i heart drawing

Yum Yum! I love Amy Borell’s hand sketched drawings. The free pencil line mixed with watercolour and coloured pencil gives them such a sweet, na├»ve charm. Looking through her illustrations reminded me of my default style of old. At uni I loved creating linear images with little bursts of texture and collage. Hmmm, perhaps it’s time to go back to basics. We’ll see...

happy birthday mr muncey

strawberry cloud cake

mum's the word

I hope everyone remembered Mother’s Day this year! I have to say I quite enjoy peeping into card shops the day before a national occasion just to see the last minute panic buyers, frantically scooping up the dregs and breathing a sigh of relief. It’s pretty funny. Well I think its funny anyway. I decided to make an edible gift for my Mum and Mum-in-law. You can’t go wrong with something pink and sweet for a lady. I tried adapting a cloud cake recipe I found by adding an extra layer and some extra decoration. I came up with the idea to make the puddings in old jam jars to see the full affect of all the sugary layers. The jars also make compact, sealable packages which are pretty handy if you're wanting to give it as a gift. All details of the recipe will be in my next post if you want to have a go.

the panda that lost his smile

Here’s a post all about a book I made for Nick just before we got engaged. Back then chronic fatigue slowed my hectic pace of life down to almost a stand still. This meant I had a lot of extra time confined to the four walls of my Thames Court bungalow. Although not particularly impressed with my situation at the time, I can now look back with a massive amount of thankfulness. God had a finely tuned and much more beautiful plan for me than I could have ever thought up myself. A bi-product of much more time spent at home was more opportunity to get stuck in to slightly longer term creative projects. This book is one of those.
I’ve always wanted to illustrate a children's book and after many an enthusiastic discussion with Nick (he was equally enthusiastic I might add), I decided to write and illustrate my own story as a surprise for him. I thought long and hard about what the story should be about and realised it obviously needed to be about Nick himself, with the slight modification of transforming him into a Panda called Cuthbert. Before you ask, no Cuthbert did not get his smile back when he met the panda version of myself. It's funny how many people have asked that question! Now that really would be a bit self indulgent wouldn't it!
What seemed like a fairly straight forward idea was actually quite a lengthy process. As usual I decided to complicate things for myself by collaging everything by hand first before going anywhere near a computer. My carpet got very well aquatinted with snipped bits of newsprint and coloured paper! Finally I found blurb.com where they allow you to either download their software or upload each page online to create your very own, shiny, new book. There are loads of paper and cover options to suit any project so I would definitely recommend it!
It was an exciting moment to actually receive the printed book in the post, although much more exciting to give the package to Nick! I’d love to make another little book sometime although I’m not sure when I’ll have the time for that in the near future. To spur me on Nick has bought me nearly every book by Oliver Jeffers, which provides endless inspiration! Have a peak it his website. 

paper appreciation

Here are some goodies from Rifle Paper Co. I've been seeing quite a bit of them out an about in smaller independent shops recently and have unashamedly fallen in love with their charming painterly style and limited colour palette. I am doubly happy to see their use of  hand drawn text! Too often designers get lazy and use fonts that masquerade as handwritten typography (something I even succumb to when time is short), but a bit of extra time makes the end result so much more personal. You may be thinking I'm a bit of a font snob and, well... you'd be right.  Have a look at their website to see some more papery goodness!

take note

I came across these striking exercise books by Julia Krostreva. I love their retro feel and strong colour combinations. The problem would be choosing which one to use! If you fancy putting your scribbles in something lovely visit her Etsy shop or her website.

jewell bright afternoon tea

I’ve recently become very interested and hugely inspired by event styling. America are way ahead of us Brits on this front! The idea of combining two things I love, hospitality and design seems like a perfect idea. Here’s my bright and bold afternoon tea that I arranged for 7 of my friends. I had a lot of fun designing, making and cooking up a storm in the kitchen. The only complaints afterwards were of a few sugar headaches. I’m very excited to get stuck into some more small scale events!

Tissue pom poms are a bit of a ‘thing’ at the moment, I found a tutorial for how to make them yourself!
My advice would be to have a go at baking the Oreo cupcakes above, they were very tasty indeed!