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117 posts categorized "Bloggery"

22 September 2012

Saturday Link Love


I’m trying to be a bit more active on social media nowadays, posting up interesting things I see around and about to the mirrormirror Facebook page and to my Twitter stream.

I thought I’d also start doing a regular Saturday link round up for those of you who inexplicably don’t follow my aimless meanderings on social media, just in case you find yourselves with time on your hands at the weekend


Liberty Christmas Crackers


Apologies for talking about Christmas in September, but these Liberty print Christmas crackers are too beautiful not to share {via the beautiful new blog from erstwhile British rock chick and now designer Pearl Lowe}.




I went to a class at the Pantry at Delancey a week or two back and was lucky enough to try their homemade roasted pepper hot sauce.  Which was amazing. You definitely need to make this.



Marmite has brought out a limited edition gold version with edible golden flecks. I love it. (British in joke). Poor bereft overseas Marmite fans such as myself can order it from the official expat page on the Marmite website, which ships worldwide.




Finally someone has worked out that it would make sense to have differently coloured dollar bills. And making them different lengths to ensure better money management is a fabulously ingenious idea.

I just wish these were real,  I get so confused. {From designboom via the lovely Tula}.


14 June 2012



Or a small study in the effectiveness of social media.

This past weekend I had the most blissful time at ‘Patisserie Camp’.

I was hoping to blog my pastries this week, but with the Minx now home from school for the NEXT. THIRTEEN. WEEKS (heaven help me), and with us heading off for a mummy and daughter long weekend in Victoria tomorrow, the processing of the over 800 photos I took is taking some time.

She’s off to camp next Monday though, so normal blog service will be resumed then.

In the meantime I leave you with a small but intriguing study in the power of social media and Pinterest in particular. Remember the cake I made a week or two back?


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Well ever since I posted it I’ve been getting a small but gratifying bump in traffic to mirrormirror thanks to a few blog readers posting it on Pinterest (thank you whoever you are). Until this weekend, when it absolutely went through the roof.

I checked back on Pinterest (did you know that if you look at something which has been pinned from your site you can see ‘Also From’ to the left?) and this is what I saw.  Suddenly the cake had been pinned and repinned literally hundreds of times.  It had gone viral.


Pinterest cakes


I’ve been looking back through all the pins and can’t identify the ‘tipping point’ when it all went crazy. Suffice it to say that I yesterday I had 6x the blog traffic I normally get and the craziness shows no signs of abating.  To put it into perspective that’s about 3x the traffic I got when mentioned my Kelly Wearstler Go Fug Your Room back in 2008and that abated after about a day.

I mention this not to show off - I’ve actually been feeling like a bit of a fraud since I found the original idea on Pinterest, in a picture that had been repinned maybe two or three times – but because now I finally understand why big brands and big bloggers court Pinterest so assiduously.

I’m fascinated to see where my little cake ends up, what happens to blog traffic over time and whether any of the hordes of people stopping by turn into regular readers/commenters.

And you can probably expect a lot more images of photogenic cakes in the weeks and months ahead.

Update: Yay! I don’t feel such a fraud any more.  The source of the original idea has been tracked down to I Am Baker. The original pin just said ‘uploaded by user’ so I couldn’t get to the source originally.  So happy to be able to credit the right person.


18 April 2012

Vancouver in Five


Please welcome Sandra from Raincoast Cottage to the blog. She’s a Vancouverite who recently moved back there from Toronto, so who better to tell us of some of the great new places she’s found in her old home town. I’m also shamed that she has made more progress doing up her cottage since she moved in six months ago, than we’ve made in this house in over five years. Check out her cottage on her blog. It’s lovely.

Five favourite spots that is! Welcome to my city - my old home town. You see, I lived out east for ten years and only returned to Vancouver late last summer. So there's been more than a bit of exploring happening around here as I discover my new favourite places to shop and eat. And I am happy to share five of them with you.

When I left Vancouver, the neighbourhood just east of Gastown was a bit sketchy. More than a bit sketchy. So sketchy that you could never begin to imagine any gentrification. But it has. It still has its edginess - but that gives it its charm. And this is where we will start on our tour of my five favourite places.


Nelson the Seagull



You are in the Pacific Northwest so the very first stop is going to be for a coffee. How could it not be? And not just any coffee - one from Nelson the Seagull. They know how to pull shots. And although they do have a yummy menu (let's come back for lunch), once we have our coffees, we're going to step out and walk down to Cartem's Donuterie.


Cartem's Donuterie

To go with your coffee, do I have a treat for you. And it's less than a block away. It's a tiny, tiny place making THE best handmade donuts from only locally sourced, organic ingredients. I know, you think that you have had good donuts, that you know all about them. How can they get any better? Well, they can. And they are.


What about some of these flavours - Earl Grey, maple topped with bacon (and some Bourbon too!), carrot cake, even vegan options. And they even deliver but only downtown - it's by bike so they stay on this side of the bridges.

Now that we are fed and watered, how about a visit to The Old Faithful Shop?


The Old Faithful Shop



I know that "well curated" is such an overused phrase now but I can't think of a better way to describe the goods that the Old Faithful Shop carry. Savannah, one of the owners, is originally from the Canadian prairies - her friendly personality is a dead giveaway. She and her partner Walter stock all sorts of goods from all over the world that are well made and unique. You can shop online too!

Urban Source



Feeling inspired to make something? Want something a little different than your usual art supply store? Let's scoot over to Urban Source. For over 15 years, Urban Source has been the place to go for alternative art materials. It's not a big place but it is full from top to bottom with bins of materials collected from over 100 local businesses. Most of it you buy by the paper bag. Grab the size you want and start filling it up. And then when you get home, start making some art.


Metropolitan Home




A trip to Vancouver would not be complete without some vintage furniture shopping. For our last stop we'll visit Metropolitan Home for a dose of mid-century modern furniture. Located in the Armoury District near 2nd and Fir, there's lots to catch your eye - both in furniture and decor. I have that table lamp and there is a floor version too.

Thanks for joining me to visit five of my favourite places in Vancouver! And visit me at where I write about living a creative life.

Guest Bloggers!


So the quality of blogging round these parts is going to soar over the next few days. (Thank goodness, I hear you cry!)

For the first time in its excruciatingly long and illustrious history, mirrormirror will be featuring guest bloggers.


While I am chilling at the beautiful L’Auberge del Mar (or more likely visiting Legoland), you will be travelling the world in the company of four fabulous guest bloggers and erstwhile members of the mirrormirror commentariat.



Sandra, the stylish mastermind behind Raincoast Cottage, will be taking you on a tour of Vancouver; interior designer Tina from Life in Sketch will show you her hidden New York; and the lovely Liz from Violet Posy will be whisking you to Ely, the ancient English market town that she calls home. In addition pro architectural photographer Michele from Sequined Asphault will be giving you her top tips for creating great architectural photos.

Please leave lots of encouraging comments on their posts and click hard and often on the links to their blogs, to make it worth their while and ensure that they come back to blog here again.

I’d say ‘don’t miss me too much’ but I have a feeling you’re not going to miss me at all. Please leave any good tips for things to do in Del Mar, Dana Point or San Diego in the comments and follow my progress on Twitter and Instagram. I’m @mirrormirrorxx.

See you on Monday!


28 March 2012

Blogging MY Way: Mirror Mirror On The Wall


So, as you will hopefully have realised, I’ve decided to take my blogging a bit more seriously in the last month or so.

Would you believe I’ve been pissing around in an unfocused and inconsistent way on this blog for about seven years now?  At the beginning of this year I decided it was time I either put up or shut up, which was one of the reasons I attended Holly’s class and have been thinking deeply about what I’m doing here.




Can I take this blog to the next level, make it more professional and maybe start earning a bit of money off it?  I’ve taken a couple of online classes on monetizing blogs and it seems I’m currently at the bottom end of what an advertiser would be looking for in terms of monthly page views and unique visitors, so my first priorities are to bump up blog traffic, redesign the blog so that it better accommodate some curated advertising and put together a press pack.

I’ve also been giving some thought to the ‘elevator pitch’ for my blog ie. a short, succinct way of encapsulating what I’m trying to do here.  I found the section of Holly’s class where we talked about this to be enormously thought-provoking, as the one thing I’ve struggled with over the past few years is knowing and communicating exactly what this blog is about.

This is what I’ve come up with so far:


Does that float your boat?  Does it sound like the sort of blog you would visit often and comment on?  I’m a chatty, opinionated extrovert, so the things I love most about blogging are chatting, sharing opinions, hearing what others have to say, learning new things,and making new friends,

And all that can only happen if there’s an engaged commentariat.  Which is where you guys come in.  I love it when you stop by and take the time to comment and chat and I’d like to make this a place you want to visit often and settle in for a cosy chat with a glass of wine and your gossip knickers on.

So this bit’s all about you.  I’ve set up this Urtak questionnaire to find out more about the incredibly intelligent, stylish and forward-thinking people who read ‘mirrormirror’. Some bits of information concerns the sort of demographic stuff that might be helpful for advertising in due course, but most of it is so I can help develop content that you guys want to read.

The great thing about this Urtak format is that you can answer as few or as many questions as you want, and you can also add your own questions for commenters here to respond to.  The questions I’ve seeded it with are delivered to you randomly.  And obviously feel free to share further information about your deepest, darkest personal secrets in the comments.  I won’t tell.

mirrormirror readership survey

Update:  It has been brought to my attention that the mighty Urtak won’t let you add questions without making you register etc. Stuff and nonsense.  If you have a burning question for the ‘mirrormirror’ commentariat, please add it in the comments and I’ll make sure it gets asked.


13 March 2012

Blogging Your Way: NYC Road Trip Part 2




Day two of the Blogging Your Way workshop (other pics here and here), found Leslie Shewring from A Creative Mint taking her day in the sun (quite literally as the sun came out in New York after two days of Seattle-like torrential rain).

After hearing Leslie’s inspiring story of clicking with Holly online and subsequently striking up a great blogging and teaching partnership, we settled down for a day of more practical creativity.


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The biggest thing I took away from the workshop is that styling is ALL about telling stories in an image.

Whenever I’m styling something I know I always look at the colours and shapes first, forget about the mood or story I’m trying to convey, and then wonder why the image seems flat and dead. I can be very dense sometimes. Of course, it’s all about the storytelling. Well, duh.


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Leslie showed us how she pulls together inspiration boards to figure out moods and colour schemes.  She’s just one of those people who can instinctively pull together a bunch of random stuff and magically turn it into a coherent and pleasing whole.

It does help that she has some great props – she gave us lots of sources for what she called ‘curated hoarding’.  This was the second most useful thing I learned at the workshop.  Now I can explain to the Husband what I’m doing when he complains about the crap on my desk.


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We then talked about composition, lighting and the basics of photography and Holly gave us a ton of tips about styling and photographing interiors.  Then for the rest of the day we had time to play ourselves and make the most of the lovely light at Divine Studio and Leslie’s pretty props.

Here’s a little ‘inspiration board’ I pulled together, with things I’d pulled off my desk at home.





And here are a few shots I styled and photographed of the beautiful food.  Can you see what stories I’m trying to tell?




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Leslie encouraged us to explore our subjects from lots of different angles to find the best composition.



At the end of the day we all had fun taking pictures of all our new-found friends. Of course a huge part of the value and pleasure of doing these sorts of events is meeting a ton of inspirational and creative women.  New friends include Tina, Audrey, Michele, Natalie and Gretchen, Jessica, Ashley, Amanda and Fiona (seen below, who’d flown in all the way from England).  Also special thanks to Marianne, for being the most charming and easy-to-live-with roommate one could wish for.  I highly recommend taking a stroll through the links above, you’ll find some super charming and talented women and some new and fabulously inspirational blogs.

And once more a HUGE thank you to Holly and Leslie. You ladies rock SO hard.


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The simple crepe paper hangings Leslie had put up made a great back drop for photos.


One day I’ll have a picture taken with Holly where I’m not looking either blurred or deranged (See also San Francisco pics). 




Blogging Your Way : NYC Road Trip Part 1


Very early a couple of Fridays ago I crept out of the house and set off on a little adventure


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When Holly Becker first announced that she was coming to New York to teach her hugely successful online Blogging Your Way’ class in person, my initial instinct was to think that it was a crazy idea; then I remembered how much fun I’d had at Holly’s book signing; then Holly started a persuasion job on me on Facebook (and goodness that woman can be persuasive) and before I knew it I’d booked a place on the class, a ticket to New York and a room at the Ace Hotel.

The weekend was split into two parts: Holly taught the ‘Creative Business of Blogging’ on the Saturday and then Leslie Shewring of A Creative Mint followed on Sunday with a more active workshop on styling and photography.  Since one of my goals for the year is to finally get serious about both my blogging and my food photography, it seemed like a great way of killing several birds with one stone. The fact that it was in NYC might have influenced my decision a leeetle bit too.

One of the things we talked about a lot during the Saturday workshop with Holly was uncovering and keeping true to your own personal style, aesthetic and voice. The quote on the slide above Holly’s head in the above picture is ‘to thine own self be true’ and she certainly practises what she preaches, as I discovered on the Friday night.


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                       Friday night                                                                                      Saturday morning

Since I was three hours behind New York time and wide awake on Friday evening, I was happy to help Leslie Shewring as she styled Divine Studio in the East Village to turn it from its bare white bones into a creative and inspirational space.  We moved tables, covered them with plain white paper, hung rolls of crepe paper, decorated jars with washi tape, arranged tulips and pretty notebooks. By the time Holly had added Liberty print ties and round tags and floral banners she’d made herself on the plane, being in the studio was like being within the pages of Holly’s blog – all white with pops of colours, lots of pretty pastels and florals, with the odd homespun, crafty touch. 

It’s not exactly my aesthetic, but seeing a coherent look being pulled together with some cheap accessories, a deft touch and a focused styling eye, was one of the most fascinating aspects of the weekend for me.


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                                                                                   Holly-isms everywhere

Aside from lots of practical advice about blog design, how to build readership, how to use social media successfully and how to monetize your blog, there was lots of stuff on finding your own authentic voice, focus and niche.  Focus is one of the things that my blog has suffered from a lack of over the years (you don’t say! – Ed) so this really resonated with me. I did a lot of soul-searching, both during the class and on the plane on the way home and I think I came to some conclusions.  I’ll share them in a separate post.


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Even the food, from City Bakery, was both beautiful and delicious

The thing you need to know about Holly is how authentic she is.

She’s had a lot of success but that has come about because she has stayed true to herself, her passion and her vision.  The whole weekend was an object lesson in ‘walking the walk’. From the décor, through the food, to the one-on-one attention, the course materials and the great team of helpers Holly had pulled together (Leslie, Michelle and Melissa below and Julie, whom I sadly don’t have a picture of), everything reflected Holly’s style and the fact that she is so utterly and ridiculously nice. This is a woman who really cares about her readers and the people who attend her classes and workshops, which is why they are so darn fun, creative and inspiring.

And that was probably the most inspiring, thought-provoking and fabulous thing of all.


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I’ve got so many pics that I’ve decided to split this post into two parts.  Tune in tomorrow for more about Leslie Shewring’s fabulous styling and photography class.


10 March 2012

Pinterest Take Five


This week on Pinterest we’ve been getting ziggy with it.



Source: Chevron iPhone case from Society6 via Leah Dent




Source: Faux Feather Neon Aztec Earrings from lovesexton via Marcia Prentice




Source: Design Crisis via Hammocks & High Tea




1. Paint the canvas all crazy like 2. Use painter's tape to create a herringbone pattern with some missing  3. Paint over the canvas in white 4. Remove tape and voila!

Source: Cozamia via Melanie Hernquist




Source: Pattern of the Day from Karina Maranin via Poppytalk


Oh and have an extra one this week. You guys are so SPOILT.




Source: How to Make a Chevron Pattern in Photoshop from Ashli Nixon via Uncle Beefy.


06 March 2012

That Was The Week That Was: NYC Edition


This has been an Instagram week of colourful shopping, tall buildings, funky hotels and yellow cabs.  With just a bit of blogging inspiration thrown in.


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On the 1st January I started posting daily photos to Instagram. I’m @mirrormirroxx. Come and be my friend.

I’ve had the most wonderful weekend. My head is full to bursting with ideas and inspiration, as is my cardholder with friends old and new.  Unfortunately my email inbox and laundry basket are also in danger of exploding and my fridge is very, VERY empty. 

I’ve got tons of ideas and thoughts and photos to share with you all but need to get myself straight today. New and improved blogging service begins tomorrow.


02 March 2012

Packing and Panicking : Blogging Your Way NYC


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This is what’s going down currently chez moi.  Early tomorrow morning I’m flying off to New York to attend Holly Becker of Decor8’s first ever in person Blogging Your Way workshop, which will include a day of photography and styling tips with the lovely Leslie Shewring of A Creative Mint.





















I’ve long wondered what could happen if I took my blogging a bit more seriously, so I’m hoping to get a ton of tips and tricks to take this blog to the next level and beyond, now that I’ve got my mad Photoshop skillz in hand. (Haha! – Ed)

I’m back on Monday night so there won’t be any blogging over the weekend.  However I’ll be taking pictures like crazy, so follow me on Instagram (@mirrormirrorxx), Twitter or Facebook.

In the meantime, tell me all your favourite unmissable shops in NYC, I’ve got a free day of mooching around on Monday.


23 February 2012

I Heart Blogshop



It’s taken me ages to put together my Blogshop review, mostly because I thought I ought to use some Photoshop to put it together and Photoshop still takes me an agonisingly long time. But the fact that I can do any Photoshop at all is a testament to the teaching skills of graphic designer and blogger extraordinaire Bri Emery and commercial photographer Angela Kohler, who together are the team who make Blogshop happen.

This workshop is billed as ‘where blogging and Photoshop totally make out’ and if you write any sort of visual blog, you’ll find the skills you learn here invaluable – from putting together photospreads and mood boards, to designing blog headers and social media buttons, to creating animated gifs and retouching photos (which is taught using professional photo portraits of the participants, taken by Angela). It’s the only course out then which focuses on Photoshop from the perspective of bloggers, so while it’s expensive it is so, so worth it.


It was great to meet up again with some groovy local bloggers - Cassandra from Coco+Kelley who hosted the whole event, Erin from Apartment 34 and the inimitable Uncle Beefy, who made us some utterly delicious churros (of which more hopefully next week).  It was also a chance to make some new friends – Jennifer from Art & Lair, Lisa from With Style & Grace, Alisa from Alisa’s Garden and Shannon from Happiness Is… (who both sat at my table and were incredibly patient with my thousands of questions).

The amazing space (that turquoise wall is to die for) is the Fred Wildlife Refuge, a fabulous photography studio and event space on Seattle’s Capitol Hill; with all the props and accessories being provided by Scout Vintage Rentals. And I’ve already told you about the great goodie bag

The one downside, and this is just a very personal opinion, is that, although the course is billed as being for beginners, it’s really quite challenging if you’re as much of a Photoshop ignoramus as I was.  Bri and Angela and their two interns were patience personified, but I would have got more out of the course if I had previously been familiar with the layout and the buttons and the concept of layers etc.  I feel like I do understand a lot of the basics now, but I’ve looked at the notes for some of the more advanced techniques we were shown, such as masking, and I am still deeply confuzzled.


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But we’ll see, you may have noticed me using Photoshop in some previous posts and hopefully you’ll see things getting prettier round here over the next week or two. Just promise me that if you’re a complete Photoshop beginner and are thinking of doing this course that you’ll have a little play to familiarise yourself with the program first. This set of beginners’ tutorials from Mashable looks like it would be a great place to start .

Photoshop experts out there, how did you learn?  Are there any books, courses or online tutorials you can recommend? I really want to get this thing LICKED.



On a final shallow note, Bri is just the most ridiculously photogenic person EVAH, thanks to her translucently pale skin, shock of platinum hair and the cute bright colours she wears.  Here she is with Jennifer from Trophy Cupcakes, who was here to do the course and also injected cupcakes and gift cards into the proceedings. .

Oh, and I was just about to hit ‘publish’ when I found this video of the Seattle workshop on the Blogshop page.  See if you can spot me peering in deep confusion at my screen (the silhouette above will give you a clue) or, if you’re really quick, the shot of me in a long ginger wig (additional clue below).

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BLOGSHOP - Seattle from GMP on Vimeo.


10 February 2012

We have a Winner!



The winner of the Shabby Apple dress is Megan Paravato, who tells us that she will be baking and eating lots of chocolate on Valentines Day.

Honey, just make sure you can fit into your fabulous new dress!

Thanks to everyone for participating.  I’ve got a couple more great giveaways in the works very soon.

Megan, please email to claim your prize.

09 February 2012

Fuck Your Noguchi Coffee Table


The best new Tumblr ever, well at least since Unhappy Hipsters, Fuck Your Noguchi Coffee Table calls out all the design clichés we all know and love from blogs and shelter mags. 

Fuck Your

Clockwise from top left: ‘Fuck your… knit pouf…card catalog…plate cascade… Saarinen tulip table’

I am happy to report that, with the exception of graphic pillows, I have none of the things they mention in my house, though that’s mostly due to lack of budget. I have to confess to having wanted most of these things at one time or another and I’m still determined to knit a pouffe one day.

Fuck Your1

Clockwise from top left: ‘Fuck your…chair hodgepodge,,,  Keep Calm and Carry On poster…chalkboard backsplash…bookshelf with the books arranged by colour’

How many do you have in your house?  Are there any that you would still secretly covet?  How many of these trends were started by Domino? What other clichés should be on the list?

I would also respectfully ask the author if writing your blog in faux typewriter font isn’t one of the oldest design clichés in the book.


07 February 2012

Blogshop Goodie Bag


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I’m still processing Blogshop but thought I’d take a moment to go through the rather nice goodie bag we were given, full of crafty goodness from a bunch of new-to-me Seattle names.

Clockwise from left:

Cute graphic tote bag: rather delicious pesto; very wearable turquoise earrings; psychedelic art cookies; green nautical rope bracelet; cut & fold paper polyhedra ornaments (the Minx and I are thinking of making these for our Easter tree this year); gorgeously scented soap; a handmade Valentines’card; a vintage postcard; some graphic gift tags (I also won a notebook by the same artist in the raffle) and finally the latest edition of Hoarse, Seattle’s occasional literary magazine.

There are some interesting shops and blogs in this list, some of which I’ll be featuring at a later date, so do click through.

Thanks so much everyone!


06 February 2012

That Was The Week That Was


It’s been an Instagram week of blue skies, sunshine and hearts, with a bit of bread baking and crochet thrown in.

It’s also been a weekend of attending Blogshop here in Seattle.  My brain is fried, by backside is numb and my Photoshop skillz are still frighteningly amateur as you can see.  But at least they exist, which they didn’t before the weekend.  I’ll tell you more about it during the week. (Above images are all Instagrams as usual, but silly old Photoshop doesn’t have a Polaroid frames tool such as I have on my usual blogging software).

Happy Monday!

10 January 2012

Instagram – My New Obsession


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Over the last few months a lot of people have asked me whether I was on Instagram or not. 

I wasn’t because I couldn’t really see the point – I was already taking plenty of iPhone photos and sharing them on Twitter and Facebook and I didn’t really need to be on another social media time-sucking platform, did I?


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How wrong I was.  As I mentioned before, one of this year’s resolutions was to try out Instagram, mostly because I thought it would be an easy way to do a ‘365 project’ and post a photo a day.  On January 1st I posted one solitary photo from our New Year’s Day walk in Gasworks Park and thenceforth I have become gently obsessed.  Instagram is like Twitter for photos. Follow some great photographers and you’ll have a constant stream of scrumptious eyecandy delivered direct to your phone. Take a photo with your phone (iPhones only at the moment unfortunately), or a upload a picture you took earlier, apply a suitably retro filter and then have it delivered to the Instagram network and also to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flick.

It’s been a great way to reconnect with blogger friends away from the noise of Twitter and Facebook and of finding new creative and imaginative people online as they go about their beautiful business.


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And it’s easy to produce lovely images.  The camera on the new iPhone 4s is crazy good and the various photography apps and filters available (I’m using Camera+ and Picfx as well as the Instagram filters) make it fun to create all sorts of effects. 

I’m enjoying the challenge of working within the iPhone’s limitations – wide-angle lens, tiny aperture, rubbish in low light, square format, not many pixels - and love the fact that the phone is usually to hand, when you see pretty lightshades at the opticians or a pile of soggy, but colourful leaves on a rainy trip to the dentist.  It’s not a substitute for a fancy camera, but a very fabulous adjunct.

Already my Instagram feed is proving to be a cool visual journal of January 2012, and seeing all the photos grouped together has shown me that I do in fact have photographic style – colourful and graphic yet dreamy – which has never leapt out at me before. 

Rest assured you’ll be seeing more Instagram photos on the blog in the days and weeks ahead (I’ll format them as Polaroids here so you can spot them).

And of course the whole network is riddled with cute pictures of cats.


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Are you on Instagram?  What do you like about it? Which apps do you use? What’s your username so I can follow you? I am mirrormirrorxx.


10 December 2011

Can You Guess What It Is Yet?


Wow! You guys are good.  Too good in fact.  I was hoping to keep the tease going a little bit longer at least.  However, my undying admiration goes to Stephanie and Rebecca who both guessed that it was the Purl Bee big snowy owl.  Oh and please don’t tell the Minx.




I just hope I can do this one justice.  It looks like one of those projects where it’s all about getting the face right.  I’ll carry on pasting up progress reports.



In other competition news, I realise that I forgot to draw the ‘Edible Seattle’ prize. The winner is Dana. Congratulations! I’ll be emailing you shortly so we can get your ‘Edible Seattle’ subscription to you.

Oh and look for another giveaway on Monday.

07 September 2011



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Holly Becker of Decor8 fame has been an online friend for the longest time. I started blogging a little after she did and she was one of the very first people to comment on this blog nearly six years ago. 

I’ve done her Blogging Your Way course and cheered her on from the sidelines as she has gone on to her incredible and very much deserved success.

Holly is one of those people who is always generous with her time, her encouragement and, latterly, with the enormous reach and power of her blog.  She’s one of those people who always seems to have time for a friendly word or blog comment, however phenomenally busy she is and has created a huge network of friends, followers and devoted admirers across the globe.  And I’m not sure whether she ever sleeps or manages to have any leisure time as her output and the number of projects she’s involved in has always been prodigious.

I find her inspirational on so many levels and have always been sad that she managed to skip to Europe not long after I arrived in the US.  We’ve never been on the same side of the Atlantic for very long.

When plans for her book tour were finalised, she invited me to come down and see her in San Francisco. And at first it seemed like a crazy idea to fly down just for a book-signing and a dinner.  But a little voice in my head kept saying ‘why not’ and then Virgin America was offering great deals on flights from Seattle and before I knew it I’d booked flights and a hotel and was lined up for my first night away from the family in ages.


Holly and yours truly

And, all you mothers out there, I seriously don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner. I had totally forgotten the joys of plane travel without a fidgety six-year old; of mooching aimlessly round shops without being in a terrible rush or having to march a six year old to the toilet; of eating a most amazing lunch (thanks Boulette’s Larder) without having to worry whether the Minx had brought her DS or a book.  For 36 hours I was single again, and goodness it was BLISS.

Holly’s book signing was at Anthropologie (beautifully decorated with these garlands and bunting from Paper Source. Note to self, must buy for the Minx) and she was accompanied by Leslie Shewring from A Creative Mint, who had also taught on the Blogging Your Way course.  I also got to meet the very charming Victoria, of sfgirlbybay fame; the delightfully effervescent Alix (who had been a very fun team mate on the Blogging Your Way course) and Dottie from Modern Kiddo; the lovely Maja Brugos from Tikoli and Crystal Gentilello of Rue Magazine among other luminaries of the San Francisco design and blogging world.


IMG_9218 IMG_9234
Leslie Shewring and Alix from Modern Kiddo with Holly

All in all I had a fabulous couple of days and came away tremendously inspired to work more on this blog and throw myself more fully into the design world.  It’s time for this Mamma to have some ‘me’ time. 

Oh and the book?  Well, it’s fabulous of course.  Unlike many decorating books which are all about recreating the author’s own style, Decorate is all about uncovering and developing your own personal style and vision.  It is chock full of gorgeous pictures, inspirational quotes and tons and tons of innovative, accessible and eminently do-able ideas for every room in the house.  The book is sitting on my nightstand and is perfect way to unwind with a little bit of pretty at the end of a long day. And my house will definitely benefit in the long term. 

As for Holly herself, well, she is as warm, charming and thoroughly lovely as her online persona. But then you knew that already.  And also very tall.

And now I really must stop gushing and have a lie down. All this being nice does not come naturally at all.

01 August 2011

Stopping to smell the roses




*Taps microphone nervously* 

Hello?  Is anyone there?  Well, that was a longer blogging hiatus than I bargained for. But I hope to resume normal service from here on out.

Here are some of the thrilling things which have been happening over the last six or so weeks.

- I completed my certificate in Advanced Interactive Marketing. Now to work out what to do with it.

- We went on holiday for three weeks to the UK and then to the Greek Islands.  It was idyllic. I of course have thousands of photos to bore you with in due course (haha! you thought you could come here without SUFFERING?)

-  I have been doing the (unbelievably crackpot) Dukan diet and have lost 18lbs in 8 weeks.  Ecstatic doesn’t even begin to describe it.  Sadly there is much further to go.

- Probably as a result of the above I went down with the worst cold I’ve ever had IN. MY. LIFE which laid me low for two weeks.  I was hoping to be back blogging a bit sooner, but this is the first time I’ve been able to type without snot dribbling all over the keyboard (possibly TMI?)

- As a result of the above I lost my sense of smell for about five days. This is one of the scariest things that has ever happened to me. I haven’t realised before how very in love I am with my sense of smell and how much I take it for granted.

- We have painted our bedroom.  It looks lovely.

- We have created and planted up some raised beds. Vegetables are growing!

- I have been knitting

- Seattle’s long-delayed summer started about four days ago, only six weeks into the interminable school vacation.

- I have been making a whole metric shit-ton of jam. Jam is BANNED on the Dukan diet.

- I have missed you

I will of course be blogging some of this excitement over the next few days and weeks - together with the usual insightful and witty badinage on design and lifestyle issues of the day (yeah right – Ed) if you can force your way here through the dustbunnies and tumbleweed. 

17 May 2011

My New Baby


I’m sorry for total lack of bloggery recently. I have a big deadline coming up for my University of Washington certificate in online interactive marketing and my nose has been firmly to the grindstone (whatever on earth that means).

The tedium was briefly shattered last Friday by the arrival of a new baby to the house – in the slim, lightweight shape of an iPad 2.





I’ve been lusting after one of these for a long time – I don’t find my heavy laptop with its short battery life to be particularly portable and feel very tethered to my desk most of the time. So I’m hoping this will allow me to tend to emails from the coffee shop; catch up with reading sitting under the cherry tree and Tweet more easily from in front of the telly rather than just pecking at my iPhone like a squinty bird. 





It’s been a big hit since Friday – I’m really enjoying the Flipboard and Evernote apps so far and yesterday the Minx was at home sick and was educated via Math Girl – Addition House; Stack the Countries and Stack the States; DinosaurChess and Playtime Theater, all of which I can highly recommend.




The Husband, who works for Microsoft, was highly sceptical about letting yet another Apple product into the house, so I have to prove its worth by using it all. the. time.

If you have an iPad, how do like it? When and where do you use it? What apps do you like best and use most? Which apps help you work more productively? And which do you recommend for me? As you know I like art and design, blogging, food, photography, music, gossipy entertainment and fashion sites, politics and knitting. And more educational apps and games for the Minx would be good.  I’d also love to find a few more European-centric apps if possible.  And if you’ve got some good new iPhone apps then throw those in as well – many of those are also available for the iPad and in any case I haven’t upgraded my iPhone apps in ages either.


Except Angry Birds.  I’m nearly at 3 stars on ALL levels on my iPhone and when that’s done I never what to speak of that app again.

08 April 2011

And the Winner Is!




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.

02 April 2011

They Draw And Cook


As you know, I aspire – with varying degrees of success – to do a little food photography. To my mind recipes just aren’t complete without pictures.

On They Draw And Cook  Nate Padavick and Salli Swindell. a brother and sister team, together with sundry other wonderfully talented artists, have put together the web’s biggest collection of illustrated recipes. Aren’t these exquisite? Looks like there are some great recipes too.

Photography suddenly seems very passé.







{via Helen at Countryside Wedding}

08 March 2011

Beefcakes & Doilies


Uncle Beefy, as well as being one of the best bloggers on the Interwebulator, also makes the most incredible  cupcakes I’ve ever tasted anywhere. 




His cakes are perfection in a mouthful – not remotely dry and with a satisfying crumb that is neither too stodgy nor disappointingly ethereal.  Each is topped with the precisely the right amount of not-too-sweet frosting, exploding with fresh authentic flavours.  I truly have never had a better cupcake, my own sadly included.


IMG_7971 IMG_7973


And they are oh so pretty. On Sunday he gave me one box of lemon cupcakes with fresh strawberry frosting and another box of chocolate chip cakes with a creamy caramel frosting, which was brushed with golden lustre dust, and the same champagne colour as extremely expensive satin underwear.




Unless we can persuade Monsieur LeBoeuf  to open a worldwide mail order business, you may never get to taste these beauties, but I though you might at least want to look and drool.

The beautiful linen tablemat is from Soraam on Etsy.  I met its creator Soojin Yum at a recent Seattle foodie event. Her gorgeous linens are all handprinted using water-based inks on natural materials and come in lots of beautiful designs. Well worth checking out.


09 December 2010

Facebook Page Giveaway – Atelier LZC Mirror




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.




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.




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!


02 November 2010

Voting Works!




Well my lovely cute little chickadees.  Thanks to everyone who voted for me in the Food Ninja competition, I apparently won the ‘Best Blog Post’ category and soon a cute and extremely funky looking Zojirushi rice cooker will be mine. 

Thank you so much to all who voted.  I’m completely amazed and tickled pink, especially as I can now tick off ‘Win something, anything’ from my 101 Things list, for a total of 3 things completed.

So you see voting thing works. There’s another teensy vote going on in the US today. Regular readers will probably know which side of the fence I’m on (I’ll give you a clue, two weeks ago I went to see Obama at a rally in Seattle) but I just wanted to urge everyone to get out and vote, whatever and whomever you’re voting for.

I can’t vote in US elections, but know full well how much impact they have, not just for Americans but for the rest of the world. And the whole world benefits from a vigorous, informed and engaged American electorate. So if you have a vote, count yourself lucky and go out and use it!

A propos, has anyone actually used a rice cooker? Are they useful? What sort of stuff do you cook in them? Are they good for brown rice and pilafs as well as Asian white rices? Where the heck am I going to find space for it in my kitchen?

28 October 2010

Food Ninja Competition – Vote for ME!




Pretty please?

So voting has opened in the Food Ninja competition.  If you’d like to see me tick the item ‘Win Something – Anything’ off my 101 Things list then please go here and vote, vote, VOTE.  (Actually you should go there anyway, because there are some fabulous blog posts, recipes and photos to browse).

My ‘Peperoncini and Melanzane’ blogpost is entered in the blog post category.  If you don’t vote, you know I’ll be bugging you again and again for some competition or other over the next three years until I finally win something, so why not get it over and done with now? You know it makes sense.

And yes, I hugely appreciate it.  I’ll try and come up with some special celebratory recipe by way of a thank you.

21 October 2010

Food Ninja – Peperoncini e Melanzane Sott’olio


Or peppers and aubergines (I’m sorry but I really cannot bring myself to say ‘eggplants’) preserved in oil the Italian way.




I’ve been following ace Seattle foodie Salty Seattle, whom I first met at the Ice Cream Social, on Twitter where she’s recently been having a lot of fun with the #foodninja hashtag. So much so that she, Salty Ninja, and her foodie friends Fujimama (Fuji Ninja) and Bell’Alimento (Bella Ninja) have recently set up a Food Ninja competition with some quite fabulous prizes.

Unfortunately it is not entirely clear to me what a ‘food ninja’ actually is, although it appears to involve badass cooking skills (or indeed ‘skillz’), doing death-defying things with knives, high kicks and possibly flying through the air, all while wearing stiletto heels.

So what’s a girl to do when her knife skills are pedestrian, she can’t wear stilettos due to acute plantar fasciitis and she looks ridiculous in a bandanna? After much thought, I decided to do death-defying things with red hot peppers instead.  The good news is that this recipe doesn’t even require badass cooking skills or even skillz, just a bit of care and patience (though don’t mention this to the ninja ladies).



I’ve been wanting to write this post for quite literally years.  When I was living in Europe and after my parents died, I would often spend Christmas with my Italian relatives in Piemonte. And let me tell you, Italy is a very good place to be at Christmas.  The cuisine of Piemonte is rightly famous for its antipasti or appetisers. On the night of Christmas Eve my aunt (a true food ninja if ever I met one) would serve a twenty course feast – a parade of seventeen varied and delicious antipasti which would leave you groaning on the floor before the pasta, meat and dessert courses even made an appearance.

Of these, my very favourites were the piquant ‘sott’olio’ vegetable preserves she would bring up from her cellar – zucchini, artichokes, aubergines and teensy hot peppers stuffed with tuna, all silky smooth and dripping with flavoured oil, just begging to be mopped up with some good crusty bread.

She gave me her recipe but I’ve never made them before – I even added ‘Make Italian Sott’Olio Preserves’ to my list of 101 Things - so it seemed like a sign when I was casting around for something ninja-like to make and I saw precisely the right tiny round bottomed peppers I needed at the farmers’ market (does anyone happen to know what variety these are by the way?)





Peperoncini Ripieni Sott’Olio
(Stuffed Peppers in Oil)

Makes 2 jars
20-30 little round bottomed hot peppers
1 cup (8fl oz) water
1 cup (8fl oz) white wine vinegar
1 can good quality tuna packed in oil
3-4 anchovies packed in oil, rinsed and patted dry
1 tbsp capers packed in vinegar or salt, rinsed and patted dry
2-3 cloves garlic (optional)
Extra virgin olive oil
Melanzane Sott’Olio
(Aubergines in Oil)

Makes 2 jars
Some beautiful firm aubergines (I used three)
1 cup (8fl oz) water
1 cup (8fl oz) white wine vinegar
6-7 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
dried oregano
dried chili flakes/crushed dried chili
Extra virgin olive oil



First up prepare your vegetables.

Peppers: Cut out the tops of the peppers and scoop out all the seeds with a knife and small spoon. This is pretty time-consuming which is why I only ended up making 28 peppers.  I shall regret this later.



Could this get any more ninja?  Red hot chilis AND knives.



Aubergines: Thinly slice your aubergines lengthwise. If you were a true ninja you’d probably use a ninja star for this, but I used a knife.




Layer the aubergines in a colander with plenty of salt. Put a plate on top and add a heavy weight such as a big bag of flour to squish out all the bitter brown juices.  Leave the aubergines for at least one hour and preferably several.

When the aubergines are ready, rinse off the salt and brown juices and pat off as much excess moisture as you can.  Cut the aubergine slices into strips about an inch or so wide with kitchen scissors.

Aubergines and Peppers: Heat the water and vinegar together until boiling. This recipe is easily scalable so just use as much water and vinegar as you need, remembering to keep a ratio of 1/2 water and 1/2 vinegar. Two cups of liquid is fine for the quantities of vegetables I have here.

Scald the vegetables in the boiling vinegar solution for 2-3 minutes. I did my peppers and aubergines in separate batches so as not to mix the flavours.

When the vegetables are blanched, scoop them out with a slotted spoon and leave them to dry – the aubergines pressed between clean dry teatowels or kitchen towel, and the peppers placed upside down with their bottoms in the air on kitchen towel.




It is very important at this stage to dry the vegetables as much a possible as wet vegetables will go mouldy.  Leave them for several hours – my aunt suggests putting them outside in the sunshine, but then she lives in Italy.

Aubergines:  Sterilise your jars in boiling water.  When the aubergines are very dry, add a layer of oil to the jar, then a layer of aubergine and then a few slices of garlic, a pinch of chili flakes and some sprinkles of oregano. Continue layering the jar in this way until you’ve reached the top, making sure that the aubergine is completely covered with oil. This is again important for the preserving process.



Peppers: Sterilise your jars in boiling water. Prepare your stuffing by breaking up the anchovies with your fingers and stirring them and the capers into the tuna. If possible, gently pulse the mix in food processor until thoroughly amalgamated but stop before it becomes a sloppy puree. Filled the dry, hollow peppers with the mix.





Layer the stuffed peppers, slices of garlic and oil in your prepared jars as before, again covering the peppers completely with oil.

Store everything for several months in a dark, cool, dry place. It’s important to leave them for a little time if you can so that flavours meld and the oil becomes especially delicious.  This is easier said than done.

Serve with good bread, some prosciutto, some delicious tomatoes and a glass of chilled white wine for a taste of the Italian summer all year round.

And so, it was not what I was planning, but the first thing I can fully cross off my 101 Things list is ‘Prepare Italian Sott’Olio Preserves’. Only another 100 things to go.  I’ll do an update post when we finally get to open them, probably around Christmas time.

And if you want to me help me cross ‘Win Something, Anything’ off my list too, then I’ll be posting details of how to vote for this post in the next few days.

Oh and apologies for light posting recently. I managed to lose a bunch of posts I’d prepared, so I’m now having a ton of fun recreating posts I’ve already written up once. So much my favourite thing to do as I’m sure you can imagine.

21 September 2010

All About Me - 101 Things


Or, welcome to my new life.



Dawn over the I-5


Recently, and rather belatedly, I came across a goal-setting Internet meme called 101 Things in 1001 Days. 1001 days equates to about 2.75 years, which is a more substantial (and less daunting) time frame in which to get stuff done than the usual year of resolutions we set ourselves.

Since it was my birthday this weekend, and since I’ve got rather a big birthday coming up in 3 years time, I spent my birthday eve putting together my own list which I’m going to give myself 3 years to achieve. Putting the list together was fun -  the site DayZeroProject is very useful, as it both gives you a place to put your own list and lets you search other peoples’ for ideas (I’m PaolaCT on there).  Start Googling and there are also plenty of sites out there with other ideas.

I’ve tried to put together a list which includes a mixture of horrid stuff that needs to get done, self-improving stuff, things I’ve always wanted to do, downright treats and pie in the sky fantasies - a combination of  ‘quick wins’ and stuff that currently seems totally impossible.  Looking at it I feel inspired, excited and somewhat daunted, which I suppose is exactly the right mix of emotions.

I’m writing out the list here and will link to the full list somewhere on the blog in the coming days. I’ll give you periodic updates, especially when I’ve been able to tick something off. 

Currently I’m working on the sock monkey challenge (of which more anon), have completed 1 out of 80 cryptic crosswords, did a new thing this month (visted Ballard Locks) and am about to embark on the power walking and peanut butter challenges. This latter one is putting me in a cold sweat already. I am a peanut butter ADDICT.

If anyone else is inspired to make their own 101 list, do let me know, and very many thanks to Lou at Happy Serendipity and Nicole at MakingItLovely for their initial inspiration.

This is going to be fun!

I was hoping to give this list as the first page on a newly-redesigned blog, but unfortunately the mirrormirror technical support team (aka the Husband) has been rather busy with his proper job this week. Which only goes to prove that goal-setting is a dangerous exercise. But whatevs. I’m hoping to be back to daily blogging now. I’ve missed you guys…

101 Things (In No Particular Order)


1. Get a little red dress (I don’t usually do dresses, let alone red ones)

2. Volunteer at a food bank at least once a year (0/3)

3. See Niagara Falls

4. Attend the 2012 London Olympics

5. Lose 50lbs (0/50)

6. FINALLY Get the ACL in my knee repaired (as so many of my fitness/weight loss goals depend on this oneI’ve got an appointment to see the specialist this week).

7. Get my missing tooth replaced (I want to get my body as perfect as it can possibly be)

8. Finish a Babette blanket. (Still working on finishing my other blanket first).

9. Go somewhere in South America

10. Visit the Grand Canyon

11. Go to Santa Fe

12. Open ‘mirrormirror’ US

13. Organise all the photos on my computer

14. Do 30 straight days of Bikram yoga

15. Do a triathlon

16. Win something. Anything!

17. Break 5,000 followers on Twitter

18. Sell some photos.

19. Knit a sock monkey (Have plans for that one that I’ll talk about soon).

20. Get a personal wardrobe/shopping consultation

21. Acquire a sewing machine

22. Complete a sewing project

23. Learn to cook Thai food

24. Build raised beds and grow veggies

25. Finish landscaping and planting the front garden

26. Get whole house painted inside and out

27. Go sugar-free for 30 days (0/30)

28. Go to 30 restaurants I’ve never been to before (0/30)

29. Get visible abs (ha ha ha ha ha!  my abs don’t exist, I’ve NEVER seen them before)

30. Go to Hawaii

31. Visit Australia

32. Write up and catalogue all of my family tree research

33. Visit my aunt in Southern California

34. Eat 5 foodstuffs I’ve never tried before

35. Knit something in Fair Isle/stranded colourwork

36. Knit a complex lace shawl in silk lace

37. Get my blog professionally redesigned

38. Do one thing a month I’ve never done before (1/36) (yesterday I visited Ballard Locks in Seattle)

39. Organise at least 6 nights away with the Husband and without the Minx  (0/6)

40. Get mirrormirror mentioned in at least 30 print (0/30) and 30 online publications (0/30)

41. Visit New England in the Fall

42. Go strawberry and apple picking

43. Continue learning Spanish in the car with the Minx

44. Get a professional photoshoot done of the whole family

45. Clear my email inbox

46. Get a piano or keyboard

47. Take piano lessons

48. Do the Susan B Komen 3 Day Walk for the Cure

49. Go away with just the Minx for 3 ‘Mummy & Daughter’ weekends (0/3)

50. Visit the upcoming Picasso exhibit at the  Seattle Art Museum

51. Do the Theo Chocolate Tour

52. Get stock photos up on Getty Images or similar

53. Join a knitting group

54. Go razor clamming

55. Set up a mirrormirror  fan page on Facebook and get over 1,000 fans

56. Make a felted handbag

57. Make a piece of jewellery

58. Go to ALT Summit and the International Food Blogger Conference

59. Start a compost bin

60. Go jetskiing

61. Listen to 10 albums by artists I’ve not listened to before (0/10)

62. Complete all 80 cryptic crosswords in the Times Cryptic Crossword Book 14 (1/80)

63. Be a vegan for a week

64. Tidy my office

65. Learn to make Italian ‘sott’olio’ preserves – melanzane and peperoncini

66. Learn a little Mandarin Chinese with the Minx in the car

67. Go the Maison & Objet and the New York International Gift Fair

68. Get eyes checked for feasibility of laser surgery

69. Attend 6 photography workshops (0/6)

70. Make ravioli from scratch without even a pasta machine

71. Take a flying trapeze class

72. Take a day OFF on my birthday every year (0/3)

73. Write a letter for the Minx to open when she’s 18

74. Get signed up with a Primary Care Provider and arrange for an all-over physical

75. See 6 bands live 0/6

76. Read 20 ‘classic’ books I haven’t read before (0/20)

77. Drink only water for one month

78. Watch 5 Oscar winners for Best Documentary (0/5)

79. Get basement finished and fully habitable

80. Don’t complain about anything for a week

81. Have a garage sale

82. Unplug for a whole weekend (not phone, Internet, TV etc.)

83. Go ice skating

84. See 10 ‘classic’ movies I’ve never seen (0/10)

85. Scuba dive/snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef

86. Go white water rafting

87. Go snowmobiling

88. Run a 5k

89. Go for a month without peanut butter

90. Get more of my photos mounted and displayed around the house

91. Workout for an hour a day, 5 days a week, for 4 weeks straight (0/4)

92. Powerwalk for 30 mins a day every day for a month (0/31)

93. Take a photo a day for a month

94. Get one utterly fabulous piece of personal PR (I’ll know it when I see it)

95. Eat at the French Laundry, the Herb Farm and Chez Panisse (0/3)

96. Take the Minx to Disneyland

97. Sign up for a spin class

98. Go swimming once a week for 3 consecutive months (0/12)

99. Get a photo on Flickr’s ‘Explore’ page again.

100. Put aside $50 for every I task I complete to buy myself a fabulous birthday present

101. Donate $50 to charity for every task I don’t complete

17 September 2010

Calling All Design Bloggers!






















I’m working hard behind the scenes at the moment to take things to a higher level round here, with a big focus on the ‘mirrormirror’ shop which has been sadly neglected over the past year or so.

I’m currently working on updating our PR mailing lists and was wondering if any of you design bloggers out there (particularly those in the UK)  would like to be added to the ‘Bloggers’ mailing list for news and updates on new products, sales etc.

I promise not to email you THAT often (I’m just not that organised) and any time you mention a mirrormirror product (or this blog) on your blog, you’ll be rewarded with my undying gratitude (ha!) and a reciprocal link on here. Please let me know if you give us a mention, so I can do that.

I’m also in the process of updating my blogroll and want to focus much more on smaller, up-and-coming blogs rather than on the biggies. If you’ve got a blog you think I should know about, particularly if it fits in with the stuff we talk about here – interiors, design, indie products, photography, food, knitting, crafts etc. – then please add a link to your blog below and I’ll take a peek.

Apologies for getting all self-promoting on you, but dangerous times call for dangerous measures. Anything you can do to support small independent shops and businesses, not just mine, at the moment is hugely appreciated I’m sure. 

18 June 2010

Recipe of the Week – Rhubarb and Amaretti Crumble





Oh, I know we’ve done crumble almost to death recently, but a couple of weeks ago I had some late rhubarb (one of the few redeeming features of the cold, wet Seattle spring we’ve been having) and made that most quintessentially English delight – a rhubarb crumble.




And, not a just any old crumble either, but a slightly adjusted Rhubarb & Amaretti Crumble, courtesy of dear old Delia Smith, the doyenne of English cooking.  Which ended up being just about the most fabulous crumble I’ve ever eaten in my life.


Approx 10 sticks of rhubarb

4 tbsps water

6 tbsps caster/baker’s sugar (or to taste).


Crumble Topping

40g chilled butter

75g self raising flour (or plain/all purpose flour with 1/2 tsp baking powder)

50g demerara sugar

50g whole almonds

4 Virginia Amaretti biscuits.

Unfortunately I forgot to measure out everything in cup measures, but if you use the proportions of dried ingredients  to butter to sugar that I give here then you should be OK.



Unlike Delia I stewed the cleaned and chopped rhubarb beforehand in the sugar and water for about ten minutes until soft, just because that’s how I’ve also always done it. I also didn’t add ginger  because I wanted the full flavour of the Amaretti to come through (also, truth be told, because I’m not very fond of it).  But feel free to add a teaspoon of ginger or cardamom at this stage and follow Delia’s method for cooking the fruit in the recipe link above.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C /350 degrees F /Gas Mark 4



Then put all the crumble topping ingredients into the food processor and whizz until crumbled.




Pat the crumble ingredients down over the stewed fruit and bake in the oven for around 35 mins until slightly golden round the edges and dig in.  Normally I like crumble served slightly warm, but this was fabulous spooned up straight out of the fridge.



That’s it for the moment folks. On Sunday evening we’re off on our three-week European grand tour - a week on the French Riviera, a few days in Provence, a couple of days in Paris and a week in London, meeting friends, godparents and family along the way. There won’t be any proper bloggery while I’m away, but I’ll try and post up some ‘Postcards from Europe’ so you can vicariously join us on our travels.  Don’t miss me too much.

10 June 2010

This Week’s Recipe - Madeleines au Chocolat



A week or two ago I was lucky enough to be invited with a host of other Seattle foodbloggers to meet Mireille Guiliano, the extremely petite and chic (that’s her on the right below) author of ‘French Women Don’t Get Fat’  who was promoting her new cookbook ‘The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook’, who has been one of my foodie heroines for the longest time.

Her books are full of good sense about eating only delicious food, eating slowly and deliberately, eating exactly what you want to eat but only in small portions, eating a good breakfast and balancing each meal between carbs, proteins and fats. She exercises by walking and doing yoga, and she looks… incredible.

<KENOX S760  / Samsung S760>


For Mireille cooking can’t be separated from the joy of eating and her cookbook is a delight, full of charming anecdotes about the role food plays in Mireille’s life, making it definitely a cookbook for the bedside table.

It’s also full of recipes which aren’t really diet food, but which are rich and flavoursome and for which a little goes a long way. Her recipe for Chocolate Madeleines is a case in point. Six tablespoons of butter sounds like a lot, but not so much when spread between twenty madeleines, and just one of these is light and fluffy and decadent enough to satisfy any chocolate craving.




3 1/2 oz  (100g) of dark chocolate

6 tbsps unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1/2 cup plus 3 tbsps all-purpose/plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

2 large eggs

1/2 cup sugar

(I also added 1/2 tsp salt, because I like what salt does to sweet things, and 1 tsp of vanilla essence).


Combine the chocolate and butter in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water and melt, stirring until smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and leave to cool.

Sift together the flour and baking powder and reserve.

Whisk the eggs until frothy, gradually add the sugar and continue whisking until the mixture is pale yellow and has thickened.

Gently fold in the cooled chocolate-butter mixture until well combined. Then gently fold in the flour until just combine. Then cover the mixture and chill it in the fridge for 3 hours.

Thoroughly butter your madeleine tin, which is an excellent job for small fingers, and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).




Spoon the chilled batter into the madeleine pans until they’re three-quarters full.

The mixture will be quite thick and cold at this point, so don’t make the mistake I did with my first batch of these and not spread them right into the crevasses of the madeleine shapes. I’d expected the mixture to spread while cooking, but it didn’t enough and my first batch were very misshapen.




Bake for 11-13 minutes until puffy. Do not overbake.  Cool on a rack and serve either slightly warm or at room temperature. Eat and marvel at how much slimmer you’re feeling ALREADY.




Things have been all over the place this week because of my computer problems, but I’m intending to make Wednesday ‘ Recipe of the Week’  day – where I play at being a food stylist  - going forward. Thanks to Keren at Frantic Foodie for organising the coffee morning and do check out Mireille’s excellent website which is full of ways to keep slim the French way. Oh and you can buy the Atelier LZC tea towel I used above from mirrormirror.

09 June 2010

Go Fug Your Room - Meg Ryan’s Beach House


I opened the most recent copy of Elle Decor with some trepidation.

The front cover promised views of Meg Ryan’s Martha’s Vineyard beach house, and given what she’s managed to do to her face, I was worried what would happen if she managed to get her hands on an actual house.



No, not a young Joan Rivers

I was fretting needlessly though, as the house itself is very, very white,  very, very bland, the very epitome of quiet good taste, utterly devoid of personality and not at all what I was expecting.  Maybe that goofy, quirky schtick that Meg does in her movies really is acting after all?

I can see how for some people this might be a haven of peace and tranquility and the house certainly has excellent bones; but to me all the white seems absurdly unimaginative and would make me feel PROFOUNDLY uncomfortable.





Can you imagine trying to eat pasta with sauce in this dining room?  I would have a nervous breakdown. Though I must admit to liking the table and the overall architecture of the room. And aren’t ghostly chair covers very passe’ anyway?


And you can just imagine the stylist on this shoot screaming at her assistant, ‘Flowers! Leaves! Fruit! Throws! Bombay Sapphire! Just rush to the shops and get me some COLOUR, dammit!’ And you just know the stylist also brought in that metal ‘FLOWERS’ thingy, though I do like that very much.


celebrity-homes-photos-meg-ryan-13 meg-ryan-house-bathroom-1



I love the textures of these shelves and the fabulous wooden bench in the kitchen. Of course I would be terrified to actually cook in there.




So, am I being unnecessarily harsh?  I don’t hate it but it’s quite a long way from what I’d do if I had eleventy million dollars to spend on a beach house. The view’s very lovely though and has awakened a hitherto unsuspected yearning to go to Martha’s Vineyard.




So, your turn. Additional comments always welcome too.


Ha! So that bit of dynamic bloggery didn’t last long. My computer has been taken away to computer hospital to cure its severe case of  ‘fighter jet fan’  so I’m currently working off the home server which the Husband has set up for me. I didn’t even know you could do such a thing. But it’s not a terribly efficient set up, so posting may be a little light over the next few days.

In future every Tuesday will be ‘Go Fug Your Room’ day IF I can find enough subjects. If you see articles which might be good candidates for GFYR then do let me know. They need to feature decor which is at least somewhat controversial, and of course being snarky about celebrities or celebrity designers is always much more amusing than making fun of people we’ve never heard of.

07 June 2010





I’m back, sort of.

I wanted to see if I missed blogging, and I did, a lot, so I’m glad to be back in the saddle. The bad news is that my computer sounds like a jet fighter just before take off and this is my last week of freedom before the Minx finishes school for the summer vacation (can you believe it?) AND we’re off to Europe in two weeks, so I probably still won’t be able to blog as frequently as I would like, but let’s see how it goes. 

In addition I have been having THOUGHTS about refocusing the blog a bit.  Which, I hear you say, won’t be difficult, since it currently has no real focus at all.

Firstly I’d like this to be more of a ‘salon’ type blog about the design-world with lots of vigorous discussion in the comments, and a bit of an antidote to the ‘bunnies and unicorns’ type of approach taken by some other blogs. So I’ll be casting around for more ‘Go Fug Your Room’ type stuff and other things for us to discuss.

Secondly, I’m getting more and more into my photography and feel that it’s taking me somewhere. I have no idea exactly where it’s going, but I’ll be using this blog to experiment more and see what happens. 

Thirdly, I’m going to introduce some more regular features so that I have a bit of a framework for my blogging week and you can come here with a bit more of an idea whether to expect tulips or chairs or knitting. I’ll be introducing some of these over the coming week.

Thanks so much for all your lovely messages and comments, I missed you!  Mwah!

In other news Seattle is ‘enjoying’ one its interminable rainy springs. I know I shouldn’t expect the fabulous Seattle summer to start until early July but all this rain in June is somewhat depressing, particularly as it seems you’re even having summer in ENGLAND this year. But the lavender is peeking out, so I’m hoping this portends of better things.

04 June 2010

What Home Means to Me


stopping to smell the roses

 IMG_6650  image

Photo from Twins Garden Style Blog 


 Image from Yarnstorm


sticking to my knitting

IMG_6648 image

Image from Brooklyn Tweed


Image from Attic 24


baking lots and LOTS of cake





eating tons of pasta and drinking lots of wine




 Print from Jenn Ski on Etsy


Image from Lara Ferroni 


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



being constantly amazed by the bounty of our incredible cherry tree



Image from Canelle-Vanille





entertaining friends



Pinned from 



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



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.

14 May 2010




I’m going to stop blogging for two weeks.

As you can probably tell from the lacklustre recent posts, I’ve been finding it difficult to motivate myself recently and there’s so much other stuff I’ve got to sort out.

So I’m taking a week or two to organise all my clothes, my desk, my photos and the shop, do some exercise, get the garden ready for summer and refresh, rethink and refocus this blog a little.

I will be back. Have fun and don’t miss me too much.

30 April 2010

Today I Am Mostly …

…liking this colour combination




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? 

28 April 2010

April Photo Gallery




{Fading Lilacs}


Did anyone take on my April photo challenge? The idea is to post a photo up on your blog which sums up ‘April’ to you, post a link to the blog post below and then we all go and have a look at it.

Here’s mine, though it’s a little bit of a cheat as lilacs to me are more usually ‘May’. But they’re fading so fast this year that I had to get in quick. And I like this pic in B&W so have added that too.

I’ve linked to my blog below so you can see how this works. You’ve got a week to link to your own post.

19 April 2010

Traditional English Apricot Flapjacks


or possibly the best flapjack recipe in the world. 

These are what I made for the Food Bloggers’ Bake Sale. I chose them because they’re quick and easy, as English as the Queen (no bake sale in the UK would be complete without flapjacks, in fact the Queen probably has her own ‘go to’ recipe) but would probably be a novel taste experience for an American audience.

I believe that in the US a ‘flapjack’ is a type of pancake, but in the UK a flapjack is a squidgy, chewy bar a bit like a granola bar, full of oats and redolent with sugar and butter. 




Their unique taste comes from the addition of ‘golden syrup', a traditional British cane sugar syrup with a distinctive buttery flavour. It’s becoming increasingly available in the US and we have found it here in Seattle at Metropolitan Market, Cost Plus World Market and at British food stores.

If you buy some it’s also absolutely delicious on pancakes and porridge as well as being used for lots of other traditional British recipes such as treacle tart. You could substitute corn syrup, honey or molasses at a pinch, but your flapjacks won’t taste quite the same.





This recipe comes from my mother-in-law by way of Waitrose I think (some British supermarket anyway) which I’ve adapted for American measures and temperatures etc.  The thing I like about it is the inclusion of not-so-traditional sweetened condensed milk, which definitely ups the sticky squidgy factor.



1 1/2 sticks/6oz/170g unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups/6oz/170g soft brown sugar

2 tablespoons golden syrup

2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

4 cups/12oz/340g rolled (old fashioned) porridge oats

6 oz/170g chopped dried apricots



Line a 13” x 9” pan with baking parchment and grease the paper with butter.

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas Mark 4.

In a saucepan gently heat the butter, sugar, golden syrup and condensed milk, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.




Stir the chopped apricots into the oats until they’re evenly distributed and then stir in the sugary, buttery, syrupy liquid until all the oats are evenly coated.

Press the mixture into your prepared pan. There’s no need to press down too hard, but make sure the top is even.




Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. At the end your flapjacks will be slightly more golden, but won’t look much different from when they went into the oven.

Leave them to cool in the pan, then cut into 12-15 servings and devour.

Flapjacks are very tolerant creatures, so go to town with variations and additions. Try different dried fruits (raisins are very often used), nuts and seeds, coconut, glace cherries or even chocolate chips .

We had to wrap our offerings as well. Flapjacks are not the most aesthetically beautiful things (the pleasure is all in the munching) so I wrapped them with baking parchment sealed with Happytape (yes, the Husband took the anvil-sized on blog hint for Valentines Day).



Oh, and as predicted Megan Not Martha was the star of the bake sale with these.  

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.






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.




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 every week until April 18th, or you can always buy one here, though it will set you back $190.

02 April 2010


I just wanted to boast really.

Look what I’ve got nestling at the foot of the Easter tree!



I just had a very nice lunchtime knitting session with Megan Not Martha and she gave me three of her exquisite chocolate and goodie-filled eggs which have been all round the blogosphere 85 times already.

I bet you wish you were me.

01 April 2010

April Photography Gallery



Picture from last April’s Skagit Valley Tulip Fest 


This one is for all you photographers out there and is half something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time, and half a complete copy from Tara’s weekly photo gallery on her fabulous blog Sticky Fingers.

Some of you may remember that, back in the day, I used to write a blog full of seasonal fun and jollity called The Year of Living Gorgeously , and that we held a monthly photography competition, which celebrated every month of the year through photography.

Well, we stopped writing the blog but I loved doing the photography competition and have been looking for a way to revive it. Tara’s idea seems to work very well. Over the course of the month post up your photograph of the month on your blog (if you don’t have a blog, send me your photo and I’ll post it up here) and at the end of the month I’ll set up one of those McLinky things here, so we can see all your beautiful images.  

So, get your thinking caps on.  What does April mean to you?  Is it Easter? Or Spring?  (Or Autumn in your hemisphere?)  Does it conjure up a particular food, or flower or view?  Or maybe a celebration, a birthday or a local event.  Or perhaps a hobby or pastime or craft that you particularly indulge in round this time of the year.

If you were making a really personal April calendar what would your April photo be?

26 March 2010




Beautiful ravioli from the Herb Farm  


Oh but I’ve been a busy bunny recently.

On Tuesday night I was lucky enough to go to Foodportunity  - a networking event for Seattle foodies organised by Keren of FranticFoodie, where chefs, restaurateurs, press, bloggers, bakers and kitchen shops all get together to sample fabulous food from some of the top restaurants in Seattle.

This was the first time I’ve been and I so enjoyed myself. I got to meet fellow Seattle foodies and bloggers such as Seattle Bon Vivant and Carrie of Girl & Coconut (without her coconut on this occasion) whom I’ve been following for years, mirrormirror supplier Bella Cupcake Couture (with whom I’d only exchanged emails before) and loads of new and interesting people such as Lacey  from A Greener Kitchen, a new ecofriendly online kitchen store.

The food was really excellent – with my prize for foodie bite of the night going to Alaska Silk Pie’s tiny Creme Brulee Cheesecakes – and best of all, thanks to good offices and generosity of Carrie Coconut, I won dinner for two at the Herb Farm, which is renowned as one of the very best restaurants in the whole of the Pacific Northwest.  REALLY excited about that one.

I found out about Foodportunity on Twitter and the Herb Farm competition above was a Twitter competition on the night (which Carrie alerted me to). I’m really finding Twitter a great networking place to be, can’t think why I didn’t get on there earlier. My Twitter handle is @mirrormirrorxx. I’d love to see you there!

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.

04 March 2010

Go Love Your Room – Raina Kattelson

One of the very best things about the Blogging Your Way course has been the opportunity to ‘meet’ a bunch of really fab bloggers.

One such is Raina Kattelson, a fashion and interiors stylist from the Hudson Valley in New York state.

Her blog is full of interesting find and thoughts, but I was most blown away when I saw pics of her house. Which I completely adore.  It’s already been featured on Design*Sponge and Poppytalk, but I wanted to share it here as well.


Loving the green on the walls – works because everything else is simple and monochrome.


Well, except for the stunning collection of vintage ceramics. Absolutely loving how she’s styled these shelves. 


Love the little touches such as the place settings drawn on the table.


Another great collection of vintage knitting needles – MUST get myself on Ebay - and great desk inspiration for the Office Project.


Next job for us is getting the radiators stripped, though these are much lovelier than ours.



Favourite bit of the whole house = the stencil on the floor. 


Her daughter’s bedroom.  First ever use of chalkboard paint I actually like.


Isn’t it fantastic? Go and say hello to Raina over here. I’m feeling most inspired to finish painting the living room now.

{all pics courtesy of Raina Kattelson}

02 March 2010

Jennifer Squires Photography

Just a quickie this morning as I have decided to make progress on, can you believe it, tidying. my. office. (Did you hear that Lou?) There will be an update post tomorrow.

In the meantime you slackers, my lovelies, I would really appreciate any blog improvement suggestions below. I’m trying to make a list at the moment and anything you could add would be enormously helpful. 

And I will now leave you with the gorgeous photography of Jennifer Squires.  Jennifer is another photographer who achieves that peaceful, tranquil atmosphere with her photography which I aspire to emulate but never seem to be able to achieve.  Maybe you need to have a peaceful tranquil mind to get these effects? 




Photography is so fascinating, as so much of the photographer’s personality always shines through in the photos. I swear a hundred photographers could take the same camera to the same place in the same light and you’d still get hundred different images. Anyway, you can read a great interview with Jennifer on Art Wall (a fabulous blog about, you’ve guessed it, art walls).




{All photos by Jennifer Squires Photography}

01 March 2010

Get Your Bitchpants On!


So, this Blogging Your Way course I’m doing with Holly Decor8 (highly recommended BTW) wraps up this week and we’ve been divided into teams to critique each others’ blogs. 

I have been getting A TON of hugely useful feedback, which has got me thinking about a full redesign in the next month or two. And then it struck me that you, my lovelies, are also the perfect source of intelligent, thoughtful, insightful blog critiquing.

So could you please put your bitchpants on and let rip?  If you were me, what would you change about the blog?  How can I improve the layout? The content? Are there things you find distracting? Are there features you particularly love or hate? Why do you come here in the first place? What would you like to see more of? How can I make you love the blog more?

Please don’t pull any punches. I’m a big girl and can handle it. And if I’m doing a redesign, I want to make it as effective as possible.  I promise not to hate you (much, haha!) though feel free to go anonymous on this if you prefer.

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.


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?




H 3 small for etsy

I small for web

22 February 2010

The Office Project

I’m horrified to admit that this is the current state of mirrormirror’s intergalactic headquarters.


I’m the first to admit that I’m not the world’s tidiest person, but even I can see that this is ridiculous and severely hampering my productivity.



I’m giving myself three weeks to sort this out and turn it into a haven of tranquillity and humming productivity and doing little blog updates along the way.  Does anyone care to join me?  Just think how much happier you’ll feel. Link to a ‘before’ post on your blog below, and let the tidying and filing begin!

If you need inspiration take a look at Nicole Making It Lovely’s office.  I’m just going to read that and weep. 

If this gets a lot of interest, I’ll see if I can sort out a prize for the tidiest and most beautiful office.

Tweet, Tweet


Being at the forefront of technological innovation as I am, I’ve just arrived in the world of Twitter. Still trying to figure it all out but my handle is mirrormirrorxx (yes, very naff, but the best I could do).  Who are good/witty/amusing people to follow? Do you guys find Twitter useful? Or is it just another huge time suck? (Like I don’t have enough of those in my life). Will I be seeing you there?

Tweety stacking salt and pepper pots above by Hannah Tofalos are from mirrormirror.

08 February 2010

Is This My Blog?



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.


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.


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.


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.