Tuesday 9 November 2010

Child Survival in Malawi Scotland cards

Child Survival in Malawi Scotland is a small charity based in Scotland providing support to a number of projects in Malawi. Designjr was recently involved in designing a range of cards for the charity to use as part of an awareness raising campaign. The photos were taken by a member of the charity at some of the projects while on a visit to Malawi.

Wednesday 3 November 2010

Type Camp

Check out this little video for a taster of what I did at Type Camp Buffalo in the summer!

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Selling like hotcakes!

I'm very pleased to finally be in a position to start selling my new range of books on Etsy. I'm releasing them slowly and so far each time I've put them in my shop they've sold within an hour or two.

So if you'd like a Christmas Tree, Baby Bottle or Cupcake book you better act fast!

Monday 1 November 2010

Baby Bliss Massage

As a mum-to-be I've been learning about the importance of baby massage for ensuring a healthy happy baby. Mum of two, Karen used the techniques on her babies and has now taken the courses necessary to teach.

She asked me to create a brand for her business using baby images and hands with fresh, bright colours. The result is a logo incorporating little hands, fresh and relaxing colours and a gorgeous baby image that grabs attention.

Monday 23 August 2010

Book sale

With work under way on my new range of books, it'd be great to find good homes for my current stock. I've reduced some of my prices (and may reduce others) so head over to Little Bird Design UK to check it out!

Friday 20 August 2010

Feeling crafty?

If you live around Edinburgh and are feeling kinda crafty this weekend (or indeed anytime until 29th August) check out the craft fair that's running beside the church at the west end of Princes Street.

Especially have a look at the Owl & Lion Gallery stall with work available from the very talented illustrator, Mina Braun and the fabulous jewelery designs of Kimbarelly of Cut & Paste.

I couldn't resist these lovely window hangings by Mina. I have to say, I left the stall with a long list of things I'd like to buy but restricted by the lack of money in my purse I managed to control myself. Which leaves all the more gorgeous things for you to buy (unless I get back there first!)

Wednesday 18 August 2010

Lights, camera, action!

One of the projects at Type Camp was to print 3 action words - one in metal type, one in wooden type and then stick one on using letraset. My words were yawn (metal), sleep (wooden) and dream (letraset). I printed 40 copies with yawn and sleep. Then I handed over 5 of each of my precious prints to 4 people for them to respond. It was great to see the reaction that people had to my words and the outcome as prints.

With 17 type campers all doing the same the array of resulting prints was quite impressive.

I liked all four responses to my prints but these are my favourites as I will probably get them framed to put in the baby's room.

Even more images from Type Camp are now available on Flickr!

Wednesday 11 August 2010

Ready to roll

Ready to roll
Originally uploaded by designjr
Type Camp Buffalo is now over but I get to look back over the week by going through all the photos I took. There's a taster of each day on blipfoto for now but I'll gradually be uploading them all to Flickr so check them out.

We worked 10am to 10pm everyday and the work that was produced by all the type campers was pretty impressive! I feel very inspired by what I've learned and am hoping to put some of my new found skills into practice.

Monday 12 July 2010

Less than one week to go till Type Camp!

I get some funny looks when I tell people I'm off to Buffalo to take part in Type Camp this summer. For me it's a really exciting trip but I guess you don't really know what I'm talking about or getting myself into.

So what is Type Camp all about? It's an opportunity to leave the laptop at home and return to handcraft methods of printing. It takes place in a working printing museum giving access to metal and wood type fonts and flatbed and platen presses.

For me that means learning about typecasting, foil stamping and paper making from a number of highly respected typographers. There will also be visits to type dealers, rare book collections and the Roycroft Press. Who wouldn't be excited about all of that?

Find out more about Type Camp

Wednesday 7 July 2010

These boots...

The best way to find clients for my graphic design business is to speak to people face to face. Networking is a great way to meet new and interesting people and sometimes that results in some work.

I was delighted to be asked to create a logo for new networking group, Netwalking. It is exactly how it sounds - networking while you walk! Check out their website www.netwalking.com if you fancy joining some likeminded business people for a walk.

Wednesday 30 June 2010

It's academic!

An academic poster is very different from an advertising poster. Not only for the vast quantities of text that are required to go on it but also for the graphs and diagrams that are an integral part.

When designing this poster for an academic conference, I approached it more from the point of view of laying out a double page spread for a magazine.

I think the result is eye catching but still maintains all the information required to get the point across. I was told that one conference delegate got the reference to the "one with the hot air balloon" and picked up a copy because it looked good. Hopefully, she will have time at a later date to actually read the content!

Monday 14 June 2010

Botanic Garden

Originally uploaded by designjr
I've now completed my two day photography course at Edinburgh Botanic Garden. With around 500 photos still to go through from this Saturday's course it may be some time before I get these onto Flickr. In the meantime you can see what I took on the first day. I spent an hour in each of the rock garden and the alpine garden so these are a mixture.

I got some very good feedback on my images including that I was giving a different perspective of the garden to most of the other people taking part in the course.

If anyone can name any of the flowers I'd love to hear from you as you'll see I've named them pink, blue etc!

Friday 4 June 2010


As a bit of a type geek I love this book - Hyperactivitypography which is available to flick through on the site. Not sure I'd manage all the activities as there's an impressive amount of thought gone into them all. I'm gutted to learn that they've sold out so we will all have to make do with the online version.

I found this book and lots of other very cool stuff on the Swiss Miss blog

Thursday 3 June 2010

After a bit of a creative lull I feel like my mojo's back with lots of ideas buzzing around my head for items to sell in my Etsy shop. Now I just need to get working on them and make them available to you all!

I'm also trying to establish the best way to make my items available to people in the UK as etsy only uses US $. If anyone has any suggestions or ideas I'd love to hear from you.

Saturday 22 May 2010

My first ever review

My very first customer for one of my journals has posted a fabulous review of my etsy shop on her blog. How exciting to be a feature on someone else's blog - check it out here!

Friday 21 May 2010

Summer is here

To celebrate the fact that summer is here (and a certain little boy's third birthday today) I've created a book about the life of a bumblebee. With just a simple series of colourful illustrations there's endless opportunities to tell your own story.

The stripey black and yellow cover makes me think that the book is actually a bumblebee but maybe that's my own vivid imagination!

Thursday 29 April 2010

Folksy Shop

Due to popular demand I have now set up a Folksy shop. So now if you live in the UK you can buy from my Folksy shop in sterling. If you see something on Etsy that you'd like and it's not on Folksy just send me a message and I'll see what I can do.

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Exhibition update

The ECA exhibition is now sadly finished so if you missed your chance at seeing my book in situ then here's the double page spreads. The poem is by Edinburgh based poet Nancy Somerville from her first book of poems, Waiting for Zebras. Her book (whose cover I designed) can be bought at Red Squirrel Press.

Tuesday 20 April 2010


If you've got a spare moment this week pop into Edinburgh College of Art sculpture court. There you will see all the work of people who have taken evening classes at the college. The array of work is incredible from beginners to avid enthusiasts and if you check out the cabinet at the end you'll see my little illustrated book.

I'd love to hear from you about your favourite piece/s.

Thursday 15 April 2010

Double whammy

Still dizzy for my website big launch earlier this week, I am now very pleased to announce that my Etsy Shop is open for business. You can find me under the name Little Bird Design UK and I'm selling a range of handmade journals and cards.

I've got loads of ideas for products so keep an eye out for new item listings.

Tuesday 13 April 2010

The big launch

Woo hoo! My new website is finally up and live for all to see.

You can find the it here www.designjr.co.uk if you wish to have a look (it will be very pleased to see you too). Thanks to all of you who visited my old website in view of it's pending retirement. It will now enjoy a peaceful life in the deeper depths of my faithful macbook pro.

And now to celebrate rather than smashing a bottle of champagne against my macbook pro, I think I'll go and have a nice cup of tea and in true designjr style a piece of cake!

Friday 9 April 2010

Important announcement

With my new website built and ready to go live next Tuesday 13th April (oh yes!) this weekend will be your last chance to visit my flickable online portfolio. So go on have one final play - you know you want to!

Update: The link will no longer work as my new website has gone live. You can see it at www.designjr.co.uk

Monday 29 March 2010

Weekend away

After a rather photograph filled weekend away I've discovered that I've used up all my flickr allowance for this month. Plan B is to share the rest here so these are the "best" of the photos I took on a trip to Argyllshire (except for these ones that made it onto Flickr before the space ran out).

Hopefully I'll have more flickr allowance next month when normal service is sure to resume!

Wednesday 24 March 2010

Best Before

Last night was my final illustration class. I completed my illustrated book of Nancy Somerville's poem, Best Before. I've submitted it to the Art Studies Student Exhibition at ECA so all going well it should be on display at the Art College from 16th - 23rd April.

Also seen here is one of the images from the book done as a relief print from my weekend course. I hope in the next few weeks to complete the remainder of the illustrations in the same style.

And finally, I made the badges very quickly in the class yesterday. Now I want a badge maker!

Monday 22 March 2010

Printing weekend

Originally uploaded by designjr
I've been very busy over the weekend taking an introductory print making class at Edinburgh Printmakers with Leena Nammari (www.leenanammari.co.uk/) who knows so much about printing.

My prints are still drying in the studio but once I get these back I'll be putting them here for all to see. In the meantime as is the way of things these days you can see my photos if you click on the roller photo.

Friday 19 March 2010


While working on my Etsy shop I discovered the animations of Katie Armstrong. I decided they were so cool I'd share them. I don't yet know how to put video on here but if you click on this link you'll find her.

I especially like Goodbye Sorrow. It's amazing what a difference slowing a song right down can make. I'm looking forward to seeing the website again once it's finished getting its hair done!

Sunday 14 March 2010


Originally uploaded by designjr
A bit of sports photography was the order of the day today. People are not usually the subject of my photos nevermind action shots so it was definitely a learning experience. I think the results look ok but I was eying up other peoples cameras with big zoom lenses. It would have been better to get close ups without putting myself in danger!

Saturday 13 March 2010

Sweet tooth fairy

Last night as my baking obsession kicked in I had an idea! I am a regular baker and like to share the baking (for obvious reasons). As a result I'm often asked for recipes for things so I thought why not share them with my blog readers.

This week I baked chocolate and hazelnut biscotti (they all got eaten before I thought about taking a photo so I illustrated them instead). The recipe was adapted from Good Food magazine. I'd love to see the results if anyone tries these out, I could even put your photos on here!

2 medium eggs, 100g caster sugar, 250g plain flour, 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, 1 teaspoon citrus peel, 25g chopped hazelnuts, 25g roughly chopped dark chocolate

Beat the sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. Mix together the rest of the ingredients then fold the flour mixture into the eggs and sugar.

On a floured surface shape into a sausage and then flatten. The dough should be roughly 3cm high.

Transfer onto a baking sheet covered with greaseproof paper. Cook for 30 minutes at 180C or until golden brown.

Chop the dough into 1cm thick slices and return to the baking sheet cut side up. Put them back in the oven at 160C for 10-15 minutes until crisp. Cool on a wire rack.

I'm told that if you prefer them a little chewier you can leave out the last cooking stage!

Friday 12 March 2010

cup cake bonanza

I'm getting the feeling that some extensive cake baking is on the horizon. In anticipation of a cupcake baking and decorating session tomorrow I've been doing my homework. I found the following amazing sites all about food and most importantly baking:- Whisk the Pantry, Baking Obsession, Milk & Honey, Honey & Jam to name but a few (I have been "working" on this for a while!)

Thursday 11 March 2010

Type Camp - Buffalo, New York

I'm so excited I've just paid my deposit for Type Camp in Buffalo, New York this summer! (yes, it has already been pointed out to me that I am a special sort of dork but I'm ok with that.)

One whole week spent working with type "...ink under your fingernails, cast your own lead type, and even use power tools to kern letters." - how cool does that sound? :-D

Right, I'm off to start packing...

Wednesday 10 March 2010


Sorry folks, I have been very bad at updating my blog recently. As well as photography I've been busying away with illustration and web design and not letting you see any of the results. Here's a wee sneak preview of my illustration work for a book I'm creating. All going well the real deal will be available to view at Edinburgh College of Art in April.

However it is with fighting talk that I am starting my day today, I'm determined that I'm going to finish my website really soon (this week maybe) and I think the more people that are expecting it the more likely I am to finish. Well, that's the idea anyway!

So grand unveiling of my website coming soon...

Thursday 4 March 2010

Roll up, roll up!

It's been a long wait but I've finally got the film developed from my SLR. The results are...well it depends how you look at it!

The camera definitely still works and doesn't need cleaned but the photographer needs to work on focus and basically learn how to take a decent photo. Nonetheless here's the best ones (they're few and far between and Alasdair took one of them) completely unadulterated in photoshop except the cormorant one which has been cropped.

I got two free films when I got them developed and I will definitely be out practicing some more so stay tuned.

Sunday 21 February 2010

Blipping and blogging

I've been busy working away on my photography skills. I've just got 7 photos left to take on the old SLR then I'll see what it produces (fingers crossed, photos).

I've also started a photo journal which can be found at www.blipfoto.com/designjr if you want to know what I'm up to on a daily basis (oh and if you're seeing this on Facebook you can find my blog at designjr.blogspot.com)

Wednesday 17 February 2010


Ever wondered what the keyboard player from A-ha does the other 47.8% (his words) of the time? Turns out he's the rather talented visual artist, Magne F. I went to hear him in conversation with Paul Stolpher at Edinburgh Printmakers. These prints are part of his Alpha Beta project which is currently showing there until 6th March. It's well worth a visit if you have the time.