Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Tatty Devine - favourite brooches and their Fine silver jewellery

I love Tatty Devine for its colourful, witty jewellery - who else designs lobster necklaces, ping pong cufflinks and fried-egg brooches? And the must-have perspex name necklaces which can be personalised by chosing from an a rainbow of colours, glittery or not, and embellished with a tiny charm of your choice - new are the bird and the bow, although I have my eye on the anchor.  I like the idea of a name necklace as a Mother's Day present from my tiny beloveds SophiaLauraSamRachel (since I usually have to run through all their names before I get to the right one), but that is longer than 9 characers which seems to be the limit.  

I love that all (well, 99%, according to their website) of Tatty Devine's world-famous jewellery is made in their London and Kent workshops, and that they collaborate with designers and bands to make special peices. One of my favourite brooches is this gin bottle which was designed with Gilbert & George.
Another favourite brooch is this tortoiseshell fox.
They've also recently launched their Fine collection - classic laser-cut designs now made in sterling silver... I'm never without a necklace and I'd certainly give space to the trapeze artists or the crown necklace in my ever growing collection.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Mrs Osborn goes on a spree to 123 Brick Lane

A few weeks ago I went on a spree to 123 Brick Lane, which stands proudly at the corner of Brick Lane and Bethnal Green Road, the newly painted vertical numbers clearly visible from Brick Lane.  A quick read of the Gentle Author's Spitalfield's Life post reveals that this shop had a colourful past - former occupants sold buckles to the clothing industry and air guns (unusual combination by any retailers standards), and to boost business they also sold illegal guns.

It now houses the boutique 123, which sells a mix of fashion, art, food and lifestyle products celebrating the best of Britain's creative talent.  It's a good place to go and find unusual things for your home, or unique pieces of clothing, or presents for people that like something a bit different - there's something for everyone, from very affordable little bits and bobs like books or soap, to the more expensive jewellery or one-off art works. Check out their Tumblr for more info about what's new in their boutique.

I like the decorative gold and silver skulls in their window displays

Some of the designer-makers currently on sale at 123 Brick Lane are: diaries and address books by Leathersmith of London, art work by Altered Curiosity, hand made soap by Fanny & Claude, Tana West ceramics and Maxemilia hankies. I'll blog more about these designer-makers soon.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Alexis Dove - urchin hoop earrings

I have these Alexis Dove urchin hoop earrings in gold vermeil. I bought them last summer (after my search for the perfect hoop earrings) and I wear them almost every day and they are much admired. I hesitate to say that they are my 'go to' earrings, since I don't like that phrase, but it's true: if I can't think what earrings to wear, and I really must always wear earrings, I'll put these on.
I have the smaller size (42mm diameter), but I covet the larger ones (56mm diameter) having seen Alexis herself wearing a pair at a fair.  I'd like them in rose gold vermeil - not on available her website, but I have heard rumour of them.
All her pieces are handmade in Sussex - I liked the fact that, when I placed the order for my urchin hoops, I had to wait a bit for them to be made (even though I was so impatient, I would have liked them yesterday).
I also like her little wren and bunny rabbit pendants - available in silver or gold vermeil
If you live down Sussex way, Alexis has a showroom in Lewes based in The Needlemakers - which stocks her collection and a few other selected designers such as Laura Gravestock.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Emma Fox - new anchor earrings

Look at these new anchor earrings by Emma Fox - pretty lovely, aren't they?! I especially like the fact that she has pinned them onto a banana; I have pinned them to my Pinterest board: Formerly I Was A Pirate.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Miller & Jeeves

I've just discovered the lovely Miller & Jeeves, an Oxfordshire based company that makes purses, clutches, bags and belts. Miller & Jeeves are an excellent example of the kind of designer-maker that I search for when I am on a spree, so to speak - contemporary design, traditional techniques, quality materials, handmade in Britain. If you want to buy any of their wares, contact Miller & Jeeves directly, or check them out at Not On The High Street.
Oo, navy pigsuede clutch, with pink tassle. V smart.
Cute little Flo purse
Aubrey clutch purse - available in range of colours, also available with an internal pocket (credit card sized)

Monday, 20 February 2012

Gabrielle Vary knitwear

Thanks to Twitter, I have found out that Gabrielle Vary (who I met at the Selvedge Autumn Fair and is the creator of my favourite quincey yellow scarf - described as mustard on the website - which I am wearing as I type) has a Facebook page.  On this page she has posted today some pics of her creations... I hope Gabrielle does not mind that I have copied a few here. The colours that Gabrielle uses in her collection are edible - look at this seagreen, damson and the most cheerful orange you ever did see.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

The McGill Duncan Gallery, Castle Douglas

I have just discovered the McGill Duncan Gallery at 231 King Street, Castle Douglas which has a collection of very covetable ceramics, paintings, prints and sculpture.  I could happily give wall space, or shelf space, to many of the pieces from this lovely gallery which specialises in Scottish paintings from the C19th, and contemporary works by national and international artists and makers. The gallery is run by Jill and Zoe Blamire, a mother and daughter team, and it is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm all year round. Check out their blog for more info on events and what's new in the gallery.

A few of my favourites below, but where shall I start? - there are so many.

I love this earthenware slipware by Paul Young - as child I often visited the Wetheriggs pottery in the northern Lakes which used to make simple earthenware pieces for the kitchen decorated with wiggly lines and dots.  These pieces by Paul Young have more complicated patterns, but he uses those familiar feathered lines, dots and dashes.

I'd like both these pieces by Winifred Hodge who was born in Galloway, and now lives in Wensleydale Yorkshire. This Wee Mouse is particularly sweet, and I love the big open skies of this painting which I could dive into, if I had wings, a refreshing view when I feel crowded by city life - titled Frogs Are Croaking (mixed media on canvas).

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

I love this poem by Carol Ann Duffy: 'Echo' - which Jeanette Winterson chose in the Saturday Guardian as a favourite love poem. It says so much to me in those few lines of the last verse.

I think I was searching for treasures or stones
in the clearest of pools
when your face...

when your face.
like the moon in a well
where I might wish....

might well wish
for the iced fire of your kiss;
only on water my lips, where your face...

where your face was reflected, lovely,
not really there when I turned
to look behind at the emptying air...

the emptying air.

And some lavender hearts for sweetness, made by Catherine Tough which I snapped on my weekend visit to Broadway Market.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Sophia Langmead's Valentine's Day posters

Sophia Langmead has some new posters for Valentine's Day. I love the bluebirds.

 These ones are on sale in Judith Michael & Daughter on Regent's Park Road, NW1. Sophia also has pieces on sale at The Cross, Holland Park.

Valentine's Day is approaching

What does Valentine's Day mean to you? Love or lust?

(found in a shop on Regent's Park Road NW1)

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Mimi - Spring / Summer 2012 - top picks

Mimi's collection for Spring Summer 2012 is now available online. These are my top picks:
Isabella, in green - a nice curvy shape, and one of those bags that can fit everything you need for a day out and about - it's 50cm wide at the base, 31cm high and 12cm deep. I like to carry a lot of stuff around, as revealed by Mimi's recent blog post that featured the contents of my handbag - and this bag would be perfect, especially as it has handles to wear on the shoulder and a detachable cross-body strap (the sign of a truly great handbag).  It is available in a really good Springy green colour and also black, brown, pale grey, tan, and grape. The Pelham bag has a similar design and slightly smaller dimensions.
Eric - ah, Eric, a bag which has already found fame and fortune, since it featured in the Guardian in January. It's a great size for those that like to travel light as it is big enough to take keys, purse, phone and other essentials - but not the kitchen sink. It's made of hard leather that will become more shiny and a deeper colour with age, it features a turn-catch which (in my opinion) makes it a bag of great loveliness because I don't like magnetic catches at all, and the strap can be removed so that it can be used as a clutch bag on your (rare, in my case) evening out. It's available in red, navy, black, brown and camel. Total class. Dimensions: 27cm x 17cm, depth 5cm.
Daniel Dotty in yellow - it can be used as clutch or a purse inside a larger bag - very useful for make-up, I'd say. It's available in yellow, pink, blue and taupe dotty leather. There is also a non-dotty version which is available in seven colours. Dimensions: 25cm x 20cm.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

A beautiful winter evening on Primrose Hill

Mrs Osborn goes on a spree to Broadway Market

I went to Broadway Market today - an early start, and back in time for lunch. What a beautiful morning, endless pale blue skies tinged with apricot.
Broadway Market is right on the Regent's Canal which was frozen over, the smell of woodsmoke in the air from the canalboats (oh, I'd like to sit by a log fire right now)

Time to dive in and get some delicious food: bread...
...and sausages
...fruit (very good bottled apple juice, just behind the grapefruits)
And there are stalls selling other goodies too, like this knitwear by Catherine Tough - blankets and hotwater bottle covers - just what is needed on a cold crisp day like today. Catherine uses soft lambswool and a range of soft colours: I am particularly taken with the duck egg blue, moss green and papaya red. To my delight I discovered she was also using my fav colour of the moment, mustard yellow.  I bought a pair of her lambswool socks, in blue and mustard (natch), which are extremely cosy (size 4-7, and I am 7.5 and they fit perfectly). Thank you Catherine!
Hearts, rabbits, owls - filled with lavender
Scarf in papaya red
Sweetheart Knits - handknitted jumpers, tank tops, cardis and hats for kids

There are some great shops too - Fabrications - the studio for designer-maker Barley Massey who upcycles local waste into interior furnishings and craft kids (click here to take a look at what she makes). It is also a centre for creativity: learn crocheting, patchworking, knitting and other skills. Check out their calendar for events this month.

Stella Blunt at 75 Broadway Market - a fabulous combination of vintage furniture and GOLD SKULLS

Brewode's Cornucopia - coffee, bagels, cakes (website does not seem to be live, but follow them on Twitter @brewodes)

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