I really felt the need to put something together, in some shape or form, which showed the complete Country Cottage collection in an interesting format, both for collectors and general everyday folk. I did have some cards produced which were nice, playing card sized pictures just like a pack of cards without the suits and numbers just a picture of each model. I played with trays, coasters and placemats to name a few then in a somewhat “Eureka” moment I realised that a tea towel would be the perfect format. Rather than use full colour photos however I decided to use the drawings that my father made to create the small catalogue that is the only visual format of the entire collection. The process was great fun. Firstly I had each cottage drawing scanned in high resolution, this was done by the owner of a local photographic shop who’s wife was born and bred near Bury St Edmunds, a huge coincidence as this was done when I was living in a small town in regional Western Australia ! I had to edit each picture to clean up the lines and adjust the contrast and depth and such like, for this I had to learn about Vector files which use lines and paths rather than pixels ( I think !). To the naked eye a pencil line looks dark and compete, but blow it up several hundred times and it is far from it, so I found myself going over lines with a paint tool to fill in gaps etc. and this gave me a great ‘buzz’ to realise that I was repeating exactly what my father had done to create his original drawings, but in another time. He used what was available to him and I was using tools available to me. I chose a printing company that is based in Sudbury in Suffolk, as I thought it was appropiate to keep it quite local, and I was also able to pick them up when I was in the U.K. later that year. The designer was great and after several consultations the final layout was decided upon. I was not going to add the individual descriptions at first but decided later that it would be better to do so. It was quite a stressful time checking and double checking all the font and spelling and grammer, even this raised some issues and found some errors.
I decided to have the finished product delivered to my sisters house in Suffolk, and I was able to look at my phone here in Australia and see where the delivery truck was on the map and the moment the driver delivered the consignment to her door. That was pretty amazing.
I do thank thoes who bought a tea towel or two when I had them on eBay, any money made was quickly absorbed into the cost of making them, thats fine though as I did not do it for any gain, I just needed to.