Monday, 29 November 2010

Amy and Clementine

My sister Amy has just opened an Etsy store selling greetings cards of her beautiful oil paintings. I love the yellow teapot one.


It may be aimed at tourists and pensioners, but I think there is lots to love at Prince Charles's Highgrove Shop. I'd choose this orchard mug, an oak spool of twine and this very pretty tea-towel. I've got to think of someone to give this bee house to, also.

Shai Abbassi

I've been searching for a coffee table for our sitting room for as long as we've owned our flat. The tricky thing is that I like old things, but people didn't do coffee tables in the olden days. You can get farmhouse tables that have had their legs lopped off, but I think they always look a bit odd and stunted. Or you buy something angular and Danish, or heavy and Balinese, or an American-Psycho-style, glass-and-steel number. But last night I came across Shai Abbassi and my coffee-table search is over. Shai's ottomans and footstools are made in England using antique legs (I love the Edwardian turned mahogany ones) and covered in the most extraordinarily beautiful antique Turkish kelims. So they are old, but new, and you can have them made to your exact specifications. They're completely flat, so you can rest a tray with coffee and cups on them, sturdy and coarse so they'll last forever; but soft, too, so ideal for foot resting.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Beak Boots

How have I not known about about Beak Boots before now? These cute booties have just rocketed to the top of my Christmas list. They’re made with traditional, labour-intensive cobbling skills in northern Sweden, from ultra-strong, vegetable-dyed leather (hence the many-week-long delivery times and upwards-of-£260 price tag), have special, insulated soles and are lined with wool: designed for trudging down icy roads on chilly days much like today. My kind of footwear. I'm truly smitten. Father Christmas needs to know I'd like the Low Boots in blue, size 38.

Picture via arctic trend.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Smith and Coates

Sarah Coates's sweet, homespun jumpers and tunics for children are made from recycled woollens that she has hot washed, recut into new shapes, and finished with crocheted pockets and vintage-fabric trims.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Peruvian Connection

They are expensive, these Peruvian alpaca cushions, but my, aren't they nice. Pricey because they are handmade by "Quechua artisans", apparently.

Lemonlu London

Beautiful Korean notebooks, that would make ideal stocking fillers, from a nice new online shop called Lemonlu London.

Beyond France

I know you see this kind of thing everywhere these days, but I think Maud Lomberg’s selection of vintage linens is the most beautiful and inspiring there is. Maud is based in Gloucestershire but she has a second home in Hungary, where she sources most of her amazing collection of hand-embroidered, home-spun vintage linens and grain sacks – ranging in size from tiny swatches for patch-working, and napkins, to sheets and whole rolls for upholstery. She runs a traditional indigo-dying workshop in her Hungarian village, where she re-colours some of her pieces. I could literally spend hours on her site, and would happily cover every surface in my home in her fabrics.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Garden Relish

A potting bench, a boot jack and a bucket: sturdy, well-made Christmas presents for green-fingered people, from Garden Relish.

Lizzie Sharp

I realise many would be horrified by Lizzie Sharp knits - featuring ducks and goats and tulips and boats, and more besides. Dotty aunt wear, I hear you say. But, personally, I LOVE them. This jumper makes me happy just looking at it.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Kate Kanzier

How these deliciously hued wing-tip brogues by Kate Kanzier can be only £30, I do not know.

Cooking Apple

Nell Harvey's jumpers and cardigans for children and adults are hand-knitted in the Cotswolds and are inspired by "forgotten styles", designed to last. Everything is quite rustic and charmingly wonky looking. Her sleeveless jumpers for grown-ups, particularly, are the sort of thing I love.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Vintage Vie

Very nice tea towels from Vintage Vie.

P.S. they do lovely stockings, too, if you're in the market for a new one.

Lucienne de Mauny

Lucienne de Mauny's hand-painted house-number plaques are very pretty. She makes them to order, in her studio in Oxfordshire, in whatever colours or motifs you like. Her plain house-number signs are very elegant, too.

Lars P Soendergaard Gregersen

Beautiful Suffolk-made pottery that would brighten any breakfast table, by Lars Gregersen for David Mellor.

Gudrun Sjoden

This nightie and these socks will be fixtures on my Christmas list.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Electronic Sheep

Terrible name, nice bobble hats.


This new-to-me Italian label, Pomandère, could not be more up my street. Smocks made from crumpled linen and frayed, washed silk, cord jackets and lace-up boots: all so, so nice.

The Linen Press

Spots and stripes I'm keen on from The Linen Press (who also sell the best sheets money can buy).

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

The Irish Linen Company

I know it's genteel of me, but I do love a proper hankie. My granny is never without one usefully stowed under the cuff of her cardi. These beautiful Swiss, hand-embroidered handkerchiefs, from The Irish Linen Company, are the finest I've seen.
P.S. Their baby pillowcases, featuring frogs and soldiers, are the best Christening presents.

Erfurt scarves

Such a sucker am I for all things Scandinavian, the fact that Erfurt scarves come from Denmark instantly makes me like them more that I would if they were from, say, Australia. I'm very impressionable like that. These chevron-weave, merino wool ones are £89 each, from the brilliant Anna Lizzio in Tetbury.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Friday, 12 November 2010

Quinton & Chadwick

Beatrice put me on to this 10-year-old knitwear company, Quinton & Chadwick, run by Jane Chadwick and Jess Quinton. All their comfortingly chunky jumpers and cardigans (these two, pictured, have my name on them) are hand-made in England, by small co-operatives of women knitters.

Thursday, 11 November 2010


Lullilu, by Ronit Zilkha, is a new range for mums and their daughters, featuring cashmere cardis, knitted jumper dresses and snug beanie hats. The women's things are a bit plain for my taste, but the little versions are sweet - particularly that stripey teddy.

Roe deer

I would like one of these little chaps for my desk.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Rachel Hazell

Rachel Hazell is a bookbinder of extraordinary skill. I love this collection of books she made, all about plants. As well as doing big projects for places like Few and Far and the Crafts Council she takes on really little commissions, too; binding beautifully delicate single volumes of your poetry or favourite recipes custommade to your specification.
P.S. Lucy May Schofield's books are also pretty special.