New York Kitchenalia Heaven : Fishs Eddy

On his recent (solo) trip to New York, my husband stumbled across quite possibly the best shop I have ever seen. After spending over an hour perusing collections of all kinds of fabulous kitchenalia from vintage china to ceramic glove molds , I’m happy to say he did manage to come home with some very lovely bits and pieces. I probably would have had the lot and shipped it home at great expense – I’m a sucker for kitchen things I don’t really need and this place is full to bursting. Sadly he didn’t have room for one of the portrait paintings which are all from the owners personal collection and are the perfect visual accompaniment to the towers of crockery and glass. What a wonderful wonderful place Fishs Eddy is – I think it could be the only excuse I need to take a family trip to New York in the very near future.

Fishs Eddy, 889 Broadway, NY NY 10003

 

Ginger Ale Glasses

 

Cake Stands

 

Vintage China

 

Ceramic Glove Molds

 

Cheer Up Tray

 

Plates in a box....and other things

 

Kitchen Tools and things I really dont need but want

 

Ceramic Milk Bottles

Ceramic Milk Bottles

 

Bicycle Mugs


Absolutely Nothing To Make or Buy : A Homemade Home…..unfinished

Yes, I’ll enjoy doing some needlework in front of the fire during the cold Winter months. I should have this done in time for Christmas if I do a little bit every night. That was 3 years ago and I’ve done a despairing one line of said Emily Peacock Kiss tapestry and it now sits in a bag on a shelf near the sofa laughing at me. But still I’m determined, and strangely convinced, that I will finish it. One day. Just as soon as I work out the instructions and manage to stay awake past 9pm.

KISS Tapestry by Emily Peacock

I like making things but for some reason I still haven’t learned that I’m not nearly as good as I hope I am and that these crafty things take far more patience than I will ever have. I blame Kirsty and Cath Kidston and all those women I hate to like. I don’t want to be one of them, I’m too busy doing other busy, modern woman about the countryside sort of things.

So, as I get ready for another episode of Kirsty’s Homemade Britain which I shall watch whilst lounging comfortably on the piles of envelope cushions which litter my sofa (they’re addictively easy to make once you get the hang of it) I’ve found something else I want to have a go at. These advent calendar kits from Cox and Cox not only look lovely in the pictures but I reckon they’ll look even lovelier when hanging on the wall and my children will think I’m the best Christmas Mum in the world. My husband says I’ll never finish them and he’s seen a chocolate Lego calendar which they’ll like much more. He’s probably right but I’m going to give it a go. I’ll just try the one – they can share, they’ll like that. Who’d want a chocolate advent calendar all made and ready to go, when they can have a half-finished, homemade one filled with whatever I can find lying around the house the night before. No contest surely.

Advent Calendar Kit from Cox and Cox

 


Absolutely Nothing To Buy : The Perfect Card

I must have appeared rather rude as a child. I hardly ever thanked people in writing for any of the gifts received at Christmas or on birthdays. I’m not sure if I just didn’t see the point, or was just a bit too lazy, or had thanked them in my head and so thought that I didn’t need to actually tell them. It’s no wonder relatives got cross. I’d be furious.

So now, be it as an act of guilt or a reaction to email over kill, I love nothing better than sending hand written cards. I have a drawer full of postcards and notecards which I can dip in to at any time when a “Thank You” or a “Welcome to the World” or a “Happy Birthday” is required. And I have a couple of favourite places I go to time and time again to find the perfect card.

The first is Archivist. A small and perfectly formed printing press based in Oxfordshire who do the most beautiful letterpress cards as well as a Natural History collection (created from exclusive access to the NH archives) and hand printed notelets. You can buy them online or in selected retailers including John Lewis and Paperchase.

 

Archivist - Strawberry

Archivist - Strawberry

 

Archivist - Thank You Very Much

 

Archivist - Tomatoes

The second is Nineteen Seventy Three. An online emporium with some of the most fabulous postcards, greeting cards, wrapping paper, invitations, notebooks and all sorts. With collections from various illustrators and artists including The Good Life, Darling Clementine, Belle and Boo and Sukie, there really is something for everyone. You can buy them direct from their online store or from various retailers.

The Good Life - Stork

 

The Good Life - Countryside

 

Belle and Boo - I Like Your Hat

 

Darling Clementine - Fox

 

Sukie - Happy Birthday

 

I could go on and on and on and there will be probably be many updates to this post. For now though, thank you very much.

 


Absolutely Nothing To Buy : Blankets and Throws by Samantha Taylor

It’s that time of year again. The slightly weird and topsy-turvy time when retail collides with climate. At the time of writing, the UK has recently enjoyed something of an Indian summer (though I hear snow isn’t far behind) and here in Hong Kong it’s still pretty warm which means I’m still open-toed and bare sleeved, but, to be honest, I’m just a little bit over the Summer. Call me cuckoo, but when your Summer consists of 4 -6 months of fairly blistering heat and oppressive humidity, by the time Autumn officially rolls around and the shops are newly stocked with Autumn/ Winter loveliness, it is infuriating to concede that, except for a very few short weeks some time around January/February, most of what’s in store will just not work for this climate, but it doesn’t stop me wanting a piece of the action.

And so begins my annual yearning for knitwear and wool and all things snuggly. I’m clearly not the only person around here that feels this way because at the merest hint of a temperature drop, people can be seen fully Ugg’d and Moncler’d up as if in preparation for a huge snowfall, but when, in actual fact, it’s probably about 23 degrees Celsius. I applaud this blatant disregard for one’s own comfort, when form has won over function. But I know from bitter, personal experience that sticking to woollies whilst failing to layer adequately will result in the kind of ‘glow’ usually only seen on footballers at the end of a very long game, after extra time and penalties.

But this has never deterred me, it merely encourages me to seek other outlets for my woolly fixation and this year I am all about blankets and throws. For the record, a blanket officially differs from a throw on account of its size (usually just a tad larger than the mattress in order to cover a bed) and in that it usually consists of a single layer, and is usually woven. A throw is, technically, smaller, comes in a variety of knits or weaves and is more for individual snuggling. But you probably knew that already. Either way, to my mind, a blanket (or throw) is one of those purchases you probably make only occasionally – a bit like investment dressing –  and therefore should last for generations and have an heirloom quality to it. It’s also a very good reason to help the economy, which also makes it the perfect gift and an entirely justifiable purchase for your own pleasure.

Here are a few that I am drooling over:

The ultimate investment piece, this fine Piece of Scottish craftsmanship ticks all the blanket boxes: Tweedy, traditional and tasseled, all that’s required is a roaring log fire and you’re good to go.

Johnstons Of Elgin

Johnstons of Elgin Lambswool Reversible Tweed Throw in ‘Spey’ 190cm x 140cm £130

 

The Swedes know a thing or two about keeping warm in the winter, and this lovely Blanket was inspired by Swedish folk art.

Primrose and Plum

Primrose & Plum lambswool grey Bird Blanket 180cm x 130cm £130

 

Another Scandinavian warmer, this time from Finland. The Asteri wool blanket would work well in a modern scheme but hasn’t forgotten it’s blankety traditions with edging in blanket stitch. And what a great price.

Asteri Finnish Wool Blanket

Asteri Finnish Wool Blanket 130cm x 180cm £65

 

Sometimes all you need is a really great plain throw to add texture or an accent to a scheme and what’s fascinating about Laura’s gorgeous handwoven throws is that each comes with the kind of provenance that really celebrates everything that is brilliant and thriving about British craft. Made in Yorkshire, the wool is all sourced locally, sorted by Laura in her own garden to remove the “daggy bits” and is then cleaned, spun and dyed locally using only environmentally-friendly processes. Transport miles are kept to a minimum and local business are supported. The ultimate feel-good purchase in every way.

Laura's Loom

Laura’s Loom Howgill Collection Herringbone Throw 160cm x 200cm £125

 

I’m a huge fan of Donna Wilson’s quirky textiles but this stunning blanket, designed in conjunction with SCP, is something of a departure style-wise, but I am all over it, erm, like a blanket. The wool is all spun and dyed in England and Woven in Wales by a traditional mill that has been in the same family for years. It has the feel of a traditional Welsh Carthenni but with a more modern, geometric feel and is probably at the top of my blanket wish list.

Donna Wilson

Donna Wilson Nos Da Blanket 230cm x 200cm £299.99

 

Melin Tregwynt have been quietly revolutionising the aesthetics of traditional blanket weaving for years. Originators of the popular spotted motifs that can be seen everywhere now, this Welsh mill combines traditional methods with contemporary designs that are sure to convert even the most die-hard blanket haters.

Melin Tregwynt

Melin Tregwynt Luna Throw 150cm x 180cm £125

 

If you are looking for the ultimate baby gift then Woodchild’s exquisite vintage inspired fairisle knitted blankets must surely be the perfect solution? Practically perfect in every way, I am completely obsessed with this, and, as the Mother of two boys that is continually disappointed with boy-centric homewares and gifts, it satisfies my inner girly whims too.

Woodchild

Woodchild ‘Connor’ Baby Blanket 75cm x 100cm £89

 

Another great baby gift, these soft brushed cotton baby blankets eschew the twee and make a refreshing, modern change from pastels, and the red colourway works brilliantly for both sexes.

Cologne and Cotton

Cologne & Cotton Papoose Blanket 65cm x 110cm £15

 

This supersoft Shetland blanket is fun and would add a great pop of colour to a scheme- particularly a child’s bedroom- but for me it’s mostly about the green fairisle; a little bit vintage, I just can’t get enough of this type of pattern.

Atlantic Blanket Company

Atlantic Blanket Company Celtic Fringe Blanket 143cm x173cm £250

 

Welsh Carthenni blankets just feel so ‘right’ at the moment thanks to recent trends towards Ikats and folksy geometrics. I’ve been coveting them for years as they seem to bridge the gap between traditional and contemporary so brilliantly. This rather lovely candy pink example from Blodwen is undeniably girly but utterly beautiful and I could happily redesign an entire room scheme just to incorporate it somehow.

Blodwen

Blodwen ‘New Traditional Welsh Carthenni’ Blanket 171cm x 264cm £300

 

One for the baby girls. The Matryoshka trend keeps running and running but I confess I am still charmed by these folksy little dolls. This Adorable luxurious baby blanket from the completely brilliant Studio Roam comes in a Cyclamen/Satin Pink colourway as standard but can be customised to a colour of your choice, at no extra cost, which makes for a really unique keepsake for a little one.

Studio Roam

Studio Roam Baboushka Cashmere Blanket 80cm x 120cm £159.20


Absolutely Nothing To Buy : Dinosaur tea towels

If you haven’t checked out our little shop yet, then we strongly advise that you do and soon!

These Tea Towels by Jay Jay Burridge are brilliant and only £9.95

Made as a limited edition for Jay Jay’s show When Superstars Ruled The World, the tea towels are 100% organic cotton, available in 2 designs and when the last one sells they will be well and truly extinct!

Buy them HERE

 


Absolutely Nothing To Watch, Wear and Buy : Damaris, Packing Heat

I’ve been a fan of Damaris and Mimi Holliday underwear for a long long time. It’s beautifully made, cheekily sexy and just very lovely indeed. This short film, Packing Heat starring Liberty Ross was screened by Damaris at LFW and can now be seen in it’s full brilliant glory courtesy of Vogue TV.

Click on the image to watch the film


Absolutely Nothing To Wear : The Designer Jumble Sale

There’s nothing I like more than fashionable bargains and I love them even more when they’re all in one place and on the same day. This Wednesday (21st September) sees the return of the fabulous Designer Jumble Sale which has become an annual charity event and a firm favourite on the London Fashion Week schedule.

With over 1000 items of serious designer labels, all donated by members of the very well dressed and well healed fashion fraternity, there are more bargains than I have room or breath to mention and prices range from just £5.

Abigail Chisman, former Editor-In-Chief of VOGUE.COM and the woman behind the Designer Jumble Sale spoke to ANTW and chose her favourite pieces from this years sale :

1. Jean-Pierre Braganza trained at Central St Martins, worked with Roland Mouret, and now his own line typically retails from £500. So bag a major bargain with this woolly, sculptural piece – to be worn as a mini dress or top – for just £69. Here, worn with Lulu Guinness faux pearl and chain necklace with pave diamante lips, was £85, now £35.

2. Lulu Guinness oversized raffia flamingo bag, £150

Lulu Guinness bag, £150

 

3. We miss Luella Bartley! This unused and still tagged PVC biscuit tin bag, with lips and skeleton bag charms, comes from her last collection before recession hit her suppliers and forced her to close her label. So it’s a rare treat – RRP £295 but also impossible to find, so £150 is a real steal!

Luella Bartley bag, £150

 

4. Motorbike jacket made from baby camel hair, as seen on the catwalk of Michael Kors’ last collection for Celine in 2004, size 10, £175

Celine jacket, £175

 

5. Tracey Boyd elegant black wool coat, with stunning raised floral embroidery, silk lined, black bead buttons, round-necked and raw-edges at hems, size 12-14, just £45; worn with Mawi’s brand new and boxed red ruby Montana necklace, with skulls, RRP approx £240, now £100

Tracey Boyd coat, £45 and Mawi necklace, £100

 

Mawi necklace, £100

 

7. Perfect colour for autumn/winter 2011, good 60s shape, too – Maxmara cashmere mix trapeze mini dress, £59, would fit 8-10

Maxmara dress, £59

 

8. For the girl who has always dreamed of owning Alaia and never thought she would afford it: Alaia gold snakeskin shoes, size 5.5, lightly worn, cost £500 originally; now £160

Alaia snakeskin shoes, £160

 

The DJS will be held on Wednesday 21st September at The Church of the Annunciation, Bryanston Street, London W1H 7AH

11am – 3pm and entry is FREE

All proceeds from the sale will go to charity. For more information click here.

And hands off the Maxmara red cashmere dress, that WILL be MINE!

 


To Tweed Or Not To Tweed : Ralph Lauren’s RUGBY comes to London

I’ve been surrounded by an awful lot of tweed recently (it’s what comes of living in the countryside) and I think I might be forming somewhat of a liking for it. I’ve always secretly loved the idea of tweed flat caps and trousers and perhaps even a coat, but was never quite sure I could carry it all off. I wasn’t sure if anyone could carry it all off if I’m honest. Today I visited the new RUGBY store in Covent Garden, the latest UK offering from Ralph Lauren and a veritable haven for all things tweed. It is everything you expect and hope for from the King of preppy and had me hooked the moment I caught a glimpse of the door-boy in his tweed waistcoat and cravat.

The store only opened at the end of August and so has all the excitement and bursting rails you would hope for and all presented by a team of impeccably charming sales staff to boot. The Rugby label was launched back in 2004 and “combines an Ivy Leage-inspired sensibility with an irreverent attitude to create an energetic, modern collection” so reads the press release.

It was quite an assault on my usual tastes to begin with, but being a rather prim and neat dresser, there were all kinds of pieces which I could quite happily covet. The “boyfriend” jeans are perfectly loose in all the right places and the tight, black, jodphurs were a joy to squeeze in to. A sage green silk military inspired blouse and the most fabulous navy double-breasted overcoat, were my absolute must haves but what should I end up trying on? A tweed pencil skirt worn with a puffed sleeve pinstripe blouse, tweed waist-coat and bow tie….yes, I said bow tie. My friend and fashion confidante (Mrs Jenny Dyson) who was suitably tweeded up in the neighbouring dressing room, said it was the perfect outfit for a prim girl like me and verged slightly on the dominatrix. I’m not quite sure, but I can tell you one thing, whatever it was I rather liked it and thanks to Rugby, I shall be changing my view on this most traditional of materials and embracing it whole heartedly for AW.

The RUGBY store can be found at 43 King Street, Covent Garden, WC2


Cowpats : a cartoon by Zebedee Helm

We will be posting lots more brilliant cartoons from Zebedee Helm over the coming weeks.

They are all available to buy from his online shop.

Click here to be redirected immediately.


Absolutely Nothing To Buy – Cologne and Cotton

Anyone who follows this blog will know that I’ve a bit of thing for online shopping. It’s nothing to be concerned about, I don’t have bedrooms and cupboards full of online acquisitions, but for the most part it’s my preferred form of shopping. I think I like the packages arriving at my door more than anything else really and today is one of those days.

As well as having a bit of a thing for online I also have a bit of a thing for bed linen and all things which make me feel like a real life home maker and grown up. The last time I really indulged in any kind of bedroom linen stuffs was when we were married and other than the odd pillow case here and there, I haven’t treated myself for ages – really truly. Have you seen the prices of duvet covers these days?! Blimey. So I’ve been saving and waiting for the Cologne and Cotton sale and am now the proud owner of a MATCHING set. It’s the little things which make me smile on a Friday.

It’s white and cotton and lovely and will guarantee me the perfect full 8 hours of restful sleep. And when I’ve made my tissue peony pom poms to hang from the beams, my boudoir will be complete and my husband may never forgive me.