“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart”

This is the last post on our 1st wedding anniversary gifts series and although we do not consider or claim to be creative writers such as William Wandsworth, I think I can safely say that we have still managed to put the “breathings of our hearts”  on to paper through illustrative methods! ;)

First up is the present I received from the hubby; a beautiful large geometric screen print, titled ‘BLUE TRIANGLE,‘ by UK Artist and Printmaker Emma Lawrenson. I was totally blown away and overwhelmed by this present for a number of reasons; firstly, for the sheer beauty of the work with its crisp lines, simple geometry and soft calming hues; secondly, knowing that he had clearly spent quite a bit on me by opting for this original and special edition piece… and lastly, for picking this print as it was seen on the set of Mad Men Season 6 in Peggy Olson’s Office!! You’re probably wondering why the latter is such a big deal but sooooo much thought and attention went behind this piece of art; knowing how much I love geometry, clean lines, colour, bold statements, a touch of retro, handmade, screen-printing, simplicity yet elegance and on top of all that the added bonus of having something that reminded us of the Mad Men marathon sessions we had, curled up on the sofa in the evenings, when we first moved to London last year! (It’s one of our favourite TV shows!) It really was perfect; not only summed me up down to a tee but it had a lovely touch of nostalgia too! How he manage to source that still baffles me…….so yeah, he did well right? ;) BLOG_STRIP_1st-anniversary-presents2-WEBThis next piece below is the one I presented to my husband. I know I had made a little something myself (see my earlier post here) but while that represented the ‘handmade’ and ‘inspirational’  elements this second piece was more about ‘memory’ and ‘sentiment’. So I got him a large graphic print by UK artist Nick Prints labelled ‘LONDON CALLING‘ where I too went for the touch of nostalgia by picking something that represented the city we moved to, to start our married life. What I love about this print is level of detail that went into it by placing all those iconic logos, symbols and illustrations in a perfect circle and representing the vibrant big city that is London! You can easily lose yourself going through the illustrations trying to identify the places and things you’ve explored! And, as I’ve mentioned before, the hubby is really big into his graphics and illustrations (and collecting art in general) so I’m pleased to say, that it was received well for both the sentimental value as well as the aesthetic! ;)
BLOG_STRIP_1st-anniversary-presents-WEBBoth these pieces need to be framed properly – what you see here are just temporary measures to get some images up on on the blog. We’re hoping to do a floating mount for the ‘Blue Triangle’ piece and the ‘London Calling’ piece nicely mounted. Anyway, I just wanted to share these as I thought both artists and their works were definitely worth mentioning. So, what do you reckon – have we done well for our 1st wedding anniversary presents? :) xx

(Image Credit: Made by Molu)

It’s not about the journey, but the destination.

BLOG_STRIP_anniversary-5_webWell it’s been a lovely couple of weeks celebrating some special milestones; our 1st wedding anniversary followed by my thirtieth birthday and for both occasions I’ve been rather overwhelmed by all the thoughtful gifts received from loved ones. So, I thought I’d do a little series on ‘gifts’ based on the ones received, starting with our 1st wedding anniversary, where traditionally gifts of ‘paper’ ranging from love letters to scrapbooks to vouchers (depending on how creative you are) are presented to each other. As you can imagine, I was delighted at the prospect of making something unique for my husband seeing as it had been a while since I did anything of that sort (I think Christmas or his birthday was the last time!) so in this blog post, I’ll give you a wee nosey at what I ended up making for him!  Oh and FYI, this is the first of his two presents I got him!  ;)

So – I knew I wanted to make a print of some kind. My husband loves collecting bespoke pieces of art so I decided I’d make something he could have framed that was not only symbolic of our relationship and marriage but also a piece of inspiration for all the years to come together…..come what may. Interestingly, I had come across a quote a couple of months ago which I had scribbled down (I do this a lot! Anything I find inspirational I just jot down) and I thought really summed what I was looking for: It’s not about the destination, but the journey. And how very apt! Apparently, there are several adaptations of this quote but Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American poet, is often credited for it. Anyway, seeing as we completed one wonderful (and eventful!) year together, it was important that we reminded ourselves that it’s the journey we embark together,irrespective of the final destination, that really matters…for the destination we cannot always foresee or have control over but as long as we’re in it together we’ll do just fine! :) So, with that in mind, I sketched out the words a few times until I was pleased at how they were positioned after which I patiently cut each letter out by hand to create a stencil. By this stage, I remembered the tandem bike and balloon design I had drawn up for the screen-printing workshop earlier in the year (which I had used to make my ‘You & Me’ t-shirts) and knew instantly that it would team up perfectly with this quote. A stencil of this was also cut out and once I was satisfied with how it all sat on the card stock I wanted to print on, I got stamping away using Versacraft black ink. for the quote and the tandem bike, and the red ink for the balloon. BLOG_STRIP_anniversary-1_webAnd this is how the final piece turned out! I did have another frame in mind for this piece but for now I had it placed in a spare Ikea RIBBA 42x52cm frame (fits A3 and oversized A3 prints) we had kicking about. So what do you think? I must say I was delighted I got the thumbs up from my man! :D Anyhoo….do stay tuned for more on the various gifts received! xxBLOG_STRIP_anniversary-3_web

(image credit: Made by Molu)

This time last year…

1st-wedding-anniversary-WEB(Wedding photography by Crofts and Kowalczyk)

Sorry I’ve been rather quiet on here this week but work has been crazy busy – both my day job and freelance work are at their peak not to mention the numerous other things to keep on top of which is definitely keeping me busy and well out of mischief! AND on top of that…we celebrated a significant milestone earlier in the week where we reached our 1st wedding anniversary! I know it’s only our 1st but my goodness has it flown by so quickly! I think we both found it quite surreal to think time last year we were saying our vows and celebrating the occasion the entire day (and weekend mind you!) with our dearest family and friends….and boy, when I think about it, I’d do it all over again! Well – if money wasn’t an issue! :D Anyway, it’s been an incredible adventure and I raise my glass to many more fun and exciting years with the hubby! I know life is never going to be a bed of roses but as long as you have that ‘someone’ by you through thick and thin…..then that’s all that matters! :)

For a little trip down memory lane, you can find more on our wedding here.

[Travel diaries]: Paris, Je t’aime!

PARIS JE TAIME_MbM webSeems like Paris is where it’s all happening this year (well, when is it never!) as I seem to come across a good few bloggers who have just been or about to embark on that wonderful journey over to the magical city…..and wahey – so am I! :D I cannot tell you how stoked I am about this trip; I’ve been wanting to go for aaaages now having only been there once before as a kid (an age when you don’t really appreciate much around you!) so vowed to myself that I’d return someday and see it for what it really is i.e. do the less mainstream and touristy stuff! If you ask the hubby or any of my friends I’ve been going on about how I’d like to do Paris for my big ‘3.0.’ this year – and adamantly so! :P  And it only occurred to me recently that our 1st year wedding anniversary (where has the time gone!?!?) is the week before my birthday so we decided we’d combine the two and celebrate them both in style out in Paris! Why not eh? ;) And boy was I so delighted when we finally got round to booking the Eurostar tickets and our wee rustic apartment in the Le Marais District! (for those of you that aren’t too familiar, it’s the oldest and most medieval part of Paris with lots of stunning Parisian architecture, art galleries, vibrant cafés, cobbled-stone streets, vintage/antique stores and many more…….everything we love!)

Anyhoo, with the travel and accommodation arranged, I thought I’d write a series of posts (aided by some pretty illustrations) in the run up to this fabulous holiday that share all my thoughts and ideas I’ve compiled on ‘things to do‘, ‘places to see‘, ‘where to eat‘, ‘what to wear‘, etc. And I would of course LOVE to hear your suggestions too – anything that you think would be of interest to us especially for those who’ve recently come back from their trip there! Just leave us a comment below! Our aim is to totally get lost and explore as much as we can the ins and outs of Paris by foot….the quirkier and more Parisian it is, the better! Oh and FYI – we are huge foodies so I think I’m going to have to start looking up places to eat first! Bring on the copious amounts of bread, wine and cheeeeese!! :D ahhhh I cannot wait!! ROLL ON AUGUST, I say!!!! :D


[Saturday Snapshot] ‘East London Design Show’

So we went along to the East London Design Show held at the Shoreditch Town Hall which not only gave us the opportunity to explore that part of London but gave us an excuse to check out more of London’s finest designer-makers and their work (possibly even some last-minute Christmas shopping!)…..and boy did they exceeded our expectations! Here’s a wee look at five fabulous designers we met that day who I must thank for letting me take photos of their fabulous work! :)  There’s some SERIOUS amount of work, detail and commitment behind a lot of their work and I must applaud them all for that!!

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Designer-makers that caught our attention:

Katy & June – if you have a thing for stationery, like i do, then you’re bound to feel like you’ve stepped into stationery heaven when you come across these beautifully designed stationery and gift products which have been carefully sourced (as they are all about quality!) all the way from Korea. Set up back in 2007, this lovely duo have been doing exceptionally well selling fun and practical products that include notebooks, cool sticky memo pads, cards, calendars, badges, gift wrap, decorations, totebags……you name it, they’ve got it! And they are all pretty darn reasonably priced too…so be warned, you may actually struggle to restrain yourself from buying EVERYTHING off them!  Nevertheless, do have a look at their online store and see what tickles your fancy! ;) ELDS_katy+june low res

Ros Shiers is a London-based illustrator (with an impressive portfolio of clients!) who creates some fantastic prints and homeware that incorporate inspirational quotes and lyrics using a mix of beautiful typology as well as her detailed hand-drawn illustrations which were my personal favourites. She had ones with a series ‘afternoon-tea’ delights, vintage cameras, perfume bottles, lipsticks etc. Being a keen photographer, I couldn’t resist buying a print of the vintage cameras which I’m now looking for a suitable frame to put into! So if you would like to check any of her work yourself, then visit her website or follow her facebook pageELDS_ros shiers low res

Noodoll – well where do I even begin with these lot?! Lets begin with a little about them before I start raving about how much I LOVE their stuff! (I was even impressed by their business card that was 10times the size of a standard one! :P) Created by designer YiYing Wang from Taiwan, Noodoll was born from what was once her Masters project at Central St. Martins that came about from wanting to fuse both eastern and western cultures into a truly unique medium…….and this she delivered ever so successfully! Not only has she made a lucrative business out of her cute, fun and charismatic characters, she is also an established author with a few published books…..not a bad CV, eh? So as for her products – well, they range from stationery and toys, to  gadget holders and books…and there really is plenty more!! She’s even collaborated with other like-minded designers and illustrators here in London to create her ‘Noodoll’s Friends’ range. So there you have it! You can see why I (like so many other folk) have fallen in love with these fun and fuzzy creatures! I highly recommend you checking out her website and if you fancy buying something you will be pleased to know that they deliver pretty much anywhere around the world or you can find them stocked at a few different places on this planet – click here to see whats nearest to you. If you would like to read a bit more about her here’s an interview featured in Life.style.etc or simply follow her on either facebook or twitter. Enjoy! ELDS_Noodoll low res

Snowden Flood is a interiors accessories designer (who by the way, now has a studio and shop at the OXO Tower in London) with a range of wonderful homeware products that depict rural scenes and urban landscapes not to mention the idea of souvenirs and keepsakes being the main source of inspiration. You may have seen some of her lovely products, mainly the fine bone china mugs, cups and plates with iconic london landmarks (the Battersea Station is a popular one i’ve been told!), stocked in places like Paperchase, British Museum in London and The Lighthouse Shop in Glasgow. So if you want to browse through some of her products visit her website, or follow her on facebook , twitter or even pop along to her new riverside shop if you’re in London! ELDS_snowdon flood lowres

Zeena Shah is a lovely, charming and talented textiles designer based in the East End of London who, after working in the fashion and interior design industries, decided to launch her brand ‘Zeena’ that specialise in hand-printed textiles and homeware. As you can see in the photos I took below, a lot of her products have a lovely warm, homely and Scandinavian folklore vibe to them. Her products range from cushion covers and home accessories to gift wrap and tape bearing a lot of her delightful designs! All her work are designed and handmade with love from her East London Studio (and home) where I’ve been told she holds workshops to encourage the art of making lovely things to all like-minded creative folk. Have a look at her stuff on her online store or follow all her antics on her blog. ELDS_Zeena Shah low resWell I hope that’s given you all a good glimpse into the world of awesome designer-makers. Enjoy browsing through their websites, blogs, what not and hopefully you’ll find something or two to spruce up your homes or even find some last-minute christmas pressies. xx