Friday, 21 November 2008


A little illustration/collage I've been playing around with. It's the first time in a long while that I've created something that didn't somehow involve a computer. I'm going to make an effort to work away from the PC regularly.

I tried to wait until December...

.... but I failed. I can't resist the urge to post Christmas related things.
You never knew it, but you need one of these in your life:

Available at Muji stores, or online here for only £2.95. And if you're worried Rudolf might get lonely, you can always get Mr Snowman to keep him company.

Images via

Word Of The Day: 'deasil'

Photo by nickjohnson

deasil adjective

  1. Clockwise; following the direction of the sun's movement.
  2. Turning towards the right. (Source:

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Quest28 on Etsy

I'm disproportionately pleased to announce that I have opened an Etsy shop, and put up my first listings (the address is My respect goes out to the people who do this on a larger scale. Listing your own handmade items really opens the door to self criticism. (You could spend hours trying to get everything just right!).

On a more positive note, here is are some photos of the listings.

And a screen shot of the shop:

These little Christmas tree decorations are handmade by myself. The mainly consist of upcycled paper, from old Children's Encyclopedias, and are then crocheted. At the moment I'm selling them in packs of 5, in red & white, more colours to follow shortly. Click here to see the listings.

Over the next few days I'll be adding some Paintings on, as well as some Candles and Greeting Cards. Wish me luck!

Walnut & Cherry Chocolate Brownies

My lovely friend Laura gave me a beautiful cookbook for my birthday. I usually source recipes off the Internet, and copy them down onto scraps of paper, which then live piled up in a draw. (Our printer is currently out of action). So it was an absolute delight to cook from a book, especially one which is put together so nicely. Now I want one of those great cookbook stands, so I don't get messy dough on the book!

(Image via

The first thing I chose to bake were some Walnut and Cherry Chocolate Brownies
A similar recipe is available here. (Swap the pecans for walnuts, and the chocolate chunks for 100g dried cherries). They are delicious - exactly as she promises, the walnuts and cherries provide a counterweight to the chocolate, and also create a lovely texture. Thank you for the lovely gift Laura! Next thing I will cook from the book is going to be from the 'healthy section'.

(Image by me)

Word Of The Day; 'galvanize'

Photo by zen
galvanise verb
  1. To shock or stimulate into sudden activity.
  2. To coat with rust-resistant zinc.
  3. (chemistry): To coat with a thin layer of metal by electrochemical means. (Source:

Mid Century Christmas

So I had a plan for decorating the house for christmas pretty much sorted. And then this appeared in my inbox today (via :

It's called the PossibiliTree (What a brilliant name). It's available at Design Within Reach for $360. It's made of Walnut, and would look stunning in any Mid Century inspired home. It comes 'flat packed' in a tube, and after Christmas you can disassemble it and store until the next year.

It's definitely much less messy than a real one also. This model is 3ft tall, but I'm wondering if it would be possible to recreate a smaller one on a budget.

(Image via Design within Reach)

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

The Suspicous Cat

This print of an originally illustration is available at Folksy now. It is by Nottingham based 'doodler' Amy Blackwell. Visit her Folksy shop here, or her Etsy shop here. (She also has a blog - busy lady!) Amy is a founding member of Nottingham's Craft Mafia, who have recently opened a shop in Nottingham - Get Made. See their website for more info.

Fashion Illustration from Paris


One of my birthday cards, sent by my friend Jenny in Paris, has a beautiful fashion illustration on the front. It is by Rene Gruau, an Italian born fashion illustrator, who was part of the french fashion movement after the second world war.

'Rene Gruau developed his distinctive “New Look” in the 1940’s which greatly impacted haute couture, theatre, art, and commercial design. With his trademark use of his powerful minimal line, Gruau’s style combined seductive sophistication with classic beauty, grace and sensual elegance.' (Soure:

I've really enjoyed researching his work, and will share a few images with you here. They seem to embody what I like about fashion. It's all about feeling elegant.



Word Of The Day: 'phantasmagoria'

Photo by Chrys Omori
phantamagoria noun
  1. A series of events involving rapid changes in light intensity and colour.
  2. A dreamlike state where real and imagined elements are blurred together. (Source:

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Nikkala Sofa Covers

We bought our sofa as part of a house clearance, along with a beautiful chair, and a lot of rubbish. I have always assumed it was an Ikea sofa. Today I came across the Bemz website (via Twins' Garden Style blog). Bemz sell covers for Ikea sofas and armchairs, in a fantastic array of colours. Whilst browsing their website I came across a model which is very similar to our sofa. It's the Nikkala 3 seater. (pictured above) After a quite a bit of browsing and searching, I'm pretty sure it is that model.

The best part: Bemz still sells the covers for this sofa, and whilst prices aren't exactly cheap, it would allow us to completely change the look of the sofa. (It's extremely comfortable, so we would like to keep it anyway.)

This is our sofa at the moment. A few alternative options below:


Or (my absolute favourite..)

And, if that wasn't enough to get me excited, you can also mix and match your covers. Like so:

As you can see from my sofa photo, ours has 4 cushions, rather than the usual two. But fear not - Bemz also sell separate cushion covers. They also sell the fabric separately, so you can fashion your own table cloth or curtains. Swatches are available free of charge. Endless possibilities!

Images via (except for my photo, which is via moi).

Word of the Day: 'funambulate'

Photo by tallkev
funambulate verb

  1. To walk on ropes; to tightrope-walk. (Source:

Monday, 17 November 2008

nemurous (Word of the Day)

  1. Full of trees, dark with shady groves. (Source:

Auction Fever

Over the weekend I visited two furniture & antiques auctions. This involved an awful lot of sitting around and waiting for certain lots to come up for sale, but it was a lot of fun. Everyone was very friendly, and my mum and I chatted with lots of interesting people. (Including one guy who bought some African Ceremonial Oars for £600. We had thought they might make a nice Christmas present for my brother, and were a little shocked when they went for that much money!)

I bought quite a few items - a truck load of books (mainly children's encyclopedia from 60's and 70's). Some furniture, including a small old teak filing cabinet and a corner 'whatnot' (great name for a decorative shelving unit). I will share pictures of the furniture once I've found a good place for them (I didn't really think that one through...). We almost accidentally bought a Texan Band Saw, but thankfully it turned out to be the auctioneer's error.

The books - I have plans for these, will post more soon.

I particularly love the vase. It's a Beswick 'zebra pattern' vase, and I have wanted one for a really long time. My photo sadly doesn't show that the interior of the vase is a bright yellow colour.

'The' vase

Early on in the auction day I had chatted with a lady who, like me, was just waiting for the china and porcelain to come up for auction. We debated whether it was worth waiting several hours, and joked about only being interested in one item. When my treasured vase came up (500 lots and 5 hours after I arrived), you'll never guess who started bidding against me! It turned out that we had both been waiting for exactly the same item. In the end I dropped out of the bidding, as it went over the budget I had set for myself. My mother (cheeky woman) threw her hand into the air and bid one more time on my behalf, and lo-and-behold, the lady dropped out and I won it. Auctions are so fun. The lady later came to talk to me and apologized for pushing the price so high. She also promised to send me a complimentary ticket for a antiques show later this month.

I already checked when the next auction is, it's addictive!