Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

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.


In Art on August 17, 2011 at 10:52 am

Following on from Temperley loving a couple of blogs ago. I asked Emma Block to do an illustration in her super art deco, feminine style – full of pastel colours, long lines and genteel nods to the audience. I specified that I’d like it to be evocative of the adverts from the 50s, with its own narrative and confidence in the product, making the eye-clapper, naturally inquisitive. The woman also had to be strong/nonchalant and there had to be a lion. Of course.

See these – I have obviously got carried away looking at ads. I could discuss them for pages and pages:

Enough! So, Emma has produced this Lionheart illustration. Love.

two particular things that made me happy this week

In Art, Music on July 1, 2011 at 9:12 am


1. c/o Emily, who said it “makes her want to make ART work again”. This is a very good thing, as her own paper art skills are a wonder. Art for art.

There have been a collection of paper sculptures with clues linking them with Ian Rankin‘s books, left all around Edinburgh, by an ‘anonymous individual’.

Quote from the Guardian:

‘The Filmhouse creation is a model of a cinema, with a tiny paper Rankin sitting in the audience drinking a bottle of Deuchars and warriors on horseback leaping from the screen. The National Library, meanwhile, received a model of a coffin and a gramophone sculpted from a copy of Rankin’s novel Exit Music. A note left with the Filmhouse’s model read “For @filmhouse – a gift – In support of Libraries, Books, Words, Ideas … & All things *magic*”, while a quote from Francis Ford Coppola, “I think cinema, movies, and magic have always been closely associated”, was cut and pasted onto the model.

Earlier this year, the Scottish Poetry Library found an intricate paper tree on a table, alongside a note saying “this is for your support of libraries, books, words and ideas”. A gold-leafed paper egg shell beside the tree contained delicate paper bunting, which when unfurled made up the Edwin Morgan poem “A Trace of Wings”, an elegy for the poet Basil Bunting.’

2. c/o Carmel

Carmel and I were torn apart by graduating and choosing different places to dwell. Silly. To overcome our voids, we often send youtube music videos, as opposed to writing enormous essays to each other. Although we do also do this, as well as sending each other packages full of miscellaneous; tea bags, bracelets, tops we don’t want, candles, glitter, postcards and cuttings. But the youtube videos are a quick nod, ‘maaaate’! Sometimes they say all that needs to be said. Plus on a competitive level, we can try and outdo each other with new music discoveries.

The other day, Caramel Carmac McCarmellicos, sent me this, by Andrew Bird. I implore you to listen to it.

Happy weekend xoxo

gems – Bryony Crane

In Art, Diary on June 30, 2011 at 8:28 am

All Illustrations by Bryony Crane

Well, for me the last couple of weeks have been highly frustrating and slightly ridiculous. This is for a variety of reasons, but mostly revolving around horrid old money. Or new money, to correct myself. However, what continues to astound me, and makes me very happy, is the utter generosity and kindness of other people. When times get bad, the best thing to do in the world is to spend time with good people, and for having these a flap away, I am truly grateful. Something I never expected though, was how this absolutely stretches to the mighty internet, where the support for Lionheart Magazine, and fellow strifes, is nothing short of amazing.

When I first rambled on about Lionheart Magazine, it was a mere twiglet of an idea, but the reaction to it was a surprising confirmation that I probably should actually do it.Then I decided to definitely do it and now I am DOING IT. Throughout I’ve had messages from a broad range of talented and wonderful people, offering to lend their skills to the [roaring] content of the magazine. I never predicted such a positive reaction and so far, I’ve had some tremendous words and pictures. This really is INCREDIBLE and I can’t thank everyone enough.

Bryony‘s Lion!

One of the first Lionheart specific illustrations I received, was from Bryony Crane. Bryony is an illustrator whose work contains beautiful detail and vibrant life within each piece. Her lion (above) is so full of power and confidence, it’s perfect as a reminder to all, that there is a LION INSIDE of everyone. I love it and look forward to seeing it in real life print! Recently graduated from the South Coast of England, Bryony is available for commission, so get in touch!

Love this bunny one.

Georgia Coote designs for Lionheart

In Art on June 15, 2011 at 12:35 pm

I’ve been a fan of Georgia Coote‘s work for some time. We have worked together on little writing/art projects before and I knew she would create something beautiful, imaginative and perfect for Lionheart Magazine. As I have said before, I am adamant that the magazine is printed and not merely online – this here blog is the online bit – and I really wanted a pull out for the middle, so readers can tak it to their walls (be careful with blue tak on renting places!), or just look at it, or whatever. I think it’s a nice little addition to a magazine, and in fact there will be many bits you can snip and store away, or just keep the magazine as a whole, to flick through and use as a coffee mat. Georgia‘s design (above) will be one side of the pull out, then there will be another design on the other side, equally stunning. I am sure you will agree that it’s a wonderful pattern; pretty yet strong and just the sort of print style I adore. I wish I could turn it into wallpaper and plaster all my walls with the design. Lionheart intense!

Georgia is currently working as a freelance designer, running art workshops for many different community groups.

This animal baby suit pattern is very sweet.

“I aim to make art accessible for all, and to show people skills that they can later develop and continue to use. The workshops have a relaxing atmosphere and provide encouragement and inspiration within the group.”

“Some organisations I have worked with in the past include: SNAP, Maldon Mind,New Opportunities Havering, The YMCAand Chelmsford Mencap.”

Georgia also makes jewellery.

Lovely summer dress pattern here.

I really like her little ‘About Me’ on her website:
“Pretty floral teacups, Raymond Peynet Books, Men with beards (well, one in particular), The Cha Cha Cha, Vintage fabrics, Being a redhead, Mountainous slices of cheesecake, Al Green’s ‘LetsStay Together’, Surprise parcels in the post & Polka dots.

“I graduated from the Norwich School of Art and Design in 2006 after studying Contemporary Textile practices. Primarily inspired by pattern and the printing process, I am also inspired by conversational pattern design, a vintage colour palette and just about everything around me. I love to create quirky, warm designs that are uplifting and good for the soul. These designs can be applied to textiles, stationary, ceramics and all manner of surfaces. I live in Chelmsford, Essex with my graphic designer husband. He loves……. The smell of a new book, tinkering with technology, and a good hearty pie.”

Thank you Georgia!


Bleubird blog + non-smiling face + Kris Atomic

In Art on June 9, 2011 at 10:24 am

Liberty pretty pattern, makes me happy.

All illustrations by Kris Atomic, from Brighton, UK

I was catching up on reading blogs today – I got back from Ireland late, after a two day INTENSE trip (press trip = grand, but very different to my usual methods of exploration/travel writing) AND I can completely sympathise with Miss James of Bleubird Vintage. I am often accused of a ‘grumpy looking’ face, or indeed when I am smiling, people seem to assume I am extremely ditzy. I am neither of these things. My face must be rather odd to evoke these reactions though and it’s frankly delightful to see a poster that reflects the sentiments of those behind the face. I am sure my face is a mixed up picture when I talk of Lionheart Magazine – but the important thing is that I am happy when I think of it and my lion heart is an unwavering beat. Note: I am tired and therefore must be allowed an element of shameless tat talk.

If you look at Kris Atomic‘s website – it’s very beautiful. I love the fashion style posts and the smartly dressed animals. Her style has an ounce of the past, in its simple sweeps, but with oodles of snappy wit and subtle nods to cheekiness. I like.