Fancy Friday: Chai
I love hot beverages. Coffee and tea stains can always be found on my desk and though coffee is a staple, I do really enjoy a good cup of chai. Real chai. The kind of chai that comes from places like Remedy Cafe in Edmonton – so good. However, I've yet to find a cafe in the Lower Mainland that offers a chai that doesn't consist of a nasty powder, syrup or simple tea bag. Vancouverites – if you know of a good chai bar, please let me know!
So, I decided to make my own concentrate. You'll likely need to hit up a Fruiticana first (as not too many people keep green cardamon pods stocked in their cupboard). I've been experimenting with a few batches, and change it almost every time. Below is a guide, but be sure to play with it a few times until you find the ratios you like. It should keep in the fridge for a week or so, though it likely won't last that long. Enjoy!
New Business Card Day!
Replenishing your business card supply is pretty exciting. You've finally used up the last of your business cards (that you really didn't like anymore) and you get to start fresh. Instead of Tylor and I each having a card, we decided to combine the two, and simplify. Print options can seem overwhelming when deciding what to do, because of course, you want your card to be "the best." We splurged a little on these guys, but my goodness are they beautiful. 32pt thick cardstock, half recycled white and half brown kraft with a neon splash on the edges. I'm a happy girl.
What do you think?
Fancy Friday: Starting Fresh
I like the idea of starting fresh. I usually set goals for the new year, even though I rarely follow through. Its fun to dream about where a new year will take you. I've been freelancing for just about a year now, and its been awesome to see the unplanned direction that my work has taken. I'm setting new goals for this year (just because its fun), and some of those include more illustration, more stationery, and mastering that calligraphy pen.
Cheers to fresh starts. Here's a desktop wallpaper to salute the occasion!
A few days late but... Happy New Year! After a nice get away visiting family in Alberta and a cozy mountain holiday in Nelson I feel refreshed and ready for a big year. There's really something about unplugging from the internet world for a few days. Good for the soul.
Thanks to everyone for an awesome 2013. It marked the beginning of Kayla English Creative and the beginning of life in British Columbia. I am so looking forward to another year of designing, making and creating for you all!
Last Sunday I was able to join Porchlight Press for a holiday letterpress workshop at their beautiful studio. I've had a keen interest in letterpress printing for quite a few years but have yet to learn the art of the trade, or be on this side of the printing press.
It was a creative afternoon spent designing a piece (holiday card), with our choice of lead and woodblock type. We fit our select type together like a puzzle with wood and metal spacers to create a uniform block, then inked up the presses and hand cranked the card stock through the letterpress to create gorgeous impressions. A big thanks to Sam for his careful instruction and wealth of shared letterpress knowledge. Much appreciated!
Maybe one day I'll have the space to have a press in my garage and crank out beautiful printed work. Until then, thanks Porchlight Press for such a great afternoon!
And, count yourself very lucky if you receive one of my letterpress Christmas cards in the mail this season :)
Happy Type Camper
Its not everyday that you get to spend a day in a beautiful studio, surrounded by typography nerds, with paper and ink and glean from some of the best masters of the trade. But I did. Twice. I went to Type Camp, and as a happy Type Camper, I'll give you the inside scoop on why it was so awesome.
If you know me at all, you likely know that I spend a lot of time in my sketchbook. Whether it be sketching for a logo, concepting a print layout or doing a quirky illustration, I learn and progress with images. Over the past few years I've been quite keen on drawing and creating letters. I love the rawness of a hand drawn letter, and I love the typographic possibilities that can be created with ink on paper. I've always been known to have 'neat and tidy' writing. I was quite prideful of it as a kid (though I would never show it) and was always the one asked to write assignments on the board for the class. My writing style is constantly evolving, and I found myself longing for some practical instruction to use the funny looking calligraphy pens that I have had laying around, but have never really known how to use. I needed to know more about calligraphy, I needed to learn the basics.
Two days before Type Camp in Vancouver was to begin, I stumbled on the website, my heart raced, and felt like this was something that needed to happen. I took my rural girl bum into Gastown for two Saturdays of type nerd bliss. Held in the gloriously lit creative loft of the John Fluevog shop, I learned how to properly hold a calligraphy pen, and went nuts with letters and ink. We even learned to "flourish" letters with brush pens... can you believe it? So great.
It was so cool to be in an environment with others who had similar interests and got excited about the creative possibilities of the descender of a lowercase 'y'. We had three instructors, Shelly Gruendler, Laura Worthington and Martin Jackson. They're legit, look them up. I'm so grateful for the skills that I've learned and really hope to attend another Type Camp. Ireland 2014? A girl can dream.
Hey guys. Happy Thanksgiving! I really like this time of year... leaves, pumpkins, cozyness and turkey dinner. Its safe to say that I'm really excited to gather with family this weekend.
In all cheesiness (but seriousness), I'm most thankful this year for my champion of a husband (and business partner) Tylor, the opportunity to create and illustrate for a living, and calling this beautiful province of B.C. my new home.
I'm also thankful for our awesome new clients this year. You guys are the best. Tis the season to give and feel warm & fuzzy, so we are going to give away a Kayla English Creative postcard prize pack (pictured below) to one lucky individual who comments on this blog post. Tell us what you are most thankful for this year, and we will select a winner at random on Tuesday October 15.
Fancy Friday: Sweater Weather
So I've retired my Birkenstocks for the season. And, I've been reaching to the back of my closet for the sweaters. Yeah, that means autumn is upon us. I'm almost thankful for the cooler temperatures because no warm sunshine outside means a cozy work space with little distraction or desire to go frolic outside. I'm hoping to finally get caught up with work as my mind is always spinning with personal projects and crafts that I would like to eventually get to. So, are you ready for sweater weather?
Keep your computer looking cozy, and download the "Sweater Weather" desktop wallpaper by clicking right here. :)
Fancy Friday: Coffee
I'm a bit nutty for coffee, Tylor is even more of a nut. We love good beans, and a good brew. The west coast coffee culture is amazing. One of the (many) reasons we love Vancouver. Today we visited a Forty Ninth Parallel cafe – the Main St. location, yes the one paired with Lucky's Donuts... It was so good. We got a double dose, and later had a cup at Revolver too. Always a win.
Coffee is especially essential for the work day. My brain doesn't really start until I've had my morning coffee. How about you? What is your favourite brew method? Where are your favourite spots to sip?
Download this perky desktop wallpaper for this week, by clicking here. Have a great weekend!
Fancy Friday: English Motto
I doodle – a lot. I go through ridiculous amounts of black felt pens and coiled sketch books. I love the way ink looks on paper, and how the curls of an uppercase "K" can go so many different ways. I am a believer in the lost art of hand-lettering. I just love it. Sometimes I doodle strange things, and the odd time it makes sense.
I've learned so much in the last few years. Tylor (my husband) and I strive to Live Simply – think more about what we're purchasing and where it comes from, Eat Well – think more about what our bodies need and where our food comes from, and Be Kind – that's kind of a given, even though it can be tough sometimes :)
Spice up your computer desktop with this little number – download right here.
Happily married to a handsome fellow named Tylor, she is a graphic designer, paper lover, hobby crafter, culinary adventurer and an all-round creative enthusiast.