Illustrated placemat made a great gift for Ted who plays tennis with Grandfather Turtle!

Placemat - Ted and Turtle playing tennis

T is for Ted and Turtle playing tennis (my old jointed, worn out Teddy bear which I persuaded my sister I must have, and his friend turtle, who is really a tortoise and lived in our garden, picked up off the road by my Grandfather on his way to us for Sunday lunch.) They are playing tennis because, staring at T, I suddenly saw a tennis net zoom out from it… A customer, roaring with laughter on seeing my T Story letter, bought it for her Grandson Ted because he often plays tennis with his Grandfather whom he calls Turtle - a great gift for Ted, what a happy coincidence! For April 2020' T' is also for Tom Moore, Captain and war veteran, who has raised £23 million for the NHS by walking 100 times around his garden before his 100th Birthday. T is for Thanks,Tom!

U is for thank yoU NHS!


I could not bring myself to post the next illustrated alphabet letter yesterday – it was one of those days under lockdown when I felt the futility of all I do, in contrast to the heroic efforts of the NHS.Then today I looked at my U for ‘Unicycling under the Union Jack’: a flying flag, two humans (at last!) unicycling, - effortlessly - and decided ‘chin up, buck up, the NHS are doing this for us all, the human race, so we can survive and unicycle together, dance together and be joyful together again one day with our friends.' So here it is at the end of thank yoU – and a heartfelt thank you to all who work for the NHS.

( U was the final letter which I illustrated, - all sorts of designs preceded it, the most ridiculous was
a unicorn playing the ukulele on Uist! Yet again, the joy of the Olympic games which brought the nation together, was the inspiration behind this design. It is the only letter depicting humans - I am glad I fitted us in somewhere.)

What’s the story?


Here we all are in lockdown due to coronavirus, doing our best for the NHS, the heroes of our day, by staying at home and not socialising. Last week we watched JULIE AND JULIA with Meryl Streep (Julia) and Amy Adams (Julie) - who decides to blog daily a recipe of the famous 1950s cook, Julia Childs, who bought French cuisine to the USA, in the hope of gaining enough admirers to become a writer and move on from the flat she lives in above a pizzeria.
Inspired by this I have decided to write up the stories which inspired my illustrated letters - my story letters as I call them, as every story ever created starts with a capital letter. Here are the ones posted so far on instagram. I shall henceforth try to blog them as well as instagram. Not because I want to be famous or recognised, but just because we are in lockdown, and I wish to express how incredibly grateful I am for this precious life and all the experiences and relationships I have been given...

For Z, I wrote last Friday, when Boris was still in hospital: 'Boris, has there ever been another PM whose first name is immediately recognised as his? As my illustrated alphabet set out to be entirely British in character, depicting an animal in action or with an object or a friend, I was thankful to Boris in 2012 for providing me with a theme for letter Z, as we all watched him glide down a zip-wire at the opening of the Olympic Games. Zebras are not native, but they are a part of every British child's visual vocabulary, always found in zoos or game parks. (The Loch Lomond Bear Park was my first sighting of this exotic, extraordinary, stripy horse!). We wish Boris well and trust he will beat the coronavirus and soon be leaping back onto the political zip-wire.'
For Y:It's Saturday and in a month's time all the yachting spots along the West Coast of Scotland will be bustling with races. Not permitted during WW2, they probably won't be allowed during these strange cover-19 days. So here's my Y is for yachting Yak, to remind us all of more carefree days.( Nothing british about a yak, but I did meet mine in a Tintin book, reading on deck.)'
For X:' HAPPY EASTER! What greater story has humanity ever talked of but that of love - here, a child's love for his dog.(yes, entirely autobiographical, our son, whose early years were spent in France - stripy top - and his beloved french Labrador.)So my letter X is called "blowing kisses xxx to my best friend". Here's hoping all have felt loved and cherished today in Lockdown. Happy Easter! '

That's enough for today - all the attached letters are of my placemats- till tomorrow!

What’s in an illustrated name?

blog 2 Annie and Emily

I have been instagramming my name prints of the top 6 favourite names currently in fashion in the UK, according to Country Life. EMILY here is no. 5 in the listing, and ANNIE does not appear. But I had such fun photographing them amongst our flowers. ( sadly Emily's cistus are now a dry yellow ball, having not been watered by the boys during my few days absence in Scotland - oh la, do they have eyes?! ) Are you a blue or coral pink girl? Our Lara is definitely a blue, she just never suited pink as a baby. Do you like my story letters, where each letter tells a story as in EMILY or prefer to choose your own illustrations from my story boards to tell your story? Annie was my mother's best friend and always had lots of dogs, usually waifs and strays from a dog's home, and flowers abounded in her life.(plus the odd rabbit, that familiar friend in every Scottish garden...)
I can still smell the scent of Lady Alice every time I think of Annie.

October sun!


After a failed attempt to convert me to the sport of racing bikes, Mr A has given me a pea green dutch bike on which to roam the English countryside, with a huge basket for a camera, a sketch pad, forages such as this old man's beard - inspiration to add to From Sal's ever growing story boards of illustrations. Do look at what is already on offer at, choosing special illustrations and scroll up ... I will draw my bike - though we do already have Claire's green bike, be it a bit racier than mine!
Any illustration can decorate any card - good for personalised correspondence cards - or print - a name print, a special occasion print in celebration a wedding, a 21st, an anniversary,  a birth to a  80th or 90th or 100th birthday - great for those who have everything they need and enjoy being reminded of happy memories which from Sal can create for you in illustrated alphabet letters and your own choice of special illustrations.

Victory for England!


England's victory yesterday inspired me to send this to a football mad friend - Printed on matt card, our postcards can be personalised with your own handwritten message  to meet any occasion. So no need to wonder who to send the last letter left in your postcard tin to!


Personalised wedding illustration

Personalised illustrations for a wedding.

Earlier this year a friend's daughter asked for illustrations for her wedding . She sent me a collection of photos of the bride and groom and  I depicted them zooming away in Charlie's old triumph, in a dress suitably vague but attractive, so as not to give a clue to what the real one would look like. This was used on the actual invitation and reappeared on the service sheet. I also created table place name cards illustrated with a selection of objects special to them. This could also be used to print stationary to use for 'thank you for my wedding present' cards. Just send photos and this can be done for you . Would also make a great special occasion print for the happy couple.


Prince Louis

Prince Louis Special Occasion Print

Here is our Special Occasion name print celebrating the birth of the new Prince Louis.

Old school tuck boxes have earned their keep


T is for tuckbox which has earned its keep long after the school years as the perfect storage for illustrated letter placemats. Here we are at Clem's fair in Wiltshire this weekend.

Clem’s Spring Fair

Clems Fair

Getting ready for our 1st fair this year at this wonderful place in Wiltshire.