Sunday, 16 August 2015

Paint and pots


Last weekend we went to two weddings - those two days could not have been more packed with joy and prosecco and happiness and beautiful flowers and great food and hugging!

I wanted a couple of small, homey but home-made gifts to give the respective couples, and I thought that a jade or money plant would be just the thing. Who DOESN'T fancy a little luck and prosperity when they've just paid for a wedding, hey?!

Anyway, I had a very rock'n'roll Friday night in the week before, watching The Bridge (four years after everyone else - I'm always late to these TV parties!) and painting flower pots. I used normal acrylic paints, then when they were dry masked them off and spray painted them with this nice metallic gold stuff. It tends to wear off a bit, but I think that will make for a quite nice 'aged' effect (hopefully!?!).

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Northern Quilts


Just internet-stumbled onto this collection of clothing by Joseph Aaron Segal, and fell head-over-heels in love. Shape/colour/texture... perfect!

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Shetland


If you follow me on instagram, you'll already know that my brother, sister and I took a trip to Shetland at midsummer. We were staying on Unst, the most northern island - in fact, the most northern bit of the whole of the British Isles.

These are some of my favourite photos from around the island - it was the most relaxing, wholesome, fresh and clean place I've been for a very long time! We had such a great time cycling and walking, visiting golden white beaches and staying up in the almost eerie midnight twilight. Plus, we got much closer than we'd bargained for to some puffins, which just about made my sister's year.

Not gonna lie - it was COLD! I'd just come from 24 celsius London, and although I knew it was going to be a lot cooler, and I'd brought wooly jumpers, I still somehow ended up wearing ALL of them everyday! When the sun did come out though, it just lit everything up - the colours of the island all intensified into the most vibrant green, turquoise and gold. Beautiful.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Pictures


Some photos from around the house lately... a bit of baking, a new cactus (only just picked all the prickles out my hands from carrying it home!) and the ever-growing lot of glass jars that, as the boyfriend says, are taking over the kitchen. But... so useful, no?!

Also, a new(ish) arrangement of prints above my desk. The one top right is from the wonderful garden book club, the 'Curiouser and curiouser' print can be found here, and the geometric one will soon be in the shop.

We're so enjoying these long, hot lazy weekend days. I need to be more careful though, got the silliest shaped sunburn yesterday when I missed some of my back with the suncream!

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Heavenly Seas


I'm loving this picture-story Heavenly Seas by Aidan Koch in the summer edition of The Paris Review - it's so evocative of lazy sun-soaked holiday light - and it's pretty funny, too.

Poor neglected blog! Things have been so busy lately (who HASN'T got that excuse though, eh?!) and I hope to be spending a bit more time here soon...

Sunday, 7 June 2015

cactus slice


Ever wondered what it looks like inside a cactus? Well, here you go!

This poor little one had an unrescuable fungal infection at its base, so I took the opportunity to appease my curiousity.

Happy Sunday!

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Weekender


Already a really nice weekend - some time at home, some baking (wholemeal, oat and pine nut loaves) and helping to move some lovely friends into a truly lovely new house.

Operation vintage minimalisation continues: the floral tapestry purse is now available on etsy, and the final image is of a new fern print soon to come in the shop.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Adventures in Margate shell grotto


A couple of weekends back we had a daytrip to Margate, and a little bird had told me that no trip to Margate is complete without a visit to the shell grotto. And they were right - holy doughballs is it weird! A subterranean shell-coated palace of oddness underneath an extremely ordinary-looking part of town. Theories about its origin abound, and with carbon dating (conveniently) not on the cards for the foreseeable future, no one is quite sure how old it is.

The sheer amount of painstaking work involved makes it quite jaw-dropping, whatever the motive of the creator or creators, and I definitely recommend popping in should you find yourself in the area!

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Making friends with yeast



For those of you whom I've been boring with my weekend bread photos on instagram, it won't come as news that I've got really into bread-baking lately. In fact, we haven't bought bread for a couple of months now. I'm surprised, because frankly I could never be bothered before! I'm a lazy baker, quick-cake-baker. But I tried this fantastic, easy, reliable recipe and practically IMMEDIATELY resolved to quit my job, move to country and bake bread all day long.*

It's very adaptable, in fact infinitely - I just use the same proportions of dried things to oil and liquid each time. Current favourite is a white loaf full of rosemary, chilli and cracked black pepper: the hint of olive oil with the rosemary gives it an exciting foccacia-like vibe (sure, I'm going to use the word 'vibe' here.) I've even tried replacing the water with the whey left-over when I make yoghurt, but that's another story...

Basically, it's broken down my fear of the yeast, which means many good things, such as a ludicrous number of hot cross buns at Easter. Now I want to try every yeasty thing I can think of! Next stop: Swedish-style cinnamon buns, which just might be one of the top five best things in the whole world, ever.

*It might have been worth the experiment simply for you all to take bets on how long that enthusiasm/lack of boredom would last...

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

"Curiouser and curiouser..."


Just a little note to show off a new thing: these Alice in Wonderland-inpired prints and notebook now available in the shop, here and here. It was so much fun planning out the freestyle hand-drawn type, and also this was the first time I put our (relatively) new gocco printer to use! LOVED IT. Now, if only I could find reasonably-priced gocco ink cleaner to buy, as I've not got much left. Any tips?

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Jane Austen Cookbook


Here is another of my recent projects - a book of six recipes, in both their Regency and modern forms, drawn from the novels of Jane Austen. Each recipe includes the extract of the novel in which it appears, as well as a custom pattern – a modern take on the sprigged muslins and patterned wallpapers of the time.

Each text extract is encapsulated within a smaller, inset set of pages, reflecting the form of the novel and also the way in which food is used as a metaphor by Austen. Throughout her books no detail of food or eating is ever incidental; it is always used pointedly to illustrate character or to carry subtext.

This project owes a debt to Maggie Lane's Jane Austen and Food for explaining many of those (to me) hidden meanings!

Sunday, 12 April 2015

soft/hard


These last few weeks I've been busy working away on my new website, with lots of new personal projects up on it. I think I'll show you a few of my favourites, starting with this cloth book Soft/hard which was inspired by Louise Bourgeois, and I wrote about it here.

I really enjoyed the thoughtful, quite meditative process of the stitching, and am pretty pleased with the results. I used a very stiff double-sided iron-on interfacing to help give form to the pages, which feels nice but if I was to do it again I would use single-sided stuff. The way the canvas clings around the stitches makes them quite lumpy-bumpy looking, which is fine, but you know – live and learn!

You can see more images of the project here.