I've just put some of my new mokuhanga prints in my online shop. I printed these while I was in Japan and have just completed signing and preparing them. There are two versions of this little imaginary trumpet flower, one in blues and one in red and green...And there are blue and pink peonies too.Hope you'll pop by my shop and consider a purchase for yourself or as a gift!
My friend Nathan asked me to create some illustrations for his wedding invitations, and I came up with several ideas for the three different event cards. Each card had a slightly different level of formality, so I tried to accommodate that.I also drew a little vignette of their names for the cards, that could be used on various stationery. I was asked for 'rustic but stylish', as the wedding was in Yosemite National Park, so I thought about the time I'd been there, and concentrated on the sweeping views and sequoia trees. The first event was on the lawn at the Wawona hotel, where I drew the lovely floral arrangements in the glowing early evening light.The wedding ceremony took place on the lawn of the Ahwahnee hotel, with the glorious mountains as a backdrop, on a perfect summer day.As a wedding favour each guest was given a waterbottle with my illustration of Half Dome on, but as a special thank you, Nathan and Strawn gave me a set of glasses as well, and I couldn't resist taking this picture. Congratulations to the happy couple!
The new HOBBS store in High Street Kensington, London is open! And lots of my specially commissioned illustrations are framed and decorating the walls...I was asked to create illustrations for the stores, in a variety of styles, that reflected their values of quality and British heritage.I also made a special map of the surrounding area showing the wonderful buildings and streets you can explore near the new store. I highlighted some of the HOBBS iconic fashion items...
... and of course a countryside feature, the pheasant!I also did some hand-lettered quotes, some etchings, and included some pages from my sketchbooks.I hope you'll be able to visit and let me know what you think. Happy shopping!
Thanks to Nick Jesse for the store photos.
I'm in London for an early Spring, and enjoying the flowers in the changeable weather. I've been experimenting with mixing watercolour and pen and ink, and drew some peonies for my mum.I visited Petersham Nurseries with my parents and had a lovely lunch, and I wished I could take every single flowering plant home with me...
Last weekend we went to the Joshua Tree National Park, and I fell in love with the hot desert air, the tiny delicate flowers, and the freaky weird, but gorgeous trees...It was like being in a prehistoric land, I expected dinosaurs behind every boulder.The desert flowers bloom around about now, and finding them was a joy.
I went to the launch party of the new Bonaveri mannequin collection 'Aloof' this weekend, hosted by Blue Studio (a favourite client of mine) in London. The display of the mannequins, the delightful dinner and the utterly gorgeous display of peonies and poppies was truly wonderful. I hope I can work on a window display soon!
Designing and illustrating for my own wedding has been a pleasure. Stressful, but full of joy too. I created all the stationery first, with a green/pink/brown/white colour palette, and occasional border of green watercolour leaves, and then carried this through all the wedding elements. Simplicity was the key to everything. The reception was held at the Black Barn, in Berkshire (UK), a huge barn on a working farm, and a delightful setting for a perfect day. They don't have many weddings there, and I was free to create everything just how I wanted it...My brother Kenji was in charge of the bar (he's a drinks specialist) and he created a welcome punch for the guests, with watermelon hearts on the glasses, and special cocktails for the evening. I made the signage for both in the wedding colours.My friend Karen made bunting out of different shaped paper doilies and green ribbon, which we hung inside and outside the barn. I had lots of fun with the flowers, which I bought from New Covent Garden market and arranged with my mum, in my personal collection of vintage bottles, jars, and white ceramic jugs. The interior of the barn still takes my breath away. I wanted it to be pretty, welcoming, and sparkling, and retain the essential "barn-ness" of the venue itself. To create a glowing atmosphere, I used festoon lights for the ceiling, hung by the amazing James and Chris of acdisco, and smaller pinlights from thinkgadgets for the columns. My friend Alvin, of YMK design, oversaw all the technical aspects of the styling and installation.
I painted the seating plan as vines with leaves, in the U shape of the table layout.In the entrance to the barn, photos hung on twine with wooden pegs (along with some framed photos of the bride & groom). Alvin took fun photos at the wedding with a mini polaroid camera, and these were also hung up for everyone to see.
On the opposite side of the entrance was the centre-piece of the reception: the cake table. Friends brought hand-made cakes, meringues and puddings, and my friend Anna styled the table to look irresistible.
I made hand-written doilie labels for the desserts, with the baker's name, aswell as the type of cake. I also made doilie candles in various heights, containing battery-operated tealights, for all the tables. Our official photographer Sonja Read took these beautiful photos of the cake table.
My dad made our gorgeous wedding cake; three tiers of homemade fruit cake heaven...At the end of the cake table was a mini sweet shop. Everything came from my favourite treat website, Chorley & Baker. We had sugared almonds, milk bottles, gummy hearts, and apple bon-bons, all chosen with the wedding colours in mind.My friend Alex at ChocoYou even made delicious little hand-made chocolates with an edible version of my vignette illustration on them!
My dad also made some lovely wine bottle labels, using elements of my illustrations. Each label had a portrait of us, and a quote about love.The amazing Street Kitchen provided the catering. They parked their airstream just outside the barn, and everyone went up to collect their food. For the main course, I used eco-friendly plates that matched the barn, that we could recycle,
I bought plates from Portobello market, thrift stores in San Francisco, and charity shops all over London, and then created a dotty calligaphy font in ceramic paint, which could be baked on, to become permanent.It was our dream wedding, and I'd like to thank everyone who helped us with all the planning, designing, installation and clean-up (especially Johan, our wonderful DJ friend). It simply wouldn't have been possible without the help of all our friends and family.
Everything was perfect, and I'm full of love for all of you...especially my adorable new husband.
I did a few sketches while at my friend Karen's wedding. It was held in the University Chapel in Glasgow, which was rather grand and imposing, but everyone was so happy and beautiful it felt warm and cosy. I really adore Scottish weddings, with all the men wearing kilts...Karen's dress was classical and simple...The flowers at the reception was adorable, lots of anemones and simple glass jam jar holders.