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Happily Ever After

10 Feb


A wedding present for a special couple who woo-ed one another over scrabble.

The message is laid out in scrabble pieces on Liberty print paper. I later added their names to the scrabble, as they fitted in perfectly, and the wedding date to the mount.

x Loulou

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Christmas with Narwhal & Co

5 Dec

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Not only does Narwhal & Co, my new papercutting venture, now have a shiny new website, but also some snazzy business cards, just in time for Christmas. That means I’m totally legit, right?

I’m exhibiting at a couple of Christmas markets over the next few weeks so please come along if you’re based in London – find the details on the Narwhal & Co blog!

E

Letterpress Printing

27 Feb

Letterpress printing is having a bit of a moment.  Championed by some of my favourite bloggers (Jordan Ferney at Oh Happy Day, I’m looking at you) beautiful fonts are everywhere. After falling in love with this Pause and Wonder print by Aardvark, discovered in the V&A shop, and not a little inspired by the ideals it champions, I decided to give letterpress printing a whirl. A one day course at Ink Spot Press in Brighton saw me using wood and metal type to lay out basic card designs and print off small runs (with varying levels of success).

In this age of instant information overload and disposability there is something charming about cards and posters produced in a slower more measured fashion. Laying out type takes time, forces consideration of the content and space around. That said, I got overexcited by the fonts on offer (over 180 cases of type) as my icing card shows.

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I’ve a way to go to learn the elegance of restraint. Remembering where all the letters had come from when it was time to tidy up was a real struggle.

Ellie

On Bitter Winds and Cosy Ears

22 Feb

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In the face of frosty February, more than a few Pick Me Ups are needed to keep us smiling and cosy. Solving the hair-up hat dilema that gets us down this time of year is this vintage style knitted headband from the talented fingers of Pick Me Up’s Grace.  As the living room steadily fills with balls of beautifully coloured wool and parcels reveal more new needles (who knew there were so many different types of needle?), we are slightly concerned that Grace has become a knit-nut but, if the result is unique cosy hats, headbands and scarves all round, I think we’ll live happily with this vice.

Clickety clack

Ellie

Homemade Limoncello

29 Dec

Pick Me Up - Homemade Limoncello
This sweet, sharp liquer is essentially neat vodka with a little added lemon juice and sugar. Not only does this make Limoncello deceptively drinkable, it also means it’s super easy to make at home. Make it for a special Italian dinner, or decant into glass bottles for impressive Christmas presents – I filled preserving bottles and added simple labels this year.

Unlike some, this recipe does not need to be left for two weeks before you can drink it, so it’s good as a last-minute present. I used a litre of vodka and it filled five 250ml bottles, with a little left over for testing.

You’ll need:

1 litre vodka
350g sugar
zest of 3 lemons (unwaxed), peeled into big curls
8 lemons, juiced

Dissolve the sugar in the lemon juice and a splash of vodka. Add the curls of lemon zest. Once the sugar is dissolved, add the rest of the vodka and heat until warm… don’t let it boil. Remove from the heat, decant into your bottle(s) and chill.

Guaranteed to turn the most civilised of occasions silly.

X Loulou

Christmas Crafting

19 Dec

pick me up - christmas decorationDays of Christmas crafting in the Pick Me Up household. Fueled by lebkuchen and accompanied by cheesy christmas tunes on the radio, biscuits were baked, hats knitted and decorations fashioned. I pursued a papercut theme with christmas cards and clay  decorations in the same rabbit and bird designs.

pick me up - christmas craftingAfter rolling out air-dry clay I cut out my designs using a scalpel, a couple of days drying out and they were ready to paint with acrylic and seal with a spray matt varnish.

Family and friends are long accustomed to receiving homemade (or should that be bespoke) presents from me so I’ll not ‘disappoint’ them this year.

Ellie

Pineapple Wrapping Paper

29 Aug

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I just came across this wrapping paper which I saved from my birthday. I’m a big fan of pineapples so my colleagues made it especially for me! These hula-dancing, sunglass-wearing pineapples pick me up, always.

x Loulou

The Good Kind of Papercut

7 Aug

I’ve been wanting to try some papercutting for a while, inspired by the king of papercuts Rob Ryan. A pretty papercut invitation seemed the ideal way to present the birthday treat of afternoon tea. I kept my design very simple for a first attempt. The more I cut out the more delicate the whole thing became and I was slightly terrified of ripping it. Think I’ll need a lot more practice before I rival RR but I am happy with the way my invitation turned out.

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The afternoon tea was at the lovely Pelham House in Lewes – a slightly selfish present as I got to enjoy it as well.

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Ellie

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