Friday, 21 April 2017

Fabric Friday

Anyone who loves fabric, knows how therapeutic a fabric shopping trip can be and a few weeks ago I made a pilgrimage to Rolls & Rems in Lewisham to do just that. I often enter a fabric shop treating it like an Aladdin's cave. You never know what you're going to find and if you're even going to find anything suitable, but there's always something good to forage through. Rolls & Rems was no disappointment and I came out with four fab new fabrics to add to my stash!

I love these swallow silhouettes on a grey ground and am looking forward to giving it a nice bright lining to counteract the grey and to give it a flash of colour when the bag is opened.

Everyone loves a dog fabric and this one shows a variety of breeds in a white silhouette. I love the cream linen fabric it's printed onto and it will perfect for making sturdy tote bags.

I love a bold geo and this one comes in a vibrant orange and navy combination. It makes quite a statement!

I love the hit of bright green in this unisex bike fabric and I'm thinking of using a green polka dot for the lining. This fabric would make great gadget pouches to store puncture kit etc.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Litre Japan

I love receiving parcels, especially when they contain new fabric purchases, and especially when they come from Japan! Today's parcel was from a lovely shop called Litre Japan, run by Mina and her husband Hiro (below), as well as her grandma. Their shop is beautifully photographed and their Instagram account is definitely worth checking out for interesting Japanese finds.

They have a beautifully curated shop and I homed in on two stunning vintage kimono pieces.

One piece has a bird design on it and is on a soft green ground.

The other piece is a selection of stylised Japanese flowers in shades of orange and red.

I'm planning to use these fabrics to make items for my store. I think they would be perfect for small clutch bags, cuff bracelets and kimono necklaces. Now I need to get busy!

The parcel was beautifully wrapped and came with a little note. On one side was a picture of Mount Fuji, on the other side was a handwritten thank you.

I will definitely be buying from this shop again!

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Sari necklace

I've been playing with some more jewellery ideas and the latest is this necklace set made from fabric-covered beads. I decided to use indian sari fabrics that I bought from Bazaar, owned by my good friend Joanna Hall. She holds amazing sales several times a year in a stunning barn in Kent, which is transformed into a haven of goodies from India. Check out her website for upcoming events.
The saris come in vibrant colours and the fabric is nice and lightweight which means that I can easily tie knots to hold the beads in place.

The set includes two necklaces in complimentary colours, and for this set I chose a stunning purple and green combination.

I created them at different lengths so that they hang well together as a set or can be worn separately.

Each bead is made of a lightweight wood and is held in place with a knot.
You can find it in my store here.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Easter bunny

It looks like Mr Easter bunny is on his way! This pretty little rabbit purse is made from a pink and white Japanese tenegui fabric that I bought in Tokyo. I love tenegui fabrics. They are used for all sorts of things, from wrapping presents to drying dishes and come in fabulous prints and colours.

I decided to give this purse a lovely little pink floral lining, made from a furoshiki fabric which I also bought in Tokyo. Furoshiki fabrics are used for wrapping presents and also come in pretty designs.

You can find this lovely little purse in my store here. It can be used as a cosmetic bag, gadget pouch or handbag organiser and makes the perfect Easter gift.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Kimono jewellery

I love the idea of applying kimono fabrics to jewellery and have been playing with variations over the past few weeks to see how the beautiful fabrics could be used.

My first attempt was these kimono-covered buttons that I've made into a set of three brooches. I used complimentary colours in each one so that they work as a group of three or could be used individually. I love the idea of placing them on the lapel of a jacket or using them to decorate a bag.

I've also been working on some kimono necklace ideas and so far have one in my store. It uses a stylised chrysanthemum piece that I have cut out from a vintage Japanese kimono and then bonded onto a blue leather base.

It is hung round the neck on a silver chain and makes a lovely simple statement to any outfit. It's pretty unique too!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Kimono scarf

Here's another juicy number that's just been added to my store. It's a double-sided silk scarf made from vintage Japanese kimono pieces sewn together. This time I've chosen a variety of purple hues and floral designs that compliment each other beautifully.

The scarf can be tied or draped around the neck in a variety of ways and because this scarf is double-sided, it can change look dramatically depending on how you use it and which pattern you want showing.

I love the addition of the vibrant yellow and juicy greens at each end of the scarf.

You can find this stunner in my store here.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Lisbon tiles

As a designer, wherever I go, I'm always looking for design inspiration and there's nothing better than a weekend away to refresh the creative juices. Lisbon was full of inspiration, mainly from the stunning tiles that bedeck most of the buildings there. They are used for decoration but also as a form of temperature control, and as protection from the rain.

I love the blue and white tiles. Some appear to be handpainted, others are printed.

I even loved these blue and white tiles cover in graffiti. It creates a type of montage.

This beautiful design is a close up of a tile I saw in the Gulbenkian Museum.

The tiles above have a washy feel to them, as if they were stencilled with a thick brush, or perhaps a resist technique was used.

The yellow and blue tiles above were some of the few that we saw in relief and are probably older than most. This technique was used before painted and printed tiles were developed.

The tiles below were also seen in the Gulbenkian Museum.

Even the pavements (below) were made of tiles and pieced together like a mosaic. I can only imagine the amount of time it took to pave the whole of Lisbon like this, but the effect is stunning.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Kimono scarf

Here's a little something to brighten your day! It's a stunning silk scarf made from vintage kimono pieces stitched together. For this scarf I chose gorgeous shades of pink, red and cream and the images include stylised chrysanthemums and striking storks. This scarf can be draped around the neck or used as a wrap around the shoulders and is the perfect accessory for a little black dress. Pair it with a Cheeky Leopard clutch bag or a funky kimono cuff bracelet and you're good to go!

You can find it in my store here.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Lovely Lisbon

I just spent a lovely weekend in lovely Lisbon! What a tonic for the soul.....
Originally I was going on my own, but I booked a three bedroom apartment, with the idea that if a friend wanted to join me, they could. Luckily me friend Nicky was able to come at the last minute and we had a fab time, meandering round the cobbled streets, sampling good food and wine and generally loving the city.

The apartment was in the Santos area, out of the main area, but we loved this as it was quieter and more local, and meant that we had a nice walk into the centre.

There were lots of lovely little bars scattered around that you could dip into for a refreshing cocktail on your way to dinner. The evening starts much later in Lisbon!

On our first night we had dinner at the Time Out Market, an amazingly massive space filled with a choice of eateries. Choose your food and drink and then find a shared table among the masses enjoying a night out.

The trams look fab and really create a wonderful feel for the city, but one short journey on the very crowded number 28 tram (the touristy tram) was enough for us and we preferred walking and discovering things as we went.

There are churches dotted around everywhere to dip into.

The Saturday book market in Chiado.

The vast riverside square called Praca do Comercio, where the king used to live, is certainly grand and stunning in the bright sunlight. It's also a great place to have breakfast and watch the world go by!

Meandering up to the castle, we found ourselves in amazing little squares. I loved this blossom tree that had found a home, nestled between the buildings.

There was always a little street-side cafe to stop at, rejuvenate, and order tapas....always with a glass of vino verde of course!

We loved the pasteis de nata, gorgeous custard tarts that use filo pastry as the base. It's a wonderful combination of crispy, flakey pastry and soft and sweet inside.

It was fun to watch the chefs preparing the tarts, whilst eating one.

Being on the edge of a massive river meant that we had to get out on the water and see Lisbon from another point of view. The terracotta tiles of the roofs make it really stunning against the blue sky.

Once we at the other side, Cacilhas, we walked around the coast and up to the rather awesome Cristo de Rei, a smaller version of the one in Brazil.

The view from the statue is stunning, looking over Lisbon and the dramatic bridge, similar to the Golden Gate bridge in San Fransisco.

We then found ourselves on the other side of the bridge at the funky LX Factory, a little enclave of rejuvenated warehouses, housing shops, restaurants and bars. We headed for the bar on the roof that has stunning views of the bridge.

There was quite a funky young crowd there, and a live band playing great music.

I also made it to the beautiful Museu Calouste Gulbenkian. It's a series of modern buildings housed in  beautiful Japanese-inspired gardens. I highly recommend a visit.

There were many areas to sit and enjoy the sun, with lots of water features and streams.

There was a great selection of modern art, Portuguese art through he ages, as well as decorative arts and I spent a good few hours there, soaking it up. My favourite artist was Antonio Soares who painted beautiful women like this one below.

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