Design Icon x

 

Have you seen Home on Apple TV? Property porn for the discerning palate, it’s a series that steps out of the shadow of commercial bling to present homes with heart, soul and integrity. I’m only on episode 2.  But I think I’ll stay there a while, smelling the air and savouring the view, because I have a new design icon: Theaster Gates from Chicago.  The man is an onion – multi layered, multi talented, he defies description in the best possible way.

 

 

He says, ‘I am interested in not only found objects but also in discarded knowledge.’  And I think it is this heart that pulls all his work together, whether it is sculpture, pots or interiors.  He takes his subject and embraces it’s original essence, unleashing the spirit within.

 

 

But even rarer, he doesn’t hoard this spirit – most of his work is on behalf of the community making and re-making community centres, cafes, communal art studios – He touches these places with gold and passes them on. His joy is seeing the connections they make and watching the creative seeds he plants grow.

 

 

To see a building taken back to it’s bones and that skeleton, age becoming a work of art in it’s own right is a beautiful thing.

 

 

To be in a building with a printing press at one end, an library in another, a potters studio in between and a record collection nestled somewhere else is to be in heaven.

 

(All pics Pinterest)

 

This man is an inspiration in its purest form.

 

Laters, Kate x

Style Icon x

 

Style icon and new guilty pleasure – I’ve recently discovered Karen Britchick aka Karen Blanchard on Youtube – walking the streets of New York she eyes up the fashion, asking people about their outfits.  The pleasure is multi-layered – first, it’s sitting on her shoulder, being in unfiltered New York, where you can see the steam and smell the energy.  Then it’s that she doesn’t go for commercial outfits – everything is unusual, a progression, pushing a boundary, an art form, something different, unusual, which makes it exciting.  And finally its the idea that style isn’t an expensive brand, it’s about passion, expression and understanding how things fit together. In fact, the less commercial, the better.

 

(All pics Pinterest or go to Youtube)

Get me to an oversized unstructured 80s blazer now.

Laters, Kate x

Launch Day!

 

I have a few creative projects on the go – This is the first one that’s come to fruition – and it starts with a lockdown story that began roughly eleven years ago……

A pregnant infertility survivor and a pro natural birth obstetrics consultant at a high risk pregnancy unit meet to discuss a birth plan. The infertility survivor would like a c-section;  she now has a lack of trust in herself and wants to hand over responsibility to the doctors. The consultant wants to convince her to believe in herself and her innate capabilities. The infertility survivor hands over a print out of poems, describing the pain of her infertile years and the agony of her recurrent miscarriages. They talk. The consultant even uses two of the poems in a book she’s publishing. The infertility survivor has a successful c-section…..and my son Charlie is born.

Over a decade later, in lockdown, the Consultant, Dr Susan Bewley, finds my poems again and gets in contact. The poems are pulled out of a drawer and we agree that they are still as relevant today as they were all those years ago. So, with the help from Dr Bewley, they’ve been edited into a book….I took the decision that as they were poetry, they’d never get published down normal routes. So today, Songs For My Unborn Children has been self-published via Amazon and now they’re  available to buy! 

Doing it this way also means I get a say in all the art work, from the cover to the supporting instagram account.

 

 

 

So they’re out in the big wide world: Part memoir, all poetry, they cover the complete arc of infertility, from the pain of waiting, the grief of miscarriage to hospital visits, treatments, IVF, and finally the joy of a successful birth.

In the foreword, Dr Bewley writes:

‘Years ago, I was privileged to be given an early version of Songs to my Unborn Child from Kate during the course of her pregnancy, and to be allowed to use some for a book on Reproductive Ageing.  She opened my eyes to the long, complex shadow that infertility, miscarriage and medicalised conception cast way beyond the immediate experiences.  Doctors don’t bring ‘meaning’ to our everyday routines that clash with each patient’s exquisite vulnerability; it’s not a strong part of our skill set. But Kate provides another route to compassionate understanding.  Few artists can paint pain, but this poetess succinctly describes the emotional roller coaster of suffering, endurance and recovery that will resonate for women who’ve experienced it, and induce empathy from those who haven’t.  She gives voice to Everywoman’s shame and taboos.  Even though she was one of the lucky ones for whom IVF did work, for most it does not.  Every million cute IVF babies celebrated in the news and advertisements are accompanied by another several millions of futile cycles, chemical pregnancies, miscarriages and wounded souls. And emptier pockets.  Although a proud mother now, Kate wears her scars. She doesn’t gloat or forget her trauma, or the ‘sisters in suffering’ who follow her. They might, or might not, take a similar journey to eventual peace but will recognize themselves. Read, cry, learn, repeat.’

Yep. It made me weep.

Songs is divided into five sections: Infertility, Miscarriage and IVF failure, Treatment, Afterwards and Pregnancy.  It is ultimately a success story, but I hope the journey and the emotions will be recognised by all who have or who are walking this terrible path.

 

 

(All pics www.songsformyunbornchildren.com, instagram, facebook)

 

Please share, pass on to someone they might help, if you can’t buy – follow, anything to help get the word out, and I will be eternally grateful.

 

A big day.

 

Laters, Kate x

 

The Friday three x

 

Podcasts are probably the weeds of the media world, growing in the gaps where we thought there were no spaces, except these gaps had rich, fertile soil which has now established these new comers as cornerstones to the garden.  I know I resisted for a long time, I didn’t need yet another time sap.  But there’s an invisible zeitgeist, an energy a new industry brings, a freedom of new voices being heard away from big business, corporate mouthpieces and I am hooked.  Now, when there are jobs to be done, in my own time, at my own pace, I’ll be catching up with the latest offerings – in no particular order, these are a few of my favourites: The High Low – a weekly conversation between writers Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes, that covers highbrow and lowbrow culture. A friendship, an intellectual exploration, an authenticity, a zeal.

 

 

Have You Heard George’s Podcast? –  George the poet is a London-born spoken word performer of Ugandan heritage whose innovative creativity sends you down the rabbit hole with fireworks and funk.

 


 

How Did We Get Here? – Claudia Winkleman and Professor Tanya Byron identify struggles faced by real-life parents and family members by inviting them in and hearing them in a one-time unscripted session.  This is like unpaid for therapy, wrapped in love.

 

 

I was going to post more.  But I think to do so would dilute the magnificence of the above….so I’ll continue with the rest in a post next week.

 

Happy listening!

Laters, Kate x

 

Bethan Laura Wood x

 

A post in celebration of the joy that is Bethan Laura Wood, designer, icon and all round creative for her fearlessness, her individuality and her eagle sharp eye for character, form, proportion and colour combinations.


(All pics Pinterest)

 

A joy to behold, is this cultural appropriation, fusion or freedom?

For me it’s the freedom of a cultural fusion of joy. Simples.

 

Laters, Kate x

Trends x

 

Has anyone else watched Good Trouble on BBC iplayer? Easy binge watching, like an ever replacing tube of paprika Pringles.  One of the main stories is following the trial of a black man shot by police. Prophetic when you think it was made in 2018.  But not so when you think how many times a shooting of a black man by police has happened. But it’s the interiors that have stolen my heart.  Set in an old movie theatre in the City of Angels – both elements a pleasant spin on the habitual backdrops of New York – the vibe is high ceilings, large spaces, gorgeous flaking period features, with the implication that taste is always more important than high spend, except this would obviously cost for those not in the know, except of course these people know, except they don’t, because it’s all so artful and effortless for them.  There’s one particular room – other than the library, the kitchen and the pool – to die for.  And that’s Malika’s bedroom – on the wall by the bed is black and gold geometric retro wallpaper, inspired by Art Deco, mixed with the swinging sixties and oozing the era of Biba and Barbara Hulanicki – and it’s singing a sweet song of ‘my time is coming again…’

 

 

In fact, Barbara Hulanicki has been designing in her signature style for Graham and Brown wallpaper.

 

(All pics Pinterest)

 

Black and gold, geometric patterns circa Biba. It will be a thing.

Laters, Kate x

Sneak Peek x

 


 

A little croque en bouche to get this season rolling,  a tasty treat that ticks boxes both as a visual feast but also delights as a naughty peek behind the curtain at how the other half live: This is Kendall Jenner’s house in LA, as presented by Architectural Digest – and if you want to know more, I thoroughly recommend going to the website where there’s an accompanying film with Kendall leading a tour.

 

(All pics AD and Pinterest)

 

A serene oasis away from the madness. I rather love it.

Laters, Kate x

Marianna Leivaditaki x

 

Yesterday I had a look at the Toast website; like stepping into an indulgent shop where you know your senses are going to be softly stroked and where your shoulders always drop.  It’s not just the clothes, but the styling, the photographs, the rich vein of history and timelessness that runs through every piece, the pride and the quality.  I always look at their magazine, see what tasty morsels there are and low, behold, there was this article about the Head chef of Moro Hackney, Marianna Leivaditaki and her childhood in Crete.  It’s a beautiful piece and well worth a read, speaking an exotic language of freedom and hard work, of dreams and ambition.


(All pics Toast)

 

Marianna has a new cook book out, which after reading the article has found a place on my wish list (if there is one, slight criticism, its over the cover – all this rich history and the designers hand over a school text book? But maybe that’s just me) The book is full of stories, pictures and glorious recipes – and once again, there’s a sense of authenticity, the thread of time and a real beating heart.

 

For me, it’s a chance to taste and re-live the magical time we had in Greece this year. Something to cherish as the season changes.

 

Laters, Kate x

Red Hot x

 

(A re-post – this has been one of my favourite interiors ever, so I think it deserves another peek…)

 

Has property porn ever been this good? Let me show the ways…First an eyes on stalks glimpse into the warm, inviting, unpretentious Brooklyn home of Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard which proves that true integrity is more than skin deep.

 

 

But there’s more…there’s a video too…in fact, blank out time somewhere warm and cosy..this is PP on tap…be prepared, then click here.

 

(All pics Architectural Digest and Pinterest)

And the final cherry? The house is for sale.

Time to buy a lottery ticket. And dream.

Laters, Kate x