Today’s Spotlight On guest is the fabulous Annah Legg of Girl & Bird. We originally met at the Mollie Makes Handmade Awards where Annah was short listed for the Creative Idea Award for her stunning collection using vintage maps. I adore her creations which include all sorts of bags and cushion covers, as well as (just in time for Christmas!) cute as a button origami star garlands! Did someone say stocking filler? But enough from me, let’s hear from the lady herself.
Hello! I’m Annah from girl&bird. I hand make a range of products with vintage map prints. The products range from tote bags to wash bags, small clutches to cushion covers. All of them can be personalised to feature a place that you love, miss or just really want to visit!
How did it all begin?
I’ve always enjoyed making to sell, and I started girl&bird when I was at uni, making bits of jewellery. Through third year I stopped, but in April 2014 experimented with printing vintage maps onto fabric, and it worked!
I’d already built up quite a collection of maps from the 1940s and 50s, as they’re such beautiful objects. When I was at uni, I had a map on my wall that showed Sussex, where I grew up, and when I moved away after uni, it was joined by a map of Cornwall, where I’d studied. I’d always wanted to make them back into something more usable, more than just a pretty, obsolete object. To begin with, I tried using the maps themselves before moving onto fabric.
But, it all really started with the Handmade Awards with Mollie Makes (where I met the amazing Hannah from Crafternoon Cabaret [That’s you!]). Being shortlisted gave me a huge boost, and has lead to some more exciting opportunities, including selling at The Handmade Fair.
Do you have a favourite make?
That’s tricky! I still use and love the first map wash bag I ever made – it’s a little dog-eared now, but it’s a nice reminder of what has changed in the last 10 months!
It’s such a thrill making anything that reminds people of special places – especially if they’re bought as a wedding gift, or leaving present. At the moment, I’m especially pleased with the tote bags that will be coming to the website soon
Time management is always challenging, especially alongside a busy full-time job, but I feel so lucky that working on girl&bird is relaxing in its self
Who or what are your top 5 inspirations?
Magazines: Mollie Makes is fantastic for quirky buys and accessible crafts. I love Living Etc and Elle Deco – I’d love to be featured in one some day!
Blogs: Will Taylor from Bright Bazaar seriously inspires me with his bright and cheery interiors. I’ve always loved peoples homes so seeing his adventures is great! I also love The Clothes Horse for fashion, and Honestly WTF for DIY!
People: My boyfriend and family! Cheese! I’m really lucky to have a group of fantastically creative friends – getting together with them always spurs me on and refreshes my creative ideas.
Places: I went to Lisbon this summer and that was incredible – I’d love to create a print collection based around all of the fantastic tiles. Bristol, where I recently moved, is really inspirational too.
And finally, how can we find your online so we can all gaze at your fab work!
My website is www.girlandbird.com – find me on Instagram too!
Thanks for chatting Annah!