Monday, 14 October 2013

new website and new products coming very soon...

It's all go at SBHQ at the moment. If you have tried to get on my website you may have noticed that it has disappeared. There's lots going on behind the scenes and very soon I should be unveiling the shiny new website. It will be a big step forward and will include my blog and shop all in the same place...

It's all very exciting, and I'm really looking forward to joining the world of e-commerce in the run up to Christmas and maximising sales.

We've also been developing some new product lines, something which I have been wanting to do since I took part in the Design Factory Mentoring Scheme last year. I have finally sat down and measured up and sorted all of my designs out and will be launching the range very soon. There will only be very short runs to begin with until I get to grips with the process but my samples all came out very nicely and I have a lot more off to the kiln this week.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Exciting product developments

Last year as part of the Design Factory Mentoring Scheme I worked with my mentor Debbie Bryan and we looked at how I could expand my product range. I had always been interested in looking at how I could adapt my designs for different media, ceramics, print and textiles being three areas I wanted to explore. I invested in some whiteware with a view to getting some of my designs onto them and testing a sample of new products with my market. Well, it's a good job no-one was holding their breath whilst waiting for that to happen... It has been on my jobs list for the past twelve months but The Festival of Words, BCTF and other shows kind of took over and my focus was elsewhere.

Time has passed but I have always wanted to get on with this and I'm pleased to say I finally have. I have ordered the decals and have arranged some kiln space (with the help of a very kind friend) so very soon I should be able to unveil my new collection to the world. I'm VERY excited!!

I also have some more exciting news which I can tell you about very soon too in other areas of my business... Ooh, the suspense of it!!

Friday, 4 October 2013

Featuring - Helen Russell Creations

Welcome to the land of Helen Russell Creations where the only luggage you need is your imagination! This week I'm featuring the work of the lovely Helen Russell of Helen Russell Creations.

I first met Helen Russell on Twitter a couple of years ago and we struck up an e-conversation about my first trade fair, BCTF in 2012. Helen kindly gave me some help and advice about the show and it was lovely to get to meet her on set-up day at Harrogate. We have kept in touch with each other since then, catching up with each other at BCTF again this year. I was in admiration of her gorgeous stand, and her work, see below.

I've been keeping track of Helen's work, and after a big website redesign, she has a fantastic web presence, where you can find out all about her quirky little creatures, the Blob Birds, Wonder Mice and the Gang from The Glade. Her imagination has been fed by (she says) too many hours reading books with beautiful illustrations... her own storytelling ability is also evident across the whole body of her work. Take a look at her website, you will know what I mean!

Image courtesy of Helen Russell

I asked Helen to tell us a little more about her work and this is what she had to say...

'Helen Russell Creations was born out of my on-going fascination with the natural world and the way people ‘collect’ items to remember events, holidays and people. I love using animals to create scenes that echo human nature and hope that my work helps support memories old and new.I’m a passionate creative who loves taking inspiration from the world around me. My brain clocks up new ideas constantly and I really enjoy working to bring them into reality. My love of illustration, nature and storytelling is central to my work. Each day I have to pinch myself, I have the best job in the world!'

Image courtesy of Helen Russell
If you want to find out a bit more about Helen and her imaginative quirky characters, all you need to do is head on over to her website and explore.

If you want to find out more about Helen or catch up with her on the road from now until Christmas, this is where you can find her:


The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair at Spinningfields, Manchester on 10-13
October Country Living Christmas, Harrogate, Stand A8 28 Nov-1 Dec


 Objects of Desire, Chapel Gallery, Ormskirk 24 November – 12 Jan
 Craft in the Bay Christmas Show, Cardiff 9 Nov-12 Jan

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Ceramic range samples

Exciting news part 1 this week - as well as it being my birthday and our 14th wedding anniversary (and 20 years together) another exciting development is that my ceramic design samples have gone into the kiln today!! This experiment has been in the pipeline for over a year now and I'm pleased to say I have finally got around to doing it with the very kind help of a friend of mine.

Watch this space later in the week or next week for the finished results..... AT this ratye my new range will be ready for my Christmas selling events!! Hurray!!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Sketchbook Peeks - Harriet Alice Fox


Before we start, tell us a little about yourself/how did you get into art/craft/design career and how it all started and where you are now.

I actually work full time as an assistant buyer at a clothing company and all my illustration and design work is done in my own time. I have always been creative and enjoyed art from a very young age. I studied art at A-level, Foundation Diploma and went on to study Surface Design at Degree Level graduating from the University of Huddersfield three years ago.
Since then I have spent the majority of my free time pursuing my love of illustration, design and crafting. I design and print my own cards and you can see a full range on my website. ( I currently live with my partner Tom and cat Moby who enjoys being my desk buddy.

How long have you been using sketchbooks?

I have used sketchbooks for as long as I can remember, I still have some from when I was twelve years old, though my art style has changed quite a bit. In my house I have a painting I made for my neighbour of my childhood home when I was seven, she framed it for me as a graduation present.

How often do you sketch?

I sketch every week, I try to sketch most evenings, and more if I have a free weekend. Lately I have been sketching to try to improve a weakness of mine – faces. How do you feel about the prospect of starting a new sketchbook? I really like it; it’s just like having a fresh start. You can take your art in a whole new direction, although the very first piece may be a daunting task. I have just started working on my sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project ( and I find it quite exciting starting a project specific sketchbook.

When/where do you get your inspiration for your sketchbook pages?

Inspiration can come from anywhere. I do follow a lot of blogs and I find the writers to be very inspiring. I also have a small library of books that I use as reference points for ideas or techniques. How would you describe your creative process? I sketch out ideas in my sketchbook or on paper, then draw again if need be or redefine the original sketch with a fine liner pen. Sometimes I paint the piece or I will scan into the computer to colour it. Most of my cards are created this way and printed at home.

Have your sketchbooks evolved over the years and if so, how?

Completely, I have learnt to use sketchbooks for the development of pieces rather than just the finished design, and not to worry too much if it’s not perfect.

What is your favourite medium to work with?

I think my favourite medium is acrylic paint as I love how bold and bright it can be, although the medium I mainly use is a fine liner pen. The majority of my work is outlined with fine liner and has a bright colour scheme.

Do you have a favourite sketchbook?

One of my favourite sketchbooks is one from my first year of University. It was a trend book project based on colour. The sketchbook was a mixed media piece of collage, paint and stitch, bound together. I loved the book as lots of different elements were pulled together, and the exploration of colour is a subject I found really interesting. Another of my favourites is my sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project, based on my family, although this is a project and a sketchbook that has just begun.

If you had to pick one favourite page which would it be and why?

My favourite page so far out of my sketchbook project sketchbook is one where I have planned out some portraits. It shows the plan for the cover of my sketchbook ‘I See No Ships’ and two of my family members dressed in their army uniforms. Although they are only the first drafts I like the page together as is encompasses the theme of my whole project. I will be posting updates of my project ‘I See No Ships’ on my blog throughout this year.

Twitter: @harrietalicefox

Other posts you might like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...