Thefty x Roger la Borde Greeting Card Range

Last year, Thefty was commissioned to design a range of greeting cards for Roger la Borde, the wonderful London-based publisher and producer of luxurious, eclectic stationery products. It was such fun working with them!

The Thefty card collection includes five typographical designs, with lettering drawn by hand and digitally rendered and coloured. The cards look fantastic in print – Roger la Borde printed them on uncoated, antique wove board, with glossy raised sections produced by specialty thermographic printing. You can see the range on the Roger la Borde Website, and you can now buy the cards from our online stores, either on Etsy or Folksy.

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To Dry For: A Design Competition.

Hello! This is my entry for To Dry For’s annual design competitionToDryFor is an online boutique specialising in designer tea towels, and I love them in the way I love anything that combines illustration and puns! Below is a mock-up of my tea towel and me. (I already own one of their lovely towels, so I had the perfect template!)

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All of the towels are screen-printed, so I needed to work with a limited number of colours. Naturally, I chose four of my very favourite shades of blue/green. The phrase ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’ immediately sprung to mind when I started brainstorming for the brief, so I decided to go for a text-based design.

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In case you’re wondering: I don’t believe in god, but I most definitely believe in cleanliness.

Something For All Fledgling Creatives: Stay On The Bus!

Yesterday I read this article and it really struck a chord with me. By using a neat metaphor about Finnish bus stations (yes, really), the article stresses the importance of having persistence when starting out in any creative discipline. This idea is boiled down into 5 words by Arno Minkkinen‘Stay On The F***ing Bus’. Strong words, yes, but strong sentiments also.

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If you’re a fledgling creative (or know someone who is), I urge you to do two things:

1. Read the article.

2. Print out my doodle and stick it above your desk. (I already have.) I’ve uploaded an uncensored version after the jump in case you don’t like asterisks. Continue reading

Illustrated Recipe: Cherry & Coconut Truffles

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Hello! This blog post is part of my illustrated recipes series. This week I felt like making peppermint patties, but when I realised I was all out of peppermint extract, I knew I had to get creative. I had recently bought a bottle of Morello Cherry Cordial and thought it would work perfectly. Of course, cherry and chocolate always makes me think of these, so I had to throw coconut into the mix as well. You can always leave the coconut out if you prefer, and you could always substitute the cherry cordial for any other flavour.

INGREDIENTS (based on this recipe)

For the cherry filling:

  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 1.5 teaspoons cherry cordial
  • A few drops of red food colouring (optional – I didn’t use any)

For the coating:

  • 450g of dark chocolate (couverture is best because it melts easily)
  • 2 cups dessicated coconut

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DIRECTIONS

1. Combine all the ingredients for the filling in a large bowl, and stir until combined. You should end up with a firm, dough-like consistency. If the filling is too sticky or wet, simply add more icing sugar until it firms up. With your hands, roll teaspoonfuls of filling into balls, and then flatten the balls into  discs with the heel of your palm (see above picture). Lay the discs onto a tray lined with greaseproof paper, and put them into the freezer for at least half an hour. (I left mine there overnight and they were completely fine.) Make sure you don’t skip the freezer step, because this prevents the discs from falling apart when you dip them into hot, melted chocolate later on!

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2. While the filling is in the freezer, prepare your coatings. In one small bowl, melt your chocolate. You can either do this using a double boiler, or you can do it (carefully) in the microwave. Fill another small bowl with the dessicated coconut.

Helena-Maratheftis-cherry-truffles-33. Remove the discs of filling from the freezer. You will need to coat each truffle individually or you will make a giant mess if you do them all at once! Start by dropping a frozen disc of filling into the bowl of melted chocolate, so that it is completely coated. Using a tablespoon, lift it out of the chocolate and immediately drop it into the bowl containing coconut. I used a fork to flip the truffle over to make sure both sides are covered in coconut. Then place the truffle onto a tray lined with greaseproof paper and wait a few hours until the coating hardens.

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Enjoy!  That’s all that’s left to do!

These are delicious and make very cute presents. They can also be stored in the fridge for several weeks.

Rocking Out!

Helena-Maratheftis-rocks-and-minerals-02When I was little, my pocket money was spent on crystals. Once, I found a shiny rock in the garden and showed it to my dad. He kindly suggested it might be ‘semi-precious’. I was thrilled. These days, I visit the  Natural History Museum to get my rocks and minerals fix. I went there this week and took lots of pictures for you. (I’m assuming you like rocks.)

I like rocks. I also like puns and song lyrics.  Behold:

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Helena-Maratheftis-rocks-and-minerals-03The above photo was not taken in the museum, but in my house. I’ve kept some of the crystals from my childhood!

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Helena-Maratheftis-rocks-and-minerals-01‘Diamond’ ring by Nylon Sky.

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Helena-Maratheftis-rocks-and-minerals-10This last photo is of the fanciest snuff box known to man.

The Natural History Museum is one of my Top 5 favourite places in London. I never get bored of it. I love spending a few hours there with my camera, having a wonder and a ponder. If you’ve never been, you really must go. (Make sure you check out the entomology section – beetles are jewels, too!)

Buster Keaton & Me.

Hello. I just found Buster Keaton staring at me from the pages of my old sketchbook.  His face is so compelling, and I’m not surprised that I felt the urge to rip his picture out of a magazine and make this little collage.

I’ve never watched a Buster Keaton film! It’s probably high time that I did.

Stay Hungry Stay Foolish

I’ve spent this morning watching and re-watching this speech , and one phrase really resonated with me: ‘Stay hungry, stay foolish.’ If I were to get a tattoo, I could probably do far worse than to choose those words.

I ought to print out my little doodle and stick it next to my desk. Thanks for the inspiration, Steve.

UPDATE: This has quickly become one of my favourite drawings. If you like it too, you can buy it as a print! Click here.

Hand drawn type

These images were created for Illustration Rally’s typography rally. My text , ‘light and colour’, was drawn onto card using Posca markers (my favourite). I then cut out the text and photographed it on various backgrounds (my skirt, the carpet, my duvet cover). Only the second image is heavily Photoshopped (the flowers were added digitally). The other two are simply photos. The effect is quite striking, no?

These images look much better in a larger size – click here to see them on my Facebook page.