i still love this community of pop up sales – a different venue, new artisans and creatives coming together to bring an atmosphere of warmth and passion sharing their crafts and products. its a million miles away from internet shopping or bland shopping centres. Ros and Sarah have curated a lovely event. there are two coming up, one in Batcombe Somerset on the 11th and 12th November and the other in Brixton on the 20th and 21st November 2021. its a great time to catch up with what small producers are making, treating yourself and buying Xmas presents – dare i even mention that word……..
I will be showing my cards, ceramics, some watercolours and a few vintage bits and bobs….
i am always looking for beautiful ceramics – have a look at the delicate beakers and jugs by James and tilla waters. I love the bold designs of Silvia K. i also like the simplicity of the creamer jug from another country. love the colourful blue jugs by reiko kaneko – jugs are something i can’t resist and i have jugs in all sizes and colours, some old, some new!
another of my favourite ceramicists is Jacqui Roche, who makes lovely cream porcelain ware, including this lovely porcelain rose. Jacqui also runs workshops for adults and children, learning to use the wheel and glazing pots – she’s inspirational. Fliff Carr is also a brilliant ceramics and teacher – her fine delicate pieces make lovely gifts.
there seem to be very few artisan shops left in london, i find that its essential to touch and feel the things that i want to buy and especially the scale – you lose all the beauty in a photograph online. fortunately there are a few shops remaining that still show interesting hand made ceramics – my favourites are listed.
My new discovery is Kobo in a little alley in Norwich, beautifully presented, and more rustic and earthy coloured pots, you can’t leave without purchasing something. mint is an inspiring shop selling beautiful ceramics and artisan products. egg is another source of inspiration, no website, but worth the journey. igigi in brighton is another favourite place of mine – and definitely makes going to brighton worth it. merci in paris is another shop worth all the travelling to – its got to be a must on your list of paris shopping – merci also gives its profits to charity.Eclectic is typically japanese , very white, minimal, very delicate in style but like a breath of fresh air, it stands out amongst the usual chain shops around town. of course there is frank in whitstable, abigail aherne in islington has an unusual choice of ceramics. native and co have lovely selection of Japanese gifts and homewares and momosan near London Fields also is a lovely shop to visit for gifts.
i love vases, short, tall, transparent, opaque, patterned – they definitely make your space feel more homely. a couple of years ago i bought 2 vases from my friend Rhonda’s online shop – affordable and individual, she can ship them to anywhere in the world and they arrived in perfect condition.
i use almost anything as a vase, from a jar, a jug, a pot, a bottle – mix with vintage bottles and it makes for interesting displays – here’s a collection of flowers from columbia road in lots of little containers.
are you struggling to find ideas for xmas for the men in your life? mine have such strong individual tastes it gets harder each year!
for classic men’s clothes with style, then visit J.Simons shop on chiltern street – it brings together a handpicked selection of American, Continental and British brands, classic loafers, harrington jackets, jeans and even includes a few vintage pieces – perfect if you want to find your male partner or friend a gift that never dates. i love the pendleton shirts! you go in there wishing that they did the same things in womens sizes.
a lot of men hate bits and pieces, collective memoirs, so finding something to buy them can become a bit of a challenge. a guess this means that you have a limited list; here are a few places that i know robert will always be pleased to receive from -any products from aesop and kiehls, scarves and silk handkerchieves from peckham rye, or Anderson and Shepherd. my son likes a comme des garçons wallet, from Dover Street.
vintage books and out of print books from glyn’s books, or anything from the numerous antiquarian book shops on cecil court, poetry and art books from daunts , i still think that they have the best choice of books, and the re issues of classics such as Agatha Christie and Dickens are so beautifully presented that they can be the start of a collection, travel notebooks from smythsons – you can even have your own initials embossed on the beautiful leather covers, margaret howell for small house accessories and classic tops, rapha for absolutely anything cycling, brooks for classic cycling bags, chapmans for classic bags. classic film posters is another favourite for young men.
vases from my wonderful friend rhonda paster corte – she ships them safely to you and they are very affordable. another good idea is to buy a wet shave and massage from trumpers or at murdock in liberty. or for watches i visit portobello on a saturday, all the dealers are there and they all give you a 6 month guarantee – i bought a vintage rolex for robert’s 50th, which has been a big hit and still gets worn for occasions out. if that doesn’t help you find a gift , then please let me know your great finds……i’d love to extend that list.
hoping that after 2nd December we can return to a bit of normality, but I am guessing that its going to be a few months before we can all relax and go back to our normal routines. however, lovely Florence from Tidy Street is holding a little Christmas Sale at McBeans Nursery, near to Lewes. There is also going to be a sale of vintage clothes in aid of Relay for Refugees and a whole host of talented artisans and makers – it should be a fun day out and a great opportunity to get all those xmas presents and support lots of independent sellers. I shall be there with my cards, prints and ceramics, so why not make a day trip to this beautiful location where orchids have been cultivated for over 140 years.
its time to put away those summer dresses and get out our woollies….. I actually still wear some of my summer dresses, but wear lots and lots of layers; my friends laugh when they see how many layers I usually wear. I always wear a fine cotton vest, then a silk slip, then sometimes a fine cotton T shirt, a petticoat or thin skirt, then a dress and a cardigan or jumper on top! I definitely admit that I feel the cold…… thin layers are an effective way of keeping warm and not looking too bulky. however, I now love my soft fair isle jumper by Quinton Chadwick, which I was lucky enough to shoot the collection which includes beautiful scarves, berets and jumpers over the summer – its very warm, and even with my allergy to wool, doesn’t cause any irritation, plus its a great shape to wear over dresses, or team with a net skirt for a fun autumn look.
I don’t like lots of jewellery, but i love delicate and unusual pieces. my favourite jeweller is Peppi Taylor, but unfortunately, she is one of those types who is incredibly arty, but totally non techno, so has no website. her pieces can be something simple and inexpensive such as a silver charm on a thread, or you can commission a ring in gold and precious stones. i personally love her rows of semi precious stones, such as rose quartz, amethyst, all delicately threaded with a gold charm. most of my jewellery has been made by peppi, and when it was Alice’s and Maude’s 21st, i commissioned a small piece for her. you can contact Peppi on email@example.com or 07952 864357
i passed by laura lee’s shop in covent garden, there are some beautiful pieces there too.
another reader recommended rust – again interesting and more aimed for the younger girls.
so Maude and I drove to Brighton this week, partly to catch up with friends, and partly to let Maude get some experience of driving on motorways. I do remember how frightening it is even thinking about driving on motorways and I think that its actually got worst with the amount of lorries now delivering all the time. typically the navigator took us all the way on the M25, which is definitely the worst road that I have been on. didn’t help that we were in a mini which made us feel like sardines between all those overtaking gigantic vehicles! anyhow, we managed to get there and back with only a few hiccups, not a great mother and daughter bonding time driving 5 hours on such heavy roads ! when we got there my friends took me to lovely Stanmer Park, only 15 mins drive out of Brighton, but beautiful woodlands and open lands and we walked the dogs. there is a country house, church, walled garden, but I loved seeing the community gardens – allotments, flowers from Hearts and Flowers who have an allotment there, and then there was a hidden garden which has taken over 20 years to cultivate, which was so spiritual – a dome of twigs which has grown perfectly into a perfect geodesic , walls made of twigs and branches, small shrines of stones…. it was like an Andy Goldsworthy piece. our countryside is so vast and beautiful, there is always something new to discover. Quince is another of my favourite shops selling flowers and some small gifts and of course there is Tidystreet where I am now buying all my lovely white dresses from – its as though Florence is choosing them especially for me.
did you know that father’s day originated in America in 1908 to originally commemorate the loss of 210 miners, who were fathers in west virginia. now it complements mother’s day and is celebrated in many countries throughout the world. Robert likes it because he always gets more chocolates, today he got a set of printed cards by Robert Hardy which I found in Margaret Howell, which he absolutely loved and a collectors edition of Royal Mail stamps of James Bond! For some reason, I have a bit of a soft spot for those lovely packs of collector stamps!
i loved this rainbow that greeted us in st agnes cornwall a few years ago.
there are lots of places around the UK on my list to see once we can travel again. I really must get to northumberland one day to visit this homewares shop that i have heard about – anything from vintage plates to lamps, quirky, pretty, functional, RE cycled or RE markable! the great thing is that you can order from re-foundobjects online too! lots of interesting ideas.
I also love this shop Baileys Home – a few years ago, my friend and I drove all the way there and stayed the night in a B and B just to visit this beautiful shop. They are now open and are stocking my flower cards again – just sent the order this week. I do think that we need to support all these independent shops in these difficult times – my worry is that we are only going to be left with the big chains….