Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Cherchbi Herdwyck bags

Cherchbi make super-smart bags out of herdwick tweed, a breed of sheep native to the Lake District.
(pic found here)

Herdwicks were kept by the monks at Furness Abbey and in more recent times by Beatrix Potter.  They have a distinctive look about them, lambs are mostly black, and become lighter with age - so their wool provides a delicious palate of greys.

The Norwich satchel by Cherchbi is inspired by military satchels from the 1930s and 40s (dimensions: 30cm x 23cm x 8.5cm) (£295)

The small holdall (dimensions 42cm x 26cm x 20cm) (£495)

The reporter satchel, inspired by a vintage binoculars case (dimensions 23cm x 27cm x 7cm) (£295)

Blodwen's Christmas Emporium

Blodwen is based in Cardigan Bay, selling Welsh-made products.  They are 'committed to the preservation and revival of traditional rural skills and the promotion of artisans' - and this is why I love them.
Their General Stores have been transformed into a Christmas Emporium. As the name suggests, it is a great place for Christmas shopping - there is something for everyone.

My top picks:
I want a pair of these - Dragon red 'Cwtch' (cosy) cashmere bedsocks - I would wear them 365 days a year! £35
Sheepskin slipper in dragon red £80
Traditional carthen tapestry blanket / bedcover £260
Welsh love spoon £25

Monday, 28 November 2011

Mrs Osborn Goes on a spree to Cockpit Arts: Catherine Hills

Catherine Hills, who originally started out in Cockpit Arts, was back at the Open Studios event at the weekend with her current jewellery collection.  These photos hardly give her work justice - she makes finely detailed and textured pieces in a mixture of silver, oxidised silver and gold plate that are inspired by plants, such as tiny clusters of seed-pods, and animals. My top favourite, not photographed here as my camera doesn't have a good enough zoom (*sigh*), is a weasle pendant - although I do love a good seed-pod too. 

Catherine's pieces have great movement - I spied a lovely bumblebee that, rather than frozen in flight, has wings that are separate to the body so that they move, as do the daisy petals on the bracelet pictured below. I like these distictive details in Catherine's designs, and also that it's very wearable jewellery for everyday. 

Contact Catherine via her website to purchase her jewellery - she also takes commissions.

I especially like the bracelet at the bottom right

daisy bracelet

bracelet (I'd also happily wear this one)

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Mrs Osborn goes on a spree to Cockpit Arts - Jen Rowland

Cockpit Arts studios are having open weekends - this weekend at Holborn and next weekend at Deptford, a great place for a spot of Christmas shopping. Jen Rowland is based in Deptford - she designs fabulous bold prints of florals and trees, which are screen printed onto fabrics for cushions, lampshades, teatowels and notebooks in subtle neutral shades mixed with hot pinks and vivid mustard yellows.

Red daisy cushion (bottom centre), trees lampshade (top left) and acacia lampshade (behind)

Yellow daisy cushion (I love this colour)

Acacia cushion

handsome teddy bears

more lampshades and stationnery (the red lampshade, second from left, is an 'inside out' shade)

Mrs Osborn goes on a spree to the Primrose Hill Fair, Regents Park Road

I went to the Primrose Hill Christmas Fair today, and found these embroidered cushions by Shanti Sundays a company that makes yoga clothes and these cushions which according to the website are 'yoga props'. I'm not exactly sure how they would prop you up, especially since I do Bikram Yoga which is too hot to even think about woollen cushions. But anyway, they are very pretty and could be used for general lounging around on the sofa.

Large cushion £45, small cushion £35, Heart meditation cushion £42

I think the name of this designer is Silvia James, who makes alpaca children's wear. I should have taken a card, but I forgot and when I returned they had gone. Perhaps they had blown away - it was very windy this morning.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Cockpit Arts Open Studios - this weekend! (25-27th Nov 2011)

Cockpit Arts are having an Open Studios events this weekend.

Holborn Studios are open Saturday and Sunday from 11am until 6pm - Cockpit Yard, Northington Street, London WC1N 2CP.
Deptfort Studios are open 2nd to 4th December: 11am to 9pm on Friday, and 11am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday - 18-22 Creekside, Deptford, London SE8 3DZ.

It's a chance to meet the designer-makers and a great place for Christmas shopping.  Some of my favourite designers at Cockpit Studios include:

Yen - silver jewellery

Thornback & Peel - tea towels, napkins, aprons, cushion covers

Yoyo Ceramics - apple fruit tidy (great price!)

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Rachel Orme handbags

Rachel Orme, maker of handbags, uses beautiful materials for her creations: this embossed leather (in pic below) is particularly delicious; lining materials are Liberty or William Morris fabrics, or striped ticking.

Rachel has some great shopper / tote bags - both the Monmouth and Charlotte have a zipped pocket and mobile phone pocket on the inside, and the Charlotte has a magnetic closure at the top, and the length of the straps can be adjusted by the buckles.

The Monmouth (36 x 33 x 10cm), fabric from £80, leather from £140.

The Charlotte (29 x 38 x 14cm, narrowing to 7.5cm) from £190.

Interior fabric

Rachel offers a bespoke or semi-bespoke service allowing customers to choose the leather, lining and fittings - contact her via her website for more info.

Monday, 7 November 2011

metallic pewter Zatchel

Here is my metallic pewter Zatchel - size 14.5 in. -

look how much stuff can fit in:
Top row: Sunglasses, purse, filofax
Bottom row: pens, lipstick and Blackberry.
There is more in there like a huge bunch of keys, hairbrush, notebook - could also fit paperback / A-Z. Leather is pretty stiff, so the bag can't endlessly expand.
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