GROW Tote Bag

I recently launched an exciting new product in my shop: my first tote bag! I picked my GROW design for it, because out of all my work I believed it will work really well as a tote bag.

I originally designed this GROW piece for my collaboration with Brynn & Co on an embroidery design and embroidery kit / PDF.

When I started researching suppliers, I established that I wanted a good quality, thick, 100% cotton, landscape, long handled shopping kind of bag. After several days searching and contacting potential suppliers, I finally found the bag that is exactly what I am looking for. Asking for samples so I could inspect the material and printing quality really helped me to make a decision of choosing a supplier.

I am really thrilled with the end result, and I hope you like it too!

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Making New Patterns

I have a ‘to paint’ list pinned to my notice board in my studio. But I’ve found that while having a list can be useful, it can be overwhelming deciding where to start because that list is SO long!

My list is organised into categories, one of which is ‘patterns’. I think my pattern ideas have been sitting there for over a year untouched, so this year I thought it was high time to tackle this part of the list.

I spent the last few weeks working on two new patterns, both using my existing artwork and painting new elements. I am so thrilled about how they turned out. I wasn’t confident with making patterns but my confidence is growing after collecting inspiration, reading helpful articles about pattern making, like this post by lovely Natalie, and ultimately throwing myself in at the deep end.

I am excited to carry on with this project creating more patterns. So far, I’ve made Woodland, Butterfly, and Leafy. You’ll see them popping up on new products on my shop in the near future, including the new notebooks I will launch this week!

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Love My Dress Feature

I am very excited to see that one of my clients had their stunning bohemian outdoor wedding featured on Love My Dress. Their wedding photos were taken by Ashton Jean-Pierre and their wedding was held in the land of beautiful Maunsel House that has doves and peacocks in the gardens. The Wilde Bunch made all the gorgeous floral decorations and also the flower crown for the bride.

Last year, Lisanne and Andre asked me to design wedding stationery for them. I had designed some wedding invitations before that and enjoyed the challenge that comes with it – making sure that the design elements are consistent throughout the stationery, developing new styles of lettering and ensuring that clients are completely happy with the stationery for their special day.

For this commission, I had the opportunity to design not only invitations but also the table plan, food menus, name place cards, thank you postcards and signs. Lisanne and Andre were looking for a dreamy watercolour effect across the stationery, and pretty handlettering accented with curls. They also wanted the invitation to be an illustrative ‘map’ showing how they met at school, and then their individual paths through life while still being together, rejoining at the ivy covered manor with peacocks and pond where they were having their wedding.

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The Glasshouses in Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Last month Aneurin and I went away for a long weekend in Edinburgh to celebrate our 5-year anniversary. We absolutely love the city and I want to share my highlight of the weekend, the glasshouses in Royal Botanic Garden.

They are huge and my idea of heaven – according to the website there are 28 glasshouses in the garden! We spent much longer than expected wandering around, for nearly half the day, but it was definitely worth our time. I took plenty of photos and inspiration for my future paintings.

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Valentine’s Card Collection

Since I started my online shop and selling greeting cards, I’ve always referred to important occasions to give me ideas to develop my line of greeting cards. I have always thought about designing cards for Valentine’s Day, sketching out ideas and illustrating some designs but it never really came together until this year.

I came up with the idea to paint sign language related card designs about two years ago but hesitated, thinking they wouldn’t sell well. I didn’t have the dough to take that risk as well, or enough skill or confidence to paint hands well enough to be printed on a greeting card! This year I felt more prepared to take the plunge. I painted three different designs, two showing “I love you” in American Sign Language and the third showing “love” in British Sign Language.

I was pretty happy with the new paintings at an earlier stage, but I was still unsure about printing them so I shared a snap on my Instagram to see what my audience thought of them. I received loads of positive feedback and I went ahead and printed them all, along with two lovely hand lettered heart designs saying ‘I heart you’ and ‘Be mine’ that I hoped would appeal to people who may not be interested in sign language!

With this new collection, I felt (and still am) out of my comfort zone because these cards don’t look consistent with the rest of my products on my shop – they don’t have nature elements or one bit of green colour in them. But after seeing how well they have sold, I am so pleased I finally found the courage to bring this idea to fruition. I feel proud to incorporate sign language, my first language, in my illustrations.

I may have designed them for Valentine’s Day but I think they turned out to work well all year round! I hope you love them as much as I do.