Wednesday 28 December 2016

Illustration Friday - Rock

My uni course has a module called Responsive, where we need to enter competitions and do live briefs. Interact with real world, you know. We're compiling our submissions out of a few large briefs from places like D&AD and YCN along with as many little ones as we can manage. A fab weekly competition that most of my course are getting involved with is Illustration Friday. They bring out a new theme every week for students (and professionals) to submit work for, old or new, and it's judged on... a Friday!

I think weekly competitions like this, or any external group that push for you to post one new thing a month/week/day, are so motivating to be involved in. Having to be self motivated all the time can be exhausting, everyone falls down the creative block hole of doom every now and then, so keeping your eyes open for things like this can be what saves you. Does anyone have any recommendations?

For me, this got me back on track after Christmas. I have an ungodly amount to catch up on before next semester. *quiet scream*

PS: I think my logo is too big on these images, but I'm having such a mare with it that this'll have to do for now. I created all my branding using a brush on my iPad Pro (Adobe sketch app) but it's not on photoshop, I can't find anything close enough, so I can't redo it to size unless I use the iPad app and that is extremely long winded and I still might have to scale it sometimes. Breathe. I need to figure out a solution.


Thursday 1 December 2016


- SHOP: -

Oh hello! Well, the past year has been quite a struggle for me shop wise, what with balancing uni and a male and all, but you guys have kept it going. Your continued encouragement at any new product ideas I've had and support when they're released has meant the world. The support wasn't just buying them, but sharing them too, so I have even more friendly faces than ever before. For this, thankusomuch.

I used to do lots of Instagram giveaways, it was always so fun and I freaking love giving gifts, coming up with exciting hauls to send out and imagining the winner being so chuffed when it comes through their letterbox! I really want to get back into it, and what better time to try than the season of goodies - Christmas!!

About two years ago I realised "Sighh Stocking" sounded cool, so I've been trying to put a campaign to the name since then, hah! I think next year it will be a selection box you can order for Christmas - including goodies from some amazing independent stores I team up with - but lets give that another year to plan... yeah?

SO, what is this year's #SighhStocking?

Rather than restricting the giveaway to something I've chosen, I thought why not let you decide what you'd like instead? Plus, this isn't just a one product giveaway, you can potentially win multiple things you've wished for!


  1. Share the photo on Instagram AND/OR Twitter, tagging #SighhStocking and - This is how you're entered to the draw! 
  2. You may enter as many times as you like, but no giveaway accounts!
  3. This giveaway is international.
  4. The photo can either be this graphic, or any of my product images - if you think they would fit your feed better, haha! These can be taken from my website or you can take your own if you already own a Sighh product! :)
  5. In the description or tweet, let us know what's on your Christmas list this year. This must include at least one Sighh product, but I thought it would be fun to share other things we're hoping for too! It could give your followers ideas for their Christmas list, plus...


  1. The first draw will win a selection of the Sighh products they wished for, PLUS I'll buy them something else off their wish list too! Makeup, food, pyjamas, anything that isn't crazy, like, a car..! :')
  2. The two runners up will win a selection of the Sighh products they wished for. If you happened to purchase these items for Christmas/end up getting them from your friends, I'll organise exchanges :)
  3. Plus, loads of chocolate. Duh.

End date:

This competition is two weeks long, and finishes on the 14th of December 2016. The First draw will happen on the 7th of December (so get those entries in early!) and then the runners up will be chosen on the 14th

The winners will be picked using a random number generator, on both dates. Instagram posts will be added to the Twitter hashtag list, so it's an even field! 

I'm always nervous to launch campaigns like this! I really hope you guys think it's a goodn' and want to get involved! I'd appreciate it so much. I feel so FESTIVE doing this and I can't wait to pick winners and buy them goodies!!!! GOOD LUCK TO ALL AND A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!


Wednesday 21 September 2016

Rebrand: Packaging Update!

YAY I HAVE FINALLY REBRANDED EVERYTHING!! My shop and I had a little makeover this summer and I am super happy about it. Relieved too. I managed to go 3 years of thinking I was a graphic designer without taking my own branding seriously enough. I had the same compliment slips and a logo for aaages and really didn't feel they represented my style any more. Finally, during my extended uni summer break, I had the time and the motivation.

There's a lot to go into on this topic, but for the past year or so I've felt very odd about my shop. I really did want it to become a collaborative place, but after experimentation I've found that I'm just not comfortable with that. I wanted to bring it all back to how it started, little ol me in my bedroom, drawing things that make people smile, for a jobby. I wanted to reconnect with everyone who has supported Sighh for years now, as during my first year at uni I definitely let things slide. So the rebrand aims to connect me with the customer, in a fun, pretty way.

Step 1) Packaging! I want people to get excited the moment they see the parcel at their door. I want them to know instantly where it came from. This is also important for Christmas time, if your family/housemates have a habit of opening your post and you don't want surprises ruined!

Stickers are great because you can have more detail in them, but stamps can have just as much of an impact, and really add the personal touch. Especially the ones which don't work. That is also a risk. I designed these with an idea of where each would go, so worked out the measurements according to my packaging. For example, the "Open me, I'm fabulous" and "thank you!" stamps go on the seal of envelopes, so they had to be short. I wanted the "Hello, I am your new stuff" to be larger as it would decorate the front of the parcel. 

I made these simply by inking them with a paint brush, scanning them into photoshop and tidying up the edges a bit/moving elements to improve their composition and sizing them according to the measurements on the manufacturer's website. Links at the bottom of this post! The artwork you supply stamp companies with needs to be solid black and white. The black will be what's stamped, and the white will be cut out. If the detail is too fine, it may not print well, especially on uneven surfaces like jiffy bags. I think ink work was ideal! 

The logo stickers come in 3 different colours, which make up my shop's new colour palette! I they'll be alternated on packaging/branding products. I kept teal, the colour of my previous branding, for consistency (plus I love it), but added coral and pops of mustard which I feel are more me. 

Different packaging require different stamps. It's all about what fits, and the composition. I wanted the packaging to be personal, but not messy. 

Stickers will go inside cases like this, so you never forget where you bought them! Apparently people do. Humph. 

And now onto the part I love the most - the thank you slips!! Oh man. I found my A6 compliment slips weren't doing the job after launching enamel pins, which use small jiffy bags. I had to fold them, and it looked crap. Branding material should fit in seamlessly. So, these babies are A7 which only makes them 10x sweeter! I got them from Printed - if you decide to order, do a girl a favour and use my link ( which will save me money on future orders! :')

After seeing photos of people pinning up my old thank you slips on their walls, I wanted to make the reverse side a piece of lettering, or illustration, to fit that purpose. I think when these run out, I'll order a range of designs for people to collect! :) The "yay/pretty" have a stamp effect, linking with the packaging. I was going to hand stamp them but I didn't think I could cope with the ordeal it would be. These have been printed on 270gsm gesso paper, which links with the textured background of my website. Them details tho. 

I also ordered a smaller amount of thank you slips with a blank reverse side, so that I can write little notes to customers. This is SUCH an important thing to have considered if you're developing your own packaging. You don't want customers to be confused when they receive the parcel, before checking their inbox, and a note is a lot more personal than an email. It's also nice to write little messages to friends who order, without using scrap paper - which looks messy!


And there you have it. My new branding! I'm going to actually talk about the reasons behind it in detail in another post for the graphics-y folk who might be interested. This was more a visual overview :)

The branding will be rolling out from now on. Phone cases might take a bit longer, but I'm sending off the materials to my supplier tomorrow.

So what are your thoughts? Do you prefer it to my old stuff? Do you feel it links up with my new website? Do let me know your thoughts below, or on twitter. Isn't it ironic how I spent my summer doing graphics stuff, just after I decided to change my degree to Illustration! Lol, life.

Stickers and thank you cards:
Wooden stamp:
Stamps with plastic handles:

Friday 16 September 2016

The Importance Of Planning Meals

I won't tell you how much money I've wasted over the past two months, since moving house. What little respect for me you may have, would be gone and never to return. I recently downloaded Toshl Finance on my phone, in a vague attempt to understand where all my dolla was going, and although I never manage to keep it up for more than two days at a time, I've become aware that my trips to the Co-op are costing far too much, and are far too regular. Having a pretty good supermarket so close is a blessing and a curse. Why stuff a weekly shop into your puny student fridge when you can just pop out everyday to get something for dinner? WELL there is a reason. It is money management and health. There are two reasons.

Money Management

If you don't plan, using up what you already have in your cupboards, you're going to be spending unnecessary money. Instead, you can plan your meals and only buy in the extras you need, with a budget in mind, so you're halving the ingredients you could be picking up to make a meal. Why pick up curry sauce and rice if you already have pasta in? Just pick up some pasta sauce. That is the general idea. If you are in desperate need of a curry, this is fine. I am talking about believing there is no option other than curry. There is. Your pasta is waiting. On another note, curry sauce and pasta is a really good combination. Get the curry sauce, fuck rice.


If you take time to plan your meals, you're less likely to impulse buy that reduced pizza, or order in a takeaway. But also, you can make your meals a lot healthier by using up your veggies. Invest a couple of pounds in vegetables for the week and see how you can use them up by putting them in every meal. If you buy bell peppers to dip in hummus, why not fry them off and add them to pasta sauce, on top of pizzas, in curry or in your scrambled eggs. It's the same with spinach and broccoli, they can be added to most meals. 

You want pizza but you have wraps/bread, pasta sauce, cheese and vegetables in the fridge. Make a pizza with that! Recipe here

This morning, I was thinking of going to the shops later to find something for dinner. But after contemplation over a cuppa tea, staring out at the perpetual morning rain, I went through my fridge and cupboard. It only took half an hour to realise I could last another week for just £6!! Bloody heck.

Take a look at what I came up with and try to do the same with what's in your cupboards. This wasn't premeditated for the blog, it's just a normal day with a fairly random assortment of food I had left over. I think I'm in a good position because I have a really well stocked cupboard, so my food shops are mainly for perishable fridge food. Once the base ingredients are there, shopping is fairly cheap!

As so many of you are just moving to uni, would anyone be interested in a cupboard tour? I know, it sounds funny but I reckon it would be useful to some. I wish I'd seen one! 

Let me know if you see any more meal potential in what I have written down, that I haven't thought of! It would be cool to find more ideas! :) 

Happy eating, 


Wednesday 24 August 2016

Katsu Curry At Home

Who doesn't love a good katsu curry? Be it chicken or some kind of tasty deep fried vegetable alternative, it's a favourite for many, and something I often find myself daydreaming about. I recently had lunch with a Annie, a lovely Illustrator friend up in Leeds for an internship which I am soOoO jealous of, and we went to my favourite Japanese restaurant in Leeds, Little Tokyo. Although I was beyond satisfied with my veggie sushi set and pork gyozas (bloody amazing), her Katsu made my mouth water and I was determined to make my own ASAP. I'm a student, I can't justify eating out thaaat often..

This isn't a 30 minute recipe, I'm afraid. It was my first time making this so I know I dragged it out longer than necessary, plus I was taking photographs, but a few elements require prep work, so give yourself an hour and a half.. ish.

I don't really have a perfect recipe post layout sussed yet, so what I'm going to do is walk you through the photos with notes and pointers and such, then give you a more refined method and ingredients list at the bottom. Sounds good? Okay.

Whisk up your egg and blitz your bread in a blender. I grilled the crumbs off just to get rid of most of the moisture.

Beat your chicken breasts until they're flatter and wider, so will cook quicker and get more crispy coating! So gross juices don't go flying everywhere, put them in freezer bags, remembering to squeeze out all the air before sealing. I didn't have a rolling pin so I used the edge of this chopping Cover the breasts fully in flour, then egg.

Add a little seasoning to the crumb mix, then cover the eggy chicken in the breadcrumbs, pushing them in so they're completely covered in a nice thick layer. Cover these and pop them in the fridge so the coating sticks well to the chicken.

Cover the sushi rice with water and rinse thoroughly, about 4/5 times. I didn't have a sieve... but it would be much easier with a sieve. The packet should give you instructions on how much water to add and cooking instructions. I covered mine well in a saucepan, brought it to the boil for 10 minutes with the lid on, then took it off the heat and let it sit for a further half an hour with the lid still on. Only lift the lid once you're ready to serve, stirring in a very small amount of sushi seasoning just for some added flavour. This will keep it hot!

Instead of searching around for Japanese style ingredients, you can find good alternatives in most small supermarkets.

That lumpy, green monster is in fact frozen spinach. I think I'm incapable of just leaving curry sauces as they are. I have a NEED to add extra stuffs. I can't help that I'm so wild and free and such.

I didn't really know how to approach the chickpeas, but it worked perfectly in the end. Rinse them thoroughly, then cover them in water on a low heat to simmer away for about 30-40 minutes. I cooked a whole tin but only about half went in the curry.

The curry sauce! What is life without some onion, eh? Don't, I don't want to think about it. Dice it up fairly small and fry it off for 5 minutes before adding the chickpeas. Stir them around for 2 minutes, then add the curry paste (or sauce), spinach and hot water. With this particular curry paste, I used 4 cubes out of 6 because it apparently serves 5, HA. 

That can simmer away for as long as need be, just remember to keep stirring and don't let it reduce too much as you want it to be thick and lovely, but not burnt! 

Cut up the chicken all fancy like they do in Wagamamas. This will also let you make sure it's fully cooked through! 35 minutes on 180 should do it, but even so, we don't want any poisonings, do we.


For the breaded chicken:
2 large chicken breasts 
1 large egg
Plain flour
A few slices of bread, blitzed up (I used rye as that's all I had)
Seasoning (I used garlic powder, onion salt and pepper)

For the curry:
Curry paste/sauce (go for the mysterious "curry" curry. Not anything specific like chicken tikka, unless you absolutely insist on chicken tikka. It's yellow)
-EDIT: 1tbs Curry powder, a similar amount of flour, stock water and a dash of soy sauce makes a perfect curry sauce!!
1 medium onion
Half a can of chickpeas (not dried)
A few handfuls of spinach (fresh or frozen)
Olive/rapeseed/coconut oil (Please stay away from sunflower oil. Article)

Sushi rice or your normal favourite
Sushi rice vinegar, if you want
Greens!! I chose mixed leaves. Green beans, broccoli or peas would be nice!


Blend up your bread slices into crumbs and grill them for a few minutes to get rid of most of the moisture. Mix in your seasoning, to taste. Whisk up your egg, pouring it onto a plate with raised edges, same with the bread crumbs, and cover a chopping board in flour. 
Put your chicken breasts in freezer bags then flatten them with a rolling pin. Cover the chicken in flour, then egg, then press in the breadcrumbs so they're covered in a thick layer. Leave in the fridge for half an hour+ so the coating sticks.

Rinse your chickpeas then place in a saucepan, covering them with water, to simmer away for at least half an hour. In the mean time rinse the sushi rice and according to the cooking instructions on the box, place on the boil. Mine needed to be brought to the boil for 10 minutes, with the lid on, then left to sit, without taking the lid off, until serving. The rice can be slightly cooler as the curry will heat it up. Pre heat the oven to 180/200.

When the chickpeas are ready to come off, drizzle olive oil into a baking tray, place on the breaded chicken and drizzle a little more on top. Place into the pre heated oven. Dice the onion into fairly small pieces then drain the chickpeas and store them in a bowl. Fry the onions in oil for 5 or so minutes before adding the chickpeas for a further 2-3, then add your curry paste and hot water/curry sauce and spinach. Allow the sauce to thicken on a low heat, stirring periodically until the chicken is ready. The chicken should be turned about 10 minutes before taking out.

To serve, take the lid off the rice and stir in some sushi seasoning (completely optional), then wet/oil your hands and gather a ball of sticky rice onto each plate. This can get messy but it looks pretty, ha! Slice up the chicken, then pour over the curry so it covers half the chicken and half the rice, keeping both from becoming soggy. Add a few greens and voila!! 

I do hope you liked the recipe! I wouldn't trust myself to make the curry sauce from scratch, but with all the additions and home made breaded chicken (bloody nice by the way!) I think it still counts as a recipe, right? If you do make it, let me know how it goes! :)


Saturday 20 August 2016

A Weekend Doodle Diary

Last weekend I took Jack along to a little weekend getaway with my mum and two sisters. We rented out a really lovely house in the farmy hills of Cumbria. It was a massive and weird and lovely thing to introduce Jack to my family for the first time. Amazingly, they got on really well. If they hadn't, Jack wouldn't have been able to flee anyway. Many hills, no Uber.

As some of you will know, I've actually switched degree courses to Illustration (from Graphic Design), and our summer project is to keep a sketchbook. I started this summer very enthusiastic about it, however, such is life, I've been an absolute shit and have not kept up with it very well at all. Part of the problem is that I've never had a single sketchbook before. I tend to have many on the go and grab one whenever I feel a new product design bouncing around in my head. So, on Friday the 12th I sat in a coffee shop and decided to draw what I'd done that day, and it turned into quite a fun little weekend series. I hope you find it fun to read through. A pen vlog. For obvious reasons I'm very happy I documented it :')

Uni pin fine liner in 0.2
Promarker in Cool Grey 2

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