I am really excited to announce the launch of my first collection of cards which have been inspired by my farm visits as part of 'Over The Farm Gate'. I started this blog in January with the aim to combine both my passions, design and farming. I wanted to visit other peoples farms, hear their stories and meet their livestock. I have had a fantastic time visiting other peoples farm yards and learning so much about all the different breeds. Having looked through all my drawings and designs Lara and I have picked 12 prints which make up the first 'Over The Farm Gate' card collection. Each card has been personalised on the back with the farmers name, the animals breed and a little quote from the farmer.
Each card has been personalised to every farmer.
My first blog all the way back in February was about chicken breeder, my sister Cecily with her Buff Orpingtons and Light Sussex. Cecily has had chickens throughout our childhood and I as my first blog I was so happy that she agreed to be my first farmer/breeder!
My next visit was with pig breeder, Hayley who has British Lop and British Saddleback pigs which are both on the RBST rare breeds list. These pigs have to be some of the best looked after pigs I have ever come across! Hayley attended South Suffolk show yesterday and won Champion with Jilly, her British Lop and Reserve Champion with Minty her British Saddleback. Hayley and I are attending lots of similar agricultural shows this summer and I am looking forward to seeing her winning streak continue!
At the end of February I visited cattle farmer, Annabelle who has Charolais cattle. Annabelle has grown up on a cattle farm but at only 16 years old the Charolais are her own venture. Annabelle is so passionate and knowledgeable about the breed, I am looking forward to following her progress through the show season.
At the beginning of march I visited young sheep farmers, Archie and Oscar with their flock of Suffolk sheep. I was amazed at the knowledge the brothers both had about their sheep. The boys will be busy this summer at local shows, I will be keeping my eyes peeled to see how they get on!
At the end of March I was lucky enough to meet Esme with her Original Population Dairy Shorthorn which are on the RBST critical list. This means that there are only 150 or less of these left, Esme and her father Granger are doing a fantastic job at preserving this historic breed.
At the beginning of April I visited Zara, it was one of her busiest times of the year because as well as having to lamb her own Ewes she was contract lambing through the nights for other farmers. I spent a morning with Zara and her sheep learning about both her breeds, the Southdown and the Texel Mule and the attributes which attract Zara to these breeds.
I am already looking forward to continuing to visiting more farmers with their livestock and creating more prints for future design ideas!
These 12 cards will be available to purchase on the website individually and in a pack of 12, take a look at the 'CARDS' section in the 'SHOP'.
One of the reasons I wanted to start this blog was to get the chance to talk to as many people as I could within farming, find out about their animals, passions and interests. Most of my designs are inspired by farm life, the animals and surroundings here on my family farm, but I saw the blog as a chance to collect inspiration from other peoples farms and hobbies.
After speaking to Cecily, I came back to the studio with some great images of her chickens. After telling me that the Buff Orpington's were her favourite breed, I knew that I wanted to do a print inspired by them. I also really love the light sussex and thought that they would work really effectively as a simple print with their monochrome colour palette.
These are some very quick sketches that I did from the photographs that I took of the cockerels. From these sketches I then create my handmade stamps.
Here are a couple of the final prints that I created in response to all the imagery I collected from Cecily's chickens, It is really important to me that all my design's have a 'story' behind them. I am very excited that through this blog and my designs I will be able to tell other people's stories.
Introducing...my little sister Cecily, 20 years old and the brains behind 'Chicken Corner' based here on our family farm. Cecily has had chickens for most of our childhood and they have rather taken over the farmyard over the years. I took 5 minutes to have a quick chat with Cecily to find out why she is quite so passionate about Chickens!
How long have you had Chickens?
I have kept and bred chickens since I was 7, so this year marks 14 years. My first breed I had were bantam buff Orpingtons, since then I’ve had a number of different breeds from Cochins to Japanese frizzles.
How did you first get into them?
You (Izzi) started with silkies and so I was inspired to get some of my own!
What is your favourite thing about chickens?
I like to watch them potter around the garden because it’s funny watching them interact with one and another and the world around them. From a cockerel’s fascination with a twig to a hen chasing the black birds at feeding time, they really do have amazing personalities.
What breed is your favourite?
My favourite breed is the large buff Orpington. I recently expanded my stock when I purchased a quartet (1 cockerel and 3 hens.) They have very beautiful orangey-gold feathering. They grow quite large but generally maintain a stocky-looking figure. I like their inquisitive yet laid-back nature. A close second, is the Light Sussex that are a similar build to the Orpingtons but slightly leaner. Again, they are very pretty with white feathering and black-laced neck and tail feathers. They are a very sturdy breed, keeping themselves to themselves, but once they know you they are very friendly.
Cecily with her Buff Orpington cockerel and Light Sussex cockerel.
How many different breeds do you have?
At Chicken Corner, there are five different breeds, we have Pekins, Gold Silkies, Buff Orpingtons, Light Sussex and Lavender Araucanas.
What would be your top tip for someone thinking of getting chickens?
Check your breed- generally they are all quite passive and happy-go-lucky creatures; but there are the odd breeds that are notorious for being flighty and not recommended for beginners such as Sumara, Asil and Lakenvelders.
Ensure you give your chickens as much as space to roam as possible because they really do appreciate having the opportunity to explore and peck about. If you do have limited space, maybe consider a bantam breed such as pekins because the world seems bigger to them anyway. Also…there is no need to dose them with healthy supplements, because they will find what’s good for them by pecking around in their environment. A happy hen is a healthy hen.
Cecily holding a Light Sussex cockerel and hen.
Key facts from Cecily that might interest you.
Key chicken terminology, you’ll need to know
Cecily holding her Light Sussex cockerel 'Zuccubar'.
If you would like to find out more about Cecily and 'Chicken Corner' then take a look at her blog >>> https://chickencorner.wixsite.com/chickencorner
Keep your eyes peeled to see how Cecily's chickens have inspired my designs...
I am Izzi, farmer’s daughter and textile designer at IzziRainey. If I am not designing or sewing you will find me out in the farmyard with my cattle. I am constantly seeking inspiration for my prints, not that I have to look very far. Growing up on the farm, I have always been influenced by my surroundings and this combined with my passion for farming is what inspires my designs. I love spending time on the farm but I also enjoy learning about other people’s animals, passions and stories, which are also influential to my design process. I hope you enjoy reading ‘Over the Farm Gate’