Monday, 30 March 2015

Wild Strawberry Cafe


What a lovely bespoke commission this was, and for such a unique venue!  Katy, who is the lady behind this fabulous cafe, got in touch for my to design a logo and postcard to advertise her cafe, in a yurt!

I drew inspiration from visiting the farm and shop that the cafe is part of, pick your own fruit, crates and flowers everywhere.  2015 will see workshops, events and much more come to this picturesque cafe and the farm it's on. 



We decided to stick to the recycled feel that Katy already had in practise with her menus, and had the postcards printed on lovely kraft paper.  It really compliments the design, and we're super happy how they turned out.

Find them on the Peterley Manor Farm website:



If you'd like a bespoke illustration and design service for your own cafe, shop, bar, please get in touch!




Monday, 23 March 2015

Sticking Together


 Bespoke tea towel design and personalised options.


A lot of couples are now asking for money rather than gifts at their weddings.  Living together before you're married is common practise these days and therefore couples already have everything they need!  But you don't always want to just hand them a cheque do you?  I've been having a few requests recently for tea towels for new couples, and it's also popular for the 2 year 'cotton' anniversary.

This design offers the buyer a personalised design, with the name of the new couple and the date they get married.  If you'd like this design for an unmarried couple, or perhaps the Bride didn't take the Grooms last name?  Then I can put first names instead of 'Mr & Mrs'.


Here is a selection of my tea towels on the front of my market table.

Inspired by the plant seen growing on the sides of footpaths and roads - Stickyweed!  It was always fun at school to stick it to each others backs without the other realising, and I've been reminded of those care free days on my walks into work, seeing all the stickyweed growing taller and taller.

I've printed this tea towel design in a lovely sage green, but other colours are always possible, specially if you'd like something more neutral, a light greet is nice too.

Unfortunately I'm currently not able to take any tea towel requests, but I am in search of a new print studio so do get in touch if you are interested via email at  charlotte_vallance@hotmail.com or comment below.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Autumnal Themed Wedding Invitations




Theme : Autumnal
Colours : Oranges, reds, browns
Pieces needed : Save the dates, invitation, evening invitation, wedding list card, thank you cards

A lovely bespoke set of invitations to work on!  A great way to emphasise the time of year they are getting married, the future Mr & Mrs were after rustic and autumnal feel, with rich colours to reflect this.  The Bride-to-be gave me a few photos of maple leaves to work from and use as inspiration, which I took and worked away on sketches and colours.

Between us we chatted and ironed out technicalities like quantity and budget, and were happily on the same page when it came to the illustrations.  I really threw a spanner in the works when I had a brain wave (as it were) and came up with some last minute new designs.  Luckily the Bride-to-be loved them, so much so that she added 'thank you cards' onto her order so she could use both designs and not have to choose!

Stationary and place names

Feedback like that is priceless, and it's helped me to be bolder with my choices and to really think outside the box with my illustrations.

As with my 'Summer Garden Party Wedding' invitations, I kept consistent with text, typography, images and colour.  And again, it's really paid off!  Everything works well together as a set, or can stand alone by itself.  The theme of the leaves will be continuing on the day itself too.  I've been asked to illustrate 12 British leaves which will be used on table plans, place settings, and note cards for guests to write on, lovely.

Added extra : Stickers - to seal up all those envelopes!

It was so lovely, on the day of the wedding to see my illustrations on everything, pulling it all together and keeping the theme strong throughout all elements of the wedding.  I had lots of lovely compliments, and even got a mention in the speeches!  But I'm just so happy I was able to help them create their special day how they had pictured it.








If you like my style and are looking for some bespoke wedding invitations, or perhaps it's just a special party, get in touch with your ideas.  I'd love to create you something special!

Monday, 9 March 2015

The Elephant Fabric Company



I had a delightful request from Emily to design a logo for her new business 'The Elephant Fabric Company' last summer.  She was after a 'stamped effect' logo for use on her website and online shop.  Taking the name on board, it was obvious where to go for my imagery ideas, and the silhouette style links back to being similar to a stamp, and will be easy to transfer to other mediums as it's needed.


Here is is on the website, which you can find at:

www.theelephantfabriccompany.com



Emily has a blog going as well with ideas on what you can make with the material she sells - great ideas for some unique presents or treats for yourself!

Monday, 2 March 2015

La Maison Blanche - Limoux


It's been a long time coming to share this finished postcard!  You can see some of my work in progress in this post here.  There were lots of elements to take into account and include on the front, as well as keeping the reverse informative.  I was happy with how the design came out, but only working from photos this time, I want to visit and illustrate one while I'm there!


Here they are in a local shop in Limoux, advertising the lovely 'La Maison Blanche' to locals and tourists alike.  Maybe 2015 will be the year for a weekend in the South of France!


Would you like a bespoke postcard illustrated for your business?  Then please get in touch and share your ideas!  Prices are bespoke to the request but start at around £100.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Renegade Craft Fair November 2014



I had such a lovely market selling at Renegade Craft Fair.  And, comparing to 2013's market, I also mark it a bigger success.  In general I think that the atmosphere and the whole fair has gone from strength to strength in the 3 years it's come to London.  I'm so grateful and happy to of been part of it for the last 2.



I really planned hard this time with the layout of my table.  Last time, I remember, I really did just wing it.  In other markets I'd done, my table had looked good, so what would go wrong?  Well, it was fine really.  But looking at what everyone else had done, really had me questioning my display.

So I thought it out.  I thought about what I wanted, and even made a few bits to bring in the added character I was looking for.  The sign was a real hit :) and it was definitely worth it painting the crates white - each is a different shade of white actually, my Dad had me using up old sample pots they had in the garage!




 Along with this I also streamlined my products.  Having my own little illustration world, I really do tend to keep everything I've done - what if someone sees it at this market and loves it?!  This time, I was strict with myself.  Screen-prints and building watercolour illustrations.  This, i think really paid off.  My stall looked much more complete and finished, rather than the work in progress that was last year.





Big sellers for me this time around were; Cushions - I sold 5 compared to the 1 I sold in 2013.  Watercolour Travel Kit - A brand new item!  But it got so much interest, I was over the moon.  Watercolour building illustrations - It was definitely a good call to have my originals on display alongside the digitally printed postcards.  Christmas cards - Last year, only friends and family bought them.  This year, I sold out before all friends and family could get theirs and didn't have any for myself to send out!

So, thank you Renegade, and London, for a brilliant market!

Monday, 16 February 2015

Bespoke House Illustrations

These are my favourite pieces to work on!

It always starts off with quite a bit of pressure (on myself, from myself), to get the initial sketch right, and to then actually get paint to paper.  But the final outcome is always so rewarding, and knowing how happy the person who commissioned it will be to have a one of a kind illustration of their home - priceless.

Here are a couple I've worked on recently, one just before Christmas and the following just after.  Both were commissioned as gifts - such a lovely present idea!



These sweet house portraits are A5 in size and just £35 (no frame included).

Monday, 2 February 2015

Embossing your own Greeting Cards



I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before on here, but about 2 years ago I vowed to not buy any more greeting cards until I had used up the hoard I already had.  And I had (have) a lot.  But I also send quite a lot of post, so I was hopeful.  It turns out, a lot of the cards I did have were not always suitable for the occasion I needed a card for.  So I've been making the ones I don't already have.

At a workshop at Homemade London last year, the lovely Nancy Straughan taught us how to emboss your own cards.  Such a simple, elegant way to add a bit more to your designs at home.  Purely for one-offs though, you wouldn't be able to do it for 100's!

You need:

Thick card - this needs to be thicker than the card of your greeting card.
Blank greeting card
Bonefolder
Scissors or Stanley knife
Pencil



Step one:


Draw and cut out the shape you want to emboss from the thick card, and discard the actual shape so you're left with a frame like piece. 

Step two:

Open up your card flat and place the frame where you want to emboss your shape on the front of the greeting card.  You'll be working on the inside of the card so that your design stands out on the front.


Step three:


Hold the frame firmly in place, turn the card over and flatten out onto the surface you're working on.  Making sure you don't move the frame of your shape, use the bone folder to find where the shape is and press into it.  Focus on the edges for a more pronounced shape, and the middle to even it all out.  


Step four:

Once you think you're done, take a look at your handy work!  




Step five:

Repeat as necessary if you're after a pattern, or a word as I have done on my 'YES' card.




Do you make your own cards?  I'm still working my way through my collected ones as well as creating my own bespoke ones.  Looking forward to the day when I can buy cards again!





Monday, 26 January 2015

Personalised rugby shirt illustration



I love it when someone looks through my shop, doesn't see what they're after, and messages me with their idea and the lovely question of  'is this possible?'

This request came completely out of the blue, as I've only ever done one illustration of a rugby shirt, and it's on a Father's Day card.  But, could I illustrate the back of a thick stripe, white and navy blue rugby shirt with the text '5' (in orange) and 'Finn' underneath?  Of course I can, and I'd be happy to!


I've been lucky so far, my customers are very understanding with distance and the time it takes to ship/post an item as well as for me to actually illustrate it.  If we keep things small, everything is more manageable!

Personalised pieces like this start from just £35.



Monday, 19 January 2015

Do it Yourself Presents

So along with shopping independent for 2014 Christmas, I also made a few bits myself.  As you can't always find what you're after within your budget!  And the homemade touch is always appreciated.

Homemade tags :)

For my sister, I created her own illustrated range.  I chose a tartan, which I painted out in watercolours before scanning in and applying to a phone case for her iPhone 5.  I then used the original illustration to back a clock, and make tags for the rest of my presents.

My Sister's 'Tartan' range

For my Dad, I also made him a phone case for his iPhone 5.  He's a big fan of my Amsterdam print, so I created a bespoke pattern of the buildings in rows of streets.  I had originally tested out these cases in the summer when I created a custom one for myself.  Top tip - white picks up colour from clothes!  So I made sure there wasn't too much white around the edges here.  I also got him a discount card with Time  Out, and was looking at just giving a piece of paper on Christmas Day - not my idea of a present!  So I painted him a watercolour stand-in card and put the piece of paper in a box - much nicer.



For the bike mad boyfriend, I illustrated his motorbike on to a clock - it's always time for a bike ride then!

Bike Clock for the Boy!


For some Secret Santa presents, I made the cocktails and kittys bunting from Mollie Makes, and made the most of my own Christmas present making some madeline cakes.  I also made some cute photo frames for polaroid photos by following Claireabellemakes' tutorial here.




It turned out great!




Phone cases were printed with Awesome Merchandise for an average of £13.

Label cutter I've had for a few years, but picked it up in Hobby Craft originally.

Clocks I picked up from IKEA, a bargain at about £3 each I think.