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 ***

the Ecospot Eco Gift Guide 2016 – day 8 – Lulu by Designosaur…

It’s day 8 already on our Ecospot Eco Gift Guide and we have chosen a very special gift indeed. We are all about the strong statements, and if you know someone who also has something to say and doesn’t mind being stopped at least three times a day to be asked where they got their necklace from, the strong, bold laser cut jewellery of Designosaur should be on your radar. With a range ranging from duck billed platypus to velociraptors, via Miami beachfront cafes and a barrel full of monkeys, Designosaur’s designs are wonderfully individual and creative. But for day 8, we are featuring a very special necklace in their range – the wonderful Lulu…

Orca Necklace. Killer Whale Statement Necklace. Whale Pendant. Endangered Species Necklace. World Cetacean Alliance Fundraising Jewellery

Named after a real UK orca that became entrapped in abandoned ghost gear, Lulu is a necklace that tells a story –  a story where over 100,000 mammals a year lose their lives due to becoming caught, or ingesting synthetic netting, rope and other plastic based debris. From the turquoise net that is laid over her body to the beach cleaned rope from which she hangs, Lulu is a necklace with a deep meaning.

Made as a fundraising piece for the World Cetacean Alliance, Lulu is an orca with a mission, with 25% of every sale going directly to WCA to aid in global cetacean protection.

I am lucky enough to have a Lulu, and I have lost count of the times I have been approached by complete strangers, asking about her and what she means. Telling the story of her creation and why marine litter is one of the most pressing issues we have for both our oceans and ourselves is a tale that breaks my heart yet gives me hope that people will also re-tell the same story and change will ripple out.

So – we are delighted to feature this very special necklace on our Eco Gift Guide today. It is a gift that gives back in so many ways…

*** PS we have ONE Lulu left at our studio for the Artist’s Open Houses – last weekend 10/11th December ***

(image by Designosaur)

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 – Suzanne Snow…

We are thoroughly enjoying getting to know more about the lovely people who are exhibiting at Studio Loo this year for the Christmas Artist’s Open Houses. Today we have had a chinwag with paper cutting extraordinaire Suzanne Snow

Image of Lighthouse print.

Hi! Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do? My name is Suzanne and I am a paper cutting artist from Brighton. My work is all done by hand, which is time consuming but very therapeutic. I began paper cutting while living overseas and being homesick. Creating mini worlds was a way to connect me with home again.Image of Camera lightbox

What is your favourite thing in your range at the moment and why? My favourite piece of work at the moment is “Time returning” a layered, back lit paper cutting in a box camera. I love the different shadows the layers create. The idea behind it is that we are all connected,  each having a unique path but following a universal rhythm.

Image of Time returning.

Ok – I’ve got £20 to spend. What should I buy from your range? I would go for four mugs with the seafront design on. Perfect for hot chocolate on a cosy winters afternoon with friends.

Image of Seafront mugs.

What is on your own Christmas List this year? SNOW! I am still waiting for a white Christmas.

Image of Wolf in the woods. Turquoise background.

Christmas cake or Christmas pudding? Pudding every time. Christmas cake doesn’t even exist to me!

Thank you Suzanne! 

*** you can see all of Suzanne’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. 
http://shop.penelope-kenny.com/product/love-bees-silk-scarf

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
https://notanotherbill.com/shop/penelope-kenny-prints/

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!

december wish list day 8 – Brighton Gin…

We are keeping it local today on our december wish list, with a beverage that has just been launched in our very own city – Brighton Gin.

Created by five Brighton chums who all enjoy a spot of gin, this rather special tipple has literally just hit the shelves. 

We discovered Brighton Gin at the recent hiSbe Food 1st birthday party, where we were all there celebrating one year since the store that the Anslow sisters (plus Jack) had envisaged and we had designed was open. It was a marvellous night of fun – and of gin – specifically Brighton Gin, which is now being stocked at the hiSbe store in York Place Brighton.

And after double checking the Brighton Gin website today, we noticed that it will also be stocked at Quaff in Portland Road – just along the road from our new studio, which is also on Portland Road…

So – when you are stocking your drinks cabinet this year, why not think about getting something new, and if you are in our neighbourhood, something very local…

(images via Brighton Gin)

SPOTTED – picking our Christmas tree at Wilderness Wood…

We are suckers for a bit of tradition. Especially when it is a nice tradition – and really, we are heading full whack into one of the busiest times of year as far as tradition goes. We apologise in advance for using the C word in November, but hey. Christmas. Someone told me yesterday that there are only six weekends until Christmas. Six. Somehow that put the panic in a little bit, but we are safe in the knowledge that we have already bagged our tree. We went and reserved it at Wilderness Wood…wilderness wood 1

Some of you may know about our traditional trip up to the working wood, Wilderness Wood in Sussex – where every November (second weekend) we head up to get a tag, pay our £10 deposit and choose our tree in the Christmas tree plantation.

This year, was no different. We headed up on a sunny Sunday, boots at the ready, filled with excitement that was tinged with a little bit of apprehension. This was to be the first year that the wood was under new ownership after the Yarrow’s, who had founded the working wood in the 1970’s decided to retire. Would it be the same? Would the pots of tea be as huge, the cake so delicious and the atmosphere so friendly and welcoming?wilderness wood 2

Well, yes. We needn’t have worried. The barn was as packed as usual, the tea and the cake were both huge and delicious and the Christmas tree plantation was as we had expected.wilderness wood 3

With number 232 on our tag, there were lots of families and members who had reserved their trees before us, but there was still loads of selection available. Unfortunately, not the Douglas Fir that we have grown to love for its soft, fragrant, limey green needles, but still lots in the fir and spruce categories. Like the children in the plantation, we scooted up and down the hill, trying to find ‘the one’. There were a few contenders, but we eventually settled on one – a lovely Nordmann Fir – an excellent needle keeper, even when cut. Wilderness Wood has good Blue Spruces this year too, so if you are looking for one of these, ethically produced, then it is a good possibility.wilderness wood 4

Now, many of you will question whether driving to choose, then harvest a tree is perhaps the most ‘eco’ way to get a Christmas tree – and even if a real tree is perhaps the best choice. But we believe that this is not only about the tree, but the tradition of picking one – safe in the knowledge that it has been cared for in the right way. It is as ethical as possible. Plus, as we will compost the tree after, the tree becomes a biological nutrient for our own studio garden.

So. Full of tea, cake and with our tree reserved, we headed home. And we will go back in about a month and cut him down, bring him to the studio for Christmas. Ironically, we have named him Doug.

(go to the Wilderness Wood website for full details of their pick your own Christmas trees. all photos by claire potter)

seasons greetings from the claire potter design studio!

well, here we are everyone. seasons greetings – whatever you are doing and wherever you are, we hope you have fun.

animade_full

see you in 2014 – between now and when the studio is back on 6th Jan, will be revisiting a few of our favourite posts over the last year in our 2013 design recap.

(gif via Christmasgifs.org, by the fabulous Animade)

design wish list day 11 – a year of pants – Who Made Your Pants?

Getting underwear is a pretty standard thing for a lot of us at this time of the year, but as we are very discerning folk, we do not just want any old pants. Oh no. We want beautiful, ethical pants, made by people who care. Fortunately, there is the fabulous Who Made Your Pants?, based in Southampton.

Lunah

ShockerBasically, Who Made Your Pants? create ‘amazing pants by amazing women’ – using fabrics that are left over at the end of the season from other lingerie companies, all made with care by women who have had a pretty rough time in their lives. They are given training and a safe place to work with scope for development. A wonderful company indeed.

But as well as having fabulous ethics, Who Made Your Pants? also create the most fabulous pants. Pants that you would love to receive and wear. They are beautiful and they are obscenely comfortable too – in glorious colours and none of the dreaded VPL. They are packaged with care and you even get to know the name of the person who made your pants. We love them.

Something Blue

Brilliant Black

 

 

 

 

So – if you are looking for a gift of pants this year, take a look. And looking for a gift that keeps giving past the season? Sign your giftee up to the subscription package of a year of pants, when a special package will arrive each month, with a new pair of pants.

Yes please. 

Get in there quick to order before their shut down!

(images from Who Made Your Pants)

december design wish list day 9 – super manatee by Woah There Pickle

Today on our wish list we are continuing with another brilliant, Brighton based designer – the fabulous printer Vicky Day, aka Woah There Pickle. With loads of whimsical prints to choose from, Woah There Pickle has a great selection of funny pieces, but it was the comical Super Manatee print that caught our eye…

Super Manatee Comic Book Animal Linocut

Created using lino printing, the piece has a lovely conic book feel – plus being printed on lovely grey paper (our favourite colour), it would be a great addition to a kids room.

It is also part of a four piece set within the theme of super hero animals, so you could also choose from the Green Bantam, Spider Monkey, or our other favourite, Bat bat.

Batbat Comic Book Animals Linocut

At £15 each, they are also a very reasonable buy for a piece of handcrafted print, which is exactly why it is on our december design wish list.

Get in there quick for last minute Christmas gifts – check out the Woah There Pickle etsy shop for this plus other lovely pieces…

(images via Woah there Pickle)