My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.
- Its that time of year when spare time turns my thoughts to Xmas mini-crafts. I am the laziest crafter and shortcut taker in the world so am always tickled by simple and easy but eye catching touches. These gold animal memo holders (I would use them as table place settings) are fabulous. Tutorial from a beautiful blog I’ve recently discovered called Sugar and Cloth here.
- There was a brilliant episode of The Culture Show earlier this month which I’ve just got round to watching called Wars of The Heart about literary affairs and experiences in wartime London based on the works of Graham Greene, Elizabeth Bowen, Dylan Thomas and Henry Green. Suspended moments of infidelity amongst the bombings, and the license given to such liasons by the extraordinary circumstances of wartime living was fascinating. I particularly liked a morbid phrase of the time ‘ Who are you going out with tonight darling, is it someone you’d like to die with?’. As reading group is out of the way for another month, I am finally going to read Elizabeth Bowen’s novel Heat of The Day based on her wartime affair with Charles Richie, I have always loved Bowen novels so hope this one doesn’t disappoint.
- I love, love, love these calligraphy canopy plates, new in at Anthropologie this week, £8 each. If I had to choose I’d pick the gorgeous octopus, unicorn and oyster with pearl ones.
- Winter on the Southbank looks pretty exciting, Christmas markets, afternoon teas and of course a host of cultural events and activities, take a look at the guide here:
- Since remembering a lovely vintage Xmas wrap I purchased at the V&A a few years ago, I have been looking at cute retro Xmas scenes online. Here are some of my favourite current muses:
- Finding these wonderfully kitsch and cute figurines at my very favourite local store – The Paint House on Northcote Rd. Who knew that finding suitable pieces for my snowdome was going to be so easy!?!
- If there’s one thing Carluccio’s are always on the money with its their amazingly enticing and covetable packaging. And this Christmas they have really excelled themselves. I want it all, from the gold chocolate stars to the nostalgic advent calender and most definitely this glorious Pandoro in exquisite box. This is a major hint to Dan, I hope he’s listening….
- The staircase at the newly re-opened Tate Britain, so stark and opulent, just stunning, I can’t wait to visit it and muse on it in real life.
- Yvonne Ellen‘s wonderful vintage tableware with modern customisations available at her Etsy Shop, found via Domestic Sluttery. I had to buy these Giraffe plates because they were just too cute to resist, but I am also charmed by her gin tea cup and Perky Puffer plate:
- We watched a lot of movies this week, the very best of which was Mia Hansen-Love’s latest film ‘Goodbye First Love’. There is something really intimate but unobtrusive about her film making, she treats characters with the lightest of touches. Her previous project The Father of My Children was easily the best foreign film of 2009 and this is a pretty exceptional follow up.
Sometimes, something which you’ve been thinking of suddenly pops up everywhere you look! Either you have unconsciously tapped into a zeitgeist subliminally absorbing a trend, or you are noticing objects because of a connection already articulated in recent memory. Now I’m sure there is a very cynical marketing answer to this, but at the beginning of Autumn I found myself rueing a wonderful collection of snow globes I threw away several years ago.
Low and behold, some weeks later, there are a zillion Christmas hanging decorations on the market which take their cue from traditional snow globes. Much like the stags, bells, Nordic prints & owls of yesteryear, it is nearly impossible to look at any high street stores decorations in 2013 without finding a knowingly kitsch cloche style hanging decoration or snow globe. I pretty much adore all of them, on the same principle as I love terrariums – as miniature treasuries of display, curiosity or sparkle.
Some are absolutely enchanting. I bought the deer globe at the top of this post for £12 from Anthropologie (also retailing at more than double the price in Selfridges!). Here is an assortment of my favourite globes currently bombarding the market, from the kitsch to the pretty, the simple to the ornate:
Party Dog Mini Glass Cloche £15 from Angel at My Table. Nativity Scene Dome, £25 from Marks & Spencer.
Castle Globe Decoration £16 at Anthropologie. Bulldog in Gold Top hat Globe £12 from Heals.
Bird in Glass Dome Xmas Decoration, £9.50 Rockett St George. Long Butterfly Bauble £6 from Marks & Spencer.
French Bulldog Sequined Bauble, £22.95 Selfridges. Robin Bell Jar Decoration, £6 Marks & Spencer.
Christmas Tree Snow Globe Decoration, £6 from Paperchase. Vintage House Dome Decoration, £4 from John Lewis.
Set of 3 Snowglobe Characters, £15 from Paperchase. Polar Bear Snow Globe, £12 Graham & Green.
Penguin Snow Globe, £12, Graham & Green. Forest Owl Glass bauble, £26.95, Selfridges.
Snowdoll Snow Globe, £12, Graham & Green. Woodland Scene bauble, £24.95, Selfridges.
And for those who like a Christmas craft to keep them occupied on wintery evenings, here are some online inspirations for d.i.y cloche displays and mason jar snow globes. I don’t know how, but you may be able to guess I have a slight propensity for deers in the holiday season!
Or, for a super easy personalised display, brilliant company RE (whom I adore), have brought out a lovely clear bauble with lid for £3 for you to fill with whatever you fancy. I’d fill mine with glittery acorns, what would you do?
- Stationary at Present & Correct, amongst the pastel coloured masking tapes and geometric notebooks, the items I most love are these painted wooden rulers and vintage French Postcard books.
- One thing that we are spoilt for choice with in Tooting, other than curry houses, are Indian sweet shops which I adore. I never quite know what I’m ordering and can be a bit of a magpie with the brightly coloured & edible silver leafed ones but my sweet tooth loves these amazingly bright phantasmagorical sweets.
- There is almost nothing that thrills me more than cheap interior goods when the high street gets it right, and looking at the press shows for Debenhams Spring 2014 I think I can confidently assert that they have nailed it. I see both a pelican lamp designed by Abigail Ahern and a brass pineapple that I simply must have, but there are also some lovely entomology cross stitch cushions and fab geometrics, behold:
- The Christmas season at Kew Gardens where they plan to install a fabulously illuminated trail through the winter landscape, a Christmas market, Santa’s grotto and this gorgeous carousel. Running from November 28-4 January.
- The 1952 film Pleasure Garden which I watched this week, its very short at just over 30 minutes, set against the ruins of the Crystal palace, a quaint bizarre piece of burlesque. Really interesting to see what stood of the original derelict building and grounds just after the fire in light of the new plans announced last month to rebuild the palace and gardens.
- These glorious vintage style pompom decorations new in at Graham & Green, they remind you of nans house at Christmas and are all the more covetable for it.
- An exhibition which closes today at the Design Museum showcasing the work of architects FleaFolly. Last summer to mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of The Brothers Grimm tales this company re-imagined their fairy tales through structure in a workshop on the outskirts of the Black Forest in Germany. Their works in miniature are so dramatic and intriguing:
- The discovery that one of my favourite singers Lana Del Rey has recorded a cover version of a song I love – Chelsea Hotel by Leonard Cohen. I may still prefer the original but her vocals are sumptuous…
- Contemporary artist Keira Rathbone who had the genius idea of drawing with vintage typewriter keys. I especially like her figure sketches, you can purchase prints of some of her work at etsy.
- The Reith lectures given by Greyson Perry this month – thought provoking, funny and accessible. I haven’t heard this weeks one yet, but thought the first and third were both brilliant, one had me wondering which bracket of gallery visitor I fit, think I may be rather horrified by it, listen to them on i-player here.
There is currently quite a cool exhibition running til 7 December at London’s Guildhall which celebrates the impact of Victoriana, curating the work of modern artists from Grayson Perry to the The Chapman Brothers and incorporating design houses like Timorous Beasties and trends such as steam-punk. On show are ceramics, taxidermy, print design, photography, graphic design and the most spectacular moths zoetrope by Mat Collishaw (find the video I took of which at the end of this post).
It is an exhibition filled with whimsy and well worth a glimpse around on a rainy afternoon, from the ironic to the macabre, the mundane to the surreal here are my highlights from our tour around the exhibit: