HOT SHOP: Double Merrick

April 26, 2011

In between careful applications of after-sun cream today, I have managed to reach my computer (despite the pain) and have been admiring the gorgeous buys in Merrick Angle’s little online shop, Double Merrick (his daughter Flora came up with the name – announcing that it sounded like her daddy, only better…)

Merrick’s a British illustrator, but now based in a ‘crumbly, vine-covered studio’ near Limoges, in rural France. Lucky him. Each month, he releases limited edition prints and accessories, all oozing quirky charm. They’re rather lovely. The ‘La Mer’ and ‘Le Ciel’ prints above are the latest additions – “Recall a time when travel meant more than low budget airlines and roll-on-roll-off ferries” – and don’t miss his new French sweet wrapper prints

Check out Merrick’s blog for new product releases and to follow his complicated relationship with Norma, “a Lovely Scottish lady”, who watches his blog: “like a Doberman watches a man wearing a ham vest”.

I love Merrick’s 1950s-style classroom wall charts of ‘La Lune’ et ‘Le Soleil’, and the ‘His ‘n’ Hers Meat and Cake’ aprons. If people in your house sneak off when there are chores to be done, drop an oh-so-subtle hint by whipping out (or whipping them with) one of Merrick’s tea towels:

They’ll soon get the message. Elsewhere, Merrick sells cute car bags, ideas notebooks, typewriter prints (swoon) and, my favourite print, ‘Clock in Bin‘.

I can’t wait to see what Merrick comes up with next! – Ellie

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Sulpher, so good

August 26, 2010

Sulpher is a chemical element with the atomic number 16. It’s an abundant multivalent non-metal, and it smells like rotten eggs. It also happens to be the key colour in the HOTTEST combo for autumn/winter 2010: sulpher yellow, charcoal grey and dirty teal…as illustrated PERFECTLY by the new Ferm Living collection:

I love all the geometric prints around this season – and did you spot those ceramic chemistry flask bottles? SIGH. Science-chic. It was my least favourite subject (on a par with Maths, natch) at school, yet now I am obsessed with the equipment. Oh, the irony. If only the acne-troubled me of the past had had the sense to put some beakers aside for future styling purposes, instead of spending the entire time trying to sneak in to Marylin’s night club.

Sulpher, charcoal and teal is all very lovely, but you don’t have to stick to the three big cheeses – mix things up with a bit of brown here and there, a splash of pale baby pink and some pale aqua blue…this is SUCH a flexible and, quite frankly, lickable palette!

These colours look so good with retro furniture. Loving the chunky knitted log baskets / bowls below, too. – Ellie

When Bold & Noble released the British Isles Type Map print last year (in delicate duck egg blue and sexy slate grey), there were whoops of joy in the Ideal Home office. Three of us placed an order the very same day – and my slate grey map (propped up on the mantelpiece in a Habitat Bacall frame) makes me so happy! If you liked the UK map, you’ll love this: Bold & Noble has introduced a few new designs; typographical maps of Australia and New Zealand went online today and maps of London and America are due to appear shortly…

Beware, friends. A few ‘strangely-similar’ prints (of France and Italy) have appeared on another website recently, but I’ve checked and they’re not produced by Bold & Noble – (and the fonts on them aren’t nearly so nice either, in my opinion!) Here’s a sneaky peek at the America and London maps which are about to be released. I bet the London one is massively popular here! Can’t wait to get my hands on one. Find out more on the Bold & Noble blog– Ellie

The Valentine Files: PART III

February 12, 2010

As Nessa would say, what’s occurrin’? Soppy wall art, my friends…that’s what.

Yes, welcome to Cheese-ville, where even the walls are LUVVED-UP and dripping with romantic phrases. The LOVE RULES print is from the Keep Calm Gallery.

Hmmmmmm…..that’s a tricky one. Bit like the old chicken and the egg issue really. One thing’s for sure, there should definitely be a question mark on this print from the fabulously-named Coulson Macleod.

Aaaaaaaah, bless. The definition of romance. Excuse me while I just fetch a bucket.

This ‘Two peas in a pod’ print is from Modo Creative. I’ve considered this and I’d rather be the cute little pea on the left than the obese one on the right. This Valentine’s Day, my Other Half will be lucky enough to receive the cute card below left, from the lovely Papermash. Of course, it’s bound to be completely wasted on him really. Typewriters are more my thing than his. But I couldn’t find a card with a picture of a PlayStation on it. Or a kebab. So this will have to do. And of course, I get to frame it on the 15th. Tee HEE.

The badge card on the right is a little DELIGHT from Cowboys and Custard. If only I had a badge making machine, she sighed wistfully, for the millionth time. Over and out, have a lovely weekend. – Ellie

Let’s start the week with some inspiration! Bethan’s just stumbled across Sadie Olive, a lovely blog written by Sara Duckett, a Californian photographer. Her love of vintage lace, antiques and all things pretty means every post is a visual treat.

This makes me want to rush home and tie pink velvet ribbons around my vintage cutlery too! At the moment, we store it all in French Cassoulet tins – practical, but not half as pretty!

What a lovely start to to the week! I love the vintage scales above, and the beautiful styling in these shots. On closer inspection, it turns out Sadie Olive is not just a blog – it’s a whole empire! Sara runs three shops – she sells antiques, postcards and prints of her photographs, does graphic design and sells collectibles…is there anything she doesn’t do?! She’s also on her third blog. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. – Ellie


Push ma button

October 6, 2009

Buttons – useful little blighters. And not just for clothes – oh no. There’s a whole wide world of button CP (Crafting Potential) out there, just waiting to be discovered. Rejoice. Unless you’re koumpounophobic. (Word of the day. Possibly word of the year.)

button craftYou could super-glue them to magnets (available from Hobbycraft) and use them to fix notes and photos to the fridge…way more classy than plastic fruit/food magnets, and not as annoying as word/poetry magnets, which: A.) Tempt friends and family to write the rudest sentence they can muster with the given vocabulary. B.)Have a tendency to fall off and get lost in the fluffy depths of the sub-fridge region – and it’s usually the important words such as ‘AND’ that go astray. C.) Are a complete nightmare when you want to clean the fridge door/move house, and you spend half a day picking all the little words off the fridge, only to put them back on again. That way, insanity lies. ANYWAY…back to the buttons…

craft buttonsYou can use buttons to create your own gorgeous artwork. Download the designs here, then use glue to stick on a few buttons for cute-folky-kind-of-homemade-well-they-definitely-ARE-completely-homemade-if-anybody-asks prints.

crafty button fun2Finally, it’s been done before, but it’s always a winner – pick some pretty buttons and tie them to coloured ribbons to make napkin rings. Bitten by the button bug? Wanna buy buttons? Try Claire Grove, Knit and Sew, or The Button Queen. – Ellie

Anorak, Showpony and Roddy & Ginger are TOP OF THE SHOPS for me this week, and if you’ve not heard of them before, now’s the time to add them to your little black book, filed under: ‘GORGEOUS THINGS’. Let’s kick off with a quick look at Roddy & Ginger.

roddyandginger2Based in south east London, graphic and textile designer Virginia Armstrong designs retro bags, cushions, clothing and prints, and also stocks cute vintage items. Her latest design, Spanish Village, comes in two colourways and is inspired by family holidays in a tiny village in Catalonia and the Sardana, a traditional Catalan dance performed by young and old at village fiestas and holidays. Virginia’s designs are full of colour, warmth and fun. Check out the rest of her collection – I’ve got my eye on the cute folkdance print…

roddyandginger

Next stop is Anorak, run by designer Laurie Robertson. Having both been made redundant from their jobs, Laurie and her boyfriend decided to put her Royal College of Art print textiles Masters to use and launched a company they’d been dreaming of for some time, specialising in stylish homewares and outdoor accessories inspired by retro 70s camping holidays. Now, Laurie’s brother works with them too, and the company’s going from strength to strength.

anorak1I love the first range – called the ‘Kissing Animals’ collection for obvious reasons – and it’s the stags oilcloth that’s top of my wishlist. By the way, check out the horse prints – bang on trend!!

anorak2

I’m also a huge fan of Showpony. Based in Glasgow, designer Emma Henderson creates stunning screen-printed bags, tea towels, cushion covers and accessories, all with a quirky feel. I adore the ‘Hot Dogs’ cushions, but it’s the Alphabetti circus font badges that I’d really love to own.

showponyEmma makes personalised commemorative teatowels for weddings that are so lovely – mental note! There are so many designers in the UK at the moment creating fabulous, fresh work, it’s a really exciting time. From the future of design to the past…here in the office, we’re gearing up for a big party. Myself and the other Ideal Home girls are heading over to Whisky Mist soon to celebrate Heal’s bicentenary furniture collection and the new book Heal’s: 200 Years of Design and Inspiration. Tune in tomorrow for a sneaky preview of the book before it’s launched…expect a visual feast – vintage adverts, retro furniture, fascinating black and white photos and style icons galore. – Ellie