Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Surface Pattern Design at Staffordshire University

Last week I was invited to give a talk to the students on the Surface Pattern Design degree at Staffordshire University. I had such a lovely day with them.

 I spoke to all three year groups in the morning and told them my story. From dropping out of art college, having my kids really young and then finding my own way into my creative career baby step by baby step. Some of these students are about to leave uni and all of them want to find a way of carrying on doing what they love but are worried about the challenges ahead. How will they make it work in the big wide world? I loved showing them my photo's and taking them on a virtual tour of the wallpaper factory. I liked openly sharing the ins and outs of a product based design business like mine and how I make it work for me.

I spent the afternoon in the studio's with the students and some of them showed me their work and told me about their dreams for the future. I'm gutted I didn't take my proper camera (why oh why?) but I took a few snaps on my phone. They have so many great facilities and it was a buzz with experimentation and ideas. I just LOVE work spaces. The mess, the organisation, the possibilities, the works in progress...

This is the desk of second year student Katie Hughes. We had a nice chat about being inspired by nature and the way it can calm you down and how, when you're calm you start to notice it's lovely details and colours.

I watched Rhiannon Roberts hand tufting her lovely rug. Doesn't this look fun? I wanted to have a go.

It made me want to go back to college and PLAY.

Sarah Pearse was having a great time freely splashing dyes on a huge table and taking prints....finding those interesting details.

I loved the pretty printing and paper folding going on at Joanna Mathias's desk. She is hoping to create some sculptural hangings and lights.

This third year students Hayley Murphy is working on a wallpaper collection so we had a lot to talk about - in fact she's asked if she can come and intern for a while next year so we will be seeing more of her :).

I wish I had taken loads more photo's so I could really share the buzz of the place with you. It was lovely to spend the day there and to be able to inspire a few people. The world needs more people doing what they love and I hope all these enthusiastic young people find their way to living super successful creative lives.

Monday, 9 March 2015

The Storytellers

One of the lovely things about sharing a studio space is that you get to watch other peoples projects unfold and you feel as excited as they do every step of the way. Sarah & Suzi just launched their gorgeous video all about the outdoor family portrait sessions that they are so passionate about. It's really sweet.

It features a shoot with our friend Rebecca's family up at Widdop reservoir and then back at her house (check out the HN Paper Meadow wallpaper in their living room heehee).

Sarah commissioned my boy Euan to write the music and I hope you will agree that he has done a fine job. It's got Ffions voice in it too so it's nice she could get in on the act too in a small way! 

You can visit Sarah Mason's Photography's new website here and see more of her lovely portrait shoots.

The video is by Rogue Robot.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

I'm in Country Living magazine!

When I took the Hello Soul Hello Business e-course a couple of years ago I did some serious dreaming and planning.  I dreamed of a big light filled studio space with huge windows and lots of plants, I dreamed of having a couple of lovely student interns to help me out.  I dreamed of becoming a mentor and inspiring other makers. I dreamed of rolling out my newly designed wallpaper on a big long table in the middle of my studio and sending it out around the world. I also made a list of magazines I'd like to be in. One was Where Women Create, one was Garden's Illustrated and the BIG one was Country Living.

So you can imagine how excited I was when the feature's editor got in touch last year to ask if they could do a feature on me.

They sent Alun Callender to do a photoshoot for a day which was lots of fun (check out his website. His photos are amazing). Didn't he do a splendid job! And they sent Kate Langrish to interview me. We had a long chat in the studio over cups of tea and she wrote my story beautifully.

It's in the April edition, in the shops now and I have four full pages. I want to share it all with you but I also don't want to give it all away because I'd love you to have a copy of your own (there's even a reader offer in extra incentive for you to buy a copy).  I'm so happy about this piece. I just LOVE it when creative plans come to full fruition. When things you've doodled in your notebook become real life things in your hands or on your coffee table.

It's been busy in the Hannah Nunn studio this week, We've been sending off lots of lamps and wallpaper samples and greeting lots of new customers. Hello!

So now I'm busy dreaming up new plans. Where shall we go next?

Stretching ideas on the Isle of Skye

I have just been to Timber House on The Isle of Syke with my dear friend Rachel Hazell.

It's the perfect place to rest and dream and stretch ideas, as Rachel put it so well. It's a good place for stretching your body too and there was lots of yoga time for me 

and feet up time too.

We like to talk about our businesses and how it's all going and make plans over many cups of tea and Rachel likes to make books.

Rachel is a paper loving, bookbinding artist who has a marvelous e-course called Paperlove which runs in only a few weeks time so there was much buzz about that. Has anyone reading taken her course? Everyone who I have spoken to has loved it.

While Rachel perfected her coptic stitch ready for her Driftwood Binding workshop on Iona later in the month I had short rambles up the hill behind the house in between the hailstorms and driving rain.

The colours are so good on Skye.

And the air is so clean.

And I always notice the mosses too 

and I have to get up really close

There's an old derelict cottage up the hill behind the house.

It's surrounded by the gnarliest old trees. 

The trees were covered in the most incredible mosses.

It's always a shame when it's time to leave the wilderness

but the journey back on the train was astounding with snowy mountains, deer and wild rivers.

Then I had a couple of nights in Edinburgh at Rachel's house which is full of papery wonders and piles books to devour.

There was shopping

and more cups of tea.

Thankyou Rachel for another lovely Timber House time. 

Please visit Rachel's lovely new website and if you are a paper lover too then Paperlove starts in a few weeks time. Check it out here.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Aira Flexuosa (wavy hair grass to you and me).

Tomorrow the lovely people from the wallpaper factory are coming to my studio to talk about my next design. They come and have a look at how best they can print it before going away and etching the gravure cylinders.

I'm not going to show you the finished design quite yet but it features my favourite grass - so beautiful and delicate. 

I drew a lot of it back in the summer (oh summer, come back soon). 

 My Observer's book of 'Grasses, Sedges and Rushes' came in handy today as I wanted to make sure that I had identified it correctly.

 Aira Flexuosa. Wavy Hair Grass

'This grass is a perennial and generally distributed throughout Britain. It grows abundantly amongst the heather on the uplands. It is particularly luxuriant in some districts of the north where it often covers great areas of moorland... July the delicate stems support a pale greenish-brown, glossy, erect panicle, with wavy hair-like branches, which are no thicker than the most delicate sewing thread..'

I always notice it on the path where the wood meets the fields and there is loads of it in the meadows above Nutclough.

I can't wait to get my next design to print! 

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Wallpaper on Simply Laura

If you look closely at the back of this photo you will see my Teal Paper Meadow wallpaper. This is a photo from a show called Simply Laura on the Cooking Channel in the U.S. 

Last year a lovely stylist from New York called Bette Blau got in touch as she was styling the kitchen for the show. Did she find me at the show I did in New York I wondered??? Nope, she found me on Pinterest. I could have stayed at home ;)

So if anyone out there is wondering where they can get some wallpaper like Laura Vitale's, they can get it right here on my website. 

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Goodnight Tomsky

This week we said goodbye to our beautiful shiny boy Tomsk. He got poorly and just wouldn't get better despite all the love that we and his twin brother Ollie could give him.

These guys have been curling up together for the last fifteen and a half years.

Can I tell you a story?

In June 1999, the year we moved to Hebden Bridge I lost a baby. I was twenty weeks pregnant and it was a huge loss for all of us. After we left baby Sam at the hospital and came home empty handed and heavy with grief, my arms ached for weeks with the longing to hold him. 'What you need is a cat' my Mum said wisely and the thought brought me comfort.  But we were just doing up our new house - laying floors and decorating, it was summer and the kids would be in and out playing. It just wasn't the right time. So I waited.

In September, when the kids were back in school I was washing up and I saw the opposite neighbours black cat chasing a fly in the kitchen window. I thought to myself  'Today is the day we get a cat' and I scoured all the notice boards around town until I saw 'Two ginger kittens, in Heptonstall, free to good home'. My partner insisted I only got one of them so after school me and the kids went up the hill to choose.

They were ridiculously cute. One (Ollie), sat in the middle of the kitchen floor meowing at us, unperturbed by our invasion. The other was in trouble for weeing on the carpet and was refusing to come out from behind the sofa. We chose the brave one and we carried him up to my partners Mum's who was giving us a lift home. 'What do you mean he has a brother and you've left him behind?' she said. I did feel terrible. 'But I'm only allowed to get one....' I didn't need much encouragement to drive back to pick up his brother.

Their owner looked worried as she found me at her door again but was much relieved when I said I'd come for the other one. She wanted them to go together as they made such a good pair. Bundling Tomsky into the cat basket I asked her when they had been born. She didn't understand my welling up of tears. 

They were born on the same day I lost my baby.

From the moment we got them home (I don't remember being in too much trouble) it was crazy to think of them not being together. They were a matching pair. What ever one was doing, the other one would be doing too. 

And when they had done chasing each other around the house, they would curl up on my chest in a big purring mass of ears and paws and tails and they have been doing it ever since.

They have been such fun together.



adventurous (Tomsk loved coming for a walk),



and just always on my knee, any chance they got.

Ollie took such care of him when he became ill

and kept himself as close as possible, keeping him warm.

On Thursday I had to get the vet to put him to sleep. In the last few hours we had together while we waited for them to come I stroked him and told him all the stories from his life. He smiled at me and squeaked his squeaky purr right until the end. 

Ollie is doing ok I think. He looks a bit lost at times but is enjoying all the extra love and cuddles and there have been ALOT of them. We're cosying up together. 

Tomsky, your bright shining soul will always be remembered. Thankyou for the bringing such joy to our family for all of these years x
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