Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Merry Christmas

Woah how can it already be the end of the year? I feel like the whole year has whizzed past and I was constantly trying to catch up. It feels like only last week that we were making our way back to Sydney but other moments our time in London feels like a dream. In any case this year has been full of radness, topped with the arrival of my cheeky monkey aka Ava baby aka hungry slug aka the Big Cheese.

It's been a tough but amazing year and there a lot of things to be thankful for, a lot of people that have helped us this year, given us inspiration, a kick up the but and last but not least things to smile about. I hope that this year has been good for you as well.

Thank you for coming and visiting us here on our blog. I hope that next year we're back to posting more regularly, although I know i've been saying that for a while now ;)

Here's to a lot of feasting and merry making good times!
See you next year!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

ADC Young Guns X

Maricor and I were selected for this years Young Guns award which were announced earlier this month. The Young Guns is an international portfolio based award presented annually by the Art Directors Club and is open to creatives under the age of thirty. This year 34 were given and we're beyond happy to join alumni we very much admire and are inspired by such as Kyle Bean, Deanne Cheuk, Johnny Kelly and Alex Trochut to name just a few.

We weren't able to make it to the awards night that were held in New York earlier this month but our friend Matt was kind enough to snap some pics of our work on display.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Field Trip Sydney

We've mentioned it on twitter but not on our blog yet but Maricar and I will be speaking at the Sydney instalment of Field Trip this December. It's a creative conference presented by our Australian agents Jacky Winter and Australian Infront. They held the first in Melbourne earlier this year with Beci Orpin, Jeremy Ley, Tin and Ed amongst the stellar line up so we're pretty proud to be asked to speak in Sydney.

Field Trip is a little different to the usual conference, speakers are encouraged to think of it as more of a performance rather than a talk, as we'll go through the nitty gritty process of creating work, live on stage with a lot of tips shared. Both creative tips as well as technical short cuts. For Sydney there is a great variety of skills represented by the speakers: the highly respected traditional illustrator Nigel Buchanan, paper engineer Benja Harney of Paperform fame, letterist Gemma O'Brien aka Mrs Eaves, 3D digital wizards Forge & Morrow, infographics designer Anthony Calvert and the motion gurus from Flutter. Hopefully we won't be too nervous on stage but I'm slightly freaking out about the prospect of presenting in front of a big crowd. But it's a interesting format for a conference and one which we would have enjoyed going to as a student and young designer to get an insight into the creative processes of some of our creative heroes so we're glad to be involved and I hope what we have to share will be interesting.

We'll be going through a brief from start to finish, discussing the ways we tailor our work flow to working with such a labour intensive medium as embroidery. We'll share some of the digital techniques we use, but most importantly we'll be doing some live embroidery on stage.  If we have any regular visitors to the blog I hope we see you there, please say hi :)

And also if anyone wants to ask us a question about how we work please leave them in the comments section of this post and we'll try to go through them during our talk.

Field Trip Sydney takes place on the 7th of December at the Seymour Centre. Tickets are still available through Australian Infront, details are all on their site. But if you do a bit of sleuthing on the Desktop magazine website I think they're offering a reader discount!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Hope Shines Here

Earlier this year I had an incredible experience travelling with TOMS on one of their Giving trips to Peru and Guatemala visiting schools, clinics and orphanages. There is more info at the TOMS site on their One For One movement and here are some videos from the trip.

I spent a couple of days with Visualiza in Guatemala, their aim is to provide "quality eye service to everyone", their private practice helps to fund their outreach clinics and the treatments they provide to patients who are less able to afford quality ophthalmological care. I had the opportunity to see the great work they do in providing access to eye care to remote parts of the community and also to sight saving surgery. With the the support TOMS provides with its One For One movement they were able to pay for more surgeries and operate more out reach clinics.

The rest of the trip was spent in Peru helping to distribute shoes with Buckner International. We met a lot of incredible people who are there helping the community day to day. Seeing first hand the difference they make was a humbling experience. I also had the opportunity to design a mural which we painted with the help of the children in the community. The text translates to Hope Shines Here which we painted on one of the community halls Buckner has helped to establish in Lima. It was nice to be able to do something fun with the children, we all enjoyed ourselves and while we all got pretty messy and dived into the paint the mural turned out beautiful.

Photos courtesy of TOMS Shoes

Monday, October 29, 2012

Painting with thread + painting with paint

Hi it's been a while... again :( I've got to get back on track with blogging but once I missed one week then two weeks and so on it became harder to write this post. Too much to cover and I hate excessively wordy posts! So maybe if I write a list of things that we've been seeing, reading and doing Maricor and I can get back to things in more detail over the next few weeks.

Paint studies for HeyMun
We created a series of custom embroideries for our amazingly talented friend HeyMun and her new EP. HeyMun contacted us earlier this year asking if we'd be interested in working with her on her album artwork with a brief that went along the lines of do whatever inspires you. Naturally we said hell yeah and this is what we created. We were inspired by the folksy, colourful and bright sound of the track By Sea which you can listen to here.

Freelancing mothers
I wasn't sure how much baby stuff to write about on this blog since it is really meant to be about MaricorMaricar and the work that we do but I really want to share these blog posts from A Cup of Jo since they've helped me cope over the last few months of hectic work and family life. Juggling work and Ava has been pretty difficult so far, hence the very long stretches between blog posts this year so I've been almost obsessively reading blogs by other freelancing mothers to figure out how they do it. These ladies have shared their experiences and after reading their stories I feel a little better knowing that it's a juggling act that other people, not just me, struggle with and that there are ways to make it work. The first half of the posts are by mothers who work fulltime in offices, the second half are freelancing mothers who work from home. My good friend forwarded me these posts, thanks CC! -

TOMS shoes launch Sydney & Melbourne
Last week Maricor and I had a short but sweet trip to Mebourne for TOMS shoes. We painted a couple of murals for their Sydney and Melbourne launches as well as some customised shoes. We're really excited about how the murals turned out since we hardly work at that large a scale. We'll post again about the project in more detail with some pics. Thanks again to the team at TOMS for getting us on board. If you don't know about their One for One movement I highly recommend you read about it on their site. If you buy a pair of shoes they give a pair to a child in need and if you buy a pair of sunglasses they help restore sight through clinics, prescription glasses or medication. Earlier this year Maricor travelled with them on one of their many Giving trips. They travelled to Peru and Guatemala visiting schools, clinics and orphanages but more about that trip later!

We also recently talked to The Design Files and our old alma mater, you can read a bit more about our process and background here and here.  And lastly Maricor and I will be talking at the Sydney instalment of Field Trip presented by our lovely agents at Jacky Winter and the folks at Australian Infront. The conference is different to the usual format with the presenters also going through their creative process live on stage. We'll be showing some embroidery on stage, since we only have about 45min we'll have to do a little 'here's one we prepared earlier' cooking type magic. Tickets are on sale here

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Some things that have happened, will happen and are happening right now

Hello! I'm not sure what it is about July/August but we've just come into a bit of a busy period with a few projects and exhibitions on. It's an exciting time and wonderful to have the security of knowing we have another job lined up beyond the current one but I wish we were able to spread these out a bit! Especially as i'm taking some maternity leave I feel a bit guilty at relying on Maricor to hold the fort.

Unfortunately we are a little late posting about the Tweet a Brief exhibition organised by Handsome Frank, our agents in the UK. As the title suggests the show asked people to tweet illustration briefs for their illustrators to create the artworks.

We chose this brief from @ejikeanyanwu 'A balloon full of multiple colours of paint, burst by a bullet, spilling onto a blank canvas. Represents creativity.' We've explored water colour gradients in our work before but have wanted to experiment more with thick paint textures and splatters so had a lot of fun with this brief. Below is our response to the brief and if you follow this link Handsome Frank have posted up the exhibition in it's entirety on their blog.

Maricor posted earlier about the True Self exhibition co presented by our Australian agents Jacky Winter and MGPO. We had a lot of fun collaborating on our two boards - the first with Limedrop and the second with Thom Kerr, and to be in an amazing group show with other talented folk such as Matt Huynh, Beci Orpin and We Buy Your Kids. The entire show is up online which is great since we also missed out on seeing it down in Melbourne.

We also had the chance to be a part of a group show down at He Made She Made gallery in Sydney which opened last night. 'Who Shot the Serif' focuses on type on and off the page and brought together another group of designers that got us excited, WBYK, Luke Lucas, Thi Nguyen, Wing Lau plus a whole lot more. Our original Go Play, Kylie type and B&E are on display, the show will run for 5 weeks. You might see us down there, I have to go back and have a closer look at the work, the opening was pretty chockers and I could't get close enough to the works to take in the details!

And to round off what's become a monster of a post is another group show we'll be part of in Melbourne at Brunswick Street Gallery. Needle Work Needle Play will showcase contemporary Australian artists and illustrators who have used embroidery in their work. We are very excited to be part of this show and can't wait to see what the other artists have created. Carly who invited us to take part has done an amazing job organising the show and has even created a blog to document the lead up to the show and has profiled each of the artists. Some of the artists have shown some sneak peaks of work in progress, it's all looking great, here is Cat Rabbit's blog post on her piece. Another shame that we won't be down in Melbourne to check it out!

Monday, July 02, 2012

A little girl called Ava Esme

Hey there! First of all i'd like to say sorry for the blog silence, I had actually started this post almost a month ago but life things got in the way - happy life things though. It's been a bit hectic hereabouts because Michael and I welcomed our little girl Ava Esme! She was born on the 2nd, early in the morning and since then we've been getting to know her little grunts and sleepy smiles and trying to decipher her different cries. It's been a tiring past few weeks but we've had the most wonderful support from both our families which we're both very grateful for. 

So yep that's what caused the temporary blog freeze and I was almost done writing that last one before, go figure! The post explained what prompted us to organise the poster giveaway we had last month - which was that we were on such a high from being blogged on several awesome blogs and say a massive thank you for those lovely write ups.

Since starting our embroidered graphics we've often worried that maybe what we were doing was a little kitsch or a bit sickly cute to be taken seriously. So being featured on design and art blogs that we greatly admire and follow has been a wonderful surprise (we may also have indulged in a few jumping geeky high fives). Thank you Juxtapoz, Fox is Black, It's Nice That, Australian INfront and Oh Joy!

PS Ava turned one month today. Time goes by so quickly!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Giveaway Update

Hello! We've drawn the winner of the poster giveaway, congratulations Ramon Lo we hope you enjoy the prints! We'll be in touch soon for your postage details.

Maricor and I would like to thank everyone who entered and got in touch. We had such a thrill organising this one hopefully we can host another one soon! :)

Friday, May 25, 2012


[UPDATE] Thanks to everyone who entered, the giveaway is now over. Congratulations to Ramon Lo who will be receiving these prints in the mail soon!

We've had such a great response to our giveaway, thanks everyone! There's still one day to enter, just a reminder to remember to include your email in your comments if you don't have a full profile as we won't be able to get in touch with you if you win and unfortunately if we can't contact you we'll have to pick another name out of a hat. Could Choi, Kristin and Nuri who left comments below please get in touch via email as we're unable to view your contact email on your profiles. Thanks!! If you prefer not to share your details in the comments that's cool, just email us your entry at

We've had so many lovely comments and posts about our work this week that we'd love to give a little something back with a MaricorMaricar giveaway. We have a "Back to Oz" giclee print, "Diamonds on the soles of her feet" risograph, "Leche" risograph and "Enradado" risograph to send out to someone. All you need to do is email us at or comment on this post (just with your email or somehow for us to get in touch with you if you win) or tweet us back and we'll draw one name on midday Tuesday the 29th May (Sydney time).

1. Back to Oz A4 giclee print
2. Detail of Back to Oz
3. Diamonds on the soles of her feet A3 risograph
4. Leche A4 risograph
5. Enredado A4 risograph

* Sorry, just have to mention we moderate comments so please don't worry if your comment doesn't appear straight away. And this is open to overseas readers!

Friday, May 18, 2012

As Prescribed - Fine Lines

As Prescribed is an artist driven t-shirt label that aims to be a platform for exposing artists and designers to the universe. Founded by Melbourne based illustrator Eveline Tarunadjaja and designer Nick Parker, As Prescribed takes on the form of an art gallery, in an online retail environment.  The awesome folks behind new T-shirt label As Prescribed invited MaricorMaricar to take part in their first artist series "Fine Lines". The series of shirts also feature designs by Eveline Tarunadjaja, Sean Morris and Kubota Fumikazu.

The label launched last week with a pop up shop and exhibition at No Vacancy gallery in Melbourne. Head down and say hello to Eveline, she's super nice and until the 20th of May visitors to the gallery get $10 off shirts.

Our piece is titled "The Hungry Slug" and this little monster and some of his gang are currently on display in the exhibition as well as a couple of original hand sewn embroideries and our print "Makers, Dreamers" which is available for sale during the exhibition.

Each artist has a nice little interview up on the As Prescribed site, here's our one, we were pretty nervous on camera and kept pulling faces!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

MaricorMaricar joins Jacky Winter

We're playing catch up on our blog so apologies for some not so 'new' news. Last month we were incredibly stoked to join the talented stable of artists represented by the illustration agency Jacky Winter. We're so happy to have local representation by such an awesome agency and we look forward to working with them on some super projects. Coming up is a group show presented by Jacky Winter and MGPO titled "True Self". It's a collaborative group show, each artwork on display will be a collaboration between two artists. The creative process is sort of a chain letter: Each artist starts off one piece before mailing it to another artist to complete, so MaricorMaricar will have our hands on two pieces in the show.

More information on the exhibition is available here. The exhibition will be on display at Melbourne's GPO and will be on show between June 1 - 24. All artworks will be for sale ($200) and all proceeds go to the charity Fitted for Work - a not-for-profit initiative, providing clothing and training to help disadvantaged women find employment. Below are some sneak peeks of one of the pieces we're collaborating on.

Friday, May 11, 2012


Things have been so hectic (an exciting whirlwind trip to Guatemala and Peru that we have to keep under wraps until later in the year) that I've only just been able to sit down and get stuck into blogging again. Ca was about to kick my ass for being so tardy with this "Last week in London" post, so much to cover so be prepared for a pretty long post!

Back in February I was lucky to spend almost a month back in London, to be honest I was missing it heaps since returning home to Sydney. Staying with friends in East London it was almost like I was living back in the old neighborhood spending Saturday afternoons at Broadway Market, strolling through London Fields for my morning coffee at Climpson & Sons, the Sunday guantlet that is Columbia Road Flower Markets...

In my last week I squeezed in a couple of exhibitions, hunted down some printed ephemera, caught up with the hugely talented Hattie Newman over cake and tea, had drinks in an East London secret bar and created my first ever chalk mural for HiRes! London. It was an awesome trip and I can't wait until I can go back again.

David Drummond at Cecil Court
For any lovers of printed ephemera Cecil Court (Leicester Square Tube) is a place you must head down to. The street is lined with various shops each with their own specialty but for theatre lovers David Drummond is the store to visit.
I was hoping I could catch an Ephemera Society Bazaar while I was in London but unfortunately the dates didn't line up. But we got a tip to check out Cecil Court and oh-my how I wish I had made the trip earlier. The store is filled to the brim with all sorts of theatre ephemera, their selection of play bills is vast and ranges from the earlier black and white prints from the 1800s to the bold coloured bills from the 1950s.

Fail Better Chalk Mural

As part of their "Live From The Kitchen" series HiRes! London invited me to create a chalk illustration which would be live streamed on their site.
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett
The above quote hangs in every HiRes! office so I've been told. Never having done a mural before I was a little nervous about how it would turn out but I think the end result was fantastic (especially considering the light projector failed I had to measure it all up by hand). At a whopping 3metres x 4metres it's the largest MaricorMaricar artwork to date. Below are some process pictures but check out the HiRes! site to see it come to life.

We have also printed a limited edition series of screen prints which will be available soon from our store. Out of an edition of 100 only 20 are available for sale, please get in touch if you are interested in a print.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Some exciting news...

Hello! I've finished my latest little project. It's a knitted pompom beanie that i've fit in whilst waiting for feedback from clients or fabric to dry (and when I needed a break from embroidery!). The reason for the beanie is my boyfriend and I are going to have a baby. Wowser! We're actually almost 7 months along and i've wanted to share the news here for a while but things were a bit hectic with the move back from London, my sister's wedding and just general new years and Christmas stuff.

Maricor and I are going to see how things go once the baby arrives. BUT MaricorMaricar is definitely going to get bigger and better this year! We have a few exciting projects under our belt that we can't wait to share and a couple of commissions pencilled in. We're also going to venture into customised short run textiles. Still only in very early planning and dreaming phase but this is the year we're going to make it happen. I'm so excited, this year is going to be crazay :)

1. I based the beanie on this pattern I found online. I made a few adjustments to it to make it a bit larger and added the pompom.

Monday, March 05, 2012

London Wrap Up - Second helpings

As Ca mentioned in the previous post I'm in London! Partly a holiday, partly to scope out the possibility of having an exhibition (any tips/leads on venues would be great!) and mostly to revisit the old neighbourhood/weekend markets and say hi to old and new friends. As a post script to Ca's wrap up of London I have a few more entries to add:

Make Lounge
All the stores we found in London stocked Anchor threads so we had to replenish our dwindling DMC supplies online (Cross Stitch Centre). This worked fine most of the time since we had swatches of our threads from Sydney to select colours from. But for projects where we needed new specific colours it was a bit problematic (website swatches not being an exact indication of colour) so we'd always want to choose them instore. Anchor have a great selection of threads (we've listed in our previous posts where to find them in London) and are actually wonderful for finding tints of the one colour but our thread of choice to be honest is DMC. DMC seem to have a tighter twist which holds up better for our colour mixing. I'm kicking myself that I only just organised myself properly to visit the Make Lounge in Highbury Islington during this trip. A wonderful concept for a store and workshop space, they have a range of craft tools from cake decoration to candle making and everything in between, check out their great line-up of workshops.

Tate Modern
Even if you've visited before, their series of free public exhibitions in their Turbine Hall is always worth a look see. For any of their major exhibitions take heed of their recommendation and book your tickets! First attempt to see the Yayoi Kasuma exhibition was a fail so don't be like me, plan ahead and book online.

Schoolyard at Broadway Market - Yum Buns, Homeslice Pizza
We first came across Homeslice Pizza during the Wilton Way street party and dog show. Tucked around a side street we were lured by the aroma of woodfired pizza. I don't know how they manage a pop up stall with their custom built oven but they do! Now it looks like they've got a more permanent home at the School Yard market just around the corner from the Saturday Broadway Markets. And right next door is Yum Buns, recommended by our friends it is well worth a visit. Their roast pork buns are kind of a souped up pork version of a peking duck roll. Imagine thick slices of roast pork, cucumber and shallot on a steamed flat bun with a drizzling of hoisin sauce.

So happy I've found the food blog of Coco&Me a regular stall holder at Broadway Market. For some reason it wasn't part of my weekly market ritual when Ca and I were living just down the road and I can't figure out why. I remember having her fruit tart a few times and really enjoying it but I always zoomed straight to the savoury stalls each Saturday. This weekend I had a craving for something sweet and had one of her tarts again and oh my I can't stop thinking about it! I have one more Saturday before I fly back to Sydney and I know definitely where I'll be next weekend. It's nice to know that although I'll be on the other side of the world I can still indugle in my fruit tart cravings as she's lovely enough to share some of her recipes. But nothing beats the real thing so if you find yourself in London make sure you visit her stall, she also has a selection of chocolate treats that I'll be sampling next Saturday too.

1. YumBuns at the Schoolyard at BroadwY Markets
2. Homeslice Pizza, that oven in the back moves around to each pop-up location
3. Pie stall at Broadway Markets
4. Pork and crab rolls at Banhmi11 at Broadway Markets

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

London - What we did and what we ate - part 2

Part 2 of our London wrap up. Maricor is actually there right now for a couple of weeks. Totally jealous!

- Old Spitalfields on Thursdays and Ephemera Fairs: For your antique and vintage fix Thursdays for Old Spitalfields market is the day to go. Also a must visit for designers/fans of antique printed matter are the Ephemera Society's London fairs and bazaars. You can pick up Victorian theatre handbills, antique trading/advertising cards and all other manner of amazing printed goodness. The large fairs that attract vendors from overseas happen twice a year (27th May, 2nd Dec 2012) whilst their are also smaller bazaars during the year.

- Nobrow Independent publisher: their shop/gallery in Shoreditch is an amazing source for books, posters, original art and handmade goods. They also have their own screenprinting studio and work with an amazing group of artists on self published short and long run books. We blogged about them previously and are relieved to find out they are now stocked at Kinokuniya here in Sydney so we don't have to travel halfway round the world for our next Nobrow fix. But nothing beats going to their shop!

- London Graphics Centre, Cowling and Wilcox, Jackson's Art Supplies: our go to places for art supplies whilst we were in London. Between the three we were able to pick up square frames for our embroideries (surprisingly very hard to find off the shelf square frames back home so this was a revelation), calligraphy supplies, poster tubes and the usual paints, art paper and inks.

- Cloth House, MacCulloch & Wallis, Ray Stitch: If you need any embroidery/fabric supplies whilst in town try these stores. John Lewis also turned out to be pretty handy for embroidery thread.

- The Shop on Cheshire St: the streets on and off Brick Lane are choccas with vintage stores but we loved The Shop for it's stash of affordable vintage scarves, aprons and tablecloths. Here's a nice write up on Style Bubble that does The Shop more justice.

- Pimps and Pinups: In need of a hair cut? We were referred to Pimps and Pinups by a friend who'd been living in London for a few years and were pleased to to find out that they have a sort of brother/sister relationship with our regular hairdressers in Newtown, Scissorhands.

- St Brides Library: tucked away in a peculiar spot in Fleet Street is this amazing library dealing mainly with printing, typography and graphic arts, a must visit for any travelling designer in town. They also offer letterpress printing workshops and a host of other events. Looking at their site now they look to be temporarily closed but are still taking research enquiries and their events and workshops are unaffected.

- Bus 55 and 48: we lived in London Fields, Hackney so our way into the city was pretty flexible. We could take the National Express from London Fields Station which was only 3 stops away from Liverpool Street station or as I liked to do, you could take the bus in. Bus 55 and 48 winds it's way down Mare St through Hackney Road finally meeting up with Shoreditch. I loved the buses in London - the convenience of the signage systems, the simple and cheap fares as well as the fact you could pretty much get a bus door to door wherever you needed. Most of the things and places we needed were in East London and the buses allowed us to get there fast and cheaply. Also I liked taking the bus to figure out in my head where everything in the city was in relation to each other. It's a great way to acclimatise yourself in a new city, and the buses in London make it so much easier for you than any other bus system i've tried before.

1. Handbill purchased at an Ephemera Society fair. I love the combination of different typefaces. I wish we'd bought more whilst at the fairs and bazaars, it's just so overwhelming.
2. London Fields in Spring
3. Picnic/working on our balcony over looking the railway line with central London in the distance. We had a pretty amazing view whenever storms rolled in over London but I have to say my favourite memory was during Diwali. The skyline was alight with never-ending fireworks from one side of the city to the other.

Monday, February 13, 2012

London - Where we ate and what we did - part 1

We thought we should do a round up of the other London gems we enjoyed visiting over and over again during our 8 month stay in London last year. Places to grab an excellent coffee, book shops, art supplies stores, cafes, museums, galleries, odds and ends plus more. So this is part 1 of our to do list* next time we're in Old London Town focusing on places to eat, drink and be entertained. Part 2 will be a loose round up of the art and embroidery supply places we found and designer-y based finds and other places of note.

- London Fields Park: Not as large as Hyde Park but definitely not small either. There are huge chestnut trees that are home to a few sometimes friendly squirrels - for those curious folk that find them as cute as my boyfriend does - as well as enough space to fit hundreds of picnic goers on any given sunny day (actually didn't have to be all that sunny for it to be full some weekends). One end lies next to the entrance to Broadway Market whilst the other corner houses a lido (I never felt hot enough during my stay to try out it out which is a bit of a shame as it's meant to be wonderful).

- Broadway Market & it's saturday street market: maybe accounting for how popular the next-door London Fields park is on a weekend is this great little street lined with cosy pubs (Cat and Mutton and The Dove), excellent cafes serving some of the best coffee you can find in London (l'eau à la bouche, Climpson and Sons), book stores selling great design, art books and magazines (Artwords Bookshop) and tons of other great shops that you'll soon discover. On Saturdays one of the best street markets takes over Broadway Market selling a huge variety of food from different cuisines, baked goods, fresh fruit and vegetable, fishmongers, butchers and delis as well as stalls selling vintage goods, clothing and assorted miscellanea. Our favourite stalls that we constantly returned to were the pie shop (our pick is the chilli beef), the stall in the middle selling marinated olives/stuffed peppers and dips, the fruit and veg stall near the end that became our fresh plum supplier and the vietnamese food stand also at the Cambridge Heath end. If you go there try their bbq pork roll with caramelised pork skewer. There's usually a line but please don't let that turn you off. Service is pretty quick and after trying a few other vietnamese pork rolls in London (we like to think we know a good one) this was by far our favourite.

- Hai Ha on Mare Street (if you live locally or are after Vietnamese and in the area this is our pick of the numerous Vietnamese eateries that line Mare Street. We recommend their mixed vermicelli noodle with pork & spring rolls and the crispy pork belly noodle soup (which isn't vietnamese but I tried it on a whim and it was amazing).

- V&A, Natural History Museum, British Museum, Tate Modern: How awesome is free admission to amazing galleries and collections? We spent many a day drooling over amazing ceramics, minerals, antiquities and masterpieces and still only scratched the surface of the permanent free collections on offer.

- Ping Pong: Their all day/night yum cha-ish dumplings are nice if a bit expensive compared to what we're used to in Chinatown but I had to add Ping Pong for their yummo cocktails. Yum cha with asian inspired cocktails is a pretty spectacular combination and i'm hoping someplace similar in Sydney pops up soon (Melbourne already has Golden Monkey)

- The Book Club & The Hackney Pearl, Railroad Cafe, Wilton Way Cafe, Nude Espresso: besides the cafes on Broadway Market already mentioned these cafes were regular coffee stops for us. Railroad Cafe and The Hackney Pearl are a little out of the way but offer quirky settings and great coffee for the former and a pretty mean Corn Fritter for the latter. Oh and the Hackney Pearl don't lie when they say they serve the best Bloody Marys in town (other cocktail to try is the Gem Garden) Wilton Way Cafe is also home to the London Fields Radio

- Hackney Picturehouse: this opened a few weeks before we left and was literally only down the street from our apartment. It is one of our huge regrets that we weren;t able to enjoy the Picturehouse. We watched Ides of March there and it was honestly the best theatre we've ever been in. Full stadium seating with chairs that all recline...sigh. Also for cult classics and themed nights the Prince Charles cinema in Leicester Square is amazing. They show an ever changing line up of old favourites, themed series as well as new releases. We went there for a screening of Empire Records that featured drinking games, a dress up contest and sing-alongs.

- Drink Shop Do: Part cafe, shop and gallery. Drink Shop Do is craft and board game friendly. A lovely place for a spot of tea and sandwiches or cocktails at night when the cafe switches it's daytime charm into a nice and relaxed bar/lounge.

- Columbia Road flower market: It gets pretty busy here on a Sunday but it's an enjoyable crush. I enjoyed listening to the stall holders advertising their flowers just as much as the flowers themselves. On one of the side streets we spent a nice break from the crush listening to buskers splaying jazz and with a few cafe's lining the road and shops selling home wares and art there's plenty to do if you don't feel like joining the flower buying tide. Most of the shops on Columbia Road though are closed on non-market days so it's best to check ahead.

*in no particular order

1 - 4 Broadway Market Saturday street market
1: Vietnamese food stall at the Cambridge Heath end
2: Outside l'eau à la bouche cafe
4: Violet Cakes

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Land Of Nod

One of our favourite pieces from last year was the embroidered winter catalogue cover we created for the Land of Nod. We tried something a little different with the treatment for the embroidery and also a new type of fabric. We had a great time sourcing new types of cottons and linens to embroider with and we were very excited when the client requested a denim like linen twill from the swatches we emailed through. It was a real treat to embroider on and really contrasted well with the colours in the design.

Below are a few process images that we can finally share but for the final cover head over to The Land of Nod's blog (there are a couple bonus images there too including the selection of fabric swatches we collected for the piece).

Pages from my sketch book - ideas for the type treatment

Digital colour rough - this is the step where we set the colour palette and this file becomes our colour reference when we begin sewing

We mix the colours in as we sew, for this piece I had anywhere between 2 to 4 colours going at the one time

...and the completed embroidery!