Prior to taking over White Orchard I did a lot of crafting. In 2016 we converted our small third bedroom into a craft room for me. George did such a great job installing cabinets and worktops for me to use and I spent many days working away creating gifts for family members and friends, as well as décor pieces for our home. That meant when we took over ownership of White Orchard in 2019 the only place I had to work was our dining room table. This continued through the first of the Covid lockdowns until George came up with an idea to create a small space in my craft room for a desk and additional storage for files, etc. While cleaning up the room and getting ready for install day I came across a catalogue I had forgotten all about. It was from a local Shrewsbury artist and designer, Wendy Bell Designs.

I was so excited to have stumbled onto Wendy’s catalogue. I looked through it all and remembered why I had kept it. Her designs are completely different from anything other greeting card designers are currently doing. The collection I fell in love with right away is called Vibrant Notes. Not only are the designs full of vibrant, bold colours, but the sentiments on them are different as well. One of them says “I am stronger with you in my life” and another simply reads “I love cuddles with you.” These are things we all feel about the people we are closest to, and I love that this collection of cards cuts straight to heart of what we all want to say. For the students preparing to take their exams or are getting ready to graduate, she has two designs in bright, bold greens that I think would be perfect. One of the cards reads “So proud of you” and the other “Massive congratulations to you.” These two cards would also be great for passing a driving exam, receiving a promotion at work, or for simply reaching a goal they worked hard for.

Another one of her collections of greeting cards, Enchanted Garden, celebrates the natural beauty all around us. In addition to being a talented designer and artist, Wendy is also a keen photographer. She loves to take her camera with her for long walks in the countryside either on her own while her daughter is in school and her husband is working, or as a family on the weekends. This collection is full of gorgeous flowers as they live in nature. My favourite card in this collection is Purple Magnolia. I absolutely love magnolia trees. I think their blossoms are stunning and this photo shows off the gradation of colour in the blossom as the sun seems to be shining through it. These blank greeting cards are perfect for any occasion. They do not denote any occasions and are great to have on hand for when you realise you’ve forgotten someone’s birthday, or you suddenly need to send a sympathy or ‘get well soon’ card. With Wendy’s spectacular photography, these cards can easily be used for any occasion you can think of.

The third collection of greeting cards we carry from Wendy Bell Designs is her Winchester Blue collection. I really love this collection for men. To make this collection Wendy used alcohol ink and an airbrush to create a soothing, yet masculine design. Its simplicity is what I think men will appreciate most about this collection of greeting cards. The sentiments on these cards are also simple, leaving out the fluff that comes with so many cards. This collection features a lovely card for dad on Father’s Day, especially if he is the kind of dad who doesn’t like a lot of fuss. It simply reads “Dad in a Million.” It’s only four little words but those little words add up to a big meaning. There is also a lovely, sombre sympathy card in this collection, as well as a great birthday card for the men who like their beer. It reads “Happy Beerday!” To view this collection and all the other greeting cards we have from Wendy Bell Designs, please click here.

Because Wendy Bell and her business, Wendy Bell Designs, are based here in Shrewsbury I have had the pleasure of getting to know Wendy. I love to meet up for drinks with her after closing the shop. We have such a good time chatting away and putting the world to rights. One of the things I love so much about her and her business, is how unique she is. She doesn’t try to be like other designers, or anyone else for that matter. She is smart, funny, extremely talented, and bold. I love it! With her business she has focused on her strengths and what she does best. These are the things she truly enjoys doing. It’s clearly working for her, as she continues to create new collections all the time.

In fact, last year she created her gorgeous Nebula collection. Currently, we only carry the collection of A6 notebooks she designed as part of the collection. These little notebooks are lined and are the perfect size to keep in your handbag for when you need to write something down. They also make lovely, affordable gifts that are lightweight and easy to ship. Like her greeting cards, these notebooks are all printed right here in the UK using FSC certified papers. To find these gorgeous little notebooks click here. They are mixed in with ‘Some of my Favourite Things’ in the Gift section of the website. 

I hope you will take a few minutes to check out our selection of Wendy’s greeting cards and A6 notebooks. You may just find the perfect gifts and cards to keep on hand for those emergency situations that always seem to find us.