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Journal

  • Peace Silk and Vegan Bamboo Silk Ribbons

    Peace Silk and Vegan Bamboo Silk Ribbons for wedding bouquets

    Our new collection of peace silk and vegan bamboo silk ribbons have arrived! Here at The Gathered Room we are committed to cruelty free and sustainable products for your weddings, events, gardens and crafting needs. 

    Peace silk and vegan bamboo silk ribbons

    How our Ribbons are Made

    All of our silk ribbons are hand dyed in Kate's studio using plant materials. Peace silk is made from silk gathered after the moth has flown, unlike traditional silks where the silk worms are killed as part of the manufacturing process. Bamboo silk is a plant fibre which has a beautiful sheen akin to traditional silks but without the animal products, so if you're a vegan these options are just perfect.

    Peace Silk and Vegan Bamboo Silk Ribbons for wedding bouquets

    Inspiration Behind the New Collection

    Kate is a colour addict and finds her inspiration often within nature, and this new silk ribbon collection is no exception, being inspired by a single, humble dried strawflower. The lilac, pink and purple hues led Kate to create a range of ribbons that are stunning used on their own for bouquets or gift wrapping, but also go together too, so you can enjoy them as a set.

    Peace Silk and Vegan Bamboo Silk Ribbons by Kate Cullen for The Gathered Room

    Peace Silk and Vegan Bamboo Silk Ribbons by Kate Cullen for The Gathered Room

    We love to see our customers using our products - so do tag @katecullenstyle on Instagram or use the hashtag #thegatheredroom to share your creations!

    Shop The Collection Here.

    Peace silk and vegan bamboo silk ribbon collection by Kate Cullen for The Gathered Room

  • Meet the Artist - Inky Square calligrapher and bookbinder

    Meet the Artist - Inky Square calligrapher and bookbinder
    Here at The Gathered Room it is one of my greatest joys to see our products being used by artists and creatives. In this new blog series I will be introducing you to the talented people that love the things I make and encouraging you to go and check out their work.
    Book binding with bamboo silk twine from The Gathered Room
     
    Today I am asking you to delve into the beautiful world of Gaelle from Inky Square, I have followed her on Instagram (she has the most divine feed!) through a mutual friend for a while now, and could not have been happier when she chose to use some of bamboo silk twine for some of her work. I'll now hand over to Gaelle to tell you a little more about herself.
    Gaelle Jolly of Inky Square - interview for The Gathered Room
    Book binding with bamboo silk twine from The Gathered Room
     
    "I am a calligrapher and bookbinder based in Oxford. My professional background is in communications and historic conservation, but since discovering first calligraphy and then bookbinding I have been building up my business, Inky Square, in my spare time. I work in partnership with a glassblower in Sweden to create bespoke ‘messages in a bottle’, take calligraphy commissions, and am about to launch a range of hand-bound notebooks. The connecting thread in all my work is to find creative ways to use paper and ink to tell stories and capture memories.
     
    Message in a bottle calligraphy gift by Inky Square
     
    I had wanted to learn bookbinding for many years, after getting a taste of it as part of a letterpress course, but a combination of a busy life and fear of failure meant I never quite got round to booking myself on a course. Then two years ago my husband gave me a bookbinding kit for Christmas, and I never looked back. I have been teaching myself with the help of books by Rachel Hazell and the London Centre for Book Arts, and I’m excited to continue to learn new techniques. I particularly like working on exposed bindings, whether intricate stitches on a hardback or rustic twine on a cotton rag paper journal. It’s also the perfect match to calligraphy, with handwritten labels or decorated covers, and I’d love to explore making completely bespoke books for clients in future.
    Book binding by Inky Square
    I launched the #paperintheframe hashtag on Instagram this summer. I’m always looking for interesting ways to include paper items in photographs (photography is my other creative passion), and while Instagram is not lacking in calligraphy or book hashtags, there seemed to be something missing to celebrate paper in all its forms. I ran a first challenge in August, and regularly share my favourite posts in my stories."
     Inky Square calligrapher and bookbinder interview for The Gathered Room
    I can heartily recommend you following Inky Square and joining in with the hashtag if like me you're paper obsessed!
  • A Guide To Floral Mechanics - Book Review and Authors Interview

    A Guide To Floral Mechanics - Book Review and Authors Interview for The Gathered Room

    'A Guide to Floral Mechanics' by Sarah Diligent and William Mazuch was published this month, to long-awaited delight by the sustainable floristry community. It is a journey I have not only followed closely, but have also had the privilege to become involved in, being one of the Kickstarter campaigns supporters in the first phases, and then excitingly as editor in the final stages.

    A Guide To Floral Mechanics - Book Review and Authors Interview for The Gathered Room

    Book Review

    Right from when I read the first pages, and saw the accompanying beautiful, yet instructional illustrations, I knew this book was going to become a much-loved handbook for new and established florists alike for many years. It is the missing piece that connects the Constance Spry manuals of old, with a thoroughly modern, ecologically aware stance.

    As a hobby florist currently trying to learn how to create floral arrangements from my fledgling cut flower garden, it has been a revelation to see 'behind the scenes' and truly understand how these works of art are created. Not only that, but how they are created with care for our environment. It's high time we consigned the plastic filled Oasis blocks to history, and this book shows you exactly how you can go about it, with no detriment or limit to the designs that can be achieved.

    What's more, the book doesn't lecture or dictate the type of floristry you should be doing, each chapter is filled with solely the mechanics and instructions for the types of displays that can be achieved, it doesn't seek to tell you what style you should be striving for, thus making it accessible to everyone from an occasional arranger like me all the way through to experienced florists with decades of experience. From those cutting stems from their back garden for the kitchen table, all the way through to magnificent opulent wedding arches and beyond.

    Interview with the Authors

    I took the opportunity to explore with Sarah and William how they found the experience of writing and illustrating their fist book, as well as what their hopes for sustainable floristry are for the future.

    A Guide To Floral Mechanics - Book Review and Authors Interview for The Gathered Room

    What made you decide to write the book?

    Sarah:  "When I started my floristry career I felt that there was a big disconnect - in an industry that is all about nature, I realised that a lot of processes weren’t very ‘green’ so I started looking for books on how to work sustainably as a florist. Long story short, I couldn’t find all of the info I was looking for easily. Whilst teaching sustainable practices at my flower school, I found that many other florists were also looking for a concise source of information."

    William: "I found the same."

    Sarah: "When we met at British Flowers Week in 2018, we briefly discussed the idea of putting together a book that included the information that both of us had been looking for. About six months later we started to write that book."

    William: "We agreed on many of the aspects of the book – that it should be clean, clear and straightforward without being prescriptive about floral design in itself. This book was to only be about the mechanics. There wouldn’t be any colour in the book aside from the cover."

    Sarah: "Which we spent a long working on. We didn’t want it to be a coffee table book, we wanted this to be a functional manual."

    How do you think floristry has evolved in the last few years?

    Sarah: "I think there has been a massive resurgence in the use of British flowers; a discovery of local growers, and in the same way that people became interested in where their food came from, the same is starting to become true of flowers. A result of working with homegrown blooms and flower growers is a return to true seasonality and celebrating things as they come in and out of season. I think we’re all looking to reduce our consumption of plastic. Particularly in light of David Attenborough’s documentaries. What starts off as a personal thing quickly spills into business if it’s something you and your customers feel passionately about."

    William: "The awareness of quite how much plastic waste there was became apparent to the general public globally when the plastic bag charge came about. It’s nice to see that awareness is spreading to other industries including floristry."

    Sarah: "There has also been a leaning toward more natural floral design as well as a movement toward seasonality and sustainability. There has definitely been a leaning towards more naturalistic floral design."

    A Guide To Floral Mechanics - Book Review and Authors Interview for The Gathered Room

    What do you hope the book's impact will have, both on new generations of floristry lovers, but also on already established businesses?

    Sarah: "We hope that by setting out clear, easy to follow alternatives to standard methodology, people will give it a go and find that it’s worth it. For every arrangement in which single use plastic aren’t used, that’s less plastic in landfill and fewer microplastics washed into the waterways. Future generations may be very grateful not to have to deal with the repercussions of our dependency upon single use plastics."

    What new sustainable floristry products would you love to see developed or improved?

    Sarah: "I will be excited to see what is developed going forward."

    Wiliam: "The benefits of single use plastics are that they are cheap, and only need last so long as they are in use. In the case of floral arrangements, this is not longer than a week. Better biodegradable cellophane which doesn’t cost the world would be a good start. The world of floristry is not short of brilliant minds and entrepreneurs, so I have no doubt that new methods and products are on their way."

    Where can florists or students get help and support with sustainable floristry methods that support the key messages and approaches in your book?

    Sarah: "We have rounded up our favourites in the ‘resources’ section of our book. One which springs instantly to mind is the #nofloralfoam movement on Instagram run by the lovely Rita Feldman in Australia." 

    I can also heartily recommend Sarah's fabulous Facebook Group for Eco Friendly Florists and Flower Growers Collective. 

    A Guide To Floral Mechanics - Book Review and Authors Interview for The Gathered Room

    Writing a book is a huge undertaking, what do you wish you'd known about the process most before you started?

    William: "Quite how much of a huge undertaking it would be!"

    Sarah: "Everything! On a serious note, I wish I had better understood how many different parts there are to self-publishing a sustainably made book to a high standard. Had I been more aware, I probably would have given us an extra year to write it."

    William: "I found the waiting times the most difficult. There might be a few days between sending off a test sheet to be printed and receiving it. In that time, there’s not much we could do. We wanted everything to be done well – I think there’s a bit of a stigma associated with self-publishing, and I was keen that the final product would be polished."

    Thank you Sarah and William for this wonderful insight.

    You can buy your copy of the book over on their website www.floribundarose.com/thebook

  • 5 Elegant Ideas for Using a Rubber Ink Stamp

    5 Elegant Ideas for Using a Rubber Ink Stamp
    Rubber ink stamps are an easy and effective way of decorating paper and gifts, and we've found our top 5 favourite ways to use our rose design ink stamp to elevate your stationery and fabric gifts and gift wrapping.

    Using an ink stamp to decorate your gifts

    Firstly, I recommend using the Versafine ink stamps (please note as an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases, but I only ever recommend products I buy and use myself). I use these ink pads for paper stamping and their fabric ink stamps too.

     5 Elegant Ideas for Using a Rubber Ink Stamp

    1. To make gift tags. You can either use the full design, or part of it like this. Then simply tie with a piece of ribbon or twine – here I’m using some of our bamboo silk twine and ribbon.

     5 Elegant Ideas for Using a Rubber Ink Stamp

    1. To decorate envelopes. Either on the front of your envelopes, or over the seal on the reverse.

     5 Elegant Ideas for Using a Rubber Ink Stamp

    1. To head your writing paper. This is on my own handmade paper too, so it’s extra personal to me, but it will work on any paper you choose.

     5 Elegant Ideas for Using a Rubber Ink Stamp

    1. To make your own wrapping paper. I use this wonderful handmade tissue paper which has almost fabric like qualities to it. You can stamp a pattern in rows, or offset, however is most pleasing to your eye.

     5 Elegant Ideas for Using a Rubber Ink Stamp

    1. Using the fabric ink to add as a motif to your bags or clothing. I’m adding it to one of my plant dyed make up bags.

     5 Elegant Ideas for Using a Rubber Ink Stamp

    I hope you’ve enjoyed discovering all the ways you can use our rose design ink stamps. Keep an eye out for new designs coming to the shop each season!