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Introducing my new Love & Lilah store

I’m pleased to introduce to you my wedding store on Love & Lilah.

Love & Lilah is an online wedding store that brings together a fabulous range of British wedding suppliers under one virtual roof and I was so pleased to be approached by them a couple of months ago.

I am so excited to be selling on a dedicated Wedding website, especially for British suppliers. At the moment you’ll be able to order from all seven House Collections on the site, which all include free postage & packaging.

Please go on over and have a little look and let me know what you think. I hope to be adding more products in the near future including Save the Dates and on-the-day Wedding stationery.



Wedding Stationery: The Rhiannon Collection

To celebrate the launch of my new Wedding Stationery Collections, I thought I’d write about each collection so that you can get a bit of background about each design and find out all about each one.

The Rhiannon Collection is a good place to start. I don’t like to have favourites but I feel like the Rhiannon Collection is the closest to my heart. It is named after my Sister for a start and is loosely based on our own Wedding Stationery.

In the year since I designed our Wedding Stationery, my illustration and lettering style has improved through practice and so I thought I’d redesign our Wedding Invitations to reflect that and offer them out to you. The lettering is on a straighter line and the floral illustrations are more complex than on our own Wedding Stationery. I’ve also introduced envelope liners and a floral pattern on the back of the Invitations. I’ve used my favourite colour scheme on these samples, although the colours can be completely customised to your colour scheme. I almost wish we were doing it all again so that I could use these invites myself!

My favourite part of these invites is the custom lettering. Your names will be drawn from scratch if you opt for this collection, they’ll be in a similar style to that in the photos but will be completely unique to you and your partner! The coordinating Save the Dates have the same style of hand lettering. Save the Dates are available here. 

This Collection features a 5×7” Day/Evening Invitation and an A5 details sheet. The front of the Day/Evening Invite has space for your names and all the most important information like time, date, location. The back of each invite features a floral pattern, which can also be completely customised to your colour scheme. The details sheet is a great place for addresses, accommodation, dress code, gift lists and any other information that you think your guests will find useful.

The difference in size means that the details sheet can be seen behind the invite when they’re put together in the envelope. If you love the design of these invites but would like a different size, I will happily discuss this with you and create them in a different size. Day/Evening Invitations and detail sheets are available here. 

To make it quick and simple for your guests to reply to you, RSVP cards can be added to your order. These will be customised to your colour scheme so that everything is coordinated. RSVP Cards are available here. 

This Collection also features belly bands or twine to tie everything together and keep it together in the envelope and so that your guests can keep all vital information together. Belly Bands are available here and Bakers Twine is available here.

If you want to add a bit of luxury to your Wedding Stationery, you can opt for envelope liners, which have a coordinating floral pattern, like the rest of the collection they can be completely customised to your colour scheme. Envelope Liners are available here. 

The ordering process

– You can either order these through Etsy or contact me directly with your requirements. I’m afraid there is a minimum order of 25 sets of invitations.

– I will ask for a few details so that I can get to work on your Invites straight away, this will include things like your names, date, wording, your colour scheme, quantities and your address for delivery.

– Your first proofs will be sent to you within 5 working days after I receive all relevant information and payments. These proofs will be sent through Etsy conversations. Two rounds of revisions are included if you need to make any changes to wording or colours.

– Once the final proof has been approved by you, no more changes can be made and your Wedding Invitations will be sent to a local printer in London. The printing process takes approximately a week.

– I will ship your Wedding Invitations out to you once I have received them from the printers and have checked them for quality. Your invites and details sheets will be collated in their envelopes, all you will need to do is secure the envelope, write the addresses and apply postage.

If you’d like to see all the new collections, they are now available in my Etsy Shop. You can also contact me directly at hello[at]sianlouise[dot]co[dot]uk if you’re interested in having me design your Wedding Stationery or if you have any questions about them.

To read more about my Wedding Design services, take a look at my Wedding page. 

March: Meet the Maker, creative block and herbs

Yay! I’m finally getting to grips with this whole blogging regularly thing! Here is what March looked like for me.

March meet the maker

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been taking part in March Meet the Maker organised by Joanne Hawker. Initially, I was quite nervous about taking part because after the failure of my 100-day project, I wondered whether I’d be able to keep up. As I write this, I haven’t had to catch up more than one day at any one point throughout the month and I’ve really enjoyed taking part.

I’ve gained a few more followers on social media and have met loads more creatives and makers online, which has been great. There are so many talented creatives around!

I’ve also been developing my photography for Instagram. Content and the caption are still key, however, shooting in low light is no longer an option and ensuring I use good composition and more importantly, lots of colour have been high on my priority list.

To catch up with my March Meet the Maker posts, take a look here. 

New paints and a mother’s day card

I used to use gouache paints all the time when I was doing my foundation course (10 years ago!) but have never owned my own set and haven’t used them since. Having seen a lot of designers and illustrators using gouache in their work online, I wanted to try my hand at using them again. So I bought my own gouache introductory set in a little art supplies shopping spree a couple of weeks ago.

When they arrived soon after, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them and to get painting. First of all, I doodled quite tentatively in my sketchbook, but a few days later, I wanted to create a Mother’s Day card for my Mum, so I got to work.

Mixing the right colour was tricky – only because I didn’t mix enough paint the first time, it ran out, then I ended up having to paint the entire background again after mixing a darker shade the second time around. I also found that I needed to use a lot of white to get the pastel colours that I wanted. I’m used to just adding more water to watercolours to make them lighter (and my first watercolour set didn’t even have any white paint) so I’m sure it is something that I will get used to. I love how this Mother’s Day card turned out, though, my Mum loved it and I look forward to playing with these paints even more in the future.

Creative Block

I feel like I’m finally finding my groove for this year, however, it hasn’t been easy. At the end of last year, I felt incredibly grateful and very overwhelmed (read: shocked) at the success of the desk calendars. Throughout December, I knew that I should be working on new ideas ready for the new year but I couldn’t focus on them. I hoped to hit the ground running in January with a few Wedding Stationery ideas that I’d had but nothing I created seemed to be working.

I got into a vicious cycle of first of all thinking that I wasn’t going to make a success of it all, then not doing anything anyway, so that was a self-fulfilling prophecy in itself. I would then look at what everyone else was doing, of course, it was all better than what I was creating and even when I saw work that I thought “I could do that,” even that was better than anything I’d created. It was a horrible rut to be in.

That was until, a couple of weeks ago, one evening after I’d had an especially bad day, I found a couple of articles about creating positive thought patterns and chatted to a couple of friends and made a few decisions/realisations:

Negativity isn’t going to be my default anymore
I think that I’m quite a positive person and I am about most things. Apart from the story, I tell myself about myself. That needed to change.

I will not be led by anxiety
Almost related to above, but I’d got to the point where I’d feel anxious about not feeling anxious and try to think back to why I was feeling anxious before. It seems silly when I think about it now and anxiety is real but I seem to have taken control at the moment.

I must make an effort to get outside or do at least 20 mins of exercise every day
Fresh air, stretches, yoga, breathing, and focusing on right now is healthy and it works.

Switch off notifications!
Put the phone down, back away from Instagram and stop worrying about why you only have 10 likes and whatsername has 10,000 likes and she only posted a photo of her lunch, whereas you posted a piece of work which took hours! (not based on real people or real events but I’m sure most people can relate to this)

Change my 7 am alarm to 6:35 am
This is a small change but I am a morning person and get up a lot quicker when my alarm goes off earlier and feel better for fitting in stretches, a walk and a slow breakfast when I get up early, any later and I feel as though I must get to work almost straight away.

These new plans have already made a significant difference to my days, my work seems to be looking a lot better too, which I’m not sure if it is a coincidence or not. I’m sure my positive outlook and good habits have made some difference.

Herb growing

It’s now Spring! Yay! Spring is my favourite season, mostly because the days get lighter as the weeks roll by, also because all the new plants and flowers are waking up and popping up everywhere! In the UK, it is ever so slightly warmer, we still have grey rainy days but we can’t have everything.

Rob and I planted some herbs in a little box on our windowsill and teeny tiny shoots have started to appear. We planted basil, coriander, rosemary and thyme as they’re the herbs that we cook with the most. The coriander is the one in the photo which is going a bit wild, the others are slow and steady. So that is exciting! I look forward to eating our own herbs. We also have a chilli plant which has woken up after the winter and already looks as though it’s going to produce more chillis than last year.  

Beauty and the beast

Beauty and the Beast was my favourite Disney film which I was a child (it still is!), right next to Mary Poppins, I knew all of the words by heart. So when I heard that they were remaking the film I was equal parts excited and nervous that it’d be ruined forever. However, we went to see the live action remake a few days after it was released in cinemas and it did not disappoint! It was, first of all, absolutely stunning, had all the charm that I enjoyed from the animated original and included a lot more of Belle and Beast’s story that you don’t hear about in the original. I really enjoyed it and would go to see it again in a heartbeat.

Lastly, another photo from the March Meet the Maker challenge, this one was all about milestones and included designing Wedding Stationery, Penguin Calendars, setting up shop and becoming self-employed.

Meet the Maker Week – Day 4

This week I’m joining in with #MeetTheMakerWeek organised by @joannehawker and if I were to take an “in action” video right now, you’d see me sipping on lemsip, wrapped up in a blanket, working on a boring spreadsheet. So thankfully, I took this video a few days ago when I was painting away with Gilmore Girls on in the background.

Meet the Maker Week – Day 1

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This week I’m joining in with #MeetTheMakerWeek organised by @joannehawker . So here goes, my name is Sian Shrimpton, I’m based in Hertfordshire and this is what I do.

I first opened my Etsy shop in 2010, just after graduating with a degree in Graphic Design. I would create hand painted notecards and stationery for family and friends. I had to stop selling because I found that I didn’t have the time with a full time job and a long commute.

I didn’t stop drawing however and I quickly filled many a sketchbook with ideas, drawings and a few penguins for good measure. Fast forward to 2016 and I have decided to take the leap and open my Etsy shop with all new products and working freelance as a designer and illustrator. Currently, I’m selling little desk Calendars and Greeting Cards (Greeting cards will be back in stock this afternoon).

My work is inspired by bright colours and bold lines. I have a passion for hand drawn lettering, paint and illustration. I put a lot of love into everything that I do and I enjoy every second of it, I hope that my work can put a smile on your face as much as it has mine.

Our Wedding Invitations

When we were planning our wedding, it was without a doubt that I was going to design our Wedding Stationery. It made sense because I’m a designer and it’s something that I always assumed I’d do myself.

I did however find it quite a daunting task. They say that being your own client is the worst and combine that with being the bride as well and you have a nightmare! Well, in my case, I found it very difficult. Family and friends were telling me that I’d do an amazing job of making the whole day look amazing, but it felt like such a big task. I felt the pressure of being “the creative one” of the family and didn’t know where to start.

Choosing a “look” for our Wedding was my first hurdle. Would we have a theme? Would we have just a colour scheme? Can I find Bridesmaid dresses to match? Will it all look amazing for the photos?

Regardless of style or colour, I started the Wedding stationery design in the way that I do with every design project and that is, with pencil and paper. Being a lover of hand drawn lettering, I just started writing our names over and over and tried many different styles of ampersand. I loved that our wedding stationery gave me the perfect excuse to draw hundreds of ampersands!

Meanwhile, I decided that I wanted to design a Save the Date. Most people knew the date anyway, but being a print designer and someone who loves keeping ephemera as a memento – I just had to design a save the date! We gave them out in September for our May wedding, people started to get excited about our day and I got an idea of how people reacted to the design, especially from some of our closest friends, who are all creatives too.

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Once we were happy with the way that our names looked, I brought them into illustrator and started to re-draw them. I remember spending a lot of time getting the “o” in Robert right and the leg of the “R” was troublesome. Our names became a lock-up and were carried through to most of the printed items that we used for the wedding. I decided to add some floral details into the mix and by the time we finalised the design of the invites in January, I had chosen the bridesmaid dresses. They were very floral, so after all the anxiety previously, it was all coming together nicely. I absolutely loved the style of the bridesmaid dresses and picked out a lot of the different colours in them to create the colour scheme for the whole wedding.

I then created an information sheet and created a map as part of it, just because I wanted to draw some maps and it might be useful for guests that are not familiar with the area, to know where to park etc. Hand drawn lettering had featured a lot on the main invite and the save the date, but the word that I had the biggest problem with was the word “map,” such a small word and yet so troublesome! I must have re-drawn it about ten times and tweaked it in illustrator a thousand times and after all of that, I started to doubt whether it was even spelled correctly!

The information sheet was A5 and the main invite was slightly smaller to allow them to sit together nicely in an A5 envelope, I strategically placed all of the information and a floral pattern so that the information sheet almost formed a border for the main invitation.

Once it was all checked a hundred times and printed, I collected it all together with a belly band, which had the same lock up of our names, the date and a small floral detail. I found that this was a better value solution than most of the others that I looked into. I’m a big fan of stationery and paper products but also a firm believer in keeping things simple. The belly bands were a simple way of keeping both sheets of the invites together and although they took a while to fold and put together, it was a lot less hassle than constructing each invite from scratch.

All was posted together in white envelopes with a small sticker (which was also branded with our names) and this little sticker was the one thing that most people mentioned to us as a nice detail they wouldn’t have thought of themselves.

I really enjoyed creating our wedding invitations and it is still a favourite project of mine and a project that I’m most proud of. I would really love to branch into designing wedding stationery for other couples someday and it’s something I look forward to adding to my Etsy shop in the near future.

You can see the final Wedding Invitations in my Portfolio.

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