Posts tagged art
The nursery
This lamp shade makes me so happy - it catches my eye every time I pass by the room. It is from  Lisa Jones Studio . 

This lamp shade makes me so happy - it catches my eye every time I pass by the room. It is from Lisa Jones Studio

We are very very blessed with our living situation in London because we live in a small 3 bedroom house just for the two of us. Frankly, having 3 bedrooms in London is pretty much a luxury whatever size they are and we try really hard not to ever take it for granted. 

Over the last few months we have been doing lots of re-arranging and sorting (and getting rid of stuff) and have turned the smallest box room into a little nursery for the baby. We haven't gone over the top and it doesn't look like one of these nurseries that you would see on pinterest, but it is functional and cosy and we enjoyed picking out a few pieces to decorate it and make it feel homely and cosy for the little guy. 

Since being pregnant I have discovered so many incredible small businesses selling amazing things for babies (and some of the things we got were not for a nursery specifically). I wanted to try and support some of those small businesses - because I know how important that is as small business owner myself. I have also included some things from creatives that we already owned. 

We decided to paint the walls a light grey and keep things pretty simple and neutral. Here are a few photos sharing some of the little details that we have put together. Some of the toys are things we have inherited or that have been made for us and I have even made some of the toys myself! 

This mobile was made by my amazingly talented and lovely colleagues at work. They spent months working on it and I absolutely love it. All of the little animals are made from felt and every single one is different and has its own little personality! At the moment I have hung them on the wall but when the baby is in a crib each strand has a ring on the top so that I can thread them onto a mobile! 

This mobile was made by my amazingly talented and lovely colleagues at work. They spent months working on it and I absolutely love it. All of the little animals are made from felt and every single one is different and has its own little personality! At the moment I have hung them on the wall but when the baby is in a crib each strand has a ring on the top so that I can thread them onto a mobile! 

I have loved this print from  Sarah Abbott  for ages and NM loved it too so we didn't hesitate to get one for the nursery. 

I have loved this print from Sarah Abbott for ages and NM loved it too so we didn't hesitate to get one for the nursery. 

In this room there is a weird sort of solid block that covers the stairs - which was always a strange feature in the room, but now it is making the perfect changing station. We decided to get a waterproof tablecloth from the local fabric shop and then just make sure everything was handy and in easy reach.

In this room there is a weird sort of solid block that covers the stairs - which was always a strange feature in the room, but now it is making the perfect changing station. We decided to get a waterproof tablecloth from the local fabric shop and then just make sure everything was handy and in easy reach.

I love this print from  Kate Alizadeh  (she is a super talented illustrated based in Cardiff). It wasn't in her  shop  but I think I saw it on her instagram and emailed her asking if she could do me a print and she obliged. 

I love this print from Kate Alizadeh (she is a super talented illustrated based in Cardiff). It wasn't in her shop but I think I saw it on her instagram and emailed her asking if she could do me a print and she obliged. 

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I recently started sewing more and attempted to make this bunny rabbit. You can find the pattern I used here on  Purl Soho  (amazing website!). It is pretty wonky and badly made but am hoping that adds to its charm and that the little guy will like it. I made  another one  for my Godson too. I really enjoyed making them and would like to experiment with making more toys. 

I recently started sewing more and attempted to make this bunny rabbit. You can find the pattern I used here on Purl Soho (amazing website!). It is pretty wonky and badly made but am hoping that adds to its charm and that the little guy will like it. I made another one for my Godson too. I really enjoyed making them and would like to experiment with making more toys. 

This wall hanging was a gift from a friend a while ago from  Sass and Belle  and fitted in nicely on one of the walls. 

This wall hanging was a gift from a friend a while ago from Sass and Belle and fitted in nicely on one of the walls. 

The print on the left is by  Laura Redburn  - Its not for sale in her shop but I saw it on her blog and she kindly made it into a print for me a while ago. The print on the right is one of mine and is  available in my shop . You can choose between grey and green because its double sided.

The print on the left is by Laura Redburn - Its not for sale in her shop but I saw it on her blog and she kindly made it into a print for me a while ago. The print on the right is one of mine and is available in my shop. You can choose between grey and green because its double sided.

These two little guys were knitted by my mother-in-law and i LOVE them. She has serious knitting skills so I am pretty sure this little guy will never be short of knitted toys or clothes.

These two little guys were knitted by my mother-in-law and i LOVE them. She has serious knitting skills so I am pretty sure this little guy will never be short of knitted toys or clothes.

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I also made these little ABC cube rattles. I was inspired by some that Artemis of  Junkaholique  made - and I just sort of made it up as I went along but I think there are loads of tutorials for similar things online. 

I also made these little ABC cube rattles. I was inspired by some that Artemis of Junkaholique made - and I just sort of made it up as I went along but I think there are loads of tutorials for similar things online. 

I hope you have enjoyed this little tour of our nursery. I am sure it will change over time as the baby grows and has different needs but I am really pleased with this as a start. I want to share some pictures of the new studio space too at some point so keep an eye out for those. 

Have a lovely weekend! 

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Inspired by: David Shrigley
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A few weeks ago we went to Sketch London for afternoon tea for my birthday. It has been on my list of places to visit for the longest time as I had seen so many beautiful pictures of it online. It was totally worth it and the afternoon tea was delicious - another cool thing about the place though is that the walls in the gallery room are filled with drawings by artist David Shrigley

I have been a long time fan of Shrigley's work. I think what I love about it is the simplicity in his drawings but also the humour. That guy is seriously funny. I remember going to an exhibition of his a few years ago and walking around laughing out loud for most of it. It was so fun. 

Anyway, I love seeing his work and being inspired by it so I thought I would share a few of my favourites on the blog today. Enjoy! 

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Hope you all have a lovely creative weekend!

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Inspired by Chuck Close

When we visited the MET in New York last month they had a piece by Chuck Close and it reminded me that he really is one of my all time favourite artists. I have been so fascinated by him and inspired by his work ever since I was in school. Here are some of his paintings that are my favourites, but there really is nothing like seeing them up close and personal! I am alway in awe of photorealist painters because I admire the skill required so much. As his paintings are larger than life they are so impressive and I love when you can get close and see each tiny brush stroke, but from far away it looks just like a photograph. 

I think one of the things I find so interesting about Chuck Close is how he has overcome adversity and where many may have given up he did not and found new ways to paint despite his limitations. You can read more about it here but basically he suffered from a seizure which left him paralysed from the neck down. He relies on a wheelchair and continued to paint with a brush strapped onto his wrist with tape. He continued doing portraits and creates them by painting low resolution grid squares - which when put together make the portrait. I find these painting just as impressive as his photorealistic paintings even though they are very different.

I found this quote by Close a little while ago about inspiration and thought it was so wise and spot on. Sometimes we just need to turn up and keep doing the work rather than waiting for a bolt of inspiration to hit us. This really helps me on days when I am not feeling it. Just turning up and doing the work is so important. 

The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.

If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to do an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.

Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction.

Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.
— Chuck Close

If you ever get a chance to see Close's work in the flesh I would highly recommend it. Although I am not a painter I just find his work and his journey so inspiring. 

Hope you all have a great Monday!

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

 

Double Exposures
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I have been seeing some really beautiful double exposures around the web recently and it is making me itchy to experiment. Then today I stumbled across (on Fubiz) these beautiful photo realist paintings by Pakayla Biehn of double exposures. They are truly beautiful, and I find them even more mesmerising knowing that they are painted. Photo realistic paintings have always had my jaw dropping starting from my long time love of Chuck Close. Enjoy these beauties and more of Pakayla's work here.

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Little Loves // 08

This week was full of colour. Going back to work was a bit of a shock to the system but I had a lovely weekend planned so I had a lot to look forward to. I hung out with the lovely Kate and we geeked out over paper and mattisse, ate yummy food and watched trashy films. It was pretty much the perfect saturday to be honest. Here are some of the things I loved about this past week and weekend... 1. These peonies that NM bought me from Columbia Road flower market have opened right out during the course of the week and look stunning. I love peonies.

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2. I really loved this mosaic that was on the side of a primary school on Columbia Road. This is only a small portion of it, but so many of the details were really sweet.  The boxy giraffe on the left made me smile.

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3. Was really inspired by the Matisse exhibition. I snuck this picture of some of his colour swatches that he used. The colours in his cut outs were so vibrant. The paper he used in his cut outs was painted with gouache by his assistants.

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4. Fell in love with these sheets of wrapping paper. Sadly they were pretty expensive but they made me very happy. I would have struggled to wrap anything in them anyway because they are just too beautiful.

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5. The colours of these tables and chairs outside a restaurant in Brixton Market made me smile.

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6. stumbled upon this little bit of art on a wall in East London. Love the sentiment and the use of old school cassette tapes.

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Paper

On saturday I am going to the Matisse cut outs exhibition and the Tate and I am really excited about it. I haven't been this excited about seeing and exhibition for ages. I am going with my friend Kate who is super creative and always inspires me. She is a total WHIZZ with a scalpel and has recently set up an etsy shop selling her beautiful cut outs! Anyway was catching up on some blog reading as I am way behind and I stumbled across this beautiful paper cut outs/layering on Colossal. They are absolutely stunning and the layers and colours just make them so interesting. They are by artist Maud Vantours. I am kind of mesmerised by these works of art. Creating art with just paper seems to be much more common recently. It is incredible what you can do and what you can do with a humble bit of paper. Feeling inspired.

Introducing: David Maiden
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davidmaiden

I am excited this week to be interviewing our first painter. (hopefully more to come soon!) David is the brother of a very good friend of mine, and his paintings are just beautiful. I feel like when I look at his portraits I want to know more about the people, there is a depth to them that draws you in, and starts telling a story. Read on to find out more about David and his incredible work. 

Where do you live and how do you think it influences your work?I live in Kenya, although we also spend a lot of time in London these days.

Kenya has had a huge influence on my work. I moved there from London looking for a place to live that would allow me the space to teach myself to paint. I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing if it wasn't for Kenya.

As a portrait painter Kenya surrounds me with the most inspiring, characterful faces to paint.

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davidmaiden02

How would you describe what you do?I'm a figurative painter. I mostly paint people.  I try to capture more of the people that I paint than just their likeness, I try to paint a little of their mood and personality.

What are your tricks for getting inspired when you have a creative block?Go back to the sketch book! Forget the bigger projects and go to work on some smaller pieces. Work on something that you can start and finish in one go, then discard it and do the same the next day.

Once you're ready to go back to the larger projects,  ask yourself if you actually like and believe in what you're doing. If you wouldn't want the painting that you're working on to hang on your own wall then maybe you shouldn't be doing it.

What is your favourite project/piece that you have worked on and why?We've recently had a baby girl. During the pregnancy I worked on a series of self portraits which included my wife's pregnant tummy. I guess the paintings are a kind of family portrait. Painting these portraits was a way of preparing myself for being a dad.

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davidmaiden

If you could learn a new skill what would it be?I'd like to know mechanics, that would be so useful in Kenya. I'd like to speak really good Swahili too. 

What is your favourite song right now?Having a two month old baby the only song that comes to mind is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star! You discover hidden depths to that song when you sing it over and over again at four in the morning!

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Jo-8x10-WL1

Which designers/artists/photographers get you super inspired and excited?I love the photographs of Irving Penn. He did a series of black and white portraits called Small Trades that I love.

How do you relax and unwind?I like to cook, even after the longest, most frustrating day it's refreshing to chop an onion and brown it in the pan. 

If we finish work before the sun sets  then we often go on a game drive and watch the sunset with a cold beer surrounded by giraffes and elephants.

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What is your top tip for life?Two tips: You're nothing special and you'll never regret your integrity.

To find out more about David check out his website, and follow him on twitter. Thanks for being involved David.

To see other previous interviews check out Bianca, Belinda, Chloe, Rachel,Jonathan, Luke and Dave

Introducing: Dave Bain
Dave Bain
Dave Bain

Today I am so happy to be posting this interview with the supremely talented Dave Bain. He has such an impressive range of work (more of which you can see on his website) and some absolutely stunning prints to buy in his shop. Dave was a few years ahead of me at University Collage Falmouth and it is so great to see how well he has been doing since then. Read on and get inspired....

Where do you live and how do you think it influences your work? Bristol has been my home for just over seven years now, since graduating from University Collage Falmouth. After the sleepy environment of coastal studying, I craved bustle and a wider creative community, which Bristol has in spadefuls. It’s still quite a relaxed city though, and there are a wonderful group of illustrators, designers, artists etc… often working together and certainly hanging out together - making for a fantastically collaborative atmosphere. It’s re-assuring knowing that there are people around, who I can reach out to for advice and support. The music scene is fantastic too.

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(Collaboration with fellow illustrator and member of Drawn in BristolLoch Ness, this large drawing was created live alongside a planning event for a new creative quarter of Bristol.)

Having a good creative environment has, of course, influenced my work. Seeing new artwork up close and being able to discuss methods of working and learn from others has fed into my practice. Collaborating with other artists on murals, live drawing events and commissions has led to rewarding results and been a great experience. Although, I firmly believe you can work anywhere, it helps to have an immediate culture of art around you, which you can visually tap into and be part of.

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(A trio of artworks created for a Day of the Dead exhibition, which then led on to inspire my design for the Gromit Unleashed project)

(Wrap around design, hand-painted onto Gromit sculpture, which sold for £25,000 in the auction for charity)

How would you describe what you do? What I do evolves constantly and that’s important to me. I don’t like to pigeon-hole myself too much, as I’ve found that being open to taking on projects that I’ve not tackled before is a good challenge and better to attempt than to ignore. Sometimes those jobs have led to similar work and I’ve followed that path for a time. I work primarily in traditional mediums and always come back to that as much as I can and if a commission allows for that. Illustration is at the roots of what I do, even when authoring my own artworks, I can’t help enter an imaginary world of illustrating a concept, idea or story.

Beach Mural for Bournstream from Dave Bain on Vimeo.

What are your tricks for getting inspired when you have a creative block? Getting away from “it” works well for me. I love music and so sticking on an album or a mix is a good escape. I collect records too and lucky enough to live with people who also enjoy playing music and listening to it at volume 11. Reading, free-association drawing, playing games and walking/cycling all help too. Conversations can lead to some interesting ideas or solve problems. A problem shared…

The worst thing, I find, is to agonise over a blank piece of paper. At the very least, standing up and getting a coffee before re-looking at something can be enough to reset the brain.

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(Stage mural, hand-painted for The Gallimaufry)

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dave-bain_galli-drawing

(Drawing to commemorate one year of The Gallimaufry being open. This drawing was reproduced as a limited edition mini-print and given to all customers attending the one-year party)

What is your favourite project/piece that you have worked on and why?  It’s really tough to pick out a favourite, as each project has it’s own merits. One ongoing client that I work with is local curios bar ‘The Gallimaufry’, who originally commissioned me to do a large mural across the back of their stage area, developing some characters that I’d created for an exhibition the year before. It was exciting to enlarge, what were originally quite small paintings and add new characters to that set and see them in the context of, what is, a very eclectic and fun bar/restaurant space. The Gallimaufry have continued to bring me back in to work on posters, drawings and other artworks, sometimes featuring the same characters. The prominence of the bar and it’s associated identity with my paintings has also led to other commissions.

If you could learn a new skill what would it be? I’d like to improve my digital illustration know-how, as I feel like I’m only scraping the surface sometimes. I’ve a long-term goal of having oil painting lessons from a master too or at least putting aside time to better learn that medium.

What is your favourite song right now? Crumbs! This changes often. I’m going to have to say a few, because picking just one doesn’t really cut it. I had the pleasure of seeing producer Ital Tek play recently and have been following his music a lot this year and this remix by Throwing Snow is a firm favourite:

‘Still On Fire’ from Trentemoller’s new album has been a good one for our kitchen (fierce)

And if there’s one tune I keep coming back to it’s this pitch perfect remix by DJ Koze of a classic Matthew Herbert tune

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(Illustration promoting the Christmas volume of The Print Shop)

Which designers/artists/photographers get you super inspired and excited? I admire the career and work of Russell Cobb - his attitude to drawing and the way he works is prolific and wonderful to explore. I’ve been particularly inspired by many of the print-makers I’ve come in contact over the last year, while setting up The Print Shop (a pop-up shop) in Bristol, which is open until Christmas Eve.

How do you relax and unwind? Bad TV, good food (and bad food), friends, live music and a good boogie.

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(Detail of illustration for a food market)

What is your top tip for life? Enjoy the journey and be yourself. Bit corny and I could witter on with other sentiments, but it would probably keep coming back to those thoughts.

Thank you so much Dave for this interview and sharing your work and thoughts with us. To find out more about what Dave is up to check out his website and blog and also follow him on twitter.

To read some more inspiring interviews check out previous ones with Bianca, Belinda, Chloe, Rachel, Jonathan and Luke

Introducing: Jonathan Cherry
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Jon Cherry

Today I am interviewing the lovely Jonathan Cherry. Jonathan is a photographer and he actually photographed our wedding (you can see some pics here and here).  I have a beautiful print of his on my wall and from his website you can see that he is a talented guy. So happy to share this interview! Find out more about Jonathan below. 

Where do you live and how do you think it influences your work?My wife and I have just moved to small market town called St Neots near Cambridge. It hasn't started to shape me yet but the thought of photographing the local tattoo parlour keeps me awake at night.

How would you describe what you do?I point my camera at things. I've been a freelance photographer since 2009 after graduating from University College Falmouth. My work ranges from cycling - food photography. When I graduated people would say to me that it takes 3 years of hard work to become an established photographer in the industry and it feels like it will take me a lot longer to feel established in the photography community. Lots of people moved to London from University but I stuck around The Black Country initially and made it work.

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What are your tricks for getting inspired when you have a creative block? Cycling.

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What is your favourite project/piece that you have worked on and why?  I really enjoy going back to Slavonski Brod, Croatia each summer to work with local young people. I have made images here since I started going back in 2006 and I continue to love the country and the people. This project still isn't finished and I'm not sure if it will ever get done.

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SLAVONSKI_BROD

If you could learn a new skill what would it be? Woodsman.

What is your favourite song right now? Guiding Light by Foy Vance.

Which designers/artists/photographers get you super inspired and excited?Jamie Hawksworth & Andrew Paynter. I met Zed Nelson the other day and he inspired me. I also like Richard Turley.

How do you relax and unwind? I usually go outside or read Calvin and Hobbes.

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What is your top tip for life? Don't just stand there. Do something - Dick Dastardly

Thank you so much Jonathan for being involved. To find out more about Jonathan's work check out his website and blog, and follow him on twitter. Also if your in the mood for being inspired check out my interviews with Bianca, Belinda, Chloe and Rachel! (bet you are relieved I have interviewed a guy finally!)

Birds made of petals
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So following on from my bird theme that seems to be developing (see here and here) today I stumbled across the work of Malaysian artist Hong Yi. Check out her portfoliobecause it is pretty amazing - but these images of birds made out of flower petals really struck me. She noticed that the petals looked similar to bird feathers when layered on top of each other. Apparently she is known as the artist who ‘loves to paint, but not with a paintbrush’. To see more of her beautiful work and find out what she is up to check out her instagram feed.  It is a visual treat!

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Diana Beltran Herrera
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I saw the work of Diana Beltran Herrera today on Form Fifty Five and I had to share. I love birds and these paper sculptures of birds by Diana are absolutely stunning - and then an added bonus she is Colombian! Big up Colombian artists and makers. So much talent in that country! (Not that I am biased or anything!)

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See also this cute birds with bowties poster that I shared a few weeks ago. Maybe I will have to start a regular bird feature on the blog!

Spinning gifs
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I was thinking the other day that I want to try and make some interesting/fun animated gif's and then I stumbled across the work off RRRRRRRROLL - a Japanese art and photography collective. They have a blog with all of them on and they really are beautiful and very mesmerizing! Also there are so many of them! I totally feel inspired to give it a go now. May have a little play with my camera this weekend and try and convince NM to model for me!

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(found via the stickygram blog)

The Rain Room
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Just before Christmas we went on a little studio festive outing - yummy food and then the Rain Room at the Barbican. The Barbican is awesome. It has quality music, art and theater, and some really unusual exhibitions like this one. So basically you walk into a room, where it is raining...and then you walk through the rain but amazingly the rain doesn't fall on you. (well maybe the odd drop) - but word to the wise...its done using sensors and if you walk through to fast they don't work and you get soaked (ahem Bryan!) haha. It is still on until the beginning of March so check it out if you get a chance - average queuing time is 2 hours though! (ouch! take a book or a friend to chat to!)

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Tote Bags

Yesterday Chloebean and I were discussing how much we love tote bags. She bought me THIS beauty for my birthday and I have been using it everyday (it had to go in the wash yesterday though!) Anyway after professing our love of the humble tote I discovered that Society 6 have started doing tote bags! Society 6 is a site where artists can upload artwork and then people can buy it as a print or on other various items. I am so excited to look through all the many 100's of designs but the above are a few of my favourites that I spotted right off. reading left to right you can find the above bags here: 1,2,3,4,5,6