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10 posts from November 2007

30 November 2007

Blog Symposium

In which I meet up with Cathy Scrappy and Megan Not Martha, we have a lovely Seattle afternoon and I nearly spend too much money on a chaise longue.

I've met up with Megan a few times before but it was great to meet Cathy and really interesting to talk about her work - probably stupidly, I hadn't realised that she's also the web editor for Domino as well as writing her blog. 

It was just so nice to be able to talk about the whole bloggy design world - it's such a big part of my life and none of my other friends, either here or in London have much idea about it at all. 

And of course they are both very lovely people, but you knew that from their blogs.

We met up for brunch at Cafe Venus which was really rather fab, and not in the slightest bit WeightWatchers friendly and then wandered down to Velocity Art and Design where Cathy wanted to examine some Thomas Paul rugs in person. Please tell her to stop dithering on her blog and get this one because she clearly loves it.

When we were living in Belltown, I'd popped into Velocity's Belltown location quite a few times and thought it was the sort of shop mirrormirror would like to be when it grows up. 

 

 

I was excited to see its new, much bigger, location, but have to say I was a bit disappointed.  The shop is full to bursting with Tord Boontje and other Artecnica stuff, which has been around in Europe for about 5 years now and is starting to feel a bit 'last century, dahling'. 

We then made our way across downtown to one Seattle's hidden gems, Chartreuse,  which is a treasure trove of mid-century modern design - some vintage, some knock-off and some real, and I was excited to find a chaise longue I've been looking out for for ages. And it's in the 15% off sale!

It's incredibly comfortable and a good price - I've been trying to track down the originals on eBay but they sell for silly money and the shipping costs are always extraordinary.

The only thing I was slightly disappointed by was the range of fabric options - lots of browns and burnt oranges and terracottas, which are not really my thing at the moment. In an ideal world I would have liked it to be raspberry sorbet pink (not that I've cleared that with the Husband), but it looks like we're going to have to get some sort of off-white and pray that the Minx doesn't vomit on it too often. 

To round off our (glorious crisp and sunny) afternoon we went for a spin round the Sculpture Park and chatted some more.  It was fun, and I hope Cathy finds an excuse to come back to Seattle more often.

Tedious Minutiae

I have joined WeightWatchers!  I have been very inspired by my friend in New York who has lost a ton of weight on their programme. 

It's been OK so far - the online tools are really helpful and easy to follow since nothing is out of bounds - though I'm somewhat staggered by how small the portions are.  It needs to be done though, as apparently I look like this.

We had a fabulous Thanksgiving.  We've decided that we really like this holiday as we're under no pressure whatsoever to spend it with family, can't be bothered to celebrate it ourselves at home and so can instead go for a walk on the beach in the morning and get friends to cook for us in the evening.

This year we were treated to a fabulous turducken - a turkey, stuffed with a chicken, stuffed with a duck.  Tony - now known as the Turducken King - had apparently spent the best part of 48 hours researching how to make it on You Tube, brining the birds, deboning them, assembling the whole thing and then sewing it up, and I have to say every single minute was worth it. 

It truly was the most delicious turkey-related food I have ever eaten, and I can now never eat normal turkey again, which might prove problematic.  It is possible that this is not a good time of year to be starting WeightWatchers.

 

Here are the Minx and her friends enjoying themselves enormously on the same day.  

The following day Seattle got its gladrags on and we went downtown for the morning parade and the evening lighting of the tree and star.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since we've been here just over a year, we're starting to do things again which we did at the same time last year - it seems odd to have actually started some family Seattle traditions.

29 November 2007

And so I'm back...

...from outer space yadda yadda etc. etc.

It's funny how quickly you get out of the habit of things.

After our trip to New York, I was so fiendishly busy recently trying to get everything updated on the site for Christmas (and doing lots of Thanksgiving socialising) that blogging sort of went by the wayside.  And the longer I went without blogging the more difficult it seemed to get back into it. And suddenly it's been nearly three weeks with nary a post.

It's a shame too as the blog recently seemed to have gained a lot of traction and readership after the Design*Sponge interview and links from various other blogs, but I'm sure most of those new readers will have moved on to pastures new.  Self-sabotage is a great speciality of mine.

But anyway, those of you who thought you were safe from the tedious minutiae of my life, click away NOW.

13 November 2007

Back Home

The 'Mountain' was most assuredly 'out' as we flew into Seattle 

Apologies for lack of bloggery in recent days.

Our flight back was delayed due to the Husband mixing up the plane times and us having to spend Thursday night in an airport hotel at LaGuardia.  His 'you owe me big time' points total has accordingly gone off the scale.

Jet lag has also been surprisingly bad this weekend, with the whole family being utterly exhausted.  It scarcely seems natural or right to have jetlag without even leaving your own country. 

It was interesting to be back in New York. Until this year, most of the time I'd spent in the States was in the Big Apple, but now I can appreciate how different it is from the rest of the US. 

I'm a big city girl at heart, so I loved the hustle and bustle, the noise, the energy and the melting pot cosmpolitan mix - of all the cities I've been to in the world it definitely has the most London-like vibe.  It was great too, after spending a year in Seattle's outdoorsy, fleece 'n jeans culture, to see some seriously cool, kick-ass clothes out on the streets. And to be able to eat top-notch Italian food.

What was interesting though, was how struck I was by the rudeness and dirtiness - things which as a Londoner had never bothered me before - after the pleasantness and helpfulness of Seattleites and the cleanliness of their city.  Maybe Seattle is turning me into a softy?

The downside to the trip, as ever, was having absolutely no time to shop at all, which was frustrating as I was desperate to work my way through Grace's Brookyn Shopping Guide.  The Husband's business commitments meant that I had the Minx in tow pretty much all the time, and although she has become much easier to sightsee with (she can walk further and follows directions somewhat better), in my experience interiors shops and nearly three year olds do not mix.

However, I have come to the momentous decision that now that the Minx is more grown up I can start visiting some trade fairs in New York and on the West Coast, and spend some time enjoying the cities on my own.

The only problem is I have no idea where to start. Can someone tell me which are the best fairs for top quality homewares, interior design and gifts - the equivalent of Top Drawer, Pulse or Decorex in the UK or Maison et Objet in Paris?

08 November 2007

Miss Liberty

06 November 2007

I *heart* New York

a heck of a lot.

 

A Year Ago

Here are some, completely irrelevant to this post, New York pics.  One of the (only) benefits of having two year old in tow while visiting the city, is that it is perfectly acceptable to go on a horse-drawn carriage ride round Central Park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It seems deeply inappropriate to be writing this from a desk in New York City,  but today we are celebrating our one year anniversary of being in Seattle.

I remember those first few days so well.  

The Minx (and consequently the whole family) was deeply jetlagged.  The only toys we had were those we had brought in our suitcase and the Minx (and consequently the whole family) soon became very bored. And the rain was running in torrents outside, during what was to become the wettest November period in Seattle's history.

I really was *this* close to taking the next flight home.

But I'm so glad we hung around. We've got to know an unbelievably beautiful part of the world and met some of the very nicest and friendliest people ever.  I love our house - despite the green and orange and purple and red paint - with a passion and can't wait to see the seasons roll round again in this landscape.  The Minx is having an absolute ball. 

Thank you Seattle for making us feel so very much at home it's scary.

I meant to post this up yesterday, but computer problems intervened.

02 November 2007

New York, New York

Oops, I've been so busy that I forgot to mention that we're off to New York this afternoon, visiting friends over the weekend and then staying in the big city until next Thursday.

I can't wait.  I lived in Manhattan for six months back in the day when I worked in banking and I love the city to bits.

I'm going to try and fit in a field trip to Rare Device and other indie shops while I'm there (though will mostly have the Minx in tow so am not sure how much shopping I'm actually going to be able to do).

If you've got any other shop or restaurant recommendations for me then I'm all ears.

There is wifi where we're staying, so hopefully blogging will continue.

Christmas is coming...

Christmas always comes early to 'mirrormirror'-land. 

 

                               life forms patterns,

                           haphazard and beautiful -

                          catch them as they fly by

I wrote our first press release back in the summer, which is when the long-lead press start preparing their Christmas issues, and since then have sent out a series of press releases, to try and get mentions in the weekly mags and daily papers.

Over the last two months I've been busily searching for new products and making sure that we have sufficient stock of some of our bestselling items, while Diane back in the UK has been ordering in all the packaging.  Unlike last year, when I was so tied up with moving country, being ill and searching for a last-minute replacement to take over the UK operations, I feel like our ducks are a bit more in a row, though there's always so much more you can do.

Today I placed our last Christmas stock order and now we get to sit back and wait, with shredded nerves. The bank account is very unwell, new deliveries of stock are arriving every day and we have no idea whether anyone is going to buy them. 

So much depends on whether we get any press mentions - though I'm not entirely sure we're going to get any at all in this, our first Christmas without a PR company.  The anticipation and nervousness is huge, as Christmas accounts for such a big proportion of our sales, and the amount of money we make at Christmas very much dictates how much we'll be able to grow the business next year. And there's not a little excitement mixed in there too.

Please wish us luck and please support all small retailers and designers by shopping indie this year.

Holly Decor8 posted a fabulous calendar guide today and I've just ordered this gorgeous letterpress calendar from Green Chair Press., which is apparently hand-cranked on a wonderful old 1890s platen press (whatever that is). 

I just love the little haiku poems included on each month's beautiful card. And having said I've just done all my Christmas ordering, I'm now wondering whether to get some of these in the shop.

Treat or Treat

I wonder why the Minx likes Halloween so much?

This picture comes courtesy of Laurie, who is wondering whether to start up a business photographing children. I am, of course, trying to persuade her she should.