Monday, 28 December 2015

Christmas goodies: Supporting small businesses

Kitty McCall, Naoshi and Laura Jayne

Hi! I would begin with the usual "I'm not trying to braaaag" speech but I don't think it really applies here. I want to share the things I was given this Christmas which were made by designers and illustrators; what's better than shopping independent for presents? Nothing! Everything is so cute and unique and clever. 

I should mention that I'm so grateful for all the gifts I recieved from my family and friends. Every year as I get older the presents get less important but the thought that goes behind them is so wonderful. I just want to squeeze all of the lovely wonderful beings in my life!

Notebook by Kitty McCall, sticker from Naoshi and the painting is by my sister. She knows how much I love those silly cat pictures and videos on the 'Cute Emergency' twitter (I retweet them often and yes it's probably annoying) so she made this especially for me! I really wish I had made more gifts this year for that personal touch. That's definitely something I want to plan for 2016!

Naoshi, Hello Harriet and Maria Ines
Alex Sickling

Badge is by Naoshi, Cat pin is from Hello Harriet and the OK pin is by Maria Ines. Enamel pins ended up being a really popular accessory from the summer onwards this year and I'm so thrilled I now have my own little collection. I think the cat is definitely my favourite, I love the rose gold detailing it has and the thin lines in the drawing. Look at its little faaaaace!

The pot is by one of my favourite illustrators, Alex Sickling. She's so cool; I love her ugly quirky style. After seeing her Punch and Judy ceramics at the Funland exhibition I found out she also went to LCA which made me fangirl a little bit. I definitely want to find a little plant for it or maybe even some flowers. 

I've linked the designers throughout the post so I hope you check them out because they all have so many more beautiful things to see. Goodbye for now 2015; I shall return to the blog in the new year!

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Christmas at home

Eeeep! Only two days to go!

Christmas at home is always pretty much the same but that's why it's so great. There's an endless supply of food, decorations are dotted all over the house and my street is full of beautiful twinkling lights which make a walk home during the dark wintery nights a lot more pleasant!

On a little bit of a deeper note it also gives me the chance to reflect on everything... I'm the happiest I've been in a long time because I'm finally comfortable with myself enough to not give a shit about what other people think. I still worry but it's grown to be a part of me and when I get stressed I kinda know how to deal with it. The sad stages of growing up have disappeared and I'm not the awkward scared teenager I used to be. Next March I turn 21 but I think on that day I will be off to London for a work placement- I'm not even mad I'll be on a three hour coach to the city. I'm just really really excited to see what next year brings!

Bauble selfie ~
from me to u *insert Christmas tree emoji*
Last Christmas was great but this one is already a lot better. I'm so grateful that I can spend it with my loved ones watching rubbish TV and eating lots of chocolate, everyone seems to be in a better mood this time of year! I hope you have a lovely Christmas and if you don't celebrate have a wonderful 25th December anyway; I'm sure I'll have lots to share once the big day is over and the new year begins!

Friday, 18 December 2015

York, art, hot chocolate and dogs

Inside Thors tipi | Me and Jake outside the Minster
Food at Zizzi's 

Hello! I broke the promise I had to myself about posting once a week and I know "noone cares" but I CARE and after blogging for a few years now I thought I had finally found my perfect schedule! It's all OK though because I've been so busy having the perfect build up to Christmas it's fair to say blogging hasn't been number one on my mind, or design work for that matter, but isn't that what the Christmas holidays are for? I think I definitely deserved a little break from designing too.

Me and Jake visited York yesterday to do our last minute Christmas shopping where we also managed to grab a hot chocolate with baileys in Thors tipi in the square. It was so warm and festive it really put me in the Christmas spirit! The hot choc was nice too- a little strong but Jake helped me finish it because I'm too much of a wuss. We visited Harrogate today and had lunch at Zizzi's which was lovely. I tried the teapigs chocolate and mint tea; it sounds like a bit of a weird combination but the chocolate wasn't too overpowering and it went well with all the bread I ate. (I've had too much pizza these past few days.)

Katrina Palmer | Kerry Jameson | Pauline Burbidge

In terms of art I have been really overwhelmed by it, but in a good way. Before I left Leeds for home I saw the new exhibition at the Henry Moore Institute, "The Necropolitan Line" by Katrina Palmer - an installation piece featuring a station platform running through the exhibition space. "Like all platforms, this is a site for departures, beginnings and endings that draw on stories of romantic goodbyes and abandonments, as well as expectation and anticipation." 

Jake and I also visited the Bowes museum and saw the quilting and textile pieces from Pauline Burbidge (it inspired me try out a few of her processes) and our trip to York also meant a visit to the newly refurbished art gallery which was filled with amazingly curated exhibitions (seriously really great and very well put together! I'm doing a separate post on one particular exhib I fell in love with) and the Centre of Ceramic Art where I found the weird and wonderful unique pieces by Kerry Jameson.

Scandinavian inspired design with initial sketches
Lovely Leo

Of course, the designing didn't completely stop and I endeavoured a few competitions we were informed about before we broke up for Christmas. Above is a Scandinavian inspired repeat design which I based around a few of the contemporary designers I found when reading up on the Stockholm Furniture Fair. It's interesting when you realise how much Scandinavian design and influence there is around us!

I wanted to end this post with this photo of me stroking Leo (Jake's dog) because he's a real sad faced cutie and I've had the most wonderful days spent with Jake and his family. I can't wait to go home tomorrow and see my mum, dad and sisters and see the house all Christmassy. There's only one week left but I'm feeling very prepared! I hope I haven't forgotten anything...

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Fruity fun

Little bits and bobs I wanted to share on my blog:

Designs I'm working on at the minute for a children's market. Digitally based which I'll work back in to through screen print and flocking.
Studio space and a screen print I finished earlier this week. Colour seperation is not my strong point buuut I'm very glad I gave it a go!

I also received my marks for the last module (this stuff here, here and here) and I'm a very happy lady!!! It's definitely time to celebrate, and just in time for the christmas holidays, yipeeee!

Sunday, 6 December 2015

In the studio

Dyed fabric and lots of research

I can't believe this is my first post for December, I thought I would have some more Christmas themed things to share but unfortunately not, so what I've been getting up to recently will have to do. Even if it is nearly Christmas break the uni work does not slow down (well in my case it hasn't!) and I am bombarded with so many things I need to get done. At the minute we're designing things to sell at a textile trade fair in Paris and I am stuck between being overly stressed and strangely feeling very calm. I'm trying to just take everything as it comes, not over think too much and enjoy the time spent working on these designs!

Passion fruit pattern
Designs hanging in my studio space

These are black and white ideas I'm working on right now and I'm veeery excited to interpret my samples from the last module into fully developed designs! I can't wait to watch them come to life and see how this all turns out in the end. My Christmas break won't really consist of having a 'break' so I guess all I can wish for is summer... and even then I'll be on work placements (fingers crossed) gathering experience and what not. Ahhhh it's a lot of work but it's so much fun. I am rather lucky to be on such a great course which I absolutely love. I feel like I learn something new every day!

Sunday, 29 November 2015

A Christmas themed post... in November

Meow! (Also available as a nifty little card through the Thortful app)

I know it's not even December yet, and I am a little sorry that I'm posting this now, but the countdown officially starts on Tuesday and I really love Christmas! I've had a very relaxed Sunday and decided to draw a little christmas cat to celebrate these soon to be festive times. 

I love it when all of the lights are up and it's acceptable to have lots of hot chocolate and listen to christmas songs (currently playing the indie christmas playlist on Spotify because that's how I roll.) I want to do a very chatty post about things I've gotten up to recently but it's so difficult when I don't really have anything to share except the mountain of uni work I'm working my way through. I finished a festive themed print which I can't show fully but here is a sneak preview. Now I'm working on something with flamingoes! 

Leeds Christmas market and pretty lights at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Festive print

I've had this week off from uni (sort of- we can't go into the studio when they're assessing our work) and I can't blooming wait to go back tomorrow. Whilst Im usually a pretty motivated person I've been incredibly lazy this week and I just want to get back into a studio environment and start designing new things!

Also, I made a facebook page which I'd love for you to like. Have a great week!

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Deadline and Jonny Hannah at YSP

Concept board and sampling presented for hand in

The life of a second year student has finally dawned on me and I am up to my knees in work. My first deadline was on Monday and the last few days running up to it were severely hectic through no fault but my own; I put a lot of pressure on myself but I'm happy with how it's gone and I love what I've created during the time I had. Today I've been researching for the next module and have spent so many hours just looking at print design. I feel like I deserved a little break for blogging!

Jonny Hannah at YSP
Main Street
Jonny Hannah at YSP

Last Saturday me and Jake visited the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and were joyfully greeted by the wonderful whimsical world of Jonny Hannah! It was my first time visiting YSP although we were running a bit late and didn't have as much time there as we wanted so it was a nice suprise to have this right at the start. The exhibition invited the viewer to "take a stroll down main street in Hannah's vintage-inspired homage to the independent trader." His works remind me of being at a carnival; vibrant and lovely with so much going on and many stories to discover. I adore the painterly attributes of his work and I'm sticking this in my "future projects" folder as a little reminder of the themes I want to delve into next. 

The Christmas market has been up in Leeds for a couple of weeks now and I love being surrounded by twinkling lights as I walk home from the shops. I'm currently working on a festive print for an external brief too which makes me even more excited. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! 

Saturday, 21 November 2015

New »

I've added more projects to my website. Take a look! 

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Art Haul: Thought Bubble and Leeds Print Fair

Hey! I've bought a lot of lovely arty things recently. There was the print fair last weekend and Thought Bubble festival this weekend so I obviously couldn't not buy anything- especially at Thought Bubble which was overwhelmed with art! I thought it'd be nice to share everything here on my blog.

Above is a sweet little collection of things I bought from Amber Hsu; as well as beautiful A4/A3 prints she also produces tiny little prints and writes poetry too. I absolutely loved the small prints and the zine of one pound poems- I went back to her stall multiple times as I was in so much awe.

A mini zine by Seekan Hui

I picked up this really cute zine about having 'me time' by Seekan Hui - it has a cut out in the middle which allows it to stand freely so I was super happy I can display it on my bedside table. Sometimes I get put off buying books and zines because they end up shoved in a drawer or on a shelf and I kind of forget about them after a while. 

Screen printed card by Mister Charlesworth and print by Julia Ogden - it was lovely meeting them at the print fair

 Everything ♥

I've been a fan of Ellen Stubbings' (So Cute Company) work for a while now and I was happy when I found out she was going to be at Thought Bubble! I purchased the really cute Donkey print as this was my favourite page from Weird Cat. The funky dancing rabbit man is a digital print from Hollie Smith who is studying Illustration at LCA and the creepy one armed girl is a postcard gifted to me from Laura Jayne

There was a mixture of more "professional" artists and independent illustrators at Thought Bubble but I love supporting the smaller stands; these are usually my favourite because everything seems much more loved and handmade. Now I just need to find some wall space for all of these prints... 

Friday, 13 November 2015


Playing around with print methods and manipulating different materials

Monoprinting experiments

Embroidery and foiling

A mixture of acetate, flocking, and screen printing

 Shannon posted an interview with me as part of her creative series. 

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Leeds Print Fair

Hello! Leeds Print Fair was held at the Corn Exchange yesterday and I shared a stall along with two lovely ladies from my course. At first I was completely riddled with nerves but eventually they disappeared and I sold more than I expected! I am really thrilled with how positive the day went and I managed to speak to a variety of creatives too which was all the more exciting. Everyone was absolutely wonderful to work around and now I am eager to start planning for the next one. I've added things to my online shop if you are interested in taking a look! 

The most popular items to go were the cushions (cats in particular) so I really want to screen print a few more but maybe add some dogs in there too. I can't wait to draw up some ideas. Yes I'm going to attempt to squeeze this in with the uni work... wish me luck! 

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Mini Exhib: Priceless and Worthless

(I can't believe it's actually Christmas next month. I can't believe how quickly my uni life is going. It feels like yesterday I was begging for time to go faster in a deep desperation to move to Leeds.)

Priceless and Worthless is a mini exhibition where the second and third years on my course take something 'worthless' and make it 'priceless' by altering it in an interesting way. It's pretty much an open brief and it doesn't get graded or anything- just a little bit of fun (amidst all the stress) and a chance to mingle, eat cake and drink tea. Another reason to love my course I suppose! For mine (above) I took an old coat I was going to throw away and appliqued, screen printed and painted onto it. I really like the contrast of the vibrant colours against the black... I feel like this coat is now very me!

Some of the pieces. I loved the toast shirt and the fruit holder thing.

Awesomely cute illustrations by Katherine Welsh and Lucy Sheldrake

Handmade notebooks made from a range of unwanted raw materials by Isabella Solito

Recycled chair made from pallets and magazines by Grace Roger. The prints are hers too!

Considering this was across two years there were so many amazingly cool things; these were just my favourites. I think the tutors are supposed to pick a "winner" but if I was them I would struggle a little as everything there was unique and beautiful in it's own way! 

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Collaging with fabrics

Appliqué - created with dyed, painted and screen printed fabrics

Lately I've been spending a lot of time in the print room dyeing things, screen printing, playing around with puff binder and using bondaweb to collage these fabrics- very fun but also tiring! I'm happy with the sampling I've created from it and can't wait to mount everything onto boards to show off the bright colours and textural aspects. I feel like these colours are a lot more vibrant than what I originally had with my paper collages but I don't think that's a bad thing, I actually think they illustrate my concept a lot more easily.

Screen printing onto dyed/painted fabrics

Innovation is about introducing new ideas and being creative in thinking. I think I am reaching that point- it may only be mild but maybe sometimes it's the little things which make something new and exciting. A certain brush stroke; a burst of colour; a small fraction of texture. I'm trying not to overthink things too much. 

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Leeds Print Fair: Lotsa' pineapples

Hello! I'll be at Leeds Print Fair on Saturday 7th November sharing a stand with two other surface pattern students. As mentioned before in a previous post I've been busy making new things for the fair and I've decided to share them on my blog. I loved creating them and I think they'd be great as christmas presents or even a lovely little treat for yourself. Anything which doesn't sell at the print fair will be added to my online store anyway!

Friday, 23 October 2015

Friendly Fridays

Coming in to university every day and being expected to create and innovate is tiring and lets face it, seeing everyone else's work all of the time can sometimes be a little overwhelming when you're stuck trying to find motivation. This Thursday we were welcomed by this sign and it provided a little bit of fun today as we left encouraging notes all over the studio. Criticism is good and it's vital as young designers but sometimes leaving good comments is just nice... I think we all need that every once in a while. 

I follow lots of creative bloggers and sometimes I don't join in enough or leave many comments but I really would if I had the time. (I don't like leaving rubbish comments for the sake of it either and I think that's where my problem escalates.) So for this "Friendly Friday" here are some of my favourite links from very inspiring blogs:

Wildernis - Amsterdam | Lemontierres
» A lovely store in Amsterdam

Why I Don't Hate Mondays | Oh Hay!
» What are your thoughts on Mondays?

Embroidery by Ania Margoszczyn | Dipped in Rococo
» Inspirational piece on embroidery

» Beautiful Lino prints from Eden Barrena

» Jodie's visit to Manchester

» More adorable illustrations by Robyn

Interview with myself, "Creative Journey Tag' | Naomi Kratz
» Creative Journey Tag

Christmas card pack, Set of 8 A6 | Annie Dornan-Smith
» Unique and wonderfully illustrated christmas cards

Art Dump | Celestralite
» Sketchbook goodness

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did and that you have the loveliest weekend! 

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Quitting work, dyeing fabrics + Print Fair news

Current board full of work : )

Hello! It was my last shift at work yesterday and I couldn't be happier. There are so many exciting (very time consuming) things happening with university at the moment and I only feel like it will get more full on which is why I decided to quit my job. I kinda want to fall in love with the weekends again and do what makes me happy, see my friends and work on some personal stuff. There aren't enough hours in the day. 

Photos from the dye workshop

Last week I had a dye workshop and even though that was a little long and painful I can't wait to try out the process for myself. I think it'll certainly add a lot to my experiments and I loooove working with colour, I've started to appreciate it more within my work and the heavy black lines are slowly fading out of my life - yipeeeee!

A little notice to end the post: Leeds print fair is happening once again at the Corn Exchange on Saturday 7th November and I'm actually selling there this year! No doubt I'll post about it again once it gets closer, I've printed more (cute) cushions and bags so keep your eyes peeled... ♦

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Just when you think you're in control

"Just when you think you've got a hold
Just when you get on a roll
...Here it goes again" 

- OK Go

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