Taking Time Out

Over the last few weeks, we have been taking time out to tidy up our little courtyard so that it’s ready for the summer ahead. Last weekend we made a trip to one of my favourite garden centres (http://www.bernaville.co.uk/) at Cowley, Exeter.  Whilst it’s not the largest garden centre in Exeter, it’s one of the prettiest. I particularly love their selection of garden pots as they stock the Heritage Garden Pottery collection in a variety of colours. It won’t surprise you to hear that dusky duck-egg blue is my current favourite.

There’s room for a few more pots & plants I think (ooh great, another trip to Bernaville Nursaries!), and we are in the process of getting an outside light installed so that we can see this pretty tableau from the kitchen table. The walls have been freshly painted and yesterday evening I lit the candles for the first time. Whilst of them blew out (a bit windy around here last night!), enough stayed alight to cast a warm glow.

I’m looking forward to longer, lighter evenings and sitting at the kitchen table with a glass of wine, taking time out to reflect on the peace that emanates from my beautiful Buddha and the tranquility of this little scene.

Putting my stamp on it

“Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there”

Josh Billings

I was very excited to receive my first logo stamp in the post this week – handmade by the very talented people behind ‘Wood n Stuff Rustic’ (http://woodnstuffrustic.co.uk). I love the feel of the solid wood in my hand and the beautifully carved logo in rubber on the reverse. I ordered the larger size with the idea of sprucing up plain paper bags and simple product packaging but am now very tempted to get the smaller size as well…..just because….

Having a logo stamp tells me that I am a little further along in my journey of developing a brand identity. I am sticking at something….a look…..a motif…..something identifiable and consistent.

 

Now all I have to do is get a nice blue ink pad!

Playing with ‘straplines’

ETSY has been busy re-designing shop-fronts. I have used that as an opportunity to re-think how I describe what it is that I do. I seem to have outgrown my first strapline, ‘Coast and Country Textiles’: firstly because with the advent of my greeting cards range, I no longer offer textile products alone; and secondly because my work has naturally graduated towards the coast rather than the country. Time for a re-think.

Playing with straplines is an interesting  activity. It has forced me to take a step back and look at my work from the outside. I have had all kinds of conversations with myself as part of the process and in the end I have decided to go with ‘Contemporary Coastal Style’. I will live with that one for a while and see how it feels.

At home in my ‘studio’

In preparation for a ‘Meet the Maker’ feature to appear on the Devon Life website (next week) I arranged for my amazing product photographer to do a photo shoot in my ‘studio’ – aka the kitchen table. We had a lot of fun and for someone who absolutely HATES having their photo taken, I’m really pleased with the results 🙂

Here’s a sneak preview:

DSC_4755 DSC_4870 DSC_4799-2 DSC_4865 DSC_4797 DSC_4830

Branching Out……

The last few weeks have seen me branching out a bit in a bid to expand my portfolio of products. I have recently completed designs for two aprons to match my Avocets and Oystercatchers tea towels. They are currently in the process of being screen printed and I can’t wait to see the results. I’ve really enjoyed returning to the drawing board and having some fun with my sewing machine as it’s so easy to get caught up in the process of making already established designs to fulfil orders. I may find myself with a bit more time in the near future to focus on the design side of things as I’m currently ‘in talks’ with a local freelance sewer who I’m hoping, will turn out to be my knightess in shining armour. Exciting new steps ahead I think….

Ta-dah!

My brand new website is now up and running. http://www.karenwalshe.co.uk

I’ve been working on it for a while now and am quite pleased with the results. I used a moonfruit template (http://www.moonfruit.com) which I found pretty straight forward and as you can see, I had fun creating links all over the place 🙂 

Do let me know if you come across any glitches. I’ve tested it out a few times but you never know – I may have missed something. 

My Country Business Awards 2015 

I am so very excited to announce that I have been shortlisted for the My Country Business Awards 2015 – Interiors category.  

Winners will be announced on Friday 17 July on the Country Days blog http://goo.gl/rTsjgZ

I am keeping everything crossed as the prize is something that money can’t buy – three mentoring sessions with the amazingly talented Susie Watson of Susie Watson Designs http://www.susiewatsondesigns.co.uk