Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Sending kisses and free cards this National Stationery Week

In a world of tweets, facebook messages and skype I am saddened but not surprised that some people now rarely hold a pen!  There is no need; shopping lists can be saved on phones, banking can be done online and email has replaced the good old letter.  But not in our house, in our house the pen is king and they are everywhere, there are rather a lot of pencils too! 

The kid loves pens and now he can write he writes all the time, the nicest things he writes are letters to his Nana in Georgia.  She sends him letters, stuffed with dollar bills, he sends her letters full of kisses, it’s an arrangement that seems to work, is making them both happy, is creating amazing memories and a lovely box full of keepsakes. 

Committing your thoughts to paper creates a lasting legacy that transcends generations and continents, if you haven’t sent a letter or card lately, this week is a great week to put that right and to celebrate National Stationery Week we are giving away a mixture of stationery from us at Strange Fruit and also from our friends at Megan Claire  Biplane Press and The London Studio.



We have three sets of cards to give away .... winners will be picked on Sunday 28 April.  

On twitter simply follow @ilvstrangefruit and RT #stationeryfest for a chance to win.

On Facebook or this blog just leave the answer to this simple question in the relevant comments box - 

When ending a letter to someone you do not know, do you sign the letter off a) yours sincerely or b) yours faithfully?

And yes you can enter on each platform and you can be anywhere in the world. Good luck and do check out and follow our lovely collaborators!

Megan Claire is a greeting card company based in rural Leicestershire, England. Their aim is to stand out from the crowd with their contemporary distinctive style of greeting cards, prints and gift tags. Each design is digitally drawn by Megan herself using bright and bold colours, quirky illustrations and clever typography. www.meganclaire.co.uk   

Biplane Press use a traditional press to create their handcrafted letterpress stationery. They offer affordable, ready-made and personalised stationery for those who want the personal touch. Lovingly designed in Surrey, Biplane Press stationery not only sets the tone of your celebration well in advance of the big day, but is a delight to have and to hold. www.biplanepress.com   

Soula Zavacopoulos is the designer and business woman extraordinaire behind The London Studio a brilliant award winning business responsible for the fabulous “The Wisdom of Kids” range. Never one to rest Soula has published her first book, a playful little collection of the most amusing, insightful and endearing pearls of wisdom from some of the most unlikely little geniuses ever to open their mouths. www.thelondonstudio.com   

Thanks for entering Lillian - we'll be in touch to send your prize!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Today I am loving Elemental Herbology

If we have met you will know I am not into trying out different beauty brands and lotions, I kind of stick with what I like and what works and if I can't afford what I like I will just do without. I am too old to be buying products that sit in the bathroom cupboard unused and unloved until the teen finds them.  

So trying Elemental Herbology's cell food serum was a bit of a risk for me. At £42.00 it was a lot of money to 'see how we got on'.  

Lucky for me this little bottle of "high performing, bio-active plant oils" is like a magic spot vanishing potion. I have tried living without it for six months but this week I cracked, I figured if I am going to work 14 hour days I need something for me because at 42 I am just too old to be worrying about spots and having more breakouts than Justin Bieber.

I felt guilty spending over £100 on cream for my spots; I know it would be better to drink more water, eat better and possibly not get spots in the first place.  

There is also the reality that we really will need some new bath towels when the bathroom is fitted in two weeks time (joy) but this tiny bottle, that is now hidden from the teen, makes me happy and that is why today I am loving Elemental Herbology and not having any spots. 

Monday, 15 April 2013

Woodchip is my Nemesis

We have moved, if you follow me on twitter you will know this.  

Our new home is the upper part of a Victorian House in Clapton.  We wanted to move for ages but everything we looked at needed too much work or was out of our price range, we also needed somewhere to put Strange Fruit. Having a living room full of boxes of envelopes is not conducive to family life - trust me.

When we first viewed the house I knew I wanted it and once the husband - who like new builds - saw the self contained basement - he wanted it too. The house, like most Victorian houses is very wonky, probably because of the bomb damage more than its age.

Of course, if our house had been well decorated it would have been snapped up ages ago but as fate would have it the miles and miles of woodchip put most people off. That woodchip is now my Nemesis.

The house after the bomb damage and before we moved in!

The move, like all moves was stressful, British Gas delivered to most appalling service, I feel for anyone who cannot have their pre-pay gas meters changed. The furniture doesn't all fit in the house(lets not talk about that) and the dirt was immense - I have actually thought about sending the previous occupants bottles of bleach. But now we have reached the bit I really don't like, the pre-decorating preparation
The quote of £4.2k was a little out my my price range for having the hallway decorated so when I recovered from the shock and got my jaw off the floor I brought a wallpaper steamer. Turns out the teen is uber good at stripping walls and did everything she could reach, I now must owe her at least £2k! We have decided not to even try to make do with the bathroom, there are some things a coat of paint just can't cover, the installation thankfully starts in a few more weeks. The kitchen is horrible but can be lived with until we have decorated the rest of the house, a coat of white paint will make a huge difference in here. So after the bathroom is done, we'll finish the small bedroom which will be used as storage for the new suite etc and hopefully by the time the bathroom is done the hallway will be ready for decorating - that's the plan anyway if I stop looking at interiors magazines!
I have created a Pinterest board to capture the inside of my head. 

Monday, 1 April 2013

Do you want to be part of our new range of greeting cards?

The response to my collection of cards using collage, vintage photographs and inspirational quotes has been wonderful and Strange Fruit Greeting Cards are now stocked in stores across the UK and the USA. 


I have also just completed the School For Creative Start Ups business programme and am excited to be ready to scale up the business and take Strange Fruit to its next level.  

To seize that Strange Fruit moment I am launching not one but two new exciting collections.

Both ranges will be very different but will continue to fill the gap in the market for greeting cards reflective of our modern and diverse society.  One will be highly stylized and the other will be somewhat simple but quirky.  To make both of these things happen I need:-

Models of colour; all ages, shapes and sizes, babies to Grandmothers
Makeup artists 
Hair stylists
Production assistants

In return models will receive a framed copy of their print and acknowledgement on the Strange Fruit website.  Photographers and production crew will be fully credited for their work, provided with references and prints for portfolios.

I promise the shoots will be fun with plenty to eat and drink, there is also a high possibility of cake. Photos will mostly be taken in London but if not travel will be arranged or costs reimbursed.

If you want to be a Strange Fruit read the 'about us' page on www.ilovestrangefruit.com and if you like my business ethos drop me an email marked ‘I want to be a Strange Fruit’ to mail@ilovestrangefruit.com and let me know which role you would like to fill.  

I look forward to hearing from you, and I thank you in advance!

Denise xx