Tag Archives: Anthropologie

Friday Find – Lace Printed Mirror


Mirrors are a great way to make a room appear a little larger, these offer a little more of a subdued mirror effect and double up as a bit of artwork for the home or lush bathroom…. with the added bonus of being able to blame the blemishes on your face on the aged effect of the mirror…. win win! They are the work of US based company Mirror-Tique who have perfected the techniques for antiquing and imprinting mirrors….. giving you a mirror and artwork in one.  They are also selling their work through Anthropologie (source of images), which I understand is soon to arrive on Australian shores.


On with the colourful journey…….



Posted by on October 24, 2014 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , ,

Creatively Speaking – Barbara Keal


I recently posted on felt designer Barbera Keal and her fantastical headwear… the envy of every child’s dressing up box. Barbara has kindly agreed to an interview to tell us a little about herself and her influences.  So sit back have a cuppa (and a slice of the chocolate cake below!)…Have a great weekend

How would you describe your work and style?

My work as a feltmaker mainly consists of tranformative animal headwear – hats. The hats feel very genuinely animal because they are made from animal hair (sheeps wool and alpaca fleece) in natural colours, I love this material and do all that I can to allow it to maintain its original qualities. There is a tension in the work between gritty realism and fairytale beauty.


What, where and/or who inspires you?

What inspires me is the desire to make work that can help a person feel more fully alive.  My local “Malling Hill”, part of the Sussex downs is where I most frequently experience that aliveness I want to share. Something about the hill’s plump gravity, the dumb meeting with a cow, the ecstatic rising song of the skylark gives me a sharp realisation of my place as one amongst the community of all creatures. It is also home to the sheep whose fleeces I used for my first feltmaking.

Barbara on Malling Hill

Which is your favorite personal project and why?

Oh, I don’t really have a favourite. Most of my years since graduating from art school have been spent making “live art”, within that context the making of the animal hats from simple to hugely elaborate has all been part of one rather ongoing project. If however I look specifically at my work as a feltmaker there are myriad works.The project which brought me to feltmaking was the making of a dress for myself from the fleeces of the sheep on Malling Hill. The skirts of the dress were huge, I used working horses to help me with the felting. In the end the dress was like a cave which could hold an audience of 10 people, to whom I sang wordless improvied songs through resonant clay vessels I had hand buit for the purpose. In another respect I was most deeply moved by making a felt shroud for my aunt, luscious soft white wool, a winter lanscape with a large white spirit dog running across it’s barren expanse.

Barbara and her Cave Dress

Barbara and her Cave Dress

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

I don’t know that I really have a career as such. Somehow that word implies a definite trajectory in a predecided direction. I came to feltmaking through the search for meaning and  aliveness that was, and still is my “art work”. Felt making and the animal “hats” in particular has taken me to some interesting places, places I never desired nor expected to visit. Shepperton Film studios, Kanye West’s London studio, Rockerfeller centre – New York, Paris, Somerset House or Nantes. All these places are extremely curious to see. I never made my work thinking of a career and even now regard the whole thing as a suprising journey. The most wonderful opportunity I have been offered was that of working together with my husband Richard to make a large installation for the gallery space in anthropologie’s Rockerfeller centre store, simply because it was so good to work together in such a sustained way on a large piece – A wall torn from our imaginations, made solid in wood, wool, slate and clay.






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

On the heads of every person in London! I grew up in that huge impersonal city and would love to see it inhabited by a million animals for one day in winter. (Not that my body could rise to the challenge of felting all those hats!)


If someone were coming to visit your home town where would be the must stop place or places to visit (this could be a place, restaurant, cafe, etc).
Of course my Malling Hill! To meet the wild rugged sheep, look at the town from above and if they are lucky glimpse the sea on the horizon.

Describe your perfect day
A long, happy hill walk on a warm day – rain, cloud or sun. Singing, whistleing on the way and ending with a swim in the sea.

If you were to board Noah’s Ark and were told that you could take three things with you. What would they be? 
I must say I love the idea of being on Noahs Ark. Clay, felting needles and a guitar (i’d already be wearing my hat). I’m assuming I could get hold of some fleece on board!

Now as much as I love your work, I love cooking and am always eager to find out a new recipe… what is your favorite dish to cook??….Would I be able to ask for the recipe?..
Well, I doubt if I can offer a recipe you’ve never heard of but I can offer a mega cake challenge! Every year my eldest son Isaiah tells me what sort of birthday cake he would like – from an orangutan driving a dumper truck to alpaca’s grazing the Andes mountains. Here’s a recipe for chocolate and meringue Andes mountains with marzipan alpacas.

Choc cake:

10oz self raising flour

3oz cocoa powder

4oz brown sugar

4oz unbleached castor sugar

6oz butter

4 egg yolks

2 whole eggs

Rub butter into flour, brown sugar and cocoa, beat eggs and castor sugar add to butter and flour mix very well ( add a bit of milk if super stiff)

Heap the mix into centre of baking tin. Bake at 180.

Use the 4 egg whites to make a giant meringue to put on top. Here’s a recipe:

Once all has cooled whip ½ pint double cream the meringue goes on top of the choc cake.

For the puposes of brevity buy some marzipan and form it into alpacas of various sizes. Each alpaca can stand in a big drop of melted chocolate as it becomes nearly solid on the lower part of the mountain or in a dollop of cream at the top.

(BCD – This could take some time for me to create this one!!)



Tags: , , , , , ,

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


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Textile Taxidermy – Donya Coward

Nottingham based textile artist Donya Coward’s creations bring a little whimsy and sparkle with them.  With projects for UK anthropology, Fenton & Fenton and Paul Smith to name but a few, it is no wonder that designers have coined her work as “textile taxidermy at it’s very best” (Abigail Ahern).

All of Donya’s artworks are made using Victorian, Antique, Vintage Nottingham and French laces, embroideries, embellishments, fabrics and haberdashery. There is an emphasis on ensuring that the work preserves and showcases the materials used, as much as the animal forms that are being created.  Even the materials used are kept untouched to keep the stories from the rusty pin which once held it together, or the repairs and marks that have happened through it’s journey.

 All works are hand embroidered by Donya on a commission basis, creating one off bespoke pieces. I love the detail of these pieces, and I am falling for the cute little bull dog on the William Morris backed frame….. Let me know what you think…

Meanwhile on with the colourful journey…….


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Keeping and Eye on Ikat

The trend for Ikat is nothing new, both in terms of it’s origins, and in terms of it’s resurgence in the designs of current fashion and styles. It’s longevity and continual appearance in interior and fashion magazines is possibly due to the fact that, whilst it is distinctive in it’s style and bold patterns, it will sit alongside most styles and fashions quite comfortably.  Whether you are looking for a bohemian, tribal, or clean modern feel you can generally find something to suit.
Call me a little nosey, but I just love to know how something is created in it’s true form….and as a result of my snooping I stumbled upon this beautiful photo essay “Silk to Ikat. Artisans Along the Silk Road. Central Asia, Uzbekistan” by photographer Edward Addeo, which also won a place in the 2012 the World in Focus travel photography contest, which I though I would share (hope he does not mind), as well as a couple of ideas of how you can use at home…

The making of a traditional Ikat print is quite a process.  The Ikat’s colour pattern requires that the thread be dyed before it is woven. The method, called resist-dye, involves tightly binding the thread at intervals to protect the bound section from dyeing, resulting in only selective sections of the thread being coloured. This process is applied in one of three ways: dyeing of the warp (the vertical thread stretched along the loom), the weft (the horizontal thread woven across the loom) or thedouble Ikat method, whereby both the weft and warp threads are dyed before stringing on the loom and weaving begins.

All photo’s ©Edward Addeo – via

Ikat Style

Here are some of my favourite Ikat accessories and looks for the home…
Luke Irwin – Ikat rug collection
Anthro Anthro
 Watercolour Michele Varian handcrafted pillows for Anthropologie

A statement piece of furniture through to a wall covering….

…or just brighten up your kitchen window ledge, or drab office desk with these quirky ikat fabric bowls from Bansot on Etsy

BANSOT - ikat fabric bowl in orange
…..on with the colourful journey………

Posted by on September 6, 2012 in Art, Fabric, Interior Design, Travel, Trends, US Designers


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

War Against Gravity – Gordon Harrison Hull

Gordon Harrison Hull is no ordinary rug designer,  working with a mix of clients from ad campaigns, brand strategy, copywriting, art direction and even… as his biography states…. relationship advice! The quirkiness behind Hulls work is evident in his statement stating that a…

“Full Guru service is available.  Everything is totally possible” (this put a smile on my face!)

In a recent collaboration with Anthropologie, Hull was commissioned to design and exhibit a series of giant rugs, which he created using 14 different techniques and textures to create the installation “War Against Gravity”. In addition to the rugs, the installation included a rickshaw which was called “The Rick James” which used bits of mirror, rugs and aluminium pin wheels.


The one in a kind rugs themselves are available for sale through Anthropologie online.

Which rug would you create a war against gravity with? On with the colourful journey……..


Tags: , , , , , , ,

From Easel to Arm Chair – Sarah Ashley Longshore

 "Evil Thoughts" - Source Sarah Ashley Longshore (copyright)
I thought I would add a little colour and cheer for the day.
Self taught New Orleans based Artist Sarah Ashley Longshore has a kooky style which is specific to her and, whilst simplistic, you cannot help but have a little smile on your face, with the humour that they hold…especially when you read the titles.  Her style and art work has won her a few admirers over the years, with an impressive collector list including Hollywood stars such as Salma Hayek, Penelope Cruz, Eli Mannning, Director Paul Weitz, Cinematographer Jimmy Muro as well as the New York based fashion designer to the New York socialite scene Alvin Valley, it is fair to say she has taught her self well.
For those Twighlight Fans, she has even had  her works in the set for one of the recent movies….(although I think that one is lost on me as I have never succumb to the Twilight saga…!)
"Shirley Temple Getting Bombed" Source Sarah Ashley Longshore (copyright)
"Woman" - Source Sarah Ashley Longshore (copyright)
Not content with expressing her whimsical style on canvas, Sarah has begun to incorporate some of her pieces onto furniture… ensuring that the loose nothing of Sarah’s Kooky style….
For all naughty little princesses sent to the naught corner…..

And then came Anthropologie……

Sarah Ashley Longshore was then asked to produce some works for Anthropologie in 2009, and I love the collection she has produced, from chairs to tea towels there is a little whimsical for everyone…. which is your favourite?
This Danish chair has been uplifted with Longshore’s style print….

…My favourite has to be these lamps……

But for a hint of Longshore whilst drying the dishes…. or you could always frame them for a print instead… there are a few tea towels to add to the collection.

 ….or these portuguese inspired bowls

 Let me know what you think………… on with the colourful journey………

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,