Monthly Archives: April 2012

GX2 Homegrown

GX2 Homegrown is one of the designers I’ve featured most on The Hankerer. I’m not on commission, I just love her clever designs and her new card designs are another hit with me.

Raven Card, Scrawl Your Own Greeting - GX2 Homegrown

Instead of a small sticker reading ‘Blank For Your Greeting’, that message is integrated into the design. A beautiful black raven is holding in his beak a banner for you to ‘scrawl your own greeting’ on. This card is £2.

This colourful hand sewn personalised bunting card is simple but really special. It’s £3.50.

Personalised Bunting Card - GX2 Homegrown

I am so glad I’m connected to you. Doesn’t this just encompass how you feel about some people? Two hearts are joined together by hand stitched waxed linen. It’s available in three different colour combinations for £2.

I am so glad I'm connected to you - GX2 Homegrown

GX2 doesn’t just do cards, her artwork is breathtaking. Take a look at her 1950s inspired Burlesque print entitled ‘Slip n’ Slide n’ Melt Beside Me’.

A5 Burlesque Print - GX2 Homegrown

A gorgeous piece of art for £5. I love it.

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Buckets of Fun

After a week of rain the sun has come out where I live, I’m not complaining as we needed the rain and it’s made everything lovely and green again, but the arrival of the sun has me hankering for some outdoor fun. Sophie Conran’s range of five buckets might help with that.

The Games Bucket has everything you need for some traditional fun in the park or garden. Like the egg and spoon race, the three-legged race, a frisbee and bean bags to throw into the bucket, Not forgetting a whistle for the person who likes to play referee.

Sophie Conran - Games Bucket

Make your own lemonade or cordial with the Drink Bucket. It has a recipe booklet and there’s a muslin square to strain any bits from your cordial before you decant it into one of the four glass bottles using the silicon funnel. Then just fill the bucket with ice to keep your creations cool and drink them through the lovely red and white straws. I like the sunny yellow of this kit.

Sophie Conran - Drink Bucket

The Camp Bucket has a cosy blanket to wrap around you in front of the camp fire, some matches to help you get it going in the first place and the bucket doubles as a container for water or sand so you can safely put the fire out before bedtime. Shine the dynamo torch under your face when you’re telling ghost stories or use it for those dark trips to the loo in the night. Also included is a multi-tool with eleven tools for those little emergencies and don’t forget to pack some marshmallows to put on the end of the toasting fork.

Sophie Conran - Camp Bucket

The Party Bucket is actually an ice bucket that has everything inside it to create a party atmosphere including tea lights and lanterns, bunting, paper plates, napkins and a party sign. It’s a shame the plates aren’t plastic so you can reuse them though.  Sophie Conran - Party Bucket

The Eat Bucket is a portable barbecue, yes it’s a bit more expensive than the ones you can get in the petrol stations but this one won’t burn through the bottom like they will. And this one comes with tongs.

Sophie Conran - Eat Bucket

They normally retail at around £30 but Papillon have them on discount at the moment for £17.95 each except for the Eat Bucket which is £18.95.

I’m torn between games and drinks, which would you get?

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Zincwhite

Continuing my theme of reusing things from earlier today, I wanted to tell you about another shop that’s had me hankering recently. Zincwhite reuse, recycle, remould, remodel and reinvent items to create brand new things for you, your home and your kids. I love their strapline:

‘Where discarded objects become desirable again’

These scatter cushions are like the building blocks you had when you were a kid. Regress to your childhood when you get bored watching telly by building cushion houses and Godzilla-ing them to your heart’s content. They’re £65 for the set.

Building block scatter cushions - Zincwhite

Zincwhite have taken artists’ old paintbrushes and turned them into pretty and unique necklaces. You can also get them from Designers Makers. They come with details of who donated the paintbrush which is a really nice touch and they’re under £25 each.

Paintbrush necklace - Zincwhite - Designers Makers

My favourite piece from Zincwhite is their personalised musical television. They take a clockwork toy television and turn it into a moving story using your own pictures. I really, really want one. Go to their website to see the moving image. The price is on application.

 Personalised Moving Television-Zincwhite

What story would you put on yours?

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A Little Light Reading

Books make me really happy. When I’m feeling a bit down, I like to seek solace among books.

Book shopping is one of the rare occasions that I favour physical shopping to online shopping. I have a method. I work my way round the shelves alphabetically gathering books as I go until I’ve got a nice stack. I read the blurbs of each of them again, compare them in my mind and put a couple back.

I delve inside the remaining books and skim a paragraph or two to taste the flavours of the writing. A couple more books will find themselves nestled back on the shelves. Finally, and I know I shouldn’t, I’ll look at the covers and naughtily judge them before reading the blurbs again.

I can lose hours whittling my pile down to the one or two books that I will eventually buy. It gives me the same pleasure I used to feel as a child choosing my weekly sweets in the newsagent on a Sunday.

I blame my mother, the librarian. She brought me up to love and cherish books, as well as instilling in me the importance of alphabetisation. So when I see products made from books, I can’t help but flinch a bit. It seems wrong somehow but they’re so often very beautiful. Like this Light Reading Chandelier.

Light Reading Chandelier - Lula DotBut Lula Dot make an excellent case for upcycling disused books. For example, I had no idea that there’s no infrastructure set-up to recycle books because of the low-grade paper and the gluey spines. When you consider the huge number of books that will only end up in landfill sites it seems such a terrible waste not to make something beautiful out of them instead. Especially when the result looks like this…

Light Reading Chandelier close up - Lula Dot

The Light Reading Chandelier is by Lula Dot and sold for £340 for delivery in the EU or £440 for international shipping. I’d love to have a peek through some of the pages and see what books have been used.

Have a look at Lula Dot’s project on book partitions, I’d like a corner of my house set up with a couple of these, a comfy chair to curl up in and my favourite book to read. What’s your favourite book?

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Honest Wine Tags

When my husband and I started going out he bought a wine tasting qualification pack that we could do together. I was very touched by the thought, but we didn’t get very far with it. When we opened the box and realised the cost of buying all the types of wine it rather put us off, I think it’s gathering dust on a shelf now.

So it’s safe to say I know nothing about wine. I’ve got two favourites (Malbec in the winter and Gewurtztraminer in the summer… if you were wondering), but generally when I buy a bottle I make my decision based on:

a) The colour

'It's Red That's All I Know' wine tag - Papermash

and b) the label.

'But the label is so pretty' wine tag - Papermash

I wonder if the people at Papermash choose wine like this too?

If you want to deflect any questions from the host about the wine you brought to their dinner party, attach the ‘Don’t Ask Me’ or the ‘Nothing Say’s Thank You Like…’ tag to the bottle.

Wine Tags - Papermash

As they’re all £2.25 it means you can splurge on the wine.

As I need enlightening tell me, what wine do you drink?

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Studio Nommo

Whilst I was searching for wallpaper last week I stumbled upon Studio Nommo. They are a Turkish wallpaper company with some really beautiful designs across three wallpaper options.

Choose from their Pattern Collection which are hand-drawn by illustrators from around the world, my favourites are Sedat Girgin’s Typewriters (wouldn’t this be great in a home office?) and Ashley Alexander’s Foxy.

Typewriters by Sedat Girgin - Studio Nommo

Foxy - Ashley Alexander - Studio Nommo

Alternatively, choose a design from their Bespoke Collection and have it made to fit your wall at €65 per m2. My love of typography made me choose this Letters design.

Letters - Studio Nommo

I like the simplicity of This For Bees and the slightly clashy colours.

This For Bees - Studio Nommo

If you just can’t find the wallpaper that you have in your head then Make Your Own with Studio Nommo’s third option.

What would you put on your self-designed wallpaper?

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Christening Gifts

At the weekend we went to a christening. It was a lovely day full of pregnant ladies, babies and dressed up adults. The sun came out just in time for everyone’s arrival at the church and we spent the party afterwards on the terrace sipping Prosecco with kids frolicking round the garden.

I ummed and ahhed for ages over what to get as a gift but finally decided on this French 1930s mother of pearl rosary.

French 1930s Rosary

The silver was a little tarnished when it arrived from France but with some silver dip and a little elbow grease it came up much shinier than in this photo. I thought as it was old and unusual they may not get anything similar as a gift. I hope it will rise in value as the little one gets older so when she’s older she can trade it in for something that she likes. If you like it, this rosary is quite similar in style but from the fifties.

After I bought it of course, I kept hankering after other christening gifts that could also have been perfect. This silver money bear was one of them, he’s £10 from Three Jelly Moulds and a Wardrobe. Isn’t he sweet?

Silver Teddy Bear Money Box - Three Jelly Moulds & a Wardrobe

I also really like this Noah’s Ark pendant, the top opens to reveal tiny pairs of silver animals inside. It’s £35 from Lullaby Blue. There is an owl and pussy cat version too.

Noah's Ark Opening Pendant - Lullaby Blue

Finally, this clever little bracelet spells out god-daughter in morse code. It’s £69 from Between You & I. Although if you’re not a godparent you can get it personalised to whatever message you like.

Goddaughter coded bracelet - Between You & ICan someone else I know get their child christened please so I have an excuse to buy these?

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A Lightbulb Moment

In my opinion designers don’t tamper with light bulbs enough. If you’ve got a really amazing light fitting putting in a standard bulb can ruin the effect a bit. On the flip side, if you haven’t got a light fitting it wouldn’t matter a jot if the light bulb hanging from the flex was a work of art itself.

Diamond Lights by Eric Therner is designed to look like a cut diamond, I imagine the light would bounce around beautifully in this bulb. To be honest I’d buy this for the Art Deco style box alone. This is £25 from Designers Makers although if you’re buying in bulk you can get four for about £80 from Eric Therner’s website with free shipping. Unfortunately this diamond won’t last forever, but will last for around 2000 hours.

Diamond Light Bulb -Eric Therner

You may have seen Plumen’s award-winning light bulbs already, forming part of The Conran Shop’s Christmas window displays a few months back. These low energy light bulbs are so much more pleasing to the eye than the standard energy-saving types. They are £19.95 each in either bayonet or screw fittings. I love all the coloured flexes that are around too. These bulbs have a life expectancy of about 8 years.

Plumen - Designer low energy bulb

Is it madness to consider spending this sort of money on light bulbs when you can get them for so much less or does the design warrant it? I think I might be swayed to invest in one.

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Marathon Medals

I’m sure we all know someone who is running a 5k, 10k, half-marathon or marathon this year, especially with the Virgin London Marathon almost a week away. I saw these necklaces by The Run Home and thought they were a fantastic way of congratulating a runner on their achievements.

Look at this gun-metal 26.2 necklace with cute running shoe charm.

Run 26.2 - The Run Home

For the person you know who loves to run, this sterling silver necklace might be perfect.

Love To Run - The Run Home

The nervous runner could be lifted by this Believe in the Marathon sterling silver necklace to wear for their race.

Believe In The Marathon - The Run Home

The New York City Marathon is on 4th November this year & this Big Apple necklace to celebrate it is fabulous. You can customise your necklace to celebrate your own race.

NYC Marathon - The Run Home

I’d need this No Excuses Runner Girl necklace to keep my training up I think, as I’m ever the procrastinator.

No Excuses Runner Girl - The Run Home

There are so many charms and pendants to choose from and you can mix, match and customise until you have one perfect for the runner, swimmer or triathlete in your life. Prices range from $3.50 for a pendant to $41 for a sterling silver necklace with four charms.

I’m not a natural runner, the most I can do comfortably is 10K and although I did once apply for the London Marathon I was secretly relieved when I didn’t get a place, but it would be amazing to run one day. If you need some running inspiration take a visit to Bangs & a Bun or Nicole is Better.

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Keyboard Brush

The British are notoriously bad at taking our lunch breaks, according to research Spar did a couple of years ago 70% of us don’t leave our desks for lunch. That’s a LOT of crumbs.

If you’re one of those 70% you might be hankering after something more refined than tipping your keyboard upside down and banging the back of it to minimise crunchy typing. So let me introduce you to the key(board) desk brush that will help to de-crumb your working area.

Keybrush - Present & Correct

Instead of metal teeth this key has bristles to brush your desk from crumbs. It is £12.50 from Present & Correct and is made by blind and visually impaired people in a craft workshop in Berlin.

This little brush is so simple, yet so brilliant. Add it to your key chain to increase your status at work (more keys = more important, right?) or if you’re important enough already, leave in your desk drawer or hang on the wall by your desk.

Oh, and make sure you take lunch today…

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