Christmas wreaths from old stuff – we took the Emmaus UK Second Hand Santa challenge!

We have a few favourite places in Brighton and Hove, but one of our favourites has to be Emmaus. Many a day has found us rummaging around in the various areas in their shops, finding materials for our projects and having a chat and a cuppa with the wonderful companions who call Emmaus Brighton and Hove their home. So, we were delighted when we were invited to take part in the nationwide Emmaus UK ‘Second Hand Santa’ challenge – representing the Brighton and Hove community.

Image result for emmaus brighton and hove

Armed with a budget of £30, we headed up to the main Brighton and Hove Emmaus in Portslade to find materials to create something for our challenge: a Christmas wreath.

As typical designers, we started with a couple of questions for shop manager, Andy. ‘What do you have a lot of? What can be a problem to sell…?’ We were taken out to the front of the store, where two large boxes of picture frames were sitting. Even at a bargain 50p each, there were masses – and more waiting to come out from the warehouse… we decided these were going to be our main material for our Christmas wreath. We gathered an armful and started looking the next bits…

Heading down into the sorting areas, we found a load of damaged metal items that were on their way to the recycling skip, including a wire fruit bowl. We liked it, so it went in the basket along with the frames.

But we needed some colour, some sparkle and a base for our wreath. A trip to the fabric area bagged us some faux shot silk in red and silver and some gold upholders fabric, and a rummage through the costume jewellery resulted in some brilliant silver bangles. But we still needed a wreath base…

Sometimes the best thing about designing is the abstract thinking. Chatting to the guys on the loading door about what we needed for the base made us describe our elusive object as ‘like an old bike wheel or something?’ Two minutes later, two old 26inch diameter wheels were fished out the skip. Blinking marvellous.

Once we’d got it all back to the studio, we started playing and constructing (ie, the fun bit!) The timber picture frames were de-glassed and with a bit of bashing, each one was split down into the four sides, with their metal pins removed with the help of some pliers. The spikes of the bike wheel were cut out with some bolt cutters and the rim was cleaned up.

We started laying the now random pieces of timber from the frames on the rim, tying them in place with strips of the material, gradually building up the construction inwards. The wreath soon took form. But no wreath is complete without a bow, so we took the rest of the gold fabric and fashioned a nice fat bow for the top. Wreath one – the Rustic One, was complete.

But we still had stuff left, including the busted fruit bowl, various bits of silver things and the silver bangles. After bending the arms of the fruit bowl down a bit, a modern ‘starburst’ started to form. We threaded some of the bangles over the arms, pinching them in place at various heights and closed off the centre with a sparkling snap close bracelet.

A couple of bits of wire secured a beautiful old swan handle to the centre bangle, and some long strips of the remaining silver fabric tied at the top and left to cascade behind the bowl completed Wreath two – the Modern One.

So – what do you get when you cross two excitable designers, a wonderful Emmaus community, a Second Hand Santa Challenge and £30? Two brilliant Christmas wreaths – one for inside and one for outside, made from bits of stuff that needed new homes.

And what would our advice be for creating your own Emmaus Christmas wreath for your own Emmaus Second Hand Santa challenge? Find a solid base (like our wheel and fruit bowl), find something that you can get multiples of (like our picture frames and bangles) and get busy with building up layers

A HUGE thank you to all the guys and girls at our brilliant Emmaus Brighton and Hove for helping us find stuff for our challenge. See what you can find in your local Emmaus!

*** Emmaus Brighton and Hove is open Monday to Saturday, 10 – 5 ***

Monday Makers – Two Hands Bakery…

Last week we started our brand new blog series – Monday Makers, where we start each week with a bit of a Q+A feature with someone whose work we love. We are going to be use the term ‘maker’ in the widest possible sense, and this week we are venturing into the delicious realm with Elle Johnston, of Two Hands Bakery…

Hello there! please tell us a little bit about yourselves…

Two Hands is a bakery based in East London, it was founded by me in the early months of 2016 (early days yet!) I’ve always been a voracious home baker and have spent majority of my career working in the hospitality industry – shaking cocktails, being a (pretty terrible) waitress and most recently transitioning into professional baking. I was lucky enough to work at E5 Bakehouse and Violet Bakery, amongst others, they taught me a lot about baking on a large scale. Eventually my entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and I decided to build something of my own.

Two hands bakery - Vanilla sliceNice, and what do you make?

We make a wide range of sweet baked goods, from spiced morning buns to rich chocolate tartlets to towering wedding cakes. The whole spectrum of sweets! All made with seasonal and local ingredients, predominantly organic too – the negative effect of the food industry on the environment is hugely important to the business and we do whatever we can to reduce our impact.

What is your favourite thing you create, and why?

My favourite thing that we make changes on an almost daily basis! I’m particularly partial to a slice of buttery almond cake at the moment and I’m also excited about perfecting my vanilla slice recipe. Outside of my greedy personal preferences, my favourite projects to work on are always the ones where I get to collaborate with people, whether it’s working with Celeste from The Girl in the Cafe pairing cakes with different coffees or co-ordinating with a couple to make a wedding cake that makes their day super special.

Two Hands Bakery - wedding cakes

What inspires you?

It’s a fairly standard foodie answer but – flavours and ingredients. Adapting to the ebb and flow of different produce available throughout the year is exciting and challenging. Figuring out how to bring out the best from an ingredient or using non-traditional techniques (vegan baking for example) is very inspiring.

What is your favourite place?

Anywhere that I can see the ocean! I’m Australian and grew up a complete water baby so find me somewhere to stare at the waves, breathe in the salty air and I’m happy.

Ok – you are rulers of the world for the day. What one law do you bring in?

Ohhh…something well thought out regarding food education. I might delegate my legislative powers to Alice Waters! (an awesome chef, writer and pioneering advocate of the local/seasonal/fresh cookery movement)

Two Hands Bakery - Choc tart

What is your personal motto?

“I believe in the radical possibilities of pleasure, babe” – it’s a line from my favourite Bikini Kill song…

Where can we see you next?

We’re searching for a market stall at the moment so hopefully Two Hands Bakery will be appearing on the streets of London sometime soon. Until then, however, we’re open for private orders and commissions – get in touch, we’d love to work with you.

Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat – @twohandsbakery

Amazing – thank you Elle! (and do seek Elle out – we can vouch for the awesomeness of her beautiful cakes and biscuits. Truly delicious treats!)

(all images courtesy of Two Hands Bakery)

Eco Easter Eggs…

This is it. The weekend were we can (legitimately) wake up and consume chocolate before 9am if we so desire. Easter, or Ostara to give the festival it’s pagan name, is all about fertility and new beginnings. This is why we have eggs delivered by the rabbit which is well famed for it’s ability to reproduce faster than you can shout ‘fairtrade chocolate please’. But, with so much crap chocolate out there, we have picked our top 5 eggs that we would be happy to find in a hunt.

Montezumas Eco easter egg
£7.99 from Montezuma’s Chocolate

1 – First up is the Eco Egg from Montezuma’s Chocolate. Organic chocolate with bits of butterscotch all enclosed in a completely plastic free packaging option. Eat the egg, compost or recycle the packaging. Perfect.

Montezumas Eco easter egg 2
also £7.99 from Montezuma’s Chocolate

2 – Okay – this is technically the dark chocolate version of the one above, but hey. It’s a different egg, still encased in the eco packaging and this time complete with cocoa nibs. Tasty.

Divine Easter Egg
£3.99 from Ethical Superstore

3 – Next up is the fairtrade milk chocolate egg from Divine, with Toffee and Sea Salt. As well as being a good ethical choice for your chocolate fix, this egg also has a great absence of plastic in it’s packaging too. Get yours from the Ethical Superstore.

Half a Dozen Praline-filled Hen's Eggs
£25 for half a dozen – Rococo Chocolate

4 – Fancy something a bit fancier? How about the half a dozen praline filled hens eggs from specialist chocolatiers Rococo? Presented in their trademark patterned packaging nestled in a coloured egg box, these are something special.

£6.59 – Green & Black’s

5 – and lastly we are going dark and minty with the Green And Blacks Organic Mint Chocolate Egg. One for the grown ups, and a mint chocolate egg that tastes stunning and not like toothpaste. And look. No plastic either.

So. Our top five Easter Eggs. Let’s hope we will find a couple hidden in the garden this weekend…

(images via links)

Green Gift Guide – day five – subscription gifts…

Day five on our green gift guide and we are into the panic week where we all realise we have missed the last delivery dates for the lovely independent makers. Sooo… instead of panicking and heading to your nearest generic high street, why not think about a subscription to a great magazine, charity or supporting a good cause instead? And if a note doesn’t arrive in time to explain it to your giftee, well, write something in a card to let them know what is on it’s way. Plus, this is the gift that can keep giving throughout the year…

Welcome to day five – subscription gifts…

1 – a Protect Our Waves membership for Surfers Against Sewage – we are really proud to have a few SAS members amongst us – supporting this great charity who do fantastic work at not only highlighting and tackling the issues of water pollution around our shores, but do a sterling job in bringing marine litter to our attention, organising beach clean-ups and generally caring for our seas. Memberships can be bought for individuals, families and you can even sign up to help as a business too. Claire is a Protect Our Waves Guardian – see below for the great stuff you get in a membership pack, along with the lovely regular Pipeline magazine delivered to your door too… from £36 as shown 

2 – Adopt – a – Beehive – one twelfth share – buying a share in a beehive is a way to support bees and earn some honey too… because, of course, Bees matter. Most fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, as well as food crops for farmed animals, depend on bees. But bees are in crisis with their numbers dwindling at an alarming rate.The problem is not so apparent in urban gardens, but in the countryside, where bees are under attack from viruses, pesticides and mites, but most of us don’t have the inclination or the opportunity to keep bees, so here’s an easier way for you to help: Adopt a beehive and help start a new bee colony. For each yearly share you get 1lb of honey made by your adopted bees in September each year along with regular updates from your beekeeper and each shareholder has the option to visit the hive too… £29.99 per yearly share from Nigel’s Eco Store

3 – Montezuma’s Real Chocolate Club – ok – so what could possibly be better than getting a selection of good, organic real chocolate through your letterbox each month? Not a lot. And using very nifty boxes that easily fit through the letterbox (so you will never miss it), you, or your giftee are guaranteed a lovely, delicious surprise. £19.99 per month (you can choose the length of your subscription too)

4 – Another Escape Magazine – just like we reported in our Green Gift Guide day two, print is certainly not dead, and another of our favourites is the quite stunning Another Escape. Outdoor lifestyle, creative culture and sustainable living? Three ticks from us. With engaging stories and eye-wateringly beautiful imagery, this is a real treat for the eyes and mind. Get a range of subscriptions on their shop page here, from current editions, past editions and future ones too…

Another Escape vol6 cover border

5 – Coffee subscription to Small Batch Coffee Company – as well as good chocolate, life is certainly too short to have anything other than great coffee. And here in Brighton we are really lucky to have Small Batch Coffee Company, who source great coffee cherries from reputable suppliers and wash and roast them with love. We are rather partial to their flat whites. But what if your giftee doesn’t live in Brighton? No fear, you can gift a subscription to their postal ground coffee service to someone for anything from 3 months, anywhere in the UK, where they will receive a fresh 250g bag of coffee every two weeks for 12 weeks. And you can choose how you would like it ground – from cafitieres, to stovetop makers… delish. From £42.50 for three months.

3 Month Subscription

So, missing the last postal date does not mean you have to panic. You can still gift something great…

(images via associated brands)

Green Gift Guide – day four – stuff for the home…

Today on day three of our Green Gift Guide, we are looking at nice stuff for the home and garden, which will eco up a space very nicely indeed – and some in very different ways than you may think…

1 – Eco Filament bulb by Urban Cottage Industries – Filament bulbs have been the go-to fitting for a few seasons now to create that popular industrial style interior, but despite looking great, they are certainly not great for energy efficiency. But, thankfully, there is now an option which combines the looks of old style filaments with the energy efficiency we should all be striving for. The Eco Filament by Urban Cottage Industries is A-rated and has a life of 25,000 hours, which equates to 11 years at 6 hours per day… fantastic. from £30.60 inc delivery

Caret lamp eco-filament E27

2 – Hessian covered lighting cable by Urban Cottage Industries – we are sticking with Urban Cottage Industries for the next of our green things for the house, and whilst many people would argue that lighting cable is not sexy, we would beg to differ. The shade gets all the attention, the bulb partly so, but the cable often gets forgotten… bring your lighting up to scratch with some of this brand new hessian covered lighting cable from Urban Cottage Industries – £4.80 per metre (order a bit more and give it a decorative loop we say)

Hessian Fabric Cable | Cloth Covered Wire | 3 Core Round

2 – Home Hack kit by Sugru – there is barely a day goes by when we do not mention Sugru and what we could do with it here in the studio. We have a tin of this wonder stuff in every colour possible in the studio and we use it on everything from in-house repairs to client projects. Sugru – the self setting silicon based rubber has grown into a community, with people posting their hacks and repairs online – proudly showing how they have fixed their stuff. And now Sugru has started a home hack kit, complete with other useful things which you can combine with the mouldable coloured Sugru such as magnets, bits of lego and tennis balls… we love this stuff. Perfect for a DIY enthusiast in your life. Or actually anyone. £17 plus shipping
Home Hacks Made Easy — The Kit

4 – seeds from The Garden House from What You Sow – The beautiful online store What you Sow has everything you would need for those with green fingers – from tools to twine, but it is the seeds from The Garden House, with their stunningly simple illustrations that we adore. With a variety of edibles and flowers to choose from, we say get a bundle of seeds, then also buy your giftee a lovely secondhand frame too, so they can frame up those great illustrations after planting. from 2.95 each plus shipping (final orders 18th Dec!)

Garden House Seeds at What You Sow

5 – recycled card light shades from Tabitha Bargh – possibly the most ‘obvious’ eco choice on our Green Gift Guide today, these lovely lampshades take recycled cardboard to a whole new level. Clean and precise, this is how sustainable materials can and should be used – perfect in any modern interior. In fact, we are looking at using these for a project we have got coming up in 2016… from £75 each

So – five eco ideas that may be a little different from your usual options for the home…

(images via associated brands)

Green Gift Guide – day three – stuff you can wear…

It’s day three of our Green Gift Guide. We’ve featured a pop-up event, lovely stuff that is printed or made of paper and today we are looking at stuff you can wear. And stuff you would really want to wear too…

1 – Brisk Black vegan trainers – these are pretty lovely. With a nice graphic styling, this organic cotton and microfibre shoe is a great smart casual option for the office. The natural latex and coconut fibre husk mattresses actually mould to your feet too, ensuring an insane level of comfort. Yes please. £95 – from Nigels Eco Store

Brisk Black / White eco shoes

2 – a West End Belt from Elvis and Kresse – we are HUGE fans of Elvis and Kresse, who create quite stunning pieces with the most incredible stories. Each piece, from bags to wallets to belts, like the one below have been created from decommissioned London Fire Brigade Fire Hoses. So after saving lives, these incredible hoses are given another life themselves. Plus, up to 50% of profits are redirected into fire charities. Amazing. Get one. from £41

Cameron Diaz wears the Elvis & Kresse West End belt in a shoot for American Vogue

3 – Zig Zag Eco armband by Flavia Amadeu – we do like our statement jewellery, and this is quite a statement – a single piece of natural Amazonian rubber which creates a 3D shape around your arm. Wear it in different combinations, roll it down, pair up with any of the 5 different colours… we would go black and green. £30 each

Zig Zag Eco Armband

4 – a velociraptor necklace from Designosaur – we were delighted to have Karli and Jaques, a.k.a. Designosaur with us at the studio for the Christmas Artists Open Houses. With their fun designs available in masses of forms, each piece is locally made and designed here in Brighton. We have a weakness for their dinosaurs, and their cherry wood velociraptor is on our Christmas list for sure… get in quick though – mail orders close this Friday 18th! £32.81 plus shipping 

Velociraptor Skeleton Dinosaur Necklace. Laser Cut Wood Dinosaur Raptor Necklace. Bones Jewellery. Statement Necklace. Jurassic Park. Bone.

5 – A Beach guardian T-shirt from Surfers Against Sewage – not only will you be supporting a great charity, you will be wearing something made from rubbish. Recycled plastic and cotton shreds to be precise. And it’s currently on sale at a bargain £10. 

6 – RAW for the Oceans recycled ocean plastic jeans – yep. You read that right. Jeans made from ocean plastic. As many of you are aware, we have been doing a vast amount of research of late into marine litter and the increasing issues we have with plastic debris, and we were pleased to see a rather big hitter getting in on the issues too. A link up between G-Star RAW and Pharrell Williams, this range of clothing uses recovered plastic which is melted, chipped and spun into a fibre for reweaving. We are big fans of the Octopus mascot too… (£140 boyfriend jean shown)

RAW jeans

7 – Octo Kids Black T-shirt by Woody – Another brilliant local Brighton designer (and one of the organisers of the Brighton Pecha Kucha no less), this kids t-shirt by Woody is not only really cute, it is made from 100% organic cotton by fairtrade manufacturers in India using wind and solar power, before being printed in the UK. Wow. That ticks all the boxes! ages 3/4 and 5/6 – £15

Octo tee Woody

So we reckon that is a complete outfit done? Not too bad at all – and all great pieces with great stories…

(images via associated brands)

Our green gift guide – day two – prints and printed stuff…

We are properly in the countdown to Christmas now, and whilst we are firmly in the camp of reducing our global consumption, we know that we will all be buying stuff for the people we know and love to open on the 25th. So today we are posting the second of our Green Gift Guide posts to help you through the myriad choices to the greenest, most ethical, most sustainable gifts which look awesome, do awesome stuff and do not look like they’ve been crafted by a hippy in a hairshirt.

Welcome to day two – prints, paper and printed stuff…

decompositon book

1 – a Decomposition Book – made from 100% post consumer waste, these cracking notebooks come in a variety of sizes and with a dizzying array of covers to suit literally everyone. Of course, we opted for the green dinosaurs, but take your pick from flowers to graphic patterns. Available readily online, these are also available at your local Waterstones (UK) and start at £3.50 ish. Great stocking fillers.

Typography Print, Typographic Art, Type Poster, Graphic Design Print, Typography Screenprint, Quote Print, It Takes All Types in Black

2 – ‘It Takes All Types’ screenprint by Hello Dodo – we were delighted to have the lovely Jam and Ali from Hello Dodo at Studio Loo for our recent Christmas Artists Open Houses in Brighton, showcasing their stunning handcrafted screenprints. With witty phrases and a range of colours, Hello Dodo stuff is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. With our love of type, we love this one… £25 plus shipping (get an order in quick for guaranteed delivery before Christmas though)

Alphabet of Endangered Species

3 – Alphabet of Endangered Species in the British Isles print – when was the last time you saw an Undulate Ray or a Zonate Tooth Fungi? Well, ok, but what about a Thrush, or a Hare? This A-Z of Endangered Species is not only educational, it is beautifully illustrated and printed on recycled paper. Available for £15 from Present and Correct


4 – Limited Edition Botanical Bundle Subscription to Ernest Journal – for a long time many were declaring that ‘print was dead’, and as fervent devotees of the form, we are delighted that more independent publications than ever are springing up. One of our favourite is Ernest Journal – with beautiful imagery and eclectic stories, this is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea on a drab day. It celebrates beautifully our stunning world and slow journalism. And at the moment, you can do a gift bundle with 2 or 3 copies of Ernest and a selection of gifts from the fantastic online store What you Sow. But there are only 10 of these bundles available, so get in quick! from £25 plus shipping 

5 – A5 Fair Trade Soft Leather notebook – Gorgeous fair trade leather bound journal with smooth handmade recycled cotton pages. With a wrap-around tie to keep all your inserts secure, this notebook is perfect for travelling and sketching. Soft, supple chocolate leather cover, a by-product, is dyed with natural vegetable dyes – a perfect gift that will age beautifully! Now £15.99 from Nigels Eco Store. 

That’s it for day one – stay tuned for tomorrows Green Gift Guide – stuff you can wear…

(all images via associated websites)

Green Gift Guide – day one – the Brighton Fashion Week Xmas pop up…

Each year we publish our Green Gift Guide – based on stuff that we have seen, loved and would be delighted to find in our stockings this month. For the rest of the week we will be posting our usual type of Green Gift Guide, but unusually, today we are starting with a pop-up event happening in Brighton until 6th Jan, but which has a late night special tonight – the Brighton Fashion Week Pop Up, in association with the FAIR Shop…

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We had a blast covering the Brighton Fashion Week in October, which was unique in that every designer showed a collection that was firmly ‘ethical’ from reused materials, to recycled pieces, to fair trade collaborations. It was a night of colour and excitement and showed that ethical fashion does not need to be er, unfashionable.

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So for everyone in the Brighton area who has a fashionista to buy for, or is still looking for that special piece for that special party, look no further. Head to The FAIR Shop on 21 Queens Road for a late night special tonight featuring designers such as What Daisy Did (who we wrote about here), Rolfe and Wills, Nivo Jewellery and Maria Tilyard – whose crow cushions we have been coveting for a while in the studio. Very Game of Thrones and the closest Claire is going to get to a pet corvid.

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And if you make it tonight between 6-8.30, you will also be able to sample some fabulous Tey Lattes from the award winning Massis Tea too… on International Tea Day no less. Hope to see you there!

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(images courtesy of BFW)

Christmas Artist’s Open Houses @ Studio Loo – Chris Murphy…

One of the most fantastic things about having lots of brilliant artists and designers with us for the Christmas Artist’s Open Houses season in Brighton is the diverse range of things we get to have around for the month. Today we are talking to our only ceramicist at Studio Loo – Chris Murphy

Hi! can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do? texture and colour are my thing with ceramics, I don’t like BROWN ceramics LOL they are too dull. I work out of my shed in my garden in Saltdean and I take inspiration form plants and organic as well as seascapes.

chris murphy 1

What is your favourite thing in your range at the moment and why? I like the calligraphy Hare plates, they are pressed from calligrapher card and cloth which only last a few pressings before it becomes destroyed. Something magical about Hares…

Ok – I’ve got £20 to spend. What should I buy from your range? Well, for £22 you can buy a recycled button tree made from old buttons and a book

chris murphy 3

What is on your own Christmas List this year? PEACE is on my Christmas list for this year

chris murphy 2

Christmas pudding or Christmas cake? Christmas pudding please

Thank you Chris! 

*** you can see all of Chris Murphy’s lovely stuff and more at Studio Loo – we are OPEN for Christmas Artist’s Open Houses 21/22 + 28 Nov, 5 + 12/13 December – 10.30 – 5.00 at 201 Portland Road, Hove, BN3 5JA ***


Christmas Artist’s Open Houses @ Studio Loo – Designosaur…

We have a bit of a thing for dinosaurs, so it is no wonder that we are huge fans of the brilliant, local jewellery duo Designosaur. With fantastic designs and a cheeky attitude, their pieces always raise a smile whenever and wherever we wear them. In fact, Claire was wearing her Plesiosaur necklace when she found a piece of Icthyosaur vertebrae on a recent trip to Lyme Regis – channelling her inner Mary Anning… Anyway, we caught up with Designosaur who are showing a huge selection of their wares at Studio Loo for the Christmas Artist’s Open Houses…

Hi! Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do? Hey! We’re Karli and Jacques of designosaur and we make laser cut sometimes dinosaur inspired jewellery, accessories and recently homeware! We’re Brighton based and design and make everything ourselves from concept to finish product, Jacques does our laser cutting which means we can experiment more with materials and techniques.

Velociraptor Skeleton Dinosaur Necklace. Laser Cut Wood Dinosaur Raptor Necklace. Bones Jewellery. Statement Necklace. Jurassic Park. Bone.

What is your favourite thing in your range at the moment and why? I love the Sabre Tooth necklace, it’s big and I wear it with everything. Jacques’ wears a lot of brooches as he’s not a necklace wearer, the platypus is one of his faves, I think because he likes to tell people they sweat milk, and it’s easier to get to that conversation if you’re wearing one…

Platypus Brooch. Duck Billed Platypus Pin. Animal Jewellery. Animal Brooch. Australian Badge.

Ok –  I’ve got £20 to spend. What should I buy from your range? ROARballs! This is our very own Christmas decorations featuring, you guessed it, dinosaurs! There’s six different designs and four colours, and who doesn’t want a dinosaur on their Christmas tree?! Oh and they are only £7 so you can buy three, which is £21 but you can make it £20!

ROARballs. Dinosaur Christmas Holiday Bauble. T-Rex Santa and Triceratops Reindeer. Acrylic Laser Cut. Holiday Decoration.

What is on your own Christmas List this year? I’m quite easy to buy for I think, if it’s bright and colourful you’re on to a winner! I do love a candle too, I picked up one of the Coconut Parkminister ones from Studio Loo the first weekend and it’s lush, so I’d love another of those! I can just hear Jacques saying PS4 over and over, which he’ll have to ask Santa for! He also said boots and clothes, that boy is expensive! I also happen to know he loves the framed magazines at the Studio, so if anybody needs to buy Jacques a present…

Stegosaurus Drop Earrings. Dinosaur Dangle Earrings. Jurassic World. Plastic Earrings. Animal Earrings. For her. Bridal Earrings.

Christmas pudding or Christmas cake? Jacques says cake, I really don’t like either but I do love a mince pie or a Yule Log!

Thank you Designosaur! 

*** you can see all of Designosaur’s lovely stuff and more at Studio Loo – we are OPEN for Christmas Artist’s Open Houses 21/22 + 28 Nov, 5 + 12/13 December – 10.30 – 5.00 at 201 Portland Road, Hove, BN3 5JA ***

Christmas Artist’s Open Houses @ Studio Loo – Kate Forrester…

Back in May, when we opened Studio Loo for our first Artist’s Open House, we were delighted to have the very talented Kate Forrester with us. And Kate not only exhibited a fantastic range of prints and cut lettering, but also hand illustrated our central window with a beautiful, intricate design which ended up being there far longer than the month of May it was initially planned for! Kate is back with us at Studio Loo for the Christmas Artist’s Open Houses, and we caught up with her for a chat…

Hi!  Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do? I am a freelance illustrator living and working in Brighton. I specialise in hand lettering and ornate, decorative illustration for book jackets, packaging and advertising etc (eg. check out the whole of Waitrose Christmas range this year!)

The Fold

What is your favourite thing in your range at the moment and why? I am really happy with my animal alphabet print. I originally designed it to be sold as individual letters and the full alphabet print was an afterthought. But it’s gone down really well with my clients and makes a great gift for a child’s room.

Paper Alphabet

Ok. I’ve got £20 to spend. What should I buy from your range? An intricate paper cut letter to give as an Christmas pressie (the unframed ones are £15!)

Paper Alphabet

What is on your own Christmas List this year? Pretty things! I live in a house full of boys and get fed up with cars, swords and smelly shoes everywhere.

Mendola Calendar - May

Christmas pudding or Christmas cake? I’m not a fan of either. I’d rather have a satsuma. They really smell like Christmas to me!

Thank you Kate!

*** you can see all of Kate Forrester’s lovely stuff and more at Studio Loo – we are OPEN for Christmas Artist’s Open Houses 21/22 + 28 Nov, 5 + 12/13 December – 10.30 – 5.00 at 201 Portland Road, Hove, BN3 5JA ***

Christmas Artist’s Open Houses @ Studio Loo – Hello Dodo..

One of the lovely things about the Christmas Artist’s Open Houses is that we get to surround ourselves with lovely things for a whole month in the studio. Not that all everyone here isn’t lovely (of course), but it’s great to have some bright splashes of fun about. And bright splashes of fun do not come better packaged than the great work of our next interviewee – the brilliant Hello Dodo

Christmas Card Pack of 6, Funny Shark Christmas card, Weird Holiday card, Merry Christmas Shark, Jaws Christmas cards, Happy Holidays Shark

Hi! Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do? Hello! We are hello DODO – AKA Ali & Jam and we are playful printmakers and designers. We create bold, colourful screen prints, cards and badges featuring lots of silly puns, typographic tricks and animals, most of which are smiling!

Lion Screenprint, Lion Print, Bedroom Decor, Kids Bedroom Art, Typography Quote Poster, Animal Poster, Kids Print, Funny Poster, fun nursery

What is your favourite thing in your range at the moment and why? Our Pigeon & Tonic screen print is quite a new design and still has us chuckling to ourselves! It also helps that we’re fond of both pigeons and gin & tonic!

Pigeon and Tonic Screenprint, Gin Poster, Gin and Tonic Kitchen Art, Alcohol Print, Funny Screen Print Poster, Pigeon Print, hello DODO

OK.  I’ve got £20 to spend. What should I buy from your range? Wellllll you could sort all your close friends and family out with some pretty unique and hilarious Christmas cards (if we do say so ourselves)….we have sharks, flamingoes, DINOSAURS….all the best unexpected festive animals!

Dinosaur Birthday Card, Raptor Birthday card, funny dino birthday card, Jurassic Park card, Velociraptor card, funny boyfriend birthday card

What is on your own Christmas List this year? Each year the majority of my Christmas wishlist is from my fave jewellery brand (and Brighton besties) designosaur…who you can also find in Studio Loo! They’ve just brought out some Bauhaus inspired earrings that are AMAZING. Jam says he’s happy with chocolate and vinyl!

Dinosaur Button Badge Pack, kids party bag fillers, dinosaurs buttons, pinback badge set, Jurassic Park button badges, fun dinosaur brooch

Christmas pudding or Christmas cake? Jam says Christmas cake! I’m a bit of a scrooge on this one because I’m vegan. Can I opt for bombay mix instead?!

Thank you Hello Dodo! 

*** you can see all of Hello Dodo’s lovely stuff and more at Studio Loo – we are OPEN for Christmas Artist’s Open Houses 21/22 + 28 Nov, 5 + 12/13 December – 10.30 – 5.00 at 201 Portland Road, Hove, BN3 5JA ***

Christmas Artist’s Open Houses @ Studio Loo – Penelope Kenny…

Christmas is certainly a time to stretch your imagination, for young and old alike, and one artist who has a wonderful imagination is the next up on our Studio Loo Artist’s Open House interviews – the fab Penelope Kenny

Hi! Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do? I make hybrid creatures inspired by our relationship with other animals and tampering with the species boundaries. I print my work by hand at a studio in central Brighton, using water-based inks that I make by grinding up pigments and metallic powders and mixing them with screenprinting mediums. I make limited edition books, wallpapers and prints and have recently begun to produce digitally printed textiles.

Limited Edition Love Bees Silk Scarf. 90x90cm. Made and printed in South East England. Now available in my shop.

What is your favourite thing in your range at the moment and why? Of the pieces available at Studio Loo this Christmas ‘The Transgenic Cabinet’ is my favourite print and was probably the most challenging to create. It has thirty-seven colours that were each hand-mixed and printed separately. It took two solid weeks of work to make and print the edition and was made especially for my first solo exhibition.

Coevolutionary Mutualism (100x70cm). Screenprint on Fabriano 5 paper. Printed with metallic and interference inks. Hand coloured with watercolour, inks and gouache. Edition of 4.

Ok – I’ve got £20 to spend. What should I buy from your range? For £20 I have a special Open House selection of things. There are sample 45x45cm silk squares, digitally printed in East Sussex on 100% silk crepe de chine and hand-finished in Brighton. Or alternatively there is a box of small prints of hybrid creatures ranging from £3- £12 that would make excellent stocking fillers and gifts.

Rhino Beetle. Limited edition screenprint with hand made metallic inks on fabriano 5 paper. Produced for NOT-ANOTHER-BILL

What is on your own Christmas List this year? I haven’t made a list yet, but I am keeping my eye out for something  locally made and that is ethically and sustainably produced.

Love Bees (25x25cm). Screenprint with metallic inks on Fabriano 5 300gsm paper. Edition of 10.

Christmas pudding or Christmas cake? Christmas pudding and Christmas cake 🙂

Thank you Penelope! 

*** you can see all of Penelope Kenny’s lovely stuff and more at Studio Loo – we are OPEN for Christmas Artist’s Open Houses 21/22 + 28 Nov, 5 + 12/13 December – 10.30 – 5.00 at 201 Portland Road, Hove, BN3 5JA ***

Christmas Artist’s Open Houses @ Studio Loo – Peter James Field…

The Christmas Artist’s Open Houses is in full swing now, and next up on our interview series of Studio Loo exhibitors is the wonderful illustrator Peter James Field

Hello! Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do? I am a 39 year old Brighton based illustrator and fine artist. I’ve worked for a huge range of clients across a ten year freelance career – including the likes of Vanity Fair, Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Guardian, BBC and Penguin. I love drawing and making things by hand.

Forever in Negative - copyright Peter James Field

What is your favourite thing in your range at the moment and why? I’ve just started learning traditional etching in my spare time, and it is my new passion. I have an incredible joy and pride to be acquiring this new and very time-consuming skill in a digital world. I still look at the etchings I’ve produced and think ‘wow, I did that!’

Rainy Hove  - copyright Peter James Field

Ok – I’ve got £20 to spend. What should I buy from your range? £20 will buy you some great stuff. You’ll be able to buy my hardback book ‘No Bulb in my Lamp’ –  200 full colour pages documenting a 10 year observational drawing project. This is being offered at a very special seasonal discount of only £10. You can also buy a copy of my hand-produced risograph book ‘Peter Andre Saliva Tree’ – a guaranteed conversation starter and also available at a special price of £3. You could use the rest of the money to buy a couple more copies as they make great presents –  or alternatively you’d still have enough change pick up five of my exclusive greetings cards

Image of Peter James Field Greetings Cards

What is on your own Christmas List this year? I’m not very materialistic really, but I do love music. There’s a new Beach House album I’ve yet to hear…

Image of "Hove Beach" Giclee Print

Christmas pudding or Christmas cake? If there’s brandy butter, then it’s Christmas pud all the way!

Thank you Peter! 

*** you can see all of Peter’s lovely stuff and more at Studio Loo – we are OPEN for Christmas Artist’s Open Houses 21/22 + 28 Nov, 5 + 12/13 December – 10.30 – 5.00 at 201 Portland Road, Hove, BN3 5JA ***

Christmas Artist’s Open Houses @ Studio Loo – Rarebit Design…

As many of you are probably aware, we have opened up our home, Studio Loo once more for the Artist’s Open Houses in the run up to Christmas with a raft of wonderful designers and artists showing their wares in our converted wc studio. So, we thought it would be nice to find out a little bit more about everyone with a little interview series. First up today is the fantastic Rarebit Design:

rarebit design 6

Hello! can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do? rarebit design was set up in 2012 by Rachel Thomas, a designer/maker living in Hove. Rachel makes lovely handmade things from ceramics, vintage paper and linen. With rarebit design Rachel brings together all her interests – from handmade ceramics to typography and vintage print, paper and linen – and produces collections of beautiful handmade things.

rarebit design 3

What’s your favourite thing in your range at the moment and why? My favourite thing in my range at the moment is probably my tiny speckle bowls – hand made stoneware bowls, each one unique and beautifully organic in form with a delicate speckled finish. They look amazing in groups or alone, and are perfect pinch pots for salt and pepper, or ring bowls, or dip bowls at the table… the possibilities are endless. Plus I love making them!

rarebit design 1

Ok – I’ve got £20 to spend. What should I buy from your range? £20 to spend? Well it’s Christmas, so I’d go for a few of my ceramic hanging decorations with suitably festive quips such as ‘Ho Ho Ho’ or ‘Humbug’ printed into the clay with vintage letterpress letters. A rarebit design speciality! Plus a handmade vintage paper Christmas card of course!

rarebit design 2

What is on your own Christmas List this year? On my Christmas list this year is something special from Christmas Artist’s Open Houses to hang on the wall. There’s such a wealth of amazing artists living in Brighton and Hove. I’ve already bought a fabulous print from Hello Dodo but there’s still more wall space…

rarebit design 4

Christmas pudding or Christmas cake? Bah Humbug…neither I’m afraid. Mince pies all the way…

rarebit design 5

Thank you Rarebit Design! 

*** you can see all of Rarebit Design’s lovely stuff and more at Studio Loo – we are OPEN for Christmas Artist’s Open Houses 21/22 + 28 Nov, 5 + 12/13 December – 10.30 – 5.00 at 201 Portland Road, Hove, BN3 5JA ***

click here for more details!