Site moved to mirrormirrorblog.com, redirecting in 1 second...

151 posts categorized "Colours"

05 October 2010

Things I am Loving – Living Dolls House

 

Cetwtwapture

Once up a time Canadian artist Heather Benning, then the local artist-in-residence in Redvers, Saskatchewan, decided to create a real-life dolls house art installation.

She acquired a derelict, isolated farmhouse on the Manitoba/Saskatchewan border, rolled up her sleeves and set to work.

 

Capture

Cafsfsfspture

 

She had the interiors painted in 1960s pastels; furnished the house with vintage 1960s furniture from the time when the house had last been inhabited and loved; and had huge plexiglass windows installed to one side.

 

Cteteapture

Caetepture Capsfsture

And created the house of many a grown-up little girls’ dreams (except perhaps for the huge Plexiglass windows).

fsfs

Capsfsfture

                                                    THE END

{From the Jealous Curator, via sfgirlbybay’s Tiwitter}

29 September 2010

Thing I Am Loving – Erin Flett Pillows

 

What a shame my birthday has just passed, as I’m rather enamoured of these and can think of quite a few places they’d fit in our house. I may have to sneak one or two in.

The cushions are hand silk-screened on sturdy barkcloth by graphic designer Erin Flett in a variety of gorgeous on trend colours.

 

il_430xN.112217792

il_430xN.141224961

il_fullxfull.123252967

il_430xN.141230330

il_430xN.171896476

 

I think this chair is crying out for one, don’t you? Going to see if I can get some in the shop too. Find Erin at www.erinflett.com and buy her pillows on Etsy.

 

Capture

24 September 2010

Things I Am Loving – Gurgle Pots

 

You were going to get a ‘Go Fug Your Room’ post today, but I’ve just discoved that my scanner software has been updated and I have NO CLUE how to operate it.  Sometimes I think there’s a conspiracy amongst software designers to make me grumpy.

But I digress.

IMG_9517

 

pfishI first came across gurgling fish pitchers when I was living in France as a student. The parents of one of the kids I was giving private lessons to would often invite me for dinner and a jump in their swimming pool afterwards (AND I got paid!) and at dinner would bring out their gurgling fish jug.

Air gets trapped in the tail-shaped handle, making a delightful ‘glug glug’ sound when it’s poured. To this day that sound will always remind me of chilled rose’ on a summer’s evening.  The jug was an fearsome majolica beast though, that looked something like this.

I’ve never wanted to have something so butt-ugly on my dining table, so you can imagine how happy I was to discover that the clever people at Gurgle Pots have reimagined the fish pitchers for the 21st century, giving them a simplified and streamlined design and producing them in a range of on-trend colours.

 

about_r4_c8 webgurgle_r4_c2

shop_390x396
 contact_r4_c8

 

Buy them here and listen to them gurgle here.  I bought mine (the aqua one in the top picture) at a little cookshop in Fairhaven in Bellingham. It makes the whole family smile every time we use it.

05 August 2010

Things I Am Loving – Wobbly Bowls

 

One of the things I learned at Lara Ferroni’s food styling photography workshops is that food props should be small, so as to make the food look ample and luscious, and preferably have texture and colour help too, to add visual interest.  (Check out also this fascinating series of guest posts on food props at  Lucullian Delights.)

 

il_430xN.161695081 il_fullxfull.161805734

il_fullxfull.123068174 il_fullxfull.161804918

{Images above from Atelier BB}

So I was delighted to come across these delightful little wobbly plates and bowls in dozens of bright intoxicating colours from Atelier BB on Etsy.  Each bowl and plate is made of thick glazed ceramic and imprinted with different lacy designs for extra texture.

I bought a few little plates for my new ‘food styling prop cupboard’ (how VERY Martha Stewart of me) and will probably be buying quite a few more.

 

IMG_8696

 

And yes, they DO make food look good. Here’s a very quick snap of some potato and beetroot gratin which we had for dinner last night and which was DIVINE. I’ll make it for you guys with pictures next time we get beets in the organic box.

 

IMG_8699

29 July 2010

Come Into My Garden - July

 

I haven’t done a ‘Come Into My Garden’ post for so long but since I spent all weekend macheteing my way through the jungle that had grown up while we were away I thought I might as well get a blog post out of it. 

 

IMG_8623

 

The oak-leaf hydrangeas, nandinas, lilies and lavender have all gone a little crazy as you can see, but there’s still plenty of pretty to be had. I think I’ve got some lemonade in the fridge.

 

IMG_8621

 

 

  IMG_8508   IMG_8517

                               Rose ‘Christopher Marlow’                                                             Some lily or other

IMG_8524

                                                                   Rose ‘Zephirine Drouhin’ in the shade

 IMG_8534

                         Echinacea Big Sky ‘Sundown’ and some straggly thing I bought at the garden centre last year.

 IMG_8587

                                                                                   Geum ‘Fire Lake’

  IMG_8538

                                                 Echinacea Big Sky ‘Summer Sky’ and ‘Sundown’

 

IMG_8543

   IMG_8518

                        Mixed echinaceas                                                     The most ginormous lily in the world (around 7 feet)

 

IMG_8576

                                                                                   A glorious tangle

IMG_8527

                                    The world’s most ginormous lily with nandinas and oak-leaf hydrangeas

 

IMG_8555  IMG_8552

                                                       Oak-leaf hydrangea with and without lavender

It’s REALLY tricky to photograph the garden in summer I’ve decided. Either the sun is casting dark shadows over everything, making it look even messier than it is. Or else the it’s grey and overcast and looks like November. Seattle doesn’t do soft diffused sunlight at all.

22 July 2010

Adventures in Knitting – Clown Barf & Colourwork

 

I realise it’s AGES since I updated you on any knitting, though I have been plugging away quietly in the background.  I’ve finished a couple of other things but they need to be photographed and I’ve got a few more projects that should be coming off the needles in the next few weeks.

In the meantime though, this was an incredibly fun and satisfying knit, though I’m somewhat embarrassed by the outcome – tasteful it most certainly is not, though the Minx utterly adores it.

 

IMG_8122

 

The pattern is Bobinsky (Ravelry link) which essentially knits up in three parts. The yoke and sleeves are knitted in the round in a variegated sock yarn (the Minx chose the ‘clown barf’ colourway, ShibuiKnits in Zinnia). Then the body is knitted in stranded colourwork using the variegated yarn and a contrasting plain colour (the variegation of the yarn makes this look much more complex than it really is) and finally a plain stocking stitch frill is added to the bottom in the contrast yarn (ShibuiKnits Blossom).

I hugely enjoyed knitting this – it was the first time I’ve done colourwork and was pleased that I mastered knitting holding the colours in each hand and knitting both English and Continental style (thanks to this video). It ended up being quite easy and it’s definitely inspired me to do more colourwork in future.

 

IMG_6775

My only caveat if you want to make this, is to make sure that the contrast yarn contrasts strongly with ALL the colours in the variegated yarn. In this case the pale pink doesn’t contrast very well at all with the pale yellow of the variegated leading to some slightly strange effects in the body. But it works well enough and my ‘client’ has been wearing it non-stop.

 

IMG_6516

20 July 2010

Things I Am Loving - Crochet Car Cosy

crochet_covered_smart_car

{Image by Flickr user StartTheDay}

Isn’t this just the business? 

It was apparently created by Magda Sayeg for the Il Lusso Essenziale art festival in Rome and I’m very tempted to start making one for my Beetle, except a) I don’t think it’s terribly suitable for the Seattle winter (or indeed the Seattle summer, of which we would rather not speak, thank you very much) and b) I have no idea how you open the doors.

27 June 2010

Postcard from France - Balcony

 

IMG_7499

 

Menton, my new spiritual home.

26 June 2010

Postcard from France - Bouquet

 

IMG_7373

Courgette flowers. Market. Menton.

16 June 2010

Go Fug Your Room - Carrie and Big’s Apartment

 

Well, we all know the movie’s crap – two of the best reviews here and here –  but what did we think of the set design?  Most specifically what about Carrie and Big’s new grown-up married folks apartment?

Carrie confesses in the film that over the past year or two she’s been ‘cheating on fashion for furniture’ and she’s been working with same designer, Lydia Marks, who also revamped her apartment in the first movie.

So let’s take a tour.

One of my main bugbears with this new apartment is the colour scheme, which is basically blue and brown. I know Carrie is trying to create an environment that Big will also feel at home in, but it just makes everything seem rather dark and depressing and yet again very not Carrie. I know she’s grown up now, but where’s the fun, the liveliness, the inventiveness, the eccentricity and the bohemia?

 

entryway-

 

The entrance way sets the tone for the whole, some great pieces – love the wallpaper and green glass bottle -  but just a little too fussy and cluttered and somehow old fashioned. Would Carrie really have a glass case of dead butterflies on display?

Entering the living room, I like this view of it. The Rug Company rug is beautiful, as is the coffee table, though, as in her old apartment, the sofa and chairs still seem rather more for 'perching’ than truly relaxing, though much is made in the movie of Big turning into a couch potato.  I think I like the gold painting though I can’t help thinking that Big and Carrie would have a more striking piece of modern art. 

 

 Picture 11

Sex and the City 2

 

r8sr-rugc-birbyb-1-18182

 

Paul Smith got an excellent bit of product placement in here with his ‘Birdie Blossom’ cushion, which Carrie is seen cuddling like a new lover.  It’s lovely, though I’m not sure the pattern really works here, but it does seem more authentically ‘Carrie’ than much of the rest of the stuff.  It’s also great to see all the books everywhere. One of the things we all complained about last time was the lack of books in bookworm Carrie’s apartment.

 

Sex and the City 2

050410-satc-623

 

From here though things go downhill faster than an Olympic skiier. This view of the sitting room is a cluttered and fussy as a pair of Queen Victoria’s bloomers.  There are just too many little pieces of furniture, too many patterns and too many little splashes of colour against horribly dark and serious walls.

 

sitting area 2

 

This little seating area seems especially ridiculous. Are Carrie and Big really going to sit here as if they were in doctor’s waiting room taking afternoon tea? Isn’t this the perfect spot for a huge comfortable reading chair facing out towards the view?

 

Sex and the City 2

 Sex and the City 2

 

I like the lighter fresher feel in the formal dining area. The Lee Jofa fabric works well and the light fitting is wonderful, though shelves could do with a bit of editing. It goes through to what I think must be the kitchen, though it seems rather impractical to cook in, and I would never, ever, EVER put a rug, however pretty, in space for cooking.  But maybe that’s just me.

 

050410-satc-one-383 Picture 13

entryway2

 

Looking to the left from the entrance hall we catch a glimpse of the bedroom, with another fabulous light fitting in the small library and beautiful Cole & Son wallpaper on the bedroom walls, which echoes the paper in the hall.

 

bedroom3

 

Carrie makes a huge amount of fuss in this movie about Big’s purchase of a big TV for their bedroom, thus confirming a) that we were right that the big TV in Carrie’s old apartment was incongruous and out of character and b) the TV product placement people have a lot of money.

 

bedroom1

 

The bedroom feels a bit ‘hotelly’, but I do like the way they’ve echoed the pattern on the wallpaper with the headboard.  And below we’ve got another lovely rug/useless seating area/boring artwork situation happening.

 

Picture 12

 

The piece de resistance is naturally the closet, with ridiculously twee ‘his and hers’ sides.  I know people have been charmed by this conceit, but to me it looks as ludicrous as having two different his and hers sinks, one ‘feminine’ and one ‘masculine’ side by side in a bathroom. 

 

Sex and the City 2

 

Not bad shoe storage though. 

 

gal_sex7

 

(By the way Habitually Chic has put together a great post on where to source many of these pieces, including identifying the books that Carrie and Big are currently reading.)

 

So what do you think?  Additional comments hugely encouraged.

 

04 June 2010

What Home Means to Me

 

stopping to smell the roses

 IMG_6650  image

Photo from Twins Garden Style Blog 

image

 Image from Yarnstorm

 

sticking to my knitting

IMG_6648 image

Image from Brooklyn Tweed

 

Image from Attic 24

 

baking lots and LOTS of cake

image

IMG_8859

IMG_0973 

 

eating tons of pasta and drinking lots of wine

image

 

image

 Print from Jenn Ski on Etsy

image

Image from Lara Ferroni 

 

ogling my bread bin, still my favourite thing in the house

image

 

being constantly amazed by the bounty of our incredible cherry tree

393

image

Image from Canelle-Vanille

 

image

 

 

entertaining friends

IMG_8101-1

image

Pinned from rathernice.tumblr.com 

IMG_8077 

 

admiring the crazy awesome view that still makes me catch my breath every time I glimpse it

IMG_3207

 

It’s true, Seattle really is seeming more and more like home.

 

Yes, I’m back! But only briefly. I’d forgotten that I’d signed up to participate in the Pin It Forward blog mashup organised by the amazing sfgirlbybay and showcasing the incredible talents of Pinterest, the fabulous new online pinboard tool, which lets you save inspirational photos from around the web. I am going to be using it A LOT in the future.

Tomorrow don’t forget to go and visit Being Tazim, to find out what home means to her. I, in the meantime will be back on Monday. I have been having THOUGHTS.

05 May 2010

Jonathan Adler at Le Parker Meridien – Palm Springs

 

The last day of our trip to Palm Springs was also the only day we had grotty weather. It was sunny enough for swimming in the hotel pool until lunchtime, but then we checked out and went for lunch at the Parker, with interior design by Jonathan Adler.

From the moment we walked through the enormous orange front doors it was obvious we were in the presence of decorating GENIUS.

 

IMG_5566

 

Even the Minx thought so.

 

 IMG_5537 IMG_5535

 

To be fair Adler is definitely a decorator, not a designer and he does make it easy for himself. The building is not especially exciting and he hasn’t done anything particularly original with the space. Pretty much everything is painted white with dark wood floors, and the whole would be incredibly boring if it were empty.

But he has created the perfect backdrop for his superb vignettes of furniture and quirky accessories all topped off with his incredible sense of colour.

 

IMG_5559

IMG_5587  IMG_5567

IMG_5543

IMG_5565

 

Everywhere you turned there were little Adler-esque touches.

 

The Parker

 

The restaurant – Norma’s – was quite blandly decorated but the food was good and it’s obviously worth it to come here and have a bit of nose around the hotel.

 

Palm Springs1

 

The outside spaces looked like they might be interesting, but by this time the weather was really closing in and it was time to get the hell out of Palm Springs.

 

Palm Springs1-1

 

Just a quick word here in praise of Virgin America. We flew down the West Coast with them and it was such a pleasure to travel with an airline that was on time, had superbly pleasant customer service, fabulous seatback entertainment for everyone, and, to the Minx’s utter delight PINK and PURPLE interior lighting. Truly the key to a little girl’s heart.

 

IMG_5596

 

In other tales from our trip to Palm Springs, check out

The Ace Hotel and Swim Club here.

The Colony Palms Hotel here.

Out and About in Palm Springs here

The Aerial Tramway here.

Joshua Tree National Park here

 

30 April 2010

Today I Am Mostly …

…liking this colour combination

 

IMG_5898

 

Actually I think I like this better as my ‘April’ picture.

Apropos doesn’t anyone else want to link a photo to the April photo carnival below? Firstly the lack of entries is getting highly embarrassing. And secondly, don’t you all want server-crushing blog traffic as we all come flocking over to see what you’ve done? 

23 April 2010

Yet More Tulips

Last weekend we made out annual pilgrimage to the tulip fields north of Seattle.  To be honest this year was a bit of bunfight – the weather was glorious and as most of the fields had already been topped due to the early spring, it seemed like the whole of Seattle was standing round the edges of the few remaining uncut fields (note carefully cropped photos below).

But there’s still something incredibly joyous about the patchwork fields of colour and if you live in the Pacific Northwest I do highly recommend a trip out there (though not this weekend, the fields are already empty).

 

IMG_5798

 IMG_5792

IMG_5806

IMG_5842

IMG_5808

 IMG_5829

IMG_5845

IMG_5850

 

Photos from 2009 here

Photos from 2007 here 

 

Is anyone working on an ‘April’ photo? I’m going to get the gallery up next week, though I still need to figure out my contribution. 

22 April 2010

Salty Knits

 

For the three or so readers who care about my knitting projects, I am still knitting.  I’ve just been totally bogged down in a sweater project,though I can finally see light at the end of the tunnel. I’m currently sewing it up and hopefully will have pics by next week. I bet you can’t wait.

Some people have, however, been knitting up a storm in West Cape May, New Jersey.

Search results for salty knits

{All images from Salty Knits Facebook page}

 

The mysterious people behind Salty Knits creep out at night and put up the most fabulous ‘knitted graffiti’. Calling themselves ‘mystery knitters who are sick of knittin kitten mittens’, they’ve got a very active Facebook page too.

Unfortunately, as fast as they can knit, someone has been taking all the knitting down, as they’re legally entitled to do since it’s on public property. 

But c’mon, it looks GORGEOUS, doesn’t it? (Apparently the town has been getting the best press it’s ever had too).  Would love it if someone did this in Seattle.  Maybe next winter I’ll make some tree tubes for the small dogwood in our front garden. (Actually really intrigued to know how they get the tubes on the trees, they don’t appear to be stitched.)

21 April 2010

Colony Palms Hotel – Palm Springs

The second hotel we stayed in was the newly refurbished Colony Palms Hotel, fabulously located close to the centre of downtown Palm Springs.

Again we’d been a little wary of booking here – a bit concerned that it would be a little too strait-laced and respectable for the Minx.

Again we needn’t have worried, the hotel was utterly different from the Ace, with a more glamorous and intimate vibe, but there were still plenty of other kids there, the Minx loved the pool and the staff could not have been friendlier or more welcoming.

 

Colony Palms

The hotel was built in 1936 by a Palm Springs mobster and used to house both a speakeasy and a brothel. It has recently been extensively and expensively refurbished.  The building is in a more traditional Spanish colonial style focused around a gorgeous swimming pool and restaurant area and surrounded by lovely gardens full of secluded nooks and crannies.

It’s not my favourite style of architecture – where is the reasonably priced funky modernist kid-friendly hotel in Palm Springs? – but it was certainly hugely comfortable and luxurious.

The interior is by Martyn Lawrence-Bullard.  He’s used a lot of Spanish influences – coloured tiles, bright colours, spindly wrought iron  – and mixed in some Turkish, Moroccan and Indian elements – with graphic embroideries, Indian statues and Moroccan tables tucked into the corners.

 

Colony Palms1

 

The hotel also has a pretty swanky poolside restaurant, the Purple Palm, attached, and the food was really good, the best we had in PS and that’s saying something.

 

IMG_5441 

Our room featured an incredibly comfortable bed, with padded embroidered headboard; big bottles of spirits in the mini-bar; an enormous bathroom with painted cement floor; embedded Spanish tiles (which I stupidly forgot to photograph) and a roll top bath.  The cheesy photos of airbrushed models cavorting round the hotel were hilarious. I’m not sure if that was intentional.

 

Colony Palms2

 

The location was excellent, within walking distance of lots of great shops and restaurants and with the prettiest view we saw of the neighbouring San Jacinto mountains.

 

IMG_5463

 

All in all it couldn’t be more different from the Ace and yet I’d recommend it just as much, and combining the two made for a really interesting Palm Springs overview.

See also

Out and About in Palm Springs

Ace Hotel & Swim Club, Palm Springs

14 April 2010

We Have a Winner!

Congratulations to Kevin, who was chosen by the cold hard random number generator to become the proud owner of 16 million colours via a Philips LivingColors LED Lamp.  Kevin, if you’d care to share some photos when you get it, I’m sure we’d love to see them.

f0ec4ea846e74cfa_41n-W666BoL._SL500_AA300_

Thanks so much to Philips and thanks to all of you who entered. I loved reading your comments and it was lovely to see some commenters come out of the woodwork! If you weren’t the winner remember that you have a few more days to enter the draw to win one here or you can buy one here.

Look out for more giveaways soon.

07 April 2010

AWESOME GIVEAWAY! – Philips LivingColors LED Lamp

 

As you know we like a bit of colour round these parts and we’re also not terribly fond of decorating, so I got extremely excited when I was contacted by the folks at Philips about giving away one of their awesome LivingColors LED lamps.

 

image

Captfsfure

Capture

 

One of you lucky peeps is going to win a small floor lamp with four different coloured LEDs which casts light onto a wall or within a small room to create instant mood, ambience and 16 million choices of colour.  Yes, you heard right, 16 million colours. You’ll never have to go to a paint store again.

 

Capdfdture

 

It comes with a cute and intuitive little remote control which allows you to precisely control the colour and saturation, so you can have colour for reading, one colour for eating, another for relaxing and another for well, I’ll leave it up to your imagination.

Suffice it so say I want one pretty badly, so I hope no one enters this giveaway.

If you MUST enter, then leave a comment below saying ‘what colour you would choose to colour your world with light and why’.

I will choose one lucky person using a cold hard random number generator when I get back from my Palm Springs weekend (did I mention I’m going to Palm Springs?) on Tuesday.

For more chances to win there is also a weekly sweepstake over at www.coloryourworldsweeps.com every week until April 18th, or you can always buy one here, though it will set you back $190.

18 March 2010

Cinderella – The Story of the Cake Part 1

 

Well, we weren’t able to put it off any longer. The poor Minx has her birthday at the beginning of January, and we are always so overcome with Christmas fatigue that we can never be bothered to organise a party for her. 

Until now that is. The guilt (coupled with ongoing emotional blackmail from the Minx – where does she learn this stuff?) was becoming too much to bear, so we’ve buckled to pressure and scheduled a bouncy party extravaganza for 20-odd five year olds (so help me) this coming Saturday afternoon.

IMG_4753

Last year we managed to get away with a Nemo theme, but this year we are having to go full out Disney Princess and I have promised to try making one of those ‘dolls with cakes for skirts’ in the shape of Cinderella.  Feeling rather nervous about it I must say.

Last night I completed stage 1, which was to make decorations from Wilton’s Candy Melts after last year’s success with the seashells for the Nemo cake.  I bought some plastic flower moulds and was pretty happy with how they turned out (these Candy Melts are VERY easy to use).

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that there are no blue flowers here, despite the fact that Cinderella always dresses in blue and white. This is because bad mummy didn’t get blue melts last year and was too disorganised to get blue ones this year. I have told the Minx that Cinderella will appreciate more colourful attire. Quite frankly I could also do without the Pepto-Bismol/calamine lotion pink as well, but I don’t think the Minx would accept the absence of pink so readily.

To refresh your memories, here are the cakes I’ve made for the Minx so far (and yes, the expression ‘making a rod for your own back’ does come to mind). Tonight will feature burying a naked Barbie up to waist. Wish me luck.

 

IMG_8770 040 IMG_5645 037-1

17 March 2010

Glorious, Eyeball-Searing, Colour

 

Tara at Sticky Fingers has had the great idea of setting up an online photo gallery each week. She gives the theme and then everyone links to a photo blogpost on the theme.

 

today I am mostly

 

This week’s theme was ‘colour’.  I didn’t have the time (or the weather conditions) to do it justice this week, but as you can imagine from me, I do have a Flickr set entitled ‘Colour’ for use in emergencies.

Here is a collage of the most colourful pictures I could find in my archives. More where they came from on my Flickr here.  And do check out the whole Sticky Fingers parade, for some great bloggers and photography.

11 March 2010

Today I Am Mostly…

 

…admiring my new shoes.

 

IMG_4580

 

Very happy with my new pink Birkies.  I have recently been shopping until I drop at RueLaLa, a invitation-only website featuring 2-day designer boutiques at private sale prices.

I haven’t been given anything to shill for these guys (unfortunately as they’re backrupting me) but they do have some great names on here – homewares and menswear as well as womenswear and accessories -  and the prices are amazing (I picked up a DwellStudio duvet set yesterday for $90).  The good news is that I’m inviting you lovely blog friends. 

Just click HERE, sign up and start shopping. The bad news is that you too will soon be bankrupt. The other bad news is that this appears to be US only for the time being.

26 February 2010

REALLY Cool Printed Fabric – ManoAllaMano

 

Or Benetton ads in quilting cotton.

Goodness but you guys are clever sometimes.

A regular commenter round these parts is Designer Mama – ManoAllaMano who lives in Seattle and has a young daughter adopted from Haiti. She is also a very talented photographer and graphic designer.

kids-fabric

She couldn’t find any fabric that reflected her particular situation, and so, as you do, decided to design some of her own. It was such a big hit with her daughter, that she has come up with other permutations reflecting other variations of ‘non-typical’ American families – two mommies, two daddies, adoptive families, single parents, multi-racial etc.– and has just launched an Etsy shop, selling both quilting and upholstery weight fabrics.

This fabric seriously makes me want to learn to sew. I’d love to make the Minx something with this. It would also look fabulous framed (which may be the route I decide to go). Isn’t it just too cool?

IMG_0242

C3

E

H 3 small for etsy

I small for web

11 February 2010

500 Pencils – Social Designer

Like Happytape, these have probably been all over blogland several times already, but it’s the first time I’ve seen them and they make me spectacularly happy.

500 Pencils from Social Designer is a subscription service where you’re sent 25 coloured pencils a month over a period of 20 months, which builds up into this incredible collection.

aurora_4

They also sell acrylic display cases, because of course you wouldn’t want to use these pencils, just gaze at them in awe and wonderment and gently rearrange them. They even have five hundred beautiful names (my dream job would be naming paints, or lipsticks or nail polish or something). I’m trying to persuade the Husband that, in comparison with most art installations, they work out to be incredibly cheap.

orchestra_5

color_wave_1

08 February 2010

Is This My Blog?

 

IMG_3686   

Oh but I’ve had a fun morning. Our homework for Holly Decor8’s ‘Blogging Your Way’ course this week was to put together an inspiration board that summed up our blogs.  We weren’t allowed to put it together on our computers but instead had to use things we had to hand. 

As you’ve probably realised I fight continual battle between my childish love of bright colour and my desire to be more chic and sophisticated.  On this occasion I just thought, f*ck it, and let my inner child take over.

Here are some individual elements.

IMG_3689

Funnily enough the board began with this moody shot of Pixie Geldof from a recent British Vogue. I’ve always wanted to have very short platinum blonde hair (I have the short hair and have been blonde, but never done both at once).  I think I’m too old for it now.

I cheated a bit and printed out some photos. I know this wasn’t supposed to be a digital board, but I thought it would be OK since photography is becoming an increasingly big part of the blog/my life.

I also wanted to include some mirrormirror products – the Interiors Colouring Book, Karin Eriksson small bowls and Abigail Percy earrings.

The Illy coffee cup and picture of spaghetti speaks to my Italian heritage and my love of Italy, Italian design and PASTA.

IMG_3691

I included some favourite room shots, including some favourite chairs. I do love chairs. And the paint chip is supposed to encourage me in my home renovation endeavours.

The cookies cutters, dayglo cake candles and sprinkles reflect mine and the Minx’s love of tasteful baking.

And have you noticed how much I love graphic daisy shapes? I’d never really realised how much until now.

IMG_3693

And if nothing else this exercise has made me realise that I need to hang the beautiful Mexican embroidery I brought back from our trip there two years ago, which is currently just folded up in a cupboard.

And here are more daisies, a cute Ossie Clark sketch on a postcard from the V&A which I absolutely adore, and a photo of houses in Portobello Road, because a little piece of my heart will always remain in Notting Hill.  And a cute Marimekko tin.

And there’s yarn. Because at the moment there has to be yarn.

All pics also on Flickr. I’m reviving my commitment to getting stuff up on Flickr, so do come and be my friend. I’d love to see your pictures too.

04 February 2010

Adventures in Knitting – First Lace Wrap

 

I’m so proud of my little self.  I should probably retire from knitting now.

Topaz Wrap

I also have NO CLUE where I will ever wear this.

27 January 2010

Go Fug Your Room – Miles Redd Again

 

Our old friend, uber-hyped US interior decorator Miles Redd apparently designed this Manhattan apartment for a young couple with kids. And yes, the love children of Marie Antoinette and Santa would probably feel quite at home here.

home-interior-design-ED1209--001

Miles, honey, there are, however, a few things I feel I need to point out.

a) Just because your surname is ‘Redd’, it doesn’t mean that firetruck red is necessarily the most calming or even attractive colour for interiors.  And believe me, interiors containing kids need calming.

home-interior-design-ED1209--002 

b) I know you’re American, but that still doesn’t make firetruck red, cobalt blue and stark white a particularly appealing colour palette.  Or were eyepopping primary colours your one concession to the ‘kids’ thing?

home-interior-design-ED1209--003

c) I know you can’t be expected to know much about kids, but surely even a young gay man about town knows that lots of tchotchkes/knickknacks + silk upholstery and curtains + felt wall coverings does not an entirely kid-friendly environment make. I suspect they have a very ferocious nanny.

home-interior-design-ED1209--008

Good to see that Miles hasn’t yet given up on hideous animal pictures

d) Have you realised yet that it’s the 21st century? The only thing that isn’t either an antique or some dreadful piece of repro is the kid’s Ikea bed.

home-interior-design-ED1209--011

Nice Ikea bed. Actually this room isn’t that bad.

home-interior-design-ED1209--009

I like the walls and colour palette in here. It’s all a bit granny’s old bloomers though.

ELLE-DECOR-vertical

No, you can’t even escape the red by going to the bathroom. And no Miles hasn’t given up on whimsical animal prints either.  But I do quite like the wallpaper.

home-interior-design-ED1209--004

Miles takes the American obsession with table lamps to new heights by incorporating them in the kitchen. This is the nicest room in the house though.

Elle Decor US calls the apartment an ‘ode to 30s elegance’.  I have noticed that in a US decorating context ‘elegant’ does not signify ‘quiet, spare, refined beauty in an Audrey Hepburnesque way’ as I used to think of it in the UK.  Instead, it is code for ‘we added as many frills and furbelows and trims and ornaments and shiny things and golden bits and things we think might look French as we possibly could before the credit card exploded’.

What do you all think?

25 January 2010

The Right Sort of Yellow?

Those of you who’ve spent a long time around these parts will remember that when we moved into our house the living room was painted a rather gaudy egg yolk yellow (with a bright red fireplace, but that’s another story) that turns into a rather nasty mustard-y colour in the evenings under electric light.

IMG_0343

For the past three years I have been agonizing about what colour to paint instead. You may remember that I’ve considered every permutation of pink and green but couldn’t find anything that worked. 

A big problem is that we’re contending with three very different sorts of light – bright, bright sunlight throughout the summer (the room faces southeast and has windows on two sides); the sort of grey murky gloom that only Seattle can produce the rest of the time and yellow tungsten light in the evenings.

I finally got to thinking that maybe yellow was actually the way to go, just not that egg yolk-y yellow. So I looked for a yellow the colour of lemongrass, just on the cusp between yellow and green.

And we came up with Benjamin Moore’s Cypress Grove – which is a cool lactic yellow, the colour of unsalted butter, in the tin

IMG_3313

but ends up having a distinct greenish tinge on the wall.

IMG_3202

The green looks particularly pronounced in the soft grey light Seattle does so well.

IMG_3133

 IMG_3200

And it looks sophisticated and interesting in tungsten light

IMG_3329

And not too overwhelming in bright sunlight.

IMG_3345

What do you think?  The Husband loves it but I’m not 100% convinced, though I can’t quite put my finger on why.  It seems a little too wishy-washy for me, though I have absolutely no idea what I’d replace it with. 

I’m going to keep going with it for the moment as at least it’s hugely much better than what was there before. And it’s difficult to tell as the ceiling is now all wrong and needs to be painted urgently and I think the white of the woodwork is too bright a white.

IMG_3142

Anyway, questions for you

- What do you think?

- And would you take that same colour into the seating area or paint the walls there some sort of white?

IMG_0338

23 January 2010

Happy Tape – Japanese Masking Tape

 

How crazy is it that I’m seriously considering dropping $50 on a selection of cheerful packing tapes and a dispenser? And just when I’m thinking that the house needs a serious de-clutter?

The pictures are so cheerful and apparently hit exactly the same colour-loving sweet spot in my brain that beautiful yarn does -  ‘ooh.  pretty.  colours.  BUY’.  And I know that the Minx, who is in the throes of a long and passionate love affair with Sellotape, would spontaneously combust with delight.

But for the moment, I shall content myself with the ogling the pretty pictures.  Maybe I’ll get myself some as a reward if I ever manage to tidy my desk. All these beauties are available from Happy Tape’s shop here, please don’t tell me if you buy some.

DSC09177_copy

DSC00283

DSC07140 

DSC09329

18 January 2010

Today I Am Mostly….

 

…painting the living room.

IMG_3176

 

Actually that was yesterday.  And yes, we need to discuss paint colours as a matter of urgency, probably tomorrow.

15 January 2010

Go Love Your Room? Jean-Christophe Aumas

 

I’m genuinely torn about this apartment which I found in last month’s Elle Deco – UK (yep, I’m only now getting the chance to go through my Christmas magazines, so look out for lots of ideas for Christmas decorating and table settings etc in the coming weeks). The apartment belongs to French art director Jean-Christophe Aumas, who creates window displays and events for big names such as John Galliano, Chloe and Diptyque.

image-1  image-6

At first I didn’t really like very much – the colour scheme, all baby pink, acid lemon, teal, black and grey and red seemed incoherent and unpleasant and the whole thing felt somewhat bitty, disjointed and just plain messy.

image-4

But the more I looked, the more quirky, fascinating details I saw.  I love the way he plays with and echoes geometric shapes,

image-5

the blocks of colour, the way he hangs his pictures and sets his tables on an angle to reflect the diagonals in the herring bone flooring,  the interesting objects such as the domes on the mantelpiece, the light fittings, the three triangles painted where the wall meets the ceiling, the turquoise shower, the brightly coloured accessories.

image-2 image-7

image 

I wouldn’t necessarily want to live here, but I’d love to visit and look around and pick up the objects and ask where they all come from. It’s interesting and fascinating and quirky, and for that I forgive it much.

What do you think?

 
By the way, this has reminded me how much I love the Alexander Girard wooden dolls.
 
If only they didn’t cost $160 EACH.  Or a mere $1,600 for all eleven. Ha ha ha.  If you’re feeling disgustingly rich, then go buy them here.
 
Capture
 
 

12 January 2010

Carolina Leon Firrell – Hand Painted Porcelain

It’s about this time of year that I start getting inundated with invitations to attend Maison & Objet in Paris. I’m not able to go this year, but as the business is growing it’s still very much on my to do list for next year.

Here’s who invited me today.  Just loving the colour story on these. I’ll have to get a catalogue I think.

 jpg_julia  jpg_miam-2

jpg_mika  jpg_tubo-2

jpg_zen-2  jpg_servicemanola

 jpg_eggo-2jpg_maria-2

07 January 2010

Today I Am Mostly…

 

…watching the sunrise

IMG_3030

 

Do you remember a couple of Januarys ago I started a photoblog called Today I Am Mostly? I didn’t have enough time then to keep it going then, but I’ve missed doing it so much.

This year I’m determined to really work on my photography and photo styling, so I thought it might be a good idea to revive TIAM.  I’m not going to commit to every day, but I’m hoping to post two or three photos every week throughout the year.  I’ll post them on ‘mirrormirror’  and also to www.todayiammostly.com and to my Flickr page f you want some unadulterated eye candy.

I’ve also retrospectively published a picture here.

15 December 2009

Adventures in Knitting - The Joy of Socks (and Hats)

 

For some reason knitting socks was not such a big thing in the UK when I was living there, though I hear it’s now growing more popular. In fact for most of my knitting life the closest I ever got to hand knitted socks was reading about them in Little Women and since I’ve always knitted on long, straight needles I couldn’t even fathom out how it was done. And I couldn’t begin to understand why on earth anyone would knit socks when they were available for a few pounds for a packet of 5 pairs at the supermarket.

Everything changed when I arrived in the US, the land of fanatical sock knitters and incredibly beautiful sock yarns. You may remember I knit my first pair back in 2008 and had a few less than successful attempts thereafter. But I was starting to understand how addictive it is to knit them.

This summer I knitted the second pair of socks of which I am inordinately proud, using this Twinkleberry pattern and a Limited Edition Sundara sock yarn in the Mango Madness colourway. For those of you on Ravelry, here are the details.

IMG_1378

IMG_0746

IMG_0037

I absolutely ADORE this yarn and am now really appreciating the joys not only of knitting, but of wearing hand-knitted socks. The weather has been unseasonably very cold in Seattle recently but my toes have been toasty warm and they are so, so comfortable, as they are knit precisely to fit my feet.  I LOVE them and can hardly bear to remove them every evening. I wore my first pair of socks to ribbons and am frightened I’m going to end up destroying these.  In an ideal word, I would have a pile of gorgeous hand knit socks from which to choose. Must. Knit. Faster.

In other orange knitting news, I spent a few September evenings knitting a couple of little seasonal hats for my dear friend, the Instant Hausfrau’s, new boy twins.  Well they were seasonal back then. I’m only posting about them now as Ms Hausfrau was having a little trouble locating both hats, both twins and the camera at the same time in order to take pictures. Which is entirely understandable. After the Minx was born I was having difficulty locating my head. More details on my Ravelry page.

IMG_6166

IMG_6171

  IMG_1287

Happy Halloween!

04 December 2009

Abigail*Ryan Homewares

Our favourite jewellista Abigail Percy and her beau Ryan Bell of Chick Stud Earrings fame have been working day and night (at least according to their Facebook status updates) on their new range of home textiles, based on Abigail’s stunning botanical drawings.

Their beautiful and unusual teatowels and scatter cushions are made from 100% cotton or 100% Pure Irish Linen, hand printed in the UK and hand-sewn in the duo’s Belfast design studio.

abigailryan1

I love the colours they’ve used and they’ve done a fantastic job with the styling the images as well. Definitely thinking about getting some of these in the shop after Christmas. In the meantime they’re available online from Abigail*Ryan.

19 November 2009

Fancy Hotel of the Week

 

I know, another one.

But I made the mistake this morning of flicking through a Maison Cote Sud which was lying around the house, which immediately made me long for the South of France in all its decadent beauty.  And if you could see how grey and wet and utterly MISERABLE the weather in Seattle is today you would understand why that was a mistake.

Parisian architect and designer India Mahdavi has recently completely the renovation of the iconic 80-year old Monte Carlo Beach.

I love how she has tipped her hat to the hotel’s heyday in the Thirties and kept it firmly rooted in  Provence and the Mediterranean, but made it resolutely modern in feel at the same time.  Very, very clever.

image-7

That chair just sums it up really – 30s shape, beachy materials = something new and fresh.  And that boat in the distance is just perfect somehow. As are the icy glasses on the table.

image-3

I want that lamp. Badly.

image-5

I like how the lamp echoes the one above and how the prints – which are graphic and modern, but somehow deeply Provencal - work with the walls and lampshade. And the Matisse-like sketch on the wall and the 1930s B/W prints everywhere are cool touches. 

web-MCB-3194-2 image-8

web-MCB-3166-2

image-2 

 image-1 image-6

image-4

All images from Maison Cote Sud and the hotel’s website.

13 November 2009

So-Fantastic

This loveseat in a recent Elle Deco UK really caught my eye.

image

Beirut-based brand Bokja specialises in taking vintage furniture pieces and re-vamping them with gorgeous and unique 60s and 70s textiles and tapestries.

Matthew Williamson is apparently a customer – I’m wondering whether Williamson’s tapestry sofa and mirrored armchair are from here.

Bokja’s one-off pieces are available from The Quirico Company. Here are some more stunning pics from their website.

Capfdture

Capture

Cafdfdture

Cafdfdpture

13 October 2009

Cupcake Couture

Our old friends Trophy Cupcakes here in Seattle have been showing off their Halloween cupcake range.

photo

 cupcake

10431_160078670982_24726865982_3270156_7671246_n

10431_160078655982_24726865982_3270154_478047_n

They are fabulous and I’m particularly liking their couture outfits from Bella Cupcake Couture. Truly fashion at its finest.

Bella Cupcake Couture makes textile inspired cupcake wrappers which are fabulous for weddings, parties and other special occasions. Utterly sublime.

Capture

05 October 2009

Go Fug Your Room – Kelly Wearstler AGAIN


Really my dears, she makes it all too easy.

I know we’ve been through all this before, but Ms W has a new book to promote, so therefore pics of the interior of yet another Hollywood home are doing the rounds (does she actually live in any of these houses?) and it’s the FUGLIEST yet!  Quelle joie!

Ths sad thing is that from the exterior this is a beautiful LA house with a stunning pool, but now you couldn’t pay me to live amongst all this cold, hard, ersatz splendour. Money truly is wasted on some people.

Can anyone explain what I’m missing about this woman?  I would genuinely love to know – at the moment it just looks to me like the Empress has new clothes.

01m

No, she didn’t let her boys scribble on the walls, apparently this is custom-made graffiti-inspired wallpaper. Which is not to say that the boys wouldn’t have done a better job.

06m

Like living in the British Museum, and about as comfortable.

halard3

Doesn’t it strike you as a little inconvenient to have to move half a hundredweight of assorted replica statuary every time you want to lay the table?

halard6

This is apparently Kelly’s study – such a practical place for a working designer n’est-ce pas? And those chairs would seriously freak me out.

Two further questions strike me. 

- With the zebra skins and the faux decapitated heads, is Kelly channelling Eddie or could Eddie be channelling Kelly? (Though why either of them would wish to is beyond me.)

- And how on earth does a colour scheme of dark blue and dirty brass with some pink scribbles qualify one to write a book about colour (the subject of Kelly’s next magnum opus)?

Oh and for those of you in the UK and elsewhere, Kelly Wearstler is one of the most famous interior decorators in the US.  I kid you not.

30 September 2009

Versace Spring 2010

I don’t often indulge in fashion here, mostly because I just don’t have the figure for it  - no one out there is designing for short, big-boobed women of a certain age. And thanks to foot problems, it’s also years, despite a congenital passion for shoes, since I indulged in sky high heels.

However, I was blown away by these – my dears, aren’t they gorgeously, divinely, ridiculously fantastic? (Not sure about the peep toe boots though).

  image2

  Versace Spring 2010 Collection Shoes 2

 image7

Versace Spring 2010 Collection 20Would someone like to buy me the pink booties at top right?  I couldn’t walk more than an inch in them, but all the cotton candy colours and graphic prints mixed with steel and plastic would fit right in here (after we’ve painted the walls) and I could display them on the mantelpiece as a piece of conceptual art or something and pat them lovingly from time to time.

And while you’re buying the shoes, the bag on the left wouldn’t go amiss either. (Oh and by the way, your eyes are not deceiving you, the soles of the shoes are indeed floating away from the heels).

Images via Project Rungay (the best blog in the world) and Obsessed With Shoes.

25 September 2009

Dead Good

We’ve talked about British furniture company Deadgood before and I’m completely smitten by the cute little ‘Capsule’ sofa and chair they unveiled at 100% Design.

100%25-design--Deadgood_e_12b1081677c861aba22119b0d82ed5f2

deadgoodd1-121223167_picture

deadgoodd1-12123146_picture

   deadgoodd1-121247145_pictureo

Who are the good independent furniture designers in the US?  I’d love to find stuff like this here, but don’t seem to be able to track it down. (Check out more from 100% Design – oh how I miss it – here)

Update: Just editing to show the comments that have been appearing on my Facebook page….maybe I’m liking this chair a little less now…

comments

24 September 2009

Blanket Coverage

 

Delicious eye candy via Decor8 yesterday of the home of photographer Danielle Thompson. More photos of the rest of her home are on her blog, but I was particularly drawn to the pictures of her sofa, which sort of have the vibe I’m aiming at – a smooth modern sofa accessorised with a vibrant granny blanket. And her warm contemporary pastel colour scheme is so wonderful.

6a00d83452951869e20120a59300e7970b-800wi

6a00d83452951869e20120a593083a970b-800wi

I also really like the arrangement she’s created above the sofa. I’m a bit over very frilly frames like these, but love the idea of collecting frames and framing fabrics.

If you’re looking for a easier crochet blanket, check out this simple but beautiful one from Casapinka.  I love its clean modern vibe, crochet can so often look overwrought and fussy.

6a00d8341c964853ef0120a5ebd04c970c-800wi

6a00d8341c964853ef0120a5952af9970b-800wi

16 September 2009

Go Love Your Sofa - Babette

So here are more details of the present I’m planning to make for the new sofa.

This project has been percolating for a long time, ever since my friend Heidi from Peacock Modern showed me the pattern at the beginning of this year. It’s the reason I’ve been teaching myself to crochet and desperately trying to finish my existing big projects (I’m still ploughing through both the blanket and the lace wrap). And I’ve spent the whole summer collecting Koigu KPM sock yarn – picking skeins up cheaply on Ravelry and scouring and stalking online stores for sales and special offers.

IMG_0833

Buying everything online has made for mistakes (which I’ve sold on) but also some happy accidents - ‘ugly’ colours such as mustard and burnt orange –which I would never probably have picked up, but which, in the spirit of Noro, I’ve kept on and which I’m hoping will give the whole thing more interest and depth.

Here’s what I’ve collected so far.

IMG_0837

IMG_0835

And here’s what they’re going to be.

Babette. How I love this funky modern take on the classic granny square blanket. How I’m looking forward to playing with my own colours to create a harmonious whole. How terrified I am of actually crocheting the thing and sewing it together.

Babette-Blanket-L250

Babette_BlanketL

 If you too are foolish enough to want to embark on this, the pattern is here, there is a helpful Babette group on Ravelry, and a Flickr gallery full of Babette inspiration.

15 September 2009

Go Love Your Room – KenzieKate’s Nursery

I’m always a bit jealous of fabulous nurseries.  For the first year or so of her life when we were in our London flat the Minx slept in with all the mirrormirror stock in our second bedroom – not exactly conducive to beautiful decorating schemes.  Not that she really noticed if the truth be told.

This baby nursery is truly stunning – not many people could pull off a zingy green, yellow, turquoise and red colour scheme but Kenzie Kate of wedding blog ‘Something Old, Something New’ does an incredible job.

 3907739507_319ebc3a69_o

I think it’s a great idea to do a bright scheme like this, as in my experience most little children are not very fond of pastels and will let you know that in no uncertain terms as soon as they can.  The Minx can be very vociferous on the subject of her dislike for baby pink (though hot pinks and fuchsias are another matter entirely). So this scheme should last for some time.

 3907739437_d722696d14_o

The thing that really pulls this together are all the little homemade touches – the gorgeous mobile, the soft toys, the homemade quilt and art work.  I would give my eye teeth to be that talented a craftsperson.

3908519108_9b69c78707_o

All details can be found here.  Found via the gorgeous Helen of Countryside Wedding – ex mirrormirror staffer and soon to be yummy mummy herself.

14 September 2009

Go Love Your Room - Colour Me Amazed

I was just flicking through the most recent copy of the Elle Deco UK when I came across this house by Dutch designer Carlos Weeber.

image-5

I’m not sure I could exactly live with the colour scheme, but it is so refreshing to see an architect using colour – so many seem to be members of the ‘any colour as long as it’s white’ school.

Funnily enough the architect himself is colour-blind, so he works with an artist friend to put the colours together, and yes, the house is in Curacao, where a bright palette like this will fit in more, but still, I wish others were a bit more brave.

image  image-1

image-2

image-3  image-4

All photos from Elle Decoration UK (Aug 2009)

I apologise for the scanned-in quality of the images.  Of course if Elle Deco got its act together and had a website….

11 September 2009

Ta-da!

So here is the new sofa in situ. It is as comfy as hell, IMMENSELY practical, extraordinarily well -made and we are thrilled to bits with it. Thanks Couch Seattle!

IMG_0324

IMG_0356

You will note that we’ve also taken your advice – you were right of course - and bought a new rug for that end of the room so that the coffee table sits on it correctly and moved the green rug to the dining area. We also moved the green curtains to that end of the room to give a bit of colour and raised the curtain pole so that they hang better and give more of an illusion of height.

IMG_0312

 IMG_0343

Things Still To Be Done About Which We Need to Talk

- Paint the walls. I have a completely different colour in mind from the last time we discussed this and am going to get samples this weekend.

- Reframe and move the artwork. Commission or buy huge and expensive piece of art (ha ha!Ed) or at the very least do SOMETHING with the wall above the sofa.

- Replace (or possibly just paint?) the incredibly ugly door on the left which leads straight out onto the porch.

- Do something about the light fixtures, about which we have still done nothing since last we spoke.

- Crochet the sofa a beautiful present.

- Learn how to style photos better and at least smooth down the cushions on the couch before photographing it. 

There is much to discuss and much to do. But we are getting there slowly.

The weather is supposed to be glorious this weekend which I suspect will be the Seattle summer’s last hurrah. So we are going to go out and PLAY!

09 September 2009

Adventures in Knitting - Knitting the Ocean

The only thing I have really been able to achieve this summer is a ton of knitting.  I was inspired by all the fabulous patterns on Ravelry to embark on a cardigan for myself, the first time I’ve knitted an adult-sized cardigan or sweater since I was at college (more years ago than I care to remember).

IMG_0718

This Featherweight Cardigan was a really quick, simple and pleasurable knit, particularly as it was the first thing I’ve made out of yarn dyed by a Seattle-based woman who goes by the name of Sundara.  The woman is a colour genius and I’ve recently been bankrupting the family buying up her limited edition yarns, but the colours, oh the colours are a-maz-ing.  I will blog about her separately as she really is an artist who deserves to be seen by knitters and non-knitters alike.

But I digress. This cardigan was made in Sundara’s soft and sumptuous Fingering Silky Merino in a limited edition colourway ‘Macedonia’ and, with its variegation from dark to light blue with little flecks of pale ‘foam’ on top, it was just knitting up the sea. The photos really don’t do justice to the depth of the blue and how it glows in the sunlight.  Full project details on Ravelry as usual.

IMG_0733

IMG_0738

These pics were taken by my friend Kassandra at Seattle’s Golden Gardens beach on the last beach day before school started. Our kids are rioting gently somewhere a few yards out of shot.  

While we’re on the subject of rebooting and reclaiming one’s life after the baby years, looking at these pictures I think I also really need to start reclaiming my body – it seems a bit much to be carrying ‘baby weight’ when the baby is nearly five.

I’ve been hampered in my efforts to exercise recently by lack of time and crippling plantar fasciitis -an excruciating pain at the bottom of my foot, which I think has been indirectly caused by twisting my ankle very badly a couple of years ago.  At the moment the best exercise for me appears to be yoga, so I’m committing to doing a bit of yoga (either a class or a video) every day for the rest of September.  I used to do quite a bit of yoga before the Minx was born, and it’s horrible to realise how inflexible I’ve become. 

06 August 2009

Adventures in Knitting – Blocking and Stitching

I’ve just finished knitting a cardigan for me – the first garment I’ve knitted for myself in about twenty years – of which more anon when I’ve taken some pictures.

In the meantime, though. I decided that I really ought to focus more on finishing off my Interminable Blanket, as I’m getting so bored of having it hanging around.  I’ve been gently knitting up squares in the background – I’ve decided to make it 5x4 squares instead of the original 4x4 in order to make it a bit more practical – and recently decided to bite the bullet and start sewing them together.

The first order of business is blocking – washing the squares and pinning them out to stretch them. I wish I’d done this a bit sooner, as it is so inspiring when a screwed up bundle like this,

IMG_1664

turns into lovely smooth even flat squares like these

IMG_1656

I then took my courage in both hands and started sewing.  Sewing and me have developed a hate/hate relationship over the years, so I was by no means convinced that I’d be able to come up with a neat enough seam, given that the seams on this project are pretty visible.  But after several false starts and lots of undoing and redoing I’ve come up with some seams that look pretty good to me.

Here’s the first row of five blocks all sewn together

IMG_1655

And here’s a close up of the stitching

IMG_1658 

I’m hoping that the edges will unfurl again as I sew the strips of blocks together and add the lace edging, though the whole thing will probably need another blocking when it’s done.

All the way through this I’ve not been sure that I’d be able to sew it together well which I realise now has been somewhat demotivating. The knowledge that I can actually do it AND make it look good AND that the process isn’t even painful has made me set to like a thing possessed.  I’m hoping to have this finished this month, only about five and a half years after I started it.  I do wish I liked the colour more though.

05 August 2009

Paris Hilton’s Doghouse

Fun whimsy or a little bit sick?

Apparently Paris Hilton has been Tweeting about the house she’s had built for her enormous collection of chihuahuas.

Capture

The house is 300 sq. ft and two storeys, and features a clay-tile roof with copper gutters, intricate ceiling mouldings and a black crystal chandelier hanging in the bedroom complete with a closet and central air conditioning. It was designed by Paris’s interior designer Faye Resnick and is apparently furnished with faux designer doggie products from such design world luminaries as Jimmy Chew, Pawda, Sniffany & Co. and Chewy Vuitton. Oh and it has a price tag of $350,000.

Am I alone in thinking that in this day and age, this is just a tad inappropriate?  I just hope those dogs like candyfloss pink.

August’s Yarn Soup

Somebody on Ravelry suggested putting all the yarn for your work-in progress projects for the month into a separate bowl or basket. This month I’m attempting to finish my Interminable Blanket (I’ve started sewing it up, yippee!) and my Lacy Wrap and for my quick and easy portable knitting I’m treating myself to a new pair of orange socks.

IMG_1646

31 July 2009

Adventures in Knitting - Stripes

One thing I have been able to do a lot of recently is knit. 

Part of the reason for my recent knitting obsession is that it is the perfect hobby to combine with looking after a four year old.  The Minx has got to the stage where I can take her to the wading pool or playground without having to be too attentive, but I still need something to stop myself internally combusting through boredom.  Knitting is perfect as, unlike a book, I can keep one eye out for the Minx, chat with friends and pick it up and put it down when I need to.

Here are a couple of small finished projects, and I’m also just finishing up a cardigan, the first garment I’ve knitted for myself since I was at college, of which more anon.

My Gaia Shoulder Hug.

The lace wrap I began in Portland is still less than half way completed, mostly because it requires a lot of focused attention and is not the right sort of knitting for playground duty. But in the meantime I have finished my Noro wrap.  I realise that this might not be to everyone’s taste, but I like it a lot.  Not that I’ve had any chance to wear it in the recent Seattle heatwave.

IMG_1449

IMG_1440

IMG_1430

Note to self:  Next time you pose pretentiously for photos it might be a good idea to wear a bit of makeup.

Secondly I knit a quick pair of yoga socks for my friend Laurie who is training to be a yoga teacher.  These were quick and fast and cute and I may need to make some for myself, if I ever manage to go to yoga regularly that is.

IMG_1308

IMG_1307

Project details as ever on my Ravelry page.  Do come and be my friend.