Sunday, 28 February 2010

Puckered paper

Seen in the window of a vacant shop - the condensation has blurred the colours, muffled the drawings and puckered the paper to create 3D relief and slumped form.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Dye room notes

These are my favourite purchases from Vanves flea market in Paris - pages from a textile studio or print room maybe? I wish I'd bought them all now but I didn't have enough cash...perhaps someone else took the rest and we are both left with incomplete collections. I love the way they have been presented in quite graphical patterns, each one creating a specific mood and offering a story. They definitely need to be hung on the wall!

Monday, 22 February 2010

Flea market finds

1. A beautiful set of coasters and place mat with illustrative cavalry drawings (does anyone know who by?)
2. A collection of vintage trimmings wrapped around old wallpaper and card
3. Some embroidered and applique napkins for my friend who is sourcing vintage fabrics, tea cups and ceramics for her wedding (see myvintagevows)

Sunday, 21 February 2010

My favourite Parisian flea

I visited Vanves flea market for the first time last weekend when I was in Paris and it is definitely my new favourite. Apart from the freezing conditions and blizzardy snow, I managed nearly three hours wandering from stall to stall, sourcing trims for work and trying not to buy anything for myself! These pics are during the midday scurry to pack up, with lots of things seemingly abandoned in the ice. I'll show some of my finds in the next couple of posts.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

House-hunting finds

House-hunting has given me the opportunity to have a little nosy around other people's homes and so far, I have uncovered some of the most gorgeous, kitsch, dull, stylish and bizarre interior spaces.

Today has to be the craziest option yet - a total blank canvas that has been empty for 10 years with 10 years worth of dirt, dead wasps on the window panes, the only access via metal fire escape steps (and its on the top floor) and apparently live ammunition somewhere in the flat. Nice! A very special find though has to be this original 1930s(?) wallpaper that has been exposed after the toilet cistern was ripped out. Love it.

Friday, 19 February 2010

7 days of chic

Another shameless plug for my very talented friend who reveals some of her very stylish but sometimes completely bonkers outfits on Fashionair's '7 days of chic'. I sit opposite Cassie at work and am continually mesmerised by the narrative behind each day's outfit, and how clothes she picks up from car boots and Camden's finest charity shops are transformed with a trim, some vintage buttons or shoulder pads! Watch her video here.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Colour flash*

I love the washed-out springtime colours of these hand printed bags and vintage-inspired ribbons seen at the Bricolage pop-up shop.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Proud patchwork owner

I'm very proud of my finished mini patchwork quilt that I started at the Bricolage workshop a few weeks ago (see my post here). I ended up hand-stitching over the entire surface, creating a textural effect in turquoise thread.

Katherine who took the workshop has added some lovely words and photos on her blog here (as well as linking to mine, yey!)

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Paris in the spring

Some of the favourite things I found, explored and loved in Paris:
  • giant holographic bubbles outside the Pompidou
  • a rainbow of coloured balloons in Le Halles
  • snow and shadow in Nation
  • thick marbled notebooks at Merci
  • vintage photo album at Ultramod
  • Valentines pillow in St Germain
  • graphic art in the Marais
  • neon signs in the Pompidou
  • taxidermied animals at Deyrolle
  • stylised posters on the metro
  • Tuesday, 9 February 2010

    Bon voyage

    I am off to Paris today for work, covering Premiere Vision fabric trade show until Friday and then hitting the flea markets to source vintage fabrics and trimmings on Saturday - very exciting! So hopefully I will bring back lots of great photos too.

    This picture was sent to me by my lovely friend Parusha - a montage of pictures on her wall with one of my photos (bottom right) from when we were in Cape Town a couple of years ago for her wedding. I love the bold yellow background, it makes everything seem sunny and warm....bring on the summer!

    Monday, 8 February 2010


    Interesting forms and material combinations using stuffed animals, seen at the new exhibition The Empire Strikes Back: Indian Art Today at the Saatchi Gallery. The bottom two images are by Huma Muji who explores ideas of displacement - a taxidermied camel stuffed into a battered suitcase and a cow stuck in a concrete water pipe.

    The top image is by Steve Bishop (shown in a different part of the gallery) called 'Anna Sui - Dolly Girl (Barn Owl)' and made from a taxidermied owl, concrete, paint, wood and mirrored perspex. I love the combination of textures in a very pale colour palette - the softness of the feathers against the hard sculpture.

    Sunday, 7 February 2010

    I have a new blog!

    I know one blog takes a lot of time and love and energy to keep up-to-date so this is probably a bit crazy, but I need somewhere to store and share all the amazing materials that I come across through my research, travels and virtual explorations. So have a look at Reinventmaterials and let me know what you think!

    "Materials = process and exploration. This is a place to capture some of the innovative and exciting material explorations and experiments currently bring developed by creative thinkers. Whether they are futuristic or historical, analogue or digital, high tech or low-fi. It's about engagement with materials....questioning, documenting and reinventing process, form and surface"

    Saturday, 6 February 2010

    Stacked ceramics

    Some more photos from Stuart Haygarth's recent exhibition, see my other post here. A really gorgeous way of making use of all those ceramic figurines at the car boot.....tempting!

    Wednesday, 3 February 2010

    AMS Knitwear

    Another little plug for a friend - this time its Danny Sangra, who has teamed up with knitwear designer Lynnda Needles to create 'wearable illustrations' under the brand AMS (aminutesilence). He also shot this trailer during the look book photoshoot (is there anything he can't do?!).

    Monday, 1 February 2010


    I visited Camden Arts Centre on Friday to see Eva Hesse: Studiowork, an exhibition of experimental objects and test pieces that were left in the German sculptors studio at the time of her death, sold or given to friends, and have been gathered from public and private collections all over the world for the exhibition. The pieces are made from all kinds of materials such as latex, wire-mesh, sculp-metal, wax and cheesecloth......'they are extremely fragile and rarely travel'.

    I love the colours, textures, shapes and surface qualities of the pieces, as single objects or curated in multiples; offering stories, evoking expressions and revealing her imagination. I couldn't take photos inside the exhibition, so here are some images from the accompanying book.