Summer’s over guys, it’s official. To be totally honest, we don’t actually mind that much because with the onset of autumn, there’s nothing quite as refreshing as a walk through red and orange leaves and tall trees, the smell of bark and woodsmoke or the comforting sound of light rain pattering off the top of a brolly. September’s wish list theme is a walk in the woods. In fact it’s simply all things woodland, from survival adventures to the scents and sounds of the world’s forests. We’re also taking a minute to celebrate the UK’s culture of woodland craft and the autumn equinox, welcoming in shorter, cosier nights. Here are a few of the finest bits and pieces from designer-makers across Britain that share our love of a decent stomp in the woods.
1. Illustrious independent children’s mag Anorak Magazine celebrates its 9th birthday this year. Having enjoyed a fantastic few years at the top of every awesome kid’s reading list, the publication continues to go from strength to strength. We’re rooting for it too. The Woodlands Issue is the magazine’s latest release and is filled with inspiring stories, illustrations and creative puzzles. Happy birthday, Anorak. Here’s to many more!
2. This pale wooden Compass Brooch from illustrator and designer/maker Kim Lawler’s shop Finest Imaginary is a lovely little homage to the wilderness and all intrepid explorers who tread the forest floor. Kim crafts her handmade creations in Yorkshire. A blogger and master jewellery-maker, her blog makes for a brilliant read for crafters, dreamers and fans of unapologetic swearing; we ourselves identify as all three of the above.
3. Frank is a brilliant little store in Whitstable, another of our favourite English coastal locations. Handpicking each of their products and supporting British creatives in the process, the team clearly shares our love of woodland adventures and playful skirmishes. This rugged slingshot is a handy piece to have at your side, just be careful not to have anyone’s eye out with it!
4. Katie Craven‘s woodland bear tea towel is crafted from fresh cotton starkly printed with one of her detailed natural illustrations. We love a proud bear though sadly, we’re not lucky enough to see any near London. This unique treat for the home is a pretty good consolation and comes packaged beautifully with Katie’s signature brown paper labels. Perhaps one day we’ll travel far enough to spot a grizzler in its wooded home but we’ll happily stick with this guy for now.
5. If it’s natural, wonderful-smelling vegan skincare you’re after, you’ve come to the right place. Forest Walkers’ cinnamon and vanilla beard balm keeps any strays that come as part and parcel of your mountain-man beard at bay. It also ensures that you smell faintly of organic plants, flowers and spices which is always a bonus. The Midnight Shop, an eco-friendly beauty emporium based in Taunton specialises in all things earthy and delicious, and stocks pretty much every Forest Walkers essential so you’ll be safe and sorted for a windy camping trip.
6. As well as offering a host of delightful handmade items, some of which can be seen in our previous wish lists, Miscellaneous Adventures offer something a little more special for real fans of the forest. Earn your badge for expert whittling and expand your outdoorsy creative skills at one of their woodcarving workshops. Tucked away in the Sussex woodland and conveniently only an hour from London, these sessions make for a brilliant day with friends or a thoughtful gift. Feeling courageous? Make it a weekend-long trip and camp out under the stars after you’ve mastered your carving technique.
7. Emily Hayes, otherwise known as EH is another Yorkshire-based creative with a flair for crafting naturally-inspired homewares, stationery and accessories. This Secret Garden cushion is our little ode to the evergreens; those fantastic trees that never loose their colour and keep their fresh-smelling leaves all year round. Conifers, pine needles and holly contrast the rusty annual shades of autumn and were big favourites in the walled Victorian gardens this soft piece is inspired by. Filled with feathers and created using silk screens, it’s nice to keep a bit of green around the house.
8. Bygone Press‘ botanical ferns poster reminds us of fine foliage and the sweet smell of the undergrowth when traipsing through the woods. Printed on canvas and mounted between lightweight wooden beams, we love the simplistic aesthetic and detailed vintage drawings that cover it. Should the weather turn a little too brutal to endure and a wander through the trees is off the cards, cosy up in the comfort of your home and look to this beauty until the storm clears and the sun reappears.
Words: Emily Beeson | @younggoldteeth