imperfect mum

 

Bubs and the Buggy; Out running the DPD Man.

Picture the scene; a day thick with mizzle, (Devonshire language for Mist and Drizzle!) but the temperature soaring it had to have been at least 22 degrees.

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I had to take the Twins to a friend’s birthday party so I popped Bubs into the OutnAbout buggy.  It was our first official use it and the first time I had used a forward facing buggy with Bubs. I decided today was the day for several reasons:

1.       The Twins would be able to walk side by side of the buggy and entertain Bubs on our walk to the party.

2.        We had to negotiate a few pavement-less village roads on the way to Birthday Child’s house and this buggy was slightly more slim line than our Cosatto.

3.       I needed to make myself use it! It lives in the garage so a little bit more of a FAF to get it out and set up.

4.       I hadn’t gone for a run or even a walk yet that week due to Hubs’ shifts and school holidays (although I had still been doing my 30 day Squat Challenge and my weights at home) so needed to get out for some air and a bit of exercise.

 

So I retrieved the Running Buggy also affectionately known as ‘Roger’ (as in Roger Black – he was a runner; the buggy is for running and his surname is Black; the buggy is black!) from the cobwebby garage, dug out the rain cover, steered it round the side of the house and parked it up outside the front door, ready to receive Bubs.

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The Twins were loaded with backpacks containing rash vests, swimming trunks and wet suits plus the obligatory gift for Birthday Child, as they were off to a local waterpark for the afternoon (great weather for the supervisory parent of Birthday Child who was not intending to participate in said watery craziness but instead sit with a coffee and read her book!) and so we set off clad in our kagoules (I do find that word amusing!)….kagooooules……kagooooooooules! Sorry!

I had thought that I would use my Run Keeper app to track my little walk as I had been using it for all my Running so far and find it really simple to use and easy to understand.  Although I need to change to time setting on my phone because by the time I’ve switched it on, paused it, then battled to get the darn thang in my nifty (Phah!) running-gadget-arm-pouch-holder-thingy, it has switched itself off and I have to battle to get it out and switched back on again ready to hit proceed as I set out the door! – Just me?! (Any top tips on addressing my dumassness with this would be gratefully received!) Maybe these apps could give you a pre-activity grace period or a countdown, to allow you to get it set up, enclose it in nifty arm wear, plug in your earphones, get out the door, hoik up your leggings and head off….just a thought!

So anyway today I just shoved it in my kagooooooooooooule pocket. I was only walking anyway. Right?! Wrong?!!!

I walked successfully to Birthday Child’s house with the Twins, had a quick chat with Birthday Child’s Mum and then headed off. But…I couldn’t walk. It was as though the ‘Roger’ wanted me to run! And cripes, it seemed easy! SO much easier than running solo! I felt that it helped my posture, keeping me more upright (although my running technique was totally thrown and I kept thinking my legs were going completely bandy!) A bit like Phoebe running in that episode of Friends …but pushing a buggy at the same time. Hmmm.

The drop off at Birthday Child’s house was for 11:30am. Now. I’d had a DPD text informing me that my delivery would be between 12:14 and 13:14 by delivery driver Simon, earlier in the morning. ‘No probs’ I had thought I’m not doing anything today…but then the ‘Roger’ tricked me into physical activity.

It was at the furthest point from my house that DPD van showed up. The opposite side of the village. Ahhh! I checked the time only 11:45am – I had time to finish my usual running route and get back provided he wasn’t early. I slowed up as he drove past, toying with the idea of asking him if he was indeed Simon and if he had a delivery for me. But I didn’t. The race was on! (Jeez why am I so competitive?!)

We had stopped off at the tennis courts to check out the resurfacing situation and at this point I removed the kagooooooooooooooooule! I had not thought this through; I was only meant to be walking. Yes I had sportswear on but I had not bothered with nifty-arm-gadget-thingy. The only place to keep the phone so that it would chart my activity and progress was ….in the sports bra. Now I normally use one of the Twins old socks to house my IPod when exercising to prevent it drowning in sweat and potentially electrocuting me. Clearly now I did not have said sock with me. No other option than to hope for the best…does the pot of rice work to draw out sweat from a phone in the same way it does for water….lets hope I don’t have to find out!

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In went the phone, I released ‘Roger’s’ brake and we were off. We were flying! Bubs was loving it squealing at top lung and ear drum bursting level! There he was again…DPD! Too far off for me to flag him down, and by now heading in the general direction of my house. Time check 12:05. I could do this. #This Girl Can!

We turned off the top village road and headed through the houses down towards the middle road and main drag through the village. If I turned left here I would be home in 5 mins. But. It was not my usual running route …and I still had time…if I didn’t waste it! (A competitive streak combined with OCD – great going you Aloha Loony!)

And so we crossed the main road to another housing area adding about 3 mins onto that initial 5. By now I felt sure I had achieved full beetroot face appearance, the sweat was dripping off me and I had no sweat band with which to mop my glowing brow.

Another glimpse of DPD as he drove increasingly close to my road.

An Andy Murray-esque ‘C’mon’ echoed in my head!

Bubs had dozed off; so smooth was my running-and-buggying-simultaneously technique, clearly! We rounded the back lane, dodged the horse poo, over took the milk float (yes we live in a village in Devon and we still have a milk float!) and skilfully skirted round the old duffer trying to reverse into their driveway.

Back on the main road. The next right was mine and DPD was nowhere to be seen. I had done it! I had out run the DPD Delivery Van!

We raced for that virtual finishing line in full Usain Bolt confidence. Me and my little baby and our running buggy ‘Roger’, complete with wrist leash like a tiny baby buggy surf board; so that if the mad mother running (some crazy race like with an oblivious DPD van), should trip then the buggy would not go rolling off alone like a sketch from Last of the Summer Wine and a steep village hill!

Victory was ours! No sign of DPD! I even had time to park the ‘Roger’ out the back, lift up the rain cover…only to be overpowered by the commonly known U.T.B smell of a sleeping baby. Yes folks the Up The Backer. You all know what I’m on about!

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  • Dilemma, do I wake the sleeping baby to change the nappy…Sods Law dictates that then DPD will arrive and all my smugness will be for nothing.
  • Dilemma, do I leave sleeping baby in the buggy when DPD rings the doorbell thus avoiding a blatant door opening on a korma colour stained back of a baby grow. Hmm don’t feel comfortable leaving Bubs outside on her own albeit for a gnat’s blink of time…Sods Law dictates she would wake, total disorientation would set in, the cry would erupt and all my smugness would be for nothing.
  • Dilemma, do I lift sleeping baby from the buggy when DPD rings the doorbell presenting myself with an air of calm, super fit mother, who can handle a U.T.B…Sods Law dictates that said U.T.B would by now be leaking and running all over my arm and all my smugness would be for nothing.

‘Ding’ (the dong is broken on our bell). Just as I had lifted a rousing Bubs from the buggy, back checked, no sign of the U.T.B. Safe!

I carry Bubs, snuggled into my shoulder and nuzzling my neck, to the door, calm, confident (and a little bit smug).

‘Cor you got back ere fast!’ Came the comment from DPD Simon. ‘Oi see’d you runnin on the ovvur side of th village!’

Parcel exchanged, signature given, Bubs not crying, poop not escaping, run completed, dignity intact, beetroot face slightly lightened, smugness totally intact!

*fist pumps the air – but carefully so as not to startle or indeed drop Bubs! Nailed it! (Today at least!)

Until I turn around to see Cat yak up on the kitchen floor…well, you can’t win them all!

 The Aloha Mummy.

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