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

Friday, 4 November 2011

fun and contemporary characters

I've taken a quick sabbatical from detailed traditional and whimsical illustrations to do a small collection of contemporary and fun christmas characters. It's great fun to work on subjects where you can quickly play around with the shapes and colours. Sometimes you just need to pop out some quick designs for a wee bit of instant satisfaction. Just like sometimes you only need a quick cup of coffee and a spot of chocolate, rather than a full lunch with all the trimmings ; )

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Glamorous Christmas

I personally favour traditional Christmas colourways, but sometimes a more striking and glamorous colourway works best.