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Last week we all had a wonderful time looking through all the brilliantly beautiful entries for our children's drawing competition and today we have started printing them up.
One of the reasons that we ran the competition was that I am revamping our "Children's drawing" range at the moment and I wanted to get a feel for all the different kinds of drawings that could be sent in.
Would they be small, big, square, rectangular, bold and bright or delicate - would people send them in physically, scan them or take photos.
Most importantly - how could we make sure that our new designs show off every single drawing to its very best.
I really can't think of a better present for a child to give to parents, grandparents, teachers - anyone who loves them - than something with one of their drawings on it.
Drawing is fun, it is cheap, you don't need a whole load of new supplies, it can be done pretty much anywhere and if it doesn't work out the first time you screw it up into a ball and you can have another go.
It is also something that children are doing a lot of anyway - the best of those beautiful works of art from playgroup and nursery can have a new life and be treasured for many years after the original artwork has turned brown with curly edges.
It is something constructive to do with the drawings that are stuck to the fridge door.
And it is our job to make sure that what makes the original drawing really special makes it onto the mug, bag or notebook.
So for the past few days Val and I have been working out the best ways to digitally enhance the originals so that they print well, we have been devising new flexible designs that are more responsive to the original proportions and more in fitting with the drawings.
We still wanted the option of a frame so I embroidered a new, very freeform frame design. I wanted to make something that wouldn't overpower the drawings, even if they are those beautifully delicate stickmen that very young children draw. I wanted to make a frame that was light and bright and made the drawing itself the focus.
And, as few of the drawings were square, we made a number of different shapes of frame so that we can fit them to the drawing instead of cropping the drawing too much.
We have also been working out ways of fitting large complex designs to cover the whole of a mug, water bottle or plant pot as an alternative to using the sketched frames.
And I am very proud of the way that we have been able to showcase the creativity of these children and create products where it is the children's art that is the focus and all our hard work is invisible.
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