Illustration everywhere

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

It was after my first inspiring trip to Japan that I started Anzu, which means apricot in Japanese. I found the Japanese aesthetic, textiles and love of illustration incredibly inspiring. In particular seeing the geisha go their appointments at dusk in their incredible kimonos, and also just the sheer quantity of illustration that you see everywhere. Above, a detail from a Japanese screen.

In Japan, you see illustrations just far more in everyday life. Above, a large illustrated wall in the hairdressers,

a fun sign for a restaurant (I love how they have both turned into little piggies!),

a sign at the hot spring baths,

another beautifully painted screen,

posters that line the outside of a new Studio Ghibli shop in Fukuoka. So sad I missed it before it opened, it looked magical when I peaked in.

Anzu in Hankyu part 2

Saturday, 31 October 2015

We love this girl's style! And her bag matches our Roxy sparkle card perfectly!

This little cutie pie was so shy and so sweet!

I also felt very honoured that this lady came back on the morning of her birthday to treat herself to our Perfume bottles print!! We hope you had a lovely birthday!

This lady was so chic, and we loved her pearl embellishment on her sleeves and neckline.

Another chic little lady chose just the right card for her - our rose gold tiara card perfect for a little princess!

This lady had fond memories of her time in England and chose our very British charm bracelet and teapot rain cards.

This lady chose our Silver tiara card for friends from the Phillipines that are having a fun wedding in Hawaii!

Thanks also to other exhibitors Mike, Grace and Katie for making it so fun and also to Keiji (not pictured) for looking after us so well.

Thank you to everyone that came and also to Hankyu for making such a fuss of us. Above a delicious meal they treated us to and below the amazing opening reception attended by the British embassy.

Anzu in Hankyu part 1

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Anzu was very happy to be a part of the Japanese department store Hankyu's British Fair recently. We met some lovely people. This special little girl above won my heart with her big smile! She even came back to see me the following day and spent ten minutes waving goodbye. She chose the jewels card in advance for her 5th birthday.

I painted throughout the fair - this is one of my pieces that I did. It was a nice place to work with all the encouraging comments and sweet people I met. I don't often get to meet our customers and hear all their stories, and it's so special to hear the lovely reasons people are buying Anzu cards. Thank you so much everyone!

This gorgeous little girl came with her Mum and liked Anzu illustrations. The following day her Mum came and bought our teacups print for her as a surprise - this is her coming home from school to find the surprise. Such a lovely sweet photo! Thank you so much Emi for sending it to me!

Mia (hope I have the spelling right) was just so cool and fab! She came back to the stand dressed very Anzu with her bejewelled crown hat and Swarovski boots. She also bought me some very tasty funny Animal sweets - thank you!

My dear friend Sumi-san came from Tokyo. I was so happy to see her!
Thanks Sumi-san for being such a great friend

This gentleman took a lot of time choosing just the right card for his wife for their wedding anniversary and in the end chose our heart locket card. He asked me to write it out to his wife and two sons.

This gentleman bought our ballet shoes card as he has always been a fan of the film the Red Shoes, also a favourite of mine. The following day he came back to show me the catalogue for the film.

This sweet girl bought a Valentines card and asked me to write it out to her and her Mum, which I thought was such a lovely idea!

This lady was really fun and positive and it was lovely to meet her. If you read Japanese, please check out the blog she did on us too Thank you Peach-mama!

And last but not least Boris, who took away our bicycle, grand vin and ballet cards!

The battle of the Queens

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

The Queen has now only just overtaken Queen Victoria as Britain's longest reigning monarch! Amazing to think that Queen Victoria also had such a long reign. Above our Royal crown card featuring St. Edward's crown, the crown worn by both Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth on their coronations and one of the oldest of the British crown jewels dating from 1661

Above the Anzu Queen's crown card featuring Queen Victoria's small diamond crown, which despite it's diminutive size contains an incredible 1,187 diamonds which is now on permanent display in the Tower of London

We have yet to illustrate this diadem! Worn by both Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II, it comprises 1333 diamonds including diamond bouquets of rose, thistle and shamrock symbolising the U.K


Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Come back sunny days - we need more ice cream! Above our Anzu ice cream card complete with Swarovski sprinkles!

How beautiful is this Tim Walker rose ice cream photograph?

Love the colours of this too. 

Cool retro ice cream signage

Ice cream and jewels, what more could a girl wish for?

Love this flower arrangement

Delicious Persian rose and cardamon ice cream hearts, Yakh Dar Behesht, Ice in Paradise. Recipe here

Love these ideas for ice cream bowls, above Sprinkle bowls (click here for how to make) above and below ice flower bowl (click here for how to make)

A sculptor's home

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

I recently visited the Watts gallery, home of Victorian sculptor and painter George Frederic Watts

He worked on this trolley, which he fitted onto railway lines so that he could work outside too! The completed bronze of the horse sculpture can be viewed in Hyde Park.

Watt's wife, Mary, also created this chapel in Art Nouveau style nearby to the Watts' home.

It is particularly inspiring as she gathered together the whole community, training many novices in new skills to create this highly decorative Art nouveau style chapel.

Happy Pineapples!

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

'When life gives you lemons, sell them and buy a pineapple' Davin Turney

Pineapples are one of the most perfect examples in nature of the mathematical phenomenon known as the Divine Proportion.

This pineapple might be disco, but what it should really be listening to is Scott Joplin's Pineapple Rag. Click here to listen to it!

Love these. Check out this delicious recipe for a Pineapple Caipirinha here

Pineapples look great as decoration and are the symbol of hospitality. In fact, pineapples were once so valuable that they were actually rented out to homeowners, before being sold to more affluent clients who could actually afford to eat them!

 Pineapples make a great theme for a dinner. In Brazil, rotisserie pineapple is popular. Check out this recipe here

Pineapples have also provided inspiration for architecture, as with this fountain in South Carolina.

You can read more about this amazing building in Scotland here
As Francesca Beauman says in her book 'The Pineapple : King of Fruits, all about the pineapple, "The pineapple has become a kind of shorthand: Paradise this way!"