I am an avid Pinterest poster. Driven by all things visual, I find it a place I can nail down fleeting thoughts and find substance to inspiration. It’s the workings of my inner mind, but held in aspic so it doesn’t fly away again. It’s also my way to test longevity – a day, a week, a month later, is there still the same reaction? Sometimes things are pinned for the wrong reasons – on one level it’s a sofa, but the real magpie glint is the inspiring colour of the wall. Sometimes there’s a purpose, often there’s not, the intent just to trail a hand in the flow of colour and movement, pick up the scent of future trends. But this post is about what has caught other people’s eyes, what has unexpectedly cut the mustard in the big, wide world? Like this chair, from Ian Snow, has a remarkable 1.6k impressions. Is it the velvet? the flexibility? the squish? Or all three?
It’s summer, the 70’s are becoming a thing. No surprise then that all things rattan are having a moment. Like this light from Etsy, 123 impressions and counting.
This one, again from Etsy. A bargain at £32.53 plus shipping. 104 impressions and rising.
This light is ranking third – from Design Vintage at £110 has 94 impressions.
At 110 impressions, this modern garden pod has caught the imagination. It comes from a photo I took from the Home section of The Times. No details unfortunately.
Is it the bench? Or the cushion? The link was for the cushion – £45 from Dibor – 915 for impressions.
(All picks Pinterest)
The cushion on its own….444 impressions.
It’s a strange old world.
Laters, Kate x
We may be in the midst of a global crisis, but nobody has told my window boxes. They’ve had more love and care than ever before and are responding with abundant height, growth, width and blooms.
There is one cuckoo in the nest; I fear I’ve been cultivating a weed – I thought this plant was a white geranium as it’s first leaves were the same shape and I knew I’d planted some in the area.
But now there’s a clear distinction. I’ve left it a while to see if a flower would bloom – surely a weed is a flower by any other name? I had hopes it might be a foxglove, the seed dropped by a bird, said my romantic heart. But I know it’s a triffid and must go.
On the good news front, the combover tree is proudly displaying the first signs of bum fluff.
But whilst some things, like my garden are benefitting, other areas of the world are facing peril: ‘If the Coronavirus doesn’t kill my workers, then starvation will’ says a factory owner in Bangladesh. A quote that greets you on the first page of Lost Stock.
Lost Stock was set up by Cally Russell, the founder of fashion shopping too Mallzee. It allows shoppers to buy a mystery box of clothing directly from the manufacturers, with almost 40% of the proceeds of each box donated to Bangladesh through a non-profit organisation based in the country. This is enough to feed a Bangladeshi family for a week.
A Lost Stock Box costs £35 plus £3.99 postage and will contain at least three tops with a recommended retail price of £70. It will take time to arrive – between 6-8 weeks, but I think that’s a small price to pay.
In total, an estimated £10bn of clothing has piled up in warehouses during lockdown, much of it destined for landfill, layering crisis upon crisis. This seems a simple solution to help where help is most needed.
Where do I sign?
Laters, Kate x
I’m not here. I’m in a car, driving to Bristol, genuinely quite excited about experiencing a motorway again and moving wider than a 2 mile circle from the house. We’re emptying The Husband’s work flat as he’s going to be in London till at least Christmas; Every cloud. The plan is to make a round trip in a day – normally a ticket to hell, but all of that has been subtly reframed by the thought of travelling at speed, the prospect of a horizon and the promise of new vistas. Aren’t I the lucky one? These pictures were taken today – Sunday afternoon has become a potter time for me – projects to plan, things to do. And this represents the first time I’ve tried to re-make candles.
The first thing was to get rid of the bits of wax left at the end of all the finished candles. I found the best way was to pour in boiling water, which melted the wax, making it rise to the surface to create a wax plug that was then easy to remove.
My eclectic collection of containers, from tins to pots to old candle jars.
The wicks I ordered very cheaply from Ebay.
And stuck down with a dab of glue from a handy glue gun.
This was the super candle that inspired the re-make – a winter candle from the White Company with it’s gorgeous smell that died leaving lots of wax. I melted down in a pyrex bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Once the lump of it became soft, I cut it up into smaller bits to speed up the melt. I also added all the remnants of the other candles, because why not? Once everythings melted it’s possible to add various essential oils. As the kitchen already smelt like a tart’s boudoir, I refrained.
Pouring in the liquid wax is not the easiest thing. I recommend a funnel. Then I improvised with tin foil to keep the wicks upright and central.
Highly satisfying and highly recommended.
Laters, Kate x
The title is breakfast, but the truth is I am not a breakfast person – a cup of tea to wet the whistle and I’m good to go. Breakfast for me comes at 11 o’clock, but whilst I know the time I want it, it’s taken me a long time to discover what I want…
These things have made all the difference: Chia seeds. I remember having my first helping in a hyped up cafe where the portions were small, the prices were high and the vintage was new – in this country we like to charge extra for concepts, ideas and ambience, even when the ideas are copied.
It didn’t take long to find the recipe. Welcome to my fridge coconut milk.
To make one kilner jar – or any other storage vessel – fill a quarter with chia seeds, top to the top with coconut milk and give a good shake. Some recipes then add honey or other sweetness – personally, I don’t need this.
Which ends up something like this: Mum’s frogspawn. The benefit of which is nobody else touches it.
Twenty four hours in the fridge and it’s thick, gooey and swollen.
Perfect with muesli, a dash of coconut milk and fresh raspberries.
I would like to say this is on my desk now. But it’s not 11 o’clock.
Think of me then.
Laters, Kate x
I’m not sure if we’re in lockdown in London any more, maybe it’s a strange transition period, like wondering what to wear between seasons? Because, despite the rhetoric, nothing has really changed for us; we’re still spending the majority of time in the house or garden.
But it gives me the time to salute some of my heroes of the past couple of months: The birds…their activity – the magpies that make me laugh, their song – we have a particularly vocal blackbird, their curiosity – yes, I’m speaking to you, unafraid Robin who watches me just a foot away when I’m gardening, the stories they tell – I’m gazing at nearly arrived swallows from my desk heralding the start of summer, and just their continual zest for life: nothing fazes them.
This post celebrates the inventive, simple but attractive ways we can introduce more of their joy into our lives.
(All pics Pinterest)
Which will hopefully lay down strong foundations to repay their gift and help them through the colder winter months.
A circle of life I value.
Laters, Kate x
I think today is meant to be a day of celebration – we are officially out of strict lockdown in London, except nobody knows quite what that means. I read today that you can have a conversation with one person you know outside, but not meet my mother. Five year olds in a class will have to maintain a 2 metre distance when they go back in June – if they go back, and the one I love – I can drive a car with another stranger, if the windows are down! My delight is the garden centres re-opening; I have plans for window boxes and filler plants I need. This week my roses started to bloom! And with the air so clear at the moment, if the back door is open, even when walking down the staircase to the kitchen, I can smell them.
Blasting the roses with water has worked a treat re the aphids – thank you! A very eco friendly solution. And it has the added bonus of rainbows when the sun is out.
One of my favourite combinations – this pink rose against the dark leaves of the smoke bush.
There were some casualties from the gale like winds of the past few days; the trachelospermem jasminoides (hark me!), the full grown version of the comb-over tree, has been pulled off it’s wall, and the wind did it’s best to destroy my seedlings, sending the ones in the egg box flying. I thought they were goners.
But I found the survivors, replanted, and they’re now in my study, by the window, being regularly watered from an re-used wine bottle, and are quite frankly thriving. The only problem is I had two varieties of plant, one in the lid, one in the main section..and now they’re all muddled. But I’m sure time will tell…as it always does.
Laters, Kate x
The weather has changed. A strong wind is blowing in from the north, dropping the temperature by ten degrees plus. As I look out of my study window there’s still enough blue to patch a Dutchman’s trousers, but the heavy grey clouds look like they could gather and coalesce at any moment. Now half is dark, fast moving cloud, the rest blue. The clouds are being chased away. But there’s more behind. Would you put your washing out today?
There’s something inescapably romantic about clothes on a washing line
like the playing cards of a family laid out for all to see.
Fresh air whipping the wet into submission.
The downside can be rust marks from wooden pegs, lack of flexibility from solid wooden pegs, and brittle plastic pegs that age and snap. Hence the joy of these babies by Pincinox: Stainless steel, designed for life, packaged with care and vintage love.
Made in France, but buy now and the shipping to the UK is free.
Laters, Kate x
With the lockdown starting to fray, we wanted the kids to experience the stillness of London before it’s officially bubbling again, so we biked through the virtually empty roads all the way to Trafalgar Square, a 20 km round route (I have saddle arse to prove it). The only thing to interrupt our peace were the all the gear, no fear mamil brigade, the blinkers of self-interest firmly down. I saw three almost accidents, their speed seemingly taking precedent over a slower decision maker ahead. Given the freedom of the roads, the nature of the situation, it felt greedy and uncalled for.
Trafalgar Square felt like a movie set from a post apocalyptical film. It wasn’t just that there were no people there, the pigeons had left as well.
The weather wasn’t great, so I painted inside. Since completing Carla Sonheim’s online class on flower portraits, I’ve become obsessed with painting all things plant.
I think I want to do a proper painting, a large one: The dark filtered light down below, the open sky above.
Can’t for the life of me think what it represents…
Laters, Kate x
So Monday’s post was about soft, squishy, adaptable garden chairs and this photo made the prime slot. But there’s no pattern. But I don’t think it would be too hard to deconstruct: Two box cushions for the seat, make first. Two side cushions, once done will give measurements for back cushion. Finish with leather buckles at side and back. I’m sure those with more skill than me can even pipe the edges…I may give that a go!
This looks like a piece of foam cut to size, versus bean bag beads for stuffing or foam bits. In many ways it’s is a simpler design, but possibly harder on the sewing? Again, I would replace the velcro with the leather straps.
And then there are variations on a theme!
As and When I make, I will post again!
Laters, Kate x
This is a post has been recovered from the mists of time, because it’s one that I often think of and was courtesy of the lovely Lia in Brussels who first introduced me, via a comment on this Blog, to the incredible work of Austrian wizard, Klemens Torggler.
There are a rarified group of objects like the London Underground map that have totally fulfilled their design potential – to meddle any further would be to over-engineer or muddy. And so it could be thought with the humble door – opening or sliding are the only two options.
That is until now. Torggler’s design, based on rotating squares, makes it possible to move an object sideways without the use of tracks. Even if the object weighs 200 kg.
There’s also the Evolution door,a door based on triangles that moves at the touch of a finger tip like a piece of living origami.
What I would give for my own flock of steel birds – The perfect marriage of function and Art.
Laters, Kate x