Donna Wilson is one busy lady and her homespun goodies just keep on a-comin’. Today I’ve been cooing over her new Spring 2012 collection and wanted to share with you a few highlights from her friendly ‘Woodland’ range.  Hand-made and printed in Stoke-on-Trent, Baby Burt is the newest addition to her egg cup family (joining the lovely Meg, Mog and Beardy Bob). Other bone china includes Fox and Grace the plates along with Bushy Tailed Squirrel and Grey Owl beakers. Too cute!

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Other items include this suitably named ‘Handy’ tea towel with bright red nails and bubbles!

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More lovely tea towel designs include ‘Acorn Leaves’ and ‘Use My Tail’ and there are gorgeous folksy flower cushions…

Donna Wilson Spring 2012, textiles, kitchen textiles, tea towels, cushion, folk, squirrel, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrysKeep your eyes on the Donna Wilson website later this month for the full range and other happy creatures. Hurrah!

And as if she wasn’t busy enough, another piece of exciting news is a little collaboration with Rococo Chocolates. (I know, not entirely home shopping but it’s chocolate….so I can’t ignore..) Donna has created a limited edition range of hand painted Easter eggs, including her own take on the matryoshka Russian Doll called ‘Food Chain’: One little solid chocolate egg with an illustration of a carrot inside another egg painted with a rabbit, all contained within a larger egg painted with a fox. LOVE IT! Beautifully presented in pretty packaging – far too pretty to throw away.

Donna Wilson Rococo Chocolates, Chocolate, Rococo, limited edition, Easter, Easter chocolates, Easter egg, ideal home, homehshoppingspy, ideal home, alice humphrys

Donna Wilson Easter eggs, Rococo Chocolates, limited edition, chocolate, fair trade, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

For those that don’t know, this is SERIOUSLY good, ethically traded chocolate. Available this Easter from Rococo stores, donnawilson.com and other selected retailers. – Alice

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If you’ve picked up our May issue, you’ll have spotted our little round up of Festival of Britain buys (on page 15) – products created to mark the 60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain, 1951. After the dreary war years, the Festival was billed as a ‘tonic for the nation’ – a celebration of British design and creativity, centring around the Southbank area of London. The cheery anniversary designs (on display at the Southbank Centre shop from 22 April until 4 September) echo the optimistic spirit of the early 1950s, and are proof that we’re living in an equally exciting era for British design…

Lizzie Allen‘s Festival of Britain wallpaper (top left) is beautiful, but it’s £370 a roll, so perhaps I’ll be getting the tea towel (£10) or the tote bag (£15) instead! I love the little brass band, the pigeons, the collage-style sun beams – everything. We’ve ogled the Mini Moderns Festival wallpaper on here before, but I love the matching rug, too. I also admired ceramic Festival cake plates from Esther Coombs, and stylish Royal Festival Hall designs from People Will Always Need Plates. Let’s have a closer look at Lizzie Allen’s wallpaper design, some of the Festival of Britain paint shades from Fired Earth, and the lovely new book: A Festival on the River:

I think my favourite design of all is this silk cushion from RE, made using a vintage Festival scarf design:

Wayne Hemingway’s Vintage festival is coming to the Southbank this summer, too, and he’s curating an exhibition of Festival of Britain memorabilia which will be well worth a look if you’re in London. – Ellie


Ella Doran for Habitat

November 22, 2010

If you’re a fan of Ella Doran‘s colourful photographic accessories, you’ll love her new range for Habitat. She’s photographed vintage china plates and decorated melamine picnicware, cake stands and cushions with the pretty pictures…

Ella’s also designed some cute children’s picnicware. Grrr…

If you like the look of this, it’s due in store at Habitat spring 2011. – Ellie

Ooh, we do like a nice tea towel here at HomeShoppingSpy, as no doubt you’ve noticed by now. When I saw these lovely new designs from Charlotte Farmer on the New House Textiles site, I practically fell off my chair. Just when I think I’ve got all the tea towels I’ll need for my important-ongoing-and-possibly-never-to-be-completed-turning-tea-towels-into-cushion-covers-project (so far, I have a Lisa Stickley one, a Warbeck and Cox one and a Thornback and Peel one…) along comes another little gem for me to obsess over, Gollum-style. These are all lovely, but the spoons design is my preciousssssss:

I also really like the biscuit bags Charlotte makes (also stocked at  New House Textiles) – have a peep:

If you like these tea towels, check out some of our previous tea towel posts. This one‘s a cracker. Oh, how we chuckled when we wrote this one. But, if you don’t look at this one, you can bet your bottom dollar you’ll regret it forever. – Ellie

Pretty wall art

August 20, 2010

I just stumbled across some pretty hand-cut initial greeting cards from Hertfordshire-based ‘gemma with a g‘ –  they’d look so pretty framed and hung as wall art.

Once I checked out her full range, I couldn’t choose a favourite! – Ellie

Crafters – check out our new ‘book of the week’: Reprodepot Pattern Book: Flora, just out in the UK. It’s a beautiful collection of vintage-inspired floral textile designs, hand-picked by Djerba Goldfinger of fabric purveyor Reprodepot, with a foreword by Grace Bonney of American blog Design*Sponge.

flora2As if the pages of floral gorgeousness are not enough, there’s the added bonus of a CD with 225 high-resolution patterns on it, ready to print out and use for your own projects. HOW. EXCITING.

flora3From party decorations to stunning stationery and gift wrap, the book includes instructions for 12 creative projects, but once you’ve got hold of those magic files and a decent colour printer, the only limit is your own imagination!

floral patterns3I love these simple paper flowers – they look fab, and they’ll never wilt!

flora1The Reprodepot Pattern Book: Flora is out now, £16.99, Chronicle Books. There’s also a Folk book, for double the fun. – Ellie

Marmite was first created in 1902, when brewers in Staffordshire began to use the yeasty by-product of beer making to create a tasty spread for bread. The sticky brown stuff has divided opinions for over a hundred years now – as the recent advertising campaign admits, ‘you either love it or you hate it’ – but Marmite is no ordinary spread. It’s much more than that – it’s become a symbol of Britishness, a reassuring brand that has stood the test of time, and a design icon in its own right. And, with the recession in full swing, Marmite designs have never been cooler.

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Check out these stunning Pop Art style canvases from Bloomsbury Store – I particularly like the one on the left with the green background. You can get silver Marmite jar lids from Notonthehighstreet, a Marmite recipe book from Amazon, and Dualit has released a limited edition Marmite toaster.

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These pastel-coloured Pop Art Marmite accessories are stocked at Rockett St GeorgeRustic Angels and Gift to Go.

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Fact of the day: Marmite originally came in a small earthenware pot, similar to the kind of French casserole dish called a ‘Marmite‘, (pronounced MAR-MEET). This is where Marmite gets its name from, and there’s still a little picture of the earthenware pot on the label today. Yorkshire mail-order company Pheasant sells stunning handmade Marmite teapots, as well as other vintage food container creations…

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Marmite isn’t just a homes trend – it’s even popped up on the catwalk. Check out the Marmite T-shirt below right, designed by Vivienne Westwood, and sold in the official Marmite Shop.

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I am firmly in the LOVE IT camp myself, and have been known to eat the stuff straight from the jar! It’s not everybody’s cup of tea thought – my mum had an unfortunate French exchange partner in the 1960s who assumed it was chocolate spread so smothered a piece of toast with it, and got a nasty shock! – Ellie