HOT SHOP: Roost Living

September 30, 2010

Bonjour, blog-browsing buddies. Today, I am licking icing from a cupcake (mmmm) and admiring the new autumn/winter collection from the teeeny weeeny but oh-so-lovely mailorder company, Roost Living

…I’ve got my beady little eye on these wee bowls, too! Let Roost loose aboot your hoos…

So many lovely things to lust after – cat and skyline cushions from the fabulous Charlene Mullen, exclusive Ruth Cross designs (for the knit-addicts among you), and cute little gold finches from Shan Valla (a Cockpit Arts gal who is GOING places – check out her website). – Ellie

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Awright, crumpet?

November 20, 2009

It’s Friday. We’re all tired. It’s raining in London, and flooding in other parts of the UK. It’s very GREY. For some unknown reason, our office air con is set to somewhere in the region of freezing, so it’s also COLD. It’s the kind of day when you’d give anything to be wrapped up in a snuggly woollen blanket, wearing soft cashmere socks, sipping hot chocolate (or even better, a mulled wine!), beside a roaring fire, playing Scrabble and toasting crumpets. In fact, I just want to climb into our lovely November issue cover shot:

Crumpet toasting is an art which requires proper toasting tools – check out this lovely traditional extendable toasting fork, just £6 at Cox and Cox – perfect for toasting crumpets in the winter, and also useful for cooking sausages over a campfire in the summer months.

I’ve also got a few Grandpa’s Fireforks from Light My Fire – they just clip onto a fire poker or a stick, so you can easily store them and carry them. They came in handy recently when I dragged the OH to a forest for a bushcraft week of wild camping without civilisation (well, except for an Aero Bed, and a trip to Tesco, SIGH). Cox and Cox also sell a chestnut roasting pan, for £15:

We always roast chestnuts at Christmas by burying them in the ashes below the grate, but I suppose using a pan is much less messy! Are you feeling cosy yet? Thanks to these pictures and the steaming coffee that Ros has just delivered to my desk, I’m warming up slightly now! Check out this snug Scottish-style bedroom from our November issue and these cosy shots from our archives:

That’s all for this week, folks. I’ve signed up for a tray-making class with Ella Doran on Sunday to make some personalised Christmas presents, so I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m slightly concerned that everybody else there will be under 10 years old, having seen lots of photos of little kids making trays on the website, but surely, like pottery painting, there is no age limit (!?). My plan is to basically rip-off a Charlene Mullen design, but since drawing is required (not my strong point) it could go either way. Have a lovely – and hopefully a warm – weekend! – Ellie

Bow down to Charlene Mullen

September 30, 2009

Making her debut at 100%Design last week, Charlotte Mullen is a textile designer who’s going places. Her unusual hand and machine embroidery cushions and accessories are inspired by…deep breath…Elizabethan blackwork embroidery, English lace, Eastern European textiles and urban landscapes…in Charlene’s own words: “from Victorian Christening gowns to prison tattoos – nothing is taboo.”

charlene mullen2Her eclectic range of influences means that she achieves her goal to create modern designs within a historical context – and many of her pieces have an intricacy that can only be achieved by the human hand, making them extra lovely.

charlene mullenI like the fact that Charlene doesn’t take herself too seriously – from the little UFO flying above St Paul’s to her quirky ‘Boy with a Coif’ cushion, there are touches of humour everywhere – her designs are tactile, elegant, but human. Her website features some of her lovely work, and I think it’s a great example of how a website can work when it’s designed well – it’s really beautiful.

charlene mullen3Charlene’s little red and white name tapes were sewn to her press releases at 100%Design and looked so cute. Bethan in the office has just found a fabulous website – GB Name Tapeswhere you can buy 144 name tapes for £5.85 – so I’ve ordered some “with love from ellie x ones to prettify presents, jars of home-made jam and generally anything that sits still long enough for me to slap a pretty name tape on it. As Bethan said, just think of the Crafting Potential (CP) – the possibilities are endless! Tragically, I’m almost as excited about these name tapes as I was when we discovered the amazing free butterfly and insects online image library – ah, happy days. – Ellie

charlene mullen4