Tuesday, 13 December 2011

I thought I would upload a few pictures for your viewing pleasure. It's all very smashing except, the problem I am finding is that it's great actually making jewellery, but an absolute pavlova trying to get photos to look good online. 

 I only need to whisper the word Photoshop, in fact I only need to think about it, before my PC grows its only little legs and scoots off somewhere I can't find it. AND if I do manage to catch it, it is about as effective as trying to physically push the photos into the CD draw. 

 I have a new respect for all these wonderful Etsy shop owners who seem to create the entire package effortlessly while I weep over the keys of my steam powered computer. How do you do it??

Saturday, 3 December 2011


A new job and new lower stress levels on my part have led to my Etsy shop being opened. Ta daaaaaaa.

After a year or so of collecting rubies from India; silver charms from Honiton (amongst other places); and scouring the internet for quality shiny bits I finally am ready to get some pieces online.

I have really enjoyed reworking some fine old vintage charms into beautiful new necklaces which are now for sale.

Check it out!


Sunday, 16 October 2011


I bloody love junk.... But once I've got it home I throw it all out. Some particularly great specimens below...

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


So here is my plan.
1) consolidate all bits of receipt, old envelopes, scraps of paper and the writing on the back of my hand into a proper note book.

2) don't lose notebook

Monday, 19 September 2011

Annina Vogel

The reason I love Liberty of London, the department store of  department stores, is because they really are at the cutting edge of beautiful designs, quirky works and tradition prints. I rarely go in, because everytime I come close to bankrupting myself on a totally beautiful, but unecessary item. Anyway, I recently found myself wondering blindly around the jewellery department knocking into glass cabinets and checking enormous price tags in a giddy haze. In this partcially blinded state I run into the work of Anina Vogel.

It's vintage, it's reworked and I love it. I know the charm thing has hit the jewellery world hard, but I think salvaging old charms and reworking them is something that appeals to me greatly. Who saved up to buy the charm new? Who wore it before? how did it get to be where it is? I love things that make me ask these questions.

I have a pile of charms myself so watch this space.


Monday, 1 August 2011


Sometimes it takes hours to find something you want on the internet, sometimes you log in and it just hits you in the face. *myeysarestillwatering*

About 3 minutes ago, I came across a blog post by Sarah Andreacchio on Alice and Martin Provensen. http://happy-mitou.blogspot.com/

While you might not know their names, you do know their illustration. Alice worked for Walter Lantz studio, the creators of Woody Woodpecker, while Martin created Kellogs Tony the Tiger! 
You know? "They're GGGrrrreat!"
Anyway I would recomment whiling away this summers day leafing through/rolling past these lovely images by them both.



Friday, 29 July 2011

Harleyford Road Community Garden

In 1984 local residents in Vauxhall started to grow vegetables on a 1.5-acre plot of wasteland. In 2011 I was wondering around Vauxhall Cross and found myself at the doorway to what is now the Harleyford Road Community Garden.
You trundle through a door in Bonnington square behind the British Interplanetary Society (what do they do in there!!!)  and you fall into a secret garden. Well it was secret from me anyway!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Ex Purgamento

I found an image that drew me to it quite recently.  This often happens to me and I used to  walk right by and store them somewhere in my mind to dream about it later or  just let it slip away until the next time. The good thing about having a blog is that you can pick, wrap up and document these images for yourself and maybe some others so you can visit them again and again. 

The picture in question was this one. 

It's actually an image used on an  invitation to Natalia Zagorska-Thomas' exhibition in Hay on Wye. It was painfully out of date so I couldn't see the exhibition itself - Booo, but it did get me onto looking at some more of her work.

Natalia is a Polish artist who has  encompassed the upcycling trend on a different level. Items that have outlived their usefulness take new life when taken with amazing skill and a knowledge of historic textiles to create these erie images. The peg teeth of a weird underwater creature emerging from a traditional lined jewellery box just works for me. I can't get enough of it. What is that creature? Where did she get those teeth? What used to be in the box? Who owned it? What lives in the black void mouth? There are alot of questions and I don't have the answers. Natalias work brings real life mock ups of worlds I never thought I would see in concrete.

I get that  C.S Lewis- Magicians Nephew feeling that I get when Digory and Polly drop into Uncle Andrews loft for the first time. The suspence and strangesness of it makes you want to squeeze the tips of your fingers together, like "what on earth is going to happen here?". 

A flying shoe is so Enid Blyton!

A fruit bowl acting as a home for tiny travellers. It's James and the giant Peach or Gullivers travels?

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Little owl in town


To start the week (almost) I give you a little owl. His breed is actually little owl and that's because he is little....and an owl.

You got it! Bonanza

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Craft Cakes

A great day in the office is when someone brings in the fruits of their cake baking weekend. Quite a few months ago such a thing happened, but they didn't bring in any normal kind of cake, they brought in perfectly iced, delicated coloured beautiful cupcakes. When asked where they had got these iced beauties I was told they had made them themselves in a cup cake making class. As soon as I heard this I though to myself, "I'm going to get me onto one of those gosh darn cake decorating courses"
And you know what? I did!
We traversed what seemed like the entirity of London to reach the Armandine Cafe on Victoria Park Road Last week to meet Leigh and 6 other lovely ladies to get cake decoring. To give you a bit of background Leigh our teacher went to culinary school in New York and went to on work at the Michelin starred Sketch in Mayfair and on again to start her own business Craft Cakes. The even more attractive part of her story is she actually started out in events and advertising!

We started by mixing a tiny tiny bit of colour to some wondefully creamy buttercream to create a variety of colours. I went for a minty green to contrast with my Mum's perfect pinkand a selection of creamy tangerine and pastel purples.

Once we had our icing ready we learned how to make a small piping bag and practiced some finer lettering. This one thing alone was reason enoough to do the course! I had no idea it was possible to create a piping bag with a piece of baking parchment.

Moving on to the larger piping bag to create some perfect patterns with a larger piping bag. 

Adding sprinkles and glitter.......lovely glitter.

...leading to this result. Not perfect, but ruddy tasty!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Eerie Indiana

Did anyone watch Eerie Indiana. Was it just me? 6 o’clock after neighbours lapping up the delights of Marshall Teller and stories of heart transplants gone wrong, Cash machines taken over by evil spirits and having a retainer that can read dog’s minds? Now you come to think about it a lot of this does sound does sounds alarmingly similar to channel 5’s most recent documentary schedule!

So anyway this got me to wondering to the concept of the freak show. Something we deem to be old fashioned, inhumane or Dickensian? A travelling circus of bearded ladies, tiny people, Siamese twins? How awful. Not in this day and age!

Well frankly I’m not so sure. In recent years I have seen a boy with no skin, a man with two heads, a woman turn into a ‘mermaid’ and doggy dancing. All from the comfort of my very own sofa. (They were all on the TV I might add, I didn’t invite them round for dinner or anything) Anyway, there is clearly something in us that cleaves to the unusual, the people and situations that make you realise that having to straighten your hair every day is just not a disability and you really are rather lucky.

And if you like freak shows, you better check this lot out. The Victorians really knew how to do it properly!


 It brilliantly says at the bottom of this poster,

"This is really the most marvellous Freak of Nature Living that has ever been made a Public Exhibition of
in this or any other country and is a novelty that every father a mother ought to see" Wow!

"The Exhibitors of this indescribably person or animal do not pretend to assert what it is, they have named it the wild man of the prairies or "What is it" because this is the unversal exclamation of all those who have seen it." I say it looks slightly like me after a bad nights sleep. "It drinks milk, water and tea and is partial to wine...." also sounding like we might have a lot in common here. "It is neat is its habits, fond of ornaments...." im feeling a connection here!

Friday lunchtime dream time

A trip to Devon has left me with a niggling thought. You know the type that sits in your ear and whispers unhelpful thoughts to you? Sometimes good, sometimes bad......today it says "Why don't you move to the seaside?"

Why not? Just a little house by the sea? Yesterday it said why don't you eat a whole bag of Doritos and I did that! Perhaps the sea is not a distance dream after all. :)

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Fancy something from the shop?

I have a question that I believe we should all consider at least once in our lives. So to set the scene.....  It's a summers day, you have lemonade, you have glacee cherries,  you have artic roll and and a nicely chopped iceberg lettuce. Auntie Barbara comes over to you, squeezes your cheeks, presses a coin into your eager hands and sends you running off to the shop with glee.  Here is the question! What sweet treat would you come back with?

Until relatively recently I would have said Caramac, but I was a distinct lack in Caramac dealers in my area I had to move unwillingly forward into the world of the Milkybar. I didnt find it easy, but had to accept that times change and the Caramac just wasn't for everyone!

After the pain subsided I became more experimental. First it was a foray into the world of the Rolo, but I found the chocolate tasted weird, this was followed by a recent purchase of a Twirl which tasted excellent. So I walk into the shop with shiney coin in hand ready to put Twirl number 2 through its paces and what do I spy? Sitting on the shelf, gleaming, was a box of 6 Tunnocks Teacakes.

A further question. How do you create ever-popular jewellery products?? ey ey?

Not only are they beautiful, they are survivors and they are bloody tasty! I snapped up the box I saw in the shop and spend the afternoon at home with a cup of tea carefully cracking the chocolate off the top to try and leave the soft marshmallow underneath entirely unscarred. With the precision of a surgeon I performed Tunnocks Teacake brain surgery and then ruined it by wildly biting into the marshmallow and biscuit underneath.

Apparently the ladies and gents at Tunnocks HQ in Uddington make 350 teacakes a minute! Where do they all go?? For this reason and the fact their packaging is beautiful and I want them to be around forever, my answer to the moral dilemma of what sweet treat to choose.....is  Tunnocks Teacakes please!!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

WoodlandBelle might be just the right inspiration

 So here goes right. A month off, a month of TV, work, sleep, waking up again, sleep, cake, work and more sleep and no creativity. I now realise I need to be creative and there is nothing to be learned from "Made in Chelsea" or Glee. Today I start with a small unveiling of an Etsy seller I found recently who has got me thinking. It's all about focus and it's all about theme. WoodlandBelle has these down! Beautiful, simple jewellery with great photography and a real sense of buying into a life style. I love it, I believe it, I struggle to do it. But, I must try! 


Monday, 18 April 2011

Silver fir cones and long holidays.

So it's not the time of year for them but I found and bought these perfect silver fir cones to get creative with. They are solid sterling silver and now all they need is to be designed and made into something beautiful. A week off in the sun should resolve that. Hmmm Perfect.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Streatham kite day

Much like Mary Poppins Streatham has it's own kite day! I was driving back home and from quite a distance saw the sky full of beautiful kites. This is why I love Streatham!