Time For a Change

Hello everyone, it's been a while since my last personal post on here. You may or may not have noticed my absence in the past year, I’d say, during which my posts here have been really sporadic and I kind of lost touch with the whole blogging thing. After moving to London, a little longer than a year ago now, I started having way less free time - for better or worse - and therefore less time to dedicate to letters and blogging, as mail was what I was primarily posting about.

Having less mail to show, kind of put me in a slump because I felt like that was all I could write about here - as that is the type of content 90% of my readers enjoy seeing here. Coming to thinking about it now, I’ve done and seen so many cool things this past year that I wish I’d have shown to you too, as well as documented here for myself to look back on one day, but I didn’t - simply because I thought that by giving my blog such a name I would have to be stick to it in all aspects and it wouldn’t make sense to stray away from the content that was β€œmeant” to be shared in favour of other topics that wouldn’t quite, or at all, fit into that category.

But from today, it is time for a change. I’ve changed a lot since last year and my β€œstyle” and interests have evolved too. As much as I’m attached to my blog name (and still like it, just like mail, which I will continue to share here), it’s time for me to let go of what might be the expectations of others and focus on what I want to do and what I want to share on this blog. At the end of the day, it was born as a personal blog, and now I want to reclaim that.

So yeah, this is a little announcement both for you and myself to make this β€œofficial”, and to inform you about the change of direction this blog will be taking from today onwards. You can still expect to see posts about mail and stationery of course, but also more about my graphic design and illustration work and process, some more lifestyle-y kind of posts that will include what I go about doing and seeing in London, plus a bit of travelling whenever I get the chance to, and definitely more photography.

Lastly, thank you if you’ve been reading my blog for ages, and thank you even more if you’ll decide to stick around ☺️

Lot of love,

Ζ’. xx

Screen Printing Workshop at Top Drawer

β–² Lexington Print in copper and black by Daniel Heath at #LiveTheStory at Top Drawer

β–² Lexington Print in copper and black by Daniel Heath at #LiveTheStory at Top Drawer

I said it before but I'll say it again: screen printing is awesome. Even more so when done live by such a talented artist as Daniel Heath, who demonstrated the technique using his new Lexington design, featuring large art deco windows.

β–² Daniel Heath introducing screen-printing

β–² Daniel Heath introducing screen-printing

The workshop was held at Top Drawer, and In The Window kindly invited some bloggers along to learn about Daniel's process of making his handmade wallpaper prints and to try it first hand.
In fact, that's exactly what In the Window is all about: connecting designers and makers with a community of design enthusiasts so that they can discover and experience not only the process, but also the story behind the finished products.

β–² Tasha & I having a go at pulling the print

β–² Tasha & I having a go at pulling the print

Seeing an artist at work is really something else, and being able to learn and ask questions about the design and making process was such a valuable experience. I definitely left the workshop way more inspired and motivated to make the dream of having my own little studio come true someday. A girl can dream, right?

Tasha also vlogged the event, so you can have a look at that too if you like ☺ (there's also lots of stationery eye candy in the video, so be prepared to be in awe).

If you could see anyone at work and learn from them, who would that be?

Ζ’. x

// Β© All photos courtesy of In The Window

Screen Printing Workshop at Print Club London

β–Ό Print Club, 10 – 28 Millers Ave, Dalston E8 2DS

β–Ό Print Club, 10 – 28 Millers Ave, Dalston E8 2DS

Screen printing is something I've always been intrigued by, so you can imagine my excitement when I found out about the existence of Print Club. 

If you're not familiar with Print Club, it is creative studio in East London that specialises in water based screen printing. As well as offering membership to the studio, they also host a range of workshops for beginners where you get to learn about the process involved and by the end of the day you also get to print your very own design! So, sign me up, right?

Our workshop was led by Craig, who did a really wonderful job at explaining the history and the basics of screen printing, showing us examples of the various techniques involved.

Then it was time to get more hands-on. First thing we had to do, was to tweak our artwork in Photoshop to make it ready to be printed onto tracing paper to then be exposed onto our screens. 

In short, what we did was covering the screens with a photosensitive emulsion and let it to dry in a dark room. After it was completely dried up, it was time to transfer our design on it, which was done by exposing the screen in a vacuum light table, that created a negative of our image.

We then washed our screens with a pressure washer to remove the the emulsion that hadn't hardened and double checked our designs for any imperfections, and then put them out in the sun to dry before getting to the actual printing.

Time to set up the screens! Once ready, each screen must be blocked and taped (which means you need to make sure that there are no holes in the emulsion, and if there are any, you need to cover them up with tape, otherwise the ink will pass through and ruin the print), setup on the printing bed, and then squeegeed!
BUT FIRST, the very crucial step of picking the ink. Guess what colour I chose? ( Ν‘Β° ΝœΚ– Ν‘Β°)
I won't even try to explain the inking process, it's easier for me to let this gif do the talking.

After a couple of borderline unsuccessful tries, I ended up pulling 6 prints, and this is the final result:

Overall, it was a great experience, and I definitely want to do more screen printing in the future!

Have you ever tried this technique? β˜Ί


P.S. if you like my print I still have 2 originals up for grabs. So if you'd like to purchase one, feel free to get in touch!

Vinyl Heat Press Workshop With London Local - Part 2

Just a few days ago I shared with you my experience with the London Local Team workshop, and I'm here again today because I'd like to show you a few other point of views of the night.

London Local uploaded a video that explains more of what we where doing, and that includes a very fun time lapse of the process:

And Natasha uploaded a lovely vlog of the event so you can see how it was through her eyes as well:

Finally, Geraldine from LittleBigBell (who was the brilliant mind behind the inspiration for the theme they chose for the bags) also wrote a blog post about it - which includes gorgeous pictures of some of the bags - and I really recommend taking the time to give it a read!

I really hope you've enjoyed reading about this workshop, as I was very happy to attend it and meet everyone there. β˜Ί Once again, if you're in London, don't forget to check out the market this Saturday, between 11AM to 4PM!

Ζ’. x

Vinyl Heat Press Workshop with London Local

Last Thursday, London Local kindly invited me to join them, alongside a few other bloggers, to a vinyl heat press workshop at Puck Studio.

β–² Ionna & Dave from Puck Studio (photo cred:  Shoshana )

β–² Ionna & Dave from Puck Studio (photo cred: Shoshana)

The aim of the event was to learn about vinyl pressing, and decorate 50 tote bags for London Local to give away at their spring market that's taking place on May 14th in Crouch End in London (more info here).

The process to make the bags was quite simple, but really fun! The first step was to prepare the shapes to use for our design, and in this case we used some created by Aiza, another talented London-based artist. Once the shapes were cut into vinyl sheet, we had to peel off the excess, and then separate and cut them to reveal each individual shape. 

β–² Action shot of Emma (from  Wild Fawn Jewellery ) 

β–² Action shot of Emma (from Wild Fawn Jewellery

Now it's when the real fun begins! We got to choose and arrange the shapes to create our design, lay them flat on top of the bag, and then put the bag in the press that - after heating it for 20 seconds - impress the final design on the bag. 

Each of us made about 5 bags, and we even got to take one home with us β™₯

It was my first official event in London, and I must admit I was a bit apprehensive about it - 'what if I don't fit in with the others?' kind of concerns - but now, I'm glad to say that everything worked out nicely and I had a lovely time. Everyone was really nice and friendly, and learning about the vinyl heat press method was very interesting.

Also meeting fellow London bloggers was the cherry on top: my partners for the night were Natasha, Holly & Ana - and if you're looking for cool new people to follow either on YouTube or on Bloglovin, you should definitely take the time to check them out!

If you're in or around London, make sure to visit the Crouch End Spring Market (it's completely free to attend + if you're one of the first 50 people to enter, you'll get a free goodie bag!) to discover and support lots of local artists and sellers. 

Have you ever tried the vinyl press method yourself? 

Ζ’. x

 // PS. A big thank you to Shoshana for inviting me to the workshop β™₯

2015 Wrap-Up & Plans fot the New Year

Although I not one to make new year's resolutions, last year I decided to set a few goals anyway, and I'm pleased to announce that I've successfully achieved most of them!

  • Keep up with my Filofax βœ” Last year I started using a pocket sized Filofax to get more organized. Since then I upgraded to a KikkiK medium planner, and then finally to a large Ban.do agenda I'm still using to this day, and I'm very pleased with!  
  • Work on more products for my Etsy shop βœ” I've listed a bunch of fun handmade stickers (which are now one of my favorite thing to make), but my goal was more aimed towards a cohesive collection, so.. half success? Either way I'm pretty happy with what I've done and lots of you seem to have liked my stickers, which is what matters most to me anyway!  
  • Exercise more βœ” I've been going to the gym 2x/week, which is 2x/week more often than last year :P
  • Graduate University βœ” Even though I finished writing my thesis back in July, I only graduated in 'cognitive psychology' this past November, and I couldn't be happier to be done with it once and for all! β˜Ί
  • Get my half sleeve tattoo done ✘ This one sadly didn't happen. My tattoo artist advised me against getting my sleeve done because of some ill placed moles that would have "ruined the flow of the composition" so yeah, I had to follow her advice even if my heart broke a little. On the other hand, I'm still planning to get another tattoo, so there's that!
  • Host a new snail mail related project βœ” The third installment of the Secret Penpal Scavenger Hunt took place, we've had a few bumps in the road but the majority of the participant had a positive experience, and it definitely made me want to host another one in the next year as well.
  • Read at least 5 books βœ” Yay, I've smashed this one! I've actually read 45 books.. what?! I've always been a bookworm but ever since I got into Uni I started reading less and less, so it was so good to have more time to dedicate to it.
  • Start a new scrapbook βœ” This one is only half completed, as I've only created a scrapbook page every month up until June when I suddenly stopped. 
  • Keep an art journal ✘ Nope, this didn't happen. On the other hand, I filled in so many sketchbook this year that I'm not even mad that I didn't get around and make an art journal just for the sake of it; my objective was to incentivate my creativity, but I guess I still accomplished that, just in a different way.
  • Always write more ✘ I'm not totally satisfied with this one either. I still wrote letters this year, but I've lost touch with a few people and was really sad and disappointed by it, and it kind of put me in a weird funk. However, I'm determined to be back on track sooner than later.

For 2016 I decided not to set specific goals, just a couple of general ones: create a monthly booklet (inspired by Tiffany and my experience back in October) to document my life, and to fill even more sketchbooks!

What are some of your resolutions for the new year? β™₯

Ζ’. x

A Day in My Life: Illustrated!


Hi friends! Today for #DoMoreinOctober, I'm sharing with you what a day in my life looks like.

I decided to pick yesterday, as it was a pretty laid back day: I had to run a few errands, and not being the typical working day, it was a little bit more eventful!

I woke up at 8AM and logged the weather (it was cloudy), the temperature (15Β°C, ugh) and how I felt ("okay" + cold, but I'm always grumpy in the morning so it not an accurate representation of the whole day). I then had breakfast (porridge + banana, and a hot cup of matcha tea) while watching a morning show on YouTube and catching up with the news.

Next, it was time for a walk with Luna while listening to my new favourite song

At 10AM I met with my boyfriend and we went to pick up my thesis from the printer. So exciting to hold a physical copy of it! I decided to have it made with a silk red cover, and gold embossed text. β˜Ί The note on the lower right corner says that on my way back a little old man made me smile, so that was nice.

When I got home I started cooking, and tidying my room. For lunch I made some veggie curry with rice, very good - if I say so myself! Then it was time to work, which translates into doing some admin stuff, replying to emails, and working on the pending commissions I have at the moment. At 5PM it was my long awaited tea (& cookies) time, yum! Half an hour later, I went grocery shopping with my mother, and picked up an Amazon delivery on my way back.

Before heading to the gym at 7.30PM, I replied to a couple of letters and made this booklet. I got back home pretty knackered at 9.30PM, showered and ate dinner. In the meantime, my boyfriend managed to score preorder tickets for Star Wars: the Force Awakens, for us and a couple of friends. My day ended by playing some videogames (Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer - because I'm basically 8 years old - and Hearthstone), and catching up with Agents of Shield ☺

And that's it! It wasn't the most interesting day, I know, but I really enjoyed documenting it in this little booklet I made, and besides, it was a good drawing exercise as well! 

Do you document your life in any way (scrapbook, project life.. etc)? β™₯

Ζ’. xx

This was a post for my #DoMoreInOctober project! If you joined too, you can link your post below:

My Autumn Soundtrack

Since discovering Spotify - which was actually just recently, this past summer - I’ve been making monthly playlists. I really like being able to associate songs to a memory or a specific period, and this way I have an organized archive of all the songs that I enjoy month by month.

This one is my playlist for this October:

Probably like most people, I've had quite a music journey throughout the years. Back in middle school, I was very passionate about rap music and hip hop (I had a framed picture of Eminem, like seriously); in high school I joined the punk movement and leaned towards metal as well, with a brief emo phase in-between, but let’s not go there. Then I got into dubstep, and stuff like that, and then I joined the hipsters on the indie side. 

However, especially in the past few years I’ve learned to enjoy music regardless of genre, and now I listen to anything I enjoy, so I hope you’ll be able to find something nice in my playlist that appeals to your tastes ☺

Did you go through any music phase, too?

Ζ’. xx

This was a post for my #DoMoreInOctober project! If you joined too, you can link your post below: