27 April 2011

Felice - The Summer Collection 2011

So finally, here it is, the result of a very exciting recent project, and one that we have been meaning to share for a while.

These are the invitations to the launch of the summer collection of clothing at Felice - a Worcester based ladies clothing shop, which sells quality, mostly Italian made clothing.

This project was especially exciting because we got to experiment with various finishes, which gave very big results. The use of silver metallic ink on the heavy weight, navy, uncoated antique stock, gives an air of quality and class, and it feels really substantial. Teamed with the satin stock of the polaroid picture - a snapshot of their collection - the contrast is lovely to feel and see.

More pictures are now available on our website: www.leaffdesign.co.uk

26 April 2011

Home-made Wood Store

This weekend, my fiance (with a little help from me) made a beautiful wood store for our logs, that we stock up on for use in our wood burning stove throughout the winter months....

My partner is a dab hand at wood work, especially after the various projects that he took on during the renovation of our house - not to mention his superb creation of a little heart shaped wooden box that he made to house my engagement ring when he proposed. He just loves wood work. So, as you can imagine, he was in his element when designing our wood store.

We headed down to our local reclamation yard and picked up a dozen old blue roof slates to use - we love re-using old things (who knows what their story is) - and with a whole lot of wood at hand, we were away. He sawed, screwed and hammered his way through Saturday and Sunday in our garden, and before my eyes emerged the most perfect little wood store I had ever seen. Complete with a cute little plaque, it sits just outside our back door for easy access, and my gosh does it bring the outside inside (or vice versa, I'm really not sure).

We hope that this will inspire your own home projects, and will encourage the development of new skills. This wood store could be a beautiful luxury hutch for the bunny in your life (with a little alteration), or of course anything else that you need shelter for.

Truly Easter

What a beautiful Easter we had this weekend, and if any of you managed to get out and about within nature, we are sure that you will have seen some fantastic sights.

If you appreciate good photography and our natural world as much as we do, then you will enjoy looking at these amazing pictures, that were taken by my father-in-law (to-be).

After a blissful week spent holidaying in beautiful Yorkshire, he was keen to show us his photographs documenting their days out walking - and what a great story they told. It was very hard to pick which ones to show here, as there were so many good shots, but these are the selection that I think summed up Easter for me.

Photography by Bill Benstead.

20 April 2011

Wildlife Wednesday

We were very pleased and inspired to read two things in the newspaper this morning, which we felt were very fitting for Easter.

Firstly, the RSPB will be returning to Worcester this week, to set up their information stands and telescopes, educating the City on our resident peregrine falcons, that nest at St Andrews Spire. Live and recorded footage will be played to show the birds progress, and falcon fans will have the opportunity to see these magnificent birds close up, through the telescope. How lucky we are to have them!

Secondly, Shrawley Woods - arguably one of the best places in Worcestershire to enjoy the beautiful spring show of bluebells - will be welcoming the public on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd May. The woods are maintained by villagers in Shrawley, which we think is an example of admirable community spirit. You can read more about this on the Worcester News website, which is where we found this amazing photograph, by Julie Royle.

Similarly, and seen as this Easter weekend will be perfect for lazy afternoon walks in the sunshine, Broadmoor Wood, which is maintained by the brilliant Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, is said to be looking simply spectacular at the moment. With blankets of golden kingcups, bluebells and hazel wood, dotted with yellow archangel, celandine, stitchwort and wood anemone, it really is one not to be missed! For more information on places to visit, keep up to date with the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust's blog, here: worcestershirewildlifetrust.blogspot.com

18 April 2011

Friday's Wondrous Adventure

Well, I said it was going to be a special weekend, and special it certainly was.

On Friday afternoon, we ventured up to Manchester - tickets firmly clutched - to see Agnes Obel, live, at The Deaf Institute. The creative inspiration began to flow from the minute we arrived.

On a somewhat shabby building, 'The Deaf Institute' sits creatively graffitied onto the bricks, bringing the building to life. Inside, the softly lit rooms glowed with character and warmth, oozing charm and intimacy.

The haunting and magical sounds filled the room, as Agnes softly sang, accompanied by her fingers, effortlessly gliding over her keyboard. In the background, cellist, Anna Muller, gently plucked, bowed and harmonised, creating unimaginable depth. The combination was perfect and pure, setting butterflies to life in my stomach, as a great sense of awe swept over me.

Time seemed to fly by in an instant, we were enjoying it so much, and before we knew it, it was over. So inspired and enthused, we hurried over to the merchandise stand to grab the EP on vinyl as a memento, and as if things could get any better, out popped Agnes and Anna from backstage. We had an unforgettable conversation with them both, and what genuinely lovely people they were. Agnes - so humble, feminine and gentle, and Anna - while also quiet, bubbly too, witty and charming.

As we travelled back to Worcester in the early hours of Saturday morning, we each relived the evening over and over in our minds, as we quietly mused, awe struck, at what we had experienced. As I sat in the passenger seat, staring down at our signed EP and tickets, I felt entirely energised by the raw talent that we had been lucky enough to experience that evening.

Now, with a beautiful start to the week, I am sitting in the studio with the sun pouring through the doors, feeling humbled at the memory and extremely inspired by the whole experience.


14 April 2011

Vintage Inspired Shoes

Above are some pictures of the beautiful and very feminine 'Hassall' collection of wedding shoes, from 'Rainbow Club'. If you are into 'vintage', you will love these, and there are lots more to see on the website. So if you are on a shoe hunt yourself, know someone who is, or if you just want to draw on some creative inspiration, then take a look!

Notably, Rainbow Club also offers a dying service, enabling you to match your shoes to your outfit or theme colours. I really like this option - with the wide variety of shades that wedding dresses are available in these days, it does make for some difficulty with colour matching everything.


Our Invitations - Sneaky Peek!

A long time coming, I know, but as promised, here is a sneaky peek of part our wedding invitations.

It began with an illustration, part of which you can see here. Our beautiful cotswolds venue is the centre point of our design, just as it will be our wedding.

Where will it go next? That is for us to know, and you to find out I am afraid! Updates will continue to be released as we go, giving you snap shots of our exciting and very romantic journey.

Obsessed by every detail of how our day will look (occupational hazard) I am and have been compiling images to create one huge mood board of ideas for our day. I will share all of the pretties that I come across, as I go, to perhaps inspire you - whether that is for your own wedding or not.

Leaff takes a lot of inspiration from a lot of different things, and they never need to really relate to the project in hand. In fact, it is most interesting when they have no relationship at all, but encourage a really fantastic idea.

11 April 2011

A Weekend in the Garden

What a beautiful weekend it was, with blue skies, bright sunshine and warm air. It made me realise quite how long our winter felt.

I spent the whole of Saturday afternoon turning our garden from 'winter' to 'spring'. Clearing away all of the dead leaves that had piled up, refreshing the soil, re-potting plants, and enjoying nature.

The birds sang away all afternoon, while I knelt, bare legged, in the soft carpet of grass. Big bumble bees greeted me, and jasper popped over for some company. He flopped down onto the grass in an exhausted, sleepy heap, basking in the sun, and watching me through squinting, heavy eyes. He never seems quite as relaxed or happy as he is when he is in the sun.

Our bird house towers over our little bench in our garden, which I have come to discover is an unfortunate thing, for it has become creatively decorated with bird mess! We decided we should move it anyway, and give it a clean, and it now sits away from the table.

The birds however did not thank us for it whatsoever. They fluttered over to the house, and landed on the roof, looking down at the empty space where the bench used to be. Creatures of habit they are, and it wasn't until yesterday (sunday), when I was collapsed in a chair, topping up on my vitamin D whilst getting completely lost in a good book, that they finally decided it was safe. I always feel so complete when I am among nature, and sitting there, watching the tiny birds feast, felt like heaven.

Aside from time spent enjoying the garden, we also put a lot of hours in on our wedding stationery, which was very exciting indeed. The invitations are coming along nicely, and I will try to get a sneak peek up on here at some point this week.

08 April 2011

Hoover v Vacuum Cleaner

We have just come across a very interesting article on brands and how they can become so generic that they get absorbed into our vocabulary.

I am particularly astounded to find out that the brand 'Hoover' has taken over our language for 'vacuum cleaner'. Do you refer to it as a Hoover or a vacuum cleaner? I flit between the two, and that is interesting seen at 'Hoover' is not what the product is collectively called, but rather what one type of the product is called. Confused?

Hoover, is a brand name of a vacuum cleaner, just like Dyson is. There is no difference. Yet, Hoover has become so well known and generic that over time, it has actually been adopted as the word to describe the product. In some instances, it has replaced 'vacuum cleaner'.

I wonder how far back the line goes, and how many people actually realise that Hoover is a brand of vacuum cleaner, and not just another name for the product (per se)?! And is this kind of absorption of a brand a good or bad thing?

So, for a spot of Friday afternoon reading (which may require a lie down afterwards, but hey, it is an excuse to put your feet up in the sun) check out this link:

Some parts are rather amusing - like the bit on 'SPAM' - yes, I do mean the canned meat. It explores how a brand can become affected by the terms in which it is used by others.

Why are they so Happy?

Why, because it is Friday of course!

The sun is shining, Worcester is exploding with chocolate fun, and we have a fantastic spring weekend ahead of us!

As you must all know by now, Leaff is a great nature fan, and we are always intrigued to discover new, weird and wonderful creatures that exist on our planet.

This is a Theridion Grallator, also known as the 'happy face spider' - to our utter delight! They are native to a Hawaiian group of islands, and they do not all actually carry these unusually happy markings (only the very happiest do, clearly!).

We think that they are amazing, and like the Mexican Walking Fish in one of our previous posts, they really do look un-real.

For a little more info, visit this link: www.photography.nationalgeographic.com

We hope that this has made you all giggle this morning, like it did us!

07 April 2011

New Rob Ryan Book

Rob Ryan has a new book coming out and has just disclosed the first page, as a sneak peek. It is beautiful - just as I expected it would be and more. I am really looking forward to seeing the rest of it.

Follow this link to his blog for a better look, and for details of the book:

Rob's first book, 'This is for you', sits proudly in our studio and is a brilliant source of inspiration. It is a tale about love, told through the most intricate and delicate paper cut-out art. I absolutely love this book - the way the imagery is as delicate as the story, and how he captures such a connection between his words and his art.

You can bag yourself a copy of 'This is for you' for masses of inspiration.... or for the one you love, here: 

04 April 2011

Worcester's Chocolate Weekend!

This coming weekend, marks the first ever Chocolate Weekend in Worcester, and I for one could not be more excited! It is a dream come true!

The aim of such a creative event is to boost trade for City centre businesses, which we think is pretty darn good seen as it is the local businesses that keep our lovely City thriving.

Unusual and intriguing recipes like chocolate pizza and chocolate beer will be on offer to try, among the many other treats available at local cafe's and restaurants. Namely, our favourite cafe in Worcester - Ginger Pig, (situated just off the high street, on Copenhagen Street) will be running a competition to win a delicious homemade chocolate fudge cake! Those of you who have ever tasted the cakes (and food in general) at Ginger Pig, will sure be flocking to enter!

Alas, when your tummy has had enough, there will be fantastic chocolate sculptures to marvel at, created by an artist who has travelled far and wide with her edible art, along with lots of top quality street entertainment and competitions! Talks will also be taking place by renowned chocolatiers, so be sure to bring a notebook and pen!

Families will have a great time at this wonderful Willy Wonka style weekend, and as for adults like us, it is a chance for us to unleash our inner child, exercise our imaginations and perhaps over indulge slightly!

The event will be running from Friday 8th - Sunday 10th April. Follow this link to download the delicious details! "Worcester BID, Chocolate Weekend"

See you there!

01 April 2011

The Power of a Brand

For those of you who own a company or those of you that are interested in design and communication, this is a definite good read.

One of the biggest global branding agencies, Interbrand, gives us the '10 Principles of Brand Strength'. A fantastic read, delving into why a brand is so important and how it forms the backbone of a company. It shows us how a brand can make a company, when adhered to in every sense, and what happens when a brand loses direction.

When you think of a brand, you may think of purely the aesthetics. A fresh, memorable logo... a strong colour palette... but in actual fact, it runs much deeper than this. A brand is not just what your company looks like, it is who your company is. It is the decisions that you make as a company, the people who represent the company and how the company communicates with it's customers. So everything you do as a company, is part of the brand.

Using well known brands to illustrate how a good brand will work for you, and how you can lose it all, it touches upon these 10 principles:

1. Commitment
2. Protection
3. Clarity
4. Responsiveness
5. Authenticity
6. Relevance
7. Understanding
8. Consistency
9. Presence
10. Differentiation

Grab a cup of tea, and follow this link for what I believe could be one of the most important reads for your company: www.interbrand.com
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...