Category: Christmas

Layers of ethos x

Why do I love Toast so much? Let me count the ways…authentic, wholesome yet elusively stylish and contemporary, it’s a brand that manages to mix the products it sells with the ethos it promotes.  For example, these handblown glass baubles at £35 for 5 will be on my wish list this Christmas, not for decorating the tree, but to add to chandeliers all year round – the present element is a Brucie bonus.

(All pics Toast and Pinterest)

If you’re a maker then this bit of information I found on their website could be of real interest to you:

The TOAST New Makers programme will support and mentor five emerging makers. We will offer production, design, business and marketing advice, as well as a digital and physical platform to sell their pieces with full profits being returned to them.

The programme is open to makers of all disciplines. We are seeking makers who use sustainable materials, demonstrate skilled craftsmanship, share an appreciation of texture and colour and have an understanding of thoughtful, functional design.

If you are an emerging maker and would like to apply, please submit your application before 12pm, Wednesday 18th December 2019. The shortlist will be selected by an internal TOAST panel. Please note that this programme is open to all new makers, wherever you may be in the world.

 

It’s almost the perfect Christmas gift…

Laters, Kate x

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.

Laters, Kate x

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Merry Mad-mas..

 

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(Knit your own golden retriever)

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..

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..But somewhere along the line something happens.

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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..
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But it always reaches a point when suddenly giving a gift of earwax seems the most natural thing in the world..

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(Plush Roadkill)

And why shouldn’t a stuffed toy include the inner bits as well?

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Mouse taxidermy? It could be the new baking…

crapwrap

 

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…

 

Laters, Kate x

Magpie x

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.

 

(All pics Ejing Zhang and Pinterest)

 

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…

 

Laters, Kate x

Jingle bells x

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.

Laters, Kate x

Paper Moon x

Christmas is coming and this is the antidote to everything glittery, commercialised and over fed: White paper art – originally designed for weddings, but the perfect inspiration for drama without fuss.


(All pics Pinterest)

 

Simple, cheap and without damage to the planet. What’s not to love?

Laters, Kate x

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