Things That Made Me Smile This Week

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  1. 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.d.i.y gold animal place settings
  2. 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.                                                         bowen heat of the day
  3. 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.                                                                                                                      Anthropologie Unicorn Canopy plate Anthropologie Octopus Canopy plate Anthropologie Oyster Pearls Canopy plateAnthropologie Lovebirds Canopy plate Anthropologie Jellyfish Canopy plate
  4. 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:Southbank Winter Season
  5. 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:                                                                                        Vintage Xmas CardRetro V&A wrapping paper winter scene pudding-boy-large-rectangle   Vintage Xmas Card FiftiesRW_1210_XmasStationery_605x340 Winter Ski Fabric Vintage Christmas fabric bunting Retro Xmas fabric

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Things That Made Me Smile This Week

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

 

  1. 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!?!
    IMG_0169  IMG_0171
  2. 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….Carluccio's Pandoro Carluccio's Panettone Carluccio's Advent calendar Carluccio's Chocolate Hazelnut Stars
  3. 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.rotunda-staircase new tate britain
  4. 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:Giraffe Plate Yvonne Ellen Gin Teacup Yvonne Ellen Perky Puffer Plate Yvonne Ellen
  5. 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.goodbye-first-love mia hansen love

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

 

 

Things That Made Me Smile This Week

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

 

  1. 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.                                          Present and correct rulers Present and correct rulers 1 French Postcards french postcards
  2. 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.                             IMG_0014 Processed with VSCOcam with se1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset IMG_0013
  3. 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:                                                                     Abigail ahern debenhams pelican lamp 2014 Debenhams ss2014
  4. 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.Christmas at Kew Gardens
  5. 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. BFI Pleasure garden Crystal palace

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Things That Made Me Smile This Week…

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

 

  1. 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.Pom Poms Graham & GreenVintage paper ball decoration graham and green
  2. 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:                                                              Flea Folly Architects Grimm City 2Flea Folly Architects Grimm City 1Flea Folly Architects Grimm City 3
  3. 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…lana-del-rey-unreleased-540x270
  4. 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.                                                                                    Keira Rathbone Hammersmith Bridge Keira Rathbone Typewriter print 4Keira Rathbone Typewriter print
  5. 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.

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

 

Things That Made Me Smile This Week…

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

 

Bodie and Fou Paper Star Christmas Decorations

  1. If you listen to two of my favourite friends they will tell you that I am a super-Christmas-enthusiast (& possibly slightly less flatteringly so!) of course they are entirely wrong, but as it is November tomorrow I feel I can get away with mentioning these glorious Christmas paper star decorations new in at Bodie & Fou, sublime.le-centre-de-documentation-albert-camus-de-la-bibliotheque-mejanes-abrite-les-archives-de-l-auteur-photos-dr
  2. November marks the centenary of the birth of one of the favourite authors of my youth – Albert Camus who is still one of my favourite human beings ever. In honour I am going to re-read A Happy Death alongside one of my all time favourite books –  Simone De Beauvoir’s loosely autobiographical utterly superb tour de force The Mandarins in which Camus features loosely disguised as the journalist Henri Perron.Rockett St George Foto Friday Wonderwall
  3. This lovely chalkboard wall which was the winning entry in the wonderwall category of Rockett St George’s Foto Friday competition. I really love chalkboard walls and this is a magnificent example of the personality that can be projected onto one.Geraldine Gonzalez Sea Urchin Lights
  4. These wonderful Octopus lights by Geraldine Gonzalez that I happened upon on Pinterest, just too cool for their own good.
  5. Gender historian Amanda Vickery tweeted a brilliant link a few weeks back of historical slang from the 1920’s. Its brilliant, ranging from fairly well known ones like ‘gaspers’ for cigarettes to lesser known gems such as ‘cancelled stamp’ for a wallflower and ‘cheaters’ for glasses.

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Things That Made Me Smile This Week…

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

 

  1. Campbell’s soup have released these wonderful limited edition Andy Warhol pop art soup cans, haven’t found any in the supermarkets yet but I need them in my kitchen:Campbells limited ediotion andy warhol soup
  2. Hurrah, BFI are putting on a 6 month programe of Gothic films from the archives. Having already shown screenings at key London sites, including the British Museum & National Gallery, the programe gathers pace as winter begins to bite.  They will be running a comprehensive program of films including classics from Nosferatu to The Wicker Man, and my personal favourites:The Innocents, Dead of Night, Elephant Man, Three Cases of Murder & Night of The Demon. Hooray BFI, thank you for reminding me of all the spine chillers I love on dark evenings.BFI Gothic
  3. I am coveting new things in at design magpies Anthropologie again this week, I love this gilded crane stand and all of this Taiga stoneware range, swoon.        Gilded Crane Stand #anthropologie Hand-Painted Taiga Serveware #anthropologie
  4. There is almost nothing on television that is more of an old time favourite for me than the wonderful ITV installments of Hercule Poirot. Poirot novels are my guilty cheap read and there’s nothing I love more than seeing them brought to life on screen – and my the design gazing is incredible!                                                                          Alas, these are the very final installments and David Suchet can admirably hang up his coat in the knowledge that over the last 21 years he has acted each and every one of the stories. Showing Wednesdays from 8pm on ITV1.Poirot Suchet  ITV

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Things That Made Me Smile This Week

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

 

  1. This week I stole an idea for a new mixer from the lovely Instagram feed of NoteToSarah – Gin & Pink lemonade – just lush. Soon to become a staple in our household and I love re-using the embossed glass Lorina bottles – so pretty.Hendericks Gin & Pink Lemonade Mixer
  2. The release of new book ‘Inside The Rainbow’ details some amazing children’s book illustrations from Soviet Russia 1920-1935, if The Guardian’s glimpse into it is anything to go by this is a wonderful treasure trove of gems:                        Dmitiri Bulanov, illustration for How They Build, c.1922Boris Ermolenko, cover and illustrations for Special Clothing, 1930 A. Laptev, cover for May by Agnia Barto, 1932 Galina and Olga Chichagova, cover and illustrations for Where Does CrockeryWhere Am I Tatiana Glebova Inside The rainbow
  3. This striking sliding house in Margate, which is the work of Hackney artist Alex Chinneck whose previous work includes melting bricks and broken glass. His brief was to create something with humour, illusion and theatricality. Read the full story in architecture & design magazine Dezeen here.             dezeen_house-with-slipped-down-facade-Margate-Alex-Chinneck_2 dezeen_house-with-slipped-down-facade-Margate-Alex-Chinneck_4dezeen_A-Pound-of-Flesh-for-50p-by-Alex-Chinneck_ss_1 dezeen_Telling-the-Truth-Through-False-Teeth-by-Alex-Chinneck_7
  4. Happened upon a brilliant piece by Alain de Botton in this months Elle Deco magazine entitled ‘On Beauty’  to coincide with the release of his latest book Art as Therapy. It’s a great thought provoking piece on the effects of beauty and ugliness in our environments and the power of design to charm and inspire our sense of well-being.
  5. There is also a free app that accompanies the book which offers paintings as solutions to life’s dilemmas, offering quirky and interesting distractions to the hubbub of daily life. Here are a couple of glimpses of it:                                             Alain de Botton Art as Therapy App Screenshot 2 Alain de Botton Art as Therapy App Screenshot 1 Alain de Botton Art as Therapy App Screenshot

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Things That Made Me Smile This Week

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

 

  1. There is almost nothing more pleasurable as a pastime than whiling away the hours perusing through other peoples junk in the good company of an old friend. Last weekend I went browsing at Chiswick Car Boot Sale, a cornucopia of goods from the sublime to the kitsch. Alongside the bag of swag I accumulated for £21 and the things I didn’t buy but wish I had (I’m looking at you beautiful umbrella stand and giant nutcracker on horseback!) we also happened upon this curiosity. It is the insanely wonderful creation of an unknown man during the 1950’s, just glorious, I am especially tickled by the helmet atop the carousel.Vintage Wooden Carousel Fairground Ride Circus 2                                                                                                                          Vintage Wooden Carousel Fairground Ride Circus. Vintage Wooden Carousel Fairground Ride Circus 1
  2. Feeling over enthusiastically smug this week about the plastic poundstore picture frames I bought and painted with old Farrow and Ball tester pots to hold exquisite illustrations unearthed by BHL. They look super lovely in the narrow upstairs hallway next to a pretty convex mirror picked up for under £20 and a display of peacock feathers gained from an unwanted part of an auction lot that family placed a bid on. The bleak hallway is starting to look more inviting at last:Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset
  3. This week marked the anniversary birthdate of legendary design maverick and Modernist doyenne Le Corbussier. Quite a few people mentioned it on Twitter, I love, love, love Le Corbusier and never more so than reading the quote Elle Deco tweeted ‘The home should be a treasure chest of living’  Take a bow Mr Corbusier!                    Le Corbusier Modernist  Building Villa Savoye Le Corbusier Modernist  BuildingLe Corbusier Modernist  Building 1
  4. Quite a hackneyed design cliche, the ubiquitous animal as lord or lady, akin to display domes, but I have to admit, though it is a one trick pony, it’s a trick I like. And this, new in at Rockett St George, is a fabulous example. It makes me think of the art on display in the bedroom of Amelie, I may just have to acquisition it for my own, now where to find a talking pig…Ostrich Canvas by Angela Rossi

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Things That Made Me Smile This Week…

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

 

  1. Design crush of the week goes to the website of Hoxton store Caravan style. I absolutely love their homewares. My current favourite is this Pineapple wall sconce alongside these magnetic insects – swoon…pineapple wall sconce by Caravan at Abigail ahern Magnetic Bug Decorations Caravan store East LondonMagnetic Bee Decorations Caravan store East London
  2. Lapin & Lapinova, a short story by Virginia Woolf written for Harpers Bazaar magazine in 1939, reprinted in last months issue. It is such a short vignette, more of a thought than a short story, and on first read it is very twee, almost uncomfortably so, but with a brutal ending . I found it very disturbing and it stayed with me on the days after my initial read. You can read it online here. Read it, its very short and you’re life won’t be the poorer for it!Lapin Lapinova Woolf Harpers Bazaar
  3. I am choosing not to bemoan the fact that I missed these (and only discovered either of them via Instagram after they had both closed) but am celebrating the fact that they existed. Located at Kings Cross Station and on The Southbank, last weekend saw London transformed with a vintage fairground at Kings Cross Station including Ferris wheels, helter-skelter and Victorian style acrobatics alongside the closing weekend of what looks like a particularly fabulous venture –  Wonderground on London’s Southbank, rolling up for tickets for next year already!                           Kings Cross Helter Skelter     Kings Cross Funfair      Kings Cross Ferris WheelSouthbank Wonderground 4281-Mastercard Wonderground Southbank Wonderground 1
  4. To coincide with the opening of the new Birmingham Central  library (which I think looks like a giant Christmas present, but concede is absolutely stunning inside) the library has digitized much of its archive online. It contains a wealth of curiosities, from Victorian Scrapbooks, magic lantern slides and old collections to vintage illustration, these are my personal favourite finds:Frogs Umbrellas Vintage Childrens Illustration Birmingham Library archiveCollectors - Digital archive Birmingham Libarary Victorian Scrapbook - Birmingham Library Archive

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Things That Made Me Smile This Week

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

 

  1. Design crush of the week –  I love, love, love these homewares illustrated by children’s author Elsa Beskow which are new in at Skandium – a little twee but very covetable, my personal favourite is the Blue Uncle Mug, although I also love the walking fish and Lady Fuschia!                                                         Elsa Beskow Uncle BLue mug  by Design House - Stockholm - Skandium Elsa Beskow mugs       Elsa Beskow mug FuschiaElsa beskow mug fish Elsa Beskow tray square cabbage Elsa Beskow tray radish
  2. Vintage advertising painted on buildings. Like ghosts from a bygone age, these modern ruins always put a smile on my face. This Peterkin Custard one (below) is located in Battersea and the almost vanished Nestle Milk one is found in Wandsworth. Hoping to happen upon some in my own neck of the woods Tooting…        Peterkin Custard Painted Building Vintage advert Nestle Milk Painted Building Vintage advert
  3. Last week was London Design Week and by serendipity we had the week off work, hooray. Alas, it would have been perfect if we hadn’t both been poorly! However, with so many interesting things staying around, past the week, I can’t be too disenchanted. Take this wonderful Endless Stairs installation put up in collaboration with LDF at Tate Modern, definitely worth catching before it disappears. endless_stair_Tate
  4. I absolutely love the sherbert tones of the new colour collection at Farrow and Ball for Autumn. My absolute fave is St Giles Blue, that blue is unreal, am going to have to find a piece of junk furniture to daub it on…

Farrow & Ball - New Colours 2013 Farrow and Ball St Giles Blue

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