Bella Does Brighton

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Bella's Blog

Adventures in up-cycling, remaking and general thriftiness.

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Brighton Festival Open Houses

Posted by [email protected] on May 1, 2018 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

 I have been asked recently what exactly are Open Houses.  Well Brighton is famous for it's month long arts festival in May. Alongside this runs a fringe festival and part of this includes an extended network of artists across the city and surrounding area who transform their homes into amazing mini galleries/shops for the course of the festival.

I have been showing my work at The Stanley Road Store http://www.thestanleyroadstore.co.uk for a couple of years now and last year we were nominated as one of the best Open Houses.

Maxine who is the owner of our particular Open House has a great eye for the diverse and unusual and somehow  everything seems to work together and make a cohesive show. The show build is always a massive amount of work and takes many hands and some imagination so this year i thought it would be nice to share a few photo's of the build process and then you can see the "before and after". At the moment we are surrounded by bags and boxes of artists work that has just been dropped off whilst Maxine works her magic prop building and beginning to get the displays sorted.

Our private view is this Friday so will share some images of the "finished" house and we are also planning some live Instagram events for people who are unable to visit the Open House in person.


Favorite Things

Posted by [email protected] on April 7, 2018 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Probably no surprise but hunting out old books and vintage ephemeral is probably my favourite pastime followed very closely by this.

Nothing quite compares with swimming outside and especially in Winter when so much time is spent wrapped up inside. Winter swimming tends not to be for the faint hearted hence a day when i had the whole pool to myself. Poor unadultered bliss.



Snow bound Creative pastimes

Posted by [email protected] on March 2, 2018 at 4:05 AM Comments comments (0)

I booked this week as annual leave which turns out to have been fortutious as have had plenty of gult free time at home working on new ranges rather then battling to work to my very rural work base.

Here are a few shots of my new range of vintage paper packs which are all made from items that may otherwise have ended up in landfill. I did a spot of product testing prior to Christmas in a pop up shop and they proved very popular for people who love journalling if this is a word and other crafting activites.

I have been patiently cutting out illustrations from books destined for pulping and they look great along with my collection of vintage ephemera. All plastic free biogradable cellophane so perfect for anyone who wants to reduce the amount of plastic in their lives.

I hope you like them.




Eco friendly Journal Supplies

Posted by [email protected] on February 26, 2018 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

The dark nights of January and February are always a good time  to play around with ideas for new products. I had to complete a stock take for my annual accounts and this proved a valuable exercise in using up existing resouces that had been stored away and forgotten.

I've also been busy making some new journal and mail kits from illustrations from old books where the challenge has been sorting out the growing piles ready for packaging up. 

In a bid to reduce all plastic from my products I am now using biodegradable cellophane bags. Difficult to use as they appear to mark very easily but worth the effort to be able to eliminate plastic from my packaging.


Eco Friendly Paper Craft Supplies

Posted by [email protected] on February 19, 2018 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)

I have been spending the quiet months of January and February working on some new lines which will be available very soon. I'm always looking our for ways to package my products so they are protected and have a good shelf life but with minimal impact upon the environment.

All my new ranges will be packaged in recycled card and biodegradable bags so NO plastic. As always the source material for my packs are books and vintage paper which might otherwise have ended up in landfill.

Below are some amazing illustrations that were salvaged from a book that was very damaged on the outside. Some of the pages are torn and marked but i think this just adds to their charm. Rather then formal framing i have just added a skeleton clip and hung. They add a bit of interest to my work room and they came from was a Natural Histroy book which dated back to the late 1800's so lucky that they have survived relatively intack and can be enjoyed once again.


Environmentally Friendly Packaging

Posted by [email protected] on January 21, 2018 at 5:00 AM Comments comments (0)


Sometimes there is something very nice about waking up to wet damp weather which forces you in doors. I'm spending the morning working on some new ranges of paper packs for the new year and playing around some fresh ideas around packaging.

My local supermarket has kindly donated some unprinted clean card which i'm using as backing for my paper packs. Thanks to a great company called Eco Craft I have managed to source some biodegradable cellophane bags so plan to start the New Year with the most environmentally packaging solutions I can possibly find in a bid to cut out any single use plastics within my packaging process.


New Year New Adventures

Posted by [email protected] on January 2, 2018 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (0)

The New Year is always a good time for reflection & I have been spending the post Christmas period having a good tidy up. I thought I would share a photo of my one and only Craft Fair this year which was a small collection of local Brighton artists and makers. There was a usual selection of salvaged paper and prints alongide some of my cacti dolls heads.


Winter Wonderland

Posted by [email protected] on December 26, 2017 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (0)

My Mother always manages to pull together some wonderful decorations at Christmas & this is just a flavour of her Winter Wonderland.

I hope you all had a peaceful and relaxing Christmas and if you received something made by me this Christmas I hope you enjoyed your gift.

Nearly Christmas

Posted by [email protected] on December 12, 2017 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

We are rapidly approaching Christmas and this weekend is the last weekend of the Artists Open Houses.The Stanley Road Store will be open all day Saturday and Sunday if you are in need of some handmade loveliness for last minute gifts.

I am pulling together a limited range of decorations made from minature dolls heads with a glittery Christmas twist. 


Christmas Chaos

Posted by [email protected] on November 30, 2017 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (0)

It's that crazy time of year when I wish i was better prepared. Currently burning the midnight oil finishing off projects in time for the Artists Open Houses and my only Craft fair of the year which is this Sunday at Exeter Street, Brighton.

As always the theme is making from items i have salvaged over the years including a new range of glittery dolls heads which sold out on their first weekend. 



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