Photo shoot with 1 9 3 4..

We were very fortunate to work with Abel Sloane and Ruby Woodhouse from 1 9 3 4. . They source 20th century furniture and design related items, for private buyers, props buyers, set designers, interior designers, stylists and fashion photographers. More recently they have been combining their skills to photograph and style sets for other people.
All these images here are photographed on 35mm film and we like them very much.

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Photo shoot with 1 9 3 4..

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Photo shoot with 1 9 3 4..

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New Year and New Work..

My new collages and screen prints are now available from our website.
We have new products launching this year as well as being busy with lots of interesting interior projects.
Please join our mailing list on our website to receive updates on all our work.
Thank you.

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If in doubt read a book.. Why we do what we do..

When I met Steve he was planning to leave a job in the city that he had been in since he left school. I was doing part-time cash in hand jobs. Steve had commuted for 19 years, leaving the house at dawn and coming home after dinner. We both knew what our interests were and eventually this led to us starting up our business together.
We did this so that we could work doing something we loved. We always said if we could do what we wanted to do and make enough money to live off we would be happy.
As I have said in the past we have made considered decisions- we live in a small flat in central Brighton with one child and several pets. We are not attracted to having a large mortgage or fancy car. If we have any extra money we like to go see cities in other countries. We buy lots of books but mainly from charity shops.

The madness of Black Friday has made me want to write this as I want to clear up and clarify the difference between what we do and what the retailer does.
As a designer we do not make much money. Retailers/stylists and other people associated with designers make money out of designers but we know that and we are doing this for other reasons.

-We wanted to make things that reflect our ideas not to create a ‘lifestyle.’

-We do not advocate lifestyle blogs- these can make people feel inadequate about their lives and encourage a sterile and unrealistic expectation of what a home and living should be. Its okay to leave phone chargers out and have cat hair and crumbs because that shows you are alive and have other priorities.

-Our prices are what they are because all our work is made to order by our hands in our workshop.

-Most of what we earn goes back in business but we don’t mind because we like our job.

-We make things that we hope you will keep forever.

-We think buying things should be considered.

-A lot of retail is detached from what we do as their aim is to sell as many things as they can and this often means encouraging you to buy what you don’t need.

-We do have own some worthless nonsense but we tend to buy these are from charity shops. (such as souvenirs of places we haven’t been. My daughter and I play a game called Saving Things- the sad rubbish ornament no one wants anymore)

-Spending money is a modern justification of why we are living. It has become the main leisure activity.

-Reading books or seeing things is enriching.

-We don’t like trends or fashion as this gives a lifespan to objects.

-We don’t like ‘themes’ for your home- just buy what you like it doesn’t have to match the colour of your cat.

-Our work is about longevity and craftsmanship- trends devalue this ethos.

So work less, spend less; spend time with good people who get what you do. Cook nice food and listen to records and get drunk. Because we are only here for 5 minutes and you don’t want to spend it worrying about what the neighbours think of you.

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People of Print Xmas Print Fayre at KK Outlet..

I am pleased to be taking part in the People of Print Xmas Print Fayre at KK Outlet- Hoxton Square for the whole of December. As well as a selection of prints available to purchase there will also be talks and workshops to get involved in.
More details here.. http://www.peopleofprint.com/workshop/christmas-print-fayre-at-kk-outlet/

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Stationary Collaboration by StanleyFricker..

Stanley & Fricker is a collaborative project between Emily of Stanley James Press and Eliza of Baines&Fricker
After years of working together on various projects these are the first products we have designed together. These notebooks were inspired by a love of stationary, drawing and travelling and cover 5 of our favourite cities.

The illustrations cover the following buildings found in each city..
Berlin – Interbau
Iceland – Medalfellsvegur
London – National Theatre
New York – Standard Hotel
Vancouver – Museum of Anthropology
Each book also contains a tear out postcard hidden at the back of the book.
Please visit our website and click the link Stanley Fricker for more details..

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Margate..

We had a nights stay in Ramsgate last week and went to Margate to see the Risk Exhibition at the Turner Contemporary.
The exhibition contained lots of long drawn out video art that left left me feeling a bit cold. Most of the work in the show seemed to reflect an era of creating pieces that are aesthetically unrewarding and conceptual leaving the viewer feeling isolated and flat. An array of self indulgent art that seems very outdated.
We did a mini pub crawl round the town after which was really good and visited Dreamland. Everything was empty and quiet in Margate on a Wednesday evening in October.

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Customised Cat Cushion..

Our cushions were recently stocked by Urban Outfitters and we were really chuffed to see textile artist Julie Robert customise our Cat cushion. Using threads and pompoms she gave the cats crowns, shirt collars and bows. Read more about the lovely project on Julie Roberts blog.. http://www.julie-robert.fr/blog/

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Local People.. Andy Pandy

Our home sat on a busy A road where the pavements outside the semi detached houses were wide and smooth. Gardens had been replaced by concrete driveways which caused the pavements to dip where cars were repeatedly drove over the tarmac to their garages and off street parking. Most of the remaining garden walls were low and used as temporary rests for the people who waited at the bus stop opposite. The road was extremely long and most of the houses were in keeping with one another- built in the 1930s as the suburbs crept further and further out of the city expanse, they had originally had a semi rural feel. Now the flight path to a major London airport, the area had become a place you passed on your way to somewhere else.
Most of the inhabitants were aware of the noise and air pollution from the continual overhead traffic and had removed the wood framed windows and replaced them with plastic ones. When driving along the houses almost seemed to wink at the driver as the uPVC glazing reflected the chrome of the vehicles. Cars were a necessity for most of the residents as out of town supermarkets had turned most of the local shops into taxi ranks and kebab shops.
My parents had bought the house after seeing a classified advert in a London newspaper. They had never been this far West, but seeing a house that may be affordable and still on the tube line seemed too good to be true. The first time they viewed the property they had peered through the letterbox and knew they would buy it. It was one half of a large Victorian house, it still had a front garden with trees and shrubs and original sash windows. The move to the suburbs was decided.
We still walked a lot and here are some of the other local walkers we would see..

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Local People.. Hat Dog Man

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Local People.. La De Da

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Local People.. Mayor

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Local People.. Proper Job

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Local People..Q

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Local People.. Reading Man

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Local People.. Superman

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Copy Cats Pepaloves.

Here you can see my Cat wallpaper in green on the right and a yellow rip off version by the clothing Pepaloves on the left. They have made a range of clothing out of my design. When I emailed them about it they apologised and offered me a couple of hundred euros as compensation. They have made lots of items out of my design each between 40-70 euros each. When I said that this was unsatisfactory as I hadn’t agreed to the use of my design they said it would have to go through solicitors. The initial costs for a solicitor are between £200-£300 which we cannot afford to do. We have found out that they have copied other designers in the past and I think they know that most small designers cannot afford the legal costs. I have no other option but to name and shame them on social media and to their suppliers. It is truly heartbreaking to see something I drew myself ripped off for someone elses profit. I could waffle on about how hard it is to make ends meet and the sacrifices my family has made to have our own business but most of you know that. Please help us by contacting them and telling them they are greedy pig dogs at info@pepaloves.es

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Grass Verges..

I have talked before about my work being influenced by childhood growing up in suburbia. For me this is a huge catalyst for my ideas. It represents a place of aspirational living while being suppressed by the conformities of normality. We moved there as many families do to be able to afford a house and garden and were then stuck living in a place with terrible pubs and a few local shops consisting of takeaways and newsagents. Likeminded people were few and far between and my brother and I spent years battling between dreaming of fitted carpets to hating the stifling and small mindedness of our peers. Luckily I moved away and have since retaliated against this unquestioning existence by living in a small home in a noisy busy central neighbourhood.
Here are some short stories and collages(click on images to enlarge) I recently completed..

School was a long way from my house. I didn’t live within playing distance to the other children. It was just my brother and I in our own world. Sometimes I wanted to be part of the after school games and adventures with my friends from class but most of the time I didn’t mind.
Our walk to school was one of the longest- taking around half an hour each way. It involved waking past the church and its grounds and then over the railway tracks. These were overgrown with weeds and buzzing with flies in the summer. Lastly we crossed the main road- the dividing line between the cul-de-sacs, and our house.
Every day I walked to and from school with my dad and every walk we would have a regular set of games to play. Most of the time they were repeats of yesterdays game, varying slightly between the morning and the afternoon. One of our favourites was the afternoon gardening competition where we judged and gave out verbal commendations to the worst and best front gardens. In our suburbs cars took precedent, many homes owning two or more vehicles per household. Gardens became driveways, which took on various forms. There was the nihilistic concreted over flat land then there was the slightly more subtle one strip of grass or flowerpot. Some wanted grandeur and this was conceived with plaster cast lions and gold gates. The winner if not for the bleakest entry was for the most botched. These would be a simple construction of bricks stacked as tall as possible with corrugated plastic balanced on top to produce a shelter for a flashy car. Some even continued the themes to the front of the houses with multi satellite dishes and Tudor style double glazing.

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Zones 5-6..

The pub was a cheap pub chain and appealed to its ageing clientele with its very modestly priced pints of bitter and its no music policy. These two combinations created an atmosphere that only the very desperate could endure. Alcoholic shoplifters, middle aged Asian men who weren’t meant to be there and underage teenagers.
We used to get served there when we were seventeen. We made friends with some boys who wore hair gel and aerosol body spray. Their clothes were bought from jean shops because they had a recognisable logo on them.
They thought we were weird because we didn’t have jobs and went to Art College.
Our conversations were spiky and horrible. We didn’t like each other, though most us of ended up pairing off. One of the boys lived quite far from the pub but we would make the mini cab journey to his house because his mum was always out and his gay lodger rarely made an appearance. I did see him once when I had stayed over and he was leaving for work. He didn’t fit in to the 1930s semi and I felt that feeling I always did when I saw someone else who belonged in a different place too- ‘help me’.
The house was always cold and the décor was unchanged since the early 1980s. There was never any food in the kitchen just lots of dated Tupperware kept in the chest freezer in the garage. The boys bedroom had a fitted unit that meant that one half of the room appeared to be taken over with melamine cupboards. He didn’t really have any belongings.
Sometimes I used to go round without my friends and he used to try and get me to look at the clothing catalogues underwear section with him and kiss me. We were usually interrupted by his scrawny neighbour who would be standing on the flat roof outside the bedroom and banging on the window to be let in for a spliff.

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