Thursday, 9 April 2015

Spring Wishlist 2015

It's that time of year again and Blog & Buy Sale have released their Spring Wishlist. As usual, I'm part of the line up with a handful of wedding and Father's Day cards, but you don't want to know about me. I want to introduce you to 4 new designer makers that I have chosen as my favourites from this list.

First up we have Littlebirdy designs who creates the most beautiful watercolour paintings of birds and birds eggs. This is the kind of gift wrap that is so pretty that you can't bare to use it.

Next up I have chosen this smiley, happy print by Jen Roffe because I absolutely love a bit of hand drawn typography. Not only that but she's used one of my favourite colour combinations too.

Another thing I am massively in love with is Mountains. Especially the snow covered type. So this print by Jess Mikhail pretty much summed up all my feelings towards them in one happy print!

And lastly, I've chosen this upcycled chair by Handsome Vintage. Just the fact it has animals painted on it, sold it to me. Who wouldn't want to sit on an old school chair with a big friendly giraffe and two bears painted on it?

So, those are my choices! But don't take my word for it. Pop over and check the rest of the list out for yourself. As usual there are a lot of lovely products over there waiting to be discovered!

Friday, 27 February 2015

To do lists and procrastination

You may have noticed that I haven't been here much and for that I am very sorry. You see, if it's one thing I'm good at it, it's procrastinating. I've had good intentions to come over and write to you believe me. It's been on my to do list for some time. But, the truth is, I never know what to say and other things just get in the way.

Today, whilst doing my rounds of liking things on Facebook and gulping down a cup of tea before I got on with more important things like editing photos for a new set of cards I am about to release, I came across a blog post by Megan Tucker Illustration. All about my favourite past time... working from home and procrastinating. It was actually this post that prompted me to pull my finger out and get on with things today. Everything about her post rang true. Facebook is a time thief and having big lists are scary and you seem to pick the easy things to do first, leaving the hardest and most important until last.

So, after reading her post I was all ready and raring to go and actually accomplished more than I thought I would today (thanks Megan!) At the same time I realised that my old to do list that separated the most important things from the not so important things (can be seen here), wasn't really helping me in the long run. You see, I have a day job and a pretty labour intensive and tiring one at that. So, when I get home from work the last thing I want to do is a bit fat list of big important tasks. So I do all the easy ones and then have a mini melt down when I only have big scary ones left.

This is where Megan's 'chunk it down' approach came in. I have created two new to do lists which have now been listed over on my Little Hawk store front.

Firstly, I have created a Daily to do list which you can chop in half so that you have two and doesn't waste as much paper. You will see that there isn't as many points on this list compared to my 'important things' one. This is deliberate in trying to make sure that the things I want to achieve that day are manageable and within reach.

And secondly, I created a weekly planner so that you can spread the bigger tasks over one week just to make things a little easier. I find this approach works really well for me when I have a week off of the day job and have lots of accomplish. It helps you realise what you can do in the time available. I also added a little 'week starting' box so that if you do these weekly it is easy to see what was done and when.

It's amazing that actually being naughty and browsing Facebook when I shouldn't have been led me to Megan's blog post and gave me the kick up the bum I needed to get on with things. New to do lists in hand, I'm hoping to have a very productive weekend! If you haven't seen Megan's beautiful work before, please pop over to her website or visit her Facebook page, you won't be disappointed.

Monday, 22 December 2014

A little update

The last few weeks have been a little busy over here to say the least. As we all know its very nearly Christmas and everyone has been doing their shopping, which, has kept me from updating this page for you.

In the time since I updated last a few new things have happened! Did you see the post below this one about the Blog and Buy Sale Christmas Wish List 2014? Well, I just so happened to make it into Crispin Finn's wish list! How lovely is that?

Seeing this was a well needed confidence boost and it was so nice to be featured along side some really great products and fantastic designer makers.

Not only have I been super busy making and packing orders but I have also managed to squeeze in some design time to create a few new cute pocket mirrors. These are perfect for people who love sewing, textiles, crafts or just love buttons (I can think of a few people!). Theres a personalised version and then 3 plain versions in different colour ways.

I have already added these to my store so they are good to go! I will be adding something a little extra to them in time for mothers day.

Another little thing that I'm very proud of at the moment is my new brand Little Hawk. Little Hawk is a one stop download shop where you can pick up instantly downloadable printables to print and use at home. There's no waiting around for things to be delivered. Just use as and when you need them.

There a few pieces over there for your social media and there are plenty of items for Christmas too. I have Santa/father Christmas letters, a place mat to pop on Santa's snacks on Christmas eve and even a warning letter from the big man himself if your little ones are being a little bit naughty in the run up to the big day.

I've also been designing some wedding stationery for a very lovely customer but I can't show that to you because I haven't got permission yet. So you'll just have to keep your eyes peeled!

And lastly, I've joined a new social network! It's a little something called Tsu (pronounced Sue). It's quite like Facebook but instead of showing you what it thinks you want to see, you can see it all. Nothing is hidden and I quite like that. So if you're on it, pop over and lets be friends!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Blog & Buy Sale Christmas Wish List - Top 5 Picks

The 2014 Christmas wish list over on blog & buy sale has gone live and I am lucky enough to have 3 products in there! It's fair to say that I'm in VERY company. Every time a new list is published it gets better and better and is filled to the brim with talented designers and creative people. 

It's been a tough choice but as always I like to choose my top 5 and tell you all a little bit about them. It gets harder and harder every time but here we go!

These lovely pots instantly caught my eye. They are hand thrown and are available in English and Welsh and 4 different colours. I have a thing for duck egg blue at the moment so these would be my colour of choice. You can buy them here.

Give me sunshine yellow any day of the week! It's one of those happy colours and this plate is just that, happy. I don't think I could bare to eat my dinner off of it though. I would put it on the wall just to smile at. Pop over here to buy this lovely bone china plate.

This absolutely brilliant and is just my type of card. I don't take Christmas seriously, like at all. I'm bit of a bah hum bug really. I love cards with silly, slightly insulting sentiments on them. They're just light hearted fun really. If you want know someone this would be perfect for, pop over here.

I love anything to do with the sky (and woodlands but thats another area altogether). I've been eyeing these up for so long and the cloud wrapping paper for that matter but if I buy anymore mugs I will get in trouble because I already have far too many. There is also a moon phases one available (that one is my absolute fave). I wonder if I can sneak one into my cupboard... If you fancy sneaking one into yours pop over here.

As mentioned above, another one of my favourites is woodlands so this was the perfect final addition to my top 5. This beautiful tray is Handmade in Sweden from Scandinavian birch wood, and certified according to FSC-standard. Anna also makes lovely cushions, prints and stationery! Pop over here for a browse.

Want to browse the rest of the goodies for sale over on the Christmas Wish List? Of course you do, pop over here to visit the goodness!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Product Photography -

A little while ago, the lovely Alice Potter got in touch about an article she was writing for the blog and wanted to know a little bit about my product photography.

My photography has come along way since I started back in 2011. It's probably something to do with the fact that I'm never happy. I have re-taken my images several times and each time they have got better and better (I look forward to seeing how they progress over the next few years).

I gave Alice my top tips, well the things that I feel is the most important to help you get the most of your photos and camera. If you want a read pop over to the blog. She has also spoken to the amazing Holly Booth who takes some of the most beautiful product shots and Harriet Gray from Hello Harriet who makes cute illustrated goodies. It's worth a browse if you're looking to update your images or are in need of a few helpful tips.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Penguins & Polar Bears

This week I kicked off my 'little face' project. I wanted to make something for Christmas stocking fillers that wasn't entirely focused on Santa or Snow Men. So, instead of I opted for cute little penguins and a polar bear. There are boy and girl penguins and come in both grey or black. I must admit though, the polar bear is definitely my favourite. He is so simple yet very cute.

I'm hoping to slowly add to my little face range and I already have a cat sat on my desktop waiting for the finishing touches to be added. Are there any animals out there that you would like to see added to this collection? I already have a woodland creature set so I have to step away from those even though they are my favourite animals to draw. I'll get my thinking cap on!

As always, these little cuties have already been added to my shop if you fancy one!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

IBRA BeeWorld Project - Guatemala

Yesterday I received an email from one of my lovely clients about on an on-going project that we've been working on for some time. Although this time, rather a list of amends or a new page to add I had a rather different file in my inbox. I received this simple photo:

This may not look like much but this really made me smile. This little boy is in Guatemala is happily filling in one page from the IBRA BeeWorld Project Education Pack that I spent countless hours and late nights working on.

All of that time converting block coloured flowers and bees into tiny little outlines for that one colouring page, all made worth it just by seeing these happy children. However, the BeeWorld Project isn't just about colouring in and drawing bee's. It's a lot more than that. It's about teaching the next generation about bee's, bee keeping, and conservation of bee's and their habitats. This is a little snapshot of some of the children in Guatemala who are taking part in Proyecto Santa Tomas.

Proyecto Santo Tomas
Located in: Guatemala 
"Proyecto Santo Tomas (PST) was founded by community member Nelson Morales, who has a big heart for his small pueblo and for the natural environment. In addition to a tree nursery he founded to reforest the hillsides, an after-school PE program for local children, and a small library he runs out of his house, Nelson took it upon himself to save the disappearing honey bees of Guatemala. With nothing but his own resourcefulness, Nelson founded a refuge in his backyard and began taking in unwanted bee colonies that would otherwise have been burned or cut down. He taught himself to care for the hives, and to responsibly harvest honey. He began a number of educational outreach initiatives in local schools and with farmer’s cooperatives to teach the community about the vital importance of honey bees to local agriculture and to the ecosystem overall. He visits neighbors to teach them to care for hives on their property and hosts community events to share his delicious organic honey and teach about bee conservation. Now with some support from a local social business, Soluciones Comunitarias, and IBRA, the movement is starting to take hold in the community. The project is small, but poco a poco, we hope will make a great difference for the honey bees of Huehuetenango, Guatemala!"

The BeeWorld Project is in two parts. There is the education pack, which is primarily aimed at children. It covers a wide range of ages and has something for everyone. There are simple matching activities, arty makes, word searches and even dances to learn. And then on the other hand there are pages full of information such as the different types of bee's, how honey is made and a full glossary of need to know terms.

If you work with children and would like to download a copy of the education pack then you can pop over here: and choose whether you would like the English, Welsh or Australian version of the pack.

Other than schools, the IBRA BeeWorld Project team are working with communities in the UK and internationally to gain a better knowledge of beekeeping and suitable habitats. They value all species of bee and their current programs are helping to educate the next generation, support bee conservation and habitats, promote global sustainability and are helping research scientists in developing countries get their voices heard.

If you would like more information on anything to do with the BeeWorld Project please pop over to the BeeWorld website. It's a wealth of information of how you can take part, donate or even have a look on the interactive map to see how other countries have got involved.

I look forward to seeing more updates like this popping into my inbox and thanks to IBRA for letting me share this with you all.