A Froggy First!

Hello there!

Last week was a wonderful whirlwind while I prepared for Frog & Pencil’s very first Wedding Fair.

Having only launched in February, I couldn’t believe my luck to have found a stand available at a Spring event…I genuinely thought I may have missed the boat and would have to wait for the Autumn fairs. Lovely Norfolk Brides offered me a spot at the Wensum Valley Hotel Wedding Show on Sunday 13th March and I snapped up the opportunity!

My week was spent designing flyers, making sure I had enough samples, thinking of creative ways to arrange my stand and to have everything printed in time. I even invested in a roller banner…this was particularly exciting for me as in my previous marketing jobs I’ve spent many an hour running around beautiful Norwich delivering and setting up roller banners. It felt quite poignant when my very own was delivered and I LOVE it.

Sunday came around in a flash and it was an early, misty start for my hubby and I as set up started from 7am.  We were welcomed by the team and made our way to the Frog & Pencil table and wowzers, we had a great spot (with a beautiful outlook too)! It also turns out that we were fortuitous with our brilliant exhibitor neighbours, Lesley from Short Cakes and Aurora Wedding and Events Hire, both were so friendly, helpful and gave me loads of advice about the Wedding Fair scene, a big heartfelt thank you to you guys.

At 10am the doors opened and I was raring to go! A bride approached my table, looked at my designs, shook her head and said to her friend ‘No!’…a good start hey! It did make us chuckle and thankfully, throughout the day I was given many lovely compliments. There was a steady stream of people and the five hours flew by. It also helped that we were sat by popular stands such as Adnams, Short Cakes and Aurora as they brought welcomed footfall to Frog & Pencil.

I spoke to so many awesome couples about their wedding day plans and it was also a pleasure to be able to give some tips having lived through this adventure last year. It felt amazing to hear that people enjoyed my work and to see their big smiles appear as they clocked my stall. There were a bunch of comments on how ‘different’ my illustrations are and I’m incredibly proud of the fact that Frog & Pencil is unique.

Overall it was an excellent and positive experience. I thoroughly enjoyed chatting to other exhibitors and networking, they all gave some great guidance. Even more so, it was interesting to see how my target audience felt about my work; however the proof is in the bookings. As of yet, nothing’s pinged through but it’s still early days and I’m hopeful.

Being by a window on a beautiful sunny day was just perfect albeit a little challenging when taking photos but thankfully they’ve turned out pretty good with a little editing…so here we are, enjoy clicking through my Wensum Valley Wedding Fair Gallery.

We were honoured to be amongst some brilliant exhibitors and I hope they all had a successful show. I wanted to take the opportunity to give a handful of those a mention and share their details.

A SPECIAL CROAK OUT TO…

Norfolk Brides: Dalia and Tim were brilliant hosts and I’m very appreciative of all their help and knowledge in the run up to this event. Check out their website to see what’s coming up next!

A Most Curious Wedding Fair: Sat in front of us was the lovely Hannah from A Most Curious Wedding Fair. On Sunday 20th March they will be hosting their unique Wedding Fair in St Andrews Hall in Norwich from 11am – 4pm. I visited last year and it was ace, certainly worth having a look around. You’ll also find a familiar froggy face in their Most Curious Directory as a cool, recommended supplier…which is very exciting for me!

Short Cakes: Our super wonderful neighbour Lesley who creates the most beautiful, delicate wedding cakes. We were lucky enough to have a sample of the chocolate cake and it was delicious, so if you’re in the market for a celebratory sponge then get in touch…be quick though, people were flocking to her stand looking to speak to ‘The Cake Lady’!

Aurora Wedding and Events Hire: Another ace neighbour who were also popular! Providing hire items for your big day, give them a look…their sweetie cart is a must for kiddies and husbands alike!

Adnams Norwich: Dishing out tasty tipples these guys were BUSY!!! I can personally recommend the Adnams Prosecco, we served it at our wedding and it is a moreish fizz with a fabulous price tag to boot!

Joshua Patrick Photography: If you’re looking for a photographer, hop on over to Josh’s website. He’s really friendly, enthusiastic and his images are natural, relaxed and just stunning; you won’t be disappointed!

Oops! a Daisy Florist: The gals at the show were gorgeous and they had such a delightful stand full of romantic, whimsical flowers which I thought were divine. I’d pay them a visit if you’re looking for an excellent and creative florist.

There we have it, my first show done and dusted; I LOVED it. Thanks for having me Norfolk Brides and thanks to all the couples who took the time to check us out. Drop me a line if you have any questions or would like a quote, it would be wonderful to talk some more.

Have a tip top evening all and I’ll be back later in the week with a post all about the details from my Christening commission…I’ll warn you, it’s a cute one!

Cx

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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