The Colourist

The art of colourful living  by Annie Sloan

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The Colourist is a Bookazine and is Annie Sloan‘s latest venture. The current plan is to publish bi-yearly, but don’t quote me on that.

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For those who don’t know, a bookazine, as it says on the tin, is a cross between a book and a magazine. It looks magazine like, but is printed  on much better paper. At £9.95 it is twice the price of a magazine, but it is a periodical that you will want to keep, as you would a book.

I did wonder if The Colourist would just be a vehicle for Annie to sell more of her excellent chalk paint. The paint does feature, but in such an inspirational and interesting way it doesn’t feel like an advertorial.

After an introduction by Annie, where she  espouses her love of colour, the Bookazine is divided into sections starting with  The colour hunter. This  includes, What is new, Annie’s picks, Designer Focus, Trend watch and a competition.

There are  inspirational features on designers both  current and historic such as Cressida Bell and Joseph Frank

 

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Homes collections include Charleston Farmhouse and new modern designers such as Lucy Tiffney and Tamsyn Morgans and Dutch artist Yvon van Bergen.

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There are  travel features and most importantly Annie’s work with Oxfam in Ethiopia.

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There are quite a few How To’s and Make Over’s and a lovely give away,  a  free style stencil accompanied by step by step photographs showing how to use the stencil, to create a tile table top.

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Before I finish this review I think it is important to mention Felix Sloan who is the creative director of The Colourist and Jane Toft, the Managing Editor. Jane is very imaginative and so in touch with the zeitgeist, it was she who started Mollie Makes and The Simple Things. Their combined hard work and design flair has created something truly desirable.

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Perhaps Annie should have the final word.

“It all boils down to sharing my passion for style and colour. I want to inspire everyone to get creative!”

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Silver Clay Workshop

Getting Started in Silver Clay Jewellery by Melanie Blaikie

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Ever since I attended a workshop given by Emma Mitchell from Silver Pebble Design, I have been interested in silver clay jewellery making. I love the technique and the easy way that you can make something incredibly beautiful in a matter of no time. The only down side is that I  thought that as a technique it was rather limited, the Silver Clay Workshop shows otherwise.

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This book is a proper ‘how to’ manual explaining, with step-by-step photography, how to use different techniques. Each project is graded A,B or C, in terms of difficulty so the reader is aware of what standard of craftsmanship is required before embarking on a project.

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The different types of silver clay are described and the way to use them. You can purchase it in clay form in a syringe or as a paper. It is all too easy to start on a new craft, spend a fortune on tools and equipment and then end up abandoning it after just a few attempts. What is great about this craft is that the outlay for the first eight projects in this book is really very little. Most of the tools and equipment can be found round the house. I love the fact you can even make rings with silver clay and you can add precious stones. If you want to start a new craft and achieve great results quickly then this is the book for you. Melanie Blakie runs her own workshops and courses and all information can be found on her website http://www.silverclayworkshop.co.uk/

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Silver Clay Workshop, Melanie Blaikie, GMC, £16.99, availble from https://thegmcgroup.com

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Making and Marketing a Successful Art and Craft Business by Fiona Pullen

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This is an updated version of Craft as a creative business first published in 2013.

To begin with it is worth mentioning a little about Fiona she originally graduated in law but with a husband and young son decided she wanted to be self-employed. After much research she launched the website The Sewing Directory. Launched in 2010 it very quickly became one of the UK’S top sewing websites with over 1.5 million visitors a year and with a social media following of over 80,000. This woman knows her stuff and she writes in a very easy to understand and straightforward manner.

Fiona describes how creative people often find the technical side of running a business difficult to manage and so she wrote the book in order to help people to address those problems.

The book covers self-employment and the questions you need to ask yourself before becoming self employed. It covers the legal side of running a business, how to present yourself and selling both on line and off line. For me the most important and fascinating chapter in the book is about social media and how to use it. This brings me to why Fiona has updated her original book.

As she asks “What has changed?’

‘Since the first edition of this book, the popularity of video in social media has exploded. The social media section of this book has been almost completely re-written, with more focus on using video to promote your business.”

To build a decent web site you need to have great images. Fiona goes into detail about how to take good pictures for your web site. A great example of a friendly face in her work space is Lisa Comfort of Sew Over it.

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There are some wonderful examples of successful on line businesses such as paperpanda.co.uk a paper cutting business with a face book following of over 250,000.

Torie Jayne a lifestyle blogger with over 1.25 million followers on |Pintrest. She explains what she does to achieve a consistent high standard with her boards.

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The acrylic statement jewellery brand known as Tatty Devine explain how they make their instagram account work.

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Reading this section of the book made me feel almost panicky thinking about how much time it all takes, until I read Fiona’s piece on scheduling social media.

Digital influencer, Rachel Pinheiro gives tips on live video streaming. Sewing expert Debbie Shore explains how to build a successful You Tube Channel.

The legislative and tax information has been updated and is current.

All the downloads mentioned throughout the book are available from the Search Press website searchpress.com

As Fiona says

‘The world of business constantly changes, so it pays to be on top of these changes to use them in a way that befits your business.’

This is a really useful book and my copy is already very well thumbed. If you haven’t already done so, go and buy it now.

Published by Search Press £12.99

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Leon Summer Well-being Festival

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This summer the restaurant chain LEON ran a wellbeing festival for the restaurant managers of their 57 UK and European restaurants, their new one soon to open in Washington USA and the restaurant support team. This two-day event takes place every year at John Vincent’s family home in Sussex and the event really is a family get together. The ‘mums’ and ‘dads’ (that’s what they call their restaurant managers) and the restaurant support team gathered together in one of the fields and started with a ball game as a way of breaking the ice and introducing any new ‘family’ members to each other. The event, like the LEON brand, is well thought out, wholesome and inclusive.

Next a session of Chi-gung (“Life Energy Cultivation”) took place and after that everyone gathered into groups to take part in different events throughout the day. These included swimming, yoga, cooking, movement and play, tennis, home-made remedies and the workshop I was there to teach, low tech printing onto calico bags.

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Nichola, one of the ‘mums’ from LEON was there to help me, she was brilliant and as I ran six sessions back to back throughout the day, with a break for a delicious LEON lunch, I couldn’t have done it without her.

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I showed everyone a look book of marks that can be made using very simple items such as fruit and vegetables, blocks of wood wrapped in elastic bands, pipe lagging cut into segments  and erasers on the end of pencils.

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Everyone then had a go on pieces of paper so they could work out their own designs.

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Then to get the feel of printing onto  fabric everyone printed onto a piece of calico.

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Once satisfied with design and colour choices each person printed onto a bag. The bags were hung up in the garden to dry with the names of the designer on them.

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Throughout the rest of their stay everyone posted thoughtful messages into the bags of one another. It was such a glorious event and I felt honoured to be part of it. Looking back at the images I took that day you can see people totally engaged in the activity, printing anywhere and everywhere; at the table, on the floor, on chairs or on their laps, completely absorbed in the moment which is what creativity is all about.

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RELAXED COASTAL STYLE

 

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When I heard about the book Relaxed Coastal Style, by Sally Denning I was very keen to review it. I met Sally many years ago as she was setting out on her career as a stylist, and she used my house as a shoot location. Since then I have been very aware of her meteoric rise in the ‘styling world’ and so knew this would be a gorgeous book and I was correct.

The first part of the book consists of Sally’s unique take on coastal style, celebrating the colours and textures of the seaside: bare wooden boards, unadorned windows, and furnishings covered in robust linen or cotton that will endure salt water and the sun’s rays or gently fade with age. Sally also explores lighting, furniture and coastal decorative accents such as maps, charts and nautical-themed accessories.

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She draws inspiration from beach combing, displaying shells and driftwood to feel close to nature and the sound of the waves. Sally and her photographer have travelled far and wide to shoot a selection of glorious coastal houses, cottages and hideaways that are guaranteed to enchant and inspire.

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The second reason I was keen to get hold of a copy of this book is that it features the house of Jane and Martin Will who own the old Coastguards cottage on Deal seafront. I grew up in Deal although in those days it was less glamorous than it is today. It is now full of artisan shops, pavement cafes and galleries such as the homeware and gallery ‘Will & Yates’ that Jane co-owns with artist Caroline Yates. The Will’s house is as lovely as the gallery painted in soft greys and inky blues and furnished with simple functional pieces of furniture and ‘brocante’ finds.

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Wherever you live, Relaxed Coastal Style will inspire you to adopt the relaxed, informal simplicity of life by the sea.

Relaxed Coastal Style by Sally Denning (£19.99) with photography by Benjamin Edwards ©RylandPeters&Small.

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Recycled painted pots

If any of you  live with  dogs or cats and feed them  tinned food, you probably have a few empty tins lying around. I decided to recycle mine to hold some Heather and Cactus plants.

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You will need

Rustoleum chalk paint

clean empty tin

scouring pad

Paint brush

plastic box

Step1

Fill the plastic box with warm water and  remove the label from the tinStep2

Remove stubborn bits of  paper from the tin, using the scourer. Leave the tin to dry.

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Load your brush with paint, apply to the rim of the tin.

For a spilled paint look, over load the brush and let the paint dribble.Step4

 

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10 key trends from Oliver Bonas for Autumn Winter 2018

Now is the time of year that companies and those who supply retail outlets put on their trade shows, so that Journalists, Bloggers and Influencers can shout out to the world what is new and what will be available in the shops in the autumn. Oliver Bonas had their show yesterday and in the heat of July,  amidst silver tinsel and warm fabrics we  transported ourselves forward to the autumn and beyond to Christmas.

 

  1. Texture and pattern are still a strong trend and velvet is a fabric of choice. It is still being used on furniture and upholstery and on even lamp shades.

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2. Fringing, introduced last season, is still with us in clothing, fashion accessories and again on lamp shades. We are not talking the old fashioned silky kind, but  something far more rustic, looking, made from from  linen, jute, string.

 

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3. Deep colours  are popular  often decorated with rich patterns. The patterns are used on all surfaces including ceramics. Think midnight blue and forest green. The patterns are sometimes embroidered. More often than not, the motifs are formed of loose freehand marks, very omega workshop in inspiration.

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4. Metallics continue to be popular in interior accessories. Raffia  is being used to make lampshades.

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5. There are some very interesting and unusual shaped glass lamp bases.

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6. Animals continue to be popular as  decorative motifs. Cats of  all descriptions are still very Oliver Bonas popular. They are used by OB on ceramics, fabrics and even door mats.

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7. Tassels are still around and are used on cushions and fashion accessories.

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8. Carrying on from OB’s spring summer designs, ceramics are still  a riot of pattern, shapes and colours.

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9. Unusual and fun Christmas gifts. OB have come up with some original gift  ideas particularly for the person that you have no idea what to buy. Like this funny note book. They also are selling reusable water bottles with neoprene covers.

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10. A great range of strong fashion looks, with accessories including bags, hair slides and  throws. This dress was such a hit with those attending the show that I think will be sold out as soon as it reaches the shops.

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