<![CDATA[Anna prints - Blog]]>Mon, 11 Jan 2016 06:29:30 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[diy cushion making instructions]]>Sat, 24 May 2014 16:50:35 GMThttp://annaprints.weebly.com/blog/diy-cushion-making-instructions
All inspired by the BBCs Great British Sewing Bee I am about to launch a range of DIY Cushion Making kits! You will now be able to sew your own Anna Prints cushion, or buy a kit as a present for a budding or keen sewer.

 I thought I would put a detailed instructional piece in the blog and also, when I can, get round to making a few short videos to help you do the more complicated bits. The only real difficulty might be putting in the zip, other wise it is a very easy and straightforward project.

What you will get in the kit:

Front fabric hand printed with the chosen design.
Backing fabric
You will need:

Sewing machine or needle and thread and lots of patience
Dressmakers scissors
Zipper foot (if using a sewing machine)
Normal sewing foot
Matching thread

You may need:

set square
1. Pin (and tack if you wish) the zip face down in the middle of the front fabric. Leave about an inch and a half either each end of the zip. Sew into place. Be careful when you are sewing the zip into place that you move the zip head out of the way. You may wish to refer to the blog regarding this. Press open the seam.

2. Place the fabric face down onto the backing fabric (face up) with right sides together. You should be able to read the printed 'organic fabric' text along the bottom of the backing fabric underneath the zip. Pin the zip into place making sure the text is contained within the seam so it won't be visible on your finished cushion. Sew into place, again taking care to move the zip out of your way, and press open the seam.

3. Open the zip half way and then pin the open ends either side of the zip carefully into place. I will be posting a short video on this shortly to help you. Still using the zipper foot on the sewing machine carefully sew from the zip to the edge of the fabric completing the bottom seam of the cushion containing the zip within it. Press the seam open.

4. Lay the cushion out, right sides together and carefully pin the two pieces together. Use a lot of pins, and/or tack into place. The linen and the cotton need to be held together well before you put them through the sewing machine to ensure they do not move when sewing.

5. Sew the remaining seams together ensuring the cushion measures roughly 18.5 inches x 18.5 inches. Trim and neaten the seams, cutting off the corner seam to ensure nice pointed corners on your cushion. Set the sewing machine to zig zag stich and sew the ends of the seams together for neatness and strength. Turn your cushion right-side out and press it. This size cushion cover looks best with a 20 inch x 20 inch cushion pad, and I think feather looks best.

<![CDATA[New t shirts and bags]]>Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:55:47 GMThttp://annaprints.weebly.com/blog/new-t-shirts-and-bags
I have been interested in printing adult and child t.shirts and baby clothes for a while but have been looking for the right manufacturer that meets the strict environmental and ethical codes I wish to maintain at Anna Prints. 

I found the EarthPositive® line and felt they were a product line I wished to support.

I believe very strongly in supporting businesses that are making moves towards improved social and environmental responsibility. The fashion and textiles industry as a whole has a lot of work to do but flagship lines such as EarthPositive® are doing a good job in proving to the rest of the industry that it is entirely possible and above all logical to take responsibility for environmental impacts, to provide workers with a fair wage and safe working conditions, and to support developing economies in sustainable, healthy, socially minded development.
Below is a break down of how The Carbon Trust worked with Continental Clothing to develop the EarthPositive® range.

At Anna Prints we have chosen to use EarthPositive® t shirts and tote bags. Each item is made from 100% organic cotton, is ethically made and is manufactured solely using sustainable energy generated from wind and solar power. 
Below is a more detailed outline of how EarthPositive® has worked with The Carbon Trust to provide a sustainable business model demonstrating practical and immediate solutions for business and fashion in tackling climate change. The development project for EarthPositive® will provide the fashion industry with a blueprint in ethical and sustainable production. The Carbon Trust has asked for EarthPositive® to be used as a Case Study, so that the clothing industry will benefit from it's research and development.


EarthPositive® is a 100% organic product, produced under the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and certified by The Control Union and The Soil Association. Of course EarthPositive® is entirely GM free.


EarthPositive® works in regions where organic cotton is planted and harvested by hand, without mechanization, and because organic farming does not use petroleum based chemical fertilizer, pesticide or herbicide, it is less reliant on fossil fuels.


EarthPositive® apparel is made in carbon neutral manufacturing facilities in India, from ‘low impact’ organic cotton, and is distributed through carbon neutral warehouses and offices in London that use only renewable green electricity.


Under the organic standard, farmers and agricultural workers are protected by stringent social criteria, total traceability across the entire supply chain, but also by the ban on the use of poisonous pesticides and defoliants which can severely damage the health of farmers and families. These standards also free poor farmers tied into third world debt to chemical companies on the ‘pesticide treadmill'. To help tackle the social injustice often seen in manufacturing, commonly known as sweatshop labour, EarthPositive® make transparent their manufacturing supply chain, through an independent audit by the Fair Wear Foundation. The FWF exists to promote fair labour conditions in the clothing industry.


EarthPositive® apparel is certified by the Oeko-Tex 100 Standard, Class I. The Oeko-Tex 100 Standard is a guarantee of the safety of textiles and dyestuffs to human health. It also means we take more care in adopting environmentally friendly production methods throughout the manufacturing of EarthPositive® apparel.


The primary energy source for EarthPositive® apparel is thirty massive wind turbines that generate a continuous source of renewable electricity.


Climate Neutral means industrial greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced to pre-industrial levels through low-impact (low emission) organic agriculture and carbon neutral industrial manufacturing, achieved through substituting energy use from fossil fuel powered power stations with clean renewable energy from wind turbines and solar power.


Carbon neutral is a term most often used to describe a state where CO2e emissions have been negated entirely by the purchase of intangible ‘carbon offsets’. This represents the ‘lowest quality’ means of achieving carbon neutral status and is discarded by EarthPositive® as a credible method. The only course of action is to change business-as-usual practices and genuinely reduce any emissions that contribute to global warming. This can only be achieved by the reduction of on-site energy consumption, and a switch from fossil fuel to renewable energy.


EarthPositive® guarantee that they do not use cotton from Uzbekistan while the use of forced child labour is endemic. This follows the recommendations of the Environmental Justice Foundation ‘Clean Cotton Campaign’. The complete traceability of certified organic cotton allows us to make this guarantee.


It can take more than 20,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of cotton, equivalent to a single T-shirt and pair of jeans. EarthPositive® work in a region that receives up to 95% of its water from the monsoon rain. This was an important consideration, as the monsoon rain reduces the need for large-scale irrigation projects normally associated with conventional cotton farming, which often deprive local villages of scarce water resources by draining lakes and rivers.


The processing of the dye effluent takes place in a controlled closed-loop purification system that uses treatment ponds, sand filtration and reverse osmosis to convert the wastewater into clean water.


EarthPositive® apparel is packaged in biodegradable PVC-free packaging, and in 100% recycled cardboard boxes.


EarthPositive® has a ‘No Airfreight’ policy. Using instead containerised ocean shipping. International shipping and freight is a complex and difficult subject to unpick. At Anna Print's we like to feel we are doing the best we can to understand the issues and make the right choices. In this matter The Carbon Trust has made the call based on CO2 emissions that Air freight is to be avoided. But at Anna Print's we appreciate ocean shipping has massive environmental impacts on the seas and is not a 'clean' solution.


EarthPositive® apparel has reduced the carbon footprint of a T-shirt by up to 90%. However, consumers require an independent verification process and a label over the claims of individual companies. The Carbon Trust is trialling such a carbon reduction label. This carbon reduction label acts as both the verification and communication of the CO2 of EarthPositive® apparel. The Carbon Trust product carbon footprinting method is to become the single standard for a product’s carbon footprint in the UK.


EarthPositive® apparel and Anna Prints products can be washed at 30°C; however, we ask customers to consider the effects of domestic machine washing and tumble drying which
may contribute up to 80% of the energy used by a conventional cotton garment in its lifetime. We label our garments SAVE THE CLIMATE – WASH COOL – LINE DRY in addition to standard wash care instructions. We also recommend eco-friendly detergents, which have minimal aquatic toxicity and will biodegrade quickly and completely.

Information from

At Anna Prints we use Ecover.

<![CDATA[Oh Goodness... This Isn't Blogging Once A Week Is It?]]>Fri, 14 Mar 2014 09:11:23 GMThttp://annaprints.weebly.com/blog/oh-goodness-this-isnt-blogging-once-a-week-is-itI am clearly not used to blogging yet & will have to beg patience. I think perhaps I should keep longer posts to once a month with weekly updates about what I am up to.

This week has been about designing and finally getting some studio fixes done to make my life easier down at the studio. I am more excited than I ever thought I would be about a switch. Isn't it beautiful? It is about as old as me and would have been used in some complicated bit of electronics to do with jet engines according to the very clever electrician who installed it for me. All I know is that is now enables me to have the suction running on my screen printing bed only when I need it as opposed to all the time. Saving energy! Yay! And my ears (quite a loud vacuum pump)- double yay!
I have also been OUTSIDE a bit! Another yay! The sunshine has been such a lift and a joy... I am sure you all know what I mean.
I love feeling sun on my skin and did some garden clearing and planted some (slightly late) garlic out.
I have been busy collecting colour inspiration from all over. I like to catalogue inspirational pictures found online on Pinterest. Look me up there as Anna Prints. I also photograph the everyday objects around me that jump out as beautiful. Whether because of the way the light is falling at that moment or just the way I'm thinking and what I am noticing at that time.
The designs I have been working on will remain 'under my hat' for now, but geese will be featuring, as will a new range of cards that I hope I will be able to sell at a lower price whilst maintaining the quality and ecological principles that are so dear to Anna Prints.
Here is a design I painted onto a plate a few years ago now for my parent's ever growing collection of plates displayed on the wall in the kitchen. I've always liked the design and feel it could work well as a screen print. The goose is in fact one of our own. We kept geese for years and the breeding pair we had grew to a ripe old age, but sadly died a few years ago. Now Sion and Sian will be immortalised in ink. 

And finally, I didn't want to post today without mentioning the sad news that Tony Benn passed away at the grand old age of 88 this morning. Whatever your politics, I doubt anyone would disagree he was an inspiration. Passionate about justice, gentlemanly and kindhearted yet strong and true and unafraid to speak his mind. Plus a fine and dignified pipe smoker! Qualities I deeply admire. 88 is a grand old age, but his passing is still very sad. 

R.I.P Tony Benn.
<![CDATA[getting inspired...]]>Wed, 05 Feb 2014 12:06:18 GMThttp://annaprints.weebly.com/blog/getting-inspired
I’ll be honest. I have had this blog for months and have been completely terrified of starting it properly… What could I have to say that anyone would be interested in reading? I started imagining I would have to retrain and become a journalist writing regular in depth investigative essays on vitally important subjects… I quite fancied this new me for a while, but after a bit of thought I realised it would be close to impossible to be an investigative journalist and full time designer/printmaker (I already feel wildly behind schedule most of the time). So... I procrastinated some more... Then by chance I got some advice from a very clever and savvy web developer and uncharacteristically I actually listened to it... It took a couple of weeks for the advice to sink in but finally I have come to accept some people might actually be interested in what I do, how I do it and what I know. So... Here goes. My blog. I will endeavour to post once a week at least.

Why not start at the beginning then… Are you sitting comfortably? Then I will begin…


I have read a number of interviews with artists who are invariably asked how and when they get their ideas. It is quite a tricky question to answer as many working artists have been thinking, making and working in their own way for so long it becomes almost an unconscious process… much as riding a bike or driving a car. However, on those (hopefully rare) occasions when ideas seem to dry up and inspiration has packed its bags, that’s when you suddenly have to question the ideas process… where does inspiration come from?

Generally speaking my ideas are connected to the people I have around me, friends and family, sometimes a fictional character from a book or someone who catches my eye in the street. I like to create a design based around that person, their interests and delights, the colours they prefer, how they dress, the things they say… all of these little things can spark an idea which can then grow and develop into an independent design.

Getting the idea down on paper… Drawing is where my ideas become designs as my style of drawing will inform the development of the idea. It’s no good me trying to draw a design already perfectly formed in my head. That only leads to disappointment and frustration. Letting the design develop naturally following the lines my pen makes on the page, then redrawing and over drawing until it feels right. Sometimes I find a design just isn’t coming together… and then I have to leave it. File it away, sometimes for a week, sometimes it languishes for months before I dig it out and have a fresh look at it. I start working on it again and invariably, eventually I will make the right mark or move something around and it will suddenly be right, and ready to be turned into a print!

Here are some tips on how to get those ideas flowing:

1. I think this is the most important one. Make sure you get some quiet time alone to think. It needn't be a Tuscan holiday, although I am sure that would help... Fifteen minutes while you are washing up or brushing your teeth might do the trick. Clear your mind of the old ‘to do’ list and just think about what interests you… Try not to worry if no images come yet, just let your mind wander and see where it goes.

2. Keep a notebook and a drawing pad handy around the house, studio or nearby at work. Sometimes an idea will flit past and it’s vital to get something on paper before it’s buried by that pesky old to do list again!  I like to make little books of scraps of paper I would otherwise recycle held together with a clothes peg for notes. It’s a green thing to do, and it also stops you being too precious and worried about the marks you make. A clean fresh sketchbook can be one of the most intimidating things in the world!

3. Surround yourself with images and colours and patterns… Anything that catches your eye or interests you. A scrapbook is great, as are online resources like Pinterest or good old Google images… However, I think a pin board or postcards pinned to your wall, or in frames, are much more effective as these images are around you and visible all the time. Make groupings of patterns or colours that work for you and frame or pin them together. Hang or place them wherever you'll be likely to glace from your desk when your mind wanders and your open for inspiration.
4. Get outside. Pay attention when you go for a walk in the park or to the market. If you can, take a sketchbook, if you don’t have time take a camera and snap whatever catches your eye. When you get home make sure you sort through the images you have recorded and file them carefully so you can access them again when you need to.

5. As I said I often use people I know as a starting point for a design. However other inspiration comes from quotes. I find these online or in books. I tend to search for someone I know I like and see where the search takes me following links and words until something resonates. Other places to look might be a favourite book, or eavesdropping in cafes or at the bus stop. Just try not to get caught out!

<![CDATA[<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/11708873/?claim=bnc4egh6nc9">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>]]>Mon, 03 Feb 2014 18:33:13 GMThttp://annaprints.weebly.com/blog/lta-hrefhttpwwwbloglovincomblog11708873claimbnc4egh6nc9gtfollow-my-blog-with-bloglovinltagt