Oh my goodness, wedding season is well underway! My to-do list gives me little thrills of panic/joy every time I look at it but equally I have had time to spend with friends and to get outside and be leisurely!
We visited Kew Gardens on a hot, sunny late-April day and thought our tulips compared favourably with theirs…
I got my first pair of glasses! Friends of mine, most of whom are specs wearers, know that I have always hankered after a pair of geek chic glasses in spite of my perfect vision. Lucky me, the ageing process means I now need a pair for computer work. I never could quite bring myself to ‘fake it’ so it was a momentous occasion – I documented it with a selfie that doesn’t quite capture how excited I was….
I’ve been working on some lovely stationery, these two projects were for May weddings. A bit of brush calligraphy for place cards for a London wedding and the animal drawings were for a dinner table plan and table names. Can’t wait to show lots of it off after it has been photographed.
It’s rambling season!! A couple of weeks ago we did a walk in the Kent countryside, from Otford to Eynsford via Shoreham. It was completely glorious. You can find details of the walk here. You can helpfully download the walking guides onto the kindle app on your phone, which was way better than carrying around a book/printed sheets of paper. This picture is of my husband Steve walking down a hill into the village of Shoreham. I can’t recommend it enough.
One thing I wanted to do after going part time at work was to do the occasional day-course. I think it’s important to try new things, learn new skills and get out of the house! A few weeks ago I spent a day at the St Bride Foundation in their print workshop where I had an introduction to letterpress. St Brides is tucked away in the back streets south of Fleet Street, not far from Blackfriars station and is housed in a beautiful victorian building.
I had booked on a one-day Adana course, just wanting to learn something new and have a go, thinking that the Adana route may be the ideal intro. It turns out I was the only one booked in so I had a one-on-one session with Mick. Mick is a real character, formerly a compositor on the Fleet St newspapers, he was a brilliant teacher, amused at my colourful language and patient with my inability to calculate ems. After getting to grips with the Adana, he generously let me loose on the other presses, and let me have a go with woodblock type, the result you can see above.
At the end of the day he took me on a tour of the building where I got to see the archive, the library, the beautiful function rooms and some of the treausres the foundation holds such as a William Morris Kelmscott Chaucer which is unbelievably beautiful. I can’t really express how wonderful my day was and how spoilt I felt. I honestly can’t recommend a class at St Bride enough – and it’s not just for designers!
If you’re interested in Letterpress they are having a wayzgoose (love that word!) on Sunday 17th May, where you can buy letterpress kit and printed items.
I’ve been growing this business for a few years now, but I have always done it on the side alongside a nearly full time job. What can I say, I am risk averse with a London mortgage.
This week I moved to working just two days a week at my day job. Even though this is no ‘quit your day job’ story, for me it is a huge and exciting and terrifying step! I am so grateful that I have been able to find myself in this position and my employers have been brilliant. I am so looking forward to working on new projects, to have the ability to take on more bespoke work and finally get my evenings back. AND being able to take 5 minutes out to enjoy an unseasonably hot and beautiful day!
My new office hours are typically going to be 9.00 am – 6.00 pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and I expect I will quietly work a few weekends during the busy moments. Bubbly this evening to celebrate my first week I think!
A few of the ambitions I entertained on New Year’s Day: a daily sketchbook project (with monthly themes!), weekly blogging, sewing my summer wardrobe…
But then my inbox happened – so many wedding stationery enquiries! Since then I have been working day, night and weekend. December was pretty crazy as well. When you’re in the midst of it, nothing sounds better than a netflix marathon duvet day on the sofa, but actually seeing all of the finished printed projects is hugely satisfying, as is the lovely feedback I have had from clients.
Tomorrow I am having my first full day off work since the Christmas break and oh my god I can not wait!!!
Pictured is just a selection of what I have been working on. I am freeing up now so if you are considering booking me for a project then I can most likely fit you in.
House portraits are back! I am able to take on a select number of bookings for these bespoke illustrations in the run up to Christmas and, let’s face it, these make a really sweet and personal gift. They are £100 for an A4 print on beautiful archival Hahnemuhle fine art paper as well as the digital file. I can also arrange for them to be framed at an additional cost.
If you are interested or have any questions, please email me and I will respond asap.
September has flown by! I’ve been busy designing new ranges, embarking on a new sewing adventure and doing a little travelling….
A little sneak peek at a new ready-to-go range. A proper launch to follow very soon!
I completed a dress making course at The White Room in South East London. I made The Camber Set dress by Merchant & Mills in a lovely chambray I bought from Ray Stitch in Islington (the most beautiful shop – oh my gosh go even if you are not a sewer!). The Tuesday evening lessons were such a joy – it has been so nice to learn something new and completely out of my comfort zone.
We travelled to Somerset to visit Steve’s family for a long weekend and stopped off in Frome for our first night – it’s one of my favourite British towns. We stayed at Archangel and ate at their restaurant which sits in this very impressive ancient barn space.
The next day, on our way to Chard to visit the family, we stopped off at Bruton to visit the new Hauser & Wirth gallery and the garden by my favourite desgnier, Piet Oudolf. It is an absolute must see if you are ever in the area and they have a great calendar of exhibitions lined up (i’ll be popping in at Christmas to see Pipilotti Rist) and a very nice looking cafe/restaurant. I loved these enormous tubs of florals.
And so now October…. I am not sure I have come to terms with the fact summer is over but I shall take Martin Creed’s words to heart.
This week I have been working hard on some new “ready to go” ranges of wedding stationery and I thought I would give you all a quick look at two of them. The first features hand lettering and watercolour effects within the text and a paint speckled background.
The second set is for those of you having rustic country weddings, featuring an illustrated floral border of umbellifers, printed on textured kraft board.
Full details for these, along with a few more ranges, will be available soon.
Congratulations to Clare and Kerry who were very recently married at Wiston House in Sussex! I have been really lucky to work with Clare and Kerry on their wedding stationery and I love how it has all turned out. I created a gatefold invitation along with an information sheet and RSVP postcard to send to guests. I illustrated, in a simple line drawn style, their church (St James the Less Church, North Lancing) and their wedding venue, along with some hydrangeas for the RSVP and rear of the gatefold.
In addition to the items photographed we also created a large A2 table plan with an illustrated hydrangea border and a hand bound order of service using their church illustration on the cover.
And now for something a little bit different! I created this wedding invitation and menu for a styled shoot and was totally thrilled to be asked to take part. Unfortunately royal mail completely let me down – twice! – and they did not arrive in time for the shoot. Sad face! So I posted them on instagram as you do.
When thinking about how to approach it (woodland theme, lots of foliage), I decided it was a great opportunity to try something a bit different so I tried some hand lettering and masking work with lush green watercolour in photoshop. I am really pleased with them and I will be trying something similar with the range of off-the-shelf suites I am currently developing. Such a great lesson in developing your skills and trying something different.
I am very lucky that every so often friends will commission me to create artwork to give as a special gift. This commission was for a couple who were recently married in Cornwall at the very romantic Cornish Tipi Weddings. I hope they loved it!