Monday, 18 August 2014

Top Drawer, autumn 2014

We're packing our bags and heading off to London this September, for the Top Drawer trade show at Olympia exhibition centre. You'll find us on stand N37.

Sarah Andreacchio, and Muxxi have both created new everyday, and Christmas ranges for us, which will be launched at the show.

Opening times
Sunday 14 Sept - Tuesday 16 Sept: 9.30am - 6.00pm

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Our third anniversary.

We've just passed 3 years of trading. So here's a "Thank You", for all our customers and stockists during that time, and to the artists, printers, distributors and couriers we work with...

Artwork by Vikki Chu, from one of our greeting cards.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Tom Frost: The Wild Collection

Yorkshire Sculpture Park presents a solo exhibition of work by illustrator Tom Frost.  
The Wild Collection opens in YSP’s Garden Gallery on 21st June.

Frost’s beautifully evocative and nostalgic work reflects the young artist’s passionate interest in vintage art and memorabilia – including old matchboxes, tin toys, folk art and children’s books – and often features familiar animals such as pelicans, owls and foxes.

For The Wild Collection, Frost has taken inspiration from YSP’s varied wildlife and historic landscape to create charming new works. Using YSP’s bees and their honey; the Park’s infamous sheep and Highland cattle; along with butterflies, fish, leaves and beetles, Tom has created limited edition screen prints, marquetry and wooden toys.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park
21st June – 7th September 2014

Monday, 12 May 2014

The Moonstones...

Sweet little animated music video by Muxxi, created for Pictoplasma festival. 

We'll be launching some new card/wrap designs by her later this year... 


Monday, 31 March 2014

Spring is here, and getting things animated...

the clocks have gone forward, spring is here, and we've made this little animation to mark the season...

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Introducing... Laurent Moreau

The author and illustrator of several children's books, Laurent Moreau lives and works in Strasbourg, France, having moved there to study at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs. The images for these six cards, are all taken from his most recent book Après, published by Hélium éditions, Paris.

His fresh and modern images are full of decorative plants and animals, which he says emanates from growing up in the countryside, among fields and trees - "I love nature, it makes me feel good, laying in the grass, looking closely at the leaf of a tree, a pebble..."

Eschewing the use of a computer, Laurent creates his artwork almost entirely by hand, enjoying the tactility of paper, the smell of the ink, and the textures of his materials. His passion for traditional printing techniques such as engraving, and silkscreen, inspires use of a limited range of colours - "I’m not so at ease with the computer, so I draw with pencils, paint with gouache, I cut and paste… I change techniques. I like being spontaneous, the gesture, the line, little dots…" 

His artistic influences include BlexBolex, Sophie Dutertre, Jochen Gerner, Atak, Olle Eksell, and Saul Steinberg. Aside from drawing, Laurent dabbles in Polaroid photography, enjoys gardening, cooking, and plays in a rock band with friends.

The 4 x 6" cards are printed on premium textured card, and come with coordinating coloured envelopes. Available now, you can see the full range online here

Monday, 17 February 2014

Imitation is NOT the sincerest form of flattery.

We have some rather disappointing news to share with you, and we're writing this in support of one of the designers we've worked with, Eloise Renouf.

Eloise recently came across some new spring/summer season products on sale in Debenhams department store, with pattern designs that bear more than a passing resemblance to her own work, which is sold on Etsy.

This is one of the pattern designs by Eloise, used on our giftwrap and notebooks.

And these are some of the kitchenware items produced by Debenhams.

Eloise has taken this matter up with Debenhams, but their response has been very dismissive. She posted on her Facebook page;

I've been speaking with the head of buying for home wares. They have actually admitted buying my work for "inspiration". The wrapping paper has been gracing their office. They have simply "drawn inspiration" from "a variety of sources" and so their design is "original".

We're a teeny tiny company, and value the talent of the artists we work with, by paying them a licence fee for their designs. If we can manage to find the money within our limited budget, then surely larger companies could easily do so, rather than using someone in-house to create an imitation.

This is a widespread problem for many small businesses/artists. Other people we've worked with, such as Gemma Correll, and Tatty Devine, have been victim to even more blatant copying of their designs.

So we want to help name-and-shame those responsible for this kind of behaviour, in an effort to perhaps persuade them to change their ways. As well as raising public awareness of this issue, so that they can make their own judgement over where they choose to shop.

UPDATE, 5th March 2014:

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Smilin' Jack B's cigar box guitar

Another rendition of our eponymous theme song has appeared on YouTube. This one played on a cigar box guitar:


The lyrics to Betty & Dupree always vary slightly, depending on the performer, but this one seems to have whole verses that I've not heard before. It also has a pleasing amount of distortion from Smilin' Jack B's homemade instrument.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Introducing... Vikki Chu

New for Spring 2014, is a collection of eight greeting cards featuring the delicate watercolour lettering, floral patterns, and wild animals of Vikki Chu. The 4 x 6" cards are printed on premium textured card, and come with coordinating coloured envelopes.

Vikki Chu is a freelance illustrator and pattern designer from Richmond, Virginia, now based in New York. Whilst Vikki enjoys experimenting with new techniques, and uses Photoshop for post-processing, she regards freehand drawing as the most important and enjoyable part of the illustration process.

"I usually use either a Rapidograph pen or a mechanical pencil. When starting an illustration, I like to dive straight into the drawing and build from there. My sketches are very loose, which I like, because it keeps me engaged in the drawing process. When sketching from life, I carry a refillable brush pen filled with an ink/water mix for washes. Watercolors are also great and I have been using them more frequently."

Available now, you can see her full range online here

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Lizzy Stewart: Hard Wood and Heavy Water exhibition

Lizzy Stewart has her first London solo exhibition opening this week, at DreamBags JaguarShoes.

The venue will be transformed into an immersive graphic novel:

 "Hard Wood and Heavy Water is an elegant visual poem, a tale woven together through object and history; incorporating a network of rope festoons, small sculptures and props (from toys to tea pots and trinkets), native heathers and herbs centre pieces…it’s make believe setting is a silent sea cove, within which two houses, separated by a stretch of water are each represented on either side of the exhibition space, North and the South, divided by tide and rock." 

The exhibition is open from 31st January – 16th March 2014,
DreamBagsJaguarShoes 32-34 Kingsland Road, London E2 8DA
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