Thursday 26 April 2012

Featured maker - Pumpkin Sputnik (and a GIVEAWAY!)

Ok I'll admit it. I have a thing for notebooks. I think that maybe they make me feel organised. I have loads of them, but I still want more. And the more gorgeous they are the less likely I am to want to write in them. Is it just me? (Really?)

Anyway, when I was browsing Folksy recently I saw these breathtakingly beautiful notebooks on Folksy (yes, I know, I'm gushing. Okay so I like stationery) and I couldn't wait to show you.

Emma who runs Pumpkin Sputnik has very kindly agreed to do an interview for the blog, AND has offered ....wait for it....not one, but two notebooks for a giveaway!!!!

Excited is an understatement. I just wish I could enter! Plus she also likes Sigur Ros, best thing out of Iceland since The Sugarcubes.

Read on, giveaway details at the bottom..... but in the meantime over to Emma....


Hi, my name is Emma Wilson and I live just outside Glasgow.

I make notebooks, sketchbooks and cards printed with my photographic designs of trees, plants and flowers. I’ve always loved stationery and used to make my own notebooks and sketchbooks while at art school.

I began making the notebooks back in 2005 when my youngest child went to school, I had been a jewellery designer-maker before I had children and studied at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen for my degree in 3D Design.

Making stationery was something I was able to do at home while looking after my two children and meant I could indulge in my love for photography and Photoshop. My designs are influenced by my surroundings here in Scotland. Trees and flowers feature heavily and in particular my last two collections have featured Hydrangeas – my favourite flowers.

I began selling my work at local craft markets in Glasgow and online on Etsy, I now sell through Folksy and Big Cartel and various shops and galleries around the country.

I have some new designs in the pipeline, some new photographic designs and some completely graphic designs inspired by school books. I also taught myself to crochet last year and am hoping to have more time for that this year.

Floral Snaps - cards

My other job is being Mum to my two children and keeping my husband in clean clothes

I do love paper in all its forms, my main range is made with watercolour card and lovely creamy cartridge paper which is great for drawing on. The watercolour card has a gorgeous texture which complements the designs perfectly and I recently switched to linen cord to bind the books together which has a lovely quality to it. I can’t think of anything I don’t like about paper, I do get frustrated with my equipment though – my printer has a tendency to play up and my guillotine is currently broken “sigh”.

I usually listen to 6Music in the workroom, but often when I have a huge pile of paper to fold I put Sigur Ros on – the perfect music to work to.

The house we are in just now has a converted loft so I work up there, it’s a bit cold but at least it’s away from the rest of the house – and any distractions!

My favourite design at the moment is one of my new ones call Betty (see giveaway at the bottom), it has a bit of a vintage vibe to it and has lovely golden and blue hues. The best seller is probably Vintage Hydrangea though.

Thank you Emma!

Some wierd stuff going on with linking the pictures today so you'll just have to click on the links below to see the shops.... sorry 'bout that folks. 


So.... the GIVEAWAY bit...

Emma has offered 2 Pumpkin Sputnik notebooks to the lucky winner. An A5 and A6 size in her favourite design, Betty.

Here they are...

The giveaway is open until next Friday 4th May, midnight GMT. I will draw the name on Saturday.

All you need to do is comment below and let me know you'd like to enter and your name will go in the hat! Simple.

However,.....If you'd like to up your chances a bit you could do any or all of the following - just remember to come back and let me know!!
  • One extra entry per tweet of the following  "Fab giveaway on the @bpearcedesigns blog pls RT!" But please max 1 tweet per day, we don't want to get all spammy now do we? While you're there why don't you follow Emma @pumpkinsputnik (!/pumpkinsputnik/)
  • One extra entry if you blog about the giveaway and link to it on your blog. Post the link here in the comments so we can all come and check out your blogs too!
  • Last but not least, one extra entry if you go and like my facebook page (let me know if you already do, and I'll include you too)
Phew. Good luck. And please spread the word about this fantastic maker.

Monday 23 April 2012

My new studio.....finally

When we moved in to our new home last year, our forever home, we knew we had a little work to do. It's a great house, but I quite fancied a little space of my own to put all my stuff in. There was a big garage, which I soon took over - but it was chilly, damp and a bit dingy. So, we looked into converting it. A couple of days in,to the work and this is the corner of the garage that was to be mine... yep, the one with the digger and wheelbarrow in.

Fast forward a few weeks, and we have and windows!! Hurrah!

And as of a few weeks ago, we're all moved in....

I have pictures on the wall.....

 I have a desk, (thanks Anne!)
 or two....
or ahem three.
I can put my stuff out, and leave it there.

I'm still organising and finding places for things,  as you can see, but it's getting there, and I LOVE it.

So there you workroom tour finally!

Friday 13 April 2012

Custom Goodies

I thought you might like to see the lovely earrings and pendant set that I made recently for Carly, who got in contact with me via this blog.

Carly had a definite idea of the colours and length she wanted for her earrings, and I got to do just what I love to do, plan the design and put it all together. I was really pleased with  the finished result.

 The rose quartz looks beautiful with the creamy pearls and delicate greys. I lightly oxidised the sterling silver components and polished them to a gorgeous shine.

The photos don't really do them justice; it was when we were still in the throws of the building work and I couldn't get all my photo bits and bobs set up properly.... but you get the idea.

Carly said "Hi, they've arrived safely thank you and I'm really pleased with everything, just perfect! Thanks again for interpreting all my demands into something pretty, and for getting it to me on time!"

If you have an idea of your perfect earrings that you'd like me to help realise, just get in touch and we can work something out. I'd love to help you get hold of the perfect necklace to go with that summer wedding outfit, or a special pressie for your sister who loves green.....

Saturday 7 April 2012

April Birthstone - Diamond!!

"She who from April dates her years,
Diamonds shall wear, lest bitter tears
For vain repentance flow."

I do love a diamond, nothing bounces the light quite like them, but wow do they cost!  

Incidentally do you know how to spot a fake? Apart from weighing half as much as cubic zirconia (commonly used in place of a diamond and a whole lot cheaper) you can do the fog test. Put the stone in front of your mouth and fog it like you would a mirror. If it stays fogged for a couple seconds, it’s probably a fake. A real diamond disperses the heat instantaneously so by the time you look at it, it has already cleared up, or if it happens to be a little dirty, it still clears much faster than a fake. Use a stone you know is real next to the suspect stone and fog both. 

So if it's that hard to tell some other stones from diamonds, there are obviously alternatives that the April birthday girl could wear that look similarly stunning, without eating beans on toast for the next 6 months.

White topaz is a lovely alternative birthstone, which shines and shimmers, yet is affordable. And another alternative I'm using this month is rock crystal. I have some stunning new onion briolettes (and I mean stunning.... watch this space) on my bench which I'm using in designs at the moment. I'll hopefully get a few listed in the birthstone section of my new shop shortly!! 

I do feel slightly guilty for not offering any real diamonds in my shop.... maybe in a few years. But for now, I hope you'll agree these'll do just fine. 
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