Category: Creative

Somewhere Summer..

 

The first snow drops, hints of blue, lighter mornings, the subtle suggestions of a season on the turn.  I was reading yesterday that I would not be able to claim the emerging spring as a fact because there is no such thing as proof, no matter how much we look for it.  Because proof can only exist when there is no doubt, and there is always doubt. Which I rather love, because it means the world is a chaotic, insane place, no matter how much we try to control it.  It also means there’s no proof for my claim that there’s a zeitgeist on the air for summer clothes, but I can still put a finger up to the wind and feel it: Unstructured, loose, layered with soft, softened cotton and colours that carry age, a step away from dynamic and full blooded. A nod to ancient cultures, simplicity of form but attention to proportion and complimentary dimension.


(All pics Pinterest)

Bring it on.

Laters, Kate x

Music and madness x

(A pic of my fantasy music room in Paris)

The only time I play the piano now is at Christmas. I have a battered old carol book that gets pulled out every year and the fingers get dusted off.  The violin does come out of it’s case occasionally – we got together with friends on the 4 Jan (should’ve been the 6, except that was a Monday) to celebrate an Armenian Christmas (none of us are Armenian) with gifts of traditional dress, food, music and dance. I was on the fiddle, the husband was singing, Charlie on the drums and Bella on the Tamborine: As is every parents right,The video will be used to mortify them on their eighteenth birthdays. Needless to say, it was a fabulous evening, of the type we need more of. For me, it was interesting in that it has always been the spontaneous music making that I have loved, not restricted by notes, rules and history. Neither of my children play instruments, they’ve been offered them, Bella even played the flute for a while, but it takes a lot of discipline to play an instrument well.  And the truth is, much of that discipline comes via parents who can see the end game.  Which does work to a certain extent.  But the real heart is when a child will sit down and play just because they want to.

 

This is something, particularly as an ex-professional musician, I have thought a lot about; I would like Bella and Charlie to be able to create music themselves – it is one of life’s great joys –  but maybe in a less formal way. And I think I’ve found the answer: I’ve come across Piano Note on Youtube. A series of piano lessons designed by song writer and recording artist Lisa Witt, where the manuscript is thrown out with the rule book, instead everything is taught through chords and chord progression. This means you progress much faster, develop your ears and learn to accompany yourself to your favourite songs. Who needs more?

 

 

Bella and I are playing for 15 minutes a day. We’re hoping to persuade Charlie to join us.  And who knows, maybe it’ll lead to more amazing evenings like this one.

 

I hope so.

Laters, Kate x

Blooming Marvellous x

I never like this time of year; the glitter and sparkle of Christmas has been packed away, the weather is cold, grey, rain, the garden is sleeping, the shops are full of unwanted crap, and Netflix has been over eaten to the point of explosion.  But there is a little silver lining, a sliver of what’s to come, the turning of the tide: Indoor bulbs. Now is the time to raid charity shops, find big bowls and fill with your hearts delight.

 

(All pics Pinterest)

 

The second wave of wonder is, once they’re over, they can be planted in the garden. And the bowls are ready for giant summer salads…

 

Laters, Kate x

Sashiko x

 

I love this; a functional marriage between the fragility of these crocheted leaves and the darning of these jumpers. The message being that old things can be treasured, worn things aren’t bad and that imagination is precious. These are all examples of Sashiko, a form of decorative reinforcement stitching from Japan, (though it also reminds me of Indian Kantha quilts). Every piece has been given some much needed love, transformed and given new life.

 

 

(All pics Pinterest)

It’s the sort of message I like for the start of a decade.

Laters, Kate x

Light Up x

 

I often wonder, do people like Champagne because of the taste, or the associations?  It raises that question of how much of life do we see through filters of branding and subliminal messages? Step away from what you’re supposed to want and a whole other world can open up.  For instance, this lighting is from Homeof, a relatively new brand formed by Helen White and Michael Jones, ex-BHS lighting designers who decided to go it alone.  Remember BHS lighting? How brilliant it was? A high street wonder…the ethos here is very similar, but oh so much slicker…


(All pics Homeof and Pinterest)

 

This is designer looks, because they’re designed by exceptional designers, with the experience to know what the high street wants, and the eye to push boundaries for the perfect product, at a price point that’s genuinely affordable.

 

I, for one, am sold.

Laters, Kate x

Smile x

 

In the summer, in Greece, I hunt down the old fashioned souvenir shops that still sell the shell based surfer chokers of old for a few euros, then layer them up. A look akin to a mash up between a Masai warrior (is that cultural appropriation – or cultural celebration?) and a sun bleached beach bum. The jewellery of Roxanne Assoulin gives me the same joyful feeling – and for those still on the present hunt, the price point is a Christmas treat (£70 – £350) but not in the mortgage your left kidney and sell your soul to the devil bracket.


(All pics Roxanne Assoulin and Pinterest)

 

It also helps that her ‘story’ page makes me laugh. You can either read it as I don’t care, or you can see it as a pithy comment on the modern disease to manufacture and self promote.

 

For me it’s the later.

Laters, Kate x

Angelic x

Top guilty pleasure: watching Escape to the Chateau. An intoxicating mix of laughter, love, creativity and embracing with full hearted wholesomeness all the best things in life, with a happy two fingers to convention.  For those new to this rare delight, the programme follows a couple – Dick and Angel Strawbridge – and their transformation of a 45 room chateau into a business and a place of beauty.  For those already under it’s spell, did you know Angel has started producing her own wallpaper, fabric and cushions commercially? All based on either old wallpapers found in the Chateau or her own design….

Heaven, sliced up and presented on a gorgeous vintage plate, garnished with love.

Laters, Kate x

Christmas x

I’ve learnt the hard way – set a time and set it early for Christmas crafts, otherwise days will fly past and time will be eaten by nothing. My time is Saturday afternoons: A week to plan and gather bits, an open fire, a family film = perfection.


This Saturday we started with interpreting and making these, found on Pinterest, and as ever, it was a learning curve.  We used Inkjet printable Iron on T-shirt Fabric paper for light fabrics bought from Amazon for £11.99. Whilst it does work, the material you use is critical – we had to change from a coarser cotton to a smoother version.  Also a simple thing, but important – you need to cut out all the background and leave a white margin – it does something important to the eye.

 

This, for me, is the spirit of Christmas. Pour me a large one.

Laters, Kate x