Saturday, 26 November 2011

Old Wives Tale

"Inspired by nature, traditions and tales. My work is centred around illustration where I like to use intricate detail alongside a simple pallet or layout.
Living in North Wales provides me with a wealth of stories, myths and tales not to mention the beautiful foxes, badgers and hedgehogs that come to visit in the garden."

The very lovely Hannah at Old Wives Tale has beautifully illustrated swans, ravens, foxes and mice alongside eloquent quotes to create a wonderfully different greeting card or delicate print. Lovingly depicted with pen and ink, these animals come to life and earn their place to be framed and admired.

Printing Jenni

Christmas gift buying never fails to make me feel warm and fuzzy inside knowing the special someone the gift is for will be adored. HOWEVER. Sometimes, isn't gift wrapping just such a pain? Cellotape and long hair doesn't mix, so while I think I've been creative wrapping gifts to make them look like a cracker, I often come away dazed, confused and a fringe full of sticky tape and ribbon. My generous mother on the other hand, has the task of keeping the mounds of gifts for people together in a neat organized pile. 
If only there was some way I could stylishly avouid gift wrapping, or my mum could keep everyone's goodies kept together?

Ta-da! Printing Jenni has hand screen printed small and large tote bags in a wonderfully Christmasy illustration. The small red stocking bags would be perfect to fill with sweets and delights and for me to avoid wrapping gifts, just adding a little complimentary green tissue paper as stuffing. While the larger stocking, tree and star printed natural canvas, fair trade, tote bags look the perfect size to pile high with ready wrapped gifts for someone you're spoiling.

Christmas with Sophie In Disguise

Christmas = winter. Winter = wrapping up warm.
Combine the two and you fairly often result in festive itchy jumpers you only wear to cheer up your nan. However, it seems some the 'cool' kids on the block manage to carry off an over the top knitted jumper, wearing them with pride and flauting them down the streets (Bob here at Nook & Cranny looks quite handsome in his collection). Now Sophie brings us Christmas geek chic in the form of a quirky shaped card with 'warm wishes' noted inside. Perfect if you know a cool kid or irony for your nan. Either way, they're part of Nook & Cranny's pick & mix offer - jumpers all round!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

The Joy of Ex Foundation.

The sarcasm behind the name of this group almost sums up the tone and humour behind Sally's work at The Joy of Ex. Having only started the foundation in may of this year, and having the prints, tea towels and bags proudly on display at Nook & Cranny, the popularity so far is amazing. Take a look at the work, and then we'll pull at the heart strings with the story behind the concept.

Book Club Tote Bag
Set Of Four 'Cake Bowls' Postcards
Set Of Four 'Naked' Postcards

"Sally doesn’t really consider herself an overly nice person, but when her own divorce almost cost her her smile, she started writing a funny novel to make herself giggle. And whilst writing the book she decided to start The Foundation. She wasn't exactly sure exactly how she could possibly help anyone. So as a writer, she started a little Facebook group to help people to smile more… cos sometimes in life there is nothing else you can do.
Then people started asking her for merchandise and books featuring all her silly quotes. She had some printed, and people from all around the world started buying them. Sally now puts aside a chunk of the money she earns, to try and help people when they get stuck going through a rough break up."

How thoughtful can one person be? Whether you are succuming to the heart ache of a break up, having a bad day or know someone who is described perfectly in the form of a beautiful statement postcard, these beauties make everyone smile. Personally, my favourite is 'I'm in a love triangle with Ben &  Jerry'. Jen on the other hand sleeps with books and I posted one to my mum on her birthday, knowing she is 'proud to lick cake bowls'. The bright colours, simple text but fantastically funny announcements draw in the crowds themselves, but knowing why Sally is hoping they cheer people up and knowing that profits go towards counselling and support for people in need, only makes you love them more.
Pop in to Nook & Cranny and find the satement that best suits you, or get one for a friend in need and feel the glow of pride knowing how happy the world could really be.

Christmas with Bels Art World

Because sometimes you don't need the colours red and green, velvet and glitter to make a card look Christmasey. Bel has featured her wonderful characters in the trademark muted hues that make up Bels Art World and celebrates Christmas with Nook & Cranny, available now instore.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

"the nice biscuits, not the horrible ones"

One of our favourite tea towels from To Dry For and one of Nook & Cranny's favourite sayings. We love it when you, the wonderful public and polite customers, are happy to engage and strike up conversation with us. Not only does it perk up our day being able to interact with another human being face to face, rather than endless emails, it's just nice to be nice. Don't you think?

Suck UK - My Cuppa

Everyone's different, everyone has their own little quirks, whether you choose to listen to heavy metal, train in the evenings in wrestling or put extra salt on anything that gets eaten. Whatever your penchant, Nook & Cranny never judge. However, the Suck UK 'My Cuppa' charts seem to spark up conversation and judgement. OK, so I like my cups of tea rather milky. In fact, the colour of the mug is closer to the colour of my tea. I thought it was only my typically traditional British parents that lovingly bullied me for this, but customers seem to have raised a few eyebrows too.

How do you take your cuppa? In a Suck UK 'My Cuppa' mug of course!

Friday, 11 November 2011

2d Scrumptious

Yeah, ok, you guessed it, Nook & Cranny have a very large soft spot for dogs, and 2d Scrumptious has fed our desire with wonderful illustrative dog Christmas cards. What a joy for the festive period!

Stretch the Sausage dog, hand drawn by childrens book illustrator, Steven Lenton, is a key character at 2d Scrumptious head quarters. A variety of warm and fun figures appeal to all ages, adorning cards, gifts, prints and bags. Each with their own whimsical story to tell, Stretch was Nook & Cranny's favourite, new to the gang and making his debut this Christmas.
Inside each card says 'streeeeeeeetch out this Christmas'. Of course we will Stretch, how can we not take advice from the cutest Sausage dog around?


Kim Osborne from Knockout is the latest to join the gallery wall with her contemporary lino cut prints of The Empire State Building and the Houses of Parliament.

Clean edges and strong lines make the single block colour appear to have depth and encourage the contemporary tone of the print.
Loving alot of Kim's work, found on, we also have her on board for the festive period and are pleased to stock Knockout Christmas cards.

What more could you want from a festive statement?

Never mind Father Christmas, look who came to visit..

Everyone at Nook & Cranny were having a wonderful evening, the Chrsitmas lights had turned on in the centre of town and our sparkling fairy lights in the Creative Courtyard looked a treat. Joan, Claire and John were sat outside (freezing) under a festive gazeboe greeting customers. Leigh, Jen and Bob were inside Nook & Cranny, working hard at origami, decorating the Christmas tree and enjoying the atmosphere of the late night shopping. When all of a sudden, crash, bang, wallop, a bird flies into our gallery wall. How rude we thought, those horrid rats with wings (dirty city pigeons) had popped in for some warmth. However, once the bird in question had crashed his way over to our new workshop quarter of the shop, we could see, he was infact, NOT a pigeon. Jen threw my new shawl over the poor bird to calm him down and we proceeded to panic (I would say flap about). We found the number for the RSPCA and through the RSPB website discovered the breed of bird we now had trembling under our desk. When I finally got through to the RSPCA (there was alot of answer machine 'press number 1' business) a lovely lady asked us to check the bird for any obvious injuries (I did, and got a sneak peak of his wonderful beak and beautiful plummage - before he got a panic on and tried to fly up towards the ceiling), although a little dazed and confused, he seemed fine, so were told to keep him in a cool dry place (isn't that how you store pickles and condiments?), such as a box with the shawl we were using. Nook & Cranny, including our guest bird, calmed down and carried on (like our tea towels tell us). Later, Jen took our new friend out to the courtyard garden in the back, held him gently in the shawl, unwrapped him and slowly released him. He flew straight up into the sky and hopefully back home to the river.
What a strange encounter! How on earth does a 'sea bird' fly into a city town center and then bump into our shop? Here's what the RSPB say about the common Sandpiper:


A smallish wader with contrasting brown upperparts and white underparts. It habitually bobs up and down, known as 'teetering', and has a distinctive flight with stiff, bowed wings. Its presence is often betayed by its three-note call which it gives as it flies off.

Where to see them

In summer is breeds along fast rivers and by lakes, lochs and reservoirs in Scotland, Wales N Ireland and the north of England. In winter it may be seen along the south coast, and on spring and autumn passage it can be found elsewhere in the UK, near any freshwater areas and on some estuaries.

It's lovely to know the phrase ' a little bird told me ' could now come true, regarding spreading the word of Nook & Cranny. However, in hindsight, although incredible, it was all just a little too stressful.
Any name ideas for our new friend, should he wish to visit again?

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Chrsitmas with Doodlelove

I know, we've only just been forced into the month of November and are panicking about the turkey/nut roast arguments already, but when you get beautiful Christmas cards landing on your desk, you can't help but feel very, very festive.

Doodlelove have turned their classic 'tache greetings card into an equally wonderful Christmas card. Being one of Nook & Cranny's best sellers, we're sure many of these will be on mantle pieces across the land this winter.
The cards are available either beautifully hand packaged and wrapped in a box set of 12, individually bought for that deserving someone, or as part of a 'pick & mix' special offer at Nook & Cranny where 5 cards from a beautiful selection across our range can be bought for just £10.
We might be a little bit excited for Christmas now. Well, only if someone posts me one these cards.