Tuesday, 6 December 2011

quiet times

It's been a lovely couple of weeks for me with a new fresh studio, new desk and lots of creative juices flowing. All my christmas orders have gone out and all my paperwork is (for the first time ever) in order.
For a while now I have been wanting to take Dear Prudence into other exciting products rather than just cards. A lot of my stockists have been asking for new products so in quiet moments it's important to keep up with design process. With the huge success of the mugs at Urban Outfitters it makes sense to take Dear prudence to the next level.
So I thought I would share a few sneak peek designs and products that I will be launching in June. Gift wrap, gift tags and jotters will be top priorities, but I will also be trialing a collection of three canvas shoppers. These will be based on the best selling Badger card. I have been working with the iconic welsh blanket patterns. I have loved drawing all the different designs and beautiful vibrant colours. I wish I could afford my own.

Let me know your thoughts on them. I would love to get your opinions. Any animals you would like to see in the blankets?

Friday, 2 December 2011

A mug of Dear Prudence

Sorry it has been so long since I last blogged. I have been moving home and business for the last couple of weeks and have only just got back online. Phew!
It feels great to be in my new studio based in Selby beside another minster  the charm of the Yorkshire market towns) Everything is still a bit chaotic and my studio needs a lot of work but I will be sure to post some pictures once I have finished. It's just such a luxury to have walls and two big windows rather than a little desk off my kitchen.

So, Andrew and I took a little trip to Manchester on the train for his birthday. We had a great day drinking mulled wine, walking round the city center and having a lovely lunch at Sam's chop house. On the way home on the train I noticed an abandoned Urban Outfitters christmas magazine. To my delight I found my range of mugs on the gifts page! It was such a nice surprise. I had the biggest grin on my face for the rest of the train journey.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Old friends new beginnings

Last week we took a trip up home to Scotland. We went to our friends James and Angharad's annual fireworks party. It was a much needed trip as we had not seen our friends for quite sometime.
It turned out to be like a mini reunion of Art School buddies. It was great to see friends who have ended up having a really successful business. I have realized how much I miss like minded friends who are also going through similar experiences. It can be a lonely old time working for yourself. Keeping motivated to drive a business with dramatic up's and down's can be tough. So it is great to share ideas and experiences with the people you started the journey with.
Angharad Jefferson creates the most unique embroidered cushions and wall hangings. She is a true talent when it comes to drawing with stitches. My favourite is the beautiful owl below.
I was also so happy to see Fiona Douglas director of Bluebellgray. She has achieved amazing things over the last two years being nominated for an Elle Decoration award in 2010. It was great catching up with her sharing all her recent exciting news.
We were talking about Art School days and how different the real world is. I had no idea what I was doing or what I wanted to achieve. We were so young and thought everything would just land on our laps. It was a bit like a cocoon. All safe and warm. We took so much for granted.
Let's hope this will be the beginning of many more visits to Glasgow to see friends studios and exhibitions. You never know I might need to move back up there one day!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Leaps and Bounds

Exciting things are starting to happen with the release of the collection of mugs and frames at Urban Outfitters. I had to share their webpage dedicated just to Prudence! It all feels real now and I am so happy with the result.
There will also be a mini interview on UO facebook page so look out for that.
 I can't believe how far Dear Prudence has come in a year. It was a slow start but I really feel I am running to catch up with her. Touch wood.
This week I have been busy with lots of orders and have had a bit of time to catch up with paperwork. We will be moving to a new nest soon with a beautiful new studio so I am trying to get organized. With a cold winter ahead I am looking forward to sitting by our fire and drawing my little creatures.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Into The Wilds

I got this amazing book from Andrew for my birthday and I found myself referring to it everyday. I love Nigel Peake's drawing style. The way he captures birds is quite special. I feel a real relation to his work as I work in a very similar medium and I love repeat pattern. I find it soothing to draw. He captures pattern in a a very different way. Pattern in nature, for example fields, houses and the structure of a feather.
He has an amazing bike travel journal that we sell in Snowhome. It's so beautiful. I wish I cycled all the time so I could buy it.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Badges for the GSA

One of my older products were badge sets. I discontinued them as they were taking a lot of time to make. They sold really well at the Glasgow School of Art shop and they asked me to do a range exclusively for them. I am really pleased with how they turned out and I am sure they will go down very well at Christmas. If they get more popular I may have to find a manufacturer. I might do a few pocket mirrors too. This will have to go on my very long to do list.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Calke Abbey

With a new National Trust membership under our belts Andrew and I decided to take a trip down to the Cotswalds and enjoy the last few days of October sunshine.
On the trip down we stopped of at Calke Abbey in Derby. I had to share a few of the photos as this house was truly beautiful and an amazing experience.
With wallpaper peeling off the walls and overgrown courtyards you can't help but feel a certain presence of what once was. The rooms tell a story of a lost manor house stripped away to an almost abandoned, yet treasure ridden estate. I have never seen so many curious cabinets filled with every kind of bird and hare! I loved the room with hundreds of oil lamps grouped on shelves.  My camera was not enough as I wanted to capture everything through drawing. I certainly came away itching to get my sketchbook out. Owned by a eccentric family you are aware of a ghostly presence. The shutters are covering the windows so you get a feeling of what it must have been like to discover this house full of memories and collections. Maybe in 100 years someone might find a house with a few Dear Prudence cards and prints that are a bit worn and faded. That would be nice.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Autumn listening

Just wanted to share with you the album that is proving to be my October delight! With the trees changing colour and evenings drawing in, this little tune 'Iris' compliments the changing season and puts a spring in my step. She reminds me of Suzanne Vega and has truly original songs on her album.
Autumn is my favourite season and whether it's a smell, taste, book or song I always seem to have very strong memories attached to it. When I am an old lady drawing and painting the hours away I think 'Emmy the great' will take me back to October 2011.

Friday, 14 October 2011

What a Journey

When I come to London I always stay with my dear sister Sara and her boyfriend Michael. Every time I come down he gives up his bed and sleeps on a blow up mattress! Trust me, I feel bad. So this was again one of the many trips to meet with the Urban Outfitters team on a new, exciting range of mugs. I met Lucy and the girls at many a trade show they showed a keen interest on Dear Prudence and her style. So after a call to come to head office for an initial meeting things took off pretty fast and suddenly I was looking at samples of my drawings on mugs!
On this occasion I was meeting with the web team to discuss press and launching the range.
Sara had no auditions (Actor) so we decided to make a day of it in London town. We went for breakfast to Ginger and White in Hampstead, spied for antiques and while I went mad in a local art shop Sara carried my overnight bag like a slave!
Before my meeting we thought we would pop into Urban to see if there were any new goods to buy. To our shock and surprise there were the Dear Prudence mugs and frames sitting very beautifully for all to buy! I was not expecting this as I thought they would hit the shops in November. I was trying to keep it all quiet but looks like Urban Outfitters got there before me. So hooray!! The secret is out and the mugs are available nationwide and on the website so hurry before they all go. I must say I am very happy with them and they are a great winter warmer for huge cups of tea and your lunch time soup. Or you can do what I have done and have them as a pen holder on your desk.
What a journey! From initial ideas to final outcome it all went pretty smoothly! No manufacturing nightmares at all. It was a real joy to design these mugs for UO. I enjoyed every moment.
This is not the end folks. Dear Prudence will be working very closely with Urban Outfitters in the future. Look out for some great Spring/Summer pieces designed exclusively for UO.
So I am now back in my little corner work space beside my kitchen thinking about new designs, new products for Dear prudence stationery line. I really should get more space for Prudence, she is taking over my home.
So girls and boys.............It's time for tea!!!

Friday, 7 October 2011


After nearly the whole of September away from Dear Prudence I feel like I have abandoned her! However in reflection I realize how much I needed a break. Now I feel refreshed and ready to take on new projects and design some exciting new paper goods!
I have got so much to blog and feel very inspired by what I have seen and done in the past month. So expected constant blogs for the next month or two! But firstly I want to tell you how loved I feel right now. My HUSBAND, friends and family have given me lots of cards through September due to many a special occasions. They always say how it is so difficult to find a card designer a decent greetings card. I must admit I am fussy and getting badly designed cards does make me cringe!
Well folks, you have really outdone yourselves! So much so that I have blogged my favourites!!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Homes and Gifts

This week I have been at the Homes and Gifts show in Harrogate. I always love this little show as it's an easy trip for me and I always meet such lovely buyers and exhibitors. With the help of Andrew we managed to create a lovely little haven.  I have been gradually collecting scrabble shelves and old wooden School stationery and I am beginning to have quite a collection. It seems to be a bit of a brand direction for Dear Prudence (a genuine accident)

I made lots of great contacts again and got a few pieces of illustration work too. So I am pretty happy. Going to keep a low profile at shows now till next June as I am going to be launching the Dear Prudence stationery line at Pulse!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Dear Pudence in Munich

What a week! Dear Prudence has just had a show in Munich 'Trendset' I was lucky enough to have Brevi Manu (who also distributes Dear prudence to the German market) showcase DP with a few of my favourite stationery companies like O check Graphics, Gongjang and Green design works. It was a fantastic show and I can now safely say that Dear Prudence is right at home in Germany! Andrew and I will hopefully be taking a trip there very soon to catch some inspiration. More news to follow soon.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


Well it has been a very busy June for me. Pulse was a great success and I have only just finished dispatching the back log of orders. I was getting a bit worried as they were mounting up fast in my studio and I had very little room to move! Phew! I can't get too relaxed though as I have the Home and Gifts show in a couple of weeks.
In the mean time I thought I would share a little bit of press that Dear Prudence has in this months Homes and Antiques. Lovely!!

Sunday, 29 May 2011


Pulse is less than a week away and I am so excited about this show. Its the only one of its kind during the summer months. Dear Prudence is in the launchpad section of the hall, which is great as there are many other new designers and companies that are in the same boat trying to make it! Its a great chance to network and meet new potential stockists.
With lots of new designs and a new stand concept I am very nervous but cant wait to get down to London and feel the buzz! I love trade shows and wish I could do them all the time. I am very lucky that I have been able to do three this year! Lets hope I can do the same in 2012.
If you are around London come and visit me at stand LP84
I will let you all know how it goes with lots of photos to follow. Ciao for now 

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

A Vintage Treat...

It's been a very busy month so far with lots of orders and prep for Pulse.
I have just finished a commission for a shop called Random Vintage  in Wales, selling beautiful jewellery. My favourite is the little harmonica necklace, oh and the whistle is lovely too!
I met Claire weeks the owner at Top Drawer after I had supplied to her shop last July. She is a girl who is vintage crazy so we got on perfectly!
So when she asked me to design her new logo and business card I was chuffed to bits! This was a very satisfying project as Claire knew exactly what she wanted and it was just up my street.
The flourishing speech bubble is beginning to look like a signature stamp for Dear Prudence. Hmmmm...... Below is the business card, earring card and sticker. Hope you like.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Easter at the Yorkshire Soap Company

Dear Prudence has been working very closely in recent months with the Yorkshire Soap Company. What can I say, they have kept me a float! They are one of my best customers and display my cards with such care and pride.
So when they asked me if I could design them an Easter card I didn't think twice. They also had it filling their window over Easter as a main attraction. How proud I am!! Cute bunny too! Yorkshire Soap Company never do things by half!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


I just had to post some images of my most favourite book as a child 'Bendemolena' It brought me so much joy as a child and there is such amazing memories attached to it. I love the 70's dull colours of mustards and greens, and the American style houses are great.
You can see from the pictures below I was itching to be an illustrator at a very young age (I had a habit of drawing on books, walls and furniture. Sorry Mum)
Maybe I will get to illustrate a children's book one day. Dreamy!!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Catching crayons

New week, new season, new collection!! Spring is in the air and has inspired my bright, playful and fun new collection 'catching crayons' With dancing foxes, wise owls and cuckoo clocks. Who could resist? 

I will be launching this new work at Pulse in June and also have a whole new concept for the design of my stand. In fact I have been working on a re-design for the Dear Prudence logo too. 

I love change, and I guess thats why I love designing for cards and stationery. Its so fast and I can constantly change and evolve as  my business grows. Although, I can be very indecisive and it can often take months before I make decisions and stick to them. 

 Anyway, very excited about this new range and there maybe more to come. Hope you like it!