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

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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

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

Kim & Jody’s Spanish Castle

Hola you lovely lot!

Wowzers we’re having some amazing weather! Frog & Pencil HQ is certainly hotting up and this heat has reminded me of a wedding invitation commission I finished a few months ago and it’s about time I shared it.

Lovely Kim contacted me at the end of December wanting to buy a few Bridesmaid Cards and I was delighted when she came back to commission me for their personal wedding invitations. Next year, Kim & Jody are jetting off to sunny Spain to say ‘I do’ in a beautiful Spanish Castle. Being a destination wedding there’s plenty of organising to do and tonnes of information that their guests will require. To keep things simple, these guys have chosen to set up a wedding website which will hold all the details that their friends and families are going to need to know. However, they still really liked the idea of having a physical invite to pop in the post and it also makes for a cute little keepsake from their day.

When it came to their main illustration, Kim & Jody opted out of a portrait and instead asked if I could paint their beautiful wedding venue, Castillo de Conesa. I jumped at the chance! We personalised it further by incorporating dusky purple tones within the garland to match their flowers on the day; aside from that we let the Castle take centre stage.

It was an absolute joy creating this invitation and it made a nice change to illustrate a building. Additionally, it was a pleasure getting to know Kim, I really do have the best Brides!

Enjoy Kim & Jody’s mini gallery…with an ice cool tipple in hand and browsing these photos, it’s almost like we could be in Spain!

Wishing Kim & Jody a wonderful wedding next year and I hope the sun’s shining just as brightly as it is here today for your Spanish Castle wedding.

If you love my style and like the idea of capturing your special venue on your wedding stationery, send me an e-mail to hello@frogandpencil.com, I’d love to hear from you!

I think this Froggy is about to melt so I’m hopping off for an ice cream!

Until next time,

Adios!

Abi & Rob Little Bespoke Books

Abi & Rob’s Little Bespoke Book Wedding Invitation

“Finding a mate in the giant world is challenging, and it’s somewhat hazardous when you can get run over by a millipede.”
Sir David Attenborough.

Hello you lovely lot.

I’ve been excited to share this commission for a long time now and with these beauties out in the world I’m delighted to introduce to you, Abi & Rob’s wedding invitations.

I met the brilliant Abi & Rob way back when Frog & Pencil was basically a tadpole. They came to A Most Curious Wedding Fair in 2016, spotted my stall and a few days later got in touch. They had seen my Little Bespoke Book Wedding Invitation and thought it was so original and wanted something just like it. I clicked straight away with these guys as they completely understood my work and its quirky nature. They are also getting married where we said ‘I do’, at the beautiful Chaucer Barn, so we had a lot to chat about.

When it came to choosing their bespoke illustration they decided against a portrait and wanted weird and wonderful characters (yaaaay!) and settled on Chameleons. They had been watching a Sir David Attenborough documentary on Madagascar and found a kinship with these adorable Pygmy Chameleons, it was perfect. They even used Sir David’s commentary from the clip as their quote for the Little Bespoke Book and it’s actually a rather sweet analogy for finding love. They sent me the YouTube snippet and work began.

The Chameleons were a joy to paint and I wanted to capture the male stood upon the females back like the clip explains. I’m not going to lie though…I ended up with a bunch of compositions where it looked like they were humping! You really don’t want to send that to your guests!

It has been SO hard keeping this illustration under wraps. I finished it in April 2016 and it’s probably my favourite painting to date. However, Abi & Rob aren’t tying the knot until this September, so obviously the invites had to wait a little while.

In the meantime…

Abi & Rob asked for some Save our Dates which I was more than happy to create for them. They wanted to keep these quite simple featuring their names inside a garland, the date and the venue. However, they had a cracking idea for the reverse, something to tease their guests and a little ‘nod’ to the invitations. I loved it! The tails are uncomplicated, but the colours are just luscious. I would have liked to be a fly on their friends and families walls to witness the reactions!

Abi & Rob Save our Date

As the new year drew closer I was champing at the bit to resume work on their Little Bespoke Book. For those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s essentially a 12 page wedding invitation made into a book. Couples can fill it full of details their guests are going to need to know about the big day and it’s all in one place; there’s also an opportunity to add in personal information too. What does it include I hear you holla, well, let me tell you:

The Front & Back Covers feature bespoke illustrations.
Page 2: A quote about the relationship
Page 3: The couples Love Story
Page 4: The Wedding Invitation
Page 5: A bespoke Wedding Map tied onto the page
Page 6: Local Accommodation
Page 7: RSVP which you can remove
Page 8: Important Details – such as ‘The Bar is CASH ONLY’
Page 9: Honeymoon List
Page 10: Contact Details
Page 11: A Photograph of the couple

These are details Abi & Rob chose for each page but you can include anything you like, it doesn’t have to follow this format.

When the guys sent me their word doc after Christmas, I started work on the pages, embellishing each one with elements from their main illustration as finishing touches. I was chuffed they wanted to include a Wedding Map with directions too, I love creating these and it was a good excuse to look through lots of gorgeous images of Chaucer Barn to paint from, it certainly brought back many happy memories.

When I picked the proof up from my printer I let out an audible squeak! Seeing one of my pieces come to fruition after being in my mind for almost a year was amazing. I’m particularly proud of this wedding invitation. I met with Abi, Rob & Jones for a drink to hand deliver their package and felt even prouder when I saw their faces. I’m happy to say they love them. It’s that very moment which warms my heart and reinforces why I made the leap to being self-employed, it truly is worth it.

Now these little books have happy homes, I’ll stop yapping so you can see the invites in all their glory. Enjoy.

There’s still more to come for the lovely Abi & Rob as they’ll be commissioning me to create some ‘on the day’ stationery too, so watch this space to see how the collection grows come September.

If you’re looking for an original wedding invitation that holds everything you need to share with your guests alongside giving them that ‘wow’ feeling (it also makes an awesome keepsake!) then a Little Bespoke Book Wedding Invitation might be what you’re looking for. Drop me an e-mail at hello@frogandpencil.com for all enquiries, I’d love to chat to you and hear about your wedding day.

Until next time, have a wonderful week!

Cx

The Three Mental Swans; A Story Of Friendship

Hello there!

This commission has been under wraps since March but I’m so excited to finally share the illustration and story with you all…it was really quite a specific and a rather bonkers request. So settle down and get comfy while I tell you a little anecdote about the friendship of The Three Mental Swans.

Almost ten years ago C, M & T met each other on their travels in New Zealand and they instantly made a connection. A few weeks of crazy adventures ensued around the Islands and they knew then that they were friends for life. They affectionately named themselves the Mental Swans and each swan has her inner animal. C is the Nemo Swan, M is the Penguin Swan and T is the White Tiger Swan. Even though C, M & T all live in different countries and their lives have taken new directions, the sisterly bond between them has held fast and strong all these years. 

C commissioned me to create an illustration to reflect this wonderful relationship for M’s 30th birthday and I was delighted to be asked. Along with the distinct swans, she wanted to include a few personal Maori touches into the garland. The main one being the butterfly, a design the girls created based around the friendship symbol Pikorua, which they now all proudly share as a tattoo.

This was such a fun design to work on and the moment I began to add colour it all came to life! I’m so happy with this illustration and I adore the heartwarming meaning it represents. I’m also delighted to report that M loves it too…happy birthday M, I hope it was a blinder!

Here it is in all its beautifully bonkers glory; enjoy!

swans-illustration-final

Mental Swans for life!

Are you looking for a unique gift? Resonate a personal story or a special relationship with a Frog & Pencil illustration; it will certainly be one to treasure! Get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.

Adios,

Cx