Capturing Creatives • Meet Sim Wishlade

One of the amazing things about writing this blog is being able to share the places and people I am lucky to know and discover. These people inspire me to challenge myself creatively and this series, Capturing Creatives, is all about sharing the work of people I admire and shouting about talented individuals you should all know about!

First up is Simeon Wishlade. Sim is an accomplished designer based in London.

Sim Wishlade

I am absolutely in love with Sim's geometric illustrations and the character he is able to create in the digital animals. Sim's illustrations have the ability to combine a contemporary design process with an emotional connection and I find the Baby Emperor Penguin completely adorable!

Sim Wishlade

1. Hello Sim, great to have your creative work on the blog today. Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi Lucy, thanks for inviting me to talk about my work. About me, well, since the age of fourteen I wanted to be a designer and somehow I’ve stumbled my way to being one. I’ve been doing this for over twelve years now illustrating LP & CD sleeves, designing book layouts and websites amongst other things. When not in my full-time job or doing bits of freelancing I’m nearly always found outside playing sport. I spend a lot of my time cycling laps around Richmond Park and carry my EOS 5D in my bag just in case I see the deer out and about being deer like.

Sim Wishlade

2. When did you start making your prints and why?

An ambition of mine would be to have a photo in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition but I have little time to photograph wildlife anymore, plus I don’t have the patience! So I ended up drawing some for fun and putting them on my walls, asking nephews and nieces what their favourite animals were and drawing them and giving them as presents and it’s taken off from there.

Sim Wishlade

3. How do you choose which animals to feature in your work?

I normally ask people what their favourite animals (mine being a penguin!) and drawing them. Some are more successful than others though, I think it comes down to the personality of the animal. Some just work and look great, others take time to become a finish object and others (as hard as it is) you just have to let go because they don’t work at all.

Sim Wishlade

4. What do you love about digital design?

Its instantness, the ability to adapt and change with ease, to constantly update and refine your work. The flip side of this is that nothing is ever finished – at least in print design you have a tangible object in your hands at the end and once it’s being printed there’s nothing you can do about it. Maybe that’s why I enjoy illustrating so much, to a degree it has a time stamp on it, a place in time, and until I chuck it in the bin it’s a product I’ve spent time on. Websites come and go, and all I have for them is a Photoshop file!

Sim Wishlade

5. Which 3 designers work do you admire?

Tom Gauld: his work is beautifully detailed, and the sense of humour within his work always makes me smile.

Jessica Hische: her typographic work is amazing.

Peter Saville: His graphic design work is always a source of inspiration.

Sim Wishlade

You can buy giclee prints of Sim's work or print your own at home with his digital prints available for just £10. 

I just have to have the Baby Emperor Penguin for the boy's staircase!

You can see Sim's portfolio and blog here and follow him on Twitter.

Thank you so much Sim, what a pleasure to highlight your wonderful work.

Dairy House Antiques, Semley • New Discoveries

You know when you find somewhere that makes your heart race? And somewhere that before you even walk in, you know you are going to love? Well that was me the second I laid eyes on the handwritten Dairy House Antiques sign.

Dairy House
Dairy House Antiques

Debs and Trix have curated the most incredible collection of sellers, showcasing vintage treasures, antique finds and rolls of old maps and prints just waiting to be thumbed by excited fingertips. Fabrics, soft furnishings, quilts, pictures and everything in between, from a miniature figurine to a French armoire. 

Dairy House Antiques
Dairy House Antiques
Dairy House Antiques

The Dairy House is somewhere to get lost in.

There are no less than 3 floors full to bursting with antiques from all periods, sports memorabilia, kitchenalia, crockery, furniture, you name it, you'll find it here. There are 23 different sellers, who each have their little corner of the Dairy House, which result in the most eclectic displays and variety for shoppers. From whole rooms to a shelf in a glass cabinet, there is a wonderful feeling of collaboration when you potter around.

Dairy House Antiques
Dairy House Antiques
Dairy House Antiques
Dairy House Antiques
Dairy House Antiques
Dairy House Antiques
Dairy House Antiques
Dairy House Antiques
Dairy House Antiques
Dairy House Antiques
Dairy House Antiques

With the festive season looming there is a feeling of romance at the Dairy House, twinkling fairy lights draped over dressers and jars and metal stars and vintage baubles hanging ready to go from the shop to your tree this Christmas. 

Pop in for present ideas or for a piece of cake at their "Tea Shed". The only trouble is you'll want to buy the table and chairs whist you eat your cake!

Dairy House Antiques
Dairy House Antiques
Dairy House Antiques

Top of my Christmas wish list are a couple of these enormous glass jars for the ends of our console table. They look wonderful as vases or simply filled with leaves or baubles. 

Dairy House Antiques

The Dairy House is a find so if you are ever near Shaftesbury, follow the signs to Semley! They are open Monday to Friday 10am - 4.30pm, Saturday 10am - 5pm and Sundays 11am - 4pm.

You can find them on Facebook too. 

Just a girl with a camera

I get lots of lovely emails asking about how I started my photography business and how I go about finding my photography work. 

So I thought I would share a little story from this week about my trip to London to work for Leon Restaurants.

Leon are a dream client. Their style is dynamic, colourful and the team spirit ethos shines through their staff. Working with them doesn't feel like work. Their Marketing Manager had read my blog and contacted me about taking some photos last year and I was delighted to be asked back again this year to photograph a new restaurant that has just opened at Victoria Place and focus on their healthy, fast food at their restaurant at Bankside.

Leon
Leon restaurants
Leon Restaurants
Leon Restaurants
Leon Restaurants
Leon restaurants
leon restaurants

As I walked down the bustling street towards the Bankside restaurant on Tuesday, I passed several other eateries, one who had set up for a photo shoot. I slowed down a little to take it all in.

The giant reflector screens on a perfectly overcast Autumn day, the models in co-ordinated "casual outfits" who were being told to look at the laptop in front of them naturally and smile. 

For a second it made me feel a little nervous, that I was heading next door to capture exactly the same sort of shots but in a totally different way, without the set up, the "customers" being paid to look happy, but any nerves evaporated as I was met by the Marketing Manager with a huge hug.

She had noticed the set up as well and when I said "Goodness have you seen what's going on down the street?!" she replied, "Yes, and that's why we hire you." 

That's quite possibly the most wonderful compliment I have had as a photographer and I got behind my lens and started snapping.

Leon restaurants

Capturing restaurant customers is tricky. We don't tend to smile when we eat, no one looks good chewing or about to eat a forkful (It always looks like you are shovelling your food in like a greedy beast). Just think of all the terrible celebrity pictures magazines roll out of skinny celebrities eating a burger, you know the sort, which are always the most unflattering! And people in London are busy. They tend to eat and go. 

Leon Restaurants
leon restaurants
leon
leon
Leon

So I lie in wait, trying to capture a natural moment. A first date, with coy smiles, nervous giggling and twitchy legs under the table, colleagues wishing to be more, groups of friends, and my favourite is people on their own.

I love thinking about what they do next, after they've finished their paper or crossword, or wonder what they are listening to on their earphones. People watching is such a lovely past time and even nicer when it's for work!

leon
leon
leon

And people were watching me, sometimes they'd see me out of the corner of their eye and give me a thumbs up or a big grin. Others, often women, would look embarrassed but then I silently mouth, you look beautiful, and head over to show them the photo on the camera display. It's lovely when they say "Oh that's a really nice one." I can tell the people who don't want their photo taken and I steer clear, a successful British comedienne was in the queue at Bankside and I made it obvious I wouldn't take her picture. She came over and thanked me and we both carried on our days.

I am lucky that I have clicked with Leon. I understand what they are trying to convey in their photography and hopefully they are happy with the results. When you are developing your portfolio, whether as a brand new business or as an established photographer, I think it's important to build relationships so that you have a set of clients who can rely on you. My biggest tip is to spend time appreciating their brand, their identity to ensure that the photography reflects them. That it is distinctive as both their and your style of photography.

Leon restaurants 44.jpg
Leon
Leon
Leon
Leon

My blog is my living CV. I get approached by new clients through my website and by sharing peeks from other shoots, it enables me to have a constantly changing online portfolio.

I have ear marked a post in my #backtobasics series dedicated to 'How to start a photography business' but if you have any questions before then, as that post is a little way off, just leave a comment or email me mama@capturebylucy.com.

Leon
Leon

Now who is hungry after this post? Can you imagine how peckish you get shooting delicious food all day?!

Harrods Christmas Hampers • A beautiful indulgence

When we were younger we always celebrated Christmas with my cousins. On Boxing Day or on Christmas Day itself, we would either head to Oxford, or impatiently wait for them to arrive at our house and welcome them, and my Granny and Grandpa, with a rousing "Compliments of the Season!"

My Auntie and Mum took it in turns to host, with my Granny putting together a beautiful hamper, mostly full of goodies that she'd collected in her larder (some of which may have been past their sell by dates), as their contribution to Christmas. I thought this was such a lovely gesture and there is something about a hamper that feels so luxurious and special. 

So it was a complete treat to find one of Harrods Christmas Hampers arrive at our door.

Even the unveiling to discover what's inside made my husband ooh and aah like we were watching a firework's display. I love that the lid explains exactly how you feel. Like lifting the lid, is akin to opening the doors to the Harrods Food Hall.

Harrods Hampers

There is everything you could need for a pre Christmas afternoon tea party or a perfect sweet round off to Christmas Day.

Tea, coffee, wine and Champagne to serve with 2 delicious cakes, biscuits and the most sumptuous box of chocolates I have ever eaten. 

Harrods Hampers
Harrods Hampers
Harrods Hampers

There's sweet chutney and jam to drizzle over the essential cheese and biscuits as well as Apple and Damson jelly and mustard for the Christmas table. 

You feel spoilt.

harrods hamper 5.jpg
Harrods Hampers
Harrods Hampers

This was a serious after school treat! I have saved a few of the goodies for Christmas Day as I am hosting for my family! 

Harrods Hampers
Harrods Hampers
Harrods Hampers
Harrods Hampers

Thank you so much Harrods, your hampers are the ultimate Christmas present!

Who to follow on Instagram #1

Ever since I resurrected my Instagram account earlier this year, I feel like I have found this secret world.

A world bursting with creative talent.

I love that you can share not only what is happening around you, places you visit, your own unique everyday, but also style and share little creative corners.

Sometimes, even when I feel like I haven't got time to breathe, I make time to take myself off for 2 minutes with some flowers, some pretty cards or paper and tinker.

It's incredibly relaxing and inspiring. And Instagram is full of people who feel the same way!

In fact 3 of my favourite accounts have started a Friday competition encouraging everyone to faff to their heart's content!

Join in with @katherinedorrington @juliabesidethesea and @am_i_dreaming_now and tag your styled vignette #fridayfaffingcompetition. Then browse through the gallery of everyone else joining in, I guarantee you will be spoilt for choice for inspirational accounts to follow.

These people are naturally creative, naturally talented. They don't try. Day after day they share what they love and I love it a little more each day!

And here are 4 must follow accounts.

@brittcastellano - Britt is an artist whose colourful account will blow you away. I adore her prints and will be choosing a couple for our mint and coral family room. 

Follow for a daily dose of cheer and more.

britt castellano

@brownpaperlemon - Nikki an Australian artist and mother who seems to treasure the little things.

Follow to get lost in her dreamy whites and to feel the love for her small people.

brownpaperlemon instagram

@angesdesucre - Reshmi Bennett is the mistress of macarons and everything else full of sweetness.

Follow for heavenly food photos, styling that makes you gasp and a must visit bakery on your next visit to London. 

anges de sucre

@emmakateco - Emma Kate is a wildly talented storyteller. A graphic designer with the ability to captivate you in one colourful, small square. 

Follow for an explosion of colour, for tea cup envy and travel inspiration.

emma kate co

Now tell me who are your must follow accounts?! 

Coral and Grey Living Space Inspiration

Hooray! The first room at the new house is almost finished. We have walls, a floor and lighting and now it is time for all the lovely bits.

I adore researching interiors, I carry scraps of paper of real home photos around in the bottom of my handbag, and the lounge is littered with home inspiration magazines. 

The family living space in the house is a large rectangular shaped room with a door to the hallway, conservatory and the kitchen off 2 sides. The room has several dark wood original beams and we are lucky to have an enormous 8ft wide fireplace as the focal point of the room.

Living space before

With dogs and small boys, we decided that hard flooring was a safer option, given the muddy paws and dirty bare feet that run from the garden through to the grown up lounge across the hallway. The beautiful oak herringbone flooring we uncovered only went across half the room, so we made the painful decision to cover it up. One day when we can chip all the old concrete out and source reclaimed parquet, we will do, but for now we had to get the room finished, the most economical way possible. But the good thing is we know it's there for later! We have taken the original walls back to the plaster and stripped off the old lining paper so you can really see all the quirks in the walls. 

The house was built in the 17th century and we really want to see all it's character rather than hide it under lining paper. Of course that does mean you have to get used to lumps and bumps but we love it!

We removed the partition which created a snug area, in favour of a larger more open plan feel and have chosen to keep the walls white as a neutral base for the rest of the furnishings.

Living space after

It does look a little stark at the moment which totally goes against my love of clutter and colour! But I am going to restrain myself and keep to a soft colour palette of greys, corals, mints and a hint of gold, to bring warmth into the cool space. All week I have stared at these roses on the dining room table and love the deep rich colour they bring to a room.

coral roses

I like the concept of keeping your biggest items neutral, your walls, flooring and main pieces of furniture and then accessorising to bring in your chosen print or colour scheme. That way when your tastes change after a few years you don't have the vast expense of changing all the really expensive items!

The room serves 2 purposes, a family area in front of the fireplace and a dining area at the back of the room. After lots of searching I found the perfect sofa and farmhouse table and now I need to get to work on my charity shop chairs and source 3 more. Mis matched but not completely mis matched! There's a space for an armchair too to make the area around the vintage coffee table I found in Olliebobs locally more cosy, but we are still on the hunt for that now!

We chose the Anglepoise range of pendants and wall lights for their classic but contemporary feel and now need to source table lamps to replace the lanterns on the console which are more at home in the fireplace. 

I love creating mini mood boards. They help you imagine what your room will look like and you can take a little inspiration from each picture, rather than replicating a room set. Here is my current collection of beautiful images.

Gray gold and coral inspiration

I LOVE the dipped furniture and would love to be brave and paint the thrifted chairs with coral feet.  The mint and coral colour brings a more feminine feel to the room and I love the hints of gold in the lamps and accessories. You can find all the images on my Pinterest board here

These room shots are my favourites. Contemporary lines mixed with traditional prints and fabrics. Eclectic but not cluttered.

living room inspiration
living room inspiration

So we have a little way to go before it feels homely. I am sifting through all our photos deciding which ones will go in frames on the deep window ledges and having lots of fun finding cushions and curtains, to make it feel less white!

Let me know any recommendations for soft furnishings, I am always on the look out! I can't wait to do a full tour of the room when it's finished, so check back in soon.

Me and Mine - A Family Portrait Project October

This month we have been living in chaos. I have been able to write my name in the dust on every window ledge, sideboard, the floor in the hallway and even the cutlery that sits in a basket in the kitchen needed washing every time before you stirred your tea! But it's all worth it. Because when you see a room slowly come together it starts to feel more like yours. More like home. Our home in the country.

We are trying to be methodical, move room by room, and translate our vision for this beautiful old house into walls, furniture and all the other bits and bobs that are the fun part to source and buy!

I have lots of photos to share over the next week or so of the inside of the house but when we first viewed the house, on a chance drive by back in the Spring, it was the garden we first fell in love with. The garden is a picture perfect backdrop, still full of colour, and a testament to the vision and loving care the previous owners poured into it. 

white winter flowers
pink autumn bush
logan berries
winter rose

So it seemed fitting that our family photo for this month was amongst all the crunchy leaves and apple trees! We donned our wellies and headed out yesterday whilst the air was still full of mist, with the horses next door looking on bemused.

Balancing the camera on an old stone sculpture that I was thrilled they left for us, we snapped this. 

capture by lucy
capture by lucy

My family. My boys. And their stinky dog dog and puppy. (Yes we go for original names for stuffed dogs here!) And then I really looked, looked at the small boys between us. They are still so little. We have expected so much of them lately, been frustrated at the continued broken night's sleep, been horrified at the level of rough play fighting and the constant desire to run around the garden in bare feet getting filthy! 

But we have been blessed with 2 boys, slugs and snails and puppy dog's tails! I followed them as they headed down to the pond, their precious dogs in hand, and listened as they talked about adventures in the trees. Climbing trees has become a standard in this garden, a big challenge for big boys, apparently! All 3 ft off the ground!

capture by lucy
capture by lucy
capture by lucy
capture by lucy
capture by lucy
westie

We feel like we need to freeze time at moments like this. Simple, happy moments with no bickering, no endless request for Takeshi's Castle, followed by endless requests to turn the lounge into an assault course. Last weekend we went to the big annual village event, the Harvest lunch at the village hall and I was so proud of them. Polite, funny and nice to the other children from the village. As we chatted to new friends and enjoyed the amazing food (The dessert table was like a final of the Great British Bake Off!) I caught a glimpse of them in the garden, throwing leaves in the air with the other children and smiled. 

They are wide eyed and innocent for such a short time. They won't want to come into our bed for cuddles in the middle of the night when they are teenagers, they won't fiddle with my hair when we sit next to each other on the sofa. 

capture by lucy
capture by lucy
capture by lucy

And it's these moments we need to freeze and store away to get you through the days of moaning and arguing! Boys - you are our greatest challenge and greatest achievement. And we love you very much.

Now hurry up home from your kind grandparents who have had you for a half term sleepover so we can get dressed up, put our wellies back on and go trick or treating! 

wellie rack

I've shown you me and mine now show me you and yours. Join in with us and share your little family. This month, pop across to Lauren's blog, another Mummy with 2 beautiful boys! 

Peg Board Office Decor from Block and Red Candy

I have a complete obsession/weakness for stationery and anything office related.

There are several wooden boxes on my desk bursting with cards for friends, pretty notelets, prints that inspire me and little pots of your everyday office supplies. But what I have always lusted after is a peg board.

white peg board

I read a lot of American craft and DIY blogs and every now and again they would feature this beautifully holely piece of wood and I would despair about where I could source one over here. No longer confined to a garage wall, a peg board is a sleek and elegant, functional, modern noticeboard.

I have always used a noticeboard as a mood board for inspiration. And a peg board takes that concept to a new level. 

So when Red Candy kindly offered to send me one of Block Design's boards for my new home office I said ooh yes please!

peg board.jpg
peg board

I couldn't wait until my office was ready to share it, so I will save my office makeover for another day. At the moment the barn above the garages, which is divided into three, has one end set up resembling an office for Richard, albeit with no flooring or heating, and the other side looks like a car boot sale!

Over the next few weeks I am going to repaint and carpet my office under the wooden beam and clean up the store room next door to use as a prop room.

And this peg board is going to have pride of place above my desk.

peg board.jpg

I love the multicoloured pegs and with two sizes, so you can hook to your heart's content or slip over the ends of bulldog clips and collate your latest inspiration.

peg board
peg board
peg board
peg board

I love how just 2 pegs make a shelf for your favourite card, a mini cork peg board tile or a pencil holder! Perfect for your phone too. And the best bit is you can reconfigure the pegs at any time.

I adore the symmetry a peg board gives you and its makes an awesome backdrop! You may have seen it creeping into blog posts and my Instagram photos ;)

Thank you Red Candy - I think the Block Design product is awesome. Now if only I could have one in every colour...!

Flower Workshop at Fork and Flowers

The best thing about moving to a new area is finding new places to discover.

And the moment I walked into Fork and Flowers in Shaftesbury, I knew I had found a special place. A family run business, filled with pretty stems and bursting with antiques.

Fork and Flowers
Fork and Flowers
Fork and Flowers
Fork and Flowers
Fork and Flowers
Hydrangea wreath

Cassie show cases other local businesses and uses their pop up pieces to style her carefully curated shop. There are vintage apothecary bottles squeezed next to antique crockery and decorative home ware.

Her window displays are award winning and as I snapped away quietly, it was lovely to see the passers by stop and stare at the vision before them.

Fork and Flowers
Fork and Flowers
Fork and Flowers
Fork and Flowers
Fork and Flowers
Fork and Flowers
Fork and Flowers
Fork and Flowers

Not only does Cassie offer a bespoke floristry service to her many happy clients, she runs workshops through the year for adults and children.

Next week on Tuesday she is running 2 workshops for children during half term and there are still a few spaces left. As we have family visiting on Tuesday we were lucky enough to spend Friday after school stuffing some gourds with beautiful flowers. 

Flower workshop
Flower Workshop
Flower workshop
Flower workshop
Flower pumpkins
Flower workshop
Flower workshop
Flower workshop
Flower workshop

The boys were totally engaged and played nicely with Cassie's two children. Sammy asked questions and Ollie was determined to cut his own stems! It was lovely to see them doing such a calm activity and now our fireplace is filled with pretty pumpkins!

Flower workshop
Fork and Flowers
Flower pumpkin
flower pumpkin
Flower pumpkins

There are so many photo opportunities at Fork and Flowers, the garden where Cassie grows all their foliage and the baskets of gourds that line the floor, the rustic old table by the milk churns , the old stone steps. And I couldn't resist taking a few photos or five ;)

flower workshop  23.jpg
Flower pumpkins
orange rose
flower pumpkins

Find out more about the upcoming workshops at Fork and Flowers Facebook page or connect with Cassie on Twitter or Instagram.

Fork and Flowers