Monday, 30 April 2012

Summer Time at The Kids' Table!

Lucy from The Kids' Table has already supplied us with a handfull of brightly coloured twig pencil sets (at a bargain price of only £2!!) which come beautifully wrapped and would make perfect gifts.
As soon as the sun is here to stay and we can officially say it's summer, we're going to get more of The Kids' Table goodies in the form of eco-friendly, brightly coloured and retro paper straws, wooden cutlery and paper bags - all perfect for a summer party, retro BBQ, party bags and fun gifts. You don't have to be planning a childrens party to enjoy these great items; we think the yellow spotty staws would be a great addition to a glass of Pimms with a complementary pink striped spoon for the vodka jelly and ice-cream!


That's right, our favourite two prints from the talented guys at Art House Meath - a non profit charity organisation, are now on sale at less than half the original price!
Limited stock left so hurry and grab yours now!


A little twist this monday, instead of our usual 'MySpace Monday' we thought we'd offer you guys a little chance to get involved with Nook & Cranny. We've noticed that so many of you read the blog and that so many of you keep your own amazing blogs yourselves (yes, that's right, I like to keep up with you all!). 
We would love to give someone the chance to be a guest blogger! Is there a current trend we haven't yet explored? An amazing artist we need to discover? Perhaps you feel your own work is worth mentioning or you are part of a group that makes and creates and would be of interest to everyone here at Nook & Cranny. No matter the story, if you think it is of interest to us then feel free to contact Leigh, equally, spread the word if you know someone with a talent for writing and would like this opportunity, then contact, supplying a link to your site/blog and a brief description of what you would like to post. You have until 6th May to get your entries in so hurry, we're looking forward to hearing from you!

Drawing by Leigh Jennings.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Artist lust: Raquel Gonzalez

Raquel Gonzalez is a Barcelona based artist studying Fashion Design. I've noticed her gorgeous and often humorus illustrations circulating the internet for a while and just had to share her with you. 

How beautiful? Raquel Gonzalez's illustrations have really inspired me to pick up the pens and pencils and put a British twist on this Spanish senoritas incredible works of art. The small details such as the extra layered markings on the mans beard, the growingly popular use of circles for cheeks and the awkward sizing of the body to head ratio really add the contemporary and modern twist to portraits that is increasingly becoming so renowned in the illustrative world at the moment.
I'm considering the Queen and her corgi dogs in a similar style in time for the Jubilee!

Friday, 27 April 2012

Yarn bombing / Guerilla knitting

Yarn bombing, guerrilla knitting, urban knitting or graffiti knitting is a form of street art or graffiti involving knitting or crochet which began life, a few years ago now, as a form of personalizing public spaces. Once yarn bombing/guerrilla knitting started to take the world by storm, each group or individuals seemed to have developed their own concept for their public work of art.
Trees, car parking meters, bikes, trollies, phone boxes and even cracks in the pavement have been bombed with yarn creating unexpected flashes of colour, texture and works of art accessible to everyone.
Places include Germany, Istanbul, L.A, Latvia, Finland, New York, Seatle, Sweeden and London. Sadly, I haven't come across many acts of knitted graffiti in the U.K. Seeing as our 'Bad Nana' who knits our cushions, blankets and hot water bottles will be resting her needles and wool for the summer, let's get her onto this project and bring it to Liverpool! Imagine Nook & Cranny with a knitted door, a mast on one of the boats in Liverpool docks covered in pink crochet or even one of the Cathedrals with a little snuggie hand made and on show to the public.

Personally, the conceptual Fine Artist in me loves the more obscure yarn bombs within cracks in the street, but what do you guys think? If you fancy attacking Liverpool with bright wool, email me at and we can start planning!

Emily Mackenzie

I'm so excited to say, that on their way from Edinburgh, we have some great new stock coming into Nook & Cranny from the lovely Emily Mackenzie very soon! 
 I warn you, this work seems to be infectious - I can't help but keep smiling!


But how can you not smile in turn with such happy and bright characters?! I've already asked for a 'dog rave' print for my Birthday (it's not until July) because just imagine how happy you could be waking up next to that print every day! As you can see from the brilliant pictures, Emily hand pulls all of her work and we're lucky enough to be able to stock the last few of some of her limited edition prints. It's so hard to choose a favourite character or print and with Emily often updating her blog with sketchbook doodles and behind the scene sneak peaks of drawing by the pond, you can keep in the brightly coloured and happy loop of Emily Mackenzie here ( and how good does her baked rhubarb look?! ).

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Liverpool Printmakers at the Bluecoat.

Did you know that the Bluecoat, home to Nook & Cranny, have a fascinating history of printmaking spanning over 40 years? They have two great studios open to the public - silk screen printing and an intaglio printing studio. Budding printers can hire the studios while fans, novices and experts alike can join in with constant workshops and courses designed to encourage experimentation in printing with top artists, develop skills and portfolios and understand the difference between a letterpress, a lithograph and an etching.
The Liverpool Printmakers are a dedicated group made up of friendly experts, each a fountain of knowledge and keen to share the joy of printing.
Follow their blog here to keep updated on latest workshops, courses, exhibitions and future events.
Photo of german artist Andreas Vietz with others in the Intaglio studio.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Another 'internet black hole' find!

I know, there's this wonderful new website called Pinterest (here), but I still haven't got to grips with it (unlike Jen - I'm guessing you can search for Nook & Cranny through Jennifer Kirby maybe?). Therefore, because I'm slow, I still find wonderful inventions/images/trends/information on the internet and often then forget where these little snippets are from (with Pinterest, you literally 'pin' the page etc and end up with a collage board of finds - I know, what an invention! Time to renew my password..).
Well, here's another example. A printer, connected to a printer, connected to a printer to create layer uppon layer of images. OK, Photoshop does this too, but as an art installation in itself and as a process for a Photoshop beginner like me, this looks like a beautiful object that creates a unique work of art using an interesting process.

Esther McManus

Take a deep breath and prepare to get lost in the detail of Esther McManus's incredible prints.

This beautiful new work has just landed on our desks. Esther McManus illustrates mythological creatures in such a way that we wish these dudes were a little bit real! These prints have such incredible detail, truely bringing these beasts to life and letting our imagines run wild. Even the 'Witches Hat zine' is printed on beautifully textured paper and stitched together with complimentary red thread, such attention to these extra details doesn't go missed here at Nook & Cranny. These amazing works of art really need to be seen to be believed - we certainly weren't prepared for how long we would sit and study each print!

Again we are in awe of the talents of our artists here at Nook & Cranny and so grateful and over the moon that they are happy to work with us!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Aardvark on Sea: The perfect combination between cake and art

You know that beautiful print you have, the one with all the lovely words about staying wonky, killing your TV, seeking sweetness & wisdom? Yeah, those ones. The really popular series of Manifesto's from Aardvark on Sea. Did you know that Aardvark on Sea are not only avid printers and teachers, but also have the most wonderful tea room-meets gallery on the seafront of St. Leonards in East Sussex?



For more pictures and a read of their feature in COAST homes magazine (their home is just gorgeous!), visit their website here. Aardvark on Sea have made the most of their amazing window space and featured artists such as Lydia Hardwick, the incredible Kate Talbot (the famous knitter who makes textile soft sculptures), Sarah Janes and the amazing Gillian Bates. As if being talented letter press printers wasn't enough, the talented duo from Aardvark on Sea have created an amazing cafe and gallery space. We spy crumpets on the menu!