Pull a Print- Live Screen printing

I will be offering folk the chance to pull a print at EBC's Christmas Craft Fair this year. Pop along if you're local and want to try your hand at screen printing. You can choose any number of designs to print to make up your own handmade Christmas Card pack.  Time 11-3pm on the 28th November 2015. 

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6 reasons to give a tea towel this christmas

 cactus tea towel buy here

The humble tea towel - I don't think we value them enough- and yet I would probably say every kitchen in the UK will have one- hanging on the oven, thrown over the back of a chair or nestled snuggly behind a radiator. If you don't know what I'm talking about it's a piece of cotton or linen fabric, roughly measuring 50cm x 70cm hemmed and sewn on all sides printed with a design, pattern or illustration of sorts.

As a screen-printer I find the whole idea of a tea towel a delight-you get to print on a large flat surface, there are no limitations on what to print or what colours you should use and it has a functional purpose.

Here are 6 reasons why I think you should seriously think about giving one as gift :

1) They are functional and tactile.
In our digital world where most products are viewed online through styled photo shoots, instagram or web shops we loose the immediacy of touch. Your gift of a tea towel will instantly allow the receiver to experience that wonderful feeling of living in the moment and encourage them to use more of their senses- enjoying the touch of the fabric, the smell of the ink and the design on the tea towel. They'll also know exactly what to do with it and where it will live - there won't be that embarrassing exchange next time you meet of 'thanks so much for the thoughtful gift but I really don't know what to do with it'...

2) They are affordable pieces of art that don't break the bank. 
Let's be clear when I talk about giving a tea towel I am not talking about buying the bulk packs you can pick up at your local supermarket for a fiver- just no! What I am talking about are tea towels that have been thoughtfully designed, screen printed by hand perhaps in small runs, folded and pressed, presented in beautiful hand crafted packaging. The type of presentation that makes you sit up and take notice. Art should be enjoyed in the flesh and this an affordable way to give someone the pleasure of owning a piece of textile art.

3) They are easy to care for.
No explanation needed here- wash at 40 degrees and iron- simples.

4) They are economical to post.
Last time I checked it cost me £1.20 to post a tea towel First Class-and it fits through the letterbox- no need to worry about it being sent to the neighbours or a delivery depot if the recipient isn't in.

5)  They make a kitchen space look rather attractive.
Yes, yes they do! They can give a fresh pop of colour to any jaded kitchen and I've even seen tea towels that have been so loved that the owner has decided to frame and hang them on their kitchen wall instead.

6)  They last and you'll be remembered. 
Most importantly this gift is the gift that keeps on giving! It's highly likely that your tea towel will  become a household favourite and each time it's taken out of the drawer the recipient will pause and remember who gave it to them and smile as they take your tea towel and dry their dishes.

Finally here are 9 Tea Towel Designs I think you'll love:

TOP L-R: Lucie Sheridan, Stormy Knight, Sianuska
MIDDLE L-R: Jane Foster, Mellybee, Beetroot Press
BOTTOM L-R: Butterscotch and Beesting, Particle Press, Stephanie Cole

All designers are based in the UK

Shop my tea towel range at
Or try for more screen printed tea towels

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Be strategic

I've realised I haven't been sharing so much on the blog and think that should change- if anything to give me a record of how things are developing but also to show that I am very much still here ploughing away at my business. If you follow my Instagram account you may see more regular updates as I find snapping a picture is a lot quicker than writing a blog post but that being said it's good for me as a creative to actually write stuff down and remind myself of where I'm going and what I'm doing. 

This last week I've been writing strategy stuff for my business and rather than let things overwhelm me with the help of my husband have written some action points that are motivating me to get things moving forward. I guess when you get so immersed in just making stuff and keeping up with creating things for people you can forget about planting seeds for new things and doing things for yourself.

It's been good for me to take stock and work out where I would like my business to go rather than just let things go with the flow. It's funny to say that as I sometimes think it's harder to embrace that business mentality when 'going with the flow' seems to be what we should be doing! But what I'm realising more and more is that it doesn't matter how talented you are without a plan or strategy you won't actually get to a position where you can have that freedom to create and make things you're really passionate and excited about. 

I'm finding that I do have to be more intentional in my actions- for example if I want my products to be picked up by new stockists I actually have to make contact with new stockists, or if I want to be commissioned to create hand lettered illustrations then I have to have examples of hand-lettering in my portfolio- simple, right? And yet how often do we get lulled into thinking that those people will just naturally find us and that our hidden work will somehow grab people's attention and there'll be so many clients knocking at our door we will have to turn them away! It's CRAZY talk but actually this is what my behaviour says when I'm not intentional at reaching out and finding ways to show my work. 

So that is why I've been writing plans and want to share again on this blog.

I've been listening to Andy J Miller's creative pep talks which are all about finding ways to be more strategic in your creative business.  I would encourage you to listen if you too are struggling to find a way through.  

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New range of textiles for Mellybee

I am very excited to introduce to you my latest collection of screen printed products in the form of tea towels, cushions and pouches/purses. The main designs are based around 3 themes: tea, fish and cacti- all of which are my favourite things. I've also drawn a collection of objects based on Chutneys & Jams and Pies & Tarts- they encompass two particularly British habits- writing lists and eating food.
I've also used the wonderful services of photographer Anya Rice for my lifestyle shots- so hopefully you'll see how the products can be used and displayed in the home.
The tea towels also come beautifully wrapped in a cello bag and tied with jute string- hop over to my shop for a browse and maybe purchase for your next treat or gift.

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Try something new!

Just a little thought for 2015 - try something new! If you feel stuck in a rut or tired of the same old challenge yourself to do something new- it doesn't have to be huge undertaking or expensive but you'll find the benefits of trying something new can give you a fresh perspective on life, give you confidence and release new energy for the things you love and want to do.
Here are some creative sites that I've found helpful and inspiring to do something new: 

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