Vegan Brownies – I’m not even vegan, they are just so good!

Hello and welcome, this is my blog for all things kids teepee tent related and of course vegan brownies are toatally part of that (whatever, it’s my blog) and after my last post (that has yet to go viral BTW) I’ve decided to post just what I feel is right and good and these brownies are bloody good. And…I’m not even vegan.

They also happen to be the only way I can get any avocado into my 6 year old bar force feeding him in his sleep (not that I’ve tried, just saying).

Before you ask, yes, the flowers (pansy and dried marigold petals) are edible, but not necessary, I just wanted to get your attention.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup well-mashed avocado (mash or puree just before you use it to stop it going brown)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (you could also use avocado oil or coconut oil)
  • 1 cup White or brown rice flour (you could use all-purpose flour if you don’t mind not doing the gluten free thing), I like the texture of rice flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened fair trade cocao powder
  • 3/4 cup fair trade cane sugar (or granulated sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon good vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups vegan dark chocolate chips (or any good choclate chips you like)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F). Grease an 8-inch square pan (or a loaf tin if that’s what you have) with coconut oil (or olive oil etc) and line with parchment paper (optional, but I think it makes it way easier to lift them out onto the cooling wire).

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the pureed avocado and the oil until smooth. Add the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, salt, vanilla extract and water. Stir until you have a smooth paste. Fold in 1 cup of chocolate chips.

Pour (you’ll need to use a spatula) into the prepared tray and spread the batter evenly. Sprinkle the additional 1/2 cup of chocolate chips on top. Bake for 15-20 minutes. If you overbake them, the brownies will have a cake-like texture.

I thought mine were underbaked as they were quite gooey but they dried out as they cooled and were even better next day so don’t overbake!

Remove and let the brownies sit out for at least 20 minutes before serving. Cut and serve, or pop in a tin and store for up to 3 days (there wont be any left after that anyway!).

My 6yr old:  “mmmm it’s all smooth in your mouth!”

Me: “That will be the avocado”

6yr old “Avocado?!!…but it tastes good!”

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Are Gucci unwittingly encouraging the illegal trafficking of endangered animals?

OK, I know that’s a big accusing question, am I really going to say something disparaging about one of the Gods of fashion? *Gulp*

Let me explain myself. About a month or so ago I was sent an email from a volunteer working with Born Free USA, she asked if I would like to donate one of my animal design teepees to a charity auction they were organizing to raise funds and awareness for 7 particular animals. They had been stolen from the wild by poachers and intercepted in Africa en route to the Middle East where wealthy idiots, I mean paying customers, wanted to own them (as if free, wild creatures could be owned by anyone in the first place) as pets. Pets.

3 lion cubs. A fully grown majestic male lion. A cheetah and 3 cubs (2 of which died of fright in the process), were all amongst the cargo of stolen lives.

It’s taken me weeks to get the words together to write this, I’m so saddened and angry about it, and still don’t have the words but here goes anyway.

How can this be happening? We all know that these creatures are endangered right? We all know that it’s wrong to take a wild thing from its home, to snatch it, risk it’s life and keep it for ourselves. They don’t fit our ways, they have their own ways, not ours.

And yet, whilst there is a demand for exotic ‘pets’, it continues to happen. Some people are poor and will do anything, ANYTHING for money the that they need. It has been a status symbol for wealthy people to own exotic pets for decades. As if they can’t think of anything else to spend their spare thousands on that will make their life complete (or just to show off to their peers), there’s only so many [blood?] diamond encrusted dog collars, powdered Rhino horns, gold-plated i-phones a person needs right, before they NEED a cheetah cub to lounge by their infinity pool?

I get quite a few charity donation requests and can’t/don’t supply most of them, I just can’t afford to but this one struck a chord. I was still processing the information, talking to my kids about it, trying to explain why anyone would or could steal and sell a wild, free animal from its home, they were shocked and appalled (even 6 and 9 year olds know how fundamentally wrong it is), I sat down to drink my tea and picked up a copy of Harper’s Bazaar I had been sent, I opened it and couldn’t believe what I was seeing…the Spring 2017 Gucci ad campaign…

Does anyone else see this for what it is? Or are we all too wrapped up in the emperor’s new clothes?!

I mean COME ON. How do you even get animals to pose like this? Are they trained form a young age? Are they drugged? I don’t care if they are rescued and saved and then ‘put to work’ this is giving a message, a lifestyle image, glamorising and aspiration inducing, trend setting.

Gucci, what the actual F are you doing?

I get that you are a trailblazing, art making, fashion forward multi million $ company with an image to live up to ( I LOVED the S/S 2016 campaign btw) but you also have a moral responsibility with choices to make, because you shape people’s self-image, those who can afford you, they have more money than sense in some cases and they want the whole damn look. Lion and all.

This is my open letter to Gucci’s Alessandro Michele. What do you think of the trafficking of endangered animals? Do you care? What would you like to say on the subject? Though I don’t assume you condone or even in the slightest way would actively want to encourage such a practice, can you acknowledge that the message your 2017 Spring campaign gives is one of mainstreaming and normalizing the notion of exotic animals as pets? Don’t just tell me that ‘no animals were harmed in the production of these images and videos’, that is not the bigger picture here. No matter how ‘surreal’ it is ment to be, unfortunately some people can afford make this their reality. Reality bites, in this case I hope it bites their asses off.

Would any of you like to make a donation to help the animals pictured below that were trafficked and impounded on their way to being sold as exotic pets?

Donate to help Born Free USA care for these trafficked animals here.

To the people reading this blog post, would you like to tell the idiots who want to buy wild, endangered animals that it is sick and wrong to do so? Then share this blog post on your social media, tweet it, write your own, get it out there email it to Gucci, to Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and all the other magazines being paid to advertise it…how much money did the lions and tigers get paid for their star appearance do you honestly think? Who’s profiting from this exploitation and how can we let it happen!?

These words and thoughts are my own and are not in association with any member of Born Free USA.

I am expressing my opinion because I can. We still have freedom of speech here. What is the point of us decent human beings if we don’t speak up for what we believe in?

If you care about it, shout it out people! Don’t just stand by and expect someone else to bother…make yourself useful, make your self proud. Make yourself matter. Make a difference.

If you are curious, here is the tent I designed for the Born Free USA silent auction to help raise the money necessary to care for these trafficked animals.

You have to do what you can…don’t just sit around, get involved!

 

 

 

 

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Spotlight on – Product stylist – Dilya Ehrhardt

Hello and welcome to the Kids Teepee Tent blog, my little corner of the internet dedicated to kids interior design, mindful living and play time!

I would like to introduce you to a lovely, creative mum I met via Instagram, Dilya Ehrhardt, a Russian lady living in Germany. Having worked previously as an art director within an advertising firm you can see she has a creative eye and flair for using colour, since becoming a mum to her 2 children Dilya has been turning her hand to children’s styling and is now one of my favourite insta collaborators, the images she creates with her clever styling arrangements and great product selection are gaining her a quickly growing audience and it’s not difficult to see why…here are a selection of her images.

(she painted this gorgeous wall herself based on the amazing wall treatments of Peek & Pack). I told you she is creative. Anyone else what to see a photo of the Moozle teepee by that wall?!

Follow Dilya on Instagram for more inspiring kids interior and fashion here – @nyearthur

Dilya and her children have the MIDI size Moozle teepee, available here.

To see more behind the scenes images, what’s inspiring me right now, customer photos and other work with collaborators come and join me on Instagram here, don’t forget to say ‘hi’ x

 

 

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Overnight Oats

Hello, thanks for stopping by, to make a change from my usual posts about all things related to children’s interior design, Moozle teepee tents and kids craft projects, I want to share ways I find for a more mindful way of living, little tips for cutting down on things we don’t need in our lives (using less plastic for instance, a post about cutting back on plastic packaging coming soon) and just appreciating what we have, buying well with sustainability in mind to make us happier and more content generally.

Mindfulness is about being present in the moment, focusing on yourself, your environment and how this in turn makes you a feel more fulfilled.

Where better to start than breakfast? Set yourself and your family up for the day with wholesome, pure comfort-in-a-bowl.

Take a few minutes (literally takes minutes, I made up a mix whilst the dinner was in the oven) in the evening to prepare whatever version of the following you can with ingredients from your cupboard:

1 cup of oats (I used spelt oats as that’s what I had).

2 large spoonfuls of yogurt (I had natural Greek style, for a vegan version use coconut yogurt).

Approx half a cup of milk (I used coconut milk).

1 grated apple (I peeled my apple first).

Zest and juice of an orange (I only had mandarins in so used one of those).

A tablespoon of honey (use date syrup for a vegan version).

A sprinkle of cinnamon.

Some ground nutmeg if you like.

Mix it all together to coat the oats in the yogurt, cover the bowl and leave in the fridge until the morning.

Serve in a bowl with what ever you like/have, berries, apple slices, nuts, seeds, banana… I used toasted pecan nuts, dried apricots I had soaked overnight in a little water, date syrup and a spoonful of mashed avocado and cacao (this was just a happy after thought as I had some left over from a vegan chocolate cake I’d made and was frankly happy to find a use for it!) and little more cinnamon.

This was so delicious I had it for breakfast AND lunch!

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Book Review – The Fox And The Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith

We are fox fans in this house, especially since my son Dexter was born, I just kept thinking of him as my fox cub and so he has grown-up having a strong connection with foxes. The Christmas before last he asked his Ma (Grandma) to make him a fox as her gift to him, which of course she lovingly did as all good crafty grandma’s would, and he has treasured it ever since, often telling me of his love for Ma’s fox nightly as he hugs it (more gently now, since he made the neck floppy and had to ask for a stuffing re-fill).

Last Autumn when I first saw the beautiful cover of illustrator Coralie Bickford-Smith’s new book The Fox And the Star, I knew just what my mum should give Dexie for Christmas.

When he opened it he got it instantly…a book about my fox! he exclaimed in wonder and joy.

Even without the fox fever that seems to have gripped our family you can’t help but appreciate the stunning design and illustrations of this delightful book. It is a tactile and visual feast for your senses. From the pleasing feel of the cloth bound book with the striking white print and text on the cover, with its details of spider’s web and beetle, the gorgeous illustrations within down to the lovely end papers.

When a book is by an award-winning illustrator such as this one is, there’s a concern that the story might be secondary to the visuals and whilst the story here is possibly not a childhood classic it is perfectly charming in its gentle telling of the lonely fox whose friend the star guides him though his nightly forest exploration, until it disappears one night leaving the fox scared and alone until he comes back into his life.

The message in the story is positive and uplifting, about facing your fears, about trusting your instincts and going beyond your comfort zone to seek the wonder in the world.

A message I am more than happy to tell my children.

Rating out of 5 ♥ :

Design: ♥♥♥♥♥

Story: ♥♥♥♥

Total: 4.5 ♥

My own fox homage in applique form. Available on a MIDI size teepee, the perfect little reading nook and calm space to dream and imagine in.

 

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Healthy Snacks – Smoothie

Hello, thanks for visiting my blog, today I’m posting about healthy eating habbits, something we all probably try to incorporate into our daily routine but sometimes find tricky if it’s just not on our radar, haven’t shopped, kids are being difficult, rushing around…well, there are lots of excuses but really, it’s up to us to make it happen.

My kids are not great at eating veggies, however hard I try to disguise them, soups, wonder mash (you wonder what’s in it!), casserole, omlettes…it’s basically a cooks (parents) nightmare trying to make a healthy meal that all the family will eat.

But…secret weapon…SMOOTHIES…fruit is a big thumbs up and I sneak in a few added extras unbeknowingly to boost their systems. At least I know they are getting some goodness, just time it well or they’ll be too full at meal time.

Here’s an example we made yesterday, recipe below. I do occasionaly pop in a veggie, but to be honest it is difficult to get the flavour balance right (too much and they wont go near it!), a little steamed cauliflower with coconut and honey works 🙂 Just add some frozen pineapple to help with the cunning disguise – and for gawds sake don’t tell them it’s in there!

I keep a few basic ingredients in the cupboard / freezer so a smoothie can be quickly made as a mid morning filler, after school energy boost or I make an ice cream or thicker version (more yogurt, less milk) as a desert after dinner.

To keep in your kitchen…

Frozen berries and/or other fruit such as pineapple and mango (these are much less expensive than fresh, great out of season and keep in the freezer…sometimes just a few frozen berries with a drizzle of honey is enough of a pudding to keep my littles smiling).

Chai seeds (optional), they release energy slowly and just a teaspoon full expands in your tummy making you feel fuller and less likely to snack.

Powders such as: Wheatgrass, Maca, Cacao (great for trace minerals such as copper and magnesium), these add protein and minerals.

Natural yogurt (organic if possible).

Fair Trade Bananas.

Organic Milk – whatever is your thing. We have semi-skimmed cows milk, unsweetened almond or coconut (some of these are longlife so really good to keep in the pantry).

Orgainic honey.

Recipe for this smoothie…makes about 2 mugs full.

1 banana

1 cup of frozen raspberries

1 teaspoon of chai seeds

2 big tablespoons of yogurt (I used natural Greek style)

1 pint of skimmed milk

1 teaspoon maca powder (or Wheatgrass, or Arrowroot)

Drizzle of orgainic honey

3 ice cubes

I just whizz all of these together in a big jug with my electric hand blender…add more or less of the milk to get the consistency you like.

  • I bought the powder supplements from Aldi in the UK, good value and seem like good quality ingredients.
  • Eat with a spoon or with re-usable ‘fun’ straws – big fat ones are great as they can handle the thickness….but PLEASE PLEASE no disposable plastic ‘one use only’ straws!!! Those suckers (see what I did there) are bad news for our lovely planet.

 

 

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Moozle Loves – the best kids rooms – Shared rooms

Hello and welcome, thanks for popping in. I’m starting a new Moozle Loves feature, right here, right now…this one is all about the best kids rooms from around the internet to inspire and spark your own kids decor ideas.

There are so many interesting and diverse styles, looks and options that fulfill different criteria that I’m breaking it down into several catagories such as

Toddler Room – girl / boy / unisex

Ecclectic

Monochrome (such a huge trend right now)

Big Kid Room

Tween

This first installation will concentrate on Shared Rooms, so often a challenge to create a space for 2 (or more) personalities that is functional, fun, cosy, creative, calming and practical…I hope these stir your creative souls…

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Stunning shared room by Sanne Hop.

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Light and bright by Live Loud Girl.

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Ecclectic and fun from Studio Soet.

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Scandi cool via Kidsinspirationdiary.

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A pastel dream by Lay Baby Lay.

Of course there are many many more gorgeous rooms and you can see lots more of them on my Pinterest board Cool Kids Rooms here.

 

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Pop-up Melbourne

Hello hello! Moozle have popped-up in Melbourne at The Little Popup Shop in the super hip area of Brighton.

This weekend (Sun 26th June) they are hosting a fun Family day so if you are in the vacinity make sure to pop-in for face painting, fabulous coffee and cake and of course some retail therapy! x

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Teepee G I V E A W A Y

Hey! There’s a Moozle teepee GIVEAWAY happening right now over on Instagram… what are you waiting for? I’ve teamed up with Mae Gabriel to offer our followers the chance to win a teepee. You can choose the teepee of your choice, choose the BIG teepe and get FREE shipping to boot (other teepees liable to shipping costs as the comp is open WORLDWIDE – highest shipping cost is €34… no import taxes). Visit here now to be in with a chance – good luck! x

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Competition runs until Sunday 20th March 5pm GMT. Winner drawn at random. This is in no way endorsed or supported by Instagram.

You can visit Mae’s beautiful blog for more fabulous home styling, food (great recipes) and of course catch up with the antics of Hayden and his sidekick panda here.

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Photo of BIG Moozle teepee by Mae Gabriel available to buy here.

Map it out

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Evening all. A VERY quick (the sofa is beckoning) post about this lovely new Map print teepee before they are all sold and this is old news. Only 3 left now! Not sure if I can get hold of more fabric any time soon so grab one whilst you can here… they are causing quite a stir so not expecting them to hang around for long. *Amendment… only 2 left now!!

Above is obviously how I styled it for the listing photos for my Etsy shop… but want to see what the kids did when they got home… ooooh.

IMG_5590 IMG_5591Hahaha. Check out Dexies Autumn display in the foreground!

Autumn

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Hello! My Autumn (so far) round up. I love the golden colours of Autumn with these shots of indigo, olive and ecru. My favourite Autumn past time the past few weeks has been apple picking at Fruit Tuin Van West and just look at these gorgeous Apple Roses we made with the harvest bounty! They look so impressive (don’t tell anyone but they are REALLY easy to make, just take a look at this Facebook vid), and taste pretty good too, just serve with a good vanilla ice-cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Don’t forget to tell your dinner guests you spent all afternoon carving the roses for them.

See @katemoozle via instagram for the teepee photos credits above. All teepees from Moozle.

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VTWoonen + Design Beurs 2015

The lovely interior design show VTwoonenDesignBeurs is currently taking place at Rai in Amsterdam until tomorrow. I visited on Tuesday and had a nice surprise of seeing my BIG Moozle teepees on one of the exhibition stands. It was used to display Covers&Co kids blankets and cushions on the Essenza stand.

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I took some photos to give an impression of the show and show some of the ideas and interiors trends coming though. Most of these images were taken on the VTwoonen and Ariadne at Home stands.

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Dexie is 4

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A little boy here turned 4 last weekend so we had a woodland themed party to celebrate, lots of woodland themed party food topped off with a toadstool cake.

The kids loved seeing the party food, lots of ooohs and aaaahhh’s 🙂 The favours were individual chocolates shaped as toadstools or hedgehogs in clear celophane with ribbon on – I didn’t manage to photograph them as I was too busy keeping an eye on everyone! We did an Autumn craft project of threading lots of pine cones, conkers (horse chestnuts), leaves, acorn cups and other woodland bits onto string – they actually look really lovey – I’ll post some pics of ours when I get them off my phone!

For the cake, I used 3 layers of Victoria sponge to make the top of the toadstool, glued together with strawberry jam and whipped cream and sort of sculped it into shape, then covered with a light layer of butter icing before draping and molding the rolled out fondant icing over the top. It took about an hour to decorate the cake (putting the butter icing in the fridge for a few minutes between each stage).

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I’m sneaking in this customer photo too as the tree kind of goes with the woodland theme (see what I did there), thank you to Lianne for the super photo. See more customer pics on the Moozle instagram feed here.

Giveaway!!!!

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I have very exciting news… we have teamed up with the fabulous MINI Style blog to offer instagram followers the chance to win a plain Moozle teepee, size of your choice!!!

Wowsers, all you have to do is keep an eye on the Mini Style blog’s instagram account on the 23rd Aug and when you see the Moozle ig post on their feed (special heads up for Kids Teepee Tent followers here!), make sure you ‘Follow’ their ig account and Moozle – @ministyleblog @katemoozle and you will be entered into the draw, and get this, everytime you @tag a friend in the comments on @ministyleblog, you’ll be entered AGAIN! So set an alarm on your phone to check instrgram on the 23rd!!!

The little gif on the right there, was designed by my talented man Dennis and can be seen on the Mini Style Blog now  🙂

xx

Kids Room Tour

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Hello, hello! I thought it was about time I did a little kids room up-date since that last one about a year ago on the Apartment therapy blog.

I’ve been so busy working on the Moozle teepees but I have finally registered the bunk bed design (I’ve had trouble with other companines stealing my images and dsigns and re-selling knock-off versions so I’m taking extra percautions) and so I’m finally showing them, soon to be listed on the Etsy shop – woohoo – sorry to all of you who have been waiting!!!

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Bird with balloons design bunkbed tent from Moozle.Books

Some of our favourite story books here (especially the Jackie Morris Tell me a Dragon as she is based in our home county of Pembrokeshire). The little green and white guy sticking out of the bed caddy is an original Moozle plushy in Helen Rawliinson’s Shapes and Things fabric. Helen is a textile and lighting designer based in London (and a good friend of mine), check out her work, it’s lovely. Blythe Elephant detail

Lion cushion also by Helen Rawlinson. Animal design bunkbed tent by Moozle.hooks Page-up.details

Some shout outs now to some lovely fellow Etsy designers I’ve purchased from in the past (I’m a fan of supporting small businesses and Etsy is a great place for finding beautiful handmade and vintage items).

Top left: Little Red Riding hood, this was a pdf pattern I bought for my mum – didn’t she do a great job of making her?

Top right: Studio Escargot doll, Cat Pillow, by Vintage Jane, funny bunnies made be me.

Middle right: Moozle plush, framed Ingela P Arrhenius print ( I bought mine from ps ik hou van jou as they have lots of super products and their gift wrapping is gorgeous).

Botton right: Vintage pillow slips (find similar here), Mibo fox cushion (comes as a cut n’ sew tea towel).

Bottom Left: Sleepy King felt fox, fox cushion by Vintage Jane, tall fox is called Mr. Morris Fox (with music box and pull cord) by Esthex from Ps ik hou van jou.

Middle left: Wolf from a pattern by Dolls and Daydreams, plush screen printed guitar by June Craft.

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Spanish dress thrifted on Queens day a couple of years ago, vintage coat hooks and coat hanger from carboot sales, hand-made lavender hearts by me and the kiddos.wall-art

Boy and girl prints by talented UK illustrator Tracy Worral, Donna Wilson owl, fox and deer prints, Noodoll little blue droplet card.

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Me and my boy x

Customer photo

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Many thanks to Danielle for posting this photo of your Moozle teepee on your instagram feed. You can can see more photos and follow Danielle on instagram here.

I love to see how customers decorate their Moozle teepee, this pom-pom garland is a great styling tip, make sure you check out our other customer photos for more inspiration.

Danielle also has an Etsy shop, check out her jewellery creations here.

Don’t forget to hash tag your instagram photos with one of these #moozle #moozlehome to be featured on the blog here with links to your sites, better still why not send your jpeg by email via Moozlehome.com.

See lots of new designs as they are finished, plus photos that capture the moment by following @katemoozle on instagram.

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Dolly in the tulip fields on Good Friday, loving life in Holland.

Show ‘n Tell

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Hello there, here’s a little peak of a work-in-progress pic, there is a lot of cutting out and sewing involved in many of my applique designs, some designs take hours and hours (days it seems) to complete, and not just the actual stitching but the placement of the fabrics and the colour balance is really important to me.

See more photos like this one on the Moozle Instagram account, want to tag us? #moozlehome @katemoozle

This photo is of a new colourway of one of my classic ‘Floral’ teepees, the customer requested ‘dusky pinks and corals’, here are a couple of photos of the finished tent.

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and here’s that finished window box!

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I am now taking orders for similar designs for delivery in the New Year… sorry, no time with current order levels to get more of these out in time for Xmas.

Join the Moozle Facebook page to be amongst the first to know when new designs are available, Xmas delivery times and more.

If are a quick you still have time to order a plain Moozle teepee tent in time for Xmas, 3 sizes available here.

Autumn Magic

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Hello and sorry for the lack of new posts recently! It has been crazily busy with Christmas orders, which is great but… I just hope I can keep up the pace.

I wanted to show you these two new twists on previous designs, the ‘Birdie’ design above and the ‘Enchanted’ design below, here in pinks instead of peaches, nice to try out new colourways, keeps it fresh for me, that’s what I like.

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This Autumn (until the rain started the week before last… wooo-hoo that storm!) has been beautiful with the crisp mornings, low sun and beautiful colours of the turning leaves (all of which have gone now of course), we were lucky enough to catch the last burst of all the Autumn beauty with a weekend in the Ardennes, fantastic to take some time out and just be in nature with the kids during their half term.

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Colour your name

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There are lots of options for fabric colours for the name on your Moozle teepee, but if you don’t see what you’d like on the Moozlehome website, please send me a message, just like the customer who ordered this teepee tent for Ryan, I think her colour choice has worked really well, what would you choose?

I just so happen to have very handily put all of the name option teepees into one section, over on my Moozle Etsy shop page you can have a little look-see over here.

Did you know you can now choose to pay by debit or credit card on Etsy no longer only via Paypal? What helpful folk they are.

Don’t forget you can now follow Moozle on Instrgram to see lots of lovely photos of teepees and other things, just like this one…

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and this one…

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Happy camping! x