Creative Inspirations: Vivid Please

Morning all! Today I am sharing very exciting interview with an amazing creative duo as part of my Creative Inspirations series. Vivid are an arty duo living and creating in Edinburgh, Scotland, with a passion for eco-friendly and quirky gifts. They write a stellar craft blog and stock illustrated stationery, prints, bags and accessories in their fabulous Etsy store. One of my favourites for sure! I’ll hand over to Vicky now…..

Vivid Please Prints

Tell us a little about yourselves and Vivid Please! How did it all begin?

Hello hello!

We are Vicky and David, the creative duo behind Vivid Please, and we’re so excited to be hanging out with you today! Well, we first met whilst working at an advertising agency. We’re both quite little people and are pretty quirky so naturally we were drawn to each other! We found we had a lot in common; we liked creating and designing and made a lot of our own stuff outside of working hours and eventually we decided to take it to the next level and started to make stuff together. It started small with cool things we’d thought up and wanted that we couldn’t seem to find in the shops and it grew from there. We found our little projects were getting a lot of attention and decided to grow our hobby into our business. It’s been a lot of hard work, but it’s a total dream!

Working as a duo must be fun?! What roles do each of you play and what’s your favourite thing about working this way?

Working as a duo is the best thing ever! We have the same sense of humour and can finish each others sentences, so it works out phenomenally when we’re working on something creative and one of us gets stuck! Having said that we do have our own roles that naturally work to each of our strengths. I (Vicky) am the one who illustrates, works on the blog posts and does a lot of the photography side of things, whereas David is the brains of the operation! Haha 😉 He does all the hard work, like designing our beautiful blog and packaging and a lot of the admin side of things. He loves a good spreadsheet!

Do you have a dedicated work space or studio?

We’re currently in a bit of a state of flux on the studio at the moment. Vivid HQ is getting a little too large for the current situation so we’re going to get a little studio space soon 🙂 Nothing lavish, just somewhere to type in peace!

Vivid Please Stationery

Because I’m a bit nosey, I love learning about people’s creative processes. How do you begin to work on new design concepts? Are you inspired by anything in particular?

Ooh! Tough question! This is the kind I love to read and hate to answer hee hee 🙂 For us, a lot of our work is based on our ridiculous sense of humor, so a lot of products derive from going out and living our lives (often in the pub!) We find it impossible to come up with something if we’re drawing a blank so there will be periods we take a break and do something else. I love looking though cookery, arts and craft books for inspiration and we both love to wander the supermarkets and check out the branding. Simple things like typefaces and colour combinations can be really inspirational if you look at it in a different light (namely not when hungry!)

When lightning strikes it will start out as a quick scribble in one of our notebooks and we take it from there. Knowing our strengths is really helpful because I’ll often think of something I can’t make, but I know David can. As we have similar tastes in graphic design, he can translate my jargon thoughts into something beautiful!

Vivid Please Pug Card

I’m a big fan of your art print cards and engraved pencils – what are your best sellers?

Aww! Thanks Claire 😀 Our little pug is everyones bestie! He’s such a little charmer that at fairs everyone wants to take him home. Our spectacular glasses cards would be a close second with our I Love You A Latte in at 3rd. They’re a lot of fun to sell at markets because people are really expressive when they look through the collection. It’s so great when they laugh out loud – we know we made it happen! As for our pencils, it’s gotta be our set that includes our “Feeling Notey”, “Yeah, Write” and “Words Are For Nerds” pencils that get the best reaction, but our new “Awesome” and “OMG” ones have been going down a real treat too! During Valentines our “Wood You Be Mine” ones get really popular too. It’s incredible how many pencil puns there are 😀

Vivid Please Brooches

Is there anything exciting ahead for Vivid Please? Can you share any secret plans for the future?

We’ve been keeping it a bit of a secret, but we’ve just been the first artist box for an awesome new crafty subscription service called Goodie Goodness. They’ve just launched this month and there has been a lot of excitement and wonderful feedback from it already. People have been blogging our products like crazy and someone even put the opening of the box on Youtube – hands down the best video we watched all year! We’re hoping to be doing more fun and creative stuff like that soon. In this business anything is possible and it’s always and adventure!

And lastly, a silly question…if you could be super heroes for the day, what powers would you have and why?!!

Best. Question. Ever.

I think my powers would be the ability to time travel. I’ve always thought I was born in the wrong era (I love the 50’s) so I would love to go back, nab me some awesome dresses and bring them to my current lifetime!

David on the other hand says he always feels he needs to be in more than one place at once. A duplicate Davey to work his day job and one to help me with the fun stuff at Vivid HQ would be ideal!

vivid-profile
Source

Thanks SOOO much for sharing your story guys! I’m totally with you on the 50s dress thing and I shall be noseying at the Goodie Goodness box asap!

Be sure to check out the Vivid Please Blog here and favourite their Etsy Shop if you like!

claireabelle

Creative Inspirations: Sarah Moore Vintage

It has been a while since my last Creative Inspirations post, so I’d like to share with you an interview with the author of one of my favourite books, Homemade Gifts Vintage Style.

I know you will all give a warm welcome to Sarah, the designer and maker behind Sarah Moore Vintage and I hope you enjoy hearing about her handmade and vintage world.

Sarah Moore VintageSource

Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you came to build a business around vintage and handmade?

The start of my vintage business was due to an impromptu addition to the suppliers page in the back of my vintage book. I have a background in cooking, running a commercial kitchen for London events company Lettice for ten years and then designing menus and service equipment for them. It was really hard work but great fun.

These guys then went on to launch a sister company called Biscuiteers. A great brand that makes amazing hand iced biscuits. I did the development for all of the recipes and designed their collections of biscuits and was asked to write a book for them. This was quite hard work, but even more fun. I talked to the team at Kyle books as we were putting the Iced Biscuits book together and pitched them ideas for a book about my other passion, Vintage.
Homemade Gifts Vintage Style was commissioned and written, about to go to print when they asked for a suppliers page at the back. I popped my name first on the list of other established suppliers and sent it off for print. I then had four months to start the business before the book hit the shelves. Since then the boundary between work and fun has been blurred. I love old stuff. Wallpapers and fabrics are my favourites and once a little pile of these had built up I wanted to use them to make lovely things to show off their beautiful designs.

What do you think it is about vintage and reclaimed items that people are drawn to?

Old fabrics and vintage pieces have that old fashioned feel of quality, care and regard that many of our newer slightly disposable homewares lack. I think that nostalgic feeling, the good ethos of making do and mending and a legacy of fantastic design makes reclaimed stuff more appealing. The magpie in people is awakened by vintage pieces too. The search is as much fun as the product. Many a trip out buying has seen the latest haul polished or washed or folded or rolled neatly on the top of the piles of yesterday’s find in our house. Only to roll down the pile and be replaced tomorrow.

I first learnt about your work through your book ‘Homemade Gifts Vintage Style’ and have since discovered your online shop, blog and studio. How do you manage to maintain a balance between the different areas of your business and what do you enjoy the most?

I am not great at balance. Blog has been neglected as I have been writing a new book and for Country Living magazine, studio screams priorities if a bespoke order is placed and shop ticks along with seasons or find dictating what is included. I love it all. apart from blog guilt!

Sarah Moore Vintage StationerySource

I’m completely smitten with your stationery range! How do you source stock and find inspiration for new product lines?

I find materials I buy very inspiring. The fabrics and wallpapers are just so colourful that you want to use them in as many ways as possible. I find my stuff by getting up early and going to markets, by popping into charity shops regularly and looking online. The stationery was produced by Kyle books as part of a collection. The mini notebooks are my favourites as they are perfect size for writing out my vintage wish lists.

You say that during busy periods you get help from locals in the surrounding villages. To what extent would you say that community is important to your work?

I love the fact that local people are involved. It has made a real connection with people from our area who I would probably not come across in day to day life. It is more like therapy than work as we gather in our village hall sewing and making.

If you had one piece of advice for fellow handmade artisans, what would it be?

Don’t undersell your pieces. It takes hours to make some things, hours to source the materials, and if you present things over the web, ages to update and pack and send your pieces. Make great things with a good design and charge what it is worth. The hourly rate will still probably be less than minimum wage!

And finally, a fantasy question. If you could have a snoop and rummage around anyone’s home, who would that be?!

The queen. I wouldn’t want to see around her smart houses, except to check out the wallpapers and fabrics. Her lofts, out building, stores and barns would be enough from all those estates. There must be some amazing wallpapers and curtains leftover from previous decorating schemes. I have some fragments of gilded plaster from frames and finials and mouldings and think there must be scope to increase these.

Thank you so much for joining us Sarah, it’s been wonderful to learn about your journey! I especially envy your charity shop visits and community sewing. What a lovely way to work. I’ll definitely be revisiting your book for some Christmas present inspiration this year.

Homemade Gifts Vintage StyleSource

Sarah has kindly offered to give away a copy of Homemade Gifts Vintage Style to one lucky reader. To enter, please complete the following steps.

Good luck!

claireabelle

Terms and Conditions:
1. This giveaway is open to UK residents only.
2. You must complete the requirements as stated above for a valid entry.
3. The giveaway will close on 7 December 2012 and the winner will be announced shortly after on this blog.
4. Sarah Moore Vintage is responsible for delivering the giveaway prize.
5. The giveaway winner will be picked at random using random.org

Update: This giveaway is now closed.

Creative Inspirations: Crafting for charity

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, following a month of crazy busy times in the day job! I’ve still been crafting and nosing when I can, so today I want to bring you another post in my Creative Inspirations series: Crafting for charity.

Twitter is a wonderful thing. Personally, I feel I get way more from it than Facebook and I feel more inspired by the creative people I follow. Two of the charities I want to talk about today I discovered via amazing Twitter followers.

Crafty Guider (Website / Twitter)

Louise is a busy mum of two, whom I have had the pleasure of meeting in real life. Oh I do love a tweet up.  She runs a jam packed Girl Guides group (there is a long waiting list!) and sells all her makes to raise money for the Girl Guiding charity. Definitely an inspiration in my eyes.

I particularly like her very professional oven mitts (Cath Kidston fabrics are always a winner) and her fabric covered mirrors were recently featured in Popular Crafts Magazine. I’m a sucker for anything fabric covered.

 

Linda Kirkbride for Estella Star Twitter

Linda is a textile artist currently supporting the Estella Star #smashsma campaign on Twitter to raise awareness of Spinal Muscular Atrophy . Baby Estella was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type One in April of 2011 and sadly she passed away in November 2011. SMA is the number one genetic cause of death in babies and affects muscular development.

Linda is working on making an art bra to raise money and awareness for SMA. Her art bras are amazing – have a look here for her creations! The bra will be made up of lots of handmade stars donated by crafters and modelled by Nicola McLean. I have made these simple crochet stars in bright coral yarn to add to the bra. They still need finishing off (blocking and weaving ends) but they are almost ready.

crochet stars by claireabellemakes

If you would like to make a star for the Estella #smashsma campaign, please contact Linda via Twitter. You can also find out more about Estella’s story and SMA on the smashsma blog. In my opinion, this is a worthwhile cause and sadly, unknown to many people.

Tiny Stitches Poppy Appeal Shop / Twitter

I first met Laura, the face behind Tiny Stitches at a craft fair in Cambridge where I bought one of her Knit Kits after getting back into knitting.

Laura offers knitted and handmade items and runs art/craft workshops across the South East. Her recent range includes knitted bouquets of flowers which I love!

She is asking people to knit a simple poppy to make Poppy Brooches in support of the Royal British Legion. Further information is displayed on the poster below. I’m definitely going to give this one a try. I’m off to a crochet flowers class this morning, so maybe after that I might be able to do a variety (wishful thinking)!

Thanks for reading this far. I felt it important to share these causes with you as I was inspired by the stories behind the craft and I hope you have been too.

If you’d like to find more campaigns to craft for charity, please visit the Crafts 4 Charity website or follow them on Twitter.

Are you making anything for charity? I’d love to hear more so please share your links below!

claireabelle x

This post has been linked at Handmade Monday.

Creative Inspirations: Span Studio

Today I want to share with you a new series on the blog called Creative Inspirations. In each post I will share with you someone or something that has inspired me.

The first of the series starts with an interview with Hannah of Span Studio.

Hannah is a fantastic blogger, crafter and all round creative type. She is so supportive of others and inspired me to learn to crochet (after seeing her fab granny square journals). Sharing her story about crafting for health and wellbeing, really stuck with me, particularly as I’ve been suffering with poor health over the last two years including a lot of migraines in recent months.

Span Studio Crochet

  • Hi Hannah! Can you start by telling us how your journey with art and craft began? 

Well I went to art college about 11 years ago so I’ve had an interest in arts and crafts for a while now. Since then I dabbled in bits and bobs but would put would it back down for a long time, years sometimes. However 6 years ago everything changed as my head started to spin and it never stopped, I had to finish work and I kinda felt pretty worthless after that, then I was given a sewing box that was my grandmothers and in it there was a little broken crochet hook, I had no idea what it was but I researched it and found some youtube videos and gave it a go. The hook must have been a 2mm and it was broken in half but I spent hours crocheting the same stitch over and over and ended up with very holey, very wobbly fabric. And I loved it! I felt so proud and for that short while I wasn’t concentrating on how my head was spinning. So it all went from there. I have learned and had a go at many crafts since then but crochet is always me go to craft. It calms me.

  • What or who has been your biggest craft inspiration?

I am continually inspired by the awesome people I meet on-line and I am very lucky that most of the women in my family are creative, I have many things in my home made by those I care about from embroidery pieces to handmade bags, they inspire me.

  • You openly talk about how embracing your creativity has helped you live with health issues. What advice would you give to fellow crafters in similar situations?

Trust the process. Being creative is fun and rewarding but you get a lot more out of it if you just let go and enjoy the journey. Creating helps bring you into the moment helps you not dwell on what you have lost, on those hospital appointments you are worried about and what might happen. For that time you are just someone enjoying being creative. Watch children as they play with materials, they totally get it.

  • I know we and other crafters always have a continuous to-do list of projects and always strive to learn new skills. I love your idea of a Craft Bucket list – how did this come about and what have you learnt since you started it?

The craft bucket list came about as I kept finding more and more things I wanted to try,  they were going into my bookmarks and being forgotten about so I decided to write a  list. There’s no deadline so there’s no pressure, its all about having fun and discovering new things to try, I have already discovered mosaics and weaving both of which I really enjoyed and have plans to do more 🙂

Span Studio Mosaic Tray

  • My short experience of the craft blogging community has been overwhelming and I can’t believe I missed out on all these people with common interests for so long. I wish someone had told me about it sooner! What has you experience of the blogging community been like? Any revelations?

My biggest revelation is that people want to make authentic and honest connections. They are actually interested in who you are how you feel and if you allow it you will be shown great kindness and acceptance. Blogging has changed my life, it has widened my world and I have been given many opportunities I could only dream of because of it.

  • Now for a fantasy question…..If money and time were no object, what would be your ultimate crafting experience?!

Oh my I love this question! It’s a dream of mine to go to a art/craft retreat. learn new skills and take long walks in the countryside and eat gorgeous locally sourced food. hmmmm.

Crochet Buttons by Span Studio

  • Your new crochet buttons are a fantastic hit already, but what is next for Span Studio?

I am currently developing a pdf for people to download so they can have a go at making the buttons themselves. After that I don’t know, I never know what’s next I just go with where my instinct takes me 🙂

Hannah regularly contributes to Popular Crafts magazine and can be found blogging over at Span Studio. Be sure to take a look at her crochet buttons available on Etsy too! All images in this post are courtesy of Span Studio.

claireabelle x

I have shared this post over on Handmade Monday, so do pop on over and see what everyone has been up to!

Instalife July 2016

July was a fun month and also passed by in a flash. I really tried hard to take some time out, but there was a lot happening behind the scenes that kept me busy so it wasn’t always easy! I promise I’ll share more soon. If you kept up with my Instagram feed you will have seen my updates from the studio. Here’s a recap!Claireabellemakes-Instalife-July-2016-Studio

Feature on Yellowstone Art Boutique / Studio time / Craft Party venues

Getting organised, Scrabble style / Studio Flowers / Behind the scenes

A rare shot of a tidy desk / Weekly planning / Sewing cat cushions
Claireabellemakes-Instalife-July-2016-Shop

Working on custom orders and developing new products

Releasing Sew Crafty prints / Sharing Collaborative prints

My thoughts on collaborative projects / Le Tour bracelets! / Customer snapsClaireabellemakes-Instalife-July-2016-Cambridge

Sunshine cycling / Lunchtime strolls in Cambridge / Punting on the river

Orla Kiely Bike Spotting / Wisteria / Florence 

August is going to be a month of organisation (the studio is being sorted at long last!) and lots and lots of planning. Be sure to keep up with me on social media to see what’s to come! Thanks for coming back during my sporadic blogging spree!

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