Peru - Part 2 . . . the graphics!

bit of a delay in getting this second round of images to you, apologies. but it's all because of good, exciting things! you can keep up to date with all the latest news as it happens on my facebook and twitter pages. 

but now let's go back to Peru. apart from the gorgeous textiles that adorned every table top, every bed, every neck, one other thing really stood out - and that was their use of graphics for their elections.  everywhere. 

walls were painted with the name and logo of those they supported, and it was like this in most towns. they even painted parts of the mountain! i've never seen such enthusiasm for elections. turns out they get fined if they don't vote. sounds like a good system to me. i asked what happens when the elections over - do they paint over it until the next round? but no, it all stays there, just the same. some of the locals hate it, i guess i would too if i could understand it and it wasn't just hold lettering!

and it wasn't just elections they were painting about - general signage was just painted on whatever surface they had...menus, company names, directions...

ah, i just love it. all of it! need to do some kind of text range methinks...

blog hop

it's always nice to hear from the brilliant Jess Hogarth, and this week was no exception. Jess has been such an enormous help to me the past 2 years, i really can't stress that enough, so was delighted to be asked to follow on from her in a blog hop this week. 

and following after me in the blog hop will my very good friend and amazing illustrator Liz Smith of Elle Jane Designs. Liz has been such a huge support to me the past couple of years - she has helped plan my stands (even helped man the stands!), provided critiques of my work, and just been there as all round go-to person when i needed help. 

now enough of the soppiness and onto the hop...

What have you been making at your desk this week?

well this week has been a bit of a mixed bag. i have mostly been concentrating on new work for Muckboots. i have a couple of briefs to complete for the new season, a good mix so really fun to work on. unfortunately i can't share these with you though, sorry!

i have also been chatting to some shops about stocking my current products - a box of christmas cards was sent off last week and i have another box of button accessories, notebooks and cards being packaged up as we speak! i really enjoy packaging up the products - i think it's that pretty final package i like to see, all the loose ends tied up and the thought of it being displayed on a shelf in beautiful independent store somewhere. love it!

most excitingly i think though was getting some of my new product samples through, i LOVE seeing my latest designs on new products, get such a buzz from it! and it's even more amazing when they get such good reception like my new moroccan mugs have.  it's always great to see that and know that your designs are being well received - gives you such a boost!

Where am I currently finding my inspiration?

my travels. my new range which is about to launch is moroccan themed but something a little different to the current style that is out there. next up will be some prints based on my recent trip to peru - lots of lovely geometrics! can't wait to get cracking on that one but have lots of other exciting things to do before i can started. you can see some of the textiles in last weeks blog post, and i have some fantastic graphics yet to share with this space!

i have my little library of design books that i delve into at the start of a new project, and i use these alongside pinterest. the Print & Pattern blog is obviously an amazing source of the latest prints that are out there but i can't resist looking backwards as well - i have a real love for old 1920's-1950's prints and illustrations and now have many boards featuring vintage style designs.

How important is being creative to you and how do you blend this with your work/life/family balance?

hmmm...'blend'...not sure i'm very good at that! i'll be honest, the design part of my life has a tendency to take over. a lot! it's too big a part of me to lock away, even if it's just doing some of the admin - it's very rare that i don't do something design related each day. i have waves of busy periods where the work/life balance becomes more of a work/work balance (oops) but this calms down and i sink back into my normal routine. 

it is tricky when you still work 4 days at another job (i haven't been lucky enough to quit the day job just yet!) because it's your evenings and weekends that are eaten into. but i love it, it's my passion and it will become my day job one day soon. and it does i will be able to embrace all my free evenings that i'll get back!!

Peru - part 1 . . . the textiles!

i'm ba-aaack!!! i've been off travelling about Peru for 3 weeks but i'm back on London soil now...and fully inspired!! it was an amazing 3 weeks and i will be sharing lots of photos with you in the next couple of weeks.

Peru is an amazing place and the trip i took was probably one of the most cultural holidays i have ever had. i went with my flatmate, Rebekka, and we ventured from capital city Lima through sand dunes, the 'poor mans Galapagos', the Nazca Lines, a canyon twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, stayed with two families to experience traditional Peruvian life, and of course completed a 3 day hike to get to the jaw dropping Machu Picchu. 

but even through all that i can't forgot my true passion - the textiles. hand woven and hand stitched textiles were everywhere, in the form of scarfs, shawls, blankets, rugs...even trainers!! So much to choose from and some absolutely beautiful designs.

the main wool was alpaca or llama (and OMGoodness they are the cutest things!) and it was oh-so soft. baby alpaca is the softest but by far the most expensive. 

we were lucky enough to visit the Woman's Weaving Project in a small village called Ccaccaccollo. we were shown how they naturally dye the wool using plants, and how they hand weave their garments.

needless to say i bought a lot! but i resisted far more!! i am now the proud owner of my Mamas scarf, a rug, a set of llama hat and gloves, a small purse. and of course a llama magnet to add to my selection.