Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Hello to Hello Polly

A daily blog read for me at the moment is the recently launched Hello Polly. Hello Polly is the brand new venture by Sarah Kelk who was at the helm of the fantastic Red Door Gallery in Edinburgh for 7 years and who supported me and my work from the very beginning. We became friends over the years and I'm extremely happy to see her lovely new website (and extremely well-designed it is too - loving the geometric patterns and the colour palette). Sarah left the Red Door and the UK in January to return closer to her home of New Zealand. She's settled in Melbourne with her husband and son and wasted no time in getting the creative juices flowing and channeling her passion into a new creative business. As well as a great blog Sarah is about to launch the Hello Polly online shop selling unique inspirational artwork and design from independent artists. She's been busying away sourcing lovely new things and contacting some of her Red Door suppliers and she's soon going to be opening shop. I'm very pleased to announce that a selection of my cards and prints will very soon be winging their way to Melbourne and available to buy in the online shop. I'm very excited to be working with Sarah again and also to have an Australian supplier - something I don't currently have. I'll keep you posted about the shop launch but in the meantime head over to the blog and get a daily slice of inspiration.

I'm very jealous of Sarah living in Melbourne. It seems there's so much exciting work going on there right now. For many years I've followed the blog Kirin Notebook and the associated
Ink & Spindle blog by Lara Cameron. I've recently also come across Emily Green and seriously love the use colours of her necklaces and brooches. A lot of blog posts have covered the Design.Made.Trade trade fair held in Melbourne recently and there looks to be some very talented people there.

On another quick(ish) note - and going off on a slight tangent - Hello Polly and Sarah's brilliant ability to combine being a mum and setting up a brand new business got me thinking about women in design and creative businesses and how many women I stumble across (be it writing blogs, running or setting up shops..) who juggle motherhood and running a creative business. Speaking from experience it's not easy and results in some very unsociable hours and serious dedication - and a lot of juggling of childcare etc.. We do it because we love it and I personally couldn't imagine not doing what I do so there was never a choice of whether to go back to work or not - I just can't put it down. I am tired and I should try to work less but that's the nature of what I do and I wouldn't change it.
Reading blogs such as Hello Polly, The Seventy Tree and Mrs Eliot Books inspire me and reassure me that I'm not the only one dashing to the Post Office with a 2 year old in tow and that the juggling is entirely worth it.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Nostalgic music

I've had a lovely morning in my studio doing a bit of designing and then card folding. I found the rain strangely comforting and enjoyed a coffee and listening to some old music while I worked. I watched two thirds of Good Will Hunting the other night (missed the first bit) and it reminded me how much I liked Elliot Smith on the soundtrack. I dug out 'From Basement On The Hill' and put it on my computer. It reminds me of a certain time in my life when I was went on exchange from Edinburgh College of Art to Strasbourg L'Ecole Des Arts Decoratif. Listening to it this morning brought back memories of icy cold Strasbourg that winter, cycling around the city with my good friend Siri and many many hot chocolates and far too many freshly baked pastries!! While I was feeling nostalgic I also popped Broadcast's Work and No Work on - listened to a lot while at Art College after being introduced to it by my Norwegian friends (Siri and Mildrid). Music can evoke so many memories and really change my mood. This morning, despite the sombreness of the music it's lifted my spirits past the gloominess of the bad weather!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Pedal power!

I was a very lucky girl indeed and received a lovely bike for my birthday from my husband. I haven't had chance to go for many long rides on it yet but I have been using it a lot for my regular Post Office trips. I've always felt very lazy when I need to go to the Post Office and due to time constraints I end up going the short distance in the car rather than walking (I simply haven't got the time when I have to get back to do more work before going to do the nursery pick-up.) So for some time now I've been saying I'd like a bike to pop into town and do short errands such as these. Hey presto! - I now have a bike. I'm hoping to add a lovely basket to the front very soon. It might make me look a tiny bit like a granny but I don't care. I like my bike.The only problem is that I'm using the fact that I'm biking to justify combining the Post Office trip on a Wednesday afternoon with a trip to the nearby cafe who have the most lovely selection of home-made cakes. It's so easy to get one to take-away and have it at home with a cup of tea that it's becoming a little bit of a habit already!

I seem to be back in full blog-swing - 3 posts in nearly as many days already!
I've been doing a little bit of blog reading and caught up with some lovely new things out there and I feel a little more inspired. I'll do a little post about my findings soon.
After finishing some orders today I spent a couple of hours working on a few last-minute Christmas card designs. I know this sounds silly but it really is last minute in the card world as they should have been done last month at least - and then I'm not as early as some people.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Hello lovely new stockists!

I just wanted to say a warm welcome to all my new stockists who have joined me over the summer. As always it's lovely to meet new stockists and they all look like great shops. I've had quite a lot of florists ordering from me in the last few months and already have quite a few stockists who are florists so I obviously appeal to the flower-buyers of the country!

Here's a list of all the new ones just added to my stockists page in the past week:
Nixey & Godrey, Holt - Norfolk
We visited Nixey & Godfrey while on holiday in Norfolk. They'd only just opened their bricks and mortar shop and it was looking great. A really unique shop - just my kind of place for lots of unusual finds.
Tojo, Glasgow
Nest, Leicester
Sublime, London
Atomic, Nottingham

Welcome, welcome!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Wrong Day Go Back

This sign in my studio sums up a little of how I'm feeling right now. I've been so swamped with orders for all my lovely stockists old and new in the last month that I'm feeling a little out-of-sorts. I feel I need to energise myself both creatively and physically. I've done little else but work work work and I need to see things and do things. I haven't posted in so long due to lack of time and also as I haven't done anything/seen anything/experienced anything which has made me want to. I might make a start with the Yorkshire Sculpture Park where I can still catch the exhibition by an old Edinburgh College of Art friend, Emily Speed. It runs until the 18th of September - I'll let you know if I make.....
In the meantime I'll have a good catch-up with some of my favourite blogs and websites where I always find something that catches my eye and gets me 'fired up' again.

All new stockists have just been added to my website and I'll do a feature on some of them very soon.

Oh and if anyone is wondering where the sign came from - I bought it years ago from a stand at an Artists' Book Fair. I think the guy who makes them is called Richard Tipping.