Ghost Frog

Hoppy Halloween to you all from ghost frog & count bear, may it be filled with spooktacular, ghoulish goodies!

Happy Halloween

Cx

p.s…a little bit in love with ghost frog!

Forgot To Mention…

A quick one tonight, but I wanted share with you all, that on Monday I hit my first Twitter milestone and reached 100 followers, wooohoooooooo!

It’s taken me a little while to get to grips with Twitter but I’m really enjoying all my interactions with fellow crafters and I was super happy to hit 100! A massive THANK YOU to all who follow me and if you’d like to, then you can find me here! Next milestone to smash, Instagram!

Aaahh face 2

Hoppy Wednesday to you all.

Cx

Topsy-Turvy Typography

I am a sucker for good typography and I guess that explains why it’s taken me such a long time to figure out what I want when it comes to branding Frog & Pencil.

Thanks to Truly Yours on Twitter, she tweeted about The Hungry Jpeg. Having exhausted my normal typography sites I gave it a look and they have some awesome bundles on offer…and freebies! This in turn led me to Creative Market, where it’s a little like typography heaven and over the past week I must have spent hours looking through thousands and thousands (that’s no lie!) of different fonts.

My incredible hubby (Lewie) is spending most of his free time building my website and together, we now have the bones of the site and it’s looking really lovely. I’m super impressed with his coding skills! However, I’m rather fussy when it comes to design…well, most things really; I’m simply a perfectionist and because of this I’ve been battling with typography choices.

Personally, I love my little frog and her pencil, I think that makes a cute logo. It also expresses my style and what my work is like. So, easy decision, froggy stays. Next step, which font should accompany her? I never, ever thought it would be this difficult to choose one. Lewie and I have spent a lot of late nights playing around with varying fonts and compositions on the website to make it work and I believe we’re almost there; hurrah!

Here is where we started, with the website headers…only a sneak peek though! (Apologies about some poor image quality, most of these are screen grabs.)

Moon Flower Bold

Moon Flower Bold

I found myself saying “well, I don’t hate it…” quite a lot during this process which is a glaring signal that something’s wrong. I love tall, skinny typography styles.  I think they’re quirky and fit in with my design aesthetic, I even used something similar for my wedding stationery. The problem is, I see this look EVERYWHERE. It must be on-trend right now, this font alone had millions of downloads. So, I pondered, ‘do I do something different?’ I decided to just pile in loads of options and see what sticks…and here are just a few examples.

Pier Sans

Pier Sans

To me, this font was pleasing to the eye, clean and sat well with the rest of the website but it lacks a little personality. It was helpful in the fact that it made me evaluate what I wanted my brand to represent. Whichever typographic style I choose it needs to meet the following criteria: to be a little quirky, whimsical, appealing to the wedding market and most importantly fun. My designs are fun and I feel it’s essential that this shines throughout my branding too.

Paper Cute

Paper Cute

Paper Cute is rather charming with its cut out appearance and I do like it, however I didn’t feel it was a good fit.

Bohemienne

Bohemienne

Bohemienne appealed to me with its lovely brush script style however, somehow, I find it a little too perfect and I see flourishes of ‘Disney’ which isn’t what I was looking for.

Sunn

Sunn

With Sunn, I thought I would revisit the skinny script, but this isn’t working for me, perhaps I need something a little more punchy and bold.

Farmers Market

Farmers Market

I like the varying weights in Farmers Market and there is an element of quirkyness but again, I didn’t connect with it.

After experimenting with around twenty fonts, I then added these…

Flow

Flow

Monofor Alt

Monofor Alt

These two were my favourite but I still had those niggles. For example, in almost all my trials it really bothers me that even though everything is centred, the ampersand creates an illusion that, as we would say in Norfolk, everything is ‘on the huh’ (skewed). Alongside that, the tag line also need to fit in nicely and not just hover in space.

With a few coding tweaks we came up with this.

Flow New

Flow New

Monofor Alt New

Monofor Alt New

Albeit a smidge delirious, last night felt like a break through after days of banging my head against a typography brick wall. I find these two really pleasing, a bit like eye candy. I enjoy the way these are weighted with the varying thickness. They also have a nice, fluid movement and are not dead straight. It’s almost as if the frog drew them herself as she hopped along.

There is still work to do; I need to choose a colour, finalise compositions and pick the final font. Luckily, they each cost between $10 to $20, so I’ll probably buy both (an added bonus is that they come with a commercial licence, so they’re ready to use in my designs). That way I can work with them accurately, rather than adjusting a fuzzy screenshot. I also need to consider where else my logo might be used. By working with a business card format, this may help me arrive at a conclusion. With that in mind, I started playing with potential business cards ideas.

Phew! I’m feeling much more positive about my branding now. I was starting to worry that I’d never find the right font and that we’d be working on it for weeks, resulting in something that is forced…I’d hate that. With the end in sight, I’m excited about moving on with the website, business cards and designing product packaging!

Fingers crossed, by the end of the week I’ll have a finished result that I can share with you all. I’d love to hear any of your thoughts or suggestions, please share them with me; I appreciate any feedback.

In the meantime, with all this progress, I’m off to do a little happy frog dance!

Cx

Just Keep Tweeting!

Hello there!

It’s been a bit of a slow ole week here at Frog & Pencil HQ. My lovely hubby has been poorly for most of it (he’s now on the mend) and in turn, I feel a little out of sync. Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to produce much work aside from a few sketches, and I’ve also come to realise that not having a place to make work is frustrating me. I have bits and pieces all over our apartment, which doesn’t help when it comes to having some focus. I’ve eyed up a comfy spot in our lounge where I can set up shop and I’m on the hunt for a new desk to create my mini studio…I’ll keep you posted!

On the flip side I’ve been getting to grips with Twitter. I’ve worked with it for previous jobs but I never quite knew what to do with it personally, I’ve always been more of a Facebook kinda girl. However, I understand how Twitter can benefit Frog & Pencil so I’ve been trying to get involved where I can and have been pleasantly surprised. I started by following lots of people, particularly in the wedding and craft industry which led me to Folksy. This is an online shop where you can buy and sell lovely handcrafted work from UK designers and the Folksy community is very prominent on Twitter.

On Tuesday, I stumbled across #folksyhour and between 8pm – 9pm, like-minded people get together on Folksy’s Twitter feed for a live chat on a particular topic; this week was all about product photography. I thought this would be super helpful for me and I tweeted that I’d be checking in for handy tips. 8pm came, I was at my computer excited and raring to go, albeit a little clueless at how to find the #folksyhour discussion! Once there, it took me a while to fully follow the live stream conversation but it was worth it. Plenty of people were participating who were friendly, knowledgable and helpful, and I picked up some great advice on how to photograph my work, the main key is having LIGHT! The best nugget I took away from Tuesday’s #folksyhour was to recognise that marketing and editing work takes time and that time should be paid for. So, when it comes to pricing up my work, I must remember to take into consideration the whole process.

The hour flew by and thankfully useful links to further reading materials on the topic were posted. I also discovered that Folksy have a blog and forums which is excellent news for me and I’ll certainly be dipping into this resource for future information. Not only did I gain advice, I also picked up some lovely followers by taking part. It feels like they have built an engaging community with a wealth of knowledge and I look forward to being involved in future #folksyhour’s.

Norfolk is known for its arts and I do hope to find a fellow local community to meet like-minded people, it would be incredibly beneficial. There are always plenty of craft fairs taking place around Norwich & Norfolk, in fact I’m planning on visiting one tomorrow. Made In Norfolk is being held at the fabulous Norwich Castle from 10am – 4pm, and I’m looking forward to seeing what delightful creations are to be found. I’m also hoping to chat with some of the crafters and designers to see if they have any advice for starting up a craft business…perhaps this will be the beginning of finding a community that I can belong to; I’ll let you know how it goes.

Cx

Frog & Bear’s Wedding Details

Hello there!

Last week I posted about our Wedding Stationery, so today’s post is all about our wedding details; a good example of what ‘other handcrafted loveliness’ may include.

We feel extremely lucky to have had our wedding weekend at beautiful Chaucer Barn. The barn and the grounds are so stunning there really isn’t much of a need to add extra details…but for me, that’s the fun bit! What I loved most about our venue is that we could do pretty much whatever we wanted, it was a blank canvas and a chance for us to add our personal touch. Because of this, my head was swimming with ideas (thanks pinterest!) so my issue was learning how to edit these and realise what’s manageable…and here’s the outcome.

Inside The Venue

We kept it rather simple inside by adding twinkly lights to the banister and adorning this with some of the millions (it felt like millions) of pompoms that had been fluffed. In the lounge we created a backdrop made from colourful streamers, added some more pompoms and left a box of silly dressing up gear for guests to enjoy.

Outside

In the run up to the wedding I had been hoarding glass jars and bottles which were to be used as vases.  My lovely Dad had the task of scrubbing off all the labels one afternoon and he did a stellar job.  After adding some ribbon and flowers they looked gorgeous.  We made enough for all our tables, the seating plan step ladders and to tie onto the chairs along the aisle.

I made a couple of signs to stand outside Chaucer Barn alongside the road so that guests knew where we were.  Inside the grounds, on easels, I also made a who’s who board of the bridal party and a rough schedule of the day. There was also a ‘Croak & Growl Announcement’ note to give to guests explaining how the duo ceremony would work. Sadly, these were never given out due to the rain and initiating plan B, to have the ceremony inside (and it was wonderful).

After our ceremony we all enjoyed a jam jar (or two) of Pimms and we added our little touch by way of the label saying ‘CHIN!’…this is my version of cheers!

The Marquee

Most of our little details were to be found inside the Marquee.  As an alternative to bunting we created felt, plush hearts which we strung up around the space and finished it off by adding some more of the lovely pompoms to the pillars and I thought it looked so lovely, I smile every time I think about it.

We were delighted to have Pandora’s Kitchen as our caterers and they created a delicious rustic picnic for us. I thought it would be so pretty to make our own picnic boxes where we would share one between two and my brilliant father in law built every single one! This was a labour of love which involved a lot of sanding and a lot of painting but I think they are beautiful. Alongside the boxes, I whipped up some simple menus explaining what’s in the box. We also made these gorgeous, floral, cotton blankets to cover the goodies inside but on the day we completely forgot to add them, whoops!

For the favours I spent a lot of time thinking of ways to make them personal to Lewie and I.  For the guys, we made and bottled our own beer; Hoppy Bear! I designed some labels for them and I think they went down a treat!  For the gals, I illustrated three recipe cards from the heart of my Mum’s kitchen and wrapped them up in a bow. The kids were given cute little pots of chocolate and bubbles alongside an activity pack I created.  There were twelve pages in total and each one were packed full of fun things to keep them occupied during the picnic. These were a hit and I’m planning to sell them on Etsy shortly.

Lewis and I also designed a treasure hunt for the little monkeys! We made a map, plotted some clues and the adventure took them all around the grounds, ending up in the half-moon wood where they discovered a pinata full of marshmallows! Sadly, we don’t have any pictures but they had an awesome time.

Even the teeny tiny handmade details were considered, from all the different labels to the wooden name place holders; a fun hour in a shed wielding a saw was had!

Lastly, in the marquee, I can’t forget to mention the tasty and beautiful cake table! Many of my lovely friends and family made something delicious to be added and I baked the wedding cake. It was loads of fun sculpting and painting the little Frog & Bear toppers too.  All together I think it looked a treat!

Gifts

I had the most wonderful bridesmaids by my side and to thank them, part of their gift included a floral, cotton robe to get ready in (thanks Etsy!). I packaged them in cute little tote bags where I ironed on my designs. I was thrilled with the result and I have a plan to create these little beauties and sell them online.

Phew! I think that’s pretty much all the details covered…and I had more ideas on my ‘Wedding Wall’ but I had to stop somewhere. I LOVED putting all of this together and I feel that each detail expressed Lewie and I and the feel we wanted to create.

Before I sign off, I must mention that all of this wouldn’t have happened without the help from my awesome friends and family.  THANK YOU to those of you who painted picnic boxes, cut things out, sewed together hearts, made covers, scraped off jam jar labels, iced the wedding cake, helped decorate the venue and fluffed their pompom hearts out! You bunch are amazing; my dream team!

I hope you enjoy the gallery!

Cx

Feeling the love!

Hello there!

Over the past couple of days I have been setting up my social media platforms and I wanted to share all the links here.  But before I do, I just want to say THANK YOU to all my lovely Frog & Pencil likers & those that have shared my page on Facebook; in just 2 days I’ve reached 95 likes which is awesome!  Only 5 to go and I reach my first milestone…can you help me get there?

Please like, follow and share the links below; I would be forever grateful…and don’t forget to follow my blog.

Facebook: frogandpencil

Twitter: frogandpencil

Instagram: frogandpencil

It’s a gorgeous, sunny autumnal afternoon here in Norfolk, wherever you are, I hope you’re having a lovely Sunday.

Thanks for all the Frog & Pencil love!

Cx