Sunday, 23 October 2011

Papercutting workshop

Last Wednesday I ran a papercutting workshop at The Whitworth Art Gallery as part of the Crafternoon Tea series. It was a slight departure for me as I'd been asked to do something 'non-messy', suitable for the gallery setting. It was great to do something new and I really enjoyed researching the history of papercuts and all the different styles from around the world. Here is my little fox design:

This was my favourite of the day! So intricate! It was adapted from a template I got from the Scherenschnitte blog, which has loads of lovely designs to try out.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Platt Hall Gallery of Costume

Thursday was the first day of a week away from the studio (although I went in to print an order on Sunday as I don;t like my lovely customers to wait) so I had a bit o'culture with my good pal Gemma. We took ourselves off to Platt Hall, as I hadn't been there since the refurb, and Gemma hadn't been at all, despite being a lifelong Manchester resident! Tut tut.

I used to work for Manchester Art Gallery as a VSA when I was studying for my Masters and I had my interview at Platt Hall. Ah, the memories!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Ramsbottom Festival

Last Sunday I went on a tiny adventure to Ramsbottom music festival to help run some drop in kid's crafts workshops and to sell some wares! It was a great day, despite some adverse weather conditions and I made lots of sales, which was ace!

To get to Ramsbottom we took the vintage train from Bury! Hence the sepia effect.

My stall with lovely Andrew there to help me. I haven't done a market stall for ages, as I found them to be a bit hit and miss, but the day was so successful I'm thinking about possibly doing some more around Christmas...

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Pandas and Penguins ...

I've been doing a bit of updating, looks like my mojo is back! Sometimes I find it hard to keep on top of everything, little and often is the best way for me to work...
So, here are some new products!

Panda bib is available from etsy and folksy. is the matching hat!

The newest wintery guy on the block is Ernie, the baby Emperor penguin.

Purchase him here on etsy or folksy.

Here he is in hat form!

I'm going to be at the Ramsbottom music festival on Sunday with a small range of my wares and running some fun workshops for kids. Come and say hello if you're going to be there! x

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Wonderful Workshops

Hello! Not much blog action of late, but I've been busy working and playing. I went on a lovely holiday to Nice (via Nimes, but we don't talk about that...) which was super beautiful and lovely and sunny!
Last Saturday I ran 2 workshops for the Ministry of Craft, screenprinting in the morning and lino printing in the afternoon. As usual, I was impressed with the variety of designs that people printed.

If you fancy giving it a go, I'm running more workshops on Saturday 19th November, details on how to book here.
I'm also doing a papercutting workshop on Wednesday, October the 19th of October at the Whitworth Art Gallery, as part of their Crafternoon Tea sessions, which I'm really excited about as it's a bit of something different for me to research!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Happy Birthday Fred Aldous!

Hello! This is my 100th blog post and I'd been feeling a little shy about what to put in it. Well, luckily I remembered that I'm doing some drop-in workshops on Sunday as part of our lovely local craft shop's 125th birthday celebrations! There will be market stalls and other crafts to try over the weekend, so come on down, it's free too!
Other than that I've been working on new designs for commissions and such, all good fun.

Friday, 17 June 2011


Yesterday I had an exciting time in the studio, making my entry for the QR-3D project, initiated by the wonderful Sally Fort. When I first read about it, I started racking (or is it 'wracking'??) my brain for ways to create a 3 dimensional screenprint. Then Sally herself suggested that something like my Fairisle Heart Cushion would be perfect for this project. Stupid Nelly! I had already done 3D prints!

So I excitedly created my QR code and got to stencil cutting. It took me nearly 2 hours to cut this as I was trying to be as precise as possible.

This is the finished print, post-puffing! It was a lot darker before I heat-fixed it. That's the thing about 3DP, it's hard to predict the colour outcome. All part of the fun! (Does anyone remember 'Fluff-its'? They were fabric paint pens that you dried with a hairdryer to create a puffy, 3D design. I loved them! Ah, nostalgia.) I was a bit worried that the code wouldn't work, as some of my stencil pieces moved about a little bit, but I tried it out with the scanner I downloaded for my phone and it does!! Joyous day.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Grown-up tees!

I've finally managed to photograph these tees and get them online! Woohoo! Handprinted organic cotton loveliness available from the usual places. Buy from my site and enter HBNELLY to get 20% off.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Simply beautiful

Check out these amazing pics from Such a simple, beautiful idea, I love them! My good friend Luke Marsh, animator and film maker extraordinaire (read the Flotsam and Jetsom blog) sent me the link as he knew I'd be into it! Thanks Luke, I miss you! x

Monday, 13 June 2011

Father's Day

Hello! I spent a rainy day yesterday working up some designs into Father's Day cards with a bit of Poirot on in the background to keep me cosy. Father's Day is next Sunday (the 19th) so don't forget to get something special for your daddy!

The cards are available exclusively from my bricks and mortar shop at the Craft Centre, but if you're after a little pressie too, my posters are available online here. Use the discount code HBNELLY for 20% off too! Hurrah. I'm going to try to get some men's t-shirts up soon, just waiting for a little break in the gloom to get some good shots. Go away rain!! xx

Sunday, 12 June 2011

The Secret Orchard

Last week my boyfriend and I spotted a break in the insane weather and hotfooted it down to the secret orchard near Chorlton Waterpark (it's off Kenworthy Lane if you want to investigate!) I thought we might be in for a spot of cherry picking, but, alas! they weren't ripe enough for us, but a cheeky jay was gobbling them down. I shall have to return in a week or two to see how they're fairing.

We got back just in time to avoid a terrible soaking (the second of the day!). A fruitless day in more ways than one, as we failed to find any treats in the chazzers of Chorlton! It was nice to spend a rare day together anyway xx

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Retro a-go-go!

Hullo! In between getting over excited about my first ever giveaway (thanks everyone who entered, I was thrilled by the response!) I've been working on some new black and white posters, inspired by all things retro, specifically fifties. The Bowery Gallery in Headingley, Leeds, have asked me to submit some work for an exhibition that starts in July.

I'm really happy with how they turned out, especially the typewriter, as I was a bit scared of the tiny, fiddly stencil which took me ages to cut! They are available to buy online here and on etsy and folksy. Don't forget there's 20% off all orders through my site for the whole of June with the code HBNELLY.

Friday, 10 June 2011

And the winners are...

The lucky winner of my Japanese fabric bundle is the lovely Nikki who said...'Hello! Both sound great... i have a bit of a passion for Japanese fabric and patterns, but then I am a fabric/surface pattern addict anyway!

Love your work. Haven't seen it before so the post via Manchester Craft on Facebook was a nice little discovery this afternoon! xx'

Next up is @little_barb who wins the bundle of my own designed fabric!

Thank you so much for all the lovely comments, it's been really fun to run a competition, I think I'll do another soon :)

Monday, 6 June 2011

Giveaway time!

Hullo and a happy Monday to you all! I'm starting the week with a little giveaway, I've been trying to sort out my studio out a bit and am forcing myself to part with some of my fabric stash, it's out of hand! I find it so hard to part with craft supplies, even if I know I'll never use it. So I thought it would be nice for someone to make use of this fabric and make it easier for me to part with it!
So I have 2 bundles of fat quarters of fabric to give to one lucky person! One is a mixture of my own designs: screenprints and digital prints with hand printed overlays and digital embroidery - quite a lot of work has gone in to each piece and you'll find various animals hiding within - owls, deer, swans and foxes...
The other bundle is a selection of Japanese fabrics which are really beautiful - I got these on my travels but have never known what to do with them. I think I bought them in Kyoto, textile central in Japan. They are probably off-cuts from kimonos.
To enter, either leave a little comment letting me know which bundle you would like, or follow me on Twitter and retweet the giveaway (or both for an extra chance to win!). Don't forget to let me know which bundle you would like to win...
I'll announce the winner at the end of the week. Good luck! xx

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Tiny Tiger

Another new guy! Available here with 20% off when you use the code HBNELLY at checkout. He's also up on my etsy and folksy sites if that's the way you like to do things!

It's a hot Saturday in the studio, I was in early and have printed up a couple of Koala tees already. Adam and Joe are on the radio and I intend on taking things easy to conserve energy! Enjoy the sunshine! xx

Friday, 3 June 2011

New Stockists

I've been trying to get my work stocked by different shops across the UK and I was thrilled when Moda in Folkstone said they wanted to make an order. They stock lots of lovely designers, so if you're in the area you can now find my things next to the likes of Orla Kiely and Cath Kidston! Whoop!

I'm on a mission to find more lovely stockists for my work, so if you know of anywhere that would fit the bill or would like a bit of Nell goodness in your shop, please get in touch! xx

Thursday, 2 June 2011

G'day, mate!

Woo! 2 posts in as many days! Putting the effort in you see. I have lots and lots of new designs to share with you as I've been feeling inspired of late - maybe it was the trip to the zoo??

In any case, here is my koala t shirt, a lovely lady came into my studio and commissioned me to make her a koala cushion, as they're her favourite animals. I love how this design turned out, I think he's pretty cute, so can now be found on tees, bibs and hats. Don't forget if you go to my Big Cartel store you can get 20% off throughout June with the code HBNELLY. Tell your friends, oh yeah! xx

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Nell is 3!

Well, not actually today, but June marks my 3rd year of being an official business! Hurray! To celebrate I'm going to be giving away lots of treats and treasures including badges, purses and fat quarters of hand printed fabric. I'm feeling super generous, so there's 20% off orders made through my Big Cartel store with the code HBNELLY throughout June.

I've got lots of new designs printed up, so I'm going to try to update and blog as much as possible too, eep! Now I need to get cracking on photographing my new products...

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Hop, skip and a jump!

Buy from etsy or from folksy

I've been working on quite a few new designs that I'm slowly getting round to photographing and putting online. First to the plate is happy Mr Frog, I'm really pleased with how he's come out, so you can buy him in t shirt or poster form!

Buy from etsy or from folksy

I've been trying to improve my photography and to make my shots as clear as possible. I've also moved into a second floor flat, so no longer have a garden to take photos of t shirts on the washing line...this will probably make my life easier as the weather's so unpredictable in Manchester at the moment! I'll be putting more things up after I get back from All Tomorrow's Parties...have a nice weekend! xx

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Zookeeper for a day!

Hullo there! A couple of weeks ago I trotted down to London town to be a zookeeper for the day at London Zoo! This amazing experience came courtesy of Papa Smith, who got me it as a surprise for my 30th birthday. Total winner.
Highlights included feeding the giraffes and tigers, tickling penguins, feeding meerkats (although the live mealworms and crickets were rather unpleasant) and having lemurs scampering all over me, plucking pieces of fruit from my very hands! Just incredible.

It was such an exciting, brilliant day, alas I didn't get to do any drawing, but did take over 100 photos, so plenty of inspiration there! You can see all the photos of the day on flickr
I've been working on quite a few new designs of late, have a couple of new stockists to do orders for and have applied for the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair. Busy times!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Making Magazine

This week started with some exciting post - issue 7 of Making magazine arrived on my desk with my how-to and q&a nestled within! It was lovely to be asked to do the project for them and I'm really happy with how they styled it. Hurray!