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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.

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!

Life is short nature is long

4 Jul

For a quick hit of natura morta there’s the Fragile show at Chris Beetles
Photography on Swallow St off Picadilly. Paulette Tavormina’s
still lifes would not look out of place in the Prado or Riijksmuseum. (Re her image above: I have a twisted fascination with this being as how I have a fear of fish.) Lottie Davies delivers eerie willo’thewisp landscapes and Paul Kenny is for crystallography nuts or
those, like me, who only ever look down at the beach.

La dama que descubre el seno

14 Oct


Virtually all our pictures, hung floor to ceiling on every available space, are just posters or old photos or pages ripped from magazines or old theatre programmes… If there is a theme it would be a certain dedication to the naked body. I love this Tintoretto lady, maybe Veronica Franco, a memento from our honeymoon in Madrid which was spent largely in the Prado. A while ago we gave her earrings – very suitably, an old Murano glass chandelier drop from a Venice junk shop hung on fishing wire. I wear them too on occasion, as pendants. Holding onto one stands me in Castello on a freezing cold day.

Tate & Lyle tin pincushions

10 Oct

Upcycled vintage retro pincushion

The Tate & Lyle tin is a classic of packaging design. “Out of the strong came forth sweetness” reads the motto on the tin. I’ve been making these into pincushions as little gifts for friends who sew, or just friends who like retro packaging in their pantry. Now they’re in the Pink Sister shop in time for filling stockings. You can choose from British RacingĀ Green (golden syrup) Tate & Lyle, Shiny Red (Treacle) Tate & Lyle, or oilcloth covered tins. Find them here


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!

New acquisition: Sagaform blossom tea pot

21 Aug

We bought this cheery Scandi teapot on a wet day over in Ireland last week. If you are ever in the Skibereen area check out The Time Traveller’s Bookshop in Skibereen and The Old Mill Stores on the way to Leap. This last is where we found the teapot. They also have the most extraordinary reconditioned vintage stoves. Wish I could afford one of those to go with my teapot!

Marie Merveilleuse’ tablecloth

21 Jul


How about this for a lovely lovely surprise? My Ma brought me this today. It’s a lovely waffle weave linen cloth from France with wonderfully anthropomorphic M M monogram dead centre. Fits my long narrow chestnut French kitchen table perfectly. Always wonder about monograms… Marie Merveilleuse? Michelle Ma belle? Used an old silver napkin ring today at the party engraved with ‘Inga’. Have a spoon with a very worn ‘Catherine Bennet’ which makes me think of Pride & Prejudice’s silly Kitty.

Claus Porto

15 Jul

Love Claus Porto soaps. The creaminess of them. I am very glad I didn’t know how much they cost when I used up my stash (from TKMaxx) because I would have been afraid to use them at all. Luckily it costs nothing to admire their superlative packaging…