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And the winner is…. daisies!

As a thank you for reaching 1000 Instagram followers I decided to run a custom print giveaway.

The lucky winner would have the print of their choice designed and made into any item they wanted. There were lots of great suggestions but the idea that was chosen at random was daisies. I was very pleased with this as I love drawing flowers so I started my research. After looking in the garden and researching photos online I discovered there’s a lot more to daisies than you might first think.

Daisies research photo

It all begins with a hand drawing

Once I had chosen the type of daisy I wanted for the design I started to draw. I knew that it would need to be a soft drawing to represent the softness of the daisies so I chose coloured pencils. The middle section in particular required a lot of work. After looking closely I realised there were so many shades of yellows, greens and darker tones that would be needed to give a realistic effect. The petals also proved quite a challenge. I wanted to use some shading to give them depth whilst keeping an overall pure white feel.

Daisy drawing in the sketchbook

Once I was happy with the drawing it was time to scan it in to the computer. The process of cleaning up the image ready to be made into a digital print took a very long time as the fine lines of the petals were very delicate. Eventually the daisy drawing was transformed into a clean digital image that was ready to be made into a pattern.

Daisy drawing as a digital image

Daisies – creating the finished design

Next it was time to arrange the design. I knew I wanted the daisy print to be a random repeat so that it looked like a field of daisies. This is always harder than a simple half drop repeat as it’s tricky to get the right balance of size and placement. I resized the daisies into small, medium and large and rotated and flipped them to create a more random selection. After a long time of nudging daisies this way and that I was finally happy with the design! I had originally envisioned the daisy print with a pale blue background which is what I tried first.

Daisy print on a light blue background

Although I love the colour combo of blue and yellow and think this gives a real Spring feel, I don’t think the daisies stand out very well so I tried a darker blue variation.

Daisies on a dark blue background

I love how vivid the daisies look on the darker blue background. It gave me the idea to try other bold colour backgrounds too.

Daisies on a pink background

I’m not usually a fan of pink but I think the daisies look great on this pink background! I think it would be perfect for the reusable makeup remover pads and a matching wash bag.

Daisies on a green background

The green background took a bit more time as many shades of green didn’t look quite right. I’m really pleased with this tone though as it looks really fresh.

Daisies on a yellow background

Finally I also tried the daisies on a yellow background. Yellow is my favourite colour so I absolutely love this one!

Which is your favourite colour background? Let me know in the comments below.

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You can never have enough houseplants

There’s something wonderful about having a house full of fresh green plants.

I used to love having a beautiful bunch of flowers in my living room. Unfortunately the cost of fresh flowers every week was becoming too much so I had to have a rethink. Then I discovered houseplants and I was hooked! These lovely plants bring the fresh feel to the indoors like flowers but live much longer than just a few days. I gathered all my houseplants and chose three that varied in colour and shape.

Houseplants inspiration
Houseplants inspiration
Houseplants inspiration

Let’s get drawing

I knew that I wanted to create a bold print design. The lush colours of the houseplants jumped out at me and I wanted to replicate that. For that reason I decided to use oil pastels. I love working with oil pastels as the layers of colours can be blended to get really rich tones.

I wanted this print to be as colourful as possible so I made sure to draw the plant pots too. It was fun recreating the woven effect of this plant holder.

Before drawing this houseplant I had never noticed quite how many different tones it had in its leaves. I used a wide range of different greens, browns and yellows to mimic the patches.

The soil was a difficult texture to work out. I wanted to make sure it looked different to the smooth ceramic pot so used different shades of brown in little dabs. Layering up the various tones worked quite well and I’m happy with the effect it created.

From paper to screen

Once I’d completed the drawings it was time to scan them into the computer. Because oil pastel drawings are really bold the sketches didn’t take too much digital cleaning up. I wasn’t sure how I wanted the print to look but when I lined all the houseplants up to think about it I thought that it worked really well! I spent a short time nudging each plant a few millimetres this way and that until I was happy with the spacing of them and then the design was finished.

If you love the new houseplants print then good news! There are already a few items in the shop featuring this fab design with more coming very soon.

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Stay home, stay safe, order online

With all the uncertainty going on at the moment I wanted to update you with what’s happening here.

Drawn by Rhiannon is still open! Everything is carrying on as normal as possible here. Instead of visiting the post office, I will be paying for postage online. Then I can pop your orders straight into the postbox to avoid contact. PLEASE NOTE items are taking longer than usual to arrive due to staff shortages at Royal Mail. The boxes that I send orders in fit through your letterbox so you don’t need to worry about missing your happy post or having to come into contact with a delivery person. Unfortunately international postage is suspended for the time being.

If you’re away from friends and family but want them to know that you’re thinking of them, I can help! Just select the gift wrap option when you add an item to your basket. Then at checkout you can leave a gift message and I’ll add a handwritten note to your order and send it straight to your loved ones.
The blue kraft paper is currently unavailable so until I can get back to the studio, gifts will be wrapped in brown kraft paper instead. They will still be tied with lovely blue polka dot ribbon and fastened with paper tape so it will still be plastic free.

Plus if you live in Beverley I can hand deliver your order for free! Use discount code BEVFREEPOST at checkout to remove the postage charge. Please note this is only available for orders being delivered to Beverley. It will be invalid if the delivery address is not in Beverley.

What’s next for Drawn by Rhiannon?

I’ll be spending the lock-down photographing new items that I’ve made other the past couple of months. These will all be available to buy very soon so keep an eye on the ‘New In’ section on the homepage. There are a few sale items that I don’t have access to right now so I have removed those from the website for the moment to avoid disappointment.

The spring events have either been cancelled or postponed so I will update you once I know more. You can find all the events for later in the year here.

If you have any questions about anything, please get in touch. I’ll be keeping an eye on the developments and update you all if anything changes.

Finally a huge thank you to everyone that is continuing to support Drawn by Rhiannon at this difficult time. Being a small business is hard work at the best of times. With all the spring events being cancelled, online orders are more important than ever. Thank you so much for shopping small 💖

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New year new products

A new year calls for some exciting new items.

After the crazy Christmas season stock levels were looking a bit low. That could only mean one thing – time to order more fabric! I always like to spend January designing new prints so once I had a collection ready to go I put in the fabric order. If you don’t know anything about the pattern design and fabric printing process check out the about page. The first new print to be released was the sea turtles design which you can read about here.

With so many new items being made I thought it would be a good idea to make a quick list of what’s coming up in the next month. Lots of items are being restocked too so if there’s anything out of stock on the website don’t forget to sign up for product alerts on the product page. If you spot something on the list that you would like just let me know!

Reusable makeup remover pads

New makeup remover pads

The reusable makeup remover pads were hugely popular over Christmas – I couldn’t make them fast enough! They’re really pretty and they’re kind to the planet too. Here’s a list of the new makeup pads coming soon:

Turtles
Houseplants
Bluebells
Chickens
Unicorns
Apples
Giraffes

Plus lots more extras of the favourites already on the website too!

Pencil cases

The pencil cases were another firm favourite over the festive period. Their handy size means they can be used for all sorts of purposes. A handbag makeup bag, a travel sewing kit, or even a teabag pouch.

Turtles
Houseplants
Bluebells
Penguins
Flamingos
Elephants
Bees
Llamas
Autumn leaves
Kingfishers
Puffins
Pandas
Pineapples
Raccoons
Lighthouses
Chickens
Otters
Giraffes
Robins
Beach huts
Seaside

Reusable beeswax wraps

If you’ve not heard about beeswax wraps yet check out my post about them here. These are a super easy way to start your journey towards less single use plastic. A lot of the fabric allocated for these was just to make sure stock levels are topped up but there were a few new ones too.

Bluebells
Turtles
Houseplants

Wash bags

Wash bags are another product that are super versatile. Being made with water resistant fabric means they can be used for a whole host of reasons.

Otters
Chickens
Cows
Sheep
Turtles
Houseplants
Bluebells
Bananas

Aprons

New aprons being cut out

It’s great having the water resistant fabric for the aprons. It’s just so much easier to have a wipe clean apron if you’re a messy chef! A few of these completely sold out over Christmas so it was time for a restock.

Flamingos
Puffins
Teacups
Elephants
Turtles
Houseplants
Pineapples
Robins
Penguins

Stocks are limited so if you want to reserve any items please get in touch soon!

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Turtle print: from inspiration to final design

Many of my print designs are inspired by my travels including the new turtle print.

A couple of years ago I visited the beautiful Greek island of Zakynthos. The island is home to an endangered species of turtle which are absolutely adorable but hard to spot. On a day cruise around the island we were lucky enough to see a few and snap a couple of pictures. I loved the fascinating patterns on their shells and was inspired to design a turtle print.

Loggerhead turtle of Zante

I knew that I wanted to use watercolour paints for the drawings of the turtles to match their watery habitat. It’s great to get all my paints and brushes out; the possibilities of all the different colour mixes is really inspiring. To begin the drawings I always draw a rough outline in grey pencil. For watercolour paintings I draw the outline with a watercolour pencil so that the lines can be blended in to the painting as it progresses.

As well as the photographs I’d taken in Zante I researched more pictures to have a bigger range of angles and shell designs to choose from. I selected three different turtles with a mix of different colour shell patterns because I wanted to give variety to the print.

The final stages

Once I’d painted the turtles it was time to scan them in to the computer and clean up the images. Cleaning up drawings is an important part of the print design process. When sketchbook pages are scanned the texture of the paper is also picked up which can look messy in a digital print.

After cleaning up the paintings the final stage is to arrange the turtles in to the digital print. This stage always takes far longer than I think although I knew that I wanted the turtles to be in a random arrangement to look like they were swimming around. After a lot of tweaking (2mm up, 3mm across and repeat) the design was finished!

Finished turtle print

I also tried it with a sea blue background colour to make them look like they’re swimming in the ocean. Which do you prefer? Let me know in the comments below.

Finished turtle print sea background
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5 easy ways to be more eco-friendly in the bathroom

If your new year’s resolution is to be more eco-friendly then you might be wondering where to start.

We’ve already discussed 5 easy ways to be more eco-friendly in the kitchen. Now it’s time to tackle the bathroom.

1. Make recycling easier

It might sound obvious but if it’s easier for you to recycle, you’re much more likely to do it. You probably already have a recycling bin in your kitchen but do you have one in your bathroom? All those cardboard toilet rolls and shampoo bottles add up so make sure to stick a recycling bin in your bathroom for easy access. Otherwise those recyclable items might end up in the normal bin headed for landfill…

Add a recycling bin to your bathroom to make it easier to be eco-friendly

2. Try switching to bars

Unless you’re brand new to the eco-friendly way of life you will have heard about shampoo bars. A solid bar of shampoo is roughly the equivalent of 3-4 bottles of shampoo. Just think of all that plastic being saved! These handy bars are growing in popularity so there are plenty of different flavours to choose from now. Find them in your local eco shop or keep an eye out for them appearing in the bigger supermarkets. My personal favourites are The Friendly Soap Company and Alter/native.

Shampoo bars come in all sorts of scents these days

If a shampoo bar is too much of a jump for you, why not switch your hand soap instead? Bars of soap are so easy to find and come in a huge range of different scents. Try to buy ones that are wrapped in card/paper instead of plastic. Bonus points if you support a local or Fairtrade business!

Switching to bars of soap is an easy way to make your bathroom more eco-friendly

2b. Refill your plastic bottles

If bars just aren’t your thing you can still reduce your plastic use in the bathroom by refilling. Take your empty shampoo, conditioner and soap bottles to your local refill station. These are popping up all over the place, usually with Faith in Nature products. (If you’re in Newcastle/North East and want to know where you can refill your bottles, just ask!)

3. Look for plastic free alternatives in the kitchen

Simple changes can be made to make your bathroom entirely plastic free. For example, did you know honey makes fantastic cleanser? I’ve always struggled with eczema but since using honey on my face I’ve had the smoothest skin! Don’t worry about the stickiness, it wipes off with water surprisingly well. Plus it’s so much cheaper than standard cleansers and comes in a glass jar which you can reuse afterwards.

Honey makes a great cleanser alternative

Another foodie swap which surprised me was apple cider vinegar. Strangely it makes a wonderful conditioner and leaves your hair super soft. It’s also handy to use when you first switch to shampoo bars to make the transition easier for your hair. Magically the vinegar smell disappears as your hair dries leaving you with silky smooth locks. If you’re not convinced, this article goes in to the ins and outs of the science of it.

Apple cider vinegar makes a great plastic free alternative to conditioner

4. Zero plastic everyday essentials

An important item to consider going plastic free with is toilet paper. There’s no reason for it to be wrapped in plastic, we all know what toilet paper looks like! There are companies out there providing toilet paper without all the unnecessary plastic packaging. I use Who Gives a Crap – they wrap their rolls in super pretty paper instead of plastic so they’re still nice and hygienic. As well as that, the paper itself is recycled and they give 50% of their profits to help build toilets for people in need of them. You can’t go wrong! (If you want to give them a try, click here to get £5 off your first order over £36)

Look for a more eco-friendly toilet paper option

If you’re using disposable razors it’s really worth swapping to a more eco-friendly alternative. Metal razors are fantastic as you get a much closer shave and you can just replace the blade when it starts to blunt. The initial cost of buying the razor itself is obviously higher than the cheap plastic razors but the replacement blades are super cheap and it’s all recyclable!

Switch your disposable plastic razor to a metal razor

5. Swap makeup wipes for reusable makeup remover pads

Of course I couldn’t write a post about eco-friendly bathroom habits without mentioning reusable makeup remover pads. You may be wondering what’s so bad about makeup wipes; they look like they would naturally break down right? But no, the majority of makeup wipes are actually made of plastic that block drains and fill the oceans once you throw them away. This is why reusable makeup remover pads are a much better option. Not only do they look super pretty, they can be reused over and over again. Just tie them up in their washing bag then chuck them in a 30 degree wash. Check out the full range of makeup pads here.

Reusable makeup remover pads are the perfect addition for an eco-friendly bathroom

I hope that’s given you some ideas for how to make your bathroom more eco-friendly. Which was your favourite tip? Let me know in the comments below.

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Let’s save the planet

Our planet is super important and Drawn by Rhiannon is committed to minimising the environmental impacts that come with running a business.

As lovely as it is to bring wonderful new items in to the world, it’s important these items aren’t causing too much of a negative impact on the environment. Here are the steps that Drawn by Rhiannon is taking to help save the planet.

Designed and handmade in the UK

This isn’t just some catchy tagline. Drawn by Rhiannon is committed to supporting British businesses and reducing transportation pollution. Because of this, keeping everything in the UK just makes sense. All the lining fabrics, thread, and packaging supplies are sourced within 12 miles of Drawn by Rhiannon HQ.
Other haberdashery essentials such as zips and D-rings are currently sourced from Birmingham. Ongoing research is being carried out to find a more local supplier for these. And of course, everything is handmade by Rhiannon in her studio in Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Drawn by Rhiannon industrial sewing machine

Eco friendly fabric printing

Once the fabric has been designed by Rhiannon, the files are sent to a fabric printing company in London. The cotton fabric is printed using digital pigment inks. This process of printing requires no water and uses around 95% less energy than screen printing. There is virtually no ink waste and no soapy residues from production. All this helps to reduce the environmental impact and the print quality is fantastic with fab vibrant colours!

Eco friendly fabric printing - Drawn by Rhiannon environmental policies

Plastic free packaging

It’s lovely to receive some beautifully packaged happy post but not if it’s full of nasty plastic. All the packaging at Drawn by Rhiannon, as well as the gift wrap options, are completely plastic free. Orders are either wrapped in blue polka dot paper bags or blue tissue paper depending on size. Items are then packaged in cardboard mailing boxes, sealed with paper tape. The paper bags and mailing boxes can be reused or put straight in home recycling bins. The tissue paper can be reused or put in a compost bin as it’s biodegradable

Plastic free packaging - Drawn by Rhiannon environmental policies

Reusable products

As well as implementing eco-friendly policies in the running of the business, Drawn by Rhiannon wants to encourage other people to think in a more sustainable way too. Through the eco range of reusable products, Drawn by Rhiannon is offering simple changes that will drastically reduce plastic waste in customers’ homes. Find out more about the reusable beeswax food wraps and the reusable makeup remover pads. Stay tuned for more reusable products being released soon to help you reduce your environmental impact.

Reusable beeswax food wraps

If you have any questions or suggestions about Drawn by Rhiannon’s environmental policies please get in touch. You can use the contact page or social media.

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year

The festive season is just around the corner now.

During the build up to Christmas in November and December I’ll be at markets all around the north east. These fab handmade gift markets are the perfect place to buy extra special presents for Christmas this year.

Read on to find out about all the events that Drawn by Rhiannon will be exhibiting at this year…

Saturday 9th November – Park Hotel, Tynemouth

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The perfect place to start your Christmas shopping this year, with over 75 stalls from local businesses. The Park Hotel is situated by the roundabout just as you come in to Tynemouth, right by Longsands bay. 

Saturday 16th November – Azure garden centre, Cramlington

Azure Garden Centre is hosting a Christmas Boutique every Saturday and Sunday in the lead up to Christmas. I’ll be there on Saturday 16th November for the opening day from 9am – 5pm. The boutique will feature local independent traders showcasing a range of unique crafts, seasonal gifts and food items. The garden centre is located close to Cramlington town centre and the A1 and A19.

Sunday 17th November – Redfox Gardenworld, Gateshead

I’ll be at the Redfox Christmas market on Sunday 17th November from 10am – 4pm. Support lots of local businesses and find unique gifts for your loved ones. There’ll be a chance to try your hand at candle making, have a delicious mulled wine, browse the stalls, sample freshly cooked pizza and hot doughnuts, create a Christmas wreath and much more!

Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th November – Spanish City, Whitley Bay

Spanish City is an iconic landmark in Whitley Bay and I’m very excited to be exhibiting at their first ever Christmas Fayre. With a variety of stalls, this is the perfect chance to enjoy a fabulous festive weekend with friends and family. I’ll be there on Saturday and Sunday from 10am until 6pm.

Wednesday 27th November – Kings Priory School, Tynemouth

From 7pm to 9pm on Wednesday 27th November I’ll be at Kings Priory School for their Christmas shopping evening. Tickets include a glass of fizz or wine and can be purchased from either Percy Park Road School Office, Huntington Place School Office or from the Out of School Club. There will be a bar serving drinks and nibbles too.

Saturday 30th November – Trinity Church, Gosforth

I’m looking forward to meeting up with all my local Etsy friends for this year’s Etsy Made Local Newcastle Christmas market. The nation-wide Etsy Made Local Christmas markets are happening again this year and we will be running it for it’s third year in Newcastle. It will feature some of the best artists and artisan of the North East.

Sunday 1st December – Jarrow Hall, Jarrow

On Sunday 1st December I’ll be at Jarrow Hall for their Christmas Fair. The Fayre will showcase the latest local talent and support artists, designers and small businesses across the season. There will be a wide variety of stalls including ceramics, baking, glass, textiles, jewellery, metal, mixed media, recycled materials, painting or photography.

Monday 2nd December – Christmas in Corbridge

From 4pm – 9pm on Monday 2nd December I’ll be at Christmas in Corbridge feeling super festive! There will be carols, a brass band and more live music, over 50 stalls, street food, late night festive shopping, alpacas to meet and Santa’s grotto. Also the penultimate day of the 2019 Corbridge Christmas Tree Festival inside St Andrew’s Church which will be open on Monday night.

Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th December – Poplar Tree Garden Centre, Durham

By this point Christmas will be in full swing! I’ll be at Poplar Tree garden centre all weekend from 11am – 4pm. There will be over 60 stalls with businesses selling unique Christmas gifts, plus mulled wine, a visiting Santa, Christmas tunes and real reindeer!

Saturday 14th December – The Wood Yard, Newcastle

For my last Christmas market of the year I’ll be revisiting The Wood Yard for their Winter Market. This is a fab event full of local makers and crafters so it’s the perfect chance to get those last minute Christmas presents.

I’m very excited for the Christmas market season to start and I can’t wait to meet some of you face to face! If you’d like to know more about the location of any of these markets, visit the events page by clicking here.

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5 easy ways to be more eco-friendly in the kitchen

The news is full of stories about climate change and it can be very frightening.

However if everyone made small changes to their everyday life then it could make a huge difference to the future of our planet. I’m by no means an environmental expert but here are some tips to help make your kitchen a bit more eco-friendly.

1a. Reduce single use plastic – loose fruit and veg

Everyone knows the amount of plastic floating around the oceans and sitting in landfills is super bad news. Once you start thinking about single use plastic you see it everywhere! An easy way to reduce your plastic intake is to buy your fruit and veg loose instead of prepacked. Many of the supermarkets are now offering plastic free choices for their fruit and veg which is great news. Better yet, why not shop at your local greengrocer and support a small business.

eco friendly plastic free shopping

1b. Reduce single use plastic – weigh shop

As well as fruit and veg you can buy all sorts of your store cupboard essentials without plastic. Pasta, rice, dried fruit, spices, pulses and much more can be found at weigh shops. You can bring your own containers to fill up with as much or as little as you need so it helps prevent food waste too. These are popping up all over the country now so keep an eye out for one coming to your town soon. If you live around Newcastle Upon Tyne I recommend Buy the Kilo in Tynemouth (pictured), the Weigh House and Nil Living in the Grainger Market, The Little Refill Shop in Seaham and The Honey Tree in Heaton.

Buy the Kilo eco friendly plastic free shopping

1c. Reduce single use plastic – bring your own containers

It’s great to see that lots of the supermarkets are now encouraging this. Instead of buying prepackaged meats and cheese, you can take your own container to the butcher and deli counter at larger supermarkets. This prevents the use of plastic trays which are difficult to recycle. Plus the choice of cheese at the counter is much bigger than off the shelf, and the meat tastes fantastic.

2. Eco friendly cleaners

Have you ever thought about the amount of harsh chemicals that are released into the environment from cleaners? Or the amount of plastic you have stored in your cleaning cupboard? Thankfully there are now lots of options for more eco friendly cleaning products. One of the biggest names in eco friendly cleaning is Ecover. This brand is widely available and is often found in refillable shops too. I also thought the “doesn’t cost the earth” range by Wilko is good as it’s all made from sustainable plant ingredients and packaged in 100% recycled bottles. Plus their washing up liquid is one of the only washing up liquids that doesn’t irritate my skin.

To reduce waste even more you can fill up your cleaning products at a refill shop. Again these are becoming much more common so you may already have one near you without knowing about it. I use the concentrated cleaning gel from Alternative Stores which is just around the corner from me. You dilute the gel at home with water and a little goes a really long way so it actually works out far cheaper than ready made cleaning products! If you’re in Newcastle Upon Tyne there’s also the One World Shop that offers refills as well as Buy the Kilo, Nil Living and The Little Refill Shop mentioned earlier.

3. Freeze leftovers

The amount of food waste produced in the world is just crazy. Over 1/3 of all food produced globally goes to waste. This is such a simple issue for you to tackle at home. Meal plan what you’re going to eat for the week then just buy the food for those meals and snacks. Then if you have any food left over from your meal don’t throw it out! Use a tupperware or a glass jar to freeze your leftovers for a really quick meal for another day.

4. Find plastic alternatives

Take a look through your kitchen cupboards and fridge. What items could you swap to be packaged in something other than plastic? I’ve switched to milk in returnable glass bottles from a local farmer, cola in cans instead of plastic bottles, and mixer drinks in glass bottles instead of plastic. (For any dark and stormy fans Belvoir’s ginger cordial that comes in a glass bottle is divine.) These were really simple switches that have reduced my plastic use hugely.

Interesting fact about aluminium – did you know that there is no limit to the amount of times aluminium can be recycled? This makes it the most recyclable of all the materials. Plus the energy that’s saved by recycling one aluminium can is enough to power a TV for three hours!

5. Ditch the cling film

Of course I couldn’t make a blog post about an eco friendly kitchen without mentioning beeswax wraps. These fantastic creations have completely changed my kitchen habits. Instead of wrapping bowls and food in cling film, use a beeswax wrap instead.

Cling film can’t be recycled so every piece that was ever made is now sitting in a landfill or polluting our oceans. Beeswax wraps are reusable, much prettier than cling film, and can be composted at the end of their life. To find out more about the beeswax wraps, check out this blog post.

Drawn by Rhiannon beeswax food wraps fabric

You can also take your beeswax wrap to the cheese counter and take your chunk of cheese home wrapped in the lovely fabrics.

To shop the full range of reusable beeswax food wraps, click on the pictures above or click here.

If you have any more tips about how to make your kitchen more eco friendly or if you want to recommend an eco friendly shop near you, comment below!

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Made by hand from start to finish

Rubber duck reusable makeup remover pads being made by hand

At Drawn by Rhiannon everything is done by hand from start to finish.

Every item begins with an image drawn by hand by me which I scan in to the computer to make a digital fabric design. I then make all the items myself on my industrial sewing machine. I also make all the packaging myself, photograph the items and edit them to make them as clear as possible. Finally I list them on my website and write up a description for every item. It really is all done by hand!

To show you what I mean here’s a rundown on how the new rubber duck reusable makeup remover pads were made by hand, step by step. (You can take a look at the finished product on my website here.)

Step 1: Drawings

I love that every fabric I design begins with one of my drawings. I use all sorts of materials to draw with but for the rubber ducks I decided to use promarkers. These pens are brilliant for creating bold graphic designs which was exactly the look I wanted for the ducks. I chose a selection of rubber ducks from my collection (I have almost 100 now!) and started to draw. I initially sketched the ducks in pencil to get a rough outline to work with. Then I went over the lines I was happy with with a black marker and coloured in the shapes. These are the pages from my sketchbook that I scanned in.

Step 2: Digital print design

Once I’m happy with the drawings it’s time to make the digital print design. The drawings always need a bit of cleaning up so I go around the edge of the drawings erasing any fuzzy edges from the scanner. Thanks to the bold line work and colours, the duck drawings scanned in really well and were fairly simple to convert in to digital images. Next I make sure the colours are where I want them to be. For example, some of the ducks had scanned in with bolder colours so I wanted to make sure that the colour depth was even across all the ducks. I never want to over-edit on the computer otherwise the drawings will lose their hand-drawn character. 

I had a good idea in my head about how I wanted the duck print to look which made it easier to arrange the design. Sometimes I’m not sure how I want the finished design to look so it can take a long time to work out a composition that I’m happy with. For the rubber ducks I simply wanted them in lines with a half drop repeat.

Step 3: Making

When I’ve finished the design, I send it to a fabric printing company in London. They print my designs on to the fabrics then send it back to me to be made in to all sorts of different items. 

With the reusable makeup remover pads there are quite a few steps required to make them. First of all I have to cut out the printed fabric and the backing fabric. For the back of the pads I use a soft cotton towelling that I source locally.

 

Once the fabrics are all cut out it’s time to start pinning. About 70% of making anything seems to be pinning!

 

After pinning everything in place I sew the two sides together on the industrial sewing machine. I then topstitch around the whole pad to make sure it’s really secure.

Rubber duck reusable makeup remover pads being made by hand

Then I repeat the whole thing four more times to have a total of five makeup pads per pack. The final stage in the making process is to make the little wash bag that the pads are stored in. I make these with tulle that I buy locally so that you can see which design pads are inside each bag. It’s also a handy little bag to keep for washing the makeup pads in so that they don’t escape and get lost in the wash.

Step 4: Packaging

I include an information tag with the reusable makeup remover pads which also gets made by me. I designed the tag on my computer to include how to use the pads and the cleaning instructions. These tags are then printed on to card and cutout using my cricut machine. The cricut machine saves me a lot of time and cuts a lot more accurately than I would!

Step 5: Photography

Once the makeup pads are made, in their little bags and tied with a tag, they’re ready to be photographed. I do all my product photography myself in my studio. Luckily my studio has nice big windows that let in lots of natural light so as long as the British weather is being kind, I can usually snap some pretty good product shots.

Then it’s just a case of editing the photos to fix the lighting and make sure the colours are true to life. Finally they’re ready to list on the website!

I always write a small section about the inspiration behind the print design for a personal touch and make sure important details such as size and fabric type are listed.

You can see the finished listing here – https://www.drawnbyrhiannon.co.uk/product/reusable-rubber-duck-makeup-remover-pads/