Monday, 24 January 2011

Hunt for Storage

I moved house nearly a year ago now (help that went by far too quickly!) and am still unpacking boxes. I know that sounds pathetic but sometimes life gets in the way (and it did big time last year). And then there is the issue of where to put the things when you unpack them.

I don't find it easy at all to find anything that is affordable and nice, hence my upcycling of old things. I painted this turquoise beauty below, last year but until the beginning of the year when it replaced the Christmas tree it was kind of hidden behind an armchair. I had taken of the old knobs and replaced them with 8 antique ones that I had found in a lovely shop on Portobello Road a long long time ago. Unfortunately I needed two more and having moved away from the Capital of Great Finds I had a hard time finding anything decent. That is until I saw these in the John Lewis sale last week. I know they are not old and not just pale blue and white but so far no one has noticed any difference.

I do need another chest of drawers to go with this one. I am not into matchy-matchy so open to suggestions and am thinking possibly white or black to go on the other side of the fire place. I have just come across the FurniturebyCSN website and have seen a couple that might work really well.

I also did notice a fabulous bookcase that would just be perfect to display the Busy Betsy jewellery. It is called Elements, twelve square holes in a beautiful dark wood with rounded corners! I realise it needs a bit of saving up but it is always good to have a goal! If anyone knows where I can buy a lottery ticket with the winning numbers do let me know:!

Thank you!

PS Quilts will be added to the shop soon.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Are you sitting comfortably?

I have always had a real love for chairs, particularly early 20th Century ones and those designed by the various artists who've also designed for Alessi (a favourite brand of mine) in the latter part of the Century. Years ago I was tempted to buy the miniature chairs at the Design Museum in London but then realised that for that whole collection I could actually buy myself a designer chair so decided against that idea.

This week I went to meet with the lovely Charlie Haworth at Photolink in Manchester to discuss ideas about involvement with Redeye and saw some other fabulous chairs in wonderful colours. These chairs, named 'Casamania' were designed by the amazing Fabio Novembre and were created using a three-dimensional scan of two plaster sculptures; one female, one male. They are absolutely brilliant and will cheer up any meeting or dinner party.

One of the chairs that has been high on my wish list is the Barcelona Chair in white by Mies van der Rohe, but common sense tells me that these chairs can only survive in an environment without little monkeys. So until mine have grown up I shall not even think about these. In the meantime I thought I should just admire the Panton and Eames chairs in the Vitra range and particularly the chairs in the Kartell range. Now among this last group is my all time favourite chair by my absolute favourite super duper top designer Philip Starck so imagine my surprise when Santa brought me these:

Two Louis Ghost chairs!!

The chairs fit beautifully in my redecorated white dining room and go beautifully with the contemporary yet Victorian surrounding. I never thought Father Christmas thought I had been this good but I must have done something right last year. I shall continue what I am doing and who knows what the bearded man might have in his sack for me next year!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Royal Parcel Disaster

We all seem to be suffering from a "Kate (now Catherine) & Wills overload" but rest assured the Royal in the title has nothing to do with the second-in-line to the throne and his bride-to-be but with the ever inefficient Royal Mail parcel service.

In my quest to diminish my migraines I have taken out every book of the library that deals with the matter and am now trying one new supplement every month to make sure it doesn't give me any funny side effects. For the month of January I am taking magnesium every day. So far not bad, I have had a couple of headaches but mainly caused by stress due to unsatisfactory delivery of parcels!

One of these was a jar of frozen bee pollen, said to relieve headaches when added to smoothies. Sent by the vendor with an ice pack, first class recorded, it was in the post for a week! The jar was warm (clearly kept in nice conditions) and rendered unsuitable to use. Needless to say I had to return this via Royal Mail, wasting my time and regretting the fact that my wanted bee pollen had to go back.

I understand that the Christmas period this year caused a lot of delays but would have hoped they had cleared these by early January. Another such parcel containing a lovely bottle of Shloer arrived about 3 weeks after it was sent, packaging damaged, lovely liquid still in the bottle though!

However another package arrived just two days after having been sent, slightly damaged but within good time. As I didn't know what was in it, it was a surprise and a very nice one at that: a lovely box of Lotus Olbas tissues! It even came with instructions on the side: "Crush the tissues to release the oil vapours. Breathe in the natural vapours before and after blowing your nose." Honestly they are so lovely scented I did not need to crush anything at all. I love the minty smell, they work like a treat and are soft to use for my little red nose. Someone, somewhere knew I was in need of some TLC!

I think I am done with the parcels this week apart from returning a pair of jeans bought on Ebay. They were listed as brand new, never worn. Unfortunately they had been used and washed. The name of the person listing them should have given it away: fashion rags. For someone who works at ASOS you'd thought they know better. Never been duped on Ebay before but there's a first for everything I suppose. Anyway enough ranting about parcels, it is time to stick my nose in some magazines!

Monday, 3 January 2011

Happy New Wellies!

Happy New Year everyone and happy new wellies to me! I have obviously been good this year! I had been on the hunt for Joules wellies for a few weeks (see my 19 December post) before purchasing some cheap supermarket ones but fortunately Father Christmas does exist and put these in his sack for me!

Tonight is a bit of an anti-climax after a couple of weeks of great fun. For the first time in weeks I find myself without any friends and neighbours to entertain and it is very quiet indeed. Thank goodness my friend Carole turns 40 tomorrow and is planning on an all day party. That really will be the last day of the holidays as the monkeys return to school on Wednesday and I will find myself back at work!

This year saw the best start of the year though. I have never experienced such a fun 1 January. Normally that day is my anti-climax day when nothing happens but the cure for that is clearly spending time with friends, neighbours and their families in the local pub for a friendly community atmosphere.

I haven't really got any New Year's resolutions. I never really do. I did vow to sort out my migraines with alternative therapies so if anyone has got any ideas, please do send me an email. Still looking for a pot of bee pollen.

There is something I do feel every time at the start of the year: the need to start afresh. The best way of dealing with this is a bit of decluttering and a proper Spring clean (yep I feel like I am repeating myself!). And then of course there is the new diary, with the intention of keeping all the writing ever so neat and beautiful.

For a number of years I had a perfect one from Paperchase. A lovely turquoise diary with a page per day and hours on every weekday page. Unfortunately this year they decided to produce this one in black only or in some student style ring bound version with funny pictures on the front. Not the kind of thing I'd like to take to meetings and too big to pop in my handbag. After searching high and low I finally found one in a lovely shop in Windermere produced by Legami, a brand from Milan. And look it is nearly identical:

It has even got a colourful ribbon instead of a black one. A good start of the year!

Busy Betsy sold quite a few bracelets over the New Year's celebrations and we've got a stack of orders for necklaces which means that my mind will be taken off saying goodbye to all the fabulous Christmas decorations for nearly another year.

I hope you all had a great start of the year too and feel energetic for all the great plans for 2011. Good luck with putting away the festive decorations this week and please do remember to recycle your tree if you had a real one!