STICKERS! As I said on Tuesday the new issue of Marie Claire Runway has a sheet of free stickers inside for you to customise your cover, your phone, your stapler, a lampost, your coffee cup or the person sitting next to you. It also has interviews, all the facts you need on the new Spring trends, two quizzes, some pictures of dogs, and lots and lots of pictures of beautiful clothes. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I do making it.
I’ve mentioned before my love of seemingly pointless little bits of printed paper and ephemera. It’s a love that isn’t going anywhere any time soon, in fact if anything I think it might be growing.
At college I was quite organised with my scraps of serviettes, ticket stubs and foreign sweet packets and I kept them all filed in a series of photo albums. Over time these albums have been neglected and now my precious pieces of paper are stored in drawers; knicker drawers, sock drawers, knife, fork and spoon drawers. Essentially anywhere in the house that I can tidy them away quickly always promising that I Will Deal With Them One Day. Well, that day has come. Having found two lovely large box frames at a boot sale the other day I realised they would be the perfect showcase for my papery bits ‘n’ bobs.
I have made one for my bedroom and one for the lounge. I painted the backing card the colour of the walls and mounted the pieces using a mixture of spray mount, foam pads (the kind used in Decoupage to give height) and small dress making pins. I didn’t want all the pieces to be stuck down flat so using a mixture of these three sticky things I was able to keep a nice variety of heights and shapes.
Some of the pieces are personal to me; that’s my birth announcement in the bottom right. Some are holiday reminders; Finn Air towelette anyone? But all of them have a nice bit of design going on and inspire me every time I look at them.
If you want to start (or develop) your own paper addiction then always look in the small dusty boxes at car boot sales and junk shops or head over to Present and Correct for your next fix.
I have a bit of a problem with diaries, every year I buy one, get all stressed about filling it in incase I ruin it by spelling something wrong or writing in the wrong date and then by February I give up entirely and frustrate my friends for the rest of the year by never being entirely sure what I’m doing when.
I got a bit better when I invented my month-to-view printouts that I used to design every three months typing in each date individually and then carrying the A3 printouts round folded up in my bag or clipped to a massive clipboard…
This year I thought maybe a year planner would be my best bet, something so big that I would always know where it was and could quickly see how my year was panning out. I found some really nice ones online …
Doodlelove £12.50 Love the little sayings at the beginning of each month but couldn’t quite get my head round the months going from top to bottom rather than left to right.
Lollipop designs £14 Love this but ditto the above
Present and Correct £11 how cool is the idea that you tear off the days as you go but the year seems to work backwards which made my brain hurt a little
Crispin Finn £12.50 Crispin colours everything he does in a limited palette of red, white, blue and brown paper and what’s not to like about that.
but none were quite right … so I made my own.
Granted it almost drove me insane drawing all the boxes and typing in the numbers and I did waste most of January doing it but it’s just the colours I want and now I’ve done it once it’ll be easy to update for next year. It cost me £10 to get it printed at the local print shop and hopefully, maybe I’ll be more organised from now on.
It’s that time of year again, when it snows and we freeze and Fashion starts to tell us what we will be wearing when it stops snowing and we thaw out. Over at Marie Claire we’ve been slaving away to make another delicious edition of our fashion bible Runway.
Inspired by next seasons trends and also the 60′s design movement known as Supergraphics this issues design is bright, bold and striking. I made this Pinterest board for inspiration.
Like fashion Marie Claire Runway is …
educational (er, i’m sure you can learn important life lessons from a skirt)
informative (again, trousers have a lot to say if only we’d listen)
Unlike fashion Marie Claire Runway is in the shops for a limited period from today so go get yours NOW!
My new house (I’ve moved don’t you know) has walls, lots of walls. My old house only had room for one large picture but now everywhere I look there is a wall crying out for a poster, a print or a photograph.
I have a problem buying art. A lot of the things I like I think I could either A: Do myself if I had the time. Or (more often) B: Get so jealous that I couldn’t do it myself that though I love it I feel ever so slightly depressed when ever I look at it.
But today I have found a brilliant website that has so many prints I like that I could probably do the whole house in one go. It all started when I was looking online for a Charley Harper print (no, not a picture of Charlie Sheen’s character in Two and A Half Men, that is this Charlie Harper), I love his graphic style and bold colours, I love the fact that he illustrated Betty Crocker’s Dinner for Two Cookbook in the 50′s, I love it all really.
So I’m very excited that I’ve found Elphicks an online shop (and actual shop in Columbia Road, London) that has so many prints I want to own. Right. Now.
The prints range from small to large, cheap to a bit spenny. There are Limited Edition Prints, Signed Prints, Litho, Lino, and Screen prints, Giclee prints and Tiny prints (lots are sold as more purse friendly greetings cards).
To see the rest of Elphicks collection head over there now (or click on one of the above prints)
I still think the Charley Harper will be the first purchase though.
Long before The Devil Wears Prada there was another film documenting the cut throat world of women’s magazines and it’s one of my favourite films of all time. Funny Face was released in 1957 staring the wonderful Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire and Kay Thompson. A 1950′s musical set in a magazine that goes to Paris for a fashion shoot, what’s not to love? The opening song to the film Think Pink pretty much sums up everything that I love about magazine design. Not only did it give me my love of strong typography (just look at those massive numbers), it also gave me a brilliant mantra to design magazines by … A magazine must be like a human being. If it comes into the home it must contribute, it just can’t lie around. A magazine must have blood and brains and pizzazz. The way the song is directed and filmed is perfect. Strong, dynamic and beautiful; just how all magazines should be. Click the below picture to watch the video. you’ll be glad you did. If I ever get a little stuck for ideas I give it a watch. One of the things I love most is how though the Editor is dictating that every woman in America must wear pink, she stays in classic black. Some things never change!
Now I know we’ve only just started enjoying the summer but may I turn your attention to the season of beautiful coats and crazy fur, massive hats and embellished bags as today the new issue of Marie Claire Runway is out. Showcasing the latest trends hot from the catwalks of New York, Milan, London and Paris, we’re showing you what you (and the highstreet) will be inspired by when the days turn chilly (hopefully not next week). Giving you all the backstage news and gossip and interviewing design greats including Frida Giannini, Alber Elbaz and we also snuck backstage at Vuitton …
Hung out with some Fraggles …
Got a new font …
Did some more patterns that make your eyes go bonkers …
Found a new illustrator. The amazing Nina Cosford who drew my favourite thing in the whole magazine …
Got slightly freaked out by some of the beauty looks
And also got a cover that not only had a beautiful foil title but also a super shiny bit and a matter than matt black bit.. you really need to buy it to appreciate it, it’s soooooo strokable (and smells good too)
For inspiration when designing the magazine I created this strange story about a eccentric Victorian who traveled the world collecting and cataloging the peculiar people he met, curiosities he found and experiences he encountered. I visited the great Horniman Museum in South London for inspiration and trawled car boot sales for odd artifacts (the camera used in our photo diaries is one such car boot booty). Lots of the Victoriana references were left out of the final design as it was tricky to stop it turning into a bad pastiche or something you’d buy from ‘Ye Olde Victorian Tourist Shoppe’ (est.2010). The final design is much slicker but still has little nods to my crazy Victorian anthropologist.
This was my Pinterest inspiration board. Click the image to see more …
All in all it was a joy to work on and you should probably go Buy. It. Now.
We all know I like a bit of typography and last night whilst watching telly, surfing the net and cutting one million and one felt circles for a new project I visited my friends Master E’s excellent blog social nesting.com and spotted these paper platesI’d seen these plates before and though I love them I wasn’t sure what I could use them for… I knew I would never be able to eat off them as they were Just Too Pretty. But the wonderful Master E has come up with a cunning plan. His blog is full of crafty makes, junk shop finds and renovation projects which make him (in my eyes) the UK’s Grace Bonney (though he may or may not be actually Canadian, (apologies E if you are or aren’t and I’ve offended you one way or the other!)) and by simply sticking the plates up on the wall of a nursery he has created a thing of genius. Clever boy. Fortunately the designers of these plates have also created notebooks and mugs so Im sure I’ll be purchasing something from them very soon… Visit Socialnesting.com here and Magpie Designs here
Today’s post is bought to you by the letter A
1. This letter A is only 7cm high
2. It’s made of metal painted red which is really chipped off.
3. I found it in the street by a bin (classy). I looked around for the rest of the word but couldn’t find it … maybe it was actually in the bin. (I have limits you know)
4. I wish it didn’t have the annoying metal bar sticking out the back, although it has helped it stand up for this photograph.
5. It could be Qurillian or Kerater font, whatever it is I like its pointy top, it feels a bit 1920′s to me.
6. Good words that begin with A are: aquaduct, antidote and archipelago.
This morning a Little Parcel of Joy turned up in my letterbox. It was a stack of paper. How does that give you joy? I hear you ask. Well, this wasn’t a boring stack of A4 printer paper or a pile of forms needing to be filled in but an Instant Collection of Paper from presentandcorrect.com a wonderful website full of unusual stationery, old office supplies and random bits of paper ephemera they have collected on their travels round the world.
I stared at my paper packet for a while trying to guess what the snippets of words I could see spelled out and what the interesting patterns belonged to and then decided if I opened it I would have a much better chance of finding these things out.
Here are my spoils.
I love my bits of paper, they have no real use to me apart from looking lovely. I’ll probably pin them and frame them as if they were rare butterflies and hang them In The New House. They fascinate me as to where they’ve come from and what stories they could tell so with the aid of Google translate, my imagination and Wikipedia I’ve imagineered what I could use them for …
(from top left to right)
I could …
1. Write a letter to a far off land.
2. Draw a bar chart or play Battleships
3. Import grapes (1933 vintage) from Crete to Paris neatly recording when they come in and when they go out and how many bunches I have in stock.
4. Buy a hotel with one room. Start a lending library of my personal books to said room (let’s call it room one) and become a slightly officious librarian in a beige pink cardigan smelling faintly of mint imperials.
5. Travel to Germany and visit the Town Formally Known As Karl Marx City*. When there find a farm where happy pigs wear chefs hats and see if I can taste a sample of their quality combined meat lard. Yum.
6. Write in my best hand my name and display it somewhere about my person when I am in a stranger filled environment.
7. Board a train travelling through Germany (maybe to Chemnitz) during World War One and take a job as a waitress in the buffet carriage**. Take someones order and try not to spill hot coffee on them. (Unless they looked spylike.)
8. Find eight of something and give it this sticker.
9. As above (but for 6. Maybe some eggs).
10. Use these stickers to identify two similar things, maybe two notebooks. I would call them Book 1 and Book 2.
11. Check out the Dependable Hardware Service store*** for its values. (Probably monetary, possibly spiritual.)
12. Make a batch of Double Blackberry and Grape jam.
13. Save up all my sixpences till I have reached one whole pound**** then take them to Lloyds bank and ask the advice of a Bank Manager on how best to invest them (or put them under my mattress. Same difference)
14. Invent an automatic bingo caller and play a solitary game of bingo. House!
15. Write another number in this round circle and stick it on something.
16. Sit and ponder what use this card had for a long time and not come any closer to deciding what it did!
17. Mark down by a couple of Euro’s some overpriced stock I’ve been trying to sell for a while. (Jetzt means ‘now’ in German)
*between 1953 and 1990 the German town of Chemnitz was known as Karl Marx City, It has a population of 3.5 million. None of these 3.5 million are or ever have been Karl Marx.
** Mitropa was a German catering company for the railway, it had sleeper and buffet carriages on trains from 1916 till 2002. Now it has cafes in stations. Here is the Mitropa logo. Very German. Very nice.
As I’ve said I love my bits of paper but now I feel I know a little bit of history about them I love them that little bit more. If you want to get your own packet of paper history click here Jetzt.