Monthly Archives: January 2012

Joyless in January

Today I am feeling a bit bleurgh.

With all the exercise I’ve been doing recently I should be bouncing off the walls with happy endorphins but I just feel knackered, teary, beaten-up, irritable and generally rubbish. I would like to wrap myself up in this ‘Hold Me’ and ‘I’m Fragile’ tape, so people know what to do with this breakable version of me.

Hold Me Vinyl Tape - Bouf

Hold Me Vinyl Tape - Bouf

I would like someone to present me with this print to make me smile. That might make my irritability lessen.

Cheer Up Smile Poster - The Wallaroo

 Maybe if I went to sleep in this yellow blanket its sunshine would permeate me.

Danish Wool Blanket - Mar Mar Co.

I’m hankering to make a nest on the sofa in this quilt

Silk Padded Patchwork Quilt Blanket - Oriental Silk Bedding

…and watch John Hughes films.

That always makes me feel better.

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Prettiness for the Powder Room

Our bathroom is 1970s green (more sage than avocado) with a plastic sauna ceiling,gold taps on the corner bath and a freestanding shower so compact that, if you don’t hold your elbows in close to your head when washing your hair, you risk getting wedged between the walls.

When we moved in I was adamant it would be the first room we decorated, but two years later there’s no plan to decorate it and it will more likely be the last room in the house to get done. That’s okay, I’ve got used to it. The main thing that annoys me about it now is how often the spindle of the loo roll holder falls out and gets stuck behind the radiator. So until funds permit maybe I’ll just change the loo roll holder.

Nothing nice will go with our 1970s bathroom so I’m not even going to try to find something that will blend in. Instead I can use the toilet roll holder as a basis for the new design of the bathroom. But what to choose? Traditional, simple, vintage or modern?

This traditional style metal and wood toilet roll holder from Rockett St George at £32 is really pretty. It looks more like an old-fashioned letterbox, I’m expecting to see ‘LETTERS’ embossed on a flap where the spindle is.

Traditional metal and wood toilet roll holder - Rockett St George

A simple ceramic toilet paper holder that says what it is, just in case. £20 from Rockett St George and you can get matching items like a soap dish, toothbrush holder and hand soap dispenser.

Ceramic toilet roll holder - Rockett St George

The patina of the wood on this vintage toilet roll holder made from cobbler’s shoe lasts is beautiful. £25 from Homes and Dreams. It looks the same as their doorstop so maybe you could buy one and double its use?

Shoe last toilet roll holder - Homes & Dreams

Or perhaps I should go modern with the Paper Pot by AI Collection, $40 from Molla Space. It can also be used with tissues as a tissue box. There’s lots of colours – bright orange, pink, blue, green, black or white and the toilet roll is encased in the pot so it’s a good way to avoid another pet hate of mine, damp toilet paper.

Paper Pot by AI Collection - Molla Space

Which would you choose?

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Wear Your Heart On Your Clutch

I saw this red leather Heart & Soul clutch when I was looking online for a Valentine card and promptly started hankering. Farrago Bags personalise their bags with initialed key-rings which adds a really nice touch, especially for a present.

Despite my best efforts to the contrary we don’t really ‘do’ Valentine’s day in our house (every day is Valentine’s day!) but I might keep my fingers crossed anyway, or you know, just buy it for myself…

It’s quite small but look how much it can hold!

It’s just under £60 including shipping and is a limited edition design for Valentine’s day. It ships from Hungary so if you’re ordering one make sure you leave enough time.

I’m thinking black dress, red shoes and red lipstick but then I am a little matchy-matchy. What outfit would you wear it with?

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Slush-Free Valentine Cards

I’m the kind of person who when given a teddy holding a ‘I love you’ heart never phones the person who gave it to me again. I don’t really like slushy stuff, especially if it’s in the shape of a Disney character and it’s from Clinton Cards. The same goes for Valentine cards, now don’t get me wrong, I like to get something but I hanker more for a note from the heart scrawled on the back of an envelope than a gigantic card from a petrol station. Although one of these cards would make me happy.

The aptly named Valentine Card by Spare at £1.75.

Valentine Card - Spare

Valentine Pylon card by GX2 Homegrown with message ‘I heart your electricity’ at £2.

Valentine Pylon Card GX2 Homegrown

Electric Fan hand stitched card that can be personalised, they suggest ‘#1 Fan’ or ‘You’re So Cool’… or what about ‘You Blow Me Away’? £4.31

Electric Fan card - Leobella Boutique

AND WHAT I Love You Every Other Day card by Do It Momma at £3.50. My husband’s sentiments about Valentine’s Day. In fact, a lot of people’s.

AND WHAT I Love You Every Day card - Do It Momma

I think my favourite, and not strictly a Valentine card, is Yellow Owl Workshop’s LCD ‘Write Your Own Message’ card which leaves you to fill in the debossed LCD template to form your own message from the heart. For the stalker shy admirer this has the advantage of spilling your heart without the receiver recognising your handwriting.

Yellow Owl Workshop LCD card

Maybe I like a bit of slush after all.

Are you a hopeless romantic or a hardened cynic on Valentine’s Day?

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Burns Night Bling

Celebrate the Scottish language with Glaswegian designers Bonnie Bling who make acrylic jewellery inspired by Scottish slang. You may remember the Amelia Lily knuckle dusters on X Factor? They designed them in collaboration with Obscure Couture. You can get your own custom-made pair for £40.

Although knuckle dusters played a part in my husband and I getting together (yeah, a long story) I can’t think of an occasion that I would wear knuckle dusters, but this I heart Haggis necklace is very appropriate for Burns Night tonight.

Bonnie Bling - 'I heart Haggis' necklace

I’m afraid I really don’t heart haggis, but I’m going to try to like Scotland’s national dish by making this veggie version I saw over on Domestic Sluttery.

If you don’t have pierced ears these Och Aye earrings are available as cufflinks or knuckle dusters or without the ‘Aye’ as a brooch and necklace.

Bonnie Bling - Och Aye Earrings

The Ginger badge is definitely my favourite. I think because it reminds me of my brother and of Irn Bru – two of my favourite things.

Enjoy your Burns Night celebrations!

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One Love for Baby Ceylon

Reasons I shouldn’t hanker after this One Love dress from Baby Ceylon:

a) It’s £230.

b) Spaghetti straps mean no bra, with my bust that is not a good look.

c) The colour will either make me look naked or like corned beef.

d) The dropped waist will sit just on the widest point of my child-bearing hips.

e) It’s winter.

Baby Ceylon One Love Maxi Dress

But I am hankering after it.

The broderie anglaise detailing on the bust is beautiful, the 1930s feel is so elegant, the gorgeous drape of the fabric, the colour. I also love the gold jewellery Baby Ceylon have styled it with. I’m having visions of wearing this whilst sitting side-saddle on a horse galloping along a beach with the sun setting and my hair flowing out behind me…

Ahem… Fantasies aside, maybe one of you ladies with a perkier bust, smaller hips, warmer complexion and imminent holiday will have more success?

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Pineapple Ice Bucket Retro

I love, love, LOVE this shop. I found it when I was looking for an actual pineapple ice bucket, but there are so many amazing things in this shop apart from bar-ware. There’s kitchen equipment, furniture, fabric, clothes (for men and women), greetings cards, Christmas decorations and loads more. Most items have free UK delivery and really reasonable price tags.

I want to show you practically everything, but let’s start with the unused 1970s greetings cards. This mermaid card is so gorgeously retro and just £3.

1970s Greetings Cards - Pineapple Ice Bucket Retro

I used to have a small suitcase like this in cream that belonged to my grandmother. Perfect for storing things in at home if you don’t want the baggage handlers to bash it about. Did I mention it has pink lining? It’s only £25.

Navy Case - Pineapple Ice Bucket Retro

I want this plastic 1960s mirror for our bedroom, it will match perfectly when we finally get around to redecorating. But that’s a while away and I’m sure one of you will snap it up before then.

Red Mirror - Pineapple Ice Bucket Retro

 Always a fan of animals stampeding, the running horses on this dish grabbed my eye immediately. Look at their beautiful tapered legs.

Beswick Black Horse Dish - Pineapple Ice Bucket Retro

Pineapple Ice Bucket Retro have loads of lampshades that would match their beautiful 1960s turned wood lamp base.

Cream Turned Lampbase - Pineapple Ice Bucket Retro

Finally, this blue 1970s Herbert Terry anglepoise desk lamp is refurbished with a blue fabric flex, the most expensive of the things I have shown you at £110, but possibly the most hankered after?

Blue Anglepoise Lamp - Pineapple Ice Bucket Retro

If you want to have a rummage through their stock, Pineapple Ice Bucket Retro have a shop in Brockenhurst in Hampshire. Or look out for details on their blog of the vintage and retro flea market they will be doing one Saturday in Lymington.

Seriously, go and look at the site. When you’ve had a look, come back and tell me what your favourite item is – I’d love to know!

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Bookshelf Comb

We’ve lived in our house for two years and all our books from our old houses are still in boxes in the loft. A crime I know, I’m a librarian’s daughter for goodness sake…

I miss them, we’ve got some new books that we’ve read but I’m hankering after the familiar titles and that comforting old book smell. Since we finished de-uglying the house from a 1970s pub style we’ve been looking for the right bookcase to put them in.

I think I may have found it.

Jaanus Orgusaar - Comb

Jaanus Orgusaar’s Comb is £390 for the bookcase size and £210 for the small version and are available in white, black and light brown from Bouf. There is also an in-between size on his website. I love the way it curves out from the wall like an eye. Obviously it won’t hold as many books as square or rectangular shelves but I can live with that because of its design, and it also means you could get creative with how you stack the books.

Jaanus Orgusaar - Comb in white

It’s flat-packed which adds to my excitement, I appreciate not everyone will feel the same, but imagine the smug feeling after you put that together correctly.

What do you think of it?

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Hendricks & Cucumber Tonic

How better to finish off the week which started with ‘Blue Monday’ than with a tonic?

I was flicking through Leon: Naturally Fast Food Book 2 and saw their Cucumber Cooler recipe which looks lovely, refreshing and healthy. However my brain saw the word ‘cucumber’ and told me to replace the water with tonic and add Hendricks gin. So on New Years Eve that is exactly what I did.

Hendricks & Cucumber Tonic

  • 1 litre tonic water (I used Schweppes tonic with lime)
  • 450ml Hendricks gin
  • 1 cucumber
  • juice of 1 lime
  • ice

Add the ice and Hendricks to a large jug. Peel the skin off the cucumber and discard, then continue peeling the cucumber from top to bottom into the jug until you reach the seeds in the centre. Squeeze the lime into the jug and top up with the tonic water.

If you’re on a January detox just omit the gin, and if you like, replace the tonic with water.

This drink might be more suited to summer but in my mind there’s never a bad time for a G&T. Enjoy!

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Framing Prints the ‘Eze’ Way

Getting a print you’ve been hankering after is awesome but I often leave it rolled up languishing for months while I find a frame that’s the right size or design or whilst I save up to get it professionally framed. Too mean to pay a professional and not able to find exactly what I wanted in the shops I turned to EzeFrame.

I generally avoid companies with incorrectly spelled names, even as a child ‘Toys R Us’ annoyed the hell out of me and with a backwards R! How is a child meant to learn to spell with that kind of influence?? Anyhow… it turns out EzeFrame are very good at what they do. They have a wide range of frames, mounts and glass and if your picture isn’t a standard size you can enter the dimensions on their website and they’ll custom make you a frame and mount. You can even upload an image of your picture to see how it will look in the frame before you buy it.

Their prices are really reasonable, I’ve just ordered a frame and mount for an A3 size print for a little over £13. The quality is good, it’s not quite as high as frames I’ve had done by a more expensive professional framer but once it’s on the wall the difference is unnoticeable, to me at least.

Here is the frame I chose for my ‘Running Hare’ print by Jon Tremaine, this snapshot really doesn’t do justice to his talent, his intricate drawings are amazing – go and look at them…

Running Hare by Jon TremaineBelieve in Goodness by Rob Ryan

…and my treasured ‘Believe in Goodness’ print by Rob Ryan.

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