1 Nov 2011

More Christmas Fairs Booked...

Another opportunity for you to come and buy products from the Teatime at Three range...
In aid of Cats Protection, there is a Christmas fair taking place at:

All Saints Church Contact Centre
Vicarage Fields
CV34 5NJ

Saturday 12th November 2011, 10am-1pm

There will be a variety of different stalls selling lots of Christmas goodies, and as well as craft stalls such as my own, there will also be a Christmas tombola for your chance to win lots of goodies and refreshments available!!

Don't forget...I am also going to be at The White Horse, in Leamington Spa on Saturday 5th November, from 1-5pm for their monthly vintage sale.  

28 Oct 2011

Work Update...

It's been a while since a blog post, so an update on what's going on at the moment...

I am currently trying to book into as many craft and vintage fairs as possible, in the run up to Christmas; since my last 'diary' blog post I have secured a table at 'Not The High Street' Festive Fair, which is taking place on Sunday 27th November, from 2-5pm. 
The fair is now in it's third year, and is being held in the village of Berkswell. The organiser of the event, Mel Smith says...

"The Reading Rooms will be transformed into a festive merrymaking emporium; brimming with fabulous stalls giving you bounteous opportunities to fill those christmas stockings! As per previous years Mum and Dad will be on hand to serve us up a slice of dainty, delectable and 'oh so delicious' cake and of course the best cup of tea for miles around!
Our focus this year is to bring you a selection of fabulous vintage and handmade stalls as well as some of our seasoned favourites....there will be bunting a plenty and a real feeling of festive disposition. 
Compendium games and fun activities for the kiddiwinks."

Funds raised from the event will be split between Grapevine, a local charity, and Woodfield School. 

I first met Mel Smith at the Makeshift fair, and have blogged about her company 'Happy go Loopy' before; Mel sells both vintage items, and handmade products which incorporate vintage goodies such as scented teacup candles ad vintage cake stands!! Mel also designs and makes her own greetings cards, and stationary items which I am sure will be on sale at this event. Take a look at her blog, and website looking out for the quirky and original SOS jars...a perfect stocking filler present for any friend or family member!

4 Oct 2011


I have finally set-up and finished my Linked In profile...

...just need to learn how to use it, and find some people to connect with now! It was recommended by a friend for being a really helpful tool for networking and making business connections, so hope to 'connect' with some people soon :)

Carbonmade Portfolio

At the moment, I am working on designing and making my website, but feel that while I am working on it (as I'm not sure how long it's going to take!!) I would make a 'carbonmade' online portfolio.

After meeting Angharad Chappell at the White Horse Vintage Sale the other day, I visited her online portfolio and found it to be a really simply, yet effective way of showing off her illustrations. I hope she doesn't mind me using the same program but it is SO easy to set-up!!

You are limited to the amount of projects and photos you can add to your portfolio for free, however for a stopgap whilst I design and make my website, I feel it is the perfect way to showcase some of my past projects. As my portfolio was taken from uni, I haven't got lots of photos of all my work, so it has inspired and nudged me into really starting to think about my next project.

I am hoping to do quite a bit of experimental work for the next project, looking at stitch and textiles as well as adding drawn line using ink and watercolours, as I have enjoyed working with all of these materials over the past year. The main subject of my next project is going to be florals, as well as still having the vintage inspiration from imagery, fashion and textiles, and objects found at vintage sales, car boot sales etc. Will post experiments and development soon...


Came across this lovely website a few months ago now, and keep meaning to blog about it, and share its loveliness!!!

Pinterest is a very simple, but exciting concept allowing users to create numerous mood-boards, filled with images from across the internet. Whenever browsing on any website, images can be taken and 'pinned' to one of your boards, which can all be tailored and named by you! By using the website, it also allows you to follow other people's pinboards, and vice versa allowing networks and friendships to be made.

I have included a few photos to show some of the mood-boards I have created/am working on developing and growing at the moment - I find that some of the images have really helped to inspire me to work on illustrations, and creating things!

3 Oct 2011

Things happen for a reason...

...I have always believed in fate, and that things are always meant to happen for a reason.

Friday night, I checked my email at 9pm and found that the organiser of The White Horse vintage sale, had emailed to ask if I wanted to have a stall at the event on Saturday! At first, I was in a bit of a panic and didn't think I was going to do the event, as I didn't have any help and wasn't sure how I would get all my stock to the location without a car!!

BUT, I decided to take the opportunity and packed everything into a suitcase and bin liner, and prepared myself to take the bus into town. Luckily on Saturday morning, my mum was able to come and help me out for the afternoon, so this helped a lot with the transportation of stock, and also keeping me from boredom when the fair was quiet!

Everything was set-up by 1pm ready for the sale to open; there was a steady flow of people through the door and I sold quite a few different creations from my stall. The best part of the afternoon though, was the lovely people I was able to meet by doing the event hence the title of this blog entry. If I hadn't been brave enough to take the leap, and do the event at such short notice, I would never have met...

Angharad Chappell who graduated six years ago, after completing the same degree course as me, at Birmingham City University. It was lovely to meet her, and we got chatting about our experiences at uni, and what we had been doing since we both graduated. Angharad was very positive about my work, and helped to boost my confidence in my range, which has helped to push me into updating my blog today, and also hopefully creating my Facebook Illustration page this week (at the moment, I don't have many good photos of my work, so need to work on taking some interesting but simple photos to help reflect my products).

I have included the link to Angharad's website, as I love her style of work; I have always been interested in fashion illustration, and have enjoyed working with watercolours in some of my previous projects so am loving her style of work. I love the mixture of fine details in some of the images, contrasted with the flowing lines and areas of colour created by the use of watercolours.

I also met some other lovely people, who I am hoping to see again at future events at the White Horse, as well as one of the organisers of an upcoming festival in Leamington called...
I have given them my details, as they are hoping to incorporate a vintage fair into the festival for one of the days, so hopefully I will be taking part in this event. As the festival doesn't take place until the end of next May, it gives me something to look forward to, and maybe even create a new range for!

So, all in all, I was very happy that I decided to take the vintage sale organiser up on her offer of taking part on Saturday, not only did I sell lots of my work, I also met some lovely people and got to spend the afternoon looking at everyone else's vintage loveliness!

Vintage and Craft Fairs

After taking part in Makeshift Birmingham, and the Old Milverton Village Show I was really excited and eager to get myself booked into some more shows around the area. Craft and vintage are two trends that have become so popular at the moment, and there seem to be different fairs taking place anywhere and everywhere, whether it be raising money for charities, or simply to help people browse and enjoy loveliness!

I thought I would create a calendar type blog entry, just to let you know about different events I am either attending or hoping to attend in the next few months, so...

Wednesday 12th October - Table Stall @ The Railway Tavern, Nuneaton - 12-5pm
Table Stall is an event for local businesses and people who make and sell products - therefore, there is going to be a wide variety of items on sale, including jewellery, cakes, candles, art and many more...

As well as several stalls selling their wares, the event will also have live music, a raffle with prizes donated from a wide variety of sources/businesses; the event will also be continuing into the evening for an 'after-party' with a live band, and some of the stalls staying on through the night to continue selling their products. Money raised from this event, will be going towards buying a specialist bike for Alfie, who has Downs Syndrome, so by attending the event not only will you be supporting local businesses and crafters, but also supporting a charity as well.

Saturday 5th November 2011 - The Affordable Vintage Sale @ The White Horse, Leamington Spa - 1-5pm

The White Horse in Leamington Spa has started holding vintage sales on the first Saturday of every month, after a break for the summer; the sales started this time last year and have always been very popular with both vintage traders and people searching for the perfect vintage bargain!
The White Horse is a lovely pub in Leamington, with the opportunity to sit either inside on the mismatched, comfy sofas and chairs or outside in the covered garden/patio area; the inside of the pub instantly has a cosy, warm feel to it as soon as you enter the main bar area, even when entering in the freezing cold winters we have here in England!

I feel the pub is the perfect location for the vintage sale, as it is full of quirky objects and art before the stallholders have even set up their wonderful stalls of vintage loveliness!! I have included the photos below (courtesy of The White Horse's Facebook page) showing some of the stallholders taking part in a previous vintage sale. Looking at these photos just makes me more excited to have a stall there at the next sale!

Sunday 11th December 2011 - Contemporary Craft Fair @ St.Johns Museum, Warwick - 12-4pm

Just in time for Christmas, I will be having a stall at this fair held at the museum in Warwick - I believe they have held these fairs before in previous years however I have not known about them before and am not sure about what to expect. 
As the museum is quite well-known in the town, I am hoping there should be quite a bit of advertising and some newspaper publicity to help let people know about the event, so that there is a reasonable amount of visitors to the fair. As the fair is a craft fair, there will be a variety of different traders at the event selling jewellery, greeting cards, embroidered items and many other handcrafted products, all ready in time for a bit of 'last-minute' christmas shopping for that perfect, one-off style present!

As of yet, these are the only fairs I am booked into, but will keep you updated on all other progress and any other fairs I might be attending.

FAKE Needs You!!!!!

Please read below for details of FAKE's pitch on crowdfunder, to see if you can help by investing money into the continuation of the magazine's publication...
A little about FAKE...
FAKE is an independent quarterly fashion and arts printed magazine.
We feature:
Innovative fashion | Beautiful prints and illustrations | Insightful photography | Exclusively commissioned artworks | Interesting articles | Independent venues and businesses | Emerging talent | Creative projects | Much more...
The principle of FAKE is to give a step up for creatives and a platform to showcase their work. We commission artists and illustrators; each issue features print exclusive artworks. We offer an opportunity for the contributors to challenge themselves creatively, resulting in a fresh portfolio piece. Our contributors work on a promotional basis; as well as promoting them through the medium of FAKE, we offer our continued support to each contributor, promoting via our blog and putting them forward for any relevant projects, work or anything else that may help them in their career and raising their profile.
How much do you need? and why?
Our main challenge has been finding sponsorship/funding. For a number of reasons we have been ineligible for funding and with many arts organisations having been shut down,we have unfortunately come to a dead end! The cost of the publication covers printing, all sales go back into the next issue's print run. With the boost from this Crowdfunder we would have the security of the next print run being larger, allowing us wider distribution which in turn will support the future expansion of FAKE. 
We set up the Crowdfunder with the intention for it to partly fund the print run of Issue Two, as Issue Two was released September 1st, we have now passed that milestone, thanks to a little advertising and a lot of hard work! The £400 will now be put towards Issue Three. 
Your investment and commitment to the magazine will give us a guaranteed income so we are able to continue promoting those in the creative industries who truly deserve it. FAKE will have some much needed security and a leg-up in surviving in the tough print industry. Support the future of FAKE and help us support up-and-coming creative talent; there are lots of goodies in return for donations!
The crowdfunder has been extended until the 13th October, so there is a still a few days for you to make a difference!

FAKE magazine feature

So, the first week of September I was eagerly awaiting the postman to visit my house to deliver my textile giftwrap designs, in print in FAKE Issue 2. Unfortunately, due to an error at the printers, I didn't receive my copy of the magazine until the second week of September but it was definitely worth the wait!

So, after turning the front cover, I was amazed to see my teacup print on the first page of the magazine!!! And, turning over the next page my saucers print featured alongside the contents page of the magazine. 
When first asked to contribute to the magazine, I was only going to be featuring the cake slice gift-wrap design which I was over the moon with! However after sending the designers some photos of my other pieces they decided to also include these as page breaks in the magazine so I was very happy.

This last photo shows my cake gift wrap design on the last page of the magazine, therefore making my designs the first thing people see when opening the magazine, and the last when they've finished reading it. 

I really love the magazine, both for its design and style, and also the articles featured; some of the photography in the magazine is very interesting and inspiring and the magazine as a whole has the feel of a high-end fashion/culture magazine such as oh comely, or Lula. 

Old Milverton Show...

I've been away from my blog for a few weeks now, as I have been busy either selling at, or visiting different craft and vintage fairs in the area, so thought I would share a few of my experiences with you. 

Unfortunately at the moment, I don't have any photos of the Old Milverton Show, but am hoping to get some off my Nan and Grandad who helped me on the day. 

The Old Milverton Show was very different to any of the other fairs I have either taken part in, or am going to take part in as it was the annual village show; therefore, not only were there craft stalls the field was full of traditional fete games, a raffle and tombola, a minibeast zoo and a large tent full of fruit, vegetables, flowers and home-cooking! The sun shone down on us all afternoon, although it was quite windy so I did have to keep rescuing things blown off my stall :)

I had a lot of positive feedback from people visiting my stall, and sold lots of my creations so a good day was had by all, and I can't wait to take part in the event next year :)

1 Oct 2011

I've been away...

... just thought I'd check on my blog, and didn't realise I hadn't posted in such a long time!!!

I've been very busy the past couple of months doing craft fairs, making things and also working a lot! Will post again in a couple of days with updates on things I've been doing, and possible future events and work developments!

23 Aug 2011


So, I went along to sell my designs at Makeshift on Saturday and a great day was had by all; even though there was a lot of advertising and marketing surrounding the event, unfortunately there wasn't quite as many people had hoped would turn up, but I think this may have been due to the 'out of city centre' location :(

I didn't get any photos at the event, as I stupidly forgot to take my camera, however I have pinched a couple from other people's blogs, or Facebook albums to show the talent, and array of different stalls who had a stall...

These first few photos are courtesy of Chloe Cook, who had a stall selling some of her screen printed work which was all very colourful and interesting!

The Fairbridge charity stall selling an array of different items, from cupcakes to handmade finger puppets - all the money from those sold was going straight back into the charity, which seems to do a very good job of providing a fun place to go for young people in Birmingham. Throughout the day, we met a lot of people who either went to the centre, or volunteered there and all seemed very happy with the services provided by Fairbridge. Hopefully the event raised a fair amount of money for the charity so they can continue to offer the invaluable service to young people. 

Next to me at the fair was this beautiful stall, which belonged to Happy Go Loopy's Mel Smith; her stall was full of beautiful, vintage items including tea-sets, and gorgeous handbags. Mel also produces eco soya wax teacup candles, and beautiful handmade stationary items using different vintage inspired papers and imagery. 

This is the only picture of my stall that I have at the moment! I think Phil took some on his iPhone, so I may be able to upload some more soon. Overall, I was really happy with the look of my table and the array of different items I had created; everything really fitted in with the 'Teatime at Three' theme, and lots of people commented on how lovely everything looked together. The most popular item of the day was definitely the tea-cup pincushions, so I am continuing to scour the local second-hand shops, and car boot sales for vintage teacups and saucers :)

All in all, I had a really lovely day despite the rain at lunchtime (thank you to everyone who helped moved my stall under the gazebo, without having to move anything off the table!!!!!) and I hope to take part in any future events to help out the Fairbridge charity. 

Preparing for Makeshift...

Thought I would post some photos of what to expect to find on my stall at Makeshift this weekend...

Greeting Cards and Gift Wrap

New necklaces, which now feature charms that are coordinated with the imagery in the pendant; different shaped pendants including plain round, decorative round, oval and square. 

Tea-towels and hand towels, machine embroidered with a range of different images all relating to the 'Teatime at Three' range; all stitched on white cotton.

Vintage teacup pincushions - all teacups collected from vintage fairs, recycling shops or second-hand shops - fabric coordinated with the colours and patterns on the teacups.

Hopefully, there will be lots of visitors to the fair on Saturday, and several of these items will go to new homes :)

15 Aug 2011

FAKE Issue 2...

"After the success of their launch Issue in June, FAKE Magazine has announced the launch date of Issue Two. FAKE is a quarterly fashion and arts based magazine, born of two graduates from Birmingham Institute of Art & Design; Kerry Leslie and Sophie Benson. The magazine showcases many talented individuals, including a range of illustrators, independent businesses, fashion labels, interesting projects and great photography. FAKE promotes talent in a printed magazine, an opportunity which is invaluable to further their career and widen their audience.
FAKE will be available to buy online as of the 1st September 2011, priced £4 (+ £1.50 P&P) and is also sold in the listed stockists on their website. All costs go back into the production of the magazine, by buying FAKE you are ensuring more gifted creatives have the outlet to promote their work; you also get a beautifully put together, limited edition magazine!
To find out more: 
Twitter: @FAKEmagazine"

8 Aug 2011

Don't Forget...

It is now less than two weeks until Makeshift Arts and Crafts Market at Fairbridge in Birmingham, on the 20th August. 

I am busy preparing different items for the fair but finding it hard to fit in making, creating and working at my part-time job all at the same time; at the moment, I have already created greeting cards, and gift-wrap and tag packs, necklaces and several different designs for my tea-towels. 

But, still to make if I can find the time is tea-cup pin cushions, coasters, and hand-towels so I am off now to get busy!!!

26 Jul 2011

Blog Feature...

I am very pleased and excited as this week, I have been featured on FAKE magazine's blog page, and have also been asked to submit some work to feature in their second issue!!!!!

FAKE magazine is a non-profit magazine, which has been designed and created by a fashion stylist and graphic designer from Birmingham City University; their inspiration for the magazine came when
 "discovering that there was a wealth of unseen talent amongst our peers".

FAKE magazine aims to showcase young, gifted and independent creatives whilst also featuring news and information on creative and interesting projects that deserve recognition. 

I cannot wait for the second issue to come out, so I can actually see my work in print but shall keep the details of the work I have submitted under wraps until it is released :)

18 Jul 2011

My Favourite Magazines of the Moment...

I've noticed a lot of people blogging about their favourite magazines of the moment, so thought I would give my favourite reads of the moment a bit of promotion, and try to get them a few more readers.

After spotting this magazine on another blog, I straightaway started hunting it down in my local area, but to no avail and unfortunately I missed out on the first issue :( However, I am now a very happy subscriber to...

I love this fun, vibrant, packed with craftiness magazine! Every turn of the page reveals another exciting project, interesting article or page full of information on craft events, tutorials etc. I am very interested in textiles, and stitch which this magazine shows a main focus towards, however I'm sure for anyone interested in making and crafts they will find something in this magazine!

Another lovely magazine, filled with interesting projects every month is...

If you are interested in different crafts, rather than focussing on fabric/textile based crafts then this magazine will probably be more suitable for you. It is crammed full with different making projects for the kitchen, home, wardrobe and garden covering a variety of different arts and crafts. Each issue has a different theme, some of which have been really interesting including the vintage issue, and light issue. 

And finally, another brilliant magazine on the market at the moment is...

Similar to Making magazine, Handmade Living is an all-round craft magazine which focuses on a range of different crafts and arts to make things both for the home and garden. As well as projects and tutorials, Handmade Living also includes a variety of interviews with companies and practitioners and guides on whats 'hot' on the market for both home and crafting!

Hopefully one day, I'll be writing about an article that I have featured in, in one of these magazines :)

11 Jul 2011

Makeshift Birmingham

I am very pleased to announce, I will be taking part in Makeshift Arts and Crafts Market, on the 20th August!!!

I was contacted by the organiser, a couple of days ago, so am eager to start creating products to sell at the show; at the moment, I think I am going to take my collection I produced for my final collection at University so I will be selling:
  • Teatime at Three Greeting Cards
  • Gift Wrap, and Tags
  • Vintage inspired Necklaces, and possibly other jewellery items!
  • Teatowels, napkins, and other linen/lace items
I also hope to be  able to start work on some new designs, which may be shown at this craft market so I'd better be off now to get making and creating!!!

7 Jul 2011


Just a quick post to let you know I've been away on holiday for past couple of week so haven't been able to post or get much more work done!!

However, I did take some photos and visit several places of inspiration, so will be getting back to developing new work very soon.

Also, no news on the missing portfolio so need to start recreating some of my work that was featured in the original folder.

Time to get busy, busy once again!!!

24 Jun 2011

Gift Items, in 'Teatime at Three' range

As well as gift-wrap, tags and greeting cards, I also developed the 'Teatime at Three' range even further by developing and creating a range of kitchenware items. 

Below, I have included some photos of the different items, and have given brief explanations about each product. 

The three photos above show my napkins that I designed; in total, I created eight different designs, which would then be sold in sets of 4. Each set followed a different theme, one 'drinking tea' and one 'traditional british tea-party and food' with 4 individually stitched and embellished vintage linen napkins.

After the napkins, I then created these tea-towels, on plain white cotton towels from Cargo; I produced two twin-sets - teacups and cake slices - each following the same design concept. On one tea-towel, I simply stitched an image straight onto the towel, whereas on the other I used plain white cotton, stitched onto patterned, co-ordinated fabric, to create a band across the tea-towel with the stitched image on. 

I was really happy with the results of the towels and napkins, and had a lot of positive feedback about them at my private view; unfortunately, I had only produced one set of each for hand-in, so couldn't sell any even though people wanted them. But, at the moment, I am looking into costing of bulk tea-towels and napkins, so watch this space for products to buy!!!!!

Also, in the gift-range, I produced this one-off apron, which I love :)

I am really happy with the final product; my mum actually made the 'pinny', and I then stitched the imagery and text onto the front and created the packaging label. I feel that the shape, and style of the apron has a very vintage feel, and therefore ties in well with the rest of the range. 

Degree Results!

Well, the day finally arrived on Wednesday when I had to go to find out the results of my degree. I don't think I have ever been so nervous, and so shocked with the result; on going into the room, I was determined I was getting a 2:1, and managed to wait about 25 minutes before actually opening my results envelope. 

But, as the photos show below, I got a First Class Degree with Honours in Visual Communication (Illustration)!!!!

I am so happy, and feel like all the hard work has paid off, and am now preparing to move into the 'big wide world' of work!!!

UNFORTUNATELY, I did also have some very bad news on Wednesday as my portfolio had been taken from the exhibition room, and still has not been found. At the moment, I am still not sure whether it was stolen or taken by mistake, so am awaiting news from tutors and fellow students. But if anyone is reading this, and knows anything about the whereabouts of it, or has seen examples of my work somewhere else, please please let me know!!!!

22 Jun 2011

Gift Wrap Designs

Just thought I'd include a quick post showing my gift-wrap designs and gift-tag designs, which were included in gift-tag packs (3 gift-tags in different designs for each theme- cake, cups, and saucers), and the wrap packs (2 sheets of wrap, and 2 gift-tags). 

Was really happy with these designs, even though it took a lot of time to get the designs printed to the standard that I wanted, I feel the designs work very effectively with the gift-tags I have produced. Unfortunately, the designs could only be printed at A4 size, as it was much too high a cost to the get them printed any bigger, and had to get a minimum of 1000 prints to get them at a smaller cost. 

 These are just a few of the designs for my gift-tags - I produced 9 different tags in the end, 3 of each for each theme. They were then included in different wrap and tag packs, as seen below.