Tag Archives: craft

For lovers of craft, indigo and textiles: an exhibition

If these words inspire you: textiles, crafts, traditional and inherited skills, and totally dreamy indigo blues patched over and over: then don’t miss the Boro: Threads of Life exhibition at the East Wing Galleries of Somerset House this April.

Focusing on the ancient Japanese textile tradition of Boro, which means ‘rags’ in English, the textile exhibits on display include bedcovers and clothes made by the poor, rural population of Japan who pieced and patched old pieces of discarded clothing onto and into new items, with fisherman’s jackets morphing into futon covers and on and on, as the pieces were passed down through families and generations.

With their beautiful colours, these humble works of art prompt the viewers to consider the act of ‘mending’: could it be considered an old-fashioned skill? Or, as we continue to embrace traditional crafts at home; and are more aware of the damage caused by excess waste (and/or simply feel the pinch financially) is it becoming more current to embrace repairs, so we can keep our possessions for longer?

Boro exhibition at Somerset House via findthedetails.com

Boro: Threads of Life, 2-26 April, free admission, Somerset House.

Located just off The Strand, Somerset House has to be one of the most hard-working arts and cultural venues in London; changing with the seasons, you’ll discover it hosting al fresco music gigs and giant cinema screens; a multitude of fountains; the latests frocks (it’s home to London Fashion Week) or a beautiful ice rink….

From this….

Somerset House via findthedetails.com somerset house via findthedetails.com

To this….:

Somerset house via findthedetails.com Somerset House via findthedetails.comfindthedetails.com

Somerset House via findthedetails.com

[images, Somerset House

The line up of their Summer Series of gigs (10-20 July) has just been announced: tickets go on sale this Friday 21 March, with the cinema screenings to follow later in the summer. To to learn more about the architecture, join their free guided tours (every Thursday and Saturday), taking in the Tudor and Georgian history to the modern-day, including the new Miles Stair created by Eva Jiricna. Enjoy! Jx

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Sneak peak: John Lewis Spring/Summer 2014

Take a break from silver, glitter and sparkles this pre-Christmas week and mellow out with a sneak look at the beautiful press shots from John Lewis’s spring summer collection for 2014. There are two key trends; Expressions, which combines materials (wood, upholstery fabrics, wallpapers) in warm, detailed and textured neutral shades with others (glass, metallics, soft furnishings) chosen in flashes of contrasting brights: orange-hued copper (copper is definitely having its moment), citrus yellow; warm rose; rich purples and blues:
01 John Lewis Heming Sofa, Expressions Cushions (1)

The Brushstrokes wallpaper is a particular favourite; new for this season; shown here in Smoke colourway, the pattern is also available as an upholstery/drape fabric. The painterly Expressions framed prints are part of the new range; styled here alongside Content by Conran side tables (they come as a nest of three for £199), and a Heming sofa in Porto Grey.

05 Why Wood Dining Table, and Chairs

Why Wood circular table, £399; dining chairs, £125 each

02 Expressions Tall Vase, Hurricane Lamp

Accessories include: Rose gold hurricane lamp, £12; pink hydrangea stems £30 for 3; purple and blue tall glass vase, £35; copper bowl, £5, all John Lewis

Also new in store this spring is the Croft collection: think upmarket utilitarian; traditional crafts; nostalgia (but without any twee-ness…) in a 21st-century-pleasing palette of soft neutrals, blues and greys:

17 John Lewis Croft Cushions, and Throws

Tiny check stripe cushions £20 each; basket weave throw, £70; reversible cashmere throw, £110; natural ribbed knit throw, £80; all from the Croft collection by John Lewis

16 John Lewis Perth Chair, Sparrows Cushion

Perth armchair, £900; Sparrows cushion, £28; cream bottle vase, £35; Charm Lily rug, £125, all John Lewis

12 John Lewis Croft Tableware

Croft tableware: jug, £22; tumblers, £4.50 each; dinner plates, £10 each, ceramic ivory cutlery, from £3.50 a piece, all John Lewis

14 John Lewis Croft Utility-1

And there are plenty of products to make your utility area scrub up nicely: whitewash wooden crate, £35; dustpan and brush set, £29; platters, from £15; storage jars, from £6; dolly pegs, glass brushes, glass cloths and jug, all from John Lewis

18 John Lewis Joanie Butterfly Bedlinen, Basket Weave Throw

Natural Joanie butterfly double duvet cover, £80; tiny check striped cushions, £20; light grey basket weave throw, £70, all John Lewis.  

All photographs, John Lewis

The products will be in store in the New Year; till then Happy Holidays, Jx

All you need to buy this Christmas* – gift shopping sorted in 10

If, like me, you can’t move for pages of gift suggestions falling out of this weekend’s newspapers, then don’t despair… here’s a capsule collection of 10 modern classics to solve your Christmas shopping angst.

These (subjective, obviously) fabulous, mainly design-led products for should cover ideas for most of the family: some come with a little country-twist, but most are good for townies too….

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1 – Zeena Shah cushions: Zeena is one of the hottest textile designers around right now. Her cushion motifs are fresh, current and just a little bit folksy.

Buy for: yourself!; textile lovers, anyone who likes to sit comfortably… 

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2 – Paul Cocksedge Invisible Bookend: This is such a brilliant piece of design. It’s functional, witty, it doesn’t require any fitting, and yet holds around 1.5 metres worth of books. For me, just what modern design should be about.

Give to: cutting edge design enthusiasts, DIY avoiders, keen readers… 

cambridge satchel company

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 – Cambridge Satchel Company satchel. I grew up in Cambridge, and when I started school my mum gave me a (brown) leather satchel which I LOATHED. Complete with brown uniform, brown satchel, and topped off with pink-framed NHS glasses, I was a true child of my time.

Now I’ve grown up and so has the satchel: I love it in red, but the metallic ones are covetable too…

Give to: yourself, again! Your sister. Grown up nieces. Anyone who travels by bike. 

owls

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Makers and Brothers Owls – I keep wondering when the owl as a motif will stop being popular, but till then you’ve got to love these owls by Cleo. Made in Ireland using Irish tweed and felt, they look just as cute individually as they do shown here in a group.

Give to: you could give them to others, but wouldn’t you miss them? 

opinel knife

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5: Opinel knife: Made in France, outdoorsy company Opinel have designed this round-tipped knife specifically for children  it’s the perfect whittling knife for boys and girls who love the outdoors and comes in several colours from red to pink, green and blue. My 10 year old loves the responsibility of having his own pen knife (yes it too took me a while to adjust from the knee-jerk reaction – a child, with a knife – I have only just moved from sarf-east London!). Picnic-loving or camping adults will also enjoy it. A safety catch keeps it either open or closed, and the round tip is also a safety aspect. (Opinel say from 7+ but for common sense reasons, only give to responsible children).

Give to: sensible older boys and girls, outdoorsy types, al fresco diners, glampers 

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6 – Beesnees by EsterComunello from TwentyTwentyOne: One of my favourite contemporary design stores stocks these quirky bee houses: sold as a set of three. Encourage solitary bumble bees to live in your garden and help our ecosystem. Made from wood and steel, they’re small enough for even the tiniest town garden.

Give to: gardeners, nature lovers, town and country dwellers 

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7 Capital Spice cookbook: We all love a currry, and this newly published cook book is a brilliant gift for anyone who – loves to cook, and/or loves curry, and/or loves London and/or loves to eat out at Indian restaurants.

Top notch London-based chefs share inside info and recipes, so we can recreate these tastes at home. (Ed.Chrissie Walker, published by Absolute Press).

Give to: A great gift for men who love to cook 

hampton woods boards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 Hampson Woods chopping board. Suddenly the humble chopping board has become a designer item, and there are plenty to choose from, but these are my favourites. Hand-carved in their Hackney workshops with wood from the London Plane tree, the boards are beautifully smooth to the touch.

Give to: lovers of contemporary design, keen cooks 

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9 – After Noah House of Marbles  62 piece marble run. After Noah was one of the first shops to stock unique pieces of retro and vintage accessories. They also  choose their toys well: classic in design, but most importantly, fun to play with!

Give to: boys and girls from 3+

scissors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Baker Ross  Scissors Carousel: Not a great image but a perfect present for any child who loves to make and craft. Each pair of coloured scissors cuts a different pattern. Again, for common sense reasons, supervision will be needed for little ones.

Give to: boys and girls from 3+ 

 

 

Let me know what you think: Happy shopping!

(*FYI none of these are sponsored links, they’re just lovely products, in my opinion, which I’ve discovered this autumn whilst researching  for my ‘real’ job) 

Brighton – Made 2012 plus their own artwork for sale

It’s impossible to move on the net just now for wonderful people crafting their way to Christmas and beyond….

….if, like me, you feel crafting is best left to the experts, but love the look and individuality of artist-made pieces, then don’t miss Made 2012 at Brighton’s Corn Exchange. Running from 22-25 November, 120 designers and producers showcase their skills, with jewellery, art, ceramics, textiles all on display and for sale. Come here to source unusual details and/or Christmas gifts (if you can bear to part with them). PS If you can’t get to Brighton but like the look of these products (there are many more on the Made website), then clicking on these images should take you to info on the artists and their own websites /contact details).

Ceramics by Katrin Moye

Stitched Collages by Elaine Hughes

Ceramics by Kate Evans

One of my favourite (and, yes, inexpensive) ways to fill walls with colour is to buy, frame and hang posters of current exhibitions from galleries: they capture a moment in time and invariably are detailed and eye-catching, or they wouldn’t hook the passer-by into attending….

So as well as the products on store at the event, artist Sarah Young is now selling high quality Giclee reproductions of her previous poster designs for Made, plus The Brighton Art Fair and the Palace Art Fair. Don’t they look striking in a group? (even with my limited page-layout skills…!)

(Images: Sarah Young, Made 12)