Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Christmas cookies....

The festivities are almost upon us so why not enjoy baking some seasonal sweets for your friends and family... Here are some of the prettiest cookies for you to enjoy making this Christmas. Note that presentation is everything, so make sure you spend a few extra minutes presenting your handmade fancies.

I'm not sure I'll have time to make any of these beautiful biscuits this year having spent all my evenings and weekends making Christmas cards & luggage label gift tags, our Christmas wreath, Christmas cake and chutneys for all the grandparents. Wow listing them out like that actually makes me feel like I've achieved something... sorry if I make you feel like you haven't. I hope you are all enjoying the wind down to Christmas, not long to go now!

Visit Martha Stewart's website for recipes and other crafty ideas.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Picture Perfect

The title 'picture perfect' conjures up two very distinctive images for me... one involves the rather mediocre yet stunning actress Jennifer Aniston, and the other quite simply, splendid photography. Cassia Beck is the latest photographical genius to rock my world.

Dreamy, feminine pastels with each print creating its own nostalgic story - i love them!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

The Simple Life

This morning my heart literally skipped a beat when I turned the page of my latest issue of Selvedge to discover a one of a kind property and creative haven which I must share. Host to small personable groups of artists and designers, J Morgan Puett, ex- US fashion guru, welcomes visiters with open arms. Cloaked in an unusual palette of earthy dark tones with hints of light coloured linens, this Pennsylvanian property creates an identifiable backdrop for guests to embark on a truly inspirational experience.

Fondly named Mildred's Lane after the previous owner Mildred Miller who lived there her entire life, Puett and her partner, Mark Dion affectionately called 'Peabody', eccentrically embrace the purity of simpler times. Ten years in the making and continually evolving, Mildred's Lane is quite simply a living, breathing art installation.

Be sure to visit J Morgan Puett's website for more inspiration

All photographs are by Simon Upton for the Telegraph Magazine.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

handmade with care

It was only yesterday I was thinking 'where could I find a hand crafted knitted tea cosie for my beautiful mint green dotty teapot...?' then I found Laura Long. Laura is such a talented young designer with a simple love of traditional crafts and vintage treasures. Handmade with care and great consideration, Laura's products have a real nostalgia about them. I love the layout of her website and they way in which she displays her girly gifts, using a polaroid illustration and eclectic typewriter font to label them.

Not just a great designer, Laura shares her talent for knitting with others, at her London studio or in the comfort of your own home! I keep meaning to book a refresher knitting course but I am yet to find a partner in crime...

See below my Christmas wish list....

To see more of this crafty collection visit Laura's online shop

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Danish Delights

I recently came across Danish lifestyle brand by nord and immediately fell in love with their eclectic enthusiasm for design. Started by two friends who share a passion for simple, functional and skillfully manufactured products... by nord hits the nail on the head with true Danish design.

Here's a few images that capture their passion in a nutshell.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Wedding bliss

Since I started working for a styling company who, amongst other things, design and style weddings I have a new found respect for exquisitely designed weddings. It's really no mean feat to stop from falling into the huge abyss of wedding design and end up with a 'like the other 8 you've been to this year' wedding. To truly make a wedding have that wow factor takes time and patience. It is one thing to have your ideas mapped out and even tear sheets from your favourite bridal magazines to back them up but quite another to source each individual piece and create the exact look and feel you've always dreamed of.

This evening I met with a bride who wants to create a magical white wedding with a vintage twist and I immediately knew where to go for inspiration. Once Wed is a favourite website of mine, I often take 5 minutes out to lose myself in the dreamy photography and beautiful styling. It seems to captivate the most beautiful and delicate of weddings with each one telling a different story about the couple and what marriage means to them. With times being a little harder recently why not save some money and get a bit creative with your wedding. Make it personal and take your wedding ceremony outside to your favourite scenic backdrop. By hanging a few old jam jars glistening with tea lights from surrounding trees and making rows of vintage school chairs you've already created the perfect, most romantic setting to declare your love to your soul mate. Why do beautiful English roses (the female, not the flower...) always find themselves queuing up to book the most extravagant of venues with the biggest price tags... I think it's time we take a look at these beautifully delicate and romantic US weddings and get creative and personal with our own.

This image just goes to show how one stunning antique piece dressed with beautiful blooms can surprisingly and easily, complete a space. Less is so much more in this case.

These luggage labels take minutes to make but will stay in your guests memory for years. Used to dress the ceremony in this instance but could just as easily be displayed at the entrance to your seated reception instead of the usual table plan with your guests name on one side of the tag and their table number on the other.

For those of you that live in London, you can find old biscuit tins like this one at Spitalfields market on a Thursday.

Clearly guaranteed to stay dry... this open outdoor setting definitely has the wow factor. The icing on the cake would have to be the fairy lights, which, festooned across the space look beautiful and create the perfect ambiance ready to dance the night away.

This luscious green and white wedding is also stunning and probably more achieve for the British bride, with more than plenty woodlands waiting to welcome your special day.

The rays of sun look as though they are making the delicate origami birds glow as they pass through the gaps in the wooded canopy.

To view the full galleries of these fabulous weddings, and to find out information about the photographers who have taken these pictures please visit the website...

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Decorex International 2009

Andrew Martin

Well Decorex has been and gone again which to me is always a sign that Autumn is upon us. It always seems to creep up on me as I try to ignore the changing temperature and continue to wear jackets which are far too unsuitable for our late September days. It's now time for chunky knits and winter coats, oh what I'd do for an open fireplace in my little north London apartment... one can but dream!

Back to the reason I am blogging today - Decorex. Yet again I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. The different ways in which designers express their creativity never fails to inspire me. I must say though I did find myself drawn to the more classic styles and fabrics I became fond of during a week of shooting new collections with House & Garden (out this issue). I love Colefax's Greta in raspberry and cream and GP&J Baker's Mereworth in aqua - two very classic English designs suited to charming country living styles.

I particularly enjoyed Andrew Martin's stand with it's retro chic theme. Their pop art scatter cushions and restored vintage furniture was stunning, accompanied by glimmering chrome stage lights it created a fun yet sophisticated living space which really worked.

Although cameras are strictly prohibited at Decorex I have found some images from Andrew Martin's website which demonstrate the fun, fresh ways in which they displayed their new fabric collections.

Andrew Martin

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

It's a card life

Quirky new online stationers, {papermash} caught my eye today with it's simple website showcasing some really fun designs. I love the delightfully designed, hilarious gift tags ...'It's a red, that's all I know' for that last minute claret you buy from the corner shop on your way to a dinner party. Their Parisian polaroid postcards look perfect tucked in ribbon around your brown paper wrapped parcels. Another fun alternative to pretty up your pressies is with their quirky lace and typewriter tape. I've just placed an order for a new notebook and some typewriter tape... fingers crossed the ever long postal strike won't hold them up!!!

For a limited time only you can download for free, a cute typewriter notecard designed exclusively for {papermash} by Irish Illustrator Kathryn Boyle - the perfect notecard to thank friends for a wonderful weekend.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Dreamy bedrooms

How dreamy are these Lombok bedrooms! I have picked 4 favourites to share with you...

delightful distress

The distressed look is the in trend option out of the four and probably my pick of the bunch. The empty picture frames and asymmetrical styling works magically with its neutral distressed backdrop. The only real option furniture wise is untreated wood. Be careful not to overdo the look by adding distressed white furniture into the mix.

french fancy

I am loving the stylist's work in this one. The hat box, pile of classic novels and quilted eiderdown give this modern, angular four-poster majestic grandeur.

oriental paradise

When I look at this I hear trickling waterfalls and tropical bird noises, which is naturally dreamy. This monochrome look is organically complimented by the surrounding foliage. A truly memorizing experience.

vintage twist

Ornamental four-posters like this one are a child hood dream of mine... to own a four-poster bed, to have my own vegetable patch and potting shed, and to have an in and an out drive... the older I become the more distant these dreams become. For example, the in and out drive is no longer on my list, more a Victorian town house in leafy north London, which incidentally is still a very distant dream more so in terms of finances... In terms of the styling of this room, I love the vintage inspired voile canopy and antique accessories.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Selina Lake & Max Attenborough

What a delightful pair. I discovered their work on design blog, decor8, and was mesmerised. These images were styled by Selina, in her London home and photographed by Max Attenborough. I for one am jealous of her beautiful belongings, in particular her vintage collection of eiderdowns and antique china.

To see more of Selina's work visit