Amelia’s Magazine | Easter Biscuits from the Biscuiteers

Biscuiteers Easter egg biscuit tin
Biscuiteers Easter egg biscuit tin.

Think buttered icing is over-rated? Fed up with cupcakes? Sick of chocolate eggs? Then how about trying something a little different this Easter? Biscuiteers have a knack of producing wonderful decorated biscuits for every occasion.

Biscuiteers Easter Biscuits-crown
Easter Egg Biscuits by Holly Rogers
Easter Egg Biscuits by Holly Rogers.

And in the run up to Easter the nice folks at Biscuiteers have sent me a delightful selection of Faberge inspired Easter eggs to sample. The tin contains nine gorgeous decorated biscuits, sick thick with sugary icing, crystals and crunchy baubles – my favourite ones feature crown designs. The Easter Egg mini collection costs £30 but if you feel like splashing out there is also the Easter Family Tin for £38.50, containing bunnies, ducklings and lambs alongside the eggs – a sure fire hit for the kids.

Biscuiteers Easter Egg Biscuits mini collection

Or, for those on a smaller budget there is also an Easter Bunny Card, with two bunnies for £9. In true Easter style the biscuits are chocolate flavoured. My one quibble would be that it’s a shame the tin is decorated with very pretty Easter illustrations that have been printed onto stickers rather than integrated into the tin so that it can easily be washed and re-used: something for the future?

Biscuiteers Easter Biscuits-bunny tin

For the monarchists out there there is also the Royal Wedding Tin, which contains crowns, Union Jacks, sparkly heels fit for a princess, a cake, a wedding dress (possibly not THE ONE, whatever that might be) and the world famous engagement ring. These biscuits come on a vanilla flavoured base as a tin of 16 for £40. Perfect if you feel like celebrating… for whatever reason.

Royal Wedding Biscuits by Rosemary Cunningham
Royal Wedding Biscuits by Rosemary Cunningham.

NEWS JUST IN: use the discount code AMELIA when ordering to get 10% off the Biscuiteers Easter range up until midday on Thursday 21st April 2011.

Categories ,Biscuiteers, ,Biscuits, ,chocolate, ,Crown, ,Cupcake, ,Easter, ,Easter Bunny Card, ,Easter Egg mini collection, ,Easter Eggs, ,Easter Family Tin, ,Engagement Ring, ,Holly Rogers, ,Icing, ,Princess, ,Rosemary Cunningham, ,Royal Wedding, ,Royal Wedding Tin, ,Union Jack, ,Wedding Dress

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Amelia’s Magazine | The ACOFI Book Tour: visiting The Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011

On Tuesday I hit the second date of my ACOFI Book Tour, this time at the rather wonderful Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh. I chat with super friendly bookshop guru Matthew via the wonders of twitter, so it was a delight to meet him in the flesh.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011 Narcissus Garden Yayoi Kusama
Narcissus Garden by Yayoi Kusama.

After settling in for a nice piece of fruit tart and a glance at a selection of the newest titles in the incredibly well stocked bookshop I had a brief chance to wander around the current exhibition Narcissus Reflected, which features a painting by Salvador Dali on loan from the Tate and for the very first time shown as it was meant to be, with the poem that accompanies it. Upstairs a mass of light silver balls floods the airy space – Narcissus Garden is an update of a piece by Yayoi Kusama first shown back in the 1960s. A small darkened room strewn with comfy floor cushions has been cordoned off to showcase a beautifully soporific film by Pipilotti Rist.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011 biscuitsACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011-iced gemsACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011 biscuits

The Fruitmarket Gallery cafe was sadly closed for our evening event so I went a bit crazy in the local supermarket: plates of colourful Jammy Dodgers, Iced Party Rings, Jaffa Cakes, Iced Gems and Pink Wafers were soon adorning the cafe tables. Yup! It was a veritable E number fest. If it’s not going to be beautifully homemade why not head off to the other end of the spectrum I say?! These biscuits remind me of many a childhood party…

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011 Dr.Hauschka
At the front I arranged a tray of yummy Dr.Hauschka goodies for guests to take away and try later.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011 Juiceology
Matthew’s expert merchandising skills came to the forefront as he arranged a (fashionable) colour block display of Juiceology juices and appealing piles of ACOFI and AAOI atop a round table next to which I sat to give my talk.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011
ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011
ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011
Abi Lewis of We Are Caravan.

I had been a bit nervous about travelling all the way to Edinburgh because it’s so far away from my normal stomping ground and I don’t really know many people up there… but I needn’t have worried because the cafe packed out very quickly with about 50 people, who gathered in friendly groups, chatting and taking the opportunity to sample the colourful Juiceology offerings before I settled down to do my talk, a very good write up of which you can read on the We Are Caravan blog.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011
ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011
ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011
ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011
v
Lesley Barnes and her friend Libby.

Luckily my only Scottish-based ACOFI illustrator Lesley Barnes was also in able to make it along to The Fruitmarket Gallery – she brought along some wonderful work to share with us, and talked a little bit about the process of working with me so it was really wonderful to have her there, especially now we’ve been working together for nearly two years since she answered the brief for my first book. I only realised this week that this was in fact pretty much the start of her involvement with briefed illustration, although she was doing lots of her own work beforehand.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011-Lesley Barnes

I do like to remind people that hers is an exceptional talent – Lesley Barnes has never been formally trained, instead choosing to do a degree in English Literature, and yet she has managed to develop an utterly unique and identifiable style that is finally garnering some acclaim: she featured in a recent issue of the Sunday Times Style magazine and her work is stocked in the Soma Gallery, to which I will be trundling along on Thursday 26th May.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011

After the talk there was more time to speak to everyone and I managed to take snaps of just a few of the delightful creative people that I met: some of whom I persuaded to pose against the excellent neon sculpture in The Fruitmarket Gallery cafe area.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011-We Are Caravan
Ian, Julz and Abi run We Are Caravan, with whom I’ve been chatting on twitter in the run up to my Edinburgh visit. You can also find Abi Lewis, who was dressed in the most wonderful patterned vintage dress, at Hateful Snippets. We Are Caravan run a mobile gallery that travels around in yes, you guessed it, a caravan.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011-Kirsty Jay Anderson and Emily Hall
Kirsty Jay Anderson and Emily Hall had come along to get inspired. Kirsty studied textiles and now runs A Wooden Tree which sells gorgeous upcycled vintage textiles and ephemera, whilst Emily has recently decided that she is going to turn her hand to illustration after doing many other things for years, including stone carving in castles, which sounds fantastic! I look forward to seeing what she produces.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011-Mabel Forsyth and Siobhan Murchie
Mabel Forsyth, aka Pink Pig came along with her work colleague Siobhan Murchie of Shiv Illustration – who just happens to be the cousin of Amelia’s Magazine contributor Sam Parr. What a small and wondrous world.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011 Roger la Borde
The Fruitmarket Gallery stocks my new range of Roger la Borde cards alongside my books (above), and so it was great to meet Lucy, who distributes my card designs all over Scotland. What a lovely lady she is! Here with her friend Sara.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011-Lucy and Sara

A very enjoyable part of the evening was giving a few portfolio crits. Yay! I hope I get to do more of these at the next few places I am visiting.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011-Casey Otremba
Casey Otremba.

First up I met American lass Casey Otremba, who was formerly a packaging designer in New York before becoming inspired to come to Edinburgh to study illustration a few years ago. The reason? Someone showed her a copy of issue 4 of Amelia’s Magazine. Double yay!

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011-Casey Otremba
Her fashion illustration portfolio features some really wonderful fine line pencil work with some stylish injections of pure vibrant colour. I particularly loved the meticulous fluidity of the poses she draws and I hope she’s going to start contributing to Amelia’s Magazine soon so you’ll get to see more of her work…

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011 Culloden Robertson and Elizabeth Hudson
Culloden Robertson and Elizabeth Hudson.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011-doodle by Lizzie Hudson
A doodle by Lizzie Hudson.

Elizabeth Hudson had travelled all the way from Glasgow, where she studies fine art, along with her friend Culloden Robertson of Iko Art. It was wonderful to see how a trained fine artist adapts to illustration briefs and I was particularly enamoured of the sweeping fantasies of her impulsive narrative work which make imaginative use of colour, line and text.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011 Culloden Robertson and Elizabeth Hudson, Amelia
Myself with Culloden Robertson and Elizabeth Hudson. I’m not sure why I thought it was a good idea to stick my finger in my ear. It was late.

As a special thankyou to everyone who turned up for this event we are extending the special offer that was available on the night at The Fruitmarket Gallery. Just quote Amelia’s Blog offer when you go in, and you’ll be able to purchase both Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration and Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration for £40 together, or for £22 apiece. The offer is valid for one more week, so if you didn’t decide to purchase on the night you can still take advantage of some very reasonable prices indeed. Thankyou Fruitmarket Gallery!

Next week I will be embarking on a triple whammy: Brighton on Tuesday 24th May at Castor & Pollux, where we’ll be fed by cupcakes from the Angel Food Bakery, then on to Comma Shop on Wednesday 25th May, where there will be the chance to sample a specially blended new flavour of ice cream from G & D’s Cafe: raspberry with white and dark chocolate chips. Nom nom nom. Plus rosette button making lessons from Anna Butler at Custom Made UK. Really, what’s not to like?!

Then on Thursday 26th May I’ll be turning up at the Soma Gallery in Bristol: where Hart’s Bakery will be providing home made iced biscuits, custard creams and gingerbread hearts, whilst local girl and Lahloo Tea founder Kate Gover will be on hand to answer all your tea-related questions.

Finally, I will be back at Tatty Devine on Tuesday 7th June the week after, where I will round up the ACOFI Book Tour with a little help from Biscuiteers. Looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible en route! Don’t forget to join the facebook events by clicking on the various shop links above.

Categories ,A Wooden Tree, ,AAOI, ,Abi Lewis, ,ACOFI, ,Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Angel Food Bakery, ,Anna Butler, ,Biscuiteers, ,Biscuits, ,brighton, ,bristol, ,Casey Otremba, ,Castor and Pollux, ,Comma Shop, ,Culloden Robertson, ,cupcakes, ,Custom Made UK, ,Dr.Hauschka, ,edinburgh, ,Elizabeth Hudson, ,Emily Hall, ,G & D’s Cafe, ,Hart’s Bakery, ,Hateful Snippets, ,Ice Cream, ,Iced Gems, ,Iced Party Rings, ,Iko Art, ,Jaffa Cakes, ,Jammy Dodgers, ,Juiceology, ,Kate Gover, ,Kirsty Jay Anderson, ,Lahloo Tea, ,Lesley Barnes, ,Mabel Forsyth, ,Narcissus Garden, ,Narcissus Reflected, ,Oxford, ,Pink Pig Illustration, ,Pink Wafers, ,Pipilotti Rist, ,Roger La Borde, ,Salvador Dali, ,Sam Parr, ,scotland, ,Shiv Illustration, ,Siobhan Murchie, ,Soma Gallery, ,Sunday Times Style, ,Tatty Devine, ,The Fruitmarket Gallery, ,Yayoi Kusama

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Amelia’s Magazine | The ACOFI Book Tour visits Comma Shop in Oxford

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011

Last Wednesday was my second night on the ACOFI book tour last week – and my first time visiting the lovely new Comma Shop on Iffley Road in Oxford. Comma Shop has only been open since last October and it’s a truly wonderful little store that stocks all kind of goodies. I arrived in brilliant sunshine so it was easy to spot – gleaming like a brightly coloured gem in this mainly residential area, abortion intermingled with car dealerships and hippy cafes. This part of east Oxford is enjoying something of a renaissance thanks in part to the newly refurbished Pegasus Theatre in a nearby side street.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Gemma CorrellACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Gemma Correll
Details from Gemma Correll’s mural for Comma Shop.

Gemma Correll has done a truly wonderful mural on the wall as you enter Comma Shop and everywhere hand made and unusual items have been stacked in expert manner. Dave quit his job in IT to start an innovative designer tea towel business with his partner Sally who was formerly in marketing. To Dry For showcases the work of up and coming designers and the window of Comma Shop is used to showcase the tea towel artwork.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Dave Emery
Dave Emery of Comma Shop.
ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 To Dry For tea towels
To Dry For tea towels in the window.

ACOFI book tour Comma ShopACOFI book tour Comma Shop postcardsACOFI book tour Comma Shop

It comes as no surprise to find that Dave grew up in shops: his parents always ran small shops, ampoule and despite the fact that he saw what long hours they had to work he has clearly caught the bug too. He also previously worked as a merchandiser, sickness which would explain his knack for putting stuff together. Who else would have thought of interspersing my Roger La Borde cards with designs from everyone else? Yup, he’s got an eye, this one.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Roger la BordeACOFI book tour Comma Shop OxfordACOFI book tour Comma Shop OxfordACOFI book tour Comma Shop OxfordACOFI book tour Comma Shop OxfordACOFI book tour Comma Shop OxfordACOFI book tour Comma Shop OxfordACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Dave and Sally
Dave and Sally. Sally has had to take some time out of the business due to the unexpected early arrival of their first child – but I was glad to meet her a bit later in the evening.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badgesACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badgesACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badgesACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badges

From 6pm attendees began to dribble into the store and we set to making some fab little fabric rosettes with Anna Butler from Custom Made UK, who was on hand to show everyone (including the children and the men) just how easy it is to make these fun little badges.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badges Anna Butler
Custom Made UK button badges from Anna Butler.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badgesACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badgesACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badges Anna ButlerACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badgesACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badges Anna Butler
Just some of the lovely button badges that were produced in a jiffy.

Anna also runs classes at Darn It and Stitch – the brains behind this new Oxford based haberdashery shop and teaching centre is Jo, who turned up with her partner Luke and friend Sally. Her store is part of a growing trend for a return to hands on creativity – it seems we just can’t get enough of it these days, and I for one heartily approve.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Jo Darn It and Stitch
Jo of Darn It and Stitch.

Many of the goods stocked in Comma Shop are one offs. Amongst those that really stood out were the gorgeous intricate papercut framed artworks of Helen Musselwhite – if you’re an owl fan you can’t go wrong! And I loved the Charity Shop Orphans – reappropriated with a lick of bright paint by Emma Harding. She also produces a zine if you prefer your collectable items in print.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Helen MusselwhiteACOFI book tour Comma Shop Emma Harding Charity shop orphans

Other stuff I love: the fact that Jack Teagle has committed one of my favourite art pieces to print in the form of a greetings card from Toasted. Comma Shop also stocks cards produced by Rachel Wilson, who was on hand with boyfriend Ben to help serve the Juiceology juices and G & D ice cream.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Toasted Jack Teagle
Toasted card by Jack Teagle.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop JuiceologyACOFI book tour Comma Shop G & D ice creamACOFI book tour Comma Shop Rachel Wilson and Dave Emery enjoy ice cream
Rachel Wilson and Dave Emery enjoy some raspberry and chocolate ice cream.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Dr.Hauschka
Love the Dr.Hauschka samples displayed in a pottery log and some vintage jelly moulds!

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford London Walks Baudade
One of the first to turn up was Joanne, known as Baudade. She’s just published a new comic book, London Walks! with the Tate.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Will Mccallum
Will Mccallum, aka Art of Activism, also popped in to buy a book. Although he sadly wasn’t able to stay for the talk his purchase was much appreciated! And it was nice to see a friendly face from someone who is doing good stuff in the world.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Good Biscuits
It made me very happy that Caroline of Good Biscuits (whom I met at Wood Festival) not only came along in person to drop off her delicious creations – vanilla melts, vegan chocolate buttons and chewy pistachio cookies, nomnom – but she also stayed to listen to me talk. What a lovely lady, who was inspired to start a healthy sustainable biscuit brand after her job in local authority led her to work with local food producers. Make sure you try some Good Biscuits if you’re in the Oxford area.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Drew and Jo
Drew and Jo. Also present was Drew, who is the press officer for Wood Festival. I wasn’t sure why he looked familiar and then it suddenly twigged that I had met him at Wood, but only when it was late and very dark. Fortunately his unmistakable bush of hair gave him away!

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Laura and Helen
Later on we were joined by another member of the Truck clan, younger Bennett brother Chris, with girlfriend Beehive, who was teaching clay model making at Wood Festival. It really was an Oxfordshire love fest for me last week!

The Oxfam Fashion crew
The Oxfam Fashion crew. Apparently the biggest employers in Oxford are the university, publishing (of all sorts) and Oxfam… which has it’s global office there. So it was nice to see quite a few Oxfam types in attendance.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Sarah PlantACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 custom made uk
Sadly Sarah Plant of Ferment Zine did not stay for my talk but it was nice to meet someone that I have chatted with on twitter. And we also had a very small visitor in the form of Aisha, who enjoyed making a fabric button.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Laura and Helen
Laura and Helen. Laura Hill Lines works at Bridget Wheatley and is hoping to launch her own jewellery brand soon, featuring big uncut gems. I can’t wait to see what she produces!

Malaika Aleba
Malaika Aleba is a Canadian staying in Oxford over the summer and a writer for the Sierra Club.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 postcardsACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Anastasia DuckACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Anastasia Duck

Last but very not least it was really lovely to see Michael aka Anastasia Duck – who is a fashion blogger who came along to my launch party at 123 Bethnal Green Road back in January. Not only was it great to see a friendly face but I am very thankful because he did a very speedy and good write up of the event, which you can read here. I like his description of me as being ‘haphazard’….heehee

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Jo and Michael

Don’t forget that my final ACOFI Book Tour date is at Tatty Devine Brick Lane with Biscuiteers on Tuesday 7th June. Akeela Bhattay has just posted a very lovely blog about the last event in Covent Garden. See you there x
Here’s who I gave my talk to:

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop OxfordACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Akeela Bhattay, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Anastasia Duck, ,Anna Butler, ,Art of Activism, ,Baudade, ,Biscuits, ,Bridget Wheatley, ,Caroline, ,charity, ,Charity Shop Orphans, ,Chris Bennett, ,Comma Shop, ,Custom Made UK, ,Custon Made UK, ,Darn It and Stitch, ,Dave and Sally, ,Dr.Hauschka, ,Emma Harding, ,Ferment Zine, ,G&D Cafe, ,G&D ice-cream, ,Gemma Correll, ,Good Biscuits, ,Helen Musselwhite, ,Ice Cream, ,Iffley Road, ,Jack Teagle, ,Juiceology, ,Laura Hill Lines, ,Malaika Aleba, ,oxfam, ,Papercut, ,Pegasus Theatre, ,Rachel Wilson, ,Roger La Borde, ,Sarah Plant, ,Sierra Club, ,Tate, ,Tatty Devine, ,Tea Towels, ,To Dry For, ,Truck Festival, ,Will Mccallum, ,Wood Festival

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Amelia’s Magazine | The ACOFI Book Tour visits Comma Shop in Oxford

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011

Last Wednesday was my second night on the ACOFI book tour last week – and my first time visiting the lovely new Comma Shop on Iffley Road in Oxford. Comma Shop has only been open since last October and it’s a truly wonderful little store that stocks all kind of goodies. I arrived in brilliant sunshine so it was easy to spot – gleaming like a brightly coloured gem in this mainly residential area, abortion intermingled with car dealerships and hippy cafes. This part of east Oxford is enjoying something of a renaissance thanks in part to the newly refurbished Pegasus Theatre in a nearby side street.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Gemma CorrellACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Gemma Correll
Details from Gemma Correll’s mural for Comma Shop.

Gemma Correll has done a truly wonderful mural on the wall as you enter Comma Shop and everywhere hand made and unusual items have been stacked in expert manner. Dave quit his job in IT to start an innovative designer tea towel business with his partner Sally who was formerly in marketing. To Dry For showcases the work of up and coming designers and the window of Comma Shop is used to showcase the tea towel artwork.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Dave Emery
Dave Emery of Comma Shop.
ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 To Dry For tea towels
To Dry For tea towels in the window.

ACOFI book tour Comma ShopACOFI book tour Comma Shop postcardsACOFI book tour Comma Shop

It comes as no surprise to find that Dave grew up in shops: his parents always ran small shops, ampoule and despite the fact that he saw what long hours they had to work he has clearly caught the bug too. He also previously worked as a merchandiser, sickness which would explain his knack for putting stuff together. Who else would have thought of interspersing my Roger La Borde cards with designs from everyone else? Yup, he’s got an eye, this one.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Roger la BordeACOFI book tour Comma Shop OxfordACOFI book tour Comma Shop OxfordACOFI book tour Comma Shop OxfordACOFI book tour Comma Shop OxfordACOFI book tour Comma Shop OxfordACOFI book tour Comma Shop OxfordACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Dave and Sally
Dave and Sally. Sally has had to take some time out of the business due to the unexpected early arrival of their first child – but I was glad to meet her a bit later in the evening.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badgesACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badgesACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badgesACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badges

From 6pm attendees began to dribble into the store and we set to making some fab little fabric rosettes with Anna Butler from Custom Made UK, who was on hand to show everyone (including the children and the men) just how easy it is to make these fun little badges.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badges Anna Butler
Custom Made UK button badges from Anna Butler.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badgesACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badgesACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badges Anna ButlerACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badgesACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badges Anna Butler
Just some of the lovely button badges that were produced in a jiffy.

Anna also runs classes at Darn It and Stitch – the brains behind this new Oxford based haberdashery shop and teaching centre is Jo, who turned up with her partner Luke and friend Sally. Her store is part of a growing trend for a return to hands on creativity – it seems we just can’t get enough of it these days, and I for one heartily approve.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Jo Darn It and Stitch
Jo of Darn It and Stitch.

Many of the goods stocked in Comma Shop are one offs. Amongst those that really stood out were the gorgeous intricate papercut framed artworks of Helen Musselwhite – if you’re an owl fan you can’t go wrong! And I loved the Charity Shop Orphans – reappropriated with a lick of bright paint by Emma Harding. She also produces a zine if you prefer your collectable items in print.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Helen MusselwhiteACOFI book tour Comma Shop Emma Harding Charity shop orphans

Other stuff I love: the fact that Jack Teagle has committed one of my favourite art pieces to print in the form of a greetings card from Toasted. Comma Shop also stocks cards produced by Rachel Wilson, who was on hand with boyfriend Ben to help serve the Juiceology juices and G & D ice cream.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Toasted Jack Teagle
Toasted card by Jack Teagle.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop JuiceologyACOFI book tour Comma Shop G & D ice creamACOFI book tour Comma Shop Rachel Wilson and Dave Emery enjoy ice cream
Rachel Wilson and Dave Emery enjoy some raspberry and chocolate ice cream.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Dr.Hauschka
Love the Dr.Hauschka samples displayed in a pottery log and some vintage jelly moulds!

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford London Walks Baudade
One of the first to turn up was Joanne, known as Baudade. She’s just published a new comic book, London Walks! with the Tate.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Will Mccallum
Will Mccallum, aka Art of Activism, also popped in to buy a book. Although he sadly wasn’t able to stay for the talk his purchase was much appreciated! And it was nice to see a friendly face from someone who is doing good stuff in the world.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Good Biscuits
It made me very happy that Caroline of Good Biscuits (whom I met at Wood Festival) not only came along in person to drop off her delicious creations – vanilla melts, vegan chocolate buttons and chewy pistachio cookies, nomnom – but she also stayed to listen to me talk. What a lovely lady, who was inspired to start a healthy sustainable biscuit brand after her job in local authority led her to work with local food producers. Make sure you try some Good Biscuits if you’re in the Oxford area.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Drew and Jo
Drew and Jo. Also present was Drew, who is the press officer for Wood Festival. I wasn’t sure why he looked familiar and then it suddenly twigged that I had met him at Wood, but only when it was late and very dark. Fortunately his unmistakable bush of hair gave him away!

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Laura and Helen
Later on we were joined by another member of the Truck clan, younger Bennett brother Chris, with girlfriend Beehive, who was teaching clay model making at Wood Festival. It really was an Oxfordshire love fest for me last week!

The Oxfam Fashion crew
The Oxfam Fashion crew. Apparently the biggest employers in Oxford are the university, publishing (of all sorts) and Oxfam… which has it’s global office there. So it was nice to see quite a few Oxfam types in attendance.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Sarah PlantACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 custom made uk
Sadly Sarah Plant of Ferment Zine did not stay for my talk but it was nice to meet someone that I have chatted with on twitter. And we also had a very small visitor in the form of Aisha, who enjoyed making a fabric button.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Laura and Helen
Laura and Helen. Laura Hill Lines works at Bridget Wheatley and is hoping to launch her own jewellery brand soon, featuring big uncut gems. I can’t wait to see what she produces!

Malaika Aleba
Malaika Aleba is a Canadian staying in Oxford over the summer and a writer for the Sierra Club.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 postcardsACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Anastasia DuckACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Anastasia Duck

Last but very not least it was really lovely to see Michael aka Anastasia Duck – who is a fashion blogger who came along to my launch party at 123 Bethnal Green Road back in January. Not only was it great to see a friendly face but I am very thankful because he did a very speedy and good write up of the event, which you can read here. I like his description of me as being ‘haphazard’….heehee

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Jo and Michael

Don’t forget that my final ACOFI Book Tour date is at Tatty Devine Brick Lane with Biscuiteers on Tuesday 7th June. Akeela Bhattay has just posted a very lovely blog about the last event in Covent Garden. See you there x
Here’s who I gave my talk to:

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop OxfordACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Akeela Bhattay, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Anastasia Duck, ,Anna Butler, ,Art of Activism, ,Baudade, ,Biscuits, ,Bridget Wheatley, ,Caroline, ,charity, ,Charity Shop Orphans, ,Chris Bennett, ,Comma Shop, ,Custom Made UK, ,Custon Made UK, ,Darn It and Stitch, ,Dave and Sally, ,Dr.Hauschka, ,Emma Harding, ,Ferment Zine, ,G&D Cafe, ,G&D ice-cream, ,Gemma Correll, ,Good Biscuits, ,Helen Musselwhite, ,Ice Cream, ,Iffley Road, ,Jack Teagle, ,Juiceology, ,Laura Hill Lines, ,Malaika Aleba, ,oxfam, ,Papercut, ,Pegasus Theatre, ,Rachel Wilson, ,Roger La Borde, ,Sarah Plant, ,Sierra Club, ,Tate, ,Tatty Devine, ,Tea Towels, ,To Dry For, ,Truck Festival, ,Will Mccallum, ,Wood Festival

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Amelia’s Magazine | Valentines Day: Last Minute Ideas

Lucy-Eldridge-Valentines-Biscuiteers
Valentines Biscuits by Biscuiteers. Illustration by Lucy Eldridge.

They’re adorable to look at, ailment sweet to eat and best of all they’re NOT CUPCAKES – yes, there I have finally discovered Biscuiteers. Boldly going forth where no decorative iced biscuits have gone before. Why send flowers when you can send biscuits, sale I say? This discovery is unfortunately a tad too late for Valentines this year, but nonetheless I had to share this find…

Biscuiteers Biscuits by Madi Illustrates
Biscuiteers Biscuits by Madi Illustrates.

As a child I spent many an hour icing biscuits in the run up to xmas – they were cack-handed affairs that would never be saleable, but at least they were brightly coloured, covered in tooth cracking silver balls, looked great arranged in the centre of the table and most importantly were oh-so-fun to make. Every year I have best intentions to make iced biscuits for gifts, maybe in a slightly more professional manner. As yet this great plan has not materialised, but now I’ve discovered that the Buiscuiteers have published the aptly named Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits… I So. Want. To. Have a go.

Biscuiteers Biscuits by Madi Illustrates
Biscuits by Madi Illustrates.

Inspired by the Biscuiteers I’ve been looking online for a simple iced biscuit recipe, something which, oddly, is unbelievably hard to find. No wonder the Biscuiteers have managed to corner the market. The best I could come up with is this recipe on the good old BBC, which I plan to adapt.

Phoebe Coleman (Love me tender collection) by Bianca Hamilton
Phoebe Coleman Love Me Tender collection by Bianca Hamilton.

Another late find was these gold heart spattered pieces from the Love Me Tender Phoebe Coleman Collection (I discovered this new jewellery designer at LFW last season) – I particularly like the Flying Love earrings and the matching Flying Love necklace. Delicate, yet big enough to make a statement.

Valentines-something for the weekend

And if you’re in the Shoreditch area why not pop into the RCA jewellery graduate show Something for the Weekend, which runs until this evening. All the jewellery fits inside a condom box which is cunningly displayed in a condom dispenser, and most of the pieces are very reasonably priced at under £150.

It’s unfortunate I didn’t hear about this exhibition earlier, but I had a good chat with the two girls curating on Sunday and they explained that Something for the Weekend is just the opening exhibition of what will be a regular initiative to promote new jewellery graduates as they begin to negotiate the tricky ways of the commercial world.

Valentines-Heavy Heart by Kelly McCallum
Heavy Heart by Kelly McCallum.

Heavy Heart by Kelly McCallum is wonderful – a satisfyingly heavy gold plated silver heart of the beating kind. And nothing remotely cutesy about it.

Valentines-Jonathan Boyd

Jonathan Boyd‘s clever ring is a stand out piece. It features the words I prefer to keep my emotions hidden nestled in the middle of the ring, only to be seen when it is snapped open – the perfect statement from your typically emotionally stunted English man… but also a serious purchase at £800.

Valentines-Lucie Gledhill

Some of the jewellery is more conceptual than wearable, including the Love Trap silver pin by Lucie Gledhill. But much fun indeed – this could easily be displayed as a piece of miniature art on your wall. I look forward to seeing more of these jeweller’s work in the coming year.

Happy Valentines all… look out on twitter for my iced biscuit progress today….

Categories ,Bianca Hamilton, ,Biscuiteers, ,Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits, ,Biscuits, ,cupcakes, ,Flying Love Necklace, ,Flying Necklace Earrings, ,Goldsmithing, ,Iced Biscuits, ,jewellery, ,Jonathan Boyd, ,Kelly McCallum, ,lfw, ,Love, ,Love Me Tender Collection, ,Lucie Gledhill, ,Lucy Eldridge, ,Madi Illustrates, ,Metalwork & Jewellery Department, ,Phoebe Coleman, ,rca, ,Silversmithing, ,Something for the Weekend, ,Valentine’s Day

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Amelia’s Magazine | The ACOFI Book Tour: visiting The Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011

On Tuesday I hit the second date of my ACOFI Book Tour, buy this time at the rather wonderful Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh. I chat with super friendly bookshop guru Matthew via the wonders of twitter, symptoms so it was a delight to meet him in the flesh.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011 Narcissus Garden Yayoi Kusama
Narcissus Garden by Yayoi Kusama.

After settling in for a nice piece of fruit tart and a glance at a selection of the newest titles in the incredibly well stocked bookshop I had a brief chance to wander around the current exhibition Narcissus Reflected, information pills which features a painting by Salvador Dali on loan from the Tate and for the very first time shown as it was meant to be, with the poem that accompanies it. Upstairs a mass of light silver balls floods the airy space – Narcissus Garden is an update of a piece by Yayoi Kusama first shown back in the 1960s. A small darkened room strewn with comfy floor cushions has been cordoned off to showcase a beautifully soporific film by Pipilotti Rist.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011 biscuitsACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011-iced gemsACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011 biscuits

The Fruitmarket Gallery cafe was sadly closed for our evening event so I went a bit crazy in the local supermarket: plates of colourful Jammy Dodgers, Iced Party Rings, Jaffa Cakes, Iced Gems and Pink Wafers were soon adorning the cafe tables. Yup! It was a veritable E number fest. If it’s not going to be beautifully homemade why not head off to the other end of the spectrum I say?! These biscuits remind me of many a childhood party…

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011 Dr.Hauschka
At the front I arranged a tray of yummy Dr.Hauschka goodies for guests to take away and try later.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011 Juiceology
Matthew’s expert merchandising skills came to the forefront as he arranged a (fashionable) colour block display of Juiceology juices and appealing piles of ACOFI and AAOI atop a round table next to which I sat to give my talk.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011
ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011
ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011
Abi Lewis of We Are Caravan.

I had been a bit nervous about travelling all the way to Edinburgh because it’s so far away from my normal stomping ground and I don’t really know many people up there… but I needn’t have worried because the cafe packed out very quickly with about 50 people, who gathered in friendly groups, chatting and taking the opportunity to sample the colourful Juiceology offerings before I settled down to do my talk, a very good write up of which you can read on the We Are Caravan blog.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011
ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011
ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011
ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011
v
Lesley Barnes and her friend Libby.

Luckily my only Scottish-based ACOFI illustrator Lesley Barnes was also in able to make it along to The Fruitmarket Gallery – she brought along some wonderful work to share with us, and talked a little bit about the process of working with me so it was really wonderful to have her there, especially now we’ve been working together for nearly two years since she answered the brief for my first book. I only realised this week that this was in fact pretty much the start of her involvement with briefed illustration, although she was doing lots of her own work beforehand.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011-Lesley Barnes

I do like to remind people that hers is an exceptional talent – Lesley Barnes has never been formally trained, instead choosing to do a degree in English Literature, and yet she has managed to develop an utterly unique and identifiable style that is finally garnering some acclaim: she featured in a recent issue of the Sunday Times Style magazine and her work is stocked in the Soma Gallery, to which I will be trundling along on Thursday 26th May.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011

After the talk there was more time to speak to everyone and I managed to take snaps of just a few of the delightful creative people that I met: some of whom I persuaded to pose against the excellent neon sculpture in The Fruitmarket Gallery cafe area.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011-We Are Caravan
Ian, Julz and Abi run We Are Caravan, with whom I’ve been chatting on twitter in the run up to my Edinburgh visit. You can also find Abi Lewis, who was dressed in the most wonderful patterned vintage dress, at Hateful Snippets. We Are Caravan run a mobile gallery that travels around in yes, you guessed it, a caravan.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011-Kirsty Jay Anderson and Emily Hall
Kirsty Jay Anderson and Emily Hall had come along to get inspired. Kirsty studied textiles and now runs A Wooden Tree which sells gorgeous upcycled vintage textiles and ephemera, whilst Emily has recently decided that she is going to turn her hand to illustration after doing many other things for years, including stone carving in castles, which sounds fantastic! I look forward to seeing what she produces.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011-Mabel Forsyth and Siobhan Murchie
Mabel Forsyth, aka Pink Pig came along with her work colleague Siobhan Murchie of Shiv Illustration – who just happens to be the cousin of Amelia’s Magazine contributor Sam Parr. What a small and wondrous world.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011 Roger la Borde
The Fruitmarket Gallery stocks my new range of Roger la Borde cards alongside my books (above), and so it was great to meet Lucy, who distributes my card designs all over Scotland. What a lovely lady she is! Here with her friend Sara.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011-Lucy and Sara

A very enjoyable part of the evening was giving a few portfolio crits. Yay! I hope I get to do more of these at the next few places I am visiting.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011-Casey Otremba
Casey Otremba.

First up I met American lass Casey Otremba, who was formerly a packaging designer in New York before becoming inspired to come to Edinburgh to study illustration a few years ago. The reason? Someone showed her a copy of issue 4 of Amelia’s Magazine. Double yay!

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011-Casey Otremba
Her fashion illustration portfolio features some really wonderful fine line pencil work with some stylish injections of pure vibrant colour. I particularly loved the meticulous fluidity of the poses she draws and I hope she’s going to start contributing to Amelia’s Magazine soon so you’ll get to see more of her work…

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011 Culloden Robertson and Elizabeth Hudson
Culloden Robertson and Elizabeth Hudson.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011-doodle by Lizzie Hudson
A doodle by Lizzie Hudson.

Elizabeth Hudson had travelled all the way from Glasgow, where she studies fine art, along with her friend Culloden Robertson of Iko Art. It was wonderful to see how a trained fine artist adapts to illustration briefs and I was particularly enamoured of the sweeping fantasies of her impulsive narrative work which make imaginative use of colour, line and text.

ACOFI Book Tour Fruitmarket Edinburgh 2011 Culloden Robertson and Elizabeth Hudson, Amelia
Myself with Culloden Robertson and Elizabeth Hudson. I’m not sure why I thought it was a good idea to stick my finger in my ear. It was late.

As a special thankyou to everyone who turned up for this event we are extending the special offer that was available on the night at The Fruitmarket Gallery. Just quote Amelia’s Blog offer when you go in, and you’ll be able to purchase both Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration and Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration for £40 together, or for £22 apiece. The offer is valid for one more week, so if you didn’t decide to purchase on the night you can still take advantage of some very reasonable prices indeed. Thankyou Fruitmarket Gallery!

Next week I will be embarking on a triple whammy: Brighton on Tuesday 24th May at Castor & Pollux, where we’ll be fed by cupcakes from the Angel Food Bakery, then on to Comma Shop on Wednesday 25th May, where there will be the chance to sample a specially blended new flavour of ice cream from G & D’s Cafe: raspberry with white and dark chocolate chips. Nom nom nom. Plus rosette button making lessons from Anna Butler at Custom Made UK. Really, what’s not to like?!

Then on Thursday 26th May I’ll be turning up at the Soma Gallery in Bristol: where Hart’s Bakery will be providing home made iced biscuits, custard creams and gingerbread hearts, whilst local girl and Lahloo Tea founder Kate Gover will be on hand to answer all your tea-related questions.

Finally, I will be back at Tatty Devine on Tuesday 7th June the week after, where I will round up the ACOFI Book Tour with a little help from Biscuiteers. Looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible en route! Don’t forget to join the facebook events by clicking on the various shop links above.

Categories ,A Wooden Tree, ,AAOI, ,Abi Lewis, ,ACOFI, ,Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Angel Food Bakery, ,Anna Butler, ,Biscuiteers, ,Biscuits, ,brighton, ,bristol, ,Casey Otremba, ,Castor and Pollux, ,Comma Shop, ,Culloden Robertson, ,cupcakes, ,Custom Made UK, ,Dr.Hauschka, ,edinburgh, ,Elizabeth Hudson, ,Emily Hall, ,G & D’s Cafe, ,Hart’s Bakery, ,Hateful Snippets, ,Ice Cream, ,Iced Gems, ,Iced Party Rings, ,Iko Art, ,Jaffa Cakes, ,Jammy Dodgers, ,Juiceology, ,Kate Gover, ,Kirsty Jay Anderson, ,Lahloo Tea, ,Lesley Barnes, ,Mabel Forsyth, ,Narcissus Garden, ,Narcissus Reflected, ,Oxford, ,Pink Pig Illustration, ,Pink Wafers, ,Pipilotti Rist, ,Roger La Borde, ,Salvador Dali, ,Sam Parr, ,scotland, ,Shiv Illustration, ,Siobhan Murchie, ,Soma Gallery, ,Sunday Times Style, ,Tatty Devine, ,The Fruitmarket Gallery, ,Yayoi Kusama

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Amelia’s Magazine | Paint it! Make it! Party for Japan – an illustrated report by Emma Block

emma_block_tea_ceremony
Illustration by Emma Block.

In the wake of the tsunami that hit Japan in March, malady the online community rushed to find a way to help. Illustration Rally, run by Natsuki Otani, began the Ganbare Nippon Appeal, which translates as Don’t Give Up Japan.

emma_block_kimono  Paint it! Make it! Party for Japan
Illustration by Emma Block.

As part of this appeal, Illustration Rally held it’s first ever event, Paint it! Make it! Party for Japan, which I was lucky enough to attend. It was held in the super trendy The Book Club in Shoreditch, and was organised by a host of illustrators. As I walked in, I immediately saw a bunch of lovely ACOFI illustrators that I recognised, and sat down for a chat and green tea cup cake (first of many) with Jenny Robbins and June Sees.

Paint it! Make it! Party for Japan making cake
Paint it! Make it! Party for Japan making cake prints
Paint it! Make it! Party for Japan making
All photography by Emma Block.

Armed with paper, paint and pencils, these two talented ladies were offering live portraits of guests at the party. At the same time some painting was happening on a much larger scale as Mr Millerchip, Kristian Jones, Seb Burnett and Stephen Chan worked on a live drawing across one of the walls.

live drawing
june sees Paint it! Make it! Party for Japan
June Sees with her artwork.

erica_and_natsuki   Paint it! Make it! Party for Japan
Erica Sharp and Natsuki Otani who were running the show looked beautiful in their traditional kimonos, and after a cake or four, I decided to try one on myself.

The process of putting a kimono on is more complicated that I could possibly have imagined. Things were expertly wrapped and tucked and tied and twisted around me for quite some time, in order to create the finished look.

Emma Block_in_a_kimono   Paint it! Make it! Party for Japan
If you were feeling creative there was origami-making with Erica Sharp, and zine-making with Lea Wade. There was also a fantastic raffle – with prizes including some lovely ToDryFor goodies – if you were feeling lucky.

origami Paint it! Make it! Party for Japan

One of the most special parts of the day for me was being involved in a traditional tea ceremony. Milk and two sugars it was not. We knelt as green tea was carefully prepared, and the first person to drink bowed as they received it. They placed the bowl on their hand and turned it two and half times before drinking it in three sips, then turned it back two and half times, and placed it down and bowed again.

emma_block_green_tea_cake Paint it! Make it! Party for Japan
Illustration by Emma Block.

All in all it was a wonderful day, and I hope Illustration Rally have another event soon! You can find out more about the Gabare Nippon Appeal here, and visit the fundraising shop on Etsy. The resulting zine can now be bought online here for a £3 donation – go on, it’s for a great cause.

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Biscuits, ,Cake, ,Don’t Give Up Japan, ,Emma Block, ,Erica Sharp, ,Fundraiser, ,Ganbare Nippon, ,Ganbare Nippon Appeal, ,Green Tea, ,illustration, ,Illustration Rally, ,japan, ,Jenny Robbins, ,Junes Sees, ,Kimono, ,Kristian Jones, ,Lea Wade, ,Mister Millerchip, ,Natsuki Otani, ,Paint it! Make it! Party for Japan, ,Sen Burnett, ,shoreditch, ,Stephen Chan, ,tea, ,The Book Club, ,ToDryFor, ,Tsunami

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Amelia’s Magazine | Paint it! Make it! Party for Japan – an illustrated report by Emma Block

emma_block_tea_ceremony
Illustration by Emma Block.

In the wake of the tsunami that hit Japan in March, malady the online community rushed to find a way to help. Illustration Rally, run by Natsuki Otani, began the Ganbare Nippon Appeal, which translates as Don’t Give Up Japan.

emma_block_kimono  Paint it! Make it! Party for Japan
Illustration by Emma Block.

As part of this appeal, Illustration Rally held it’s first ever event, Paint it! Make it! Party for Japan, which I was lucky enough to attend. It was held in the super trendy The Book Club in Shoreditch, and was organised by a host of illustrators. As I walked in, I immediately saw a bunch of lovely ACOFI illustrators that I recognised, and sat down for a chat and green tea cup cake (first of many) with Jenny Robbins and June Sees.

Paint it! Make it! Party for Japan making cake
Paint it! Make it! Party for Japan making cake prints
Paint it! Make it! Party for Japan making
All photography by Emma Block.

Armed with paper, paint and pencils, these two talented ladies were offering live portraits of guests at the party. At the same time some painting was happening on a much larger scale as Mr Millerchip, Kristian Jones, Seb Burnett and Stephen Chan worked on a live drawing across one of the walls.

live drawing
june sees Paint it! Make it! Party for Japan
June Sees with her artwork.

erica_and_natsuki   Paint it! Make it! Party for Japan
Erica Sharp and Natsuki Otani who were running the show looked beautiful in their traditional kimonos, and after a cake or four, I decided to try one on myself.

The process of putting a kimono on is more complicated that I could possibly have imagined. Things were expertly wrapped and tucked and tied and twisted around me for quite some time, in order to create the finished look.

Emma Block_in_a_kimono   Paint it! Make it! Party for Japan
If you were feeling creative there was origami-making with Erica Sharp, and zine-making with Lea Wade. There was also a fantastic raffle – with prizes including some lovely ToDryFor goodies – if you were feeling lucky.

origami Paint it! Make it! Party for Japan

One of the most special parts of the day for me was being involved in a traditional tea ceremony. Milk and two sugars it was not. We knelt as green tea was carefully prepared, and the first person to drink bowed as they received it. They placed the bowl on their hand and turned it two and half times before drinking it in three sips, then turned it back two and half times, and placed it down and bowed again.

emma_block_green_tea_cake Paint it! Make it! Party for Japan
Illustration by Emma Block.

All in all it was a wonderful day, and I hope Illustration Rally have another event soon! You can find out more about the Gabare Nippon Appeal here, and visit the fundraising shop on Etsy. The resulting zine can now be bought online here for a £3 donation – go on, it’s for a great cause.

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Biscuits, ,Cake, ,Don’t Give Up Japan, ,Emma Block, ,Erica Sharp, ,Fundraiser, ,Ganbare Nippon, ,Ganbare Nippon Appeal, ,Green Tea, ,illustration, ,Illustration Rally, ,japan, ,Jenny Robbins, ,Junes Sees, ,Kimono, ,Kristian Jones, ,Lea Wade, ,Mister Millerchip, ,Natsuki Otani, ,Paint it! Make it! Party for Japan, ,Sen Burnett, ,shoreditch, ,Stephen Chan, ,tea, ,The Book Club, ,ToDryFor, ,Tsunami

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Amelia’s Magazine | Diamond Jubilee Party and Gift Ideas!

This weekend (most of) Britain will come together to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, marking 60 glorious years on the throne. Here’s a selection of Jubilee-themed goodies we like for your delectation…

For Sweet Tooths…

Union Flag Cupcakes and Jubilee Biscuits by Biscuiteers

For Excited Royalists…

I’m So Excited I Could Wee… Tea Towel by House of Holland

For crafty types…

Make Your Own Bunting Tea Towel by Cerys Turner

For Tea Drinkers…

RoyalTea tea bags available at Oliver Bonas

For Souvenir lovers…

Alternative Her Majesty plate by Katie J Spragg

For Glamazons…

Corgi scarf by Liberty

For Hipsters…

Jubilee Tattoos by Lydia Leith

For Girlies…

HM Queen necklace by Jaymie O’Callaghan

For Help With the Dishes…

Jubilee Tea Towel by Jane Denham

For Decorators…

Recycled London bunting by Stephanie Wheeler

For Snarfle Monkey

Reusable Jubilee Cloth Nappy by TotsBots


Queen babygrow by Rosie Wonders

For Jewellery Addicts…

Crown necklace by Tatty Devine

For Illustration Fans…

Tea Towel by Charlotte Fleming

For Foodies…

Jubilee Jelly Mould by Lydia Leith available at Selfridges

For Fashion Lovers…

Union Flag Tights by House of Holland for Pretty Polly

For Thrifties

Free toys by Samantha Eynon – download the templates here!

…And for Republicans…

Jubilee Sick Bags by Lydia Leith

Categories ,Biscuiteers, ,Biscuits, ,bunting, ,Cerys Turner, ,Charlotte Fleming, ,Cloth Nappy, ,cupcakes, ,Denham Design, ,Diamond Jubilee, ,House of Holland, ,Jaymie O’Callaghan, ,Jelly Mould, ,liberty, ,london, ,Lydia Leith, ,Nappy, ,Necklace, ,Oliver Bonas, ,Plate, ,Pretty Polly, ,Queen Elizabeth II, ,Rosie Wonders, ,RoyalTea, ,Samantha Eynon, ,Selfridges, ,Sick Bag, ,Stephanie Wheeler, ,Tattoos, ,Tatty Devine, ,Tea Bags, ,Tea Towel, ,tights, ,TotsBots, ,Toys

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Amelia’s Magazine | Announcing: The ACOFI Book Tour. Please join me as I visit some of the UK’s best design shops!

Press Days March 2011-ACOFI
ACOFI at the Forward PR press day in March.

WOO HOOO Grafik magazine have beaten me to an official announcement of dates for my ACOFI Book Tour. But here’s everything you need to know if you would like to join me somewhere in the UK.

The #ACOFI Book Tour
On Tuesday 10th May I will be embarking on a mini book tour across the UK to promote Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration. In case you haven’t visited my website before this is what you need to know about my new book, dosage which is otherwise known as #ACOFI (especially on twitter):

Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration: the Book.
Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration *featuring the very best in ethical fashion design* was published at the end of 2010, approved and is the second publication from Amelia’s House, order the book publishing wing of Amelia’s Magazine. It is a showcase for the work of thirty up and coming fashion illustrators who have interpreted the work of 45 exciting new ethical fashion designers, as well as plenty of good independent design that was first featured online at Amelia’s Magazine.

ACOFI cover facebook event Soma

What I’ll be doing:
I’ll be visiting various wonderful independent art and design shops around the country to talk about the rise of eco fashion, the illustration process and social media for creatives and I will also be offering portfolio crits. I’m hoping to meet lots of creative people en route, so if you think you might like to take part don’t forget to bring your portfolio along with you: personal crits will be free on purchase of both my books at a special tour discount. Not to worry if you can’t bring your portfolio along in the evening though! At some shops I’ll be doing a 24 Hour Crit, so you can come along and talk to me personally the next day if you prefer.

Press Days March 2011-ACOFI

ACOFI illustrators to join me en route, plus more:
I’ll be accompanied at various points by some of the fabulous illustrators featured in my blogs for Grafik this week, and alongside my informal chat there will be lots more creative excitement at each shop: at the Tatty Devine Covent Garden shop participants will be invited to help paint the shop windows and at Tatty Devine in Brick Lane there will be the opportunity to learn how to ice biscuits with Biscuiteers. Not only that but guests will be able to enjoy complimentary organic juices from top juice mixologists Juiceology, fine teas from Lahloo and there will be plates laden with traditional biscuits and cakes for you to munch on. Once again the fabulous folks at Dr. Hauschka will be providing yummy free samples for participants to take away.

Press Days March 2011-ACOFI

Here’s a full list of all the dates – all talks are free but space is limited in some shops so please book where necessary to ensure your place. I’ll be tweeting about my adventures on the #ACOFI hashtag and you can follow me on @ameliagregory. I have also linked to the six associated facebook events. Six of ‘em, oh yea baby. Please do join if you would like to be kept updated about a specific event. Bring on The ACOFI Book Tour.

Tatty Devine in Covent Garden, London: Tatty Devine in Covent Garden 24 Hour Crit and Window Painting on Tuesday 10th May 6-10pm, then continuing into Weds 11th May as part of the 24 Hour Crit.
Tatty Devine blog about the event.
Please book your place here admin@tattydevine.com
Facebook event and Twitter.
44 Monmouth Street, London, WC2H 9EP, 0207 836 2685

The Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh on Tuesday 17th May, 6.30-10pm, no booking necessary. 24 Hour Crit continuing into Wednesday 18th May.
Facebook event and Twitter.
Fruitmarket, 45 Market Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1DF, 0131 226 8181

Castor and Pollux in Brighton on Tuesday 24th May, 6-10pm.
To book your place email: april@castorandpollux.co.uk
Facebook event and Twitter.
165 King’s Road Arches, Lower Prom, Brighton BN1 1NB, 01273 773776

Comma in Oxford on Wednesday 25th May, 6-10pm.
To book your place email: hello@oxfordcomma.co.uk
Facebook event and Twitter.
247 Iffley Road, Oxford, OX4 1SJ, 01865 202400

Soma Gallery in Bristol on Thursday 26th May, 6-10pm, 24 Hour Crit continuing into Friday 27th May. To book your place email: fiona@somagallery.co.uk
Facebook event and Twitter.
4 Boyces Avenue, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 4AA, 0117 973 9838

Tatty Devine in Brick Lane, London: 24 Hour Crit and Biscuit Decorating with Biscuiteers on Tuesday 7th June, 6-10pm, continuing into Wednesday 8th June. Please book your place here admin@tattydevine.com
Facebook event and Twitter.
236 Brick Lane, London, E2 7EB, 0207 739 9191

Read more about my ACOFI launch party in January.
YouTube Preview Image

Reviews of Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration:

Champions the art form and gives a thorough insight into working practices… and it looks stunning, which is not a suprise considering the calibre of the work included. Design Week

Beautiful and informative as each interview and feature takes you on a personal journey, understanding where each artist and designer get their inspiration from and why ethical fashion is important to them. Ecouterre

A coffee-table book with a difference… perfect for dipping in and out of for both artistic and fashion inspiration. The Young Creatives

ACOFI has been featured in many publications including I-D online, Vogue, Digital Arts, Style Bubble, Cent Magazine and The Ecologist to name but a few. Why not click on the links and find out?

You can buy Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration online here. I hope to meet you soon!

Categories ,24 Hour Crit, ,ACOFI, ,Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Amelia’s House, ,art, ,Biscuiteers, ,Biscuits, ,Book shops, ,Book Tour, ,Brick Lane, ,brighton, ,bristol, ,cakes, ,Castor and Pollux, ,Cent Magazine, ,Comma, ,Covent Garden, ,design, ,Design Week, ,Digital Arts, ,Dr.Hauschka, ,Eco fashion, ,Ecouterre, ,edinburgh, ,Facebook, ,Forward PR, ,i-D, ,illustration, ,Juiceology, ,Lahloo, ,Lahloo Tea, ,london, ,Oxford, ,scotland, ,Social Media, ,Soma Gallery, ,Style Bubble, ,Talk, ,Tatty Devine, ,the ecologist, ,The Fruitmarket Gallery, ,The Young Creatives, ,twitter, ,vogue, ,Window Painting

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