Archive: February 2016

A Look Behind the Scenes of Eloise Hall Cards

Get a Sneak Peek at What Makes Eloise Hall Cards & Stationery Special.

For our latest ‘Inspiring Independents’ interview we caught up with Eloise, creator of the Eloise Hall cards, prints and stationery collection.

Eloise has a built a beautiful range of cards and gifts that are both elegant and meaningful. Designs of greeting cards, collage-style prints and stationery gifts that are a world away from their mass produced rivals.

Today we’re excited to take a closer look at this inspiring indie business and find out more about the Eloise Hall cards and gifts collection.

What inspired you to start your company, Eloise Hall? When did you begin?

I began designing and creating artworks almost by accident. I’d just moved house and was looking for a piece that would brighten up a wall in my hall. A butterfly landed on the window and the flash of its wings inspired me to make a collage around butterflies. Visitors to our home – I was running a bespoke millinery business from my house at the time – were soon commissioning me to make collages for their own homes, and things quickly snowballed from there. In September 2014, the greetings card and stationery range was launched at Top Drawer and I’m delighted to say that our nature collection has gone down really well.

What can you tell us about your indie business? What sets you apart from your corporate contemporaries?

Eloise Hall is run from a studio in Somerset and I’m passionate about producing beautiful products. There is a huge amount of care and detail that goes in to everything we make. We also pride ourselves on very good relationships with both our clients and our suppliers.

What’s your role in the business? What’s your favourite things about your job / running an indie business?

My role is founder and creative director. I love the variety this role brings, one moment I might be snipping pieces of beautiful chiogami paper creating a new design and then the next I could be talking to the important buyer before being interrupted by my three children bouncing in from school!

Are there other people in your business? What can you tell us about the rest of the team?

It’s small and perfectly formed here at Eloise Hall! I work with a wonderful team of sales agents around the country and I also have a fantastic fulfilment house who are way better at putting the right number of cards in the orders than I ever was! Rebecca sorts out the accounting, invoices and numbers and we’re currently recruiting for a Marketing Manager to help with some exciting plans for 2016.

Here at Piccadilly Lane, we believe that independents offer an amazing combination of unique design and high quality. Do you agree? How do you ensure this happens at Eloise Hall?

I’m passionate about producing beautiful products. The original artworks may take days to create and the care and attention with this makes a real difference to the end result. Having always been a stationery lover, the touch and feel of every element of the product is hugely important, hence high quality paper is used throughout our range, even inside our notebooks!

Your recently exhibited at the Top Drawer show in London. Can you tell us about that? What was the reaction to your designs?

Top Drawer was a fantastic show for Eloise Hall. Unlike other exhibitors who use a standard set up, our stand is an installation based on nature with branches for shelves and the cards are displayed on two large silver birch trees. Nature is brought to life at the show. It takes hours to put together but its definitely worth it in order to stand out! The new designs were very well received and we’re really exciting to now be working with the Papyrus, a large chain in the USA.

You currently specialise in nature-inspired designs. What inspires you about this theme?

Nature is a wonderful sanctuary from the bustle of everyday life. Down here is Somerset, my studio is surrounded by fields and flowers and I love to watch how they change with the seasons. I’m also interested in the symbolic meaning behind each species, for example Koi Carp for fortune, two butterflies for love, butterflies in general for renewal and rebirth and dragonflies for living for the moment.

You designs incorporate beautiful, elegant collages, which are very unique. What can you tell us about what inspired the style used on Eloise Hall cards and gifts?

As part of my millinery studies, I undertook a fashion illustration course and the style of my work is inspired by a technique studied on this course. I’m influenced by huge array of artists, I particularly admire Matisse and also the paper cutter Rob Ryan. Other sources include floristry, gardens, botanical drawings and a life long fascination with the East.

Eloise Hall cards and prints use high quality papers and bright, colourful decoration. What can you tell us about the materials and craftsmanship involved in creating the range?

The finished product is extremely important and it must feel wonderful to receive or use. There’s a lot of time and energy on every element to make sure the end result is great. Whether it is the shade of cream for the paper, the size of the butterfly on a particular design or even the colour of the barcode, it has all been highly considered! We use luxury stock from one of the top quality paper mills in the UK for every element of our products including our envelopes.

Why should people shop with you? What makes you different?

I design my products to be beautiful and also to have a hidden meaning. The meaning is subtly displayed on the products with written explanations. Much of my inspiration comes from Eastern traditions. My aim is for you to appreciate them in layers, as lovely to look at or because of the meanings, or for both. For example, Koi Carp for good luck or Dragonflies for living for the moment.

We LOVE independents and think more people should be supporting them. Why do you think people should shop with independent businesses like yours?

Independents are the lifeblood of the UK. They provide an amazing array of individual and enticing products that we should be celebrating, enjoying and using. Britain’s small businesses are a creative and talented bunch, in fact we lead the world in terms of card design so lets be proud!

Last but not least, what’s your favourite independent business and why?

Sipsmith, London’s first distillery for nearly 200 years. Its my husband’s business so I’m biased but the gin is pretty good!

Thank You Eloise.

Now you’ve read the interview, take a look at the Eloise Hall cards and gifts featured here in the Piccadilly Lane directory.

Posted by Charlotte 8:00 29/02/16
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Weird & Wonderful Facts About Leap Day

Discover More About Leap Day aka February 29th.

2016 is a leap year, which means this year we get a leap day (or February 29th as it’s commonly known).

Not getting a February 29th every year means that leap day has taken on an air of superstition, with many traditions and folklores growing around the event.

With this in mind we thought it would be fun to share a few leap day facts.

A few weird and wonderful things (we hope, but can’t promise are accurate) that you can share with your friends or use as inspiration for your own leap year fun.

Plus it’s an excellent excuse to use a picture from our library of leaping dogs. Leaping dogs, leap day, see what we did there!

So let’s see what 2016’s leap day could have in store for us this Monday.

Julian Reform. 
The leap day was introduced as part of the Julian Reform, which saw Julius Caesar realigning the calendar.

Monkey – Dragon – Rat.
In the Chinese Calendar February 29th will only occur in the years of the Monkey, Dragon and Rat.

Women Propose to Men
According to an old Irish legend, St Brigid struck a deal with St Patrick allowing ladies to propose to men on February 29th. When there was a lot less equality between the sexes proposals were always done the other way around so leap years gave the girls the chance to take control. It is believed that this leap day tradition was introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women, like leap day helps balance the calendar. In some place’s this has given leap day the additional name of “Bachelors’ Day”.

Gloves Hide the Single Ladies
It is said that any bloke who refuses the marriage proposal of a woman on Leap Day must pay a penalty, such as the gift of a gown or money. Amongst the upper classes of European society this penalty was traditionally 12 pairs of gloves, which would allow the woman to hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring.

The Mysteries of the Moon
In 1504 Christopher Columbus used his knowledge of lunar eclipses to convince Native Americans to provide him with supplies to aid his starving crew.

Leap Day Part 2
In 1712 Leap Day was followed by February 30th in Sweden, in an attempt to abolish the Swedish calendar for a return to the old style calendar.

Oscar History
29th February 1940 saw Hattie McDaniel become the first African American to win an Academy Award for her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind.

Nobel Winner
Also in 1940, physicist Ernest Lawrence received the 1939 Nobel Prize in Physics from Sweden’s Consul General in San Francisco. The ceremony was held in Berkeley, California, because of the Second World War.

Leap Day Babies
An individual born on leap day may be called a “leapling” or a “leap-year baby”. In non-leap years, some leaplings (fab word!) celebrate their birthday on either February 28 or March 1, while hardcore leaplings only observe birthdays on the authentic date of February 29th.

Record Breakers
People born on February 29th are all invited to join ‘The Honour Society of Leap Year Day Babies’. According to the Guinness Book of Records, there are Leap Day World Record Holders both of a family producing three consecutive generations born on February 29th and of the number of children born on February 29th in the same family.

Super Swimmer
In 1964, Australian swimmer Dawn Fraser set a new world record in the 100-meter freestyle swimming competition; clocking in an impressive time of 58.9 seconds.

Unlucky for Some
In Scotland, it used to be considered unlucky for someone to be born on leap day. While in Greece it was considered unlucky for couples to marry during a leap year, and especially on Leap Day.

St Oswald’s Day
Leap day is also St Oswald’s Day, named for the archbishop of York who died on February 29th 992. His memorial is celebrated on February 29th during leap years and on February 28th during non-leap years.

Reaching for the Sky
In 2012 the Tokyo Skytree construction was completed. The tower is currently the tallest tower in the world, standing at 634 meters high, and the second tallest man-made structure on Earth, next to Burj Khalifa.

Posted by Charlotte 8:00 26/02/16
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6 of The Best Mother’s Day Greeting Cards

Choose from the Best Mother’s Day Greeting Cards.

Mother’s Day is fast approaching on Sunday 6th March and it’s time to get picking your card from this year’s best Mother’s Day greeting cards.

To get you inspired and to get your mum a great looking card we’ve hand-picked half a dozen of this year’s best designs.

A selection of quality cards from our best indie shops; stars of our very own Piccadilly Lane directory.

For all budgets and all tastes, there’s an amazing Mother’s Day greeting card to be found.

So without further ado, here’s the rundown of our best Mother’s Day greeting cards:

1. To Mum With Love’ from Five Dollar Shake.

This stunning ‘To Mum With Love’ Mother’s day greeting card is a handmade design decorated with a colourful mother and child design, butterflies and flowers. Embellished with organza bows and genuine crystals, the ‘To Mum With Love’ card is a truly luxurious Mother’s Day card that thanks mum for always being there.

Mother's Day Card by Five Dollar Shake

 

2. ‘Best Mum’ Concertina Card from Coulson Macleod.

Simple and stylish but with an impressive concertina design, this ‘Best Mum’ card from Coulson Macleod is the ultimate Mother’s Day card for sophisticated mums everywhere. A card design sure to make an impact and look great for Mothering Sunday and beyond.

1456224499-Best Mum square

 

3. ‘Mom You’re Beautiful’ Butterfly Card from Night Owl Paper Goods.

With its glimmering gold butterfly, complete with floral wings this card choice from Night Owl Paper Goods is a soft, delicate design that mums will adore. Combined with the ‘Mom You’re Beautiful ‘ sentiment it’s a great card to make mum feel special this Mother’s Day and beyond.

1456341897-oc983-golden-butterfly-mothers-day-card $4.50

 

4. ‘Best Mum’ Bubbles Card from Kali Stileman.

The perfect pick for younger card-givers is the ‘Best Mum’ Bubbles card from Kali Stileman. A hugely popular card range, the design comes finished with a blank bubble space, allowing the sender to customise the card with a personal message, drawing or doodle. Kids will love decorating this card, sending mum a special bubble message.

1454321665-MD04 best mum rocking horse

 

5. Lovely Mum Card from Rocket68.

With its lovely blooms and cute birds, this ‘Windowbox’ Mother’s Day card from Rocket68 Cards is a great choice for card-givers who want to send their mum something pretty. With its bright pink colour palette this is a striking card design that stands out from the crowd.

1453746773-lovely mum

 

6. Fairground Card for Mother from Pennychoo.

Inspired by Graeme Green’s classic ‘Brighton Rock’ this Mother’s Day card is for vintage divas everywhere. Giving a soft feminine look to a 1950’s style tattoo, it’s a great card choice for mum’s with a sense of fun and adventure.

fairground mother'a day card

Stuck for a ideas on what gifts to buy mum? Check out our pick of this year’s best Mother’s Day gifts.

Posted by Charlotte 8:00 24/02/16
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9 of the Best Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

Make Mum Smile With These Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day.

Need a few gift ideas for Mother’s Day?

With this year’s Mothering Sunday celebration fast approaching it’s the perfect time to soak up some gift inspiration from the indie community.

From classic jewellery gifts to chic shopping presents, there’s a huge array of gorgeous gifts out there for every mum.

Our pick focuses on beautiful gift ideas that can be seen and appreciated every day; a lasting reminder of just how special your mum is and how much she is loved.

These are our best gift ideas for Mother’s Day.

 

1. Jackal Buzzard Cushion by Sky Siouki.

For the stylish mum this luxurious, plush cushion makes a unique and memorable gift. With its understated, glamour and on-trend rustic look it’s the perfect addition to your mum’s world. The cosy and huggable present choice for Mother’s Day.

10 of the Best Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

 

2. Jazz Cats Art Print by Pennychoo.

The only gift for an awesome mum is a present that oozes cool; for this our choice is simple, the Jazz Cats art print from Pennychoo. Brimming with sophistication, the Jazz Cats bring vintage-inspired glamour to every place they go. The perfect print for the home or office, to show mum you think she’s one cool cat.

1449751522-PRINT_JAZZCAT_SAILOR_SHELF

 

3. Quilted Handmade Sunflower Pouch by Valerie Valerie.

When you’re seeking gift ideas for mother’s day you should never overlook the handmade style, even if you don’t technically do the making yourself. This beautiful quilted pouch is a great example, a wash bag or make up pouch that is a stunning and stylish handmade item. A simple present idea that will add the pretty factor to mum’s every day routine.

1455816138-SUNFLOWER-1

 

4. Pina Colada Tote Bag from Caroline Gardner.

Add a touch of style to mum’s shopping trips with this cool ‘Pina Colada’ canvas tote bag. A fresh and fabulous design from Caroline Gardner’s most recent gift collection. With its striking floral design, this tote shopper is a step up from the same old bunch of flowers, and it lasts a lot longer!

caroline gardner tote bag

 

5. ‘Shhh … Champagne in Disguise’ Mug from Always Sparkle.

A fun and affordable gift idea for mums who like the champagne lifestyle every day. This ‘Shhh … Champagne in Disguise’ mug is a cute and quirky present that is perfect teamed with a bottle of bubbly or even fooling people with a classic cuppa.

Always-Sparkle-Champagne-in-Disguise-Mug

 

6. Stag and Star Bangle from Hello Pearl.

Searching gift ideas for Mother’s Day you will always come across the classic gift of jewellery. It never goes out of fashion and is the ideal way to add a touch of glamour to Mum’s day. This simple and elegant bangle is perfect for everyday wear and special occasions. The star and stag charms add subtle detail to the delicate band. Available in gold or silver to suit every taste.

hello pearl bangle-bracelet-gold-silver_12

 

7. Favourite Memories Keepsake Tin from Peel and Sardine.

This beautiful keepsake tin is a great gift for mums to keep all their special bits and bobs safe. Fill it with mementoes, letters and photographs that can be treasured forever.

peel-and-sarinde-favourite-memories-keepsake-tin

 

8. Dotty Bird Lavender Pouch Gift Set.

A super sweet mini gift, these handmade Lavender pouches are great for mums. Decorated with a delicate dotty bird screen print they’re not only pretty but they smell amazing too.

Laura-Felicity-Dotty-Bird-Pouch

 

9. ‘Mother’ Art Print from Coulson Macleod.

With this print you can give the gift of inspiration. The ‘Mother’ art print from Coulson Macleod is not just stylish typography, it’s also jam-packed with wonderful sentiments and simple wisdom that can be appreciated each and every day.

1425985077-Mother Typographic Print

Posted by Charlotte 8:00 22/02/16
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The Best Love Songs for Valentine’s Day Romance

The Best Love Songs for the Perfect Valentine’s Day Mixtape.

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I decided to break away from my everyday “indie shopping obsessed” mindset and consider some love songs.

But not any old songs will do, I’m looking for the best love songs to make the perfect soundtrack for Valentine’s Day.

Now I have to admit, when I got to thinking my mind went totally blank and I came up with nothing.

Luckily however I was able to turn to the team at Five Dollar Shake; not only do they make beautifully romantic greetings cards that ooze L-O-V-E  … but Steve who looks after their online world is a  bona fide music expert (and even DJ’s in his spare time).

So “who better to ask?” I thought, and I was totally right as he’s come up with a fantastic ‘Top Ten Songs for Valentine’s Day’ with some original and fabulous choices.

So grab a cuppa, watch the videos and then add the songs to your playlist for February 14th.

The Love Songs List.

1. Peter Gabriel – In Your Eyes

Taken from the album ‘So’ In Your Eyes was released in 1986 and was nominated for a Grammy Award for ‘Best Music Film’. 

2. INXS – I Need You Tonight

Released in 1987 from the album ‘Kick’ the song received numerous awards including the MTV Video Music Award for ‘Video of the Year’.

3. Elton John – Are You Ready For Love?

Released in 1979, Are You Ready for Love? was taken from ‘The Thom Bell Sessions’ album. 

4. Blink 182 – I Miss You

Released in 2003, ‘I Miss You’ was voted the winner of ‘Best Love Song’ at the Teen Choice Awards.

5. Dolly Parton – I Will Always Love You

Although some folks will only know the Whitney Houston version of this song, this is the original version by the song’s writer Dolly Parton. Released in 1974, the song can be found on the soundtrack for the movie ‘The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas’, which starred Dolly alongside Burt Reynolds.

6. Beautiful South – Song For Whoever

From the 1989 album ‘Welcome to the Beautiful South’, ‘Song for Whoever’ received a Brit Awards nomination for ‘Best British Video’.

7. Example – Kickstarts

The newest song in the love songs list, ‘Kickstarts’ was released in 2010 on Example’s album ‘Won’t Go Quietly.’

8. Nilsson – Without You

‘Without You’ can be found on the ‘Nilsson Schmilsson’ record. Introduced to the world in 1971, it took home the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

9. Daft Punk – Digital Love

Released in 2001, Daft Punk’s ‘Digital Love’ was used in a French-Japanese animated movie called ‘Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem’. Unveiled in 2003, the science fiction movie is a visual representation of Daft Punk’s ‘Discovery’ album.

10. The White Stripes – Fell In Love With a Girl

We finish with my personal favourite from the list. ‘Fell In Love With a Girl’ was released in 2001 from the celebrated ‘White Blood Cells’ album. With its unique lego-style animated video the song won a heap of trophies at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards.

Need a little more inspiration? Don’t miss our pick of this year’s best Valentine’s Day gifts and Valentine’s Day greeting cards in the Piccadilly Lane directory.

Posted by Charlotte 8:00 12/02/16
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