Category: Books

Tara x

Tara Button and her website Buymeonce are a blast of fresh, spring air.

Tara’s concept is simple – our lives have been stuffed full of things we’re told we need that lets us down so she has been on a mission to track down the best quality and investment pieces that every house actually needs.

 

 

 

 

This resonates so much it almost hurts: I too am tired of this modern life that believes it can tell me who I am through the purchase of a skin cream, what I need: permanent upgrades and who I should be: spending lots of money, constantly implying that the real me isn’t good enough.


Just open your eyes to the insistent message of the season: Spring clean your wardrobes/house/family/life  – it’s time to refresh!…The underlying, insidious message being that we will make you insecure to make you buy more.

(All pics Buymeonce)

Is it norm corm in the extreme? I don’t know. But what I do know is that we can’t spend our way to happiness and something needs to change. This seems a very good place to start.

 

Laters, Kate x

Recycled wood x

I love books.

(All pics Pinterest)

But I hate the back-to-front book thing. Though it works sparklingly well as a visual metaphor for everything that is tragic about our modern culture.

 

And breathe.

Laters, Kate x

Books for thought..

So bookcases are now a ‘thing’? Excuse me now whilst I suppress my inner laughter.

Sometimes I think the puppetmasters of materialism actually believe their own hype.  Did they really think we’d give away our books in favour of cloud storage?

‘They get rid of books.  We charge them again for ibooks.  Then we gloss the pintrest pictures and persuade them bookcases are it…it’s a money making winner!’

The truth? People and interiors need the soul of books, holidays need the ease of kindles.  And parents, at home with children need to know that Alexa can read your kindle books aloud.  Whilst I’m writing this, Percy Jackson is entertaining my kids downstairs. Now that’s a win win.

 

Laters, Kate x

Flashbulb x

3d885ffa164f2cfd2a67d9f7d7442399

Is it too late for New Years resolutions? The dust has finally settled and now I know what I’d like to do…keep a sketch book.  I have a words/ideas book (which apparently is the classic sign of an introvert – who knew?) to keep treasures like assonance and sibilance that otherwise would float away.  But a book of dabblings and drawings? If this Blog is a collection of thoughts and sources of inspiration, then a sketchbook would be those thoughts made physical. I think it’s a calling….

f286180ec0e6663889ae36b7d7902f62 cface79d4143967009530f6e9be4fe50 d838b607d0be2bd50bd4c412cf3d7af6 4582735f0816b72b116cadc764e0b663 aefcf852de39a0ce7ec710c75fa43f6d 2162ee67cad093cdaa73a59de8a14184 840a59648a38d7605bfe6535ac351a48 734f3a8576efb3b7dec53d73cfe6d10c 548f2256c3806131547db0622f4c370c 254d7960a0a0307932c9bb06c48147e4-1 7daff84ee2467ff8e633cad718034620

(All pictures not mine but from Pinterest)

Laters, after an arty online shop for supplies, Kate x

A Girl Called Jack x

IMG_8895

Jack Monroe is my latest hero.  I discovered her whilst painting the hall..the joy of decorating is having an ipad close to hand listening to  iplayer doing it’s thing.  Radio 4 made a drama from her life, basing it around her love of cooking and her relationship with her Grandmother: Two things that float my boat – it inspired me to seek out her cook book.

IMG_8896

Jack started by writing, in her own time, a local political commentary blog.  Then she had to give up her career when she became a single mum and her wage couldn’t extend to childcare.  The only solution was benefits and a mere £10 a week for food for the two of them. Her blog ‘Cooking on a Bootstrap’ was a consequence of that constraint, written to share the recipes she magically managed to produce…which then turned into her own cookbook.

IMG_8897

Being a single parent meant lack of time as well as a lack of resources translates into recipes that are both speedy and simple.  There’s no frills or extravagant ingredients, instead she’s re-connected the umbilical cord highlighting that fantastic, nutritious food doesn’t need an overflowing handmade Devol larder and a certificate in corden bleu cookery.

IMG_8898 IMG_8899

(The vegetarian meals are awesome)

IMG_8900

Jack believes that in order to tackle food poverty and a culture of convenience/microwave meals with dubious ingredients then cooking at home needs to be present on a less glossy, less sexy, less intimidating and more accessible way, which then has the rollover benefit of both spending less and reducing waste. Win win.

IMG_8901

She makes you think about how you cook, why you cook..and how careless we are. The bottom line is we all need to care more.

I love her and I love her book.

Laters, Kate x

Bohemian Minimalist?

709e4315fc41374be1c51b2296e5058b

I’ve been reading Bea Johnson’s book ‘Zero Waste Home’ with interest – it’s fair to say it’s an eye opener.  Whilst there’s no doubt she’s taken her chosen style of living to an extreme (her 4 member family produce just one large jar of rubbish a year)..( I confess that’s less than we manage in a day) and despite the fact the book is written for the American market, there’s no denying the hidden gold between the pages…..she genuinely believes that in our fast-paced, modern world we’ve disconnected from the true reality of our commercialism and the consequences  of our voracious, unstoppable actions.  By shining a light on something as simple as rubbish she aims to change people’s attitudes in a broader, rippling sense..and make a real difference both to the individual and the planet. Impressive ambitions.

8f41ba3e20ea8fd769a4462c319b8c85

The book reminds me of an article I read in the Times by Caitlin Moran where she admitted that as a poor person she was far more creative: No money to buy it equalled make it or fix it. But now with success, she just throws money at the problem…we think because we can have it all, we should have it all. We even deserve to have it all.

5f23dc1921ab6a32a92dfcf31f008544

Bea thinks differently: She likes to simplify life right down to needs not wants, equalling less hassle, less waste..less stuff.

aaac7ad6ea57e15fb97adab5a3c60f77

And that’s where she and I differ.  I understand the simplicity of a clutter free, simplified life…but clutter and old stuff are fundamental to my personal lifeblood.  All these pics represent interiors I aspire to with their sense of timeless style and soft edges.

61e8c9bc92b84f2424ffc807bc618257 6184a3c84e18779232985f19d72a2953

A house without books? Soulless.

a40b3a4f0f2a47337619dc6cda7d73fb

No artworks and bedspreads?

6761e2ae505f1ec0f47e28c4fd52374d

(All pics Pinterest)

Or knick knacks and beautiful rugs? It would break my little heart.

But I think there are grey areas where we overlap. And I’d really like to explore her world in little steps..doing something different every month.  Watch this space…

Laters, Kate x

Bea Johnson x

921d68e02e647eae6c367a5d59decefc

Anyone else read the article in the Times yeesterday about Bea (pronounced ‘Baya’)  Johnson and her zero waste lifestyle? The picture above represents the amount of waste her family have accumulated over a year…it’s an eye opener..

a6b60437aa9b07ca10c6231348b96d19

She’s been living this way since 2008..and it doesn’t make her a crusty hippy.

e83c53117e97e2cfc974b9aa53a09b00

Her (and her family’s) wardrobe are small enough to fit into carry-on suitcases…which they pack, wheel away – and then their house is rented out to pay for their holidays.

7915382a05165a895c8eef4fef6242f4

But a small wardrobe doesn’t mean she doesn’t have style.

55cea485128a15a23c29f4043b1c6a75

It’s just that they’ve made choices about what they really need against what society and big companies want them to need.

I think I’m going to have to read her book…

Zero-Waste-Home-jacket

Laters, Kate x

Rapture x

ViktorRolf-Fairy-Tales

Once upon a time, a long time ago before the cult of celebrity was even a flash of a lightbulb, there were myths and fairy tales weaving complex ficitonalised versions of life with an extra sprinkle of magic.

ViktorandRolf3_V_21sep11_pr_b_426x639

Move forward hundreds of years to the Viktor and Rolf Fairy Tales, fresh from the minds of the avant garde fashion greats..

viktor5

And beautifully illustrated by them as well..

viktor3 v-r-02

 

It’s like a dew-drop turned into a telescope with the lens pointed at a whole new world..how very delicious..and the perfect stocking present for Bella…as I get to read it too…

 

Laters, Kate x

Chutney and Oat Cakes..

IMG_1324

The joy that is Creative Coffee – wholesome and happy with stunning aromas and rich rewards, like the incredible (honestly, some of the best I’ve tasted.Ever) mango chutney and melt in your mouth oat cakes (why haven’t I made these babies before??).

IMG_1329

I took away two things from the session:

1. To invest in a pan like Sophy’s (she’s kindly sent me a link) which not only holds an extraordinary amount but also has delights such as a spout for pouring and an extra large handle.  Genius.

2. To buy the book by Annie Rigg we often use at Creative Coffee.

7171fE2KaiL._SL1500_

The recipes make your mouth water just reading them and – just as good – always work.

 

IMG_1331 IMG_1335 IMG_1337 IMG_1338

 

I’m thinking jars of spiced cranberry with edible glitter as the perfect cupboard gift for unexpected gifts this Christmas….

Laters, Kate x