HZ Zine

Interview with Jazmine Miles-Long.

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We thought we’d take a quick break from the hustle and bustle of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to share this interview we did for our last Zine with you. Enjoy!

Many years ago, I used to travel down to London once or twice a year to attend, either as a stall holder or customer, the Bust Craftacular. It was great fun putting faces to names and getting to know my peers, seeking out new work for and meeting new customers.

One of the stallholders who I will always remember is Jazmine Miles-Long, an ethical taxidermist. I was mesmerised by her stall and especially the beautiful lamb in the suitcase (it wasn’t for sale, I would have bought it). Jazmine told me about how she came to have the lamb and I was struck at the tenderness by which she described the process. I’ve kept up to date with her work ever since and introduced HZ shoppe girl Anna Forrest to her work. Anna also fell in love and suggested she interview her for the HZ Zine. Here’s a version of the interview for the blog!

Jazmine’s Taxidermy Squirrel.

How did you get into practising taxidermy and how long have you been doing it?

When I graduated from Sculpture at Brighton University in 2007 I wanted to get a job I loved but had no idea what I wanted to do. So I started by volunteering at the Booth museum of Natural history. Once a week I would go and help renovate old Taxidermy cases, clean Bones, and type up chapters of Mr Booths diary. The first thing I actually ‘preserved’ myself at the museum was a moles skull. I enjoyed the process and so started doing Taxidermy at home with the help of a book a family friend had given me.

What inspirations lie behind your work…were you particularly inspired by anyone/anything?

I am inspired by animals and my love of animals (a bit obvious but there it is). I have always had them around me, cats when I was young, I worked on a farm as a teenager and now I have a horrible little grumpy terrier that I love. There are many artists and people who inspire me but when I do Taxidermy I am only really interested in that animal and the emotion I hope to give it.

What do you love most about what you do, what you perhaps not love so much?

 I love and hate how hard and frustrating it can be. It’s very rewarding when it goes well and there are tears when it doesn’t. You only get one try with each animal so its high pressure for it to be perfect and it’s dreadful when a skin is too old and the whole thing has to go in the bin. All the animals I work with have died naturally or have been hit by a car so I often have no way of knowing how long the animal has been dead and can almost finish the process when I realise its too late and I cant work with the skin.  


How do you feel when someone brings you an animal that was perhaps a loved pet, have you had any interesting or memorable experiences that stand out in your mind?

The first cat I skinned made me feel very uncomfortable, it was a bit too familiar for me. And when I first started doing taxidermy and every animal was new, I found it sad and hard working on them but it got easier. I have done pets in the past but not had good experiences as you just can not make the animal have the feeling the owner remembers, its impossible to recreate that bond. I won’t do any more pets unless they are simply donated to me because it’s just too difficult emotionally for myself and the owner. 


The process looks very delicate and complex, how long does it take from start to finish? How do you decide what you want the finished idea to be…the position, pose?

Tiny Lamb by Jazmine Miles-Long.

I always start with deciding on the pose before getting the animal out of the freezer. It is good to be thinking about this when you are skinning, so that you can literally figure out how it works and how it would sit in that position. Taxidermy takes a lot of patience to get right, it is much better to take as much time as possible, you can tell when a piece of taxidermy has been rushed. Birds and Mammals have very different skins because of the feathers and fur. Mammal skin needs to be tanned first otherwise the fur falls out; this is called ‘slipping’. It also depends on the mammal for example a squirrel only takes one day to tan but a deer can take a couple of weeks. There is also the fat to consider, a fox has half as much fat as a badger and every fibre of fat must be removed and it takes ages! It’s the same with birds; ducks and geese have a very very thick fatty layer in comparison to a garden bird. The mannequins I put the skins onto I mostly carve from Balsa wood and it simply depends on each animal as to how long this will take me, I can spend days just making the mannequin. But because of this I like to work on a few pieces simultaneously, at the moment it’s a Mallard Duck, a Vole and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.


What has been your favourite collaboration with another artist to date? Have you any up and coming projects that you are really excited about?

I am currently working with Illustrator and Artist Benjamin Phillips , my favourite pieces so far are a tiny duckling with an evil shadow painted by Benjamin that we had in a group show in November. I enjoy working with Benjamin because his work can be seen as humorous and often lude or creepy but he has a very particular sensitivity to the way he captures characters and mannerism’s that I find very beautiful and seductive. It is hard however for me to find someone that I can work with as I have so many personal rules about my own taxidermy, I want the taxidermy to be beautiful, I want the animal to seem respected and for the viewer to empathise with its predicament. I get very upset when I see Taxidermy art that is demeaning and badly done. Benjamin and me will be showing some of our new work in London in June. 

 

What direction do you want your work to go in the future?

I want to keep doing what I am doing now, developing new techniques and collaborating with other artists. I really enjoy learning and it seems that with taxidermy there are endless things I can learn. I only hope I will be able to do this forever.

 

You must love animals, what is your favourite?

I love dogs. They are very weird creatures. My difficult runt Betty is the best obviously.

Thank you to Jazmine and Anna for the interview, I really enjoyed finding out more about Jazmine’s working methods and ideas. Please check out Jazmine’s website to keep up to date with her work at jazminemileslong.co.uk.

DucklingShadow

Duckling Shadow. A collaborative work with Artist Benjamin Phillips.

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Cross Stitch Tutorial from The Bellwether

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Ahoy there, me hearties! Claire from The Bellwether here, to tell you how to add a splash of nautical style to your home with just a few simple stitches. I’m going to let you into a trade secret here – cross stitch is really easy. Honestly, there’s no mystery to it – you just make crosses and that’s THAT.

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

Here’s what you need to get started on our super-simple anchor design:

  • 14 count sky blue aida
  • 1 skein of red embroidery thread
  • 1 skein of grey embroidery thread
  • 4″ wooden embroidery hoop
  • scissors
  • embroidery needle

To get started, take your fabric, fold it in half and then in half again. Lightly  crease it and then unfold. You’ll see the faint lines which intersect in the centre of the fabric. Place the fabric in the hoop with the centre of the fabric in the centre of the hoop.

You can either start from the centre of the design, or in this case, I’d recommend stitching the anchor first, from the top downwards. It’s roughly the centre of the design, anyway.

Take the grey thread and cut a length roughly 12″ long. Separate the threads so you are only using 2 strands. Thread your needle and we’re ready to go…

Bring your needle up from the  underside of the fabric in the bottom left-hand hole of the square you want to stitch in. Draw the thread through slowly, taking care to keep the thread running smoothly, so it does not knot or get snarled up. If you pull too hard, the thread will come all the way through.

Now repeat this to form the second leg of the cross – from the underside, insert the needle of the top left hand corner of the same square and pull the thread through, with the cross being completed by entering the bottom right hand corner from the top side. Now you have one complete cross stitch – easy, was n’t it? Now you need to secure the end of your thread so it does n’t unravel.

As you carry on, flatten the tail of your thread along the underside of your fabric and stitch over it as you go, catching the thread under your stitches. This will keep the thread from unravelling without making your work bumpy or bulky.

Once you’ve completed the grey anchor, secure your threads by weaving your needle in and out of the back of your stitches a few times and draw the thread through, taking care not to go through to the front side.

Switch to red – again, use two strands to stitch the chain and then secure your stitches. Next separate the red thread so you have just one strand in your needle.

For the lettering, we’re going to backstitch. I personally find it easiest to tie a knot in the thread for this, but you can use the same anchoring method as described previously. Count up from the anchor on the chart and locate the square one square on from where you want to start your stitch. Bring the needle through and then stab back through from the top, through the square you wanted to start in, so you are working ‘back’ from where you started. Sounds confusing, but you’ll soon get the hang of it (and there’s plenty of videos on YouTube if you need pointers).

Finish off your lettering, et voila! There you have it, a little seaside themed sampler for your home. Was n’t that simple? Pat yourself on the back and have a biscuit, you’ve earned it.

Enjoyed this tutorial from our Zine? Find more of Claire’s  work and her craft kits here.

 

 

 

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Recipe: Soup of the Arabian Nights

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When we were putting our Zine together we asked our favourite friendly, local soup-mongers Union of Genius for a recipe to include. They gave us this delicious vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free recipe. The soup is creamy and perfumed; aromatic and balanced with no one flavour dominating. A perfect dish  for these  cold Autumn nights…

The wonderful illustrator Laura Bertinelli  illustrated the recipe for us.

genie01_notextureINGREDIENTS:

2 onions, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

small thumb ginger, crushed

1 medium carrot, chopped fine

1 medium potato, chopped fine

2 or 3 sticks celery, sliced fine

0.5 – 0.75 tin coconut milk

200g red lentils

50g brown basmati rice

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 tsp sumac

halp tsp cinnamon

half tsp crushed cumin seeds

1 tsp crushed coriander seeds

half tsp chilli flakes

half tsp rosewater

2 tsp pomegranate molasses

1 blade mace, in infusing pod

1.5 litres vegetable stock

4 tsps coconut oil.

Heat the coconut oil in a cooking pot and add onions, garlic and ginger. Sauté for a few minutes, then add the carrots, potatoes and celery. Sauté for 5 minutes, then add vegetable stock. When simmering, add all dry spices, lentils and add the mace in an infusing pod.

Allow to simmer gently for 40 minutes, until lentils are cooked and falling apart. Then add rice, coconut milk and pomegranate molasses and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove the mace infuser and add rosewater. Pass a blender through the soup to soften the vegetables but leave the soup with a good texture. Best chilled and left overnight as the flavours develop in complexity. The soup will need more liquid added the next day, as the lentils and the rice absorb lots of water. Looks lovely with a sprinkle of sumac on top. Other additions for toppings could be pomegranate seeds or toasted almonds. ENJOY!

 

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Nail Tutorial from Ever So Juliet.

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We asked one of our favourite Edinburgh bloggers Juliet Tweedie from Ever So Juliet if she would like to contribute something to the Hannah Zakari Zine, and she gave us this awesome nail tutorial!

 

SUMMER FRUITS NAIL ART.

The sun might not always be shining (thanks Scotland, erm…thanks Autumn!) but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a bit of sunshine with you wherever you go. These summer fruit nail art ideas are really easy to do, and you don’t need any fancy equipment! Just a thin tipped brush, a kirby grip, and a few different nail polish colours.

APPLE

Paint a light coloured base coat that compliments the rest of your manicure. Paint a heart shape with red polish – it doesn’t have to be a perfect shape, just try and keep the lines as neat as you can. Then using a thin brush, dab on a tiny dark green flick for the leaf & paint a white crescent to make your apple super shiny!

 

WATERMELON

Paint half the nail red, and half the nail green (don’t worry if it overlaps). When dry, use a thin brush to add dark green stripes to the light green half.Paint a very thin white line across the middle (if you smudge this, remember you can cover any mistakes with red polish!), then dot on thin black lines to make the seeds.

 

STRAWBERRY

Paint a red base coat. When dry, use a brush (or a very neat hand),  topaint a white zig-zag shape to make the leaves (the white helps the next colour pop against the red). Go over this with a green polish and then use a kirby grip to dot on yellow spots for the little strawberry seeds.

 

PINEAPPLE

Paint a yellow base coat. When dry, use a thin brush to paint on leaves. Add a narrow dark green line to each leaf and dot on little orange semi-circles to make the pineapple ridges.

 

KIWI

Paint a green base coat. When dry, splodge a big circle of white in the middle. Then paint dark green lines round the edge (don’t worry about being neat, kiwis have texture!) Use a kirby to dot on black around the white circle for the seeds.

 

 

INTERVIEW WITH EVER SO JULIET.

What first inspired you to start your blog?

I was doing a lot of baking so I wanted a place where I could post recipes and chat about crafty projects I was working on. When I started I thought that blogging was limited to very glamorous model-types, so I was really happy to discover the wonderful world of lifestyle bloggers, where absolutely everyone fits in.

What are the best and worst things about blogging?

Blogging is brilliant because it inspires you to do so much more – to take more photos, to go on adventures, to try new projects, and to really embrace who you are (and learn to not hide when a camera appears!). Butit is HARD WORK. I aim to blog three times every week… which means I have to create new content, take photos and keep to a pretty strict schedule, all on top of a full time job.

Some blog images from Ever So Juliet.

What is your ‘day job’?

I work as a Development Officer for the Edinburgh International Science Festival. That means I work with sponsors and raise money for the festival – it’s lots of fun!

We think Edinburgh’s a great city to live in. What’s your favourite thing about the city and which are your favourite hangouts?

I love Edinburgh, it’s the best! My favourite bar is the newly reopened Bo’s on Blackfriars Street (it’s called Blackfriars, but it’ll always stay Bo’s in my heart). The Vintage at the Shore is amazing for food (try their sharer boards), and Woodland Creatures on Leith Walk has a secret beer garden, entered through a lovely Narnia-esque wardrobe. Is it bad that my favourite places all revolve around food and drink?

How long have you been experimenting with nail art? What’s your favourite design so far?

I got into nail art about two years ago after a trip to WAH! Nails in London. Leopard print nails are my go-to design, as they are quick and easy to do, and look good in almost every colour combination.

We heard you have quite a collection of nail varnishes. How many different colours do you own?!

Too many! At last count I own 90 polishes. Plus about 20 nail art pens. Eek.

You do a lot of baking on your blog. What’s your favourite recipe?

It’s not the most exciting recipe on my blog, but this vanilla cupcake recipe (http://www.eversojuliet.com/2011/07/21.html) is the EASIEST and most delicious one I’ve ever tried.

Do you have any advice for aspiring bloggers?

Do it! At first blogging is scary, because you are faced with a blank page and no one will read it. But write about things you love and what makes you happy, and you’ll discover one of the most rewarding hobbies out there.

For more nail art, baking, fashion, cats and more, head over to Juliet’s blog; eversojuliet.com

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Home from Home; A peek inside Clare Nicolson’s pad…

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In the last 8 years, stylist and designer Clare Nicolson has established and grown her homeware label, launched one of Scotland’s favourite market events, run a bricks and mortar shop and kickstarted a new career as a professional stylist. She has recently relocated from Glasgow to London – and she’s taken her businesses with her. Our mutual friend Carrie McLennan dropped by her new studio to see how she’s settling in (and for a nosey around!)

 

Clare Nicolson’s Studio

You’ve recently moved from Glasgow to London, right?

I’ve been in London for around 4 months now and so far, I’m loving it. I’ve been visiting London since I was 18. I’ve travelled between Glasgow and London a lot for work and I’ve really enjoyed hanging out in the city – shopping, eating out, doing the fun stuff. Staying for a few weeks at a time and living here are two completely different experiences!

Tell us a little bit about your new London pad…

I live in Clapton in East London. The area brings together an amazing mix of different cultures. I’ve got amazing food shops, great cafes, a couple of good bars and the best grocery store nearby.  There are lots of creative spaces peppered throughout the
neighbourhood too. My new place is VERY small! Measuring in at 6m x 3m, I’ve had to be very creative when decorating and planning the space!

How are you adjusting to studio living? Is it taking a little bit of getting used to?

When I was packing up my life in Glasgow, I knew that regardless of where I wound up living in London, it would be small! Space is a luxury you have to live without if you want to stay in this city. Coming from a large 2 bedroom tenement flat in Glasgow I had a lot of ‘stuff’. I had to part with most of my things which was heartbreaking at the time, but now I can barely remember what I had! Living in such a small space does have its challenges. I have to fit a sleeping area, living area, kitchen area and work area all into one room. Sounds impossible right? It’s not easy but I think I’ve found a nice balance. Everything has its place to avoid clutter and it is refreshing to live with just a few possessions. For example, I don’t have a TV. I definitely don’t miss the distraction.

Show us round your space…

Because the space is so tiny, I’ve tried to create little areas for everything I need. My living area doubles up as my sleeping area thanks to a lovely daybed I got from IKEA. It functions as a vintage-styled sofa by day and double bed by night, just like that!

My dressing area is one of my interior dreams come true. I’ve always wanted open clothing storage. I’m not a huge fan of wardrobes. They tend to look overbearing in most rooms, I think. The rail means I can display my vintage frocks and other favourite pieces and use my clothes to brighten up the space. Clothing I don’t want to display lives in the secret storage under my daybed (nifty!) or in vintage suitcases. They look nice and they’re useful. My work area houses my fabrics, prints, sewing machines and paperwork. To avoid the flat looking untidy whenever I’m working on a project, I need to put everything away and clean up after myself. I do miss having a dedicated studio space that I can get messy in.The kitchen is small but has plenty of storage. I have just enough room for things I need and pretty things I want to display. I’ve created a secret hidey-hole for my recycling (no one wants to see that…) and I’ve removed one of the cupboard doors to create open shelving for showing off my vintage kitchenalia.

You’ve really put your own stamp on your studio.  How excited were you excited to decorate the space?

I always get excited when I have a new space to decorate and the idea of styling a tiny white room with wooden floors was no exception. It was the perfect task really. I’ve been lucky too in that my landlord has allowed me to play around with the decor. I’ve painted one wall a warm, mustard colour. It was important to me to create defined areas within the space. The colour marks out the living/sleeping/dressing area and separates it from the rest of the room.  I’ve kept my other walls and the ceiling white. I really wanted to spruce up the kitchen as it was a little sad looking. I’ve covered the end of the unit in vintage wallpaper to cover the drab off-white paint job underneath. The open storage makes a real different to the look and feel of the kitchen area. The shelf ends were very grotty though. Years worth of rental dirt had built up and just wouldn’t come off so I covered them in pretty Washi tape! There’s a lot of colour and pattern in the space which I hope distracts from the size of the
room. I have some vintage furniture that I couldn’t part with in the move. My yellow 1950s sideboard is my favourite piece. I moved the furniture in and worked the rest of the room and decor around it.

Anyone who follows your Instagram feed will know you love plants!  How many plants do you have in your studio?

At the moment there are 20 plants and cacti in the space. Most of these are miniature cacti so it sounds a lot more than it looks! I’ve always loved plants in the home and I felt it was important to have lots of greenery in my space, despite its size. I don’t have a garden. My plant collection is my attempt at ‘bringing the outside in’! Because space is limited I’ve found that hanging plants is a great solution. I’ve collected a few macrame plant hangers from thrift stores and also made some myself. I also love vintage planters. I sadly had to get rid of a few when I moved but I kept my favourites!

You’ve been working as a stylist in London for a few months now.  What sort of projects have you been involved with?

I’ve been working on some really great projects since I’ve been here. Through a photographer friend, I’ve found styling work in publishing. I’ve styled two books so far – a really fancy wedding cake book and an amazing craft book. The shoots are usually on location so I do a lot of my planning and prep. in my workspace at home. My flat has also been used as a location for a few of the craft book photoshoots. We just about fitted in!  Oh – and soon my studio will feature in a book all about styling rented spaces and about being creative with home decor on a budget.

Check out Clare’s work at clarenicolson.com and clarenicolsonstylist.com and see Carrie’s blog at notthekindofgirlyoudmarry.com.

 

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Lou Taylor, Jennifer Loiselle and Rachael have a chat!

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This article first appeared in the HZ Zine which we released in August and all the copies were gone before the Edinburgh Festival was even over! This is the unedited version, so grab a cuppa and settle down for a long read…

I was so excited to work Lou Taylor on the cover of our latest zine and was inspired to involve another designer to create a range of jewellery based on Lou’s ideas. When I mentioned the name Jennifer Loiselle, Lou’s reaction told me I was onto a winner!

The collaboration turned out to be a dream project as we soon realised that we had lots of similar influences and working habits. We decided to have this little round robin email exchange to find out more about each others style and working methods.

PAST LIVES?!

L to R: You must spend hours in your beautiful shop,  but if you could spend a night in any shop anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

R to L: Two shops spring to mind immediately, but top of the list is the Comfort Station shop on Cheshire Street, London. It’s so utterly beautiful and when I was opening the HZ shoppe I often wished I could just copy it entirely! Even though it’s small, I’m sure I could spend a night there trying on all the lovely things and gazing jealously at the wonderful displays.

The second shop is Tokyu Hands, (in Tokyo strangely enough). It’s a mega craft store over about 7 floors with absolutely every craft item you could ever want to buy –  fabric, stickers, cards, cooking and baking stuff, acrylic, gocco supplies, silly washing- up sponges shaped like ghosts – I could go on. It’s ace and so easy to spend HOURS filling trolleys of crazy Japanese goods so an overnight would be no problem!

J to R: Oh Rachael, I love Tokyu Hands! I lived in Tokyo for a year about 8 years ago and it really opened my eyes to how amazing retailing and merchandising could be! I also need to come up and visit your store. I’ve never been to Edinburgh before but I’ve been told it’s a great city.

R to J: Tell me about your time in Japan? Was it work or pleasure and where did you stay?

J to R: Oh Japan –  I had such a great and crazy year there! I taught English and wrote freelance for a few publications. I lived in Naka Meguro in Tokyo, which is this cool little suburb, quite central with lots of amazing cafes and shops. I remember just leaning on what I thought were normal doorways in alleys (don’t ask!) and they would give way and open up to all sorts of secret places. One was a super cool bar, decorated like a clockwork orange set, manned by two cute girls in 60s outfits with matching bobs – I’m disappointed I never knew the name of the place and have no recollection of where it is any more. I’m pretty desperate to go back for a much needed visit, hopefully that’s a trip that will be happening soon.

R to L: Lou – How did you make your way to paper cutting? What’s your creative history?

L to R: Well.. I’ve always done creative bits here and there. My mum’s a painter, so it definitely runs in the family and I think we have a similar style.. She trained as a textile designer, which really shows in her work and I’d love to design fabrics too. Her website is www.dorsetpaintings.co.uk if you want to take a look.

My first papercut was very ‘Rob Ryan‘ and was a commission for the Figleaves website (beautiful undies!). Then my friend Matt Setchell commissioned a pair of alphabet eyelashes for his magazine Twenty6. Since then, I’ve worked on developing my style. Lots of colour and pattern!

Lou Taylor

L to J: Jen, you’ve done some amazing things already –  styling, writing, shoe design. How did you start designing jewellery? What was the first piece you ever made?

J to L: Many, many years ago, back when I was still at uni, I had a friend who had a small jewellery line.I remember very clearly, him teaching me how to make a pair of oversized hoop earrings and having no interest in it whatsoever! Fast forward a decade or so, I was on maternity leave and fairly certain that I didn’t want to go back to a conventional office job, so I started making statement headbands for friends (think giant bows and pom poms) which I then sold on Etsy. They sort of caught on in the blogging world and jewellery  naturally evolved from there.

FUTURE PLANS?

L to R: Rachael, you run an amazing shop, blog, zine and online store. How long have you run HZ for now and is it how you imagined? What plans do you have for the future?

R to L: Aw, shucks. I’ve been doing this now for about 9 years, firstly online and then I opened the shop in 2010. I’d always kind of wanted to open a shop, but I had such a specific idea of what it would be like in terms of location, features etc that I never thought I’d find premises that I liked and didn’t ever get serious about it. Then one day, John happened to look online and saw the shop I’m in now was available to rent – I knew instantly it was going to be perfect! I really love doing what I do.Well, about 95% of the time!

Plans for the future… hmm… I’m not a big planner, I tend to have an lightbulb  moment and run with it. But I have just signed a new 5 year lease on the shop, so I’m planning to stick around and keep doing what I’m doing, but hopefully getting better at it.

L to R:  Well I’m sure HZ will keep going from strength to strength. It’s certainly one of the nicest shops I’m stocked in, especially in terms of how much you collaborate with your artists. Your hard work really shows!

J to R: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to collaborate with Lou, it’s been great fun. Is this something you’ll be doing more of in the future?

R to J: I’ve enjoyed this a lot too! We all seem to be on the same wavelength and have similar artistic influences so it’s been a pretty dreamy scenario. It’s been fun tying Lou’s paper cut shop window and zine cover in together with your jewellery and I’d really like to repeat the process again. I think the zine will be a yearly thing, so hopefully next years issue will be as amazing as this one!

WORK AND INSPIRATION:

R to L:  Lou,  before I found your work whenever I thought of papercut art, I thought of whimsical, intricate pieces in the style of  la Rob Ryan. Your work was unlike any paper cutting I’d seen before – so bold and colourful! Where did you gain your influences from?

L to R: I did originally become inspired to try papercutting after seeing Rob Ryan’s work (and I even did some work experience with him), but very quickly I realised his style of papercutting didn’t feel like me at all. I read somewhere that he loves papercutting as it’s so beautiful to create an image or story from just a single piece of paper and not get distracted by things such as colour.I’m the complete opposite – a colour addict! I’ve really worked hard to develop my own style. I love creating patterns and motifs, and although it drives me crazy, making 25 flamingos or pineapples is strangely rewarding!

Style influences range from Mr Snippy (real name Michael Roberts – an amazing artist/papercutterwho worked for Vanity Fair in the 80s/90s) to Andy Warhol’s early 50’s fashion illustration. With everything from Busby Berkeley‘s dance routines, 60s fashion photography, kimonos, Pop Art like Patrick Caufield, to Yayoi Kasuma, Diana Vreeland and  Jacques Tati films in between!

I also love contemporary designers and photographers like Fred Butler, Camille Walala, Bela Bosordi, Anna Lomax, Lacey, Thom Browne. Too many to mention!

The love in continues!

L to J: If you could design a piece of jewellery for anyone who would it be and what would you design?

J to L: Ooh good question Lou! If I could design a piece for anyone, it would be Yayoi Kusama.  I am totally in love with her and her work. I think we share the same obsession with polka dots and repeat patterns. I can only hope to be as  actively creative as her when I’m in my 80s.

J to L: I know that you work on a lot of commissions, what would your ‘dream’ project be?

L to J: I love Yayoi Kasuma’s work so much! I keep meaning to read her novels, too. I have her Alice in Wonderland –  its so beautiful and  unusual to see someone interpret a classic story in such an individual way.

A dream commission? Crikey.I’m really enjoying working on your lookbook Jen. I love fashion illustration and plan to create more along the lines of my papercut collars. And you’ve mentioned a book of paperdolls which I think is such a great idea. I loved paper dolls when I was young! So yes, maybe combining my love for paperdolls and female icons such as Carmen Miranda and Josephine Baker. Oh and there may be some jewellery coming soon based on my papercuts. And I really will make silk scarves from my designs one day soon!

R to J and L: I love that we’re all huge Yayoi Kusama fans! And so weird, I used to make paper dolls of my friends for presents, and have their favourite clothes cut out with little tabs on – I think you should definitely do a paperdoll book, Lou!

J to L and R: I’m sure you both have probably seen it, but the documentary on Yayoi called “I Love Me” is well worth watching.

L to R: You made papercut dolls for your friends in their favourite outfits – what would a papercut doll of you wear?! Money is no object when it comes to paper couture!

R to L: I’d probably create my own clothes for my papercut doll, so it would be a 50’s style dress with short sleeves and a buttoned-up front, maybe made with fabric printed from one of your paper cuts and jewellery by Jennifer – haha!

J to L: OK Lou, you seem to be planning on working with more mediums other than paper, obviously you see your paper cuts as a stepping off point for other projects. How do you manage it all  – is it a juggling task, do you have a clear plan or path? I only ask, as I think my business has evolved quite organically and I’m not much of a planner, but thinking perhaps I should be!

L to J: I think I’m like you Jen – I don’t really have a plan at all – I’m a bit of an octopus grabbing at lots of ideas at the same time! I think juggling can be a good thing to keep ideas flowing but I should also probably concentrate on one thing at a time too –  it’s hard not to get carried away! But I also see these collaborations as an excellent way to pick other peoples brains and see how they work.

L to J and R: What music do you listen to /will you listen to this Summer in your studio/shoppe?

J to L: Oh is the music question is for me too? If so, I will be listening to Kendrick Lamar, he has a total 90s hip hop vibe, which reminds me of my teens.

Rachael to Lou: We all have our own playlists in the shoppe so what we listen to depends on who’s in charge of the laptop! My favourite playlist for a sunny day and guaranteed to get customers (and my) feet tapping has old stuff like Little Richard, Wanda Jackson, Jackie Wilson, The Ronettes – it makes me feel so cheerful! Gill, who is putting together the zine worked in the shoppe for a while and she left us with some wonderful playlists, we totally have the same tastes!

Lou to R &  J: Ooh re music – I share our ‘studio’ (ie spare bedroom!) with my boyfriend Rich who’s a motion graphics designer (animator!) so we kind of take it in turns to play music, but it’s normally my choice! I’ve recently discovered a band called Waxahatchee who I love.. but also love bands like tUnE-yArDs, a bit of Salt’n’Pepa .. and I found a Spotify playlist of all the Wes Andersen soundtracks which is great!

J to L: Lou, I love Wes Anderson films and soundtracks, especially The Royal Tenenbaums l’ll also have to download the rest of your playlist.

J to R:  You approached me very early on when I first started out and think you may have been one of my first retail stockists which I’m very thankful for! You obviously are on the lookout for new designers, is there any advice you can offer as a retailer to anyone with a fledging jewellery or accessories line?

R to J: I think I saw your jewellery on What Katie Wore which was one of my favourite blogs when it was around and emailed you within about 5 minutes of spotting it, I loved it so much! So much advice but I think the most important things to me is firstly the quality of your work closely followed by your organisational skills. If a designer can come to me with a well designed line sheet with clear pricing structure and then stick to a delivery deadline, it really makes the difference and can often be the deciding factor in whether I’ll order from them again. But to be honest, if you are making truly amazing things, a lot can be forgiven!

J to R &L: I loved What Katie Wore, was very sad when it ended! What blogs do you visit frequently, and what makes you come back to them more than once?

R to J: What Katie Wore was a great blog. I loved how Joe wrote about Katie, it was really sweet.
What keeps me going back to blogs? Mainly the writing I think, good pictures and I  love a fashion blogger with a nice smile!

L to J:  I love a blog called The Cutting Class (but its only really updated each Fashion Week), Fred Butler’s blog, It’s Nice That, and July Stars.

L to R: Do you often end up buying stock because you can’t bear to see it sold? It must be dangerous!

R to L: I have a rule of only wearing jewellery from the shop and have a section in my bedroom that’s like a mini Hannah Zakari! I’ve actually learned to be pretty good about buying stuff and if there’s something I must have I’ll order extra next time so I can keep one for myself –  it seems to work.

L to J: Jen, how do you juggle mumhood with your business? Allegra (Jennifer’s daughter) is so beautiful! Do you ever design jewellery for her?

J to L: Aw shucks, I think Allegra’s pretty cute too, but I’m biased. Answering your question: It’s soooo hard juggling being a mum and having a business. I’ve been lucky however as she’s fairly independent and totally gets that sometimes I have to work while she plays. She’s also been in some sort of part-time childcare since she was one and I work solidly while she’s at nursery. I think the trick is to be as organised and focussed as possible.

I do make jewellery for Allegra – perspex clip on earrings and necklaces which she often helps to put together. She loves feeling like she’s a ‘grown up’!

R to L and J: If I’m going to actually fit this in the zine we need to wrap this up! So, final question to you both – We’ve all said that we’re not big planners but what about the short term? Any other collaorationss or new ranges coming up in the next few months? What can zine readers be looking forward to from you both?

Lou: Next collab is a window for a shop in Brighton who sell my work – lifesize synchronised swimmers! And I’m getting much more organised about having prints, wrapping paper and cards available of my work.

Jen: My next collection will continue with mixed media pieces. Look out for laser cut perspex talismans, incorporating new woven ribbon techniques and semi-precious stones.

I can’t thank you both enough for your contribution to the zine and the shoppe, it’s been a delight to workwith you both!

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HZ Zine and Lucy Lipstick Brooch Giveaway!

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Well done! You’re a WINNER…

I’ve drawn the winners at random from the entries below – well done to you and thanks to everyone who entered 🙂 If your name is listed above please email me at rachael@hz.co.uk with your address and I’ll get your prize in the post asap!

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As you know, I’ve been rather excited about the latest HZ Zine. It’s been super popular in our shoppe this August and there are only a few left so I thought it would be nice to let our online customers get their mitts on the last bundle!

We have 5 zines to giveaway along with one of our limited edition acrylic Lucy Lipstick Brooches (plus you’ll get some chocolate and a few other bits and bobs too, ’cause we’re nice like that!) and all you have to do is say hello in the comments section below and link us to your favourite cute image, because we all like looking at cute stuff!

You can get extra entries for re-tweeting this tweet, but link us to it in your comment please!

The competition will run until Saturday morning (31st August) and the winners will be picked at random(ish – if your image is amazing you *might* get priority) and announced on Saturday afternoon.

Good luck!

Rachael x

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A little look inside the HZ Zine!

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Our 3rd shoppe zine is going fast – very fast – nearly 400 copies have gone since the beginning of August! So far only available in our shop and to a few people who have emailed and asked us to send one, I’m now having to think about if I can afford more printing costs. I can’t really, but it’s nice to think that people want to read this and I want people to read it so I may just have to find the money from somewhere. In terms of whether it’s a viable marketing tool for the shoppe/webshoppe I don’t really know, what I do know is that it has been a lot of fun to make and has left me feeling inspired, and you can’t really put a price on that sort of stuff.

So, here is a sneak peek at what’s inside. If you like what you see and you want one email me with your address and I’ll post one to you free of charge. I have one request – if you are actually in Edinburgh please just come into the shop and pick one up.

This is the front cover, designed by Lou Taylor and the inspiration for the jewellery designed for us by Jennifer Loiselle

There’s also an interview between me, Lou and Jennifer about how we worked together and our influences!

This is the inside of the cover – I really like this…

that’s my wee face there ^

We have so much more stuff including this interview with ethical taxidermist Jazmine Miles-Long

tutorials from The Bellweather

and blogger Ever So Juliet

A colour in, cut out and make mini festival from Lovely Pigeon

This amazingly tasty soup recipe from Union of Genius, illustrated by the wonderful Laura Bertinelli

A fantastic article from our friend Carrie

and a tour inside Clare Nicolson‘s miniature studio!

and the back cover is pretty too!

It was designed by the fantastically talented Gill McColl and is completely self financed with no adverts! Pretty flippin’ good don’t you think? We hope to do it again, even bigger and better – watch this space!

I hope you enjoy it…

Rachael x

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Jennifer Loiselle – exclusive collection.

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Yesterday we gave you a look at the wonderful window display created by Lou Taylor as part of a collaboration involving me, Lou and Jennifer Loiselle. Today I thought you’d like a closer look at Jennifer’s jewellery which is now available in our webshoppe as well as the Edinburgh Boutique.

The collaboration has been a dream project from start to finish! It pushed me out of my comfort zone and out the the calm pastel world of HZ I’ve created over the years, and we ended up with something so utterly wonderful I can’t wait to go outside my comfort zone again!

Here are my favourite pieces from Jennifer’s collection…

Aren’t they wonderful? The full collection is available online right now!

Rachael x

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The Zine! The Window! The Festival!

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You could say this is 3 posts in one but really they’re all related…

You might know if you follow HZ on Twitter or Facebook that we’ve been working on a new issue of our zine (our 3rd zine!) and as part of that we commissioned paper artist Lou Taylor to create a very special window display to use in our shoppe this month, and we were having so much fun doing that we decided to ask designer Jennifer Loiselle to get involved and create a range of jewellery for us – we are busy bees!

Well, it’s now August, Edinburgh Festival month, our busiest month of the year, and it’s all here in our shoppe ready for the many many lovely customers who will visit us over the next few weeks to enjoy.

I really couldn’t be happier with the window display Lou created and Jennifer’s jewellery is utterly wonderful.

Jennifer’s jewellery will be available online very soon!

Rachael x

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