• Christine Gardner

Behind the Range: Tabitha's Garden

Updated: Jan 23

Most of my card ranges are personal - after all I draw everything myself, all the ideas come from me and I work on all the details and finishes. It wasn't always like this though, and in the beginning I designed to trends or what I thought other people wanted, instead of just creating what I wanted to see. This changed in 2019 when I started to draw what I wanted in a style that I wanted - I guess when I started drawing from the heart.


I don't tend to share much of my personal life through my business but this range is way too personal not to acknowledge its origins so here goes...


In 2019, my daughter Tabitha died at 1 day old. She was full term, healthy in pregnancy and it was totally unexpected. Our world was irrevocably shattered and we suffered much pain, heartache and loss. We knew we wanted to raise funds immediately for the team that tried to save her life and supported us through the toughest of times so we set up a website right away.


A few months later I began to draw as a form of therapy - it was something that would calm the noise that was in my head after what we had been through. The flowers looked like the ones on the blanket Tabitha was meant to come home in and I thought they were too pretty to be left in a sketchbook so I decided to create a new range in her honour.

Drawing for this range.

We wanted our fundraising to continue on after the few first weeks of generous family and friend donations so I decided that I would create a charity range of cards and gift wrap that would support our fundraising efforts in the long term.


Tabitha's Garden was launched in June 2019 with 12 birthday and occasion cards that were full of heartfelt sentiment and thought. I got them printed on a matt, textured stock and there were no shiny gold finishes - I didn't want them to be fussy and I wanted the line drawings to shine. There were 4 wrap designs featuring florals and hearts that could be mixed and matched. I added a postcard set as the illustrations worked well without words too and I also designed some writing sets as the dainty florals looked stunning as lined envelopes.


The range has been a huge success and we have raised more than I could have hoped for for the charities that supported us through our tough times. We pledge 50p per card and sheet of wrap sold through Etsy and directly, and £1 per pack of postcards and writing set sold.


I've always wanted to add to the range. I want to donate to a charity every year in Tabitha's name until I can, so I knew some new wrap and cards would contribute to that.


I decided to draw hellebores as most of the flowers in my collections are Spring or Summer florals. Tabitha was born in January, when hellebores start to flower, and I realised this would be a fitting tribute. I love burgundy and how well it pairs with my favourite blush and dusky pinks and liked that this would be in contrast to my usual pastel coloured cards so I was very excited.


The range has 15 cards and 2 gift wraps this time round. We have 6 birthday cards with a mix of bold floral patterns and colours paired with stripped back, garden themed ones (who says you don't garden in Winter!). We then have 3 'care' and 3 'love' themed cards with sentimental messages and conversation starter questions like 'How are You?' We also have 3 'celebrate' cards as we are hopeful after being locked down (for 3 times now in the UK at time of publishing) that there will be some events we can celebrate in 2021.



Our wraps feature our hellebore pattern in full burgundy colour and also in a more muted blush version. Both look stunning with simple twine or a thin shiny ribbon.


It's always such an honour to hand over some money to people that work so hard for others and so I just wanted to say thank you to everyone that has bought from this range - or may buy from this one. It's really come from the heart and bought me some light in some dark times and to have Tabitha's name on the back of every single one makes me very happy too.


If you would like to know more about our Tabitha's Garden - the fundraising website - you can visit www.tabithasgarden.co.uk.


Christine


Here's a little video and close ups of the cards - enjoy!






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© 2021 Christine Gardner.