Bee Blog

Exploring Lisbon and its geometric patterns

Here at Quirkybee we love exploring new cities and countries, especially when they are known for bright colour and design.

Recently we visited the picture perfect city of Lisbon, with its pretty cobbled streets, tiled walls and heavenly pastries.

We loved the range of colourful tiled houses, known locally as azelejos, every other house was beautifully decorated in various colours, from blue and white to pretty pastels.

For those that like to venture off the beaten track, a trip to the LX factory is well worth a visit.  This old factory site on the outskirts of the city has been turned into a trendy shopping and restaurant strip with vintage shops, book shops and amazing chocolate cake at Landeau.

This is the perfect city to visit if you love design, history and food.  Quirkybee gathered a good dose of inspiration for more colourful fabric designs.

Lisbon tile design

Lisbon travel

Lisbon cafe

Lisbon city

Read more →

Brighten your home with Scandinavian style cushion covers

Brighten your home with Scandinavian style cushion covers

QB recently took a trip to the home of Scandi style in Copenhagen, Denmark.  

Hip Copenhagen is compact and cool. Cyclists, tasty eats and colourful houses scatter the streets in this design loving city. 

No trip to the city is complete without a saunter through its stunning design museums and Nordic interior design shops.

Get off the beaten track and visit Norrebro, one of Copenhagen’s most vibrant and hip neighbourhoods. Full of cafes, boutiques and hidden street murals, there’s a treat around every corner.

Further down the road is Norreport, home to the Torvehallerne food market with a wide range of rich pickings on offer. Tuck into a lavishly topped Smorrebrod of avocado and prawns, or feast on a selection of hot dogs with onions, pickles and sauces.

Whilst enjoying the colourful city of Copenhagen, Quirky Bee also got down to business, hunting out some bright new finds in the fabric section.  Geometric prints are proving ever so popular this year, and our popular cushions with a Scandi-esque theme are brightening up homes across the country.

Scandi cushion, quirkybee

Smorebrod, CopenhagenDenmark, quirkybee

Read more →

Bloomin' beautiful florals at the Fife flower show

Capturing the Last Days of Summer at a Scottish flower show:

With all the stunning colours of the blooms on show, I couldn't help but be drawn in to the local flower show when in Fife.  

Giant, vivid flower heads filled the room, looking almost unearthly as they seemingly floated there in neat, long rows.  As the shafts of sunlight shone down upon them, it had me wishing I had my proper camera with me,  however the iPhone camera had to suffice:



Although I couldn't help but find polishing potatoes and carrots a little odd (surely?!). You can't help but admire this lot:



Although I have to admit that it did remind me a little of:

Read more →

Visit Warwick for independent shops and great food

Quirky Bee is lucky enough to be located not far from the lovely Midlands town of Warwick - super famous of course for its stunning medieval castle.  This weekend was an opportunity to pop over and have a look around town.  

The town itself is full of cute little cottages and higgledy piggedly streets, and in amongst them is a bookshop definitely worth hunting out – Duncan Allsop Booksellers.  With the bookshelves about as wonky as the building, this place is bulging with a huge selection of books from the 18th century to the 1980’s.



Whilst passing I had no choice but to go in for a browse, and came out with a couple of beautiful brightly covered children’s books.  ‘Number Eleven Joy Street’ is a collection of children’s poems from the 1930’s with a vivid blue patterned cover, complete with somebody’s adorable homemade brown paper book jacket.  ‘On the Banks of the Amazon’ by W.H. Kingston is a late nineteenth century children’s adventure novel – much more readable than I expected, while just intending to flicking through a few pages, suddenly I found I had to make myself put it down half an hour later!  Again beautifully bound, with surprisingly bold blue, green and turquoise swirls.   Am sure they’ll also make a great backdrop for some photographs, don’t you agree? 

On Saturday Warwick also played host to an eclectic street food market, as part of ‘Warwick Rocks’ Food and Film Festival.  We were lucky enough to be able to tuck into Caribbean jerk chicken and a hog roast, and the infamous ‘Inferno Samosa’...

Warwick is full of lots of independent little shops and interesting pubs , which filled out afternoon.  ‘The Lazy Cow’ is a fun local pub and hotel, quirky inside and out, which took up a couple of hours.


It got me thinking about the future of little shops such as the booksellers and the local food suppliers, and my shopping habits.  With all these large multi-national websites and supermarkets,  it’s becoming far too easy to just continue with the one-stop cheapest option, despite our good intentions.  (as I’m guiltily remembering me recently uttering the words “Oh I’ll just get it off Amazon” ).  But I suppose if we want these independents to still be here in a few years time, we’ve got to actually start using them now; they aren’t going to run off fresh air just waiting to provide a nice little experience for us on a day out.  We’ve actually got to regularly part with some cash in them  (so I vow to no longer only browse!) and use their facilities.  There and then I made a resolution to reduce my trips to the supermarket and get my fresh food from my local markets and shops,  and to never again begrudge the extra couple of pounds on the price from a small UK business.  Which I’m sure means that I’m going to be eating better food, buying more original gifts, benefiting from all the experience from an expert producer, and overall experiencing a much better, quality,  shopping experience. 

Anyone else agree?

Read more →

New Linen Pouches

 The holiday season is nearly upon us and the team here at QB have been developing their 'Bag and Purse' range.  The newest edition to make an appearance is made from the best selling 'Elephant Parade' fabric.  We have recently had trouble getting a regular supply of this cute fabric, but fear not, we have managed to get our hands on a bulk load which should last us until the festive season!

Made from a linen, cotton mix fabric with a square bottom, this roomy bag will fit in your handbag as well as being able to carry all those essential holiday toiletries. 




Read more →

Mothers Day

 It's only a week until Mothers Day 2013 and Quirkybee have been working frantically on their new range of greetings cards.

We came up with a new design this year featuring vintage lace and papers, mixed with liberty fabrics.  Each card has an applique badge in the centre, making it a great card and gift in one.

They can also be personalised with your own text, our personal favourite says 'Best Mum'.

Read more →

A Quirky 2012

Well its that time already - 2012 is almost over and 2013 is rapidly approaching...

 

It's been a great Christmas for Quirky Bee, the sewing machines have barely had a rest, but we do love to be busy.  The Leamington Spa Christmas markets were great fun and a great success. We enjoyed actually being able to talk to our customers face to face, and heard some lovely things being said about Quirky Bee!  I think thats one of the most exciting parts, as we are so online based.  - Great to meet you all!

 

Over the last year we've been working on our gadget case range which has been doing well, we have brought out new phone cases to fit the popular iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3s, and will soon be listing iPad mini cases. Kindle cases have remained as popular as ever. Watch this space as new gadgets are launched - as Quirky Bee will be keeping up to date!

 


Mid 2012 we had our Quirky Bee logo designed for us by the super-talented Rebecca over at One Sugar Please.  We  absolutely loved the resulting logo.

Christmas may barely be over, but already we're thinking about the Spring.  We're looking to develop our product range further in 2013, including sunglasses cases, camera cases and more gifts.  Have you any suggestions for new products that you think Quirky Bee should have a go at making?  

If so, drop us a comment below to let us know your thoughts!

Do keep up with us on Facebook and Twitter, where we post all our photos of what we've been up to   - we always love to hear from you all.

We're all looking forward for 2013,   lets see what it brings...

Megan, Emma and Pip.
The Quirky Bee Team


(& Happy Hogmanay ! )

Read more →

The Quirky Christmas Fair Guide

Have you started the dreaded Christmas shopping yet?  Quirky Bee have been so busy preparing orders this year, that any kind of gift hunting has been put on the back burner.  Our first Christmas fair this year is at Southam on Sunday 25th Nov, where we will be pleased to introduce our range of quirky gifts.  Lots of unique stocking fillers for under £5 include, compact mirrors, hand embroidered badge cards, Purse and mirror sets, phone cases and cosmetic bags.

Compact Mirror and Purse Set

We are looking forward to taking some time out to have a nose at the other stalls and see what goodies they have on offer.  Other Christmas fairs can also be found in Leamington spa and Birmingham every weekend from the 25th November.  Cirencester, a quaint little market town in the heart of the Cotswolds is also playing host to a very festive Christmas market in the run up to Christmas. 

Read more →

Appliqued Christmas Cards

Its only 8 and a bit weeks to Christmas and the evenings are starting to draw in.  The time for mince pies, warm fires and present buying will soon be upon us!

Quirky Bee have been working on a new range of seasonal items this year, in particular a cute range of hand cut Christmas cards.  We have used a variety of materials and techniques to put together each card.  Vintage lace, fabrics and papers have been appliqued and embroidered to create a range of textures and shapes.  We then print our appliqued images onto high quality card, and adorn with a hand embroidered badge –  a card and gift in one.




Another card in our range is for a baby’s first Christmas, two appliqued foot prints make up this personalised card.  Perfect for a keepsake or gift for the little one to mark this special occasion.

Read more →

To Bee or not to Bee

To Bee or Not to Bee...

Ok, forgive the terrible pun.  But Quirky Bee just couldn't resist that title as we have recently changed our Bee!

Our fabulous, unique, and dare we say it - Quirky - logo has been produced by the very talented Rebecca over at One Sugar Please. http://onesugarplease.co.uk/ 




What do we all think?

Much as we loved the previous Bee:



It wasn't very unique, and we felt that as a logo, we needed to stand out a little more.  After contacting One Sugar Please,  Rebecca came up with the concept of our logo after spotting she could use the 'B' form from our font, and once flipped over it produced quite a quirky character.  She then used this to produce our website banner:



We are excited to be using the new logo, and so far it seems to be going down a storm,
but please do let us know your verdict  xXx

Read more →