Neither comes cheap but the soldier is slightly less of a punch to the pocket and is available *here* on etsy. Though not for long I imagine.
How I missed this news I have no idea. But one of my design icons, and indeed icons in general, Lucienne Day, passed away a few days ago. She had a huge influence on so many things in my life and would have been part of a PhD I was thinking of beginning (before toddler boy came along and stopped any such plans in their tracks...)
Just last week I was reading again about her work in the Festival of Britain, and recently saw her work in MOSI's electricity gallery, and in the Wellcome Collection's From Atoms to Patterns exhibition a couple of years ago.
Read an obituary of Lucienne Day in The Guardian.
An amazing, inspiring woman who thankfully has left an incredible legacy.
Loving these new posters from the new Pedlars brochure.
The 'Catchphrase' poster from Ink, with all the best of traditional and contemporary British humour; and a limited edition print by Jim Datz featuring some of London's best known visitor spots originally immortalised on Harry Beck's London underground map. (Though Harry's original was too early for the lovely stylised London Eye Jim Datz includes)
(But not really loving any of the Keep Calm and Carry on designs though. Sorry Pedlars, another good design icon overdone to death, sadly...)
As I said *here* I wanted to share some favourite things (books, gadgets, products etc) and things that look worth checking out. I'm aiming to do this once a month, more or less. Please do add your ideas to the list of things to share by commenting below, and thanks to the people who have already done so on the other post, I'll be using some of them in February. Starting with a few favourite books...
*Vivienne Westwood* from the V&A. The mighty goddess of pattern cutting, shapes and embellishment published by the church of the decorative and historical arts. It's a stunning coffee table book with clout. Quality photography and in-depth exploration of Vivienne's life, style, back catalogue, inspiration, working life, and cultural historical context, provided by the curator of the exhibition the book accompanies.
(Close friends and relatives please note I don't yet own this book, if you ever need any present buying ideas...)
Lotta Jansdotter's *Simple Sewing* is a lovely book including a pocketfull of all the patterns you need. There are some really simple projects, though some of the items are a little bit fiddlier, so good if you're progressing with confidence in your sewing. She includes ideas about how to vary or personalise her suggestions so you won't end up cloned, which is nice. I've made a few things from this and would definitely recommend it.
A quick keyword search through this blog and my flickr stream will show you just how much I admire the work of product and pattern designer *Tord Boontje*. This retrospective of his work is gorgeous. With a hessian textured cover this tracks his work from the early days through to designer stardom. Once the domain of curators and collectors, Tord's designs can now be found on everything from laptops to lights, candle holders to teacups.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I've decided to try and do a regular feature for 2010. Once a month (or maybe a little more) a post recommending a few things I like and thought others might too. It'll be all the things I usually blog about - craft, design, making, running a small business, parenting, children, creativity, books and all round lovliness or things of interest.
I'd be happy to include your recommendations and will give you / your blog a mention for any suggestions I use so feel free to add comments as I go, suggesting other things for me to check out and include in future months - anything from your favourite etsy shop, to a book of sewing projects, a particularly lovely item of kitchen paraphenalia, or your most can't-live-without piece of office gorgeousness or gadgetry. The only condition is that someone else could buy it too (so no one-offs, though you can recommend a whole shop / store).
I'll do January's later this month, this is really just to ask for your suggestions. But here's one to keep you going.
Who wouldn't love to find out more about the amazing designs, designers and fabrics of Marimekko? This gorgeous book isn't just a visual feast of Marimekko's work, but also an insight into the historic and cultural events that influenced the company and its designers. A perfect combination of stlye and substance.
Leave comments below to add your suggestions for future features, thanks!
I think I've just got time left today to say Happy Christmas. This image is the digital card I've emailed people, based on the real ones I made to post and hand out. In the end I only managed to make twelve sadly. I'm already thinking one of my first projects for 2010 will be to start making Christmas cards so I have plenty for next year.
I hope you were lucky enough to have as lovely a Christmas as we did in our house. Happy New Year to everyone too.
It's been a while but I've managed to find some more time to get back to sewing.
Partly because I've had some ideas I wanted to try out, partly to get my hands on some fabric that's been waiting for an outing, and partly to get ready for a craft market I'm selling at in December.
So here's a little taster of what I've been up to. It's all in the shop and I'll be adding more over the coming weeks.
Yesterday I spent the day at this. I had no idea what to expect, how quiet or busy it would be, who would come, would I know anyone there?
As it turned out it was a lovely day all round. I sold some things, which was nice, and would have been disappointing if I hadn't. But there were so many other reasons it turned out to be a lovely day.
The church was lovely - this I knew as I've been before as a visitor to other arts and craft fairs there. Luckily the sun was shining and I was positioned right in front of a beautiful church window so my stand was in such incredible lighting. I was in between my embroiderer friend Jane Dennerley (who has no website so I can't point you there - Jane you naughty lady get online!) and two photographer girls who were very talented and good company.
It was also a great chance to catch up with some friends old and new. The lovely Mr PS popped down to say hello; as did Mrs B (and she's blogged about it too) so we had a chat about good old fashioned baking, because that's what she loves most of all. Two of my 'followers' (I prefer friends) on twitter dropped by, @catrushmore and @manchesterisace which was a lovely surprise.
And my mum, who lives about 40ish miles away, decided to bring me a cake and sandwich to keep me going. I wonder if mums ever stop being mums? Thanks for the company and the sustenance mum, it was lovely to have you there (the photographer girls had a mum in tow too, it must be the craft market accessory du jour!).
Last of all, the other reason it was a successful day was in the very quiet moments, I played around with some scraps of fabric I had brought to get some new ideas on the go and created some new brooch beginnings (above and below).
Thanks to everyone who added their few minutes of happiness to my day, it was great to see you all.
Wow I am a diagonal thinker apparently. I never knew such a thing existed before today but they do and I am one. It means you think laterally (which I knew) and linearly (is that a word? what does it mean?). So I am officially off at a tangent. No news there then.
It was a test I took for some work I might be doing. Tough way to spend an hour but very interesting.
If you want to see if you're a diagonal thinker too you can do so here. But be prepared to lose an hour of your life and get slightly frustrated along the way...
How I wish I still worked at the Design Museum some days. This is one of those days, and here's why.
Please go if you're in the area, those guys really do know how to throw a party.
You're a big shot designer. You've worked hard to get where you are now. You know how to play the game. You know it's bad karma to steal someone else's ideas and you'd play hell if anyone tried to steal yours.
Unless it seems, you are Dolce & Gabbana. In which case, you allegedly take a fancy to an iconic, instantly recognisable Marimekko signature pattern, bandy it around your products and, incredibly, try to void the existing trademark on it.
I am so stunned by this and will be glued to more details unravelling over coming weeks. More here
Something reminded me of this photo today. It reminds me of why I love modernism and industrial materials - the smooth peacefulness they offer helping light and form bounce around undisturbed.
This was in the entrance area of gallery of Modern Art in Turin, July 2005, when I was lucky enough to spend a week on a Summer School in Arona by Lake Maggiori in Northern Italy. Very hard work but a really inspiring week. Beautiful beautiful scenery. Concrete included.
My Christmas present arrived today from Mr F.
Late but well worth the wait (and not his fault).
Tord Boontje, by Martina Margetts
I have been coveting this book since it came out around Autumn time. Tord Boontje has been one of my favourite designers since I came across him when working at the Design Museum, round about the time of his Wednesday collection, and my lighting obsession.
I have several of his pieces - room dividers, wall hangings, ceramics, cards, lights etc. But today I gulped a very very large gulp, when I read in this book, that the prototype Wednesday light hanging in my lounge, was one of only twelve he made.
I need a little lie down.
*Not to be confused with Habitat's Garland, which was based on the Wednesday light but is the mass-produced version (and very good value at about £10)
reasons I love Bombus' work...
1 the materials are gorgeous
2 the quality is divine
3 fab choice of patterns and textures
4 she makes gorgeous chairs look yet more gorgeous
5 and works with everything from button badges to furniture
*and she did this fab swap with me as a one-off special favour* yay!
just spotted Designers Guild is having a ** SALE **
for gorgeous colourful fabric :: bed linen :: towels :: blankets and throws :: wallpaper :: furniture :: cushions :: stationery :: accessories and loads more zip over to www.designersguild.com
sadly they don't actually have shop near me but I've just discovered their buy online button, happy days...
Ooh more lovely prezzies and still 2 days to go!
2 Japanese craft books from Nik - ordered from Saucy Louise at etsy: www.saucylouise.etsy.com
and these are some of the adorable little characters inside...
and the most amazing book I've ever seen, from my brother and his missis (more from his missis really, thanks Jess x) - so beautiful that the black sections of the cover are flocked, how extravagantly fantastic!
a few random pages (there are 240 such pages featuring over 100 contemporary designers - I can't stress how incredible this book is, you must go out and get it...)
The perpetual design question came up again a few weeks ago while visiting Vitra's Joe Colombo exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery... why are designers obsessed with chairs?
I used to work at Design Museum in London where on every desk, without fail, a copy of 1000 Chairs could be found and conversation regularly revolved around our Chair Alley exhibition, and who was doing what with chairs right now, or the pros and cons of steam-bent plywood or tubular steel versus moulded plastics or compressed cardboard layers...
The obsession has stayed with me, which I love, but it does make it so very difficult for me when the time comes to buy a new chair. It takes me a good 6-12 months of researching every possible shop, boutique, website, antiques sale, warehouse... until I find the PERFECT chair - of course there is no such thing and really its just the chair that comes closest until I can find a better one!
So for the past year I've been looking for a chair which I can use to work from at my desk, and sew from at the sewing machine. or one for each purpose - two chairs are of course always better than one.
So - here's a round up of some of my favourites so far - a few completely unsuitable but just too gorgeous to take off the list just yet...