Saturday, 25 September 2010

London Fashion Weekend

A quick visit to  London Fashion Weekend - at Somerset House until Sunday this weekend.

Spied some beautiful things, best of all was Clara Francis' beaded jewellery, and gold and silver charms - I am rather fond of her bee necklace which has a sweet vintage style, and pleasingly different to the ever popular Alex Monroe bumblebee.

lovely fox necklace (so beautiful compared to the mangy yellow one I saw outside IKEA the other night)

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

sewing projects for kids - Alice Melvin, Clothkits and Sew Much Fun

For those with kids that are keen to sew, there are some lovely kits available. On a recent visit to the Tate Modern shop (another post soon about the wonderous shopping opportunities here) I bought this extremely sweet kit by Alice Melvin for my oldest daughter - a friendly mother owl, with her babies.  We haven't tried it yet, but I'm guessing that I'll be doing most of the sewing.  Alice Melvin is based in Edinburgh, and her products are made in the UK.

Alice Melvin's owl glove puppets

Ah... Clothkits. As their website says: if your remember us from the 70s, welcome back! What I would give for the little padded waistcoat, matching bag and doll that I sported back then... my cousin wearing the rust-coloured version, and me in the blue.  For those of you with oodles of time and patience to help  your kids with more sewing projects, here's a trip down memory lane (1978 to be precise):

Clothkits Kitty doll

Clothkits Pocket Dolls
Clothkits, a Sussex based company, tell me that all of their products are printed in the UK, a lot is hand screen-printed and some prints are produced digitally with the use of machinery.
However, if you haven't got the required skills needed Sew Much Fun in London's Primrose Hill could be the place for you - regular classes are available for kids and adults.


Monday, 13 September 2010

Mimi's new collection

This deserves a post of it's own: Mimi's AW 10 collection is now available on-line. Hurrah! I am a devoted fan of her bags (her classic Elsie satchel is a top favourite) and purses, especially those that have old fashioned clasps...Kitty purse, tan goatskin is in current usage.


 but this season she has some new, very tempting zipper purses (sweetly named Burt and Ernie) that come in some very yummy colours - soft gold, pewter...
Dora and Honey bags are back again in new range of colours, and also printed leather, but I rather fancy the Teddy oilskin shopper - it looks like it can hold a lot of gubbins, it's waterproof and best of all it's got a zip to keep everything safe inside.


Thursday, 9 September 2010

a quick scoot around the International Jewellery London Fair

Right: now the kids are back at school it's time to go and buy jewellery.  Well, it's a trade fair, so perhaps it's time to admire and make wish lists instead. In amongst the stands selling strings of gems and pearls, and jewellers equipment I found some lovely British designed and made jewellery.

There was none sweeter than Alexis Dove's creations - absolutely adorable tiny creatures in her Blossom range, especially the wren, and the new addition bunny rabbit. I wanted to buy a rabbit right there and then.  It doesn't seem to be available on her website yet.... but the Alexis Dove shop has newly opened in Lewes - and she has many stockists around the country.

Phoebe Coleman makes the most delicate, elegant pieces that remind me of gold and silver dew drops strung together on spider's webs. She was wearing several pieces layered together which looked fantastic; I fancied the necklace with tiny hearts linked together (sadly no pic available on her website so I can't show you). Phoebe is a London based designer and her jewellery is made in the city too - it's available from a few stockists such as Sweet pea, but not on her website.

Oria designs and makes fair trade jewellery in London. The designs are very wearable (no healthfood shop vibe in case fair trade makes you think of tea bags), in gold and silver. Their website states that metals, diamonds and gemstones can be traced from the mine to the consumer, and they support small-scale, fair-trade companies. This lovebird pendant is very sweet.

Monday, 6 September 2010

back to school

School term started today; why did I wait so long to order my lovely new (navy) satchel from the Cambridge Satchel Company? I've been cyberstalking it for months. Huge demand so that the Back to School look may have to wait until October (which will give me long enough to wonder why I chose navy instead of red).
I'll have to make do in the meantime with my classic Elsie satchel from Mimi (one of my absolute favourite shops on Cheshire Street, off Brick Lane). The yellow is gorgeous, but I'm not sure about off-setting it with brown beige grandad cardi as pictured here; it looks v good with dark grey and navy.

last days of summer

As a 'famille nombreuse' one picnic blanket is never enough. Before school started we sneaked in a final week's holiday in Wiltshire and I found a Welsh blanket made from recycled wool at the National Trust shop in Avebury. Charmingly named random woollen rug, it's excellent value at £10 and comes in a random assortment of colours (surprise surprise). My photo doesn't do the colours justice - it's got lots of dusky blues in it, and the wool is soft enough to use as throw or blanket at home.

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