pop up sales

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….

ceramics and artisan

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!

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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. 


unpackaged with its  amazing shopping concept – simple, green and functional  unpackaged sells all your basic groceries, from washing up liquid, to cereal and dried fruit – without any packaging – you bring your own!!  no longer a stand alone stall, they are now based in planet organic in muswell hill and several of its other branches.. if you dont bring any containers, but want to purchase one of the reusable glass jars, you then fill up on what you need – what an ethical way to shop!  its an ecologically and unique idea, and the principal should be used widely.  another similar store is on Portobello Road Liberte Cherie, and Bulk market in Hackney.  here is a full list of zero waste shops in the London area.   I wish that there was one near to me in Camden.

i actually applaud the move to charge for plastic bags – it has definitely changed my approach to shopping – i now take reusable bags all the time with me.  there are so many lightweight cloth and shopping bags around now, all designed to pop neatly in your handbag.  but my favourite bags are of course vintage ones……

gifts for men

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.

autumn approaching

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 peppitaylor2@gmail.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.

pearl and queenie have fun necklaces, i love the cameo on a chain.

sweet pea is also another lovely shop, stocking not only their own designs but a few other designers too..

in Paris 5 Octobre have some lovely pieces, and some very affordable.

another place to find interesting jewellery is at Dover Street Market. always inspiring clothes too, including Simone Rocha, Cecille Bahnsen as well as the Comme des Garcons collections.

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tea towels

i cant seem to keep my tea towels clean, even with bleaching – so i have decided that its easier to buy cheaper tea towels and then throw them away when they look  so stained and terrible;  which means all my lovely vintage linen goes into a box and replaced with the functional, simple cotton with blue/red stripe teatowels or their value 10 pack from dennys . if you go into the shop you can buy them singularly, but these are so affordable and look great in any kitchen.

other great choices are of course ikea and kempton market where clever stall holders take the time to make them out of old rolls of linen;  the market is usually on the 2nd and last tuesday of every month.


re – cycle, re anything

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….


I have a thing about stationary….

I have always collected bits of stationary – notebooks, interesting paper, pens, cards – just about everything from all corners of the world.  wherever I travel to, stationary shops are the most appealing to me.  my favourite shop in london has to be choosing keeping – it used to be a small shop on Columbia road, but is now a beautiful showroom in Covent Garden.  everything is so beautiful, a perfect gift for any occasion – I find myself searching for reasons to buy this and that…..   beautiful boxes of pastels are in cabinets like museum pieces – but there is something for everyone from a couple of pounds.

l. cornelissen

it must be one of my favourite shops in london, l. cornelissen stocks art materials, but not just like your regular art shop,  its a specialist in all types of mediums, from inks, to watercolours, to gouache etc….  there are bottles, jars, tins, tubes of everything that you would ever need.  the problem is that i didnt even know what you used most of the things for!  its definitely a place for inspiring your creativity – i have decided to buy some calligraphy pens with the beautiful shades of sepia ink (in gorgeous bottles of course) and try them out in the beautiful sketch books that they stock.  what a brilliant present to buy somebody interested in art, a starter kit in drawing or painting  with a lovely notebook – perfect for any young teenager or budding artist!

here is my watercolour of a pot of daffodils.

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