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

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

Frog & Bear’s wedding stationery

Hello there!

Whilst I’m creating new work, I want to give you an idea of what it is I’ll be making. So, I have decided to write a couple of posts on the stationery and other lovely detailed bits and bobs I created for our wedding earlier this year.

First up, wedding stationery!

Now, to me, the wedding stationery was quite important, as I feel that it gives your guests a taste of what the big day is going to look and feel like. We wanted it to be personal, represent who we are and to also be whimsical; so I was super excited to be creating these. The stationery could simply be the invite itself, but I liked the idea of a ‘stationery suite’. This includes the Save Our Date, The Invitation and a Thank You card. Ours also branched out into the Table Plan and Table & Name cards.

Here’s a little flavour of what I created for our happy day.

There you have it!  I LOVED making all of these elements and I’m really proud of how they all turned out; especially the invitation.  It was a labour of love…a little book, jam-packed with all the information our guests needed to know, and more! The ‘book’ style invite is the direction I’d like Frog & Pencil to take, and I’m planning a separate post on all the goodies the different pages contained; so please do hop on over again soon.

Cx

How do you eat an elephant?

Hello there and welcome to my Frog & Pencil Blog!  I’m certainly feeling the ‘first post’ pressure here but let’s give this blog malarkey a whirl!

I’m at the start of an exciting, shiny new venture where I am setting up my own business.  Having worked in various fields over the past years, I’ve always had a niggling feeling that I should put my illustration skills to good use, but I never truly found the right direction to follow.

Cue marriage and ‘HUZZAH’ I saw the light! I already had the intention to make many of our wedding details and this was reinforced by visiting several wedding fairs; there wasn’t much that caught my eye. I was looking for the more quirky, whimsical and personal bits and bobs, nothing too traditional. For me, it’s all about the details and after lots of lovely comments and feedback about my wedding stationery, I knew I had something unique.

So here I am, about to build a business on bespoke wedding stationery and other handcrafted loveliness.  I’m not going to lie, I’m super excited but I’m bloomin’ scared; remembering to write stationery correctly is tough enough! Sometimes though, the thought of it all is so daunting I get a bit dizzy and just don’t know where to begin.

I talked this over with a gorgeous friend of mine and she simply said, “Claire, when I find a situation overwhelming, I think to myself, how do you eat an elephant?” And this little phrase has stuck with me, I simply need to tackle each obstacle bit by bit. With this in mind, along with the incredible support from my husband, family and friends I can’t wait to get started.

This blog will document my new, creative journey, including all the highs and all the lows. I’ll be posting my work, ideas, the admin challenges I’ll face with starting a business and will keep you updated on all things Frog & Pencil.

My goal is to be up and running by the end of the year…it’s early days but I have nothing to lose. I hope you’ll stick around and join me on my elephant adventure.

C x