Just before it closed this weekend, I caught this exhibition at Bilston Craft Gallery – ‘Bilston’s Happy Housing: Otto Neurath’s vision for post-war modern living’. As a fan of all things mid-century and home related, this was good for both these reasons, but also, with thoughts of the upcoming election, encouraging to learn of one man’s passion to improve the lives and happiness of a community. I wonder what the party leaders would make of this idealism?
‘In the mid-1940s eminent Viennese sociologist and urban planner Otto Neurath set out an ambitious plan for creating happiness in Bilston. His vision was to create modern homes based on state-of-the-art social housing of 1920s Red Vienna. The end result was Stowlawn estate. This exhibition presents Neurath’s ideas, examples of his famous Isotypes (forerunners of today’s infographics), and memories of people who have lived on Stowlawn Estate over the past 60 years. There will also be furniture, textiles, ceramics and domestic items reflecting the ‘new look’ style of the mid-century era.’
Over the past few months I’ve worked with Red Plum Fine Food on a re-brand to carry across business cards and printed catalogues. The vibrant teal and red Pantone colours compliment each other and demonstrate the unique artisan food and drink produce Red Plum distributes.
It’s been a long time since I posted about my thrifty finds. I now tend to take a quick snap of something and upload it onto Instagram which has become a less time consuming type of blogging to me. I thought the other day though, that it would be nice to do a little post about some recent charity shop and Ebay finds. So here we are…
The spotted cotton shirt I found in my local St Giles Hospice shop for £3. It seems to have been hand sewn from scratch as there are no labels. I just love the bow at the front. Will come in handy as a nursing shirt too! The oversized vintage M&S blouse was from also from St Giles, and should make a nice light maternity blouse for the Summer and beach cover-up post-pregnancy. It was £5 and isn’t the type of pattern I usually go for, but I was drawn to it for some reason – probably the symmetrical nature of the pattern! Finally, my £2.50 Ebay find – a Gordon Stowell illustrated children’s book filled with inspiring bright images and simple wording. I can’t wait to show and read this to the little one in the future!
UK charity Stewardship asked me to design a series of social media typographic images for global day of generosity, #givingtuesday. I wanted the images to be simple, yet colourful and visually engaging so that people may be inspired by not only the words, but the design. Find the other generosity quotes on Stewardship’s Instagram page.
Thanks to Pedlars, I won tickets to go to a unique new festival over the weekend, created by Cerys Matthews and Charlie and Caroline Gladstone called ‘The Good Life Experience‘. It was one day of culture, music, good food and the great outdoors held on the Gladstone estate in Hawarden in Flintshire. On the Friday evening, we were on the guest list at The Glynne Arms to be sung to and have poetry read to us by Cerys, then for a deliciously fresh last-of-the-summer sharing meal put together by Aussie chef Bill Granger. Cerys’ Welsh songs made me very emotional, as it reminded me of my grandma and I was inspired by the Granny Smith apple incorporated into the crushed chive potatoes! After camping overnight, in the morning I did some archery and yoga, met Charlie Gladstone, discovered nice products by Best Made Co. and drank craft beer for lunch with Beer Bods. In the afternoon, we had a coffee brewing masterclass by London coffee roasters AllPress, bread making with Tom Herbert from The Fabulous Baker Bros and shared in the joy of baking vegetable cakes with Harry Eastwood. Around the site were craft tents for learning how to tie knots, stitch tote bags, screen print and even a vintage fairground. The atmosphere in the music tent was lively and this echoed across the festival with lots of families and dogs wandering around, with kids especially enjoying camp fires and activities. Sorry my photos aren’t fantastic but hopefully they show a little taste of the good life.
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 email@example.com