The Enlightened Hound Greeting Cards

My Enlightened Hound prints will shortly be available to all as greeting cards! There are a total of 8 designs in all – the four existing prints plus four more (for which I have not yet cut the lino plates for posters). They are printed by the Almanac Gallery and were launched at the recent Spring Trade Fair in Birmingham.

Canine Wisdom Cards

Featuring the same distressed type as the original prints, the cards are printed on high quality, matt, 275gsm FSC accredited board. Each card measures 127 x 177mm and comes with a sunny yellow envelope in its own cellophane bag. They are blank inside for your own message… perfect for dog lovers!

Craft Fair Stall Design Preparations

Subtitled: The benefits of vastly underestimating the complexity and time needed for a craft project!

I have decided to try and sell my Enlightened Hound dog inspired art prints at local art & craft fairs and country shows and have been accepted for my first one at the end of May – the Milton Keynes Handmade and Vintage Show. So I started thinking about how my stall should look… very cute, totally hand-made and obviously doggy! I realized I would need (amongst other things) a very large tablecloth, a banner and some bunting.

That’s easy, I thought … I can make these quickly (underestimation no.1) and cheaply (underestimation no.2) and easily (underestimation no.3) at home!

I wanted to make a banner with my logo like an American collegiate sweatshirt, with Abercrombie and Fitch style cut out and sewn-on letters. It was a fiddly, painstaking and time-consuming task, and had I known just how fiddly, painstaking and time-consuming it would be, I wouldn’t have even started… but I’m glad I did as I am very happy with how it turned out!

The Enlightened Hound Banner

The finished banner

The Enlightened Hound Banner

Close up of letters

It was hard to find good quality felt in anything other than kiddie primary colours but Gertie and Mabel have a fabulous selection of felt online in gorgeous muted, grown-up colours. I got a very sore hand cutting all the letters out and then sewed them all onto some heavyweight natural canvas with my grandmother’s trusty Singer sewing machine.

Cut out felt letters

The cut out letters

Sewing the banner

Sewing the banner

The bunting was next. I found some great doggy fabric online and co-ordinating stripy material from which I cut out almost 150 triangles which were then pinned together, stitched, ironed and sewn onto some cotton tape.

Bunting  

Dog & Stripe Bunting

Now I have over 15 metres of great homemade bunting!

I bought some good quality hessian for the tablecloth – I needed about 8 metres for it to drape fully to the floor (a stipulation of the craft fair organisers) – and it has the dual benefits of being both cheap and fitting in with the homespun vibe.

So if you live nearby, stop by the fair on May 26th and 27th and come and say hello!

Coat Hook Project

In a slight departure from printing brought on by a need to source some original and unique coat hooks for my hallway (unsuccessfully) I decided to make my own. I love the vintage industrial look that is popular at the moment and while I was searching online I was inspired by these ‘yardstick’ coat hooks (sadly no longer for sale by Keeping It Coastal on Etsy).

So I thought I’d try to find some interesting old yardsticks of my own, here in England, but with no luck. That’s the rub with vintage – you need to be forever hunting and gathering at fairs and car boot sales/yard sales – and you need patience to wait for the right thing to show up. But I wanted my coat hooks NOW, so I made my own – inspired by the yardstick coat rack – but simpler – more like a surveyor’s staff or a water depth measure – and here they are!

 

I started with a plain piece of brand new pine from the DIY store… if you’d like to know how I made the coat racks, read on…

First I darkened the new pine with a mix of raw umber pigment, PVA glue and water, so when I distress the paint later, the wood that shows through looks old.

Then I made a template for the ‘rulers’ on the computer using Adobe Illustrator and printed them out to match the size of the wood (by gluing several together).

Then I used the templates to mark up the wood and painted on the red and off-white stripes, using masking tape to get a good straight line.

Herre you can see the masking tape in place to paint the marks. I painted the numbers by hand after transferring the outlines to the wood from the template. I use Plaka Casein paints and signwriting brushes.

After the painting was finished I distressed them lightly with fine sandpaper and gave them a good coat of beeswax, which I polished up to a shine. I sourced the coat pegs online… they are nice reproduction ones with a dull black waxed finish, anything too shiny would look out of place. I drilled holes to attach them to the wall underneath the pegs so that the screws would be hidden.

The next part of the project is some shoe racks… I will post pics of these when they are done.