Monthly Archives: October 2012

Tinned Fear

I’m not a big Halloween fan, I’m normally hiding with the lights off pretending I’m not home when Trick or Treaters come knocking. This year I bought a few oozing eyes from Poundland but I’m hoping no-one comes so I can eat them all myself.

I might be tempted to host a children’s Halloween party if I could give tinned fear away instead of party bags though.

Hoxton Street Monster Supplies - Range of Childrens' Tinned Fear

The tins contain sweets and children’s’ stories by bestselling authors.

There is tinned fear scary enough for adults too. I love the names especially ‘A Vague Sense Of Unease’…

Hoxton Street Monster Supplies - Range of Tinned Fear

Both versions are £35 for a set of five or £8 each from Hoxton Street Monster Supplies.

I also love the Salt Made From Tears range.

Happy Halloween!

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Swinging Monkey Pendulums!

I was looking for a clock for our spare bedroom and found this animal clock from Graham and Green.

Graham and Green - Clyde Animal Clock

I think it’s meant for kids. The white metal and chic animal silhouettes are quite grown-up, but then the bright red swinging monkey pendulum and the playschool shape screams kiddie.

Maybe it’s for sophisticated kids? I’m sure I could just about fit into that bracket.

I think it would go well with our cow wallpaper. What do you think?

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Chapatis With a Vintage Touch

My mother-in-law is staying with us at the moment, there’ll be no mother-in-law jokes on here though as she’s lovely. She also makes a mean curry and amazing chapatis. I’m going to see if she’ll share her recipe with me, firstly because I love eating chapatis and secondly, so I can use one of these vintage chapati boards to roll them out on.

Rockett St George - Vintage Chapati Boards

Aren’t they beautiful? Especially the more decorative one, second from the top. The dents and grooves add to their charm and I bet they feel all lovely and warm and smooth. You can get one from Rockett St. George from £25.

If I succeed in getting  my hands on the recipe I’ll post it here next week and if I don’t, I may get one of these boards anyway and use it as a pot stand.

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I Once Was A Washing Machine Drum…

…but look at me now! Well, that’s what I imagine Silvana would shout if she had a voice.

Reestore - Silvana Wash Drum Table

She’s graduated from wash drum to statement lamp and side table all in one. I love the pattern created from the light shining through the holes in the sides.

Reestore - Silvana Wash Machine Drum Table

Silvana has been lovingly restored by Reestore and costs £350.

The girl done good.

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Light Spill

Last week I showed you Rebecca Wilson’s beautiful strawberry necklace and whilst I was looking at her website I discovered her gorgeous wall light.

Rebecca Wilson - Light Spill

In my experience wall lights are generally fairly ugly, it took me ages to find some vaguely nice ones for our hallway. They’re not playful like this one, with strawberries dribbling from the jelly mould shade and down the wall. It’s not cheap at £250 but it is a work of art.

Another breathtaking work of art is Rebecca’s ‘Light Snack’ chandelier made of bone china and resin Jammy Dodgers, 1500 of them in total.

Rebecca Wilson - Light Snack (Culture Label)

At £8,500 from Culture Label it is way out of my price range but if I had that kind of money spare I think I’d definitely be tempted. Rebecca will also make smaller versions of this to order. Or you can buy a single Jammy Dodger necklace for £40.

I love the way the light shines through the jammy resin. Do you?

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Juicy Strawberries

Where I am sat it’s pretty miserable outside today and I’m hankering after some strawberries. Not the out of season sort currently in the supermarket that don’t really taste of anything, but ripe, red, juicy strawberries that evoke memories of summer and tennis and dribble juice down your chin.

This beautiful necklace by Rebecca Wilson looks just the sort that I fancy, alas I’d probably chip my teeth on the porcelain, so I’d have to make do with wearing it round my neck instead.

Rebecca Wilson - Juicy Strawberry Necklace

And what is better than one juicy strawberry? Why, two juicy strawberries of course!

Rebecca Wilson - Two Juicy Strawberries NecklaceOne is £40 and two is £55 and both include a gold-plated necklace and a swarovski heart.

If anyone would like to get me an early Christmas present, one of these would be just lovely…

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Soft Scissors

Following on from my post on sewing, this Giant Scissor Cushion is quite fitting.

Giant Scissor Cushion - Roost

It’s not that giant at half a metre long but certainly big enough and I really like it, it’s a nice simple design but I bet it could be used in loads of ways. It’s £45 and available from Roost who suggest you use it as a pin cushion or of course an actual cushion, but I also think it would make a pretty good breastfeeding cushion.

How would you use it?

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Fashion Antidote

At school, sewing machines scared me. I was certain my fingers were going to be punctured by the needle going up and down in a blur, so all my concentration was spent on making sure that didn’t happen and unfortunately not on my sewing. But after having several quotes recently for loose chair covers, cushions and curtains, I decided that I should get over this fear and learn how to use a sewing machine so I can make things myself.

I looked at several courses held across London and considered The Thrifty Stitcher in Stoke Newington and Saturday Sewing Session in Chelsea but decided on one run by Fashion Antidote just off Brick Lane. I chose the One Day Intensive Sewing Class because I thought it looked the most thorough and covered a lot for the price of £95 and also because I’m a tad impatient and there was a class the following week.

Fashion Antidote LogoAs I walked up the stairs of Fashion Antidote’s compact studio the sound of sewing machines clacking and the smell of ironing greeted me. There were two courses going on that day, the 1 Day Intensive Class and the Skills Training Programme, a professional standard course for people wanting to get into the fashion industry, and so it was a nice bustling environment in which to learn.

Our tutor Josefine Wing was clearly very skilled (she runs Mint Siren, a lingerie and accessories label) and quickly got the six of us beginners on the course comfortable with the sewing machines. We spent the morning going through the parts of the sewing machines, how to set up the machines,  wind the bobbin and sew basic stitches. Then we spent the rest of the day making a small skirt out of calico so that we could learn all the elements including how to sew different seams, darts, insert a waistband, a pocket, attach a concealed zip and at the end of the day we went through the basics of patterns.

My finished practice skirt

Josefine was really helpful in recommending where to buy fabric and which sewing machine to buy and with her help, along with the lovely ladies in John Lewis, I chose a good all round sewing machine that I’m very happy with and find easy to use. The Singer 160 Anniversary Sewing Machine did tempt me with its good looks but the price helped restrain me from buying it.

Singer 160 Anniversary Sewing Machine

I really enjoyed Fashion Antidote’s course and at the end of the busy day was rather pleased with my skirt and, although it’s too small to wear, I marked all the seams and stitches so I can refer back to it to refresh my memory. I felt so confident with my sewing ability afterwards that I was able to come home and make a little dress for my god-daughter.

If you sew, what have you made recently?

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The Cycloc

Bikes are great when you’re cycling round on them but when you’re not they take up so much room. If you live in a flat and don’t have a garden it seems there’s little choice but to get a Brompton or lean your bike up in the hall and bash your shins on the pedals every time you go past. We’ve got our bikes in the shed but with two in there they take up all the floor space so there’s barely room for anything else.

I’ve seen hanging bike storage solutions before but none that look as good as the Cycloc.

Cycloc - green

Available in white, black, red or green for just under £60, it fixes to the wall so you can hang your bike up by the frame horizontally or vertically so it’s out of the way and your shins are safe.

Cycloc

These bikes look like an art installation, although I’m not sure how easy it would be to get the top ones down…

Cycloc multiple

The space in the centre is big enough to store your cycling accessories like gloves and lights and there is a slot so you can use an ordinary bike lock to secure your bike if you need to.

I think these are a wonderful idea and perfect for having at home (although maybe too pretty to put in a shed?) or in the office. Nag your boss to get some so you can cycle into work without getting your bike pinched from the lamppost outside.

What do you think?

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