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115 posts categorized "Shopping"

11 April 2011

Sweet View

 

These Sweet View prints by artist Jack Noel are really resonating with me this morning.  Over the last couple of years I’ve been gently researching my family tree on my father’s side and it seems I’m a Londoner as far back as I can trace – at least seven generations to silkweavers in Spitalfields and Bethnal Green; chairmakers and cabinetmakers in Brentford and bookbinders and stationers near the Strand.

This series of prints shows London as it’s lived by Londoner -  not the hackneyed tourist images but ‘views of the crossroads, markets and hidden squares that provide the true backdrop to a life in London”. So far he’s done six of the inner London boroughs, with another six to come later this year.

 

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Hackney  The view shows St Leonard’s Church in Shoreditch (the famous ‘Oranges & Lemons’ church) – generations of my family were christened and married here.

 

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Tower Hamlets (Columbia Road Market)

 

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Westminster (I love how this is a corner of Trafalgar Square without a view of Nelson’s Column)

 

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Southwark (Borough Market)

 

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Wandsworth

 

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Lambeth

 

Really hoping he does a view of Notting Hill for Kensington & Chelsea.

08 April 2011

And the Winner Is!

 

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The winner of the beautiful Shabby Apple dress is AmyShe made comment number 5 as drawn by the cold heartless random number generator.  Have fun wearing your dress in San Francisco.

If you weren’t lucky enough to win, then remember that Shabby Apple has offered mirrormirror readers a 10% coupon code. Just enter mirrormirror10off at checkout.

Congratulations again to Amy. I have sent you an email telling you how to claim your prize.

05 April 2011

Things I Am Loving – Alessi Tigrito Cat Bowl

 

I promise that I’ve completely stopped buying expensive cat accessories, though I’ve been horribly tempted by the Tigrito Cat Bowl by Alessi, mostly because, with its grey fur and white paws,  it looks so much like Flora.

 

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It does however cost $90. so let’s just admire it from afar, shall we? (Though it appears to be on sale via Amazon in the UK).

Instead, here is a picture of the real thing, looking rather nonplussed by the fake Tootsie Roll cat poop we made to play an April Fool trick on the Minx. It worked like a dream, particularly when the Husband ‘cleaned it up’ and started licking it. Never have you seen such a grossed out six year old.

 

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Truly if you ever need to make fake poop, Tootsie Rolls are your friends (sorry, I don’t think there’s an equivalent in the UK). Just a few seconds in the microwave and a bit of sculpting required.

   

01 April 2011

Giveaway! Beautiful Shabby Apple Dress

 

It’s Spring and this not-so-young woman’s fancies are lightly turning to getting the heck out of rainy, cold and miserable Seattle and going somewhere warm and sunny in Europe instead.

 

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Fortunately for all of us dreaming of summer, the lovely peeps at Shabby Apple have very generously offered to give away one of their delightful summer dresses to mirrormirror blog readers.  After much humming and haaahing (sp?) I have chosen this cute ‘Trevi Fountain’ dress worth $78 a) because the pics make me want to go back and live in Rome and b) because I think the cut and colour will be flattering on lots of people.

 

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There are four different ways to enter the competition and everyone can enter up to four times.  Just make sure you tell me how you’ve entered in a comment below. The competition closes at midnight Pacific Standard Time and I’ll use a random number generator to draw the winning entry as soon as I wake up on Thursday 7th April.

If you win you’ll be able to choose your size and the dress will be shipped directly to you from Shabby Apple if you live in the US. If you live elsewhere, I’ll have it delivered here and then ship it out for FREE, so everyone in the UK and beyond can enter too. And if you aren’t lucky enough to win, Shabby Apple has provided the coupon code mirrormirror10off, so we can all get 10% off at the store.

Below are the different ways to enter. Remember you can enter all four ways as long as you leave a comment telling me how you’ve entered below.

1) Leave a comment below saying if and where you’re thinking of heading on vacation/holiday this summer

2) ’Like’ mirrormirror on Facebook  (leave a comment below saying you’ve done this)

3) ‘Like’ Shabby Apple on Facebook (leave a comment below saying you’ve done this)

4) Tweet the following:  I’ve just entered to win a beautiful Shabby Apple summer dress. You can too!http://is.gd/lkSbhM  (And leave a comment below saying you’ve Tweeted).

Buona fortuna!

Update: If you’ve already ‘liked’ mirrormirror or Shabby Apple on Facebook just let me know in the comments and that can count as an entry too. Oh and make sure you mention each entry in a separate comment.

30 March 2011

Royal Wedding Watch - Afternoon Tea at Harvey Nicks

 

I can’t tell you how much I want this silly but charming Limited Edition Royal Wedding Mug, which has been specially produced for upmarket British department store Harvey Nichols (oh how I miss Harvey Nicks).

 

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Tragically, it seems that this mug is only available from Harvey Nicks’ Food Halls directly, on sale for £20, or will be given away as part of an exclusive afternoon tea being served at Harvey Nichols’ cafés and brasseries throughout the month of April.

I’ll be emailing Harvey Nicks to see if it’s going to be made available online, so that people in the US and beyond, including me dammit, can get their sticky mitts on one.  If you’re in the US and think there might be demand for it, can you let me know in the comments below and I’ll send Harvey Nicks a link to this post.

   

Soraam Cushions, Mats and Cupcakes

 

Last week I did my first ever paid photography assignment.  Soojin, the graphic designer behind Etsy shop Soraam saw my photos with Uncle Beefy’s cupcakes and asked me to do a little product shoot with her.

 

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Here are some of the results.  Her pre-washed linen placemats and cushion covers - hand-printed with her own beautiful designs - really are stunning. I particularly love the placemats, which are designed to look equally good with or without plates.

The cupcakes are again courtesy of Uncle Beefy, as I’d fortuitously frozen some of the previous batch (cupcakes freeze really well by the way).

‘Soraam’ means ‘take a look with a smile on your face’ in Korean. You really can’t help yourself can you?

 

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25 February 2011

Funky Loft Beds

 

For the past few months we’ve been in the market for a cool loft bed for the Minx.  The problem was a familiar one – all the beautifully designed loftbeds that I actually LIKED were phenomenally expensive, while the ones we could afford were all cheaply made, old fashioned, plain ugly or only available in Europe.  Why does great design have to be so flipping spendy and why is all the funky stuff in the US imported from Europe in the first place? Where are the American designers doing cool contemporary design for kids?

Here are some of the beds we loved and had to reject because of cost.  Next week I’ll post pictures of the bed we finally chose.

This is the Alex Loft Bed system by DucDuc. It’s available in a range of cool colours and is American designed and made, but you’ll have to fork out $2,850 for just the top bed and armoire before adding a the desk or a bottom bed etc.

 

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All you get for $2,850

 

The felt-covered  German-made Perludi ‘Amber in the Sky’ is also rather splendid, and available here for a cool $2599 (down from $3,450).

 

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The Azor loft bed below is also imported from Europe but comes in at a slightly more reasonable at $2150, including, I think, the desk.

 

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My absolute fave was this picture I found on OhDeeDoh. The link is now broken, it looks like the bed was also super expensive, and I haven’t been able to find it anywhere else,  but I love the diagonal footprint, so am adding it here to sigh about what might have been.

 

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Did I say my most favourite? Actually that accolade probably needs to go to these Tiramolla loft bedrooms from Tumidei of Italy which I believe are available through Roche Bobois. I didn’t even bother to enquire as to how much they cost (I’m sure the answer would be ‘your first born child’ which would rather defeat the object) but they sure are molto bello.

 

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Picture 14

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Images from the Minx’s new bedroom coming early next week. I know you can’t wait.

   

10 February 2011

Cute Pet Tags - Blanket ID

 

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Unlike fancy pants litter boxes, here is a cat accessory we can all get behind.

Cate is a long time commenter on this blog and runs a Blanket ID which provides super smart  ID tags for dogs and cats. 

Her idea is as nifty as it is simple. Each tag comes with a unique code number which you use to register your pets details online. If anyone finds your pet, they simply go to www.blanketid.com, put in the code number and lo and behold, they can find all your pet’s contact details and any other useful information such as special diet or allergies and vet contact details. 

 

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It’s better than microchipping (though our cats came chipped from the shelter) as the tags can easily be read by members of the public, and the online data storage allows you to store a lot more information than would fit on a normal collar tag.   It’s also easier to keep information such as phone numbers and email addresses up to date rather than having to have collar tags re-engraved.

As final bonus, if your pet does go missing, the online service means you can quickly print off ‘Lost’ posters, and BlanketID automatically contacts vets and shelters in your area. Your first year’s registration on the site is included in the price of your tag. Thereafter BlanketID charges a small annual subscription that includes a donation to their own pet charity.

Aside from all this goodness, the tags are also beautifully designed, and come in a bunch of colours and styles.

The Minx of course chose the girliest ones she could find for Flora and Harriet, which proved to be a bit of a mistake as we have recently found out that Flora is in fact Prince Florian, though we will still be calling him Flora for short (yep, you’re probably as confused as I am, and he is, by this).

Here’s Harriet modelling her tag.

 

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I think Flora, on the other hand, may be rather embarrassed by his, as this was the only unblurry picture I was able to get.

 

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Full Disclosure : Cate sent me a couple of tags to try for free. Don’t tell her but she didn’t need to do that as I think it’s a fabulous idea and would have bought some anyway. Thanks Cate!

   

02 February 2011

Things I Am Loving – ModKat Litterbox

 

So I’m a bit embarrassed about this one.

I haven’t had pets since Bubbles the goldfish committed spectacular suicide by throwing himself out of his bowl when I was a kid, so I’ve launched myself into the world of pet accoutrements with some trepidation.

 

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When you acquire cats, the very next thing you need to buy is a litter box, and if you’ve been in the market for litterboxes recently, you’ll know that, although they come in all shapes and sizes, they have one thing in common.  They’re all remarkably, hideously ugly.

With one exception that I’ve been able to find.

 

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The Modkat litter box is the iPhone of litterboxes – a cool piece of thoughtful modern design, and available in an array of contemporary colours to match your decor or your cat.

The cat climbs inside the box to do its business and then has to walk on the litter catching tray on top to get out, so excess litter is caught and it reduces tracking and mess to a minimum.  It comes with a sturdy reusable tarpaulin liner and an integral scoop that clips to the side.

 

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I’m a firm believer in making sure that things that will be on display in the house are as nice to look at as possible (especially for something like this which we will hopefully have for the next fifteen-twenty years), so of course I bought one.  Even though it costs $180.  Yep, $180 just to buy a litterbox that is well-designed and doesn’t look like sh*t as well as smell like it. 

Fortunately we love it. It’s big and sturdy, looks great, is super easy to clean and does a great job of reducing litter mess to an absolute minimum. Which is a good job as I think we’re going to have to get two – Harriet refuses to do her business anywhere near where Flora has been.

 

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But why does good design have to be so freaking expensive?  Am I crazy or would you buy this litter box too? 

If you’re tempted, you can buy the litterboxes at Modkat.com or with free shipping at Nest Living.

 

 

 

   

20 January 2011

Life Calendars - BrigadaCreativa

 

I’m trying to work out whether these ingenious poster-sized Life Calendars from BrigadaCreativa are a fabulous or downright scary idea.

 

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You can start on any day of the year, and every day you fill in the appropriate emoticons until you end up with detailed pictorial record of your year, before your eyes.  In black and yellow.

 

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Even more terrifying is the The Love Calendar, where you’re supposed to fill in portions of the hearts according how much conversation, caresses, time together and sex you've had with your partner that day.

 

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I can see this becoming exhibit one in divorce cases the world over.

 

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If you’re brave enough to get one of these, (and I’m actually tempted to get the emoticon one, as it would certainly be extremely revealing), they’re available from Brigada Creativa’s Etsy shop. Go on, I dare you!

   

09 December 2010

Facebook Page Giveaway – Atelier LZC Mirror

 

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I have FINALLY managed to get my act together and set up a ‘Page’ for ‘mirrormirror’ on Facebook. This is a page for fans of both the blog and the shop and I’ll be using the space to post up news of new product arrivals, our progress in opening the shop in the US and exclusive offers and giveaways just for Facebook fans.  Come and ‘like’ us here.

 

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First up we will be giving away your choice of an Atelier LZC Screen Printed Mirror worth £36 (approx $57) when we get 150 people ‘liking’ us on Facebook. Here’s the link to the mirrormirror Facebook page. Please hit the ‘Like’ button and also share the link with those friends you think may be interested.  When we hit 150 ‘likes’ we’ll do a random giveaway to all Facebook fans.

 

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If you want to buy the mirrors instead they’re available in the UK shop. We’re offering free delivery on all mirrormirror orders – international or otherwise - to Facebook fans too. Simply choose the ‘Free Delivery’ option when it comes to check out and mention ‘Facebook’ in the the ‘How did you hear about us’ section of the order form. We will double check you against the list of Facebook ‘likers’ though, so do make sure you’ve signed up.  Here’s that link again.

I’ve been terribly neglectful of the shop this year, but I’m now back to it with a vengeance. Expect lots of new products in the New Year.

I’ve also finally been cleared to work in the US which means I will also be opening the shop in the US, probably some time in the summer AND I’ve been accepted to do a course in Advanced Intereactive Marketing at the University of Washington over the first six months of the year, so hoping to get a ton of new ideas. Very excited for what 2011 will bring.

Oh and one of the items on my 101 Things list is to ‘set up a Facebook fan page and get over 1000 fans’ so you’ll be helping me out with this as well. There’s still rather a long way to go on that one!

   

08 December 2010

Lundby Advent Calendar – Days 5 & 6

 

After her 24 hour bath, the demented Lundby child was thrilled to find a cute new bathrobe in the calendar.  She may look like she’ll grow up to be a serial killer, but at least she washes her hands.

 

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The shoddily painted baby, who is actually  the scariest looking member of the family, is seen here playing with his new, very cute and absolutely enormous plush teddy. Let’s just hope it doesn’t roll over and squash him.

 

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06 December 2010

Lundby Advent Calender – Days 3 & 4

 

Mrs Lundby was treated to a new pink dress on Friday.  It’s exactly the same as her old dress, only a different colour and a lot cleaner, so we do still have the ‘falling down and revealing her perky plastic bosoms’ problem. But I don’t suppose Mrs Lundby would want it any other way.

 

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Here she is relaxing by the pool. Unfortunately she can’t kick her shoes off as they’re painted onto her feet.  I did think this dress was somewhat unsuitable for a Swedish or indeed a Seattle winter, but the Minx insists that the whole family lives in Australia, which is why they are still enjoying the pool at Christmas time.

Saturday brought two bottles of bubble bath and a little rubber duck, so here we see one of Mrs Lundby’s many and various slightly demented-looking children (whom the Minx refuses to name) taking a relaxing bath.

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02 December 2010

Lundby Advent Calender – Day 2

 

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Here’s Mrs Lundby relaxing after a hard day’s shopping, though she’s only managed to fit two Christmas presents in her oversized Christmas carrier bag.

Mrs Lundby is very Swedish as her pale blue boob tube slips down at every opportunity, revealing some very perky breasts (plastic always helps I find). She is also probably very cold but we couldn’t find her jacket this morning.

Things I Am Loving – Orla Kiely Reusable Shopper for Tesco

 

So US peeps, you may not want to read any further.

162762_169875396379221_108965912470170_407386_5717365_nSee this beautiful reusable shopping bag by Orla Kiely? Well, it’s apparently a Limited Edition reusable shopper available only through Tesco’s (one of the big British supermarkets) in the UK. The price is £4 with a portion of the proceeds going to some of Orla’s favourite charities.

Has anyone in the UK seen one yet to report back?  I have a horrible feeling that a lot of these will be going straight to Ebay.

Speaking of Orla, we had the last of our stuff in the UK shipped over last month (yes, I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that we’re here in the US for the foreseeable future) and I used the opportunity to ship over some of the gorgeous Orla Kiely bedding they have at Heal’s.

 

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Here’s a crappy picture of it on our bed this morning (yes, it does look better ironed) and here is a picture of the beautiful boxes the duvet cover and pillow cases came packaged in, which are almost nicer than the bedding itself.

01 December 2010

It’s DECEMBER Already? – Lundby Advent Calendar Day 1

 

Could somebody PLEASE tell me where this year has disappeared to?

I realise that after all last year’s fuss about the Lundby Dollshouse, I never, ever showed you around. For all mothers of small girls out there, I can confirm that no toy of mine the Minx’s has ever been played with quite as much as this one.

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Friends, even boys, other parents and babysitters are all fascinated by the resolutely unchildlike nature of it all and the stunning attention to detail. The Minx plays with it even more now than she did a year ago and every time I go into her playroom I find that the dolls have been arranged into yet another vignette.

This year Santa is going to have no trouble at all as the Minx has given him firm instructions to get her the accompanying Gotland Summer House.  It’s available quite cheaply in the UK from Amazon (the Husband brought it back with him after his recent trip) and unfortunately more expensively in the US at Cheeky Monkeys. I don’t know why Lundby doesn’t distribute more widely in the US.

But I digress.

 

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This year, after much hunting online, I managed to track down a Lundby Dollhouse Advent Calendar. They were made in 2007, so difficult to get now, but still on sale at Cheeky Monkeys.  It promises clothes, accessories and Christmas decorations for the Lundby family and the Minx and I were beside ourselves with excitement to open door number one this morning. 

I thought it might be fun for you guys to see what’s inside, and show you round the house at the same time.

Today we she got a small wall clock, which has been (somewhat wonkily) applied to the wall of the main bedroom by the Minx.

 

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20 November 2010

Things I Am Loving – Jonathan Adler Pop Menagerie Christmas Ornaments

 

It would be so easy to go crazy over Christmas decorations, but every year I try and limit myself to one very special ornament for the tree.

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This year I have fallen in love with Jonathan Adler’s Pop Menagerie Christmas ornaments, even though I must have missed the bit in the Christmas story which mentioned the Christmas lion, the Christmas elephant and the Christmas peacock.

 

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The good news about these ornaments being not remotely Christmassy is that they can sit on my mantelpiece for the whole of the year. The even better news is that they come in the most gorgeous coordinating patterned boxes, which are almost more desirable than the creatures themselves for a packaging sucker like me.

Honestly, they saw me coming a mile off.

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Pop Menagerie Ornaments $28 each from www.jonathanadler.com

15 November 2010

Knitted Wreath, Candle Holders and Vases

 

Or the art of wrapping knitting around things.

A regular and lovely commenter round these parts, Lou, from Happy Serendipity, has just taken up knitting (you may have seen us discussing knitting in the comments) and decided to make a winter door wreath she had seen. Bear in mind that this is just her second or third EVER knitting project.

If it had been been me I would have been getting into a pickle trying to knit in the round, increasing and decreasing etc. etc but Lou just knitted this

 

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pinned it like this

 

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and hey presto! created this

 

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so much quicker, easier and cleverer all round, and just goes to show that you don’t need to be an expert at all to create beautiful things.

With the remaining yarn she made this candle holder, which I think I love even more than the wreath – its chunky, simplicity seems very cool and modern somehow. 

 

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Check out Lou’s tutorial here for more details.

It seems also that Ferm Living is getting in on the act, recently introducing a range of chic knitted vase covers.

 

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They’re available from Ferm Living here and also from Velocity Art and Design in the US

 When I get out from under the sock monkey, I’m thinking of designing a few knitted home accessories, maybe for sale in the shop. Very inspired by all these ideas.

08 November 2010

All About Me – Jonathan Adler Mod Model Pillow

 

One of the things I enjoyed most on our recent trip to San Francisco was visiting the Fillmore neighbourhood (thanks Victoria SFGirlByBay for the recommendation!).

 

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It reminded me a lot of my adored Notting Hill (still my spiritual home) – the quirky restaurants and shops, the people milling about (unusual to see in the US), even the colours of the white stucco buildings.

Fabulous interiors stores included Nest, Zinc Details and Jonathan Adler. Yes, I finally got to visit an actual real life Jonathan Adler store, as such as thing has not yet materialised in Seattle.

I was doubly thrilled when I got there as they now have the ‘Mod Model’ cushions back in stock.  I’d added her to my Christmas list two years ago, but she she sold out too quickly, never to return until now. 

I’ve thought about her a lot in the intervening two years, so this time we snatched her up even though she is fiendishly expensive. I’m a great believer in buying stuff you’re slightly obsessed with, whatever the cost.  It works out more economically in the long run than buying a lot of cheap stuff that doesn’t quite float your boat. Or that’s what I tell myself anyway.

Here she is on our new sofa. She is very charismatic – like a portrait whose eyes follow you around the room.

 

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I thought you might also like to see some pics of the Minx really, really, REALLY enjoying shopping at Jonathan Adler. (Though we already know she is a great fan of JA’s hubby Simon Doonan).

 

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03 November 2010

Things I Am Loving – Cheryl Maeder Photography

 

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Cheryl Maeder carefully controls focus, blur and colour in her photos to create impressionistic but fleeting glimpses of an idyllic world – childhood nostalgia in art form.

I have no real idea how she does these. But they make me want to grab my camera and start experimenting right away.

 

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You can buy Cheryl’s photos or check out her ‘Dreamscapes’ portfolio here.

22 October 2010

Go Love Your Shop – Kate Spade Pop-Up Shop

 

The Kate Spade brand is not well known in the UK, but that should all change with their new month long pop-up shop in London’s Covent Garden.

If ‘mirrormirror’ were ever to turn into a physical bricks and mortar shop then this is exactly how I envisaged it in my mind.  In fact forget about shopping, I just want to move in and live there.

Of course the stunning Georgian house with a its gracious staircase and light, bright rooms provides the perfect backdrop to all the pretty – does anyone fancy lending me £10 million?

 

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More pics here and fab vid below.

Have any of you Londoners been yet?

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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

27 August 2010

Things I Am Loving - Jme Foods for Williams-Sonoma

 

Or, more precisely, I’m loving the labelling, since I haven’t tried the foods themselves yet.

Jamie Oliver has just launched his Jme range of artisanal British foods in the US in conjunction with Williams-Sonoma. I’m definitely going to be trying the mango chutney, mint sauce and marmelade as it’s difficult to get good versions of these oh so British delicacies over here. (Though I’m also noting how flippin’ expensive they are in comparison with the same products in the UK.) I’m hoping that at some point his full range of British products finds its way over here.

 

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What I’m most intrigued by, though, by the packaging.  It looks very British - as in so many things American packaging can get very busy and very ‘more is more’ - whereas this is simple, old-fashioned in a modern way, if that makes sense and quite austere.

I love how the simplicity and retro styling makes everything hang together, despite using a  mishmash of different packaging shapes, fonts, label styles and colours.  It looks like a very idealised version of how my mother’s pantry might have looked in the Mad Men era (in her dreams haha!). Interestingly the actual branding is very subtle, the only thing the have in common is the sixties-style  ’J’ on the labelling.  I’m also loving that he’s calling a biscuit a biscuit.

I’m most intrigued by how this reads to an American audience. Does the styling make you want to buy the food? Or does it just seem too plain, too old-fashioned and unappealing?

15 June 2010

All About Me – New Dwell Bedding

 

So the plan was that on Mondays I was going to keep you updated on something that’s been happening chez moi but our routine is all discombobulated at the moment due to the beginning of the interminable school summer vacation, so this week you’ll have to make do with Tuesday instead. Do feel free to change channels at this point.

As you already know I’ve recently become addicted to shopping sale site RueLaLa, a lot because they not only feature great sale boutiques by a host of designer clothing names, but also they have fabulous homewares brands as well.

One of my recent triumphs was a set of Dwell Studio bedlinen (two pillow cases plus a duvet cover) for the incredibly bargainaceous price of $99 (down from approx $300).

 

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I’m loving how well it goes with the Emma Gardner rug too, but I’m basically horrified by these photos. When we first moved into this house I swore that one of the first things I’d address was the horrendous sauna-like cladding of unfinished floorboards in the bed alcove, but here we are three years later and I’m LIVING WITH THEM.  The light fitting’s pretty sucky too.

Which just goes to show that when you move house you should get all those horrible jobs done quickly otherwise you’ll stop noticing the flaws until the time comes to post up photos of your bedlinen on the internet.

Not quite sure what to do with them to be honest.  The boards themselves are rough and unfinished but I’m dreading what removing them would reveal.  I think a coat of light grey/blue gloss paint is required pronto quick.

 

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Our crazy-ass 90s bed isn’t a good fit for this alcove either, but I’ve had it for about fifteen years now and sort of can’t bear to get rid of it.

What deeply embarrassing ugly features have you been living with for so long in your house that you’ve stopped noticing them?  Anyone brave enough to send/post up a photo?

Oh and if anyone still needs an invitation to RueLaLa, just click here and you too can go nearly bankrupt.

14 May 2010

Cakespy HQ

 

For a spy Cakespy really isn’t very discreet. Jessie Oleson was the toast of Seattle society last week as she opened her new gallery and shop featuring some fabulous indie art together with her own original ‘Cuppie’ artwork and a variety of other cute dessert-related products.

 

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We went along to the opening party last Saturday and the place was heaving with partygoers, spilling out onto the pavement outside in the evening sunshine.

There were custom cupcakes from Trophy  featuring edible artwork by Jessie, her husband Danny’s band Exohxo played a fabulous set and we got to see Jessie’s new mural in person.  The Husband and I hung out with Megan Not Martha and Carrie Cupcake in the upper gallery, while the Minx, wearing her best cupcake-themed sandals for the occasion, mingled with the partygoers below and got very indignant when we went down the stairs to join her, telling us in no uncertain terms,  ‘Go away, I’m talking the grownups.’

If you didn’t get to the party, I highly recommend that you check out Jessie’s shop which is a very sweet addition to Capitol Hill. All details and Jessie’s online store are here at www.cakespyshop.com.

 

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05 May 2010

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

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If you’re still looking for Mother’s Day gifts, rush over to Shelterrific where I’ve put together a gift guide. Don’t forget to rush back though.

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.

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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.

17 March 2010

Fabulous Wallpaper

 

If I were the sort of person who had a cosy kitchen breakfast nook, which sadly I am not, I would be shopping for wallpaper at Studio Nommo.  Yep, really cool wallpaper from Turkey, available online {via India Knight’s blog}.

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11 March 2010

Today I Am Mostly…

 

…admiring my new shoes.

 

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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.

10 March 2010

Mad Men Barbies AND Furniture

Be still my beating heart. (And poor exhausted credit card).

It’s been announced that Mattel will be bringing out a range of four ‘Mad Men’ Barbie and Ken dolls to promote the show’s return in July.  Full details here and here. You just know these’ll be all over every blog by lunchtime.

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If you do buy some, why not get them some furniture they’d really enjoy as well? Designer Maryann Roy builds one of a kind interior room sets for her collection of vintage Barbie dolls, which she also restores. Full details from her website here. All roomset images also from her website.

 

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UPDATE:  They’ve just gone up for pre-order HERE.  I’ve just ordered a Joan to be mirrormirror’s new office manager.  Now I need to get her a suitable retro chair so she can sit on my desk.

19 February 2010

A New Me - the Bald Hobbit

 

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Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been a bit worried that I might have to give up on my running before I’d really even got in the groove.  Each time I’ve gone out my knee (with its torn anterior cruciate ligament) has been getting more and more sore and has been needing tons of ice after a run.  Even more worryingly even walking was becoming increasingly painful – which it never normally is.

I started fishing round the Internet and found more and more information on ‘barefooting’, which says that humans have evolved to run barefoot and that many sports injuries are actually caused by the heavy cushioned sports shoes we wear. More on the science here

I read that running barefoot was particularly good for plantar fasciitis, which you might recall I’ve also been suffering from, and for knee injuries. So as a bit of a last resort I bought a pair of Vibram Five Fingers KSOs (Keep Stuff Out), which have been designed to mimic the effects of running barefoot while providing a layer of protection against hazardous terrain.

They were waiting for me when we got back and yesterday I went for my first run in them. And what a revelation they were.  For the first time in years, my run was pretty much pain free and really quite delightful. It’s great to feel more connected with the terrain. Who knew how soft and pleasant grass and mud can be to run in? And I’m sure their lightness made me run a little faster.

They are of course just a teensy bit embarrassing (though the Minx finds them hilarious). Next time you see someone lumbering past like a geriatric buffalo with hobbit feet do stop to say hello.

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.

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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.

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09 February 2010

Aminals

 

Aren’t these just fantastic?

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Fabulous eco-friendly, organic and compostable soft toys made from kids’ drawings.  Above are Sistur, Liun, Small Bayr and Brothr. Meet the rest of the family here.They look satisfyingly large and cuddy too.

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I’d love to do the same with some of the Minx’s efforts {via If It’s Hip It’s Here}

Wanted to get some of these in the shop, but it looks like shipping will be prohibitive.  Waiting for Aminals to get a European distributor.

05 February 2010

Momiji

 

I’m obviously having a thing for colourful kitsch Japanese cuteness at the moment.

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These little dolls even come with little secret messages tucked inside them. What on earth could be better than that?

Definitely one for the Minx’s Christmas stocking next year.

{From Momiji via The Bedlam of Beefy}

Update: The Husband has just emailed to say that he’s going to get the Minx one for Valentines’ Day. Sometimes that man is just too sickeningly cute…

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.

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07 January 2010

Nook Review

So this year I decided to ask for the new Nook e-reader from Barnes & Noble as my Christmas present. I’ve been avidly using both Amazon’s Kindle for iPhone app and Barnes & Noble’s E-reader iPhone app (both available for free) and decided it was about time I got the real thing.

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After reading many reviews we decided to go for the Nook rather than the Kindle 2, though it was a bit of a gamble as the Nook is brand new and was only delivered to stores just before Christmas so it was impossible to do any sort of real-life comparison.

I chose the Nook mainly because a) it wasn’t Amazon, with whom I have a love/hate relationship b) its Android operating platform allows for future software updates which means it can be upgraded without buying a new machine c) it allows you to ‘lend’ books out to someone else (though only for two weeks) d) it reads PDFs, which will be great for knitting patterns and other stuff.  Synching with the Barnes & Nobel iPhone e-reader is apparently coming soon, and will be delivered via a software update.

I don’t have a Kindle 2, so can’t compare it with that, but I can compare it with er, an actual book. And so far I’ve been very pleasantly surprised.

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The Nook screen comes in two parts. The upper ‘e-ink’ screen which is where you do your actual reading and a colour touch-screen below which is where you navigate.  To ‘turn the page’ you push small buttons on the sides. There has been some grumbling online about how slow everything but this was apparently solved by a software upgrade that was waiting for me when I unpacked my Nook. Certainly I have no complaints. The touch screen is pretty good, though not quite as responsive as the iPhone and ‘page-turning’ is MUCH quicker than turning the page on an actual book. 

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The grey e-ink screen is at first somewhat disappointing for someone who is used to spending all day gazing at a bright computer or iPhone screen, but it is designed to be easy on the eyes, easy to read and economical on battery life. I have to admit that when I’m reading it I sometimes forget that I’m not actually reading a real book – I’ve even caught my eyes wandering to the left to see what’s on the ‘other page’.

Another huge advantage is the size and weight.  It’s about the same size and weight as a small old-fashioned cloth-covered hardback (an illusion which is also fostered by the cheap cloth-covered cover we gt for it).  I like to read in bed and it’s really easy and manageable, moreso than the actual book would be – I’m currently reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, which apparently clocks in at 560 pages and 1.9lbs in real life.

In short, I’m a complete bookworm and I’m sold.

16 December 2009

Petrossian Hot Chocolate on a Stick

About this time last year I did a little blog post on Petrossian’s very exciting-looking ‘Hot Chocolate-on-a Stick’ – big chunks of chocolate on sticks specially designed to be stirred into hot milk.

Petrossian somehow found my post and very kindly offered to send me some to try. Sometimes this blogging business is very hard, but someone has to do it.  Today I have a sick little Minx at home, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to experiment with decadent hot chocolate.

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Each chunk of chocolate comes packaged in its own little box. My only criticism of this product is that the packaging could be SO much more exciting, as it is it doesn’t give much of a hint of the pleasures lurking within.

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There, that’s more like it.  There is after all nothing more attractive than a large unadulterated lump of chocolate. The Minx and I decided that our Snork Maiden and Moominmamma mugs (we are great fans of the Moomins) would be most appropriate. If you’d like some of your own they are available here from FinnStyle in the US or from the DesignShop in the UK.

The chocolate blocks are designed to be enough for 8 fl oz of hot milk, so only one is enough for two Moomin mugs as they are quite small.

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The blocks seem to be made mostly of Belgian chocolate, with cocoa powder and heavy cream.  Petrossian recommends eating them within 2-4 weeks. I expect all ours to be used within 2-4 days.

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All you need to do is stir the stick into warm milk or cream. It takes a minute or two for the chocolate to fully melt into the milk, but it’s worth the wait. 

This hot chocolate is seriously divine, not too bitter, not too sweet, just really rich, creamy and chocolate-y, with no clumps of unstirred powder. It’s like the gorgeous stuff you get in European ski resorts. You could add whipped cream or marshmallows, but honestly this doesn’t need it. The Minx pronounced it ‘yummy’ and devoured it in about 5 seconds flat, so it’s not too sophisticated for kids either.

You can get yours here.They cost $18 for 6 individually packaged 1.3 oz chunks, which will make six enormous mugs-full or 12 perfectly reasonable cups-full.

Thanks Petrossian!

05 December 2009

Christmas is Coming…

 

The air is buzzing with excitement (the Minx) and panic (moi).

The enormous Advent calendar stuffed full of tantalising little packages, which was sent by the Minx’s lovely godparents, is hanging up and revealing its secrets.

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Christmas decorations courtesy of the Minx (with help from me on the actual cutting) are starting to go up

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(for real proper grown up snowflakes check out Uncle Beefy, take a look at this incredible gallery of real snowflakes or make some on your computer here  - the Minx and I have been having tons of fun with this little program and there’s no little tiny bits of paper to clear up afterwards).

New papier mache baubles from Crate & Barrel are on display.

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And the snowflake garland I’ve been crocheting for the fireplace is now finished, blocked and ready to be starched and hung.

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We’ve got a fun and festive weekend lined up. Our friend is visiting from Victoria and tomorrow we’re going to decorate the tree, do some Christmas baking, hopefully get to Urban Craft Uprising, go to a party in the evening, and then off, weather permitting, to Leavenworth on Sunday.  

I hope you’re all less panicked than I am.  What special things are you doing for the holidays?

04 December 2009

Contemporary Dolls House – the Lundby Stockholm

 

One of things I like best about Facebook is how it lets you tap into your friends’ collective brains for ideas. Having reached a bit of an impasse on contemporary dolls houses – either too expensive, too not available in the US, too discontinued or too babyish, I made a plea on Facebook as a last resort before buying something a little more traditional.

Eliza Truitt, Seattle photographer extraordinaire, mentioned how much she’d enjoyed playing with her Lundby dolls house as a child, which she thought was still being produced.  A quick search online revealed this, the Lundby Stockholm, an extremely desirable residence with lights (I would have KILLED for a light up dolls house as a child), two decks and a swimming pool in a drawer.

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The absolute coolest thing is all the fabulous furniture which is available. Come and have a look around.

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Lundby is a Swedish company that has been going since 1947.  They make two other houses, each with their own furniture and lights, though you can also swap furniture between the houses. (I see the Gotland summer house in the Minx’s future).  There’s even fabulous vintage furniture available on Ebay. 

Lundby stuff is available in the US at Cheeky Monkeys, but it is ferociously expensive.  A better bet is to do as I did and buy from the UK. Lundby stuff can be found on Amazon.co.uk though they won’t ship the actual house to the US.  I ended up buying a ton of furniture from Creative Toy Den here. There’s even an Lundby advent calendar with dolls clothes, accessories and Christmas decorations for the house which I am itching to buy.

So that’s me sorted for Christmas then.  If she’s very, very lucky, I might even let the Minx play with it occasionally.

01 December 2009

Contemporary Dolls Houses – The Ones We Didn’t Get

 

Shhhh. Don’t tell the Minx but I’ve Santa’s been shopping for a dolls house for her.  Although I know full well that at the moment she would be most happy with some horrific Barbie affair, I wanted to get her something a more funky and cool, that she would appreciate more as she grew older.  And let’s face it, this present is just as much for me as it is for her.

So the last few days I’ve been surfing round the rather exciting world of modern dolls houses.

Here are the ones I didn’t end up getting.

Bozart Kaleidoscope

Designed Laurie Simmons for PMW Architects. I have wanted one of these ever since I first saw them but for some unfathomable reason they’ve been discontinued and are now only available on Ebay if you’re lucky.  I may still have to buy one for myself one day.

 

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Minimii Arne Jacobsen House

Minimii was founded by a Danish design duo who were looking for a contemporary dolls house and decided to build one based on Arne Jacobsen’s own villa in Charlottenlund.

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The company will also be producing mini Arne Jacobsen furniture. Unfortunately the products are not yet available (due early 2010 and it looks from their website like they may be horrifically expensive).

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The Dolls House Emporium – Ocean Drive

For a brief moment we considered braving the huge shipping costs and buying this from the UK. Fortunately it is not available to ship the US.

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Plan Toys Green Dollhouse 

Somewhat less esoteric is this dolls house which features its own wind turbine, solar panel and recycling bins. Not that the Minx would have any clue what to do with these features.  We did consider this one, but in the end decided that, while it would be perfect for her now, it might seem a bit babyish in a couple of years.

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We got something else in the end. I am beyond excited about it.  Seriously and not sarcastically. More tomorrow.

30 November 2009

Better Late Than Never - Hella Jongerius Jonsberg Vase

 

These Jonsberg vases by Dutch design legend Hella Jongerius for Ikea PS have been all over the design blogs for years, and though I’ve always loved them they never seemed to have them in stock when I’ve been to Ikea (and I really couldn’t be bothered to make a special trip).

 

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This past weekend we somehow found ourselves in Ikea and there was the pink one in stock, so I snaffled it up, all $39.99 of it. They also had the black one, but somehow I didn’t like it as much in person as I thought I would.  I still would love to get the white one and also the terracotta, though I’m not sure they’re producing that one any more.

But the pink one makes a cheerful addition to the fireplace.

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We are still in our pumpkin phase as you can see, though the Minx and I are making extensive preparations for the grand Christmas decorating day next Saturday.

The other two bits of incredibly thrillng house news (honestly how can you guys cope with the excitement?) are that  (i) we appear to have chosen a colour for the living room walls.  No more egg yolk yellow! (We will be discussing this more extensively later).  And (ii) this afternoon we have an appointment with the architects to talk about remodelling the basement and doing something about our two kitchen dilemma.  Will let you know what they have to say.

26 November 2009

Exercise, Schmexercise

I’m still plugging away at my new fitness regime and so far have managed to fit in at least 30 minutes of exercise every day (except for three or four days around that very special time of the month).

I’m not convinced it’s having much of an impact on weight loss as yet, but I am certainly feeling FABULOUS, fitter than I’ve been since before the Minx was born.

In preparation for next year’s triathlon, I’m focusing this month on upping my general fitness and will probably do this next month as well, before moving on to more focused running, cycling and swimming training in January.

I don’t have gym membership – there’s just no way I’d be bothered to make my way to a gym every day – but have set up a small home gym in our partially finished basement.  It’s not pretty, but it’s OK for 30 minutes a day.

Here’s a summary of the equipment I’ve been finding helpful so far.

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EA Sports Active for the Wii Fit  - fitness ‘games’ for the Wii Fit have come on in leaps and bounds (ha ha!) since the original Wii Fit game. This game doesn’t use the Wii Balance Board much but comes with an integral thigh holster for the Nunchuk, so it can measure running, jumping, squatting etc. It features a 30 Day Challenge – 20 workouts in 30 days -  which I’ve been using as the basis for my month of workouts.  Each workout includes lower body work – mostly lunges and squats, upper body work using the fit band that comes with the game, a few minutes of some fun activities such as boxing, dancing, inline skating, tennis, volleyball, basketball etc and a few minutes of running.  Each separate exercise is only a few minutes long and each session features 18-20 exercises, so you get to do a lot of different stuff in around 35 minutes. It’s not a terribly challenging cardio workout, and doesn’t include any core work, but it does give you a good all-body workout in 30 minutes.

Pros I love how it mixes up different exercises every day, so you end up doing a different workout every day. But each day is based on the same core exercises, so you don’t spend all your time looking at the demonstration videos. You workout alongside a trainer who demonstrates the moves with you, it shows you working out on the screen (although my avatar lady is a little frightening) and it precisely reads the positions of the Wii remote and Nunchuk. so you can’t cheat on form or timing.  The settings are nice and I really like music (but then I am cheesy dance music sort of person).

Cons All the squats, lunges and upper body work get a bit samey after a while, though not enough to make me give it up. I think the squats and lunges in particular have done wonders for making me feel fitter.  There are some higher impact exercises (such as jump squats) which are not good for me as I have a bad knee.  You can avoid them in the workout if you want, but it would be nice to be able to choose a ‘low-impact’ version.  I usually end up doing those exercises on my little rebounding trampoline (also the running sections).

I also sometimes end up getting tangled in the wire between the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk.  Would definitely suggest getting a wireless Nunchuk for this game. Finally it’s sometimes difficult to get the machine to register that you’ve completed a move – the remote and Nunchuck have to be precisely aligned – this is frustrating at first and though I’ve learned how to do most movements so that they register, I can’t for the life of me get it to read my ‘Fast Kickbacks’ (but looking round the web, I’m not the only one).

Here’s what GeekSugar has to say about it.

 

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My Fitness Coach for the Wii

This is more like an interactive DVD than a true game. You don’t use the balance board at all or the Wii remote very much and there’s no way it can check your form or timing.  What you get is a very pleasant trainer who puts together a specific workout for you every time based on the equipment you have to hand (you can tell it if you have a step, hand weights, fit ball etc) and your previous feedback. You can also choose which areas to focus on and how long you want to work out for. I usually tell it to focus on cardio and core (to make up for the limitations of the EA SportsActive) and end up with a pretty strenuous step aerobic workout with lots of ab work – very similar to going to a step aerobics class.  (If you don’t have a step it will still devise a thorough aerobics programme for you).

Pros

It’s a good workout. I’ve been doing it once or twice a week and it’s like being able to pop into a class at the gym.  It definitely gets me sweating and my heart pumping.  Amazing really for a machine.  There are lots of different exercises built in so no two workouts are the same, though there are no fun little games.

Cons

I used to be a bit of a gym bunny so I can follow all the aerobics and step terminology, but I think you’d find this really difficult if you haven’t done step or normal aerobics before.  The machine doesn’t measure whether you’re doing the moves correctly though, so you can just bounce about if stuff gets too tricky.  It suffers from the same high impact issues as the EA Sports Active, but I get round those by doing some stuff on my rebounder or else just making the exercises low-impact. As I said the machine doesn’t check. Finally you need SPACE. Space to do all the grapevines etc, but also space to keep your step etc. close to hand.  There are no pauses in the cardio section, so you can’t keep pulling out your equipment.

Here’s what IGN has to say.

 

Cardio Coach

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My only piece of true gym equipment is my Concept 2 indoor rower, which I have used in a desultory fashion on and off over the last couple of years, mostly to row for 20mins while watching episodes of Sex and the City (which is about as much as my brain can get round while rowing). But basically I find cardio workouts both tedious and hard work.

Over the last week or so though I have been incorporating a Cardio Coach mp3 into my workout and my attitude is transformed. These are basically a series of mp3s for your Ipod where coach Sean O’Malley takes you through an interval workout set to music.  You can use them on any piece of cardio equipment or even when running outside. You exercise using a heartrate monitor to take yourself to four different levels of perceived exertion, so it doesn’t matter how fit or unfit you are, you can tailor your workout precisely to your needs. (For the record I do the warm-up at between 120–125 bpm, the level 2 ‘cruise control’ portion at around 140 bpm, the sprint intervals at around 155 bpm and then nearly kill myself going over 160 bpm in the short Level 4 section).

I currently have volume 1, but am going to download the rest. They are currently on special offer on the website.

Pros

It hurts.  This is a hardcore workout, but I feel a huge sense of achievement and really energetic afterwards.  The time also seems mysteriously to fly by – O’Malley talks just enough to keep you motivated and the music fits perfectly. I really can’t recommend these highly enough.

Cons

It hurts.

03 November 2009

Back with a BANG – on the cover of Ideal Home!

I bet you’re all chewing your nails with anxiety wondering what has happened to mirrormirror recently given that I’ve hardly mentioned it at all over the last few months. (Actually the way sales have been going I reckon you’ve even forgotten it exists).  I’ve hinted at stuff going on behind the scenes but haven’t been able to tell you the full story until now, when I can REVEAL. EVERYTHING. Aren’t you excited?

As you may know I have been running mirrormirror from Seattle with the help of someone back in the UK, who sends out all the orders, deals with customer and journalist queries and generally keeps the show on the road.

At the beginning of the summer my colleague Diane decided that she could no longer fit mirrormirror into a hectic freelancing schedule which increasingly involved lots of week-long business trips to the US (and who can blame her?) so I was casting around to find someone else.

To be perfectly honest I thought the chances of finding a replacement were slim to non-existent.  Most of my friends back in the UK either don’t have the space or have too many work or other commitments to fit mirrormirror in and I was in no position to interview someone I’d never met before for the role.

A vague and sad plan crystallised, involving me running the shop down over the summer, hoping Diane could manage one last Christmas and then transferring everything to the US in the hopes that we’d get our green cards through quick and I could open in the US early in 2010.  And after struggling so hard to keep the shop going through the Minx’s babyhood and our move to Seattle I bet you can imagine how happy this plan made me feel.

Now, I am not a believer in anything very much, but sometimes the world really does move in mysterious ways.  In August this year I hooked up, through the magic of Facebook, with an old college friend and his wife who we’d lost touch with a bit following our move to Seattle.  And it just transpired that said friends had moved to a big house very close to Cambridge where the mirrormirror stock was living, and my friend’s wife was casting around for something to do now that the youngest of her FOUR kids (yes, she is also crazy) is going to pre-school, and said friend’s wife is one of the nicest, most efficient and well-organised people you could ever meet. And bingo! mirrormirror is BACK.

Which is fortunate as today we just got our best bit of press coverage ever.

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The Cut Steel Garland by Atelier LZC is featured prominently on the front cover of December’s Ideal Home magazine (see it on the back of the chair in front)

  and also inside

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while the Tree of Life is also featured in the same article

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29 October 2009

Vancouver and Visas and Wearstler and Wanders

Can you believe it’s been three years since we first got our visas for the US?

When we first came out to Seattle we assumed that definitely be back in the UK before our visas ran out. But here we are three years later, happily settled and with no return to Europe in prospect, needing new visas.  You have to leave the country to get them renewed so we’ve driven 150 miles up the freeway to spend a few days in Vancouver. 

Here are a few pics from a gorgeous autumnal walk we went on yesterday in Stanley Park.

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And here are a couple of links which might be of interest until I’m back properly in front of a computer (on Friday).

First up Alexandra from A Bit Late is not impressed with Kelly Wearstler’s beach house. While I don’t think I hate it as much as her previous effort (she appears to have given up raiding the British Museum) I’m not sure it has a huge amount to commend it.  I haven’t yet seen the Metropolitan Home feature though.

Also our friend Marcel Wanders has apparently designed a range of Christmas decorations for Target here in the US.  I had high hopes for these as he’s done good stuff before for Habitat in the UK but really, with the exception of the big red, white and silver column candles which I may have to acquire, he was phoning this in without even bothering to switch on the phone. BO-RING.

01 October 2009

Get Wood

For the longest time I avoided wooden accessories in the home – they always seemed a bit too rustic and  ‘knit your own yogurt’ and you know that I’m really not that sort of a girl.

But recently wood seems to have become a little more sleek, sophisticated and playful, while still retaining that delightful tactile smoothness and warmth.

Check out this gorgeous coffee table from Habitat in the UK

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These cute owls (here we go again) from UK designer Matt PughPIC5a

This beautiful walnut cheese board/server from SavedFromAFire  (made from offcuts of wood saved from furniture making, which would otherwise be thrown away or burnt).

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These stacking rings from Little Sapling Toys who make the most fantastic wooden kids accessories

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These wooden iPhone cases from Vers (though I’m not sure how practical pulling your phone in and out would be).

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and finally, the wooden accessory that revived wood for me, my Jean Pelle candleholder

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18 September 2009

Plates with Holes – Andrew Tanner

Not terribly practical if you’re chasing your peas round your plate, but I do like the way these wall plates with holes subvert the whole plate as practical item concept.  And look nice too.

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All details of British designer Andrew Tanner’s Silhouette plates are here.

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!

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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.

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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!

10 September 2009

Jubilee

Isn’t this rather gorge? It doesn’t quite fit into our house decor, and it costs an absolute fortune, but je l’adore, oh yes I do.

To me it sort of sums up Britain in a way - different and edgy, fun and funky, a mish-mash of styles, slightly uncomfortable-looking and with a heart of pure unadulterated old-fashioned chintz.

 

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Available at the Rug Company, { via Countryside Wedding}

06 August 2009

So(fa) Exciting!

This is apparently what our new sofa looked like before it left the manufacturer. So fabulous to see it with the cone legs at last. It looks even better than I thought it would. Ameer and his team have done an incredible job.

It should be delivered next week, so then we get to see it in situ and sit in it. Can’t wait!

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Custom 56 Sofa - Oasis White - Couch