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

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

The Little Horse Box

Hey there!

It’s a bit of a stormy one here in Norwich today so while the sky rumbles I thought I’d write a new post and share my recent commission with you beauties.

Lovely Liddy is the proud owner of The Little Horse Box (TLHB), where she has lovingly restored an old horse box and transformed it into a luxury bar you can hire for weddings and special events. It’s such a gorgeous local business and I feel that this bar is ideal for all kinds of weddings, especially those with an alternative, vintage, boho or festival vibe. You can tailor the bar too, with bespoke drinks packages, coloured lighting and by dressing it with your wedding flowers. My personal favourite package is the ‘Pimp Your Prosecco’, I could really get into that!

Look, isn’t it adorable (swoon)!

the-little-horse-box

Liddy got in touch as she was looking to have a bespoke card made which she could then give to her couples and fellow suppliers. I was delighted to be asked and couldn’t wait to get cracking! We chatted about a few ideas but it was clear the focus of the illustration should be on the TLHB itself. The garland was also important and she wanted it to be full of pretty flowers and pastel colours, a little like a country garden. With a few extra tweaks and finished off with welly boots bursting with flowers, a ladybug and juicy strawbs, we created a design which I think is just smashing! What do you guys think?

I loved making this for Liddy and I hope all her fab couples and the suppliers she meets along the way on her TLHB journey enjoy the cards too. If you’re a fellow supplier and are looking for a unique card (or something similar) that echoes your brand, then drop me a message, I’d love to hear from you.

Please do check out The Little Horse Box’s website and if you’re in the market for a bar or know someone who is, give her a shout. Liddy is so friendly and passionate, you’ll be in safe hands when it comes to catering your drinks for a big event (Psst, I’d Pimp your Prosecco if I were you!).

Thanks for commissioning me The Little Horse Box, it was a pleasure!

Until next time y’all,

Cx