Two Things

Hey guys!

Today I am celebrating Frog & Pencil turning 2. Life has been brilliantly busy with commissions, etsy creations and wedding fair prep that this birthday really snuck up on me; I didn’t have anything prepared to mark it as a milestone. The Bear and I won’t actually be celebrating it until after a big wedding fair in a few weeks time. However, it’s kind of a big deal for me and I’m really proud to have reached this point that I wanted to dedicate some time to reflect on my journey so far.

hoppy 2 birthday

So, as F&P turns 2, here are a two things I’d like to share on a variety of topics; enjoy!

TWO THINGS I’M MOST PROUD OF

The first one is kind of obvious. I’m SO proud to have made it to my second year of being a self-employed creative. If I’ve learnt one thing in my lifetime it’s how to be tenacious and this skill has often been my life raft. There have been plenty of moments where I doubt it all but that niggle to keep on going gets me back on board.

Looking back to when I first started, I’m really proud of how I’ve evolved over the last 2 years. From my drawings and designs to my styling, I feel it’s all just getting better. I guess I’m becoming more comfortable with who I am as an illustrator and what it is I create and for me, having that understanding is huge.

TWO THINGS I’VE LEARNT

Network, network, network, network and network some more; and I don’t mean in a schmoozey way. Perhaps we just need a friendlier word for network. Community. Find your community and embrace it. Being self-employed and working from home can be a really lonely place. Get to know like-minded people in your industry, make friends, collaborate, support each other, inspire one another and create something beautiful together. Your mental health and the work you make will be richer for it.

Just Do Something. I’m rolling into 2018 with this new motto. I was inspired after reading ‘The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck’ by Mark Manson at the end of 2017 and one quote has stuck with me, “just do something”. It can be quite easy to procrastinate when you’re working from home but you need to find a good routine. When I have to pull my finger out and I don’t quite want to, I tell myself to ‘just do something’. One thing be it big or small. When I start that task I usually find my groove and then productivity breeds productivity. Remember the power of ‘just do something’.

TWO THINGS I’M ANXIOUS ABOUT

This is a biggie. Having just finished my tax return (definitely just as stressful as the first time!) it left me feeling pretty down. I pour my heart, energy and most of my time into this business and sometimes I can’t help but feel like ‘what is it all for?’ After 2 years, I’m now starting to return to the conversation about pricing. I know my worth and the value of my work but I have this fear that if I start to increase my prices NO ONE will come near me. I’ll be like a plagued Frog with a sh*tty pencil. I don’t know if I can continue if I leave things as they are. The ultimate question is how do I show others the value of Frog & Pencil?

In just under 2 weeks I’ll be exhibiting at the EDP 2 day wedding fair at the Showground. I’ve never participated in this one before and it’s a whole new ball game. Since the start of the year I’ve been stressing about what to do with my space and I think I’ve finally got a rough plan in place but that pesky anxiety lingers. The sunny side though is that I’ll have Lew and a lot of my community exhibiting there too, so I know it’s going to be ok…wish me luck folks!

TWO THINGS I’M EXCITED ABOUT

This one’s been on the ‘to do’ list for ages and I’m also anxious about it as I’m still to figure out the nitty-gritty but I have 3 awesome collections that I’m about to launch. I’m still not set on a ‘name’ but they’re semi-bespoke/ready to buy pieces that couples can purchase. The design remains the same but I tailor the text to match their big day. I’m really proud of the designs and I’m hoping they’ll be a hit and perhaps help anxiety number 1. It’s exciting none the less; keep your eyes peeled for these beauties to be released into the world!

I started the year with 4 gorgeous wedding invite commissions and 2 are nearly finished so I can’t wait to see how they all develop. But, I’m also really excited about my etsy shop. It did pretty well over Christmas and has been ticking along nicely with bridal party cards and love cards this year. The potential here is incredible and I can’t wait to start working on new ideas and products to sell on this space. So much so, I’m hoping to set time aside each week purely dedicated to etsy creations!

TWO THINGS I WISH I’D KNOWN WHEN I FIRST STARTED FROG AND PENCIL

Frog & Pencil is my baby and when you have your own business you will live and breathe it, it’ll ALWAYS be on your mind. You will always be checking your social media. You will always be looking at your e-mails. You will always be working late. You will work most of your weekends. You will always worry about how to bring in the next client. You will underestimate the amount of time you spend working to develop your business. However, it’s my world and I wouldn’t change a thing.

This links nicely to the point above. I put all my love and energy into Frog & Pencil, so much so, when I do take a break I often feel guilty. I think that others might be judging me if I have a random Tuesday afternoon off and it makes me feel bad. I wish someone would have told me it’s ok to take time out. We all need to recharge. We all need to reconnect with the other parts of our world. Getting away from my business gives me clarity and that has a positive impact on all areas of my personal and work life. So if you need a breather don’t give yourself a hard time, put the pencil down, turn off your e-mails and enjoy the moment.

TWO THINGS THAT KEEP ME GOING

Self belief is super powerful…and ice cream helps too.

Create a kick-ass playlist to lift you out of the funk. Music and dancing have saved me many times and will continue to do so. My two current upbeat tracks of choice are these lovelies: HalfNoise, French Class & Sigrid, Strangers – they make me feel awesome.

TWO THINGS I’M GRATEFUL FOR

My gorgeous couples of course! It feels incredible when you get that e-mail to say ‘you’re hired!’ but it doesn’t compare to when you’ve made the wedding stationery and you see the smiles on their beautiful faces. I did that. Little ole me. It truly makes it all worth it. Thank you to all my couples and clients for trusting me to make something wonderful for your special day. I honestly have the BEST couples.

My hubby Lew. Frog & Pencil wouldn’t be here without his support. He is the most gorgeous person I know and I love him to the moon and back. Thank you Bear for everything you do.

Ok, ok, enough of that soppy stuff! I think it’s time to indulge in a big G&T and gorge on choccy cake. Here’s to the next 2 years, thanks for sticking around!

Cx

Oh yes! Before I go, to celebrate this birthday, I’m offering you guys 20% OFF EVERYTHING on my etsy store. Simply add the code: HOPPYBIRTHDAY2 at the checkout. Hop to Shop here. The deal runs for 2 days and ends on 8th Feb 2018 x

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I Pledge To Shop Small, Will You?

Hey guys.

Being away having a little time off has put my blog schedule out of whack but it’s a Thursday and I’d like to chat about something that I’m actually starting to get quite passionate about.

Christmas is just around the corner, so I’m pledging to shop small this year and I’m asking you to also consider it; let me tell you why. Having recently opened my Etsy shop and having barely dipped my toe into the retail market ocean, this is what shopping small means to me. When I see that order e-mail in my inbox the pure joy of it lights up my day and warms my soul. It’s also the cause of many a happy dance. Even the smallest purchase, like a card, means the world to me.

That card, on average costs £2.50 and that to me is fruit for the week. Or perhaps, it’s a ‘pat on the back’ coffee from my favourite indie cafe. Last week, I was able to treat Lewie to lunch and that hasn’t happened for a very long time. It was a simple meal of a toastie and a hot chocolate but I felt amazing and proud that I could do that for him.

These purchases fuel small businesses dreams, and your support helps them to feed their families, pay their bills and most of all it means they can keep making and creating.

Now, I’m not an idiot and I know that people want to get as much as they can for their money, especially at this time of year. I too buy from high street suppliers and from the likes of Amazon simply because it’s cheaper and convenient. You choose where you spend your hard-earned money and all I’m asking is that this year you support some small, independent businesses too. That could result in buying a handful of illustrated cards for your nearest and dearest or deciding to purchase one gift this year from a maker. Put your money back into the local economy and buy your turkey from your favourite butcher down the road or whilst out christmas shopping, stop by an independent cafe for lunch and coffee to recharge instead.

Small businesses can’t compete with the conglomerates but by shopping small and rather than getting something machine-made, you’ll be buying a product that has been handmade with love, passion, time and born from years of experience. There is an abundance of places that’s full of amazing people online. Sites that spring to mind are Etsy, Folksy, Ohh Deer and Not On The High Street but stop by the indie stores in your towns and cities too, you might find some unexpected beautiful items. Norwich is full of them, especially around The Lanes and Jarrolds has a lovely card section that supports locals too. You could also hop over to a nearby Christmas Craft Fair, that’ll be full of indie makers.

Who knows, you might find a seller you adore and would buy from again for all sorts of occasions, not just Christmas. Support them further and share the love by liking their social media channels, like what they post and even share some posts too. Oh and don’t forget a review, they’re incredibly insightful and helpful.

It may take a little more time and effort but your support is truly worth it. Be the reason someone has a happy dance moment and fill their hearts with festive glee.

I’m taking the pledge to support small, who’s with me?

I pledge to shop small badge

Cx

Meet The Maker

Hey guys,

Well, the lurgy has struck the Lily Pad and it’s a ‘Froggy down’ situation but I think I have enough energy to put this together for Blog Post Thursday. Forgive me if it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, I didn’t get much sleep last night.

Today I’m offering up something a little different; a Meet The Maker post where I’ll disclose ten Froggy facts about me; a fun change to my usual posts. So, first off, for those that don’t know, this is me…

Meet the Maker blog post, image of Frog & Pencil

Image credit: The lovely Rose & Spear Photography

FACT 1

One question I’m often asked is, why did I choose the name Frog & Pencil? Well, it’s from a loving nickname my hubby gave me. Apparently, from a certain angle, I look like a Frog. Having created a Frog and a Bear character for our wedding, it naturally progressed to Frog & Pencil for my business. I love the name, it’s certainly memorable but I don’t quite see the Froggy resemblance.

FACT 2

I have dual nationality and was born across the pond in Austin, Texas; I’m officially a cowgirl…best get me some boots and a Stetson!

FACT 3

I love what I do but if I wasn’t an illustrator, I think I’d want to be a florist. I have found a new love of flowers after being in this industry and I’m in awe at how creative people can be with blooms. Their workshops also smell incredible…not sure how I’d deal with the cold though…I’d have to find a fab hat! My Mum kept the most amazing gardens, so I’m hoping I’ve inherited some of those green fingered genes for my own little plot.

FACT 4

I adore Children’s books. When I’m in a bookstore I always make a pit stop at the kids section and you’ll most likely find me giggling away and drooling over the beautiful and playful illustrations. My hero was Roald Dahl and I remember how deliciously lost I found myself within his words and Quentin Blake’s drawings. A dream of mine is to illustrate my own Children’s book one day and to create something that fires off kids imaginations.

FACT 5

At some point, during all my commissions and illustrations, there will be a moment where I utterly hate what I’ve made and I think it’s a pile of poop. I’ve learnt to try to not give in to those feelings and to simply carry on. The magic happens right at the very end when the last brush mark has been made, it just requires a dash of patience and a lot of belief.

FACT 6

I have a phone phobia! I’m fine when it’s friends and family but if my phone rings I get super anxious and tense. And making a call, well that’s the worst! I have to psyche myself up and make sure I have everything ready. For example, sorting out the car insurance. I have to sit in the quiet, have a glass of water and a pad and pen ready. I’ll write down my own details, address, phone number, etc, just incase I blank when they ask for them. I even write down reference numbers even though they’re right there on the letter…they have a funny way of hiding when prompted. Holy moly I just hate it and I feel so relieved when it’s over! Silly right!?! Anyone else feel this way about phones? If so, any tips on how to manage those feelings would be greatly appreciated.

How I survived in a call centre, on the phone selling mortgages for 3 years, I don’t know, I already feel a cold sweat coming on just thinking about it!

FACT 7

I fell out of love with illustration. I was a mature student at University and after an amazing year at foundation level, I was so excited about Uni. It was mostly a horrid three years where I just didn’t fit in and never found my groove. In hindsight, I think I should have seen a doctor as I was terribly depressed and I became a crazy person. I made it to the end though and somehow passed. I graduated in 2011 and still to this day when I’m in that part of Norwich I get very uncomfortable. I’m a believer in things happening for a reason though and I discovered tenacity. It also opened some sideways and upside down doors which inevitably led me to where I am today. I’m happy to say, for the majority of the time, my illustrations and I are friends. 🙂

FACT 8

I ADORE earrings and hats. They make me so happy.

FACT 9

I’m a big fan of cheese but it makes my face tingle…I could be allergic but the stuff is too damn tasty. Nom!

FACT 10

A lovely friend recently asked what inspires my work. Some of the biggies would include, nature and the awesome colour play you can see right outside your window. Couples stories inspire my work, if they have a cute anecdote that can be captured I like to include it. Instagram is a big inspiration, the creative community on there is incredible and spurs me on to make good work too. Lastly, the local wedding supplier community fuels my passion. There are so many talented people in this industry, photographers, stylists, cake makers, designers and florists to name a few and they’re always pushing the boundaries. Their way of thinking encourages me to step out of my comfort zone. I’m honoured that I can call a lot of these guys my friends.

There you have it, some Froggy insight which I hope you enjoyed and could also relate to. The Bear and I will be having a two week break as of this coming Monday, so look out for a new post when I return, there’s always plenty to share. In the meantime, I’m off to battle this lurg!

Adios amigos,

Cx

The Personal Touch – Nicky & James’ Save Our Date.

Hello you lovely bunch!

Another Thursday has rolled around which means another Froggy post (not gonna lie, pretty proud that I’ve stuck to my ‘every other Thursday’ schedule so far!).

Today I want to chat about those personal touches I bang on about when it comes to wedding stationery. When I speak to couples about what they’d like their design to feature, I always try to eek out something special and unique to them as a couple. Everyone has their ‘thing’, be it little quirks, a beloved pet or cute stories that could be expressed through their invitations. Quite often, my couples aren’t too sure, so we work with details that will match the wedding day such as colours and flowers, and that’s brilliant.

However, I do adore it when a Bride & Groom want to inject more of a narrative about their journey into the designs and a fantastic example of this comes from Nicky & James.

I began this commission at the start of the summer and when I rang lovely Nicky, she was full of ideas. They’re getting married at The Norfolk Mead but she felt strongly about making a point of where it all began and wanted to express this somehow through their Save Our Date. Nicky recounted her and James’ first date over at gorgeous Sea Palling (for those who don’t know, it’s a fabulous Norfolk Beach) and how it’s now a special and significant place for the two of them. It was to become the spot he chose to pop the question. (I do love a good proposal story!)

I sketched a variety of ideas, including a map of the location with a tiny doodle of a seagull (who we named Sammy). This little ring bearer stole our hearts and he became the main focus of the design. On the reverse they wrote a little ‘ditty’ to share their story:

We shared our first date at Sea Palling,
And were engaged at that special spot,
Now we’re getting married,
We’d love you there as we tie the knot!

It became a much simpler way to tell their tale compared to the map but I feel it’s a much sweeter way to express it.

I have a coffee date with Nicky (and their gorgeous new addition) in a few weeks to discuss the next phase of their stationery and I can’t wait to see what we create! I’m positive that it will continue to feature more lovely little personal touches about her and James’ life together.

This was a blast to make; enjoy a few snaps of Nicky & James’ Save Our Date with that cutie, Sammy the Seagull.

Watercolour Illustration ready for a Save our Date card.Save our Date with a personal touch!Save our Date card with personal touches, including the couples story.

So, as you can see, when it comes to the stationery for your big day, you can do anything you want and this is just one way of making it more personal. If you’re looking for wedding stationery that’s bespoke and a little out of the ordinary, then get in touch. I’d love to chat about your adventure so far, the wedding plans and we can discuss how I can help create designs that reveal your story with those personal touches.

Until next time,

Cx

‘When Should We Post Our Wedding Invites?’ – A Froggy Guide.

Hey guys!

Ok, how is it October already!?!

With autumn arriving in all her glorious colours it’s had me thinking about you wonderful couples getting married next year and I felt this post could be of some use. If you haven’t already done so, this is the ideal time of year to start thinking about your stationery. So snuggle up, grab a cuppa and enjoy…

A question I’m frequently asked from couples is ‘When should we post out our wedding save the dates and invites?’. Well, no two weddings are the same, so my general thoughts on this are to send them whenever you feel ready. However, with so much to think about and hundreds of decisions waiting to be made while you’re planning the wedding, I thought I’d share my stationery timeline guide to help make your process that little bit easier.

First things first! You’ve discovered your ultimate venue and have secured that all important date, the wedding game is officially afoot! With this in place you can begin to envisage how the day will look and feel; be it boho, rustic, modern, romantic or vintage, etc. These ‘themes’ can all be expressed through your wedding stationery choices too. From commissioning someone like me or going down the DIY route, you’re now ready to get cracking with creating stationery loveliness, so let’s hop to it!

THE BRIDE TRIBE

If you’ve not yet exploded with excitement after the engagement and blurted out who you want in your bridal party, a really sweet way to ask them is to give your chosen I Do Crew a ‘will you be my bridesmaid/groomsman/best man/ maid of honour? postcard. Alongside your written words, it makes for a great little memento they get to cherish. Deliver postcards whenever you’re ready to ask and these beauties are just the start of the wedding stationery fun!

Frog & Pencil Bridal Party Postcards available on Etsy

 

SAVE THE DATES

Eeek, posting your Save the Dates certainly starts to make it all feel real. It’s also the first glimpse of your wedding day that guests will see, so make it playful…be a tease! Your lovely Save the Dates are typically sent 6 to 12 months before the wedding day, however, once you have your theme in mind, I suggest posting them sooner rather than later. This ensures your guests can pop it in their diaries and start making plans; especially if you’re having a destination wedding.

Save our Date example for Stationery Timeline Post

WEDDING INVITATIONS

Traditionally these are posted 3 – 6 months before the big date. I’m inclined to deliver them with plenty of time to spare, especially if you’re including accommodation recommendations; everyone will need the information to make those bookings. Alongside your invites, you might want to include other key pieces, such as a map and extra information about the day. Have a good think about what your guests are going to need to know as these can all go together in one fabulous package. Remember, the more you include, the more time will be needed to create them.

Boho-Tipi wedding stationery collection.invite

Boho-Tipi Wedding Collection Map

RSVP

The last thing you want to do in the run up to your wedding is chase rsvp’s and scramble together the seating plan. Discuss with your caterer and venue when they require final numbers and allow for some extra breathing room. I suggest 6 weeks before your wedding is a manageable date for your friends and family to reply by. Having these numbers sooner not only keeps the stress levels down but will also help when it comes to preparing the ‘on the day details’ below.

Boho-Tipi Wedding Stationery Collection RSVP

ON THE DAY STATIONERY

I LOVE On The Day Stationery and it’s certainly something you should ponder over. These details range from an Order of Service, Schedule of the Day, a Bridal Party Who’s Who Board to a Table Plan, Menu, Table Numbers (remember, they don’t have to be numbers, they can be more personal to you; places you’ve visited together, your favourite gins, animals, anything goes…we had different cakes!) and Name Place Cards. These little details can absolutely add character to the wedding decor and are another brilliant way to express your personalities. Allow at least 4 to 6 weeks for these last-minute pieces to be made and printed.

Boho-Tipi Wedding Collection Name CardBoho-Tipi Wedding Collection Hoop Table PlanBoho-Tipi Wedding Collection Menu

THANK YOU CARDS

Who doesn’t love a Thank You Card? After all the excitement of the wedding day and a blissful honeymoon to look forward to, these can easily be put on the back burner. It’s a kind gesture to thank your guests for attending and for any gifts you may have luckily received, so please don’t forget these. My advice is to send them no later than 3 months after your wedding has passed.

Boho-Tipi Wedding Stationery Collection Thank You Card

FINAL FROGGY THOUGHTS

If you decide to commission your wedding stationery have a good think about the whole package.  If you want to keep it cohesive from Save the Date through to Thank You Card, it may be cheaper to bundle it all together in one order. One thing I know for certain is that these pieces take time to make, potentially up to 6 weeks, especially so if they’re bespoke. Get in touch early on, be sure to ask about current work schedules and time estimates, then you’ll be able to figure out your wedding stationery postal timings accordingly.

And there you have it, I hope you found my Froggy guide helpful. If you have any questions or would like a quote for your wedding stationery then get in touch with any ideas you have in mind, I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time lovelies, happy wedding planning!

Cx

P.S – here’s a little timeline I made for a wedding fair. Save the image as a handy record to add to your wedding file.

Frog & Pencil's wedding stationery timeline

 

Katherine & Peter’s Wedding Invites

Afternoon all,

Lovely Katherine & Peter spotted that I’d been a finalist at the EDP Wedding Awards and contacted me asking about my stationery for their upcoming wedding. After a good chat over e-mail they invited me to their home to see some examples and discuss ideas further…I even met their cat Watson.

They decided on a portrait for their main illustration and as they’re tying the knot in October, they wanted the designs to have an autumnal vibe with warm and rich jewel tones. Katherine shared a Pinterest link with me which was super helpful; it was full of inspiration and from here I was able to pick out certain tones and flowers to recreate.

To go with their wedding invitation, they wanted to include a details page which outlined all the ‘extra bits’ guests would need to know and a page for their tasty menu. One other key detail P&K asked for was to include Watson, chasing a mouse somewhere on the stationery.

I love the final pieces, there’s such a gorgeous cohesion and flow between them. They’re clean, fresh and I am really enjoying the main invite layout with the text detail. Overall, I’m very happy and I think those colours are just luscious.

I’m delighted to report that Peter & Katherine were pleased too and they left me this lovely review on my Facebook Page; reviews like this make everything worth it.

“Just wanted to thank Claire again for producing such beautiful and unique invitations for our wedding. We have had lots of compliments from friends and family with one friend yesterday saying they were her favourite invite of the year, which reminded me that I must leave this review! We really enjoyed working with Claire and thoroughly recommend! x”

Ok, less of me nattering, how about some visual goodies? Here’s Peter & Katherine’s Wedding Stationery, enjoy!

I had a great time creating these designs and I wish Katherine and Peter all the best with the rest of their wedding plans. Here’s to a fabulous wedding day come October and a very happy future as a married couple.

If these bespoke designs have caught your eye and you’re in the market for some personal wedding stationery, then get in touch via hello@frogandpencil.com, I’d love to hear from you and chat weddings!

Until next time you beauties,

Cx

Hales Hall Styled Photo Shoot

Hey guys,

Here it goes, my attempt to provide you with regular content on the blog (self-five!) and as I mentioned before, there’s plenty that I want to share with you, so I will try to at least schedule a post every other Thursday. So, let’s start by going back to the beginning of summer…

As May came along, I drove up to the most beautiful Norfolk wedding venue, Hales Hall & The Great Barn, ready for a whopping 2 day styled photo shoot. Having gone to town on the stationery and knowing many of the other talented suppliers (including a bunch of my favourites!), I knew this was going to be an amazing shoot…all we needed was some better weather!

The brief wasn’t the norm for Frog & Pencil but I do love a challenge and more importantly, I embrace where these creative opportunities take my work. The shoot was the brain child of Amanda Steed, our talented Make Up Artist who transformed our gorgeous models. Her vision for these couple of days was to be natural, romantic, with a soft, nude & pinky pallet with fresh greenery and large blooms; you may be getting the sense that a stripped back Frog & Pencil design was needed.

I wanted to keep the stationery clean and by working around geometric shapes, it also offered a contemporary vibe (I’m loving all the geometric shapes that are everywhere right now, I certainly think this is a trend that’s going to stick around for 2018 weddings). I was also conscious that I wanted it to look like it was made by me, so without a quirky character or couple, this would have to shine through from the flowers. When I start a new project, I love to speak with the florist that’s involved to see what they may be using and I’ll incorporate some of those elements within my work to offer a lovely cohesion on the day. Here I’d like to introduce Kat from Ivy Floral Events. I found her awesome to work with because she’s so passionate and boy oh boy is this gal creative. Her brilliant van was packed with flowery goodness and it was so much fun watching her whip up a flower crown or a bouquet within a matter of minutes. We’re kinda spoilt in Norfolk for excellent florists and Kat is certainly one of them. Go check her out!

In the end, I created a whole collection for this shoot with the aim of being able to sell it to you lovely people. I’ll be turning it into a Semi-Bespoke Collection for couples and they can either choose from a few pieces or the whole lot. Keep an eye out on my Etsy shop for the launch of this new range. Pieces include:

Save our Date, Wedding Invite, Map, Details Page, RSVP, Table Plans, Schedule of the Day Board, Menu, Table Names, Table Numbers & Thank You Card.

Albeit windy (I now hate the wind…it doesn’t mix well with paper!), it was a gorgeous couple of days and we were able to create a couple of different looks to snap indoors and out. The models looked cracking, the dresses were beautiful, the styling was gorgeous, the cake was a beaut, the food was divine and Hales Hall offers a smorgasbord of locations to take photos. All geared up to be a cracker!

Before I unleash all the images, a little croak out to the other amazing suppliers I haven’t yet mentioned.

Oh how I love Janie & David from Bigphatphotos. These guys were the photographers and also a secondary creative driving force for the shoot. Such a pleasure to work with and I always learn something new. A firm Froggy favourite, so if you’re looking for a photographer for your big day, give these guys a bell.

Another Froggy pal, Lou from Lou Lou Loves Hire & Styling. This was the first time I’d worked on a shoot with Lou and it was great fun! She, like Kat, had a van load full of goodies (I’m getting van envy!) to spruce up the various locations. I’ve admitted before that I think styling is pretty hard, so I relish any chance to pick up some tips…I was even able to join in! What I really enjoyed from this was seeing how the little details echoed alongside my stationery, with the blooms and the geo lanterns, it really all came together beautifully. Lou is just lovely and very talented, so if you’re looking for someone to tart up your venue, she’s your gal! Not forgetting Grice & Foster who hired out a few pieces to us on the day to co-ordinate with the styling.

The queen of cakes was also with us and of course I’m talking about Emma from Buns of Fun Bakery. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Buns blows me away with her creations and styling. Uber creative and airs on the quirkier side, what’s not to love. This lady is one of my inspirations and her cakes are delicious to boot, so if you’re looking for sponges to wow your guests and delight your taste buds, then get in touch pronto.

A highlight from working on these shoots is being able to sample the food that’s created and it was such a treat to try dishes made by Lee Havers from 42 King Street. His food was so tasty and I can’t wait to book into his restaurant to try some more!

I mentioned Amanda above and working alongside her on the day was fellow Makeup Artist Kirsty Barton Grimley. Together they created natural, stunning looks so if you need someone to help you out on your big day, give them both a call.

The bridal dressed were provided by Serendipity Bridal & Pure Brides (love those gals!) and Willow & Pearl brought the lovely heather bridesmaid gowns. Each dress was so beautiful and worked perfectly with the styling. Check them all out if you’re hunting for that special dress.

A little mention to the hair stylists, Michelle Hoskins & Nicola Playford…I’m always envious of someone who can create natural gorgeous waves, everyone looked so pretty.

Finally a nod to the awesome models, Emma, Holly, Annabel, Charlotte, Emily, Florence, Chloe, Thomas & Jakey.

Oh, and not forgetting the venue itself. Hales Hall and The Great Barn is breathtaking. With so many locations to choose from, you’re really spoilt for choice. The barn is magnificent, the endless grounds are breathtaking and the Hall is a stunner. There’s certainly something for everyone and with helpful and friendly staff, I’d certainly recommend a visit if you’re searching out your wedding venue.

Below are some of my favourites from the shoot credited to Bigphatphotos, enjoy!

…and a few behind the scenes snaps lifted from my phone.

I just want to say a huge thank you to Amanda & Janie for having me on board, I loved being involved and a part of the team! It was also fab to meet all the other suppliers and collaborate with you guys. Thanks for the fun!

I’m hoping to have the stationery collection live on my Etsy shop for October but if you’d like to chat about this range for your wedding day then drop me a message at hello@frogandpencil.com, I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time,

Cx