the big plan . . . part 2!

ok so it's been a month since i posted about my plan to take on Top Drawer in January 2014 so here's another update...

as you can see my wall is filling up nicely with lots of ideas, research and a few doodles for good measure.  it's definitely more inspiring to look at than it was a month ago!

as i've been working on some designs ideas something wasn't quite working but i couldn't put my finger on it. then it was suggested i come up with a palette for the stand - something that will hold all the designs together. and it worked!  (thanks for the tip Wendy!). 

i wasn't initially thinking of having a palette but i have a couple of designs that i REALLY want to use but they didn't sit very well together in their original colours, and as i'm going for a small-ish stand it might look a bit of a mess if they are THAT different. 

SO, with that in mind i have my chosen this palette:


i have 2 goals for February and that is finalising design for two products - cushions and something a 
little bit special which i really hope works out :-) i've got a little bunch of helpers that i'm splashing my ideas to in order to get some 'customer' feedback - thanks guys, much MUCH appreciated! - and it's proving very helpful so far.

so, i shall report back in another few weeks with where i'm at...hopefully on to the next product...see ya!  :)

a wee visit to bonnie scotland!

so i took a wee trip to Edinburgh this weekend as a treat for my mums 50th birthday. it was lovely, if not a little chilly, but i got to see all the sights and took a fair few snaps. wondering up and down the streets and alleys (i likes alleys. not sure why, i just do) provided some rather lovely photos.

and i may have gotten a little happy with instagram but who's to judge ... !

my favourite shop of the visit was a little place called Old Town Context, and i discovered painter Ritchie Collins. i couldn't afford any of the prints but picked up this trio of cards:

Harvey Nichols had some interesting window displays (not entirely sure what they were going for but good visuals nontheless!):



and i quite liked the graphics on the window of Urban Outfitters too:

and here's a few other arty-farty bits and pieces from around the city:

i'll be heading back to Edinburgh in 6 weeks time for a hen-do so no doubt you'll be seeing some more snaps ... maybe a slightly different side to the city though!

guest blog from decorque - post 3 . . . stationery

Hello again, glad to be back posting again for Mel Smith Designs!

For our second post we’ve decided to focus it on the theme and trend in the stationery world, envelope linings. Ever noticed that the stationery world is focusing as much on the inside of the envelope as its contents?

Over the last few weeks we have noticed blogs and sites such as Pinterest featuring stationery DIY projects and small businesses focusing on envelope linings.

Check out our mood board with lots of lovely examples! 

How amazing would it be receive an envelope with glitter inside? Or maybe lace made from doilies? I particularly love the vintage wallpaper lining and the neon pink inside the white envelopes. 

It seems that whatever design, colour or method the art of putting pen to paper and letter writing not dead despite technology, and people are getting more inventive and creative with their stationery. They are taking the time to coordinate their card or letter with their envelope, and continue the design across both, like the gorgeous save the date cards with the nautical theme.

Even we at Decorque have coordinated our greeting cards with our envelopes, but we haven’t quite got to putting our designs inside our envelope linings just yet, but we might follow the trend!

Moodboard image references/links:

About Decorque:

Decorque says pattern!

From the quintessentially English roses and birds to the exotic parrots, toucans and hummingbirds.  Mixing the hand drawn and painted with Illustrator and Photoshop we like to think we bring something new - a creative touch - to our home-ware products.

The main collection is our range of cork placemats, table mats and coasters.  What makes us different?  We print digitally on cork, which is the only successful way of producing the highly detailed pattern and extensive colour palette of our own unique designs.  The end product is amazing, carefully crafted to retain the warm tactile quality and natural appearance of the cork.  It is eco-friendly, hard wearing, heat resistant and just such a practical natural product, read more here, Why Cork?

We love the idea of not just printing on cork but using it as an element of design throughout our other ranges of art prints and stationery. From being printed on cork, to cork being printed on paper!

If you haven't guessed it yet, our name comes from a fusion of the words Decor and Cork, but with a twist - Corque.


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Blog site link: 
Twitter link: @decorque