Shadows

All these art works were created by Kumi Yamashita using a combination of solids and a single light source.

She says ‘ I sculpt using light and shadow. I construct single or multiple objects and place them in relation to a single light source. The complete artwork is therefore composed of both the material (the solid objects) and the immaterial (the light or shadow).

(All pics Kumi Yamashita or Pinterest)

Pure magic.

Laters, Kate x

Design Hero 1

Those true, authentic, all singing, all dancing design heroes – the things that not only work well, look good, but also punch high above their weight in terms of financial outlay and usability.  And for us, this £12 Nisse Ikea chair has to be up there at the top…we bought 6 of them for the garden four years ago, more as a stop-gap than anything else, but they’ve proved their weight in gold: They spend their lives outside, except when we have dinner parties or Christmas or birthday, then they get wiped down and in they come, still looking as good as the day we bought them. They’re light, flexible, sturdy and generally a brucie bargain – it helps that their light is shining more brightly at the moment as our ‘proper’ dining room chairs have gone to be re-woven, re-caned, re-woke…

(This is a pic of one of the less trashed seats…one was so bad it could be used as a commode.  That’s baaaaaad.)

But you’d never know these were the ugly sister.

(All pics Ikea)

 

Tres chic and tres cheap.

Laters, Kate x

Swing by x

A main focus of the garden planning is creating an area that people want to be pulled to, that’s different from any other part of the house.  I have always been a great admirer of the American porch – cool, shaded, sociable, restful, a place to sit and while away time without over missing the seconds ticking by.  A place you want to go with a good book and a long cold drink to hide away.  So on the list of musts, after pergola comes  swing chair..

(All pics Pinterest)

Bring on summer!

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

Pot Pickers x

When I was little this was the sort of pottery you’d expect to see in charity shops, the sign of a design aesthetic rejected. How times have changed, the tide, turned.  What was generic is now confident, what was old fashioned is nostalgic and what seemed ugly is now defiant and most importantly, appealing.

There’s a company that’s drawing from this feeling and adding their own signature: Kat Huffer and Roger Less, work partners and life partners based in Northeast Los Angeles make up Kat and Roger.  Their aim is to combine classic shapes and graphic surface patterns with earthy natural clay textures.

These are mugs you want fill with hot tea and hold between two hands on a freezing winters day.

(All pics Kat and Roger and Pinterest, their work can be found in the UK at Alpha Shadows)

These are heart singers and obsession inducers.

Laters, Kate x

Angle Poise x

The plans for the office pod are rumbling on, but there’s also talk of making use of the builder when they’re here and turning the other far corner of the garden for a pergola-slash-gazebo.  The thinking goes that in small London gardens we veer away from structures in the garden for fear they make a small garden look smaller, but the problem is in leaving a garden horizontal we rarely venture into it, preferring to gaze into from afar.  So the aim is to build a private, roofed area that will still be useable in summer London drizzle to while away precious hours, whilst still keeping a sense of space and lightness of touch.

(All pics pinterest)

So not much to choose from then…

Laters, Kate x

Splashing Back x

Oh the unbridled joy of the hunt: I have found a company in Oxfordshire – The Douglas Watson Studio –  that specialises in English handmade and hand painted ceramic tiles.  And what beauties they produce..

 

The price point is high, but certainly cheaper than originals: Roughly £15 – £25 per tile on a sliding algorithm of less colour, less cost.

 

(Pics from The Douglas Watson Studio and Pinterest)

Tiles in situ: Such a small area to cover really………………

Laters, Kate x

Minimoderns x

The driving force of Minimoderns is pattern with a story: The founders, Keith Stephenson and Mark Hampshire view what they produce as applied pattern across a range of products, including some incredible wallpapers.  It adds a pleasant change, a certain flavour. A different slant.

Their design influences range from mid-century British textiles to vintage toys, literature and even childhood memories.

(Love this for a boys room)

It’s the detail..

Wallpaper, trombone and badger are three words I never expected to use in a sentence.

 

If you want retro nostalgia with design integrity and are not afraid of making a statement, look no further.

 

Laters, Kate x

A project x

There’s a project gaining traction, think space and do-ability: An office pod in the garden.  It’s been mooted before – it almost happened last year, but the husband was between jobs so it wasn’t the right time.  But the green light is now on to start thinking, planning and budgeting because I’ve worked out over the years, the more time you give to these three, the less it all costs because you work out whats important.  And what’s not.

The pod will need to be heated and although I love the romance of a proper stove, I believe in London, with concerns over air pollution and consideration to our neighbours, a cunning side step to an electric copy, like we did in the cellar will be the way to go: It will provide the visual representation, the heat, but none of the negatives.

Besides there’s always the joy of what goes round the stove..a small area to tile means flex in choice!

At present is a toss up between the modern approach of concrete tiles with large, dramatic patterns.

Or – and I was reminded of this option after seeing this picture of Alexandra Tolstoy’s cottage and splashback – a blue and white delft option.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could create your own? Pictures of coded memories??

(All pics Pinterest)

 

Decisions, decisions…

Laters, Kate x

‘Fatso’ Bentley

And I’m not talking about myself or diet plans for 2019…Gladys ‘Fatso’ Bentley was the gender nonconforming lesbian superstar of the Harlem renaissance born 100 years ahead of her time we have never heard of.  She was outrageous – even at at a time when Harlem was legendary for its nightlife.  She’s also credited with wearing the first tuxedo in public – so you can add style icon to the list of her attributes.  Her later life was not without drama – she took on the persona of a straight life due to the McCarthy era witch hunt against gays in the 1950s, a visual example of how scary that time must’ve been.

 

Because one of the joys of the Christmas period, to hibernate against the cold and the dark, reading, looking, thinking, researching and just plain vegging: we need to do more of this, discover more things, be proactive rather than passive.

 

 

Another guilty pleasure was watching back to back episodes of Project Runway on Netflix: How much do I love the  ‘ skip intro’ button? Only a smidgeon less than the ‘skip recap’.  Being submerged in couture gown making, talent and taste making it was therefore a bit of a shock to see Heidi Klum’s dress for the Golden globes.  What happened?? It’s a cross between Gwyneth Paltrow’s 2002 Oscar dress and a primary school project..

 

And then there was Timothee Chalamet – robbed last year for an Oscar for ‘Call me by your name’ (fab, fab film) he at least stepped out of the male uniform and I for one loved it.  Looking back, ‘Call me by your name’ written by Andre Aciman was also one of my favourite books of the year – rare that both genres are knockout.  The other stand out book was ‘Educated’ by Tara Westover – powerful, poignant and unforgettable: This year has a lot to live up too..

 

Wishing all a very happy 2019!

Laters, Kate x