I've been meaning to post for a while about Alfies Studio latest stockist. I was beyond excited when Claudia (Father Rabbit's leading lady) first contacted me about stocking my cards as her entire store is so beautifully curated and really, just radiant. Father Rabbit are based in New Zealand and carry an exquisitely collected selection of homewares and luxury goods.
In their own words..."Father Rabbit doesn’t subscribe to some deeply intellectual philosophy, just an appreciation of simplicity. That things should be done right, or not at all." For more about Father Rabbit click here.
I'm also busy working on some new cards for Father Rabbit as well as something else in the pipeline in conjunction with Claudia. More on that to be announced soon.
It's been a long while. I've been working like a dog on new collections and have had my head in all sorts of projects (it feels very strange to be drawing seagulls and beachy things with a 45mph wind raging at the windows - even tho that is probably an average British summer day!). I'll be posting more on the new items in the near future along with news of a new stockist.
Today I wanted to write a post about love, thats also about a change of heart, and about saying "yes".
This weekend was our 8th wedding anniversary. I hate the phrase about marrying your best friend because I'm really not that in to public displays of affection / gushing like that, but thats what happened. We were friends since we met on a working holiday in 1999 (building steps in the woods and knocking down and re-building old walls for the National Trust - photo here) and saw each other through some relationship break ups and melt downs over time as well as making lots of memories ourselves. Our relationship grew steadily and quietly, stealthily creeping in and establishing itself over time and distance.
We had a quote read at our wedding from Captain Corelli's Mandolin (we got engaged in a ruined church in the area it was set in Greece)
“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.”I feel that with every year this quote becomes more apt and when we chose it for the quirky link to our engagement I couldn't see the truth or meaning in it that I can now.
Monumental changes are often not a lightening bolt but a gentle shift over time. They aren't always directly our choices either. Change driven by the one who had a change of heart, the one who realised their heart was never really in it in the first place (as well as the dates and crushes that never turned in to anything at all) that made way for the life and love I have now.
Theres no real moral or leading question to get you involved. Just a gentle reminder that change can happen in the most unlikely of places and times. That a change of heart, can be a good thing. Really, to look after opportunities. I'd be in a very different place if I hadn't said yes in the early days. "Do you want to stay in contact?" - "Do you want to visit me at Uni?" - "Do you want to come and visit my friends this weekend?" - "Do you want to go out on Saturday?" (which unwittingly turned out to be - "Can I change your life on Saturday") - "Do you want to come and stay with me for a couple of days?" ...you get the idea. Sometimes, even if you aren't completely sure where it'll lead (and be it business or life), just say yes.
You can access the play list from our wedding day on Spotify here - music was and is a huge part of "us" and it seemed fitting to have a soundtrack to the day that echo'd our time and lives together (we shared it with our guests on a wedding favour). Track listing to follow.
Every year I make something a bit different for the Christmas cards that we send. This year I decided to do a card/gift combo and created a recipe card that had a cookie cutter attached.
We sent the posted ones in a clear box to give the postman something a bit different to look at and the hand delivered ones were wrapped in baking parchment.
The magazine which inspired the slightly Mad Men themed one is an original from 1958. I love the simplicity of old ads and tried to capture that feel in the card. With the other I went for a similarly aged notebook style, feeling that if ever the notebook has its day, it is now with Christmas "to-do" lists.
What do you think?
I've been under the weather to say the least over the past three or four weeks. Most days I've looked and felt like an extra for Shaun of the Dead (ah, how I do love Simon Pegg). I feel better today. So much better in fact, that I decided to get in to a fight with the AGA and a burning hot pan and I now have a line of burn blisters along the tips of the fingers on my right hand. You don't realise how much you use the end of your fingers until despite soaking them in iced water for 30 mins they still feel like they are on fire. I digress.
I have been running on a bare minimum of getting orders out and sulking back off to bed when I could and so haven't been blogging or getting much else done (thats a bit of a fib actually - I've re-read the entire Hunger Games set and slept A LOT). I have however just ordered lots of new materials for the coming year for the splendid new direction I'm taking the Alfies Studio brand. My smallest is at playgroup twice a week now and I'm starting to find my feet with business again. Next year will see some big changes as I begin to have 2.5 days (DAYS) a week to work rather than stolen moments and the twilight shift. I have already begun to shape my product offering and how I want to share my expertise and am excited about getting to work on some branding and event projects again now that I have more time. At the moment I have four spots open for large scale projects (wedding/event stationery, branding etc), if you have something coming up that you want to share with the world then do get in touch, I'd love to hear from you.
I fear that it will be the new year before I manage to cover some things I've been itching to post about (such as properly sharing the new Alfies Studio branding) as I'm working on something very close to my heart (Hunger Games styled invites!) but for now wanted to share a discount code with you in lieu of missing Small Business Saturday and everything else that has been happening of late. Use the code 15JUSTBECAUSE at the shop (http://shop.alfies-studio.com) before 9am on the 20th December for 15% off your order.
I hope you are all well and weathering the storms / colds / Christmas rush well. I'm so desperate for the colder weather now. Do any of you have snow yet?
Image from http://keithroysdon.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/movie-classic-shaun-of-the-dead/
Last week was a great week. Most specifically Thursday. I got to dress up in my "me" uniform rather than my "mama" uniform and head off to London for a private view at a shop that is stocking some of my Christmas cards (SMUG - read about it here and here).
On the train, speeding away from Leeds to London I looked down at my beautifully blood red nails glinting in the sun that was pouring through the window and fully evaluated that moment in time. I think to myself, I'm on a sunny train, wearing my kind of clothes, dressed how I like to dress, mixing business (private view) with pleasure (catching up with my long time friend who I haven't seen for a good number of years). I had a realisation in that moment "this is how work looks like for me, this is how a dream job (MY dream job) unfolds". Even now I sit writing (partially as a part of my "job" and partly for me) with blogger open in one window and a live stream of the Hunger Games premiere in another (regular readers will know of my love for J-Law and the Hunger Games) and I know that I am building my dream, I am in control of my path and my destination. Life is by no means perfect and I have a long way to go before I reach my goals, but the journey, it's a big part of it. I've been on a train speeding along to get things done before and started to realise I was missing the getting there. I love to travel and this is just an extension of that.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, take care of your journey, its just as important as your destination.