Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Colour crush...

Got a thing for dreamy...sugary sweet pastels, opaque and pearlescent loveliness, with gorgeous soft colour washes?
I've got just the thing for you in todays colour crush post...yummy!

And it's officially spring so all is good in the world; 
April's here, the clocks jumped forward last weekend, which means longer lighter evenings, and a four day easter weekend coming right up, happy days.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 

(clockwise from top left)

x x x

Monday, 30 March 2015

Things that made me happy in March...

Here's a little bit of March happiness...
Buys, wants, reads, bakes and more!
There have been some lovely things going on in instagram land this month; some new follows and shares here and there so I thought I'd round up some faves...
Check out these accounts for some daily eye candy!

Listened to...
Ed Sheeran - Sia - Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds
Adam Lambert - Fleetwood Mac - Estate - Laura Marling
James Bay

Feasted on...
This chicken and broccoli mushroom stir fry
A yummy roast dinner with these glorious yorkshire puddings
Jamies Chilli con carne (made by the boy and a good job he did too)
This gnocchi with creamy tomato and spinach sauce

Beautiful lifestyle/ home accessories brand Broste, Copenhagen

the idea of having a summer garden studio, aaaaaah bliss
this photo-shoot with a teeny tiny door..intriguing

New books that fulfilled the brief of looking extremely pretty on our new bookcase 

and classics I want to read again or discover

lots of things from the house doctor catalogue, ooooooh my...
this gorgeous book
to make these very very soon

the prettiest Jamie Oliver magazine cover I ever did see

Crushing on...
these gorgeous colours

The Miniaturist

Game of Thrones season four (ooooooh)
A walk among the tombstones (Liam Neeson can do no wrong really)
Jack Reacher (pretty good)
Mockingjay part one (yes yes yes!)
Hangover III (worth the watch for Bradley Cooper alone)

Inspired by...
these beautiful colour combinations...greys and yellows, yummy

I was little again, and having this

of travelling somewhere lovely and sunny this summer; this would do very nicely thankyou

at this

Lemon curd cheesecake from the April issue of Red magazine
(the best cheesecake ever)

pinning lots of lovely images to my 'nest' board
time with lovely friends when it's been too long...

Favourite things that happened...
Taking some time off with my boys, filled with days out, painting the hall and buying new furniture.
A chilled, relaxed Mothers Day with one very special lady, and the men in my life.
Being featured on Emma Jayne Designs blog
(Thanks Emma!)

So, that was a round up of my month,
how was yours?

x x x

Friday, 27 March 2015

Etsy shop find...a chat with Jane Ormes!

I can't even remember how long I've admired the work of Jane Ormes...
a good few years, let me tell you.
I'm really excited to be able to share her work with you today as part of the etsy interviews.
Jane is a designer and printmaker from Bristol and produces the most beautiful, 
whimsical artwork that she sells in her etsy shop in the form of gocco prints, 
wall art, brooches, pocket mirrors, etc...
She is also part of a collaborative called Fig, which is a shop in Bristol selling her own work alongside other craftspeople.
Jane is really well known and her handwriting style so distinctive, so I'm sure you're familiar with her work, but let's get comfy and get to know a little more about the super talented Jane Ormes...

(above image from

1. Can you tell us a bit about you and your background...

 I loved art at school , even if we did only ever draw onions and goats skulls.
I did an art foundation, and went onto Leicester Polytechnic to do Fashion and Textiles, where i specialised in Surface Pattern Design. 
I was lucky to be sponsored by the Design Council to show as a promising Graduate at Fabrex ( a large textile trade show ) and then started working freelance for a greeting card company . 
I had my children and then drifted back to work and moved into a shared studio . 
I rediscovered my love of screenprinting then and concentrated on producing prints that I wanted to hang in our new house with all its white walls! 

2. Where do you work? Describe your studio/work area...

At the moment I have a very small studio at home , but am just about to move into our loft extension to have about 4 times the space. 
I do my actual screen printing at Spike Print studio in central Bristol. 
It's great to be part of something bigger and to work alongside other printmakers who work in a variety of ways.
I've been lucky enough to have some amazing commissions; Marks and Spencer 
(I illustrated their easter packaging), Ikea, English Country Pottery, and I've just finished my first childrens book. 
I often work with an interior designer for the BBC, and my work has featured on DIY SOS several times. 

3. Can you give us an insight into your creative process?

I work primarily in collage. 
I make marks, textures and patterns and then cut and arrange them until I am happy with a composition. 
Quite often I'm inspired first by a phrase or sentence and the image comes second. 
Once I'm happy with my image I then create stencils for the screenprinting stage. 
Each colour must be separated out. 
It's sometimes the most laborious element of the process. 
Those stencils are then exposed onto a screen and the printing begins! 

(above image from

4. What are your top three blogs?

I'm not a huge blog reader to be honest. 
I dip into Print and Pattern every now and again. 

5. Do you have a favourite book from your childhood?

I've always loved Brian Wildsmith and have built up a collection of his books. 
One of my favourites is The Circus; and there's a a beautiful book of his featuring just fish, which inspired my degree show work. 

6. Who is your design hero/ heroes and how do you stay inspired?

I love Marimekko, Orla Kiely for pattern - I'm really excited by childrens books of the 60s with their flat and limited colours.
As a designer it's very important to keep looking, collecting, cataloging images, scraps of colour, drawing and keeping sketch books.
I don't think you ever switch off as a designer - inspiration can come when you least expect it! 

7. What are you currently passionate about/ fascinated by, 
and how is it influencing your work?

I am currently working on a big hospital commission which is based in it's very rural grounds and surroundings. 
It has been lovely to design images with specific plant life and flora and fauna and to research the hospitals history.
I am also finding much inspiration from Poldark, 
especially the actor that plays him (snort).

8. I literally cannot pick a favourite item for sale in your shop, there are sooo many gorgeous things… but I do really like your gocco prints. 
Do you have a favourite? 
And whats the most popular item?

I am lucky to have a little gocco printer and those prints have been very popular. 
I still like the birds I did first when I was experimenting with it; the quail, 
the bluebirds, etc..

9. What books/ magazines are currently on your coffee table?

I subscribe to Elle Decoration and Living Etc; 
I always buy interiors magazines when I'm abroad. 

10. How would you describe your work/ style?

I will always love retro illustrations and work that has pattern and texture within it. 
My screenprints are a combination of strong composition, texture and flat colour.
Hopefully they often raise a smile.

(above image from

11. Tell us about a typical day for you...

The children leave for school at 8, I tidy around for a bit then have a big bowl of tea 
(it has to be a bowl - no idea why!).
If it's a screenprinting day I'll get to the print studio as early as I can. 
Expose the images on to the screen, cut my paper, mix my inks and then start printing. 
I ve worked an 18 hour printing day a few times when there were nasty deadlines and I wouldn't recommend it as it's exhausting! 
If it's a design day I'll be working from home, listening to radio 6 
(my faves are Radcliffe and Maconie). 
Quite often one of my elderly cats will wander in and sit right on top of what I'm working on.

I'm also part of a cooperative and we have a shop on our local high street in North Bristol on the amazing Gloucester Rd,which is known for its large number of independent shops. 
I work there one day a week, serving customers, getting design work done and sorting out orders or wrapping work for galleries.

12. The best things in life? 
Can you list 5 things you couldn’t live without?

My family and friends ( technically 2 things but I m cheating ) 
Hand cream 
Beautiful pens to draw with

Thanks so much to Jane for taking the time to be part of the etsy interview.
You can follow her, and see more of Janes lovely work here...

(all images above, unless stated otherwise, are from Janes etsy shop and are copyright of Jane Ormes)

x x x

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Midweek moodboard...

Happy hump day!
Time for a mood board me thinks...

I'm loving these colours at the moment.
I think its a sign of spring being just around the corner.
These gorgeous images show off the nice, fresh, sugary pastel shades so well.
I'm collecting all those jam jars ready to do no.5... how nice are they!
And the prettiest of pretty spoons, yum.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 

x x x

Monday, 23 March 2015

This & That...

An ode to the strawberry in todays post...
This yummy looking strawberries and cream no-bake cheesecake
That gorgeous strawberry print

x x x

Friday, 20 March 2015


As it's a happy Friday kinda day, I thought I'd share a lovely brand with you...
Swiden creates beautiful homeware and accessories, 
from cards and giclee prints to silk scarves and quilt sets.
The designer behind the brand, Charlotte Swiden, utilises hand printing, drawing, cutting and pasting within her work and creates a lovely playful feel to the products.
The colour use across the designs is gorgeous too!
Here are a few of my faves from the website and Facebook page.

 (all images above are copyright of swiden)

x x x

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Cable & Cotton...

I've been wanting some Cable & Cotton string lights for some time now, and every time I check out their website, I fall down at the 'pick your own colours' hurdle.
Sooo much choice, soo many colour combinations!
Too much choice for someone who clearly can't make decisions lately.

Do you own a set of these wonderful lights?
Which colours did you opt for?

I'm going to do it... 
at the weekend, 
I WILL decide on a colour combination or four and order some.

x x x

Friday, 13 March 2015

Three lovely things...

Three lovely things for you today...

Loving these super pretty candles (1) from Anthropologie
'The future is bright' (2) beautiful watercolour print by Cat Coquillette
This absolutely gorgeous skirt (3) found on Sarah York Presents! Those colours, mmm

x x x

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Colour crush...

Here's a lovely colour crush for a little mid week lift,
happy hump day!

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

(clockwise from top left)

x x x

Monday, 9 March 2015

Moodboard Monday...

It's that time again...some moodboard loveliness for a Monday.
Have a good week everyone!

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

x x x

Friday, 6 March 2015

Something for the weekend...Caramel upside down banana cake

This caramel banana upside down cake is to die for, seriously good.
I had a few bananas to use up, sitting there, slowly getting browner and browner as the days went on, and rather than going for the typical banana bread, I went for something more 'puddingy', and definitely wasn't disappointed.
I found the original recipe over on 'pretty simple sweet' blog.
I used greek yoghurt instead of sour cream and halved the amount of sugar in the cake (believe me, it's sweet enough with all that gooey, caramel gorgeousness, mmm)
Here are a few snaps of the end result...
(don't worry, it wasn't burnt, thats all that sticky goodness I was telling you about, nom nom nom)

(all above images copyright of louise/ loveprintstudio blog)

x x x

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Mini colour crush...

Here's a lovely mini colour crush post for your Thursday.
How beautiful is this photograph...

x x x

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Little reminders...

We can all do with a bit of a motivational reminder right?
These lovelies were featured on designlovefest blog recently and I wasted no time in downloading a few.
I'm especially feeling the 'let yourself rest'...hell yes!
Things have been super busy lately but I'm taking some time off soon for some much needed r&r, and some time with my boys...lovely!

This one is currently adorning my desktop!

(all of the above were originally featured on design love fest and all copyright belongs to alexandra nelson of yay kindred)

x x x

Friday, 27 February 2015

Things that made me happy in February...

Here's a bit of February happiness...
Listens, feasts, shares, wants and more!

Listened to...
Caro Emerald - Jack Savoretti - George Ezra - Jessie Ware
Begin Again soundtrack (Lost stars - Adam Levine)
Texas 25 - Blur

Feasted on...
these orange ginger salmon packets
this curried sweet potato bowl
this sausage and kale gnocchi bake
(lots of new recipes this month, yum!)

XHIT fitness videos
Maddinka blog

the new collection in Paperchase, as featured on print & pattern blog (a little Paper & Cloth special!)
this London High Tea kids
the colours!

another plaid blanket scarf (obsessed)
the best mascara EVER!
lots of lilacy, and soft cornflower blue basic tees..this being one of them
(spring is just around the corner...well at least my wardrobe thinks so)
new pens for doodling
(ooh its like the excitement of a new term at school all over again)

pixi glow tonic
this lovely coat
a second Olivia Burton watch

this definitive guide to healthy eating found on a house in the hills blog
this beautiful artwork by Anna Bond aka Rifle Paper Co. celebrating the 150th anniversary of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Crushing on...
the colours in these artworks by Katy Smail

Begin Again (soooo good) 
The Amazing Spiderman 2 (the boys choice, but not too bad to be totally honest)
Sex Tape (don't bother) 
Pretty Little Liars (the guilty pleasure continues...)

this instagram account
(probably the most beautiful feed you will ever see)
this pinterest user
(pastel heaven)

Inspired by...
all this loveliness

the work of Angela Smyth

at this...tooo funny

this caramel banana upside down cake
(too good for words!)

my new plaid blanket scarf

pop sugar fitness videos

Favourite things that happened...
a beautiful wedding and time with wonderful friends

So, that was a round up of my month,
how was yours?

x x x

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Etsy shop find...a chat with Eloise Renouf

I'm really excited to share the very beautiful work of Eloise Renouf with you today.
I'm sure you're familiar with her work, and her distinctive style, but maybe you don't know an awful lot about Eloise?
Well, I'm here to solve that problem!
Grab a cuppa and settle down for a few minutes and read all about this very talented lady...

1. Can you tell us a bit about you and your background...
I did a degree in Printed Textiles at Manchester Metropolitan University, and was lucky enough to be "spotted" by a studio when I exhibited at New Designers. 
So I went straight from university to a job in London working for the Timney Fowler Design Studio. 
It was very creative and I learnt an awful lot in a very short space of time about the "real world" of art and design. 
After two years there, some of my colleagues and I talked about the idea of going to New York to work. 
I loved the notion, so booked a weeks holiday, put together a portfolio and went! 
I made appointments with studios, showed them my work, and one of them offered me a job.

I lived and worked in Manhattan for a year, designing prints for fashion. 
Undoubtedly one of the best years of my life. 
This was followed by six months in Toronto, Canada, where I lived with my then boyfriend (now long-term partner) and freelanced for a New York studio. 
We decided we wanted to live back in the UK, so moved to London, where I took more freelance work before eventually deciding that I wanted to have my own business. 
At the time I was very interested in stationery and, unlike today, the ranges available weren't terribly interesting. 
So my partner and I started to design and publish our own greeting cards as Eloise R Designs. 
It took a while to get going, but at the peak of our business we were distributing cards to the US and Canada, Australia, and many European countries, as well as supplying UK stores such as John Lewis, Liberty, Heals, Fortnum and Mason and Fenwicks. 
We did this for about eight years, but eventually lost interest; the market became a lot more competitive, and a growing family was demanding too much of our time.

I took a career break for a couple of years to reassess. 
Not knowing exactly what I wanted to do, I opened an Etsy shop just to experiment with work, and have an audience for the things I had started to create. 
I began selling limited edition prints in November 2010. 
My work began to sell, and I was also approached by a number of companies who were interested in commissioning me to create work for them, which wasn't something I had anticipated. 
A little over four years later, I am still producing my own artwork, and also spend a good chunk of my time designing for other people. 

2. What books/ magazines are currently on your coffee table?A new Lucienne Day book by Andrew Casey, Print and Pattern Geometrics, and there will be the latest edition of Uppercase magazine 
(once the local stockist has received it's copies!).

3. Who is your design hero and what keeps you inspired?It's rather a cliche to say it these days, but it has to be Lucienne Day. 
Her work is immensely satisfying - commercial yet edgy. 
I've yet to find an example of it that I don't like. 
What keeps me inspired is seeing so much creative work out there, and wanting to contribute! 
I draw and paint because I love it and need to do it for my happiness. 
I get grumpy if I don't have a creative outlet.

4. Tell us about a typical day for you...

A typical day for me is a big juggling act as I have three young boys, and one who is still at home during the day. 
My partner and I split the childcare, so I usually have three days that are "mine" to work. Early mornings are taken up with school preparations, and then once the big boys are off, I usually start with some desk work; answering emails, doing admin, and packing orders ready for the post office. 
The rest of the morning and afternoon depends greatly on what I have on. 
It may be commission work, it may be designing for myself, it may be photographing and listing items in my shop. 
No two days are the same. 
I usually stop work at about five to have some family time, and then start again at about eight in the evening. 
A lot of my work is done at night, partly to cope with the volume, but also because it is free of interruptions!

5. Can you give us an insight into your creative process?Everything I do starts with drawings, or mark-making, or painting. 
I may have a theme in mind, for example trees, which is one of my favourites. 
I then start drawing and painting lots of different versions, using lots of different media to see what happens. 
For every few that I like, I'll reject a whole stack. 
I then scan my images and play around on my Mac. 
Sometimes a design will come together very quickly, other times I have to go away and come back. I tend to work in cycles. 
If I do a lot of computer work, I always find I crave doing some hands-on painting or collage. 
After a spell of doing that, I feel drawn back to the computer.

6. How would you describe your style?

I guess it's a mix between mid century and contemporary styles. It's usually quite colourful, and largely based on pattern and mark-making. 

7. Any big plans for 2015 that you can share with us?

I'm determined to make 2015 a year when things really happen. I have so many ideas, and intend to make this a year when at least some of them come to fruition. Larger scale art and more fabric-based products are definitely on the agenda.

8. What are your top three blogs?
If I'm honest, I don't follow a single blog(!). 
I know there are MANY fine ones out there, but I have no idea where I'd find the time to actually read any. 
The only blog I've ever really found myself dipping into over the last few years is Print and Pattern, mostly due to the kindness of Bowie Style featuring my work on it. 

9. Why do you like being an illustrator/designer? (in 10 words or less)

Because it is what I wanted to be when I grew up. 
(Sorry, that's twelve!)

10. I particularly love your lollipop trees design and also your limited edition grey birds and blue fish. 
Do you have a favourite item for sale in your shop? 
And what’s the most popular? 

Thank you! My favourite item is usually one of the most recent pieces I've created, so at the moment it is my Treetops print. I'm liking the colours. It's hard to say what the most popular is, as people buy quite broadly, but Blue Bouquet, a floral, is doing well at the moment. 

Thank you so much to Eloise for taking some time out to share a bit of her world with us.
You can keep up with her goings on here...

(all above images are copyright of eloise renouf)

x x x

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