Tuesday, 20 May 2014


We took some shots of the 'studio' for my website and other stuff over the weekend, thought it would be nice to give you a peek into my work space...

Though it's little more than a desk in our studio apartment, I'm so lucky to have that view over the woodland area. It inspires me every day, I can spot hares and woodpeckers this time of year, there's always a string of dog walkers and when the snow sets in, it's entirely bleak and desolate looking, but equally as beautiful and enchanting...

S x

Monday, 19 May 2014

A trip to Stockholm and some cabin envy

I'll admit and apologize, the blog has got a little 'work' heavy recently. I don't post as often as I'd like to, so perhaps not that heavy on you, but I think it's always good to strike a personal/work balance so you get a bit of the 'behind the scenes' and stuff that inspires me and subsequently, my creative work. Besides, I like keeping a blog. When I don't live in Scandinavia anymore, I can look back and oggle in disbelief at the photos I took for granted whilst I was here and long to return...

I've been doing some really lovely things now the weather's better, so as I'm waiting on some emails thought I'd share a round-up of lately. To my future self, it's wonderful here.

I didn't show you any photos from our trip to Stockholm at Easter, we had such a great time exploring the various islands that make up the city, wondering under the cherry blossom, sitting by the sea in amazing cafes and soaking up the sun. Time well spent.

In case you're planning a trip, and looking for some things to plan I can recommend visiting the Vasa museum, photo above. We aren't normally too fussed about visiting museums whilst on hols, but this was fascinating and really well curated. Swedes are too cool.

Also, Rosendal on Djurg√•rden, photos below. It might sound a bit odd, sending you to what is in fact a garden center, but this was really my favourite day in Stockholm. It's a little difficult for me to tell you how to get there but it's worth the stroll out of town. Djurg√•rden in general is a really nice place to walk, with some nice old architecture too. I'll let the photos speak for themselves. There's also great lunch to be had whilst here, in among the wooden glass houses and plants.

A rare one or two of me, hello! I think I love Stockholm more each time I visit. 

Back in Helsinki, the grass has grown back nicely after winter, finally, and everything is looking lovely. There's some great exhibitions happening and yesterday, Museum day, we visited the island of Seurasaari which is home to a host of cabins and wooden dwellings from all over Finland across the ages- dismantled, then reconstructed here. Anyone with serious wanderlust, or like me, cabin envy, stick the kettle on and escape for 10...

I mean, just look at that hanging ship! I was told there's 10 weddings happening in the island's wooden chapel this summer, how do I get an invite? 

Sigh... I will stop before this post becomes even longer! Life is good and I return to the UK for a fair while next week to do some work stuff you'll hear about soon. See you! S x

Monday, 5 May 2014

Westmorland's Gloucester Services Illustration project

You would be excused for thinking our UK service stations rather uninspiring, transitional places only good for a quick loo stop, an OK coffee, some greasy non-descript something from a fast food joint to ease the boredom, or relief from the queuing in motorway stand-stills on the way to wherever you're trying to get to. Bear with me. 

If you follow me, you'll already know that I've recently been working with Westmorland on the new Gloucester Services project situated on the M5, which, if you've stopped at their Tebay services further north will know is quite the opposite from the scenario described above. More of a destination than an appropriate stop, the services are farm shop-inspired with isles filled with jars of homemade marinades, chutneys and jams, championing artists and designers from the area, a deli and butchers stocked with local produce and even locally grown bunches of flowers and fresh, hot food from the area served up in the canteen. Just my cup of tea. 

The illustration project has seen me design and paint by hand directly onto the walls of the shop, deli (and soon I'll be doing the butchers, take-away coffee and fuel station area too), creating a large illustrated, chalk board-style map of the south-west of Britain. The map will be covered in colourful vinyl stickers to show a key of the 130+ suppliers within 30 miles of the project, and a further 70 within 50 miles. You can see a few photos of the process below, before I get back in there and take some photos with the building up and running properly (the services open this Wednesday, excuse the boxes and building work happening around me!)

It's been a dream to work on something with values so close to my own, and so satisfying to see come together after working the design on a much smaller scale for some time. I'm a Gloucestershire girl through and through, so flying back from Finland to be involved with this was a real treat, and the perfect antidote to my on-going longing for the west country and all it's glory! You can also pick up my tea towels, aprons, cards and such which will be for sale in the services (along with a good bit of cheese, a local brew and a pie for dinner!) It doesn't come much better than this...