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Showing posts with label interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label interview. Show all posts

03: Inspiration - Nature in the (my) Home - Hannah (Seeds & Stitches) house tour...

Hannah and I have a mutual love of nature, crafting and interiors.  Her blog was one of the very first I followed when I started out four years ago, blogging.  During this time I have seen Hannah's then London flat, grow and transform, the birth of Frankie and then their move to the country.  Her style is natural, colouful, crafted and uniquely Hannah - which I adore!

I am delighted Hannah has given me a little house tour... over to Hannah!

We moved from our little London flat into a 3 story Kentish cottage a little less than a year ago. Our new home coincided perfectly with my newfound plant obsession. All surfaces were viewed through the lens of potential plant worthiness, and instead of unpacking boxes I was furtively buying new plants on the ebay app. “Just checking my emails!” I’d say, as my husband unloaded crates of crockery. And so our home slowly filled with ferns, palms and succulents, placed carefully around the mounds of boxes.

Our move also took us much closer to the beaches and the forests of Kent, so before long, the plants found themselves jostling for space with piles of dried seaweed, stones and shells from the beach and acorns and branches both big and small from the forest.

I am literally always on the hunt for natural treasures. Every time I leave the house I return with a little (or a big) something stashed away in my pockets or basket. Having a toddler gives me more of an excuse to stop and admire the stones or pick wildflowers or weeds. But I’ve always done it.

Soon, and rather unexpectedly, we are leaving our ramshackle Kentish monolith. (Ok, monolith may be a slight exaggeration. It just felt like that when we moved from our little 2 bed flat) so I was prompted recently to take some photos of the beast, in memoriam. And, in exchange for Lou’s lovely words on Seeds and Stitches, here are some words, and a little tour of the nature in my home, for Little Green Shed.

The kitchen has 3 windowsills and 3 big windows, so most of the plants reside there, in varying states of protest over the too high/too low light levels. I am learning more everyday about such things.

Frankie's Room
I am a little obsessed with sticks. We have a huge one above our kitchen table (devilishly hard to photograph) and other branches all over the house. We often paint or wrap wool around them too, like the stick mobile I made for Frankie-Rose’s room.

Beach treasures in the hall
Living by the sea is wonderful for many reasons, not least the treasures she posits on the beach for eager eyed beach combers like Frankie Rose and I. I love the almost architectural form of this dried seaweed, collected from Whitstable beach. We have beautiful gnarled or pockmarked shells with glistening iridescent interiors and sea-smoothed beach stones in little stacks all over the house.

We spend most of our time in the kitchen downstairs, so most of the plants live there too, where we can watch and fret over them, and bicker about who’s over or under watering them. So the lounge harbours our sturdiest plants. An enormous Mother-in-Laws tongue stands sentinel next to the telly, a sturdy 8 pronged cactus guards the sideboard (along with more beach treasures) and a virulent spider plant that I am eagerly awaiting to self-propagate hangs by the sofa in a home made hanging plant holder.

We have a cactus in the bedroom too, again chosen because it requires almost no attention, yet provides its sleeping neighbours with air purification at night.

We change the natural decorations in the house according to the seasons, give or take some time for procrastination and busyness. It’s Summer and I look around me and the house is covered with beach treasures. In Autumn we paint dried leaves and hang them on the wall, and gather acorns in bowls. In Winter we keep evergreen branches in vases on the table and paint sticks to display around the house. In Spring, we dry little wild flowers and make them into a garland, etc etc. 

It’s good, we’ve found, to be grounded in the seasons, to be more aware of what’s happening outdoors, and to be in the fresh air as much as to-do lists allow. Its good for sleep and room to think. Good to leave the laptop and housework behind. Good for tiring hyper toddlers. Good for the soul.

Thank you Hannah!  I wholeheartedly agree, it is good for the Soul.  Having tactile reminders of the seasons passing.  I adore your home, it's sad you are moving, but I look forward to reading your next adventure and how you make the next house a home.

I write a monthly column for Seeds & Stitches on Nature in the Home, you can read my last post here.

02: Inspiration - Nature in the Home - Kirsten Rickert

A while ago I came across Kirsten Rickert's incredible instagram feed, and fell in love. Her beautiful, dreamy, evocative images of her daughters, nature and art are so incredible I just had to share them with you.  I am delighted that Kirsten agreed to a little interview, I know you will love her work just as much as I do...

Please could you introduce yourself and tell us a little about what you do?

You will find me in the garden, woods, or in a field of wildflowers. I always have busy hands, making, creating and foraging for collected natural treasures. I grew up in an alternate area of subtropical Australia, when I left home I travelled around the world solo for many years. I started university in my mid twenties, studying fine art. I finished my degree at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Then I had babies! We now live just outside of Manhattan where I spend my time homeschooling our two daughters. My role of mother comes first, woven into this role I am a freelance artist, writer and photographer, contributing to magazines internationally. I am also trying to write a book! 

You have a love of nature, that is evident in your photography, can you tell us where this love began?
I was very fortunate to grow up in a part of the world that is like paradise. My mother's family have farms and many hours of my childhood were spent roaming paddocks, playing in the dam and creek, jumping off waterfalls and beach combing. As a child I did not know how lucky I was, I did not know any different. Years of traveling as an adult brought home to me just how fortunate I was to grow up in this area. There are many beautiful places in the world, but I realised that a place where you can grow a massive variety of fruit and vegetables all year round and I place with untreated clean/fresh water, and incredible diversity of plants and animals is really a special place. Over time it sinks in that these are the things that really matter, not just for me, but everyone. The area I grew up in also has a lot of alternate thinkers and environmentalist, so you could say my love of nature was in the air I breathed. My family worked very hard to have the land that they have and I am so very grateful for my childhood spent on it. It was very simple, and basic and humble, and my family were not rich in money, but I look back now and think wow, I was blessed I was to have a connection to this land, the plants and the animals. 

You have traveled the world, where do you consider home?
Home is Australia, this area I talk about above, on far north coast of NSW. One day we will return. My family are waiting for us to hurry up and move back! In my dreams we build a home and settle for good on my Aunt and Uncle's property in the rain forest. In the meanwhile I have easily have made myself at home in other places along the way. 

I love how creative you are, where does your inspiration come from? 
Looking out my window, the environment and my daughters. I really try and be inspired by what is happening right before my eyes. I am also inspired by things I see happening in the environment that I wish were not happening. Like the decline of the honey bees, chemicals being sprayed on crops, monoculture, genetic modified food, poor treatment of animals, excessive consumerism, plastic, and basically the earth's resources being misused...all of these things fuel my passion to create for change. I am conscious to use my creativity in a positive way that adds something to life, but does not cost the earth greatly. We all want beauty in our life, but to me something is only beautiful if it is good from the roots, if it comes from a good place, with good conscious intention/decisions. I was thinking earlier today as I was sorting some shells how much I dislike those white store bought starfish you see in homes. To me, when I see them sitting in windows and on coffee tables, I don't think "What a lovely seaside trinket" I think of those poor starfish being mass harvested from the ocean, killed and then bleached! Three things that are really actually terrible. It makes my wonder why people would want that "energy" in their space. A souvenir like that, to me does not convey a good experience. I am always surprised that people do not use their imaginations to consider how things end up in a store for sale. Anyway...with that said, my goal is to source things and create in a gentle way, as much as possible. 

What is your favorite time of year? 
Well each season appeals to me for one reason or another, I find something to look forward to with each change the weather brings. I love the change of season, I get excited like a child. I grew up with only two seasons, summer and what might be considered Autumn and so this experience of living in the north east of America has been a treat as there are really distinct seasonal changes. It has been a novelty and a great source of inspiration. I suppose if I have to choose, it would be spring, for the flowers and that wonderful feeling of awakening and new life after a long winter, it is such a celebration..ooohhh but I love Christmas time too! 

You involve you daughters in most of your creative projects, do they help you in the making? 
Yes, the girls are always involved one way or another, and I see this deepening as they get older because they seem to be getting more and more involved. Beyond helping me forage and collect and be my models, I ask them to share their creative opinions too. They give me feedback and together we discuss what we think works. I love that we work together. It is one of the great experiences of homeschooling, they are learning and creating right along with me. 

You use a lot of plants & flowers in your art, where do source your supplies? 
Generally I use whatever I can find abundant and free in the environment. Things growing in my garden, or things I see while out walking. I work with found seasonal flora, sticks, rocks, feathers, or any other natural items that I stumble across or that stands out to me. Like for instance the other day our neighbour trimmed his trees and the girls and I collected all of the cuttings and then the next moment I was laying the leaves all over our attic floor...I needed to work with the leaves, they were just sitting there and I was compelled to make them a creative medium so that they were not wasted! If you go for a drive with me in the country side I will pull the car over and stop a zillion times to look at things growing along the side of the roads. My children are very patient! If I am not working with things from nature, I look for recycled materials that are also free and abundant, like cardboard! 

Do you have any tips for my readers on how to display nature in the home? 
Hmmm... I do not know that displaying nature in my home is my strong point. We certainly have a large collection of found things from nature, but I do not think we display things in the best possible way. We have moved a lot the past few years and we often talk about moving back to Australia so I have not invested in household furniture or put much thought into decorating, because our situation is temporary. We have lots of collections in baskets and bottles and things sitting along the fireplace mantle. I think if I knew we were settled then I would apply my creativity to displaying/decorating within our home with more enthusiasm. 

Finally, what is your favorite flower? 
Oh I do not have one favorite! Certain flowers definitely evoke emotion and memories for me, I grew up with subtropical flowers and now live in a very different climate. I would say I have favorite flowers depending on the geography, climate and season. I could not possibly choose just one. All flowers are beautiful in there own way, but it is the combination of scent and the beauty and the nostalgia that pulls the heart strings... from my childhood it would be gardenias, jasmine, frangipani...more recently with the change of geography and climate I have fallen in love with cherry blossoms, roses and iris. Oh I love flowers, there are so many more I want to add to the list! 

Thank you Kirsten!  You are such an inspiration, you have certainly inspired me to get out there, a create works of natural art... I might start with a mandala this weekend.  

I wholeheartedly agree with the starfish thing. I must admit I have one, it was a gift from my grandmother, so although it's a horrible thought what happened to the starfish and the process, I can't bear to part with it because it came from her!  Taking items from nature, should be a free flowing process, never taking much, nor anything living (shellfish etc).  I think that you, Kirsten, do it with such grace, and mindfulness, we should all follow your lead.

01: Inspiration - Nature in the Home - Philippa Stanton aka 5ftinf...

I love Instagram. I am on there all day, checking in on friends, posting images of my life and discovering great talent.  One of which is Brighton based Philippa Stanton.  As soon as I saw her feed I fell in love.  Table top images of flowers, and daily ephemera.  And it seems most IG like it too with over 303,000 followers and counting!  

So, what better person to interview about her still life images and her love of flowers for #natureinthehome?  Over to you Philiippa...

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about what you do?
I am Philippa Stanton, and I am an artist... I mostly use synaesthesia to create abstract paintings of the visual textures, colours and shapes I experience when either listening to music, people talking, or simply taste or smell. ( I also paint sea with boats, and snow with huts.) 

When I was younger I used to watch Roy Castle on Record Breakers and think he was amazing because he did so many different things: Amongst other things; tap dancing ( he held a record for the most taps in a minute at one point, I think ), playing the trumpet, singing, acting, presenting...and generally being a nice man. I thought all his talents were amazing and highly enviable... But one day mum said to me: "Roy Castle should have been a big star worldwide, but he's just too good at too many things" I was shocked that being good at lots of things could be a problem!! There was SO much I wanted to do, and which I knew I'd be good at, but my mum saying that about Roy Castle kind of worried me... 

At school I was always torn between art and drama, but I wasn't naturally good at drawing, and acting came very easily. So after 6th form, I briefly decided that I'd combine both art and theatre, and study History of Design, as I knew that the social history behind design would be very useful background for being in plays. I arrived at Manchester Poly and almost instantly knew I had made the wrong decision, even though I loved the subject. So, to cut a long story short, I left early and went on to train at RADA. ...

Another long story later, and also cut short, is that after a lot of theatre work, I had a child, moved to Brighton, had a long period of unemployment, and then an awful divorce... I started to paint was an expression of me without having to talk about anything. I painted what was going on inside my head, and painting therefore anchored a large part of my creative self. 

Subsequently, what has gone on over the last 9 years has been a journey of creativity born out of sheer necessity, and a creative journey that is still evolving and developing... I have realised that creating, making and documenting is just who I am, and where I'm at my best, although I am still in the process of trying to make that all into a more sustainable way of life. Everything I do, be it making lampshades from vintage maps, taking photographs (or even still acting occasionally), has become a way of trying to make a self-employed living from being able to do lots of things. Obviously I'm in no way on Roy Castle's level, (although there's still time for me to catch up!), and there's a trumpet on top of my wardrobe still waiting to be played! 

Where does your love of flowers come from? 
My love of flowers comes from my love of detail, I think. Ever since I can remember, I loved being in the garden looking at every element of a plant. I remember endlessly taking apart the buds of Hebe's, just to find out what was in the centre, and being amazed at the colours and beautiful prettiness in the petals of London Pride, which from a distance looked like nothing much at all, and which had strangely disproportionate leaves. I remember a school project where I had to collect and name wild flowers, which I loved, and one Christmas being given a giant flower press. 

My mum always sent me out to pick a bunch of flowers ( probably just to get me out from under her feet ), but I always loved it and she always told me the names of what I'd picked. I remember picking laburnum once, and being fascinated by the individual yellow flowers which made up the drooping shape, and then being terrified when my mum told me that it was poisonous. I wouldn't walk under the yew tree in case a berry accidentally fell into my mouth... (she'd read out a newspaper article about a child who had been poisoned by yew!).

I think poisonous plants scared me because I was naturally inclined to investigate plants and flowers...picking them apart so that I could see every part of them, and then to think that they could kill me was terrifying to a 7 year old, so I became even more interested in them; looking them up and reading about them, and my Granny had no end of books and also the most amazing garden ever. I would bring things in and she would tell me their names. She would send me out to look for things ( often for her flower arrangements ) and I was very proud once when I brought her in a perfect skeleton holly leaf, as she said that to get one that perfect was rare! I could never get over, and still can't, the incredible amounts of plants that we have around is a constant lesson, and once I learn about a plant it sort of becomes a member of my family! 

So my love for flowers comes from being lucky enough to be surrounded by them as a child, and having my mum and Granny able to tell me lots about them and also share their own love of them. 

Your tabletop images on Instagram have a huge following, could you tell us about your daily vignettes?
They weren't a planned project...they were just borne out of gardening, sitting, drinking tea and wanting to bring some of my garden inside. I've had the Table for years and it's had a few different positions in the room, but where it is now, with the combination of light and texture, it seems to magically capture a quiet moment. The arrangements are a daily meditation: a visual poem or haiku. They make me stop, simplify and really concentrate on the beauty of small things, and this seems to resonate with a lot of people. 

I love how each day the same table has a different view, how do you decide what to photograph?
I'm always led by the light and the flowers themselves. Often I start the day with picking a small bunch of flowers, arranging them and then sitting, having a cup of tea, and just looking. Flowers and plants are such a good focus for an easy, everyday sort of meditation. ( as is washing up too...I don't have a dishwasher! ) Being with flowers; looking at them, and in greater detail than you think you have time for, is the best way I have to give them my respect and admiration, and I think this also may be a reason I seem to be able to capture them in photography. Colour is also important, but I never plan's just how I feel that day, as are the objects on the table which are there as a sort of balance, and usually have some sort of history attached to them.

What is your favourite season? 
My favorite season is probably Spring as it's always such a relief and also always so exciting, but I also like the calm of Winter and the challenge of making dead plants and leaves work on the Table too. 

What tips can you give my readers on floral display, arrangement and photography?
Always spend time looking at the flowers in detail...know and appreciate each stem and never overlook what they want to do. Go with their natural line, even if it's trying to do something you don't want it to. Let go of any big ideas you have for the flowers or the arrangement itself, and see what they want to do. Leaves, buds and seed heads are as important as flowers. 

Always think of how they are in nature, how they have grown, even if they are bought flowers. If you notice something slightly out of place in the photo, around the flowers, which slightly shakes the balance; adjust it. If you think that will do, the photo will never be as satisfying and calming as the arrangement you see in front of you. Still life photography is an art...not just a snapshot, and as such you need to give it time and also combine it with unthinking intuition. 

What is your favourite flower?
A very hard question...but a tulip, in bud, is a thing of amazingly simple beauty. 

Finally, I understand you will be running workshops next year, could you tell us about those?
I'm still forming the workshop idea, but I will be putting together flower arranging and still life workshops along the lines of what I've talked about here. They will be small workshops (a maximum of 10 people) which will encourage people to look for longer before 'doing', take in a whole atmosphere, and also help them look at composition and structure as well as simple mobile phone photography tips. 

Encouraging people to see in a different way; and in their own way, is very important and discovering your own view helps unlock masses of creativity. So hopefully there will be more solid plans coming together during the summer, and people should e-mail me if they want to be put on a list of those who will hear first about them.

Thank you Philippa.  I absolutely adore your work.  Such a brilliant interview too, I'd totally forgotten about the Trumpet playing, world record achieving Roy Castle!  Legend!!

Philippa is kindly giving away two mounted & wrapped prints to two lucky Littlegreenshed readers (the prints are the last two images - Bread & Pond Life).

More of Philippa's work can be found here:

To enter please complete the little rafflecopter thingy below...  Good luck

Edit:  The winners are:

Bethany - Pond Life
Catching Sundust - Bread

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GIVEAWAY - Falcon Enamelware...

No expedition into the wilds is complete without a set of Falcon Enamelware.  Come to think of it no expedition into the wilds is complete without stopping for a brew or two.  To us it's the most important part of the adventure.  Finding the perfect spot to set up camp, light a fire / kelly kettle and make a cup of tea or coffee using the aeropress.  We always take our Falcon enamel mugs with us, and on longer camping trips our tea pot comes too.

Meet the Shop - Decorator's Notebook & Giveaway...

I am super delighted today to introduce one of my March sponsors - Decorators Notebook.  I caught up with Bethan recently to ask her a few questions about her lovely shop...

Meet the Maker - Paper & Clay...

There is no stopping my love of ceramics.  Hand thrown mugs, glazed in earthy hues, paint splattered, wabi sabi in form.  Daily I pin beautiful items to my Home board, wishing my kitchen shelves contained them.  Wanting to drink my morning coffee from such beauties.  Recently I discovered the work of Brit McDaniel.  Her hand thrown Copenhagen mug had me swooning.  The line of the handle so perfectly unique, I want one!  I had to find out more, I hope you enjoy a little interview she has given us...

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about what you do? 
My name is Brit McDaniel, and I am a ceramic artist living and working in Memphis, Tennessee. I started my company, Paper & Clay, a little over a year ago, and in August of 2013 I was able to transition to full-time work with my little business. My focus is bringing a modern aesthetic to the tradition of handmade functional wares. All of my work is handmade from start to finish, by me and only me. I really enjoy the process-- starting with a lump of clay, and ending with something useful and pretty. I believe that form and function are natural bedfellows, and keep this in mind with my work. My pieces are made to be used, and to hopefully be a happy little part of your everyday experience. 

Apart from your work what else do you like doing? 
I LOVE baking. Pie, oh how I love to make a beautiful pie. And eating what I bake. Which reminds me, I also love (Bikram) yoga, but need to find more time for my practice. My jeans (and my brain) would thank me. I think many makers share this sentiment, but honestly I just love making things. Pottery, food, photographs, notes, sketches, a mess, anything. I always need to be creating something. I also really love to travel. New places and experiences are so inspirational because they give the viewer a fresh perspective.  I want to always be looking at my work differently, making improvements, and most importantly, growing. 

What is your favourite item in your shop and why? 
Oh, it’s so hard to choose a favorite. I like each of my designs for different reasons. My mugs are a labor of love. They are so involved, and perhaps because I spend so much time with each one, I fall in love a little bit with each of them. I like noticing their little distinctions, subtle differences in shape and size. But mostly I love them mugs because they are incredibly functional. They are durable and comfortable to hold. The matte glaze is smooth to the touch, and the lines are clean and simple. The old advice is, “write what you know”. I think “write what you’d want to read” is the better advice, and this translates perfectly to my work. I make the pieces that I want to have and use in my own home. 

Where does your inspiration come from? 
From so many different and unexpected places. From classic design, from beautiful photographs, from landscapes, from a place of necessity. I’m inspired by Danish design, and by many classics of the Mid-Century era. My wonderful partner, Barry, has an incredible eye for design, and has turned me on to many of my favorites (Eva Zeisel, to name just one). There’s also a secondary kind of inspiration, one that speaks to the business side of my work, and that comes from watching other people succeed on nothing more than talent and very hard work. For me, that’s the ultimate realization of happiness. Building something from nothing, and to make that something into the means by which you build your life and provide for yourself-- that is a beautiful thing. 

Describe your studio/workspace? 
It’s very small! My studio is a very dusty and sometimes very messy space, with the most amazing natural light. There are shelves everywhere which house my work in it’s various stages of completion. It’s always warm, and there is always music playing in the background. I almost always have a cup of coffee or tea by my side. 

What is a typical work day for you? 
My studio days always start with coffee at home. I  answer emails, check on new orders, and take care of other business tasks. My studio is pretty close to home, about a two mile drive. I always start with checking on work from the day before. Making sure things are drying properly, trimming and attaching handles to coffee mugs and rotating dry work into the kiln, to make room on the shelves for new pieces. I try to spend about 9 hours at the studio. I break it up into 4 hours of work, an hour for lunch and errands, and 4 more hours of work. Somedays, if I’m just not feeling it, I’ll work a few hours on other projects like cleaning and organizing my space. Other days, and especially if I’m approaching a deadline, my studio work can stretch into 12 hours or more. This can be exhausting at times, but deep down I really love pushing myself to work harder. Often it’s during these extra long days that I find ways to work better and smarter. 

Please tell us about your current loves... 
I’m totally captivated by the beautiful photo books available through Artifact Uprising. Their templates sync with your Instagram library, and you can create the most wonderful soft paper photo albums of your own images. I always love having physical prints of my images, and this is the perfect way to keep them organized. Check out their site here.
I follow and admire so many artists, photographers, designers etc., and I’m always exploring new eye candy.  Right now I am loving the work of Jared Small, a local painter here in Memphis. He paints these stunningly perfect portraits of mundane old houses from our very imperfect city. He captures their eeriness and their decay so beautifully. He is entirely self-taught, and an incredibly kind person. You can see more of his work here.
We love love love making handcrafted cocktails at home. We are big fans of Gin and Whiskey, and love experimenting with different recipes and new ingredients. One of our favorite finds is a small batch tonic called Jack Rudy. It is THE BEST. Seriously. More on JR here 
I am a lover of music of all kinds. From Joni Mitchell to Bon Iver to Maclemore. I can’t get enough. Lately though, I’ve been soaking up music with an American Bluegrass influence. I love Gillian Welch and  First Aid Kit, both of which are played in my studio daily. 

What do you love most about what you do? 
I love making something that didn’t previously exist.  I’m get to be the mother of all these little designs making their way into people’s lives across the world. There’s something really powerful about that. 

What handmade possession do you most cherish? 
Probably a my lovely handmade Walnut Rolling Pin from Board and Bread. It is so perfectly made, and combines my love of making, baking, and of the person who gave it to me. 

If you were stranded in the wilds what item would you want with you to survive? 
A furry companion of some sort. And pie. 

Where would you like to be in ten years? 
I would love to be doing exactly what I’m doing now, only better. I have a happy little home with a witty and wonderful writer, a sweet little dog, and the only cat I’ve ever loved. If I can continue my life with those three, and keep making my living as a maker, I’ll be one happy little lady. 

Where can we buy your work?
My Etsy store: Paper & Clay Studio

What a beautiful interview from an amazing talent.  You love her work right?  Brit has kindly offered an amazing giveaway to one lucky Littlegreenshed reader.

A $30 gift voucher to be used in her store.  The voucher doesn't include postage unfortunately.  Please enter the rafflecopter widget below.  Giveaway ends Midnight Saturday 1st February.  Giveaway is open to worldwide entrants.  Good luck!

Meet the Stockist - 19 Alexandra Road, Clevedon

Back in early December, I drove out of Bristol to the beautiful Victorian seaside town of Clevedon.  To meet the lovely Saunders sisters, my new stockists, at their shop 19 Alexandra Road.

The shop is situated on a beautiful leafy street just up from the old Victorian pier.  With views overlooking the park, the shop is a delight.  Full of GORGEOUS homewares.  Vintage glass bottles, handmade ceramics, prints, vintage books, furniture.  It is just perfect!

Becky and Victoria source unique vintage pieces from various local dealers and handmade craft items from local and national artists.  The feel of the shop is so welcoming, I had trouble leaving!  Wanting to take most of the stock with me.  

I did take the large brown bottle above. You might remember it in my Christmas posts, sitting proudly on my mantel.  Whilst I was there, I took many shots of the shop and asked Becky and Victoria a little about themselves....

Who are you & what do you do? 
We are Victoria and Becky Saunders or Saunders Creative. We have recently opened a new Vintage and Artisan emporium '19' in Clevedon, with our Design studio situated in the back half of the emporium. Saunders Creative produces bespoke vinyl cut designs for commercial projects, commissions and a range of products; which include hand adhered designs for prints and cards, and decals for decorating walls, mirrors & furniture. With both of our creative backgrounds and experience in retail visual merchandising expanding our business to open a shop lend itself well. 

What is your inspiration behind opening the shop? 
Our new emporium '19' is a mix of all the things we love. We wanted to bring individual pieces together in one collection to showcase our style and share it with others who love an eclectic mix of beautiful items in their homes. The emporium hosts a collection of Vintage and hand crafted interior pieces made by local makers. Situated in Clevedon, an old Victorian seaside town, the emporium couldn’t be in a more suitable place to bring Vintage into the contemporary home of our customers. Since we were very young, we have always had a dream to work together. Now we can pull our experiences and skills into one creative force, the Emporium, 19 and design studio is the result. 

How would you describe the feel of your shop? 
We wanted 19 to have a gallery / home interior feel so that when you step through the door, you were inspired. Styled displays give the customer a real sense of the pieces in the interior setting they are made for or a reuse. The interior of the emporium is constantly changing as both of us have backgrounds in Visual merchandising. We have a passion for beautiful displays and wanted each individual item  to have the space to be admire and see its unique detail. Every item in our emporium comes with a story whether it be Vintage or handmade. We want the emporium to celebrate this. 

Tell us some of your favourite pieces /designers you stock? 
Becky: A few of my favourites include the ceramics by Hans Borgonjon with beautiful metallic details, 'Misty dew' photography by Sophie Travis, who was a fellow university student and the Vintage rulers. 
Victoria: My favourite Vintage pieces are a Worcester vase with fern leaf design and an oversized bell jar, both I have to resisting taking home. We also stock furniture & my favourite piece in store today is an old school desk. I’ve taken home two prints for my walls at home one was a botanical print by Lou Archell & the other a bell jar illustration by Claire Owen.

What do you love most about what you do? 
That it combines everything we love doing in to a job. We love styling & merchandising. We love designing our own products & buying Vintage. 

Please tell us about your current loves... 
Homes / Interiors:
We believe that your home is an extension of yourself. That it reflects your life, loves and personality. A home interior is very personal and showcases the stories and history behind the person. We have slightly different loves.
Victoria: I love faded florals, botantics and Victorian romance.
Becky: I love geometrics and raw materials like concrete but the overall feel is eclectic, full with attention to detail with a mix of old and new! 

Becky: I love following blogs, they are great for keeping me inspired. My favourite, at the moment is 'a merry mishap', I love her DIY projects and her home is styled beautifully. She is a mum, blogger, stylist and jewellery maker, wow!.

Victoria: Etc, Creative walls, old classics (the covers are just as beautiful & inspiring as the story), Catherine Batola all super inspiring and add to the displays in my home.

Where are you based and why should we visit? 
We are based in Clevedon, North Somerset. Clevedon is the destination for that unexpected day out, here you can walk along the seafront, admiring the views of the restored Victorian pier and of course pop in to our emporium. Where you will find that unique home accessory either Vintage or handcrafted, also you can get a glimpse into our working design studio, which we are trying to keep tidy!!

Thank you ladies!  I LOVE your shop.  I cannot wait to pop back in a few weeks (when I've saved my pennies), such beautiful things for the home.  

I really do suggest if you are passing Clevedon via the M4 or live locally in the South West, to pay this shop a visit, it's worth the trip!

01275 340563

Makers Profile & giveaway - Eloise Renouf

I am super excited to bring you my next Makers Profile interview.  The uber talented and super whizz that is Eloise Renouf.  Designer of mid-century inspired prints, fabrics and accessories.  Her work is so inspiring.  I caught up with her recently to ask her a few questions...

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about what you do?
I'm Eloise Renouf. I'm a freelance designer and illustrator. I work on commission projects, and also sell my own range of prints and fabric accessories online. I teach part-time at Nottingham Trent University, and am a Mum to three little boys. 

Apart from your work what else do you like doing?
I enjoy spending time with my family outdoors - the opposite of what most of my work life entails. I like country walks, browsing car boot sales and flea markets, nosing around old book shops, visiting art galleries, reading (when I get the chance) and dinner with friends.

What is your favourite item in your shop and why? 
At the moment it is my new cushion - probably the grey or mustard colour way. I'm pleased with the design and the fabric quality, and it represents the direction in which I'd like to move my business forward. 

Where does your inspiration come from?
From textures and patterns I see around me, vintage books, paintings, mid century interiors, architecture, ceramics. I like the idea of taking inspiration from a three-dimensional object, and re-interpreting it in two-dimensional form.

Describe your studio/workspace?
Unsatisfactory! I work from home due to my family situation and divide my work space between the office, where I have my Mac, and the dining room table! It's far from ideal in terms of space, and being able to leave work out. But I enjoy being at home to be around the boys, and I can multi-task with some of the household chores! We're moving soon, so I 'm hoping that a large designated room will be the new reality.

What is a typical work day for you?
My work days vary widely depending on what is on the agenda. Quite often I'm juggling work with caring for our youngest son who is just fifteen months. On those days I snatch time when he has a nap, or take him with me to shop for art or sewing supplies. And I then work for several hours in the evening. On other days my Partner has our little one, and I can knuckle down for a whole day. Those days are a mix of packing and shipping orders, designing, researching, painting, emailing and sorting! I usually break around the time my big boys are back from school, and then start again after their bed time. I've become quite a night owl.

Please tell us about your current loves... 
* Photography - Instagram. It's quite addictive. It's a nice little break from work, and I like the feeling of contact with the outside world, even if you don't leave the house. There's also such a diverse range of images at your fingertips - much to delight and inspire.
* Illustration/Graphic Design - Book illustration, poster art and printmaking from the Fifties and Sixties. Robert Tavener is a current favourite.
* Home/interiors - I love browsing all the images of mid-century houses on Pinterest, and dreaming of owning one one day. Friends of ours have recently bought a fabulous example, and it's a joy to spend time there. They own and run a business selling 20th Century furniture, so the decor is perfect too.
* Blogs - I find it hard to find the time to follow blogs on a regular basis, so only occasionally dip in and out of them. I've had some lovely mentions on blogs recently and greatly appreciate these - Lisa Congdon wrote a wonderful piece about my new book "Twenty Ways To Draw A Tree" on her blog, as did Bowie of Print and Pattern. It's lovely to be here too!
Books - I find myself looking at picture books a lot of the time, but have been enjoying the new book about The Edinburgh Weavers by Lesley Jackson. For reading pleasure, David Lodge makes me laugh out loud with his witty observations and brilliant delivery.
Magazines - Elle Decoration, Frankie and Uppercase top my list.
Eats - I'm mostly vegetarian, but do eat fish. At this time of year I get excited about making homemade soups - Butternut Squash Bisque was our latest triumph. I'm also always looking for new pasta recipes that are quick and easy and suit the whole family.
* Drinks - I'm a "builder's tea" drinker during the day, and a white wine drinker in the evening . . . though with the nights drawing in it will veer towards red.
Music - My musical tastes are pretty eclectic and depend on my mood, but my favourite album at the moment is Ray Lamontagne's "God Willing And The Creek Don't Rise". Melodic, soulful, intelligent, and the guy has a voice to die for (in my opinion!).

What do you love most about what you do?
I love being creative, and getting paid to do what I love! I enjoy the freedom of being my own boss. I love the fact that I can do the school run and spend time with my boys because I work from home. I love the variety - each day is different.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
It has to be the little models made by my boys that come home from school - I have two little hedgehogs made from clay with sticks for spines that sit on a shelf in our lounge. They make me smile every time I look at them.

If you were stranded in the wilds what item would you want with you to survive?
A warm blanket. I hate feeling cold!

Where would you like to be in ten years? 
In a similar situation to now - healthy and happy with all my family around me; but perhaps with a little more space, more opportunities to travel, and a business that has grown enough to fund it!

Where can we buy your work?
You can buy my wares from my Etsy shop, I'll also be making appearances at Christmas Craft Fairs in and around Nottingham in November and December. Come and say hello if you can!

Just look at all that scrummy fabric!  I am thinking of buying some and making some cushions for my sofa.  The problem is what too choose!  Argh... dilemma indeed, such beauties.

Eloise has kindly donated one Littlegreenshed reader a chance to win any A4 print and pouch from Eloise's Etsy shop - you choose!  (you might have a real problem there, because I certainly can't choose!).

Winner will be announced on Wednesday 16th October - good luck!

If you would like to be featured on Makers Profile, 
please drop me an email and I can send my media pack.

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