Advent calendar: DEC 11

December 11, 2010

O come all ye faithful, give that 11th door a mighty shove. It’s a biggie…

It’s a beautiful hand-printed Christmas card from Sort Design! At the Cockpit Arts open evening recently, I bumped into the moustached, charming and ‘revisionist’ typographers from Sort, and admired their lovely wares. To be honest, they probably thought I was a right freak because I hung around cooing over trays of type for an unhealthy length of time before stocking up on ‘Allotment Fancier’s Stationery Sets‘. Just in case. – Ellie

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How happy I was when I stumbled upon Archivist Press, a little letterpress in Oxfordshire – check out the lovely cards they print…

They’re so beautiful, you could frame a group of them for classy (yet inexpensive!) wall art.

On a similar theme, let’s have a little look at the lovely nostalgic prints and cards from Cowboys and Custard

If you’re a type fan, check out Hand & Eye Letterpress, and see fabulous photos of their workshop here. Then, pop over to Sort Design for more font fun. – Ellie

HOT SHOP: Random Retail

April 14, 2010

I think I’m in heaven. Imagine if a clever textile designer mixed typography, with vintage TAT, with gorgeous screen-printing techniques to produce a collection of ultra-chic, unique home accessories. Well, Joy Jolliffe (mother of photographer Holly Jolliffe) has done just that with her stunning new Random Retail range…

What’s not to love? Quirky vintage adverts printed in fabulous font-age, shot with cute enamel storage jars above tongue and groove panelling. These are a few of my favourite things – all in one shot!

The official name of the collection is ‘Birdsongs and Wordsongs’, and I like the birdy buys in the range, too…

As well as cushions, there are some very cool tote bags, draw-string laundry bags and posters in the range – I’m a fan already!

Talking of tote bags and typography, I’ve also got my eye on a lovely intial tote bag from Alphabet Bags, (another triumph from the dynamic Keep Calm Gallery duo)…

Right, I’m off to paint a bird box with leftover F&B Vert de Terre exterior eggshell – don’t ask. Oh, you didn’t. – Ellie

The Secret Santa HINTS

December 21, 2009

…paid off. Terrible, I know, but after dropping blatant hints for a few weeks, I was lucky enough to receive this little bundle of truly scrumptious letterpress-printed postcards and a ‘Scribble’ notebook from the Sort Design typography chaps in our Secret Santa!

As you can see, the Ideal Home girls excel in the packaging department, using a date stamp and a ‘received’ stamp (both nabbed from work but available from glamorous places such as Rymans!) to give the label a vintage, authentic look. The fact that I opened this parcel four days early is naughty I know, but it has been unfairly highlighted by this date label, which is gorgeous but a bit specific. Of course, I’ll be re-using it on Christmas Day, cheapskate that I am.

I need to think of something important to write in the lovely notebook, as it’s far too posh for shopping lists, and I might frame a few of the postcards for some wall art (not that I have much wall space left!!). If you like what you see, check out the Sort Design Etsy shop. – Ellie

Sally and Mark Bailey‘s 26-year-old son Ben has just launched his own business, Curious Chocolate. I’m salivating over the lovely website already – it basically combines two of my favourite things…old letterpress printing and chocolate!

curious chocNow, we rarely talk about food here, but the Baileys connection and the gorgeous packaging means I’m willing to sneak this in! Inspired by a trip to an old Amsterdam letterpress workshop, Ben Bailey’s chocolate bars come wrapped in graph paper covered with fabulous fonts – a typography lover’s dream come true! My favourite has got to be the ‘Mouthful’ mint bar – how appropriate for me.

curious chocolate3The drinking chocolate in a rustic preserving jar would make a fabulous stocking filler, but it’s the jars of pretty chocolate-coated nuts and raisins that have caught my eye…they look like pebbles, eggs and olives! Very curious indeed!

curious chocolate2All this talk of chocolate, and nothing but a lousy, dry and slightly squashed satsuma on my desk, which I have been ignoring for about a week now. Sigh. – Ellie