Friday, 13 December 2013

Flashback: Swarm

When I first featured Swarm, it was back in 2009, after I found this video (which will make you want this man's job, as the then current buyer for Anthropologie, he may have one of best jobs in the world!) Swarm, aka Leslie Oschmann, used to be the Visual Director for Anthropologie and you can see the great and unique design, which is often seen in Anthropologie's amazing goods, in her work.  Combining old furniture with oil paintings she finds in Dutch flea markets, the result is particularly eye-catching.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Maker Spotlight #4: Amanda Anderson

One of the perks of my job at Craft Finder is finding and learning about new British designers and makers and Amanda Anderson is one of those people.  Her mosaics are inspired by folklore and traditional stories involving animals, birds and metamorphosis.  She uses stained glass in her work and I wonder if that is what helps gives it such vibrance.  

What's your favourite piece of her work?  I'm torn between the tiger and fox.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

DIY Round-Up: inspiration boards

Pinterest has been very helpful in keeping the images I collect online in one place but I still find lots of inspiration away from the computer.  Magazine pages, my sketches, colour swatches, found objects and scraps of fabric are all currently stowed away in various folders scattered about my work space.  This means they aren't doing their job of inspiring me after all so I've found some great ideas which Im going to have a go at in order to organise my creative chaos.  Here are a few of them.  I think the plywood and the pegboard are my favourites and super easy too, just requires a visit to the local hardware store to pick up some board.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Trending: Weaving

I remember the first time I was introduced to weaving.  I was 9 years old in craft class and our teacher, Mrs Sayer, gave us each a yoghurt pot with 5 or 6 cuts made vertically down the pot to its base.  She gave us some little balls of wool to weave in and out of the pot slits and once finished it was offered to our Mums as a Mother's Day gift.  I can't say it was my finest work, but I remember it was lots of fun.

It seems weaving is having a bit of a renaissance if Pinterest is anything to go by and I'm a big fan of this contemporary take on a very traditional craft.






Friday, 22 November 2013

Flashback: Su Turno

I first featured Su Turno back in 2009, after I found their products on etsy and fell for their surface pattern design.  SuTurno was founded in Madrid by Julia Vergara and Javier Gutierrez Bayo who work on different design areas and media (fashion, interiors, graphics…).  When I revisited their work recently, I was struck not only by the quality of their design but also by the incredible photography.  But after reading more about their day jobs (they have worked in projects for international clients such as Marc by Marc Jacobs and Zara Home to name a few) I can see why the quality is so strong.  Running SuTurno, their personal projects are carefully crafted in limited numbers by local artisans, combining quality natural materials and striking prints. 

All images from Su Turno website

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Best of the Blogs: Wit and Whistle

A new find for me, Wit & Whistle is a lovely blog written by Amanda Wright who also has a wonderful online shop full of beautifully designed stationery, tea-towels and homewares.  A mix of DIY ideas, scrumptious looking recipes, snapshots of her work as an illustrator mixed in with lot of lovely shots.  She has a real knack of evoking the seasons with her posts too and it's a nice blog to read to relax.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Maker Spotlight #3: Natalie Choux

Nathalie Choux, I think I love you.......or at least your imagination and wonderful creations.  I have completely fallen for the fairytale creatures that this lady creates.  An illustrator by trade, she not only paints but also makes these beautiful dreamlike ceramic pieces.  I love to see the photos of her work in progress and these images show the detail that goes into her work.  I'm afraid I can't give you much information on Nathalie as I can't find much out about this elusive lady from the web.  But these images should give you a taster of her work.

Nathalie's website
Nathalie's blog


Tuesday, 19 November 2013

DIY Round-Up: Dolls Houses

My baby girl is growing up so quick.  She's almost 2 and already loves pretending to cook me dinners of play dough and 'looking after' her baby dolly (this usually involves giving it milk before hurling it on the floor, or grabbing it by the head and shoving it roughly into the mini pram upside down) and I guess it might not be long before she might be interested in having her own dolls house.  But have you seen how much they cost?! A bomb, is the answer.  So here are a few creative ideas to DIY an imaginative dolls residence fit for a child to explore and will save you a few quid at the same time.

The pretty cupboard dollhouse

The bookcase dollhouse

The suitcase dollhouse

The cardboard box dollhouse


Ok, so this one isnt a DIY idea but I do love it - Dual purpose - a coffee table for the grown ups and a mid-century modern dolls house for the kids.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Flashback: Studio Choo

When I first featured Small Stump (Now known as Studio Choo) that was back in 2008, they have been busy beavering away since then, working with Kinfolk and Martha Stewart among others creating stunning flower arrangements like the one below.

The thing I am most excited about is their book, The Flower Recipe Book.  I just LOVE this idea.  I have no idea how to arrange flowers (we did do the flowers for my wedding but all we did was buy a tonne of pretty wild looking flowers from the flower market and put them in jam jars) but this book makes me feel like making a pretty decent floral arrangement is now something achieveable.  The book would also make a great Christmas gift.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Trending: Shibori

I keep seeing shibori in my Pinterest feed. It originates from Japan and refers to several methods of dyeing cloth with a pattern by binding, stitching, folding, twisting, compressing it, or capping. Some of these methods are known in the West as tie-dye. It seems a world away from the multicolor tie-dye experiments I used to try as a teenager.  I just shuddered remembering a pair of horrendous patchwork tie-dye trousers I owned aged about 17.  Worn tucked into Doc Martens they seemed to be all the rage, though I've since asked friends from other parts of the country whether they were aware of such a trend, and no-one knows what I'm on about, so I guess it must have been a very local (Cumbrian) trend!  Maybe if my trousers had been made from shibori fabric in the beautiful bold blues you see below, I could have started a national trend.  I've completely fallen for Rebecca Atwood's cushions below, the combination of linen and blue shibori is just perfect.

Rebecca Atwood


Image from Kinfolk

Image from Kinfolk


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