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187 posts categorized "Seattleite"

09 August 2010

All About Me – Me and My Girl

You won’t see many photos of me out there, mostly because the Husband, who obviously has MANY fine attributes, is the worst photographer known to man.

This weekend we fled the terrible Seattle summer and went to Lake Chelan, high in the mountains of northern Washington, which has a sunny microclimate and beautiful, swimmable waters.

And hell must have frozen over or something, because the Husband actually took some photos which made me look like a human being and not a water buffalo. They’re not amazing or anything – hair had just been in swimming pool and I’m wearing no make up – but I share them with you in memory of this miracle.






In case you think I’m exaggerating, here is one the Husband’s first, and more typical attempts.



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

Cakespy HQ


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




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

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

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



10 May 2010

An Extremely Cool Mother’s Day Idea


Yesterday morning I was woken at 6.20 AM by a very excited little girl, eager to present me with her Mother’s Day gift.

Because I’m an extremely bad mother, I must confess I was not exactly thrilled to see her at that time of the morning.  However when I saw what she’d made, it was so spectacular even I couldn’t find it in my heart to be grumpy.


 IMG_6176.CR2 IMG_6189


Funnily enough the Minx had no idea that I had recommended Edible Arrangements in my Mother’s Day Gift Guide on Shelterrific. Instead she had referred to instructions given in a recent issue of Sparkle World magazine.

The Husband reports that it’s a really great project to do with a young child – he got to cut the watermelon ‘vase’ and wield the melon baller, while the Minx was in charge of design, cutting out daisy and star shapes and threading fruit on to skewers.

And it was a superbly pleasurable way to have a light and totally guilt-free fruity breakfast before going out for Mother’s Day brunch.

Someone was rightly extremely proud of her little self. And I am very, VERY proud of her.

Hope all you other mommas had a great day too.




We went out for the brunch buffet at Urbane, the restaurant in the newly-opened Olive8 building. Loved the restaurant, loved the decor (would have taken pictures had the battery in my camera not died at the wrong moment), and the brunch was excellent.  Highly recommended to all Seattleites, especially the Nutella brioche which was one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten in my life.

23 April 2010

Yet More Tulips

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

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











Photos from 2009 here

Photos from 2007 here 


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

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.  

15 April 2010

Bloggers Bake Sale for Share Our Strength




On Saturday I, and a number of other much more famous Seattle food bloggers, such as NotMartha, Cakespy and Gluten Free Girl, will be donating baked items to the Food Bloggers bake sale. Megan NotMartha will apparently be upstaging us all with a secret something baked in jars. I will be contributing something very, VERY British.



When: April 17, 2010
10:am -12:pm

Metropolitan Market Uptown
100 Mercer Street
(free parking available)

What: Cookies, Cakes and baked goods made by Seattle food bloggers
Recipes will be available too.

Nearly 17 million— almost one in four—children in America face hunger. Despite the good efforts of governments, private-sector institutions and everyday Americans, millions of our children still don’t have daily access to the nutritious meals they need to live active, healthy lives. More information on SOS can be found at Share Our Strength.


The Seattle bake sale has been organised by Keren of FranticFoodie and if you can’t make it to Met Market in Seattle, then there are bake sales being organised throughout the US by Gaby of What’s Gaby Cooking.

Just running out the door to get rolled oats. British readers I bet you can guess what I’m baking!

30 March 2010

Weekend Photos

This weekend I made a cheesecake for the school’s Gala auction



admired the sun shining through my new (vintage) Pyrex {from ZellesAttic}



over-exposed a tulip



admired foliage in the Japanese Garden 





had coffee and cake at the Essential 




and put up the Easter tree




I have spared you images from our trip to Ikea.

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!

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

23 February 2010

A Walk Up My Street

This comes with huge apologies for all those of you struggling with yet more snow in the UK and on the East Coast.


This is what has been happening in that crazy parallel universe we call Seattle, where we’ve been having an unseasonably mild and rainfree winter. This is all happening within a block of my house – you can smell the heady perfume in the streets. Have you ever seen so much insane loveliness in February?  More on Flickr.

07 February 2010

Today I Am Mostly…


…walking round the lake



07 January 2010

Today I Am Mostly…


…watching the sunrise



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

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

I’ve also retrospectively published a picture here.

13 December 2009

Oh Tannenbaum

Just when you thought there was nothing new under the sun in regards to Christmas trees, here is the extremely beautiful and, as far as I know anyway, very original ‘tree’ outside the Space Needle here in Seattle.  It’s made of interlocking spherical ‘cages’ wrapped with thousands of tiny white lights.

{I was going to say, please excuse crappy iPhone pics, but actually it’s really rather staggering what you can do with a little mobile phone camera nowadays}

IMG_0206  IMG_0200


11 December 2009

And A Partridge In A Pear Tree


I don’t normally like just linking to other people’s posts directly without adding ‘value’ or ‘insights’ of my own, but seriously if you haven’t already seen this incredible stand-up gingerbread partridge in a pear tree on Not Martha then I suggest you rush there straight away, where you’ll find lots of additional pictures and full instructions.  Much better than anything you’ll find round these parts anyway.


{picture from Not Martha}

13 October 2009

Cupcake Couture

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





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

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


29 September 2009

Last Drop of Summer

or the final chapter for this year I think in ‘If My Daughter Ever Complains About Her Childhood I Will Refer Her To This Blog’.

Seattle July '091 

We spent the weekend at Lake Chelan, about three and a half hours drive from Seattle, high in the Cascade mountains, where the cooler temperate coastal climate of Seattle and its surroundings meets the desert of Eastern Washington. The climate and landscape seemed very Mediterranean and the lake itself reminded me a little of the northern reaches of Lake Garda in Italy, though sadly without the charming jewel-like lakeside towns and delightful Italian restaurants.

Much kayaking and swimming  – in crystal-clear lake and pool – was accomplished and a great time was had by all.  And a good job too, because we got back to find that autumn has finally arrived with a vengeance in Seattle. The words ‘freaking cold’ came to mind this morning.

We’ve got no more weekend trips planned (at least until the end of the month, when the Minx and I need to go to Canada to renew our visas) and I’m relishing the idea of hunkering down a bit with knitting and house stuff – it’s been a long, long, but utterly fabulous summer.

22 September 2009

Hot Date – Seaplanes and Kayaks

It’s a busy month round here – both the Husband and I have birthdays and it’s also our wedding anniversary - so we decided to both take the day off work and go on ‘hot date’ instead.

Can anyone tell me why we haven’t done this before?  It felt so deliciously naughty and decadent and we didn’t even need a babysitter, just friends who were kind enough to pick the Minx up from school.

Despite the fact that we live close to Seattle’s Lake Union and are constantly buzzed by the seaplanes flying overhead, the Husband had never been on one (I did here, but it’s not quite the same in February), so we decided to book a flight out to Roche Harbor on San Juan Island.

I do keep forgetting what a ridiculously beautiful corner of the world I accidentally ended up in.


Ready for takeoff 


Bye bye Seattle and Mt Rainier


Past Mt Baker




Pretty restaurant


Kayaking – we saw seals! (but I wasn’t quick enough with my camera to photograph them)


Autumn is on its way


Iles flottantes


Into the sunset


Back towards Rainier


Approaching Seattle


Buzzing the Space Needle 

It’s expensive, but on a beautiful day I can’t recommend this highly enough to anyone living in the Pacific Northwest. It truly was one of the most awesome things I’ve ever done in my life.

18 September 2009

Getting Old

It’s my birthday today and Seattle is rewarding me with the most glorious sunny day imaginable.

The long hot summer of 2009 continues its magic, I’ve picked myself some flowers from the garden, and I’m feeling very lazy, very grateful and very content.

Real birthday celebrations are happening tomorrow, so I can spend the day with Minx, and then on Monday both the Husband and I are taking a day off to go on a very exciting hot date, of which more anon.

See you on Tuesday!

IMG_0864 IMG_0852

Cute antique milk bottle vase is from Casapinka’s fabulous new Etsy store.

15 September 2009

The Golden Years

Or, yet another chapter from ‘If My Daughter Dares Complain About Her Childhood, I Will Refer Her To This Blog’.Sausages on the Beach

This has been a record-breakingly fabulous summer in Seattle and this weekend we headed to the beach to cook sausages and watch the sun go down.

11 September 2009


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



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



Things Still To Be Done About Which We Need to Talk

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

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

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

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

- Crochet the sofa a beautiful present.

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

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

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

09 September 2009

Adventures in Knitting - Knitting the Ocean

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


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

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



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

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

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

06 August 2009

So(fa) Exciting!

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

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

Custom 56 Sofa - Oasis White - Couch (2)

Custom 56 Sofa - Oasis White - Couch (3)

Custom 56 Sofa - Oasis White - Couch

04 August 2009

Lampshade Couture – It’s Competition Time!


Dawn Bassett of Seattle-based LiT Shades makes bespoke lampshades for any room in the house, using designer fabrics such as Marimekko, or custom letterpress printing.

Lit lamps

Until 7th August Dawn is running a competition on her blog where you can win your very own custom couture lampshade. All you need to do is send in a picture of a lamp in need of a revamp and Dawn will pick one to crown with its own special bespoke shade.

I mention this by way of a public service announcement because I love my readers, though I don’t particularly want any of you to enter as I’ve just entered my own sadly neglected Ebay lucite lamp. Anyway, if you must, full details of how to enter are here


A lamp in need of a vamp

03 August 2009

Urban Craft Uprising – the Reckoning

We went, we saw, we bought.  AND there was air-conditioning.  What more could you ask for?

UCU has grown up.  It still has a pleasantly friendly and chaotic vibe, but there was so much more stuff that was actually worth buying.  Still a lot of felt though.


Here are a few images of the Uprising. I’ll talk about some of the individual stallholders over the course of the week.








01 August 2009

Urban Craft Uprising



Just a quick reminder for Seattle-based peeps that the first ever summer Urban Craft Uprising is taking place tomorrow and Sunday at the Seattle Center.

I got to a UCU a couple of years back when I first arrived in Seattle and found it to be a charming mishmash of the homespun, the bizarre and the fabulous. Included in the fabulous this time round will be Dave Sheely Designs and the Cakespy herself.


31 July 2009

Lavender Blue Dilly Dilly

Oh I’ve have been a very naughty blogger recently.  I’ve been struggling a bit keeping all the balls in the air while the Minx has been on summer vacation and to top it all Seattle has been having a mini-heatwave this summer culminating in a record-breaking temperature of 103 degrees yesterday (that’s 39.5 degrees in real money) .

I realise this is nothing compared with what many people elsewhere in the US go through, but you have to remember that most places in Seattle, including our house, don’t have air conditioning. So we’ve been getting through it with a combination of cool baths, evening swims in the lakes, sleeping in our new tent on the roofdeck, moaning about the weather and generally finding it difficult to achieve anything.

There’s some potentially exciting stuff going on in the background though, of which more later, and I’m intending to relaunch the blog somewhat when the Minx goes into full-time education starting in September! I’m such a bad mother, but I really cannot wait…


In the meantime, here are some pictures I took of the lavender festival in Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula.  Sequim (pronounced ‘Squim’) is in the rainshadow of the Olympic Mountains and has a uniquely dry micro-climate for these parts, which is apparently very similar to that of Provence and has become the centre of a burgeoning lavender production area.

 IMG_1469 IMG_1516  IMG_1490 IMG_1455




09 July 2009

Hey Cupcake!


Sorry for light bloggery recently - it's the interminable school vacation here and while we're having lots of fun in the sun, there really isn't much opportunity to get to a computer.

Last weekend, as usual, was filled with preparations for our annual Fourth of July firework party on our roofdeck, for which I ended up baking 113 mini-cupcakes, two huge clafoutis with cherries from our tree and one enormous strawberry and raspberry pavlova (which I will blog about separately).

Here are the cupcakes in action (with a glimpse of one of the clafoutis to the bottom right of the bottom image)



Here is the view on a gorgeously warm and balmy moonlit night.


And here is the ISO button on my camera breaking just before I was going to take pictures of the main event.


29 June 2009

Life is a bowl of...


This is probably around a quarter of the cherries we've pulled off the tree in the last few days and there's still more to come.  We're eating till we're fit to burst, giving them away and made an immense clafoutis at the weekend (which I didn't get a chance to take pictures of before it was gobbled up). We'll also be making jam before long.

But, I think we're still in need of cherry recipes. Any good ones?

22 June 2009

Sofa SO Good

So we've made a decision.

We're going with the Deep sofa below from Couch Seattle, though we're going to switch out the wooden plinth underneath for mid-century style cone feet and the whole thing will be in buttery soft ivory leather. The leather was a bit of an indulgence, and in all honesty I'm not really a leather sofa person at all, but it did seem the most supremely practical option with a Minx in the house - our existing white slip-covered sofa really does look horrific nowadays.


We partly made this decision because this is one of the few sofas we were able to sit on and test - and goodness me is it comfortable - but also on the basis of a long email discussion with Ameer at Couch. That man knows his couches.

I'm reproducing one of his emails here as I believe the advice he gives might be useful to anyone else currently buying a sofa, but also because this sort of exemplary and helpful customer service really needs to be celebrated.

Over to Ameer (the below is his email in response to my previous sofa post). I've included mini-pics of the sofas he is referring to, so we can follow the argument.

'It seems you want a modern or mid-century sofa that sits like a big lounger - which is a bit of a challenge. 

Mid-century styles like the Petrie Petrie and Jasper Jasper are a bit more upright.  Not familiar with how the Jasper sits but it mimics the depth and geometry of the Petrie so I assume they sit the same-which is to say well, but hardly plush, which is what you liked about my Deep model. Deep  

For reference the Deep is 40" while the Jasper and Petrie are both 36"- and the Deep features down blend in the back and seat while neither the Petrie or Jasper do.  Styles like that are both all about the straightness of the line, which down would compromise. 

As for the 51 image0-1 , the other style you scanned, I dig it but simply don't dig it as much as the Deep.  Seeing both in person in California the Deep was a fair bit more modern and eye-catching.  I don't think it's necessarily rounder by any means than the Deep. 

The Rae CropperCapture[3] and Nina are both nice looking but the Nina CropperCapture[6]  is only 75" wide, while the Ray looks from here like it sits stiff (and being only 32" will sit quite shallow). 

The Danner CropperCapture[7]is pretty (but again shallow) and undoubtedly well made but you're paying maybe $1,500 to get the Adler label.  I could do the Nina and probably the Danner as well.  But since you've mentioned you want loungy comfort I might encourage you to look at options that include back pillows.

Byward CropperCapture[4] is an awkward knock-off of a B&B Charles.  CropperCapture[8] It looks awkward because the seat cushion is too fat by about an inch - and the back cushions need a touch of space between them so you can see the frame.  The Charles needs to be knocked off perfectly to look good.  An inch off here and an inch off there and it's not so very pretty at all

Movie sofaRaeis good but CB2 quality isn't quite the same as that of the CB main line - and the problem with a sofa like that is that you NEED lots of cushions to put behind you and while lots of throw pillows are nice to look at, they can drive one crazy trying to find the right arrangement on dvd night.  Sleek yet plush is really kind of a difficult thing to do. 

The Frigerio line at Limn is amazing yet Italian made with prices to match.  Restoration Hardware has some great designs, but perhaps a little too traditional for your taste and they're overpriced and Chinese built.  Kasala and Alchemy are always options for some contemporary styling, but you undoubtedly visited since they're both on the same street I am.  Hmmm.  Given your parameters I dunno where'd I'd get a sofa if I didn't get it from me. 

If I didn't have 10k for Frigerio (which I don't) I'd probably go for a Steele CropperCapture[9] from CB (which would fit with your room aesthetic).  It's got a nice sleek look and in my opinion sits better than the Petrie.

I'm also of the mind that the aggressively mid century style of the Petrie won't age as well as a more updated style like the Steele. You could also get the Steele in time for your parents in a suitable fabric since it's stocked in a nubby polyester.  The Petrie is stocked in a cotton which just isn't the right call for you given the Minx.  To change out the cotton to the leather on the Petrie you're going to be waiting till well after your parents have come and gone. 

I'm going through my databanks here for a good source for a deep, stylish, plush, sofa and coming up blank. 

Best I can do is the CB Lounge CropperCapture[10]  which is stocked in a stain resistant poly velvet.  Yup, that's my story and I'm sticking to it -  though that one is 46" deep so will have a large footprint in a not so very wide room.  I really did try!

To answer your question I've got the exact spec for both the Petrie, Jasper, and Movie but I'm not in love with any of them.  I'll take another look at my resources and see if I can't suggest a couple others.  For a really progressive piece that looks fantastic and sits well, I really am a big fan of the Deep.  I think it would look right at home in one of my neighboring boutiques at 3x the price. 


15 June 2009

Sofa, So Very Not Good

The inlaws have booked their flights out to visit us this August and we are now panicking because our crummy thirteen-year-old sofa is in a state of severe delapidation and is hugely uncomfortable. I suspect rather too much of this is to blame.


So, a new sofa must be procured.

This Saturday we went along to Couch in Seattle, whose owner Ameer was really helpful and incredibly passionate about sofas (see also this write-up on Apartment Therapy ). He has a range of sofas which are eco-friendly, completely customisable and competitively priced, plus he can get sofas made 'inspired' by those at the big box stores, but again customised to your own requirements.

So here are some sofas I like. I find that I'm drawn to a sort of mid-century vibe (definitely want feet) but it needs to be incredibly comfortable and relaxing and not the sort of sofa that makes you sit bolt upright.  Any other ideas?  Are there any other aspects I should be taking into consideration? Anyone got any experience sitting on any of the below? I'm thinking of shapes at the moment rather than upholstery colours/fabrics/prices, though if anyone knows of any mid-century styled slipcover sofas I'd be all ears.


Jasper at Room & Board, $1,299 


Movie Sofa at CB2, $999 



Byward at Velocity, $1,800 




Petrie at Crate & Barrel, $1.499




Rae at Chiasso $1,598


Nina at Maine Cottage,  $1,700 - $2,590


Danner, at Jonathan Adler, $3,800


Finally, here are a couple of ideas they had a Couch, both of which can be made up in a gorgeous buttery soft ivory leather, which I'm very drawn too due to the practicality aspect. (Excuse the quality of these, they're scans of scans).  I'd get the feet changed on both of these though.




Oh and here's reminder of the room it's going in. An no, we still haven't painted the walls.


12 May 2009

What A Difference Some Stain Makes

When the landscapers were doing the hardscaping for our back garden we asked them to build a fence in order to corral the Minx.

They left us with an large orange structure which we naively believed would soon fade to an attractive weathered grey.



I don't know what the wood was treated with, but we waited and waited. And the other new wood such as the trellis faded. But still the fence glowed orangely in the corner. (And as you can see it didn't even do a very good job of corraling the Minx).

556  IMG_9080



So about a month ago we bit the bullet, dodged the Spring rain showers and attacked it with the dark brown stain we'd used on the deck. It took forever - it needed two coats and it was a pain in the behind getting under the chicken wire. But in the end it looked like this. I can't tell you what a difference it makes to the whole garden.




Here is a somewhat random picture of a raccoon in the garden at the weekend admiring the fence.  (You should have seen us all marvelling when we saw two raccoons - we are SO British).


07 May 2009



I've recently come to know Jessie Oleson of Cakespy. She is a Seattle-based artist and illustrator who does cute watercolours showing the adventures of Cuppie, an anthropomorphic cupcake, and  also writes the blog Cakespy, where Jessie hunts down various cakes and desserts.  At which point I fully understand if you've all fled there en masse and are no longer reading this post.

As part of this month's Wallingford Art Walk Jessie was exhibiting at Trophy Cupcakes showing pictures of Cuppie in various Seattle locations.  Given my borderline obsession with Trophy anyway, wild horses couldn't keep the Minx and I from attending.

I did buy a couple of little watercolours which Jessie will be sending to me. In the meantime the above is the promotional postcard for the event, which the Minx absolutely adores and which I will probably also frame for her. She particularly likes the 'Mummy and Minx buying a box of cupcakes' (yes she is fairly familiar with the appearance of a Trophy box) to the left.

If you're in Seattle, Jessie's work will be on display at Trophy through to June 1st.  She's also exhibiting at Schmancy in downtown Seattle on Friday evening.  For all non-Seattleites, her work is available online here. 

05 May 2009

Cars & Tulips

I'm back!


Thank you so much for all your good wishes. I was quite taken aback by how badly affected I was by the shock of it all. The first couple of days I was all over the place and after that I was very, very tired - presumably as the adrenaline left my body.  Fortunately the only major physical injury was to my tongue, which I managed to bite, and to my jaw, which I think was bruised by the seatbelt and which seemed slightly misaligned and made eating hugely difficult.  I've had some bodywork though, and if you are in the Seattle area I can't recommend my chiropractor Dr Ted, who straightened my back out, or the magic fingers of Anne the rolfer - who managed to straighten my jaw out - highly enough. 

The car was a complete write-off though, so we're currently in the market for a little practical runaround. My head tells me that I should be getting a little fuel-efficient and practical hatchback, though such things are as rare as hens' teeth in the land of the Hummer, but my heart is telling me to get a VW Beetle.  If anyone's got any experiences, good or bad, to share then I'm all ears. 

This might have to be a light week of posting, as I've got a lot to catch up on with mirrormirror, but here are some photos from the annual tulip festival in Skagit County that we went to the weekend before last. I'm also writing some posts over on Shelterrific if you can't get enough of me.










21 April 2009

Portland Envy

Portland April '091

The setting isn't remotely as naturally stunning as Seattle's and we spent much of the weekend dodging rain and hail showers, but I came back with serious case of Portland envy.

The architecture is older and therefore more charming to my European eyes, the streets are narrower and more pedestrian-friendly and it just has a cooler and funkier urban vibe, despite being much the smaller city.  Just from the clothes people wear you can tell that Portland is a city of artsy types whereas Seattle is the ultimate city of geeks.

Thanks so much for the recommendations, here and on Facebook. Things we really enjoyed - apart from the hotel - include Habibi for great Lebanese food (we used to live near some great Lebanese restaurants in London and its something I really miss); Hot Lips Pizza in the Pearl District for seriously great tasting pizza; Cool Moon Icecream near Jamison Square (the perfect shelter in a hailstorm); Sushiland, also in the Pearl District, for good cheap conveyor belt sushi; Cargo for funky ethnic stuff; Knit Purl for YARN and of course Powell's for books.  The Japanese Garden in Washington Park is stunning and the rose garden must be amazing when the roses are actually out.  Lots of amazing rhododendrons when we were there though.  I also found the Holocaust Memorial, which we wandered into on the off-chance, very moving.

Mostly though we spent out time wandering the streets, admiring the street art, riding the trolley buses and hoping that Seattle's urban planners will someday turn South Lake Union or Georgetown into the Pearl District with better views.  Keep your fingers crossed.

07 April 2009

Ready For Their Close Up, Mr De Mille

This weekend the weather was utterly fabulous, so of course we spent it going to Ikea and doing loads of chores around the house and garden.  We are in that in-between stage with lots of half-completed jobs and Ikea flatpack boxes lying round the house, but progress of sorts has been made.

We did take a short break on Sunday to go for lunch at the Volunteer Park Cafe and then for a stroll around Volunteer Park, stopping at the conservatory along the way. 

I just happened to have my macro lens on my camera, so it was a good opportunity to get up close and personal on some of the flowers.









26 March 2009

Seattle Chocolates

Talking of pretty patterns, I know I'm supposed to be doing Weightwatchers, but a couple of these chocolate bars from Seattle Chocolates just happened to fall accidentally into our shopping trolley at the weekend.

Of course I only had one or two squares (who are you kidding? - Ed) but I'm pleased to report that they taste just as gorgeous as they look.

seattle chocolates

Oh and the below would make an extremely acceptable Easter egg substitute.


23 March 2009

In the Background

Yesterday we went for a walk in Seattle's rather splendid arboretum (say what you like about this city, but it is incredibly good at trees).

It's been a long snowy winter in Seattle terms, so the spring flowers are only just unfurling, but it was a lovely day for a walk with my newly cleaned 60mm lens, which I am very happy to have back in my arms.






I've been using some of these images as desktop backgrounds and if you'd like to do the same, please feel free to nab them (got to my Flickr, select the image, choose 'All Sizes', open the 'Large' size, right click on the image and select 'set as desktop background').  Please remember that all images are my copyright.

Speaking of desktop backgrounds, check out the Kindred collaboration between Holly Becker and Heather 'Ez' Pudewa, who have collaborated with a number of artists to produce free artist desktop backgrounds (also downloadable notecards and gratitude notes).

19 March 2009

It's About Time


FINALLY I get to pick some daffs out of the garden.  It's been a long, cold winter here in Seattle.

18 March 2009

Sabotage - or You Just Died and Went to Cupcake Heaven

I'm back doing Weightwatchers  and getting back on the Wii Fit again as, due to extreme laziness, I haven't lost any weight since I posted this

This has of course led to every blog I read to enter into a conspiracy to see who can post up the most enticing/intriguing pictures of cupcakes they can find. 

So, in a spirit of 'if you can't beat'em, join 'em' and with apologies in advance for sabotaging your diets here they are.

First up gorgeous things from Aussie Hello Naomi {via Whorange}


CropperCapture[2]  CropperCapture[3]


Then cupcakes that look like burgers, so you can beat two junk food cravings at once (from here {via Twig and Thistle}


Chocolate Guinness cupcakes with Bailey's buttercream (I am SO stealing that idea) to celebrate St Patrick's Day from Trophy Cupcakes (available through March 31st for all Seattleites).


Finally this has been around the blogsphere a bit but I am DETERMINED to make him some day {via Violet Posy}.


04 March 2009

Public Service Announcement - Matte Stephens Giveaway

When we were talking paint colours recently (still dithering about that and waiting on a couple of samples) a couple of you mentioned my little Matte Stephens painting, which I picked up when Matte gave his talk at the Lab last year.  It was originally intended for the Minx's room, but I've decided that I love it far too much to waste it on her.


I bought the picture because, although it's supposed to be a picture of Matte's wife Vivienne, it reminds me of the Minx, and the fir trees and umbrella are just SO Seattle.

Those of you who spend a lot of time in the American blogosphere will certainly have seen Matte's work before - much of his talk at the Lab was about how he had been quietly plodding along with his art for years, before becoming something of an overnight sensation, with lots of interesting projects in the works.

However, for those of you who don't know him so well he has an Etsy shop here full of prints, and a blog here. You can also buy original works here at Velocity. And as of today he is giving away these three new pillows on his blog. 


I hope you appreciate how much I love you, as by telling you this I am severely impacting my own chances of winning.

Here's Matte and Vivienne at the Lab last year


 Just updating to say that, just in case you're not lucky enough to win, the pillows are on sale at Urban Outfitters at a very reasonable price.

25 February 2009

Fabulous Lampshades - Insatiable Studios

The wonderful lampshades in the house featured below are handmade by Seattle-based designer Jill Smith, owner of Insatiable Studios.

insatiable lamps

The shades are all meticulously crafted using a papier-mâché process and then decorated with found papers. Her lampshades are available to buy online and her work also adorns several commercial spaces, such as PCC and the Dahlia Lounge here in Seattle and Nordstroms in Chicago.

CIMG_191620(1)_jpg FIMG_157420(3)_jpg




Two of my favourite places to go - the Dahlia Lounge and PCC 

I really want one for the lucite lamp base I found on Ebay last year which is currently adorned by a VERY dull Ikea lampshade.  It's going to have to wait a bit though as I've just had a nasty bill for camera repairs.


This is NOT a fabulous lampshade

07 February 2009

Seattle News

Just a quick heads up for Seattle peeps. Firstly there's a sample sale TODAY at the Seattle Design Center in Georgetown.  Normally it's open to the trade only, but today it's open to  the public with hopefully loads of sale goodies available.  We'll be there later this morning.

Secondly the best Italian restaurant in Seattle has, very excitingly, recently opened two blocks from our house in lower Wallingford (just north of Gasworks Park).  We went to Cantinetta last night and had the most amazing time - fabulous buzzy ambience, friendly and knowledgeable service, a rustic but airy space in a converted corner brick house and incredible food and wine. The rabbit with wild mushrooms and polenta was one of the best things I've ever eaten in Seattle.

I'll try and do a proper review with photos next time I go, but in the meantime I advise you to run there as fast as your legs can carry you.

26 January 2009

Tees Made

il_fullxfull_43116530 il_fullxfull_49115488

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

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

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




18 January 2009

They're Back!


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

19 December 2008

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow...


This was the snowscene inside...

And this was the snowscene outside...




Very early this morning we were woken by a 'thundersnow' - a thunderstorm and blizzard in one.  All very rare for Seattle and particularly for us being so close to the lake.  Seattle is now of course completely paralysed with more snow expected at the weekend- will we be able to escape for Christmas?

11 December 2008

Toys for Seattle Kids in Need - Can You Help?

I know many of you are from the Seattle area, so I wonder if you could consider the following letter from the Superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation {via the Instant Hausfrau}.  If you're not from Seattle I would imagine the situation will also be pretty much the same wherever you are. Please spread the word if you can.

Here's a picture of the Minx to get you in the mood.



Hello everyone

Each year, several of our community centers host holiday parties for under privileged children. At the parties, children from low-income homes receive toys provided to the community centers by Toys For Tots. This year, Toys For Tots has received so few donations that they have been unable to fulfill our community centers’ requests. You can read more about it here:

As a result, some community centers have had to cancel their holiday parties, and others are scrambling to gather toys.

Seattle Parks and Recreation has more than 650 children this year who are pre-registered for the holiday parties, and who hope to receive a toy. Were it not for this annual party, some children would not receive any presents.

I am asking you to consider donating a new, unwrapped toy to help us meet this overwhelming need. Our most urgent situation is for Garfield Community Center. More than 150 children are pre-registered for a holiday party THIS Friday, December 12. That’s tomorrow. (After center staff were turned away from Toys For Tots this past week, they stopped registering children for the event. So there will probably be more children who just show up for the party without having been registered. We won’t turn anyone away.)

Four other community centers still have holiday parties scheduled in the coming weeks and hope to fulfill their need for toys for these children. If you cannot find time to shop and donate a new, unwrapped toy by tomorrow, there’s still time to help the other community centers.

If you would like to donate a new, unwrapped toy, you can do so at the following locations:

Parks Headquarters, 100 Dexter Avenue N — Kathleen Shaw (684-7050) or Patricia Young (684-4369)

RDA Building, 800 Maynard Ave. S — Jacqueline Tabor (684-7044)

Densmore Building, 8061 Densmore Ave. N — Brenna Clausen (233-7011)

Thank you for considering this donation.


p.s. Please forward this email to any friends or family you think can help.

Tim Gallagher


Seattle Parks and Recreation

17 November 2008

Bits 'n' Bobs

A few small announcements.


Holly at Decor8 has excellent taste in blogs.

The next meeting of the Grassroots Business Association is this Thursday at 7pm at Vermillion in Seattle.  Set up by Megan of Not Martha and The Organized Knitter and Kristen Rask from Schmancy among others, it's for everyone currently owning or thinking of starting their own small business.  I hope to see lots of you there.

The fourth annual Urban Craft Uprising is taking place in Seattle on December 6th and 7th at the Seattle Center.  I last went two years ago and it was a typically Seattle mix of the homespun, the bizarre and the fabulous, so I'm much looking forward to going again.

16 November 2008

Autumn Sunset

We don't usually get good sunsets from our house since it faces southeast (some very fine sunrises though) but this evening there was a sunset that filled the whole sky.







10 November 2008

Knitting Candy Floss

I'm almost embarrassed to tell you about my newest knitting project. Inspired by this blog post I am knitting up a very quick scarf in garter stitch on big fat needles.



I'm using Twinkle Soft Chunky yarn which is 100% pure wool, incredibly soft and only gently spun, so it's very er, woolly and fat.  My local yarn shop carries a great range of yarn brands but never chooses the nicest colours so I'm not sure I would necessarily have chosen this pink if all the colours had been available.  However, I've ordered some other colours online, as I think I'm going to be making more scarves.

If you want to make one too, I loosely cast on 20 stitches and am knitting it up in garter stitch on size 35 (20mm) needles. My original inspiration suggests size 50 needles, but my yarn shop doesn't stock needles that big.  The needles are very ugly and plastic (which does have the benefit of being lightweight) and they're quite tricky to work with.  Let's just liken it to knitting candyfloss with telegraph poles. But it really does knit up quick so there is much satisfaction to be gained.

UPDATE:  I've just undone everything and reduced the number of stitches to 16 as it was too wide. I'm determined to get one scarf out of one skein of wool. So just scrub the bit about it knitting up quickly...