Archive for 2011|Yearly archive page

Abby Wright and Little Birdy at the Lionheart Launch

In Craft, Events on December 9, 2011 at 10:05 am

Abby has to be one of my very favourite illustrators. Her fashion illustrations blow me away and her passion for her art is inspiring. She’s also incredibly wonderful to work with. Abby has achieved so much already, with commissions from the V&A, Company Magazine and jewellery company, MADE. We have some very exciting projects we have been planning. I hope Abby will continue to illustrate for Lionheart for many, many years to come.

Hello, could you tell us your name and what you create?
My name is Abby Wright and I’m an illustrator. I specialise in fashion and portrait illustration and hope to be a full time freelance illustrator sometime soon!
When did you first hear about Lionheart Magazine?
I knew Hels through twitter, illustrated reviews for her and saw her excited tweets about wanting to start her own magazine. Just months later, I attended her focus group, discussing likes, dislikes, names, subjects and much more. I knew at this point it was going to happen, and now it’s here! Very exciting!
Where will you be coming from to party with the lions?
I’m not going to be able to be at the launch in person, sadly. I’ll be thinking of the lions from Henley-on-Thames, where I’ve just moved to. When I’m not walking along the river there and taking in the surroundings, you can find me roaming around my beautiful home of East Yorkshire.
What will you be doing/selling at the Lionheart Magazine launch party?
I will have prints of my illustrations for sale at the launch; there will only be a small amount though, so hurry along!
What are you looking forward to in Lionheart Magazine?
I’m looking forward to beautiful photography, interesting stories and enthusiastic writing! And that’s just the start, this magazine will be super special!

Follow Abby’s blog, her facebook and twitter.

Hello, could you introduce yourself please?
My name is ‘Little Birdy’ and I’m a craft chameleon who makes all sorts!- Porcelain jewellrey, hand stitched vintage animals, tea and coffee cosies, paper garlands and bunting, ’embroidrawings’, cards and most recently lots of handcrafted christmas decorations amongst other things.

When did you hear about Lionheart Magazine?
I first heard of Lionheart magazine through a crafty cousin!
Where will you be coming from?
I’ll be coming from exotic Totterdown area of Bristol to party with the lions.
What will you be selling at the Launch Party?
I shall be touting my wares at the mini market- a veritable hodge podge of colourful craftiness!
What are you looking forward to in Lionheart Magazine?
I look forward to interesting craft ideas, info and insight into other like minded crafters and events.


As Petals Fall at the Lionheart Launch

In Craft, Events on December 8, 2011 at 3:56 pm

I’ve known Kate since university, she’s a very talented textile designer – her work is delicate and full of a deep love and understanding of the natural world. I’m happy for Kate as she begins her business venture, As Petals Fall and I’m very much looking forward to her crafty sessions, making moustaches, lips and lavender bags.

Hello, could you introduce yourself please?
Hello, I’m Katie a textile designer and print maker, I source and collect pretty fabrics, ribbons and vintage doilies and make things out of them, sometimes adorning pieces with my own screen printed designs.
When did you first hear about Lionheart Magazine?
I first heard of the wonderous Lion when it was still a little seed in my friend Helen’s head, it has been a joy to see her succeed in making it a beautiful reality.
Where will you be travelling from on Sunday?
Just around the corner
What will you be doing/selling at the launch party?
I will have a little ‘As petals fall’ stall at the launch selling pretty textiles such as cushions, Liberty aprons, garlands and bags as well as limited addition screen prints. I will also be doing a lavender bag workshop (an ideal homemade christmas gift for someone) and you can join me in making some swarve moustaches and lips; a perfect costume change for the sparkle filled evening.
What are you looking forward to in Lionheart Magazine?
I am looking forward to absolutley every part of Lionheart, I just know it will be something I pour over and treasure, I will be especially thrilled to see my pieces in there and I can’t wait to see the wonderful photography by Stella Mason.

Follow Kate’s blog, on twitter and on facebook.

Gemma Milly at the Lionheart Launch

In Events, Illustration on December 7, 2011 at 8:56 am

Gemma Milly is an extremely talented illustrator. Her work is similar to a real life paradise, wrapped in a fairytale. I love her style and I’m extremely excited to hear Gemma talk about the process and inspiration behind her work, as well as purchase her wares. Excitingly, I’ve just heard that Gemma will have a selection of The Aviary‘s goods with her too!

Hello, could you tell us your name and what you create?
I’m Gemma Milly, and I’m a fashion and portrait illustrator, wedding stationery designer and maker of pretty gifts.

When did you first hear about Lionheart Magazine?
Helen and I first met working from Amelia’s magazine and have kept in touch ever since (yay!). So I’ve known about Lionheart for quite a while and am glad I can finally let the cat out the bag now.

Where will you be coming from to party with the lions?
From Alton in Hampshire.

What will you be doing/selling at the Lionheart Magazine launch party?
I’ll be selling my prints, greetings cards and gifts in the afternoon. Then at 5pm I’ll be taking a live illustration session and talking about how I create my portraits. After that I’ll be letting my hair down!

What are you looking forward to in Lionheart Magazine
Touching the gorgeous thick paper and drooling over all the pretty features. Then giving it pride of place, first in the stack, by my bedside.

Follow Gemma on twitter, facebook and through her blog.

Fritha Strickland at the Lionheart Launch

In Craft, Events on December 6, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Fritha is not only an amazing illustrator, she also has a wonderful way with words, which you’ll know if you read her blog. She is on the very BRINK of becoming a mother, but is planning on having her wares for sale and popping into the launch party. You’ll remember her from this video perhaps, beautiful and blooming! On a personal note, Fritha is great friend of mine and has been incredibly supportive throughout the making of Lionheart Magazine. I know I can always ask her advice on anything and she’ll whack some perspective down. She has also made me less terrified of pregnancy – and even birth, she’s so relaxed about the whole fandango. Beautiful, kind and full of imagination, I know she’ll make a fabulous mother.

Hello, could you introduce yourself please?
Fritha Moonbeatle Tigerlilly Quinn, I create illustrations that I have translated onto bags, jewellery and pocket mirrors.
When did you first hear about Lionheart?
I am lucky enough to consider the editor as one of my good friends so I heard about Lionheart when it was just a cub and have seen it grow into a lion, Roar!
Where will you be travelling from to party with the lions?
I live locally, which is lucky as I am nine months pregnant!
What will you be doing/selling at the launch party?
Hels has been kind enough to let me sell some of my wearable art at the launch party!
What are you looking forward to in Lionheart Magazine?
I cant wait to see everyone’s contributions to the magazine, I know of some of the illustrators and writers who have contributed and how amazing their work is, so to see what they have come up with and all in one beautiful magazine, will be amazing. Something to cherish forever.

Follow Fritha’s blog and on twitter.

Quincy Lampshades at the Lionheart Launch Party

In Events on December 6, 2011 at 8:46 am

Matryoshkas Cream - Lionheart Magazine - Quincy Lampshades
Quincy Lampshades (One of my favourites)

The Lionheart Magazine Launch Party is taking place on Sunday at 40 Alfred Place, Bristol, from 1pm – 10pm. Hopefully, the day will be filled with copious amounts of Lionheart love! However, as well as Lionheart Magazine for sale – HOORAY! There will be a mini market, talks, live illustration, beautiful cakes, drinks and fresh, homemade pizzas. Then in the evening, music, (more) cakes and Lionheart chatter. The launch promises to bring together wonderful creatives – readers, writers, illustrators, artists and the general Lionhearted population. All are welcome, just tweet @helsmartin/ @lionheartmag, say ‘yes’ on facebook, or email Anyone who has a roar in their Lionheart, come along!

As I mentioned, from 1pm – 6pm, there will be a mini market downstairs, where a number of hand selected artists will be selling their wares. One of these, is the wonderful lampshade-creating extraordinaire, Ruth McAllister, of Quincy Lampshades. As well as selling her beautiful shades, Ruth will also be demonstrating how to make a lampshade, live, before the Lionheart audience. All I know is, she’s bring an ironing board.

Strawberry Dots - Quincy Lampshades- Lionheart Magazine

I asked Ruth a few questions in anticipation of Sunday:
Hello, could you introduce yourself please?
My name is Ruth McAllister, aka The Lampshade Lady, from Quincy Lampshades. I make bright, bold and ballsy lampshades.

How did you discover Lionheart Magazine?
Exploring the Twitterverse, I spotted Lionheart Magazine’s call for help. Thinking I could assist with a spot of proofreading (I used to be an editor in my life before lampshades), I got in touch. But you were having none of that – you wanted me for my stay-at-home-mum to running-a-small-business story.

Kiku Bouf - Lampshades Lionheart Magazine Launch Quincy Lampshades Lionheart MagazineQuincy Lampshades Lionheart Magazine

Where are you coming from to be at the Lionheart Launch Party?
I will be travelling all the way from LA to attend the Lion party, via Bath and North Somerset.

What will you be doing/selling at the launch?
Where else but a magazine launch party would you expect to get a lampshade-making demo? I’ll be cutting, sticking and rolling PVC and fabric to show you guys how easy, quick and satisfying it is to make your own lampshade. (But if that doesn’t grab you, why not just buy one instead? I’ll have an armful of lampshades for sale.)

What are you looking forward to in Lionheart Magazine?
So looking forward to seeing EVERYTHING in Lionheart Magazine. Though I will, of course, flick straight to my article. I’m desperate to check out all the illustrations too.

Follow Ruth’s blog here – I love her ‘Manky Lampshades’ regular feature, the very worst lampshade wins one of Ruth‘s beautiful lampshade designs. Ruth can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

We will be auctioning off the demo lampshade, in aid of Born Free. Lovely!

Behind the scenes at the printers

In Diary on December 5, 2011 at 9:34 am

It was extremely exciting seeing Lionheart Magazine printed onto paper. The noise and smell was captivating. I can’t explain just HOW different it all looks printed with ink onto paper. All I can say is, it’s better than I hoped and my love for print has been even further confirmed. I took them all cakes.

The ink going into the printer – each section is for one of four colours: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.

The pages come out and are tested for their colour accuracy. They are monitored by eye and by computer. One of the pages looked a bit garish, with the intensity of its yellow, so it was toned down to look perfect. Sorry, it has to be blurred. Six days to go!

Lionheart page stacks (Charlie and printer)

Other stacks of printed press. Lionheart page plates replaced a corporate pamphlet on ISAs. But this printer also creates Boneshaker Magazine – which is brilliant!

A very old printer. This one works in the same way as the enormous beast, but it’s much prettier.

The printer company have been around since 1820. They were bombed in World War II, but have been in these premises since the end of the War. Many of their machines are very old and beautiful, they’re like little steam engines.

Shipshape Studio

In Art, Craft, Interviews on December 2, 2011 at 10:29 am

I was just going to publish this interview with a teeny intro, including the words *pride* *craft* *dreams*, but that’s not my way. So here is a little background story first.

I met Emily through a shared passion for interesting, creative and beautiful print media, crafty homes, unease with too many exclamations marks in any articles (though I am definitely guilty of this on twitter) and coffee shops. We both felt that there was nothing out there – as one, physical creation – for girls like us. And we weren’t that different, were we? Together, we embarked on understanding the people who we felt might love what made our own hearts flutter and our sense of personal strength, grow in its belief. We conducted focus groups, walked and sat within tiny corners of cities, meandered in museums, unfolded scrap books in cafes, spent hours on Skype (withOUT the video), wrote enormous emails defining our thoughts, drank wine and discussed until the early hours and sent many texts and tweets, when flashes of inspiration hit. I also met Adam, her wonderful partner and they met Charlie and a bunch of my lovely friends. Through it all, I have gained a wonderful friend, a confidant and a believer in doing things – I hope for life. After a number of months yakking at each other, we embarked on our own projects. I can also honestly say, that without Emily and that Lionhearted foundation laid, I would not be where I am now, with Lionheart Magazine. I hope that she found all our research helpful for her own dream, too. Drum roll… which iiiiis…The AMAZING Shipshape Studio.

I am extremely happy for Emily and Adam, opening Shipshape Studio, in November. A glorious, physical Lionheart! There you can make, peruse, drink tea, eat cake and bask in a little paradise of inspiration. I am very proud of them and I wish Shipshape every success. I know how much work goes into creating something from a spark of an idea and I know Emily will have done her Excel spreadsheets properly and not been forced into them, as I have with Charlie! He hates my paper cash book. Anyway, I implore everyone to visit Shipshape Studio when they are in London. Lionheart Magazine shall be stocked in there too – ROAR!

Here follows a little interview with Emily:

Hello, could you introduce yourself and your business?
Hello! I’m Emily and I’m the co-founder of Shipshape Studio, an independent crafty venue and boutique in Northwood, a leafy part of NW Greater London. Shipshape Studio is a creative venue that hosts a wide variety of crafty classes, ranging from fabric printing, to fashion illustration, to hand-sewing. We have a cute instore lifestyle shop open Tuesday to Saturday 10:30am-6pm. It’s full of gorgeous handmade and vintage homeware, stationery, art, clothing, gifts, and books, like Lionheart Magazine. We also sell vintage fabrics and craft supplies so you can get crafting at home. We’re opening our online shop soon so that you can shop Shipshape from wherever you are. I’m very excited about our range of own-brand home and fashion accessories, designed and made by me, which will be launching in January 2012 and will be available online and instore.

What made you want to begin such a venture?
Opening Shipshape Studio has always been my dream and I feel overwhelmingly lucky. Over the past 10 years I’ve started many different projects and tried lots of different things, which have all pushed me on my creative business journey and made me work hard to realise it in opening Shipshape Studio. I’ve found that making something yourself and the support of the creativity community are very empowering so we have created a friendly and inspiring space where you can learn new skills, meet like-minded people and feel at home. Design is a big part of our classes and we really believe that anyone can give it a go. All you need is a bit of confidence and one of our talented designer-makers to guide you, and you’d be surprised at what you can achieve! We’re also big believers in small businesses and individuals, which is reflected in the products we stock and the business workshops for creatives that we will be holding in 2012.

How would you describe the style of Shipshape Studio?
Shipshape Studio is design-led, but in an approachable way. Most of our shop fittings are things that we’ve given a second life to. We’ve sanded, stained, painted, planed, built – you name it, we’ve done it! Lots of our pieces are second-hand, from charity shops and scrap yards or are repurposed pieces, such as our storage unit built from stained and painted wine-crates. We’ve thought long and hard to create a space that makes people feel comfortable as we know some people can find it a bit daunting to go to a class on your own. I really love it and I hope you will too!

What can visitors/attendees look forward to – I heard whisper of classes by some very talented crafters?
Yes, lots of crafters! You can drop in to buy some handmade and vintage goodies in our shop or stick around and sign-up for one of our classes taught by some of the finest designer-makers, crafters and artists. There are lots of different ones to choose from, and we’re always open to new ideas. The classes are all fun, friendly and with small class sizes, and we serve complimentary tea and coffee from lovely independent companies, as well as homemade cake! Not all of our classes are available to be booked online quite yet, with more being announced just before Christmas, so drop us an email to if you see one you like or have any ideas. We’re always happy to hear from you!

Do you think Lionheart Magazine would fit in well at your studio?
Absolutely! I think Lionheart Magazine fulfils a lot of things that people often find missing in their lives. Everyone’s always so busy. It’s the word I hear most often when I ask people ‘How are you?’ Busy is good, but it doesn’t leave a lot of time for the beautiful or the whimsical or to sit and think. Lionheart is definitely going to fill that gap. Craft, empowerment, wonderful writing, thoughts that make you think, and beauty. Those precious little moments of time just before bed or after dinner are no longer going to be filled with television or iPhones. I’m going to be reading Lionheart Magazine and drifting off to the wonderful world you’ve created.

Pressies: Calendars

In Art on November 27, 2011 at 10:12 am

Beautiful Cornwall calendar by Natasha Chambers I love the block and pastel colours, movement and vibrancy.

Rounded birds calendar by Sam Harris

Intricately detailed, British Wildlife calendar by Night Owl.

Circus wall planner, by Nicky Snow

Perpetual Treehouse Calendar, by Sukie (found at Liberty)

Liberty Calendar – ‘Featuring beautiful new and old images of the store, samples of traditional Liberty prints and images of Liberty’s iconic founder, Arthur.’ – Pretty Liberty. As an aside, love the name Arthur.

Guest Post: Tom Cox

In Guest Post on November 23, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Picture from The Guardian

Tom Cox is the author of six books, the most recent of which are Under The Paw: Confessions Of A Cat Man and Talk To The Tail: More Adventures In Cat Ownership And Beyond.

I am a member of a gym, but I don’t actually use the gym, just the pool. I find the idea of a gym boring. I also worry that if I walk in there I’ll not know what to do, be pegged quite quickly as a foppish impostor, or break something expensive. I find the idea of swimming boring too, but it’s a kind of boring I feel more comfortable with. I like wearing tight-fitting 30 waist flares, and, unlike when I was 24, I do not have the luxury of being able to stay rake thin whilst consuming skiploads of pizza and beer and getting my sole exercise by trying to dance like Mark Wahlberg does in Boogie Nights. I also like crisps. Really like them, to the extent that I fear, without them, my life would be considerably less rich in texture, and I’d become a dullard. If I had to choose between giving up sex or crisps, I’d obviously give up crisps. Nonetheless, they’re important – especially during times when I’m single. This is why I swim. Sometimes it’s fun, and meditative, and I see interesting things as I do it. Today I witnessed a man clinically use his small child’s swimming ability to win the swooning affection of two young women. Another man asked me if I was called Wolfie. I said no, despite myself.

A lot of odd things have happened at the pool in the last week but I think my favourite was yesterday when the bloke who looked like former Olympic swimming champion Mark Spitz got into the pool next to me, flexed his arms, tied his wristband around his special pro swimmer water bottle, rubbed his fingers through his hair, spent two minutes adjusting his goggles, then proceeded to flap up the lane in front of me like a massive flamboyant bird.

Conversation in gym changing room. Youth one: “All right, Rob? What you here for today, mate? Kick boxing?” Youth two: “Nah, most times I just come here for a shower these days, to be honest.”

When I’m in the swimming pool changing room, I’m like most people: I keep my head down, my business to myself, and my turning circle tight. That said, when someone is standing three feet away from me, blowdrying himself, I can’t help but notice. I’m a little grazed by the experience, but I think I’ll recover. I fear the accompanying questions, however, will continue for some time. What is wrong with a simple towel? Is texture that important to him, and why? Does he use product? When did this start? Was it something his parents taught him, and which just kind of stuck? I, and many others, will probably never know the answers.

Heard man in changing room today say “I’m not being funny but I’m not being funny.” My guess is that he was, in fact, being funny.

Last night, I watched the latest series of Mad Men, in which Don Draper, the main character, swims a lot. Don is a proper, old-fashioned no-nonsense early 1960s man, and, after he swims, he always seems to GET THINGS DONE. In much the same way, I will be intending to GET THINGS DONE after my swim today. One thing I hope to GET DONE is “buy new zip for cardigan”.

They played that Duffy song at the pool again today, and I hid underwater until it was over. I can block out many things at the gym: the splashing of men who swim with the same arrogance with which they drive their BMWs, my rather childish irritation at the posey woman who makes her arms go in weird shapes when she does crawl, the shouting of hyperactive children. The sound of a Dusty Springfield dying, however, seems to be beyond my powers of patience. I can’t imagine another scenario where I will be quite so glad for the sweet embrace of ‘Street Tough’ by The Rebel MC And Double Trouble.

Like anyone who’s been to countless gigs in his life, I have a large experience of ticket touts. Gym touts, however, are a new experience. Today as I was getting changed after swimming, two young men with darting, pisshole eyes approached me and asked me if I would like to “buy” a free voucher they had received for the gym sunbed. I didn’t want to be quick to judge, but they didn’t seem, from first impressions, the kind of people I could see myself having a strong and mutually loyal future friendship with. I couldn’t see them enjoying my house parties or local pub quiz, and, seeing as I was clad only in my underpants at the time, and a little thrown off balance, I decided to stick to a simple “No thanks”. I felt a little violated, to be honest. Yet there was simultaneously another part of me that had wished I had been completely naked at the time of their asking. Maybe I could have done a few squat thrusts and press-ups, as I explained in very slow, laborious detail exactly why I would rather eat my own furniture than go on any sunbed, let alone pay for a free voucher for one. Then, just as they were turning to go, I could have said “No, actually, I’ve changed my mind!” and offered to pay for the voucher using my three-quarters empty bottle of shampoo and an old, inkless pen I’ve been meaning to throw out of my gym bag for two months. Maybe we could have brokered a deal after all, and the man who blowdries himself could have joined in on the negotiations, whilst blowdrying.

I’m always a little bit scared when people talk to me in steam rooms. I think it’s because I get worried they might be a ghost.

Today I wrote a song in my head. It’s called ‘Dear Angry Naked Man, Cursing About Your Gym Locker Not Closing: Please Do Not Try To Make Me An Accomplice In Your Pointless Rage’. It’s about the angry naked man I saw today cursing about his gym locker not closing and trying to make me an accomplice in his pointless rage.

I’m thinking about changing the photo on my gym card membership. I’m not sure it’s any longer consistent with my personal branding, or the real “deeper” me.

To the man sitting on the high ledge in the steam room today, whose crotch I came within about two inches of touching, as I sat down: I am sorry. It was very dark, and so were you.

This morning as I swam, bright sunlight streamed in through the windows. I took a break between lengths, leaned back, and admired the pretty patterns it made on the water, and how it lit up a blood-caked plaster that floated along in front of my face.

It’s been months since I’ve seen the man who blowdries himself now. I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but I slightly miss him. In other news, the gym are currently having a major crack down on the dangerously prevalent condition of “dirt leg” amongst members. Or at least, I’m assuming that’s why the cleaner sprayed my legs with disinfectant through the gap under the door while I was in the shower. Still – it is nice to know the facilities are being kept clean, particularly after some of the stories I have heard about the other, public pool up the road. I also suppose if some people view swimming as “exercise salad”, many of them might view shower-based urination as its accompanying vinaigrette.

Guest Post: Olivia Purvis on scarf style

In Fashion on November 17, 2011 at 2:12 pm
Olivia Purvis Lionheart Magazine

If there’s one accessory not to leave the house without this winter, it’s the scarf. ‘Self explanatory!’ I hear you scream, but if I’m being completely frank, the scarf, or more-so the tartan pensioner scarf, is usually hugely taken for granted in both terms of durability, practicality and as a down right fashion statement. As soon as my calendar hits mid-October, and the leaves begin to fall I know it’s time for it to make an appearance. Now, usually I’m not a huge fan of accessorising. When it comes to the winter months, I can undeniably be a bit of a lazy dresser (can’t we all)- no diamond wrist cuffs or collar necklaces here, just a chunky knit and some comfy jeans- comfy and practical. However, this is where our friend the scarf comes in, transforming an outfit in a casual sweep, a la a French actress, non?

Last week, surprisingly my dear scarf made an appearance on my blog, and I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of compliments I received on it. Never did I realise what a statement it could make, nor how it brought an otherwise plain outfit to life. Comments included, ‘amazing scarf’, ‘big fan of your scarf’ and ‘love the scarf’- and there was me thinking my 50p bargain was just a winter woolly!

Additionally, the charm of a scarf is that they can usually be found for less than a pound! Think local charity shops, or if you’re feeling a little indulgent Marks & Spencer, but usually there are bargains to be had, and by the looks of things some of the A-List have already caught on, best hop to the shops!

Hope you’re well!