Tag Archives: art

P-P-P-Pick Up A Penguin Print

This morning I finally got around to framing and hanging my Mr Penguin With Balloons print by Showler & Showler that I got for Christmas.

Mr Penguin With Balloons - Showler & Showler

I think it’s really meant for children but I thought it would go nicely in our cow bedroom, that one day might be for a little person and in the meantime is a spare bedroom/home office. Mr Penguin comes in three sizes from £12.99 and on postcards from £1.

I chose a gloss black wooden picture frame and paired it with a snow-white mount with black core from Eze Frame that I thought would frame the print nicely and accentuate the bright colours.

Showler & Showler have a fantastic collection of bright and colourful prints and postcards suitable for kids and big kids alike. I particularly like their crayon print. They’ve just launched their new website and print range and to celebrate have a 20% off discount code to use when you buy prints, so pop over to their website for a pop of colour.

What do you think of Mr Penguin? Too kiddie or just adult enough?

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My Motto From NYC

Last time I went to New York was almost three years ago. This Motto poster I saw in Reed Space really struck a chord with me. It was just what I needed to see, at exactly the right moment, to help me start doing things a bit differently and break through some mistakes I kept making.

Motto - Staple X Cole Winston Moss

Motto was the result of a collaboration between C. W. Moss and Staple Design based on a phrase from founder Jeff Staple. It was the first poster Staples Design did.

“If you’re just doing things in the moment & not reflecting on how you could do them better, it’s very unlikely you’ll improve.

The takeaway!

Focus on technique, even during playtime. Mindless participation is not enough. Knowing you’re doing something wrong isn’t the same as doing it right. Once you’ve isolated problem areas, think about how you can avoid making mistakes. Performance gains come by recognizing flaws you’d like to pretend don’t exist.” Jeff Staple

I love the quote and the way Moss brings it to life with his illustration is genius. I’m so pleased that I bought this when I did as it doesn’t look like it’s available to buy anymore. But there’s so much interesting stuff over at Staple Design and Moss’s website and plenty to hanker after in the Reed Space Online Shop that I’m sure you’ll find your own inspiration.

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A Mouthful of a Cake Exhibition

At the weekend my friend Cristina and I went along to the Squires Kitchen ’26th Annual Cake Decorating, Chocolate and Sugarcraft Exhibition’ in Farnham. Cristina is a wonderful baker and she was looking to expand her cake decorating tool kit and I tagged along happy to look at the cakes with the motivating factor that there would probably be free cake.

There was a whole hall exhibiting cakes of all shapes and sizes including suitcase cakes, ring pillow cakes, birdcage cakes, lace cakes and any other shaped cake you’d care to imagine. It was awe-inspiring to see what can be done with a little patience and a lot of skill. There was also lots to buy; books, magazines, cake tools, moulds, cutters and a huge variety of paste, paints and glitters.

After my initial disappointment that there wasn’t any free cake, I perked up when I saw there were free workshops run by some big names of the cake world. As it was a sell-out exhibition it was very difficult to get into any of the workshops. We couldn’t get into Debbie Brown‘s mini class, but we did manage to have a chat with her afterwards and she gave us an overview of how to make these gorgeous sugarcraft babies out of Rice Krispie cakes and she made what looks very difficult, sound surprisingly easy. Her book Baby Cakes has some amazing recipes for any baby-related events you may have coming up.

Debbie Brown Cakes: Baby Cakes

Unfortunately we didn’t get into Carlos Lischetti or Alan Dunn’s workshops either as they were too full. However, for the last workshop of the day we arrived super early, queued for 45 minutes and managed to get ourselves a great view in Peggy Porschen‘s mini class ‘Boutique Baking – Raspberry & Rose Dome Cake’.

Peggy made a beautiful dome cake by lining a dome mould with joconde sponge and filling with layers of fresh raspberries and German buttercream (a custard based buttercream). She then talked us through icing the finished cake and showed how to make sugar flowers and decorate the cake to perfection.The mini class was 45 minutes long but was very detailed and I was impressed with how much she covered. I was also impressed that we all got to taste the cake at the end which was utterly divine and convinced me to buy her new book. Alas, they had sold out so I will have to wait for the general release of Boutique Baking on 24th May.

Boutique Baking by Peggy Porschen

For those of you who are serious cake makers, Peggy is running a full length workshop on how to make the same cake later in May. It’s pricey at £385 but you get the book included and you will learn some fantastic skills. Or choose from a whole raft of other courses at her Academy.

For those of you who are serious eaters (I fit into this category) and would like to try some of Peggy’s cakes, then pop along to her Parlour in Belgravia.

Until tickets go on sale for the ’27th Annual Cake Decorating, Chocolate and Sugarcraft Exhibition’ in 2013, have a look at Squires Kitchen’s huge array of goodies and tools to help turn your cakes into works of art.

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But How Are You Doing?

We all know people who love talking about themselves so much they hardly stop for breath. They may pause at some point and ask “But how are you doing?” but this is more due to social norms than their desire to know the answer. They half-listen to your reply with glazed eyes whilst making a mental list of what else they wanted to tell you.

In my experience people who do this usually fall into two categories. The hyperactive, fast talking type that just has too much excitement bubbling away inside that they flit from one OMG subject to another. Or the perennially depressed type that talks round and round the same subject never to make a decision.

Lene Bladbjerg has captured this perfectly in her hand pulled Me Me Me print.

ME ME ME Limited edition handpulled screenprint - LeneBladbjerg

Heck, at various points in our lives we’ve all probably been that person too.

So let’s listen quietly and when it gets too much, give them this print as a not-so-subtle hint. It’s £58.90 and a limited edition of 100.

How do you respond to people like this, smile sweetly or shout over them?

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The Dandelight

When I was a child I was always hankering for wishes.

Say something at the same time? Make a wish! Walk underneath a train bridge when a train is going over? Link little fingers and make a wish! Blow out birthday candles? Make a wish!

Eyelash falls out? Blow it away and make a wish! See a dandelion head? Blow the seeds free and make a wish!

PLEASE don’t blow on this dandelion.

The Dandelight - Rockett St George

Each of these real dandelion seeds is precisely stuck to an LED light by hand to make The Dandelight.

The realistic quality is beautifully countered by the visible 9V battery that powers the light which I think makes it all the more intriguing.

It is £85 from Rockett St George, but if you’re going to make the investment can I recommend paying the extra £36 for the dome just in case any one sneezes near it!

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Folded Heart Book Decorations

When I came across these book decorations, I thought ‘how clever’ followed by ‘they hurt a book!’ but then I read that they don’t cut the pages they fold them down, which makes it even more clever.

Folded Heart Book Decoration by Stuff by Losy Posy

There are three versions each at £25, a children’s book, a romantic novel and another version with more manly titles. Each version has a choice of two titles with corresponding coloured ribbon.

Children's Book Folded Heart Book Decoration by Stuff By Losy Posy

I think the Water Babies one would be lovely for a christening or first birthday, they also include the original dust jacket which would be nice to frame separately. The other versions could make nice wedding or mothers/fathers day presents.

What do you think, pretty decoration or grievous book harm?

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A Melange of Maps

I bought my husband these vintage map cufflinks with the location of where we got married on one cufflink and where we honeymooned on the other, as a six-month wedding anniversary present (sickly newly weds!). Since then I’ve been hankering after some map things for our home.

Philippa Stanton makes these beautiful vintage map lamps. Choose from Isle of Wight & Solent, Brighton, Rochester & Chatham or various areas of London for around £44 including the base or ask for a bespoke lamp with the area of your choice.

Vintage Johnston's 1930's Map Lamp featuring The Isle of Wight and The Solent - 5ftinf

These coasters and placemats by Scarlett Willow Ltd. can be personalised with the postcode of your choice in the centre and as an older or more modern style map. They start at £40 for a set of four coasters. A nice idea for a house-warming present.

Personalised Map Coasters & Placemats by Scarlett Willow Ltd

I love this blanket box from Flutterbug Interiors, the UK map decoupage design includes the interior too. This size is £89 or a smaller size is £55.

Uk Map Decoupaged Storage Box - Flutterbug Interiors

The Origin of the Unit artwork by Terror Dome is really gorgeous, each member of the family is made from a map of where they spent their childhood. The family of four version is £57 and comes framed in a shadow box. It can be personalised further based on number of family members and what mix of girls and boys are in the family.

Origin of the Unit - TerrorDome

I’ve always hankered after a dressmaker’s dummy and Grace & Favour Homes do a lovely range. With most of them starting at £175 they’re not cheap, but this decoupaged London map mannequin is really stunning.

London Map Mannequin by Grace & Favour Home

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The Case-Book of Sherlock Hankering

This year Sherlock Holmes has been a regular fixture in my life. But now the BBC’s series has ended and I’ve seen Guy Ritchie’s latest Holmes offering, I miss him. I’m hankering for more of the consulting detective.

I pretended it wasn’t me that was missing him and bought this Wordsworth Library Collection of The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes for my husband. As the name suggests, it is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories in one book with Sidney Paget’s wonderful original illustrations. Nearly 1500 pages of Holmes and Watson should keep me going.

The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes - Wordsworth Library Collection

I love this book entitled ‘Elementary, My Dear Watson’ written and beautifully illustrated by Amber Whitney. It’s an ABC book so is really meant for kids but it’s so lovely, I’d definitely have a read before letting any kids get their hands on it…

Elementary, Mr Dear Watson - Amber Whitney

Also entitled Elementary is this typographic print by Typaprint on Folksy, a modern take on the classic Holmes silhouette.

Elementary! A2 Typographic print - Typaprint

Maybe I could bring the stories to life and host a Sherlock Holmes night, I could assign characters with these wine glass charms. Although the person who gets 221b Baker Street might not have much to do… I’ll take that one.

Sherlock Holmes Wine Charm Set - Winslow Rye

I can remember being terrified as a little girl at my Granny’s house watching The Hound of the Baskervilles on television, it certainly didn’t help my fear of dogs. Oh dear, this is bringing it all back to me.

Which Sherlock Holmes story is your favourite?

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If At First You Do Not See

I love a design that isn’t what it first appears.

Glass Plastic Bag - Rockett St George

At first glance you see a plastic bag full apricots, but when you look again you see it’s made from glass. This Glass Plastic Bag Bowl would make me smile every single time I walked past it. Yes, I am easily pleased. At £15 you can be too.

 Samantha Robinson has made these porcelain coffee cups look exactly like party paper cups. I love the detailing on these.

Samantha Robinson - Paper Coffee Cup

Forest Clearing have taken a really simple thing and made it beautiful with their Porcelain Berry Basket.

Porcelain Berry Basket by Forest Clearing

Kristen Wicklund the artist behind Forest Clearing also turns hand-crocheted cotton lace into amazing porcelain lace decorations and ring pillows.

Forest Clearing - Porcelain Lace Decoration

Have you seen anything recently that has made you take a second look in amazement?

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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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