Friday, 31 March 2006

Molly Chicken

I wasn't blogging when I discovered Molly Chicken otherwise there would have been a very excited post going out. So I feel today is my chance to feel the excitement over again and this time to share it, especially with any of you who are not aquainted. I loved the wide range of handmade lovelies and my absolute favourite was this boxed set with Dolly, Dilly and Olive (shown below without box)...

And now there is another little set, though this one has been done to commission so no bidding war on Ebay. I'm not posting the picture because half of the joy is in the way the piece is revealed in a charming photo story on the blog. A must see for anyone who loves to see beauty with all the little details that make a thing truly truly a treasure. If I ever have a baby it will be my excuse to commission one, for myself of course!

Last day of March

Hard to believe that March is over already.
It's my first full month of blogging and I've somehow squeezed in 73 posts (that's cold weather and rain for you) and 181 people have looked at my profile, which is a bit of a shock and also very embarrassing since I rushed it when setting up my blog and it probably doesn't really reflect me very well. Updating it is on my must do list, but it's not very near the top.

Because I was posting so much recently I started doing weekly archives so that you wouldn't have to wait an age for the page to open, but today I'm going to have the whole of March up (hopefully) for the day. I'll try and remember to make it a regular monthly thing, a little review of all the work. As anyone who blogs knows, it is work, so it's nice to see it all together. I never imagined I'd do so much, all that photoshop-ing and scaling (free account so go to go easy on my megabytes) but it has been the most fulfilling and worthwhile thing to do, I absolutely love it.

Mr P says I have a 'blogging face' when I'm thinking about blogs, I think it's a kind of bursting with happiness sort of face as I think of things I've seen and contacts I've made, things I've sent and things I've received. It's such a place of generosity, this blogging world, and I am regularly overwhelmed by how much people care about each other, the little gestures, the open hearted blogs... the whole thing really.

I'd like to thank all of you who have visited, commented, inspired and contributed, and everyone who has allowed me to use their images and links to really fill out this space and make it something I can feel proud of. And if you could all just pop round to my house and help put some walls up, well that'd be just dandy. 0X

Here's a pic of a John Rocha wool throw, £80 from Debenhams...

Twig ring

Seeing that headpiece on my previous post reminded me that I had one of my twig rings in an accessible place. I first started making these in 1992 when I was studying in Nova Scotia.

We had a project to make a piece of jewellery for someone blind. I always preferred to use unusual materials so I opted for some twigs I had
collected (it was autumn) and a bit of twine.

The 1st three twigs were woven together and the fourth was wrapped and bent to form ring-piece which sits over two fingers (like I say, I like to do things differently). The idea was that it could be worn as a decorative ring with the twigs on the outside but could also be turned and worn inside the palm so that the wearer would have the tactile experience of being able to feel the different texture of the wood and weave.

I was aiming to appeal to the sense of smell as well as touch. You can enjoy the sweet wooden smell of the twigs or add a drop of essential oil to the woven section and the warmth of your hand makes the fragrance waft out. It's a really nice piece to wear, there is something really comforting about having your hand closed around it.

Claude Lalane

Ullabenulla has opened my eyes to someone new once again with her post about Claude Lalane a jeweller and sculptor who makes lovely work like this butterfly headpiece...

She has more pictures including a very nice bunny and there are links as well.

Thursday, 30 March 2006


I love Blythe.

I've never owned a Blythe doll so I really get my fix of Blytheness through the inspired work of Gina Garan. What that woman does with her lens and her styling is beyond fabulous. I once bought 'This Is Blythe' for a friend and I must confess I wish I'd kept it for myself (especially since the friend stopped calling when she got a new boyfriend).

I was just looking for it today to explain the inspiration behind me hopping around the countryside with my Lindt Bunny and I found the Blythe website. Lots of stuff in there including e-postcards and a photo gallery. Even better, I discovered Gina has done another book called Blythe Style where she models 131 outfits from major fashion houses like Dior, Prada, Versace etc. My Amazon wishlist just got a little bigger.

And what do you know, when you put the books together you get blue and brown, which I just posted about...

And if you want a little more of the woman herself click here to read an interview with her, she comes across like a lovely person as well as a great stylist and photographer.

And there's another Blythe website here which I am off to investigate now!

Blues & Browns

I always forget how much I like blue with browns and beige until I see it...

Shelter Ice fabric at

Abigail again

I couldn't underdand how I'd missed that lovely piece of Abigail's that Paola posted so I went rummaging through her Flikr set, what goodies! She has so much in there, more of her own work and also images of things she likes (like great shots from Selvedge). I really love her watercolours like this one (detail)...

such beautiful colours and just great the way it all conects with her jewellery. I like to match pieces to collages but they don't have the same highly skilled quality of Abigail's work, I'd love to be that good.

Here's a picture of her granny's pin tin, isn't it beautiful?

I find it quite hard having all my nice things packed away so it cheers me up to see other people's lovely collections. My pin tins are are among my favourite things. I also have some great bifurcated rivet tins too, can't wait to get them out and photograph for you. I used to use images of them in my graphic design work but lord only knows where that is just now.

Disney light show

If you are into fairy lights have a look at Superd's current Flikr set which I gather is a light show at Disneyland in Tokyo.

Wednesday, 29 March 2006

Even more Nokia & bunnies

Ok, I'm getting a bit obsessed now, but if you click on the phones themselves (see previous post) for more details and then navigate into the interactive demo you get a forest with flowers and then butterflies flutter out the back of the phone!

I had better stop this now, I'm meant ot be going to see Walk The Line and I still haven't brushed my hair, put on clothes fit for public viewing, been to the Council Office with my wage slip to prove I really am living on nothing and taken a thank you present to the post office.

The present is for my friend Mhairi who has just sent me a Torde plate (the blue one, Kate gave me the red one), one of his flower garland cards (which I have been wanting) and a pack of Origami paper! How did she know? So much kindness from someone who has just bought a new house and is a teacher and is surely too busy and too poor for this sort of gift giving - thank you so much!

Here is a sneak peek at some of the contents of my return package which includes a miniature cake with 2 Lindt Bunny escorts. I was putting the shredded paper on top and realised it would make the nicest nest for chocolate eggs...

More Nokia

Thank god for Paola at mirror mirror, she did what I forgot to do... went in search of the proper Nokia site for the L'amour phones I mentioned recently and she posted about them on her blog. I'm glad she did cause the site is nice, slow, but nice (even with broadband it was pretty slow to load).

But if you do visit it be sure to click on the bit that says 'design inspiration' the graphic illustrations GROW up the page.
And as you go deeper into the site there are constantly changing layers of illustration.

It's so ME I was nearly peeing my pants. You think I'm exagerating but I'm not, I have no running water just now, so no flushing toilet. If I get caught up in a blog or website too long I barely have time to run round to MrP's house to use his facilities (that's not why he's called Mr 'P'). This was more of an issue at the weekend when I ate too many dried friut bars and it wasn't pee I had to run for, luckily he was not using the bathroom when I arrived!

The fate of a bunny

I've had a dilemma since getting my Lindt Bunny.
It was sunny when he arrived but when it turned cold and wet it was a case of "should I just eat the bunny, it keeps raining, I can't get any more photos, I should just eat him, he doesn't like being trapped inside on a shelf, I can help it fullfill his destiny" I am not one of these people that can resist chocolate once I know it's in the house. But I did, for 2
days of torrentail rain I resisted.

Finally, last night, when the rain showed no sign of stopping and the weather woman assured us all that there would be no sun today for bunny pictures outside, I cracked. He got cracked. His destiny was fullfilled. My tummy was full up.

You can guess I have awoken to the brightest lovely day. Cold and windy but sunny as anything, perfect for bunny
pictures. Gah. He had a good life on the outside though, and that's important, here are some of the nice things he saw on the way to the organic farm...

We even saw a carnival outside Ikea, how many bunnies can say they've seen an 8 foot high painting of Sean Connery's head, not many I'm guessing!

Feel the sun bunny

So what was I doing when I wasn't at my computer over the weekend?
I was out in the sunshine (yes sunshine, we had Spring for 2 days) liberating this little fella...

Felt the need to post this pic of him on in the gingham window of the old organic farm shop cause I've just been having a happy email chat with Alicia and it made me feel all sunshiney thinking of her in her bright happy shop. Oh how I wish I was in Portland right now to visit the shop in real life.

Poor little guy, look how he was living when I found him, no sky, no grass, no sunshine...

So I saved him and showed him sheep and lambs (1st lambs, ooh) and snowdrops...

Tuesday, 28 March 2006

My Favorite Mirror

As I explored my way through the Jill Bliss site I cam across her mirrors made at My Favorite Mirror who have other mirrors too AND you can design your own. So, creative people, I will be expecting a lot of you to start selling mirrors in your own lovely designs on your ETSY shops!

Bouncing mail

This is for anyone who's been trying to reply to my email from their blog and found it bouncing back.

I finally figured out why. I missed out a 't' in an obvious place! I only did it once but the Typepad thingy remembered my details and has been filling it in that way ever since, Whoops. I'm away to try and change it now. Sorry for the incovenience to anyone, and if it doesn't let me change it just add another 't' and it'll work fine. 0X

Jill Bliss

I am in awe of the work of Jill Bliss, who I had never heard of till I saw her Native Flowers Journal on Manda's blog over at Treefall Design (sorry to hear about dead sewing machine!). I had a look at Jill's site which is just BLOODY GORGEOUS and full of happy California colour.

The journal has even more loveliness inside! On the site you can see all the different pages inside it. I've not shown them here but the endpages are my absolute favourite. I don't think I could ever bring myself to actually write in it, it's so perfect.

And the flowery colour continues with her equally gorgeous oh how much do I want to own this Native Flowers stationery! If any of you ever want anything I make I'll swap for this stuff which even comes with stickers...

And it doesn't stop there, there's a book as well! To quote from her site...
eelets by Jill Bliss and Shinpei Tanaka, a 32-page full color graphic novel that can be read from left to right, right to left, front to back, and back to front. simple and quirky hand drawn images illustrate the stories of two increasingly interpollinating worlds populated by small trees. ' How sweet are these illustrations...

There's even an online shop called where she sells handmade, reused and recycled things that she and her friends have made. It's all so much living the fantasy so many of us have about doing this kind of work with creative friends. I just love it, love it, love it all.

And for those of you with shops you there is a blissen wholesale catalogue for some of the items, see here for details so that more people can buy some sunshine.

Monday, 27 March 2006


My button collection is still falling out of the teetering tower of tinyness and sprinkling it's way across the floor with 1000's of beads. They have no respect for the little colour coded tubs I painstakingly arranged them in over the years, it's almost as if the just don't care at all.

I wouldn't mind if they at least had the decency to colour coordinate so I could take an arty shot of the chaos. But no, buttons and beads, falling from a broken tower have other things to worry about and care little for their appearance so lets not shame them on the net.

Instead lets look at this gorgeous card of buttons owned by (and on the blog of) Rose Garden Romantic. It's the best button card illustration I've ever seen though I would love people to send me links for others if they have their own little lovelies to show and tell.

Handmade books

I love to make little books, one off's and limited editions. But even more than that I love to see (and own!) other people's books. I absolutely love them and when I go to degree shows I'm often more into the sketchbooks and things than the finished pieces. I'll post pics when they get unpacked.

On Kim Carney's blog last week she posted about handmade books and had these great examples plus others and more booky links which had me in a happy daze.

Lori Kay Ludwig Deborah Waimon

More Zittel

I got a comment from Ivy on my Andrea Zittel post the other day (thanks Ivy).
She says "Zittel was featured in the first season of PBS's Art:21- which you can rent from netflix. here's a link to her bit on the pbs site" Ivy also said Zittel makes crocheted dresses too, I bet they are stunning.

Rodd Designs

I spotted some great lamps over at Rodd Designs. They are entirely handmade by Amanda Rodd and have such a nice organic feel about them (visually I mean, but I bet they are even better in to touch). If you go into the site she has lovely product shots for each individual lamp with great wallpapers, vases, ornaments etc complimenting her pieces.

Computer free days

Seems I had an unplanned blog break there. Had a killer weekend nightshift to work and my body clock went waa waa. More posts on the way though once I've finished replying to my emails and comments, if I don't do that first I'll never get it done.

Friday, 24 March 2006

Repro Depot

My fantasy is a virtual trolley dash at
Look at this fabric called Etsuko Scene, this says Spring so perfectly, I'd love to make a green skirt from it.

Andrea Zittel

Because I live in a mobile home (a BIG one, permanent so no trips away) and because I have stripped it back to the shell and am rebuilding it (myself) I have a keen interest in contemporary mobile structures and ecologically sound building practices. So someone directed me to the Zittel website which had a really wide variety of interesting units, furniture etc but best of all gorgeous felt dresses (called a-z fibre form uniforms). The photo's on the site were quite small but I found the bigger one below here with an article about a Tokyo exhibition of her work.

Joris Laarman

I haven't really blogged about it but until December last year I had a long and seemingly unending heating saga. On the day of my house-warming in my new place, 4 days before Christmas 2003, I was thrilled when it began to snow and my new surroundings became white and beautiful for my guests. I was less pleased when I realised the boiler had stopped and we were all getting very cold.

It never worked again.

I had spent more buying the house than I planned (local property had doubled in a year, MrP got his for half what I paid) so I absolutely did not have an extra £2000 for a new boiler. I'm very eco conscious so I began looking into various options... underfloor heating, rooftop wind turbine, solar panels etc. but everything was either unsuitable for my building, unavai
lable (the silent SWIFT turbine) or just too damned expensive.

In the end I opted for a pellet stove which began a new saga (international cancellations, price rises on the flue due to world steel price blah blah blah). I'm missing out lots of the horror but suffice to say I had NO HEATING or hot water for two and a half winters and this resulted in burst pipes ruining floors, fabrics etc. It was very disheartening and depressing though I did finally get a stove installed in mid December, though I can't afford to run it. It heats the house (kind of) but hot water is still a distant dream.

But what has this to do with art or design you ask?

Well, in my quest for the perfect heating I was understandably swayed when I saw Joris Laarman's radiator in Elle Decoration. Love at first site.

I put my name on the waiting list immediately, you know, so that if I somehow come into some money I won't have to wait forever to get one!

But the reason I thought of all this just now was because I just saw on Abigail Percy's blog that he has been designing some gorgeous jewellery too! And I'm not picturing it here, that way you'll simply HAVE to visit her blog to see it (in the January archive) then you can see her jewellery at the same time! You know me, like to promote UK designers to you all ;0)

Thursday, 23 March 2006

Light images

My light obsession always goes a step further in winter when there are more dark opportunities to play. Once I have them I often use them as part of my illustrative work like this one which I want to print as textiles and use for lighting...

SO I was very interested in the work of Florence Durante which is apparently showing in Edinburgh at a NEW Gallery. I'm so off the scene with galleries that I never knew it was there till today so I've missed the chance to see her work, like this piece...

Israeli exhibition

Some interesting looking work from an exhibition called Foreplay shown here on the Iraeli Design Centre site.


I quite like the floral animation of the Nokia ad on this French Elle Deco website today.

Wednesday, 22 March 2006


I saw some of these on Lisa's Musings and had to investigate further. I do so love miniature things and when they involve watermelon and a turquoise backdrop, well, I am delighted. Find them all on the Minimiam site.

Carved wood and carved wax

I got these lovely flower candles from Habitat, not for me, but I will certainly be enjoying them until it's time to pass them on. They are so cheery.

Of course when I say I got them, I mean that MrP got them. I absolutely could not be trusted to go into Habitat and not spend money I don't have on things I don't need but which I could very easily convince myself I can't live without. I'm sure you know where I'm coming from.

But the truly beautiful things I want can't be bought in High Street shops, they are gems that you only find occasionally in life (unless you have the time and money to hunt them down for your self). Corey's
site Tongue In Cheek fullfills my cravings for beautiful French things. Things with texture, history, detail and style. Old worn things that have a beauty you just don't get in newer pieces until they have lived a while. Things like this armoire!...

If you love things like this as much as me then visit her site because half the joy is in the reading and the story behind the armoire is lovely. As an American woman married to a Frenchman and living in France she has access to and knowledge of things that I could only dream of. And her recent post about a misunderstanding is a hoot!

I first saw her site a few weeks ago and fell in love with this hinge, these carved wooden roses, the ribbon work on this 18thC frame and much much more.


I like Sofie Refer's Ice Blue light when they show it in clusters like little arctic eggs.

It's this snow making me feel all icy lovin' again. I picked a couple of snowdrops just now and put them in my blue vase, a thrift shop find, all wonky and school-made but I love it, and I loved the price too, 30p I think.

When I popped it down on the trunk I thought that made quite a nice photo as well, once I cropped out all the PILES and PILES of rubbish around the edge of the photo.

Gives an amazing illusion of a semi crisp space, which believe me it is not. I'd show you the reality but I want my blog to be a happy place! The tree with flower fairy lights was my first Christmas tree for the place when I moved in 3 years ago, it is living proof of the fact that I have trouble letting things go, it's shoved in a corner now (that wall behind is not attached, it's just leaning against the timber outer frame!) but normally I have it near my bed.

My home

I was being good, so good. I logged off and put on my gardening things to go and do some much avoided garden maintenance for a few hours while the sun was peeking through. I made a quick cup of ginger tea (fresh ginger and honey, good for the circulation) and by the time I stepped out it was ... snowing!

Well, what's a girl to do, the gods clearly want me to keep blogging today. But what to blog about, my eyes are too strained to trawl through my folders or the net for inspirational images to share. And then the sun shone through the window. Suddenly my house, which is a source of great frustration just now, was filled with light and I saw that there were nice bits, even in the chaos. Here are a few.

This first one which I rather like is my attempt to hide the fact that there is no ceiling in one half of the room. I love these old indian block print fabrics which I rescued from the dog's bed at my mum's house! They really remind me of being little when my mum had them on her bed - a more fitting place. I popped them up at christmas so that I could screen off that side of the room. The near side, if you look closely, has white Ikea curtains STAPLED to the ceiling to hide the insulation that is hanging out until I get the ceiling replaced. It's actually quite a nice effect, like living in an exotic tent, but sadly wihout the exotic temperatures. The fabric does not diguise the old stools, piles of wood, pallet truck etc.

This is a bowl of flowers I made for my Christmas tree, button flowers, I love them and can never bear to pack them away with everything else so they live in a trifle bowl the rest of the year. I just love white on white.

This is embarrassing, it's the cup and plate (Torde Boontje plate) that are still lying on the floor, unwashed, since the man came to adjust my pellet stove 2 weeks ago. In my defense I have no running water, and it looks so nice on the flokati rug. I adore my rug, it's totally mangy and worn out but it is filled with happy memories. I belonged to my Granny and was always in front of her fire, wherever she lived, and covered in various generations of dogs. I used to listen to an old yodelling record on that rug and spin around on it until I fell over in hysterical giggles. That never ceased to thrill me from age 3 to 7. Then I think she got rabbits and my attentions were diverted.

Much loved blog Links

I just read my own blog, it's not as shoddy as I thought, rambling perhaps, but I like the look of it, far more coherent than I was expecting given my wide ranging tastes. But I saw that there was one huge gaping hole ... my links and appreciation of the wonderful bloggers who inspired me to blog too, and continue to inspire me daily.

I realised after reading the post about Ulla's site that I hadn't posted about others which had equally thrilled, enthralled and excited me because when I discovered them I hadn't started blogging yet (though I think most of you received an embarassingly gushy email from me).

I remembered that the day I posted the links was one of the days that Blogger was not working and I lost all my posts from that day, so the links never went on. That error is now corrected as you can see on the sidebar. They are all wonderful in their own way and are the links that I visit pretty much daily. There are so, so many more that I visit weekly but I don't want to have a huge list otherwise I'll feel cluttered which is something I have trouble with everywhere else in life, so I want to keep the blog slimline. I'm trying to keep links there that are regularly updated, so if you disappear it's not that I don't visit you anymore.

And now a photo, I love reflections, I love circles, I love water and I love blue things so I love my photo of the Falkirk Wheel 'the world's first and only rotating boat lift'. You really need to this this photo huge to appreciate the details but hey, bandwith, what can I say. At this rate I'll be reaching my 300mb limit in no time, then what.. Cally Creates 2 I suppose.

It takes the boats from the canal above and gives them the fairground treatment to get them down the the water below. Great fun to watch if you are there on a sunny day, which we were. But be warned, the tea drinkers among us (not me) were gasping because the queues in the cafe were way too long. Take a flask for emergencies.

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