Oh the unbridled joy of the hunt: I have found a company in Oxfordshire – The Douglas Watson Studio – that specialises in English handmade and hand painted ceramic tiles. And what beauties they produce..
The price point is high, but certainly cheaper than originals: Roughly £15 – £25 per tile on a sliding algorithm of less colour, less cost.
The driving force of Minimoderns is pattern with a story: The founders, Keith Stephenson and Mark Hampshire view what they produce as applied pattern across a range of products, including some incredible wallpapers. It adds a pleasant change, a certain flavour. A different slant.
Their design influences range from mid-century British textiles to vintage toys, literature and even childhood memories.
(Love this for a boys room)
It’s the detail..
Wallpaper, trombone and badger are three words I never expected to use in a sentence.
If you want retro nostalgia with design integrity and are not afraid of making a statement, look no further.
There’s a project gaining traction, think space and do-ability: An office pod in the garden. It’s been mooted before – it almost happened last year, but the husband was between jobs so it wasn’t the right time. But the green light is now on to start thinking, planning and budgeting because I’ve worked out over the years, the more time you give to these three, the less it all costs because you work out whats important. And what’s not.
The pod will need to be heated and although I love the romance of a proper stove, I believe in London, with concerns over air pollution and consideration to our neighbours, a cunning side step to an electric copy, like we did in the cellar will be the way to go: It will provide the visual representation, the heat, but none of the negatives.
Besides there’s always the joy of what goes round the stove..a small area to tile means flex in choice!
At present is a toss up between the modern approach of concrete tiles with large, dramatic patterns.
Or – and I was reminded of this option after seeing this picture of Alexandra Tolstoy’s cottage and splashback – a blue and white delft option.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could create your own? Pictures of coded memories??
And I’m not talking about myself or diet plans for 2019…Gladys ‘Fatso’ Bentley was the gender nonconforming lesbian superstar of the Harlem renaissance born 100 years ahead of her time we have never heard of. She was outrageous – even at at a time when Harlem was legendary for its nightlife. She’s also credited with wearing the first tuxedo in public – so you can add style icon to the list of her attributes. Her later life was not without drama – she took on the persona of a straight life due to the McCarthy era witch hunt against gays in the 1950s, a visual example of how scary that time must’ve been.
Because one of the joys of the Christmas period, to hibernate against the cold and the dark, reading, looking, thinking, researching and just plain vegging: we need to do more of this, discover more things, be proactive rather than passive.
Another guilty pleasure was watching back to back episodes of Project Runway on Netflix: How much do I love the ‘ skip intro’ button? Only a smidgeon less than the ‘skip recap’. Being submerged in couture gown making, talent and taste making it was therefore a bit of a shock to see Heidi Klum’s dress for the Golden globes. What happened?? It’s a cross between Gwyneth Paltrow’s 2002 Oscar dress and a primary school project..
And then there was Timothee Chalamet – robbed last year for an Oscar for ‘Call me by your name’ (fab, fab film) he at least stepped out of the male uniform and I for one loved it. Looking back, ‘Call me by your name’ written by Andre Aciman was also one of my favourite books of the year – rare that both genres are knockout. The other stand out book was ‘Educated’ by Tara Westover – powerful, poignant and unforgettable: This year has a lot to live up too..
This is a little shout out for my beautiful daughter Bella: She needs 22 more Instagram followers by the 31 Dec to stand the chance to become a Brand Ambassador for Nike. In many ways, I write this with trepidation – but I’m supporting her request because as one gets older, you realise how fleeting youth is and how every opportunity needs to be grabbed and maybe the time has come for her to realise just how special she is.
Do fashions for wreaths change each year? Possibly is probably the answer – because despite the dogs being blinged to their eyeballs (including the recent addition of festive dark glasses, a cunning buy from a party shop) the pull for me for wreaths has become pared back natural. Sadly our wreath of many years doesn’t quite hit the spot is on the door – it’s simple version of fir cones except they’re covered in glitter, and every time someone brushes past, a fir cone falls to the ground..I think a bit of tender loving DIY is needed or it’ll become it’s own epitaph..
The perfect excuse for a little bit of Christmas craft. And breathe.
I was reminded of this post today (along with the feeling that the madness seems to strike earlier each yea)…..it sums up such a interesting feeling that I believe it deserves another viewing, along with the proviso that whilst the spirit is there, the links probably aren’t…
When looking for presents, I start every Christmas with a simple shopping list of good intentions..
..But somewhere along the line something happens.
I can’t decide whether it’s because I’ve been beaten down and seduced into embracing the madness of the season..or it’s a bizarre reaction to the obscene commercialism that’s always lurking round the corner..
But it always reaches a point when suddenly giving a gift of earwax seems the most natural thing in the world..
As The final finishing touch, Firebox – the source of all this wonder (and recommended to me by the wonderfully talented Beth, through her Blog The linen Cat Blog ) add their own distinct wrapping service. Pure genius.
Now if I could have an unlimited supply of ‘crap wrap’ stickers, I think I would be happy for life…grunge wrapping is the new black…
There’s a new style of earring on the block: A marbled resin reminiscent of murano glass with hints of a bygone era. Some of the best examples can be seen in the work of Ejing Zhang, a Chinese jewellery now living in London who looks to her love of traditional calligraphy and ink painting for her inspiration. Combine the ever changing powers of resin with gold and a touch of whimsy and you have a magical combination.
Her pieces come under the title ‘fashion jewellery’ which means not stupid silly prices – think £150 and up. But if you want to try without breaking the bank, Primark have some surprisingly good pieces – but there’s definitely no gold…
Why not indeed, I said to myself as I picked up the multicoloured fairy lights for Christmas this year – maybe it’s nostalgia, maybe it’s a reaction to perfectionist white, maybe it’s a need to break out and shout there’s always another way – but, after decades of coveting the paired back scandi look, it’s colour all the way in this house this festive season.
Mine are going outside, around the necks of our two stone dogs, Alfie and Bear – pictures will follow. Promise.