Wednesday, 19 November 2014

All the pretty things: Datter Industries

This post is linked to the last All the pretty things because I found this subject through the personal blog of Sophie who runs Oh My Clumsy Heart.
It was the moonstone deco ring above that originally caught my eye, but on looking at the Datter Industries online shop, I'm really really tempted by these instead:

The perfect 'watchful eye' rings,

The perfect grumpy cat earrings,

And the 'would be perfect if it were rose gold' starry ring. There's a lovely roughness to all of these, you can see that craft that's gone into them. I'm going to step up the All the pretty things posts over the next couple of weeks, as I don't want you all to have empty Christmas wish lists...

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The point of university

I just read an interview with Lena Dunham in Rookie, and it had this perfect quote about college (university) in it:
Your job is to learn and to become a better version of yourself
It's not original, but it sums up for me the advantage and luxury you have when going to university. You get to learn to be yourself, but with a whole load of safety structures built around you. My brother is currently stressing about where he should apply for, and I keep trying to say that it doesn’t really matter. It’s going to make a massive difference to the rest of your life, but it ways you can’t possibly fathom right now. Choose somewhere and make the most of the opportunities (or don’t). You have SO MUCH TIME at university.

I wanted to write something about how much of a luxury university is. How appalling it is that not everyone gets to go, and how unfair the whole thing is but I can’t because it gets me into a well of despair and I want to go and curl up in a duvet. I can’t do that because I’m not at university and I don’t have the time.

Monday, 20 October 2014

All the pretty things: Oh My Clumsy Heart

Oh My Clumsy Heart is an independent online jewellery shop that first caught my eye when someone posted the Bertha (above) on instagram.

I bought the Baby Bertha and absolutely love it. It 'jazzes up' the most boring of outfits, and you know when you're talking about 'jazzing up' you're on to a good thing.

The rest of the collection is a mixture of similar quartz necklaces in different colours and effects, and elegant geometric designs. I tend to steer clear of the latter, as I think they've got a bit overdone and in all the high street shops. But the ones here are lovely, and having seen them at the Crafty Fox market recently, I can vouch that they're done to a very high quality.

OMCH also offers a subscription box, which is a lovely idea for a (generous!) gift. Called Little Gems, you can buy a one, three or six month subscription, giving you a 20% discount on RRP. I'd also recommend signing up to the mailing list, as you get a discount and exclusive sale options. My challenge is not going on and buying everything.

Monday, 13 October 2014


Part of the London Design Festival, designjunction is about the most glamorous trade show I've ever been to.

Sort of trade show, sort of public show, it's intended to showcase the best contemporary furniure, lighting and product design. Mainly, you wander around thinking 'oooh pretty'.

The bottom floor was by far my favourite. The top two floors had lots of lovely furniture, but it was far too expensive to ever be a serious consideration. The bottom floor had lots of smaller stands selling accesories and gift type bits. They also had a couple of live demonstrations happening, which meant that I got to cut crystal using a diamond. It was strangely soothing.

My friend and I got most excited about the Minalima design stand. We spotted the Harry Potter posters first, and got immensely excited when we realised they'd done all the paper props for the films. We then spotted the 'Collective Nouns' posters, which I'd previously seen at the Southbank Centre design shop. Both Miraphora Mina (she sounds like a Potter character!) and Eduardo Lima were there, which meant my friend was able to get the book she bought signed by both of them. I ended up buying a box of flash cards, which I plan to use as gifts and posters. My favourite is the 'E' of course (above). An embarrassment of pandas is just too cute.

The other interesting part was a 'year of the bus' Transport for London pop up restaurant. It looked lovely, but the menu wasn't particularly appealing so we gave it a miss. Of course, I couldn't resist the limited edition gin from the East London Liquor Company. We haven't cracked it open yet, but the bottle is lovely. I'll report back.

All in all, it was a very pleasant evening. The one regret I had was not buying one of these beautiful Storytiles, from a dutch designer. They were so pretty, but I just couldn't justify buying yet more prettiness, when there are about six prints I haven't managed to get up in the house yet! Next time...

Monday, 29 September 2014

Eleanor and Park

Eleanor & Park is, I’m pretty sure, one of the perfect YA reads. Not being YA myself I can’t confirm this, but I was a teenager in the distant past, Rainbow Rowell does a fabulous job of documenting the sheer pain, desperation and incredible excitement of being that age. When everything is so important you can’t possibly imagine how you’re going to get over the smallest slight or day that doesn’t go your way. Eleanor is a fantastic character. Angry, troubled, so so so lacking in confidence. Here’s a great quote that summarises that desperate love and emotion that I think you can only feel when you’re a little young and naive.

"I don’t think I even breathe when we’re not together… That’s probably why I’m so crabby, and why I snap at you. All I do when we’re apart is think about you, and all I do when we’re together is panic. Because every second feels so important. And because I’m so out of control, I can’t help myself. I’m not even mine anymore, I’m yours, and what if you decide that you don’t want me? How could you want me like I want you?"

After Eleanor & Park I read Fangirl, by the same author. It’s a nice fun read, but with none of the emotional resonance that hit me so hard. If you fancy a book to devour and transport you back to being an overly emotional desperate for love teenager (surely not just me) then do read it. And then come back so we can talk about the ending.

Disastrous baking

Pinterest is bad for me. Very very bad for me. All those effortlessly easy recipes, beautifully styled and supposedly created by a busy working mum of three. Hah.

I'm posting this to point out that the best of intentions can create hilarious results.

As a result of this post from the great Hip Hop Sideproject, I decided rainbow cupcakes were the perfect accompaniment to the Bowie cake toppers I bought on a whim.

It started off excitingly:
 Reached a slight problem - forgot I don't have a muffin tray. Ah well, shove them all together, sure it will be fine:

 Ah. Not fine. Very much not fine. Very much like a small child has been in control of the kitchen:

Shove a bit of icing on it, and Bowie. Bowie fixes everything:

Wow, Bowie doesn't fix everything. Who knew?!
My cakes have not been very popular at work today. Philistines.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

The Awful Truth

Last night I went to the BFI to see The Awful Truth, as part of their Screwball season (running till the end of January).

It is brilliant. Hilarious, touching, the base story for many many romcoms since. And Cary Grant becomes 'Cary Grant' in front of your eyes (I love that quote he gave "Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant"). I realised part-way through one nightclub seen that I'd seen it before, realising later last night that of course Cary Grant had been the subject of one of The Hairpin's Scandals of Classic Hollywood series. You should go read that link now.

Also, please go see some more Cary Grant. If you've never seen any, start with His Girl Friday. Among the most perfect films every made.

[admin note]
Emma, you should watch/rewatch:
Bringin Up Baby
The Philadelphia Story
Once Upon a Honeymoon
My Favourite Wife
I Was a Male War Bride
To Catch a Thief

That should keep me busy.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Kate Kanzier

I like shoes. Really really like shoes. As long as they're flat. Heels are not my friends.

Which is why I love Kate Kanzier. Ridiculously cheap for the prettiness, the brogues page is just droolsomely full of massive prettiness. So pretty I can't form proper sentences.

There's a shop on Leather Lane, but I tend to shop online - they quite often have free delivery over £30 (normally it's over £75). Which of course means you have to buy two pairs.

The picture at the top there is me trying to work out which of my beautiful new shoes to wear. The gold one's were an amazing £10 in the sale. They make me happy. 

Monday, 26 March 2012

Picnic Prettiness

This is a post about what I should have been doing this weekend, as opposed to what I really did. What I actually did was get overexcited about the hot weather, start drinking cider far to early on Saturday and not get home until the early hours of Sunday, resulting in the rest of the day spent in bed watching The West Wing.

If I'd known what an amazing weekend of weather we were going to have I'd have sent out some picnic invitations - probably the above, which are free printables from Eat Drink Chic.

I'd cook mini versions of this caramelised red onion and goat's cheese tart (little ones are easier to transport and share), and lots of salad. I bought a very pretty wicker picnic basket from BHS a couple of years ago. I just had a quick look and it doesn't seem like they stock them anymore - but they do have this pretty and far more practical spotty cool bag:

Summer's here, and I couldn't be more excited.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Easy Spring Touches

I can't wait for Spring. I really thought it had arrived this weekend, but I'm currently looking out on a grey London day. What have arrived are Daffodils in the supermarket.

They're such lovely flowers, I think we get a little blind to their sunshine colour and amazing shape. I couldn't resize picking up a couple of bunches with my Friday night food shop, but when I got home I realised I had no vase of the right size. What I did have was a sizable collection of Lloyd Grossman pasta sauce jars (I really like adding it to soup!), and some pretty tape I'd spied in Tiger. Do you have a Tiger near you? The website is dreadful, but they're really lovely shops full of cheap pretty bits and pieces. And tat. An awful lot of tat.

Anyway, I shoved a bit of the tape around the jars, shoved the Daffodils in and put them all over the house. By yesterday they'd bloomed into the stunners you can see above. I love a quick win.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Pretty stuff

Yet another impulse purchase - my pretty Tatty Devine sparkly bow ring. I bought a couple of other bits in the sale, which I've yet to wear in a way I'm happy with, but this is less statement-y, so easier to just shove on. Unfortunately, I appear to have mislaid it - I think the cat may have turned magpie.

These aren't at all new, but they really do make me happy every day - my bedroom curtains, from Ikea (Children's department!). Since my boyfriend moved in with me we've had odd spurts of working on making the house pretty, followed by periods of laziness where my messiness gets out of control. I've still yet to start work on my big plan of a full on picture wall in the dining room. Updates as and when it eventually happens.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Restaurant - Casa Morita

Despite the many hours I've spent in Brixton, I hadn't headed into Brixton Market before - that's right, I've yet to visit Franco Manca. Yeah yeah, I know, I'll get round to it at some point.

We were drawn to Casa Morita (that link isn't going to give you much info at the moment!) by it's colourful hangings, bustling open kitchen and cute little tables. The waitress let me sit at a four person table instead of the two person one by the door (it was snowing). We got there about the right time at 7.15ish, there was a small queue by about half an hour later. I'd advise booking for more than two people to be sure of getting a seat.

And you should definitely go! We shared a starter of quesadillas that was lovely - without chorizo slightly tasteless, so I'd recommend paying the small supplement cost. I then had Albondigas from the specials board - Mexican meatballs (picture at the top of this post). And my, how meaty they were. Densely packed flavourful and in a lovely tomato sauce. The ultimate satisfying warmth giver, and ridiculously good value at about £8.50. Coupled with a very reasonably priced bottle of house red, I believe the phrase for which is 'eminently drinkable' we were very happy bunnies heading back out into the snow.

iPhone Fisheye lens

A couple of weeks ago I was looking for a new iPhone case. I was massively tempted by the Pantone
colour ones, or a beautiful Iconemesis arty one. But then I had a quick look at iwoot and impulse bought one that came with a Fisheye lens!

Admittedly, one of it's main selling points was the price, as it was quite a few pounds cheaper than any other I looked at. That's reflected in the quality of the case - it doesn't seem as 'protective' as some I've had before,
the screen is quite exposed at the case doesn't come up over the edges.

But who cares, because I've got a FISHEYE LENS. It can be easily unscrewed and kept in a little pouch for safety. Because iwoot have pretty terrible delivery times, the Lens came way later than I expected it to. I haven't had time to take any proper pictures with it yet, but here's one of a friend's cats chilling I snapped during Sunday lunch:

It doesn't work with the iPhone flash, which is a bit of a shame. Still, I'm pretty happy for an impulse purchase. I'll update this with some nicer photos once I get round to taking them!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Three Things

Reading Helen Zaltzman's blog (if you don't listen to her Answer Me This podcast you really really should, I was reminded of Isy Suttie's great Edinburgh show this year, in which her mum tells her she should write down three things that made her happy that day.
It's a lovely idea, and one I'm going to start doing. But as I haven't done it before, today's Three Things will be about the last week. I'm also going to set myself the rule that the Things can't already be blog posts.

1. Winning the pub quiz - the first time at our local pub quiz, and we romped to victory by half a point. This was in no way because the music round was about musicals. which brings me on to

2. Hungover Sunday - having had enough red wine the night before that I felt justified in lying around in my pyjamas, but not enough that I was lying with my head in the toilet. Watched West Side Story and Strictly ballroom. West Side Story is a little schmaltzy even for me, but perfect hangover cheese.

3. Fireworks in Blackheath. Not as impressive as usual, but I get ridiculously excited with fireworks. Especially when you're so close up it feels like they're aimed right at you. Less fun was standing next to two men, who were both recording on two devices each. Pah, these young 'uns. I did take my phone out for two minutes however, just to snap the below.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Lovely Sounds - Fortuna Pop!

Every now and then there seems to be a gig line-up made expressly for you. Tonight was one of those nights. Celebrating Fortunata Pop!'s 15th birthday, Tender Trap, Darren Hayman and the Secondary Modern and Allo Darlin' are pretty much among my top 5 bands of the last couple of years. That's not killing with faint praise, but if you're of the indie twee persuasion the last couple of years have been good to you.
Tender Trap, I must be honest did not live up to my memories of them at the last Twee as Fuck all-dayer. But then, neither does the last album.
Darren Hayman. Aah, Darren Hayman. The most attractive unattractive man. Happiest whilst singing the saddest songs. It's one of those voices. If you don't like it, there's no persuading you it's good. But if you like it you love his songs. With the Secondary Modern behind him it's a more joyful, full sound. Other than playing NONE if my favourite songs I couldn't have asked for more.
Allo Darlin' are the most adorable, heartfelt songs I've heard in a long time. Parts melancholy, parts brilliant dancing, they create such a warmth it's impossible not to get swept up. New stuff sounds great.
Lovely lovely loveliness.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Georgette Heyer

I am utterly unashamed about my love for Georgette Heyer's regency romances. My grandmother has many of them as first editions (no dust covers left, alas), and I must have read each of them many many times over my teenage years.

So imagine my delight when I found that The Book People are currently selling 10 of her Thriller's for £9.99. Written between the 30s and 50s, they are undoubtedly dated, with the odd shocking use of the 'n' word. But so wonderfully and utterly of their time, when the local vicar's wife was really rather a drag, and no murder can get in the way of a spot of tennis. And the covers! Oh the covers.

Oh my dears, such utter bliss.