Creative Showcase - Abigail Brown

When Abigail Brown started creating beautiful things for herself and friends she had no idea how loved her creations would become. Using fabric and stitches, Abigail brings to life whimsical creatures and stunning birds that seem to live between the real world and that of the imagination. Looking at each piece you can see the love and patience that is poured into every delicate stitch...

Through exploring all of the things that inspired her and the thoughts and feelings that she had, Abigail has created a perfect world of colour and texture where dream like creatures roam. Based on her fascination with animals she gives fabrics and objects a new life, creating something fresh and vibrant.

Abigail is largely inspired by her grandma who was a seamstress, spending many hours as a child by her side absorbing her passion for fabric and thread. Since graduating she has experimented with many techniques and used what she has learnt along the way to develop her own unique style.

As well as her incredible collection of handmade creatures, Abigail has also started a little side project with Jewellery designer Sarah Collins called Only Tiny. Together they have created a lovely collection of things for little people. We asked Abigail a few questions about what gives her beautiful creations so much life...

What do you love most about creating all your wonderful little creatures?
I love that it's all fun and that that's the feeling it gives people when they see it. I'm exploring my own ideas and responses to the world around me, to the things that inspire me and it's wonderful that I get to call that my job.

What inspires you?
Everything! Colour, pattern, texture. Children's book illustration, unusual film and animation, music, nature, graphic design. Folk art, Japanese character design, old packaging... anything and everything!

All of your creations are entirely made by hand, what do you think this adds to the final product?
You can see it's made by hand, that it's been made with great care and love. I think you can feel that in a handmade item, it gives it a soul. Even if the maker makes another one they will never be able to make it the same as the last, so each piece is forever unique and incredibly special.

Where is your favourite place to get ice-cream in London?
I just found a new one in Soho on Old Compton Street called Amorino.... INCREDIBLE! You can have as many flavours as you want and they shape each scoop to form a rose!

What was your favourite thing about being a kid?
Fantasy. Roaming the woods and backyards creating other worlds out of nothing. The daily exploration of my imagination and sharing it with my friends.

If you were to bake a cake to share at a tea party with all of your creatures what would you make?
Whenever there's a choice of cake I ask very politely for a thin slice of each :-D So I would think that my dream cake would be a cake made up of all my favourite cakes, maybe as layers or maybe just cobbled together in a random fashion. I'd need some french custard slice, chocolate eclair, moist and tangy lemon sponge, black forest gateau, fresh fruits and cream... and probably some others too!

All workroom images courtesy of Emma Collins.

11 Oct 2013
creative showcase
art and design

A Rabbit to Treasure

Oh dear, oh my…we’re late! We’re late, we’re late, for a very important date! And it’s all because we’ve been sitting here for hours admiring these beautiful bejewelled bunnies from the incredibly clever Alice Mary Lynch...

Just like Alice to the rabbit hole, we were instantly drawn to the glistening beading and intricate detailing of these amazing handcrafted dolls. From their big floppy bow ties and floral print shirts, to their vintage cotton ruffled neck pieces and beautiful bloomers, it’s hard not to be in awe of such a superb display of craftsmanship.

28 Sep 2013
art and design

Rocking Sheep

This wooly little guy rocks. Literally. Danish Crafts’ Rocking Sheep are hand carved in wood and covered in genuine snuggly lambswool. Danish designer Povl Kjer made the very first Rocking Sheep for his niece as a humorous reminder of her parents’ rural background. If only all uncles were as cool as Uncle Povl.

18 Sep 2013

Alphabet Blocks

These beautiful Alphabet Blocks by Areaware are reminiscent of a beautiful stack of fire wood sitting alongside a cabin in the woods. Designed by Pat Kim from Brooklyn, the blocks are made from Mahogany and Pine and look as good on the shelf as they do in the toy box...

The 26 piece letter set is perfect for stacking and spelling games, or just to look at if you’re a font enthusiast.

14 Sep 2013

Creative Showcase - Corby Tindersticks

Corby Tindersticks is an illustration-led label producing wonderfully playful clothing, toys and felt posters for children and the young at heart. Team Tindersticks lovingly design their products to have a refreshing point of difference to the things you typically find on the high street, plus they are good for the environment...

Currently based in East London, British independent designer Carly Gledhill is the brains behind Corby Tindersticks. After spending her younger years scribbling in note books, drawing robots and making art from lentils, Carly worked in a variety of different careers before launching the brand. "I wanted to design a range that was inspired by my memories of being little and my collections of books, crockery and toys."

We were lucky enough to have a chat with Carly and ask more about her great designs and cheeky characters…
What do you love most about creating for Corby Tindersticks?
I really enjoy the design process, doodling new characters and then creating little personalities for them. I also love seeing the pictures of kids wearing/ playing with Corby creations, it makes it all worthwhile!

What inspires you?
Having recently moved to London I am enjoying seeing the city and all it has to offer, I recently visited the Serpentine Pavilion and the Royal Academy Summer exhibition which both have an inspiring environment. I am also enjoying exploring the London Underground and its art, tiles and signage, it’s a working part of the city history that I find fascinating.

Where is your favourite place to go in London?
I’ve found a little park called Meath gardens where I like to sit on my lunch hour, I also love the Southbank and the Royal festival hall.

What was your favourite thing about being a kid?
My parents kept their old car, an Austin Aleegro called Betsy for my sister and I to play in. She was parked at the bottom of the garden, we used to drive all over the world in our imagination, we were particularly fond of driving to Blackpool.

What childhood candy do you reminisce about the most?
Being Vegan now I do miss out on a lot of candy eating, probably jelly babies, especially the red ones.

If Corby Tindersticks were to design a wonderful robot! What would it be called and what would it look like?
It would have to be two, Albert and Pedro.

12 Sep 2013
creative showcase

XYZ Blocks

A is for Afro, R is for Robot and H is for Hero. These charming XYZ Blocks from Fred & Friends are so much better than the typical variety. Stack them, spin them, spell with them – however you play with them, learning your ABCs has never been so much fun...

The blocks are crafted with wood and covered in vibrant illustrations by Christian Northeast… from Graffiti and Trailers to Quicksand and Corn Dogs, after playing with these puppies your child will be the best versed kid on the block.

10 Sep 2013

Acne Jr Bears

These gorgeous Swedish Teddy Bears from Acne Jr give a traditional toy a fresh and modern makeover. Available in a variety of a fabrics, we love each and every one, especially the swaggin’ denim dandies who totally light up our lives with their smiling blue faces...

Each one also comes with a cool storage bag and an address label to ensure your new friend always makes it home. Grab one here from the Acne Jr website.

21 Aug 2013

Shapely Gentlemen

We love these fantastic block men by French illustrator and author Séverin Millet. Coloured with a variety of shapes and designs, they'll be as happy in the toy box as they will be displayed on a shelf...

Born in Valencia, Millet currently lives in Lyon where he produces illustrations mainly for books and posters. He has also written and illustrated several of his own children's books featuring his iconic illustrations.

15 Aug 2013
art and design

Torafu Blocks

We have always adored the incredible works of Japanese design firm Torafu Architects. They usually specialise in architectural, interior and exhibition design, so we were very excited when we discovered these wonderful toy Dowel Blocks for children...

Made from wonderfully coloured plywood, the different shaped blocks have holes on five sides allowing you to connect them three-dimensionally in an infinite number of ways.

Encouraging children's imaginations, Torofu Blocks can be turned into a glorious pirate ship or vintage camera, with a few quick swivels and clicks.

We think these beautifully designed blocks offer a fresh design experience for children and a lovely change away from the plastics of Duplo and Lego.

12 Aug 2013

My Friend Monster

We wouldn't be scared if we found these little monsters under our bed. In fact, we’d welcome them with cups of tea, cuddly cardigans and delicious plates of knitted chop suey to make them feel right at home.

No unorthodox scientific experiments were involved in the creation of these monsters, just a bunch of up-cycled woollen sweaters, a few buttons and a good pinch of unpredictability. Created by crafty Terri Wild, each design is completely unique, yet all feel part of their huge extended monster family. We can just imagine their Christmas dos!

Amazingly, Wild designs each monster on the go with no patterns or plans, ensuring that everyone has its own character. "I treat each new monster as if it were my own, and carefully name each one to suit its burgeoning personality". Working from her home based "Monster Workshop", Wild fills her My Friend Monster store with an array of fantastic creatures.

05 Aug 2013