Wednesday, 29 February 2012

A-Z of Pattern: A is for Animals

I can smell the sunshine on it's way, and so it's time for a little Spring clean around here, starting with a new feature I've been thinking about. So welcome to the A-Z of Pattern! A grand name I'll grant you for something which I'm not pretending will be exhaustive, but I thought it would be fun to take a look at the many types of pattern that exist, and show you some great examples on the market at the moment. So without further ado...

I'm not talking about going all Pat Butcher (RIP) on you here, though leopard print certainly features, but take a look at the many ways you can incorporate animalia into your life. And who doesn't love a giraffe?

Don't forget most papers come as a fabric pattern too, and nearly always in a range of colourways, so don't make up your mind too quickly...

clockwise from top left: Cluck a Doodle Farm by Katie Bourne, Merry Go Circus by Katie BourneAnimal Magic wallpaper by Paperboy, featuring a slightly sinister family pet print. Printed with the pet’s skeleton on top of its silhouette in a varnish of the same colour, the skeleton shouldn’t show at night – so it’s not too scary when the lights are out. But it catches the light during the day when all the spooks are gone. Perfect for the small boy who likes to pull the wings off daddy-long-legs. Karkulaiset by Marimekko

Monday, 20 February 2012

Mary Katrantzou for Topshop

Not saying I'm wearing it, but LOOK AT IT in all it's amazing colourful joy.


St Judes

I've been meaning to write about St Judes for a while, as they've got some beautiful designs which are really unique and totally recognisable. I've just seen that they've got a new range for, so I had to get on here and tell you about them right now.

Founded by Simon & Angie Lewin, the company works from two studios – one in Norfolk, England (how I discovered them - I have family connections up there and used to wander longingly past their window); the other in Morayshire, Scotland.

The Lewins began St Judes printing just two of Angies designs onto fabric.  They had looked externally and found that other fabric companies just didn't seem to give much credit, or control to their designers (surely the most important cog in the wheel??). Now the company is thriving, and they are able to work with a number of artists, makers and printers they admire, producing a core range of textile products, and  taking on a small number of bespoke commissions and projects.

As I said, they've just started a collaboration with in their design lab, and I have to say, I'm totally excited to see these designs on a large furniture scale.

Snowdrop Loveseat in Doveflight by Mark Herald at

Commander wingback in Hedgerow (green) by Angie Lewin at

Kilkenny armchair in Bird Garden by Mark Hearld at

Angie Lewin, clockwise from top left: Nature Table, Seed Heads, Dandelion Two, Dandelion One

all images sourced from St Judes or

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Fabulous for 30-something: Shoes

Clarks + Liberty = Yum #GettingOldAndIDon'tCare 
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I was out with some girlfriends the other night, in Peckham. Feeling edgy, feeling a bit cool, feeling a bit, well, younger than usual. The conversation ran around the usual things: our children's ailments, habits, cuteness; our husband's quirks, habits, cuteness (kind of); film, politics, work. It was a wonderful night, and reminded me of a conversation I'd had with another friend last week, about feeling fabulous for thirty-something.

Both evenings made me realise that I've been feeling exhausted of late, stretched too far, dehydrated, a little lacklustre. They also reminded me of that brilliant time in your twenties when you're really working your identity (I liked to think mine was channelling Debbie Harry with a touch of Hitchcock Blonde).

Now, I'm not sure if it's a 30-something thing, or a motherhood thing, or a marriage thing, or what, but I'm so very glad that I can look at the beautiful things younger than me, and not give a monkeys about how I compare to their bodies, hair, confidence. I simply, genuinely, admire them for being so gorgeous and brilliant.

I'm not saying either that I have suddenly perfected myself, far from it. The magazines aimed at me are trying hard to celebrate all women by saying we can have it all, but I'm still fighting personal feelings of lacking, because I can't wear Louboutins (or anything more than a 2 inch heel) and I don't run a successful start-up that I began while breastfeeding, and I'm beginning to suspect that Debbie Harry was only ever in my head. But I am simply saying that I am grateful for what I have, it's all bloody brilliant.

And while the Louboutins elude me, there's always Clarks.

Pattern: Liberty Meandering Chrysanthemums B Tana Lawn