Monday, 24 December 2012

Happy Christmas

Well it has been another exciting and busy year and I want to thank all my family and friends for their continued help and support. Next year is going to be even more exciting with my first ever trade show, Top Drawer in January. Here I will be launching the company as a new greeting card publisher along with two new ranges that I have been busy on over the last six months. So as a special Christmas treat here is a sneek peek at the new designs.

First up is a new male range called 'Metro'. I wanted to create a range that was not the typical for the male market so I have chosen out of the ordinary subjects that will hopefully appeal to a range of all ages. I am not going to give too much away but here is a taste of what is to come.

Copyright Red Berry Hill 2012

Next is a new female range called 'Marigold' Like the male range the subjects are a little different, but they both have a signature bold graphic illustrative style, something of which I have developed over the past year.

Copyright Red Berry Hill 2012

And as a finally touch I have tweaked the website. I have taken away the shop for now and incorporated the ranges into the site.

Well thats about all for now but I will be back in January to show the full ranges and lots of posts about the build up to the trade show. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Ely Cathedral Christmas Fair

Last weekend I supported another local show in the magnificent Ely Cathedral.

I was situated in the Nave and the atmosphere was so Christmassy with fairy lights everywhere. There was over 6,000 people though the doors so I didn't stop! I got so many lovely comments and met some lovely people too.

 I also managed to get into the local paper!

I have five more shows in the run up to Christmas then I am limiting the amount from next year so that I can concentrate on the trade side as Top Drawer is fast approaching of which I will be doing a few posts very soon.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Apple Festival

Lucy Brown.

Just thought I would share some pics from the Apple Festival on Saturday. Even after a cold, misty and dull start it did not deter the crowds who came along. The apple cards and pictures went down really well and it was the best show I have done so far!

I sold my yellow Cathedral Arches screenprint to a lovely couple who were moving away from the area and wanted something to remind them of Ely. You can see here how well I was positioned as the picture was right in front of the genuine article!

Lucy Brown.

A big thank you to everyone who came and said hello and also thanks to my friend Lucy who a couple of the shots for me. She is a a travel photographer and writer, check out her blog at

Thursday, 18 October 2012

An Apple a Day

I am having a stall at the local Apple Fesitval this weekend and the stalls must have some sort of apple theme or products.

So I decided to have a bit of fun and produce some very simple apple prints to put into frames and to use as bunting as there is a prize for the best dressed stall too (not that I am competitive or anything!).

It has all gone a bit apple crazy here, I have even started reading about them! Check out these great recipe ideas in the heart and home blog

Looking forward to doing a local show just hope the weather holds

Monday, 1 October 2012

Happy Autumn!

October, how did that creep up on us!

Busy does not describe the word here in the studio. Top Drawer has taken over as I want to make sure everything is right for it as I will be launching two brand new ranges along with some of the older ones. Plus I will also be launching myself as a new greeting card publisher so I have to think about the overall look to make sure I stand out from the rest!

Unfortunately I cannot show any designs on here yet as I need to keep it under wraps until the show so I will try to keep updating the blog with my progress the best I can. Bear with me and I will return!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Back to work!

I am back! Sorry for my absence over the past few weeks but school holidays, family holidays and Olympics took over!

Other than the weather what a great summer it has been. I loved the Olympics, it was a great 17 days of cheering and willing our team on in sports I have never watched before. We have so many talented and great sportsman. The opening and closing ceremonies were fantastic and the Queen saying 'Good Evening Mr Bond' will be up there in one of my moments along with Mo Farah winning two gold medals and the cycling which I loved. My family and I were also really lucky to be one of the 2 million to get tickets into the Olympic Stadium and it was a great day. Of course we still have the Paralympics to enjoy and they are truly amazing athletes.

My family and I also enjoyed a lovely holiday in Norfolk then a week in the lsle of Wight very relaxing and a nice end to the school holidays.

I was supposed to be exhibiting this month in the phone box that I posted about a few months ago, unfortunately this had to be cancelled until January now.

So I am back with a bang today and on course to get ready for Top Drawer which is only 131 days away! I am hoping to launch and male and female range at the show along with revamps of all the current ranges. Better go and get on with it then!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Rain Rain Go Away!

And please don't come again another day! Now I am more of a winter person (odd I know but I love the snow and cold) but even I believe in proper seasons and this weather is now getting slightly silly! I cannot believe I have a light on in my studio today!

Anyway enough moaning. In the studio things are starting to take off I am about to start my long overdue male range which I am quite excited about as I have been sourcing ideas and making mood boards for the last couple of weeks so now feel it is time to get down to work! Don't want to give too much away but here is a little sneak at one of the mood boards.

I recently sent out a survey on  and one of the questions asked "What sort of Greetings Cards do you think are lacking in the market?" Top of the results was a good males range with comments of "Male birthdays of all ages", "Good cards for men, they are always hard to find",  "Decent ones for boys and men - they often look a bit dowdy and "Cards aimed at men that don't feature beer, page 3 girls or football!". So I am setting out on a mission to answer your needs!

Right back to work and whoever it is please stop doing the rain dance and lets have a proper summer!

Friday, 13 July 2012


Red Berry Hill has joined Pinterest. I discovered it some time ago but have only just got around to opening an account and now I am just a little hooked.

For those of you who have not seen it is a pin board social photo sharing site where you can create themed pin boards in which put photos you find either from other peoples boards or websites. These can be for inspiration idea sharing or just because you love it. Like many social sites once you have an account people can follow you and your boards and re-pin any of your items that they like too.

So far I have loaded many things of inspiration as it is great for making an online mood board for projects. I have started to also put some of my cards on there too as you can add prices and link it to your website so it is a great marketing tool. I was worried about copyright but they always advise you that when you pin it that it always links back to the original website or link that you got it from.

Prints Board

Seaside Cards Product Board

Go and have a look and give it a try, although I warn you you will get hooked!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Teacher Gifts

If you are looking for a different teacher gift this year then take a look at the handprinted bags and tea towels with a funky flower design. They come in three colours black, blue and pink along with a pink bag printed in black. The bags are £5 and the tea towels are £4 each. All available from the shop. Matching blank cards or notecards are also available.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Art Exhibition

Whilst at a fair last month I was approached by The Phonebox Gallery curator Nick Edell and asked if I would be interested in my own exhibition. I of course jumped at the chance plus it is such quirky and unusual space to use, it looked like it will be fun to do.

APP'D: An Exhibition by Ouse Life

Estelle Lankester

David Colbran

The Phonebox gallery has been running for two years and is an innovative scheme to encourage and promote local arts and crafts. You can read the full story along with past exhibitions on the website

I am very honoured and excited to have my own exhibition which will run for one month in September. I have started to think about what I can do and with it being local I think the Ely Cathedral Prints and postcards will be a definite feature.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Trade Show!

Well it is booked! Top Drawer January 2013 sounds such a long way off but I am sure the time will fly by. So much to do! The plan is to launch a male a female range at the show along with some existing designs which may be tweaked a little before.

Along with the cards there is the stand to think about, brochures, order forms, business cards. I feel a to-do list coming on!

It is all very exciting if not a little scary but the time is now right. So wish me luck as I am about the jump in with both feet!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Happy Birthday!!

Red Berry Hill is one today! I cannot believe that is a year since I left my job and started up on my own!

It has been a year of ups and downs but I am proud of what I have achieved. I have produced my own designs, sold my work, got lots of positive comments and a name in the area where I live. I have made mistakes but learnt an awful lot from them and has been fun finding out and learning along the way. I have also found that this industry is incredibly friendly and I have made new friends and contacts who have shared their knowledge for which I am very grateful. 

Some of the highlights of there year have been:

Selling my very first cards back in July

Attending the Ladder Club and meeting some great people in the industry and getting invaluable  information

Local shops taking on my cards to sell

Now to the next year. I am about to book a stand at a trade show and start work on some new and exciting ranges which I hope to launch at the the show as well as continuing with my market stalls (for this year at least) as it is a great marketing exercise.

Thank you so much to my family, friends and new friends who have helped me along the way. Heres to the next year!!

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Jubliee Lino Prints

Was getting in the mood for the Jubliee this week so thought I would do some Union Jack lino prints. I have not done any printing for a while so thought it would be fun.

First I made two lino blocks the same size as I was going to do the two colours separately. I traced the image onto them, one for the red and one for the blue and then cut out what I did not want to print. 

Next came the inking up, red first. I was happy with the way it turned out an it took a few practice pieces to get it right.

Then came the blue, this was much more tricky as I need to line everything up (hence the lino blocks being exactly the same size). The finished flag was not exactly what I planned it to be I suppose a bit more rustic, not sure if I will do anything with them yet or just hang the round the house, I had a lot of fun anyway!

Funnily enough my favourite one was when I printed the blue upside down, a bit unconventional but I really liked it!

Whatever you are planning this Jubliee weekend hope it it a great one!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Mood Boards

In a previous post I mentioned that I was going to start on some female and male ranges based on the mother's day and father's day cards that went down well. As well as using these designs as a starting point I also decided to create some mood boards too to get some inspiration. I have always worked this way right from when I was at college (many moons ago!). It is nice not to be on the computer all the time, immerse yourself in a few magazines and get the scissors and glue out!

I have produced three mood boards all with different colour ways. At the moment they are geared more towards the female market but I am going to look at some of the colours in them to see if I can adapt them for the male too so that they all sit together well. This is just a peek at what I have done but I will post later to show you them in more detail and how I go from mood board to finished designs.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Ely Eel Day

Well the weather was not the best but the good Ely folk turned out in their droves to support this event and although I was freezing I met some nice people, made some good leads and sold well, the best sellers being of course the Ely postcards which had a lot of really positive comments.

Thursday, 3 May 2012


Things have been busy here over the last month so I apologise yet again for the lack of posts which I need to get on top of! I have been busy trying to come up with a plan of which way I want the business to go as I am quickly approaching my year anniversary. This year I am doing a lot of local Fairs and Markets but have decided that I am not going to take on anymore after these ones have finished and concentrate on selling to the trade by sorting out doing a trade show, this is a daunting prospect but one in which I hope will enjoy and get a lot out of.

In the meantime I am going to start to concentrate on some new designs. There were some good responses to the Mother's Day and Father's Day cards so I think I may look at some new Male and Female cards based on these designs.

I have also set up a small survey on a website called Survey Monkey you can set up any questions and send them out for people to fill in and you can analyse the results on the website. It is really useful and the feedback I have received so far will help with making decisions over the new ranges. Please if you have time go and have a look and fill in.

This weekend I am doing a local event, the Ely Eel Day. Usually it is well turned out and it is free! I will be taking along my Ely postcards and prints so heres to a good day despite what the weather has in store! Come along if you are local.