↣off on my jolly holidays!

Well, I’m so excited to be boarding a plane in about 3 hours! I’m off to Torrevieja, Spain, to stay with my Spanish Granny (Abuela), she is my biggest supporter and I owe to her all the sewing and life tricks that I live by today! We go and visit her twice a year, and she (and I) absolutely love it! What I’m mainly looking forward to are the markets that we visit, all those typical Spanish street markets full of fresh fruit, strong smells, hippie stalls and weird and wonderful creations… excited isn’t the word! Although, no rest for the wicked, this week I’ve got to make 3 rucksacks, 2  lots of bunting, do my textiles coursework and a few bits and bobs!

I can’t wait to get on the beach and down to the market to take lots of pictures and share them on the Instagram feed! (thehouseofbean_official). I’m taking numerous books (all nicely compacted into my 1st gen Kindle) and my trusty sketchbook, ooh I do look forward to the sunny rays beating down once again, it’s got so cold in England now!

The literary journey will include ‘The Beach Cafe’ by Lucy Diamond, ‘Surf Mama’ by Wilma Johnson and a re-read of ‘Paper Towns’ by John Green. Anyway, i’d better get those last minute things packed!


Back in a week! :)

‘Not all those who wander are lost’

Clarissa x


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↣ New items hot off the (printing) press!

One product that I find sells really really well in my shop are my chalkboard effect typography art prints, they are sold in white A4 mounts and I really love them.. as do all the customers! Well I’ve been racking my brains for a long time wandering how I could extend this design and develop the typography work into other products. The first idea was my hand embroidered hoops, as featured before, and now I’m very excited to announce the arrival of House of Bean iPhone cases! After much faffing around with colours and enhancing my drawings on CAD, I ended up with 6 finely tuned designs. I scoured the net looking for UK based printing companies and eventually found one over in Wales, and… they arrived this morning! Excited was not the word… oh my! Unfortunately there were two misprints (they got done in black and white for some unknown reason!), so the 4 that are left have just been listed! I LOVE them so much! I’ve got 2 chalkboard effect ones and two which have the background of some of my photos from Canada, well.. I hope you like them :)




















I’m now selling them in my etsy shop! It would be great to get some interaction about these, comment your thoughts/any ideas for future quotes!

Thanks for dropping by!



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↣ More beatiful hand embroidery

Another artist that I admire an awful lot can be found at http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/HERsparetime , she’s a really skilled embroiderer over in Port Orchard, US, I first found her through my houseofbean instagram page and I fell in love with her art…. take a look yourself!


Those tiny stitches are just amazing… I mean I love embroidery but I don’t think even I have the patience to do such beautiful detail!hersparetime3

I have fallen so hard for this geometric design… triangles are probably my favourite and the colours here on the bear are just stunning, makes me think of the Canadian Rockies and all those beautiful places… ahh! Much love for this!

hersparetime1This should certainly be in my staple winter camping pack.. the colour matching again is perfect and it look so neat and professional!

There is so much beautiful work out there! Keep finding more! :)



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↣ Embroidery hoop obsession

So…. enough about my travel passion… let’s see more making! One of my absolute most favourite things ( I have many ) is sewing and embroidery. I literally cannot bear to sit at the TV or on a plane journey or sat bored in bed without having a little sewing project on the go. The sewing ranges from clothes, bags, cushions, toys, wall hangings, and best of all, hand embroidery. Excuse me if my 16 year old self turns 80 for a minute here… but there’s just something about picking out the coloured threads and seeing if they go and finding that perfect cotton for the background which just makes me feel so warm inside.

Embroidery Hoop art has been taking the craft world by storm, my favourite ones at the moment include http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/FrancesBluebird , she is a really lovely woman based in Baltimore making these stunning hoops! francesbluebird1Ofrancesbluebird2My other favourite at the moment can be found at http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/wildflowerthreads ,


Her stitches and designs are simply stunning! Hand embroidery is just the most stunning thing… I love it! And these wonderful ladies at WildFlowerThreads and FrancesBluebird not only create gorgeous work but they’ve also been kind enough to let me feature them! So thankyou!

Now of course… there’s my own embroidery hoop art! I’m focusing more on the camp and adventure vibes for mine.. I hope you like them! They’re available from my own etsy shop, either click the link above or visit me at http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TheHouseOfBeanUK

IMG_8047IMG_8077Now I’ve got to stop blabbering and get back to that comfy spot on the sofa and pick up my next embroidery project… always working!

Much love, Clarissa x


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↣ Reading (and laughing) is the best medicine

readingSpent the evening conforming to all those so called ‘tumblr girls’ who feel the need to instagram snap all their daily musings… I have to say I’ve gotten that way too, just a lot more reading done tonight, also designing t-shirts ready for the launch on my shop (click link above). Dreary damp weather, a bad cold and leaving things on public transport have made today not the best one, but finishing it by reading this book certainly lightened  the mood. Schooler’s latest musings in his book ‘Walking home’ include the lines

“What I really meant was that I thought I was younger
What I really meant was that I thought I had more time”

Whilst I’m aware that I’m still at the tender age of 16, I think this line is quite a scary one, it is startlingly prevalent to all of us, no matter our age, because at the end of the day, each day we have must count to something, because we don’t have all the time we think we do. So maybe travelling is running away. Running away from the thought that haunts us wherever we go, the thought that reminds us that life is short and we have to do all these things when we are young, because perhaps we don’t have enough time to always leave things to ‘later’.

“We have to do wild things when we are young so we have something to laugh about when we are old”




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↣ A good book on a rainy evening

Oh to travel… it is simply the greatest thing, the next best thing to seeing is reading about it, the most recent addition to my book collection is ‘Walking Home’ by Lynn Schooler, it tracks one mans journey through the wilderness of Alaska and relates a lot to my essay question, he is definitely considered to be ‘running away’ from something on his journey. He is running away from the scare of being old and having not achieved enough, he is running away from the death of his best friend, the lack of presence from his new and beautiful wife, running away from being trapped. I’m currently about half way through, having started about a week and a half ago and I’m riveted. One reason why I think I’m so hooked is because I’ve been to a lot of the places he talks about.walking home lynn schooler

This June just gone, my parents took me on holiday for 3 weeks to Canada and Alaska, it was a beautiful journey and the things we saw were truly breathtaking. We went everywhere, Calgary, Banff, Jasper, British Columbia, Vancouver, Toronto, and then into Alaska on a cruise seeing Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway. ‘Walking Home’ is set in Juneau, Alaska, or rather, he is running away from Juneau, Alaska. To read Schooler’s well scripted history and stories about the area is really brought to life when I can imagine the exact scene in my head. When he speaks of Juneau’s mountains I can say I’ve seen the same stunning views.

872824My only criticism of the book is that (maybe it’s because I’m more interested in the philosophical questions) is that it is mainly history. It’s a good job I’m interested in the native tribe the Tlingit’s and how they fought to defend Alaska from the invaders otherwise I mind find myself a little bored. However the stories told are highly interesting, focusing on my essay question of course I am most interested in the reasons why he feels the need to take his journey through the wilderness.

A few of my favourite quotes from the book thus far being, when talking about his thoughts previous to embarking on his journey : ‘The amount of time all of this would take seemed overwhelming. Perhaps it was more than I had to spare. So I decided to take a walk instead.’ I like this because I admire his spontaneity, I admire the way that he accepts he has to do something bigger and better than what he is doing already, and that something is by taking his pilgrimage across the Alaskan wilderness. He talks of ‘finding some relief from the exhaustion and stress which came with laboring seven days a week for months on end…’ and ‘a respite from the heartache and confusion plaguing my marriage’. It can definitely be said that his man is viewing travel as a way of running away, it’s an escape method for him, to if temporarily be spared the fatigue of every day monotony.

This has been a great book to spend my evenings reading, now Autumn is now well and truly upon us, and nearing winter is becoming evident, curling up with this and a mug of peppermint tea has been blissful. I’m finding myself imagining the scenes as he kayaks through Lituya Bay surrounded by snow capped mountains and it makes me happy. Maybe because I know that one day, I’ll do that too.

And now back to reading….



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↣ ‘Is travelling running away from something or running towards it?’ The Beginning.

So this marks the very beginning of my Extended Project Qualification diary, but not only that, also my quest to further understand the human urges about travel. It will track my research into my chosen question ‘Is travelling running away from something or running towards it?’. I chose it for a variety of reasons, but the main one being because one day I hope to travel the world, hopping from place to place, finding work, meeting people, immersing myself, but never forgetting of course, who I am and where I come from.

Personally I consider my own need to travel as being a mixture of running towards and away. On a personal level, I am not attracted at all to the idea of the ‘normal’ lifestyle, the idea of settling down and being in one place. It’s a normality created by society that confines a lot of people and traps them into boredom. I appreciate that for most people, settling down and living a ‘normal’ life is completely satisfying and they are happy in it. It’s just that personally, I don’t think I could stand it. I think the world is full of very beautiful things that can’t be wasted by not seeing them.

Yet aside from running away from conforming to every day virtues, I also see travel as running towards something, be it better or worse. Just to see different things, experience new life, feel new atmospheres and be immersed in alternative living is a wonder to me. This is why I have chosen this question, because I myself cannot answer it. I argue both sides. My aim is, by hopefully the help of interaction on this blog, come to a more definite conclusion as to what travel is – running away or running towards.john krakauer

This is a quote from a travel author I find very interesting, Jon Krakauer. The quote is very apt I think for my line of thought at this given time.

“Make each day a new horizon” Thanks Jon, I think I will.




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↣ … A little bit about The House of Bean

Hello! My  name is Clarissa Ward and The House of Bean is my creation, I am a 16 year old from Leicester who started this blog after many years of designing and developing my own handmade textile product brand. The name of my brand has changed many times, the last being ‘The Crafty Critter’, this stuck for around 2 years before realising I needed something more professional sounding. ‘The House of Bean’ comes from a name my brother used to call me as a baby ‘human bean’ as opposed to ‘human being’, and the nickname ‘Bean’ and many derivatives of it have stuck ever since. I started my creative journey from a young age, being taught by my Spanish Mother and Granny how to sew, stitch and knit. I quickly became engaged with sewing and a spot of jewellery making and began to sell my products to school friends. This became an online shop which has then been renewed and changed over the years. I try my hand at most things, I do home furnishings, clothes, wall hangings, embroidery, bags, polymer clay jewellery ,and typography prints. And so the creativity  bug had bitten and I soon found that there was a genuine interest in the market for my products, I sell on a large base of places, Etsy, Folksy, eBay and a couple of local shops in my area. (you can find my Etsy shop by clicking on the ‘shop’ link in the banner)

My next love is travel. Nothing specific or particularly planned, just in general – travel, wanderlusting, exploration, adventure. My ultimate dream is to travel the world in a renovated camper van, maybe settling for long enough to get my selling under way before moving on to see another part of the world. I love the idea of spontaneous travel, of having the freedom and ability to get up and go one morning, because the world is your oyster. One of my favorite quotes relating to this is ‘the world is a book and those who do not travel stay only on one page’, and this I think is a very prevalent statement. I love quotes and saying like this (I’ll refer back all the time – you’ll get used to that!) and I use them as inspiration in my typography artwork and hand embroidery pieces.

Being now in my first year of A-Levels, I am fine-tuning my subject choices and school work to coincide with my own passions and interests. One opportunity I got to do this was by doing another AS Level called EPQ, standing for Extended Project Qualification, it comprises of a 5000 min. word essay written over the year on a subject question of your choice, and you must provide a diary of your efforts to complete this along the year. Part of this blog will serve as my diary. The question I am tackling is quite close to home, ‘Is traveling running away from something or running towards it?’. This question aims mainly at the nomads, adventurers, free spirits and travellers of this world, but also the opposing argument of why maybe travel isn’t the best thing, and I hope to get lots of feedback from you guys on this blog! My diary for this EPQ will be tracked on the ‘Travel’ section of the blog and will feature what books I’m reading that are related (currently it’s Walking Home by Lynn Schooler), snippets of other peoples blogs who I find thought provoking, inspirational articles, anecdotes from friends and family and anything else I find travel-related which will get me to think.

A few other things about me before you get too bored, is that I’m very heavily involved in the scouting movement, one adventure is that I’m going on The World Scout Jamboree next year to Japan, which I have to raise a  lot of money for! With scouting, I also am training to be a young leader and hope to one day achieve my Young Leader and Queens Scout Awards.

I also REALLY love baking and cooking, I’ll keep sharing the recipes that have worked for me (sometimes they don’t because I’m a devil at adapting the recipe to the way I think it should be done) and keep taking those instagram-esque filter photos of them! OH… mentioning that, I also do love photography and am absolutely in love with my new instagram account (thehouseofbean_official) I’m just starting out with about 250 followers at the minute but I absolutely LOVE posting on it and really appreciate the lovely comments and interactions I get from people all over the world! Feel free to drop me a follow!

Right well I think that’s enough about me for now! I’ll start posting proper pictures and blog posts from now on, I just thought I might introduce myself first ☮

Thanks for dropping by and reading my first blog post!

Keep doing what you love, Clarissa x


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