Supporting fellow north east creatives

August 08, 2017 by Angela Reed in Blog 1 comments tags: north east; creatives; artists; designers; makers; self-employed
In the spirit of last week’s post about the Just a Card campaign, I thought I’d highlight a few north east creatives I’ve been delighted to support recently. The list is by no means extensive. Since I started running my own business three years ago I’ve been introduced to a wide range of self-employed superstars doing their own creative thing. The majority of them have been women, thanks to my involvement in the Inspire Network, although there are plenty of male creatives out there shaking off the shackles of the 9-5. So, kicking off with the message of Just a Card…   Flutter By Lorraine Artist and illustrator Lorraine Hall and I share the same graphic designer in Hollie Ellis and a love of lettering. Her cards are absolutely beautiful – watercolours with a bit of bling – so when it came to the end of term, I knew exactly where I’d be buying my children’s teacher cards from. Lorraine did a fantastic job and her customer service was spot on from the moment I got in touch. We discussed designs and colours, opting for butterflies and a mixture of pinks and purples (chosen by Sophie) and greens and blues […]

Have you heard about the Just A Card campaign?

August 01, 2017 by Angela Reed in Blog 1 comments tags: artists, creatives, designers, galleries, independent shops, Just A Card, makers
Have you heard about the Just a Card campaign? I have been following one of its team members, Kate Marsden, for quite some time on Twitter. She was one of the lovely artists featured in a subscription box I ordered a while back and I remain a fan of her urban-inspired textile design work. I also just like reading her tweets! It was through her Twitter account that I first heard about Just a Card.   Just a Card is sharing a “vital” message. The campaign aims to promote the importance of small sales, such as cards, to artists, designers and makers and in turn, encourage people to support independent businesses. It’s a message you can’t really argue with. And I have first-hand experience of the boost even the smallest order can give you. The campaign, set up two years ago by artist/designer Sarah Hamilton, is supported by The Design Trust and lifestyle and craft magazine Mollie Makes. It has a strong social media presence, including its own Twitter hour and a weekly ‘Have You Met?’ feature on Instagram to build the profile of artists, designers and makers. Sarah said: “Since starting this campaign I’ve been inundated with messages from shop/gallery […]

Embellish Box Giveaway: Beside the Seaside

July 25, 2017 by Angela Reed in Blog 13 comments tags: competition, embellish box, giveaway, papercutting
I’m lucky enough to live by the seaside. Always have and probably always will. I grew up in Sunderland – the city by the sea – and we’d regularly walk down to Roker or Seaburn for some sea air, a bit of rockpooling and some fish and chips. Watching the waves crash against Roker Pier is still one of my favourite things to do. Now I live in South Shields and we’re literally a stone’s through away from some of the best beaches in the world, in my opinion. Give me Sandhaven over the Algarve any day!   Are you spending summer at the seaside? With the kids now off school for the summer, we’re hoping to spend some sunny days at the beach, although we do trudge along the sand in all weathers. If you’re heading for the coast over the holidays, I’ve got the perfect thing to get you in the mood! I’m delighted to have been given a papercutting subscription box from Embellish to give away – and the theme is ‘Oh I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside’. I tried papercutting myself for the first time before Christmas and it’s my intention to get back […]

Spotlight Stationery: Parallel Lines

July 19, 2017 by Angela Reed in Blog 0 comments tags: stationery; subscription box; notebooks; pens; pencils;
Parallel Lines is the theme of the latest Spotlight Stationery subscription box. It makes me want to sing Blurred Lines, even though the words are completely different, but anyway, I digress. (And apologies if I’ve just given you an ear worm for the rest of the day!) It’s another cracker of a box, with a selection of lined and striped stationery. The gorgeous A5 notebook from French stationer Atelier 225 feels absolutely beautiful to the touch. It features a screen printed chevron patterned cover and 120 sheets of removable plain paper. At 100gsm, it will be perfect for calligraphy practice. I might even use it to write the #InCoWriMo replies that have been stacking up on my desk! I’ve got some new pens and pencils to do that with too, thanks to the addition of the Stabilo Point 88, Pointmax and Pointvisco pens and Pencil 160. Many of the German pen manufacturer’s products feature white stripes. There’s also a bookmark from Museums and Galleries with a bold striped design by Cressida Bell, a British designer specialising in textiles and interiors. Spotlight Stationery has also included the latest in its own series of pocket notebooks, which I always like to have […]

Q Festival 2017: My top picks

July 10, 2017 by Angela Reed in Blog 0 comments tags: Baltic Square, culture, Gateshead, Q Festival
Q Festival – Quench Your Thirst for Summer is an exciting new collaboration between Gateshead Council and Jesterval Comedy Festival. It’s coming to the Gateshead Quayside from Friday, July 14, to Sunday, August 6, promising fun summer days and long summer nights. A beautiful 1920s-themed Spiegeltent in Baltic Square will play host to a vibrant and eclectic cultural programme for adults, children, businesses and families. This is in addition to Jesterval’s 45 comedy events. I’ve already booked up for a few events and I’m hoping to make it along to some more. Here are my top picks for Q Festival 2017. Blogging: Create Your Own Opportunities Monday, July 17, 6pm – 9pm £10 The north east has a fantastic blogging community of which I am a very small part. Having attended a previous blogging event organised by The Culture Vulture (read my blog post about it here), I know this will be a night not to be missed, whatever your reason for writing. The speakers include Samantha Rickelton, from North East Family Fun, and Rachel Kershaw, from Life in Geordieland.   Drink, Draw, Jammin’ and Paint Wednesday, July 19, 7pm – 10pm £8 Artist Bernadette Koranteng will lead a drink […]

Joining the Inkpact Scribe Tribe

July 06, 2017 by Angela Reed in Blog 0 comments tags: handwriting, Inkpact
In case you hadn’t noticed, I love to write. This means I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to write, whether it’s via my blog, my calligraphy or my new sideline in press and PR. So when I heard that Inkpact was recruiting, I got in touch. I came across the company on Twitter quite a while ago and fell in love with its ethos. It’s all about using the power of handwritten communication to restore the human connection between businesses and their customers. After all, who doesn’t love receiving a letter or a note in the post? Throw in some beautiful handwriting and bespoke touches like wax seals and you’re bound to get more opens than a round-robin e-mail. Did I mention that I also love stationery? Inkpact sources its stationery from the finest stationers – and real ink is a must! Inkpact was founded in 2013 by Charlotte Pearce and has a small head office team, supported by a community of freelance writers – the ‘Inkpact Scribe Tribe’ of which I am now a member. As a social enterprise, Inkpact is committed to providing flexible, skilled work, particularly to those in difficult circumstances, stating on its website: “Our […]

Going from self-employed to ’employed’ again

June 28, 2017 by Angela Reed in Blog 4 comments tags: customs house; press; PR, employed, new job, new job, self-employed
Not many people go back to being employed once they’ve experienced the freedom of working for themselves. I always thought I’d find it hard to work for someone else again after striking out on my own and running my own business for three years. But that’s what I’ve done (sort of) and I’m really enjoying it! The more eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed me mention in a previous blog post that I had taken on a new part-time job. Now that I’m settled in, I can reveal that it’s a press and PR role at The Customs House in South Shields, which makes the writer in me very happy. But although it’s freelance and I’m still self-employed, all of a sudden I have a boss again! Fortunately, my immediate boss happens to be someone I’ve known and worked with since the age of 18, which is how I got dragged into being ’employed’ again. When the opportunity arose, I was the first person she called – and you can’t turn a good friend down can you? There were other temptations too – a more regular income, putting my journalism skills to good use, working as part of a team, representing […]

Investing in product photography

June 14, 2017 by Angela Reed in Blog 0 comments tags: calligraphy; photography; branding
Product photography is not my strong point. I’ve relied on my phone to take pictures for the best part of three years, with professional shots of my calligraphy being few and far between. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve taken part in a couple of styled shoots and received a handful of images taken by photographers at weddings I’ve been involved in. But I haven’t really had an extensive set of shots taken since I started out in May 2014 and the business has changed massively since then.   My business image was in need of an update. Every year, my business birthday seems to prompt some tweak or another – a little bit like when you start making new year’s resolutions! This time, I decided to invest in some product photography. I feel a lot more in touch with my branding as a result of working with Hollie Ellis Design and I’m also in the process of having my website updated by Jackdaw Web Design. I was keen to get some new imagery to reflect this and really show my work in the best light – literally. Everything needed to be brighter. So, I pulled a few samples together and […]

Spotlight Stationery: Made in Germany

June 05, 2017 by Angela Reed in Blog 0 comments tags: stationery; spotlight stationery; subscription box; pens; pencils; notebooks; postcards
Danke schoen Spotlight Stationery for my latest stationery fix! May’s subscription box theme was Hergestellt in Deutschland – Made in Germany – featuring artisan products and premium brands made in – you guessed it – Germany. The first items I pulled out of the box were a handmade notebook and a selection of colourful patterned envelopes from Bindewerk, an independent bookbindery in southern Germany. Hidden in a red envelope were brass coloured binder clips from Rico Design, a leading wholesaler of arts and crafts materials, based in Westfalen. The envelope also contained a brass coloured, barrel-shaped pencil sharpener from family-owned Mobius & Ruppert, founded in 1922 and now in its fourth generation. Two pens contained in the box – the Slider Memo XB and Line-up – came from another family-owned business, Schneider, which was established in 1938. There were also two pencils from Stabilo – the Schwan 306 HB and Othello 282 2B – which was originally called Schwan-Stabilo and established in Nuremburg in 1855. Johann Sebastian Staedtler began shipping pencils around the world from Nuremburg in 1840. I already have a few Staedtler items in my pencil case, with their erasers being my favourite when it comes to rubbing […]

What to expect from one of my workshops

May 30, 2017 by Angela Reed in Blog 2 comments tags: calligraphy; workshops
I have a bumper list of workshops coming up that will keep me busy right up to the summer. I’ve even got some penciled in for the autumn! I also have some amazing new images from a recent workshop I did at the Customs House in South Shields, taken by Corrina Atkinson Photography. It’s the first time I’ve had professional shots of me running a workshop, so I thought I’d put them to good use and write a blog about what to expect when you sign up for one of my workshops.   I run a range of different sessions, which I’ve outlined below, but at each one you can be sure of a warm welcome, relaxed atmosphere, good company and the chance to discover an enjoyable new skill. There’s also usually coffee and cake, or tea and biscuits – or both! If you’d like to read more from a participant’s point of view, there’s a lovely guest post from Michelle Nicol, who joined us at the Customs House, on the blog here.   Drop-in sessions These are very much a taster session and I have mostly been asked to run them for the Cultural Spring as part of their consultation […]