Thursday, 26 May 2011

more about me

I have added a new page to the blog today - you'll find it in the side bar - it's just some more stuff about me, in case you want to know! It even includes a proper picture of me, the horror...

Tuesday, 24 May 2011


We started off with a room that looked like Satan's boudoir, all black walls and gloom that rose into a cavernous ceiling.

Hours of stripping, wrecking, plastering and painting later:

Things have gotten a bit out of hand here. I will be briefed for another Honda ad this morning, then I'm off to the dentist for some unpleasantries. We've been trying our best to knock this place into a habitable kind of shape and, with a large group of friends landing on our doorstep on June 11th, we're going to have to make some serious progress quickly! Oh, and some furniture might be nice. It's all marvellous fun, though.

Monday, 23 May 2011

lost the plot


It's all a bit too much at the moment. I am a bit overwhelmed with stuff. Nothing bad, just stuff.

(Don't ask me why the fox is male. It just is)

Friday, 20 May 2011

DIY lampshade

Remember this post, when we first found our house? I said in it that there appeared to be a George Nelson bubble lamp in the dusty loft. Well, there was not one, but two of them. Sadly, they were not the originals, just some cheapo copy with nasty gilt nipples on the bottom (instead of the chrome ring). They were torn and the wire had corroded inside, leaving a green stain on the plastic. I was loath to throw them away because I like their shape, so after a bit of dithering I decided to strip the plastic off and to find some new way of using them. I'm always advocating the acts of re-purposing and recycling, so to throw them away would have been wasteful.

Now I've stripped them and cleaned them up I'm wondering what to do. I will certainly spray paint them to cover the corroded parts - white is the colour of choice right now, but I also toyed with the idea of using a colour (Yellow? Blue? Industrial black?) and then simply hanging them like cages over some nice bulbs. But then I'm also wondering if maybe I could get a bit more creative with them - covering them in some way - paper or fabric, plain or patterned? I rather like shades like this one (below) from Gong, so I'm wondering, with the right fabric, whether I could make something similar with my frames? Maybe I could even design a fabric and get it printed onto silk by Spoonflower and use that? Now that would be properly bespoke.

Or maybe they can just be the base for something fantastical (by Hutch Studio) or fun.

What do you think? What would you do?

Thursday, 19 May 2011


The husband is away for the week (and will be absent weekly until Christmas while he does a work placement in London) and I have resorted to the kind of terrible behaviour that only a single girl can do, namely eating too many biscuits in one sitting and otherwise undernourishing myself. I have overindulged in lentils this week.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

stuff and nonsense

I know I haven't drawn anything in a long while. I'm sorry. I've been working i.e. drawing so much lately that I seem to run out of juice by the time I come to doing something to post up here. This week I'm drawing all sorts of weird things like floodlights and pigeons. Best not to ask.

Images from The Old School Studio

Meanwhile, I came across this amazing space, The Old School Studio, whilst prandling around looking at lighting. It's a photographic studio and location, but it is stuffed with the kind of things I just love - old school posters, mismatching furniture and, of course, great lighting.

If you're in the UK and into industrial style lighting, check out Urban Cottage Industries, which specialises in selling lighting parts, fabric cable and beautiful filament bulbs. I want it all! See their lighting projects (image above) on their blog.

Monday, 16 May 2011

the unmentionables

Everywhere you go you find people with passions about chairs, tables, lighting, desks, sofas. I am one of those people. But today I wanted to talk about the unmentionable pieces of furniture, the ones that everybody ignores because they don't know what to do about them - namely television cabinets and wardrobes. Have you ever met anyone who has a thing about wardrobes? Have you ever found a TV cabinet, or something that can be used as one, that you really like?

We are having a bit of a dilemma about these things at the moment. We are badly in need of a wardrobe or two, with our clothes currently being rammed haphazardly inside suitcases and boxes. But I find shopping for wardrobes really difficult - they are usually too ornate, too bulky, too shallow, too expensive, the wrong wood, too big to get round a couple of tight corners in the house, or any combination of the above. I've never bought a wardrobe before, having had built-in ones in all the places I've lived since I left university. Have I found any that I love? Well, there are the early 20th century gentlemen's wardrobes with sweet labels on the shelves for ties, underwear and hats, but they are often ugly on the outside or too shallow to have a sensible amount of hanging space in the other half of the wardrobe. I do like very simple linen presses, or old school cupboards - I would just have to adapt the interior with a hanging rail. But I also have a fear of too much wood or, if the piece is painted, I get nervous about veering too close to the 'shabby chic' look. Industrial style lockers are an attractive option to me, but I wonder if they are too hard, too dark, too loft-stylee for a farmhouse? I am bewildered, to say the least.

Get this one here on eBay for £420.

The photo below is of the locker we bought the other week in Manchester. It needs a little bit of love, but I was rather taken by the cheery turquoise and those little red triangles on the front. It's currently languishing in our garage until I grow enough muscle to help the husband bring it into the house (or until we can collar one of our masculine neighbours to help!).

The TV cabinet is a different kettle of fish. Firstly, I don't like large televisions and I hate having them in a position where they're the first object you see when you enter a room, I think they are ugly things that should be put somewhere obscure. Secondly, I pretty much hate anything that is purpose-made to put them and their accompanying, multifarious boxes on. It would be OK if any old cabinet would do, but the thing is, you need at least an open shelf or a glass-fronted door so that the magic moonbeams from the remote control can get to the boxes. So annoying! I suppose you could put the boxes to the side or something, but they are so ugly I would rather have them half-hidden at least. Oh, and then of course there's the cable issue - having to have a hole, or to drill a hole if you can bear it, in the back wall of the stupid thing so you can get your cables through. These kind of things should really not bother me so much, but they do. It's how I am.

This haberdasher's cabinet, from eBay, works for me. Shame it's £700!

So. Tell me your secrets. Anyone. Please. Tell me what to do. What have you got your clothes in? What do you stand your telly on? More importantly, does it look good?

Images from various sources: eBay UK, Pinterest, Maisons du Monde, oh Hello Friend, Design Sponge amongst others. Sorry I haven't credited them individually.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

self portrait in Flash on a Thursday afternoon

I keep thinking it's Friday today. I think this reflects my slightly frazzled mental state.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

more Honda

Another of the Honda ads that I've been illustrating should appear in the weekend papers at some point... Here are some details from a couple of the images:

Monday, 9 May 2011


Well, progress of a sort. Sometimes you've just got to rip the crap out of a place before you can put anything back. This will be our master bedroom. Remember how it was, with the black, patterned wallpaper? Not much has been done to it since we stripped it, but on Thursday we got a chap in to rip down the walls and ceiling for replastering. Now we have a very large hole that opens up into the roof space. I call this progress.

Did you all have a lovely weekend? We went for a rainy walk to Aber Falls with some friends, ate a lot of food and tried to keep the dust at bay at home. It's a hard life...

Friday, 6 May 2011


this formica top on this table. It comes with some good PEL style plywood chairs too.

Happy weekend, all!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

the weekend

We had a marvellous, super-long weekend here. I really could get used to a three day working week coupled with a four day weekend. We entertained my family at our new house for the first time on Saturday - it was the most wonderful feeling having my own home again and welcoming guests to it. We spent a good portion of our time sprawled on the lawn in the sunshine and watching my Dad wreak havoc on some poor shrubs with a pair of loppers. He is incorrigible.

The picture above is of me berating the weeds (yes, I talk to plants) in front of the house (actually, I think I was murdering a very junior sycamore). Progress has been slow, given our work commitments and too much time spent in B&Q looking for bolts and screws. God, I hate that place!

On Sunday, we ventured into Manchester to rummage in Empire House Antiques, armed with measurements of every room in the house and with the intention of purchasing some wardrobes and storage. My favourite seller in there was a chap called Andy, who trades under the name of Euro Vintage Industrial (find a small selection of his things here on eBay). I wanted pretty much everything he had, and he kept on bringing out more and more things that I loved. We left, a few hours after our arrival, having bought a set of turquoise lockers, a bookcase from a university archive, two grey industrial pendant lamps, a row of old postal lockers for the kitchen, and - my absolute, absolute favourite - a vintage gymnastics horse like this, but smaller, symmetrical and without the pommels. "What are you going to do with something like that?" Andy asked. I waved my hands around vaguely. "Oh, I dunno, use it in the bedroom for draping clothes over or... just to look at". Read this post on Remodelista to see what I'm getting at. I'm mildly concerned that its base is too wide to fit through some of our doors though! The husband is hiring a van to pick up most of these items this week, so photos will definitely follow.

Image from Alex MacArthur.

If you are in the UK and a fan of Trainspotters, Andy may sell it cheaper. For example, he had some of these lights at a fraction of the price. Contact him via eBay or ask me for his e-mail address.