Monday, 28 November 2011

The Elixir of Life - Tea Revives Me

Tea is very important. And Tea is very beautiful. Tea deserves a capital T.

Tea Caddies from Imperial Teas

Tea at my house.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011


Based in Brooklyn, NY, design studio Eskayel is the branchild of designer Shanan Campanaro. A graduate of Central St. Martins in London, Campanaro was redecorating her apartment in the spring of 2008, and decided to experiment with the idea of making wallpaper by digitally manipulating sections of her watercolour paintings. After fabulous results she began using the designs in her exhibitions, which quickly led to her first interior wallpaper commissions.

The ethereal quality of her designs is exquisite, I'd love a room with any of her wallpapers, I can't help but think I'd feel beautiful just being in it (this is also a room where babies are dressed in white cashmere and don't have snotty noses ever). Plus, she's just launched a range of rugs with Doris Leslie Blau, which appeal to me as a wonderfully delicate alternative to persian patterns. No shoes allowed!

Eskayel wallhangings at the very least - cuttings of any choice of wallpaper - on the wishlist.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Print Your Own: Spoonflower Fabric

While searching for fabric online to make gifts for new babies (so much fun! a girl and a boy - not from the same family - so I get to indulge myself both ways!) I found the brilliant American site, Spoonflower, who ship internationally, luckily.

In their own words, Spoonflower make it possible for individuals to design, print and sell their own fabric designs. Founded in May 2008 by two Internet geeks who had crafty wives but who knew nothing about textiles. The company came about because Stephen’s wife, Kim, persuaded him that being able to print her own fabric for curtains was a really cool idea. She wasn’t alone. The Spoonflower community now numbers around 150,000 individuals.

Oh the possibilities! There are hundreds and hundreds of prints to choose from (or design your own), including cut and sew patterns. I could get - and have been -  seriously lost in these patterns, but here are some of my favourites. This week.

Some William-Morris-alikes:

Some gorgeous nursery choices:

Some pretty, but grown up:

Too good for the kids?:

Boy Heaven (that's not just for boys!):

And finally, for my husband:

All images copyright

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Pretty in the City: Fleet Building, Farringdon

On a grey day pushing a buggy through Farringdon, I realised that I was walking past some wonderful pieces of modernist art, on the side of what seems a derelict building.  Had a look when I came home and found out that they are the work of Dorothy Annan. This blog, Esoteric London tells me that the building is the Fleet Building:

"All the panels have a communications theme, as Fleet Building was built for the General Post Office, which eventually morphed into British Telecom. In its time the building was an expression of progressive thinking in design and technology, but the creep of obsolescence has left the building vacant and derelict, another relic of mid-century modernism and the period’s quaint faith in the future. As it is, the building is now in a state of decay and its future is ‘uncertain’ (i.e. it is doomed).
- Roger Dean, Esoteric London

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Pick up a Penguin

Some may know that my dayjob is in audiobooks, and I truly believe they have a place in the world. When you're stuck on the tube, with your nose in someone's armpit, and you simply couldn't hold a real book up in front of your face, I love to close my eyes and listen to someone tell me a story. When the narration is good - and you have to hope it will be when publishers are deciding who should perform a book, it's a missing link between book and film. It's more than a book, because it's totally dependent on the narrator suiting the job and doing it well. As with a movie, the story might be great, but if the actors don't do it justice, you may never get to the end of it. (I highly recommend The Help as a great example of story and brilliant performance, if you're interested.)

All of that said, audiobooks will never replace a physical book for me. They aren't for the same thing at all. Picking up a 'real' book is for when I have some time, half an hour of silence and comfort in which I can totally indulge myself - happens less often these days...

And let's not forget the beauty that is a book cover, like album covers, book covers are a whole art form in themselves. Whether tactile, clever or simply gorgeous to look at, I am totally guilty of regularly judging, and buying, books by their cover.

Penguin have been creating iconic book covers for years, and this fabulous range  of Clothbound Classics caught my eye while in Tales on Moon Lane*.  Each individually designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith, these are all of the above: wonderfully tactile, brilliantly clever and totally fabulous to look at. Enough to make me ponder on how I might find time (or justification simply to display) these classics.

And as we're on a trip to look at Penguins, check out these wonderful covers on a range of F. Scott Fitzgerald hardbacks, also designed by Bickford-Smith to mark the 70th anniversary of Fitzgerald's death. I'd love these as wallpaper!

Inner Cover of The Great Gatsby
all images courtesy

*The most divine children's bookshop in SE London. I cannot leave without spending money, and yes, friends with children, this is why you always get books from Auntie Sara.