Thursday, 10 March 2011

February 2011

Where has February gone – I’ll tell you where. Preparing for the Designer Wedding Show as well as the By Appointment Only Design show at One Mayfair.

In the last blog I promised doing a separate blog on what we did for the BAOD show as well as the way in which the stationery for BAOD and One Mayfair was conceived. I was terrified that I would have to do this all on my own but a little bit of help came along in the images of a laser cutting fairy! Helen at Cutture, who did the laser cutting for the dentelle design in the corners of the invitation wanted to write something as well, so I guess we will post them together on both our blogs as a separate thing! Helen’s should be out soon at

February started with us deciding that NO WORK would be taken on in the week of the Designer Wedding Show, needless to say there were last minute things which came in which needed dealing with.

Olly and Mark called up to get a handwritten invitation designed for their wedding stationery, we are in the tail end of that. Also had the stunning Ava, friends of Javier and Tony at BAOD, let her daughter loose on us. What we have come up with has stunned even me. More of that, once they are done it would mean we would have included some letterpress work with our expanding stationery ranges. Currently working with the amazingly talented Phil at Hand& Eye Press


This week in February also saw us working on our first printed seating plan! As a rule we do not do seating plans due to the changing nature of the thing but have found a way to hand write all the calligraphy and scan it in and move it around from there – this gives us the flexibility of changing the names if there are last minute additions, omissions and general changes. Our new A3 printer is a blessing – still coming to terms with that. As you can see from the image the text is written out in our beautiful Small Caps (for clarity), titles are in one of our other scripts – colour is black on light paper – in this case cream Colourplan. There were also some table names – where one of the names was so long it had to be done at a different size to the rest of the cards!

The wedding show week saw us at Browns’ Bride, writing on the mirrors for Mark Niemierko’s fabulous start to Wedding Show Season, vids to be posted! Mark was in his element and did a great job of showcasing his skill as one of the best! Andreas from The Mandarin Oriental was there and we had a great chat about Placecards! Sarah and I were taken by lovely Caroline Burstein! We are starting a fan club! And the evening got better – up came Annabel from Love My Dress Blog. So many people so little time! Sarah and I left at 9pm. Much to do the next day. Peggy was there in here glory as well – always looking glamorous!


Prep for the DWS also saw me working on some of the boards for Javier and Tony at BAOD’s stand, not to mention the tweeting on the nightmare of doing an interlatticed grid for one of the menus for BAOD tables. Alistair was, yet again, invaluable but did comment that I seemed to be doing more work for other people’s stands, than I was for my own. Cutture also asked if they could get some work done – and as we were all working feverishly to get the BAOD Show on the Friday evening ready, one more thing was, well, one more thing.



BAOD asked for 2 sets of place cards and menus – a plum set with gold and a green and white set for their Lilly of the Valley look. Cutture also needed some calligraphy for their stand. Two handwritten menus and a handwritten table plan in white ink on a gold speckled paper – argh!


Set-up started with getting there, and this year, instead of packing everything into the car and squeezing in and driving there with Alistair, I felt that we deserved getting the courier company we use, The Keen Group, to send a man with a van! What joy! And once again Alistair came to help with the set-up. It was great that much of the prep work of putting things unto boards which then needed Velcro was done the day before by Nicola and Angelo. I cannot believe the first year we did this we stuck the invitations unto the panels individually! Can you believe?


P1060855We created many new and exciting things for this year’s DWS. Again getting our new fan-dangle studio printer to play workhorse we are now about to print small jobs in-house. This saves on time in sending our calligraphy to one of our printers, but it also means we can turn around things quickly. We did was some menus on different coloured papers and finished them in different ways – sunk or raised plate, brushed edges in colour or gold/silver, a line as a border in colour or gold/silver. I was thrilled to leave this up to Nicola and Angelo to decide on colour choices and Nicola’s eye for design and colour on the finishing effects.


And of course, Sarah was adamant that we should do a sample ‘Certificate of Marriage’, not having the time to concoct one Sarah used her marriage as the sample text!

P1060864Invitation wise I did a delicate copperplate in white on the slant, on thick translucent paper with a baby blue border. Wondering what it would look like in white on dark grey. There were a few trials to get this working, both with the background colour and the end colours. The transclear paper tended to reflect what was next to it and something too pale made the reading a little tricky.




I have been studying on an Arabic decoration course and felt that something Arab-based would also be good to do and decided something oversized and based on Koranic ‘Zar Afshan’ gold borders with English text in my own version of an Arabic looking script with a lapis blue medallion with the initials of the couple inside would work. This was also the inspiration for the Menus with the gold on red.

P1060868As we were toying with colour on, I decided to play with the heavy translucent paper again but with my interlocked latticework and 18th century border.

At the show Sarah went around with the camera taking images of some of the work we did. The practical aspects of the DWS was a whole other matter. This year left me feeling confident enough to leave Sarah, Nicola and Angelo on their own for half day on the Friday and on the Saturday. I had agreed with Louis Vuitton to go to the Westfield branch to write out Valentine’s Day cards for their customers – there staff there were all so lovely. Daniel at Selfridges, asked me to do the same thing on the Saturday afternoon. Really interesting days out but too tiring to the two shows as well.

So the weekend went like this – DWS at 8am to sort out some lighting and last minute tidy up, show opened, talked with the public, write names, said good bye to Sarah and Nicola at noon, took a taxi to Louis Vuitton, set-up, wrote cards till 5pm, got another taxi, with all my stuff to One Mayfair for the BAOD Show, left there, home at 11pm. Saturday saw essentially the same thing, with the exception of having to move boards around on the stand as the work from the BAOD show was now present at DWS. I left Sarah and Nicola at DWS at 1pm to head to Selfridges, set-up, chat and make cards for public (got an earful from a woman who did not see why she should give her boyfriend a beautiful Paul Antonio card, since he ALWAYS forgets Valentine’s Day, and her birthday) met some great people, left at 6pm headed home. Sunday saw Alistair dropping me to DSW for a full day.

I met some lovely people at DWS, my good friends at The Food Show, BAOD, Cutture, Brides Magazine, Hello Lucky, The Wren Press, Ackergill Tower, The Langham & Sugar Lily. I also had the good fortune to meet the stunning Fong at Matthew Willaimson, Annie at Scattercake, and some great event planners who visited the show.


The week after the show saw us working on a job for Sophie at Ruth Kaye Design – one of the quick scripts on a reflective plastic. We had a sample to play with two weeks previous but getting the final thing is a whole other matter. I swear I was nearly blinded writing those – the photos were very difficult to talk. Almost as difficult as trying not to get finger prints all over the work.

This week also saw us contacting all the people who expressed interest at the DWS. She did a brilliant job of working out a pricing structure for our calligraphy when printed using different print processes. Invaluable at the show and proving even more important now that we are back in studio. Funny thing is, because what we do is bespoke, the prices change ever so slightly with each job as the calligraphy also needs to be paid for. The lovely Alyson Hurst came to the studio to discuss printing and the creation of out soon to be realised pads of A4 paper (a collaborative effort with PAScribe and GFSmith). Nic, travel writer for Grazia and a very good friend, dropped by to talk about some web site stuff! And Catherine Rice, formally of Jo Malone, came by for a catch up. It was GREAT seeing her. (It is funny how we miss people when the move jobs, but the reappear in our lives to bring job later on!)

The last week of February saw me trying to find a date to do some filming in the studio on what might be needed for a royal wedding! A call from beautiful Rebecca at TCS about an upcoming project. Finishing up a job for Chantal, Yana and Candida at Outset in conjunction with the lovely Siobhan at the Design Council. I had to work the last weekend to get Elise’s job for Burberry ready (was happy to do so, because she is easy to work with). Got a call from Julie at Bovingdons,


The end of February saw the arrival of a skin of manuscript vellum for a job! I excited! I LOVE vellum and opening this roll was only done once everyone was out of the studio. I unfurled it and placed it in a drawer in the A0 plan chest to flatten out. The client said he is in a hurry, but vellum cannot be rushed. Preparation of the skin for copperplate script will start next week. Have to make up a batch of Iron Gall Ink as well. OH! OH! And cut some quills too. Fun, fun, fun! So excited.

I thought we had a slow month, work wise but typing this made me realise that it was anything but slow, certainly not calm!

1 comment:

  1. Another fascinating post. The vellum skin is so exciting. Can't wait to see what happens with it! Thank you for sharing your busy month!