Tina Frey

I love the work of Tina Frey – an American designer who works in resin. Tina draws inspiration from many sources.  The fluid lines of her silhouettes are reminiscent of the blue sea, while the organic contours of each piece emulate the curves of nature.

Tina sculpts all her pieces by hand in San Francisco, California.  Sculpting starts with an idea which focuses on simplicity and function. The idea serves as the  backbone when Tina sculpts each piece in clay.  Hand made molds are created from each design and are used to cast the vessels in small batches by color.  Each piece is hand sanded and carries a unique beauty that ensures the quality and integrity of each piece. Her pieces are ethereal, classy and timeless…

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Ten Best Typefaces

Here’s our round up of ten of the most quirky Alphabets we have come across in the past few weeks. Above is Lotte Alice’s rainbow-hued Stitched Font, then as we scroll down we find Belgian designer Clotilde Olyff’s beachcomber typeface.

Following that we have Present & Correct; the Negative Paper Font by Oeil Bleu; a Paper Clip Font by Handmade Font; a Banana Typeface found on Design You Trust; a stunning Architecture Font by Peter Defty; an illustrated Alphabet by Charlotte Trounce; a wonderful Matchstick Font by Spenser Garden and last but not least a Collage Font by Leon Papa.

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One day, all things pourable will be made from glitter…

Our Grey Milk Jug checks into the jazzification station here at Howkapow!

New This Week… Jansen+Co Serving Platters & Cake Stands

Hello 2016! We can’t think of a better pair of products to welcome – what will no doubt be a fabulous year ahead – than our beautiful pair of Jansen+Co Serving Platters. They have been a while in production but now they are finally with us, they are a wonder to behold!

Designed by long-time favourites of ours – colourful Dutch design studio Jansen+Co – they are perfect for serving small cakes, sandwiches, cheese, fruit (and of course macaroons!). We have the Pink Serving Platter and the Blue Serving Platter to choose from… which one is your favourite?

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Miniature Knit Shop

We used to stock the brilliant work of Ruth Hawkins from The Miniature Knit Shop on Howkapow a few years ago. Her playful pieces grew from a love of knitting and fancy dress, which saw Ruth go on to produce luxury knitwear for babies, with a wild and wonderful theme. We loved them – and so did many of our customers!

Each design is unique and hand-crafted using the finest quality yarns, making perfect gifts for babies and toddlers. Ruth’s Mermaid Tail and Shark Attack Snuggler were some of our particular faves – while her hat and bootie sets proved popular at Christmas. A lovely lady with a lovely line in quirky childrenswear – although Ruth has taken a break from making her pieces now, we’ll always love ’em.

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Helen Musselwhite

British artist Helen Musselwhite works with paper – a medium she believes, “was waiting for me all along.” Living just outside of Manchester, she is strongly inspired by the English countryside. Walking her dog gives her the opportunity to see how her surroundings change from day to day – and she translates all of this in her work. Her pieces are things of stunning beauty – lovingly crafted and skilfully illustrated.

She playfully explains when she realised that art was a calling, “For me, it all started with one of those bumper packs of felt tips. One of my earliest memories is of tearing open Christmas wrapping paper to find a vivid array of coloured pens inside – then immediately rearranging the colours in a way that pleased me better. That was it; I was off on a voyage of creative discovery that continues to this day.”

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Win £100 Every Month!

Every month one lucky Howkapow Newsletter subscriber will win £100 to spend on Howkapow goodies. All you have to do is be on our Newsletter to be entered into our monthly draw. We’ll pick a winner on the 15th of each month. Remember – you’ve got to be on it to win it, folks!

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Suite One Studio

Lindsay Emery is the clever lady behind American ceramics atelier, Suite One Studio. The designer and ceramicist has the desire simply to “make mealtimes more beautiful.” Any my wordy – doesn’t she do just that!

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Lindsay’s beautiful gold-flecked pieces are produced in short runs in her cozy studio in North Carolina. The small batch nature of her work results in coveted limited editions. She works with high quality porcelain, formulating her own chic, colourful glazes inspired by watercolour paintings. Almost all of her pieces are finished with a delicate flourish of genuine gold.

Lindsay explains: “Few things make me happier than good food shared with good people. I work to design and make tableware special enough to accompany the heartfelt gatherings that make up some of our most memorable moments together. In short, I believe that your plates should earn their seat at your table, and that together we can make mealtimes everywhere more beautiful.”

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How To Make: Your Own Notebook!

Is the paper recycling stack precariously high? Make it into something useful again. Cat How gives a new lease of life to office scraps in a simply bound notebook. 

I can’ bear to throw stuff away, especially paper. Print-out errors, scuffed coloured card – as long as it still has some trace of write-able surface on it, it’s spared the recycling bin and knocked up into a notebook.

The great thing about binding your own books – apart from the sheer joyous thrill of making something you were going to throw away into something you were probably going to buy –  is that you can make it as easy or as complicated as you like. You can rustle up a coverless, warts-and-all notepad for shopping lists and daily plans in under 30 minutes, or labour away at a work of art with specially-bought paper for a day or more.

Bookbinding is a craft with some truly remarkable outcomes where you can get as creative and as experimental as you like. Short courses (www.bookbinding.co.uk) and books like Angela James’ The Handmade Book and Shereen La Plantz’ Cover to Cover are a good way of seeing just what ‘works of art’ can be achieved… but today we’re going warts-and-all.

How to make your own notebook

How long will it take?

Between 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how much of a perfectionist you are.

What you need

A stack of paper

A ruler

A pencil

A thick sewing needle

Strong string or thread

A thick needle topped with a wedge of cork (or mini hand-drill)

A small clamp (if you have one)

A cutting mat

What to do

1. Combine all your papers together. It doesn’t matter if they are different textures, colours or thicknesses – I find this actually makes the book more interesting – they all just need to be cut to one size. This can be whatever you want.

2. With all the papers aligned against their left-hand edge, place them on your cutting mat. Using a ruler, mark a light line with your pencil down the left-hand edge, about 1cm to 2cm in. Mark increments down this line, between 1cm to 2cm apart. Remember the more widely spaced the increments, the longer your stitches will be, and the quicker your book will take to sew. The shorter, the more labour-intensive, but also the more refined.

3. Align all your pages once more on the cutting mat. If you have a small clamp, use this to fix the pages to something solid, like the corner of a table. If not, press down hard on the top of your stack and start pushing through your increments with a thick needle or drill. Depending on how thick your book is you might be able to do this in one go. If not, separate your pages into sections, mark each one up, push through the holes and then combine.

4. Thread your needle. Although this might go against every sewing sensibility you have, tie a knot around the head of the needle (this prevents the thread from escaping when you push it through the paper).

5. Push your needle from underneath your stack at the bottom hole, leaving a good five inches of string spare when you pull the thread through. Don’t tie a knot at the end.

6. Weave your way up the spine of the book, threading each hole. When you reach the top, go back the other way so that each hole has been gone through twice and you have a continuous line of thread up the spine.

7. When you reach the bottom, cut the needle loose and tie the two spare threads together – I like a lavish bow!

And another thing…

You can add a hardback cover to your book by cutting two pieces of card to the same size of your notebook. Placing both on top, cut them again so that the bind is showing – this normally involves lopping off a centimetre or so from the left-hand edge. Get some tough fabric, cut it to the height of your book and make sure it wraps around the spine and covers a good few centimetres of the card. Using PVA, glue it around the spine attaching it to the cards which now ‘hinge’ off the fabric.

How To Make: Your Own Felt Weather Brooch

Jewellery can be fun and seasonal as well as decorative. Cat How shows you how to usher in Spring with a weather-inspired brooch.

Spring is most definitely in the air (or at least I’ve been trying to convince myself of this for the last few weeks), and so with the daffs also come the squally showers. I don’t mind them really, and they make a good subject for jewellery.

The secret to this brooch is the combination of colours, textures and materials. Pepper the front of the brooch with different sized buttons, bells or beads to give a more ‘sleety’ or ‘snowy’ feel, and try experimenting with different types of felt and different lengths and widths of ribbon.

Dangling gold or silver chain is also quite effective in conveying sheet rain, and gives the brooch a bit of bling and a lot of movement.

How to make your own weather brooch

How long will it take?

Between 20 to 30 minutes.

What you need

Three different coloured pieces of felt

A pair of scissors

A needle and thread

A brooch pin

Ribbons

Buttons for embellishment

What to do

1. On the back of one of the pieces of felt, draw a cloud. Cut this out and flip it over.

2. Place your cloud shape onto another piece of felt and carefully cut another shape around it with your scissors. Try and leave a few millimetres between both shapes. Repeat this with your third piece of felt.

3. Separate your cloud shapes and sew your brooch pin to the back of your middle shape.

4. Sew any ribbons to the front side of the middle panel. Take care to not make any stitches to close to the edge (they need to be covered by the front panel later)

5. Place the front panel on top of the middle one and, If you want to, embellish the front cloud shape with buttons sewing them through the front onto the middle panel.

6. Press your brooch pin hard down against the last shape (the biggest one at the back) until you make two small indentations.

7. Cut holes where these indentations are and make sure you can thread your opened brooch pin through them. The brooch pin should be sandwiched between the middle and back pieces of felt and have just the needle and hook pointing out of the holes.

8. Combine all the pieces and sew together around the perimeter.