I Still Love Maps

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I mentioned previously that my ginormous bedroom is hilariously empty. This is the view from my bed in weird panorama format. I didn’t even need to tidy up because there is never anything there, except the occasional item of clothing on the radiator. Putting up those pictures on the right wall has made a big difference but now I need something for the enormous wall opposite my bed. Obviously, the answer is another big map so I went on the hunt and thought I’d share a few favourites.

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I want a UK map and eBay has some beautiful originals including this amazing Industry & Communication map that shows local industries. I knew Tayside was famous for marmalade but who knew Paisley was a hub for gauze? Hours of fun guaranteed.

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I’m also very fond of this average rainfall map. This seller has a mind-boggling selection of informative UK maps showing everything from poultry population and potato production to cardboard box industry employment and sea water temperature.

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Sadly there is not much in the way of reproductions of old maps because they are, by definition, useless (but so interesting and nice to look at!). The awesome Stanfords in London have a few – this 1839 railway map is only a tenner and has route profiles along the edges showing the topography for various journeys.

Obviously, this is an impossible decision that I will put off for a bit longer.

Craft Fair Prep

Figured I should probably do some prep for this local craft fair on Saturday. At least my card carousel still works.

With two days to go until my next craft fair, I figured I should probably start getting organised! I haven’t done a market since Renegade* almost a whole year ago, and I’ve since moved house, so there was a lot to find and remember. Luckily, the event is pretty small scale and just around the corner, so there’s not much pressure. Most of my time has been spent updating my magnetic board and House of Brooches!

market prep

It’s always hard deciding what to bring, especially to a whole new audience, but I’m mainly packing the popular stuff (cards, pick ‘n’ mix badges, magnetic notepads, brooches), the newest things (paper-cut notebooks, gift wrap) and a few talking points like my Spoonflower swatches, Japan book and 5 Year Diary testers.

If you happen to be in the Helensburgh area, you can find me in the church next to the old post office (there’s a big banner up already) from 10am-3pm.

House of Brooches has had an update too!

*I’m sad to say I haven’t applied to Renegade this year as I can’t afford it, especially now I’m back saving for Japan. I had an amazing time last year, but the cost of train fares and hotel rooms is really a killer. I will have at least one more market in Helensburgh before Christmas, and would love to do something in Glasgow or Edinburgh, but there’s still a real lack of any decent markets that suit my products. So, if you really want to see my stuff in person, think about getting the train over!

Designing Calendars

magnet calendars

Usually it’s the sudden announcement of the Spoonflower tea towel calendar contest that has me scrabbling to design next year’s calendar, but this time I am trying to get organised early. I’ve designed two brand new calendars for 2015, which I’ll share soon.

I’m also updating the calendars on all the previous tea towels so I was looking back on all my old magnet designs yesterday. It’s fun to see how they’ve changed over the years! How many have you had stuck on your fridge and would you like any of the older ones updated for tea towels?

Six Months

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I realised last week that I have been living in Helensburgh for six months! I’ve really settled in here and still love it a lot. Having my own place is obviously the best thing, especially being able to shut the studio door on my works in progress. A close second is the view from the seafront. I walk along here most days and never get bored of the views, whatever the weather.

Helensburgh seems to have welcomed me too. The postman says hello, people ask me for directions and next weekend I’ll be doing a craft fair around the corner with the local artisans group. Her’s hoping I can stay here a good while longer!

Weekend Wrap Up

Hurray, my mini sunflowers have appeared!

Not the best week for Scotland, but at least my mini sunflowers finally opened up. It took a long time, but I’m glad I managed to keep it alive. The flowers have been lasting a while – hope they stay a bit longer as it’s definitely feeling like Autumn now.

News, Offers and Reminders

  • Free shipping worldwide + $5 off phone cases (including iPhone 6) at my Society6 store through Sunday.
  • DENY have a sample sale coming up. No idea if any of my designs will be in there but worth signing up in case!
  • 50% off my new stickers at Redbubble, if you buy any 6 designs!
  • Win 3 rolls of custom printed wallpaper at Spoonflower!
  • Zazzle have a new coupons page, so check that before buying from my store!

Yes!

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It’s an important and exciting day in Scotland today and I felt I needed to mark it here on the blog, though perhaps rather flippantly as my first outfit drawing in ages! I’ve just been to vote yes. I haven’t been too bothered either way until the last couple of months but the Yes campaign has been so positive and hopeful and the No campaign so negative and fearmongering that it felt like an easy choice in the end. Whichever way it goes today, it’s going to be interesting to see what happens next.

New Stamps Preview

Ooh, new tester stamps from @serious_stamp! Which ones would you like to see added to my shop?

I’m testing out some new stamp designs and these arrived from Serious Stamp this week! I picked these characters to try because I’ve been packaging my brooches in stamped envelopes and wished I had matching ones for the Banana and Bread Slice brooches.

One thing I do with my stamps is decorate these little envelopes for shop orders :)

Which of the new stamps would you like to see added to my shop alongside these guys? And which other characters would you like to see in stamp form next? I’d love to know!

Last Chance!

Kawaii Balloons Gift Wrap

I posted off the last sheets of Kawaii Balloons gift wrap on Monday and I’m not planning on reprinting it so you might want to grab the last few gift wrap sets, if it’s a favourite design of yours. It will still be available on-demand from Zazzle and Spoonflower though.

Also running low and not being restocked – Cutie Fruity Friends and Kokeshi Flowers gift wrap, plus badge sets, cards and more. Check out the Discontinued collection to see what’s going away soon.

You may note the Pancake & Egg letter sets are in there. These have been really popular lately and I plan to make them available in a larger size at some point. If you like the smaller size, there’s a few left.

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Pictures On My Wall Pt 2

So I might have recreated my favourite book cover so I could hang it on the wall...

I have mentioned a few times how much I love the cover design of Satellites of the Solar System, a very outdated astronomy book from the 1950s. It’s been sitting out on my radiator shelf since I bought it, but I wanted a bigger version to hang on my wall. So…I made one!

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I was initially going to scan it, but my copy is a bit damaged so instead I redrew the whole thing in Illustrator, because I am that mental. To be fair, it is mostly geometric shapes so it didn’t take very long to do. The toughest parts were the details on the Earth and Moon and also the text because it’s all hand-drawn and using the font it is based on didn’t look right at all. Unknown cover designer, I salute your hard work, though why didn’t you put Solar System on its own line?! I left out the author name, because it kind of spoils the design and also more text to trace. Obviously, I wouldn’t normally copy another artists’ work, but it’s only for me and they’re not even credited.

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It’s up in my bedroom now, along with a few more pieces I was waiting to hang together. Apologies for the horrible way woodchip wallpaper photographs. The cat print is by Deth P Sun, the balloons by Stasia Burrington and the bottom one is a plan of my childhood home, by my dad. I’d show you a long shot of the wall but there is literally nothing else on that entire side of my bedroom except a door. It’s hilarious how empty my bedroom is, now that I have a studio.

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One problem – those frames were previously standing against the wall under my window and now it looks really empty there. I need to build some kind of simple window seat with a foam top covered in my fabric, yes?