Monday, 30 June 2008

Ryantown is here...

Our weekly Sunday morning visit to Columbia Road flower market just got a whole lot more desirable... Ryantown is here, and what a gem it is.

Mister Rob has created an absolutely wonderful showcase for his exceptional talent. I couldn't resist...

One of these had to come home with us!!

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Home baking...

We've been invited to friends' tomorrow for lunch, so I decided that I'd make and take a cake... Actually, I decided that I'd use it as an opportunity to try making a batch of Marie Tuttle's caramel sea salt brownies.

I've been obsessing about them since seeing her New York bakery website. I followed Mari's recipe but found the brownies a little too sweet.

Yesterday I had a trial run using Nigel Slater's 'very good chocolate brownie recipe', and despite using a little too much of the caramel I could tell that this was much more to my liking.

And... if brownies aren't enough, I had another go at making the Rose Bakery ginger cake.

D & A Binder

Today we went in search of a cabinet for our living room. We were unsuccessful, but did enjoy some time wandering round D & A Binder, who specialise in traditional shopfittings, display cabinets, etc.

Monday, 23 June 2008


On Tuesday 20 May, Joe started a year long project called Toy-A-Day, and he will be making and posting a paper toy every day for a year... I think it's a brilliant idea and can't wait to see the final toy in May 2009!

Some of my very favourite illustrated characters have already made an appearance... Astro Boy and his sister Astro Girl, Moomintroll, TinTin, Hello Kitty and Charlie Brown...

Some suggestions for Joe, should he be interested, are Olive The Other Reindeer, Snoopy (who I am sure will be seen soon) and a traditional red heel sock monkey... to name just a few.

Found via Yeah, Yeah, Whatever... thanks Kate!

Sunday, 22 June 2008


We were not able to get to Columbia Road this morning... luckily our green hydrangeas and pink peonies from last week are still going strong.

But this has given me the opportunity to post a few photographs of some absolutely beautiful South African roses which we saw at Few and Far on a recent visit. At £3 per stem, I had to make do with these pictures only!

Few and Far is an ecclectic shop full of beautiful trinkets for the home, jewellery, clothing, vintage toys and quirky stationery, among other things, and items are available in limited quantities... hence the name. The shop is the work of Priscilla Carluccio... married to Italian chef and restauranter Antonio Carluccio... she is also sister to British design legend Terence Conran.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

New addition to my book collection #5

Up In The Tree by Margaret Atwood, and published by Bloomsbury is such an adorable children's book which was first published in 1978.

Atwood wrote and illustrated the story and used only two colours for the printing as three would have been too expensive. She opted for blue and red... which together meant that she was able to include some brown, to really satisfying effect.

Friday, 20 June 2008

New addition to my book collection #4

I couldn't resist The Lonesome Puppy by Yoshitomo Nara... and think that every home should have a copy!

It's a very sweet tale of a lonely puppy who is so large that no one notices him... until one day a little girl does... and they become life long friends.

Needless to say, it's the cute childlike images which are the real draw for me... I absolutely love his work!

Orla Kiely

While at Tate Modern on Wednesday, I couldn't resists treating myself to this new fold up shopping bag by Orla Kiely... I'm a complete sucker for her bags.

My collection of these handy little carriers is growing... this one is really lovely quality.

Is it me, or does this design have a touch of the Lotta Jansdotter about it...?

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Cy Twombly... Cycles & Seasons

Our good friend RR invited us to see the new Cy Twombly exhibition last night at Tate Modern.

On the most part, it is a wonderful exhibition. The works on show are quite variable. The good paintings are very very good and you could spend a lot of time looking at them, and make the exhibition worth a visit.

Here are a few of the post cards which I bought for P...

Wilder Shores of Love, 1985
Apollo and the Artist, 1975

Quattro Stagioni (A Painting in Four Parts), 1993-5
Part I: Primavera
Part II: Estate
Part III: Autunno
Part IV: Inverno

Thanks for inviting us Mr R... we had a great evening!

Monday, 16 June 2008

From Atoms to Patterns

Yesterday afternoon P took me to see From Atoms to Patterns, at the Wellcome Collection.

It's a fascinating look at the work of the Festival Pattern Group, a collaboration between scientists and manufacturers for the 1951 Festival of Britain. The project was conceived by Dr Helen Megaw, a leading crystallographer, and made possible by the Council of Industrial Design.

X-ray crystallography was one of the most exciting branches of post-war science and by studying X-ray diffraction photographs of crystals, scientists could calculate the arrangement of atoms within molecules. The resulting diagrams of atomic structures provided the inspiration for the Festival Pattern Group who created wonderful patterns which were used in a number of ways for the Festival of Britain.

Twenty eight manufacturers took part and 80 designs were produced. These included work in glass, ceramics, metal, plastics, textiles and wallpaper... the designs are tremendous.

If you're not able to visit this wonderful (and FREE) exhibition yourself, I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of the catalogue. It's worth every single one of twenty shiny golden pound coins...

Image 1 & 2Wellcome Collection

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Yoshitomo Nara + Graf

Some time between now and 26 October, I need to take a trip with P to Gateshead... so that I can see Yoshitomo Nara + Graf at the Baltic...

And The Lonesome Puppy is going to make a great addition to my book collection...

Image 1 Baltic
Image 2 Chronicle Books

Happy Fathers Day Dad

Happy Father's Day Dad... see you soon! x

Sunday Morning...

Chilled chocolate milk and coffee at Leila's...

Glorious Columbia Road on a warm and sunny morning...

Two more weeks...

Our weekly shop, green hydrangeas and pink peonies...