Friday, 10 October 2008

Oo ahh

I just stumbled across these, and think they are absolutely fantastic. I've never seen this idea before, but would love to know if these are available elsewhere.

Photo from pedlars.co.uk

These are 'Helen Candle Shades' which you place on top of a wine glass. Pop a tealight inside the wineglass, and hey presto, you have a table light/lamp. (I wonder if it gives a slightly different glow, depending on what colour/size tealight you use...hmm)

Finally I have a reason to buy extravagant wine glasses from the Clearance section of TK Maxx. They often sell sets of beautifully shaped wine glasses, where one is missing. (we have three huge bulbous ones, now I just need the lampshades!)

For £9.95 you get three of these vellum shades, in different design. Click here to shop.

When I win the Lottery.... Polder Sofay

Image from Lollipopshoope


This lovely sofa is called 'Polder Sofa' and was designed by Hella Jongerius in 2005. It's available in three sizes, and in the colours green (above), red, and anthracite. As pointed out by Lollipopshoppe.co.uk: "The corpus of the Polder Sofa is just as low-lying, just as much emphasis on the horizontal". What more could you want from a sofa! It's priced at £3969 - £4778 for the largest (xl) version, which is 3.33m long. Available at Lollipopshoppe.co.uk, for more photos & info click here. When I win the Lottery...this will be pretty high-up on the 'To Buy' list. I adore the different coloured fabrics, and especially the one black upholstery button.

When I win the Lottery....

Over the last 8 months we have been decorating and furnishing our home. We started with nothing; except for my University leftovers, such as my collection of vintage My Little Ponies, and some bed sheets (The ponies have not yet made it into the house, and languish in my mother's attic. Any day now, when my boyfriend's back is turned, I'll sneak them in!)

We had a lot of help from friends and family, who donated furniture, friendly advice, and diy labour. So it was pretty easy to furnish the whole three bedroom house on an extreme budget, and still keep it to our taste. In fact it happened so quick, that the house is now full, and I have nowhere to stash additional bargain furniture finds. (Do three telephone tables seem to much to you? No? I agree.)

It may sound cliched, but the last 8 months have taught me that the monetary value of an item is inconsequential. Most pieces of furniture we now own have a story attached, and it's that meaning that they are appreciated for.

Photo by Redraspus

My favourite is our teak dining room table & chairs, bought on ebay, which my kind Stepdad collected from an eccentric guy in Birmingham. The gentleman had a life sized sculpture of the Silver Surfer in his front garden, and a garage papered with a collection of journalistic clippings and posters about fascist leaders. Because the table wouldn't quite fit into the car, they had to carry it back into this garage, where the man retrieved a saw.... and cut the table's sliding mechanism so it would fit. The table is beautiful, and my Stepdad returned unharmed. Phew. (The man was actually very nice and extremely helpful.)

I work part time for an Interior Designer, and as part of my work I source and purchase the furniture for our clients. It completely baffles me just how much money can be spent on furniture. It's not that I resent people spending that much on their homes, on the contrary, it's just that my brain can't quite grasp spending £1000 on a chrome floor lamp. (And then the shop assistant treating you badly - I might have to immigrate. I'm sure this wouldn't happen in New York).

So, returning to my original intention for this post! There will be a regular 'When I win the Lottery...' post every Friday. This post is reserved for the ludicrously expensive items I will never own, and probably wouldn't even want to own. These posts will provide me, and perhaps you, with a healthy outlet for the greed for beautiful, and obscenely expensive, furniture.

'limpid' (Word of the Day)

by Aesum

limpid
adjective

  1. Clear, particularly transparent or bright. (Definition by Wiktionary.org)

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Lady Clock


Following on from the previous post about (functional and masculine) Alarm Clocks, here is a not so masculine one. It sticks to your fridge! Fridge Clock by Mode, available here for £18.50.

Alarm Clocks



We are currently looking to buy an alarm clock (or maybe even two), so I thought I'd share my research with you. (Because it's my boyfriend who is hankering after an alarm clock, and also because our bedroom is quite minimalist, all of these clocks are quite masculine.)

1. Karlsson Jumbo Cube, £75
2. Karlsson Retro Two faced Radio Alarm Clock, £22.95 (out of stock at the moment)
3. Aurora Mood Clock, £8.95 (The colour changes every hour apparently)
4. Karlsson Snooze, £35
5. Karlsson Alarm Cube, £60 (Available in a White, Walnut Black and Silver finish)
6. Nextime Strip SS, £31.50 (on sale!)
7. Habitat LED, £19.00
8. Box Alarm Clock, £26.95

'flocculent' (Word of the Day)

Photo by jonsedar

flocculent adjective

  1. Resembling tufts of wool.
  2. Covered in wool; woolly. (Definition by Wiktionary.org)

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Twiggy's Frock Exchange / British Style Genius

There were two programme on television last night that may have piqued the interest of the design or style conscious person.

I stumbled upon the tail-end of the TV programme 'Twiggy's Frock Exchange' on BBC 2. For those of you who haven't heard of the show, or the concept of a Clothes Exchange, it basically works like this: "Each guest brings at least one item of clothing, pair of shoes or accessory to swap. The clothes are displayed for everyone to choose from and try on. You and your friends go home with a great new look. It’s that easy." (Source: bbc.co.uk) The idea of a clothes swap isn't new, but is being highlighted for the first time in this programme.

This programme is hosted by
Twiggy, assisted by Lauren Laverne, Paula Reed and Designer Paula Kirkwood. The latter is a Designer for TRAIDremade, and provides advice on altering and updating items of clothing and accesories. What struck me most about this programme, was that it might just be the first time the notion of recycling is presented as a non-specialist subject in the main stream media. The programme was styled to look glamorous and feminine, and thus presented the whole notion of recycling or reusing as desirable (just how shopping and consuming is normally presented). Apparently the UK throws away 1 million tonnes of clothing and textile a year, that's 7.5 billion items of clothing. (bbc.co.uk) Bbc.co.uk offers downloads and advice about hosting your own party.

Click
here to download their party pack. If you're planning a party, do please invite me along! It sounds like a lot of fun.


Also on BBC 2: British Style Genius (website above). The title may pre-warn you that this programme could be slightly nauseating. Despite the fact that it presented a slightly one sided view, it was very informative and interesting. It presented British Fashion as democratic - High end fashion available at a low price to everyone. Top Shop and particularly Kate Moss' collection were used as the prime example of this democracy, and discussed in much detail. Personally, I don't particularly like Top Shop, and Kate Moss even less. I can't however deny that a lot of people in this country would disagree with my opinion.

More interestingly, the programme highlighted the work of Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell (whos prints I am officially in love with).
There's a lot of info on the accompanying website here. It may be worth pointing out that the programme focused on high street fashion; perhaps this focus was the reason for the onesided opinions. The future episodes will feature 'Tailored', 'Rebel', 'Country', and 'Street'.

Twiggy's Frock Exchange will be on BBC 2 again next Tuesday, 14th October at 8pm, followed by British Style Genius 'Tailored' at 9pm. In the meantime you can watch this weeks episodes on the BBC iPlayer.
(I particulary recommend British Style Genius!)

'warble' (Word of the Day)

Photo by bemep

warble
verb

  1. To frequency modulate a tone; trill.
  2. To sing like a bird. (Definition by Wiktionary.org)

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

An Ode to Denby

During a recent trip around an indoor Antiques Market I discovered this:



I've never been a particular fan of this type of pottery, all though you can't beat it for rustic charm. This beautiful collection however really caught my eye. What an incredible palette! The pictures below show mostly Denby & Langley Pottery. Denby Pottery Company is an English manufacturer named after a village in Derbyshire. They became popular for their stoneware clay ranges. Langley Pottery was based nearby, and after a tumultuous history merged with Denby.

The colours have been occupying me for a few days now, and in an attempt to get them out of my system I created a little visual 'Ode to Denby':



Sidenote ----> Denby will be celebrating their 200th Birthday in 2009, and are going to bring out a range of bicentennial pieces (click here to view or pre-order).

'poparandial' (Word of the Day)

Photo by p!o

postprandial
adjective

  1. After a meal, especially after dinner. (Definition by Wiktionary.org)

Monday, 6 October 2008

Cupcakes In Real Life

After playing around with cupcake designs on the weekend for Illustration Friday's topic 'Sugary' (see my post here) I was desperate to try to bake some. Now up until a few weeks ago my cookery & bakery repertoire was rather pathetic (I believed I could only cook something that came out of a jar and was completely idiot-proof). As I have a bit more free time on my hands at the moment, I decided to experiment a little. We have attempted several dishes over the last few weeks, and even puchased a cook book. I'm pleased to report that cooking and baking isn't nearly as difficult of complicated as I thought! (It is however quite expensive, especially if you don't have any of the spices/oils/herbs/pastes/trays/pots/utensils etc in your cupboard).

Back to the cupcakes ---> It took us a good hour to track down some decent cupcake trays, but after purchasing some great red silicone ones from a pound store, we attempted to bake Raspberry Chocolate Cupcakes. They ended up tasting delicious, even though we iced them after supper and two bottles of wine.




There seem to be a lot of cupcake recipes about at the moment - cupcakes are in fashion! This could probably be attributed to Ms Carrie Bradshaw eating her
Magnolia Bakery cupcake in an episode of 'Sex and the City'. (The cupcake hotspot is also mentioned by Andy in 'The Devil Wears Prada'). Photo by biskuit (pun not intended!)

Our cupcakes may not be up to Magnolia Bakery standards, but we were pretty pleased with our first attempt.

'masticate' (Word of the Day)

Photo by ewanr

masticate verb

  1. To chew food.
  2. To grind or knead something into a pulp. (Definition by Wiktionary.org)