Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Marte Frisnes jewellery

Marte Frisnes makes very pretty jewellery: delicate and detailed but not too fiddly - these are two of my favourite pieces.

The Liberty necklace, new for this season, is surely a classic - Marte suggests that it can be layered with other pieces, which is how I would wear it; and of course it would look good by itself, it's so elegant. Perfect for a breezy Spring day.

These Magdelena earrings have amethyst and rose quartz drops and are, says Marte, a great choice if you like hoops - I do, and they are.  They have a very long drop - total length 95mm - which sort of says 'special occasion', but I know I'd wear them taking the kids to school, because glamour is for life not just for Christmas.

The necklace costs £105, and the earrings are £125.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Royal Wedding street parties - Trestle tables from Unto This Last

Looking for a trestle table for your Royal Wedding street party?  Take a look at Unto This Last who make a fine range of trestle tables and benches.

Unto This Last are local craftsmen of the digital age - they are based in London, making their plywood furniture range to order in their workshop, delivering only to their local market ie. London, so they do not have complicated logistics (no warehousing and packaging); and with the use of digital technology they are able to offer a huge product range from a small location.  As well as four standard facings (white, oak, dark and walnut), new for 2011 is a range of 150 colour laminates.

PS - we went to a great Royal Wedding Street Party - someone got so utterly legless, they decided that opening a tin of red paint was a good idea - you can imagine the carnage.  Trestle tables and benches with a pillar box red laminate would have disguised the damage.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

birds - from The Black Rabbit

Birdie things from The Black Rabbit based in Margate, Kent.
I love this brooch: spindly legs, clod hoppers: Curlew in shoes £17.50

Zip bag (perfect for cosmetics: it has a water resistant lining) £14
also available in red, brown and greeny yellow

Tea towel printed with birds £8.50

Made in Cumbria - sweet stuff

If you haven't had your fill of Easter eggs, and you need more sweet stuff, here are a couple of favourites:
Kendal mintcake - the best is Quiggins, in my opinion (according to their website it has been in production since 1880, longer than any other company) - super sweet of course as it is just sugar and peppermint, but crumbly rather than tooth-crackingly hard like Romneys:

and Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding available from the Cartmel Village Shop

Happy Easter

After the parade, it's time to eat the chocolate

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Thornback & Peel Royal Wedding tea towel

I'd like to dry the dishes with this Thornback & Peel tea towel

Royal Wedding - The Biscuiteers

This is not food, this is art: Royal Wedding biscuits from the amazing Biscuiteers - I'd love to watch the Royal Wedding in peace and quiet, sipping earl grey from a dainty tea cup, and nibbling on a fine biccie from the Biscuiteer.

If you are inspired to make your own, this fabulous blog Glorious Treats will show you how to ice biscuits - there are some pretty Easter biscuits which (excuse the cliche) look too good to eat.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Aubin & Wills fox cushion

yeah, foxy cushion!!

Aubin & Wills cushions available here.

Other fab homewares from Aubin & Wills - you'll need this picnic blanket....

...for tea out in the garden

Heather Stowell's button jewellery

I spotted Heather Stowell's jewellery at the Christmas Primrose Hill Designer Fair, and I was much tempted by her vintage button earrings - this is recycling at its finest.

I particularly love this pair of earrings which are made with Victorian glass and metal drops - 'in line' earrings start at £92, although ones with a a thick bezel setting like these cost more. And earrings with just one button start at £48.

Necklaces such as this one with five buttons start at £147.

Each piece of jewellery that Heather makes is a one-off, and she also takes commissions to set your favourite buttons in silver. If you haven't got any vintage buttons of your own, you could stop by The Button Queen in London - located at 76 Marylebone Lane - and pick out your own.

Heather will be at RHS Wisley over the Royal Wedding weekend (29th April to 2nd May) for the Craft and Design Fair.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Cor blimey guv it's the Royal Wedding next week

Love this plate by Lee Broom, spotted on the fantastic Crumbs blog (and boy do I need some new suggestions for food for my kids - there are threats of rebellion if I even mention vegetarian lasagne.  Must be something to do with serving it up every week for 6 months. Anyway, back to the Lee Broom plate).

This is one of several plates that have been commissioned by Livingetc to commemorate the Royal Wedding. Bids can be placed at a silent auction (via email), ending on 29th April 2011 at midnight.  All proceeds go to Shelter.

Kate always seems to be on the left. Why?

Charlotte Farmer Royal Wedding tea towel

 I spotted this Charlotte Farmer tea towel at the Selvedge Spring Fair

- thanks to Charlotte's blog for the pics - there were so many people crammed round the stall, I couldn't get a good pic myself.

And these neatly illustrate some of my current biscuit obsessions, namely the pink wafer and those wicked Tunnocks Teacakes.

Oh yeah custard creams

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Emma Bridgewater's Royal Wedding mug

Drown your sorrows that Wills didn't pick you: swig back a pint of gin out of one of these mugs from Emma Bridgewater

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Mrs Osborn's favourite shops - Mimi on Cheshire Street

Mimi on Cheshire Street is where my obsession for British-made things really took hold.  I love love love those old fashioned frame-style purses that close with a pleasing snap, so imagine my delight (c.2004) when I discovered her collection of said purses, in a rainbow of colours.  I wanted one of every colour; I settled for a green one, and a silver one (with a hot pink lining).

From there it was but a skip and a hop to purchasing bags (yes, that is plural) designed by Mimi.  I favour bags with long straps and a zip along the top - so my hands are free for swatting pesky children, and my possessions stay safe as I hurtle around town - and Mimi has designed plenty of those over the years that have somehow found their way home with me.  A particular favourite, not unlike the Delilah (see below) was made especially for me in fabulous orange leather.

I popped along to Cheshire Street earlier this week to take a look at Mimi's Spring Summer collection.

Delilah in tan.
Let me tell you all about it:
soft, slightly grainy leather,
one long strap cross-body strap, 
and one shorter strap to wear bag on the shoulder
zip top, inner pocket with zip.

Gracie purse with long strap - brilliant! - on mannequin.
Little Peggy satchel in hard leather hanging on wall to the left, 
and red and green ones on table (just seen)
Hero  messenger bag hanging on wall

Louis laptop case and Oscar travel wallet (on top of cabinet)
Gloria clutch bag - especially like the sparkly leather in sorbet colours- which I have seen up close, and it is delicious (top left in cabinet),
 and Lucy purses (bottom shelf in cabinet)

Big Teddy shopper bag - 
did you know the school book bags fit neatly inside? 
(hanging on wall and on desk)

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Polly George ceramics

Polly George ceramics are simple and elegant - hand-made white bone china decorated with, variously, butterflies, roses, birds and a pair of tiny little characters called Mr and Mrs Jones. Her china is made in Stoke on Trent, home of bone china, at the very last factory in Britain to hand-make china flowers.
Polly is a founder member of the collective behind the shop Luna & Curious on Calvert Avenue (Shoreditch, London); if you’re in the neighbourhood, I recommend a visit for fabulous fashion, jewellery and home accessories.

Mrs Osborn's favourite shops - Harrington & Squires

I'd really like to have a business card - but I think I need to be more of a ducker / diver / wheeler / dealer and a bit less of a maid-of-all-work before I splash out. Besides, I need some time to work out what info should go on my business card.

Once I've decided, I know where to go: Harrington & Squires, letterpress printers and designers.

Harrington & Spires are tucked away in Tufnell Park, in a tall thin space called The Corridor (1.2 metres wide, 3 storeys high).  They have many, many beautiful examples of business cards for inspiration, and can design one that is just right for you.

As well as bespoke business cards, wedding stationery, invitations and cards, Harrington & Squires also sell hankies, fridge magnets and calendars...
Top row: folded letter Love card £6;
Bottom row: Sneezie hankie printed with the word Sneeze, Boohoo or Atishoo £10 each
shopping list button fridge magnets -
you probably can't read the type as I didn't zoom in enough...
they have essential grocery items to remind you what to buy
top row: perforated calender
(it's long and thin and you tear off each day that goes by) £16.50;
bottom row: postcards £2.50 each

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Emily Bedford's earrings

I had a chance to meet Emily Bedford last week and to see her jewellery up close...having spied a friend wearing a pair of her swallow earrings (silhouettes of a bird in flight, set against gold leaf - classy and very wearable), I knew I had to do some investigations for myself.  

Emily hand makes her earrings individually, rather than casting them, using gold, silver, miniature paintings, resin and enamel - so each one is unique.

I took some pics of her earrings - she also makes necklaces, bracelets and brooches (available on her website). These earrings use pictures of tiny birds, and the images used in each pair are slightly, subtly different from each other.

earrings featuring miniature paintings from the Souvenir collection
gold and silver earrings with coloured enamel from the Dancer collection
gold earrings
It was lovely to meet you Emily, and thanks for the tea!
Here is a pic of the earrings that I have my eye on (these earrings are also available with black swallow on a gold background):

Selvedge Spring Fair - more highlights

A few more favourites from the Selvedge Spring Fair

Bojo Childrenswear - their website says: a timeless collection of beautifully British made linen and cotton clothing for girls aged 2 to 8.

I say: seriously wow.  These clothes are exquisite quality, fabulously detailed with little ruffles, pintucks, buttons...simple classic designs using fine fabrics....*all made by hand*.  Rebecca Cabot set up the company, and I am assuming I talked to her mum who told me a little bit about how she makes the clothes; the secret (as always) is making things in small batches. I am in total awe of her skill.

My photo does not do the care and attention to detail enough justice:
each piece has a small 'B' for Bojo neatly stitched on it. Swoon.

 Folk at Home - 'Functional goods made by hand to last'

wooden spoons, glycerine soaps, bread boards...
...letterpress cards by Karen Wilkes, candles from Cumbria...
there were seriously a LOT of tea towels at the Selvedge Fair -
I especially liked this one designed by Karen Wilks
which I bought for my brother's birthday present

Grace Ink Design - some more teatowels, and cushion covers, which I rather like:

Noolibird - hand made rubber stamps with extraordinary detail. I'm already a fan, I bought a lovely Christmas heart-shaped design which reminds me a lot of Tord Boontje's designs....this time I bought a flowery heart, and a 'with love' stamp which were £6 each.... Noolibird's largest stamps are approximately £25, but are large enough to cover a A6 card completely - so you can make beautiful handmade greetings cards in minutes.

(photo seems to be on its side and
I don't know how to turn it the right way round)

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Selvedge Spring Fair - some highlights (part 1)

I went to the Selvedge Spring Fair today at St Augustine's church hall on Archway Road - it was fantastic! a great selection of UK designer-makers: some that I already knew such as Noolibird, and some new ones like Bojo Childrenwear and Folk at Home.

First, some pics of St Augustine's church hall: all decked out in purple alliums for the Fair

Here are some high lights of the designer-makers (part 1)...

Blodwen - this company sells products made in Wales by a variety of designer-makers.  They are 'committed to the preservation and revival of traditional rural skills and the promotion of artisans...Blodwen aims to bring about real regeneration, contributing to rural communities as they maintain their way of life and livelihood'.

Blodwen zip purse and clasp purse
 quilts and blankets (Carthenni)
Magmu's Wild Rose organic lotions and creams

And Papa Stour - a company that sells Scottish made items: 'Papa Stour embraces Scottish art, craftsmanship and design in its purest form'.

hotwater bottle cover  by Kate
and some yellow dolly birds by Clare

merino wool blanket and cushion cover knitted by Kate
(with Fairisle knitted lavender heart perched on top)

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