Please excuse me if I’m a little giddy and all over the place. I seem to have creative juices flowing out of every orifice and I don’t quite know what to do with them all.
Last Saturday I was invited to attend Paperlicious: a full day of crafting, eating and chatting, all put together by the absolutely brilliant Magdalena of Unleash Creative, and I’m still buzzing. It was a day combining all of my most favourite things, and I was on pins and needles all week waiting for the days to crawl by.
Finally bright and early on Saturday morning I packed my camera, laptop and notebook; cursed the demonspawn masquerading as a zit on my face (seriously, today of all days?); and drove into the city.
The event was held at Allpress Studio, which I think is my new favourite place ever. It’s all airy and light and beautiful — just the kind of place that prompts a little “Ooooooh!” from anyone coming up the stairs. Mags and the team did a completely ridiculous job of decorating, with gorgeous greenery hanging from the ceiling and a spectacular Scotch tape flower feature on the back wall.
As well as the stunning space upstairs, Allpress have a cafe and roastery downstairs. I was basically on a coffee high the entire day. I’d already downed my first soy latte by the time the doors opened at 9am, and I’m honestly surprised I could still speak straight by the end of the day.
My group started the day with Paula Mills of Sweet William, watercolour extraordinaire. I’m a big fan of her prints and cards, and it was so much fun to see her work! She has this beautifully loose, organic style that I absolutely love, and am completely terrible at replicating.
I’ve always been an enormous watercolour wannabe — I have a few paints and cheap brushes, but never really had the know-how to do it well. Luckily Paula did an awesome job explaining her process and going through the tools, and I had the time of my life. We spent two hours doing a few exercises with brushes, paints and ink, and I managed to accidentally drink my dipping water (before it had brushes in it, thankfully).
It’s pretty safe to say I’ve now fallen in love with watercolours. I don’t feel quite so out of my depth anymore, and I adore the results from our experimentation with Paula. Take note, potential present-givers: I would like some nice brushes and paints, please. My birthday is 290 days away.
Morning tea arrived towards the end of the first workshop, and I think the eyes of the entire room collectively widened. We were treated to a sugary feast provided by In a World of Cake, with chocolates, baked goods, and even edible paper (paper! paperlicious! get it?)
Plus I had more coffee.
I’ve been a big-ass fan of Pete for a long while now, and was uber excited for this section of the day.
If you’re not familiar, Pete is a designer/illustrator responsible for the dang cutest paper prints and rock druids you ever did see. He took us through his design process, which I found incredibly interesting — I’ve dabbled in a similar creative techniques but our approaches are wildly different, which is awesome!
I’m very much a planner when I work — I draw, I erase, I draw again, I outline, I cut. Pete Cromer does not use a pencil. I repeat: Pete Cromer just knifes away at his paper and somehow makes beautiful shapes that aren’t crap.
It was really cool watching him cut shapes and choose colours, arranging them to our chosen theme (we gave him “underwater”).
We had a blast painting, cutting and glueing our own shapes, and after two hours we all had our own Cromer-inspired prints!
(My sincerest apologies to the group after us — I’m pretty sure we used up all the white paint)
Our third and final workshop was with the totally gorgeous Kate Pullen, hand-lettering master.
This was the subject I’ve had the most experience in, but I’m still a loooong way from Kate’s level. It was so much fun watching her work — I think my mouth was hanging open the entire time.
Kate showed us some examples of her work and took us through a few exercises, then after a bit of practice we were given the special task of lettering our own greeting cards. It was great to have a bit of a refresher course in type anatomy, and getting to chat to Kate breifly was very cool (and very jealousy-inducing — girl has far too much talent in her fingers for a normal human).
By the end of the day everyone was noticeably quieter but seemed pretty proud of the work we’d all achieved. It was an absolute cracker of a day — Paula, Pete and Kate each did a fantastic job of introducing us to their craft, and maddest props of all go to Mags for arranging the entire day. What an amazing lady.
For official photos of the event make sure you check out the stunning photography of Aim Maris (I’m the one in the bank robber beanie).