ONE: Paper-cutting artist Rob Ryan has transformed his Ryantown shop into ‘Ryantoon’, in honour of Newcastle FC. All the products are black and white, and he’s banned colour completely until 15th November. I’m heading over to the Columbia Road area this weekend, so I’ll check it out and report back on Monday!


TWO: Muji is releasing a new collection of very funky silicone trays – perfect for ice cubes, or making chocolates, or soaps…

muji ice cube traysmuji trays 2I love the idea of serving cold drinks with ice spoons, or a mug of hot chocolate with a solid chocolate spoon on the saucer ready for dunking and stirring – and how cool are the letter moulds for chocolate cake decorations? These silicone moulds are due to hit stores in late November, and will cost from £7.50 each.

tea towels2THREE: Just when you thought there were enough arty tea towels in the world – check out these lovely African-inspired designs at Design My World. They remind me a bit of the funky Anorak patterns, or the new Linea House of Fraser range – animal shapes are all the rage at the moment.

teatowelsI’ve just been sent an exciting book which I plan to read this weekend and share with you all next week…but for now, it’s back to reality with a thud sadly. The dishwasher drawer feature beckons…! Have a lovely weekend x  – Ellie

BIRD STRIKE: Owl-tastic

September 2, 2009

Slowly, but surely, they’ve been creeping into our homes. One by one. At first, there were just a few. There were rumours of glimpses…sightings…murmurs…myths…the occasional talon print seen fading in the carpet pile – but nobody really noticed. Then, we heard the soft rustle of feathers on the breeze…and sometimes a distant: ‘twit twooo’ – so quiet you could have imagined it. But they were there. And breeding. Their numbers grew day by day. And now it’s too late…the owls are OUT.

Picture 3Owls have been a fave with crafters for years and as such have a thriving population over at Etsy (see above), but they’ve had a makeover and gone mainstream this season. Like most random trends, this one was born in the world of fashion (if you’re interested in the likes of Jessica Alba wearing an owl necklace, yawn, you can read about fashionista owls here, or bag yourself an owl handbag at Topshop, or even some yummy owl socks…) but now the little feathered critters are ruling the roost and they’re nesting in our living rooms, too. Owls are sprinkled all over the pages of the new October issue of Living Etc magazine. Now, I’d like to emphasise that I’m not a complete geek, but I counted at least five owls including glass ones from Ittala, a blue ceramic one from Aldo Landi for Bitossi at SCP and a paper one from Muji (just £3.95!)


owls2Owls were trendy back in the 1970s…think small, creepy, wooden ornaments on your granny’s mantelpiece or manic, bug-eyed Girl-Guide-style brown owls for kids. Not very cool. In fact, in the 1970s, owls looked like this little fella. Thankfully, the owls of the Noughties are a bit more classy. Well, sometimes. Check out the lovely wall stickers from Rockett St George below:

Picture 4All very nice. But if you look at the selection below, all from ultra-cool American shop, Anthropologie, alarm bells start to ring. An owl light switch surround…an owl door stop…an owl lamp…oh dear. A trio of small cartoon owl sake pots anyone…?

anthropologieEven Urban Outfitters has a few dodgy owl-wares on offer. Try as I might, I just can’t get excited about an owl jug. Even in green. SIGH.

urban outfittersI can’t help but dislike owls generally. They look cute in pictures but in reality, they’re a bit spooky. It might be their bushy eyebrows. Possibly their beady little evil eyes. Or maybe their tufty ears. Something about them bothers me, but there’s no sign of this trend slowing down – there are owl designs littering the high street shops now (even my beloved Paperchase sells an owl gift bag) and I can’t help but suspect they’re taking over…you heard it hear first. Twit Twoooooo.  – Ellie