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Bonbi Fruits of the Forest Blog

Casetify...

I am very pleased to announce that I am now a Casetify artist!

If you don't already know, Casetify make very high standard phone cases that can be either customised with your Instagram or Facebook photos or bought with a ready made design from an array of brilliant illustrators and artists. The cases are available with different coloured grips  to suit your style and if you go for one of their 'New Standard' cases you can even buy different back plates to swap out when you fancy a change!

I have had a Casetify case for a long time so was delighted to be asked to join their artist team, and get my own design onto my phone in the process...I went for my bright yellow Magnolias and Camellias design below. 

This is just a small selection of cases from my growing range...you can see them all in my Casetify store HERE!Lee Foster-Wilson Casetify Cases

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Totally Magic!

Woah, April was busy! I've totally got behind on my blogging but I'm vowing to catch up!

The reason April was so busy aside from it being the Easter break (we had a trip to Wales and lots of garden days and beach plays with the little ones) was the launch of my latest Limited Edition collection 'Totally Magic' which has gone down SO WELL, I've been totally amazed. Totally Magic PinThe collection takes it's inspiration from a quote by Roald Dahl: 

"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."

I drew on imagery and colours from medieval tapestries and icons of magic such as unicorns, lightning bolts and smatterings of stars mixed with florals to create the collection which has little phrases about magic peppered through it.

The collection comprises the last ever Bonbi Slouch Sweater (sob!) a shiny enamel Pendant, an enamel pin badge, a signed and numbered Gicleé print and a new scarf design in two colourways...all pieces are limited edition and some have nearly sold out already, hence my amazement!Totally magic Slouch SweaterMagic is Real PendantTotally Magic Scarf - PeacockTotally Magic Print and PinTotally Magic Scarf - Blue

I love how much people love a bit of magic in their lives! You can see and shop all of the new pieces in the shop...

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The Time is Now

Ugh! So I have got a bit behind on my Insta round ups lately...for good reason though: I have been busy getting lots of new products together and the first of these are now available in the shop!The Time is Now Poster

'The Time is Now' is an idea I had a while ago and have turned it into a pin badge and poster...it's an intriguing, motivating phrase urging to seize the day! The bright blue of the poster will add a hit of colour to your room and the pin is a little reminder just to get stuff done...The Time is Now Enamel Pin

I have also had another poster of my Night Bouquet drawing made up. I have been using paint markers on coloured paper a lot recently and this is one of those pieces. I love the vibrant colours on the dark background with the little stars circling around.Night Bouquet Poster

Both posters are sized at A3 for easy framing and the little pin is 35mm. See the posters HERE and the pin HERE!

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Insta Round Up: Outdoors inspired...

This last week seems to have gone so fast...all I seem to be posting here is the weekly round ups of what I have been Instagramming! I have been working on getting the printed pieces for the new collection underway, making lots of screens and having some very long printing sessions in the studio...There is a sneaky peek of part of the new collection in this post and I will share more next week!

I have been carrying on with the #marchmeetthemaker challenge too, here's the next few days from it:

Day 6 (above): Today is all about raw materials...There is a whole world of raw materials that go into all things Bonbi, from the card I like to draw on to the hundreds of jewellery components I gather (and hoard) but the most fun to take a picture of are my screen printing inks...Yay for colour!🌈I mix them all myself using highly concentrated pigments and binders and have them stored in towering stacks of pots. Nearly all of my clothes have ink on them somewhere...

Day 7: This day was all about how it's made...There are so many processes involved in all of the things I make but one of the most satisfying is screen printing as it's so drawn out. Aside from making the actual design, colour separations have to be made then screens are stretched and coated with light sensitive diazo emulsion before being 'burned' under UV light and washed. Finally the printing can begin! This process alone takes a couple of days! The lightning bolt florals are the peek I mentioned! They are sleeve prints on the (last ever 😭) Bonbi slouch sweaters in my newest limited edition collection which launches later this month!! ✨❤️⚡️

Day 8: Today is all about 'where' (Bottom picture)...This is one of my favourite spots in the world and it's a 5 minute drive from our front door...I live in an area that other people come on holiday to, aren't I lucky?! It's one of 4 very local beaches in our corner of the Roseland Peninsula in Cornwall. I grew up in this area and after moving away to study in Brighton where I stayed for a few years after university finished, the draw of the homeland was too great so my boyfriend at the time (now my husband!) and I moved back. We love it and are so grateful to be able to bring our little beans up in such a special place 🌊💕

Day 9: This day was all about how it's made...I've posted lots of bits about screen printing so far so here's one about something else: Personalised pins! Here is a little pony pin being branded with someone's initial. I whack a letter stamp with a hammer, give it a wipe of gilders paste to make the letter stand out and pack it up for shipping...

Day 10: Today is the day to recommend a maker! I found it really hard to just pick one so I have tagged a bunch of really great makers who live and work in our beautiful, rugged, almost sea locked county of Cornwall...Click HERE to see the original image and tap it to see the makers I tagged. We have such a great and diverse creative community down here...

Day 11: This day was all about post! The images is of our tiny village post office and shop that all of your Bonbi orders ship though...I use the Post Office Drop and Go system which means I have a pre paid account and can literally just drop it off and leave. My postmaster is great and lets me just put my bags behind the counter without having to ever queue which has been AMAZING for time saving...they have told me though that there have been times where customers can't get into the freezers in the shop because they've had all of the Bonbi mail spread out in the tops to count it all!!Here's a few other bits and pieces I posted this week...Spring pendants for the new season, hurrah! and roll on Summer!!Here is a page from a journal I made for Compendium who are an American company specialising in inspiring stationery products, kids books and kits. It was a really lovely project to work on and I will post more about it really soon...Lastly here are a couple of bits I made inspired by the sea glass that is taking over my life! A little wooden plaque and shapes for the first part of the Make Art That Sells Art Bootcamp!

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Insta Round Up: #marchmeetthemaker

How did March get here so soon?! Not that I'm complaining, we are into my favourite time of year and the clocks go forward later this month which I am sure I am not alone in looking forward to.

All of this month I am taking part in an Instagram challenge called #marchmeetthemaker where lots of creatives respond to prompts set out by illustrator Joanne Hawker. It's a great way to meet other creative types and have a peek at their processes and working spaces!

I know not all of my followers are on Instagram so I am going to share my posts about it here in these weekly round ups...here are the first 5 days!Day 1: So this is me (the one on the left obvs, that's the youngest of my offspring, Ellis on the right) I'm Lee and I illustrate and make artwork which I screenprint onto textiles, apply to jewellery and turn into pin designs! I live in Cornwall whose beauty and colours seep into my nature inspired work...I have two children (rascals the pair of them!) am an avid beachcomber (it's more of an obsession...) and lover of horses (dressage is my thing!) A couple of random facts: I'm named after my Chinese great grandad and use my middle name of May in my professional name so that people don't presume I'm a fella when they see my name written down, and I once accidentally ruined an arcade machine game of Who Wants to be a Millionaire for hip hop act Cannibal Ox by hitting the wrong button on their machine... (Girrrl?!)

Day 2: All about a favourite thing to make! My very favourite thing to do is DRAW as all of my designs are based on my drawings and artwork...but screen printing has a huge part of my heart too, especially making new designs, figuring out colour separations and making limited colour palettes work to optimum effect. Seeing it all come to life in ink on fabric is the icing on the cake, especially when they come out as well as this 'Indian Summer' scarf print I made last year! 🌸🌅🌿(I think it came out pretty well anyway...)

Day 3: (Pictured in the quad of images below) Today is all about workspace and I work from two different places...My studio, where I do all of the screen printing and order packing and keep all of my stock is a little barn that we converted at my parents farm nearly 10 years ago (😱feeling old...) It's lovely and bright with high A frame exposed beams and lots of big work benches. I also work from the rather more cramped 'procrastination station' under the stairs in our cottage. I do all of my drawing, planning, admin and digital designing here. I usually have to pick my way through a myriad of toys strewn on the living room floor to get to it. It's not ideal but means I can work from home in the evenings when the kiddlywinks are in bed (and the living room is once again tidy!) 🎨💕

Day 4: This day is all about tools...Here are the main tools of my work (computer, scanner and heat setter aside...) My screen printing squeegee, I have three of these, two small ones and a big one which I have had for ages...I love the layers of ink in the handles! A couple of pairs of my jewellery pliers, I have snips and round nose ones too, and this very small representation of my myriad of pens...I've got hundreds!! It's a bit out of control...

Day 5: Today is dedicated to boomerangs! The little video sort, not the thing you throw of course...I have been playing with glittery paint pens this week, so much fun!!! Picture 5 is a still from my boomerang but you can see the real thing HERE!I also posted a couple of my more successful sketches, another affirmation from the team at Make Art that Sells and a fish sketch. Art bootcamp starts this week and I can't wait to get cracking!Lastly I got some new pictures of my Mama Bear pins...perfect little trinkets for sweet mama bears!

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Insta Round Up: Florals Galore!

I have quite a varied bunch of things in my Insta round up this week! I have been making lots of imagery for new things and turning some old sketches into finished pieces. I am thinking of offering some larger posters of some of them in a new series so watch this space!Among other new things on the horizon are some more Pony Pins...I have them in pink still but there will be some new colours soon. The general consensus on Instagram was for mint green and peach which I very much like the sound of.New business cards...I freshened up the business card offering with some of my more recent drawings alongside my favourites from the last batch. It's funny seeing them all together, theres a heavy emphasis on pink and red isn't there?!I also shared a mirror I drew for fun, they don't get any easier to photograph!!Lastly I made this image in response to a positive affirmation prompt from the Lilla Rogers and the team at Make Art That Sells...They offer positive affirmations every Monday for artists to illustrate and I was delighted to have this drawing featured on their Instagram account! It looks like I am mostly horses, stars, moons, lightning and florals at the moment...

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Art Stones!

So, because I haven't been very good at keeping this blog up to date (but I am doing SO much better aren't I?!) I haven't written about the art stones I have been making...

I started making them before Christmas as little gifts for friends and family...I like how they are tactile and a piece of affordable art that is a bit different to a picture on a wall but easy to display and own.

They are also incredibly fun to make! I collect them from one of our local beaches (of course I have a favourite that has just the right kind of stones...) and draw them with paint markers before varnishing them and adding my name and the year to the back. They come in illustrated boxes and some even come with a little piece of Cornish beach life too...I hope you like them. Some have sold already and can be viewed in the museum which can be seen HERE and you can see the rest of the available stones HERE!I am also delighted to have had them featured on the Artistic Moods blog which you can see HERE!

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Found Colour...

This week's found colour...I found a purple! It's once again totally tiny but it's purple and that's what matters, right?

I love this colour palette too, I think I will have to use it for something. The mint green with the yellow and purple alongside that very dark blue are just beautiful...

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Insta Round Up: Work in Progress

I try and draw every day if I can. Even if its just a quick sketch or a little bit of work towards a larger project I will draw something. It keeps the ideas flowing and my hand in tune with my eyes...It's kind of like a muscle that needs to be kept exercised for optimum results!

I have had quite the productive week this last week with lots of successful drawing being done for the new collection as well as a few other fun pieces I made in my sketchbook! I shared a few of them over on Instagram as well as a digital snippet of some work in progress for the new collection and a little stone I made...

I hate it when things are spelled wrong and after drawing this piece late at night and then posting it the following morning, I was mortified to have it pointed out to me that I had only put one 'o' on the first 'too' I thought it looked wrong but had that blindness you get when you have looked at something for a long time! A quick patch later and here is the result. I kind of like that it isn't perfect now, because lets face it, in art it doesn't go totally right all of the time, especially with non erasable pens!

The digital work in progress snippet!

I also took my paint markers to a piece of coloured paper and I REALLY like how it came out! I'll be doing more work in this line for sure.

Lastly, of course it was Valentines Day too and a happy customer shared this sweet image from my now discontinued Lovebirds Card range. I really need to make more cards for the shop, they have always been so popular!

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The Bonbi Forest Museum

A couple of weeks ago you may have seen a new addition to the menu here at Bonbi Forest: A brand new 'Museum' section.

It is a collection of pieces I have made, little behind the scenes snippets, a few past features, old artwork etc which I started as a way to group my old work together. It occurred to me that so much old work is left forever unseen in the depths of long forgotten blog posts and drowned at the bottom of my Instagram feed so I thought it would be nice to gather lots of these pieces in one place as a kind of archive of my creative endeavours.

I haven't included EVERYTHING, that would just be nuts, but I have put one or two from past ranges or pieces of art that I feel are important to me. Newer art and projects outside of Bonbi Forest can still be found in the Art page of the website which is my most current portfolio.

The other reason for doing this is to keep a document of new pieces that I am making, many of which are going to appear as limited editions only and once they sell out they would be gone forever if not for the museum...

It's quite a task adding all of these pieces (many of which I had totally forgotten about!) so I am continually updating it...I hope you enjoy it!

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