Category: Thing of Beauty

Baubles x

Not one bauble this year, but a whole eco-friendly-shop of them! Suffice to say, Nkuku’s offerings quite simply rock!

(All pics from Pinterest and Nkuku)

Tidings of comfort and joy!

Laters, Kate x

I C U….

Australian artist, Jennifer Allnutt, has been painting rocks and stones with eyes to then return them to the landscape from whence they came  with the wish  that they can be found or lost forever.

(All pics Pinterest)

 

Kindness, magic, setting something free, message in a bottle, transformation, reaching out to strangers, giving something we take for granted another story: There’s something here that catches a special zeitgeist and pulls on the heart.

 

Laters, Kate x

Random x

Why have something full sized when you can have it in miniature?? Random but true – these edible delights were spotted on Pinterest…but the mind blowing bit is they are all made out of the humble pipe cleaner!

Feel like making one yourself and the web is full of brilliant tutorials like this one.

It’s like balloon art without the effort

(All pics Pinterest)

 

I want!

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

Revelation x

There are many things that science can still not explain so maybe I have died and gone to heaven, such is my delight at discovering the designer and maker of this wallpaper and her treasure trove of work.


Marthe Armitage graduated from Chelsea School of Art after World War 11. Faced with the problem of juggling young children, she started designing and lino-cutting her own wallpapers. After sketching the design she uses the hand-cut lino blacks and a century-old offset lithographic printing press that she has owned for over 40 years to created custom-printed rolls of wallpaper.

Not only does she create an object of desire but a lifestyle, a passion and a calling.

Maybe she’ll adopt me?

(Link here, all pics Pinterest)

 

Before my idol was William Morris, but it’s the seductive meanderings of Marthe’s work that pull at the heart strings and make eyes glow.

 

When my boat comes in, this is the wallpaper that will adorn my walls.

Laters. Kate x

A Birthday x

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This post was edited from previous posts to celebrate Bella’s birthday. I decided I couldn’t improve on the sentiment contained, except to say, you never think it possible, but the words grow more concentrated with each passing year x

This week has been my daughter, Bella’s fourteenth birthday.  She was my IVF baby, born after six years of heartache, seven miscarriages and 2 years of no pregnancies (which I am sure was psychological. But it really didn’t help).  With her birth on this day all those years ago, I finally became a Mummy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I still carry the scar tissue..infertility is a time I wouldn’t wish on anyone –  you beat yourself up for the futility of hoping, nose permanently pressed against the glass, it becomes personal;  A retina searing pain that makes you disappear under the burden of inner reflection..the only person to blame being you.  Something so simple, so natural…so unachievable.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We literally threw everything we had at it..and we were oh so lucky.  The tides finally turned and she arrived..the most beautiful baby I had ever seen..a fairy child.

And she remains the most beautiful inside and out child to this day, the rarest and most delicate of gifts.  And now we celebrate her eleventh birthday..it’s hard to believe – it seems only yesterday I was holding that tiny baby, watching the face of Big Ben tick round that first night we spent together in St Thomas’ hospital.  I look at her now and have the most enormous chest restricting rush – she is my open-heart production – vibrant, living, learning..I never used to worry so much about life, now there’s more grey..I’ve become an observer, teacher and pupil too. it’s weird – you think your helpless child will be totally reliant on you – you have your experience and that need to guide and help, but it’s just not true.  Instead it’s a constant balancing act that I don’t think anyone can get totally right: You want to lead, but you don’t want to helicopter. You want to love and cuddle, but you don’t want to smother.  There’s an undeniable pleasure in growing together in habits, tastes and socks…but the easiest thing as a parent is to see your child as a mini-you where you now have the ability to correct all your imperfections..or to see the person they are now as the character they will always be and deny them the space to grow..thoughts like that just end up passing the negativity down the food-chain, or so it seems to me..but then who am I to say?

I know I don’t want her to be the child that has everything – but even deciding that is choosing a course of action, adding an intrinsic quality, another detail.  I don’t believe that love is materialistic, instead I believe adversity supports initiative – resilience has to be one of the greatest gifts a parent can bestow.  To that I add manners, self-respect and confidence  – far more important in real life than examination certificates.  I want her to have the space to find out who she is away from any expectations of mine and to be able to express that in any situation.  I want her to have the confidence to stand up and say her opinion whether it’s right or wrong.  I want her to make mistakes, whether it’s in her maths homework or something bigger, to learn there are always solutions if you look hard enough and mistakes are part of the stepping stones of life and shouldn’t be avoided…sometimes they lead you forward.

Life is as delicate as a falling feather but should always be a glorious caper..I hope she has a wonderfully misspent youth with sunshine smiles and audacious bursts of laughter, she is my joy, my love, my heart…and I hope that when the time comes, I have the sense to set my treasure free..

Does mother know best? You dream about it..but ultimately kids appear from nowhere and have wills of their own and you’re just ordinary people trying to get through life the very best way you can, showing them the world and hopefully a way of looking at things that opens the door to where the magic lies….

I celebrate and raise a glass to you our wonderful, amazing, incredible, magical daughter!

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

Sculpted x

952cdb18d55f781825176d1176645266

I’m re-cycling this post because I love it x

Great Art is like a chemical reaction in the blood, sparking signals to swell the brain and heart with waves of love and wonder.  So it is with the ceramics of Fenella Elms.

0aab990ebb58828d4c485eefd344342d

Another feather in her talented cap: She never started her professional life as a Potter, working instead in mental health as an occupational therapist.

‘I’d always joked that one day I would become a potter.  And then ten years ago, for my 40th birthday, my husband bought me a wheel.’

 

5ab1ec041b1c0cc0de1ca6e8ea5d4175

She did an art foundation at Swindon College follwed a year later by a part-time HNC-level course in ceramics. Who knows what would’ve happened to a fledgling Fenella and whether she needed to treat down her other path first: She’d always enjoyed pottery at school but couldn’t see how to make a career out of it.  But the mature, newly graduated Fenella immediately started winning awards including  the Ceramic Review Award for Exceptional, Innovation and Challenging work at the Ceramic Art London exhibition.

375dcb678ca488fcb3e0d9bba6d923b7

Organic, living, breathing  her work crosses the boundary between manmade and nature.

cbea07290d2bb6487bf04ca463a9db08

‘The approach I make to porcelain isn’t so different to my psychoanalytic practice; It’s all about the subconscious , where things aren’t forced or contrived.  I do masses of preparation and drawing, then I put it all aside and wait to see what emerges.’

dec3c68f35b6a0252183340c3f616a33 57e48eb180a93240e9a26273a06c8a15 6114c74122c4fbc2cdc088b73d5b0e26

 

Her studio is based in Wiltshire, in  a converted milking parlour, which speaks of beauty, age, space and peace: ‘I enjoy looking at the world around me.  It’s nice realising that all the time I spent staring at the details of plants or ripples in water was for a reason.’

 

Laters, Kate x