Shopping Basket

Bonbi Fruits of the Forest Blog

100 Days of Random Colours… Week 3

I’ve completed week three of this project already…I’m not sure how nice it is to have the passing of time documented like this, it feels like it is going by very quickly! At least I have lots of ideas brewing from these drawings and some sketchbooks filling up very fast.

Talking of which I have had a few requests for prints of these pieces and I am going to make a range of mine and your favourites available to buy as prints at the end of this project. Any feedback on which ones you like the most will be very welcome!

Day 15: Pink, lilac and black sharpie with blue felt pen and blue biro made me want to conjure some ferns!#100daysofrandomcolours Day 15 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 16: I found this combo of dark mint green, gold and purple sharpie with blue felt pen and black biro suprisingly hard to work with but I think it came good in the end.#100daysofrandomcolours Day 16 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 17: Who knows what kind of plant this is, I totally made it up…#100daysofrandomcolours Day 17 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 18: What looks like red here is actually a really dark orange (I don’t know why it photographed like this!) and teamed with ultramarine and sky blue with purple pen and black biro it made for a good colour combo, especially for this leaf pattern!#100daysofrandomcolours Day 18 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 19: I’ve been working on some birds for a commission so thought I’d get some more practise in! The pink pen took centre stage here with black biro accents on the birds and the sharpies made for a good tree…#100daysofrandomcolours Day 19 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 20: Inspired by a visit to see friends in Falmouth the day before and the amazing views from their new house.#100daysofrandomcolours Day 20 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 21: I thought I’d go for a different sort of pattern with this red, green, black and blue combo and it ended up being a bit festive!#100daysofrandomcolours Day 21 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi Forest…and that’s week three! I am already into week four, if you want to catch up with it day by day you can follow me on Instagram – @bonbiforest I was particularly pleased with today’s colourful offering of parrots! I’ll show them here in next weeks round up…

Read more →

100 Days of Random Colours… Week 2

I haven’t missed a day yet! It’s a really nice project to carry on with this one, I fit in the drawing while I have a brainless half hour after the children are in bed, watching some TV and chilling out before I start a bit more work for the evening…

Day 8: Horses, of course…#100daysofrandomcolours Day 8 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 9: I’m going to be drawing some birds for a project soon so i decided to get a bit of practise in with these pretty colours (I must retire that pink soon, it is really very worn out…)#100daysofrandomcolours Day 9 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 10: These colours were a definite departure for me but this one was FUN!#100daysofrandomcolours Day 10 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 11: The first day that the colours have been hard…Black, dark green, brown and yellow Not pretty!#100daysofrandomcolours Day 11 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 12: A hit of neon pink with dark pink and red redressed the balance after the horror show of Day 11…ahhh…#100daysofrandomcolours Day 12 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 13: We went on numerous beach trips last week so it was inevitable that the sea and it’s treasures would inspire me at some point, especially when that silver Sharpie came out of the bag!#100daysofrandomcolours Day 13 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 14: A little exercise in perspective after discovering that neon yellow is REALLY hard to work with when teamed with dark pinks and purples. It kind of looks ok here but in real life it’s a bit jarring…#100daysofrandomcolours Day 14 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestSo there’s week two, done and dusted! If you can’t wait for next week’s round up, don’t forget you can follow me on Instagram (@bonbiforest) to see each day AS IT HAPPENS. It’s pretty edge of the seat stuff…

Read more →

100 Days of Random Colours… Week 1

Those of you who follow me on Instagram may have seen that I am taking part in this years 100 Day Project (#the100dayproject) which is a project where you are invited to think of a theme and create something along that theme every day for 100 days…I almost didn’t take part as I couldn’t think of a theme that I would want to stick with for that long, 100 days is a looong time and a lot of elaborations on one subject! Then about 10 days ago I was about to embark on one of my (almost) daily sketchbook scribbles and I decided to pick three colours at random from my pencil case, the resulting image was made with colours I wouldn’t normally choose and I really liked the challenge and process. So my idea for my own 100 day theme was decided upon right then!

Each day I am choosing three sharpies (I have a lot…), one fine point felt pen and flicking down a colour on my 4 colour bic biro and seeing where they take me…

Here are the first seven days:

Day 1: Easing in gently with some florals of course.#100daysofrandomcolours Day 1 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 2: So not my usual colour choice (no pink! No orange!) but it worked well with this little horse…#100daysofrandomcolours Day 2 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 3: Colours chosen by Ruby, which is as good as random considering she is three…can you guess what her favourite colour is?!#100daysofrandomcolours Day 3 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 4: A heavy orange and purple bias but with a touch of black biro it came good!#100daysofrandomcolours Day 4 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 5: Trying something a little darker…#100daysofrandomcolours Day 5 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 6: Though it was a beautiful sunny day these colours compelled a stormy scene…#100daysofrandomcolours Day 6 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 7: Pink and purple made for another floral number!#100daysofrandomcolours Day 7 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestIt’s not been too hard so far, the choices have been kind, but I am kind of looking forward to the sludgy colour day…Follow me on Instagram (@bonbiforest) to keep up with the daily challenge or check back here next week for the next instalment!

Read more →

It’s those horses again…

horse ears copyIt’s not really a secret that I like horses. They’ve been a big part of my life since I was very small and even now, when riding time is at it’s most precious and not very often, they are on my mind a great deal so it’s inevitable that they find their way into my drawings a lot…

I am working on some new drawings and paintings for a range of new prints, cards and screen printed goodies at the moment and there is lots of experimenting with mediums, colours and ideas going on. It’s some fun! I’ve been sharing peeks over on Instagram, here’s a few…Horse in woods Horse in progress Horse gathering Horse BW Horse bubble

Read more →

Got me some new pens…

Got me some new pens, broke out the gouache and got some things down on paper…

I like using mixed media: Biro, gouache, sharpie marker, felt tip and a touch of pencil are my tools of choice for drawing at present…not the most conventional combo but it seems to be working for me right now.

Lots of flowers are happening, new things are one the way!

Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 12.09.21 Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 12.09.45 Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 12.10.01 Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 12.10.40

Read more →

Part of my heart is made of printing ink…

Lee PrintingThis week has been a busy week of scarf printing…Lots of moons, stars and tiny hearts have been squeegeed (yeah, squeegee is actual word and one of my favourite things about screen printing!) on the printing bench. I even found myself wearing stars while printing stars at one point. I’m surrounded by them! Not that I mind, I like stars.

Scarf Stack

Star PrintingI am a self taught screen printer, one of my biggest regrets when I left art school was never to have ventured into the printing rooms and tried it out. When I started to learn it at home, a few people told me I wouldn’t be able to do it without all of the proper equipment…I’d need hinges and clamps and a big sink, a pressure washer and an exposure unit etc and I almost didn’t try it, but I thought ‘what’s wrong with strong arms, a shower head and a tin foil lined lampshade with a 100 watt bulb?’ It turned out, absolutely nothing! All it took was a call to a screen print supplies company to ask exactly what I needed and quite a bit of trial and error (and inky finger prints where they shouldn’t be) to get me started.

In a way I am glad I leaned to print like that, that my shyness stopped me from using all the equipment at art school. It meant I could start at home on the dining room table without feeling like I needed to be doing it ‘properly’ because I knew no other way.

I still use a similar rustic set up, I hold the screens down by hand and I still use a foil lined lampshade with a 100 watt bulb to burn my screens. These days though I do have the luxury of a studio with a big Belfast sink and long, deep printing bench and I did treat myself to a proper fabric ink heat setter several years ago but the premise is still the same.

Printing Printing Hands Printing 2I LOVE screen printing. I love the possibilities and the limitations. I love working out designs based around what I know about it and what I have yet to learn. I love the trial and error and mixing of inks, the messy sink, ink under my fingernails, the total hands on, hand printed nature of it.

Who knew that years ago when I said out loud to someone that I regretted not trying screen printing at art school that one day it would form a huge part of how I make my living? Man, I’m so glad I learned how to do it, sometimes you’ve just got to take a leap and give something a go…You never know where it might take you!

Printing 1

Read more →


Processed with VSCOcam with c3 preset

New jewellery packaging alert!

If you have ever bought any Bonbi Forest jewellery you will know that several years ago I developed some packaging based on the Victorian Puzzle purse.

I watched the Jane Campion film ‘Bright Star’ when it came out in 2009 and had an epiphany. In it, a love letter is given which is folded into a little square and the message is on the inside. I thought it was so beautiful I decided I wanted to base my packaging on it and my puzzle purse wrapper was born!

The Bonbi puzzle purse has assumed many colours in the past (why just stick to one when you can use them all?! A branding nightmare…) but it has been well over due a revamp and if you order something now it will come in the new, very leafy 2016 version!

Here’s a peek:


Processed with VSCOcam with c3 preset


Read more →


Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 14.56.36It’s been a leafy, botanical sort of week…

I finally found time to redesign the little origami pouches that Bonbi Forest jewellery is sent out in (more pics soon) and play with colours for a new scarf design for Spring…I say new, I started it last summer before Ellis was born but was never happy with the placement and colours and I found wielding and washing a 60x60cm screen with a 8 1/2 month preggy belly a bit too much like hard work, so I gave up on it.

But Spring is just around the corner and it’s going to be perfect so colour experiments are underway!

In other news the new ‘Forever’ Necklace and Bracelet had a feature in the Guardian Valentines gift guide, so I’ll be hand stamping lots of personalised initials for lots of loved up people this afternoon!

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 14.56.57Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 14.56.46

Read more →

No Star to me…

Forever-Necklaces-StudioThey are in the shop! The new jewellery pieces I have been working on went live in the shop last week, a little treat for that person who’ll be with you forever and a day or someone who is the brightest star in your sky…

I mentioned before that these new pieces were inspired by the inscriptions on 15th Century Poesy Rings, of which I picked two of my favourites and had them printed onto Maple veneered wooden charms with fronds of leaves and tiny stars. Each phrase is available as a necklace or a bracelet and you can choose to have two personalised hand stamped initial charms added to the chains too, cute eh?

It’s kind of timed to be for Valentines (I like a bit of romance) but as always I don’t like the idea of limiting the appeal of love tokens to just that of romantic love, so think of these as gifts for other special women in your life too, maybe a sister, mother, daughter, aunt, grandmother or your bestest friend in the world too perhaps?

Have a lookie in the shop and see what you think!

Forever-Bracelet Forever-Necklaces No-Star-Bracelet No-Star-Necklaces

Read more →


starryStars are never far from my mind it seems, stars, flowers, horses and trees tend to be my go-to when I am not sure what to draw next. It’s a good job these are my favourite things to draw and look at (caveat: aside from my family of course!) and once again little stars have found their way into my work…

I came across a very cute phrase while researching my latest Valentines designs last year: “No Star to me as Bright as Thee” which comes from the tradition of the Poesy Ring. I’d never heard of these before but stumbled across them while researching traditional love tokens and I absolutely adore the idea of them. They were popular in the 15th – 17th centuries in England and France and are finger rings given to show love and regard with a short inscription inside the band.

Some of the phrases are very sweet and some of them that were probably very sincere 500 years ago are pretty funny now: ” I am your lot refuse me not” and “I like my choyse”

I’ve repurposed a couple of my favourite of these phrases in my new Valentines jewellery which will be available soon…here’s a little taster!

No Star

Read more →