Monthly Archives: April 2013

Flockhart – The inspiration of Grandparents


Have you noticed that whenever you watch a talent show on TV, the acts that grab the most attention generally have a story to tell, a history and reason as to how they were inspired to push forward with their talents and ideas.  Well this is not exactly a post on “The Voice”, but I tend to find that I get drawn to designs or objects which have a little bit of a story, or history attached – giving it a little bit more soul and heart.


Eileen Flockart and George Kennethson

One such story is the revival of a Flockhart Fabrics in the UK.  Flockhart was created by the painter Eileen Guthrie in the 1930s. Eileen took inspiration from the nature of Northamptonshire, Dorset and Berkshire that she and her husband sculptor George Kennethson so loved.  They hand printed their designs from lino blocks and silk screens which still exist today, along with many beautiful original pieces of fabric.


Eileen’s Sketches


Original Lino Cuts


The arrival of five sons and George taking a career change in the 1950s meant that Flockhart Fabrics got tucked away in boxes and took second place to family.  On her death in 2006, Eileen left behind an archive of designs that, thanks to her granddaughter, Lucy Mackenzie, have now been bought back to life through Flockhart Fabrics. The designs from the 1940s and 50s fit so well into the present, with the retro and Scandanavian trends withe the simple hello blue and grey palette.


Current Prints – Flockhart Fabrics


Let me know your thoughts… meanwhile on with the colourful adventure……..


Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Art, Fabric, Interior Design, UK designers


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Creatively Speaking – Coulson Macleod

Hannah Macleod & Mark Coulson

It’s Friday and time for another interview with one of the fab creatives that I have featured on my little blog.  Mark Coulson and Hannah Macleod, AKA Coulson Macleod kindly agreed to have a little chat, so grab a cuppa and enjoy. Oh, and if you are stuck for what to cook for dinner then they have some fab recipes which are perfect for us Aussies just starting to come into Autumn!

How would you describe your work and style?

Simple design that reflects our own taste. We’re not into overly fussy stuff. We also love texture, hence why we use a lot of reclaimed wood. The gnarlier the wood the better. If you buy a Coulson Macleod don’t expect shiny & new (apart from our paper prints, which have to be presented in a neat & clean style).

'Freeze Freeze Thou #A376F3


What, where and/or who inspires you?

Inspiration comes from everywhere. Magazines (our office walls are lined with shelves & shelves of magazines), blogs, & books. We also try to visit as many interior/gift shops as we can to get ideas on packaging & display ideas. Obviously shops are the best places to see what is actually being sold to your potential customers. Blogs are a place to immerse yourself in design trends, but it’s the high-street shop that will stock our art. We try to travel to towns across the UK to visit shops & combine it with an overnight stay in a boutique hotel (all in the name of research of course!). Recently we’ve visited Shrewsbury (amazing architecture) & Brighton (amazing restaurants). Trade shows can also be inspiring as you get to be the first to see the latest designs & trends. Although this does mean that you lose the ‘wow’ factor when you go browsing in shops as we’ve seen it all before.

Shrewsbury Square - Source

Shrewsbury Square – Source

Hannah I read a lot of travel writing. Totally admire the explorer’s fearless approach to life & their level of curiosity.

Mark I alternate between fiction & business books. The only problem with reading a great book in bed is that I then lie there all night with my brain buzzing with either the story or business ideas.

What has been the most exciting point in your career to date and why?

Being awarded Creative Business of the Year was pretty exciting. Selling a print to one of the richest men in the world was a buzz too. Sadly his PA said we couldn’t name him. Boo! But this guy could buy (& does apparently) any piece of art he likes. And he bought one of ours. This happened in the early days of our business, which meant we knew we were on the right path.

Do you have any major projects in the pipeline at the moment? Can you share these with us?

It’s not so much a project, but an order from a large department store chain in Switzerland has given us a big morale boost. They describe themselves as the Harrods of Switzerland. With 14 stores we can safely say we have Switzerland covered. It’s been a steep learning curve – suddenly we realized how little we knew about exporting, pallet shipments, & all sorts of boring legal stuff. Another growth spurt for Coulson Macleod & our collective knowledge.

If you could have your work displayed anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be displayed?


We always joke that our art is far better traveled than we are & ends up in homes all over the world. Some of the addresses that we ship to are pretty fancy (sometimes we spot our prints on the walls of swoon-worthy homes that feature in the press). So our art goes to places that we’ll never get to in person. We could do with more stockists in Australia (at the time of writing we only have one) so if anyone reading this can help…

What would be your dream commission?

An order from Kate & William would be rather beneficial. Anything Kate (Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge) buys has a huge impact. She has to support British made, so surely it’s only a matter of time before she becomes a Coulson Macleod customer.


Perhaps Kate can unleash her wild child (BCD)


…or perhaps a gift from Kate to Wills….


Describe your perfect day

We got married last summer; it was a perfect day. Wish we could recreate it every year. The sun shone (this in itself was pretty remarkable as it rained practically every other day). Surrounded by friends & family, eating amazing Italian food, drinking Pimms, crying happy tears & lots of dancing.


If you were to board Noah’s Ark and were told that you could take three things with you.  What would they be?

Presuming our three children were already aboard then it would be

Our collection of magazines that we’ve flicked through but not had time to read

Suncream. We’re totally paranoid about burning & spend all summer slathering it over the kids. European kids are all bronzed & healthy-looking, ours are ghostly-white from being covered in titanium dioxide.

A Kindle. We don’t own one, preferring the look, feel, & smell of proper books lining our shelves, but seeing as we can only take three things.

What is your favorite dish to cook?

We cook a lot, so it’s hard to pick out just one recipe. We have favourite dishes for warm weather, but seeing as we mainly have cold weather here, it would have to be sausages & lentils. It’s one of those super easy one-pot wonders that everyone loves. Plus it uses bacon & bacon reigns supreme. Serves four…

Sausage Bacon and Lentil Hotpot


8 x sausages

250g smoked bacon

200g Puy lentils (we tend to throw in more than this)

1 clove garlic crushed

1 chopped onion

1 tsp tomato paste

sprig thyme

1 bay leaf

1 litre chicken stock

Brown the sausages, fry the bacon until crispy then throw into one pot & cook until lentils are soft. Better if you can simmer for longer as the taste improves. Serve with crusty bread.

Polenta Cake


For pudding it would be polenta cake (our recipe is scribbled on a bit of scrap paper).

7 oz butter

7 oz sugar

8 oz ground almonds

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 oz polenta

zest of 3 lemons

1 tbs baking powder

Dust your cake tin with polenta (use extra polenta, not from the 8 oz). Cream butter & sugar. Add almonds, vanilla, eggs & polenta. Mix with zest. Add baking powder. Bake for 45 mins on 180. Serve warm with a big dollop of mascarpone.

Want to see more?

Coulson Macleod are exhibiting at the following venues in the UK for 2013.

Pulse (London Earl’s Court) 12-14th May.

Home & Gift Harrogate 14-17th July.

Top Drawer (London Olympia) 15-17th September.


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Aston Martin – 007 eat your heart out….or cake out!


It is fair to say that my husband has to be one of the hardest people to buy presents for..although I think that has to be men in general… the months preceding the event I try to drop hints, get just a smidgeon of inspiration and well the only thing I can get out of his is that he would love an Aston Martin… to which I cannot print how I responded!!!

One to face a challenge ,I thought I would have a go at giving him the next best thing…and Aston Martin car cake…… apologies if this is slowly becoming a blog on my latest collection of cake making ventures, but I thought I would share my adventure with you…. because I have a feeling this may be my last for a while!

From the Red Velvet Interior!……At this moment I was thinking we may have a car accident cake…..


The icing.. the moment I wished I was born with multiple arms…. so no close up shots….


…and the reason why i should never become a spray painter…. on goes the edible silver spray…and a little bit of detailing starts ( yes I have all the lingo!)







…..let me know what you think!! Meanwhile on with the colourful adventure!…………


Posted by on April 24, 2013 in Art, Cookery


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From Council Dump to Interior Funk

Anthropologie Overdyed Terai Folding Chair2

Anthropologie Overdyed Terai Folding Chair

A few times a year we are allowed to put all of our junk on the curb for the council clean up, and this weekend was just one of those clean up days.  That said not much usually makes it to council clean up day because, as fast as you put it on the curb, a little white van is parked up to pick it up… the modern day rag and bone man.  I have no issue with this as I would rather it end up being recycled than in land fill…. but my curiosity would love to know what happens to it. One such disposed item was an odd lonesome wooden outdoor chair…. ( a little like the photo below – which I had to source off of Etsy as the little white van man had got there before I had chance to take a shot!.. gotta be fast!!)

folding chairs - source etsy

Not to be deterred from my creative thoughts about how you could make these into something a little different I found these Overdyed Terai Folding Chairs from Anthropologie,

Anthropologie Overdyed Terai Folding Chair1

Anthropologie Overdyed Terai Folding Chair2

Anthropologie Overdyed Terai Folding Chair3

Anthropologie Overdyed Terai Folding Chair4

Have a go….

For those of you who are DIY challenged, then these may be perfect for you, but for those of you who like a DIY challenge then good old Apartment Therapy may just have the perfect step by step guide.

So  given the challenge of taking this chair from Council dump to interior funk…. what would you do?  Would be great hear…. meanwhile on with the colourful adventure.


Posted by on April 22, 2013 in Fabric, Interior Design, Upcycle


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40 Winks and a Story to Tell – Don’t forget your pyjama’s!

source missimmylondon

Source missimmyslondon

I am a little bit fantastical at heart, I am easily board and need visual stimulation to spark my interest.  I love it when you can be in a place for hours, even days and can spot something new or intriguing each time you go. So on a hunt of this I wanted to show you somewhere that I found…..

In an unassuming townhouse in London’s East stands a little secret…..well probably not such a well kept secret is a little hotel of fantastical proportions.  So gorgeous, and a playful mile away from the mass produced rooms of the big hotel chains….. I just need to get to london to book myself a place

David Carter - Photo by Matthew Buck

David Carter – Photo by Matthew Buck

The creation, and home, of interior designer David Carter, the idea behind 40Winks was to create a place to stay that feels like a home from home with a cosy kitchen and living room full of character. But with only two rooms (at very reasonable prices on a London Scale), one of which only sleeps one, you need to book in early.

The hotel, is also unsurprisingly home to lots of fashion and celebrity shoots looking for a little playful charm as the backdrop.. it was launched in 2009 to give creative types a place to stay when they are in London whether they are there for work or pleasure.

“The concept is simple. To offer you a ‘home from home’… a place where you can hang your hat or park your suitcase while enjoying a little bit of understated opulence and a large dose of quirky style “













But the best thing of all is Bedtime Stories.  This is an idea that Mr Carter came up with a few years ago.  Up to 30 guests arrive to enjoy cocktails in tea cups and nibbles.  There is a strict code of dress….only PJ’s and nighties and this is strictly enforced with prizes for the most glam….unsurprisingly it has proven to be a huge hit.  The ambiance is introduced by Mr Carter himself before the patrons retire to and relax on cushions whilst being read a story by a professional storyteller…love it. Hopefully Teddy’s are allowed too….

Source - missimmyslondon

Story Telling – Source – missimmyslondon

Now I am off to get my cocoa and slippers…..meanwhile on with the colourful adventure…………


Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Art, Interior Design, Travel, UK, UK designers


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Too Cool For School – Kindy on a Plane


Some fun for a Monday…. how cool is this?  A headmaster in the country of Georgia wanted to find a way of making kindy a place where kids want to stay… not go home as soon as they get there.  So thinking firmly outside the block (or should I say outside the classroom) he purchased a disused plane and converted it into a class room (as you do!).  The idea being that the classroom with its knobs and dials and underwing access might create a little more stimulation than a concrete block!  Well I can firmly say I am very jealous!!!  It would appear that the kindy has a little bit of a waiting list since it’s inception.  This is certainly bringing a new dimension to up cycling!





Aeroplane Turned Into Kindergarten -2


Aeroplane Turned Into Kindergarten -6

Let me know your thoughts…. meanwhile on with the colourful adventure…

(all pictures sourced from


Posted by on April 15, 2013 in Interior Design, Upcycle


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Paper and Felt – Siba Sahabi


Based in Amsterdam, with roots from Germany and the Middle East, Siba Sahabi’s draws upon her inspirational heritage and to create ceramics of a different form.  No clay in sight, these are made from felt and paper.  Some are made from wallpaper, which Sahabi believes is stronger and has a greater resistance to the damaging effects of light.


I just love the creativity, and the hours of care that goes into making something like this. Even down to the detail of the grooves, which are set to mimic the traditional circular grooves created by the ancient tool of the potters wheel…(although I have to be honest my two attempts on a potters wheel never got the grooves this perfect…. I always ended up with something very abstract with far too many air bubbles making it bound to explode in the kiln!)

Here are some of Sahabi’s pieces, my personal favourite is the “Bucchero” which is made from wallpaper, let me know your thoughts.

Between Two Rivers - Felt

Between Two Rivers – Felt

Between Two Rivers - Felt

Between Two Rivers – Felt

It is also really effective that the colours of the felts match the ageing vessels which they mimic..

Istanbul Twighlight - Felt

Istanbul Twighlight – Felt

Kerameikos - Paper

Kerameikos – Paper

Bucchero - Wallpaper

Bucchero – Wallpaper

Bucchero - Wallpaper

Bucchero – Wallpaper


Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Art, Dutch Designers, Travel


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