Samphire Arts

Posts Tagged ‘stationery

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

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A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.

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So, among my many loves, I have a huge love for Letterpress!

I cannot imagine a world without it. It would be colourless and most importantly, texture-less and that, in itself is a crime that cannot go noticed (or unpunished for that matter! To the guillotine I say!). For me to truly experience something, it has to be both visually and tactile (oh, and sometimes by smell! especially little goodies meant for my tummy!). I have a habit of touching everything, I have to constantly remind myself not to when I am in a museum. No, really… I stick a thumb under my satchel strap, easing it’s weight off and the other hand holds the exhibition guide.

Anyway, I have been keeping an eye on a letterpress machine for years now. It’s so tempting especially when recently a friend offered it to me for a hundred odd quid!! How do you resist the temptation of creating beautiful, tactile, paper goodies?! I’ll tell you how, live in a small place! Currently over-run by Arthur Roy Fisk (my beauuutiful drawing table, pre-owned by lovely Claire daughter of Roy Fisk, a Lincoln based artist), Bertha– My small but heavy Victorian press, Ben– My lil’ table for the digital stuff… amongst hundreds of books and little knickknacks I have lovingly accumulated over the years and stuffed into this little room! So, you see, adding a tabletop letterpress would be me literally bursting at my seams, so to speak!

And so, I decided to do letterpress without the ‘Press’! Yes… I cheated… But.. but… what can I do? I haven’t the budget or space (yet!)

A friends’ birthday was coming up so I thought I’d give a try… and this is what I managed… I know, it looks a bit pitiful but, not bad i think considering i had to physically press it between two boards to get any sorta impression! Takes lots of muscle this method… and some patience with the trial and error. However, at the end of it, you’ll have something like a letterpress…

p.s: I’d like to assure you only two metal letterpress letters were ‘hurt’ (actually broken in two!sob!) in this instance. It has been reported to the RSPCLP (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Letterpress Printing). And they recommend, should you have any unwanted tabletop letter-presses, fonts etc give them to me to prevent further metal/wood fonts getting hurt (Including my nails, and fingers…).

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More trial and error this time with a pre-factory made plastic ‘letterpress’. Again, I didn’t have the right machinery to ‘press’ these but you can see the general outcome here…

All this was actually brought about by the thought of wedding invites and a poem I read many years ago, by Edward Estlin Cummings. I have been toying with this poem for a while and wanted to produce it by letterpress. Turns out, it’s pretty expensive and so I resorted to a not so old-fashioned way to produce it. (More to follow in the next blog!) For now, I hope everyone rediscovers this beautiful art of letterpress and I wish to convince future brides/grooms to use letter-press for their wedding stationery, Save the Date cards or even to announce the new arrival of your lil’ ones post wedding dates and dramas etc…

Letterpress for me has an understated elegance- A beauty to look at and appreciate both visually and tactile.

 

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all artwork + copy © fatima jamadar

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Hand cut and printed on handmade paper with flowers

cupcake by fatima jamadar | notonthehighstreet.com.

I L O V E CAKES!!

Nothing too fancy, a nice plain cake and I am yours!

My love for plain cakes started many years ago growing up in Nairobi. In those days, every snack was made at home (despite the fact that you could buy your cakes from a bakery, sweets from confectioners etc) but I think times were hard and feeding a family of five on shop bought cakes can be a bit much (aside from the fact that if friends/relatives found out you bought your cakes, then you were obviously not a good mother, wife or a culinary expert! I suspect pantries across the city were actually filled these shop goodies but they all pretended to save face… teheee.. ;-p )

My dad was ‘involved’ in the savoury stuff like Chevra, pava (puffed rice), chana, even home cut and fried crisps (which I still remember tasted better than the shop stuff despite hours of peeling and slicing by HAND!), boiled ground nuts or edamame, cashews, pistachios and peanuts, something he still does to this very day.

He patiently searches for ‘fat peanuts/cashews’ and will lovingly salt them (actually, the salt has to be measured, put in the right bowl with water by mum and handed back to him to mix and remind her she hasn’t put enough salt. I reckon this is why it tastes better. They lovingly bicker, assign each other tasks and play out their roles respectively). He generously coats and cooks the peanuts and if we are lucky, pack them individually and send them to us or they go in this massive glass Heinz bottle to pour into his palm as he watches cricket… and texts me in mocking monosyllables to tell me how badly we (my team) are doing.

My mother on the other hand-made a variety of sweet snacks and often all the hard work and prep that goes into dad’s savoury snacks or signature dishes are done by Ma. She often marries the Coastal Kenyan dishes with the Indian ones. She’s always been keen to try new recipes experimenting on us her new-found love of something yet everything was made from scratch (even the curdled milk and home-made yogurt).

She lined up the “weekend” (my treat cupboard) with nankatai, koko za tende, shrikand, mandazi, chilaay, mkate sinia, vitumbua, egg pudding, savoury dhoklas, kulfi, sev (vermicelli) etc etc… (the list goes on!) But what I loved most were her cakes. To be precise, cake. Her famous five egg cake made in a wide aluminum tin which was definitely not a baking tray of any sort and was sometimes baked over a jiko (a skill in it’s own right!) Which over the years translated into a modern cooker-oven with half the hassle (and taste sometimes…)

As kids, our favourite bit was when she mixed the eggs, butter and milk. Sometimes, one of us was tasked to butter the tin and he/she had in turn to report back to the rest of the siblings when Ma was about to mix the flour in so that we should hurry if we want to get some ‘mix’! We would hang around the kitchen trying to dip our fingers and get a lick before she caught us and chased us out with a mwiko (wooden cooking spoon) close on our heels!  Eventually, she’d get 3 small stainless steel bowls (about 3-5 cm wide), filling them up just enough and calling us to come and collect ‘it’. We would walk up all grinning and try to see which one was filled more before taking it and running (in case she changed her mind ;p).

Returning back to our games, we would sit and dip one finger and lick and discuss how the batter was that day… occasionally reporting to mum (if she asked) and it continued… until it was all gone. (no returning for seconds). Seeing that I always ate slow and liked to extend my pleasure of licking the ‘mix’ my brother (and sister sometimes) tried to have mine while I left it unattended.

Finally, while the cake baked, I would pull the small kitchen stool and sit in front of the yellow glowing oven (at the time I thought it was the cake glowing which only confirmed my belief that cakes truly were magical) and ask when it will be ready. Despite having a 45 min timer to tell me precisely when, and an elder sister left in charge of making sure it didn’t burn while she washed up mum’s baking utensils, I asked and asked and asked… Eventually, burying my head between my knees and softly singing and asking until my sister either threatened to tell mum and therefore get me excavated from my comfy spot in front of the oven (which was her talented and preferred method of extricating herself from looking after me and getting some peace) or on mum hearing me pestering (in any case, the timer never really worked on that oven anyway! So really, I was doing them a service!)

FINALLY, the cake was out and left to cool, I would run back and forth and take strips off the top of it before it cooled. Taking small bits from least obvious parts because:

a.      The top bit was only going to stay crunchy for a little while and it’s the best bit EVER!!!

b.     Eating a warm cake is the best feeling ever, FACT! It’s like being cuddled in your tummy, a glow… a warm fuzzy feeling or weightlessness… (and before you ask, no, I don’t get stomach-ache and if I did, I was and still am too intoxicated to notice it.)

Over the next few days, we would have cake with ice cream, homemade custard or dipped in sugary afternoon tea… and sometimes as little treats, ma packed it in my break-time tin. Which to be honest, I didn’t really need seeing I was in nursery and would be home after lunch. I still can’t resist her simple 5 egg and food coloring cake.  Unfortunately, over the years, as we grew so did our environment and soon cupcakes were the craze, so much so that my father was baking them! By saying he baked them, I means he knew how much to spoon in to a cup while ma made the batter etc. But, I always found cupcakes like strawberries, a bit overrated here. Until I met a match for my Ma’s five eggs cake.

I found Bea’s of Bloomsbury! My affair with cakes simply BLOOMED! (Into a fully fledged addiction!) To find a simple cake done so beautifully and to top it up, even the icing is fantastic and bold (I don’t see many people using passion fruit) and complimentary to the base was a true revelation…

I finally fell in love with cupcakes! The cupcake that did it was Bea’s Red Velvet with Passion fruit icing. Neither the cake not its icing is sickly sweet. Everything is well proportioned: cupcake size and flavours… another bonus is that they do fab coffees (from Monmouth I think).

And the real icing on this cupcake (for me) is that you can sit close to the kitchen and enjoy the fabulous aromas wafting up behind you and transporting you back to your mum’s old kitchen stool and in front of her oven while you try not to scoff down the fluffy goodness in front of you…

A warm thanks to all those who make such simply beautiful cakes…

My Ma, Bea’s of Bloomsbury and of course an even bigger and ‘fluffier’ thanks to my loved ones who I always pester and blackmail for baked goodies! (You know how you are…)


Used as a birthday invite/greetings card/postcard or framed

Available from:

cupcake by fatima jamadar | notonthehighstreet.com.

or get in touch directly!

Thank you for looking! x

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Yay!

TWENTY CARDS!

Yup, you read it right! 10 designs, 2 of each from the Birds & Bows series, Twirling Pine as well as Fontmas Card design.

So what if it was a mate? Who’s judging? ;-p (Actually, I am!)

To make it a bit special seeing that paypal was playing up and I had my ‘first order’, I decided, none the less, I’ll give it the attention I would have given to an actual customer. Gifts are great but it does make a difference how we treat it; The packaging and delivery are a sort of charm. After all, you wouldn’t  pop a ring for your fiancé on any odd food item but maybe in champagne (definitely not in runny eggs, no matter how much she loves a good breakfast). The way it is presented, down to the smallest details, matters (to me). I want people to open their purchase and go: oooo…ahhhh…  oww that is sweeeet…

I’m big on not just buying an item but the buying into the brand. The first thing people see is the packaging before trying to guess what it could be and often badly wrapped items be they bought from a shop or handmade gifts, are a right turn off. You wouldn’t want clothes you just bought chucked into any bag and handed to you! so you see, you buy the item and the experience too. Hence my personalised approach of:

Handcut & printed wrapping paper, inner (tissue) wrapping paper, gift tags (recycled fabric), A note of thanks for good custom and maybe a freebie thrown in to showcase your work.

Here’s what I did:

 

A Big Thank you for my ‘first order’!

 

Drop me line to order or buy Online store at

http://www.etsy.com/shop/SamphireArts

or

http://samphirearts.coriandr.com

Thank you for looking! x
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e-mail: fatimajamadar@gmail.com
Please order in advance allowing time for hand-printing, handmade paper and postage. For more queries or customisation, please get in touch. Please note, hand printed/painted items, products vary as they are not mass produced on a machine making each item unique in its own rights.
So, they are finally here…
Arrived on Saturday but had way too much to do and only just got round to taking photographs of the final product which is printed on FSC certified stock, satin coated outside for better colour reproduction (and because I can’t stand gloss (Most of the times!)) leaving the insides uncoated so that you can scribble your lovely wishes!

p.s: Excuse the look of the photos,  I am yet to invest in a ‘photography studio’ ;-p
Skatebirdy, Birds & Bows, Twirling Pines and Fontmas Cards Series

All cards are now available to buy accompanied with a white envelope in various quantities. Please pre-order for delivery in time! 47 Days to get those cards out in time for Christmas!
Thank you for looking! x
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e-mail: fatimajamadar@gmail.com

The whirling pine first started with the idea of a dervish and on trying to draw it, I accidentally, ended up with a lovely effect of over lapping curves. It was also one of my first attempts at making xmas cards for clients which I quickly ditched in favour of carving and hand printing my very own greetings cards. I will upload those when I find a way to photograph them well.

For now, here are my twirling /whirling pine. I imagine them screen printed (on a square format of course! “Surprise, surprise!”). Purely to give it a layering of inks creating new colours from transparent inks and when you run your finger over it,I love the texture of the silk that is left imprinted in the print it self.



Remember, you can order a personal colour combination or a ‘pick-n-mix’ selection as a box of 25 or 50… or just the one? (I am not here to judge you by how many friends you have on your xmas list 😉 promise!)

Please allow considerable amount of time to print and post. For more details, please get in touch!

Thank you for looking! x

This is the first digital version of my birds series which started as pen and ink drawings and progressed to this. There is an ‘immediacy’ or ‘fluidity’ that adds character to a drawing made in ink that I cannot capture (yet) digitally. I suppose that is also because every stroke and mistake I make with ink, I cannot undo and in the process, build up an image. Or maybe, I am making excuses because my love for brush & ink is far bigger than my digital needs…

I hope you’ll enjoy this as much as I have had making them.

PART II:

No.5

No.6

Birds & Bows Part 2

No.7

PART I:

Birds&Bows Part 1

Birds & Bows Part 1

Birds & Bows Part 1