Monday, 2 June 2014

Much needed greetings card range for the Slummy Mummy

A recent trip to the Trafford Centre highlighted the need for a certain niche within the greetings card market.

I have messy children. Scrap that, I have children, I am slovenly and inadequately prepared, despite having a superbly designed changing bag and my time served in the Brownies.

On the rare occasion that I summon the courage to leave the house with the babes, it will undoubtedly result in a spillage of some variety, in some nice establishment. Often drinks, usually vomit.

Different places have differing responses, generally I am met with a polite friendly pair of hands that offer a roll of blue paper towel. 

Some venues are oblivious to the chaotic scene unfurling, a frazzled slightly panicky Moi, juggling baby, toddler, plates, pools of liquid. Trying to stop further excretions going over surfaces or up noses, attempting to sooth sick child, preventing other child from getting in the mess and warning others in close proximity to not slip. 

Other places are absolute havens with staff who are ultra responsive, understanding, helpful and kind. Of the many lovely places that have looked after me and my wee ones in a spill/vomit crisis, a recent shopping excursion to Mamas & Papas was perhaps the pinnacle of excellence.

Dear little Heidi, my (then) 7 month old daughter was sick, ala The Exorcist at the Cashier’s Desk. It was spectacular comedy timing as I had just been recounting a number of public child vomit stories to the heavily pregnant Sales Assistant, as justification for my permanent scruffy look. “What is the point of wearing nice clothes, dresses, heels etc? they only get covered in squashed rusks and milk, this month I’ll mainly be wearing baby sick.” Cue huge projectile tube of sick; all over the desk, floor, myself, herself and my shell-shocked 13 year old niece Jessica. (This was nothing but preparation for what poor Jessica would witness later in the week from little Heidi. That however, is another story).

The staff couldn’t be more wonderful if they had perhaps sang or danced through their swift handling of the affair. Bucket and Mop with steaming hot water and Dettol, sympathy, kindness, towels and bags sprung forth and spared me much tears and embarrassment. So lovely.

So, obviously I needed to thank them properly. In the restaurants and Cafes I would leave a whopping tip for such treatment, but I don’t think this would be appropriate, what is customary in a shop? Chocolates and cards I thought. Neighbouring shop John Lewis has a great range of cards and chocolate I might add, but non that said “thank you for helping me when I needed it most. Thank you for getting us all clean, safe and settled’.

This and a number of other events has inspired me to create my Human Nature range of cards.

I have used the font LetsGo by Des Gomez on Dafont, see a selection of her great handwritten fonts here.

Full list of credits for vomit soldiers coming soon....

Huge thank you to:

Marple Bridge's The Midland 

Monday, 3 March 2014

Mothering Sunday

I am back in the studio, OK so I am back in my front room that has my mac, books, paper and paints in. After 4 years of study, designing to spec and meeting briefs and targets, it is rather enjoyable to be practicing and learning at my own pace.

This month's task that I have beset myself is to use Illustrator with confidence.  I have used it since I was 19 but have never mastered it, simply using the tools I felt comfortable with and fudging around with the pen tool.

So I am currently practicing my bezier curves and getting to grips with the pathfinder options, knocking out paths, making compound paths, clipping masks etc.

I have been practicing these methods on a design for a Mothers Day card. Terribly basic, but by applying the theory from Ted Alspach's Illustrator CS4 for Dummies (I know! I bought it a long time ago and can't bring myself to by a newer version having never read it) with the hands on practice, I hope to get to grips with the paths and all that they will allow me to do.