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Thursday, 24 April 2014

Made by Helen's hands

I'm very excited that Helen has let me ask her a few questions about her work. I saw her amazing blob birds in the Heart Gallery on my visit to Hebden Bridge a few weeks ago. She has such a wonderful imagination!

Meet Helen Russell

Helen has invented a world of fun filled with amazing creations. You can find her characters such as the blob birds and bugbears over on the Helen Russell Creations website and Facebook page.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Customised products

I get quite a few people contacting me before they place an order in my shop to ask if I can customise a particular product. Lots of customers ask the same questions or want the same customisations, so I thought I'd share with you a few of the things they ask for. I love making up bespoke orders that are just perfect for the recipient so please get in touch if you'd like any of these alterations or surprise me by asking for something new! Nearly all the products in my shop can be customised to suit you.

1. Can I get lined paper in my notebook?
Absolutely! Due to the way the notebooks are made the paper will have lines but no margins. It's the same paper as in the standard notebook, I just add the lines.

2. Can I add pockets to my notebook?
Yes. I can add flat pockets for tucking things in or envelope pockets that will hold a bit more. These cost extra, so let me know what you would like and I'll give you a quote.

3. Does it come in another colour?
It depends what it is! I make everything from scratch, so pretty much always the answer is yes but it depends what the product is and what colour you'd like. I love changing up the colours on my designs, and sometimes customers come up with the best combinations. My two most popular colour swaps are changing the spine colour on the travel journals and making up wedding cards to match the colour scheme of the big day.

4. Can I get a different country on the travel journal?
Probably. The vintage style travel journal works best for countries that have coastline, but I can make them up with any area as small or as large as you would like. The artistic map travel journals need a number of different areas to get coloured in - usually countries but I can also do administrative areas within a country. Just remember that it's a portrait journal so that will be the shape of map that you get.


5. Does it come in a different size?
Pretty much everything can be made smaller, but larger is a bit more tricky. The smaller notebooks can be scaled up to A5 size, but I can't make them any larger than A5 at the moment. Bear in mind that if you want something bigger it will probably cost a little more.

6. Can I add a name to a card?
As long as it will fit on, yes! I'm happy to personalise any of my cards, or to change the text. So if you like a birthday card but want to change it into a father's day card that's fine, just ask and I'll let you know what's possible.

Seen something in my shop that you like but want it making a little bit different? Please get in touch, let me know what you'd like and we can work together to create a customised product just for you.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Handmade favourites - things that made me smile

Today's collection of handmade goodies features my favourite things that have made me smile recently. I *need* to buy at least one of these!
Gordon doorstop by Sew Sew
Dr Seuss quote cushion by Dickens Ink
Inquisitive clay penguins by Webblo Pebble
Whimsical goat trophy by Characters by Julia
Say hello mugs by Bread and Jam 
Fluffy little lump keyring by Leanne Woods Designs
Lion plush toy by Poosac

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Unusual notebooks

I've been experimenting with notebook design, challenging some of the fundamentals of the standard notebook. I thought it would be interesting to make a range of creative notebooks that are a little bit more fun than your average 80 plain white rectangular pages. Here are the questions I asked and the unusual notebooks I came up with.

1. Do all the pages have to be the same size, shape and colour?
I've seen quite a few notebooks with rainbow pages, or adding in other types of paper such as graph paper, but what if you varied the size and shape of the pages too? I call this the 'brown paper packages tied up with string' notebook as the cover hints that something more exciting might lie inside. Throughout the notebook are little colourful pages and even a couple of pockets - great for those who like art journaling or scrapbooking and want something more than creative than a regular blank page. And it's personalised, what more could you want?!

2. Does it just have to be bound in one place?
What if you could create more than one notebook within a notebook? For the people who have a notebook for everything but would rather they were in the same place, I experimented with creating a notebook with distinct sections. Tabs and dividers are great, but this keeps your notebook content even more separate. There are four notebooks in one, each a different size and colour.

3. How many pockets does a notebook need?
What about the people out there who like to use notebooks for keeping stuff in, rather than simply for writing in? Organiser-style notebooks never seem to have quite enough pockets for all the receipts, lists, notes and bits and bobs you might want to keep. So how many pockets can you fit in one notebook? There are 15 different places to tuck, clip and keep safe the things you want to save in this notebook.

All three of these special notebooks are now available to buy in my shop. The top one is £12 and the other two are £15 each plus postage. Click on the pictures above to see more details or pop one in your basket. Which one of these unusual notebooks is your favourite?

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Art and handmade in Hebden Bridge

I don't often post about what I've been up to at the weekend, but on Saturday I had such a wonderful time in Hebden Bridge I just have to share.

Quirky shop sign in Hebden Bridge (click for larger image)

Hebden Bridge is a lovely little town in West Yorkshire that seems to be a centre for arts and crafts and all things handmade and quirky. I have never come across so many amazing gift shops selling locally made products. It was so refreshing not to be seeing just the same mass produced items that you can find everywhere, and there was some really original work that I've not seen before. I even spotted quite a few names I recognise that I have seen on Folksy or Etsy.

We went to the Heart Gallery and met the lovely Julia Ogden who makes gorgeous wedding stationery. I could have spent a fortune in the Gallery but was very restrained and just bought a card by Clare Caulfield that I plan to frame and a fun little notebook by Angela Smyth.

Next we popped into Radiance, a fabulous lighting shop selling some unusual lamps and shades. It was lovely to meet Hannah Nunn who runs the shop and makes some gorgeous papercut lamps. I already own one of Hannah's lamps so it was great to meet her in person.

This rather charming fox from Lush Designs did come home with me however and is looking fab in my dining room.

Lampshade from Lush Designs

I shall definitely be heading back to Hebden Bridge again (soon I hope!) and I can recommend a visit if you've not been before. Try spotting as many Folksy and Etsy sellers as you can!

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