Saturday, 25 February 2012


Today, in Bath I officially mark the beginning of spring. I am so glad the nicest day of the year so far fell on a Saturday. I went to the botanical gardens in Victoria park for a stroll and took some photographs of the new life growing through. The sky was blue and the sun was really bright. Today was inspiring.


Friday, 24 February 2012

Rose Cottage Boxes

Originally, I heard about Rose Cottage Boxes because there was a post on our bulletin at university attracting work experience. When I researched the company I was delighted with the products created. Rose cottage Boxes started with an idea that involved jazzing up practical items around the home that could do with a little sparkle for example boxes used for storing jewellery, make-up, sewing and craft; hangers and lampshades etc. Now business has taken off and there is a new collection which will be available at the Country Living Fair from Wednesday 21st to Sunday 25th March at The Business Design Centre in Islington.

Below are some images of the new designs, aren't they lovely! I am particularly fond of the first box adorned with sweet little birds...

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Cloth House London

The Cloth House, Berwick Street Soho, London is well worth a look in if you're interested in fabrics for interior design. The rustic interior of the shop feels country, the layout is wonderful, normally when I go into a fabric shop I feel overwhelmed by the bundles of varied fabrics 'in your face' and it's distracting! These fabrics are well organized making it easy to find what you need. The selection of fabrics include indigo and treated linens. There are also some very nice wooden lasts (wooden shoe template used by a cobbler to mold the leather around) for sale. The staff are very friendly and helpful and in order to make the trip worthwhile there are other nice fabric shops along Berwick Street too.

Thursday, 16 February 2012


The Design museum's Design Awards are so exciting and this exhibition is showcasing the nominations for this prestigious Design of the year 2012 award. The categories include Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Furniture, Graphics, Product and Transport. There will be category winners and an overall winner which will be announced this April. The diverse range of design makes this exhibition interesting to begin with but throw in a mixture of talent from across the world with forever progressing technology and this exhibition suddenly becomes interesting for anyone.

It was exciting seeing the olympic torch and I was soo tempted to ignore the 'do not touch signs' yet I refrained! There were a few things that stood out to me. The Suwappu toys were really very sweet. A digital toy and phone app consisting of 8 characters to include Deer, Badger, Fox, Robin and Tuna. The smartphone app works with the characters facial features meaning the characters can be brought to life as imagery on the screen creates another world for the characters.

The Hovding invisible cycle helmet. Has passed the safety requirements whilst maintaining vanity requirements as the collar can be covered by a removable shell in order to match ones outfit. It is worn around the neck as a collar. The collar contains a folded up airbag that is triggered via sensors to open into the shape of a hood to protect the bicyclist's head in the event of an accident.

Mine Kafon is a wind powered land mine clearance device. Like a giant clump of dandelion seeds, the devise rolls with the wind and the weight of it detonates mines in its path. Made with bamboo legs with plastic pancake feet and a GPS tracking devise that acknowledges which areas have been cleared. This devise is cost efficient and not only does it save money, but lives too.

The wedding dress worn by The Duchess of Cambridge. Although the dress wasn't present at the Design Museum, there were preserved examples of the lace and a very interesting video which involved Sarah Burton going through the thought, craftsmanship and processes behind the making of 'that dress'. Firstly Sarah Burton is very cool as she describes the attention to detail towards the extensive lace applique that was handmade by the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace. The dress was perfectly tailored to the brides style whilst showing off the best of British craftsmanship. I felt royally emotional when I saw the lace, the flowers included the rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock; how very special.

Would you believe 19% of products are designed to be sustainable? Solar Sinter is a solar-powered 3D machine that prints objects using sand by Markus Kayser Studio as a response to conserving energy and shortages of raw materials. Apparently the sun is the worlds most efficient energy source. The outcome is quite stunning.

Vivienne Westwood

Browsing through the shoe department in Selfridges, London and oh how I adore the Anglomania and Melissa collection at Vivienne Westwood. Made from 100% pvc, the smell reminds me of the My Little Pony I would play with when I was younger. Design features include gold edged mirrored hearts, peep toes, metallic buckles, golden studs and even pompoms perched on top! The straps are adjustable and the price is affordable. With only one concern - will my feet perspire in this material...?

Sunday, 12 February 2012

The Ballet

Firstly I was inspired by Degas to study the Ballet, I used pastels, ink, watercolours, chalk and charcoal to create images of ballet dancers. Then I scanned them into the computer and created a series of digital prints. I really enjoyed this project. I see my designs being used for interiors. I would love to cover a sofa with these or even to create some simple blinds and cushions. I see them being used to form a repeat print. As I continued to rework my designs I looked at Ascher Scarves to help me lay them out because I liked the varied use of boarders used to frame the scarves. 

Some of the dancers are more innocent, I bought a book in a charity shop called 'Queen Victoria's Sketchbook'. This book had the most delightful figures in it which inspired me to rework my paintings. I also noticed that some of my designs were very square so I explored with shape to make the repeat prints more interesting. I like to rework images until I feel I am happy with them.

I also scanned in some dried rose petals to use as a background for my designs and the colours are stunning. They also add an element of texture. I thoroughly enjoyed this project and feel my photoshopping skills have improved dramatically. Sometimes the best way to learn is by teaching yourself.