Popped under the water to France last weekend on Le Shuttle (mainly to re-stock ourselves with wine) and paid a worthwhile 24 hour visit to Lille. We ate vanilla filled waffles, canard with thyme and honey, drank cocktails and gazed at beautiful shop windows, pastries, fresh market produce and modern art. For photos, follow @onesugarplease over on Instagram.
We stayed overnight at a fantastic little B&B called Le 35 bis. Situated conveniently around the corner from a metro line into the city, the B&B was clean, stylish, comfortable and run by the lovely and helpful Jamila. Can’t recommend a stay there enough.
Received delivery of a new tea towel design yesterday. Inspired by mid-century pattern, ‘Tumbling Bowls’ is an 100% cotton screen printed tea towel, now available in the shop. 10% of profits go to help cancer support and research charities.
MADE.COM takes on the high street to offer great original furniture design at affordable prices. It has recently turned its customers’ homes into its showrooms with the launch of its own social network. I was asked to be a part of this network and have MADE.COM photograph their gorgeous Dhurries Trek Wool Rug in my lounge and have other parts of my home featured (plus a couple of mug shots unfortunately!)
This new online community called MADE Unboxed (www.made.com/unboxed) launched last month and continues the brand’s trail of innovation in the interiors market. Unboxed enables people to connect with existing MADE customers in their own neighbourhood, take a virtual house tour and even meet face to face to see how they’ve styled their MADE products. Visitors to Unboxed can search by area or for a specific product to see who has purchased what in their neighbourhood.
Chloe Macintosh, MADE.COM Co-Founder and Creative Director, said: “Unboxed contextualises our products without the need for costly lifestyle shoots or high street shops, which ultimately the customer would pay for. But more than that, Unboxed demonstrates ‘collaborative consumption’ a movement empowering consumers to take inspiration from each other.
“We tested the idea at Salone del Mobile in April, using four of our customer’s Milan apartments as exhibition space to showcase our new collections and the response was overwhelming. People not only want to see products in a real life situation, but more than ever we are fascinated by how others have decorated their homes…”
This is the latest investment in innovation for the brand that was one of the first e-tailers to bridge the gap between online and offline with its showrooms in Notting Hill and Leeds; undergo a trial with digital tagging service CloudTags within its London showroom and also launch an augmented reality app enabling customers to view its products within their homes.
I’ve been really impressed with the quality and service of MADE.COM and awaiting the delivery of a LULU footstool in Pisa Grey over the next couple of weeks. Will be Instagramming about it’s arrival… Follow my Instagram and Twitter feeds @onesugarplease.
For more information on MADE.COM please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week I was tagged by Madeline Norris of By Meeni, to join a ‘blog hop’ – where another blogger tags you in a post to answer some questions and give a little insight into your world. Below are the questions Madeline asked me and my answers.
1. What have been the doings/makings/scribblings at your desk/making table in the last week?
I’ve been mainly working on print and graphic design jobs this week – developing branding, designing stationery and printed publicity. As it’s the end of term, my recycled ‘Thank You’ note cards have been given a plug online too as they’re lovely to give to teachers.
2. Where are you currently finding your inspiration? (influences, heroes/who, sources of inspiration, paths exploring)
I have been randomly inspired by my washi tape patterns and colours over the last few weeks – I love how simple and effective they are. Also, a renovated Norwegian church I came across in Swansea at the weekend. I loved it’s leaf-like windows and monochrome look – it had be renovated into a jewellers workshop and gallery space.
3. How important is being creative to you & how do you blend this with your work/life/family balance?
Being creative is part of who I am and in all my work as a graphic designer. I’m fortunate enough to be able to run my business productively from home, so I get to spend plenty of time with my dog Bailey and find the time to cook too most days, which is another creative outlet for me.
All to discover other bloggers, artists, writers, makers and designers, I tag the ever talented Elizabeth Dunker from Fine Little Day and Francine Schokker from COW Studio to “blog hop” on their blogs and answer these questions too!
Tea is an amazing drink. Calming, restoring, thirst-quenching and balancing, I find a lot of happiness in putting the kettle on. There’s extra happiness to be found in the various green teas from Tea Pigs. Their handy cartons of Matcha Super Power Green Tea drinks in Elderflower, Grapefruit and Apple are a completely new (and convenient) way of drinking the health-boosting matcha green tea. Blended with juice and spring water, the drinks are really fresh and full of the natural flavonoid energy that matcha green tea contains.
I like to make a ‘Matcha Green Tea & Manuka Latte’ using the matcha green tea powder….
You only need a small amount of the powder in your glass or mug, then use a little warm water to make a smooth paste before adding hot milk and some manuka honey before whisking up using a battery powered whisk. Who needs to go to Starbucks when you can make these?
The whole leaf Mao Feng Green Tea is lovely and clean tasting infused in it’s ‘tea temple’ for no longer than 3 minutes. I like to then add a slice of lemon for a bit of zing!
I have a super green selection to giveaway to one person which includes, 3 Matcha Super Power Green Tea drinks in Grapefruit, Elderflower and Apple, a box of Mao Feng Green Tea, a box of Super Power Green Organic Matcha Powder with a glass, measuring spoon, an AeroLatte whisk and mini badge.
To be in with a chance of winning all of this, please do all of the following if possible…
LIKE Tea Pigs and Fika Print Design on Facebook and SHARE the giveaway link from Fika Print Design’s page.
TWEET “I’m seeing green with the @teapigs giveaway on @onesugarplease’s blog” on Twitter.
UK entrants only please. A winner will be selected at random on 29th August 2014. For all my readers and subscribers, there’s a unique 10% off discount code valid now to use on http://www.teapigs.co.uk until the end of August (excludes matcha kits, cheeky deals and pick & mix) Enter ‘fika’ at checkout.
On a “school trip” to Oxford yesterday to visit the Modern Art Gallery’s new Barbara Kruger exhibition, I came across a beautiful shop in Jericho.
Illyria Pottery is handmade by ceramic artist, Katie Coston. The earthy toned pieces in the shop with their mixture of glazes were so tactile I couldn’t resist picking them up for a closer look and feel. The shop interior itself perfectly complimented the pottery featuring raw disused spools and concrete slabs, chalkboard paint and up-cycled vintage crate shelving. Nice to see somewhere else using spools creatively like we did for the Made By pop-up shops and fair. I especially liked the tree branch mug holders which looked as if they were growing out from the wall. There was a sweet display of locally made soaps with bunting made from triangles of actual soap and unique ceramic jewellery hung from nails in vintage books. I happily left with some thyme and poppyseed soap and a glass bottomed and green glazed small pot pleased to have found a lovely shop in a lovely part of Oxford.
For the last few months, myself and other ladies from the Made By collective have been planning and organising an art and design fair to be held in an old light aircraft top hangar. Selecting artists from applications, arranging a pop-up tea shop, and styling the big wide space was a huge task but the day was fantastic. Around 500 people walked through the large open metal hangar doors, cakes sold out by 2pm, dogs pottered around with their owners, and the feedback we had from the sellers and visitors was amazing. Above are some of my favourite photos from the day but more can be seen here.