It's been a busy 12 months and I'm only just catching up on some posts I've been meaning to write for a year. One of them is the Orla Kiely AW15 presentation...better late than never.Step into a New York library and meet the most chic librarians at the Orla Kiely AW15 presentation. It was a feast for the eyes, especially for anyone with a childhood daydream of becoming a librarian and spend days stamping library cards and categorising books in their designated shelves.

Sitting at the front with my illustrator pal Emma Block, I got to admire up close a colourful parade of canary yellow, blush pink, soft knitwear, side plaits and eye-catching shoes. The shoes! Orla Kiely collaborated with Clarks to create these beauties which were every bit as special her outfits. I've captured Orla's fashion presentation with quick 5 minute marker pen drawings.
Here are some of the pens I used for my illustrations. They are great for building colour with highlight and shading. You can watch a time-lapse video of my illustration process.



I'm completely obsessed with the new Pigment Markers by Winsor and Newton. As an illustrator who is in her comfort zone with a black pen, these marker pens have inspired me to bring back bursts of colour into my sketchbook.

I love them! They are practical to use when you're on the go. They aren't messy and it's great fun experimenting with shading, colour building and the rectangular and thin nibs. I like to use the pigment markers for drawing people (there are brilliant shades for different skin colours), designing patterns and studying plants.

You're supposed to use them on a special pigment marker paper but I prefer the effects of the ink on Moleskine paper and the happy accidents that happen when the pigments come in contact with the paper.



Here's something I've been working on which I'm excited to share with you. It's the Mindfulness Colouring website! You'll find it on www.mindfulnesscolouring.com. Please come and visit. I hope you also enjoy browsing the blog where I'll be updating you with behind the scenes work. There is also a gallery where you'll be able to see a selection of beautiful colouring from people out there in the world.



Hi folks, here is some exciting overseas news that I'd like to share with you . . .

The Mindfulness Coloring Book: Anti-Stress Art Therapy for Busy People will be released in American bookshops on June the 2nd and is launching today at Book Expo America.The US edition is published by The Experiment, a fantastic indie publishing house based in New York. We'd love to see your colour creations on social media under the hashtag #MindfulColoring.
You can read more about the colouring book phenomenon in interviews I did with Melonyce McAfee for CNN and with Jessica Roy for New York magazine's The Cut. And to find out a little bit more about this pocket-sized art therapy book, here is a blogpost I did a few months back for the UK edition.



For a delicious Parisian brunch, I'd recommend booking a table at La Chambre aux Oiseaux a charming café along the Canal St-Martin. I was greeted with a basket of crusty artisanal bread, a choice of peach and strawberry jams, freshly squeezed orange juice served in a vintage glass, coffee, a soft boiled runny egg, homemade gazpacho, watercress leaves, smoked ham, Comté cheese, a chicken avocado wrap followed by a pineapple and passion fruit almond tart. Make sure to be hungry! For a good flat white coffee in the neighbourhood, definitely take a pit stop at Craft or Ten Belles.


THE MINDFULNESS COLOURING BOOK: Anti-stress art therapy for busy people

I'm really excited to share with you my new book THE MINDFULNESS COLOURING BOOK: ANTI-STRESS ART THERAPY FOR BUSY PEOPLE. It's a 100 page paperback colouring book that is small enough to fit in a coat pocket. It's filled with abstract, wavy, floral and animal illustrations to colour-in. Here's a closer look:
I couldn’t believe my ears when I was approached by Boxtree editor Cindy Chan to work together on this pattern led colouring book. Being both lovers of traditional wallpaper, hand painted tiles and Liberty fabric. Not only was it great fun, but it also felt natural to work together. And what perfect timing! Our meeting was just a week before I was to leave for Sweden to complete a textile and printmaking course to learn about the art of pattern repeat.
I've been practicing mindfulness the past three years. It has been a great way for me to wind down. As an illustrator and graphic designer living in busy London, I'm always working on multiple projects (actual ones and brainstorming new ones). My eyes are in continuous exposure to computer screens, tablets, and my iPhone. So my brain tends to go on overload with thoughts. Mindfulness has been helpful way to switch off my autopilot way of life. 
I'm certain fellow illustrators will agree that illustrating can be relaxing and even therapeutic. There is something comforting about picking up a pencil and drawing. I forget about everything around me. I'm in the moment, feeling the blank sheet underneath the nib, hearing the sound of the lead scratching the surface of the paper. To me, it's the same with colouring-in. Maybe it's a feeling of childhood nostalgia, spending a day filling in scenes, choosing the next colouring pencil...hours free from thought.

One of the exercises I often practice is actually in the tube, when I feel I've had a long and busy day. I like to meditate on sounds around me. Being in a noisy wagon is perfect. I mindfully hop from sound to sound: the sound of the train vibrations, the doors closing, people talking, the sound of newspapers ruffling, someone on the phone, foot steps, high heel taps, a scratch, entering a tunnel, two trains passing in opposite directions, the doors opening, people running for the train, people shuffling out, phone conversations, zippers, earphones booming...whoever thought one could find peace from thoughts in a noisy carriage? And then I've arrived at my destination with a clear mind.
You'll find my colouring book here and in bookshops across the UK. And if you are reading this post in another part of the world, I'm happy to say that it will soon be available in 14 other languages including: Afrikaans, Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, Danish, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish.

Why not give mindfulness a go by grabbing a colouring pencil? Here's free pattern to download, get creative and colour it in with your very own unique style. Are you a colouring pencil fiend...or a felt tip lover? I'll find out if you share your creation with me @EmmaFarrarons on Instagram using #mindfulnesscolouringbook. To download, simply click on the pattern below and you'll be directed to a printable A4 sized scene. I look forward to see what you create!

And here's a second treat. THE WINDOW SEAT blog are giving away The Mindfulness Colouring Book as well as this exclusive print from my Etsy store. For a chance to win, check it out here. (UK entries only. The winner will be announced February 2.) Good luck and enjoy the colouring!



Happy New Year everyone. This week’s post is about DIY and making your very own bespoke lampshade. I've been looking for a lamp to brighten up a dark corner in my living room for a while, but couldn't find a suitable or interesting design that I liked enough. Lamps can be expensive and also look generic. Why not make my own? 

I stumbled upon this lampshade kit on the internet and ordered it in one click. Easy peasy. I would be able to make a lamp with the fabric of my choice that no one else would have. There’s a whole world of interesting patterned fabric out there, whether you find it in cloth shops in Goldhawk Road, Ray Stitch, MarimekkoKauniste, Atelier Brunette or a current fave Miss Matatabi (where you can find beautiful designs by Nano Iro). You can even make your own fabric design with Woven Monkey or by potato printing.

The lampshade parcel arrived in the post. It was the size of a pizza box with all the material you needed for the frame work. The kit was very straightforward to follow. I made sure that I ironed my fabric and was ready to get started. I followed the step by step sheet, and finished it under an hour.

For the lamp base, I went to Ikea. I had a minimalist black thin base in my mind, which would best go with my Liberty fabric. The base only cost me £10. Depending on the fabric print you choose, I’m sure that you can pair it with an interesting vintage base that you might stumble upon at a charity shop or flea market.
I’m really pleased with how my DIY handmade Liberty print lamp has turned out. It looks great in my living room. And I’m extra proud at the thought that I made it all by myself, and that no one else in the world has it. I think this kit can be a wonderful present for someone special. You can give it as a gift with some fabric you've carefully picked. Or even better...wrap the 'pizza box' kit with the fabric you've picked and tie it up with a pretty ribbon!

Lamp Shade Kit 30cm, Fabric: Melly (A) Tana Lawn from Liberty, Lamp base: Hemma from Ikea.
You might also like to read my Liberty dress sewing post.



Falling for the beautiful Danish Vorupør seaside where I spent Christmas this year. Happy 2015!