Dizzy Miss James - Travel / Food/ Lifestyle


Small Busness Saturday

Today is Small Business Saturday so why not shop small, shop independent and support the little people!

To celebrate this I'm offering 50% off all of my mini embroidery hoop necklaces as part of my Dizzy Miss James amazing 12 Days of Christmas offers! 


Just A Card

I'm supporting Sarah Hamilton Prints 'just a card' campaign to encourage people to buy from independent shops, galleries, artists, designers and makers. This is something I strongly believe in, buying just a card makes all the difference. You can find more details on the campaign here.



Full steam ahead at Dizzy Miss James

It has been a busy few weeks here at DMJ headquarters.  I have been burning the midnight oil and hitting the tea hard to get all my cushions ready for Christmas. I am still really snowed under but thought I'd give you an update on how things are going.
I have been working on a new monochrome screen printed Mr Panda cushion and was super excited to be able to introduce him to my store this November.

As a result I have had a busy few days sewing on labels but managed to have a little fun with some of the photos getting all cosy in my pile of Pandas!

As well as pandering to Mr Panda's every need I have been getting my stock ready for the launch of Whosit&Whatsit an exciting new shop on Newcastle Quayside. They will be stocking some of my cushions and I cannot wait to see them alongside some of the amazing designers they have lined up to showcase their products in store.

image courtesy of @whosit&whatsit

In between the making madness I some how managed to find the time to take Dizzy Miss James on the road.  I spent a lovely weekend with my stall at the stunning Belsay Hall.  I had a great time and met some talented traders Joia Glass, Muddy Fingers Pottery and Grand Bazaar.  I ate great homemade cuisine and picked up a few bargains of my own.  It was definitely worth it all even just for the wonderful setting of Belsay gardens, complete with autumnal leaves and peasants galore, not to mention the Heritage Mead!
After a busy weekend I am resting, trying to recover for my next stall at the Alternative Christmas Market in Jesmond on the 22nd of November. Really looking forward to it as it is a great chance to get ethical, fair trade, upcycled, locally sourced & charitable goods.


Bamburgh, Beach Walking and Beer

As you may know any spare time I get I'm off exploring the beautiful coastline of Northumberland. This trip took me up to Bamburgh a place where I spent many a day of my childhood. I haven't been in years and revisiting took me right back, reminiscing about sandcastles, picnics and running in the sand dunes. Happy days! 

After a leisurely stroll along the beach imaging what life would be like living in the scenic Bamburgh Castle I headed further down the coast stopping along the way to admire the views, wishing I lived by the sea.

Above is The Ship Inn in Low Newton by the Sea. This truely has to be one of my favourite places in the world and stole my heart upon my first visit many years ago. It's a fantastic little pub set in the most striking of settings.  It has it own brewery and I am quite partial to an ale so I did partake in a taste of the local tipple. If you get a chance visit Northumberland Newton by the Sea it a must to visit. 


Festival of Thrift 2014

On 27th and 28th of September I attended The Festival of Thrift 2014 with Dizzy Miss James. It was such an amazing weekend so much to see, take part in and lots of lovelies to purchase from the super talented stall holders. With 40,000 visitors over the two days I was rushed off my feet to say the least but as always it's such a delight to meet my fantastic customers and put faces to names of people I've met on social media. 

The festival is a cultural celebration where people could find the fun in learning how to reuse, recycle and upcycle, saving both money and benefiting the environment. Something I strongly believe in.

It was an early start to both days having to travel down to Darlington and set up my stall before the crowds poured in. I only wish I had a chance to explore and take part in workshops myself, with it being super busy I bearly had a chance to finish drinking my tea and eat my lunch!


The star of the show was my Miss Giraffe cushion drawing in the crowds and of course the cheeky chappie that is Mr Fox who is always a strong favourite. I had such a fun weekend meeting my customers, dancing along to the Bubble Car Buskers and meeting other lovely stallholders like my neighbours Totes Adore. If you get a chance to visit the event next year I would highly recommend it as both a stallholder and visitor.


Giggling Hedgehogs Giveaway

Want to win one of my 'Love' mini embroidery hoop necklaces?

You do!

 Why not enter the Giggling Hedgehogs giveaway to get your hands on one!!  Check them out on Facebook and Twitter on details how to enter. 

Competition ends on 19th September 2014 UK shipping only.

Good Luck!


Thrift Life And Dizziness

Well hello there long time no speak! 

It's been all go here at DMJ Headquarters, planning, list making, sorting out storage and working on new products. It's been quite hard the last few months I am still trying to figure out the best way to manage my dizziness and use my energy wisely before fatigue kicks in. You think you have it all figured out what triggers the dizziness, you try not to do too much and listen to your body. Then WHAM it comes out of nowhere and gives you a kick up the bum! However I am now prepared for these sofa days. I set aside the little jobs, hand embroidery, labelling and relax on the sofa with a cuppa and cheesy movie. This way I still get to be productive which takes my mind off the dizziness and  it allows me to rest.

Admittedly I have been pushing myself possibly a little too hard. I really want to move forward with Dizzy Miss James  so I am doing what I can to make it happen. I've got myself a Business Mentor which has been fantastic! A fresh set of eyes to look over what I've been doing is exactly what I needed. 

I love working from home it allows me to work around my condition and spend my days doing what I love. The problem with having a home studio is you never really switch off so it's good to have some time away from work. I've had a few home projects on the go, I've been slowly adding some personality and colour to each room. Below is my Great Uncle Jim's vintage cabinet, it houses my collection of Studio Meakin and Chelsea pottery alongside some other lovelies. I wallpapered the back of the cabinet with a woodland tree wallpaper, I got this for one of my displays for DMJ but couldn't resist using it here. It completely changed the feel of the piece and has provided a great focal point for the room. 

This Studio Meakin apple set belonged to my Mam who kindly handed it down to me as she knows of my love for vintage pottery. I absolutely love the design and it has so many fond memories attached. 

Eventually I would love to find the set to match the blue Studio Meakin coffee pot, I'll keep a look out when I'm off on my thrifty adventures!



I have been making Embroidery Hoop Art for over 2 years now. It has bought me a lot of pleasure and ended up becoming part of my rehab during recovery. The act of sewing helped with my focus and was a welcome distraction from illness.

It has been great to see the popularity of this craft grow. I first became aware of hoop art a few years ago from blogs and online Market Places such as Etsy. It seemed more apparent over in America but is now also flourishing here in the UK. Hoop Art can be a fun and quirky way of adding some personality to your walls, just hang them from a small nail or prop them up on shelf. I thought I would share some examples of the lovelies I have come across and ways in which you can display hoops in style! 

Above a selection of hoops by Rising Up Rubies a fantastic way to add some colour and inspiration to any workspace.

I love Vintage Sheet Addict's display of vintage fabric framed in hoops. The colours are beautiful and they work really well together as a collection.

Check out the designs of Cabo Pickles lots of enchanted loveliness. 

If your after a bit of sassiness in your life then head over to  Thimble and Bobbin , 'what would Beyoncé do' embroidered onto vintage floral fabric, inspired by pop culture.

  Image taken from Axsoris.Com

I'm totally crushing over this display, the different sizes, shapes and patterned fabric just pop at you and create a unique focal point. 

And a lovely idea for a kids room taken from Project Nursery using fun bold fabrics. 

 I hope you have found some inspiration for your home or workspace, so why not grab yourself a bit of uniqueness framed in a hoop! 


There Is More to Me Than This Illness

I have wanted to write this post for sometime now but I didn't quite know how or if I am honest if I was ready. As some of you may know I suffer from a Balance Disorder called Uncompensated Labyrinthits, I have balance problems and suffer from severe dizziness. 

Dizziness I wish there were more words to describe you. Unless you have experienced this I don't think you can fully begin to comprehend how debilitating this condition can be, how you struggle to focus on everyday tasks you previously took for granted. It is an invisible illness, not as apparent as say a broken leg. You can't see it therefore others find it hard to understand. Most of your energy goes into hiding it, pretending your ok, just wanting to be 'normal'. Although I don't like saying it out loud, it is hard. My symptoms at the beginning were quite extreme. Along side the severe dizziness and imbalance there are the bits I don't like to talk about. The nausea and vomiting every time I moved,  fatigue, blurred vision and slurred speech. The fact that I barely knew my own name due to the dizziness, foggy head and general feeling of unwell. I couldn't walk on my own, I found myself having to rely on others and was left pretty much housebound.

The last few years have been a journey to say the least. I have worked my butt off through my rehabilitation and pushed and challenged myself. Although at times I was my own worst enemy, pushing myself too hard. It has been trial and error finding out what works best for me. I have adapted my lifestyle, making sure I get enough sleep, changing my diet, eating little and often and managing my energy. Most importantly I have learned to say NO to others when I know I am too unwell to do things.

I don't let it stop me from doing the things I love however there is still one thing that bothers me. It may seem like a little thing but getting my photo taken makes me feel sick to the stomach. The eyes are the giveaway that's were you can see it, the illness, that glazed over 'your not at home' look. There was a period of time where there are no photos of me, mainly because I was too ill and the fact I just avoided the camera. There's a few sneaky shots of me over the years when I wasn't looking or tricked me to turn around and snapped me before I had time to protest.

Above a picture of me at my worst. I thought if I just put it out there for all to see then I could let go and be done with it. It was taken on Christmas Day just before I started my VRT (Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy). The thumbs up and crooked smile trying to mask the fact that I just wanted to crawl back into bed. I was so unwell that I couldn't even unwrap my presents however my niece was happy to help. I can see it, maybe it's just the memory of how ill I was at the time but I know it was there even if others think I look ok.

For my blog and my social media sites I have been gradually uploading photos of myself. On Instagram I have been doing a quick selfie and posting it before I have a had chance to think about it. I wanted to overcome this and eventually this led to a photo shoot of me in the studio for the website. 

Below a few of the snaps of the studio shoot taken for the Dizzy Miss James website. It ended up being a fun afternoon there were tunes, giggles and more importantly biscuits.

OUT TAKE! (my Blue Steel)

If there was one word I would use to describe this condition is FRUSTRATION. Frustration that you are ill for such a long time with no progress. Frustration that you are not believed by others. Frustration that your body won't do the things you want it to do. It's almost like a bereavement, you greave for the way your body used to be. Eventually you have to stop trying to do the things you did before the illness, accept what happened, let go and move forward.
I have had amazing support from the people I love, they have held me up when I couldn't walk, made me laugh and showered me in hugs through all of this. To them I am eternally grateful. I am an active member of the support group NE1 Dizzy where I have met some truly inspirational people that I now consider to be dear friends. Through the group I was given the opportunity to be interviewed by a couple of local radio stations to promote the annual Balance Information Day and share my story as a 'dizzy' along side two other members. It was such a fun experience to see behind the scenes of a radio station. This is a great event if you or someone you know suffers from dizziness or balance problems please do check it out.
Looking back I can't believe how far I have come or how I have managed to get to this point. It is still something that I deal with everyday and although it is part of me and has been for over 6 years now, it is not who I am.

I am a fun, chatty, happy individual who has a love for life and a creative soul.

There is more to me than this illness.

In a strange way I am thankful for what happened. It has pushed and taken me in directions that I never would have imagined and I am excited for the future!

For those of you that suffer from a long term chronic illness, stay strong and I'm proud of you.


Bank Holiday Family and Fun

Well I woke up today to find a very dull, wet and cold day, a complete contrast to the beautiful sunshine of the Bank Holiday. Luckily I embraced the time off over the weekend and had a truly super smashing great time. It was a very busy few days splitting my time between fun & frolics with friends and an awesome James Clang get together on Easter Sunday for a splendid meal (well done mammy James). Paul and I still managed to escape for a few hours to the coast for our usual ramble and beautiful scenery intake.
Amble Harbour
Paul Admiring Amble Harbour.

Amble, Northumberland

Embleton Bay overlooking Dunstanburgh Castle

Embleton, Northumberland

This week I'm back at DMJ headquarters and eager to get making and working on new designs. I hope you all have had some well deserved r&r over the weekend.


Website Launch!

 A few weeks ago my new website went live dizzymissjames.co.uk!! I have been crazy busy in the run up to the launch, designing the layout, getting my head around basic coding, product shots and making new designs. Although exhausting I think it has been worth it in the end as I am really happy with how it has turned out. You will still find some DMJ favourites alongside my new range of mini embroidery hoop brooches and necklaces a selection of which are shown below.
Geometric Pattern Mini Embroidery Hoop Necklace

'Hello' Mini Embroidery Hoop Brooch

 'Love' Mini Embroidery Hoop Necklace
Heart Mini Embroidery Hoop Necklace
'Love' Mini Embroidery Hoop Brooch
Heart Mini Embroidery Hoop Brooch

I hope you like the website and my new products.


Love Is In The Air..

Love has been in the air over the weekend and my Fairy Kisses illustration was featured in this lovely treasury Besos y más besos (kisses and more kisses). I'm not exactly  the romantic type and I don't even celebrate Valentines Day but I do love this selection of items.
I hope you all had a lovely weekend.

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