Friday, 30 January 2015

Ben Young

Two simple materials turned into gorgeous works of art by Ben Young. They're labour intensive works that Ben crafts by hand. More beautiful works on his website. I think they're just beautiful.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Klaus & The Vixen

I've been a fan of Klaus Haapaniemi for a while now. The Finish illustrator extraordinaire has only gone from strength to strength, and now has a pretty well established brand of his own producing predominantly textile-based products (scarves, cushions, rugs, etc), but he's now also branching out into other areas such as lighting. He's had a long running collaboration with Iittala, the Finish ceramic and glass producer and now there's a cross-over between his work Tanssi for them and a new collaboration with the Finish National Opera, Ooppera. The designs for Tanssi are based on the visual imagery created for The Cunning Little Vixen. Below are some photos I found of the costumes off Instagram and a videos showing them in action in the production itself. What I wouldn't give to see this! Maybe it'll tour... maybe that's just wishful thinking. But I think the costume design is just incredible. So graphic and magical.


Wednesday, 28 January 2015


This is becoming a bit of a designer kiddy week. Loving this modern dollhouse by illustrator Janine Rewell for upcoming exhibition Never Never Land. "The upcoming exhibition dedicated to even the youngest in the family, features imaginative, vivid and playful works by various Finnish artists and designers." Super fun for little ones. Put it into production!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Use It Or Loose It; Beanbags!

One of my bigger collections that takes up the most room is fabric. I've got vintage fabric that I love, and could never part with, but could also never find the right use for. Cue; new house, lack of furniture, the need for more cosy seating close to the floor for parent and little Oscar, especially as I get bigger and bigger as baby number two grows. Though, each piece of the vintage fabric isn't huge and so I didn't want a really complex sewing pattern that would waste too much of each piece. Or more to the point, do my head in trying to figure out a pattern. I'm not a great sewer. I usually make things up as I go along. And sew a lot of straight lines.
Then I found this; the simple triangle beanbag! SO simple. With next to no fabric wastage, as I can just make it to whatever scale the fabric allows. And here's how I got on. I made 5 bean bags in the end; two toddler sized ones from car fabric I picked up years ago from the Albert Cuyp market in Amsterdam, and to my surprise Oscar LOVED them. He uses them, a lot. I have one in his bedroom and one in his play pen. So that was an unexpected hit. He likes to run and flop down on top of them. It's hilarious. If you have little kids, bean bags are fab. Sometimes he just sits and chills out for a few minutes in them.
Anyway, then I made three more using vintage fabric I had found in Amsterdam (over a decade ago, I might add) and from a work trip to Montreal back in 2010. So, their time had come to be fished out of the cupboard and put to use. I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out. Almost no fabric waste and voilĂ ! Comfy seating for all. I have two adult bean bags in the living room, and one upstairs on a little coffee seat landing. Handy for then the family visit in a few month to meet baby Dash. If you're looking for the pattern, I roughly followed this one. I just didn't always make mine square; just to the size of the fabric. Also this blogger is using hers for storage of duvet's, etc., where as I made mine with a muslin/calico inner and filled that with Ez Fill Pearl Beads bean bag filler, from Bed Bath and Beyond. I made the inner bag so there would be no bean accidents and I could easily wash the covers if need be. I needed 6 bags of beans for the 5 bean bags. And very happy I made covers with separate bean bag fillers, as I can already see a trail of snot Oscar has lovingly left on one bag... bless him. Rascal.
Another successful 'use it or loose it' project completed. I'm going to take a break from crafts and get on with a side project I've had on the go for a while. Any suggestions though for what to do with my (very girly) Liberty fabrics will be much appreciated. That's next on my list...

Monday, 26 January 2015

Kinder Ground

There are certain things that change when you become a parent. Like a section of your living room will inevitably become the kiddy zone, in a vague attempt to keep all the toys in one spot instead of strewn about your entire house (which they will be anyway by the end of the day). We have three little zones in our living-dining are of our place. Oscar has his books on the lowest level of a bookshelf, for his afternoon reading (his preferred reading time), his tent (that my Dad (99%) and I (1%) made) that houses his soft toys though he's still a bit young for it at the moment, and lastly a play-pen zone for those times I need to properly contain the beast and where most of his things are. It's hard to get these kiddy area's looking nice, and matching in with the rest of the style of the house. 
My pet hate is that car-track kiddy carpet from Ikea that seems to be everywhere. Really can't stand it. Our play pen area has a foam puzzle-piece floor, as our actual floors are concrete and Oscar is a pretty rough and tumble so we needed something to break the falls. But let me tell you, foam puzzle pieces while practical are far from sexy. What I would love is some fab and fun – yet actually stylish – flooring from Kinder Ground. The floor tiles come in three shapes; hexagon, triangle, and diamond and you can design your own configuration to fit your space. Very cool. They're made from 100% New Zealand wool, and have a non-slip base. Lovely solution to nice spaces for little people. 

Friday, 23 January 2015

Paco Pomet

It's been a while since I came across a new painter I like. But the piece above by Spanish artist Paco Pomet popped up on my radar and I had to investigate further. A surreal mix of nostalgic black-and-white photographic scenes mixed with a modern stoke of bold colour or humour, these works have a quite yet timeless appeal to me. So much detail and skill in these images. Just sublime. 

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Jonathan Adler & Formica

Predicting a Formica revival. Now that designer Jonathan Adler has collaborated with Formica for a new product line. There are some very bold graphic prints, but I like the lacquered linen range personally. A much more subtle retro vibe that I wouldn't tire of and I don't think would date too soon or be out of place in a modern home. You can see the whole line via Formica's website.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Friday, 16 January 2015

The Cavalry Arrives

Well, today is a going to be a good day; my manny start! Nope, no typo, we have a male nanny starting today for two days a week. We've managed to hunt down another native Catalan so hopefully he'll teach Oscar some language and balance out the English at the same time as playing soccer, stacking, and general running about. Not sure he knows what he's in for... But, for moi, it means a bit of relief and time to catch up on housework, admin, sleep, and then hopefully some things of my own, including some decent blog posts. Beyond excited.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Andrea Lauren

Super sweet lino-cut prints by Andrea Lauren to brighten up this rainy Monday. I'm pretty much barred for buying any more prints but were I not I'd love one of these. The hare, the tiger moths, and the windmill are all available on Andrea's Etsy store. She has a nice little site and blog too. 

Friday, 9 January 2015

Socks and Stuff

Busy week. My folks left on Monday, just. Their flight was actually Sunday...whoopsy. So there was a bit of a scramble to sort a new flight out of the Big Apple to Amsterdam so they could then resume their return trip home, but we managed in the end. Since then I've been home alone with the boy. It's been freezing outside (-12°C!!) so we've stayed in a lot. Playing. Kicking the soccer ball. A few tantrums as Oscar adjusts to not having attention 100% of the time. I introduced him to crayons. He have a few stabs at paper then tried to eat them. But, it's a start. It's fairly quiet at home, but I like the quiet and calm. O and I are figuring out our little routine.
I've seen a few nice things online but haven't had a chance to sit and blog about them. So I'm just sharing these amazing Ryan Gosling socks. I think I need to get them for a few friends.
Ok, computer is about to die. More later.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Fort Greene Park

A ten minute walk down the road from our house and you hit Fort Greene Park. It's a lovely space, with a hill in the middle from which point you get a view through the treetops over to Manhattan. Running down the side of it is a farmers market that's on all year on Saturday's. Boxing Day was sunny and lovely, so we brunched at a cafe nearby and then took the boy to burn some energy at the park. And burn he did. He found a football and kicked it about for a while, then we all walked up the hill while Oscar pretty much ran up it, had a look, Oscar ran around some more, about then back down. On the way down he saw two guys in their early 20's kicking a ball around, got excited, went up to the ball and then proceeded to dribble it around the field. The guys were impressed. Boy's got some skills. Then we headed back down Dekalb Avenue which has a few nice shops and brunch places, then home. I've heard there's a good flea market here in the summer, I'll be checking that out for sure.