Sunday, 31 May 2009

Church chairs

After making do with a cheap dining table set for over 6 years, we felt it didn't go with our new bookcase, so we decided to spend some money on ebay and bought a set of 4 lovely reclaimed church chairs. These chapel chairs were originally from Enfield Church and date from 1900-1920. They have lovely patina on them that only age and wear can achieve. We are however without table, that arrives in a couple of weeks time. I will post when we get it.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Datz awesome!

To me, Jim Datz, is the American Adrian Johnson (I will posting about him soon!). That is no bad thing at all. They are both extremely talented and share a similar style - modern techniques with a retro bent. I personally can't get enough of that style. You may have seen his work in Urban Outfitters back in 2006 as Datz art directed the stores, giving them their look and feel.

I found Jim Datz’ prints on my favourite online shop - Three Potato Four. I can't really justify buying anything on there, being that I live on the other side of the pond, but I caved in when I saw his seven color screenprints: Manhattan and Brooklyn. I was too slow to get the first edition run of the Manhattan prints but he has just released the Brooklyn prints, so to get your hands on them go to Three Potato Four.

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Friday, 29 May 2009

This is...Miroslav Sasek

Czech born Miroslav Sasek is well known for his wonderful This is... series, a series of 18 children's books that centered around famous cities of the world; depicting the culture, tourist hot-spots and transport modes. These children's travel guides were produced during 1959-1974. There are 2 books being re-issued this year, This is the way to the Moon (June '09) and This is Australia (September '09). They are just so timeless and charming, I especially love the way he has completely captured the feel of London and Britain's eccentricities.

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Thursday, 28 May 2009

R.I.P. ugly cat

On a quiet street in a small Lincolnshire village is where I met this enormous fluffy cat. I just had to take a photo of him because he was sat on his bench with his tongue out! The photo on the right was taken on another visit, about a year after my first encounter, and his tongue was still out! It has come to my attention that he must have passed away now as I haven't seen him for the last 2 years...R.I.P. Ugly.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Brooklyn Industries

I have to say I have mixed feelings about Brooklyn Industries a visitor in NY I liked the thought of owning clothes made in Brooklyn (as overpriced as it is) but I've only recently found out that all their stuff is made in China :( But aside from that I do like the feel of the stores, their water tower logo is sweet and I don't know who illustrated this postcard for the store, but I like it! I also have a thing for illustrated birds, so when I spotted this pigeon shirt, I just had to get it for my boyfriend!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009


Anyone who sees my desktop always comments about how much they like it, so I thought I’d share it with you as well. The image I have is called 'Bird background' by the French texture and pattern artist / illustrator, Delphine Doreau. The desktop image can be found on page 4 of her freebie section in her blog. I've uploaded a close up section of the birds.

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Monday, 25 May 2009

Book worm

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Our Ikea bookcase

I spent my bank holiday sorting out our bookcase issue, which is why I was quiet on the posting front. This is our 3rd stab at getting some kind of shelving for our alcove in a desperate attempt to get rid of our Ikea bookcase! (the 2 previous attempts have been a disaster involving floating shelves that only take a flea’s weight and big holes in walls...) But inspiration struck us when we passed a Brooklyn thrift store. There on the pavement were some lovely Pepsi-cola crates and we thought these would make lovely shelving. So when we returned home we bought some crates off e-bay and one in Portobello market on Saturday and here are the after shots of what we created. We also bought some old wooden cog patterns, from an antique shop in NW8. These cog patterns came from a foundry in the North of England and were used for making the cast iron cogs much used in the late 19th and early 20th century - we thought they'd make lovely bookends.

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Friday, 22 May 2009

Charley Harper

Whilst seeking inspiration in Tate Modern’s book shop I found a huge book by the late artist/illustrator, Charley Harper, called Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life. I thought the illustrations were just so lovely and fresh. Harper who grew up on a farm in West Virginia and was inspired by the animals, plants and wildlife that surrounded him. The images look like they were created recently, yet most of his work dates from the 50’s to 80’s, but because of his stylised geometric lines and flat colours they are timeless. Needless to say, I left feeling very inspired!

Watermelon Moon, 1973

Birdfeeders, 1970

Pier Group, 1984 and Scary Scenario, 2008

"I don't think there was much resistance to the way I simplified things. I think everybody understood that. Some people liked it and others didn't care for it. There's some who want to count all the feathers in the wings and then others who never think about counting the feathers, like me."-Charley Harper

Thursday, 21 May 2009

That’s quilly nice – Yulia Brodskaya

I always admire handcrafted pieces, and Yulia Brodskaya’s painstakingly intricate papergraphics definitely fall into this category. I first saw her stuff in the Guardian’s supplement, g2, at Christmas time and she’s been popping up everywhere since including this month’s Computer Arts magazine. She has mastered the quilling technique (an art form that uses strips of paper, wound round a quill – which create the basic coil shape. These coils can then be rolled, shaped and then glued to create decorative images) and taken it to a whole new dimension and then re-written the rules.

I have to say that I’ve never been much of a quilling fan but you cannot fault her work; from the cleanliness of the fonts to the finished quality, and knowing that a computer hasn’t even been involve; the outcome is just awe inspiring. Her style reminds me of Si Scott's (I will be posting about him soon) but on steroids!

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Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Too cool for school

We went to the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. in Park Slope last month and it was closed again. I’ve always wanted to go into the shop ever since I saw an article about it in the Guardian in 2007, but I must be hugely unlucky as it’s always closed when I turn up! Incidentally, Creative Review, also featured an article last year on Sam Potts, the NY designer who created the Superhero Supply store look, so clink on the links to see more.
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There are many of these stores throughout the USA (see 826National). They are all non-profit tutoring and writing organizations for students between the ages of 6-18. The idea first began in San Francisco, whereby the founders had to set up a spoof Pirate Supplies shop in order to abide by city regulations, as they couldn’t get a license to tutor children. The NY store, pays homage to this by also having a hidden secret door at the back of the shop. It’s also a great way to make it more exciting for the children.

The other stores identities are Echo Park Time Travel Mart in LA, Greater Boston Bigfoot Research Institute in Boston, The Boring Store in Chicago; Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co. in Seattle and Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair in Michigan. Some of the websites are nicely designed, so take a peek.

Tin and product images borrowed from Sam’s website.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Sweet Talker

I discovered Camila Prada in 2007 when Design Week did a feature on emerging young artists, and it was love at first sight! I studied ceramics at secondary school and was close to doing a degree at Staffordshire Uni, but bailed at the last minute to study illustration instead. I would have loved to have created something so playful and quirky like her Pepe and Friends characters.

Pepe and Friends are a tableware family of 16 characters, ranging from salt and pepper shakers to butter dishes and oil decanters. She has also produced little figurines, called Flatfaces. Her collections are designed by Vinila for the prestigious German ceramic manufacturer Rosenthall. They are available to buy from Heal’s and other stores across the country, I couldn’t resist buying myself this cute ‘Sweet Talker’ sugar shaker. I couldn’t think of a better ‘friend’ to help me with my tea making!

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Knit and Cosy...

I've been knitting for a couple of years now but I've been very bad lately and not knitted for a while, mainly because I ran out of things that I could/wanted to knit, that was until a month ago when I bought myself a London Pottery teapot. Here is what I made:

Friday, 15 May 2009

Rebecca Dautremer

Collecting beautifully illustrated children's books has been one of my little obsession's since childhood, infact! I just love the innocence of them, the playful typography and creative layouts. One of my favourite illustrators is the french illustrator, Rébecca Dautremer, who has illustrated Kenzo perfume adverts, as well as children's books such as L'amoureux and Cyrano. Rébecca is so talented, and I love the way she uses delicious rich, deep colours in her paintings. Her website hasn't been alive for long, so please check her out.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Bullet Buddies

While I don't condone gun crime at all I am however in favour of recycling. I stumbled on Rachel Pfeffer's very cute personalised recycled bullets and felt they were way too cute to keep to myself!

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Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Roll up, roll up...Rob Ryan is in town!

So as promised, my post today is more craft related...Whilst in the NY Meat Packing district I stumbled upon a gorgeous custom jean shop, Earnest Sewn Co. And to my joy in their window display they had a big sign for the Ryan Town USA exhibit. The display was obviously done by the fair hands of Rob Ryan himself. His work is so beautiful and it was impressive to see it in the flesh, but I did feel a pang of jealousy to see his work and know I couldn't do it. The exhibition was at the back of the store, and bits of his paper cut and wooden letter negatives were strewn on the floor and nearly every inch of the room was covered in paper cuts, screen prints, tiles and other lovely things. Here are a few pictures, but if you find yourself in that area I would definitely recommend taking a peek. It’s on until 31 May.


Monday, 11 May 2009

Hello world!

Deciding on my first posting proved harder than I thought, and having just come back from New York I felt this would be a good starting point. This time round, I found myself to be more inspired by the city than ever, so inspired in fact that I want to share my findings and experiences with you as well as the daily inspirations that surround us. It’s so nice to step away from the tourism and sample a city in its real glory, so on that basis, for my first posting I thought I’d introduce you to two locals that I met in the East Village. Please meet the boys...
Seeing them made me laugh but I wasn’t expecting the old lady who came out of her apartment, and greeted them with her 40-a-day voice: “hell-aw bouys, how are you today? You look kinda funny to me” which has now become the subtitle to the picture whenever I see it or even think of them. She was a perfect likeness to the grumpy bookkeeper – Roz – from Monster’s Inc, with horned rimmed glasses and everything! It was as if I had stepped into a movie scene. I promise my next posting will be more sophisticated, but I just couldn't resist these two!

Thanks and please drop by again!