Cut and & paste

With an accomplished background in textile and interior design, Denise Fiedler has successfully expanded her exploration of textures to a creative project called ‘Paste’. Re-discovering in 2009 vintage books and flashcards which she had collected over a number of years, Denise came up with the idea to turn these new-found materials into handmade cut and paste collages.

l happily browsed through the visually enchanting ‘paste’ collection, and my eye was drawn to these cleverly constructed paper gems – Marie Antoinette looking most regal yet playful with a couple of colour birds nested in her hairpiece, a beautifully constructed typewriter reminiscent of a bygone era. And a beady green-eyed tabby cat along with a friendly-faced terrier waiting patiently to be adored.

The ‘paste’ dogs and cats wall of fame delightfully nurtures my love for pets and for paper-play.

Welcome to Flow – an exhilarating paper playground

l was introduced to the creative charms of Flow by artist friend Sandra Ondraschek, who on a trip to Edinburgh wrote, “I thought of you as I picked up a copy of ‘Flow’ (magazine) and wondered if we had talked about it?”. lt was early morning when l read her e-mail, yet l felt immediately compelled to discover this sparkling jewel for myself…

Pure delight swept over me as l set out on my journey and explored my first port of call – the Flow app. Smiling to myself, l read the editors note to the tapping sound of the typewriter – just lovely! The attention to each (imaginative) detail was a wonderful start to my design day!

Founded by Creative Directors, Irene Smit and Astrid van der Hulst, Dutch-based Flow magazine celebrates its fifth anniversary and l have a feeling it will continue to flow for many more years to come.

Published eight times a year and with a recent international launch, (English copy being published twice a year) Flow is a visual feast, offering inspiration, insights and solutions for paper lovers. A paper playground which brings enjoyment to me on a daily basis.

It’s pure joy to plan my agenda, write letters and cards utilising the various “Flow” items as a source of visual creativity.

Welcome to Flow, a gloriously vibrant hub of paper innovation, a positive energy field which lights up the path of inspirational creativity!

* Photograph credit: ‘Flow Book for Paper Lovers’ by Elizabeth Hitchman


Whistling the tune of ‘The Bookbirds’

Whether it be laying in the long summer grass, or curled up by a roaring fire during the winter months, reading a book is a favourite past-time of mine.  And so to discover ‘The Bookbirds’ was a moment of pure bliss.

Dutch artist Pia Drent artistically combines her marine biology background with her love for reading – paths which stem from being read to as a child, while growing up by the sea. l find it richly unique to tie these two elements together, in the form of mixed media illustrations.

Taking the vintage book as the canvas, watercolours, acrylics, and inks are applied to the aged paper, creating art that celebates the soothing fusion of nature & reading.

With the digital age in full swing, it clearly feels refreshing to hark back to nature and the nolstagic appearance of the printed word.

It’s an alluring tune, that which belongs to the voice of “The Bookbirds”.

Exploration of secret inner worlds

To step into the dream-like world of Nina Mankin’s art is to step onto a theatrical stage of pure intrigue and richly-intense drama . Exploration and “an attempt to uncover the lost parts of our psyche…our secret shadow selves” is a main theme that runs through Nina’s work.

Watching Nina talk about her work, along with the ‘Victorian’ hue that colours her work, enticed me into showcasing her hidden worlds. Secret places that can only be viewed when glimpsed through a tin’s tiny pinhole. l find the idea of creating a secret ‘narrative based’ inner world out of disused objects and materials enthralling, fueling my imagination, along with a sense of searching for a deeper meaning.

‘Behind Closed Doors’ is a mixed media piece, and tells the story of a man with a ‘faux’ tailors workshop who becomes obsessed with a woman called Deidra. Posing himself as a dressmaker (with an eye for the ladies in corsets),  he entices her into his workshop, and with the lure of a  magic potion…slowly she begins to fall in love with him…

Such dark narratives are perfectly played out on the hidden theatrical stage settings that Nina has so intricately crafted.

Weaving a magical vintage spell

Specialising in hand embroidery as a form of drawing, alongside applique and collage, Jessie Chorley’s chosen techniques of creating functional objects for the home or as wearable accessories, undoubtedly weaves a richly woven tapestry of vintage charm.

Jessie Chorley and Buddug Humphrey run their concept store on London’s famous flower market

Columbia Road. With hand embroidered bunting, vintage petticoats, and decoupage picture frames hanging in the window, both location and decorated interior, perfectly creates an enchanting ‘Alice in Wonderland‘ setting for their signature vintage style.

l for one, could quite happily spend an afternoon or two, exploring its contents. Antique toys, hand-stitched covered journals, and trinkets galore, are but a few treasures waiting to be discovered!