November 30, 2008

Housewerks Fun

I stopped by Housewerks over the weekend to see what they have on offer and to see if I could find some interesting piece to display my canvases at the two Holiday shows I am doing in December. I am always so impressed both with what they have and with the way it's displayed. Here are some images from yesterday.
These two pieces are from a doctor's office. I am thinking about buying them for my kitchen. What do you think?
This beautiful fireplace surround and roaring fire were a welcome sight on a chilly day.
Ben and Tracey, the owners of Housewerks, excell at presentation and display.
I loved the light shining through these small lantern panels.
This section of fencing looked great hanging on the wall.
It used to be that machines were beautiful as well as functional. You'd never find an aesthetic safety guard on a band saw these days.
This chandelier was taken from a trustafarian's apartment in DC. He skipped out on the $50k/month rent!

November 26, 2008

November 25, 2008

Look What I Found!

Last month, I mentioned that I'd bought a copy of Scalamandre, Luxurious Home Interiors at a remainder book store near my office. I'd stopped in today to see if I could find something for my niece's birthday tomorrow. While I was poking around, I noticed about a dozen copies of Carolyne Roehm's Presentations. How perfect, just in time for the holidays!

She's created the most beautiful packaging for presents. They're almost too pretty to open! I like that the book, like others she's written, is arranged by seasons. Here are some samples of her talents.
Butterflies from the dollar store adorn this package. Some of CR's famous blue and white. I've always loved black, white and pink! It almost looks like John Derian. It's a great idea for a fall birthday.Or for a winter birthday.This would be perfect for Christmas or Valentine's day.Not to make you jealous or anything...

November 24, 2008

India Knight - The Thrift Book

Before I left for London, I wrote about one of my favourite books -India Knight's The Shops. It wasn't a shopping guide, per se, but sort of an autobiography of her life in the shops.
She's just published another book - The Thrift Book: Live Well and Spend Less - which is a good commentary on how much things have changed over the last several months. The Thrift Book was published in early November, so I just missed being able to buy it.
I see it with other bloggers. An Aesthete's Lament did a lovely post about cutting back. Style Court is doing a series about beautiful wrappings, but with an inexpensive twist to some of them. Eddie Ross, king of the flea market and thrift shop find, has come great ideas on decorating for the season.
What are you doing to be thrifty this holiday season? My family has picked a name of someone, rather than buying something for everyone. I will be making some presents, namely journals that reflect the recipient's personality and interest, using the lovely silver joss paper that I found in my paper stash as end papers. Some blogging friends may get books from the Book Thing... Let's hear your ideas!

November 23, 2008

Weekend Update II

The weekends are starting to get very busy leading into the holidays. A gorgeous celebration tea yesterday afternoon and then an oyster party. Breakfast after the Farmers Market was at my house this morning, and I had another breakfast invitation, and then a dinner invitation from Kitchenography who was cooking the incredible Cauliflower and Gorgonzola Soup from the restaurant at Petersham Nurseries. I am participating in two Christmas Bazaars, one with my artist neighbour and one at Mount Clare Mansion down the road. If you'd like more information about either of these shows, pop me an e-mail.Luckily, I have an inventory from the cancelled Pigtown Festival which was washed out by Hurricane Hanna.
Although I won a set of stunning holiday cards from Cafe' Cartolina in October, I also want to make some, so am beginning to think of the designs for them.
The pace is really picking up around here. How are you doing?

November 20, 2008

New Header (again!)

I was chatting with a friend this evening and she implored me to change the turquoise header I've been using for a couple of weeks. So I did.

As I was walking along Gloucester Road in London, I spotted this leaf on the wet sidewalk and thought the contrast was striking. Hope you like it.

November 19, 2008

Liberty Animals

Tucked behind the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street, you will find the serenity of the half-timbered Tudor building that houses Liberty of London. Founded by Arthur Lazenby Libert in 1875 as East India House, it would change the face of fashion and design. My first memory of Liberty is from their signature floral print shirts, skirts and scarves.
Two buildings, the original 1850's section and the "new" 1927 section, combine to form a maze of rooms on six levels, with two large center atriums, one with a hanging sculputral light.
One of the things I discovered on this trip - and I can't imagine how I ever could have missed it before - is the wooden figural carvings around the railing in the atrium. These reminded me of the animals around the castle wall at Cardiff. You can see the carvings in the top of the two pictures of the atrium, where rugs are hanging.

The Eagle The Owl The Bear The Monkey The Gnome
The Elephant
The Lion
I haven't been able to find any history of these carvings, so if anyone knows, please share it! I am also curious as to why there are only seven figures... Did I forget to take the last one, or are there really only seven?

November 17, 2008

Bag Lady

As I've mentioned before, I love Cath Kidston. Her designs are such fun and so cheerful. Within hours of arriving in London, I heard that to celebrate her 15th Anniversary, she'd produced tote bags to commemorate the event and to raise money for the Marie Curie Cancer Care. The bags were being distributed through Tesco (sort of like a British Target) and came in three patterns. The bags are environmentally friendly and are made from recycled plastic bottles, although they feel like heavy canvas.
I checked the Tescos that I happened across, but couldn't find the bags. I saw a woman at the V&A Museum who had one, and nearly mugged her for it. I mentioned my lack o'luck finding these bags to Just a Plane Ride Away, who very kindly said she'd venture to her local Tesco and get me one. Well, she did one better and sent me two! They came in the post this morning and are just great. They're the perfect size and I can't wait to use them at the Farmers' Market this week.

Thanks, JAPRA!!!

November 15, 2008

I LOVE This House

When I was "commuting" from London to Cardiff and back, I often took the Megabus, since it was about £10 compared to £100 on the train. The route took us through Chelsea, along the Thames and out to the A4 to the M4 to Cardiff. I would pass a row of houses that I just adored. They were so intesting and like nothing I'd seen before. I fell in love.

Today, I was reading the Guardian and saw that one of them is for sale! Here's the description: Four bedrooms, open-plan reception cum kitchen, two bathrooms and a vault. Designed for bachelor artists, this startling terrace has an outsized atrium window which dominates the huge triple-height living area. Philippe Starck lavs, a whirlpool bath and Chinese slate floor make up for the A4, which zooms past the front door. Price: £1.575m ($2.32 million).
Here's the description of this incredible bathroom: Wash hand basin surrounded by Moroccan tiles with storage cabinet below with wooden Moroccan screen front, window to rear garden fronted by glassed wooden Moroccan screen, Philippe Starck-designed wc, wet room with Moroccan style ornate stained glass window.

Shame it's out of my price range.

Images: John D. Wood & Co.

November 14, 2008

Fishs Eddy

It's a very damp day here in Pigtown, and when I finished walking Connor, I heated up a cup of spiced cider and drank it out of my favourite old mug. It's from Fishs Eddy, purchased on an annual girls Christmas trip to NYC. Have you ever heard of Fishs Eddy? It's such a fun place to find the most incredible array of dishware, flatware, serveware and more.
The owners started out by buying a barnful of old china and setting up shop in New York and then continued by buying stock from restaurants that were going out of business. One of their own iconic patterns is called 212 (the area code for NYC) and has the skyline of Manhattan outlined with highlights pointed out in writing. My mug's an old one because it still has the Twin Towers on it.
Fishs Eddy's patterns include Alice in Wonderland with the original John Tenniel illustrations, Heros of the Torah, Memo glasses, which look like old notebooks and the Brooklyn pattern, illustrated with the Brooklyn Bridge (what else!).
If you're in New York, try and stop in Fishs Eddy. I am sure you'll find something fun.