Sunday, 5 December 2010

Capturing Colour Exhibition

I visited a fascinating exhibition yesterday - Capturing Colour at the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery. The exhibition explores the development of colour in film, from magic lanterns, early colour photography, through to Kinemacolor, Kodachrome and Technicolor. What's amazing is how much has developed in the last 100 years - right up to digital cameras and photographs and videos on mobile phones. It's great to see a younger David Dimbleby, then Controller of BBC2, introducing the first colour TV programmes.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Maria Rivans

I've mentioned the work of Maria Rivans before, I love the detail and the mixing up of images. So it's great that some of her work is now available as greetings cards from the card company Pearl and Black   

Thursday, 4 November 2010

De La Warr Pavilion

I visited the De La Warr Pavilion last weekend. Stunning in the autumn sunshine! Anyway there's a great history here. If you're in Bexhill do visit.


Monday, 25 October 2010

Corita Rose

Corita Rose is a textile design company based in Dorset. I love their mix of colour and pattern. All their products are made in England and the range includes furniture, fabrics, cushions and curtain panels. 
Hoop and Bird cushions
Joy Ruled curtains

Sunday, 17 October 2010


I'm in need of bright colour this week - and I love the colour combinations in these Shanghai Tang notebooks and stickers. I bought them several years ago and still haven't written in them they're too beautiful!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Save Saltdean Lido

This is a really worthwhile campaign; Saltdean Lido is under threat from the current leaseholder who plans to develop the site for an extensive residential development. The Friends of Saltdean Lido would like to retain this Grade 2 listed example of modernist architecture.
The Lido in it's heyday  

The Friends of Saltdean Lido have been assisted by Conran and Partners in proposing an alternative plan that will improve the facilities and amenities for the community, while retaining the original building.

Do join their campaign if you believe this building should be saved.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Good Taste, Bad Taste?

I came across the work of Jon Male  when I visited Tent last week. My perceptions of good and bad taste were immediately challenged. Jon has recrafted carpet designs that I remember from my childhood, and considered ugly, into something I might desire. When I talked to Jon at the show, he said he had always questioned the use of animal skins as rugs - so he's juxtaposed the two and created something I find a bit disturbing - and I like that.

He's also taken those inlayed pictures you find at bootfairs and charity shops and created beautifully crafted furniture.

So good taste - bad taste ....... I don't know any more..... but these are beautifully crafted pieces and I think they're great.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Tradition updated

I visited 100% Design this week and what really caught my attention was how some companies are working with traditional design techniques to create beautiful modern products for today.

Products from Melin tregwynt

Melin Tregwynt  is a family owned company based in Wales; they have taken the traditional Welsh weaving techniques and updated them with a modern mix of colour and pattern.

Modern mix in tradional techniques

Koji Katsuragi is a furniture maker working from his workshop in Kyushu, Japan, his designs are based on traditional English Windsor chair styles....

The chairs he designs and sells are a modern take on a classic - simple and tasteful.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Alacati, Turkey

Tas Otel, Alacati
I've just come back from spending a week in the small town of Alacati on the Cesme peninsula, south west of Izmir. I was lucky enough to stay at the Tas Otel, a renovated  120 year old greek mansion. This was the first boutique hotel to open in alacati nearly 10 years ago, now Alacati has many more small beautifully restored hotels. The owner of Tas - Ms Zeynep Ozis is a founder of the Alacati Presevation Society, this society ensures that the town does not become spoilt - there's not a plastic chair in site!

A street in Alacati

At the Tas Otel they serve the best breakfasts on the beautiful terrace overlooking the garden.

The terrace

And between 5 and 7pm they serve tea and cakes using their own produce and preserves.

Preserves fermenting in the garden

The whole hotel was just gorgeous. Inside the interior is quite simple - stone with white plaster and all woodwork glossed in the subtlest pale blue.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Inspirational Shop - Alex MacArthur

The shop front

This shop never fails to inspire - Alex MacArthur is all about "Antiques and Interiors for decadent living". From skulls and fossils to angels and divine spools of gold thread, the eclectic mix always works.

 Stacked chairs

Architectural salvage and religious pieces are mixed with more mundane in theatrical display. 


Visually the subtle blend of natural materials and neutral colours with metallics is wonderfully sophisticated.

Alex MacArthur is at 101 St Georges Road, Kemptown, Brighton.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Wet Weekend in Littlehampton

Wonderfully coloured beach huts

I went to Littlehampton for the weekend to see the now legendary East and West Beach Cafe's  - despite the dismal weather, I'm realy glad I went....

West Beach Cafe
First stop the West Beach Cafe for a coffee - it may be miserable outside but we were tucked up in this modern version of the beach cafe. Designed by Asif Khan the cafe is usually photographed with the front windows swung open, but as a cafe it works just as well in bad weather. Brilliantly functional design.

East Beach Cafe

Later on we visited the now iconic East Beach Cafe for some wonderful food. The building is an astonishing object, so tactile inside and out, it is designed by Thomas Heatherwick and crosses over from architecture to sculpture.

If you visit Littlehampton do take a walk down the promenade - whatever the weather - because there is also the brilliant 'Britain's Longest Bench'.... 
The bench is 324mts long and meanders up and around avoiding bins and lamposts and dipping into the ground to allow access to the promenade.

Designed by Studio Weave the bench loops into two steel shelters at either end, where it twists into a 3d graffiti type structure, that can be climbed on. A great example of functional art, this project was made possible by CABE's Sea Change Programme and a donation from Gordon Roddick in tribute to his wife Anita Roddick, the Body Shop founder. Unfortunately the Sea Change Programme will be wound up by the current government.

One of the shelters from the beach

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Florence Broadhurst

My friend Kate gave me this fabulous book - Florence Broadhurst, Her Secret & Extraordinary Lives by Helen O'Neill. I had known of her range of wallpapers, but this book takes you through her life and work, both of which are extraordinary! If you are interested in pattern and surface design I recommend you be inspired by this book.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Vintage Goodwood

Got back late last night from Vintage Goodwood - exhausted, but with Heaven 17 's Temptation still ringing in my ears.
Vintage at Goodwood is billed as not merely a music festival but a festival where music, fashion and design should never be seperated. There were plenty of vintage fashion stalls but also some more unexpected shops, I really enjoyed the Kenwood Kitchen Appliance store, great store set complete with 'Fanny Craddock' cookery demonstrations.

Vintage Kenwood food mixer

And being Goodwood there were plenty of vintage vehicles......

Most stylish musician.... Kid Creole, who performed a great set with his Coconuts...

But the best thing ...... people watching, some people were so in-tune with their era it was frightening!
As seen outside the Soul Casino

Monday, 9 August 2010


I'm currently considering all things vintage as I plan my visit to Vintage Goodwood next weekend. This is one of my favourite vintage fabrics from my fabric collection, it came from The Cloth House.

Friday, 30 July 2010

My brand in a book

My brand in a book!

I called round to Eighth Day today and they gave me a copy of this book - it's very exciting!

The team at Eight Day designed all my branding and website including my devine logo and wallpaper which is featured in this book - Mini Graphics . Congratulations to all at Eighth Day especially Jo and Sarah.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Exhibition - Unravelling The Manor House

I visited the fabulous Unravelling the Manor House exhibition at Preston Manor. The ehibition comprised of instalations by the Unravelled group of artists who work with craft in extreme, alternative and conceptual ways. All the artists work was specifically developed in response to the house.

Above is a beautiful box tableaux by Maria Rivans who focused on the fascinating life and relationship of the last couple to live at the house - Ellen and Charles Thomas Stanford.

This screen by Emma Molony is of paper and wood with projected stop motion silhouette figures of Edwardian servants. The servants are going about their daily tasks. To relieve them of the repetitiveness of their work, Emma has dropped in mischievous elements, giving them more interesting things to do - stealing a strawberry, trying the soup.   

All of the pieces exhibited were unexpected and quite beautiful - they bought the Manor alive.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Hindi Zahra

This is the sound track to my summer......  Hindi Zahra - Handmade, favourite track Beautiful Tango

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Quilts at The V & A

Gorgeous exhibition of quilts including an example by Natasha Kerr - I love her work! The picture shows a commemorative panel by Natasha, commissioned by the V and A shop to celebrate the exhibition.