New Tools make Baby Lino

Two new relief cutting tools ordered last week - arrived and put to use immediately.
Need to work bigger though - this little birdie print looks odd round the legs and feet....and the graph paper is a bit dominant at this scale.
Though it is fun being hands-on and continuing to resist the seduction of the software:

How To Make Handmade Products Look Great In Photos

Yeah - that's the problem - taking photos that make the most of beautiful handmade things.
Hours of care, hard work and love can be lost through ineffective photography.
I have been trying to take decent images of the sweet pinafores we've been working on for East Place Designs but I still can't do them justice!
Some of the close ups are alright:

But when it comes to seeing the whole garment - they just don't look as completely irresistible as we'd like in these images:

Although when I took some photos of my little lad in his new coat earlier in the year, they made the coat look as adorable as it really is:

Maybe it's the fact that the item is being worn by a very cute and scrumptious little fella - a human being literally brings the garment to life.
Right - got to find some of my little lad's adorable girl friends and let them dress up in some pretty pinafores for sweet lively images...

My Sister - A Teenager Bunny?

It dawned on me recently that I have been posting all my character designs on my 'sister' blog - East Place Designs but I haven't kept up with it over here. 
So I'm going to re-dress that with some photos of how the characters have been developing.
Here are some images from my sketchbook, way back when I was very first exploring the idea of rabbit and hedgehog characters. The drawings have to change into designs and develop loads before they come into they're own.
I often draw from soft toys initially to get ideas for proportions and facial expressions:

When I first drew Vanilla for the cut out rabbit doll, I made her legs really long - she looked like a teenager bunny!

Yes, still toying with the idea that Shackleton might be a bit of a pirate or 'super' rabbit sometimes....

It took almost as long to decide on the names as it did to design the little characters themselves:

This is sweet little Vanilla bunny - who likes collecting and crafting.
I made a Vanilla Dress-up paper doll and Shackleton rabbit - a bit of an adventurer who likes sticks and stones - can be seen at the bottom of the page. 

Designs get printed onto 100% cotton as well as onto paper goods - so we make clothes and cushions to compliment the cards, activity kits and notebooks. 

As I get some photos of the finished items, I will post more here - and we'll be at the Contemporary Summer Craft and Design Fair on Saturday 20 July at Long Melford in Suffolk

New Photos of New Stuff

There are a load of new images on the Products page...
More like this:

And here are some cute little details:

We All Need Time Away To Refresh...

We had a relaxing few days with family over on the other side of the country in half term week - and it was lovely to take a bit of time to re-look at all those familiar things that underpinned my childhood days.
I pressed that close-up button on my camera to get right in on some detail:
First up - fun and funky oddities:

A cheeky little drawing by my brother - done years ago - of  Edward I and - a conflab of cockerels!

Our home was full of antique china - so here are some pretty painted bits, also an etching and further on some little people.. and two dear little houses:

These expressions are quite plaintive and the characters very sweet, with their ruddy complexions -  showing their gentle country ways I imagine:

This rather delicate chap reminds me a little of the guy who started Facebook - can't remember his name and  that's fine by me: