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Bonbi Fruits of the Forest Blog

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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Insta Round up: Recent Sketches...

Right Now I am busying myself working on the next Limited Edition collection which is due out in March...I'm pretty excited about this one!

I've been sharing some sketches over on my Instagram account...just ideas and patterns ready to be transformed into goodies for you. I'm thinking of all things magical! Without wanting to sound naive, I just feel the world needs it right now. Occasionally escapism is a good thing.

I irregularly post found colour over on Instagram and here is this week's: The worlds smallest piece of red sea glass! Finger for scale of course...I am very lucky to live very close to the sea with a choice of several beaches within a five minute drive. Taking my children to the beach is such a treat, one loves climbing rocks, the other loves paddling and I love beach combing while we are there. Red sea glass is so rare around here, I've only ever found two pieces including this tiny chip which was flicked out of the sand on the toe of my toddler's welly boot. My nerdy beach comber heart leapt and now it's in my even nerdier 'Special Jar' (yeah, I know...)

If you want to follow along I can be found here: @bonbiforest and for #mumlife vibes, more sea glass and quite a lot of horses I have a personal feed: @bonbilee

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100 Days of Random Colours - Weeks 13 and 14...THE FINALE!

So, at long last (only 6 months late!) here are the final two weeks of my 2016 100 Day Project!

You might notice that I managed to do two drawings for day 97. I have absolutely no idea how but hey, an extra day of drawing is never a bad thing!

Day 86: Red, green and pale peach sharpie (made all the paler by the fact it's totally running out now) with another red felt pen and black biro...Another sunset scene but I'm working on something else with sunsets and they keep seeping into all my work!

Day 87: Red, pink, gold and brain with red biro...a layered floral garden of poppies.

Day 88: This one was inspired by a glorious beach we visited and the jellyfish we found there.

Day 89: A warm but dark selection today with a green biro hint...ponies grazing under a rising moon sky.

Day 90: I really liked this combo and I really liked drawing these leaves, even though colouring the background took FOREVER!

Day 91: These colours spoke of berries and juice, a thirst quencher indeed on hot days like these!

Day 92: An illuminated letter S which was some prep for the Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search (in which I made the final 50!)

Day 93: ONE WEEK TO GO!! Today's selection was a kind of dull rainbow of colours but once I had rainbow in my head I couldn't think of anything else to draw, so slightly dark rainbow it is 🌈 with the addition of a little dog wondering why he's been left out in the pouring rain.

Day 94: A strangely hard combo today but I managed to conjure an underwater scene with a big blue whale and seaweeds galore 🐳

Day 95: As I get to the end of this challenge I'm finding that's one of my sharpies are really on their last legs, this pink being one of them! It gives a new way of working with marker though at least, making them kind of like pencils to use... Just 5 more days to go, my Sharpie babies, 5 more days to go! Thought I'd draw some cheeky poochers today, I love these colours together 😍🎨🐶

Day 96: Maaaan, tough combo! One thing I have learned through doing this challenge is that neon yellow goes with very little, not least orangey red and dark purple :( Never mind, florals came to the rescue (kind of) and I enjoyed badly drawing the chequered table cloth!

Day 97 Part 1: Grey, neon green and gold sharpie with berry coloured felt pen and black biro...not your normal face colours but there's nothing wrong with pink skin, green hair and golden eyes, right?

Day 97 Part 2: Pink, orange and silver with a dark green felt pen and blue biro...I was so stuck but my man told me the colours looked like fish so here we have a Koi Carp scene, happily swimming amongst the lily pads!

Day 98: Today the sharpies were all pretty pastels and then I was given a hit of red with the felt pen and black biro...Carrying on my exotic bird theme I drew this guy! Not entirely sure what he is but I liked the patterns on his back...

Day 99: That really running out pink made an appearance again today, alongside gold and berry purple with a tan felt pen and green biro...Here's a peahen among the lupines for the penultimate day of this challenge! 🌿

Day 100: What else could today be but the full Sharpie and felt tip cast from the last 100 days 🌈 !

This project was so much fun and I've got so many new ideas and some very full sketchbooks from it. I already know what I am going to do for this years project and I am quite excited to get started though it doesn't start until April. Lots of time to plan then!

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100 Days of Random Colours - Weeks 11 and 12

Here's another two weeks of last year's 100 day project! My resolution isn't going so well is it? My only excuse is that January was SO BUSY! Thank you so much to everyone who bought from the new Creature of the Night Collection...the 100 pins all went so fast but there are still lockets and limited edition Giclee prints for the nocturnal creatures in your life.

One we go with the 100 days:

Day 71: I've drawn a person! I used to draw lots of people but recently they have fallen away in favour of florals, horses, birds and cats...something about this dark orange, neon orange, peach, purple and green combo made me want to do this scene of a contented horse and rider.

Day 72: I never thought I'd say it but it turns out you can have too much peachy pink in a selection...despite my love of all things blush I found this combo rather a challenge! Perhaps there's not enough contrast for me?

Day 73: After all of the pinks yesterday, today I had an abundance of blues to work with! The peach felt pen was a saviour and I thought some simple carnations might lend a bit of beauty to your day.

Day 74: Black, green, dark orange and tan with a blue biro...I thought I'd go dark for this one using the bright colours just in the fire rather than making them the main event...challenging!

Day 75: Bright bright colours for this one and a tropical leafy frond sort of pattern...

Day 76: Neon pink, grassy green and sky blue sharpie with a grey felt pen and red biro combined to make this cliff top scene...sea and plants, two of my favourite things!

Day 77: Darkest blue and dark purple coming out of the bag first got me worried but then the running out pink and a sky blue felt pen with a red biro perked up the combo...phew!

Day 78: Black, silver and peach sharpie with a red felt pen and black biro really isn't a combo in my usual colour sphere but it wasn't too hard to work with...

Day 79: PINK!! And not a running out pink at that...I'm working on something vibrant at the moment and this combo has helped me set the tone...

Day 80: So this combination had a pink and I didn't make it the main focal colour! Are you proud? #willpower ☺️ It was teamed with yellow and red with a black felt pen and red biro for a summertime swan sunset scene.

Day 81: I LOVED drawing this moth with all those blues and that hit of orangey red...it got a bit serious though so the final flourish was a cheeky little face!

Day 82: Brown, gold and dark pink teamed with a blue felt pen and black biro...a Greek garden scene inspired by the gorgeous images of Jasper Conran's house in the Saturday Times Magazine this week.

Day 83: Dark blue/green, black the running out pink with a red felt pen and black biro...a simple leaf pattern today with a few of the shapes inspired by the different ferns growing in our Cornish hedges at the moment, so many different types...the closed ones are my favourites, they look strangely exotic.

Day 84: Red, silver and lilac sharpie with a gold yellow felt pen and red biro...This one was a tough combo, but a golden hour mountain scene saved the day!

Day 85: Neon orange (why does that never show up its brightness here?!) sky blue, and grey sharpie with teal felt pen and blue biro...I can't draw bows but I'm pretty pleased with the bouquet!

The last post for this project will be up in a couple of days and then I actually have some new things I want to blog about (oh yes I do!) stay tuned...

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