Set up by British designer Jacinta Walton, Whinberry & Antler design and produce unique fabrics and homewares by hand in rural England. Incorporating a passion for traditional skills by using hand printing methods, and taking inspiration from British wildlife and countryside, Whinberry & Antler hope to bring a beautiful token of the countryside into your home.

Please have a look around the blog and follow us to see how Whinberry & Antler products are made, with step by step photographs demonstrating the traditional skills used on the 'Behind the Scenes' page, as well as other information and updates about the company.

For more information please see the company website www.WhinberryAntler.com or email info@WhinberryAntler.com

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Christmas in July sunshine

The sun may be shining and the flowers in full bloom, but as anyone who works in the retail world will tell you, Christmas is officially now on the radar!

It's taken a couple of years of learning to understand just how early in the year that attention needs to turn towards the big day in December, but this year I am feeling pretty organised and prepared (famous last words!). At the start of each week I use a weekly planner to write down all the jobs that I need to do on different days - I find this is a great tool for staying efficient and productive. So this week I decided to print off a planner for every week leading right up until The Spirit of Christmas Fair at the start of November! 

It may be 17 weeks (and counting) away, but it's really helped. I can now easily work out exactly what I need to order (blank tea towels, cushion pads, leaflets etc) and when. I'd highly recommend doing this to anyone preparing for a big event, especially as they always seem to come around much faster than anticipated! 

And so it's all go to build up stock levels here at W&A over the next few months. Having only traded at one major Christmas show in the past, we're going to need more than twice the amount of stock to do two!! I must say, that I am a little nervous about doing both The Spirit of Christmas and the Country Living Christmas Fair in Harrogate, but I am confident that we will have a fantastic time at both shows and W&A's best Christmas season yet!

Anyway, that's enough of the big 'C' word in July for now...

It will be a very busy weekend here at Whinberry & Antler on the 2nd and 3rd of August: we are trading at the Nunney Street Fayre (in our village!) on the Saturday, and then back at the Frome Independent on the Sunday. Be sure to come along to one, if not both, of these great markets if you can!

And so, in prep for these two markets, today I have been printing some more fox tea towels... 

'Bish, Bash, Bosh!'


Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Sunshine, drawings and a lamb.

Everything has been all go since we returned home from our wedding and honeymoon! We had such a lovely and special day - the sun even managed to come out despite the forecasted rain! 

Here we are getting confetti thrown at us! such a fun day with lots of great memories.
Donald the lamb - our guest of honour! He was being hand reared by a relative so he came along to join in on the celebrations!

After the honeymoon I definitely came home feeling refreshed and ready to crack on with W&A. I started by adding more designs to the new mug collection, which are now all available from http://www.whinberryantler.com/product-category/homeware/ceramics/. You will also see that Whinberry & Antler Greetings Cards are available to buy too. These are blank for your own special message and printed onto FSC rated card by a British company. Finding the right supplier for these was a little tricky, but I got there in the end.

Creative Thursdays have also been very productive recently. If you follow W&A on Facebook or instagram (http://instagram.com/whinberryantler) you will have had a sneak peek at the drawings I have done. The hare in particular has had a great response, so a really big thank you to everyone for your likes and feedback - it is always so lovely and motivating to get such positive comments and certainly one of my favourite parts of the job.

Really looking forward to getting these onto a screen to get creating!

Whilst I am writing about instagram, I recently came across Benjamin Hole. If you do not know him already, he posts the most beautiful photos of working life on his farm and I would highly recommend taking a look - http://instagram.com/benjaminhole. The website for the farm is also beautifully designed and very inspiring - www.holeandsons.com

Country Living Magazine have just launched their very own general store this week. Similar to notonthehighstreet.com, this is a great place to find unique and high quality gifts and lifestyle products. And I am delighted to say that Whinberry & Antler is one of the featured sellers this week - so thank you very much to them for featuring us! http://www.countryliving.co.uk/homes-interiors/interiors/country-living-general-store , it's well worth a look.

Well, I had better get back on with some work - I have a couple of shop orders to sort out, including one for Simon King Wildlife who will be taking W&A products to Bird Fair this August - a great show for anyone who likes wildlife!


Monday, 14 April 2014

A Whinberry & Antler wedding!

Hello! Well, I am getting married one week today so I will have to close business for a couple of weeks to enjoy celebrations and then the lovely landscapes of Scotland (must make sure to take my sketchbook)! I will be making the products on the company website unavailable for purchase from tomorrow onwards until the 6th May.  It's quite tricky when you work by yourself to leave business for a couple of weeks, but once I am back there will be some new products available! See you soon. 


Friday, 28 March 2014

Embrace crumbs and settle down for a good brew.

Spring has started with a bounce here at W&A with quite a few new product lines! I am very excited to be adding to the Whinberry & Antler collection, especially as some of these are items that I have wanted to make for quite some time now, but it was essential to find the right supplier.

If you have been following W&A on facebook then you will know that the brand new napkin range is now available on the company website - http://www.whinberryantler.com/product-category/homeware/napkins/. I decided to make these after many requests from customers at both the Country Living Fair and Frome Market. They have had a great response and will be in stock in the lovely shops 'Sparrow' in Shaftesbury (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sparrow-uk/379718708724751) and 'Vintage' in Shrewsbury (https://www.facebook.com/vintage.shrewsbury?fref=ts) from the middle of next week.

I'm really pleased with how these photographs turned out. Taking product photos has definitely been a learning curve - when I look back now at the first photos that I used I can't believe how bad they are! My tips would be;  keep it simple and try to get as much natural light as possible! We have a conservatory which is fantastic for taking photos as it allows so much light in from many angles. And never under estimate the powers of photoshop for brightening up your photos! Here is an example of one of my before and after photoshop pics:

Another new product that was quite hard to capture on camera was the new duvet set! These bedding sets will be printed to order in your choice of design. Currently only available in polycotton, I will be ordering some 100% cotton sets too. http://www.whinberryantler.com/product/bedding/woodland-duvet-set/

But I think that my most exciting announcement is the new range of Whinberry & Antler mugs! I have wanted to do a ceramic range for such a long time now and I absolutely love these natural coloured sturdy half pint mugs. They have a beautiful tankard style shape and really have a traditional yet clean contemporary design. I tried out a few different styles of mugs, but as soon as I saw these I knew that they were the ones to use! It has been so lovely receiving feedback about the mugs on facebook, twitter and instagram. I took the photos for these yesterday so now I am just waiting for the stock to arrive next week and then they will be available online too! 

These mugs will hold half a pint which makes them perfect for a good mug full of tea! 

Now.... let's put the kettle on...


Thursday, 20 February 2014

Anyone for Whinberry Pie?

Over the past few weeks the organisers of the Frome Super Market - now rebranded as the Frome Independent (nice new branding it is too) - have organised various workshops for the traders to attend. I have been fortunate enough to attend all of them covering accountancy, social media, making the most of the web and this weeks branding. I thoroughly enjoyed this Mondays workshop on branding. The workshop was led by Luke Manning of the award winning Pencil Studio based in Frome (http://pencilstudio.co.uk/) and was another great chance to meet like minded people to exchange ideas! Very much looking forward to the next market in just under two weeks.

Whilst in the branding workshop we each had to describe our company, what we did, and the brand surrounding it. This got me thinking that perhaps there was not enough information on the website about where the name 'Whinberry & Antler' actually came from. So I thought that I would create a little bit more information on the 'About' page to illustrate where the name came from.

So I created a new page 'What's a Whinberry?' - as a lot of people often ask if I am either Whinberry or Antler at markets! 

I also thought that it may be really nice to include a Whinberry Pie recipe. So you can now find out the story behind the name and then bake yourself some very tasty Whinberry Pie!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Follow the trail

You may have noticed a few changes on the W&A website homepage over the past few days... Well, I have been having a few little doodling sessions and thought that it might be quite nice to include some deer footprints in the website banner image as I have been trying to think of a nice way to use this space for a while now. It's also given me a few ideas for future products. So here you go, follow the deer trail to W&A!

I also experimented a little bit with one of the new designs on Photoshop to create a little Valentines image for whinberryantler.com. It was nice to use a little bit of colour which I might try to use in some future screen prints.

I hope you have a lovely (badger badger badger) Valentines day! W&A.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Getting creative with ceramics

I've wanted to create a ceramic range for a while now but it's taken me a while to decide on how much of the manufacturing process I wanted to do myself (in an ideal world I would be doing all of it!). It seems that the best way forward is to use a British company to manufacture the items for me so that I still have time to draw, print and sew all of the other Whinberry & Antler products. As I'm sure anyone who has ever tried running a business selling products they have designed or made, you soon learn that there is only so much you can do yourself!! 

Yesterday, whilst in a stationery shop in Frome, for which I am a very frequent customer, I picked up a ceramic pen to have a bit of fun with. This is a pen that once oven baked onto the ceramic leaves a design that is dishwasher proof, which is so important now that most households today use a dishwasher. And nothing is more disappointing than when a design on your favourite mug starts to fade.

So I came home and grabbed an old white plate from the cupboard and got drawing! 

I am quite pleased with the result. The lovely feedback that this plate received on the W&A Facebook page has really made up my mind : I need to do a ceramic range!

The only downside of the porcelain pen is that it does leave a raised surface and tends to go a bit textured in areas that are coloured as the ink layers up on itself. Plus whilst I enjoyed drawing this plate, I would certainly find it difficult to maintain stock levels!! However, I have now placed an order with a company in Cornwall to get the very first collection of W&A mugs made up (very exciting!). They source their ceramics from Stoke and then do the entire process themselves in house.

So hopefully if you get a chance to come along to the Frome Super Market on Sunday 2nd March you'll get a chance to see the new products in person!! I can't wait for customers to see them! 

Stay tuned and watch this space for photos....