Category: Christmas

Dear Santa..

The great thing about the triumphant march of technology is that it reminds you of the simple pleasures you once took for granted like writing, pens and ink.

Because now a great script stands out instantly.

Even more so if the ink is coloured. I went through years at secondary school writing in either green or purple ink but now that doesn’t only seem a life time ago, it is a lifetime ago. But a fountain pen with green ink is top of my Christmas list this year. A new trend? Probably.

(All pics Pinterest)

 

My ink of choice would be Akkerman, a Dutch company who’ve been making inks for over a hundred years.  Their unique bottle originating from the 1930’s  is poetry in motion – tilt the closed ink bottle and the neck fills itself up with ink.  Placed the bottle on a flat surface again and the marble falls back in the neck to trap the ink creating a perfect reservoir – even when the pot is almost empty.

 

Pure magic.

Laters, Kate x

Potty..

Is it a surprise that things are going green? That the tentacles of change are even reaching inside? Plants, once the scurge of the minimalist-matchy-matchy with too much resonance to hippies and patchouli are becoming the statement pieces of choice:  Not only are they living pieces of art but they help the living too, cleaning the air and quite frankly, bringing joy.

With the advance of plants comes the prospect of their pots and there are some quirky gems out there…All three pics above come from Westelm ..these Llamas are shouting out for a large, multi shouldered cactus..

These three delights come from Anthropologie.  Their size put them in the perfect Christmas present range.  Am I too early??…but when they’re gone, they’re gone.

Or there’s the independent handmade option – definitely worth unearthing – these beauties come from Atelier Stella ceramics based in Brighton.

 

(All pics Pinterest)

 

Who’s so good, she probably deserves a post all of her own…

Laters, Kate x

Write out x

If approaching September means anything it means stocking up on stationary. Which underlines the enigma…why do we need to buy it every September? There’s the normal losses down the back of the sofa, chewed by the children, eaten by the dog.  But the real reason is usually simply the lack of quality and that stationary belongs to the class of products blighted by the modern disease of built in obsolescence.  They just want you to buy it again.  So why not think outside the pencil box?

Tools to Liveby is a dreamy online shop that has done the hardwork upfront, sourcing beautiful stationary products from around the world that have stood the test of time.

The emphasis is on quality and the joy is in the detail, from products like these – brass pencil protectors from Germany.

To memorable packaging.

(All pics Tools to Liveby)

It puts the quality back into quantity.

Laters, Kate x

Christmas x

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The chandelier is decorated. Tick.

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New mirror inserted. Tick.

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Large star in kitchen? Tick.

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Christmas tree? Done. Finally got the damn lights to work.

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Elves? Here. Every day. When we remember..normally in bed at midnight..

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Christmas to do list? Still long – buy presents, wrap presents, hunt holly, find mistletoe, find stockings, clean chimneys, make gingerbread houses, ice cake, plant carrots.  It’s still reading like something the sorcerer would leave for his apprentice except without the hope of any magic.  So what am I going to do today?  I’m going to add a bright pink trim to the side of our kilim stair carpet.

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Just because I can.

Laters, Kate x

‘Ear ear…

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Need that effortlessly cool present that also has to sit happily in the wallet? The answer could be an ear cuff…brilliant in so many ways: They work equally well on unpierced ears, the range of prices is immense (these are £12.46 plus shipping)..and you only actually need to buy one. Winner, winner chicken dinner.

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Some of them do resemble those metal puzzles that used to appear in crackers. But don’t let that put you off.

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Particularly when you can find them for only £4.90 plus shipping.

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These are the most expensive of the bunch at just over forty squids plus shipping from here.

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(£12.96 from here)

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(£16 plus shipping from here)

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(£8 plus shipping from here)

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(£7.50 plus shipping from here)

For a flash in the pan trend without the pain, it’s an easy no brainer.

Laters, Kate x

High light..

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Do you get the time to breathe these days? The air after rain – a crackling fire – or a newly delivered Christmas tree? If you’re a smell person, these things matter because they’re memories, the past and future colliding like smoke in the air.  I love the power of fragrance – how it can become the essence of a person left to linger long after they’ve gone….and these are three of my favourites.

Bal D’afrique by Byredo is described as a warm and romantic vetiver inspired by Paris in the late 20’s and its infatuation with African culture, art, music and dance.  It’s an evocative mix of neroli, African marigold and Moroccan cedarwood.

 

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Oi All In One Milk by Davines is a leave in, frizz controlling conditioning hair spray containing Roucou oil.  But why just use it on hair? It’s a beautifully fragranced, soft, light moisturiser for all over the body.

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Emulsified with extra soothing rose extract to help ease irritation and condition the skin, Rose Salve by C.O.Bigelow is the sort of product you need to always have in your bag.  Use on lips, face, cuticles, elbows, knees and any chapped skin because it’s a little winter wonder.

 

Fragrances: Dreams that live in reality. Enjoy.

Laters, Kate x

 

 

 

 

A Christmas Tale x

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Not into rubbish? How about re-cycled? – It’s the present that keeps on giving.

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All these joys are from Re-found Objects, the royalty of quirky finds.

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(All pics from Re-found Objects)

Just make sure you’re buying presents for others hey.

Laters, Kate x

The alternative Christmas x

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Good intentions be damned, the only thing I’ve learnt since writing this post is that they never last and the only way to go is big, bad and ballistic..

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With that in mind I will be fully embracing the anti-commercialism at Pencil Agency’s Rubbish Shop.…and buying all my presents there.

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Who could resist Beyonce as an angel?

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A set of fine minatures?

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Or four handmade napkins?

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A multi-purpose iphone case for that person who always has little accidents?

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Or a naivly crafted nativity scene?

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(All pictures The Rubbish Shop)

Just pure elfing genius.

Laters, Kate x

Christmas Fair x

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It sort of reached peak Christmas in the Bentley household at the end of last week – a festive mishmash of hosting meals for many, nights out and the culmination of 4 weeks of creative playdates with Bella and 4 friends to help produce stock to sell at the School Christmas Fair. The idea was simple – to show them the cost and effort it takes to turn raw ingerdients into real money.

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But it played into my love as well – to me, sitting around a table making is what Christmas is all about.

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We had an amazing amount and variety of stock. Spot the pompom Christmas puds? An excellent seller!

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And we virtualy sold out – before costs, the girls made £395 on the day! Not to be sniffed at.

Damn. They might want to do it again…

Laters, Kate x

Minted x

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It’s what you need when the temperature drops below freezing and the dark nights draw in…

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Because Shrimps is the hot chocolate, woolly socks, slightly eccentric hygge of the winter fashion world.

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(All pics Shrimp)

Distinctive and dotty with a taste for fun, it’s a bright, cuddly light.

Laters, Kate x