Saturday, 27 March 2010

Desktop inspiration

This week's desktop inspiration - keeping me going, lifting me above the everyday - has been vintage type, cherry blossom, sewing:

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Sewing project update: choosing my fabric

A teeny-weeny, sneaky middle-of -the-working-day update on my somewhat ambitious sewing project to make myself a fifties-style prom dress …

Tucked away in the lovely, eclectic Brighton Lanes, there is a superb fabric shop called Ditto containing many dream textiles and "such stuff as dreams are made of", from retro Eiffel  Tower prints to flora and fauna designs, to polka dot oil-cloth in many delicious colours.

The choice was difficult – I could imagine my pattern working splendidly in quite a few of the styles – but my heart was lost to this little beauty, which is both summery and retro, and I left with 5 metres of the glorious stuff.

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Thursday, 18 March 2010


1. sakura #4, 2. Sakura, 3. Sakura 2008, 4. Rolleiflex 4.0 fw

Can you tell it's almost Spring and I'm nostalgic for Japan? I'd love to go on a hanami picnic this weekend!


Is there such a thing as too many books?

Image via Flickr (My Favorite Book Shop, originally uploaded by Lochaven)

The photo above is accompanied on its Flickr page, by a wonderfully apt Henry Ward Beecher quote: "Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?"

Having recently read this insightful piece by Toby Lichtig in The Guardian, 'Giving Up Book Shopping', I will hang my head in shame and admit I too have a problem...

I am so easily seduced in bookshops by the endless rows of unread books just waiting to have their spines cracked and their pages turned down, to have the new 'paper-and-glue' smell inhaled deeply.  I commoditise books - I read them too - but I love them a little too much as design objects, totems, possessions. I browse the bookish blogs and flick quickly back and forwards to my Amazon wishlist app (curse you, iPhone, for making it too easy to succumb), in search of the next wordy high.

I have rows and rows of floor-to-ceiling shelves - I'd love an oak panelled study with library ladders, but that's another story - yet still nowhere to put the ever-inceasing piles of books I've bought and never read.

To that end, a little Spring cleaning - this is a list of unread books currently taking up space that I bought with the nest of intentions but, for one reason and another, have never got around to reading.  The rule is, no Amazon till they're gone to a good home ... so, help me out, please claim any you'd like and, providing you're in the UK, I'll endeavour to get them to you. Otherwise, the charity shop beckons. 

Oh, and swaps welcome if you're looking to clear some shelf space yourself.

And last ditch impassioned pleas to give a book a second chance ("you simply must read it, it's beautiful") also welcome.

Carson McCullers - The Ballad of Sad Cafe
DBC Pierre - Vernon God Little
AS Byatt - Babel Tower
EA Markham - At Home with Ms Vanesa
Haruki Murakami - After the Quake
Iain Banks - Espedair Street
Philip K Dick - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Siri Hustvedt - What I Loved
JM Coetzee - Summertime
Ali Smith - Hotel World
Joyce Carol Oates - We Were The Mulvaneys
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Purple Hibiscus

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Refining my taste

1. kitchen shelves, 2. kitchen shelf, 3. newly painted kitchen, 4. kitchen cabinet blinds, 5. Green kitchen + white cabinets + red accents, 6. kitchen, 7. My Vintage Kitchen Stove, 8. redoing the bathroom/laundry room, 9. the kitchen

As the boy toils away on the bathroom transformation - cue sawing noises, crashing and occasional swearing - I have moved on in search of inspiration for the kitchen renovation.  

I'm finding the home deco groups on Flickr a fantastic source of ideas, and while the sheer number of images available is a little overwhelming - argh, how will I get through them all and what if I miss something amazing - the volume certainly helps to refine my taste and create ideas about what might work. 

The images above seem themed around pale greens, wood worktops and lots of clever pretty storage. Although I was also drawn to strong, vibrant blues:

Thinking caps on...

Wednesday, 3 March 2010


So much more inspiring than a laptop. (Sorry guys!)
Today's goal: take a creative approach.


Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Save BBC 6 Music and Asian Network

A letter to my MP:

Dear Harry Cohen MP

Please support the Early Day Motion by Tom Watson MP calling on the Government to support the BBC minority interest platforms 6 Music and the Asian Network:

Both platforms are significant to the work of the BBC in reaching non-mainstream audiences, and are key to the stated public purposes of the BBC, namely:

(a) sustaining citizenship and civil society
(b) promoting education and learning
(c) stimulating creativity and cultural excellence
(d) representing the UK, its nations, regions and communities.

Yours sincerely …

Sent via Write to Them if you fancy doing the same!
Listen to 6 Music


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