Posts from February 2021

pink house

February 26, 2021

I know why I am drawn to this house and it’s not just because it’s pink. My grandparents lived in a house just like his –– a salmon pink cottage –– and it held such happy memories. They lived in Bermuda, and the house was surrounded by that thick, green crab grass that tickles your feet and grows all over the island. Inside, the house smelt like my grandmother’s perfume, First, by Van Cleef Arpel, and whatever my grandfather was cooking, spaghetti bolognese or chicken a la king. The curtains were a thick, floral fabric, and the walls were painted lemon yellow and powder blue. In the afternoons, we’d play cards and Bingo! and watch episodes of The Young And The Restless on a fuzzy t.v. This painting is by Peter Lanyon, a British Artist. I’m not sure if this is England, but the rust and mustard and mossy green are definitely not tropical. I like the movement in the tree, and the puffs of smoke coming out of the chimney.

cluck, oink, woof

February 25, 2021

Penguins, monkeys and polar bears. Holly’s Frean‘s animals have appeared on everything from textiles to wallpaper, to canvases and ceramics. Dog Rainbow No.3 is super for anyone who loves colour and/or canines. And I love Frean’s pandas. You may have seen her collection of chicken plates; these ones, made from fine bone china, are equally delightful. Both childlike and sophisticated, Frean’s work could weave its way into any, or every room in the home.


February 24, 2021

Tess, Chris, Tyron, Agnes –– each one of Hugh Findletar’s exuberant glass busts has a name. A multi-media artist, (he’s a photographer by trade) Findletar turned to glass when he moved to Italy 23 years ago and discovered Murano and its glass blowers. Ancient Greece, Eritrea and the Roman Empire are areas of great interest, and a love of horticulture travels through his work, too. Jamaican-born, the legends, traditions colours and characters of the Caribbean are infused into everything he creates. Filled with fresh blooms, they’re all so fabulously eccentric.

A roundup of pots, petals and a very long baguette.

February 23, 2021

Beautiful, humble pots from SARAH JARETH.

AXEL EINAR HJORTH’s early 1900s wavy bench.

Al Fresco dinner.

KATIE SCOTT’s weird and beautiful illustrations.

When ceilings look like cake.

Whimsical doodles from BONNIE GRAY.

MARINA VERNICOS captures Athens covered in snow.

A 139-year-old San Francisco home gets moved by a lorry.

Four women sharing a 9-foot baguette in Soho, 1955.

brush with nature

February 22, 2021

It was this floral mural that first drew me to Nathalie Lété‘s whimsical world. Dense with dragonflies, gourds, flowers and fungi, it brings magic and whimsy to the rooms it adorns. Now, imagine an entire house, where every inch of wall is covered in Lété’s creations. This has been the French artist’s quarantine project, to paint her walls à la Bloomsbury Group. The tiles, the curtains, every cushion, rug and throw, is painted on by Lété. Even the furniture and doors are covered in birds and fields of wild flowers. Nature, Folk art, Zalipie houses, and Moroccan souks are all inspirations. Have a look around. It’s another world.

turning a page

February 19, 2021

I am re-reading About Alice, Calvin Trillin’s love letter to his wife. It was published in 2006, five years after Alice’s untimely death, and I read it a bit over a decade ago when I was expecting my first baby. Is it Stephen King that said, life is too short to re-read a book? I think some books are meant to be re-visited, seen through fresh eyes. I think about the books I read as a teenager, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Hardy, Bronte and Golding, and how my experience of them was limited, by well, my lack of experience. I remember moving to Florence at 19 and devouring Somerset Maugham and Paul Auster by candlelight. What a different experience it would be to read such books as The Moon and Sixpence or Moon Palace today. I wrote essay upon essay on Camus’ L’etranger, and looking back, I didn’t absorb a word of it. Existentialism? I was 16. My place in the world was my boyfriend’s couch and the greasy spoon around the corner from our school. There are so many brilliant books in the world, and as we navigate these weird waters, there is some comfort in the nostalgia of ones we’ve already read. We know how the books end. Our experience of how we get there though, that feels different.


February 18, 2021

I’ve written about Brooklyn artist, Wayne Pate here before, but his new tile designs for British bathroom designer, Balineum are too fabulous not to share. Pate’s exuberant style translates beautifully to tiles, and I can only imagine the whimsy and play that they’d bring to a loo. I’m crazy about the blue tulips ––how fabulous for a kitchen backsplash –– and his thick black squiggles are brilliant, also. If I could snag just one, I’d frame it and call it a day.


February 18, 2021

I write everyday, even on days when I have nothing to say. Which lately, is often. I figure the daily exercise will come in handy when I do have something say. Some days, all I can muster is a sentence or two about a kettle or a chair, or the Rowntree’s jelly cubes I used to eat straight out of the packet on the school bus. Even the bus driver looked at me oddly when I’d bring them out of my lunchbox. I think he asked me to put them away once lest my sticky fingers ruined his moquette upholstered seats. “But your hair will shine,” my Mum used to say when I’d tell her about the peculiar looks. It’s funny what we remember. And what we write about. When we have nothing to say.

and around we go

February 16, 2021

Barren beaches and mountains in Lanzerote photographed by SALVA LOPEZ.

TANGUY TOLILA‘s weird and wonderful wooden bird sculptures.

This beautiful tree.

Perfect little guest houses, ensconced high up in Mallorca’s Tramuntana mountains.

Dressing for summer.

ANGELA ALLEN’s monochrome world.

Porcelain hearts by FOS CERAMICHE.

Dried sunflowers.

Italian Sculptor, MARIO CEROLI, photographed in New York, 1966.

perfect ten

February 15, 2021

I’ve been working on a set of ten plates for weeks, and I can’t get them all to stack flat. It’s not just the warping. It’s the cracks, the smudges and the uneven glazes, too. It’s one of life’s great ironies, that we embrace (seek out, even) such imperfections in other people’s work, and yet see them as defects in our own. The lens through which we judge ourselves is so often distorted by pre-conceived ideas, self doubt and unrealistic standards. So when I came across this wonky stack of plates by the talented, Ella Bendrups, I was reminded of what it is that I love about handmade pottery. The smudges, the fingerprints, the wonky rims. And more importantly, the maker’s celebration of such imperfections. Adjusting the lens, that’s what I need to keep working on. Just as much as my plate making skills.

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