Stationery Spotlight: Katie Leamon

I'm an hardcore fan of small businesses, even more so when they have an inspirational story behind them.

Katie Leamon's cards & stationery are now stocked in lots of stores across the UK (and internationally), but it all began in a cosy studio space Katie took up with her brother Tom back in 2010. Despite the huge success, however, her products are still curated and unique in a way you can only get when the designer is involved in every step of the production (and I mean that quite literally since some the cards are even hand printed in house!).

Back in September, with the creative contributions of her brother, Katie launched the KIN Collection, a collaboration that brings together Katie's signature typography and pastel hues, and Tom's bold brushstrokes.

The combination of the two make amazing cards, wrapping papers, and sketchbooks.

I particularly love the contrast between the vibrant, eccentric envelopes and the delicate, golden foiled cards β™₯ Gorgeous!

My favourite bit from the collection, however, must be the notebooks. It was love at first sight because - just look at that cover and the black edges - what's not to love!? But what's even better, it's that inside you get an even amount of lined, grid and blank pages.

Katie's brand is right up there with all the small businesses that inspire me, and I'm sure you'll see more of it around here.

Have you ever heard of it? & do you have a fave cards and stationery brand? You know I'm always looking for suggestions ;)

Ζ’. x

Beautiful Cards for a Good Cause

If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen a few cards by jotpaperco in my feed before. I love all of their cards, but even more than that, I love how they created their brand from the ground up and are now able to design and create their products in their very own studio and have them stocked in lots of cool shops all around London.

They're a huge inspiration of mine, and when they came up with this project, I just had to share it with you all.

Dan and Becks have brought out two cards with a new design called Arlo's Snowflake, in dedication to baby Arlo, their nephew, who sadly passed away just a few days after being born.

Not only the cards are beautiful as all of their other cards, but they also help a wonderful cause which is raising money towards the new NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) that is being built at the L&D hospital to provide better care and treatment for lots of premature and ill babies.

I know this is quite different from what I usually post here, but I'm sure lots of you will be buying Christmas cards soon, so maybe please consider getting one or two of these and help support this charity in memory of Arlo.

You can find more info on the cards + charity here, as well as links to get the cards.

Thank you so much for reading β™₯

Ζ’. x

This post is not sponsored in any way, on the contrary, I made a small contribution to the cause myself, as it's something that really touched my heart. Even if you don't need cards, or can't donate to the charity but still feel like it'd be worth contribuiting to, please consider sharing this with someone who might be interested in doing so β™₯

// photo credits: Β© jot

Redesigning My Blog Icons

Like any other four or five months, a few days ago I felt the urge of sprucing things up a bit in my blog. I didn't want to make any major change, so I decided to start off by cleaning up the sidebar.

If you've been around for a while, you may remember the icons I used to have in the sidebar under the 'navigation' tab. I drew them back in 2014 and still kind liked the handmade feel to them, but I was starting to feel like they were quite 'messy' and it was bothering me a little.

The line weight was different for almost every icon, and moreover, being all the same colour it was hard to read them at first glance (and also, let's not forget that the font I used was atrocious). Overall, I just thought I could do better than that.

For the new icons, I wanted to keep the same designs but make them cleaner by redrawing them completely in Illustrator.
The first and most obvious change is the colour palette. It went from a simple black and white design on a solid background to a 3 colours design on white.
There's no particular reason behind the colours I picked, besides being chosen to compliment my 'signature' pastel blue shade.

I decided to make a couple of changes as far as the categories go: I scrapped the 'review' category, which wasn't very pertinent anymore, and substituted it with a 'London' category, which is definitely more relevant now. The second change was to update the 'personal' category icon with something I think expresses it a little bit better.
I also changed the font with a new one I made using my handwriting.

For the same reasons, in addition to that, I decided to change my social icons to make everything flow better together, but in this case I kept the old hand-drawn logos and changed the background to a different shape, sticking to the new pastel palette.

What do you think? ☺ I'd love to hear your thoughts on the new designs!
Ζ’. xx

Introducing My New Collection of Notebooks

I'm so excited to finally release into the wild Etsy world, a new little product I've been had in the works for a while now: notebooks!
Personally, I'm someone who's constatly buying notebooks, as I like to keep many at a time - each for a different purpose - so it was only natural that it would have come a day when I'd finally design my own.

I wanted to keep the design quite simple but still have it to be eye catching, so I went for a colour block kind of style. Of course, me being me, I had to include flowers in the mix - bacause as you may know, I'm an hardcore flower fan!

The notebooks are available individually or in a set, and come in three different colours: cherry red, blue, and gold, and they all feature different flower designs.

I would love to hear what you think of them! β™₯
If you'd like to have a closer look, they're now up in my Etsy shop.

Ζ’. xx
P.S. Any notebook order before the end of the month will receive a cheeky freebie ☺

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

Stationery Spotlight: Chase and Wonder

A few days back I received this lovely bundle of goodies from a UK based shop called Chase and Wonder.
You know how much I love discovering new stationery brands, and this one was a wonderful surprise especially because it's quite different from the ones I usually gravitate towards.

They stock quite a few ranges of designs, but all the cards have a very distinctive style - whether it's punny glittery cards, or neon-colored, fancy animal ones.

Something really inspiring about Chase and Wonder, is that they use mostly traditional techniques (such as screen printing, one of my latest obsessions) to make their goodies, which, in my opinion, adds so much value to their products, and makes you really appreciate not only the design but also the care and effort that went into it.

The also stock lovely giftware, like this vintage print purse, and monogram pin badge cards! How clever is that? All the letters are equally beautiful and carefully designed, and if you're anything like me, you will probably want one or two for yourself.

If you have a look at their website, let me know which one is your fave design! Mine is probably all the animal ones ☺
Ζ’. x

PS: just so you know, I had no obligations whatsoever to post about this - I honestly love their products, and thought it would be a shame not to share them with you all!

End-of-Summer Sale in my Etsy Shop

Summer is coming to an end, and I don't know about you, but I'm so ready for the sweater weather to hit again! However, this summer was pretty eventful and enjoyable, so to celebrate, I'm having a 3x2 sale in my Etsy shop

You can get a free card when you buy 2 (or multiple of) cards, all you need to do is add a note to your order telling me which extra card you’d like, or I will happily pick one at random for you!
The offer also extends to sticker sheets and postcards, so why don't you have a look and see if anything interests you? ☺

Much love,
Ζ’. x

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!