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47 posts categorized "Television"

18 March 2013

Mad Men Season 6


I SO cannot wait. 

And aren’t these promo shots by Frank Ockenfels freaking GORGEOUS!



girls -mad-men-season-6



peggy -mad-men-season-6





Sadly it looks like Megan Draper is going to be just as pouty and irritating as she was last season (she is SO high on my ‘irrational hatreds’ list she needs oxygen).

Here’s writer/director/producer Matthew Weiner talking about this season, a fascinating interview with photographer Frank Ockenfels about making the shots, and here’s my post on Megan and Don’s new apartment which was featured in the LA Times (thereby marking one of the pinnacles of my blogging career).

The show premieres on April 7th in the US.


29 September 2012

Saturday Link Love




At Piebox, they create raw pine boxes designed to transport a 9 inch pie safely and easily.  I may well be investing in one of these.


Inaki Aliste Lizarralde draws incredibly detailed floorplans of the dwellings in famous TV shows. The post I wrote several years ago about Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment still gets hundreds of hits a week.




In Fictitious Dishes, Dinah Fried recreates iconic food of literature in her food photography.  Here’s the grilled cheese from ‘Heidi’  that sounded so delicious when I was a child.




Sheri Silver has been making fruit leather from all the excess fruit sitting in her fridge and I must do the same, since we’ve been going a little crazy picking wild blackberries recently.




Lotta Jansdotter is launching a new line at Fishs Eddy.  The above invitation is from her Facebook page.

Have a great weekend!  I will be going to the North West Chocolate Fest tomorrow. Anyone else got some exciting plans?


24 September 2012

Emmys 2012: Canary Yellow Dresses


So you’re an uber stylish mega lady celebrity attending one of the big celebrity bashes of the year and you decide to wear a colour which is rarely seen on the red carpet but which will really make you stand out in the crowd.

Unfortunately for you, you have forgotten that mirrormirror is clearly the uber stylish mega lady celebrity’s fashion blog of choice (which is astonishing since we rarely discuss fashion) and that back in September 2011 we were discussing Caitlin Moran’s maxim that ‘yellow goes surprisingly well with everything’.



So if you thought you were going to stand out in the crowd wearing your canary yellow dress, you clearly had another think coming.

Can you imagine how pissed off these women were yesterday evening?

UPDATE: Oops. Just found another one.




10 April 2012

Mad Men: More On Don Draper’s New Apartment





It went a little crazy round these parts when I wrote my recent analysis of Don Draper’s new apartment, so for the 47% of you who watch Mad Men (and for the remaining 53%, why the heck don’t you?), here are some more great articles I’ve found online about his new digs.

Firstly the LA Times did a great interview with set designer Claudette Didul about how she put the look together, and including a list of shopping resources.




Secondly, the LA Times also did a piece on the reaction to Don’s new pad online and included a link to THIS.VERY. BLOGAnd they called me ‘astute’.  What a remarkably sensible and insightful paper the LA Times is! 

The divine Tula, shopping guru extraordinaire, wrote two great pieces.  One on how to recreate Don’s apartment in your own home and another on how you can channel your inner Megan.




And the ever fabulous Tom and Lorenzo are again doing their weekly episode by episode Mad Style round-ups, which focus mainly on the fashions, but also on the interiors and sets.  I swear only people who are more insightful and knowledgeable about the show are the writers and producers themselves.


04 April 2012

Meet My New Office Manager


So as mirrormirror begins its quest for world blogging domination, I thought it was about time I brought in a new office manager to get things organised round here.



Remember when I pre-ordered a Joan Holloway Barbie doll?  AGES ago?  And how I was looking for a suitable mid-century Barbie-sized 1:6 scale chair to sit her on? (Which was not an incredibly expensive Vitra Miniature)

Well when I was in New York last month I finally found what I was looking for in the MOMA shop – a 1:6 scale Panton chair (also available online at Lexington Modern in a variety of colours).

So today I finally unpacked Ms Holloway from her cardboard coffin and brought her in to kick some ass.


joan-holloway-barbie (1 of 6) joan-holloway-barbie (2 of 6)

joan-holloway-barbie (5 of 6)


Unfortunately I hadn’t reckoned on the fact that she doesn’t have jointed knees, so after all that she looks rather ridiculous sitting on her Panton chair.  And her skirt is so tight it rides up and shows the tops of her stockings. Not that I expect the real Joan would have minded that though.


joan-holloway-barbie (4 of 6)


Maybe I should have bought her the Vitra Miniature Saarinen Womb Chair and Ottoman after all. (Haha! No. Have you seen the price?)

I have to say that the attention to detail on this Barbie is wonderful, from her carefully painted finger and toenails, to the seams in her stockings and her exquisite jewellery.  I’ve never had a Collector’s Edition Barbie before and I adore her.


26 March 2012

Mad Men: Don Draper’s New Apartment


Zou Bisou Bisou.

I don’t think I’m ever going to get that song out of my head.

I trust we were all watching last night?  The big news of course is that Don Draper, apart from getting himself a sexy little package of a new wife -  who I predict is going to be nothing but trouble – but has also got himself a sexy, new, not-so-little apartment.




Don now lives in the big city, away from Betty and her suburban angst and her suburban furniture (remember her er, lovely ‘fainting couch’?) in an apartment big enough that his kids can come visiting and where his wife can host wild surprise parties.

It’s a clever set.  Instead of filling it with mid-century icons such Saarinen tables and chairs and Arco lamps (unlike Roger’s office with its shipped-in style), it just feels very comfortable and of its time, very sixties, but not ostentatiously so. 

The colour scheme of burnt orange and turquoise is kept to the periphery and the accents  -  the aqua curtains, the seating out on the balcony, the orange kitchen cabinets and the gorgeous throw pillows, but the main body of the set is very brown, very boxy and very wood-panelled, with even the pattern on the curtains seeming quite subdued.


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A little light relief is offered by the white cupboard doors, the white feature wall and of course the infamous white rug, with the occasional dark red painted door or panel, but in general the main body of the set is kept quite spare and neutral.  Even the art on the walls is quite dull and nondescript.


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Which makes sense of course if the marriage-threatening surprise parties you hold are such a riot of sixties pattern and colour.  Weren’t the costumes in these scenes just awesome?


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I managed to spot a few Sixties icons dotted about – the Catherine Holm enamel bowls, the Eames lounge chair, the Murano glass and the zebra-striped cushion. Did any other Sixties paraphernalia catch your eye?


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And I have to give a shout out to the exquisite chandeliers in the entrance way, and that lovely low-hanging blue lamp.  What did you like most about the set?


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These images show how the designers had fun with costumes, party accoutrements and accent pieces to create a mood.  I’m sure we’re going to see that mood darken as the season progresses.


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I am certain the Husband had eyes for nothing but that glorious aqua Sixties vacuum cleaner in this scene.

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So did you watch? Did you enjoy it? What did you think of the new apartment? Any particular objects you were coveting?  I’m enjoying how the new Mrs Draper is quite literally leading Don by the balls.  I’m sure that’s going to end up well.

Zou Bisou Bisou.


15 March 2012

Go Fug Your Room: Adam Levine’s Hollywood Hills House


Is the Husband reading?  No? Good. Because here is where I confess to a teensy weensy crush on Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine.

It helps that he looks uncannily like an Australian I had a bit of a crazy affair with (it couldn’t be called dating) before I met the Husband, and I’m also really liking his attitude as a judge on The Voice (I think you really are revealing too much about yourself today, Ed)  – he’s cute and funny and seems to really care about the contestants in his team and about music in general.  I’d been afraid that he’d turn out to be a complete douchebag (how I still love that word) much like the handsome Australian turned out to be, but for me he’s added major charm points.  Oh and I like his clothes.

But we all know that we can’t come to a proper conclusion about a man until we’ve seen the inside of his home, so fortunately Adam Levine’s house in the Hollywood Hills was featured recently in Architectural Digest so I could ascertain whether he was a worthy recipient of my affections.




Here’s Adam waiting to pick me up and whisk me off.  It’s looking good so far, isn’t it ladies (and gay men)?




And here’s the kitchen. Some great furniture (a Florence Knoll table and some Jacobsen chairs).  It doesn’t look like he cooks much, but I’d be happy to bake him a cake.  A little bit of colour would be nice somewhere -  this looks a bit like a space-age conference room - and the stylist who brought in the pink orchids obviously agrees.  But overall not bad.




Oh dear. Purple VELVET?  And the Chesterfield shape looks a bit incongruous and grannyish with all the mid-century stuff going on.  I don’t like the rug either, something more graphic and less Miss Havisham would have worked better.  And the dark drapes continue the ‘conference room at a mid-sized bank’ theme. 



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Admittedly it looks a little better from this side. I take it back, the van der Rohe daybed does work with the couch, and the big cushions outside are cool. I still wish he’d change that hideous rug though. Love the floor lamp.




This really feels like a musician’s house.  Adam comes across as really loving music on The Voice and this feels really authentic and true to him.

However, I could do without more tufted velvet – I love the piece, but not here – and  yet another granny rug, and although I have been known to like black walls in some contexts, this all looks far too dark and louche for southern California. 

Adam, you are disappointing me.




Guns and Grammys?  Seriously?  I know you want me to know that you’re overloaded with testosterone, but this is all a bit much. I absolutely adore your sideboard though.


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And THIS is the bed you are planning to throw me on to?  Isn’t it, shall we say, a little staid and a bit Hilton Hotel-ish?  More for snuggling up in flannelette pyjamas on your own with a good book, I’d say.  And I’m not sure that black walls, looming portraits of hairy rockers and SKULLS are exactly going to get me in the mood.

I’m sorry Adam, but I’ve just remembered a prior engagement.


So my lovelies, what did you think of Adam’s shag palace tastefully appointed home?  I really wanted to love iy, but to me it’s just too weird a mix of fabulous furniture, chain hotel and trying-too-hard mancave, with a hint of douchebaggery round the edges.  But I have a sneaky suspicion that might be a pretty authentic reflection of Mr Levine’s personality anyway.

What do you guys think?  Is this house fugly? Please post your thoughts about his body in-depth analysis of the interiors in the comments.


An astonishing 74% of you agreed that Ines de la Fressange’s Provencal home was fugly. 


14 March 2012

It’s Back! Mad Men Season 5



I  can’t tell you how excited I was to see these pics go up on the AMC website.

Finally, after what seems like an eternity, Don Draper and co are finally going to be back on our screens.  It really has been far, far too long.




We’ve been invited to a premiere party and I’m thinking of baking a Black Forest Gateau.  I know that was considered to be the height of elegance in 60s Britain, but I’m not sure about the US. Should I be throwing Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup into a hotpot instead?  I believe some sort of cocktail might be in order too.


Mad_Men Season 5



I had a pet theory last season that whichever woman on the show is closest to Don’s heart ends up wearing green (watch season 4, it works!), and on that basis I’m glad to see that Don is still very fond of Joanie and Peggy and has major issues with the ex-Mrs Draper.  Speaking of which, where is the soon-to-be-new Mrs Draper?  My other theory is that she’s going to turn out to be a bunny boiler extraordinaire.


Mad Men Season5 Promo 6

Mad Men Season5 Promo 13


So questions for you. Will you be watching? Are you excited?  Are you having a party?   What retro 60s American food should I make? Am I the only woman in the world who doesn’t want to jump into bed with Don Draper? Which Mad Men woman are you?  I’m Peggy, though my life is currently more season one Betty (without the double-life living husband).



01 March 2011

Accessories They Should Have Worn – Georgina Chapman


Georgina Chapman


Georgina Chapman, the designer behind Marchesa and wife of Harvey Weinstein, knows her fashion onions, so I can’t understand why (SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT) she wasn’t beating down the doors of mirrormirror to get her hands on one of our Rose Trimmed Shower Caps.



Separated At Birth – Anne Hathaway Oscars 2011



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                            Look at ME                                                                                              No, look at ME


I suspect this divides almost entirely along country lines. The Americans I was watching with and those on the forums and blogs I read seem to be saying, “Oh, but she’s ADORABLE, and she tried SO hard’.  While all the Brits were going ‘pass the sick bag’.

This is why I will never be American.  Also if the entirely best thing about your act are the costume changes then you' know you’re in trouble.

Separated At Birth – Reese Witherspoon Oscars 2011


Reese Witherspoon misreads the invitation that said bring your favourite beer.


GuinnessBeer reesewitherspoon

28 February 2011

How to Create an Oscars Dress


Take one of these (do sandwich boards exist in the US?)


Sandwich board


Combine with one of these


toilet seat


Get out your glue gun and stick on lots of these, and these


pinkgumballs yellowbarnacles


And lo and behold, Cate Blanchett will wear it.




It’s been nearly 24 hours and I’m still trying to work out if I like this dress or not. What do you guys think? At the very least kudos to her for wearing one of the very few interesting dresses on display last night.


Accessories They Should Have Worn – Joan Collins Oscars 2011


Joan Collins


Oh Joanie, how did you miss the opportunity to wear this?



Separated at Birth – Gayle King Oscars 2011


lettuce Gayle King
                                          Gayle King                                                                                                               A head of lettuce

Separated At Birth – Mandy Moore 2011


Every year one lucky actress wins the Come As Your Favourite Muppet competition and this year Mandy Moore drew the short straw. 


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                                  Mandy Moore                                                                                          Grover

Separated At Birth – Melissa Leo Oscars 2011


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                        Melissa                                                                                                     Elvis

Her speech didn’t offend me, but her peculiar broderie anglaise and tinfoil dress really did.

Separated At Birth – Gwyneth Paltrow Oscars 2011


Gwyneth Paltrow donatella-versace-superheroes-fashion-and-fantasy-costume-institute-gala-at-the-metropolitan-museum-of-art-departures-1fPwDL
                 Donatella                                                                                                      Gwynnie

Ever so slowly our dear peroxide-addicted Gwynnie is morphing into Donatella Versace. But at least Donatella doesn’t try to sing. (Why, Oscars producers, why?)



Separated At Birth – Annette Bening Oscars 2011


kids-skeleton-costume Capture
Annette Bening                                                                                                     A Skeleton


She was my pick for Best Actress (though a lot because I can’t BEAR Natalie Portman) and she generally makes good red carpet choices, but there was something rather too anatomical about this rhinestone-encrusted dress. Though a 50 year old who can wear something that draws all eyes straight to her midsection is a brave woman indeed.


Separated At Birth – Anne Hathaway Oscars 2011


In a night where the King’s Speech swept the major awards before it, Anne Hathaway paid her own small tribute to things old-fashioned and British.


Royal Mail red pillar box Ha

             Anne Hathaway                                                            Royal Mail pillar box


She’s uber talented (didn’t know she could sing like that) but goodness that was just too much irritating perkiness, girlish giggling and squeeing for one evening.

26 January 2011

Downton Abbey – On Location at Highclere Castle


Late last autumn the UK part of my Twitter feed started buzzing with chatter about Downton Abbey, a new ITV period drama, set in the halcyon years of the Edwardian era just before the outbreak of the First World War.




We managed to er, acquire it just after Christmas and loved it, though it hit every single ‘missing England like crazy’ button I possess.

It’s a typically English class-ridden frothy costume drama, about the fictional aristocratic Crawley family and their servants, with a fine, witty script by Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park); Maggie Smith, being Maggie Smith at her most imperious; a stellar cast of well-known British actors and ridiculously exquisite costumes.  It’s currently being shown in the US, and the US part of my Twitter feed is now similarly alive with love for it.

The star of the show though, is Downton Abbey itself, or more properly the splendidly overwrought Highclere Castle in Berkshire, the seat of the Earls of Carnarvon, which was rebuilt in 1842 in High Elizabethan style, by Sir Charles Barry after he’d finished building the Houses of Parliament.  The gorgeous park is by Capability Brown.

Here are some of the spectacular locations – the costume designers and camera folk must have thought they’d died and gone to heaven.  Literally every frame is a visual feast.  The last episode airs on Sunday in the US, but I think it’s available to download from iTunes and from  A new series is coming this autumn.






















More stunning photos of the locations are here

07 October 2010

Blog I Am Loving – Kat Knit’s Project Project Runway


As you will doubtless know by now, I am a dyed-in-the-wool Project Runway fan, even in seasons like this when the fashion really is nothing to write home about.

So I’m loving this fabulous project happening on the blog Kat Knits where Kat, and also her friend Susi, both take 15 hours to follow each Project Runway challenge to the letter and create outfits for a doll.

From creating a stunning handbeaded element for the couture challenge



and its ready-to-wear counterpart




to printing a custom fabric for the fabric challenge




to knitting a tiny ensemble for the sportswear challenge


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to punching out from ribbon and glueing hundreds of tiny circles for the ‘party store’ challenge




and knitting tiny accessories for the team challenge.




There’s much more to see on the blog, including all the workroom ‘drama’ and if you haven’t discovered it already go and say hi to Tom and Lorenzo at Project Rungay for everything you ever wanted to know and then some about the show (which is where I found out about this blog).


I can’t wait to see what they comes up with for last night's  ‘Design a Grey Shapeless Sweatshire for Heidi Klum’s Vanity Line’ challenge. Best of luck to them both.

06 May 2010

Vote Early, Vote Often



Portrait Badge of Emmeline Pankhurst c. 1909 From the Museum of London.


Feeling bad today as for the first time in my adult life I’m not going to be voting in a UK Election - for some unfathomable reason we just forgot to register. I hope that Mrs Pankhurst, wherever she is, can find it in her heart to forgive me.

It’s made even worse because today is the first election I can remember where it really isn’t clear what the outcome is going to be, and so it is all rather exciting, though in a somewhat depressing way, as none of the candidates are particularly inspiring. Where is a Barack Obama when you need him?

Still we have the Prosecco on ice in the hopes that by tomorrow the rather unpleasant Gordon Brown will no longer be Prime Minister. (Champagne doesn’t seem appropriate given the parlous state of the British economy whoever gets in).

I’m going to be watching the all-night coverage via The Telly, worth hooking up to for any other British expats out there.

18 March 2010

Speaking of the Cherry Tree

I’ve been thinking for some time of putting a tree house in the cherry tree for the Minx. Does anyone know of any companies in the US putting together fab modern treehouse kits?

While I was having a desultory wander round the Internet in search of kids’ treehouses (instead of working I might add), I came across this fabulous restaurant in a treehouse from New Zealand.  The award winning Yellow Treehouse, was designed by architects Pacific Environments, and makes me want to go to New Zealand as fast as my little legs will carry me. Can someone in Seattle please do something this cool? After all there are plenty of trees here.






I had this post all ready to go and then found that my blogging heroes, the always hilarious Tom and Lorenzo beat me to it. Looks like Project Runway is going to be good tonight!

10 March 2010

Mad Men Barbies AND Furniture

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

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



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







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

08 March 2010

A Right Charlize


Off to bed.  Where I shall be wondering why Charlize Theron thought it would be a good idea to wear giant unfurled violet condoms on her bosoms.

Maybe more Oscar thoughts tomorrow if the world and his wife hasn’t already said all there is to say (the perils of being based on the West Coast).  I’m @mirrormirrorxx on Twitter if you want to check out my prime time tweeting.

01 February 2010

Separated At Birth


I’ve just caught up with Glee (I LOVE it – have become a total Gleek) and all I can say is.


                               Sue Sylvester                                                              Candice Olson


This will of course mean beans to anyone who is not a watcher of dreadful HGTV decorating shows.

12 November 2009

Minimalist TV Posters


I think these are great.

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From here.

16 April 2009

Secret Knitting Part One - Doctor Who Dishcloths

I mentioned last week that I'd been knitting secrets and now I can finally reveal all.

As you may know, Megan of Not Martha fame is eloping to Vegas with her fiance' Scott (check out her wedding blog here) and last Friday we attended a little soiree in their honour.



I decided to knit them some Doctor Who dishcloths as I know Megan is a fan.  The colour scheme was chosen to coordinate with their spatulas. The patterns for the Dalek and Tardis dishcloths were found on Ravelry of course, though I had to chart up the Cyberman myself using this fabulous software and a basic chart I found.  All details on my Ravelry page.


A propos of not very much I do like close up photos of knitting.  Don't you?  (More secret knitting to be revealed after I've picked up the Minx and planted some sweet peas. I know you hardly contain yourselves. )

03 March 2009

mirrormirror on the telly?

We knew it might happen, but it seems from customer feedback that the Hannah Tofalos stacking eggcups appeared on UKTV's Market Kitchen.


I don't suppose any of you saw it, or better still recorded it?  We'd sort of given up on it happening so hadn't been watching and I would love to see mirrormirror's 15 seconds of fame.

14 October 2008

Dirty Sexy Money

This post is by way of a plea.  Please, please watch this show; tell your friends about it; blog about it and somehow get the word out about it.  I love it to pieces but apparently the ratings aren't good and it probably won't see out a second season.

What's not to love?  This everyday story of America's favourite dysfunctional billionaires features tons of soapy over-the-top melodrama; a fabulously witty script; great acting performances from the likes of Donald Sutherland, Peter Krause and Jill Clayburgh; a vast array of male eye-candy; drop-dead gorgeous fashions; sex, murder and big business aplenty; a huge cast of deliciously amoral characters; the incredibly wonderful Natalie Zea; a banging soundtrack and the sort of interiors that only multi-billions (or a very happy set designer) can buy.






If you can imagine Dynasty meets  Sex and the City with good acting then that's DSM.  Episodes 1 and 2 are currently available to view online here. You don't need to have watched season 1 to follow season 2. Season 1 DVD is available to buy here (season 1 got a bit stymied by the writers' strike but was still aces).  Please watch it for my sake, because I'll be DISTRAUGHT if it goes off air.

23 September 2008

Go Fug Your Room (and Yourself) - Kelly Wearstler

Or, Kelly Wearstler - WTF?

I know that American design sensibilities are different from European ones.  Americans seem to like more fuss, clutter and ornamentation than Europeans are used to. I think this is because minimalism was a European thing and its philosophy of clean lines, simple shapes and less clutter seems to have permeated our culture a lot more, even if we wouldn't consider ourselves minimalists.

Having said all that, I just can't understand the American adoration of interior designer Kelly Wearstler.  An ex-topless model, champion of Hollywood Regency style, author of many books, and judge on interior design reality pogramme Top Design, she's probably the equivalent in status to a Kelly Hoppen or Tricia Guild in the UK (though with very different design sensibilities) and very much admired.

But I. just. don't. get. it.

Here are pictures from her recent spread in Domino magazine.  Am I really the only person who thinks this looks like a wealthy Arab just ran amok in an early 80s motel? (With apologies to all wealthy Arabs with taste). Isn't all the gold and shiny stuff and horrendous layered pattern and blocks of marble and overstuffed leather and fussy knickknackery just, well, hideous?  Can someone please explain what I'm missing here?






All images from Domino 

By the way, these are the ways she chooses to wear her hair, in public, nay, even on telly.  There doesn't appear to be any coercion involved. Thank goodness she's beautiful.




Image from (the amazing Project Rungay boys also blog Top Design).


22 September 2008

Make It Work

IMG_8194My life is now complete.  Look who's just appeared on my desk.  My very own Tim Gunn talking bobblehead!

The Minx thinks my 'funny man' is quite hilarious and keeps sneaking up behind me and making him say 'carry on' or 'FAB-U-LOUS' or, of course, 'make it work'.

His benign and smiling presence  and inspirational catch phrases are actually strangely motivating. I think old age is getting to me.

09 September 2008



this is why I haven't been blogging 

I can't believe how long it is since I've blogged.  I'm not sure what happened, but we've just been trying to make the most of the summer here in Seattle and my blogging mojo just seemed to get left on a beach somewhere.  And funnily enough this is a busy time of year for mirrormirror what with all the pre-Christmas ordering and PR to work on.

Thank you so much for all your kind and concerned comments and emails - I'm sorry I just abandoned you without a word - and I'm touched (and somewhat astonished) that people have been missing my somewhat random musings.

But anyway, just to get things back on track.

Things I've been doing over the last month in no particular order.

- Loafing about on beaches (including another trip to Cannon Beach, still the most photogenic place on earth)

- Travelling on ferries

- Eating Dancing Deer chocolate brownies (perfect for picnics).

- Watching the Olympics (we managed to get a live stream of the BBC's coverage to make up for the godawful coverage provided by NBC.  You have to feel sorry for Americans sometimes.)

- Getting really stuck into Project Runway.  And Project Rungay.  Leanne is my hot, hot favourite. I just wish I'd found my way to her Etsy store before she got famous.

-  Finally watching Season One of the The Tudors and realising it is much better than I thought it would be.  And what a lustbunny Charles Brandon is.

- Researching my family tree.  And finding out that I come from a long line of Londoners and craftspeople.

- Making aubergine (eggplant) and pistachio salad over and over again.  It is SO good. 

- Eating pistachio icecream.  I like pistachios.

- Getting into a new school routine. The Minx is finally now going to school four days a week, although they are much shorter days, with more commuting.  But finally it feels like I have time to focus on stuff.

- Photographing new stuff for the shop.


Things I have NOT been doing.

- Following my eating plan

- Exercising

- Gardening

- House stuff

- Reading and commenting on other blogs (except for Project Rungay and er, PerezHilton). Sorry fellow bloggers.

Normal blog service will now be resumed...

10 April 2008

Bee with Fern


Or, how the rich get richer...

Regular readers will remember that earlier on this year, there was much temporary excitement round these parts when This Morning  (which, for American readers, is a major networked morning TV show in the UK) called in the Atelier LZC Bee mirror for a feature.

The excitement quickly abated when the mirror wasn't mentioned at all during the feature and indeed only a tiny corner of it was fleetingly visible during the programme, resulting in absolutely no sales whatsoever.

This is pretty much par for the course, I would say of everything that is called in by journalists etc. only about 25% is actually used in any capacity.  As is also par for the course the mirror was never returned to us. 

Most journalists are really bad at returning stuff.  In theory they're meant to return it, and some are very good about it, but many seem to assume that you've just given them a generous gift, whether or not they actually use the item in their publication. The mythical Vogue accessories closet is not just a myth (and yes, one of their staffers managed to 'acquire' a couple of scented candles a year or so back, though they had at least featured them in the magazine).  And it doesn't seem to matter to them whether the company they're 'acquiring' things from is a huge multinational behemoth, or a teeny tiny online shop.

The reason I'm writing about this scam now is that when we emailed This Morning to enquire as to the whereabouts of the mirror, we were told by the researcher that it had been 'passed on to Fern'.  For the uninitiated Fern Britton is the main anchorwoman of the show, one of the very few women on TV that I actually like, and one of the highest paid women on UK TV. 

While part of me is pleased that Fern liked it enough to 'acquire' it, she has gone down a long way in my estimation. Though to be fair, This Morning did say we could invoice them (but only after we'd emailed them).

The temptation to write "as 'acquired' by Fern Britton" on the mirror product page is almost too strong to resist. At least that way we might get SOME publicity out of all this.

And with this post all chances of 'mirrormirror' ever being on the telly have just disappeared....

15 March 2008

My new crush

I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Piers Morgan, mostly because, well, I'm a sucker for any man who can make me laugh.


But watching Piers being utterly and totally obnoxious here on the Celebrity Apprenticerunning rings round all the has-been actors, singers and sportspeople, because he has more business-savvy in his little finger than all of them put together and a fatter contacts book even in New York than all the Americans on the show -  has been utterly hilarious TV. 

He is another in the long line of outspoken Brits (such as Simon Cowell and Gordon Ramsay) who don't give a flying f*ck what anyone thinks of them and are so shocking to Americans because everyone here is so concerned with their public image.

And somewhere buried deep in all the ridiculous shenanigans with all the ridiculous people, there are some interesting business lessons to be learned about the power of networking, the value of just mucking in and getting things done even if you have to parade through the streets of New York dressed as King Arthur, and the fact that you can say practically anything in a British accent and people will take you seriously.

25 February 2008

Oscar Thoughts

One of the nicest things about moving to the US is being able to watch the Oscars as they happen at a sensible time of the evening instead of pinching oneself to stay awake into the wee small hours.  I do miss Jonathon Ross's snark though.

I have to say though, that I've never seen such a boring collection of Oscar frocks in my life. Mile after mile of vacuous starlets parading in slimline silhouettes and fishtail trains, their breast implants squashed into strapless or assymetrical off- the-shoulder necklines.

And the colours - or lack thereof. Last night there were apparently only three choices available - black, red,  or white/silver if you were really feeling rebellious.  If you're going to go to all the trouble of wearing a posh frock, then why would you choose black? However intricate the actual dress is, it's never going to stand out in a crowd.  And no, midnight blue is not really a much racier choice.

Though it did make me laugh to see all those girls who really thought they'd stand out by wearing red all queuing up in a long line like London buses. 

heidi_klumIf you must wear red, do it like Heidi Klum.  Despite being completely addicted to Project Runway, I'm not a big fan of the robotic Frau Seal, but there's no denying that her Galliano dress is absolutely spectacular.  It's apparently up for auction for charity, if you've still got some Christmas money left over.












Another contender for Best Dressed, despite being nearly three times the age of some of the vacuous starlets was Helen Mirren.  Oh she makes me proud to be British. 
















If you're going to do the fishtail look then why not go the whole hog and turn up dressed as a mermaid a la Best Actress Marion Cotillard in Gaultier.  I was so thrilled with her win. La Vie En Rose was one of the few other movies I went to see last year and her acting was an absolute tour de force.


Worst dressed was difficult.  Normally this would have been a slam dunk win for Tilda Swinton, who decided to turn up wearing a black bin liner.

tilda-swinton-oscars-2008-02However, it was such a relief to see something a bit different from all the strapless fishtails that I'll give her a pass on this one, also because one has to respect her Bowie-esque fierceness and the fact that she manages to live with both the father of her children and her handsome toyboy.  Though even given all those things, black really isn't the right colour for you if your complexion is that pale.

The Husband, who saw Michael Clayton recently, reckoned she deserved her win, but I was sad that the Oscar didn't go to 13-year-old Saiorse Ronan who managed to act everyone else off the screen in Atonement (not so difficult when you're up against Keira Knightley, more so when it's Vanessa Redgrave).

At least she managed to look ethereal and age appropriate (*cough* Miley Cyrus *cough*) in Alberta Ferretti, though the hair was a bit too severe. We will forgive her much for actually wearing a colour other than black red or white though.


One of the only people other than Tilda, who managed to stand out amongst the personality transplants was Diablo Cody, who won the original screen writing award.  Again, I wouldn't normally advocate tats and leopardskin, but it worked, because that is clearly who she is.


So who wins the mirrormirror Worst Dressed Award?

I'm sort of confused by Nicole Kidman's effort. Pregnancy has clearly befuddled her brains sufficiently that she decided to turn up wearing a bib made of diamonds.  It sort of looks OK here, but much worse when she was actually presenting her award as the necklace had got all askew and tangled by that stage. But at least she was trying something different.

She absolutely wins the 'worst face' award though.  She really couldn't move it for Botox when making her little speech.  She appears to be morphing rapidly into Lady Penelope.





Sadly my girl Jennifer Hudson, of whom I have been a great fan since American Idol days and who quite often looks fab, was again let down badly by her Oscar stylist.  After last years horrific bolero, she wore a frock that made her ample boobage look deformed.  Even the Husband remarked upon it (we know now where he looks when it comes to clothes).  It seems that designers and stylists are completely flummoxed when they have to confront a pair of real breasts. As a woman of ample boobage myself,  I'd love to see her in something plunging and uplifting and in yer face which would get all the fishtailed starlets crying into their implants.  But for the moment though, she's a strong contender for Worst Dressed.


Actress Daniel Day-Lewis and wife Rebecca Miller attend the 80th Editing to say that, now I've found a picture of it, this creation undoubtedly wins the Worst Dressed award.  What on earth was Rebecca Miller thinking?

21 February 2008

Mark My Words

This is the next American Idol. 


I promised myself that this was the year I wouldn't get sucked in, and I only managed to hold out until the Top 24.  Self-discipline is not my forte.

31 January 2008

mirrormirror on the telly?

thismorningA researcher from This Morning has called in the Bee Mirror for a feature which is supposed to be happening tomorrow (Thursday 31st January).

Keep everything crossed that it happens. It will be fascinating to see what sort of impact TV exposure has on sales

31 October 2007

Separated at Birth

This will mean beans to anyone in the US, so I suggest you carry on trick or treating and come back again tomorrow.


                         Kelly Brook                                               Edwina Currie

18 January 2007

Oh dear

So it's back.

I always get completely addicted to this show in its later stages but am getting sick and tired of the long drawn out 'bad audition' stages.

In fact, more than sick and tired - tonight's programme felt a bit like an end-of-the-pier freak show, and at times made for uncomfortable viewing. 

But view it we did, because tonight's auditions took place in Seattle.

Suffice it to say that I doubt very much whether American Idol will ever return here.  Blog readers in the UK, if you watch the ITV2 highlights show you'll start to understand what I'm up against here.

16 November 2006

Dancing with the Stars

So we settled down tonight to watch the Dancing with the Stars results show (so weird to have the results show on a different day, instead of a couple of hours after the main event).

There were only two celebs in the final - Emmitt Smith, apparently an 'NFL legend' of whom I have never heard, and Mario Lopez, a freshfaced and very pretty latino actor of whom I have also never heard. 

It warmed the cockles of my heart to see both Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli on the judging panel, though I really missed the cynical objectivity (except when it comes to Emma Bunton) of Craig Revel Horwood, as both Len and Bruno seemed to have gone native in their over-the-top exuberance and uncritical praise.

Anyway, Emmitt (clearly the American Darren Gough - built like a brick outhouse and oozing cheek, charm and charisma) beat Mario (the American Colin Jackson -the better dancer with a sweet nature). 

Here's Emmitt's cha cha cha from the semi-final which I enjoyed more than his dances in the final. Note that the camerawork is ten times better than Auntie Beeb's awful swirly efforts and that the band is simply superb.

I also offer, by way of comparison, Mark Ramprakash's hot salsa from last week in Strictly Come Dancing, just because I can really. 

It is quite ridiculous and rather sad how in love I am with this programme.  The Husband has rigged up a weird and wonderful system whereby UK programmes are recorded onto a computer back home and then downloaded to us over the Internet, so I'm still able to watch all the Saturday night shows, plus a lot of the week night 'It Takes Two' shows.

And when we've worked out where we're going to live permanently here in Seattle, I'm going to sign up for ballroom dancing lessons.

09 October 2006

It's Back!

Oh I know I'm the saddest person on the planet but my Saturday nights are now complete with the return of Strictly Come Dancing



I thought I would miss the irrepressible enthusiasm and cheeky grin of Darren the Dazzler, but the shy smile of Mark Ramprakash (what is is with cricketers and ballroom dancing?) and the rather obvious charms of Ray Fearon have the potential to fill the void.

The great thing is that the Minx loves the 'dan-sing' as much as I do and we spent a very happy evening jigging round the living room together.

Please, please, please let it be on Bittorrent  - otherwise this is yet another Seattle dealbreaker.

04 August 2006

Here Be Dragons

It's back! One of the best shows on TV, the ever-wonderful Dragon's Den.

Since setting up my own business I'm finding the recent slew of business-oriented reality programmes even more compelling and inspirational - it's fun trying to second guess which investors will be successful and what aspects of the business plan the investors will pick holes in.

And there is something rather encouraging about seeing some of the delusional people they manage to unearth and realising that you're not quite the worst business person on the planet.

Though I do always wonder what the Dragons would make of mirrormirror.

15 July 2006

In the swim

I am beside myself with admiration after watching a documentary about UK cult comedian David Walliams and his incredible cross-channel swim in aid of Sport Relief.

In the summer of 2003 I was feeling at a very low physical ebb after my most nasty miscarriage and a bad dose of anaemia. By chance I came across an article in the Times entitled 'Ferries are for wimps, let's swim', about a new travel company called Swimtrek, which was organising island-hopping trips to Greece where you swam from island to island.

I've always enjoyed swimming in the sea (well the Med, I don't really do the sea in Britain) - I love the invigorating coolness and clarity of the water and find it really relaxing to watch the fish and the rocks below. So, in a moment of utter madness the Husband and I signed up for the six-day trip.

I trained somewhat halfheartedly in the 20 metre pool at my local gym and got the shock of my life when it actually came to doing the first swims.

Firstly, we were expected to swim when it was choppy, or once indeed when there was quite a big swell on the water. This is akin to trying to swim in a tumble dryer and is highly unpleasant, particularly when the Antiparos-Paros ferry cuts across your path and adds its wash to the party.

Secondly, the bottom disappears very quickly, so you can no longer amuse your brain by looking for fish. Instead you are trapped in a world of blue with a shaft of sunlight to your left, your hands passing before your eyes and your thoughts. Which is a very tedious place to be after twenty minutes or so.

Thirdly, swimming is slow. You can swim towards an island for what seems like forever and a day and it never seems to get any closer. It doesn't help that I tend to swim round in circles unless I'm being shouted at almost constantly by the people in the support boat.

We did our longest swim (5km) between two islands of the Little Cyclades towards the end of the week, when conditions were perfect and the sea was warm and smooth. Nevertheless it took well over two hours, was bloody hard work and was really quite boring, though a sort spaced-feeling takes over around the halfway point when your position relative to the land on either side doesn't seem to change and all you can do is surrender to the blue.

As a result, I admire David Walliams' mental strength and physical endurance all the more. The fact that he trained for hours every day on his UK tour while still finding the energy to perform. The fact that he trained and swam in the cold of an English sea, while I could only just about cope with the Aegean. The fact that he had to deal with the wake of over 200 ships crossing his path, when I was freaked out by one small ferry. And the fact that he completed his swim in the astonishing time of 10 1/2 hours making him one of the fifty fastest cross channel swimmers of all time.

It truly was a great achievement. I'm glad that he's managed to raise so much money for charity (well worth a donation, don't you think?). But also a bit sad when I look down at my overweight, post-pregnancy body and realise that at the moment swimming even 5km would be totally impossible.

27 May 2006

Idol thoughts

Well, today we joined the 21st century and downloaded the American Idol Final and Finale to watch rather than watching the heavily edited, ad-filled version on ITV2. Am so glad I did because now I have the spectacular finale to keep - haven't enjoyed an evening's telly so much in ages.

Anyway here are some random thoughts on proceedings.

  • Katharine wasn't just a one-trick pony, she was a one-song pony
  • Paris finally found her niche - the duet with Al Jarreau was the best of the night
  • The best voice in the competition undoubtedly belonged to Mandisa
  • Toni Braxton made Paula look sober
  • I like Paula - I love how she puts her whole heart and soul into it
  • The segment of Simon caressing his moobs was one of the funniest things I've seen this year
  • Mary J was supremely ungenerous to Elliott (though she sounded bloody good)
  • I wish Elliott had been in the final, a funky white boy final would have been aces
  • I hope Elliott gets a career out of this, particularly if he learns to calm down on the vibrato
  • Is it an excess of testosterone that made the male rockers hair fall out?
  • Is that why Chris looks so grumpy all the time?
  • The thought of 'male bonding' between Ace and Chris is, however, not unappealing
  • It was a shame we didn't see more of Melissa
  • Poor Meatloaf
  • Burt Bacharach is a god
  • Farmbot from last year has turned into a more professional farmbot
  • I would die of pride if my seventeen-year old daughter got to introduce Dionne Warwick
  • Prince is still the coolest man on the planet, even if he was wearing Taylor's jacket
  • Taylor does not have the best voice in the competition, but I loved how he was so self-effacing in the group numbers and let the others shine, and the fact that he really is rather good at the harmonica, and that he thanked his fans and the band and everyone at the end, and that he made a bloody good job of In the Ghetto even though Toni Braxton was sexually harassing him. But most of all I love how he can take that cheesy load of old bollocks that is his new single and somehow turn it into a song which made tears roll down my cheeks.
  • And David Hasselhoff agrees with me.


14 May 2006

House of Eliott

A great catastrophe has happened in my life. I have just finished devouring series II of the quite magnificent House of Eliott and have realised that series III is not yet available on DVD. Am even more distraught than I am about West Ham.

Even the synopsis sounds wonderful. "Take two beautiful, talented sisters. Oblige them to fight their way out of financial near-ruin, building up a successful business on the way. Introduce a collection of dashing suitors, shady operators and feckless relatives. Then dress the heroines in some fabulous frocks and set all this against the background of London in the Roaring Twenties.'

It's ridiculous how inspirational I found the trials and tribulations of this completely fictional business - particularly as I have not yet been embezzled by my bank, had an affair with the husband of one of my most influential clients or been headhunted by a rival Parisian fashion house. The character of Beatrice played by Stella Gonet is especially wonderful - driven, passionate and intelligent and so unlike most of the dozy women you find on TV nowadays.

And the clothes and the interiors are just to die for. I thought I was alone in my madness, but am amused to see that they are having a very enthusiastic debate about it all over on

11 May 2006

The Apprentice II

Oh well. The magnificent Ruth Badger, saleswoman extraordinaire, was never going to become the Apprentice. Even Sir Alan was intimidated by her, her self-confidence and her splendid range of disapproving facial expressions. Which is a pity, because not only could she sell ice cream to Eskimoes, she came across as funny and warm and seemed to inspire huge loyalty in her team.

Not sure what Sir Alan saw in Michelle - beyond the fact that she is young, blonde and attractive (er, maybe I do understand), has apparently overcome a troubled upbringing and Sir Alan had an 'intuition' about her. It certainly wasn't because she had been the best performer over the previous twelve weeks of tasks. That's the slightly disappointing thing about the Apprentice. In the end Sir Alan is not looking for the best businessperson, but the most suitable Amstrad employee - which is another thing entirely. It was as if we'd just invested a lot of time and effort watching a murder mystery, only for Poirot to come in at the end and say 'I have a leetle intuition that xxx is the murderer'.

It was awe-inspiring watching Ruth in selling mode - she clearly loved it and could sell anything to anybody, flats, second-hand cars, homewares. Her technique was to know everything there was to know about the product, infect people with enthusiasm for it and then never to be afraid to cut a deal. Never once did she appear to be giving people the hard sell, yet had an amazing record of success.

It was inspirational and educational watching her. Which is not something that can be said for any of the other numpties on the show.