OC&K Curates: Nurturing Nature

An air of optimism is needed when times are hard, and that optimism can be found in the smallest of places. Be it a windowsill or an expanse of lawn, it’s important to connect with nature wherever we can. Bright flowers blooming around us, or insects flying past our window are reasons to bring joy into our life and we can encourage this joy for us and others around us.

With this blog post we bring you the garden. Here at Of Cabbages and Kings with have a variety of gifts and garden themed ideas from prints and garden accessories to ways of encouraging wildlife into your backyard.

We all know that bees are important for our ecosystem. So let’s help with the pollination of plants and crops. But did you know that there are over 200 species of solitary bees? A great way to provide a home for the these vital insects are Bee Bricks from Green&Blue. Coming in a variety of sizes they are perfect for a patio, garden wall or balcony. Solitary bees use the small nooks and crannies to lay their eggs. A perfectly designed contemporary home for bees in a modern, clean-cut world where their natural habitats are dwindling.

Small Bee Block by Green&Blue – £18.75

Bee Brick by Green&Blue – £30.00

This attractive Bee Friendly Tea Towel is sure to become a gardener’s best friend. A collaboration with Friends of the Earth and homewares designer Stuart Gardiner, it contains a guide to essential flowers that encourage bees and pollinating insects into your garden.

Bee Friendly Tea Towel by Stuart Gardiner – £12

Kew is one of the world’s greatest gardens. It houses the largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections, while providing scientific research into conservation. Caitlin Parks has produced this multi layered screen print in a colourful collage style of the tropical plants and grand greenhouses. A cheerful print celebrating one of the most established and visited collections of plants from across the globe.

Kew Gardens by Caitlin Parks – £120

Being organised in the garden is a must when it comes to seeds. You don’t want to mix up your courgettes with your cornflowers! This seed collecting kit from Creamore Mill has everything you need to collect, store, plant and record your seeds. Envelopes and a pencil for keeping a record, dibber for planting seeds and wooden labels for marking what you have planted and where. If you are conscious to reduce plastic use in the garden, with this Paper Pot Press you can make recyclable and biodegradable newspaper pots for starting seedlings. These pots can be planted straight into the ground minimising damage to the roots of young plants.

Seed Collecting Kit by Creamore Mill – £14.50

Paper Pot Press by Creamore Mill – £12.50

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This innovative bird feeder by Green&Blue is a stylish way to complete a modern garden. Its clean and simple design adds a contemporary feature to any out door space, while also offering year-round feeding for birds such as tits, sparrows, finches, woodpeckers and nuthatches.

Birdball Seed Feeder by Green&Blue – £55

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This second print by Caitlin Parks is perfect for amateur twitchers. A limited edition screen print, British Birds is in a wood-cut style and illustrates some of our most popular garden visitors.

British Birds by Caitlin Parks – £35

Maybe your little bit of green space are the houseplants that decorate your home. These 3D printed mid-century modern style planters from Studio Nilli are made from bioplastic. Tall legged pots are perfect for plants that grow and trail like vines, devils ivy and string of pearls.

Tall White Legged Planter by Studio Nilli – £35

These Houseplant Care Cards are the ultimate guide to growing happy plants – you can’t fail! A boxed gift set containing 35 cards packed full of advice and tips for botanical success indoors.

House Plant Care Cards by Another Studio – £12.95

And what better way to celebrate your green fingered achievements than with these Plant Awards! Featuring: Dream Plant, Surviving and Still Alive rosettes.

Plant Award – Dream Plant Ornament – £5.75

Plant Award – Surviving Plant Ornament – £5.75

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This peaceful image of a gardener, captures a sense of meditation at work. Garden Man is a 7 colour screen print by artist Tom Berry and forms part of Tom Berry’s Daily Rites Series which explores the ritual of daily activities.

Garden Man by Tom Berry – £75

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Crazy Times – Coping With COVID-19

In the last 10 years Of Cabbages and Kings and Knit with attitude have survived a global financial crisis, a double-dip recession, 4 elections resulting in 9 years of austerity, 25% of high street shops closing in the UK, the turmoil and uncertainty of Brexit, and 2020 kicked off with no less than 3 storms in 4 weekends, and we said “But hey! We’re still standing!”

We are certain we will come out the other side of this crisis too – if we all pull together and the government pulls its finger out and supports small business in the best, quickest and fairest way it can.

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Sadly, after a very testing few years most small independent businesses don’t have buffers, savings or potentially even insurance policies to protect them when everything comes to a stop. We can’t close while expenses are still running. Many of us are facing the choice between protecting ourselves or our businesses, the consequences of shutting being so great most of us will choose the latter. Therefore we will stay open as normal for as long as we possibly can. However, we want to assure our customers that we are doing our upmost to protect both our customers and our staff.

We have reduced to a skeleton staff and only those who are symptom free are coming in. We are also trying to arrange travel so staff can avoid public transport and work from home. Those who are using public transport are travelling off-peak and away from crowds. We are sticking to a vigorous hand washing routine, using gloves at the counter, and all surfaces are being continuously wiped off. We would also like to encourage our local friends to use our pick-up in store options online as it will help reduce the physical contact between staff and customers. KWA customers get a 5% discount too!

In the next coming weeks you we will no doubt see shops slashing prices and conjuring special offers they probably can’t afford. Our plea to you, if you are in a position to, is to choose the independents, be conscious about the purchases you make – it really can make a tremendous of difference. Think small!

Another thing you can do to show your support for the cafes, stores, restaurants, beauticians etc you know and love through this tricky time is to purchase a gift certificate, either in store or online. Then, once all this all this has settled down, treat yourself or someone special with your gift card. We are currently compiling a list of links to local businesses in N16 with gift certificate options. Click here for further details.

Eventually we will be asked to close the doors. Please continue to support our online shops. We will have staff in place to wrap and send orders as normal, as long as the Post Office is open.

All events and workshops are postponed or cancelled as of today. We are very aware the need for community, support and friendship in these challenging times, and we are currently working on virtual alternatives trying to find suitable solutions. Stay tuned – as we will use our social media to inform about this.

And most importantly – be kind and stay safe!

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OC&K Curates – Spring Time

Fresh green leaves and spring bulbs are starting to appear around us. The days are lengthening and blue skies shine above. Spring is such a lovely time of year and what with Mother’s Day coming up on Sunday 22 March there are plenty of reasons to bring a spring feel into your home, or give a gift with some springtime inspiration.

Spring is the time of year colour returns to our life. Slowly at first with gentle pastel tones, until the riot of hot summer takes over. It’s fresh and has a hint of warmth that banishes the memory of cold frosty mornings. Flowers begin to poke their heads out of the earth and there is an energy in nature. Freya Cumming’s work speaks of spring; her eye for gentle colour complimenting the season. This screen print titled Village Politics with its ‘best in bloom’ is finished with gold and silver leaf and is a great way of adding a bit of bright country style to any room.

Village Politics by Freya Cumming – £250

Polka dots still seem to be a firm fashion favourite and could be seen in the spring collections of some of the most well know fashion designers like Dries Van Noten’s collaboration with Christian Lacroix and Carolina Herrera. Your favourite spotty outfit needs a spotty accessory. These Form Circle Earrings from Tom Pigeon in Blush add a cool edition of colour to your outfit. A combination of Formica and brass they are perfect for any time of day or night.

Form Circle Earrings in Blush by Tom Pigeon – £30

You can’t have spring without fresh leaves appearing on the trees. This clock features a hanging willow branch pattern, evoking the dappled shade of sitting under a tree. Made from laser-cut, powder-coated steel, it features a quiet quartz mechanism and stamped aluminium hands. A minimal yet stylish way to celebrate nature.

Grass Green Willow Clock by Max Cairns – £100

Speaking of leaves, these leaf bookmarks by Another Studio just had to be included. They make the perfect little gift for a plant lover and feature the leaves of Maranta Leuconeuraia, Peperomia Argyreia, Caladium Bicolour and the Begonia Maculata. Celebrate the season of growth.

Leaf Bookmark Set – Steel by Another Studio – £9.50

It’s the time of year we start thinking about our gardens, (or any little space we may have set aside for growing things). If you are conscious of all the plastic used in the garden then this is the perfect way to go. Giving you the ability to produce recyclable and biodegradable newspaper pots for starting seedlings. These pots can be planted straight into the ground minimising damage to the roots of young plants. To read more about how they are made check out our ‘How to make Paper Pots using the Paper Pot Press’ Blog Post.

Paper Pot Press by Creamore Mill – £12.50

Spring colours are alive in this fun combination of Collage Studs from Wolf & Moon. This set of four mix and match earrings combine brass, painted wood, acrylic and mother of pearl. A versatile set in shades of green offset with some sparkle that will add spring vibes to any outfit.

Collage Studs by Wolf & Moon – £38

I had to end with this fun screen print by Tiff Howick of a yellow duck. Tiff Howick captures its fluffy feathery body with an expressive use of marks. Bold and bright in strong yellow colours, this is the perfect print to waddle into your home. A little duckling is an iconic image of spring and makes you think of new life.

Yellow Duck by Tiff Howick – £40

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OC&K Curates – Love

Love is in the air and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner we are using this edition of ‘OC&K Curates’ to bring you some of our most romantic gift ideas. Don’t forget to be prepared for February 14th, the perfect gift could be right here. Like a print reminding you of happy times, a book to inspire new adventures or a workshop to create new memories.

It was believed that the heart was the the centre of our strongest emotions, including love. The heart became the symbol of love and we see it everywhere the closer we get to Valentines Day. ♥️ That classic heart symbol is a bit overused don’t you think? Get back to the science of it with this Human Heart print by John Devolle. A characterful giclée with the feel of vintage text book illustrations.

Human Heart print by John Devolle – £60

 

Show someone they mean the world to you with one of Roderick Vere’s Planetary Collection rings. This collection takes its inspiration from our solar system. Like this Earth Ring which is crafted by hand in solid sterling silver and finished with a satin sheen. A beautiful and stunning, fully-hallmarked piece of jewellery.

Earth Ring by Roderick Vere – £95

Did you know that Roderick Vere also hosts silver ring making workshops here at Of Cabbages and Kings? A perfect romantic gift, and one that doesn’t only result in you ending the day with your own silver ring, but also the memory of the creating it.

Workshops at Of Cabbages and Kings 

 

Where did you go on your first date? If it was in East London there is a chance that Marc Gooderham may have painted or drawn it. With great attention to detail Marc has a talent for capturing the life of a place and his prints are an evocative reminder of London’s gems. We have a variety of his prints of some of East London’s most iconic establishments, like this one of Wiltons Music Hall. A place that also won Best Historic Wedding Venue 2019 at the UK Wedding Awards. Check out his others here.

The Music Maker by Marc Gooderham – £165

 

Nothing beats a cosy evening in with a loved one. Set the mood with a scented candle. The Oakwood + Tobacco Soy Wax Candle from Hobo + Co is warming blend of smoky oakwood and musky tobacco, a great scent for creating a relaxed atmosphere. Plus soy wax is a much healthier alternative to paraffin wax, it burns cleaner and holds the fragrance better.

Oakwood + Tobacco soy wax candle from Hobo + Co – £22

 

Maybe you’re looking for a gift that might spark a next adventure. Like some of the couples in this book: London Underground 1970-1980 by Mike Goldwater. Mike takes an intimate view of London’s iconic travel network. Documenting the loves, friendships and the day to day lives of the people that use it.

London Underground 1970-1980 by Mike Goldwater from Hoxton Mini Press – £16.95

 

Does a joint hobby connect you with your loved one? Coupling (A Good Book) – Edition A is from Tom Berry’s Daily Rites series. What’s more romantic than reading to each other? This bold yellow and blue pair sit embraced and entranced by their novels, a great reminder of a passion you share with someone close.

Coupling (A Good Book) – Edition A by Tom Berry – £75

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Cyanotypes – Becoming Invisible by Liz Loveless

A cyanotype print of a coat. Image: Liz Loveless – Factory Press

Ahead of our upcoming exhibition with Liz Loveless of Factory Press we take a look at cyanotypes. In this show Liz presents us with a selection of artwork involving the cyanotype process. But what is a cyanotype and how are they created?

Dandelion and Grass cyanotypes by Liz Loveless

A cyanotype is a photographic process involving chemicals on paper or fabric that produces cyan blue prints. It was discovered by Sir John Herschel in 1842 as a way of reproducing drawings and diagrams such as architectural blueprints. Cyanotypes are a type of contact print which means the actual image being reproduced is placed directly over the paper. This opens it up to a whole host of creative possibilities, not just reproducing drawings, but using 3D objects. Liz uses this to great effect in her cyanotype works. Everyday objects such as bikes, coats, bottles and vegetation are used to create prints with a unique one-off quality.

A bike being exposed under a UV light onto treated paper. Image: Liz Loveless – Factory Press

To create a cyanotype a mixture of potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium are combined to create a photosensitive solution that is then applied to paper. This is allowed to dry in the dark to avoid exposure until it is ready to use. To create a print you must expose this coated paper to UV light, for example sunlight. This then creates a chemical reaction in the parts that are exposed to the light then darkening them. When fully exposed the chemical coated paper is then rinsed under running water. This washes away the unexposed chemical that was in shadow leaving a blank space, surrounded by the blue that was exposed to the light.

A large palm leaf  being exposed in sunlight. Image: Liz Loveless – Factory Press

The most simple way of creating a cyanotype print is to lay objects on to your coated paper and then expose to sunlight. You can experiment with any objects. The more solid an object and the closer it is to the paper the more crisp a result you will get. Further away or less solid an object you will begin to get fuzzier edges. This is most apparent when using natural materials like leaves and flowers. Their 3D quality creates an unpredictable silhouette that fades from crisp dark blue to pale blue blurs. After the cyanotype has had an appropriate time in the sun (this can vary depending on the strength of the sunlight) it is then rinsed under running water and left to dry.

Finished print being rinsed. Image: Liz Loveless – Factory Press

Liz Loveless will be exhibiting more of her cyanotype prints at Of Cabbages and Kings in the show ‘Becoming Invisible‘, which runs from 6 February to 31 March 2020.

You can also book a spot on our Cyanotype Workshop – 2-4pm Saturday 14th March 2020.

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OC&K Curates – Gold Circles

On a grey January day with heavy clouds and the ever-present threat of rain in the air, we can start to long for sunnier times. In a series of blog posts titled ‘OC&K Curates’, Of Cabbages and Kings takes you on a themed tour of some of our favourite products. We have wandered the shelves and explored the print racks to put together this curated selection to chase away those dull days. The first of these posts looks at Gold Circles, pleasing circular shapes that remind us of a glint of gold and the warmth of the sun.

The straw colour of these Orla 11 Earrings takes the colour theme of gold, but with a softer more muted tone like hay bales in the evening sun. These classic link earrings are handmade by Wolf & Moon in their London studio. Made from painted wood they are lightweight enough to be worn all day. With the right amount of movement they are elegant and the colour is perfect to brighten up a dreary day or to complete a spring outfit.

Orla II Earrings in Straw by Wolf & Moon – £45.00

Taking inspiration from glamorous 80s beach parties, the gold circle in Sol Dawn by Tom Pigeon lends itself to an artistic interpretation of the rising sun. The shimmering gold foil print dramatically shines out from a pale background, like the sun emerging over the horizon on a misty morning. A minimal yet atmospheric addition to your home.

Sol Dawn by Tom Pigeon – £35

Two gold plated rings shine here and join together with cleverly design details in this Gold Rings Necklace by Brass & Bold. Hanging at either end of a chain they are secured as the chain passes through one of the hoops. A stylish piece perfect for day and evening wear. Each piece of Brass & Bold jewellery is handmade and designed by Elsa Gomez in London with an emphasis on exploring the simplicity and honesty of materials.

Gold Rings Necklace by Brass & Bold – £22

Ectopia is a print by the Brixton collective Underway Studio. Caitlin Parks and Melissa North both of Underway collaborated on this print which formed part of an art installation. Circles radiate around different animals and plants referencing the interconnection of all life.

The original project consisted of a multi-sensory installation exploring the appeal of Utopian thinking. It envisages a sustainable and better future for our planet and Society. The installation was featured in The London Design Festival 2016 and went on to showcase in the Porto and Belgium Design Biennale.

The illustration takes inspiration from a quote by Jason Hickel, ‘If we are to chart our way into a sustainable future, we will need to abandon our ontology of individualism and relearn this ontology of connection. We will need to rediscover the basic truth that our existence as individuals is bound up with the existence of others, and that our fate as a species is bound up with that of the fish, the forests, the bees, and the oceans.’

To read our interview with Underway Studio see the OC&K blog post.

Ectopia by Underway Studio – £60

These Form Circle Earrings in Yellow by Tom Pigeon mirror brass and coloured Formica. Inspired by mid-century modernist art and handcrafted using layers of yellow Formica and solid brass, this simple asymmetrical pair celebrate the circle. Tom Pigeon work closely with a family-run etching workshop on the West coast of Scotland to produce the bespoke metal pieces for their jewellery, which Tom Pigeon then polishes and assembles by hand in their studio.

Form Circle Earrings in Yellow by Tom Pigeon – £30

Circles are dominant in this Reykjavík 2 print by Jo Angell. The Reykjavík series are a collection of prints inspired by the artist’s trip to Iceland and in particular its harbours and the sea. This print reflects abstracted shapes reminiscent of life buoys or port holes on a ship, set against a warm palette of sand and gold. The original images were made using bold brush strokes and pen and ink drawings mixed with rough textures in contrasting dark and light colours.

To read more about Jo Angell see our interview with her on the OC&K blog post.

Reykjavík 2 by Jo Angell – £90

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Beat The Blues

There are many things here at Of Cabbages & Kings to fill your whole year with new discoveries, experiences and learning. What better time to find a new obsession! Here we present a collection of our best new year ideas, from learning a craft or getting out and about, to decorating your home interiors.

Learn To Screen Print

Ever thought about trying screen printing or wondered how it was done? Then look no further then these Screen Printing Kits. Great for creating your own t-shirts, tote bags or prints, they come in two sizes A4 and A3 and are perfect for starting a screen printing adventure at home. For a how-to-guide follow our simple instructions: How to Screen Print with Stencils.  They include: a 43T mesh count wooden screen, a wooden square 75 shore squeegee and 100ml white and black water based screen printing ink for printing fabric, paper or card.

Want to take your screen printing to the next level? Try this Screen Printing – The Ultimate Studio Guide from the team at Print Club London. Expert tips for for printers of all levels of experience and ability.

A4 Screen Printing Kit – £36

A3 Screen Printing Kit – £48

Screen Printing – The Ultimate Studio Guide – £24.95

Take A Workshop

Workshops are a great way of gaining an amazing experience and learning directly from talented teachers. Of Cabbages & Kings along side our sister shop Knit With Attitude offers a wide range of workshops ideal for learning a new skill in 2020.

Roderick Vere is a silversmith based in Somerset who, with his keen eye for detail and creativity, designs and hand makes contemporary silver jewellery. He also offers Silver Ring Making Workshops here in Stoke Newington. In a 2 hour workshop you will be taught how to cut, shape and finish your own silver ring. The workshop is the perfect introduction for anyone keen to try jewellery making using traditional silversmithing techniques. At the end of the session you will have a completely unique piece of silver jewellery made entirely by you!

If you are looking for something a little different, Knit With Attitude offer various yarn based craft workshops. Like Learning to Knit or Beginners guide to Crochet.

Make a Silver Ring workshop with Roderick Vere at Of Cabbages & Kings – £50

Workshops at Knit With Attitude

Learn Some Local History

We stock a wide range of books that take a creative and insightful view of our surroundings. Being based in East London we are especially interested in books with an East London focus and local history or art projects in the neighbourhood give us the most inspiration. Collector’s books like the East End in Colour series by independent publishers Hoxton Mini Press provide a photographic snapshot into how the East End looked between the 60s – 80s and 80s – 90s, while Once Upon a Time in Brick Lane looks at the documentary photography of Paul Trevor, capturing the life of Brick Lane during the 70s and 80s,

The Gentle Author in East End Vernacular presents a magnificent selection of pictures – many never published before – revealing the evolution of painting in the East End and tracing the changing character of the streets through the twentieth century.

The East End In Colour 1960-1980 by David Granick – £16.95

The East End In Colour 1980-1990 by Tim Brown – £16.95

Once Upon a Time in Brick Lane by Paul Trevor  – £25

East End Vernacular – £25

Keep A Diary

While dates are important, keeping a diary in 2020 doesn’t all need to be about birthdays, and dental appointments, it can also be used as a journal for day-to-day memories, dreams, ideas and inspirations. These Layflat Weekly Planners by Ola come in two colours: Navy Shapes and Orange. They are designed with undated pages so you can start at any time year, making them great for both the calendar or academic year. Featuring 52 undated weekly spreads, each minimally styled with columns for to-do lists, room for evening plans as well as free space for notes.

Layflat Weekly Planner – Navy Shapes – £18

Layflat Weekly Planner – Orange – £18

Go On A Walk

Getting out and about is even more fun with a sense of purpose and destination. Try these themed London Maps and go on a voyage of discovery. With an architectural look at the capital, one side is printed with the map and the reverse contains facts and images of each of the buildings featured. Subjects include Brutalism, Art Deco and even the London Underground.

Brutalist London Map – £8

London Underground Architecture & Design Map – £9

Art Deco London Map – £8

Get Crafty

Crafting is a great way to challenge yourself this new year. From the most simple to the more complex, craft provides a mindful way to while away the hours.

We stock Design Stencils that allow you to recreate the iconic shapes and typographic styles of the Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Bauhaus movements. They’re ideal for all sorts of craft projects, such as card making, scrapbooking or just illustrating your favourite notebooks.

If you’ve wanted to take up drawing, or just like to doodle in style then choose one of Ola’s Layflat Notebooks and a Set of Colourblock Pencils. Using Ola’s stylish patterns these soft cover notebooks are crafted with a sewn layflat binding, allowing you to work across two pages simultaneously, and the book to rest open at a chosen page. Ola’s Colourblock Pencils are cleverly colour coded between different grades and we have them in 3H, HB and 3B. For more information on pencils check out our Pencil Guide blog post.

Art Nouveau Design Stencil – £12.50

Bauhaus Design Stencil – £12.50

A5 Ruled Layflat Notebook – Kaffe Print, Brick Red – £11.95

Set of 3 Colourblock Pencils – HB – £6.00

Grow Something 

The year has just started but there’s no reason not to start dreaming of warmer months, getting out into the garden and what to grow this year. Even if you don’t have a garden houseplants can always do with a bit of TLC. Two things to set this dream in motion are Seed Collecting Kits and House Plant Care Cards.

Seed Collecting Kits are designed for organising and storing your seeds. This handy tin contains 20 wooden seed labels, 20 seed envelopes, a mini plant dibber and pencil. Time to tidy up the shed!

Take proper care of your plants with House Plant Care Cards. Always failing to keep things alive? Well with this ultimate guide to growing happy plants you can’t fail. The Houseplant Care Cards are a boxed gift set containing 35 cards packed full of advice and tips for botanical success indoors.

Seed Collecting Kits – £14.50

House Plant Care Cards – £12.95

Have Some Big Ideas

Jump-start your brain in the new year with the Thames & Hudson The Big Idea Series of books. This innovative and informative series take a look at the fundamental ideas that impact our lives and world today. Cleverly designed to make the reading approachable and engaging. The series features: Is Masculinity Toxic?, Is Gender Fluid?, Is Democracy Failing?, Will AI Replace Us?, Is Capitalism Working?, Should We All Be Vegan?, What Shape is Space? and Is Medicine Still Good For Us?

The Big Idea Books – £12.95 (each)

Make Some Scented Candles

Are you a fan of scented candles? Ever wondered how you can make some yourself? Make Your Own Candle Kits of course! A great way of chasing away the January blues, not only rewarding in their making, but also in their use. These kits make two 9cl Votives so you can make one for yourself and one for a friend. Scents come in Rose Geranium, Fresh Fig and Christmas Spice.

Each kit contains everything you need to create two scented candles: Soy wax flakes, fragrance oil, glass jars and wicks. The simple instruction leaflet explains exactly how to make your candles with ease, making this a thoughtful gift for any creative person.

Make Your Own Candle Kits – £18 (each)

Take Care of Nature

Looking after nature is a rewarding past time. Every little way we can encourage wildlife is a positive one and there are many ways in which we can do this, like giving homes to solitary bees or providing food for small birds in winter.

You can encourage solitary bees into your garden by using bee hotels like this Bee Brick by Green&Blue, available in Charcoal and White. Solitary bees don’t produce honey or live in hives, but they are responsible for a third of all the food we eat, because of the vital pollination they carry out. Bee Bricks are inspired by the natural way bees reproduce and so contain cavities in which solitary bees can create their nests. One female solitary bee will potentially use around 5-6 cavities, laying 5-7 eggs in each one.

To feed the birds try these stylish Birdball Belle Feeder’s by Green&Blue, designed to take suet fat balls. Made in the UK this feeder allows small birds such as tits, sparrows, nuthatches and finches to feed while deterring larger birds and available in four different colours.

Bee Brick – £27

Birdball Belle Feeder – £26 (each)

Learn Some Art Theory

Want to learn more Art Theory this year? Then this series of Art Essentials Books by Thames & Hudson is for you. Focusing on key artistic movements and ideas, these clearly written books are more than just informative, they also beautifully designed with full colour imagery throughout. They will certainly make your book shelf look smarter! A must for reading before the next pub quiz, or for brushing up on your Mastermind specialist subject. The series includes: Surrealism, Modern Art, Women Artists, Pop Art, Key Moments In Art, Street Art, Looking At Pictures and Impressionism.

Art Essentials Books – £10.95 (each)

Decorate Your Home

The new year is a great time to address that troublesome bare wall in your home or get that print you’ve had lying around framed up. If you’re looking for the perfect artwork for your interior then shop for Prints online or come visit us in our Stoke Newington store. With an ever changing series of exhibitions and events you are guaranteed to find something that catches your eye.  Check out our Shows Page for current exhibitions.

Don’t forget we also offer a framing service and can supply standard and custom sized frames for those tricky sizes. Contact us for more information and quotes.

Happy New Year!

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Inspired by Architecture

We have seen recently a lot of design trends taking inspiration from architecture. Two styles that have proven popular are art deco and brutalism. Both rely on strong bold lines and confident use of graphic shapes, along with a creative approach to materials. The shapes and details that go into characterising these artistic movements are drawn upon by designers and makers, infusing their pieces, be it prints, jewellery or stationery with a unique twist or contemporary edge on a familiar style.

ART DECO

Art deco is a style of visual arts that originated in the 1920’s and developed into a major art movement across Europe and America. Influencing architecture, furniture, jewellery, fashion and cars, its aim was to be modern, with an anti-traditional elegance. Often simple and very graphic, with bold streamlined shapes, it is strong, powerful and celebrates modern materials.

Metro by artist Chris Homer is an abstract composition of screen printed gold, grey and black in a striking halftone and geometric pattern. The strong graphic style of Chris Homer’s work has a very modern feel, but still with an air of art deco elegance.

Brass and Bold are a London based brand founded by designer Elsa Gomez. Her designs are made from raw brass and painted brass, and explore the simplicity and honesty of materials. Taking inspiration from the clean lines and contrasting colour of the art deco movement, she produces stylish and contemporary jewellery perfect for your next cocktail party!

 

The 1920’s style of art deco is characterised by bold lines, shapes, and angles. You too can recreate that look, with this handy Art Deco Design Stencil. The art deco inspired typeface and shapes are perfect for all craft projects, such as card making, scrap-booking or just illustrating your favourite notebooks. A great gift for tweens to adults.

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City guides are aimed at the ‘urban explorer’. This two-sided folding Art Deco London Map features over seventy leading examples of art deco architecture in London – from Eltham Palace to the Hoover Building. Art deco landmarks such as Broadcasting House, 55 Broadway, and Senate House are included along with Charles Holden’s finest Underground Stations and more. The reverse side of the map features an introduction to art deco by Henrietta Billings, photos by Simon Phipps and details about each building.

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Achieve a modern look with echos of a geometric art deco style. These brass Pineapple Pots and steel Convert Vases are ideal for adding a metallic touch to an interior. Made from a thin sheet of metal which is carefully folded and converted into shape by hand at Another Studio in London, the Pineapple Pots are perfect for holding a small succulent or cacti.

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BRUTALISM

The mid-century architectural style of brutalism divides opinion. Descending from modern architecture it is characterised by monolithic block-like shapes, often celebrating the rawness of material, especially concrete. It is heavy, stark and solid.

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There are many examples of brutalist architecture in London and one notable building is The Hayward Gallery on the Southbank. Sitting along the banks of the River Thames it forms part of the Southbank Centre. The Hayward has become a brutalist landmark and artist Will Clarke has captured it beautifully in his detailed illustration. It is screen printed in two colours, a combination of black lines with luscious gold ink elements.

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Tom Pigeon is a creative studio founded by Pete and Kirsty Thomas in 2014. Designing simple and well-considered products across accessories, prints, and stationery.

Among these is the Béton range of jewellery – a unique unisex collection from Tom Pigeon Studio. Popularised by Le Corbusier, the term béton originates from the French ‘béton brut’ or ‘raw concrete’ and this hand-crafted solid silver jewellery is influenced by the strong lines, hidden angles, and sharp shadows of brutalist concrete architecture. Its matt finish also gives a nod to the rough texture of raw concrete.

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Produced to scale (5000 times smaller than the real buildings!) this bookmark set from Another Studio celebrates four fantastic London brutalist buildings: Trellick Tower, Barbican Tower, Space House, and National Theatre. A great gift for every architecture lover and perfect for a Secret Santa or quick stocking filler.

Fans of the movement will certainly love this Brutalist Calendar 2020. A limited edition monthly celebration of some of the most awe-inspiring and influential examples of brutalist architecture from around the world, it will provide connoisseurs of concrete with twelve months of brutalist bliss!⁠⠀

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For those brutalist adventurers who are keen to explore these pick-me-up maps are ideal. Also featured in the range are Washington, Paris, Sydney, and London.

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Organic Cotton Wraps From Ola

An exciting new product from Ola has landed at Of Cabbages and Kings. These are Organic Cotton Wraps are inspired by the ancient Japanese art of Furoshiki, a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth used to transport clothes, gifts, or other goods. They make a perfect reusable alternative to paper when wrapping a gift.

Not only are these organic cotton wraps long-lasting making an ideal alternative to throw-away, single-use wrapping paper, as they are tied there is no need for plastic tape and unnecessary plastic waste. The wrap can also become part of the gift, perhaps taking on another life as a pocket square, hair scarf or table napkin. Each wrap measures 500mm x 500mm and is decorated with one of Ola’s unique patterns. The range includes four designs: Turquoise Shapes, Forest Green Lines, Salmon Blocks and Indigo Shapes.

The wraps are made in collaboration with Re-wrap, a social enterprise in India whose aim is to create sustainable livelihoods for rural women. With a philosophy of Re-cycle, Re-claim and Re-invent, they create hand-crafted textile products designed to have a positive impact on people and the environment. Rewrap are part of the World Fair Trade Organisation. Their goods are shipped by sea to minimise impact on the environment and they use Global Organic Textile Standard approved cotton. Organic cotton uses organic farming methods whereby farmers become more climate resilient, reduce carbon emissions and create healthier soil, and healthier people.

If you are unsure on how to tie your cotton wrap, don’t worry, included with each cotton wrap is an instructional gift tag, allowing you to write your recipients name and who it’s from. The tag is removable and can be repositioned wherever you like.

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Three Facts About Pencils

Looking for the perfect stylish pencil to add to your pencil case, or give your office desk a bit of flair. Look no further! Contemporary stationery brand Ola make some of our much loved notebooks and wrapping papers and they have now applied their great eye for design to pencils!

These cleverly designed pencils are colour coded, which makes them easy to recognise when they are stood in the pencil pot. Never reach for the wrong pencil again! We have three grades 3H, HB and 3B and each grade comes in a pack of three. Below we have put some handy facts explaining these three grades and what they are best suited for.

First up we have the 3H. This is the hardest of the collection. Pencils along the H scale stand for hard. This means they have more clay than soft graphite in the core. This gives you a harder pencil which results in a finer, lighter line. The hardness also minimises smudging which makes this pencil great for everyday writing or simple sketching.

Next up is the HB. This trusty pencil is what most people are familiar with. It has equal measure graphite and clay, giving you a middle tone line which is softer than a 2H, but harder than a 2B. The H standing for hard and B standing for bold. An all round pencil, great for everyday writing and sketching.

Lastly we have the 3B. This is the softest of the collection, having more soft graphite than harder clay in the core. This gives you a softer darker line. Great for expressive sketching or shading and will smudge easier, allowing for interesting mark making.

We hope this has inspired you to explore writing and drawing with pencils. Don’t forget if you need a notebook we also have a great selection. Come visit us in our Stoke Newington store or online and find the perfect gift.

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