Warbeck & Cox 2013 so far

Yes, it’s been a long old time since we’ve managed to write a post and keep you up to date with our goings on – and what a lot there is to tell you!

When we last posted back in November we were furiously making up and dispatching all of our Christmas orders and then December disappeared in much the same way too.  Once all the festivities were over it was time to organise the dreaded tax return – my most loathed job in all the world.

HMRC tax return

But no sooner had that been filed when planning had to start to organise my mother’s 60th. We’ll write lots more on that another time as we particularly want to tell you all about the amazing team at Pizza of Dreams who came to feed us all and helped make it the rip roaring success that it was with everyone dressed in silver platform boots and psychedelic bell bottoms.

pizza of dreams

In between all of that, it has been business as usual with orders to keep on top of, the drawing new designs and playing with pantone books…

Pantone Books

having bolts of fabric printed up….

Beetle Fabric

and working on several bespoke projects.

Including designing the table decorations for a wedding & making up napkins for a super cool, eco conscious graphic design company.

Damask Wedding Table Numbers

And as if that wasn’t enough to keep us out of mischief….  we have had a wedding to plan, a ceremony to get through

Warbeck & Cox Wedding

and a quick honeymoon to go on…

Positano

Oh, and to top it all off, we’ve moved.

hermitage offices

Yes, 2013 thus far has been pretty action packed indeed!

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Multi-Coloured Beetles

This weekend I went to stay with an aunt in Belfast.  We don’t visit her often enough and quite frankly we should.  Not only is her company fab but her house is like an Aladdin’s Cave of fascinating artifacts.

My favourite were these beetles which I found in my bathroom.  As you all know we love a bug or two so they were rather appropriate don’t you think??

exotic beetles


Garlic

Garlic or Allium sativum as it is more formally named, is a species in the onion genus and according to Wikipedia  has a history of human use that dates back over 7000 years.  Even the Ancient Egyptians realised that it not only tasted delicious but could be used for all sorts of medicinal purposes such as respiratory problems, poor digestion and low energy.  Now however, we tend to be associate it with delicious meals and fighting colds.

If you like us, you’re a serious fan then you will understand how thrilled and excited we were to be given this bag from a very very generous friend (who had got a little over excited when planting up seedlings earlier in the year).

Brimming with delicious, highly pungent bulbs of garlic and several elephant garlics too, we’re bursting with ideas and are busily planning all the delicious suppers we can conjour up!  Just be sure not to come too close! 😉

 


Moths

Moths are a nuisance.  There are not two ways about it, and if you have been one of the unfortunate many this year to experience the plague that has descended upon the country then you will know only too well about the devastation moths can bring.

I’m sure that many of you can’t quite work out why on earth we should therefore choose to base a whole design on the little devils then?

Well, until I found this book below at an antique fair I too thought that they were miserable clothes munchers or dull fluttery things that always found themselves at the nearest lightbulb.

But not a bit of it is true.  Page after page in Richard South’s gem of a book show colourful, highly decorative little creatures and with my observation skills clearly heightened,  I happened to spy my very own cinnebar moth several days later.

Unable to resist the temptation to get my sketch book and pencils out, I set to…. learning about Umbers, Emeralds, Tigers, Burnets and Ghost Moths and so many more.

And now we have a whole range of products featuring my moths.

Tea Towels….

Napkins….

Lavender bags

Notecards….

Gift Tags…..

& Hand Bag Mirrors.

So you see… there’s a lot more to a moth than meets the eye!


Dead Beetle

This morning I spied a dead beetle.

I was sad to see that it was dead but it made me think about that AA Milne poem and also reminded me about the initial stages of setting up Warbeck & Cox and a trip that involved other dead beetles, inspired furious sketching and the creation of our most popular design.

Ten years ago or so, I found myself with the task of entertaining a young cousin and was told to take him to Tring Zooililogical Museum (now part of the Natural History Museum).  A firm favourite as a child I was not convinced that well over a decade later I would feel quite the same way about this venue.  How wrong I was.

On opening that first drawer and rediscovering the rows and rows of little creatures pinned and labelled so neatly, I was hooked.  So hooked infact that I had to shoot off to the gift shop and buy a sketch pad and get scribbling.

Fascinated by the delicate, intricate shapes, patterns and irridescent colours I had to get drawing ….which is exactly what I did.

Beetle to buffalo and alligator to zebra, the collection has it all.  Thankfully for us, the Rothschild family decided to give the entire collection to the nation in 1937 and here are just a few of the amazing treasures I discovered.

Interestingly, Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild’s fascination and subsequent gargantuan collection began as a small boy when he discovered a dead beetle –  a present he promptly gave it to his nanny!

Funny what comes about from finding a beetle isn’t it?


Messing about on the River

Just over a week ago things were pretty quiet in the Warbeck & Cox office because we found ourselves of all places, bright and early in Chatham Docks.

Chatham Docks

Our mission – (a very exclusive invitation to boot) was to meet our good friend and collect his newly purchased and restored boat, taking her on her maiden voyage to her new home – a trip that would take 16 hours and see us sailing along the Medway and up the Thames, being stopped by customs (twice) on super speed boats and arriving in Battersea at, yes, wait for it…. 05.39 AM!

Found in pieces, centenarian Flika has had an overhaul of giant preportions by our friend and his fab team at the Turks Shipyard breathing a brand new lease of life into this beautiful barge. Infact, I think I will do another post just about the yard as there is so much to say about it.. so watch this space…. but here is the fabulous girl just before we set off.

& at the petrol station

A stranger to sailing on the open water (well, any water at all to be honest) I couldn’t believe how blissful lounging on deck was as the sun shone. The views were stunning and the sumptuous picnic feast was second to none. Infact, the whole adventure was like a dream …. and I don’t think anyone noticed that we had no running water or electricity in the excitement of it all!

The sunset was phenomenal – Pictured here with Sausage

as were the night scenes…..

Yes, this is London bridge at about 3.30 in the morning

& the London Eye

Once converted, this beautiful boat will have 4 bedrooms and will become their home….. to say we’re a little bit envious is an understatement.

Now which tea towels to give them as a house warming??………….


A sunny day upcycling project

This weekend saw an unexpected amount of sunshine…. so it was decided that we would embark on a restoration project that has been looming over us for some time.

Unsold and unloved we happened to spot these benches in the car park of an auction house earlier this summer and thought we might be able to give them a loving home (and a new lease of life).  Making an offer there and then we were thrilled to be able take them home with us.

Armed with a stiff brush, a bowl of warm soapy water, some sandpaper, teak oil and some elbow grease we set to.

& even had some (un)helpful assistance from the Sausage.

Here is the finished piece.

All we have to do now is find somewhere for them to live!