Thursday, 29 December 2011

Lydia Leith - more sick bags, screen prints and illustrations

We all remember Lydia Leith's genius Royal Wedding sick bags (blogged about here)
Since the Royal Wedding she's done a few more sick bags, I like the Sictorian Victorian
and the Art Nouveaurrgh 
Lydia also makes limited edition screenprints on deckled edged Somerset Velvet* paper, also available from her Bigcartel shop
and I like this illustration she has done for an Edinburgh-based beer company
That reminds me: Oooo anchors, more on them and other nautical things another time

(*not to be confused with Kleenex Velvet)

Candles: Spitalfield Candles and Green & Spring

Oh the drama - high winds last night, lights flickering, perhaps this means a power cut, midnight search for candles, could only find birthday cake candles...etc.
These candles from Green & Spring and Spitalfield Candles will not only light up the room, but smell sweet too - so you feel totally zen while you wait for the power to come back on and try not to mind too much that the freezer is defrosting.
Revitialising candle: 100% natural wax, peppermint, rosemary and fennel essential oils
Green and Spring also make a range of very nice beauty products: shampoo, bath oil, shower foam, skin cream...Green & Spring use herbs and flowers which are native to the British Isles, and have been used in apothecaries for their therapeutic qualities. All products are free of parabens and other nasties.
Spitalfield Candles are made from soya wax from a sustainable source and essential oils - I particularly like the idea of the frankincence and juniper candle (obv).
(pic found here)

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Tea towels - Repeat Repeat, Angel, Angie Lewin, Lush Designs, Lisa Jones

At this time of year, the washing up mountains can be somewhat overwhelming - these cheery tea towels will make the task fun. Oh who am I kidding - I hate washing up, having done it from the age of 5, so small I needed a chair to reach the sink.

'Why did the chicken cross the road?' tea towel by Repeat Repeat
Angel linen Stag head tea towel
Elipse tea towel by Angie Lewin
Beetroot tea towel by Lush Designs
Also very nice, but printed in India (Fairtrade): Lisa Jones Love Birds tea towel

All found at One Brown Cow, a shop which sells goods designed, manufactured and supplied from within the British Isles.

Mrs Osborn goes on a spree to Ulverston

Ulverston, a small market town in Cumbria, is the perfect place for a little shopping spree - many little independent shops, a thriving market hall, a twice weekly street market.  (I think Mary Portas would approve.)  There are also a number of chain stores which provide basic groceries and so on - for those times when you just can't justify spending £ on designer-maker washing up liquid.

just past Gillams tea room is Thomas' Bakers - fine fruit pies, baps and bloomers

excellent picture framers The Tinners' Rabbit

Sutton's Bookshop

Brambles gift shop

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Kindle and iPad covers

If you got a Kindle or an iPad for Christmas, you're going to need one of these to keep it safe.
Kindle covers from Little Red Designs

Kindle covers by Ali O'Brien (available from Not on the High Street and Etsy)
super smart iPad case from Mimi 
Tweed (*love*) iPad case by Breagha

leather iPad case from Freeload Accessories (from Not on the High Street)

Zatchels: Ladybird and Metallic stars

I can't seem to find a better pic than this, but look:
Ladybird Zatchel
Metallic stars Zatchel

Monday, 26 December 2011

Made in Cumbria - blankets by Helvellyn Herdwick and Original Cumbrian Wool, and oak swills

I ate so much Christmas dinner yesterday that these blankets are about the only thing big enough to wrap around my expanded self.

Helvellyn Herdwicks make throws and blankets from the wool of sheep that live on the Helvellyn fells - the light grey Herdwick wool is left in natural shades, and also dyed mossy green, a russet bracken colour and soft pink and blue.

Original Cumbrian Wool is a group of sheep farmers based in the Duddon Valley that make rugs and blankets from undyed wool from their fell-bred sheep.
Two-ply rug

Single ply rug

Oak swills are baskets traditional to south Lakeland and were used in farming and industry, and they can be bought from Owen Jones who makes them using traditional methods: the main part of the basket is made from thin oak strips steamed until they are pliable, woven on to a hazle rim ('bool').  
Oak swills are perfect as log baskets, but also for laundry or toys or newspapers...
this is a pic of a much-loved swill: you will note that the swill is missing a handle. 
this is not traditional design

Sunday, 25 December 2011

today: Liberty and Lesley Parry (and chocolate money)

Liberty scarf: tomato red, mustard yellow, blue-grey (like the sky this Christmas morning) and orange. A present to me, from me - guarantees satisfaction every time. There are some who tell me to stay away from the mustard yellow, but I can't resist - and it's cheerful on a day when it has drizzled all day.

Silver jewellery from Lesley Parry at Camden Lock Market - silver bangles, bracelets using antique silver beads from India and earrings made of real treasure: antique Northern Indian coins (bull on one side, horseman on the other) from the Shahi dynasty in the 10th / 11th Century.

And lots of chocolate money

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Mrs Osborn's favourite shops: The Shop Floor, Ulverston

I love The Shop Floor Project, the on-line shop that has a fantastic selection of products by talented designer-makers, so I was very happy to find their bricks and mortar shop in the market town of Ulverston, Cumbria. I met Denise and Samantha, the mother and daughter team, behind The Shop Floor Project and it's sister-site The Secret Arcade, and found some lovely things by British designer-makers. Denise and Samantha both have a training in Fine Art - it explains their excellent taste.

The Shop Floor, 60 Market Street, Ulverston
These are a few of my favourite things:

softest cashmere throws by Holly Berry
(the pattern uses the Morse Code symbols to spell out Love)

leather bags made by GDH Leatherwork in Wales, in collaboration with The Shop Floor Project
(Not available on their website - contact them directly on 01229 584 537)

Throws made in Wales, especially like the red and tomato orange combo (hmm didn't write down the name of the designer-maker - contact the shop directly about these)

(and clutch bag by Urban Knit - using bold Nigerian fabrics - not sure these are made in the UK)

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Duckie Christmas Market at the Barbican

The Barbican is hosting the Duckie Christmas Market in the Foyer from 10th to 30th December 2011- nightly 6pm to 9.30pm, and weekends 2pm - 9.30pm (check website for days that the Market is not open).

Rachel Orme hand makes these leather purses and handbags in her London studio using fine textured leathers such as this embossed leather

I love these Wee Bothies by Glenshee Potteries
For more information contact Diana MacFarlane 01250 882 238

Michaela Willis, who will also be at the Stables Market (Camden Town), makes ceramic Christmas tree baubles and birdies
She can be contacted at

Very sweet knitted cushions, toys and blankets from Sally Nencini - check out her Etsy shop for more of her creations - there is a fabulous London bus cushion

I especially love this pencil case / purse

Sarah Turner's decorative lighting from waste plastic drinks bottles

 Ulli Kaiser, guest artist at the Designer Jewellers Group (9th Nov 2011 to 6th Jan 2012)

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