Feels like spring in the air! You know what that means; many brides busying themselves with wedding details, coralling wild groomsmen, pulling together colours, feeling up fabrics, sniffing flowers and generally feeling cloud-nineish! SUCH a great celebration to plan toward, but SO many details! I happen to LOVE details - the smaller and more paper-related, the better! The season kicked off for me with a wedding show in Victoria a couple of months back! The above post card was my promotional material for the wee paper accessories and guest favour details that I offer for brides and grooms. Each one is meticulously sketched, then painted with my TINY TINY watercolour brush to make every tag or banner a unique piece that speaks to the colours and energy of the day. To accomodate your dozens/hundreds of guests, these tags, labels and favour banners are then reproduced to the numbers that you require for your special crowd. Have a browse.... fresh florals, bows, stripes, dots and chevrons - all the things the heart desires (at least THIS heart!!).
I want to share this super rad project with all of you - a custom Christmas card for Platinum Floral Designs, located in Victoria, B.C.! You could say that Tina and I have had an "internet relationship", having met only once while celebrating in the aftermath of a shoot (we never met on the day!). She is SO passionate about her floral design company and it shines through on each petal and twig when she is creating one-of-a-kind floral arrangements for weddings, Christmas parties, or any special occasion. Tina is kind of keen on "one-of-a-kind" (her company's catch phrase is "Luxurious. Personal. Quality"), and that was what motivated her to seek out some unique and personal paper products for her 2013 client Christmas correspondence. I was THRILLED when she contacted me and I was happy to share in Tina's passion for the organic beauty of the petal and leaf - through my paintbrush of course! These 75 custom watercolour note cards were created with Tina's eye for floral styling in mind ....now that's custom! ;) It was a pleasure working with the easy-going and very professional, cheerful Tina! I would recommend her for ANY of your floral needs!
Here we go! Christmas is on its way and I am going NUTS over here! Christmas music is on, things are lit up, candles are going, Corgi is in a red coat (for 30 seconds), and there are even wrapped presents! I just can't get enough of this time of year, no matter HOW early I start! The super thrilling thing for me is the launch of my new Etsy Shop! It opened its doors to ya'll just yesterday and I'm more than excited! I keep sitting here staring at it! YUP!You'll find my new collection of paper goodies in there; 'Bright Lights' - the 2013 Christmas set! There are note cards, stickers/envelope seals, mini gift tags, round gift tags and twine (you have to have twine!). I have been working on these little watercolours for the world to enjoy and it's such a thrill to introduce my animal friends to everyone! There is a little red fox adventuring in his canoe (scarf flying in the wind!), a snowy owl gal sitting on her fence post perch while the snow falls around her, an enthusiastic little Corgi on a drum, and a big ol bottle of gin! Yup, gin - my grandma's happy hour drink-of-choice has found a cheery place in our traditions and we think of her words of wisdom (like, "all things in moderation"), while lifting a cool glass to our lips! And, er....about that Corgi on the drum... he decided he wanted to come out of the paintbrush as a chunky, figgy pudding eating Pembroke/Cardigan cross! But that's ok! We embrace figgy pudding eating Pemdigans! JUST LOOK HOW HAPPY HE IS!! Aiden is a little miffed that the drum Corgi is not his likeness, but it's good for even tube-shaped dogs to learn that the cat doesn't always poop in your corner of the yard! I have had SO much fun with this collection and it's time to share it with you! Helping me share it is .......wait for it...... my gal Erika (!) who spent a few hours in the studio with me this week taking shots of these paper goodies! We had a blast! After our styling and shooting, we had a chai and worked away in our own corners of the studio; editing photos, snipping twine, selling prints online (check out E's store!), and cutting paper in to little bits! Aint life good!?So have a browse through this little shop, and let me know what you think! HUGE hugs to everyone from ChristmasTown!
Except for the occassional photo in this spread, all images taken by the fabulous Erika of Element Photography
As these cool mornings overtake our warm sit-on-the-deck-with-a-latte hours, I'm inspired to re-live summertime! What a whirlwind of an Island summer! I feel like I had my paws in so many buckets - chasing my tail all over this valley! SOOOO much fun! Again, I had the pleasure of partnering up with my closest creative - Erika of Element Photography! She was in and out of my life this summer as she darted here and there, covering 12 (COUNT THEM 12!!!) weddings! One of those beautiful unions was that of Logan and Ryan at Cowichan's own Birds Eye Cove Farm. This wedding day was truly spectacular with it's hot afternoon sunshine, the smell of fresh hay in the air and a happy and healthy couple with so much love and respect for each other! Highberry Dew was enthusiastically involved in creating a custom (giant!) chandelier for the Barn's soaring skyline! The magic of this piece was it's glam presence when the lights went down and it glowed out beyond the Barn's walls - music pumpin' inside! Other HD creations included custom paper goods, succulent book planters and lit-up marquee letters designed and built here at my studio. This was something Logan was keen on and I was totally game to jump in and create, from scratch - something so fun and current! In another short summer, I managed to keep up with Erika, creating unique packages for each of her 2013 Element Photography wedding couples. Receiving one's photo DVD in the mail must truly be something to delight over and I was thrilled to once again be involved in that gift of memories and love! These packages were inspired by the amazing thoughtfulness of each couple as they planned the colours, scenes and favours for their day - focussing on texture and the play in juxtaposing design elements. I'm happy to be winding down in to hibernation mode with such a trail of bright, enthusiastic and creative memories in the wake of the summer months! Thanks to all who included me in their special projects!
Well lovelies, it has come and gone again - another amazing spell at the Mikone Farm Sale - Cowichan's annual! What a DAY!! Again, we had wonderful sunshine and breeze, AGAIN we had a multitude of talented vendors - enthusiastic about their wares AND life in general - and AGAIN there was a bounty of good-will, fresh food, and some inspiring musical creations by Lord and Lady Ravenshire! Kiona and her family hosted us on their wee piece of paradise, and for that we are so grateful!We were delighted to meet so many people from near and far - SO many more of you Victoria folk who made the jaunt up JUST for the sale! We had our Highberry Dew home decor booth styled up with a collection of treasures for every taste - from old shutters, to barnwood tables, chic settees and cheery china cabinets. Lanterns 'flew off the shelf', chalk boards, frames, galvanized wares, pillows, throws, vases and decanters! Our own one-of-a-kind, fabric-covered ottomans were a hit, as were the woven wool throw pillows!It was WONDERFUL meeting everyone, and I'm already planning for next year's sale when we will all meet again!Thank you for your enthusiasm and support! BIG love!
This year we offered inspirational image tags with suggestions of how to decorate with each item! The response was great!
CRACK POT!! Don't you just love saying that?! I think we can all agree that there is a nice chewy sense of rule breaking (in an old school sort of way) in calling someone a 'crack pot'! Well, Christine Pollard of Crack Pot Florals is no timid wall-flower. She tackles things head on and with determination, admitting freely that she herself inspired her business name! A life long dream has become reality for Christine in the launch of her floral business - a Cowichan company dedicated to the natural beauty of floral arrangements created using field grown blooms. And who grows these fields and fields of flowers?! Christine herself! While pulling up her gum boots and tackling the preliminaries of 'business start-up', Christine approached me about working with her to create just the right business card. Hand painted in watercolours, then carefully collaged to suite a specific design scheme, Christine's Crack Pot business card was born! Hint: for behind-the-scenes design ramblings and for a glimpse in to my design process, check out the 'samples' image below. When I paid a little visit to Crack Pot central - aka, the welcoming and warm farmland and rolling flower 'crops' Christine has called home for over 30 years - I was inspired and excited! Who doesn't love a lush pocket of blooming amaranth, or a nice loud stand of sea holly? When carefully and adventurously arranged by Christine, these proud blooms lift up beyond the fields to become a fresh and enlivening composition, gracing local boutique displays, service counters and home tables. Christine's florist concept is a bit different - these arrangements come to you by 'subscription'. An individual, or a business, can sign up for a weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly subscription - guaranteeing fresh posies to grace any special corner on any special day. Pssst, this makes a LOVELY gift for someone as well! Imagine getting a gift card stating that every two weeks you will be the lucky recipiant of a locally grown, totally organic, floral arrangement - delivered to your doorstep! Christine is dedicated to her clients and can create a bouquet to suite your space, your style and even....your health - offering all-foliage bouquets created for pollen sensitive folk. Have a wander with me amid the fields of florals, where I joined Christine for a tour on a sunny summer's eve. To sign up for your subscription or to order one for a friend; email Christine at firstname.lastname@example.org And stay tuned at the bottom of this post for a fun interview with Christine!
The sun setting on Christine's personal side- yard garden..... I left feeling inspired to plant more and paint more!
An interview with Christine:
- Highberry Dew: What is so important to you about bouquets in the home or workplace?
Christine: Bouquets are living gifts from the garden. They enhance our living spaces. They add beauty. They invite interaction, conversation. They calm us and influence our temperament. They stimulate our senses and make us feel alive
- HD: I know you have been gardening most of your life - growing flowers AND delicious food. What is your favourite fresh-from-the-garden dish?
C: Although I so enjoy a fresh salad straight from the garden, I have to admit that being able to declare that everything on my plate came from our garden still thrills me after 25 years.
- HD: If you could be a flower, what would you be, and why?
C: If I could be a flower, I would be one that volunteers. One that pops up in the most unlikely places, growing in places I am not supposed to but because I want to. I would be quite flamboyant, my flower delicate and not lasting very long. I think I could be any one of the Poppies. The large pink Oriental to the small orange Californian, to some of the other big dishy Papavars.
- HD: Like me, collecting "treasure" is a passion for you; what is your favourite vintage item?
C: At the moment, my favourite is my latest score. It is a yellow and green enamel Tiffin box found in Georgetown, Penang Malaysia while on holiday. I love enamel but also the notion of Tiffin boxes which are stacking bowls held together with a metal frame. The idea is that your meal components will be separated into the stacking dishes. The rice, in one dish, the daal in another, the curry in another. Tiffin in India is a meal, so it is like a lunch box from South Asia. It meets my practical and exotic needs.
- HD: How would you describe your perfect summer's eve?
C: My perfect summer eve is sitting with my family in the courtyard around the table just having finished a home cooked meal celebrating the garden.
Happy party season! Yes, it's the time of year when we all flip through the calendar, filling it up with bridal showers, weddings, baby showers and family dinners. What a great, social season this is for our culture! Sitting around a table of loved ones, sharing stories and enjoying delicious food, is one of my favourite things to do. When the 'centre stage' of that table is gracefully and carefully adorned, my experience becomes even richer! I love to gaze on nice things (who doesn't!?), and the inspiring feeling of a carefully laid table, extends out to all guests. I have been busy creating these succulent book planters as a way of offering a unique centre piece to the brides of this season. These hand-made succulent gardens, set amid the delicate old pages of a vintage book, are inspired by my love of texture, of paper and of gardening. A popular design trend of the season, these offer a wonderful feel to any vignette - from guest tables at your wedding, to a lovely tabletop feast in your orchard. The no-fuss nature of succulents, along with carefully selected lichen and moss, adds a care-free and rustic appeal to these little charmers. To reserve your rental order, contact Highberry Dew by emailing email@example.com.
I had met Jody just once, when I wrote in my sketch book "Jody is fresh, fun, bubbly". I wrote that upon receiving a message that Jody wanted me to brand her company Jody's Naturals and design packaging for her bath and body care products. You can imagine how thrilled I was to be working with this young and energetic entrepreneur! Jody and her family are the cutest clan you ever saw, bubbling over with vivacious ideas, tongue-in-cheek humour, and a love for anything vintage! I was immediately impressed with their ability to work with me in an honest and open dialogue as we distilled our ideas down to create an appropriate visual presence for their company! What a pleasure it was to carefully create each of these unique packaging concepts to adorn the lovely hand-made products that Jody is known for. Her luscious scents and locally-sourced ingredients feel so good to use and each bar is visually appealing on its own - naked! With lip balms, shaving bars, whipped moisturizing creams and shampoo bars, Jody's product line is always expanding! I was particularly delighted to begin design work on the 'Lil' Stinker' baby bath bar wrapper with its wee skunk image! This little guy's design roots throw back to the vintage skunk caricatures of the 1940's and 50's with his big eyes and huggable fuzziness! Jody and I had a great time coming up with the concept for his stinky little bath tub and his naughty expression that says "I made an oopsy"! Equally as fun and inspiring, were the organic botanicals and sweeping berries and branches of the "Floral" and "Earthy" soap wrapper collections - all held in cohesion by the carefully selected colour palette. With two other "specialty soaps" - the 'Fish On' sea-farer's bar and "Cuppa Jody' (a kitchen bar with ground coffee for exfoliation) - my design inspiration was endless! Each design was hand drawn and digitally 'collaged' in to it's rightful spot, creating a composition that is exuberant, fresh and just a wee bit whimsical - just like the lovely lady that creates these bath and beauty products! Have a peek over at Jody's Etsy shop!
It won't come to many of you as a shock....I love dogs. These fuzzy friends enrich lives all around the world, teach patience, teach love and teach dedication, teach forgiveness and understanding....all the things, as humans, we could do with a little more of! As a way of spending time with those 'lessons from the dog', I dedicated a small series of watercolours and collage to this important being and its loyal, angelic nature. Yes, angels can be mischievious! My new Fetch and Frolic dress from Anthropologie is COVERED with sketchy renderings of a variety of pups! I'm just in love with it and it has inspired me to share with all of you, this series of furry friends! Enjoy! I have thrown in some of my FAVOURITE dog paintings from three other artists, who are noted under each image. Happy Furry-Friend Friday!
'Miki On The Carpet' Bill Sharp www.billsharp.wordpress.com
Rebecca Green www.bluecanvas.com
Karin Jurick www.karinjurick.com
One week ago was a sunny Saturday, full of the life of spring, the hot heat of a day that felt like July and a lively collection of some of the people in my life that inspire me the most. Now that a week has passed, a busy one at that, I can gather more consciousness of just what was outstanding for me last weekend, my most favourite special moments and tastes, the sounds, the words spoken, the cards and thoughtful gifts...for, yes, it was my Birthday! I wanted to have a gathering of my clan: a sit-down-and-chow-together-around-a-giant-table-with-wine-flowing-and-rock-and-roll-pumping kind of affair! There was so much that made the weekend everything I wanted; from picking up my city-gal, arms waving from the bus, to shopping for wood trim at the construction store, to our Mason Bee family hatching like popcorn bursting from tiny 'kernels', then spiralling off toward their destiny. It all was magical. I will share with you an important part of my new year, my life-change to being Vegan. Somehow this has made food so sacred to me; every taste delicious, infused and carefully prepared and shared. My reasons are moral and I find that I have eased in to my 'comfy chair' of eating and fuelling my body - meaning that I couldn't feel more at ease, satisfied and safe in the ways that I attain my energy. I'm bringing all of this up since I began wondering to myself just why this felt like such a special Birthday - one with much more awareness, contentedness and exhilaration in looking to the future - not the usual half-dred at aging, the daunting year ahead at a job that maybe I only half enjoyed putting my energy towards (sounds dismal right? NAH! It wasn't THAT bad before, just the usual questionings of age and purpose). This year had so much fan-fair (which, duh, I love!), so much party, so much sun, so much amazing and beautifully prepared food AND all of those faces that I love! We listened to the The Who, we shouted, we talked (like civilized people), we roasted some veggies and baked some focaccia. We ate up (sigh) a thick slice each of fluffy and coconut-rum-soaked cake, obliterated by a sweet but tangy "butter cream" frosting, and covered with toasted shavings of coconut (Yes, VEGAN! Recipe soon.....). When my Mum sets her mind to something in the kitchen, is becomes a work of art, and in this case.... A LEGEND. Hubby and I capped off the weekend with a Sunday full of fun with our overnight guests from the city, more hot sunshine and tanning on the deck, a breaky of beans and fresh tortillas with all the fixins, more Mason Bee nursery observation, and the creation of a headboard! With my dear friend Steph being one of our guests (if two people ever DID find so much in the other one to admire and inspire, it's us!), we decided to use Sunday for the transformation of a dear old door in to a sweet-as-pie headboard. What a gorgeous beauty of patina from the layers of years and layers of paint finishes.... Our masterpiece complete, we sat back (for a couple of seconds) before throwing on our wellies and heading for the forest to scavenge for stinging nettles....a gift from the mossy floor of our island's wooded areas. Another fresh and iron-rich dinner in our bellies, we read a little, drank a little tea and threw a nice ol' lid over the most rich and rewarding Birthday weekend I can remember. 'Life is for living', and this will be a good motto for my year. Gather your clan and live!
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