Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Abigail (and Ryan) J'adores...

Mmm... you know, if we had more spare time on our hands than we knew what to do with, I can't actually think of anything that might be more fun to do than to buy this amazing Japanese Craft book {How to Make Cute Sweets} and sit and make miniature fancies all day long...

Seriously, how stunningly gorgeous are these?! Kawaii or what!? ;)

{via 8Tokyo}


Thursday, 24 September 2009

The first delivery...'s seems like we have been waiting forever, but today finally arrived.

The first delivery of our new fabric designs.

We are so very delighted, and hugely excited to get started and into the sewing studio early next week - so much to do, and so much fun to be had finally getting to create our long-time-in-the-making {planning?} abigail*ryan goodies!!

This is just a very small peak today and we will be revealing more of the fabric designs, and more about our colour palettes, very shortly - scenes from the workshop will be shared too as next week unfolds...

However, we hope you like what you see so far!? Let us know what you think! ;)

Over and out for now from a very excited abigail&ryan


Wednesday, 23 September 2009


I've posted the link to this video on my own blog before, but it's far too gorgeous not to share again... Lisa Hannigan has such a lovely tone to her voice, I could listen to it forevermore...

Mmm... makes me want to have a big paper cutting session!!



Monday, 21 September 2009


Somehow, SOMEHOW, I have only just discovered these fabulous little mushrooms, hand crafted from DAS clay and painted to stunningly realistic and divinely bright effect by the hugely talented Kris {of Kris's Colour Stripes}!

I fear my life has been somewhat emptier all these years, all because I have not known about these little beauties. It certainly feels a little more buoyed now!!

You can buy yours here.
You can buy one for me too, if you like...

{pretty please?} ;)


Friday, 18 September 2009


This project, 500 pencils - makes my heart beat fast.

Not only would it be the most lovely of treats to receive these pencils through the mail each month, but the notion that you can show them off as the work of art they are at the end of the 20 months, is almost too much to bear...

Don't they look just delicious displayed like this!?


Found via the lovely Lisa Solomon. :)


Wednesday, 16 September 2009

A small tale from the pattern design studio...

What story has no beginning or end? No hero, or villain; no love interest or irritating comedy sidekick..?


Stop sniggering at the back!

Come on now...

It's a "Colour Story" of course!


Anyway, moving swiftly along...(abi wrote the bit above...honestly she did...*clears throat*)...

One of the greatest difficulties when designing patterns is deciding what colours to use to best sate the voices in your head...should they be pastel, neutral or bright? Intense and vibrant, or pale and interesting?

This decision can make or break a collection. Beautiful patterns can be ruined by the wrong colour choices, so getting your colour palette just right can be fraught with danger (well...not so much danger as difficult choices, but when your'e as indecisive as I am, believe me, making any sort of important decision feels "i'd rather be bungee jumping from a drunk-driven plane over a shark infested pool with no pants on" dangerous. Obviously I mean I have no pants on...I can't imagine any time when an infested pool *would* have pants on. Oh, and I don't know why my pantlessness makes it more dangerous, it just does).

To aid you in this arduous task, you start looking for colour combinations EVERYWHERE! From the books on your shelves, to the food on your plate- every shade and tone, every colour pairing could be THE ONE. You look at the colours of houses, and the cars outside them, the colour of flowers against the sky, your auntie's t-shirt against her bright peach hair (oh no, darling, my hair has *always* been so bright it's given off its own light), and so on. Nothing escapes your steely, colour-focussed glare to the point that you forget what you like- everything is a possibility and you start to doubt your own taste. "Is this nice? Is it? I can't tell anymore..."

Then something just happens...something clicks. You see a colour, or imagine a pairing and just know so completely that it doesn't matter if it's not what you had envisaged for the collection- you MUST use these colours for this pattern. Suddenly the pattern sings, and it has dimensions it didn't have B.C. {Before Colour}. Everything clicks and you feel like a genius.

{It's a lovely feeling}

Eventually, we decided on five colour stories, five groups of four shades. Over the next wee while we'll be showing you these colours, and, wherever possible, the photos we took, or the pictures we saw, that inspired them. Hopefully you'll enjoy this little sneaky peek in to what our collection will look like.



My 'J'adore' column will be where I get to swoon with gay abandon over the things I am crushing on hard, these crushes might be fleeting, or long-standing...but they will all have whispered sweet nothings to me!

Think paintings, clothes, interiors, the perfect teacup, songs to while your day away by...and everything in between...

I hope you will J'adore them as much as me ;)

Elizabeth Schuppe. Be still my beating heart.
*le sigh*


Stuff I like

If you don't love this you have no soul.


Now make me a sandwich, bitches.


Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Stuff I like...

And now, people - this is "Marina and the Diamonds"...

She may be old news as well, but I only just saw the video, so she isn't old news to me...therefore, I win.

(Yeah, I really do... Loser.)

Anyway, as I mentioned below, nice and stylish, but totally low budget and, who amongst us can honestly say they don't want sparkly lips? Exactly.


Stuff I like...

Quelle inventive title, non?

Welcome to the first in what will be a long and tedious series- "Stuff I Like".

I, like most people, like a lot of, films, art, shoes, cake, eating, putting a towel on my head and swooshing it around pretending i'm know, the usual stuff.

Anyway, I was messing about online today and found a couple of music videos that were interesting...i'm not 100% on either of the songs, but the videos are great. Stylish, lo-fi, clever and cool (in that hipster, indie-kid way that I kind of want to hate, but usually end up loving...apparently, weight issues aside, I should be wearing tight jeans, braces and a bow-tie...possibly topped off with some "ironic" sunglasses)- it's always amazing to see what someone creative can do with a low budget.

So, without further ado, I give you...Sliimy (yes, I know he's old news, and little more than a mika copyist, but, come on- this video is adorable).


Monday, 14 September 2009

Back to it!

We are back from our lovely weeks break in the South of France... exploring St. Maxime, St. Tropez and beyond on foot and with camera in hand.

Having been working like Trojans finishing our textile designs before we left we couldn't help but see our colour stories all around us in the beautiful painted houses, in street after colourful street while we sauntered round...

We will be back in this space in the following days giving little sneak peeks into our colour stories {our fabric is due to arrive from the printers soon!} and our vacation too.

See you soon!


Thursday, 3 September 2009

Hard act to follow...

I don't even know if I should try to compete... after all, who could swing a conversation from Jim Carrey to the Krankies and back to the launch of a home-wares business with such ease and aplomb? Not I, certainly.

I can probably say with some certainty that I am a seasoned blogger - I've been at this lark for over four years now over at my own wee online nook, but it's really lovely to be venturing out and beginning something new in this space, and sharing it with someone so dear, whose insights I am truly excited to hear as we go along, {just so you know, Ryan will be rolling his eyes now and calling me a soppy twat at this juncture!} is a really exciting prospect.

Even more exciting is that I get to work and run a business with this guy. Not everyone gets to be so lucky now, do they? I mean, to spend time with someone and work with them and it not even feel like work... well, I call that lucking out!

A little bit about me and my background for those who don't know me... I'm Abigail - a designer jeweller, living in Glasgow for the time being. My journey into working as a bijoutier was a rather straight forward one - I graduated with a degree in Silversmithing and Jewellery in 2005, and went straight into running my own business, crafting fine jewellery and selling it online and in galleries and stores throughout the UK.

The slightly less straight-forward part of my career is that I have some major creative passions that lay elsewhere... a love for motif, plants and organic forms, a love of drawn line {cross-hatching, oh-my!} and a deep draw to textiles and home-wares, and to the home and domesticity. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be involved in this field... to use my drawings and illustrations in fabrics and to see all these seeds of thought and inspiration through to solid conclusions.

Meeting Ryan, we knew we worked well creatively together almost right away - ideas bounced off each other and there was a fantastic natural creative flow - as well as everything else deliciously "clicky" a couple should have! It seemed so natural to us to begin something together that harnessed and combined our strengths as designers - and so, "abigailryan" is born!

Having been working on the first collection of designs now for some months, it's fantastic to see them coming together. To see our tastes merge and combine - shift and evolve. Our sense of humour peek out, perhaps in the form of some unexpected and daring colour combinations... perhaps just because of the memories I am making while we do this?!

I hope you will stay tuned to this blog as we reveal our new product ranges and share peeks into our processes and designs - we hope to launch our new shop around late October, but there will be plenty to whet your appetites before then! We will also be sharing things that inspire us on this blog... perhaps music we are listening to in the workshop too... we are not quite sure yet, but that is certainly more than half the fun!!

We hope you enjoy following our progress, and thanks for visiting!

A xo

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Me, myself, and I...

How tragic is it that my title is so reminiscent of that of a truly appalling Jim Carrey movie...(though, let's be honest here, is there any other sort of Jim Carrey movie?)?

Anyway, here I sit in the studio, Abigail frenziedly filing silver sheet behind me, my eyes dry and tired from a day of pottering on photoshop- cleaning up files and choosing colour combinations for the patterns involved in the grand launch of "abigailryan".

Oh, I should probably mention (and here is as good a point as any) that i'm the "ryan" component of this little collaboration- the yang to the yin, the Jerry to the Tom, the wee Jimmy Krankie to the...erm...slightly pervy dude who pretended his wife was a small boy...(I won't begin to imagine their sex life, but the mind surely boggles).

The Abigail component has insisted that I write a little "summary of me", a kind of introduction to the whys and wherefores of "abigail*ryan" while she "does some real work" and, so, here I front of the computer again, eyes drier, tired-er and increasingly bloodshot, (the great ally of the internet entrepreneur is his lack of one needs to see your friendly textile designer sitting in his boxers (which, believe me, have seen such better days that they are now rather obscene) with the afore mentioned bloodshot eyes, and greasy hair...I feel like I need to brush my teeth, too) thinking desperately of something to say...

So, erm... "textile designer", eh?

Well...I am now, I suppose.

I originally trained as a photographer- my degree in Fine and Applied Art, specializing in lens based media- but then decided that career path was not for me. After a rather convoluted series of events, with a rather heavy dose of random chance and pure, dumb luck, I started in a part-time office job, and ended up running my own business making handbags. Nobody told me I couldn't, so it didn't occur to me that I shouldn't...I designed my own patterns, sourced the most incredible materials, and taught myself how to sew. To be honest, i'm a bit of a perfectionist (though why I say that slightly apologetically, I have no idea...surely there is nothing better than being the best you can, then telling everyone about it...Oh,right...yeah... that's probably the downside, isn't it..?), so I worked hard until the range was as good as it could art training coming in useful for tricky things like proportions and colour combinations, my mum and two sisters coming in useful for tricky things like how many pockets, and how big does an evening bag really need to be (apparently, just big enough to bring everything you need, but nowhere near big enough to bring everything you want...helpful, that...)?

While making and selling handbags, I met other half, and the other half of this business. From the start we knew we wanted to work together (she even taught me how to make jewellery...silver becoming a material I loved so much, I designed and made two distinct jewellery collections (Menagerie and Woodland) and added them to my retail catalogue- "handbag designer" quietly morphing to "accessories designer" on the CV in my head) and this desire to collaborate on a project grew, evolved, and mangled itself until it became another entity entirely- a whole new business that brought our hitherto unexplored love of pattern and home-wares to the fore.

So, "abigailryan" was born...a protracted delivery, but a truly exciting and overwhelmingly pleasurable one. Since our decision, we have both been juggling our other businesses manically, eager to produce a dynamic, stylish range that we are both proud to put our names to.

Little, by little, we have been getting there- patterns have been designed, colour stories decided on, suppliers contacted and, soon, samples will be ordered. This blog will document our journey to total world domination...and it's a journey we hope you'll share with us (come on, you don't get an offer like that too often!).