Cox and Cox: SUMMER 2011

February 7, 2011

So I’ve numbed my throbbing wisdom tooth pain with prescription painkillers and it’s time to take a five minute break from the never-ceasing-hamster-wheel AKA The Ship of Dreams. I’ll have a little gander at the lovely new Cox and Cox look book. Ok, so it’s A3, which means it doesn’t really fit into an A4 folder unless you fold it in half and crease all the pages, which is one of my Top Three OCD Pet Hates (along with books that aren’t sorted by colour – ongoing issue – and press releases with the subject line ‘SNEAKY PEAK’ instead of ‘PEEK’, thus implying some kind of secretive mountain…) – but, all is forgiven because the huge A3 Cox and Cox pictures are SO BEAUTIFUL. The bigger the better, as the actress said…

…enough of this drug-induced twaddle. Let’s look at what’s on offer. There are glass bell jars and elegant tin barn stars – remember Amish-chic? Le Trend De Puritan? You heard it here first. I know – the irony. They’d be LIVID. But they probably aren’t shallow enough to read a shopping blog…no offence, like…

I love these numbered cards – perfect for tables at a wedding reception , or just to sprinkle around your home in a decorative-yet-boyfriend-baffling way.

Keep your eyes peeled for graph-paper-patterned cotton ‘Doodle’ tablecloths you can draw on – presumably aimed at kids, granted, but I won’t tell if you won’t. Imagine the fun you could have…you could draw a chess board…you could play noughts and crosses surreptitiously under your napkin at boring dinner parties when friends-of-friends become intolerably dull droning on about politics or religion or whatnot and all you want to do is play Pictionary and get drunk…you could write nagging reminders to hopeless family members…you could even draw a plate and then put an actual plate on top of your plate picture. Like an invisible place mat. Crazy, I know. The possibilities are endless…

I particularly like these Japanese-print paper-wrapped votives – so pretty, even when your tealight’s not lit. I also like the delicate lace candle – made of wax with a sheet of antique lace embedded inside it, so when it’s lit, the pattern shows through – and the gorgeous Maroq garland…

Before I dash, there’s just time to sneak a PEEK at the best of the rest – including teeny-weeny Borrower-style cutlery napkin charms (get the look: raid the nearest dolls’ house) and the fabulous ‘Cheesy Feet’ pastry cutter. I kid you not. Over and out. – Ellie

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Plumo worship

August 25, 2010

It’s raining. It’s chilly. The leaves are falling. I’ve been in denial, but let’s face it: summer is well and truly over in the UK. It’s not all bad news, though. The new autumn/winter collections are popping up online left, right and centre. Today, the new Plumo range went live…and it’s an absolute stonker:

I love the cheeky little owl pot holders and I’m lusting after that Danish bedside table, too!

Whoever had the GENIUS idea of putting a giant reel of butcher’s twine inside a glass cloche bell jar deserves a Trend Merging Medal. They’ve basically combined two of my favourite things to create something so completely unnecessary but absolutely gorgeous at the same time – and for reasons I can’t quite fathom, I LOVE it! – Ellie

There are few books in the world as lovely as this. According to the blurb, reading it is ‘like opening Pandora’s box’, or delving into ‘Darwin’s cabinet of curiosities’. Both of these claims are true – Etcetera is the biblio equivalent of pottering around a junk shop you’ve stumbled across in a back alley of Paris – there’s so much to see, and so much to inspire. Court is a creative curator with a magpie eye – her home and styled shots reflect her passion for colour, texture and fascinating ‘objets’. She’s like a magical chef, throwing together unexpected and wonderful ingredients from the past and the present to create beautiful interiors where every object tells a story. And her penchant for all things Natural-History-related is oh-so-NOW…

I could wax lyrical about the typography and design – the old typewriter-style fonts, the gorgeous transparent vellum paper pages that are utterly decadent – but this is the kind of book you have to see for yourself and hold in your hands to fully appreciate.

Postcards, letters, tickets – Court refers to herself as a ‘keeper of collections, or a bowerbird’ (a quick Google-search reveals this is a black crow-like bird, probably the Aussie equivalent of a Magpie!) – and her extensive stash of ephemera is evidence of her hoarding nature. It’s all so beautifully presented. But you wouldn’t want to be her cleaner!

Among the interior shots, there are pages of to-die-for paint swatches (Court is a part-time colour consultant for Murobond Paints in Australia) with enticing titles such as ‘Tales of a Sea Gypsy’ and ‘Travellers and Magicians’. One paint colour is called ‘Moustache’. What’s not to love?

Etcetera is out in Australia and the USA already and it’s due to be published in April by Murdoch Books here in the UK, with a £20 price tag. The good news is, the April issue of Living Etc magazine (out in March) will have a cover-mounted extract from the book, so we can all get our hands on a slice of the pie before the publication date. Until then, here are a few more gorgeous pics to whet your appetite…because I just can’t resist! – Ellie


The bell jar obsession

November 25, 2009

There’s an atmosphere of slight hysteria in the office today. It might have something to do with the arrival of a scratch ‘n’ sniff Yankee Candle press release (low-lights include  ‘Strawberry Buttercream’ and ‘Tutti-Frutti’…), or perhaps it’s the news that two of the most lovely home brands, Farrow & Ball and Jo Malone, are teaming up to launch an exciting new collection next week? (We’ll keep you posted!) Then again, perhaps it’s the thought of today’s annual Cath Kidston sample sale that’s getting us all a bit over-excited. For me though, it’s bell jars that are floating my boat today…

Whether it’s ogling the gorgeous bell jar displays in London’s hippest Shoreditch shops, Comfort Station and Caravan, or staring longingly at the stunning pages of Australian stylist Sibella Court’s new book Etcetera (which has just landed on my desk. Hurrah, hurrah! Hopefully we’ll show some pics on here soon – it’s due out in April in the UK. For now, check out her shop The Society Inc for a flavour or click here for a preview…), I seem to be surrounded by glass domes filled with curious objets…and I’m hooked! This all ties in with the current vogue for dark romanticism, macabre Victoriana drama and dusty museum display cases – something we’ve discussed before. All very Darwin. All very Gothic. All very dead. Of course, you don’t have to fill your bell jar with beady-eyed taxidermy or creepy skeletons…dried hydrangeas, vintage silk ballet pumps and mercury glass candlesticks would all look lovely. Or you could always opt for a little china bird. For reasonably-priced bell jars, see yesterday’s hot shop, Dee Puddy (£22 for a large 30cm one), Hibbitt, or Crocus. If you can wait until springtime, we spotted a fab little glass bell jar in the new Sainsbury’s spring/summer 2010 collection for just £7.99! Bargainous, to be sure. Of course, garden cloche bell jars DO look a bit like boobs, and they don’t come with bases – but a glass cake plate does the trick. Vintage lab bell jars with bases are REALLY expensive, even on eBay, tragically.

Here’s a cute bell jar pic from The Guardian to add yet more fuel to my bell-jar-obsession fire! I really can’t stop thinking about bell jars. Perhaps I’m actually losing the plot. Or maybe I’m just high on ‘Tutti Frutti’ scratch ‘n’ sniff…– Ellie