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Sugru hack vintage style

2 Sep


My porcelain pencil sharpener… Take one 50p boot sale Royal Worcester porcelain pot, one pencil sharpener and half a sugru sachet. Sugru’s that mouldable silicon that air dries as a flexible waterproof tough heatproof form. Think useful plasticine. Think ‘I can mend or hack anything’. So now all the pencil shavings collect daintily and usefully in the pot. Hurrah. Sugru is wonderful and inspiring.

Public shelters in vaults under this street

27 Jul

En route to the Tate Britain for the Lowry exhibition our guide (Pink Sister’s sister!) pointed out these signs for WW2 bomb shelters. There’s another London under our feet. Nearby are the remnants of tunnels from the prison (I am told on the current Tate site) to the dock from which prisoners were transported to the colonies. Step forward several hundred years and we used the Tate to Tate boat to scoot down to the South Bank.



Bring the lavender up to nose level

22 Jul

Lovely idea just spotted outside Janey Mac cafe in Kinsale. The scent of lavender (at nose level!) made me turn my head. I want one!

It’s summer but it’s winter

21 Jul

I know it’s hot. But the autumn winter fashion strand pulled from Game of Thrones’ medievalism is getting my juices going. Roll on nights with the bedroom window shut and more than a thin sheet on the bed. If Dolce & Gabbana and Chanel are anything to go by we’ll be going all manner of textured woollens furs and empress Theodora prints. Chanel are channelling Katherine Hepburn in Lion in Winter with the White Witch herself, Tilda Swinton. It can only work well with the trend for pearls off the back of the coming V&A show.




Why not? You can always paint over it…

5 Jul

Found this whilst trying to chase down an elusive strip cartoon (Falco Falconetti) and the Leake Street Classicist… Instead I arrive at this, new to me, though I was already an admirer of Mssrs Pentreath, Terry and Saumarez-Smith.

Apologies it took me so long… It’s from 2010.

Hidden in plain sight

25 Oct


My hidden London find for this week… The mosaics in the atrium at the National Gallery. The subject choices are bizzarely eclectic… cricket, dance, profane love (!), christmas pudding, sea horse, mud pie, contemplation, conversation, football, hunting, rest, speed… All lie within a few square metres underfoot. These and more are the work of Boris Anrep, a Russian born artist whom the NG commissioned, wonderfully, in the early 20th century to embellish the grand main entrance stairwell. He completed The Labours of Life in 1928, The Pleasures of Life in ’33, and returned for The Modern Virtues, including a battling Churchill embodying Defiance in 1952. They are remarkable and eccentric and a robust everyday-use treasure.








Work in progress: harlequin dinner service

30 Sep


Thought I would share a work in progress. I am assembling a harlequin set of antique porcelain dinner plates. The advantages being… it is cheaper picking up odd, charming plates; I like not having to choose one design when I like so many; if I break one it is less devastating than if I have created a hole in a matching set. The postman thinks I am strange though. Last weekend 10 bulky fragile packages turned up the same morning. I am picking up large dinner plates, dessert plates and, for soup, desserts and pasta etc, the large style of soup plate with a wide ‘brim’.

That’s Entertainment!

30 Sep


I love this new edition from Compass Box Whisky: The Entertainer. It’s a special edition only available at Selfridges, so move fast to nab all your Christmas presents in one go. The packaging design of all the Compass Box whiskies is a proper delight. Not only do they make you feel more civilised from the inside out they also bring wit and sensibility to your home. John Glaser, the founder of Compass Box, is a true pioneer and craftsman. He hones his blends to create revelatory experiences that make staunch whisky converts of the firmest sceptics. Actually as I type I am deciding to have our friends over for a whisky tasting. We’ll pop the kids into bed and break out the whisky, the cheese, the chocolate, the cigars. That’s Entertainment!

In the frame

13 Aug


Collected lots of colourful old jewellery over the years. Been meaning to do try this for a while… If i can see jewellery more easily I tend to wear and enjoy it more. The frame is from Ikea, the fabric is a sample of Sanderson Still Life fabric. I padded the fabric with some scrap quilt wadding so I could pin on the brooches and stapled the edges.

Channelling Ms Bernhardt Autumn Winter 2012

6 Aug

I am glad we are about to have a luxurious Edwardian fashion moment, if you can go by Louis Vuitton, Giles, Marc Jacob et al. I can dig out all my sheepskin stoles, outsize hats and long tailored coats. If this is what fashion reads into a recession I am all for it but I suppose it has more to do with the hoped for profit margins on very large It bags, investment piece coats and leather gloves. Strangely my first reading of the LV ads had me thinking about The Matrix … Don’t you think the dark glasses and paper-doll-chain repetition of that outline somehow reminiscent of the massed ranks of Hugo Weaving’s Agent Smith? Agent Bernhardt, peut-etre. My brain must be running on steampunk lines.