• Posts Tagged ‘illustration’

    Love a beautiful bag

    by  • 14/10/2015 • Country business • 0 Comments

    Ready_groupWhimsical illustrator Josie Shenoy has collaborated with stylish and sustainable British brand, Talented, to create a beautiful collection of ethically made tote bags, laptop cases and zip purses. Josie shares her story with us…

    Talk us through your design process.
    Research is very important to me as my illustrations are a reflection of my love of story telling. Once I have decided what my theme is and worked out a compositional sketch, I get to work using a combination of detailed pencil drawing, collage and traditional print methods. Everything is done by hand, apart from the very last stages of the illustration, such as cleaning up or adjusting colours on Photoshop.

    What inspires your designs?
    Recently I’ve taken inspiration from the flora and fauna of India, London curiosities, the traditional pattern work of the Arts and Crafts movement, vintage maps and the work of Grayson Perry, amongst other things. My studio is also a very inspiring place, full of busy craftspeople making beautiful work ranging from woven blankets and leather shoes to handmade violin bows!

    How did your collaboration with Talented come about?
    I was approached by Julia from Talented through a friend and was immediately impressed by the quality of the bags. I wanted to work with a bag manufacturer that listened to my input and allowed me to have a say on the whole process. I love the idea of applying illustration to practical items; Talented’s products tap into the imagination and tell a story.

    What makes the collection special?
    Julia and I worked together to ensure everything was perfect before we went into manufacture, so it has been lovingly crafted from start to finish. Two of my best-selling prints; Stag (top) and Hare (bottom right), have been given a little lift with a gorgeous metallic gold colour to give them that extra special touch.

    What’s next for you?
    I am working on some lovely commissions at the moment, including collections for Anthropologie, the British Museum, Hampton Court Palace and the House of Commons. These will all be released in 2016. I’m also finishing new Christmas cards and brand new illustrations ready for our Open Studios at the end of the year.

    Describe your creative style in three words.
    Intricate, decorative, narrative.

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    Meet Katie Leamon

    by  • 21/01/2015 • Country business, Country style • 0 Comments

    Katie Leamon | Country Days | Country Homes and Interiors  When it comes to sending feel-good cards, we opt for Katie Leamon’s nostalgic designs every time – her signature illustrative style is guaranteed to raise a smile. Launched back in 2011, her luxury stationery is now sold in shops across the world, including Selfridges, Anthropologie and Harrods. She’s dropped by to talk us through her inspiration and traditional making methods…

    What made you want to become a designer?
    I have always known I would work in design. I love to draw and create beautiful things, so I think it’s been a natural evolution for me from school and college. I worked in fashion straight from university, but decided to follow my preferred route of graphics and illustration and to apply it to a medium that I have always had a more effortless understanding of.

    Describe your design and making process.
    I start with sketches and doodles. I then modify them so they can be applied to stamps, or modify them accordingly for notebooks & wraps. The cards are handprinted using polymer stamps and packaged in-house at our production studio in rural Essex.

    What inspires you?
    I am lucky that I am constantly inspired by my own collections. As soon as I launch something new I’m looking for ways to develop and evolve it. I also take great inspirations from vintage typography, signage and nostalgic paraphernalia.

    What’s your business ethos?
    I work very hard and ensure I remain true to the brands identity even when it can be challenging.

    What’s next?
    I have some new and exciting designs up my sleeve, which I hope will tie together some of our current collections. I want to develop a hard-back journal soon, as well as work on more illustrative designs. I have a long list of ideas, it’s just finding the time to make them happen!

    Describe your creative style in three words.
    Considered, tangible and understated.

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    Meet Anna Wright

    by  • 24/09/2014 • Country business, Country style • 2 Comments

    Anna Wright Style Setter | Country Days | Country Homes & Interiors

    Anna studied illustration at Edinburgh College of Art before moving to London to pursue a career in fashion and interiors. After a brief few years, she moved back to Scotland to set up on her own. Her delightful illustrations now adorn prints, cards, mugs and table mats – with more lovely collections in the pipeline!

    Where do you work?
    In the beautiful Pullens Yards in Kennington – they’re work spaces originally built for craftsmen in the Victorian era. Not much has changed since then which is wonderful.

    What inspires your designs? 
    Too much! Costume, flowers, gardens, people, culture, stories, animals… I get in a pickle trying to focus myself sometimes.

    What made you decide to set up your own business? 
    I always loved design, craft, colour and textiles, but I knew that to make a living out of my passion would be difficult. Luckily, people picked up on my drawings, and it has all evolved from there. Working with other people has always been important to me. As an artist your lifestyle can be very solitary, so setting up my own business has allowed me to meet and converse with other creative people on a daily basis.

    What’s your favourite view?
    There are many, but I love going home to my parents in Dumfriesshire, Scotland.  They live in a beautiful spot, there is something about the lie of the hills and the way the light falls on them that takes me to such a happy place. 

    Describe your creative style in three words. 
    Character-based, colourful and free.

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    Tea for two…

    by  • 06/09/2014 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Jo Clark Design on Country Days Blog

    This week the object of our affections is Jo Clark Design’s quirky illustrations, notably the two owl friends (above) who’ve found the perfect spot for a lovely cup of tea! Owls are set to be a big trend this season, making these screen-printed tea towels one for our wish list.

    ‘My designs are hand drawn illustrations inspired by my garden, what lives in it, and the beautiful British countryside that surrounds me,’ says Jo.

    In addition to the owl tea towels our favourite picks from the home accessories collection are the adorable Cat Nap cushions and the array of Floral art prints.

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    Country look: charming little birdies

    by  • 11/04/2014 • Country style • 0 Comments

    May I introduce you to the world of Lil3birdy, the home of beautifully illustrated homewares and stationery. We love the colourful patchwork birds and scattered flower designs, perfect for adding a feel-good spring vibe to your country home.


    Colourful birds and floral coasters, £12.50, Lil3birdy.

    Lil3birdy offers coasters, placemats, mugs, tea towels, notebooks and greetings cards all decorated with simple nature-inspired drawings, all the work of designer Clare Shields.


    Chicks tea towel, £10, Lil3birdy.

    In addition to pretty birds the collection also features more classic country favourites; dogs, cats and foxes…


    Dog and Fox ceramic mugs, £7 each, Lil3birdy.

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    Country look: Cornish landscape

    by  • 24/01/2014 • Country style • 1 Comment

    I’d like to introduce you to Helen Round, a contemporary textile and homeware designer who makes beautiful things for the home, all inspired by the Cornish landscape.

    I met Helen last week at an exhibition and got the chance to see how lovely her collection of hand printed cushions really are –  made using the finest quality linen and hemp, they are so tactile! My personal favourite is the Rame Head design (below). The simple illustration depicts a charming house on a hill reached by a winding path surrounded by cow parsley & grasses – it looks like an idyllic place to be.


    Hand printed ‘Rame Head’ linen cushion, from £55, Helen Round.

    With a background in fine art textiles and printmaking, Helen lives and works in Cornwall and the countryside surrounding her studio inspires her hand-sketched picturesque designs. The Rame Head, Hedgerow and Birdsong collections all feature on a selection of cushions, lampshades, tea towels and mugs – perfect for  bringing the beauty of nature indoors.


    Fine bone china Limited Edition ‘Rame Head’ mugs, £12.50 each, Helen Round.

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    Country buy: Betty & Walter

    by  • 25/10/2013 • Country style • 0 Comments

    There are many reasons to love the lifestyle brand Betty & Walter; the timeless vintage/retro vibe of the designs, the sentiment behind the name – it’s inspired by Aunt Betty & Uncle Walter and the creative founder is Lisa Levis who you may remember as Lisa Stickley, the British designer renowned for her unique illustrative prints on chinaware, kitchen textiles and accessories.

    Here’s our pick of the hottest pieces from the new collection; we want these on-trend monochrome mugs…

    Betty-Walter-Mugs-Country-Homes-and Interiors-blog

    Bone China mugs, £8 each, Betty & Walter

    Love the 50s feel of this Tulip design featuring bright bundles of tulips, inspired by Aunty Betty’s fondness for fabulous florals. Also available on equally chic kitchen aprons and pinnies.


    Cotton tea towels, £8 each, Betty & Walter.

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    Country buy: coastal treasures

    by  • 05/07/2013 • Country style • 0 Comments

    I’ve got my heart set on moving to the seaside, so my radar is very much on all things coastal. The object of my affections this week is the work of Jessica Hogarth; her designs beautifully capture the feel-good factor of living by the sea.

    Influenced by growing up in the picturesque fishing village of Robin Hoods Bay, on the North Yorkshire coast, Jessica’s charming illustrations depict coastal living – with wallpapers, cushions, kitchen textiles and stationery plentiful with bold sail boats, coastal cottages and marine wildlife.

    Coastal cottages cushion, £36; Sailor's life for me blank greetings card, £2.20; Seagulls blank greetings card, £2.20; Boat nostalgia tea towel, £10, all Jessica Hogarth Designs.

    Coastal cottages cushion, £36; Sailor’s life for me blank greetings card, £2.20; Seagulls blank greetings card, £2.20; Boat nostalgia tea towel, £10, all Jessica Hogarth Designs.

    Until I’m living the dream, maybe this quirky wallpaper is enough to evoke the spirit of life in a quaint coastal village…

    Coastal cottages wallpaper, £120 a roll, Jessica Hogarth Designs.

    Coastal cottages wallpaper, £120 a roll, Jessica Hogarth Designs.

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    Thread Drawn by Tobyboo

    by  • 01/03/2013 • Country style • 0 Comments

    There are those that can hand draw beautiful illustrations, there are those that create wonderful things with a sewing machine, then there is Tina Crawford who cleverly combines both talents to create charming home accessories at Tobyboo.

    ‘I love free embroidery, it’s like handwriting. I literally get the fabric under the needle and ‘draw’. I love the wobbles, loose threads and accidents, to me they all add charm and originality to the illustration’– Tina Crawford

    Textile illustrator Tina has developed her unique personal style drawing freehand with a sewing machine, skillfully using the needle like a pen. She was inspired by an embroidery course, where she learned to break the rules and work more freely; the results are her whimsical designs which are transferred onto delicate china tea sets, cushions, tea towels and lampshades.

    Behind the scenes with Tobyboo. (top right)Oranges & Lemons cushion cover, £40 (bottom left) Gull 'n' Chips china jug, £30; Gull notebook, £10; Wish You Were here placemat; Wish You Were Here bag, £17, all Tobyboo.

    Behind the scenes with Tobyboo. (top right)Oranges & Lemons cushion cover, £40 (bottom left) Gull ‘n’ Chips china jug, £30; Gull notebook, £10; Wish You Were here placemat; Wish You Were Here bag, £17, all Tobyboo.

    The best thing about Tina’s creations, compared to other designs of this nature, is that her quirky illustrations are not sketched out first on paper and reproduced they are added directly onto fabric so no two pieces are the same.

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    Textiles inspired by Nature

    by  • 16/11/2012 • Country style • 1 Comment

    It’s my penchant for colour that first drew my attention to the beautiful collection of screen-printed textiles at Abigail*Ryan.

    Design duo Abigail and Ryan Bell cleverly combine their artistic talents to create stunning homewares that bring a touch of the outdoors in. Inspired by the countryside Abigail’s illustrations are all hand-drawn from leaves, seeds and flowers. The designs are then brought to life through Ryan’s flair for colour.

    I love the hand-sewn sycamore cushions in the rich slate and pumpkin tones, which have a lovely earthen feel. The botanical ink drawing of the dahlia is my particular favourite, seen below on a tea towel in a rich raspberry – it’s sure to brighten up any country kitchen.

    Limited Edition terrace house softies, £16 each; Sycamore peg bag, £16.50; Dahlia tea-towel, £12.50; Sycamore scallop cushions, £59.50 each, all Abigail*Ryan.

    Limited Edition terrace house softies, £16 each; Sycamore peg bag, £16.50; Dahlia tea-towel, £12.50; Sycamore scallop cushions, £59.50 each, all Abigail*Ryan.

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