Friday, 26 December 2008

Holidays

I'm off to visit my family in Munich for a few days, and will back with guns blazing in January. There will be some skiing, and I've been promised some Feuerzangebowle.

(At the moment my boyfriend is washing up the debris of our Christmas Get-Together while I am drinking wine and posting here. He is driving us through the night to Stansted Airport, and really I should be doing the washing up, while he naps. Bad.)

Happy New Year, and hopefully this will be what Munich looks like when we celebrate 'Silvester' ).

Image by Photohalde

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas


Image by athena1970


Wishing you happy, peaceful holidays with your family.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Winterling

Currently available on Ebay:

This Coffee Pot is made by Winterling in Bavaria, and is form the 1960's. I recently oggled a similar (orange) set at a local auction, but didn't go for it in the end. This seller (in the USA) also has the matching cups and sugar bowls etc available. If the £Pound wasn't so pathetic, I'd consider the shipping cost. What a stunning design!

Image via Ebay

Friday, 19 December 2008

Crochet Blisters

Image by madelinetosh


For the last few weeks I've been feeling really good about the fact that I've chosen to handmake most Christmas presents this year, and planned to crochet up a storm!

Now, after three days of crocheting, I have become the Grinch. This is approximately what my entire study looks like. I long to drive to Asda and buy everyone an incredibly generic present. Perhaps a bottle of bleach.

(I wish I could show you the various things I'm making, but it's secret!)

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Antonio Citterio Chairs for B&B Italia

Images via ebaylisting

On ebay now
!

A set of 4 of these chairs, Buy it Now £160. Eek! I wish I had room for these (and the spare cash). The more I look at them, the more I love them.

And to make things worse, there are also two chairs available with blue seat cushion. aarg! And if I wasn't already tormented enough: they are Local Pick Up Only, from a shop which happens to be literally just round the corner from my Grandparent's house.



PS: For Sale! Only £160, Anythingyouwantfrommyhouse.

Mini Gift Guide - Neutral Tones

Set of 3 Lavender Sachets £ 12.50 by LAMDesigns


White Swarovski Necklace, £11.50 by Mia Belle Jewellery



Star sterling silver Earrings, £12.00 by Magpie Nest


Vintage Lace Lavender Bags, £2.50, by from Rags to Bags

Cath Kidston Tiny Star Umbrella, £14.68, from cathkidston.co.uk

All images via the respective sellers.

Chestnuts roasting on the open fire...

Image by Elstruthio

We now have a fully functioning open fire in our Living Room. It took two visits from the chimney sweep, who spent hours clearing out the chimney. There were two crow's nests in there, and the second one was almost impossible to dislodge.

Mr Chimney Sweep cleared out several bags of twigs and stuffing, and other 'nest-building' materials such as metal pipes and steel rods (they must have been some mighty muscular birds!)

When he finally managed to dislodge the second nest, he called me from the kitchen (where I was test-baking cupcakes - for a change) and told me to come outside to see the birds. They were rioting! According to the chimney sweep, when the crows saw his brush break through their nest, they (correctly) assumed it was a predator, and called out a warning cry. This summoned a huge flock of crows, who circled above our house, making a huge racket. It was a grey, overcast day, and the whole thing felt very Hitchcock.

Image by deadeyebart

After extensive testing the chimney was declared safe to use, and we have been enjoying our open fire ever since. The fireplace itself is quite small (a lot smaller than the one in the first picture), and the chimney sweep informs me that this would have once been a bedroom fireplace, for example in a nursery. Some clever clogs must have replaced the original one, which would have been a lot bigger. Fortunately, this bedroom fireplace is lovely to look at, and still big enough to have a cosy fire.

We live in a little town that is set within a National Park and World Heritage Site. The town was granted World Heritage status in 2000, to recognise the importance of its Ironworks and Coalmine. (Which are no longer in operation, but played a significant part in the development of the modern world; certain processes used in the creation of steel were discovered here.)
They recently filmed a BBC Series here which you may have seen - Coal House.

It's really nice to look at our little fire, and think of all the history behind the pieces of coal, and about the town with its terraced Miner's Cottages and the local landscape, characterised by huge slagheaps. (I'm getting carried away with these romantic notions! Next I'll be dressing in period costume!) We've lit the fire, had the Christmas tree lights on, and sipped mulled wine whilst wrapping presents and watching Nigella's Christmas cooking on TV. Bliss!

I would love to take a photo of our actual fire for you, but it takes a while to start up, and looks less attractive in the daylight. Perhaps I'll persuade my other half to build one this evening, and post a picture for you later.

****NB Big thanks to my Mother, who advance-gifted the chimney sweep to us for Christmas.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Timber!


This made me laugh. (This Tshirt would make a great gift for my youngest brother. ) (I can't stop myself from posting things for sale on Etsy - somehow the novelty just isn't wearing off for me)
Available from timberps here.

(image via timberps)
I have been absent from here for a little while (sorry!). All the Christmas crafting and baking is taking up my time. Additionally we have had some small home improvements done, and now are lucky enough to have a fully functioning, open fire place in our Living Room. (This development involved a bird riot. More on that later!)

To get me back in the flow of things, Here's an item (available on Etsy) which I am currently coveting.


These bracelets are by Unique Art Pendants, and are made up of vintage charms. It's great to see someone make something so lovely out of something used. The bracelets cost only $10, which includes free international shipping! Bargain.

Images via uniqueartpendants

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Dear Santa

In the hope that Santa reads this blog, here's my little wish list. (It feels really self indulgent writing this list! )

1: Monsieur IV by blancucha
2: Tiny Pony in a Jar Print
by hamburgerpanda ( A tiny pony in a jar!!!!! I want this print, and a real one!)


3: 500w Telescpoic Tripod Light (Screwfix) (For lighting when taking photographs inside. The light at this time of year is really awful)



4: Tiny Cloud silver earrings by Original Designs Uk


5: An Ice Cream Scoup (for cupcake baking)
6: An Apron! (I am very messy, and need one.)

A Whole Can of Christmas Cupcake Worms

Yesterday the oven man came, and fixed my over. There was a wire loose in the thermostat meaning that the temperature in the oven was always low. Now that it is fully functioning again, I have all sorts of plans for baking - Hoorah!

I was planning on baking a (very) large batch of cupcakes for Christmas, as we are having people over on two separate occasions. I had it all planned out in my head, and then I searched Flickr for Christmas Cupcakes. Mistake! My plan now seems simple and juvenile, and I desperately want to create something fabulous. Check out these lovely Christmas Cupcakes:


Photo by Freakgirl

There are many more wonderful examples on Flickr if you care to be inspired. I absolutely can't decide what I'm doing with mine yet. Last night I attempted a carrot - nut cupcake with chocolate mousse icing, but it wasn't quite right. Wish me luck!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Illustration Friday - Similar

My entry to Illustration Friday's topic: Similar.

This is Marcel and Massimo and they are discussing the current economic climate.

I was using this background pattern as a placeholder while I created the actual one. Then I realized it looked exactly like the lino floor in my kitchen, so I left it as is. (Does anyone else struggle with knowing when to stop? I do!)

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Kira Ferrer Designs - Handmade on Maui

The older I get, the harder it seems to find jewellery that I really like. Whilst looking for something completely different I stumbled across this Etsy Store, and instantly fell in love with Kira Ferrer's Jewelry Designs. (I've been ranting poetic about how talented some people are for the last 15 minutes).

Her designs are a perfect combination of simplicity and playfulness.

Curve Earring $32.00

Hummingbird Bangle $42.00

Visit Kira Ferrer's Designs here to have a look at all the other beautiful pieces for sale. And if you order soon you'll just make the Christmas deadline for international shipping (7th Dec). Imagine how fun it would be to tell people your bangle was handmade on Maui!

Friday, 5 December 2008

Perfectionism for Dummies

I am not a perfectionist. In fact, I may be the anti-perfectionist. When decorating a room I'm the one going full pelt with a roller - the small details like edges and glossing are not for me.

Recently I have tried, on several occasions, to take some decent photographs of my little heart ornaments. As part of my degree I specialised in photography, so I have absolutely no excuse for not being able to take these photos in a timely and professional manner. (Although in my defense, I only used medium format cameras, not digital).

The photos didn't immediately turn out the way I wanted them. Lo and behold, from the depths of my being, emerged my inner perfectionist! I can't say that I like her, but she has spurred me on to try to push that little bit further. (Maybe it's something to do with the fact that I recently started taking yoga classes).

Several attempts, a lot of swearing, shouting and mess later, and I can finally say I am satisfied with the pictures. Not happy, but at least satisfied. I'm hoping that I can now lay this issue to rest, and am attempting to gain some closure by writing this post.

Here are some of the photos, illustrating my journey from a slob to an embittered, frustrated perfectionist:

This first attempt was relatively stress free. I only moved 3 pieces of
furniture around, and the sun light was great.

In retrospect, this is probably better than the next attempt.
(Except that the white balance is way off).

This one involved a mop, a bed sheet, two chairs, a clothes dryer,
raiding my mum's linen cupboard, and me crouching on the window sill
for half an hour in my pyjamas.

My favourite photo of them all. For some reason the ornaments tend to
look better close up in photos (The birdie came with a twin brother, as part of a
job lot I bought at an auction).


Today's attempt. You can see my collection of black & white vases here.
( I want moooore!) What you can't see is that I haven't gotten round to
painting gloss paint onto the top of the mantelpiece yet, and it's just a
primed wooden surface. Oops. (I'm a slob after all. Hooray!)

Now the final question is: Are you sick of these blasted red and white heart ornaments yet? Yes? ME TOO!

Toast is Warm

Every time an email from Toast lands in my Inbox, I know I'm in for a little treat. There will always be a stunning photo in the email which will wake your imagination. for example:

Click on the photo to see Toast's warm products.

The London Cushion Company

Pig Cushion £30 (also comes in another colourway - brown)

The London Cushion Company are currently offering free delivery on orders over £60. This offer ends on Sunday 14th December. I've picked a few of my favourite cushions, but it's definitely worth checking out their range. You can shop by colour or price range.

Oscar Round Cushion £36 (3 other colourways available)
Birds Cushion £36

Tree House Cushion £45

Rabbit Cotton Cushion £65



***NB to the Parker/Hobsons: I'm sure the Pig Cushion could be on Sarah's Christmas Wish List!

Word of the Day: 'crystalize'


Photo by M J M
crystalize verb

  1. To assume crystalline form.
  2. To take definite form. (Source: Wiktionary.org)

Thursday, 4 December 2008

This post is of little relevance....

.... to anyone but myself, but I'm going to subject you to it anyway.

I've created a little 'home' page which is more of a gateway to my blog, and Folksy & Etsy shops. tadah! (....)



www.quest28.co.uk

It was a little bit of an uphill struggle, as I have no experience of actually publishing a webpage to the web. Whilst I would like to claim that I worked how to do it all out on my own, in reality my patient boyfriend Anthony sussed it out, and also found me some free webhosting (Hurrah!)

Kartell Louis Ghost Chair

Photo by Stephan Geyer

I'm not sure when I first came across these chairs designed by Phillip Stark for Kartell, but I've had a fondness for them since. The glamorous, baroque inspired shape, paired with the modern polycarbonate material create a really interesting chair, which doesn't overpower any interior.

Peterstone Court, a Country house hotel in South Wales (near me), used them in their very traditional Dining Room. You can see a photo of a similar setting here.

When I win the Lottery
, I'll definitely be getting a couple of these!

Available from about £160 at A White Room (and lots of other places, including ebay).


Image above via A White Room.

Word of the Day: 'winnow'


Photo by IRRI Images
winnow verb
  1. To free or separate grain or the like from chaff or refuse matter, usually by means of wind.
  2. To wave to and fro; to flutter; to flap. (Source: wiktionary.org)

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Word of the Day: triskaidekaphobia

Photo by Leo Reynolds

triskaidekaphobia noun
  1. Fear, hate, or dislike of the number thirteen (13).
  2. Fear of Friday the 13th. (Source: wiktionary.org)

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Folksy Angels Voting Time!

As you may remember, I recently entered a competition organised by Folksy. The brief of the competition was to create Christmas Decorations using recycled materials. (You can read more about the competition, and a full description of my entry in my earlier post here.) There were many great entries, and it is now time to cast your votes!


You can cast your votes in the comment section of this post over on the Folksy Blog, where you can also admire all of the entries. The prize is a years worth of free listings and sales on Folksy. I've got my fingers crossed, and would be delighted if you chose to vote for me.

Just to remind you, here are some pictures of my entry. I created these ornaments out of old children's encyclopedias, and a jumper. To see the full post of entries and vote, click here. Thanks! :)


Olli and Lime


I adore this print by Olli and Lime. They are UK designers of 'high end children's furnishing for design conscious parents'. There is a whole range to accompany this beautiful print. While it would look great in a children's room, I'm sure this print would also work in an adult interior. (Along with a lot of other items from their range - perfect for a guest bedroom. To check out their range visit their website here.

The print above is available for £45.00 here in the UK, or from Fawn & Forest in the US for $90.00 here.


Image via olliandlime.com.