Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Fabric HQ, a great find!

Hello! Long time no post, I know. I'm so busy juggling the little ones and the housework and the many projects I'm always chipping away at that managing to actually complete anything and document/put together a blog post about it takes me forever! I have forced myself however to sneak in this little post about an excellent fabric and haberdashery shop I found on Saturday.

Based in Stoke Mandeville in Bucks is Fabric HQ, which holds an awesome fabric collection, patterns and sewing bits and bobs. The room is a lovely clean white space, filled with colourful patterns and solids, arranged and collated really beautifully by colour and theme. I got chatting to one of the owners Jaqcui who was really knowledgable and friendly, and helped me make my choices. At the far end of the room there was a dressmaking class in progress, which added to the great atmosphere of lots of like minded 'makers' busily browsing. I look forward to going along to some classes in the future if I can manage it! They sell online too so you should really check out their lovely prints.

Dotted about the place are handmade garments and goods which I found pretty inspiring, and I was overall just so impressed at the 'tasteful' collections. I have been to many a fabric shop and had to wade through loads that wasnt to my taste, but this place was full of quality fabrics including some gorgeous retro styles that clearly appealed to me! They also had loads of Merchant & Mills stuff, and I am such a sucker for their beautiful packaging and branding.

The shop itself operates among a cute little collection of single storey small business units, at Layby Farm in Stoke Mandeville. I didnt have time to check out the other places but noticed they include an art gallery and biscuit shop, and the units are a stones throw from a goat petting zoo which is brilliantly random!

 I got a few metres of 'Wispy Daybreak Nimbus' Morning Walk by Leah Duncan for Art Gallery, as I'm doing a dressmaking course later this month and wanted to choose something nice for that. I'm drawn to botanical illustrations at the best of times, and this print had me with its lovely colour palette. I'll let you know when the finished garment is made...

Check them out online here, or in person Mon - Sat, 10 -2
Fabric HQ, Unit 8, Layby Farm, Old Risborough Road,
Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire, HP22 5XJ

Friday, 8 July 2016

Arty party bags

My little girl turned 3 a little while ago and we held a little party for her. I put together these 'party bag' gifts for her friends so they could get arty at home after the party. I bought some 3D card letters in the initials of the party guests, and added some bits and bobs for them to get decorating. I added a glue spreader, paintbrush, tissue paper and coloured matches, but you could add all sorts of crafty bits to mix it up a little.

My daughter and I had fun making hers before the party, and she was excited to hand them out to her friends. Maybe next year we will attempt a full on arty birthday party, when I have the time to do a little more planning... this is a nice little idea for an alternative party bag anyhow, just add PVA and little fingers and imagination!

Friday, 27 May 2016

Wedding table plan map - Mel & Adam

A few months back I was asked to help design a table plan for some friends' wedding. Fellow animators Adam and Mel suitably chose the theme 'books from our childhood' and wanted to have each table as a character or book that meant something to each of them when they were growing up. Mel had suggested the table plan be a map showing each of the fictional places, so I got about doodling and designing it for them.

I created a map based upon one of the themes, the 100 Acre Wood from Winnie the Pooh, and added in mountains, paths and trees to make different areas such as Moomin Valley, Roald Dahl's BFG, Alice's Wonderland to name a few. It was quite a challenge to marry up each of the different illustrative styles from each book, and to also find suitable space for the guests names, without making the whole thing too busy and messy.

I had the idea that it would be really fun if the map was actually printed and folded like an actual map, rather than one big table plan on the wall. The guests could each take a map and go to find their seat in the reception. Mel loved this idea so we ran with it and she had someone make a custom box to hold and display them. This was a playful twist on the usual table plan, which really suited this playful and fun-loving couple. (They walked down the aisle to the Star Wars theme played on the church organ by the way!) The table plans were printed onto a cream 200gsm card and map-folded.

Another really personal and unique wedding design for a special couple, I had loads of fun doing this!

Monday, 23 May 2016

Rhi & Dom's rural wedding 'Part 2'

Some of you may remember the wedding stationery which I designed last year for country couple Rhi and Dom (catch the original post here). The big day finally came and went this month, and I completed more design and print work for them in the shape of orders of service, confetti pouches, table and place names, menus...

Attention to detail and adding the personal touch were key to this project, and it was lovely to be able to be create so many coordinating pieces of design and print for this client. I handstitched the order of service booklets with a thin jute twine, and I made some custom card sleeves for the boxes which the couple presented their starters in for each guest. A really cute idea. I also adapted the original tree illustration to work as a fingerprint tree 'guestbook' at the bride's request. Its always really nice to receive photos back from the client of all the final print in action on the day, looks like a stunning wedding! Love the tree theme and the hanging plant pots and lights, beautiful.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Pressing the unpause button!

A little announcement that our  new arrival entered the world a little while back, and along with his nutty sister has been keeping me very busy of late! I have also been working on some wedding stationery jobs, and some new ideas (with all the free time I have, ahem)

So, apologies for the 3 month silence, and I shall be back really soon with more projects and hopefully get the posts up regularly again. Thanks for sticking with me and in the meantime here's a picture of my new son trying out the baby shoes I made a few posts back. If you missed here, here's a link to the 'how to'

Monday, 11 January 2016

Wrapper collage cards

Happy New Year!

My little girl received lots of lovely gifts from friends and family at Christmas so on Boxing Day we set about hand making some thankyou cards from her. Having indulged in a heap of choccie feasting, we were left with loads of cellophane coloured wrappers (yes, I am that person that puts the wrappers back in the tub!) Quality Street wrappers especially are great for making colour collages, they are good bold colours and quite tough.

I cut out various shapes of different sizes and got the glue stick ready. This was a really fun activity for my 2yr old, and also a great opportunity to talk about shapes and colours, and a brilliant early exercise in composition! As the colours overlap to make new colours she also learnt about colour mixing, bonus! She took 1 of each shape for each card, so each card was made up of the same elements but each one turned out completely different. I was amazed she had the patience to sit and do a set of 20 cards!

Happily we got these in the post before the new year, which was all part of the fun for her. How nice to make these individual cards, a cheap activity to do with your kids at any time of year. We may even get going on a large composition for her bedroom wall. Have a go!

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Christmas Cards on sale now!

Well its that time of year again and the tree is up! I was hoping to post some Christmas craft ideas by now, but have been just so busy with some freelance design work and preparing for our new arrival. I do however have some festive news - back by popular demand are my 'festive pets' Christmas cards. They come in 2 designs in packs of 5, for £6 a pack (+ postage). The designs are from an original linocut of mine, and are digitally reproduced here onto high quality Conqueror High White 300gsm card, complete with poppy red envelope. Send these to your special animal loving friends!

Find them at my shop here: http://makeplaydo.bigcartel.com/

I am also selling some original lino prints of the designs, for £10 a print (+ postage)

Go see!