Friday 23 December 2011

Have a ............

That's me finished for this year. I'm having a little festive break and relaxing for the next week and a half after a very busy year. I'll be back in my studio on Wednesday 4th January so have a very very Merry Christmas and here's to an exciting 2012!

Wednesday 21 December 2011

Christmas round-up

Here's a little festive glimpse of a few of my favourite Christmassy things.
The tree photos are of the newest additions to our Christmas tree. We don't have a very co-ordinated tree but instead have a very eclectic mixture of decorations which have caught my eye over time. I bought a few wooden stars from Posh Graffiti this year. Also - the best find was the vintage baubles which my mum had hidden away which belonged to my Grandma and Grandad and I think they're beautiful. They're so much daintier and prettier than all the naff stuff in the shops these days. Plus they're a little worn and have a bit of history about them. Needless to day they're high up away from small hands!
We have some lovely cards sent to us by talented friends including the stag card by Dear Prudence and the robin postcard is by Anwen Williams.
The Elk card is by the very talented Paul Farrell. I love this card and wish I had bought one for someone. The Christmas tree cards in beautiful greens are Our Workshop. The bottom four images are from the brilliant Present and Correct which is a constant favourite of mine. I love their clean and quirky style. They combine a bit of humour, lovely colours, originality and stationery which is a pretty great combination for me. I found all these images a few weeks ago but haven't had time/forgot to post them so apologies if you see something you like and now can't order it in time - bit frustrating possibly! I wanted to share them before the festivities were all done with for another year.
I'll hopefully be back with a little farewell post before I collapse on the sofa and try my best to relax over Christmas and new year!

Monday 19 December 2011

Hurry Hurry!

I've been parcelling and packing and getting orders out for the last couple of weeks. Lots of standing in the Post Office queue for me again!! All part of the Christmas build-up.
Tomorrow is the last postage day for orders from my shop if you want delivery of your parcel in time for Christmas so hurry hurry and order a lovely print or hand printed card for that extra special person for Christmas. Orders must be placed before midnight tonight to be posted tomorrow. I'll be blogging some festive photos before Friday as things calm down (here's hoping!) as the week goes on. Have a super festive week!

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Perfect Christmas present

Just a little reminder that the Word Map of The British Isles print is available in my shop. It makes an original as well as informative present and provides a real talking point in our kitchen! Everyone has their favourite bit - even our daughter!
So get yourself to the shop and snap one up.

Work on the new collaboration with Snowhome is well underway and we're very excited about it. I'm busying away with my paintbrush and Angus is busying away with his research. Keep your eye out for the new collaboration which will be finished end of December/early January. I won't say any more than that - I'll keep you all suspended a little longer!
In the meantime get over to the Snowhome website and follow the link on the blog to vote for them in the Telegraph shop awards. And while you're on their website purchase yourself some fantastically original and well-designed Chistmas presents - or better still visit the shop in York.

Sunday 27 November 2011

Christmas cards

As promised here's a look at my Christmas cards which have hit my shop and notonthehighstreet this weekend. Better late than never I suppose!
I have a mixture of single cards and packs of cards this year - all hand printed as usual.
I thought it might be nice to do a little offer seeing as we're nearly into December and I might be feeling a little bit festive so I'll include an extra card from my everyday ranges in with the first 10 orders of Christmas cards received.

Thursday 24 November 2011

A much needed break...

After a very hectic few weeks (hence lack of posts again) we escaped to one of my favourite places The Yorkshire Sculpture Park today. It's a fantastic place to visit - there's always a good exhibition or two on, the cafe serves very yummy food, the shop is fantastic and full of inspiring things and then there's all that open space to wander around and let a two and half year old run free!
The sun was shining today and casting the best shadows of the artwork onto the walls. The Donna Wilson exhibition was vibrant and full of woollen creatures and shapes. I loved the framed woollen trees and flowers. Her colours and patterns are superb.
In contrast was the Jaume Plensa exhibition which was calming and filled the landscape and gallery space with illuminated sculptures and lots of lovely letters - so I was in my element! The best bit was the 50 metre curtain of poetry which comprised of steel letters hung on wire which acted as giant wind chimes.
A good day out but now on with the next phase of orders before Christmas. I've been adding Christmas cards to my shop and notonthehighstreet shop tonight. I've nearly done them all (shamefully late - but I have been very very busy). They'll all be on there by the end of Friday and I'll do a proper post about them over the weekend.

Friday 4 November 2011

And the award goes to....Emily Sutton

While flicking through my latest copy of Elle Decoration I was really pleased to see that the 2011 Elle Decoration design award for Best British Pattern Design had gone to Emily Sutton for her 'Curiosity Shop' fabric for St Judes. I've met Emily a few times when she was student at Edinburgh College of Art. She always stood out as a very talented illustrator and I'm not surprised to see her in Elle Decoration among such other talents. Her whimsical designs use artefacts and vintage ephemera to re-create a very mid-century feel. I'm also a big fan of St Judes and keep an eye on their blog. They work with a very talented group of people (one of whom is my old head of illustration from ECA - Jonathan Gibbs).

One of the winners from last years Elle Dec design awards - Donna Wilson - has an exhibition at the
Yorkshire Sculpture Park starting very soon (19th Nov). I'm planning a visit to see her lovely textiles in such a great gallery space. It promises knitted trees and other curiosities so I look forward to it.

Sunday 30 October 2011

Slight bit of trumpet blowing

I posted some months ago about my first run of litho printed cards which were ordered by Paperchase for their Christmas card range. It seems a long time ago since the order enquiry nearly bowled me over in Feb/March (my immediate thought was - 31,500 cards - how on earth am I going to print and pack all of those!........Obviously I quickly came to my senses and realised that this would not only be stupid but impossible so I found a printer).
And here they are in York Paperchase today. I've learnt a lot about dealing with quantities through having to do this order. It doesn't make the small orders from all my lovely independent stockists any less important as they are very important to me - I just wanted to share the journey with you.

Oh and I had a lovely day with my husband and daughter. Lunch out and a wander around York with a tired toddler - stressful but very happy to spend some time together.

Tuesday 25 October 2011


I happened to be re-printing some book covers today which coincidentally perfectly matched the time of year and the weather - a lovely autumnal shade of orange. The sun even obliged giving a fantastic glow to the orange I was printing with. I love all the burnt reds and vivid oranges right now. If I ever find the time to photograph it the tree outside our house is a lovely shade of orange/red at the moment. It makes me want to print everything in these colours.

Thursday 20 October 2011

Hooray for Hello Polly!

The Hello Polly online shop has opened it's virtual doors and is packed full of fantastic art, design, gifts and accessories all of which have been carefully picked by Sarah. She's worked very hard sourcing lots of lovely things for the shop and the site is looking brilliant - well done! Pop along to the shop and see for yourself. There's also a few of my prints and cards in there too.
I've picked some of my favourites from the shop -
Top Left: Triangle box bag - Kate Sheridan, Top right: My Favourite Place Pillow -
Lucky Boy Sunday, Bottom left: Congeries print - Verity Keniger, Bottom right: Swan cushion - Mengsel.
Bicycle Pendant - The Yellow Owl Workshop
Hello World baby birth certificate - The Small Object
'A' print - Elsie Dodds

Friday 14 October 2011

Muddy puddles & fresh air

I've been feeling a little dreary all week. What with the gloomy turn in the weather and a general lethargy and lack of enthusiasm on my part it's been a dull week.
So it was nice to end the week on a good note. A walk in the woods with my daughter, my sister and her twin boys. Lots of splashing in muddy puddles, collecting of leaves and running after small children. We were tired but a big slice of cake each (and a big coffee for my sister and me) perked us up a little! It was lovely to have some sunshine and to get outside and spend some time together. I need to get out more often and blow away the cobwebs once in a while. (Note the spotting of a little bit of type on a tree - the bird/owl boxes are all numbered and I quite like the bits of random codes/type popping up on the trees!)

Blog posts have been few and far between again. I've had a distinct lack of time and news again I'm afraid. As always I hope to change all that.

In amongst the usual card printing, folding, cutting, packaging and sending orders that makes up my week I made a small start on my new collaboration with Snowhome. When its progressed a little more I'll give more away...... but in the meantime all I'll say is the ink brush and pot are coming back out again!

Tuesday 6 September 2011

The Power of Making exhibition at the V&A

The Power of Making exhibition is a collaborative exhibition by The Crafts Council and the V&A opening today. Featuring over 100 eclectic crafted objects from around the world the exhibition explores the importance of being skilled and the potential that these skills offer the arts and creative industries.

"For many people, making is critical for survival. For other it is a chosen vocation: a way of thinking, inventing and innovating. And for some it is simply a delight to be able to shape a material and say 'I made that'. The power of making is that it fulfills each of these human needs and desires."
-I couldn't have put it any better myself.

This looks like a fascinating exhibition and I'm glad to see that it runs until January so there's plenty of time to try and squeeze in a visit to London to see it.
For those who don't make it there's an accompanying book to the exhibition.

The Power of Making
6th September 2011 - 2nd January 2012
Porter Gallery, V&A London

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.