Calling all Jam, Chutney and Mincemeat Makers

For those of you lovely people who enjoy a spot of jam making… and enjoying giving a jar or too as Christmas pressies then listen up!   Instead of scrabbling about trying to find some old festive fabric, battling with some rather unsightly paper packs featuring rather nasty patterns or resorting to a poorly paper wrapped offering for a friend or loved one, why not try some of our new little beauties?

Whilst I have never personally managed to master the art of conserve making, I am no stranger to having the whole process being thrust upon me and have labelled many many many jars of strawberry, raspberry and blackcurrent jam, chutneys, seville marmalade and jellys in my time.   Said jars have often found themselves (with my handwriting on the jar) and wrapped (poorly) and into my stocking!

Here at Warbeck & Cox we have decided that enough is enough – we want to see the demise of poorly packaged home produce for good!  So we have come up with packs of our holly print fabric designed to give ultimate joy when given this Christmas!

Each pack includes 6 circles of our holly print fabric big enough of a (bonne mama jar) and cut with pinking shears. There are also 6 lengths of ribbon to tie neatly around each jar.

Problem solved no?  That is of course if you have been making jams and jellies and chutneys…. If not, then perhaps you could find a Women’s Institute stall and soak off the label??

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Kitty the Christmas Fairy Helper

If you ‘like’ us on facebook, the chances are that you are already familiar with Kitty.  For those of you who have however missed our latest office addition, super camera shy Kitty has arrived to help out with everything in our busiest time of the year. I have started calling her my Christmas Fairy….

In real life Kitty isn’t a fairy, but a textile designer who has recently graduated from Leeds School of Art.  She’s rather talented too check out her blog which shows lots of different water colour paintings that she applies to silk scarves – we like a lot.

Keen to make suggestions and use a bit of nounce, Kitty has set about re-designing packaging for various bits and pieces – namely our handbag mirrors which frankly looked a little bit miserable before but which now look super smart and have been packed up and are off on their journey to Waddesdon Mannor.

As well as mastering the art of making peg bags, lavender bags and cushions.

Kitty has helped style and organise our photo shoot 

The only thing Kitty hasn’t done is make any tea…. might have to rectify that one! 🙂


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!


The Wedding Season is Most Definitely Upon Us

If like us, you leave wedding lists until the very last minute – only to discover that everything has been snapped up by the all the other guests (apart from the toaster or hoover bags), then panic not!

Due to popular demand, here at Warbeck & Cox we have decided to put together bundles of napkins and tea towels as a sort of home starter pack – perfect for a new home owner or new bride and groom too…

Wedding Kit

Each kit includes 2 sets of napkins, so that’s 8 in total and 2 of our linen union tea towels all for the price of  £50 (usual RRP is £57). And because moving house or getting married is such an exciting time for your friends or loved ones, we’ve decided to throw in the gift wrap for free saving you an extra £5 – a total saving of £12!  The gift wrapping by the way, includes 100% recycled tissue paper, tied up in a pretty pink ribbon and one of our hand printed gift tags for you to write a little message… Seriously, what’s not to like?

So if you have a wedding or know of someone moving into their new home… why not take a peek at our designs?  And remember, you’re more than welcome to mix and match.. just specify on the website when placing your order!

Talking of weddings… we’re off to one tomorrow, so no surprises what the bride and groom have in store!

Happy weekends folks    xxxxxx