Category: Presents

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

Burn baby burn!

Saw this on a Pinterest board and loved it: Well crafted, obvious quality with a quirky sense of humour.  Shame the price point was in the couple of hundreds.  But it did remind me, there is an alternative to burning candles and that the plus point with incense is the choice of burners.

 

(I did have a quick google dive to see if I could find a similar cat.  This one from Etsy was a tenth of the price.  But I suspect you know that already…)

 

And then there’s this type, with backflow incense, which turns the whole thing into a living, moving sculpture.  (From what I have read though, you have to be careful about the quality of the incense, otherwise you get mucho smoke, bad smell and residue.  Another alternative is to make your own backflow cones – you tube has some videos…)

(All pics Pinterest)

Too much?  The tacky side of tacky?? I just can’t decide!…

Laters, Kate x

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

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

Front Garden..

Heading to the DIY shop today for wire brushes, sand paper, fillers and primers whilst imagining the perfect front garden:  I have this quiet obsession developing for a statue of a dog to stand sentinel by the door – I’ve already caught myself searching on Ebay so I know it’s serious. It can’t be an expensive one as I’ll never persuade The Husband (hmmmmmmm – mind at work – present for Father’s Day?!, ‘Here Husband, have the concrete dog you’ve always wanted but never knew you did..you love it, don’t you?!’) Besides the chances are it’ll get nicked, but there’s a persuasive voice in my head saying ‘get a faux concrete one and paint it with yoghurt, the resulting green algae will soften, age and add character’…will it be enough to blur the line between kitsch and statement? It’s a risk..

But I can see him there already, proud, endearing, ever present…with a party hat on for birthdays, skeleton mask for halloween and baubles for Christmas: Fun, joy and no poos to clear up.  Win win.

The search for the perfect Fido has meant other garden art has also popped up, some of it sublime.

(All pics Pinterest)

 

Think I’ll need a bigger garden..

Laters, Kate x

Milktooth x

There are still things that science can’t explain, like why one pair of earrings is just so much more than another.

But it’s something that Ernestina and Mark Potts, from Milktooth understand.  Their jewellery is a celebration of the have more, buy less philosophy.  Built on an eclectic mix of vintage and own designs their philosophy is simple: embrace your own style, buy the things you love, feel amazing.  Add in the Zeitgeist of desire and it’s a heady mix.

(All pics Milktooth)

The cherry on the proverbial are the sensible price points (£30-£60) and effortless cool which means this is a name hidden in plain view for those oh so difficult people to buy presents for.

 

That is, if you’re prepared to give them away….

 

Mi piace.

Laters, Kate x

I spy x

 

 


Is it possible to be unflamboyant yet charismatic?

The washable paper bag Collection from Uashmama would shout a resounding yes!


The vaguely eastern exotic name is actually designed and handcrafted in Tuscany by a company created by 4 sisters in homage to their mother.Made from a 100% washable cellulose eco-friendly material, the paper is made using virgin fibre from cultivation not deforestation, it’s lightweight but feels like leather and washes like a fabric and the price point is excellent: from £8 to £116 (the man who’s so hard to buy for? Nailed.)

(All pics The Future Kept)

 

Honest, thoughtful and self effacing: Feel the force.

Laters, Kate x

Lust list x

Size isn’t everything but beautiful design is: Meet the Newton milk and sugar jug, a gimbally exhibit of executed ingenuity.Separate and independent.

(All pics from Tonfisk Design)

Or the perfect fusion of function and form.

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

Light the way..

A wall of synths and soaring violins – that feeling when you find the perfect present for the right person.

I’m on the trail for something fire, candle, glass, light related.  It has to be functional, simple, not too ostentatious.

There’s always that invisible line – do you push for something they’d never consider but could love? 

Or play it safe?

(All pics Pinterest)

Decisions, decisions.

Laters, Kate x