NEW Louise Body fabrics

June 11, 2010

Good old Louise Body. Not content with making some of the prettiest wallpapers around (I featured the Garden Birds design in my BIRDY trend feature in the May issue of Ideal Home, and you can see the Harry’s Garden paper in action, looking lovely, in the hallway of Patchwork Harmony blogger Caroline), she’s now making fabrics, too. You’ll find a few fabrics on her website already, but a little birdy tells me that this September she’s going to release a whole new collection at Decorex, inspired by her ‘Plant Life‘ digital wall panels….

Louise’s inspiration is often drawn from her childhood memories – the lengths of lace given to her by her maternal grandmother were incorporated into Marney’s Lace, while the ferns and wildflowers pressed by her paternal grandmother inspired Autumn Woods and Flower Press. Louise says her new collection stems from a beautiful Victorian greenhouse in the grounds of a shabby-chic house where she spent many holidays as a child, while the palette is reminiscent of the colours found in retro 1960s interiors magazines she inherited.

I can’t wait to see the full collection in the autumn – cushion-makers, go forth and celebrate this great day! – Ellie

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This year kicked off with a massive film-related Alice in Wonderland trend, which, as we all know,  involved a lot of teacups, playing cards, bunny rabbits and a general obsession with scale. This summer, GIGANTIC accessories are still HUGE (ha ha) as this brand new collection from Lego (available from Store this August) proves…

Check out the hilarious storage head (reminds me of that freaky Little Joseph candle holder…!) – perfect for storing – well, Lego bricks I suppose. Or pasta?! Or marbles, if you’ve lost them…

A large box will be £23, and a smaller one will be £14 – the head will set you back £17. The best thing is, all the boxes including the head have real Lego clip-together knobbly bits (this sounds slightly dodge but you know what I mean and the correct terminology is eluding me!!) so you can build away merrily, pretending you’re Arrietty. HOW cool. Is. That. – Ellie


HOT SHOP: Camp Cirrus

June 8, 2010

New Swedish shop, Camp Cirrus, has launched a collection of fab graphic print accessories – think Anorak meets Marimekko

I particularly like the house design – cute on a tray. And, of course, I’ve fallen in love with the little vintage coral rabbit cup in the styled shot above – ‘stylist’s own’ – that old chestnut. – Ellie

Needlework has never been cooler! Check out these fabulous new alphabet tapestry kits from Felicity Hall (available from 16th June)…

There are 26 in the new collection (as in, 26 letters of the alphabet! DURRR) and they’ll cost £8 each for a PDF chart, or £48 each for a full kit including canvas, needles and wools etc. I’m also a massive fan of the gorgeous Victorian sideshow-inspired fonts on Emily Peacock‘s new Curious Alphabet designs – and I love the fact that she has used the word ‘Phantasmagorical’ in her press release! Word of the week. – Ellie

Mmmmmm, check out these sexy saffron and charcoal schemes from Ideal Home‘s stylish new July issue (out now!):

I love this gorgeous sunny colour – cheering on a miserable day like today!

Have a sneaky peek at our July issue here – it’s packed full of fabulous ideas as usual! – Ellie

The elderflowers are out which means it’s cordial o’ clock. After my first disastrous attempt, I decided to try again. Being a bit OCD about pollution and the like (I’m sure I read something somewhere once about lead being absorbed by plants beside roads…?) I headed to rural Worcestershire this weekend to harvest the flowers. It all started so well – skipping merrily along the hedgerows, I filled my basket (well, a Tesco carrier bag, but let’s not spoil the image) with flowers and enjoyed the glorious sunshine. These pretty pics are from Laundry Etc – I wish my cordial-making looked this nice:

But, suddenly, out of nowhere, thunder began to rumble and the dream ended. It POURED with rain. Soaked to the skin, running through open fields, surrounded by flashes of lightening that were WAY too close for comfort, my Primark flip-flops broke (£1.50,#whaddyaexpect) and I ended up abandoning them altogether and pegging it bare-foot through mud, wondering if my cordial was CURSED. Thankfully, I survived (although the car seats are covered with mud much to the boyfriend’s chagrin…) and the cordial is now steeping in huge cloth-covered bowls.

There’s a fabulous recipe here if you fancy having a bash yourself. You’ll need: 900g granulated sugar, 50g citric acid, 2 sliced lemons and 25 elderflower heads. The method is here and you can find citric acid and all the glass bottles you’ll need at the Jam Jar Shop where the lovely Rosemary has arranged for HomeShoppingSpy readers to get a 10% discount on all orders – just enter the code JJSIDEAL at the checkout. Hurrah! If you haven’t got time to order online, you can re-use glass or plastic water bottles (sterilise them first!) and you’ll find citric acid at most independent pharmacy shops. – Ellie

This was our ‘Book of the Week’, but Sania Pell‘s latest book, Homemade Home, (£16.99, Cico Books) is full of such great ideas – as well as lovely photography by Penny Wincer – it deserves a closer look…

Unlike your run-of-the-mill twee, cutesy craft project books, this coffee table must-have features fresh, contemporary photography and ideas that feel very ‘now’, such as this stunning appliqué throw. No felt owls or lavender hearts here, folks…

I love this cowboy-themed découpage chest of drawers makeover!

This fabulous map lamp (with fun bug clips!) is a simple but really effective idea. Choose a destination that has a special meaning to you, or go for a vintage map for a quirky touch.

I’ll never tire of the ‘single-stems-in-a-row-of-vintage-glass-bottles’ shot – and I really like the use of origami papers, here, too. So pretty.

Fabulous birdy cushions here (which follows on nicely from our bird-themed trend page in the May issue of Ideal Home!)

This is a really lovely book for cool crafters, and I love all the cute shots of buttons etc – haberdashery GEEK that I am. Try before you buy – there’s a sneaky peek here. Have a lovely weekend. I’m off to make some elderflower cordial in the sunny Shire, if all goes according to plan harvesting-wise. (There was an unfortunate incident recently that involved me getting over-excited and picking a load of ‘flowers-disguised-as-elderflowers-which-turned-out-not-to-be-elderflowers-after-all’, resulting in a kind of toxic sugar gloopy soup that smelt of lemons but tasted foul…#schoolboyerror) Full recipe and more on Monday! – Ellie