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HELLO 2015 January 16 2015

I hope you’ve had a fabulous festive break!

With the tinsel tucked away for another year, the dark months of January find me making batches of Seville orange marmalade, spotting the first snowdrops and spring-cleaning my studio…washing paint palettes and brushes, sharpening pencils and drawing out my year planner in readiness to kick-start the new creative year.

2015 already looks set to be an exciting and busy year - I’m due to move into my new workspace in the coming months, with lots of fresh artwork collections and projects in the pipeline, plus I’m delighted to say that - I have a forthcoming exhibition at Southwark Cathedral Refectory in the Spring - details to follow soon.

As part of my creative research, I love learning about traditional British customs and festivals, so throughout the year I’ll be sharing my findings here.

On 17 January, the tradition of Wassailing is practiced in the cider-producing counties in the South West and South East of England by way of encouraging fruit trees and crops to thrive in the coming season. This involves people processing and gathering in orchards, singing wassail songs and drinking hot mulled cider from the wassail cup.

Perhaps one of the best-known January customs is Burn’s Night, whereby Burn’s Suppers are held in celebration of the life and poetry of the Scottish poet Robert Burns, usually on or around 25 January. A traditional Burn’s Night supper consists of haggis, neeps and tatties, washed down with Scotch whisky and the recitation of Burn’s poetry.

I’d like to wish you all a Happy New Year (or Happy Hogmanay!)… more soon.


OH CHRISTMAS TREE, OH CHRISTMAS TREE December 11 2014

 

I just adore the sense of anticipation and all of the festive preparation in the lead up to Christmas. I’m delighted to say that my new Vintage Christmas greeting cards are selling like hot mince pies – the Christmas Tree design is one of six new designs which are available to buy through my online shop and current stockists.

While on the lovely topic of Christmas trees, when I’m designing new collections, I enjoy the research almost as much as I enjoy creating the paintings, so I thought I’d share this potted history of the Christmas tree in this blog:

The Christmas tree became popular in England in 1841 when Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert brought a tree over from Germany and displayed it in Windsor Castle. A National Newspaper illustrated the Royal couple standing around the Christmas tree with their children, and so the tradition of decorating a tree became fashionable.

During Victorian times, Christmas trees were decorated with candles to remind children of the stars in the sky at the time of the birth of Jesus. In 1880, Woolworths (still sadly missed!) first sold manufactured Christmas tree ornaments - the rest is history.

Perhaps the most famous of all Christmas trees in Britain has to be the one in Trafalgar Square. Each year, an enormous Norwegian spruce tree is gifted from the people of Norway as a way of expressing their thanks to the British people for the help they gave them during the Second World War.

While I can by no means compare our modest Sussex-grown Christmas tree to the one in Trafalgar Square, in our household, the traditional no-holds-barred approach to Christmas tree decor (courtesy of my two daughters, 9 and 11) is just one more festive traditional treat to relish.

That’s it for now, and best of luck with your own seasonal preparations!


WELCOME November 28 2014

Hello! My name is Kelly Hall. I am an artist designer and this is my first blog entry for Kelly Hall Designs Limited, a company that I run with my partner Andrew Hall. Today, I am particularly excited to announce the launch of our lovely new website and online shop.

Our story started in our hometown of Lewes, East Sussex in 2011 when we set out to give the humble souvenir a makeover. Drawing on extensive research into the history of tourism in Great Britain, I then began to develop original concepts and artwork collections connected with ‘a real sense of place’.

Since launching my first ‘Lewes’ collections in the Lewes Tourist Information Centre in 2011, Kelly Hall Designs is rapidly becoming a recognizable brand and I am proud to work with a growing portfolio of stockists including leading retailers, galleries, museums and heritage sites.

So, welcome to my world! It’s here you’ll find out about everything from my new artwork collections, products and partnerships to interviews, behind-the-scenes news, creative updates plus ‘inspiration shares’ and ideas from my lovely new workspace over-looking historic Lewes Castle.

As we launch our online shop just in time for Christmas 2014, and with lots of exciting brand new artwork collections and products planned for 2015, the future is looking bright - let’s go!