Blogstagram: The week in Instagram Pictures.

Hello! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I’ve had a very colourful few weeks! Spring is coming and it’s a total relief to see the days  getting longer. Flowers are appearing, as is the sun and the blue sky. Hell-freaking-yes. All this colour and light has put me in a the mood for drawing and decorating, so I’ve been filling up my sketchbook with doodles and filling up my house with patterns and flowers. And, of course, I’ve been packing Retroviral mug orders…which never gets old! Here are a few recent Instagram snaps.

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Buttercup China & Thefty at Spring Fair

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My lovely mug manufacturers Buttercup China attended Spring Fair, the enormous annual gifts and homewares trade show in Birmingham. I was thrilled that Buttercup selected my Retroviral mugs to display on their stand. I dropped by Spring Fair yesterday to say hello to the team, and to ogle the display: Buttercup’s stand is always stunning, what with their giant wall of bone China dinner plates catching your eye from a mile away!

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(If my mugs seem a bit different here, you’re right – the display items are samples and the items in my shop look much better!)

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Painting, drawing & TV: Off the Fence 20th Anniversary

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Happy new year! It has purely been mugs! mugs! mugs! around here lately, but I’m still drawing and painting as ever. To kick off 2015, I’ve got a super colourful painting to show you. This piece was commissioned by the team at Off  the Fence, a TV Production company which celebrated their 20th anniversary in 2014. As part of the anniversary celebrations, I created this A1 piece for the company’s founder, and it is now hanging in the company’s head office in Amsterdam.

Here are some close-ups:

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This painting is an assemblage of everything that Off the Fence is, as well as things that OTF’s founder, Ellen Windemuth, loves. After a meeting with the London team, we came up with a long list of things to include, from images of Ellen’s beloved children and pets, to OTF’s worldwide office locations…as well as a rather tongue-in-cheek quote from a colleague which you can see on the blue banner.  Off the Fence produces a huge range of non-fiction television, and I incorporated many of its flagship productions into the painting (look closely on the TV screens and you can see some popular titles!).

The bright colours I’ve used are not random: the branding of OTF productions is colour coded according to subject matter, and I thought it was fitting to use their characteristic colour palette in my painting. I hope it’s obvious that I had a lot of funw orking on it, because I did!

Congratulations to Off the Fence for their 20th Anniversary! It was fantastic to be a part of the celebrations.

Retroviral Christmas Giveaway

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We’re giving away a FREE Retroviral mug as a little Christmas thank you to all of you! To enter, just LIKE Thefty on Facebook, and COMMENT on this photo to say which of the three mugs you’d like to win (Herpes, HIV or Rabies).

Deadline for entry is midnight of December 15th, UK time. The winner will be selected at random (by traditional ‘names in a hat’ method) and will be announced on the 16th. The competition is open to UK residents only. Good luck! Read more about Retroviral here.

Christmas Gift Guide: The Science Wishlist!

Hello! I have put together a collection of cool/beautiful science-themed goodies which make A+ Christmas presents. These items are mainly inspired by biology and natural history, and I’d be very happy to find them underneath my Christmas tree. Scroll down for a list of books, clothing, jewellery, artwork, home accessories and stationery. There’s stuff for kids, stuff for grown ups, pretty things and simply badass things. Enjoy!

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1. 3D printed bracelet, inspired by Radiolarians. By Nervous System. £52.35

2. The Universe is Under No Obligation to Make Sense to You, art print by DangerDust. £13.09

3. Mitochondria Greeting Card, by Anatomically Correct Greetings. £2.78

4. Natural History Illustration butterfly brooches, by Blings to Pay the Bills. £5.69

5. Melatonin molecule necklace, by Cherryloco Jewellery. £15.oo

6. Anemone clutch bag, by Saskia Pomeroy. £45.00

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7. Petri Dish Paper Coaster Set, by Proton Paperie. £9.82

8. White Blood Cell (basophil) plushie, by ButterflyLove1. £10.47

9. Fluid Earrings, inspired by ammonite fossils. By Nervous System. £13.09

10. HIV Retroviral Mug, fine bone china, by Thefty. £9.90

11. Herpes Retroviral Mug, fine bone china, by Thefty. £9.90

12. Rabies Retroviral Mug, fine bone china, by Thefty. £9.90

13. Moorland Botanical Sweater, by Masha Reva x SNDCT. £78.53

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14. Endangered Bee Board Shorts, by Riz. £90.00

15. Animalium: Welcome to the Museum. By Katie Scott and Jenny Broom. £15.49

16. Sex, Drugs & Rock n Roll, book by Zoe Cormier. £12.99

17. Set of White Pencils with Purpose, by Newton and the Apple. £6.50

18. Dinosaur Santa Christmas card, by Thefty. £1.75

19. Anatomy Tee, by nonfictiontees. £9.81

Happy shopping!

 

West Hampstead Christmas Market 2014

Hello! On Saturday we attended the 2014 West Hampstead Christmas Market. We woke up to perfect weather – brilliant blue skies and a dusting of glittering frost – and headed to West End Green to set up our stall. We had great day chatting to customers about our items (our Retroviral mugs elicited more than a few double takes), getting to know our fellow stall holders, and enjoying live music, carols…and plenty of hot mulled wine. And chicken soup. And falafel. O! What fun!

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Our Retroviral mugs made their market debut on Saturday! It was lovely to see customers’ reactions face-to-face, and to see how many design-nerd-science-lovers there are out there. Viruses on a mug might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but they sure make for an excellent conversation starter! You can read more about them here.

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We were also selling art prints, postcards and Christmas cards at our stall. Our Christmas cards are still available online, so go and get ’em while stocks last.

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Above: South London Samba kept us entertained with their drumming, although I probably put off multiple potential customers with my aggressive dance moves.

Below: The super-lovely ladies from The Village Haberdashery. If you find yourself in NW6, make sure to visit their colourful store on Mill Lane.

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Below: Eyecatching luxe clutch bags by ClutterClutch. So many metallics, so much fluoro, so much sparkle! If I knew how to use emojis on WordPress I’d insert a heart here.

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West Hampstead Christmas Market 2014 – We’ll be there!

Hello! If you fancy doing some Christmas shopping this Saturday, come and find us at the West Hampstead Christmas Market!

 Thefty is part of a great line-up of 30+ stall holders, including Monsters of Art, ClutterClutch, Bake-A-Boo, Hiro+Wolf and Lombary Gourmet. We’ll be selling our Retroviral mugs as well as Christmas cards and art prints (although, having looked at the other sellers, we’ll probably be taking frequent shopping breaks).

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Many of the local stores will be participating in the festivities – you can see all the events and happenings here. This is the market’s fifth year, and if it’s anything like the last four, it’s bound to be an A+ day out.

West Hampstead’s 5th Annual Christmas Market 
West End Green, West End Lane
Saturday, 6 December 2014
10:00am to 4:00pm

World AIDS Day

Hello everyone! #CyberMonday might be trending on Twitter, but today is also World AIDS Day. Given that we have an HIV mug in our Retroviral collection, we feel it’s appropriate – and important – to draw your attention to this cause. What is World AIDS day, you may ask? From the website:

World AIDS Day is an opportunity for you to learn the facts about HIV and put your knowledge into action. Find out how much you know by taking our online quiz: Are you HIV aware? Test your knowledge and awareness by taking the quiz and act aware by passing the quiz on and sharing it with your friends on Twitter and Facebook.

I actually took the ‘Are you HIV aware’ quiz and was surprised at how many questions I answered incorrectly. It’s an eye-opener, for sure.

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As you may already know, 5p from the sale of every Retroviral mug is donated towards research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (read more here). The school’s research on AIDS and HIV is at the forefront of the field, with projects around the world for developing vaccines, treatments and cures.

While you’re obviously welcome to buy an HIV mug today, you can also donate directly to LSHTM and make a personal contribution towards their brilliant work.

In addition, Londoners can drop by LSHTM to catch the exhibition about HIV/AIDS which explores the development of prevention and treatment responses to HIV/AIDS.

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Black Friday Sale!

Hello! It’s Black Friday! Get 15% off in my shop until midnight tomorrow* with the code 15WOOHOO.

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*Yes, midnight (in London) of the 29th of November…so it’s a two day sale. Lucky you!

 

Thefty HQ gets the Retroviral Treatment

Hello! The Ohh Deer Pillow Fight competition has been extended, so you can now get your Retroviral Cushions until December 1st! I ordered one of each design for myself – Herpes, HIV, Rabies, and a collage – and can confirm that the colours are lovely and bright, and the cushions are nice and fluffy. Of course, in addition to cushions, Retroviral mugs are still in stock in our online shop.

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Shop Retroviral cushions here

  Shop Retroviral mugs here

 

Blog and Buy Sale Christmas Wishlist: My Top Picks.

Hello! The epic annual Blog And Buy Sale Christmas Wish List is now live…and we’re so pleased to announce that our Retroviral mugs have been featured. Hooray! The wish list is ‘a curated list of the very best creative products available online’, so it’s incredibly exciting to be included.

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You can shop directly from the page – each item links to individual designers’ stores and social media pages. With several hundred hand-picked items to choose from, Christmas shopping should be sorted! I’ve already bought a handful of items from the Wish List because I couldn’t resist. Here are a few of my favourites. (And yes, of course I included our mugs!)

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1. Dinosaur Print, by Cha Com Letras

2. Ohh-Ahh Wall Hook, by Ohh Ahh

3. Quartz Candy Print, by Paul Farrell

4. Fabric Letters, by Kitty McCall

5. Handmade Geometric Ceramic Necklace, by Isla Clay

6. Love Card, by Karolin Schnoor

7. Retroviral mugs: Herpes, HIV, or Rabies, by Thefty

8. Star Christmas Baubles, by Stories for Autumn

9. Colourful Deep Sea Pouch, by Gabote

10. Sunny Forest Tray, by Anna Lindsten

11. Angel of the North Tree Topper, by Susan Bradley

There are so many great products, so make sure to check out the full list! Blog and Buy Sale Christmas Wish List will run until December 28th.

Christmas 2014 Last Order Dates!

Hello! I know, I know, it’s only mid-November…but in terms of postal deliveries Christmas is closer than you think! If you’re planning to order Retroviral‬ mugs in time for Christmas gift-giving, we recommend placing your order before the dates listed below. Please keep in mind that mail can be delayed at busy times such as Christmas, so get your shopping done as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Happy shopping!

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Art + Neuroscience = Art Neuro

This weekend I attended Art Neuro, a four day extravaganza exploring the overlap between art and neuroscience. As you’ve already seen, the crossover between art and science is one of my favourite topics, and I was looking forward to spending an afternoon immersed in it. The Saturday session began with a brief – and incredibly colourful – introduction to the evolution of the brain in both animals and humans. We learnt about the structure of brains and neurons, and got fired up for the screen printing session we’d take part in later on.

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Before dipping into the screen printing, we grabbed a drink and explored the Exhibition. Pairs of artists and scientists explored a variety of topics, from aging and dementia, to brain tumours, what it’s like to be a scientist, and the beauty of brain cells under the microscope.

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Finally, we all got to try our hand at screen printing, under the guidance of textile designer Zeena Shah. Zeena showed us how to print (sort of) like pros, and we all came away with crisply printed brainy tote bags and cushion covers…as well as a sense of accomplishment.

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All in all, it was a thought-provoking afternoon of creativity and discovery. I’m looking forward to the next Art Neuro event.

Blogstagram: The week in Instagram pictures.

Hello! Happy Halloween! It’s been another busy week at Thefty HQ! Apart from being up to my eyeballs in mugs, I’ve also been up to my eyeballs in…eyeballs (see below). And pumpkins, and monsters, and zebras, and mugs. Did I mention mugs? It has been a good week in real life, and of course on Instagram. Check it out:

Thefty-Blogstagram-Halloween-625px-004I decorated a very Theftyish pumkin in Retroviral style.

Thefty-Blogstagram-Halloween-625px-006Snacking on (gummi) eyeballs while working at my desk. They taste pretty good, AND they contrast nicely with my lipstick. Win-win.

Thefty-Blogstagram-Halloween-625px-003I love the Hendrick’s gin packaging design: Vintage-style illustrations, gold foiling, and insects in ballgowns. YES. I approve.

Thefty-Blogstagram-Halloween-625px-001Mugs and monsters in the office. (This is how most people have reacted to my Retroviral mug collection.)

Thefty-Blogstagram-Halloween-625px-005A Halloween vignette including my boyfriend’s zebra mask.

Thefty-Blogstagram-Halloween-625px-002And yeah: PUMPKINS! 

What are you doing for Halloween?

Retroviral cushions available now!

Exciting news! Thefty is part of the Ohh Deer Pillow Fight, meaning that you can now order Retroviral Cushions in four designs: HIV, Herpes, Rabies, and a multi-virus mix. The cushions will only be available until November 15th, so get your Christmas shopping in early!

Buy your cushions here!

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Pillow Fight is an annual competition run by Ohh Deer to find new contributors. Hilariously, the winning designs are those that go the ‘most viral’. HA! If you’d like to support Thefty, then please help Retroviral go viral on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest (tagging Thefty and Ohh Deer where possible). Of course, you can also buy a cushion (or four!)  – there are great multi-buy discounts available on Ohh Deer.

DETAILS: The cushion covers are made from super soft faux suede with a fully-illustrated front and a stone-coloured reverse side, as well as a zip fastening. They measure 43x43cm, and contain a 50x50cm insert to keep them plump. (You can opt to receive the cushion without the insert.)  They’re machine washable at 30c and are hand made in the UK.

 Matching mugs are available from the Thefty online shop.

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To learn more about the Retroviral collection, click here.