Hats in the air to Waitrose starting a ‘bring your own containers’ trial to Oxford. Plastic packaging for a range of products like pasta, cereals, rice, coffee, wine and frozen fruit will be removed and replaced with a refill your own station. About bloody time one of the big supermarkets did this. When they roll it out across all stores (fingers crossed) maybe they’ll use Smile Plastics in their design..
Smile Plastics is a material, design and manufacturing house making desirable hand crafted panels from waste material. Their vision is to change people’s perceptions around waste via innovation – to use art and technology to unlock the hidden potential in recycling and open peoples eyes to the unexpected beauty of scrap. In doing so they hope to inspire more people about sustainability and recycling.
Wow! The shops in Deal are getting good!..just the right side of vintage, affordable and desirable. In one shop – The Hoxton Store – they also had a glasses brand from France – izipizi – I’d never seen before offering sunnies, reading glasses, baby glasses and blue light glasses for working with screens. Classic shapes, bright colours and around the £40 price point. Winner, winner chicken dinner.
It’s half term this week and we’re decamping to Kent for a taste of the simple life. If you have a moment, watch the BBC’s Celebrity Painting Challenge available on iplayer. There’s something incredibly joyful about the participants happiness in creating. Makes me want to pack a paintbrush….
The weather is still strange here, if the sun shines it’s getting warm, but we can have sudden cold carrying squalls arriving from nowhere. In the evening, no matter how blue the sky has been, the temperature is still dropping away steeply. It means the transitional wardrobe is in full swing with the similar layers of winter, except they are lighter and looser: cotton instead of wool, silk instead of cotton, bare feet and summer colours…
Chelsea Flower Show starts this week which means all things leafy and green. It’s made me think about our garden plans again and re-query the sticking points, one of which raised borders, yes or no, pros and cons, what material, where and how high?
There is a practical reason for wanting raised beds – we have a patio that requires power washing every year, but in the process the plants in the beds get waterlogged and generally die which means I’m in the same position each year looking at my sad, dying borders. Besides there’s something delicious about sharp edged, rendered borders, particularly when they’re painted dark.
Except I have a strong, internal design rule that like women, things outside should be able to age so that they look better with every passing year with the accumulated patina adding to their interest. The obvious answer would be box hedging: great on the eye. But wouldn’t solve the water logging problem. And we have the dreaded Box Tree Caterpillar, which destroyed the box hedge we used to have.
A brick wall would be fab. But expensive. So thoughts are currently leaning towards railway sleepers: Natural, dark and reasonable price bracket with the Brucie bonus of almost instant satisfaction.
The crochet is going great guns, particularly as we’ve come up with the perfect project to encourage repetition, practise and ideal tension: We’re making what can only be called ‘little socks’ for my dining rooms chairs to replace those sticky pads that only work to gather dog hair.
We did experiment with a garden string and twine, but for ease of make we’re going with a thick grey wool, though we’re both anxious about longevity – time will tell.
It also helps that the six chairs round the table are back with their newly woven seating, looking enticing.
So that’s only seven chairs and twenty eight more socks to go..
The fickle winds of fashion never stop blowing raspberries; Not long ago I was reading about the terminal death of the short-sleeved jacket and I remember thinking the very act of writing those words was probably like a summoning of the phoenix from the ashes, because the thing about hates is that they have a tendency to come around again….and just a little change can make a radical shift in emphasis.
Easy, gentle, coloured with summer, the satin skirt is an easy addition to any wardrobe. Dress up or dress down. T-shirt or baggy jumper, it’s the transitional bridge that shouts lazy lux and joyful delight.
We spent a few days in the brilliant city of Bristol over Easter, enjoying the street food and vintage shops. I was truly surprised by what caught my wandering eye – an electric/purple blue Hawaiian shirt for fifteen squids. It stopped me in my tracks with visions of pairing it with a loose navy suit with sleeves rolled up eighties style and a loose but narrow pair of 3/4 length trousers. It was vivid and powerful and sadly not shared by my two children who dragged me away.