Eee by gum, our first ‘Book of the Week’ for 2011 is a real stunner. Packed full of beautiful photographs and printed on expensive-looking thick paper, it’s written by two Norwegian stylists: Ellen Dyrop and Hanna Kristinsdottir, and out on February 7th. Rediscovered Treasures: A New Life for Old Objects is an absolute treat from beginning to end. And it goes a little something like this…

This beautiful book shows you how to transform old curios into shabby-chic homewares for every room of the house…so start collecting cutlery, biscuit tins and the like, and stock up on super-glue:

I like the idea of using stencils to update old tableware – ‘CARPE DIEM’ in an Emma-Bridgewater-esque font scrawled across a vintage metal teapot filled with fresh flowers– what could be more pleasing?

It’s got a step-by-step ‘how to’ section at the back, with stencils to trace and a useful list of shops you might need, too. It’s out on February 7th, but you can pre-order it on Amazon now for under a tenner. – Ellie

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NEW Aardvark print

December 21, 2010

I was flicking through the very beautiful Lost in London the other day (order your copy asap – it’s already sold out in Selfridges!) and stumbled upon this exclusive letterpress print from Aardvark (the manifesto people) inside the front cover – featuring a quote from London, The Biography by Peter Ackroyd. Naturally, I cut it out, scanned it in to show you, then framed it in a flash. Check it out:

Isn’t it cool? Let’s have a look at the Pedlars manifesto, the V&A manifesto and Aarvark‘s other prints, too. Because it’s Christmas. By the way, congratulations to BETH CASTLE who won the fabulous We Make London giveaway prize draw. Happy Christmas, Beth! – Ellie


Drum roll, please! Ladies and gentlemen of the blogosphere – the five winning names have been plucked from a (bobble) hat and the lucky people who will each be receiving a copy of Angie Lewin’s beautiful Plants and Places book are… in no particular order: Simon Fox, Emma McCann, Ellen Woodfin, Emma Oakes and Viv Jones. Congratulations to you all! I’ll be emailing you for delivery addresses asap.

We’ve got another great giveaway coming up next week with a Christmas theme – so don’t be disappointed if you didn’t win this time. Remember, it could be YOU! – Ellie

Angie Lewin: GIVEAWAY!

November 23, 2010

Talented artist Angie Lewin has collected 80 of her nature-inspired prints, together with collages, textile designs, drawings and paintings from her sketchbooks, to create a beautiful book: Plants and Places (£25, Amazon) out this month.

If only you could get your hands on a signed copy of this lovely new book. For free. What’s that you say? HomeShoppingSpy is giving away five signed copies of this gorgeous book to five lucky people who leave their name and email address below as a comment? We are? Well, that’s jolly good news.

Angie’s work is inspired by the clifftops and saltmarshes of the North Norfolk coast and the Scottish Highlands. She depicts these contrasting environments and their native flora in wood engraving, linocut, silkscreen, lithograph and collage – and this book shows you her processes in real detail.

So, just leave your name and email address below this post as a comment and on Tuesday 30th November, we’ll put all the names in a hat and pick out five at random to win one of these lovely signed books. (Click here if you like reading Terms and Conditions. – Ellie

Font freaks: look away now

October 20, 2010

I don’t want to tempt you, but…

To celebrate the launch of Simon Garfield’s new typography book, Just My Type, six type designers (including Margaret Calvert, who developed the ‘Transport’ font used on all UK road signage) have designed limited-edition prints around the Just My Type theme. You can buy them online at our old favourite, The Literary Gift Company, or at Foyles Charing Cross, where you can see them in the upcoming typography exhibition, 27 October until 19 November. – Ellie

Last weekend, I went to Ella Doran‘s lovely little shop on Cheshire Street to check out Fumie Shimoji’s exhibition of photos from his new Edition Paumes book, London Family Style. Here’s ceramicist Lubna Chowdhary and illustrator Nick Higgins in their airy home…

My passion for Paumes books cannot be quenched. Yes, they’re in Japanese and I can’t understand a word. But that adds to their overall cool-ness, as we’ve established on here before. You can buy them direct from Paumes, or from Ella Doran’s shop, or Bodie and Fou (Karine Kong’s home is featured in the new book).

Now, THAT’s a dog. This happy home belongs to clothing designer Nicole Frobusch and Paul Winter-Hart, drummer for the band Kula Shaker. Govinda jaya jaya. Ah, that takes me back to what is affectionately referred to as my ‘Ying-Yang-necklace-joss-stick-inhalation’ phase. Sigh.

I love this shot of designer Rosa Wiland and her daughter:

The homes in this book are not owned by the rich and famous – these are spaces inhabited by creative, interesting, arty people who have used imagination and style to create warm, quirky, cosy places to live. There are lots of ‘ideas to steal’, and plenty of gorgeous rooms to ogle, but the homes are not overly styled or unrealistically perfect – they’re full of colour, clutter and love. – Ellie


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And there was me thinking we were supposed to be knitting our own home accessories for our lovely, eco-friendly, credit-crunch-busting, recycled  Homemade Homes. But clearly that’s SO 2009.

Kirstie Allsopp is about to launch a range of country-style home accessories. Here’s a sneak preview…

If this floats your boat, it’s going to be in House of Fraser shops from this October. A double duvet cover will be £60 and a pair of pillowcases will be £18.95. Now, where are my knitting needles?…  – Ellie