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Nursery Rhymes


Well finally I have a little bit of a routine going with my now eight month old, and thought it was about time that I stop procrastinating and get back on the blogging horse…. While my searches for new ideas have predominantly been taken up with getting well and truly sucked into the world of how much you can possibly buy for a new born, or googling “sleep deprived”, “introducing solids” and “what nappy DOES NOT explode for heaven’s sake!” to name but a few, I have been trying to keep my hand in the interior world.  And what better excuse than a nursery! After all what easier client can you have than a new born baby…. who does not know high street from designer….. hopefully they will stay this way – well he has not complained yet anyway!

So here are a few pictures for the album of nursery design, although I am yet to work out how to keep an active baby from summersaulting on a change mat!  All answers on a postcard please!

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Big ted and little ted…..

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I love the scandinavian style and design and was so excited by this gift from my brother and dad.  It is called a bednest and is seriously the best bassinet. It attaches to your bed and the side drops down for easy access, which is perfect if you are a little sore…. worth every penny!

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Some serious logistics had to go into this one, I had hubby well trained going into the rafters to attach these little beauties.

I did get very good at barking orders at my handy man (AKA hubby) in my beached whale state from my rocking chair below…. very comfortable!!

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A little shrine to my English heritage in the corner with a little bit of Beatrix Potter and a Harrods bear.  Harrods make one for every year and my sister in law gave this as a present to Jamie.  It has the year embroidered on his foot and celebrates a character from Harrods past, for 2014 it was the original Harrod’s delivery man.

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Yes…many an hour has been spent in this chair……

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Meet Monkey and Barty Bear….. never to be parted from them at bed time….. very glad I have a couple of spares in the cupboard for when they have been sucked into oblivion and need a little session in the washing machine!

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I have even take some inspiration from talents such as Tara Badcock (although I am by no means in her league!) and had a go at making a few embroideries…. the perfect past time to keep me from over indulging on online shopping sprees when I was too big to move more than a couple of inches from the couch! Yes Tara, I don’e think you need to worry!!!!

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Well someone seems to like it…..

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And well to finish… a little motto for over his bed, given as a christening gift… and well it is all I can hope for….

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On with the colourful adventure…..xxxx

 

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Creatively Speaking – Barbara Keal

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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.

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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.

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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!)

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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:

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2445/ultimate-meringue

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!!)

GOOD LUCK!

 

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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,

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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.

 
11 Comments

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

 

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Too Cool For School – Kindy on a Plane

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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!

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

(all pictures sourced from www.amusingplanet.com)

 
6 Comments

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

 

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Brittany Watson Jepsen – “Creative mess is better than tidy idleness”

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When asked what she always bought home from her travels, the answer was an illustrated children’s book.  And where would she most like to travel… Vienna to dress up in full costume and take part in “The Sound of Music Singalong Tour”.  With answers like that it is easy to see where the whimsical comes in to Californian designer and blogger, Brittany Watson Jepson’s, creations. I also love her mums favourite quote…”a creative mess is better than tidy idleness”….. I must try that one when the dining room table looks like an explosion in a fabric factory.

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Taking these words of wisdom literally, Brittany has spent childhood through to adulthood creating artwork and music, designing for Tiffany and Co, writing for Design Sponge and indeed her own blog “The house that Lars Built” to name but a few.

In amongst all of this Brittany has a way with paper which I just love, and I have fallen in love with the oversized paper flowers which are the perfect way to add a little whimsy and colour to a room.

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…Loving her display at a Danish Embassy function……. how good would this look for a wedding.

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These flower creations first came about after Brittany had one as her bouquet at her own wedding (See header photo).

And for those of you who love to make a “creative mess and leave behind your tidy idleness” (I can see I am going to get a lot of use out of this quote), then you should look no further that Brittany’s fun little DIY projects such as making a snow dome cake topper, or a Bouquet with a little difference… who says baubles are just for christmas!!!!

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

 

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All Taped Up – Mmiinn Design Studio

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Why is it that whenever you give a child a present or toy, they are far more interested in the packaging?  Well maybe they are onto something!!

Through her brand Mmiinn, Korean “object designer” Joeng-Min Lee focuses her design philosophy on reinterpreting the uses of objects found in our everyday lives.  One of her simple but fun ideas are these tapes which give the illusion that your box is even more secure with hinges, cable, belts and bolts…..

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On with the colourful adventure……….

 
6 Comments

Posted by on February 5, 2013 in Art, Craft

 

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Lost and Found – Upcycling Ol’ London Town

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Ok, this is probably something for the proud lover of all things Britannia, and as an English born gal I have to say I do love the Union Jack flag ( possibly not to the extent of Geri from the Spice Girls) but in a classical, bunting and afternoon tea kind of way. Which coupled with the news of a new royal baby in July, is probably what drew me in to the world of UK based company “Lost and Found”.

Becky Oldfield, source aluncallenderblog.com

Becky Oldfield, source aluncallenderblog.com

Textile designer Becky Oldfield graduated from the prestigious Goldsmiths college in London, in 2000 and founded her company “Lost and Found”, which recycles through design to create new pieces which become “modern collectibles”.

“Inspired by the faded, distressed nature of the antique fabrics found, Lost and Found’s diffusion range is a range of interior products hand printed on hemp cotton. Each piece is individually decorated with antique buttons or ribbons, a mixture of old and new, a fresh new product which winks at the past.”

Here is a little taster of the “vintage” collection although there is also the option for bespoke, some printed cushions and the obligatory tea towel for when the royal visitors arrive!! Or even just in celebration of the new royal baby! Let me know your thoughts….

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Perfect for the unexpected guest to stay over, with a private screen for modesty and privacy!

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I love these deck chairs, it takes me back to the days of sitting on the Great British beach with an ice-cream…..and a knotted hanky on grandfathers head. Although these are a litre more regal!

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The prefect regal quilt

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Great Britannia together with a little bit of her colonial past adding it’s influence.

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Becky also salvages the old bus rolls to make blinds… such a fun idea. for a little quirky statement

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Mean while on with the colourful adventure…………….

 
5 Comments

Posted by on January 22, 2013 in Art, Fabric, Interior Design, UK, UK designers

 

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