New items in my Etsy shop!… The Capy Collection

Just thought I’d update you about some new items I have up on my Etsy shop for sale now! I’ve been drawing Capybaras for ages now, as they are Adam’s absolute favourite, but when a friend told me I should really try to sell them I wasn’t sure how popular they’d be! It seems though that lots of people also think that capybaras are truly amazing, so they’ve gone down very well so far!

I’ll be making lots more capybara-based treasure before too long I’m sure, but in the meantime, here is my Capy Collection…..

‘Capybaras in Love’ Espresso Cup and Saucer Pair, £35

‘Monsieur le Capybara’ Pint Mug, £15

‘Mr and Mrs Capybara’ Salt and Pepper Shaker Set, £15

‘Partybara’ ‘Capyccino’ Cup and Saucer, £15

Hope you like!
Ems x
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Blog Every Day in May: Book Love

“Tell us about your favourite book. Or maybe give us a top 5 of the books that changed your life.”

I love to read. Most of the time. I tend to go through phases where I’m addicted to a book and read text after text….but at other times (like now!) I just lose interest! And whilst I could still tell you all about some of my favourite books I have read (Orlando by Virgina Woolf….all of Ian Fleming’s James Bond books….the Dexter books by Jeff LIndsey…..and most of PD James) because I’m having a bit of an ‘off’ period at the moment, I thought I’d be better placed to rave about a different kind of book…..

The book shelves in my little studio are crammed with colourful and creative books, and the biggest collection of all is that of my fashion books. I am just crazy about them. The glossy covers, the amazing photography, and of course the wonderful subjects! I’m definitely a style over substance girl, so browsing through these to give me inspiration is a favourite thing to do for me.

Here are some of my favourites….

Radical Fashion by Claire Wilcox

I used to use this a lot when I was at college (studying for my Degree in Theatre Design, a big part of which was Costume Design) so I just had to buy it when I no longer had access to the library! It’s really inspiring though, and full of, well, *radical* fashion.

Dior: 60 Years of Style by Farid Chenoune and Laziz Hamani

This was a very generous gift one Christmas and I really cherish this book. It’s absolutely HUGE and won’t fit on even the massive Victorian bookshelves we have in the house….it’s a true coffee table book (heck, you could even use it *as* a coffee table!) and it offers an enthralling history of one of my favourite design houses.

Put on Your Pearls Girls by Lulu Guinness

How pretty is that cover? SO damn pretty! And what’s more, this is actually a POP-UP BOOK!!! It doesn’t get much more charming than this….named after one of Lulu’s favourite expressions, the book is made up of all the darling little phrases she uses in her accessories. I love it!

Manolo Blahnik Drawings by Anna Wintour and Andre Leon Talley

I want a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes more than most things….they are just so wonderfully fun and exciting and glamourous. But as that’s not on the cards, I do make do rather well with this book. Blahnik’s designs are very much like theatrical costume drawings, and his style, colours and drama put me in mind of the wonderful Inigo Jones. I love this book so much I have two copies…one coffee table size and one mini version for the studio!

Merry by Koji Mizutani and Paul Smith

On the cover wrap of my copy of this book is a quote from Paul Smith: “The energy of the street makes me happy”….and this book certainly does make me happy! A super-bright collection of hundreds of incredibly smiley and fashion forward Japanese girls, this book is an inspiration, a mood lifter and just plain brill.

Ems x

Blog Every Day in May: 5 Lines

“Introduce yourself or sum yourself up in just 5 lines. Include a photograph that you are proud of.”

My name is Emily, and I’m a blogging, crafting, thrifting treasure hunter and events producer living in Hitchin, Hertfordshire.

I’m a little bit into everything, and to say my taste is eclectic would be a serious understatement…..I like to think I can see beauty in everything.

I can’t think of any music that I don’t like, there is certainly no food that I won’t eat (with the exception of Marmite which isn’t really a food), and I just don’t believe that any colours clash.

My greatest loves are my wonderful fiance Adam, my darling lurcher Special Agent Doggie Cooper, weddings, blowing bubbles, the TV Tower in Berlin, blue skies and stationery.

I hate having photos taken of me, but I love to take photos of pretty much anything else…. especially road works, buildings that other people think are ugly, and enchanted places where fairies probably live.

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Our secret garden, St Dunstans in the East, near to where we used to live in London. Taken with my Diana analogue camera with 120mm colour negative slide film.

New on my Etsy shop….. Mother’s Day Cards

It was cutting it a bit fine, but I’ve just finished my designs for my Mother’s Day cards, and they’re now available to buy on my Etsy shop!

I have drawn and painted in watercolour a cute tattoo-inspired ‘Mum’ design, as well as a sweet bird and banner ‘Marvelous Mother’ design. I’ll be painting one saying ‘Mom’ instead of ‘Mum’ ready for US Mother’s Day in May too.

Each card is printed in high resolution on high quality, thick 350gsm art card from FSC credited paper stock. There is a light satin coating on the outside, whilst the inside is left un-coated, making it easier for you to write your own message. Each card measures 4.13″ x 5.82″ / 105mm x 148mm (A6) and includes a good quality matte white envelope.

I’m also selling A4 sized prints which will make lovely gifts for your marvelous Mums too!

Ems x

Mum or Mom, Mother’s Day Card, print from original water colour, £3

Marvelous Mother, Mother’s Day Card, print from original water colour, £3

More Valentines Cards now in my Etsy shop!

I know I’ve already posted about Valentine’s cards, and that it is still a little way off, but I thought you may like to see the new Valentine’s cards I’m now selling on my Etsy Shop. My ‘Love Is….’ vintage Panini sticker cards have sold pretty well already, but I wanted to paint some romantic designs more in keeping with the cards I made for Christmas last year. The result is these rather kitch, lovey-dovey designs……

Flamingos In Love, Valentine's Card, print from original watercolour

Swans In Love, Valentine's Card, print from original watercolour

I have drawn and painted in watercolour these elegant swans and pretty flamingos, whose slender necks make the shape of a heart! I think they are wonderfully whimsical and rather cute!

I have made the designs into Valentine’s cards, but am also selling A4 size prints of the drawings, as well as the original paintings…. I think they’d make just as good a gift for someone’s home as a Valentine’s card…. and of course they work just as well for anniversaries and special occasions too!

Each card is printed in high resolution on high quality, thick 350gsm art card from FSC credited paper stock. There is a light satin coating on the outside, whilst the inside is left un-coated, making it easier for you to write your own message. Each card measures 4.13″ x 5.82″ / 105mm x 148mm and includes a good quality matte white envelope. They are available now in my Etsy Shop for $5.00 / £3.23 each.

Hope you like them!

Ems x

Something from the weekend….. Coffee, Crafting and Christmassyness

The Christmas prep is really hotting up now and I’ve been super busy with orders and getting ready for a stall, as well as making lots of Christmas gifts and decorations at home! So I’m afraid I’ve rather neglected my little blog….but hopefully I have some time for catching up today!…..

On Friday evening we started our Christmassy weekend by (finally!) decorating our tree. We’d bought it from the market on Tuesday but had a tricky time putting it up as it’s so tall and came fitted to a far too tiny stand! Having secured it in a large bucket full of sand though, the lights went on, followed by all my home made decorations and the beautiful Victorian china fairy that Adam’s Mum gave to me right on top. I’m rather pleased with how handsome it looks filling our front bay window, and can’t wait to add the other Christmassy bits around the rest of the house!

On Saturday we ran a few errands and did some shopping around town….it’s getting very Christmassy there too and the market square was hosting lots of stalls from local Young Enterprise companies, as well as a stunning antique mechanical pipe organ. It had me welling up, it was so beautifully Christmassy!

Having had a successful shopping trip, we decided to treat ourselves to a coffee, and finally managed to get a couple of free chairs in the Hermitage Road Coffee Shop, where we’ve been wanting to try for ages. I think I’ve already mentioned that we have really been struggling to get a really good cup of coffee out in our new town….we have rather turned into coffee snobs now that we can make it so well at home with the Aeropress! And so we were delighted to find on their menu that they will make you an Aeropress coffee there! You can also choose from a big pot of dripped coffee for two, as well as specialties such as Cortado, which is what we opted for. It arrived with the coffee and walnut cake we’d offered, as well home made biscotti on the saucer. The cake was yummy and the biscotti divine….but the real winner was the coffee which is by far the best I’ve had outside of Monmouth. I’ll write a little more about the place when I get a chance, as it’s really worth its own little review.

Once home, I started to slowly cook up a chilli for dinner, as we were having our friend Hannah over in the evening. Hannah brought the pudding….an absolutely AMAZING lemon meringue pie!….and Adam tried out a few more cocktails on us for practice (he really is getting very good!). We chatted the evening away until Hannah pointed out how late it was and reminded me that I had to get up rather early the next day!…..

We were up and out to the local Christmas Gala Day on Sunday morning, where I was having a stall selling my various hand made things….. I had made some Christmassy bunting, tree decorations, gift labels and greeting cards to sell alongside my usual stock of jewellery and drawings. It was a lovely busy day in the market square, and lots of people came to see my stall (and buy lots too!), as well as to see the entertainment on the stage. There were local choirs singing carols, puppet shows, clowning, some rather crazy performers known as Granny Turismo (two men dressed as old ladies sitting on top of giant shopping trolleys which they zoom around on!), and the local radio station playing Christmas songs. With the smell of mulled wine and roasted chestnuts too it was a wonderfully festive atmosphere and I enjoyed every minute, despite being sat out in the cold all day!

Once we’d packed up the stall and taken everything home, we popped around to Adam’s Mum’s for dinner…she’d made a yummy sausage supper to save me having to cook after such a tiring day and it was most appreciated! Back at home we slobbed for a little while on the sofa, before a much-needed early night!

Hope your weekend was just as Festive!

Ems x

Christmas is coming…. And so are the Under A Glass Sky Christmas Cards!

I’ve been busy all week on a little festive project that’s had me singing Christmas songs and getting over-excited that it’s only 52 sleeps until the big day! I never need much encouragement to get excited about Christmas, but it’s even more exciting this year with a house big enough to have a tree and all my planned crafting projects!

I nearly always make our own Christmas cards to send to friends and family, and we’ve really enjoyed our finger-printing and stamping to get them ready to send! This year though I thought I could combine making our own cards with creating some to sell at my Christmassy craft stalls and on Etsy and Folksy. I’ve been mulling over design ideas for ages, but as it really is about the time people are starting to thinking about their Christmas shopping, I thought I’d best get on with it!

I knew I wanted to paint some pretty illustrations for the cards as that would make them easy to reproduce (much as I enjoy hand crafting cards, making a couple of hundred would take me until the new year at least!), and I had in mind that I wanted to paint some little woodland creatures, as I’m so nuts about foxes and deer at the moment!

So, after painstakingly painting about a gazillion leaves of holly….here they are!

I do hope you like them! And sorry to my friends who read this who have had the surprise of their Christmas card from us ruined!

They will be available on my Etsy and Folksy shops within a week all being well, and on my stall at the Riverside Craft and Farmers Market on 24th November, as well as at the Hitchin Christmas Gala on 9th December. They will be a standard 4″ x 6″ (A6) in size, printed onto good quality white card and provided with an envelope. They will be £2.50 each, or any four for £8 (plus P&P). The Under A Glass Sky logo will not appear on them as above, and they will be printed in a much higher resolution than you see here (that’s just me protecting the images!).

I am delighted to take pre-orders, and larger orders will attract a nice discount, so do get in touch!

Ems x

***UPDATE***
My cards are now listed on my Etsy and Folksy shops! I have also listed the original watercolour art and some full-size prints of the designs too! Go see!

Wednesday Wants: Elizabeth Kate Scarves

It’s not often I’ve found a real treasure through Twitter, and I certainly can’t recall one falling into my lap before. But that’s just what happened when I gained a new follower recently, in the shape of EK Scarves. I dutifully clicked on the link in the profile to have a snoop about for who this new follower was, and was utterly delighted that I had.

Elizabeth Kate is a new label by Chelsea College of Art and Design, first class honours graduate and print designer Liz Bush. Having freelanced as a designer of hand-painted silk prints for international fashion houses and high-street suppliers, Liz is now following her dream of starting her own label.

Anyone who knows me well will tell you I’m pretty obsessed with silk scarves…..I have totally lost track of how many I own but it’s probably more than fifty. True to form though, that doesn’t put me off drooling over new ones….especially in the case of such stunning designs like these. In fact, for me at least, all the boxes are ticked with Liz’s stunning designs….there’s whimsy, vivid colours, opulence, magic and wild creatures. I just adore the juxtaposition of the geometric pattern with the organic, and there’s a real fairytale secret garden enchantment about it all.

It’s not all style over substance either at Elizabeth Kate, as each scarf is crafted from 100% silk or cotton, and roll-hem stitched in Como, Italy. There are different sized scarves, and two types of silk (crepe de chine and chiffon) to choose from. All are a wonderful shape and size for wearing though, whether you prefer knotting, twisting or wrapping yours. Each purchase comes packaged in a beautiful Elizabeth Kate box, in either pink, green or orange.

They’re not cheap, but then when you consider the detailed design process and beautiful fabrics, not to mention the fact that a good scarf can brighten up practically any outfit, I think it’s a good deal for a most wearable piece of art.

As usual, I’ve done my virtual shopping trip and rounded up my list of favourites. You can see more on the website though, at the Kingly Court boutique, or at a few other stockists in and around London as well as online.

 

I love the rather ostentatious colours in the Garden Fairies design, and as a firm believer in fairies it’s rather an apt choice for me. The flowery background almost makes it psychedelic, and once folded to wear, the flashes of colour are a real treat. It’s in 100% silk crepe de chine, 90cm squared and £120.

Birds are one of my favourites, and I have some gorgeous scarves with birds on them. I also love a minty green paired with pink, so the Birds design is definitely on my hit list. This one is 100% cotton voile, 100 x 200cm and £149.

Now I can’t say I’ve ever worn turquoise with scarlet, but the Peacock scarf makes me wonder why! I love the symmetry and tessellation of this design, and would even consider framing it to go on the wall to see it in its full glory! It’s 100% silk crepe de chine, 90cm square and £120.

How adorable is this one?! I knew I’d love the Poodles design before I even clicked on the images, but it’s even more darling than I’d imagined! I’m crazy about the sugary sweet colours and all the different poochy characters. I think this one may well be my favourite in fact. It’s 100% silk chiffon, 135cm squared and £145.

The White Striped Butterfly scarf reminds me of those wonderful marbled ink pictures we used to make at school for some reason. I’m crazy about the swirling colours, but love even more so the geometric pattern they fall into. This one would get a LOT of use with my wardrobe I think! It’s 100% silk crepe de chine, 110cm squared and £149.

I also found this beautiful little quote on the website too, and was so delighted with it, I thought I’d share…..

Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon.  A happiness weapon.  A beauty bomb.  And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one.  It would explode high in the air – explode softly – and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air.  Floating down to earth – boxes of Crayolas.  And we wouldn’t go cheap, either – not little boxes of eight.  Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in.  With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest.  And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination.  ~Robert Fulghum

Ems x

Wednesday Wants…… Some friends from the market

I had my first stall at Old Spitalfields on Saturday, as part of the Designers Makers Market. It was lovely to see some stalls I recognised from past markets and to meet some new people too. There were lots of things I wanted, as usual, so here’s a little round up of my favourites!…..

Being a Potteries lass, I couldn’t pass by a stall filled with china without stopping for a look! And Material Pleasures‘ collections are actually made in my home town….and not much china is these days! Designed by Julie Spurgeon and skillfully made in English fine bone china in the heart of The Potteries, Stoke-on-Trent, Material Pleasures represents a lot of what I love about British hand-made homeware. Julie’s designs are both elegantly classical and whimsically modern….so very different from anything I’ve seen. Her sugar sweet pastel tones really caught my eye, along with her darling little china sugar mice (I was lucky enough to get one as a gift from Adam!). I’d love a full set (or three), and knowing that everything is so well made, thoughtfully designed and ethically sourced, I’d say there’s a pretty good excuse to indulge!

The Mister Peebles stall actually caught Adam’s eye first….. Full of charming and original illustrations bearing witty puns, we both fell for the little animals dressed up in sweaters and pajamas. There were lots of delightful prints for sale, as well as stacks of gorgeous greeting cards (which we couldn’t leave without!)…and it’s all terribly reasonably priced too!

And continuing the animal theme (it wasn’t intentional I promise!) Yas-Ming Ceramics is a collaboration between Yasmin Dilekkaya and Ming Wai Sun. Together they design these wonderful ceramics, all so clever and funny….. each mould is made by them and the heads and bums are carefully attached by hand so each piece is slightly different. I adore the small plates with the ruffed animals standing over them…how cute are their over-sized heads on their little human bodies?!

I’m back at the Designers Makers Market at Old Spitalfields on Saturday 15th September, along with lots of the lovely designers I met there too!

Ems x

Wednesday Wants…. all about London on Etsy

So….I’m leaving London! In a little over a month me and the boyf will be moving from our Zone 1 flat, and out to lovely Hitchin in Hertfordshire. I’m super excited about it, but I have started to think about the things I’ll miss about London when we move. I’ve also started to hanker after a few of the souveniry type things around at the moment (thanks in part to the Olympics and the Jubilee), which I’d like to take along with me to our new rather-more-rural home!…..

I think this skirt is super cute! And useful too….it’s pattered with the London Underground map, so you can’t get lost in London whilst you’re wearing it! It’s made by Roobys and is available on Etsy for just £18 along with a whole load more ‘novelty skirt for grown ups’!

I already have the gorgeous Ward Lock & Co’s London Illustrated Guide, but this vintage London journal would be a great notebook for anything at all. It’s made from an old map of London, and recovered back, front and inside, with blank note pages inside. It’s only £4.59 from Etsy which is a bargain I think for a unique journal.

And for just £4 you can get this bumper load of London printed ribbons, by Bigfish on Etsy. I love the little guards print, and I could certainly see me using the Made in Britain print.

I’ve been collecting up a few old postcards for some projects, both in Paris and in London. I’ve not quite decided what I want to do with them yet, but this bumper load might inspire me! They’re just £12.12 for all 50, from Bursts of Creativity on Etsy.

I adore this Cath Kidston London print with all its iconic landmarks. I’d love to make curtains in my new studio with it, or else make some pretty cushions. You can buy a fat quarter of it from Boqinana on Etsy for just £3.93.

I’m sure I’ll be able to find some treasures as a token from my 12 years here in London, and hopefully I’ll make up some new products inspired by the City too!

Ems x