Thursday, 22 December 2011

Merry Christmas! See you in 2012!

Wishing you all a lovely Christmas and a healthy and prosperous 2012! Looking forward to a creative new year! See you on Jan 3rd 2012. Time for a mince pie...

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Christmas Stockings

Here's another of my latest :) I'd hoped to get more done for the xmas season, but, as they say, Rome wasn't built in a day.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Bath House in Kirby Lonsdale

Kirby Lonsdale is just down the road from where I live (v pretty and worth a visit), so today I popped into the Bath House flagship store. The gifts are simply gorgeous, as is the collections of home and gift items they have in the store. I've blogged some of their more recent collections for you to have a look at. They're very on trend but keep the to the Bath House brand look too. I also picked up these two 'vintage look' cards by Picture Palace, who are affiliated with Bath House (based in nearby Sedbergh) which are designed around the vintage trend which continues to gather pace. Hope you like the goodies :)

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Bauble Wreath Illustration

Here's one of my latest designs available via Advocate. Originally designed on a white a background I placed the black background on towards the end of the illustration, and the colours just went 'pop'! Time for more Santa's and scenes now...

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Ian Dutton Designs

I've recently received this fantastic Ian Dutton festive picture and card in the post and thought I'd share it with you : ) Ian has a wealth of experience working with many big high street names, including Next (where the card is from). As you can see his work is fantastic. If you'd like to see more or contact him for projects his website is Check out my twinkly tree lights in the reflection!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Vintage Labels

I thought I'd give you a peek at a book I've coveted for years now, called 'The Art of the Label' by Robert Opie. It's proved invaluable for me from designing packaging for fragrance products to Christmas imagery. I try to buy books when they're discounted and out of vogue, as fashions come back round to be tweaked and refreshed, and they're not as expensive ; )

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Christmas around the Tree

Here's a snippet of a new piece I've created for Advocate. I wanted to do a traditional scene where a group of children are looking at a Christmas tree. I was hoping it would convey hope and unity, something we all need in what feels like very uncertain times x

Friday, 2 December 2011

Recession busting design from John Lewis

So today I braved the crowds to do a spot of Christmas shopping at the Trafford Centre. I picked up these gorgeous thank you cards and note pad from Waterstones, which are by Rosehip. Here also are some delectable samples from the oh so stylish and dependable John Lewis. It great to see a big store pushing forward with design led products in uncertain times. It's surely been a part of their secret of success. It's interesting that the designs on the cards do not suit any varnishing, flitter or tip ons, and retain a very up market feel as a result. Cost savvy or what? Definitely a case of less is more. I only have one little it me or does Santa's sack on the merry-go-round, at a quick glance, look like a horse parp...or is that just my potty mind? Well, I have had a wee spot of red wine : )

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Cars for Boys

I've mentioned before how I've found it hard to find great boys patterns, and how I've been on the hunt for boys wall decals as we're decorating Benjamin's new bedroom. I've done an about turn after seeing this great cars wallpaper in Laura Ashley. The clever thing about the design is that the cars are styled in such a way that any little boy won't grow out of them for quite a while. They're stylish and fit for a traditional or contemporary room. It reminded me of these great gift bags from John Lewis. This kind of styling gets the big thumbs up from me, and makes a change from monsters, dinosaurs and pirates.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

The Wonder of Whittard

After the whirlwind of my little boys 2nd birthday party this Sat, and a trip to the play centre today, I was chuffed to have a quick poke around my local Whittard of Chelsea. I've been a big fan of this shop for a few years now. My first look in being on a shopping trip in London around the festive period. They've excelled themselves this year with a simply gorgeous Christmas collection. I couldn't resist leaving without a little something. Check out the divine use of typography...whit woo...

Tuesday, 22 November 2011


Here's a couple of fairy cards I've designed : )

It should be the last of some straight vector work for a while on the illustration front, as I'm going to concentrate on my watercolour, mixed media and whimsical work. Really looking forward to improving on these now!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

childrens book illustrations

We took our bundle of trouble (2 year old Benjamin) into Waterstones Lancaster this afternoon to have a look at some books. The children's section has a set of table and chairs with crayons, books and bits - perfect for keeping little hands occupied whilst you have a browse. This is one shop I love, from the old building to the huge array of gorgeous book covers, and of course the content of the books themselves. We headed out a few pounds lighter with an Octonaughts book, which has been given a more stylised touch compared to the actual cartoon (which my son loves). The over all effect is fantastic, and makes the book enjoyable to look at as a parent too. I couldn't resist 'The Night Before Christmas' illustrated by Eric Puybaret. His work is truly amazing and captures such a sense of magic and enchantment. I love that there's a touch of darkness and mystery captured. Finally I couldn't resist 'Mouse's Christmas Wish', with illustrations by Judi Abbot. It's one of the books where you look at and can't help but smile. Ah such talented people...

Saturday, 19 November 2011

fairy toadstools

I've had a cheeky week away from design and illustration in order for a bit navel gazing to take place. I've been looking at a number of different illustration styles of late and now need to focus on developing just one or two of them into a more obvious signature style. Being a typical Gemini I like to jump from one thing to another, and I'm happiest when there's almost too much happening. Hence being in the middle of a house renovation, complete with crumbling roof, sagging porch and overgrown garden. In between peeling back old carpets and scraping wall paper off the walls I'm going to look at Advocates latest blog request for fairy illustrations. For me fairies are synonymous with toadstools and enchanted forests. Being a child of the seventies I had a ceramic toadstool and fairy nightlight (ah sigh), and spurred on by this one of my favourite things to do was draw fairies and bugs, cut them out, stick them on a paperclip and deposit them around my mum's plant pots. Unknown to me my mum had kept one all these years in her purse : ) Mum's are great aren't they? Anyway, enough twittering from me, here's some lovely toadstool designs and imagery, before my Gemini brain flicks to some other random thoughts, like why does our doorbell keep going off on it's own, and why has our vegetable growing neighbour got a bucket hanging off one of his trees?...

Cake and envelope paper decs from
Felt toadstool hearts and moneybox from
Toadstool pouffe form Lark

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Great Boys Wall Stickers

I'm currently hunting for some wall stickers for my 2 year olds room, as we've recently moved into a house that is a total renovation project (new roof, potentially new walls even, new everything) Some of the stickers I've come across are fantastic illustrative styles but I'm not keen on the subjects, such as monsters and creepy crawlies. I'm really on the hunt for some simple graphic car, tractor and bicycle shapes (so I may buy the simple cars above by DecoSticks). Here's a pick of some very tempting and fantastic wall decals all available at