Posts from January 2016

Prints Charming

January 15, 2016

Cassie Byrnes’ scarves are pretty enough for a picture frame. So are her post-card sized screen prints. The Melbourne-based textile designer is new to my radar but my wish list is already long. Cushions, tops and dresses in happy-making prints and colours. Just what we need to get through Winter.



Birds of a Feather

January 15, 2016

I first came across Otomi textiles in San Miguel Allende. We bought a small nativity wall hanging for Jason’s mother at a market in the city centre, but I wish I’d had the foresight to fill our bags with more.  Birds and flowers in vivid colours translate so beautifully to cushions and bedspreads and poufs.  One day, when we return to Mexico, I’ll make sure to snap up yards and yards, for a gilet or a full length coat. Wouldn’t that be grand?


Throw Away

January 13, 2016

“Just slam it on there, and go for it,” said Roseanne, as I sat down at the wheel. It was my first pottery class, so I appreciated my classmate’s encouragement. “Mine used to collapse and fly all over the place. But you can’t be afraid of that.” Much like most things, throwing a pot is much harder than it looks. And Roseanne was right, you’ve got to just go for it. Once I accepted that today was not the day for perfect pots, but rather a lesson in freeing oneself of inhibition and expectation, I was actually able to make something. I made a bowl –– it was small and wonky, but a bowl, nonetheless. “Just to let you know,” said Roseanne, as we packed up our things to go home three-hours later, “your face is covered in clay.” “It’s okay,” I responded, “I’m off for a swim.”










In Neutral

January 12, 2016

Every now and then, I imagine living in a neutral palette of greys, browns and eighteen shades of white. We visited Mjolk on the weekend where the aesthetic is so beautiful in its restraint. Understated, exquisitely crafted sofas, tables and chairs in mellow hues and various shades of wood. We were inspired. But sharpie stains, sticky, chocolately fingers and little boys who leap off furniture like they’re escaping from an exploding Krypton, squelch the idea of a barely pink sofa on a cream Berber rug. And really, who am I kidding? I appreciate neutrals, but my soul is technicolour.










Point & Shoot

January 11, 2016

“When I started freelancing in 1978, I went to India with a one-way ticket, a few thousand dollars and two suitcases. One suitcase was full of clothes and the other suitcase was full of 250 rolls of Kodachrome.” With fabulously rich colour, and such captivating gazes, it would be hard to choose just one favourite Steve McCurry portrait. The American photographer, best known for his “Afghan Girl” image for the cover of National Geographic in the mid 80s, has been travelling, and photographing the world for decades. But it was in India (he ended up staying for two-years) where McCurry honed his skill. “If you wait,” he realized, “people will forget your camera and the soul will drift up into view.”




Mix & Match

January 9, 2016

It’s very unlike me to buy things that match, because, well that’s just too sensible. But we are thinking of buying –– wait for it –– four of the same chairs to go around a kitchen table. We’ve never bought anything that matches, but I do have my sights on a slicker, more uniform look for the kitchen. But then I see pictures like this one, and I’m back to my old mix and matching ways.



January 7, 2016

Good quality sweaters –– beautiful Scottish cashmere, and wonderful knits from the likes of Barrie are worth investing in. If you take care of your woolies, they’ll take care of you. I think it’s worth investing in one spendy sweater every year, with a view of amassing a lovely collection as you go on. Black or navy is a must, as is heather or cream. From then on in, the colour wheel is yours. I would love to find a chunky cable knit in mustard yellow or dusty rose, and I can never say no to a Fair Isle. And if I ever get to the Aran Islands, I’ll go straight to the Sweater Market on Kilronan harbour and snap up as many jumpers as I can stuff into my duffel bag.


Needle & Thread

January 7, 2016

I admire anyone with patience enough for quilting. It’s such slow, painstaking work. But the result can be so gorgeous. Cuban born textile designer, Lorena Marañon makes quilts that are as bold in colour as they are in design. Her embroidery work too, is so intricate and charming. Take a look at her work –– it’s really quite happy-making.




Out with the Bathwater

January 5, 2016

The Brits love baths. They sit in their tubs listening to the radio while the water turns tepid and their skin starts to prune. Some people might pour a splash  of Yardley into the water, and pour themselves a Gin –– but most are okay with plain old Thames water. I can’t remember the last time any of us took a bath, in fact, I’m thinking of getting rid of the tub all together. Yes, a walk-in shower with enough room for a boogie, or a sun salutation or two, would do nicely.


Ring Ma Belle

January 5, 2016

I love rings, and although I lean towards simplicity, I cannot resist the whimsy, colour and imagination of jewellers like David Webb, Alice Cicolini, Solange Azagury-Partridge and Holly Dyment. Dyment is from Toronto so I’d love to visit her studio one of these days. Think surrealist lips, slithery serpents and evil eyes in jewely colours. She spends a lot of time in India, and is inspired by the richness of the country’s colour and imagery. It’s hard to play favourites, but I’d be quite happy if this little fly landed on my pinky.



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