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Super cute illustrations on The Observer's Books

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The Observer’s Books that are a wanted series of vintage books published by the Frederick Warne & Co in the UK from 1937 to 2003. The books cover a large spectrum of topics, from British birds, dogs, cats, caterpillars, astronomy, fishes, house plants, cacti, roses to hobbies including postage stamps, coins, music, British architecture and locations including London, Cotswolds, Devon, Cornwall and Paris. A must have for colour enthusiasts and book lovers.

The series contains 100 titles and are very sort after, both for its vast array of knowledge and the block colour fabric book covers that are great desk and shelfie props, and are frequently seen in styled photography with lifestyle products.

Illustrator Natasha Newton www.natashanewton.com from Suffolk / Surrey has further brought the book series to life, and escalate the books to super cute status by adding her own very pretty modern touch - her original nature / landscape paintings in gouache and acrylic ink to these lovely vintage Observer’s book covers. We agree how Natasha had described her customised book covers as “a work of art” - we HEART these (big time) as it combines our love of books, colour and illustrations.

Creating Mother's Day Cards For Thortful

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This mother’s day, we have illustrated two mother’s day cards exclusive just for Thortful. The 2 cat-themed cards are:

Two Mums Mother’s Day Card

Winning catitude: Two mums are better than one. All the love from the cutest two best mums! The meownificent card is for LGBTQ families that you call both parents mums. This sweet card also doubles up for fur babies that have two cat loving mums too. Love is love, more love more the merrier!

Cute LGBT Lesbian Gay Two mums same sex couple lesbian cat mums mother’s day card

Love You Fur-Ever CAT PUN Mother’s Day Card / Birthday Card

To a beautiful cat mama, you are the perfect human. Love my cat mum forever (fur-ever if you love puns). This mother’s day card is a purrfect one for a cat loving mum, a cool cat lady, sending the card directly to mum from the cat.

This cat card is a sweet Mother’s Day card dedicated for cat lovers. The card also makes a cute birthday card for cat lovers.

The card is designed based on the following message in mind:

“ To a beaut cat mum, you're the purrfect human. 
You, me & a cuppa. Lots of snuggles. 
From the Cat - Tiddles xx “

P.S. We love the name Tiddles for a cat. Tiddles was a tabby and white cat, also known as the Paddington Station cat. Tiddles’ story could be found here.

illustrated cute ginger cat pun cat lady mother’s day birthday card from fur baby

Thortful is a fun online print on demand greeting card platform. You can customise your own message and add emojis too in your message. (A super duper cool feature that we love love love!) Order these exclusive cards via the following link on Thortful. You can have the cards posted directly to you or directly to your receiver. In addition, the card designs are available to be made into cards of different sizes, or card gifts too which include chocolate, notebooks and even cake!

As mother’s day is different for different countries, it is super handy that Thortful not only ships to the UK but also overseas too. Key dates for Mother’s Day are:

  • 31st March: UK, Ireland

  • 12th May (for 100 countries): including USA, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand

Have a mother’s day full of catitude! Meow!

Christmas Emojis From Finland

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Finland has created some iconic emojis to celebrate the culture and important icons of Finland.

From Christmas emojis, where, of course Santa is a part; as Santa lives in Korvatunturi, Lapland, and the reindeers too! Iconic inventions including the Nokia 3310 phone (remember the snake game and that iconic phone tune), and the Finnish traditions such as the Sauna, Moomin are all part of this super cute emoji set.

Can’t wait to see these super cute emojis being animated into short Christmas animations. Ho ho ho!

These cute icons are available to download via iTunes on the Apple Store / Google Play.

Play Pictionary With Google

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Who loves to doodle? We do. Normally we may draw and doodle on paper, but more often in Photoshop or Illustrator. We stumbled upon this website, set up by google called Quick, Draw! , and if you are a lover of doodling and pictionary. This "game" website is not to be missed.

You will be given 20 seconds to draw a person / object, for example, from our examples below, you could be asked to draw Mona Lisa, French Fries to a Smiley Face, but it could also be as random as the Great Wall of China, a mermaid, or even a houseplant, a wide variety. According to Google's machine learning (or Google coins it Neural Network), based on what you have drawn, it will try to find a match to check what's been illustrated is correct.

The interesting thing is that after 6 games, you could click and find out examples that were drawn by others. With regards, to French Fries, surprised that fries doodled with "M" (Mcdonalds) on the packaging is quite a popular choice. 

There are a total of 50 million drawings that have been inventorised by Google, from over 15 million people that has submitted their illustrations through playing the game. This makes it the world's largest doodling data set.

It's interesting to find out participants have been asked to draw a range of stationery too from Pencils, Markers, Erasers, to Paper Clips. 

Here's a snippet of how people have illustrated a pencil, a paper clip and an eraser in 20 seconds. Have a go at https://quickdraw.withgoogle.com !

(It's fun and addictive).

Meet : Mapology Guides

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You may have seen a post on our Instagram last month regarding our love of Mapology Guides. They are very useful, thought provoking colourful illustrated maps that one would work through the steps on the maps, and it would guide you through some of life's issues with the goal to live a more fulfilled life.

These cool, graphically illustrated maps include some essential life skills to business skills where we may all sometimes need a little help on - a perfect guide through some of life's journeys. The themes of the mapology guides include "What's Bugging You?" (something we have used and it's ace),  "Let's Negotiate", "Make It Happen", "Make Better Decisions", etc, all useful dilemmas we'd face from time to time, regardless of professions and stage in life. A good aid to work and process through dilemmas in an organised practical step-by-step manner.  

mapology guides.jpg

 

We were first introduced these amazing life maps whilst we were at Papersmiths, and the mapology guides were kindly recommended to us. Since then, we fell in love with the products and ethos behind Mapology Guides.

We follow Mapology Guides on Instagram, and found out, beyond creating brilliant useful life maps, they have embarked on a super fun project called "#100DaysPantonePostcards". Each post on the 100-Day project is photographed with an illustrated cityscape on a Pantone Colour Card, paired with an Artline pen. 

As we are a fan of Mapology Guides, lovers of colour, traveling and Pantone, we had to approach Tina Bernstein, for a quick interview to learn more about such an amazing project and some tips on making goals happen. 

I AM A : WHAT GAVE YOU THE INSPIRATION ON THE IDEA OF #100DAYSPANTONEPOSTCARDS WITH THE THEME OF CITYSCAPES?

Tina : I first participated in the #100daysproject back in 2016. I was naive and thought I can do this no probs. The theme I used then was #100differentstylesbycolourliving - the sketchbook I used was a fairly large square one and each day I chose a different artist and made an art piece in their style, whether painting, collage or mixed media. I also wrote a short sentence on each artist hoping I would inspire and maybe even introduce new artists to my followers.

Oh boy, it nearly killed me. Instead of the anticipated 30 minutes every day, some took HOURS!

I took a break in 2017. This year I wised up. The 100 pantone postcards are roughly a size A6 so very manageable. The colours would be my background and it all seemed fairly straight forward. It never is - but it was much more controllable than my project in 2016 because I was able to paint a few postcards at one time, freeing me up to not have to do it every single day.

Cityscapes are a big passion of mine. Yet, once again, one would think that’s great - BUT doing 100 cityscapes was rather challenging and I couldn’t wait to paint something else.

I AM A : OUT OF ALL THE CITY SKYLINES YOU HAVE ILLUSTRATED, WHICH SKYLINE HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE?

Tina : Wow, difficult question. There are many I loved and some I’m not so happy with. There isn’t really a favourite one. 

(We loved every single one of the cityscapes that were illustrated  "#100DaysPantonePostcards".)

I AM A : OF ALL THE PANTONE COLOURS, WHICH ONE IS YOUR GO TO? IT'S HARD TO PICK ONE, YOU MAY PICK 3.

Tina : Again, as a colour aficionado, that’s a hard one. OK, three it is.

I AM A : APART FROM #100DAYSPANTONEPOSTCARDS YOU ARE ALSO THE FOUNDER OF MAPOLOGY GUIDES. AS CREATIVES, SOMETIMES WE ARE WORRIED OF NOT ABLE TO ACHIEVE THE GOALS WE HAVE SET OURSELVES. FROM DESIGNING THE GUIDES WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 3 ADVICES TO MAKE GOALS HAPPEN?

Tina : I apply this to everything I do. From a small project, to the #100daysproject to something like creating and launching Mapology Guides.

Step 1: Do you love what you want to create (whatever that may be). Without being 100% passionate about it, it might not happen. You’ll run out of juice.

Step 2: Break it down in manageable steps. That’s super important! Don’t look at the mountain ahead, look at the next step forward. Then build on that. Baby steps does it every single time.

Step 3. Get organised. It’s great to have the passion. It’s great to break it down into baby steps - now you need to get focused and prepare. Work hard. Once you think something is ready to launch, launch it. You’ll learn everything else from the feedback you will get.

I AM A : WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE QUOTE?

Tina : The unexamined life is not worth living

I AM A : WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE: RAINBOW / UNICORN / ICE-CREAM? 

Tina : Rainbows - every time.

Thank you to Tina again for all your time for the interview, and sharing with us your insights on your 100-day project, and on Mapology Guides.  Thank you for the pictures too. We love them!

Follow and check out Mapology Guides and their #100DayPantonePostcards on social media : 

All images and text courtesy of Tina from Mapology Guides. 

A Celebration to Feminism and Equality

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Today marks the 171th birthday to Dame Millicent Fawcett, a trail blazer feminist who championed relentlessly for equality and was a leading figure for the woman’s suffrage movement.

Aptly, today's Google Doodles celebrates such a great leading light in feminism, with illustrations on Millicent Fawcett drawn by London based illustrator Pearl Law

In addition to these great illustrations to celebrate this leading lady, Google has setup a website that celebrates 100 Years to Women's Vote, with a webpage titled Road To Equality which is part of Google Arts & Culture.

In the webpage Road to Equality, you will find many enriching information from the history archives and stories of women that champion equality and feminist rights; from voting rights in the Suffragette movement up to including modern day issues such as period poverty.

This is an absolutely wonderful webpage celebrating feminism just like a curated museum online, filled with all the information, news articles and films footages. A must visit site.

The website also includes many selected artwork, graphics and meaningful banners design that were used during the different movements across time, that provides great insight to the typography, graphics and branding used to design for the different movements. 

One section which particularly captures us is Google has set up a section called which defines the movement by colours. Via the "Colour Explorer"  you can explore beyond the purple and green colours one would typically associate with the Suffragette movement, but the full rainbow spectrum of colours that were used in the graphics for various feminist movements.  

We have included below a small carousel of snippets of the interesting plethora of images, categorised by colours, to take a page from history.