Saturday, 24 September 2011

I'm living in a song by the Shangri-Las

First of all, apologies for the melodramatic wording of my last post, which lead to so many sweet enquiries after me. It's all down to a spot of old-fashioned heartbreak: Mr S and I have split up. As you might have guessed from my posts, it wasn't something I'd expected so the last couple of weeks have been spent in a zombie-like state. Packing up stuff that was collected and put into the flat with such hope has not been fun. There still have been some higher points in the last couple of weeks: the kindness, love and support of friends and colleagues, all the delights of London, from tasty dinners at Moro to highly diverting shops, and the beautiful September weather that convinces me something quite wonderful might be just around the corner.

Today I visited the London Art Book fair at the Whitechapel, which was full of inspiring volumes varying from the most deluxe editions to simple handmade books. It was there I spotted this print, one of the Whitechapel's limited edition collection. It's by Donald Urquhart. As I wandered round, feeling generally a bit sorry for myself, it was a reminder that no-one can quite do melodrama as well as the Shangri-Las.

One week left in the flat, then I'm embracing one of a break-ups biggest cliches - I'm taking myself off on a yoga holiday. Sunshine, sea and inner peace, I can't wait.

Monday, 12 September 2011

And then...

And then, just when you think things are relatively okay - a bit frantic and tiring maybe, but you know alright - something happens to pull that carpet out from under your feet. Might be a bit quiet on here for a bit, got quite a bit of stuff to think through and sort out.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Last-Year Buy: Mini Moderns Festival Plates

There seems to have been a bit of a thread running my year: The image I chose to kick the year off, my latest book project at work (still under wraps), my involvement in Make Shift, even the way I chose to celebrate my birthday and some of the people I've interviewed, like Pat Albeck: they all seem to be linked to the Festival of Britain.

While I can't afford Mini Modern's Festival wallpaper or rugs, I felt like a little bit of their festival range should be mine to mark my festival year. A small pot of birthday cash was raided and lo, here's my new Mini Moderns plate set and a bit of Skylon to remember the year by. I love them and am plotting and pondering how best to display them when we move house next month.

(Just noticed that one of the plates is upside down - oops).

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Oh Comely issue 7

The latest issue of Oh Comely is now out and, I have to say, it's my favourite yet - what a beauty! As I was flicking through to snap images of my favourite pages, I realised I wanted to photograph almost all of them. These are my favourite favourites:

Three great illustrations of movie scenes. Here's ET as seen by Jes Hunt.

Some gorgeous sounding natural beauty recipes.

Hunting for a very special beetle - with a very special accompanying illustration too.

The surprisingly romantic stories of now-obsolete vehicles, with images provided by Jacob Stead.

My interview with the fabulous Pat Albeck, queen of tea towel design (yes, really). The piece is only a tiny portion of what we talked about - I spent a fascinating 90 minutes speaking to her. I loved the way in which she described the optimism and determination of designers in post-war Britain to make "everyone more lovely - more comely." I'd never really thought about the explosion of colour and pattern in 50s designs in these terms before.

And of course that had to be followed with:

Tea towels! A spread of the prettiest (including Pat's naturally).

And those are my favourite bits. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the latest issue.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

September issues

I'm feeling a bit like a failure this year. Like many people I know, September always feels like the proper start of the year to me. The season of the things I find the most fun: hibernating reading and eating, embracing wholesome pursuits like walking, sewing and baking, and cosying up in colourful tights, nice knitwear and new coats. Normally by this time a new school bag will have been bought, my pencils sharpened, and the list of new clothes I want drawn up.

This year, it's crept up on me. I've mainly been working bloody hard and feeling annoyed about not having time to do much else. I escaped to the wonderful End of the Road festival at the weekend, where I experienced the novelty of feeling the sun on my face and when we came back - bam - it was autumn.

To calm my upset about not having devoted enough time to preparing for the new season, I spent a good deal of time on the internet yesterday trying to find my ideal autumn buys. I got a bit stuck and couldn't find what I had pictured in my head. What I really want is a good quality pencil skirt, so I can pretend I'm a Pulp-style minx, and a non-twee dotty blouse: part of the myth that this year I will pull off being grown-up and sophisticated (if you spot any good ones, let me know). As an indication that perhaps this year won't be the year I will pull off being grown-up and sophisticated, I also spent time making this heart themed polyvore set. I already have one pair of shoes with hearts on them - does a 31-year-old need a second pair? Or a matching blouse and jumper?

No. But how my own heart desires them.

I heart Autumn

Sonia by Sonia Rykiel red top
£315 -

Sonia by Sonia Rykiel heart sweater
$295 -

£120 -

Peter Jensen slip on shoes
$293 -

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