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27 posts from January 2009

29 January 2009

Two Awesome Videos

Miniature Knitting


{via Abigail Percy}

Fun in Bed


Video for Her Morning Elegance by Oren Lavie {via Uncle Beefy}


Feeling a teensy bit bored? Then why not pull out the photocopier paper and make yourself a hat.  Which is exactly what Japanese hairstylist Katsaya Kamo did for Chanel's Spring 2009 collection. I think this should be a Project Runway challenge. (Speaking of which, WHEN is it coming back?)

{More here} 




Ginkgo Sock

I'm knitting some more socks. This time a rather fiendish Ginkgo pattern again from Violet Green. The pattern isn't beyond me per se, it just requires ferocious concentration, and since I usually only knit in front of the TV, I can't tell you how many times I've had to undo this. 


Still it's coming along slowly, and I thought it looked good with our new 'button' box from Habitat.

My camera is very sick (broken LED screen, focusing issues, erratic pop up flash) and has been sent to the camera hospital to get a quote for repair (which I have a horrible feeling is going to be astronomical).  In the meantime I'm taking photos on my little point and click, which is not the same at all, particularly as I can't remember how to work it.  Oh I miss my camera so...

28 January 2009

Victorian Colour

I'm not so sure about some of the textile choices in this English Victorian house - a bit too old fashioned for my taste - but I love the owner's use of colour and the use of contemporary furniture contrasted with the house's old bones. A couple of great Ikea hacks too.




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The stair runner is made of Barnslig Rand rugs sewn together.

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The round bed was apparently sold in Ikea but I can't find it on the current website.  There's one for sale here.  The owner of the house made the round headboard for her teenage daughter's room.  I would have KILLED for this bed when I was a teenager (except for the surprisingly nasty Lulu Guinness bed linen).

{All house photos from Living etc.)

Domino to Close?


Look here (though I can't read the full article Decorno links to as I'm not a subscriber to WWD).

I can't say I'm surprised.  It's been really dreadful recently and the articles have only been good for 'Go Fug Your Room' posts. I'll miss the website though.

I do wish the editors of shelter magazines stateside (which are all closing rapidly) would take a look at their British counterparts, such as Living etc, Elle Deco and even Ideal Home. All fabulous, and none, as far as I know, in danger of closing.

Living etc. there's a huge gap in the US market now.  Come and launch here!


UPDATE: Here's the full text of the WWD article, again courtesy of Decorno.

Domino magazine will cease publication, it was announced today by Charles H. Townsend, President and CEO of Condé Nast. The final issue will be published in March 2009.

“This decision to cease publication of the magazine and its website is driven entirely by the economy,” Mr. Townsend said. “Although readership and advertising response was encouraging in the early years, we have concluded that this economic market will not support our business expectations.”

Domino was launched in April 2005. The magazine’s current ratebase is 800,000.
Condé Nast, a unit of Advance Publications, includes twenty-three consumer magazines, Condé Nast Digital, the Fairchild Fashion Group, Parade, the Condé Nast Media Group, and the Shared Services Centers.

27 January 2009

Recession-Busting Italian Lentil & Bacon Soup


Italians traditionally eat lentils at New Year as they're supposed to bring wealth and good fortune. So make this incredibly delicious, nutritious, quick, easy and CHEAP soup and I guarantee you'll have no money worries whatsoever this year. (We've been eating LOADS.)

This recipe is one of my own devising, so it's all a bit approximate.


1 onion

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cloves garlic

2-3 tablespoons tiny cubes of bacon (experiment with this, pancetta would be what the Italians would use, we've had great success recently with maple smoked bacon.  The little packets of cubed pancetta you can get in the UK would be ideal.)

1 tub of good tomato pasta sauce from the chiller cabinet (about 16 fl oz/500 ml).  In Seattle my favourite is Cucina Fresca's Marinara Sauce.

1 carton chicken broth (32 fl oz/ 1litre) or equivalent of chicken stock made with a cube for those of you in the UK who don't have access to such a thing

1 cup green lentils (don't use any other type of lentil. Puy lentils are the best.)

Finely dice the onion and sweat it down in the olive oil until soft and slightly golden.  Towards the end of the cooking time crush the garlic and add it to the pan.  Continue cookng for another few minutes, being careful not to let the garlic and onion brown, and then add the bacon. Continue cooking until the bacon starts to brown. Then add the tomato sauce, the chicken broth/stock and the lentils. 

Simmer until the lentils are cooked, about 20-30 minutes.  I like mine slightly al dente.  Season with salt and pepper, then serve.  If you haven't used maple smoked bacon serve with a swirl of olive oil and lots of grated Parmesan (if you do use the maple smoked bacon I think the strong flavour of the bacon is too much for the cheese but you may beg to differ).

I keep Parmesan cheese rinds in a plastic bag in the freezer and it's good to throw one of these in with the stock and sauce for extra richness and depth of flavour.  A couple of handfuls of spinach leaves thrown in at the end are also a good addition.

26 January 2009

Tees Made

il_fullxfull_43116530 il_fullxfull_49115488

il_430xN_44586933If your daughter is as obsessed with bright colour as mine is then I suggest taking a look at Little Overcoat on Etsy.

Made by a woman living on an island in Puget Sound, just a short boat trip from Seattle, these tees and dresses are patched together from vintage and recycled materials, with some new European prints added to the mix.

There are also some boys' designs and some women's tees and skirts which I am VERY tempted by.




Here's How To Do It


Susan Sarandon is 62 years old.  I think I need to do some exercise.

24 January 2009

Barack Obama's Bed?

It has been reported on the extremely fabulous Mrs O blog that Michael Smith, the Obamas' decorator, ordered the bed below (though not the rest of the furniture) to be sent to the White House.  The bed is an 1820s tiger's eye maple king size four poster from Leonards of New England.


Photo by Leonard's of New England.

If so, it fits in very well with Michael Smith's, dare I say it, somewhat boring style. Here are some examples of beds he's done from the Domino website.

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I know the White House is a historic house and he can't go too funky and modern but I do hope the Obamas are getting something that doesn't look like it belongs in a cluttered Cotswolds B&B.








While we're on the subject of White House bedrooms the below made me laugh.

This is Jackie Kennedy's fabulous bedroom - elegant, sophisticated, timeless and quietly sexy.


And here is the bedroom she created for her husband Jack Kennedy - frilly, awkward (what's with the bedside table in front of the door?), uncomfortable looking, it's hardly a shag palace is it?  He must have been SO embarrassed bringing Marilyn Monroe back here for a session.


Photography, Fashion or Art?

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Patrizio di Renzo is an International fashion photographer from Switzerland. {via Kanye's very cool blog}

22 January 2009

Adventures in Felt


Look, look, look!  I'm so proud of my little self.

Remember I knitted this last year?


Well the original green bowl was swiped by the Minx as a hat (though I may swipe it back again as she never wears it) so I knitted up a white one instead. And yesterday I finally plucked up the courage to have a go at felting it by hand.

Following instructions in the Alterknits - Felt book I put about three inches of very hot water in the sink, pulled on my washgloves, added a teensy bit of Woolite and then rubbed and scrunched the bowl together with a very old clean facecloth for friction.  And it took me about an hour.  Never, NEVER, again. I literally have a blister on one of my fingers.

But it does look good.  I've got a couple more bowls lined up all ready to go and have decided to treat myself to one of these little babies, which is essentially a motorised washing bucket, which comes highly recommended by experienced felters.  They're currently doing a great deal on Amazon and there are also some good deals on Ebay.

I'll let you know how I get on with the next couple of bowls.

21 January 2009

Mini Ornaments

Miniature Sleepy Raindrop

Miniature Alphonse

Aren't these cute?  Little artworks on porcelain by Ashley Goldberg.  Get them at her Etsy shop.

{via Simpatico - the new blog from the lovely folks at Velocity Art and Design}

Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day - Set Decor

Last Saturday evening, I lit the scented candles, cracked open a bottle of Baileys, got out my knitting and settled down to watch Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day.  We like to live fast and die young round these parts.

The film itself is slighter than slight, though perfect Saturday night fodder, and utterly redeemed by Frances McDormand's perfectly judged comic performance, the incredible Art Deco costumes and interiors and lots of lovely shots of Art Deco London.

It's not really my taste, but there's something about the sophisticated colour palette; the handpainted wallpaper; the sheen and glamour; the fur and the padding; the satin and chandeliers which makes you want to spend all day lying in bed eating oysters, drinking champagne and receiving gentlemen callers.





Here's the trailer so you can see the sets in action.


20 January 2009


President Barack Obama kisses first lady Michelle Obama after ...

18 January 2009

They're Back!


Pssssst! All Seattle readers. The Obama cupcakes are back at Trophy Cupcakes for your inauguration celebrations.

17 January 2009

Life is for Sharing

When I first started working in the City I used to commute into Liverpool Street Station every day.  I miss London SO much. Best TV advert EVAH.

15 January 2009

Homes and Gardens - Germany

I've just received a copy of some great coverage we got just before Christmas in Homes & Gardens - Germany of all places, including a great full page picture of the Boudoir Embroidered Cushion by Dishya. (From what I remember of A-level German the text is pretty complimentary.)





Moss Mat

So I can't work out whether this living moss bathmat is really, really cool or would really, really freak me out when getting out of a nice, hot shower with nice, clean feet.

Please advise. {Designed by Nguyen La Chanh. ViaYankodesign}

14 January 2009

Muji at MOMA

In more good news for US peeps, I've recently discovered that New York's MOMA store (which is a great online shop anyway) sells a range of Muji merchandise online, so all is getting righter in my world. (Hope they get some of the fab Christmas merchandise next year).

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Orla Kiely for Target

Well, I'm very behind on this one, but for the one reader who might not have seen this on another blog, iconic Irish designer Orla Kiely is coming to Target in the US, with a range of retro-styled kitchen and homewares.


I can't help thinking that the US has got a bit of a bum rap on this one. I do like one or two of the pieces - the square melamine platters and the vintage-Pyrex style bowls - but I'm not entirely keen on the colours or the very retro-looking cross hatching.

I much preferred the collection she did for Heal's - the colours seemed fresher and more contemporary and I love her stem and leaf pattern way above all the others.  And I'm still waiting for her to bring her stores to the US. What do you guys think?



All pictures from AT:NY

13 January 2009

mirrormirror SALE now online

I've finally got beyond flu and birthdays (note to parents-to-be, try to organise it so your little one is not born directly after Christmas) and got the 'mirrormirror' sale up and running.

Lots of great bargains to be had - remember we only have one or two left of most sale items, so once they're gone, they're gone. 

We're offering FREE shipping on orders over £50 in the UK and would also like to offer FREE international shipping anywhere in the world on orders over £50 to blog readers.  Just write 'mirrormirror blog' in the 'where did you hear about us' box in the shopping basket. choose 'International Shipping £0.00' and we'll take it from there.


Cake plate £25 (was £29)


Opera lady cushion £75 (was £95)


Karin Eriksson Rose Garland Vase £35 (from £42)


Swarovski Crystal Hoop Earrings £65 (from £85)


Hand-printed Silk Cushion by Jyoti Sigouin £85 (down from £105)


Floral Weekender Toilet Bag £32 (down from £36)

12 January 2009

Colour Therapy

I just wanted to point you guys in the direction of this fabulous giveaway on Shelteriffic. This nifty Color Helper machine lets you scan colours in from walls, fabrics or magazines and then either tells you the closest match from its inbuilt palette of manufacturers' paint colours or suggests complementary colours for you to use.

All you have to do is prove to Shelterrific how much you need one by sending them a photo of a room that needs help and the worst will win the prize.

Fortunately for you guys, I'm not going to be sending in this photo of our famously horrendous kitchen - yep, after living here nearly two years we still haven't painted the house and the kitchen still looks like this, though considerably more cluttered. Luckily for me, Mary T from Shelterrific is going to lend me her one of these machines, so I'll do an indepth review when I can.  And yes, doing up the house is VERY high on the list of resolutions this year.


Golden Globes

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I know the Golden Globes are a famously drunken affair, but that's still no excuse for Drew Barrymore and Renee Zellwegger to turn up looking like a couple of crazy alcoholic bagladies.

You know times are tough when even Hollywood legends can't afford hairbrushes.

11 January 2009

Felted Knitting Basket


Pic and make from the wonderful Kathryn Ivy

Isn't this just awesome?  In the spirit of a New Year's organising frenzy I'm on the lookout for a knitting basket - my yarn is currently artfully arranged in a large plastic carrier bag tucked by the side of the sofa and looks a right mess.

I really, really love the above, made by Kathryn Ivy from an old felted Aran sweater, using Martha Stewart's recipe. Am I honestly going to be able to make this though, given that I still haven't plucked up the courage to felt my little bowls?

10 January 2009

Ines de la Fressange Does Pink


It's a little bit cluttered for my taste and I don't like the rug, but the most glamorous woman in the world and Karl Lagerfeld's erstwhile muse Ines de la Fressange gives us all (and Betsey Johnson) a lesson in how to do pink walls - choose a great shade of pink, keep the rest neutral and add lots of dark brown accents.

How does one become a 'muse'?  It sounds like nice relaxing job.  I wonder what job she's got in her passport?

Picasa for Mac

Christmas 20081


The Husband only offers tech support for PCs so there's no way I could ever get a Mac, however much I might crave the ethereal beauty of their designs.

And I have been able to keep my jealousy under control because, to date, only PC users have been able to use Picasa - Google's utterly, fantastically, amazing and FREE photo editing software, which I use for pretty much all my photo post-production and to make clever collages like the one above.

Now though, not only do all you Mac users get to taunt me with the slimness and whiteness of your laptops, but you can also sign up for the Picasa for Mac beta.  I hate you all.

05 January 2009

Pretty Buildings

We are back. UK was fab.  I have flu. Off to bed.  Christmas 2008

Here are a few pics of lovely OLD buildings....and one or two new ones.