Thursday, 31 January 2008

people and things to see.

Great day today. This morning I collect my baby sister from the airport, she has come over from Ireland to spend my birthday week with me, what a sweet thing she is! so I'll be off in a minute.(actually still in my PJ's and the husband to be is going to shout if I don't get moving!) Secondly the lovely Erin over at design for mankind has included me in her beautiful and inspiration packed, debut issue of the first DFM E-ZINE! Just follow the links and you can download this first issue for FREE! It is packed full of stunning pictures of the work areas of various creative types and where they find their inspiration, including me! I'm a creative type : )

oops 5 minutes till I get my butt kicked see ya!

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Choices

Continuing with my white theme from yesterday, I think I'll make a week of it. Today I am on the hunt for the perfect wedding day earrings. But just like said kid in the candy store I'm a bit spoilt for choice over at Etsy. Still, I have managed to narrow it down to these six beautiful examples from six great sellers.

Do I want to go for the delicate ones in snowy white or soft pink. Left from Foundling
Right from Sugar rococo

The modern ones in Bright silver or clear crystal. Left from HeatherlyDesigns
Right from Handwired

Or the vintage ones in golden swarovski or antique pearl Left from Opheliax
Right from Amy Hannah

Decisions, decisions!

All images from the above etsy sellers shops.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Pale and interesting

It's all about white this week. So with the arrival of my new book- At home with white I thought I'd share some of my own photos and some favorites from the book.










Also having a ball with white this week are some other people Here , here , here and here too.

Bottom 3 images from At home with white Ryland peters small.

Sunday, 27 January 2008



Meet my latest discoveries Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Maps

While I'm still in the mood for revealing, I thought I'd just divulge how I came to be here quite by accident. It all started with the inevitable, a case of googling, this first time it was vintage ribbon. Whilst scanning the list that popped up, the words that caught my eye were-ribbon swap-this was featured on the red felt flower blog. A wealth of subtle but beautiful photos and little snippets of Sarah's life in Brisbane, Australia.

Clicking the links and searching all around led me to so many amazing places, on and on through a labyrinth of creative inspiration. There are not enough hours in the day to find all you can seek here in blog land and across the net. I love learning how to do new things and as I've already said I barely knew how to turn a laptop on a year ago. So I got my Apple and soon followed flickr and etsy then my blog. I didn't even really know what it was all about, let alone to think I could have these things for myself! You see, my friends dear to me as they are, don't make things, I'm the only one. So I make things for them. (they have other often more useful, skills!) But to discover this online network has been fantastic. Although maybe I sometimes neglect my old friends a little too often sorry guys, now I have found this alternative form of friendship with what they consider to be strangers. Strangers that have been a great and very welcoming discovery that share my passions I might add.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

7 things

Bradford over at the Bedlam of Beefy has tagged me, so here goes!

I feel that this is the year I am going to change my life and steer it in the direction I should have been going in, but somehow wasn't. Reading all these inspiring blogs over the past year and meeting all these lovely people, all who run their own businesses and are doing things that really make them happy has helped. That combined with me turning 30 in nine days time, I think my mind has finally found some clarity. I think my precious Dean will have to help me a little as I've only been computer literate for a year!

From the age of 17-25 I collected Barbie dolls. Had a real habit, which cost me a lot. Loved her, all those different outfit options, hairstyles, shoes. A visit to FAO Schwarz the first time I went to New York, only made this worse. I think the problem may have stemmed from my mum insisting I played with Sindy as a child, this doll with an oversized head did not cut it. She drove a Range Rover, whilst Barbie had a Ferrari! So when I got my one and only Crystal Barbie I treasured her greatly. I have a photo somewhere of me aged about 6 clutching her as if my life depended on it. No way was I gonna let my baby sister get her sticky mitts on crystal. They are soon to be in someone else's collection via ebay. Blogging has really helped me express myself verbally and visually. I am sometimes painfully shy, hate compliments, and generally down talk my successes. But weirdly I am quite confident in myself? sounds odd but I guess I am quietly confident, I know what I like and know what suits me. For instance I will step out in a great dress, this pleases me until people pull me aside and say I look nice, then I go to pieces. Writing this makes me blush.

I am allergic to feathers, fur, pollen, dust, so no pets for me. Found this out after my mum forced me to wear a very fluffy angora sweater, my protestations fell on deaf ears until my eyes were so red and swollen she had to concede that I was in fact correct. They still made me live with two cats and a dog! But hey my home now is pet and fur free and I love that. Always a head strong independent girl even when I was little. As first born grand daughter I was Granny's favorite girl, the spoiling came up against some opposition from mum. Little notice was taken and when I look back I guess me and granny were as thick as thieves, but I was like seven and didn't take to the shadow that followed me around in the form of my younger sister. So one time I just phoned Granny and told her mum said I could go visit. She came and got me and off I went no cares for the family that was left wondering where I was!

Me and said shadow are now the best of friends and have been since she was 14 and I was 18.

It may seem mother is getting a bit of stick here but she was not really that mean! I love my entire family very much and feel so lucky that we all get on so well. So heres to the best family in the world Mum, Dad, Tamzin, Leah and Granny love you all x x x

Thanks bradford.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Day off

My perfect monday. Baking these:

Oat and seed cookies.
Set oven to 190 degrees or gas mk 5
lightly grease baking tray.

250g self raising flour
75g whole rolled porridge oats
175g soft light brown sugar
Handful of sesame seeds
handful of sunflower seeds
good pinch of salt
125g unsalted butter cubed
2 x tbl spoon golden syrup
3-4 tbl spoon milk

In a bowl mix together the flour, oats, sugar, seeds and salt.
Then rub in the butter so mixture resembles fine crumbs.
Stir in syrup and enough milk to form a stiff dough. Knead well.
Form dough into small balls then flatten onto baking tray with a fork.
Bake in batches for 10-15 minutes until golden.
Once cooked transfer to a wire rack to cool and crisp.

Talking with a friend, pouring over interior magazines, taking tea. I even made a sale on etsy. How was your monday?

Monday, 21 January 2008

Riches

The red shawl and The dancer, inspiring paintings (I love the rich red and gold in these two portraits) by George Lambert. Australian naturalist painter & sculptor born 1873 - died 1930. I found these after reading the inspiration list over at casey's-elegant musings

More great images today via the great list of photographers paul works with over at sweet pauls. This time keeping with my theme today of red and gold, it's Gemma Comas I have picked to scout through. Loads of beautiful still life, interior and of course food photography here.
Straying from my theme for a second (easily done for a magpie like me!) I was drawn to this pair of photos using budding twigs, they gave me a warm spring feeling on this, again, grey cloudy day. England is rubbish sometimes. I just want to see a glimpse of the sky! But these images reminded me of what will soon be. Look at those beautiful Magnolia buds? just about to burst into life. Happy monday to all : )


Images from Gemma Comas and Art renewal.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

A little cosiness

Today I thought I'd share with you another two of my happy googling accidents. It all began with a query of the word hygge. I guess learning about this term takes my number of discoveries up to three!

I am informed via this site that-

Hygge is an important element of the Danish mentality. The term is difficult to translate, but it is often, inadequately, translated as cosiness. Yet, it is much more than that.

Uncomplicated, unexaggerated and informal are some of the incredients in hygge. It is closely associated with having a good time together with friends or family and with eating and drinking. It may include a long dinner at home with a group of friends who know each another well. It may be a good time at the “fredagsbar”. In can be going out with some few friends for a cup of coffee on a Sunday afternoon. It may be listening to music, playing board games or just watching a TV-program together.

The term hygge is widely used and connected with different situations. For instance you can have a hygge-evening and a hygge-weekend. You can have a hygge-chat and you can even sit in a hygge-corner.

Hygge is all about feeling comfortable in a friendly atmosphere. It is impossible to stay in Denmark for long without experiencing hygge.

So already feeling happier I wandered over here and found Janet bell's lovely blog. I'm sure from just looking at Janets photo below, it's easy to tell her blog will be a good place to while away a few hours. Not content with just making a beautiful home for herself, Janet is a full time artist creating beautiful seaside inspired paintings of little coastal towns or more abstract works like my favorite (below). Whilst reading some of Janets archives I found a link to the amazing site of textile artist Joke Schole, who creates collections of custom made bags, special personal gifts, jewellery, illustrations and paintings. Just go see for yourself I dare you to not be in awe of these lavish works of art. I have a friend I know that going to just love this link, hope you do too. Enjoy the rest of your weekend I feel some hygge heading my way!
Images by Janet bell and joke schole.

Friday, 18 January 2008

custom built

I know it's still a while away but a friend requested I make her some bunting and this is what I pulled together from the paper scraps I salvaged from around my workroom. I hope she likes it.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Princess diaries

Glad to see the old mood board is still coming in handy! My thanks to the lovely sharon over at the Astro blog (creativity for kids and inspiration for parents) who has used it to illustrate her newest post about decorating nurseries for little ones.
Now sleeping spaces for bigger people. ie me! We have been in denial of the pile of rubble we call a mattress for a very long time. Way too long, especially for me ( I have a bit of a princess and the pea complex-de gritting the bed at night to ensure every grain of dust is gone!)
So this christmas I finally snapped and dragged him to the bed shop. Tried, tested, ordered and yay, today (delivered by two gold encrusted men that could give mr T a run for his money) I have a chunk of comfort lodged in my stairwell waiting for the boy to help me drag it up the stairs. Heres to a good nights sleep on the luxury senator!

smile it's wednesday


What a delight this is! I know my etsy habit is out of control but what am I gonna do?

I just loved this idea of A book of good things by etsy artist Paperiaarre who is based in finland. So simple but so meaningful, what a great gift for anyone.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Silver lining


So its been stormy, rainy, windy and very very grey outside, but this is not a complaint, its meant I haven't left the house and thus I have been progressing with projects and experimenting with new ideas. No photo's though as I am a hater of flash so I will post some soon when daylight returns!

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Nothing says "I love you" like earache.

Well, I've been up since 2.30 with earache (the final leg of my cold) so I thought I'd make use of the time by seeking out my favorite valentine day offerings from the creative melting pot that is Etsy.
Clockwise from top left:-

Red Vintage Bead Earrings from puffluna
Vintage images from candyconnection22
Sassy from Earmark
Heart garland from sanfran67

Heart Cookies, Romania from kipi
All Tarted Up from amanda kindregan
con passione from sushipot
Valentine Forest from belle and boo
Belongs to You from john w golden

I promise not to mention any more of my ailments. No-one likes a whinger! Anyhoo off to trade show at Earls court today so better get that man of mine up and fed and hit the road. Have a great sunday.

All images are taken from each of the above sellers etsy listings.

Friday, 11 January 2008

French skipping and fizzy juice



The below article cheered my dull rainy day at work, its from this months copy of Easy living magazine. Hope it cheers yours too! There are more treasures to be read in this list.


BORN BEFORE 1986?: Why you're the imaginative generation

According to today's regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s probably shouldn't have survived, because our baby cots were covered with brightly coloured lead-based paint which was regularly chewed and licked.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles or latches on doors or cabinets, and it was fine to play with pans. When we rode our bikes, we wore no helmets, just flip-flops and fluorescent 'spokey dokeys' on our wheels.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or airbags and riding in the front passenger seat - or the boot - was a treat. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle, and it tasted the same.

We ate chips, bread and butter pudding, and drank fizzy juice with sugar in it, but were never overweight because we were always outside playing. We shared one drink with four friends - from one bottle or can - and no one actually died from it.

We would spend several hours building go-carts out of scraps, then go top speed down the hill, only to find out we'd forgotten the brakes. After running into a patch of stinging nettles a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back before dark. No one was able to reach us and no one minded.

We didn't have Playstations or Xboxes - no video games at all. No 99 channels on TV, no videotape films, no surround sound, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no DVDs, no internet chatrooms.

We had friends - we went outside and found them. We played French skipping and rounders, and sometimes that ball really hurt! We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones, but there were no law suits.

We played Knock Down Ginger and were actually afraid of the owners catching us. We walked to friends' homes. We also, believe it or not, walked to school; we didn't rely on Mummy or Daddy to drive us to school, as it was just round the corner.

We made up games with sticks and tennis balls. We rode bikes in packs of seven and wore our coats by only the hood. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of they actually sided with the law.

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem-solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.
And you're one of them. Congratulations! Pass this on to others who had the luck to grow as real kids, before lawyers and the government regulated our lives for "our own good".

For those of you who aren't old enough, we thought you might like to read about us.
And something else to put a smile on your face...
The majority of students in universities today were born in 1986. The Uptown Girl they know is by Westlife not Billy Joel. They have never heard of Rick Astley, Bananarama, Neneh Cherry or Belinda Carlisle.

For them, there has always been only one Germany and one Vietnam. AIDS has existed since they were born. CDs have existed since they were born. Michael Jackson has always been white. To them, John Travolta has always been round in shape and they can't imagine how this fat guy could ever have been a god of dance.

They believe that Charlie's Angels and Mission Impossible are films from the past ten years. They can never imagine life before computers. They'll never have pretended to be the A-Team, the Dukes of Hazzard or the Famous Five. They can't believe a black and white television ever existed. And they will never understand how we could leave the house without a mobile phone.
Now let's check if we're getting old...
1) You understand what was written above and you smile.
2) You need to sleep more, usually until the afternoon, after a night out.
3) Your friends are getting married/already married.
4) You are always surprised to see small children playing comfortably with computers.
5) When you see children with mobile phones, you shake your head.
6) Having read this, you're thinking of forwarding it to a number of other friends because you know they'll like it too...

Text taken from Easy living magazine.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

lunch



Making me smile today (as I fend off a cold that has attacked various parts of my head) are these cute accessories which come with the first limited edition, build it yourself art doll kit by The small object. I just adore this site run by Sarah Neuburger, it is a magical place go see, and read everything there, it's delightful.

Images from The small object.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Thanks


Just wanted to take an opportunity to say thanks to everyone that reads my ramblings and to all that have commented and encouraged me. I do try to pop by and see what each of you are up to and I may not always find time to comment in return but be sure I'm regularly checking in. Seems that a few of us have similar resolutions to stick to and common interests that have drawn us together. I can't believe that in less than two months I will have had my little blog for a year. I find it amazing that through blogging I have made friends with strangers who share my passions and fears. (and who probably understand them better than people I have known for years) Well bedtime now obviously that dose of night nurse has gone to my head.

Paper quilts and costumes

I took on a bit more than I could manage over christmas. Note to self-do not join swaps, clubs or any other projects in November or December! But I've finally finished my quilt for The paper quilt project. Using only the papers that the organizer Dawbis sent to me. Now if only I had the return address! I think I'm quite pleased with it but I find it hard to really love something I've made myself. Too self critical.

The Paper Quilt Project was a year long project that allowed artists from 32 different countries to come together and share their lives, their culture and their art with one another.

Each month 12 new artists create a collage interpreting the project's theme, "A Day in my Life," and give a glimpse into their world. Every collage from each month will soon be sewn together to create 12 amazing individual paper quilts, later each paper quilt will be auctioned off or donated to charity in order to raise money.

I have also found a new blog. One post and I'm already hooked! Mirka lives in the South-West of Finland in an old school building, Which she and her husband are slowly renovating. This first post is full of amazing discoveries, one being a small storage cupboard full of things that had been made years ago by teachers and pupils for school plays.
Costumes for little gingerbread boys & girls, a princess crown, a knights harness of cardboard, a mushroom costume made of paper and antique biology books containing images like the one below. Can you imagine finding these things? how wonderful. I can't wait to see what else Mirka has in store for us.

Above Image from Oprikka, Mirka's blog.

Monday, 7 January 2008

Hadley Hatton

I'm having camera charger issues, so while I sort that out I thought I'd quickly post about these pretty art works by Hadley Hutton. I clicked over to Etsy and luckily for me I found Hadleys work displayed on the front page. Mostly I just don't have the time to search etsy listings thoroughly as it has so many sellers, I am always grateful to the colour coordinated "hand picked items" on the home page as nine times out of ten there is something brilliant listed.

Anyway back to Hadley, living out her childhood dreams to become an artist, creating these lovely prints, all dreamy colour washes and delicate images including birds, flowers and nests, inspired by Asian patterns and motifs. There are original works for sale and digital prints on Hahnmule German Etching paper also. My favorite print (below) caught my eye because it's content differs from Hadleys main body of work, it is modern but still carries that Japanese influence. Oh dear something else to add to the list of great etsy finds that are slowly eating away at my bank account!

Friday, 4 January 2008

Experimenting

A bit random I know but I just thought I'd share my absolute love for frills! I love the frothy, swishy sometimes raggedy layers they make. They are so feminine and add a delicate almost innocent finish to an outfit or if you're going down the moulin rouge route they can definitely give a flirty even raunchy feel! I especially like faded old moth eaten frills like the ones carrie is enveloped in below. This has to be one of my favorite sex and the city images.

I have some vintage cuffs somewhere. I must look this stuff out and use it in a project. I really want to experiment more with using layers and vintage fabrics. I still seem to be hoarding this stuff up and not wanting to take the scissors to it! I feel another resolution coming on-stop procrastinating and get on with it! I say these things all the time but this year I'm determined to make it happen.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

one more thing . . . .


It has been verbal for a long time but now its official. I can't stop smiling. He's mine forever. Happy new year Dean I love you with all my heart.

Resolutions

Hope everyone had a great new years- usually a disappointment, there always seems a bit to mush pressure to have an amazing night-but mine was unexpectedly good. We went for a meal in a local wine bar with some friends and strangers. Lovely food, a few drinks, good music and good company. Seems my life is becoming very civilized these days. Such a good feeling to wake up in a new year without a hang over.Lucky as this year I'm going to be thirty!

Christmas has been hoovered up and packed away. As much as I love the festive season, its a weight of the shoulders when its all packed up and the house is tidy and back to normal. So tidy in fact that we had time to take a very muddy and a tad treacherous walk in the high woods. Just enough of a hike to feel that we earned our roast dinner. My resolutions are :-

To get off my butt (and the net) and be more creative. I truly do spend way too much time checking out what everyone else is up to and get hardly anything done for myself. Its a shame you all lead such interesting lives!

I am also going to alter and adjust my existing wardrobe, I have about 20 cardigans that would be great after some embellishing and applique.

I'm going to finish up all those little projects that have been laying around half done for months.

I'm going to try my best to only use what I already have in my work room and not buy any new supplies that just get hoarded and never used!

Must try to stop swearing so much! It is not apparent here (luckily) but I have been known to suffer ever so slightly from gutter mouth : (

That should be enough for now! Hope you all stick to your resolutions whatever they may be : )