Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Selvedge Spring Fair - Saturday 2nd April

I went to the Christmas Fair organised by the good people of Selvedge last year - and loved it: a selection of mainly textile designer-makers, had set out their wares on tables in the local church hall (St Augustine's on Archway Road, London). Fabulous teas were served on the stage at the back of the hall.

The Spring Fair promises to be just as good, this time with a new line up of designer-makers. I'm particularly keen to check out the Welsh-made products stocked by Blodwen, and the Scottish-made items stocked Papa Stour.

It's open 10am to 5pm, at St Augustine's church hall on Archway Road, next to the Selvedge shop.

Below are instructions from Selvedge on how to get there:

Monday, 28 March 2011

Emma Bridgewater tea towel - Buy British!

Emma Bridgewater tea towel.  Like it!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Belt up: Old Town, Labour & Wait, Mimi and The Linen Press

Here are some good belts:
Fabulous snake belt style from Old Town

Belts from Mimi

And some from The Linen Press

And finally a bridle leather belt from Labour & Wait - numbers by the notches so there's no hiding your expanding girth.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Cressida Bell's recipes (and scarves too)

For those that eat often at Chez Obsorn, it can be a problem that the menu has little variation.  Spring brings a collective sigh of relief at the end of the lasagne and fish pie season, and heralds the beginning of a different kind of monotony for six months.

I like this poster by Cressida Bell a lot, and not just because of the design.

Taking a simple trio of ingredients (onions, tomoatos and beans), Cressida has 16 recipes for meat eaters on one poster, and 16 recipes for vegetarians on another.  It's aimed at students, many of whom are fending for themselves for the first time (but if, by some miracle, my children can afford to go to Uni, I hope they will be able to cook before they get there) - hence the poster style.  But this would not look out of place at Chez Osborn or any other reputable family 'restaurant' you know.

Cressida Bell is first and foremost a textile designer, of accessories and things for the home.  She has some beautiful scarves - a friend has the delphiniums; I rather like the look of the ibis print:

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Mimi's Elsie satchel

Perhaps this blog features too many bags, but this is too good to miss: Mimi's Elsie satchel is on sale, for the first time ever. I have it in yellow - it is as lovely as it looks.

Ravilious (Kiran) + Ravilious (Eric)

I found these lovely cushions designed by Kiran Ravilious on Etsy - designs are carved out on lino, and then handprinted onto unbleached linen.
Buy from the Inkling Prints Etsy shop, and read more about Kiran's work on her blog.

Kiran's husband Ben is the grandson of Eric Ravilious, an artist, designer and illustrator.  
This fabulous lemonade jug by Eric Ravilious can be bought from my new favourite shop - Rennies 'Seaside Modern' in Folkestone. ( cost of this jug? POA, yikes)

Thursday, 17 March 2011

The Tweed Run

The Tweed Run, established in 2009, is a 'metropolitan bike ride with a bit of style' - this year the 10 mile bike ride round London takes place on 9th April at 11am in Central London taking in famous sites (Big Ben, Buckingham Palace etc), stopping for tea, and ending up out in Shoreditch for a 'knees-up'.
But this is a bike ride with a difference: All participants are encouraged to wear their best tweed!! Hurrah!

Sadly for the sporty-tweedy types, registration is now full - but you can cheer yourself up with a bit of retail therapy from the Tweed Run Webshop, 'The Gentleman Cyclist Outfitter'.

Tweed cap - lined in the Tweed Run bicycle pattern by illustrator Michael Chapman (see hip flask, and silk scarf below), handmade in England.

Hip flask - hand made in Sheffield out of pewter, with Tweed Run bicycle pattern etched on:

Silk cycling scarf printed in Scotland (currently out of stock)

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The Man Who Took The Indoors Out

*There was an old man
Who was named Bellwood Bouse
He loved all the things
In his very large house...

In his white wicker rocker.
Outdoors in the air,
Bellwood said to himself,
"Now it does not seem fair.
While I sit out here
In the clear morning light,
My wonderful things
Are inside and shut tight.
It does not seem good
And it does not seem kind,
But I have an astounding idea
In my mind."

Bellwood went to the door
And he opened it wide
He shouted, "Now, Indoors -
Please come outside!"

If, like Bellwood Bouse, you take the indoors out (and Spring is in the air, so you might), you might want some of Susan Bradley's outdoor wallpaper designed and made in the UK by small manufacturers. It's made of metal, so it can stay outside all year round (unlike Bellwood Bouse's Indoors which eventually returned home somewhat the worse for wear). 

Susan also designs metal wall art, furniture, interior and exterior accessories, products and lighting - Creep Table below:

* With thanks to my aunt and uncle who gave me Arnold Lobel's classic children's book when I was little. It remains a favourite - shame it's out of print.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Edward Bawden wallpaper

Wallpaper designed by Edward Bawden in the 1920s.  Swoon.

Trees and cows (1927)

Waves and fishes (lagoon) (1929)
More delicious modern (vintage) graphics, ceramics and textiles dating from the period from WW1 until Festival of Britain (1951) can be found at Rennies 'Seaside Modern' shop in Folkestone (also on-line).

Rennies, 47 The Old High Street, Folkestone, Kent
(01303) 24 24 27

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Time for more tea

Oooo I do like a good cuppa. It would seem that Louise Buchan does too - these teeny little teapots and cups are just about big enough to give your pet mouse a nice cup of tea. This gold plated kilt pin has a Brown Betty tea pot, tea cup and jug. Available to buy here.

Buddug specialises in enamel jewellery - here is pic of her blue teapot brooch; there are cups too.  Available from her website, or shop on Columbia Road.

Clara Francis - one of my most very favourite designers - has some beautiful beaded cup-and-saucer necklaces and hairbands. Like all her work, the detail is incredible: these tea cups have gold rims and design of teeny tiny pink roses.

more Royal Wedding - Fifi by Fiona Howard

Ah, the Royal Wedding.
Of course, you have to buy one of those commemorative mugs with cheapo photographic transfers of William and Kate's smiling faces, but as an alternative these are sweet - from Fifi by Fiona Howard.

Fiona Howard's designs are based on lino-cuts, made by hand in her Brighton studio.
She also sells fabrics, tea towels, bags, cushions, coasters and trays. I like this Harbour fabric

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Royal Wedding stuff: the Lydia Leith sick bag

I fully intend to go Royal Wedding mad when the moment comes, but in the meantime for those people who can think of nothing more tedious, get plenty of these in stock: Lydia Leith's Royal Wedding Sick Bag - screen printed by hand in the UK especially for you.  A snip at £3, order from here.

She also does other fine screen prints (which I can't seem to make any bigger than this):

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

olive display unit

Following on from yesterday's post, another nifty device for displaying small bits of food - impress your party guests with olive solitaire - designed by Barnaby Barford and Andre Klauser, available from Theo, on-line shop for Thorsten van Elten.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

brilliant way to display sugar cubes

A brilliant way to display your sugar cubes from Kathleen Hills.  This would not last two seconds at my gaff - sugar cubes eaten, replaced by lego bits etc etc - but in my dreams I live in the sort of house where this would not look out of place (you know what I mean: lots of white surfaces, beautiful wallpaper, expensive modern furniture in natural wood, everyday crockery from Skandium. And people dropping round for cups of tea, rather than hordes of kids stampeding into the kitchen for fishfingers and pasta). 

Another great idea - when you're rolling out biscuit dough, or making a pie use this rolling pin - but somewhat limited geographical usage...?

These two-headed Milkii bottles really do have something of the nuclear-power-plant-leakage about them, but I like them nonetheless. Perhaps it's something to do with those milk bottle tops from childhood days (green was for unpasteurized milk, the very best from the Jersey cow that our friend kept). Vague memories of collecting bottle tops for Blue Peter.

Honesty is the best policy

These 'Honesty stamps' by Dominic Wilcox are genius. Available directly from his website, or from Thorsten van Elten.

I can think of a few choice words of my own that could be stamped all over the house:
'I'm sorry I thought that you left it on the floor because you didn't want it anymore, so I threw it away'.  Hmm a bit long, needs editing but you get my drift. 

Monday, 7 March 2011

hand made on the high street

Unexpectedly, a free morning: free of kids, free of work. What to do? A quick bus ride into town, to check out hand made things on the high street.
Starting off at Liberty - not exactly 'high street' unless Regent Street is your usual shopping haunt - I found Annina Vogel who makes jewellery using antique gold charms.  Each piece is unique as the charms are not replicas but the real thing and diamonds often feature. Lovely. Pricey. (I'm finding it hard to find anything on her website for less than £250) **sigh**

Might as well go for broke and show you this All Hearts Victorian charm necklace - which costs many thousands £££

On to TopShop which has been stocking hand made headgear by Chapeau Claudette for a while - today I found this Kylie clip - cost about £10, which is much more pleasing.

BARK jewellery is not currently in stock at Anthropologie, but I noticed this piece worn by one of the very nice gals in the shop:

and also Mimi's Honey bag in nice soft, slightly grainy leather - zip closure at the top, with a short strap and a long detachable over the shoulder strap too (this style is currently on sale on the Mimi website, thus cheaper than at Anthropologie).

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Tamara Fogle's purses and bags

I love those old fashioned 'frame' purses, in fact they are a bit of an obsession (via Mimi, they were the starting point for my interest in British made things), and Tamara Fogle makes a whole range of purses and bags which feature the old fashioned-style frames that make a pleasing snap when they are closed.

Palm purse (I have one of these - large enough for credit cards, cash and other bits and bobs if you want to travel light on a night out, such as mobile phone, lipstick, whatever)

I like this bag that looks like an old fashioned doctor's bag - the Landsdowne, in brilliant red

Tamara also uses antique fabrics such as Hungarian grain sacks; the Grab Bag below uses a quilted Indian textile:

great wallpaper

Some of my favourite wallpaper:

Miss Print's wallpaper features spindly, spiky (but not unfriendly) graphics inspired by mid-century and Scandinavian designs.   Their wallpaper is PEFC certified - the paper is derived from sustainable sources - and organic, non-toxic pigment inks are used which are free of heavy metals and classed as non-carcinogenic.  All v important if you are going to be breathing in wallpaper fumes all day, as it is (to quote that well known mag - but do they use that strap line anymore?) the stuff that surrounds you.

Miss Print are based in East London; their wallpapers are printed in the UK.

Dandelion Mobile in mist green and white

Saplings Wallpaper: Sunflower Yellow with White

I also have a great fondness for Mibo, designed by Madeleine Rogers in Hove and made in the UK - Clacket Lane (great name, and reason alone to cover your walls with it) has a clean modern design of leaves and birds.

Mibo's Clacket Lane cream wallpaper

What to choose from Neisha Crosland, who is surely queen of wallpaper? Anemone is a favourite:

Neisha Crosland's Anemone wallpaper - surely a classic?
Neisha Crosland Sea Thistle wallpaper
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