Monday, 29 October 2012

Boys' Craft Club at The Art Market

Things have been a little crazy here recently. So many new things are happening, products have been redesigned, prints have been made, and orders have been shipping out to far-flung (and not so far-flung) corners ...

Among all the mayhem, my poor blog has been a sorry victim. Even though it had so many things it wanted to tell you. It kept nudging me, reminding me to add some words and pictures to its pages. But in response, it just got a "Not Now, Bernard". I wonder if it is actually called Bernard? Bernard the Blog.

Anyway ... the first thing it wanted to tell you is that I will be at the Art Market in Holmfirth this weekend. I've only done the Art Market once before, but it was fantastic and I met some incredibly talented people there, including Tamsin Fazan and her multicolour lampshades. If I get a chance to look around this time, there are a few things on my must-see list, including Jonathan Wilkinson's new We Live Here prints, and his classic open editions like Roxy Disco which has almost legendary status in Sheffield – the print just as much as the club itself.

 Battersea Power Station by We Live Here

Roxy Disco by We Live Here

At the last Art Market I was blown away by Vinegar & Brown Paper. This time they're doing the weekend after, so I won't have a chance to see them, but I wanted to show you because I love the story behind the brand. It's created by the mind and hand of Andy Poplar, who apparently had an award-winning career in advertising, before the industry burnt him out and he quit to set up on his own. I'm so glad he did. He now etches ideas and slogans on to various bits of beautiful vintage glassware: vessels / bottles / mirrors / sweet jars (can I have one, please, please, please?). The way he combines graphics, typography and language on his pieces is incredibly clever. He might have left advertising, but the voice of a very smart and witty copywriter still runs strongly through his work. There's more on his Pinterest boards too.

Today Will Be Better Mirror by Vinegar & Brown Paper

These Are Mint sweet jar and The Cream Will Always Rise to the Top milk bottle by Vinegar & Brown Paper

I'm sensing there is a masculine edge to the things I've picked out. So to round up this apparent boy's craft club, my old friend James Green (he's not actually old) will be there too. He knows that I love this print, and that I pine after it constantly. Still, this post has given me the perfect excuse to talk about it again. Thank you Bernard for allowing me show it to everyone once more. It's so good, isn't it?

Whitby linocut by James Green

The Art Market is on this weekend in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, with a preview night on Saturday 3 November from 8pm-10pm, and 10am - 4pm on Sunday. Show Two is the weekend after, on Saturday 10 November and Sunday 11 November, same time and same place. 

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


Sorry I've been away so long. I've been busy on some little projects that I'll tell you about really soon, I promise.

I've also been conducting a mini (and very unscientific) experiment on Instagram. 
I love Instagram. I love its square, filtered glimpses of people's lives. 
I love the bright colours, the faded hues, the black and white.
I love the flowers, the shoes, the shelves.
I love the many children of Instagram and their stripy tights.

retro typewriter, pantone, color, colour, colour chart, blue typewriter
chevrons, red riding hood, bear, toys, retro toys, bookshelf, red indians, books, colour, color

What I don't love is the tagging. I'm generally terrible at promoting myself, and find it really hard to bring myself to tag things because it feels like I'm cheating. Which is ridiculous, I know. It's just that it makes me ever so happy when people find my work and love it all by themselves. 

My friend Justine says that's a bit like her attitude to dating . . . 

She also says that this way failure lies.

When I talked to her about it, she pointed out that hash-tagging isn't self-promotion, it's enhanced web searching. So this weekend, I bravely decided to tag some of my pictures. I put on words like #autumn #yellow #hearts and even ventured across the pond with #color and #fall. It was very exciting, waiting and watching how many more likes each picture got when it was tagged. And it did work. But I got loads of spam too, telling me things like I had to be a "baller" (??) and buy more followers, and wot a cool photo (bad spelling never persuaded me), and that I could buy more friends at their website. Really? Who knew friends were for sale. 

I felt a bit sullied. 

I'm not even sure I want lots of people following me or my photos, but I also know I probably ought to want that.

See, this is why I will never be a hugely successful business woman. But on the other hand, I will be able to post pictures of happy dancing stripy tights without them getting spammed. Priorities.

I'd be really interested to know what everyone else thinks. I'd also love it if you could please tag all my photos for me from now on, so I don't have to struggle with the ridiculous sense that I really shouldn't be imposing myself on people. In fact, if someone could do all my promotion that would be perfect.

▶▶ PS. There may or may not be some tags at the bottom of this post, depending on how daring I am feeling.

▶▶▶ PPS. I am bbutterscotch on Instagram. Oooh, that almost counts as self-promotion. Pat on the back.  

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Hot neons for cold toes

My feet always get so darn cold in the winter. I swear they turn blue. And sometimes purple. Sometimes red. Others pink. 

So in honour of my multi-coloured winter tootsies, here's a selection of the hottest things on Etsy right now, which even if they're not quite warm enough to heat my toes might at least match them. *Apart from the greens. I don't think I've ever spotted even my toes turn green.

And sorry for talking about feet so much. The beautiful things in this treasury deserve much better.

Modern Neon Hardwood 10"...

Linen Tea Towel - Red and Cy...

township - by elizabeth pawl...

Odd Mittens 3

Colorful mountains / A3 Prin...

Washi tape cushion / pillow ...

Semi-Circles Postcard

Rooster Art Print Animal Ill...

Gift Wrap Geometric Shapes L...

Modern Topiary - 8 x 10

Large writing paper set

Shape Study Red-Orange Hand-...

Fluoro Splash Blue Bamboo Ba...

Circus rabbit

Geometry No7, limited editio...

Peacock Poster, 43 x 43cm

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Magical Menagerie Magnets

OOooOOooOOooh . . . there are new creatures in the Magical Menagerie. How very exciting.

Please give a warm Butterscotch & Beesting welcome to the Ostrich, Kingfisher, Hippopotamus and Grasshopper. As you can imagine, troublesome monkey Solomon the Simian has already had despicable amounts of fun casting magical spells over the new arrivals.

So far Simian has used his (stolen) wand to muddle up all the unsuspecting arrivals, and created an Ostrosher (ostrich + fox + kingfisher) // a Grasshikat (grasshopper + kingfisher + meerkat) // a Kingfocan ( kingfisher + fox + toucan) // a Squooper (squirrel + rooster + grasshopper) // and a Hippelipus (hippo + pelican + platypus).

Bad monkey.

If you want to help the poor creatures and restore them to their original features, the magnet sets are available here >>