Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Day in the Life

I thought I'd do a visual Day in the Life blog post this time- so I took a few photos to mark my day at the Ideal Home Show at Earl's court.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Nikki McWilliams at the Ideal Home show at Christmas

If you've been following my blog over the last few weeks you'll probably have guessed that by now I have set up shop for the week at Earl's Court exhibition centre in London for the Ideal Home Christmas show!

It's taken a lot of planning but with a little help from friends and family it's all come together nicely! I'm really pleased with my stand and it's actually a bit scary how close it is to my original plan sketch- but what can I say- I do like being organised! My very talented friend Lauren Gentry did my pretty chalkboard price list- I love it!

Today was the first day- there were absolutely loads of people in and I had a really fab response from those who stopped by my stand- favourites of the day were definitely the Caramel Wafer and my Custard Cream.

We'll be open tomorrow for late night shopping from 10am until 9pm (and then 10am - 6pm thereafter) so if you're in the area and you'd like to swing by, say hello and hug your favourite biscuit, please do! I'll be at Stand 2C81- upstairs in the shopping section!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Ideal Home Show at Christmas: an exciting update!

With only a few days before I leave for London to set up shop at this year's Ideal Home Show at Christmas- I'm all prepared and starting to get properly excited about a week in the capital city at what is shaping up to be a super-festive show!

I've been lucky enough to have had my cushions selected as one of the show's Top Gifts: they'll be featured in a special display at the entrance of the show- which is a really fabulous opportunity! I've also been asked to contribute cushions to the show's famously inspiring Room Sets- along with Top Drawer friends Goodwin + Goodwin and Design Bark.

I wanted to share this time lapse video of the build-up of last year's show- the transformation from empty space to the show in it's finished state is truly incredible!

If you're in London between the 16th and 20th of November- pop along and say hello! I'm travelling down for preparations this Monday- so you can keep up with me while I'm on the road via twitter and instagram.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Last Christmas Posting Dates 2011

With the nights drawing in and the Scottish air getting cooler every day I can't believe how quickly the Festive Season is approaching us!

So without more ado, here are the last Christmas posting dates for 2011 for all orders from my Online Shop (Etsy and Folksy included): please ensure that you order before these dates to make sure your biscuity goodies arrive in time for gift-giving!

Last International orders: Friday 2nd December

Last UK orders: Wednesday 14th of December

With last year's winter weather and subsequent postal delays in mind I would of course recommend that orders are placed ASAP to avoid disappointment.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

AWOB (Absent With Out Blogging)

Night owls- I've been super busy and therefore a bit absent from the blogosphere- so here's a wee video (it was made entirely using my phone- filmed and edited- so don't judge!) of what I've been up to- for those who are interested! With only 8 days until we leave for London for the Ideal Home show- I'll be doing a lot more of this in the days ahead- it's cushions-a-go-go here!


p.s- It's stated at the end of the video- but music is by Frightened Rabbit- they're pretty great, I think!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ideal Home Show at Christmas: Giveaway time!

I'm still working hard to get everything ready for setting up shop at the Ideal Home Show at Christmas this November but in the mean time I wanted to celebrate via the blog with a little pre-show giveaway!

I'm giving away three pairs of tickets to enjoy the show (worth up to £26 per pair) courtesy of Nikki McWilliams design and the Ideal Home Show! Tickets are valid on any one day (Wednesday the 16th right through to Sunday the 20th- including late-night (9pm) shopping on the Thursday night!)

All you have to do to be in with the chance to win is leave a comment below with:

1) Your favourite item from my Online Shop.
2) Who you'd to take to the show with you, and why.

I'll announce the three winners on Monday the 31st of October. If you're more of a facebook-er than a blog reader, you can also enter via the Nikki McWilliams Design Facebook page!

Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Shake It Up, Baby

I first watched Ferris Bueller's Day Off about 15 years ago during an inspired late-night sewing and making session with my wee cousin, Danni. We were hopeful and young (we must have been early secondary school-age) and the prospect of taking a sneaky Day-Off to have an adventure in a big city was so exciting.

Over the years I've come back to this film with fond memories. It's not just a story about some school kids skiving- it's about aspirations, taking chances and living life.

And with that (and you might be wondering where this is going) I am pleased to say that within 4 weeks- I will be 100% self-employed and will no longer have a day-job. Leaving the security of a regular income and the familiarity of a workplace which I have been part of for the last 4 years was not an easy decision for me to make- while it's the end of one (longer than anticipated) chapter in my life it is also the start of a new one- and I'm so excited!

In the famous words of Ferris (and at the risk of sounding super cheesy): "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it". I can only hope I havn't just reversed the metaphorical Ferrari through a plate-glass garage wall: wish me luck!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ideal Home Show at Christmas 2011

I had an excellent time on my last trip to London which is why I am super-excited to announce that I will be returning to our capital city again this November for the Ideal Home at Christmas show at Earl's Court!

I'll be setting up shop for 5 whole days (including one Thursday late shopping night) between the 16th and 20th of November at stand 2C81 (directly across from the Christmas food market within the Ideal Shopping section) so pop along and say hello!

If you're coming to visit me- be sure to use the code EXHX11 for a 10% discount off your ticket price.

See you soon, London!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Biscuits of Excellence

When I last blogged I was looking forward to a trip back to my secondary school, Alloa Academy to the annual Open Evening. I made a bee-line for the Art Department (as I did pretty much every day when I was a pupil there) and I was not dissapointed!

There was a truly excellent enormous cake-stand filled with giant papier mache biscuits made by super talented Third Year pupils who clearly (judging by the high standard of work and attention to detail) had really enjoyed their biscuity assignment!

It was great to see a few familiar faces and I had a lovely night. Thanks to Miss Wilson for getting in touch and inviting me along!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Going Back to My Roots

My friend Sarah and I on our last day of School, Alloa Academy c. June 2003
(At the dawn of digital camera technology- check my 1MP photo!)

This week I'm stopping off in my home town of Alloa to attend my former secondary school, Alloa Academy's Open Evening. I was contacted by one of the current Art teachers (who is also a DJCAD grad) a week ago to invite me along, as some of the kids have been making biscuit-inspired artwork!

I was one of those geeky kids who actually really liked school (especially in 6th year when Art & Design/Portfolio work made up about 80% of my timetable) and was sad to leave.

Although the original building is now long-gone, the new and improved school is now home to a few of those who taught me between 1997 and 2003, including my ever-supportive and inspiring Art and Design teacher! The new school's running some new subjects too, including "Creative Cake Production" which I wouldn't mind studying now!

To go along with the pupil's biscuit inspired artwork, there's also a Biscuit inspired prize-raffle for attendees of the Open Evening- which includes one of my Bourbon Biscuit cushions, along with loads of other biscuity goodies!

Friday, September 23, 2011

London, Rain & Raffaellos

It's now two weeks since I set off for London and Top Drawer-and it feels like yesterday, and months ago all at the same time. I've had loads on my to-do list since I've been back, including blogging, which has steadily been getting further and further down my list. So- today I am catching up- here's a fortnight in pictures and a wee bit about what I've been up to!

Top Row: Sticking up my logo vinyls and catching the train to the Olympia at Top Drawer
Second Row: Lovely birthday chocolates from my friend Veronika and meeting kittens
Third Row: The dawn sky from the London to Glasgow sleeper train and drinking champagne at Zandra Rhodes' Jewellery launch
Bottom Row: Insanely lucky charity shop find: New Toffel Swedish Hasbeens for £6.00 and our gloriously sideways Scottish weather

With daylight hours getting shorter, and the familiar sight of fairisle emerging in the shops- winter is approaching fast! Time to dig out the scarf and mittens to brave the cold- and a pair of 150 deniers if I want to give the Hasbeens an outing in 2011.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Top Drawer Adventure


Here's a few photos from my adventures in London at Top Drawer last week- after everything was set up I settled in nicely with my cushions (and some new pals from the surrounding stands) as company!

It was great to meet some of my existing stockists and a few new ones too- so thank you to everyone who made the effort to come and visit me at my stand!

Above (left to right) Helena Carrington, Me, Viviane of Goodwin and Goodwin and Laura Spring.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Top Drawer Prep & The Old Cinema

So, after a long train journey (details of which I won't go into) we arrived in London Euston this morning at 06:45.  After quickly nipping back to our hotel in Chiswick we met up with my good friend Lauren who was helping with my set-up. 

After a little while, boxes were assembled, cushions stuffed and decals stuck!  After laying everything out however- I decided that the thing that was missing was an old school chair, for my Caramel Wafer cushion to sit on.  You know the kind I mean: painted steel legs with a curved light-wood back and seat.  As the events hall only had shiny new chairs (much to my dismay) we set about scouring London for perfect prop...and I was lucky enough to be able to rent a beautiful vintage Belgian school chair on a daily basis from the treasure trove that is The Old Cinema antique and retro furniture store on Chiswick High Street.

So- after a few tweaks early tomorrow morning, I am ready to go!  I'll take lots of photos and try my best to blog tomorrow!

I'll be uploading the rest of the photos from my trip so far to my Facebook page very soon!

Friday, September 9, 2011

New Web Home

Ok- super quick post as I am packing for London as I announce that I have a fresh new website just in time for Top Drawer 2011!

It's live now at along with my brand new web shop!

I'd best go finish packing, so I can score every last thing from my gazillionth to-do list of the last week- and then I'm hitting the road!  I'll try my best to make time to blog- but if not you can always keep up to date with me on twitter- I'll be tweeting and sharing photos of my experience of the show over the next four days.

See you soon!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Here Comes The Sun

With only a few days until I leave for Top Drawer in London, everything's coming together nicely!  I reckon I'm pretty organised so far, however I still can't help but spring out of bed at 6am every morning this week- the pro's of which are the beautiful sunrises that Dundee sees!

I wanted to share the view from my living room window between 6am and 7am this morning.  The Rowan Goliath (I've blogged about this before!) has been a part of my personal skyline now since the start of the year, and I've grown to quite like it. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Inadvertently in Ideal Home

Some exciting news this week- my Teacake cushions have (somewhat inadvertently) been in the October 2011 issue of Ideal Home magazine!  Blink and you'll miss it- but it's on p18 of their Home Fashion flipside mag on a very nice Italian sofa in the very stylish Belfast home of Mairead and Owen Moore.

I'll be packing up my Teacake cushions along with all of my other designs this Friday for London and the Top Drawer show at the Olympia.  If you're planning on coming along don't forget to register here.

See you soon!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

London Calling: Spotted @ Top Drawer 2011

A little while ago- I was invited to exhibit my designs at this year's Spotted Showcase, at Top Drawer Autumn/Winter 2011. It's curated by fabulous style and interior design writer, Charlotte Abrahams who has written for The Guardian, Living Etc and Elle Decoration- and I am so excited to be part of it all!

My Biscuit Cushions will also be gracing the sofas in this year's VIP Lounge, The Indigo Club- so if you're lucky enough to be a Top Drawer VIP you can snuggle up with my cushions in the lap of luxury!

I'm in the final stages of preparation for the show this week before we catch the sleeper from Glasgow to London next Friday night. We've got a whole day for setting up camp at The Olympia on Saturday, before the show opens on Sunday:

Register your visit here: and come squidge some biscuit cushions at stand #SP10 on:

Sunday the 11th of September: 09:30 - 18:00

Monday the 12th of September: 09:30 - 18:00

Tuesday the 13th of September: 09:30 - 17:00

Here's some handy travel and accomodation info that could help plan your trip to the London Olympia via the Top Drawer website, along with a handy map I've annotated for you to make sure you pay me a visit while you're there!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Print-a-thon

Here's a few snaps from my day today which consisted of a mega cushion print-a-thon alongwith some very tasty food! Highlights include my fabulous Graze box which arrived this morning after the excellent Groupon deal I got earlier on this week. I was very impressed with everything it contained, especially the Lemon Merngue pie mixture- and it was excellent high-energy printing fuel! I'd definitely recommend that you give Graze a go- I got a voucher code for a FREE box with my order so do the right thing and go get yourself some delicious snacks!

Free Graze Voucher Code: VJLTZTJM

The second last photo is of my current favourite salad (yes- you heard it- a SALAD!) which is so good. It's babyleaf salad (spinach & rocket mainly) olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pine nuts and parmesan. You can add sundried tomatoes too if you have any- and you will not be dissapointed! Do let me know if you try it- and what you think!

Also- if you were ever wondering what my hands look like after a day of cushion-printing- that is one of my rather grubby (inky) looking paws!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I find it really interesting to think about where my cushions and prints and things end-up... who they belong to and their place in their new homes.

So- today I set myself the task of making a reminder of the things that I've made that have left the studio for new owners near and far. I do love a good pin-board (If you've not already followed me on the wonderfully addictive Pinterest, you can do so now!) so I set about a black cork-board with some Sharpies and Posca Pens to come up with my very official Nikki McWilliams Sales Map.

Each pin represents a country or state that I have sent some of my things to and probably the areas of the world that appreciate a biscuit or two!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Day in the Life: Sunday the 14th of August

I read about "A Day in the Life" in the blog of Claire of Miso Funky. It looked like a really fun blogging idea and despite thinking that my day would probably be too boring to publicise, I decided to give it a go.

This day in the life date was chosen by Julie of CraftyFrayedEdges- you can read all about a day in her life and everyone else who's taken part here.

Here Goes!

07:15- My alarm goes off. I know that I should really get up but I snooze until...

08:00- I haul myself out of bed and inspect my bandaged hand which I staved the previous day at work. My finger's still pretty swollen and it's my good hand. Disaster! Decide that another 15 minutes might be of benefit to my injured paw.

08:15- Check email on phone, a few good deals from Groupon and shop emails. Still not out of bed.

08:20- Eventually get up, get showered and hair washed. I have to sit down while I'm drying my hair because I'm still pretty sleepy.

08:45- Michael brings me some bitesize Shredded Wheats but there's not enough time for tea.

09:00- Arrive at work. Let myself in and start ploughing through a mini mountain of admin stuff.

10:30- I proceed to unpack what seems like a gazillion pairs of brogues trying not to use my gammy hand too much.

13:00- Get back to the flat for lunch (it's so good living close-by to the day-job)and have some really delicious scrambled egg on toast followed by a large cup of tea, 3 Custard Creams and 2 Jaffa Cakes.

14:05- Back to work. Feel a bit sick after the mega lunch.

15:00- Feel a bit worried about my injured hand as I have a lot of printing to do next week. Double Argh!

16:30- A bit of excitement when the fire alarm goes off and the shop is evacuated. It's sunny outside which is a bonus!

18:15- Hometime!

19:00- Make a huge batch of macaroni cheese and eat quite a lot of it for dinner. Yum.

20:00- Catch up with my shop, emails, do some blog-reading and think about the possibility of buying some new glasses online. Decide I'm too fussy to buy stuff to wear on my face without trying it on first and look at some flats for sale online.

21:00- Think about having a small gathering/party for my birthday in September. Hmmm.

21:40- 2nd giant cup of tea of the day (this is a surprisingly low number). I wish we had more sweets and cake in the flat. My hand feels a bit better which is ace.

22:00- Catch a bit of the new Dragon's Den on TV and paint my nails a lilac colour.

22:50- Get into bed with a book (a curry recipe book)

23:00- Sleep.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

65p Jam Shopper from M&S

Ok, so I admit that I may have gone a bit blog-post crazy in the last few days but I really wanted to share this great little find from M&S.

I remember seeing some of their nostalgia inspired jam jars in store about a year ago- and I loved them. M&S Food seem to be quite big on their retro-revival at the moment (our store in Dundee has a penny mix-up style sweet section- think flying saucers and pink shrimps) and that alongside their lovely product packaging is a total winner for me.

So- when I saw this fab Blackcurrant Jam label shopper for only 65p(!) I had to pick one up. It's a good size and has nice woven handles (and will come in extra-handy seeing as my almost brand new Cath Kidston shopper's zip is busted!)

A lot of the nicer re-usable shoppers have become quite expensive so it was really refreshing to see M&S pricing such a covetable design so fairly.

Good job Marks and Spencer!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Back to Blighty

Well, refreshed and recharged, I am back! My cousin's wedding was lovely and it was so nice to be there alongside relatives that I hadn't seen in a really long time!

Thank you to those who have placed an order from me while I've been away- I'm working hard to get the majority of these out today- so keep an eye out for your shipping confirmation email (Folsky shoppers), or check your order status if you've bought through Etsy.

I've returned to an overflowing inbox- so if you've sent me an email in the last 10 days- sit tight! I'm doing my best to reply to everybody as quickly as I can. Thanks for being so patient!

I'll do a proper photo post with some more of my favourite snaps from my break very soon- but in the mean time here's a couple to tide you over: A few of my favourite things about visiting Cyprus- amazing mosaic and cool ice-cream sandwiches!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Tour De Biscuit 2011

Ok, so I may not be going to France, but I thought Tour De Biscuit was a pretty catchy name for my upcoming project.

Back in 2007 (During my days as a Kid's club rep overseas- I bet that's something you didn't know about me!) I was lucky enough to share an apartment in the Algarve with another lovely Kid's rep who was just as crazy about tea and biscuis as I am.
Every week we would sample a different biscuit and score it on a chart in our kitchen:

The top scoring biscuit, "Princess Biscuits" (with 73%) is a biscuit that you can actually get here in the UK, for about 80p from Lidl. They're basically two rich tea biscuits with chocolate (flavour!) cream in between, and come to think of it now, I don't know how they got such a high score. But we were addicted to them!

So, in the spirit of what was a really fun project, I've decided to do the same during my trip to Cyprus. I'll be scoring each biscuit I try on:

  • Appearance

  • Smell

  • Texture/Flavour

  • Size & Value For Money

  • Dunkability

If you want to join in, you can download your own Biscuit Score Sheet to print out, and fill in with a doodle of the biscuit in question and the all-important scores. I'll be uploading all of my biscuit analysis along when I get back, but in the mean time, you can post your completed Biscuit Score Sheets in the new Tour De Biscuit flickr group. Happy Dunking/Drawing/Scoring!

Here's a tea-inspired tune by the The Kinks to get you inspired!

Friday, July 15, 2011

New: Biscuits for your couch

I've gone a bit blog-post crazy this week (three is quite a lot for me!) but I feel like I've had lots of news to share! Thanks to those who took the time to comment or send me a tweet me about my posts- it really is lovely to have some bloggy feedback!

Anyhoo- my main news this week is that I have not one, but two new designs in store. I shared my Chocolate Digestive cushion a few days ago- and am pleased to say that some have already found new homes in the UK and across the pond in the USA. This ace New Zealand blogger featured them in her "Cool For Kids" section- which is pretty ace too!

Also (pictured above and brand new today) are my Chocolate Malted Milk cushions! I can't wait to hear what folks think about them.

You can visit either my Folksy or Etsy Shop if you're thinking about adding either to your collection.