Amazing Artist – Rachel Pedder Smith

A couple of weeks ago I went on a little trip to the Royal Botanic Kew Gardens and decided to head to the Shirley Sherwood Gallery where there was an exhibition showing some of the stunning work by Rachel Pedder Smith.

I was unfamiliar with her work until that chance visit and really wonder where I have been all this time never to have seen any before?? It’s particularly bizarre because here at Warbeck & Cox we’re rather partial to insects, bugs and any other items that you’d expect to find at the Natural History Museum (as if you didn’t already know)!

Anyway, the botanical illustration exhibition was called ‘Pressed Plant’  and showed the intricate and detailed watercolour pieces of exotic seed heads, leaves and flowers from around the globe.  It was really quite amazing.

I picked up a whole selection of postcards which I have sent to various friends and family… but kept my favourite for my pin board shown here below.

Artist Rachel Pedder Smith

 Section of Herbarium Specimen Painting 2006-2009

I thought I’d also share (with Rachel’s permission) some of my favourite images which I found on her site

Check it out to find some postcards to send your friends & family… or maybe even grab an original!!

Rachel Pedder Smith's Bees painting

Bees (5 cm x 6.5 cm)

Rachel Pedder Smith's sea horse painting

Seahorse (2.5 cm x 6.5 cm)

Pedder Smith butterfly

Swallowtail butterfly (7 cm x 6.5 cm)

So.. now I’m off out to enjoy this sunshine and draw some more of my own!


Four Leaf Clover – that’s got to be good luck?

Yesterday I decided to go for a walk (in between the rain showers) and couldn’t believe my eyes when I glanced down and spied this…..4 leaf clover

Yes, it really is a real one….

I’ve only ever seen one before… so let’s hope it’s going to bring us lots of good luck!!!

Perhaps we should be doing a new design inspired by them??

Our Top Ten Ticklingly Good Fun & Terribly Trendy Table Napkins

I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear us say that we’re rather partial to fun tableware… and it’s good to know that we’re not alone.  Recently, we’ve been spying more and more fun and stylish napkins in bright vibrant colours.

Here are, as chosen by us, our Top Ten Ticklingly Good Fun & Terribly Trendy Table Napkins….

10 – Giardino’s Paisley Napkins, £24.15 for a set of 4

9 – Made with Love by Charlotte Fleming’s Light House Napkins, £18 for a set of 4

8 – Concetta Gallo for Habitat’s Concetta, cotton printed napkins, £5 each.

7 – Imogen Luddy’s Polite Napkins, £10 each

6 – Lush Designs Vegetable Napkins, £31 for a set of 4

5 – The Coin Laundry’s Hungry Like The Wolf Napkins, £12.71 for a set of 4

4 – Oh Little Rabbit’s Revolver and Daisys Napkins, £12.71 for a set of 4

3 – Cyanide Stitches’ Robot Dinner Napkins, £12.71 for a set of 4

2 – Betsy Grace’s Mustache Napkins, £45.75 for a set of 6

And at Number 1 – our favourite napkins are… drum roll….. yes, you guessed it…. our Beetle Napkins, £20 for a set of 4 … but then that probably didn’t come as a complete surprise now did it??

So, do you know any that we’ve missed out??

Cotton vs. Paper Napkins

We’re often asked by our customers and friends which option we should be going for when it comes to napkins – are cotton napkins more eco-friendly than disposable paper napkins? or is it the other way around?

eco napkins

Well, there’s lots of information on the world wide web on this fiercely debated topic but one of the most comprehensive articles comes from Pablo Paster on  Here he argues that cotton has about half the impact of paper and to explain his findings he goes through the lifecycle of each inorder to understand their actual cost to the environment.

Cotton napkin production, is without a doubt definitely the more wasteful, needing vast quantities of water for it to grow, pesticides, bleach and yet more water during the processing of the fabrics.  It needs soap to wash it which (can enter and damage water/eco systems), oh, and that’s not to mention the energy required to operate the washing machines to launder and then the dryers to dry them! Yes, that’s quiet a lot to be thinking about compared with the relatively small number of negatives for paper towels – namely deforestation and massive contribution to landfill which is then responsible for producing methane gases.

It comes as no surprise then that Paster’s article shows a 28gm cotton napkin to cause 1kg of greenhouse gases and uses 150 litres of water, a linen napkin 112gm of greenhouse emissions and 22 litres of water followed by a paper napkin which uses 10grams of gases and 0.3 litres of water.

Yup, it’s pretty clear that cotton is still the worst offender when it comes to production.  But once you take into account that cloth napkins are not a single use item (like their paper cousin) that go on for years and years, the experts start changing their minds.   With paper waste in the US accounting for 25% of all landfill, really, it’s not rocket science is it?……… The trick they say is to go for linen if possible (the flax plant is more resistant to disease and needs far less pesticides) and not wash them after every use.  Instead, chuck them in with the rest of your laundry at the end of the week to have as small an impact in terms of water, soap or energy consumption.  And don’t forget to resist using that dryer – instead stick them out to dry for free on the washing line for an even lower carbon footprint!

Good job then that there are so many gorgeous napkins out there hey?  Click here to see our top 10 favourites!

Happy Birthday Grandpa B

This is just a quick post to wish my dearest old Grandpa B a very happy birthday! I don’t think he’ll mind me letting on that it’s just one year until the bit 9-0!!!!!

Here he is pictured below whilst in the police force in Malaya.

Birthday Grandpa

Birthday Grandpa

Clever Easter Bunnies? Or just useless hunters?

You can imagine our surprise this morning when we were heading off to the office first thing to discover this…..egg hunt
Either we have particularly clever Easter Bunnies or useless hunters… but either way, Easter was over a month ago and we have walked past this tree 4 or 5 times a day ever since…. umm, perhaps we’re not as observant as we thought? Or perhaps, we’re focused on other things – yes that must be it!

Tea Towels, Tea Towels everywhere – oh, and new Napkins

I just love it when large boxes arrive in the office – must be some strange nostalgic thing linking back to my early years sitting beside the Christmas tree a couple of days before the 25th looking longingly at all the exciting parcels & packages. I was ‘allowed to look but not touch’ and would sit for considerable lengths of time dreaming of what they might contain…  25 years later I’m still just as excited when I unpack 15 realms of A4 printer paper!  Anyway, I digress…….

Today, we have received some lovely big boxes containing more of our latest design – the Games Kit in winning gold & sleek black.  Obviously, we were thinking about all the exciting sports events that will be taking place later this year at the London 2012 Olympic Games when we designed them and they feature footballs, boxing gloves, cycling helmets, tennis balls, fencing swords, volley balls, riding whips, ping pong paddles, shuttlecocks, hockey sticks, swimming goggles and trophies! Phew.. I think we’ve mentioned them all!

They are absolutely perfect for any sports mad friend or family member…. and particularly brill for a sporty Dad this Father’s Day (next month).. perhaps giving him asubtle hint to help with the washing up after Sunday lunch!

games kit tea towel

Also to arrive were lots more napkins. We are particularly thrilled with the latest colourway – vibrant pink which has been asked for so many times that we have lost count!  Great for picnics and parties don’t you think?

So, our plans for the bank holiday?  Looks like we’re going to be doing an awful lot of folding, packing and finding somewhere in our small office to store them!

Hope you all have a wonderful break & avoid the sporadic downpours!