Friday, June 29, 2012

Must See Shops: No.1 Skinny Laminx

Over the next few weeks I'd like to share with you a few shops outside of Ireland that I would love to get the chance to visit in person one day. First up on my virtual tour is ‘Skinny Laminx’ located in Cape Town, South Africa. It's owned by talented illustrator and designer Heather Moore.  Heathers brick and  mortar shop  only just opened  last year but she  has been creating and selling her beautiful designs for many years through other outlets including  her Etsy store. It's great that I can still purchase her products online but I'd really love to be able walk around the actual shop.

I love the shop front, the simple white font of the name against the black background, the wooden frames, the window boxes and then a gorgeous illustration on the glass with the tag line 'You make me smile', how could  you walk past all that without stepping inside!

Here are a few sneak peeks of the shop, I love the way it is styled, the grey and white walls and the pops of colour from all the gorgeous products, it's all so inviting. Heathers studio forms part of the shop and to make a distinction between the two areas she has hung a fab oversized metal sign of one of her trademark designs the 'Eep' bird, you can see it below. I think it looks gorgeous and it's a great way of separating the areas while still leaving the whole space open.

I think Heather is a great stylist, from the shop layout to the beautiful online catalogue she has created showcasing all of her products. Everything is styled to make the products shine out as stars of the show.

My personal favorites from Heathers collections are the 'Eeps', 'Duikers' and 'Herds'. Regular readers may recall I made a cushion from an Eep tea towel some time ago, I just couldn't bring myself to use it to dry dishes-too pretty! I think I will
definitely be making a purchase again soon once our kitchen/living renovation is complete.

I was lucky enough to go to South Africa in 2001 with a group of friends on a hockey tour. It is such a beautiful place with so much to see and do. We visited vineyards, went on safari and whale watching, journeyed along the garden route, took a trip to Robben Island and a hilltop tribal village, bungee jumped (okay well I was too chicken but the others did!), oh and we played a bit of hockey too! It was amazing. I'm not sure that I will get the chance to go back again, but if I do Skinny Laminx will be my first stop. Thank you to Heather for letting me share her work with you here.

(Images used with permission from

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

New Sanna Annukka Prints

Sanna Annukka, Buzz and Lola, Art, Screen Print, Scandinavian

I was so excited this morning to see a mailshot  announcing the release of some new Sanna Annukka prints to her online store. As regular readers will know I am a big fan of Sanna Annukka's work.  I love Scandinavian style and her designs are always so beautifully full of colour and patterns.  I was delighted to finally get my hands on one of her Screen prints 'Spirits of the North'  last November as a first wedding anniversary gift from my hubby (you can see it in our home here.) Sanna explains that these new prints are a  range of fantastical birds based on areas of Finland.  These fabulous screen prints will be screen printed by Sanna herself in her new studio in Brighton and she promises more wonderful designs will hit the store in the coming months. I for one will be keeping a close eye on the shop and saving my pennies to make another purchase soon.

(Images used with permission from

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Graffiti by Miss Van

Miss Van, Graffitti
I love collecting free promotional postcards that I find around the city. My favorite in the collection is a postcard I found years ago in a cafe in town, its a picture of some street graffiti by Miss Van. You can see the postcard sitting on my desk above. I recently found some photos of the piece on Flickr showing more of the wall in Barcelona that it was painted on. I'd  love to have the picture enlarged to put on my wall, that chick has some serious attitude! 

(Photo used with owners permission 'Miss Van, a photo by Anuko on Flickr')

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Pretty Little Things

Stationary, paperchase, craft, washi tape, buzz and lola

My good friend Rachel is getting married in three weeks time....eeekkk excitement all round! Last night was her Hen Party (A.K.A Bachelorette Party) and everyone had to bring a little gift that reminds them of the blushing bride to be. I knew exactly where to go for this...Paperchase! Rachel  like me loves all things cute and/or pretty and stationary and gift wrapping are definite weak spots for both of us. Heres a peak of what I picked up for her!

Friday, June 8, 2012

'Handmade Fashion' Magazine

Handmade Fashion Magazine, Buzz and Lola, Craft

Looking for a good Mag to chill out with on the couch over the weekend?  Well a couple of weeks back I headed to Tenerife on holidays and needed a few magazines to try and distract me on the plane as I tend to freak out when flying-every little noise, bump slightly strange looking passenger has me convinced we are about to fall out of the sky..! Anyway I was browsing through the usual celeb mag trash when I spotted 'Handmade Fashion' on the racks which describes itself as a 'fashion-led, craft magazine'. I was sold on it straight away, its packed full of lovely with articles on current fashion trends, interviews with crafty experts, tips on shopping for vintage and loads of DIY projects and patterns to try and do yourself . Having had a quick snoop online I see its only just launched this February and  there will be just two publications a year to coincide with the fashion seasons. Its a little bit pricey but I think its definitely worth treating yourself to and I look forward to the next edition. You can find  Handmade Fashion Mag on Twitter @HandmadeMag. Happy Friday everyone...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Social networking: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Everyday it seems there is a new way to share our images; blogging, Facebook, Twitter,
Instagram, Pinterest the list goes on. We search through these images looking for inspiration, ideas or just for the pure pleasure of seeing them, but sometimes don’t you look at them and find yourself
comparing them to your own world? Doesn’t your world look a bit dull in comparison? and aren't you just a tad bit jealous of how everyone else's world seems to be?

I have been prompted by other recent conversations to think about this and the thing i’ve come
to acknowledge is that this picture world we scroll through each day is a hyperreality, a
simulation of the real world. You never post the bad pictures do you? You pick the best
shot and delete the hundreds of rejects. You don’t snap the ugly in your life, no, you target
the fresh cut flowers or the newly painted living room, not the ever growing pile of undone
laundry in the guest bedroom or the botched bit of wallpapering now strategically hidden
behind a pot plant.We don’t share the good, the bad and the ugly of real life do we? just
the good. The bad and the ugly is photoshopped out of the way and we are left with a perfectly shiny world! 

On Instagram everyday I see pictures of beautiful breakfasts, lunches or dinners that
are fit for framing. Luscious colorful salads in beautiful china with a handcrafted coffee on
the side, I look at them and then turn to the two dry pieces of sliced pan in my hand with
some questionable cheese stuffed in between and i think 'no amount of styling is going to make this
baby camera ready' ! Of course we don’t post the bad and the ugly, thats not what any of us want to see is it? We want all the pretty things to cheer up our day and to distract from the bad and the
ugly and thats okay, thats the way i like it dont get me wrong but its good to remind yourself that these pictures are just a snap shot of the good parts of  everyones life, its not that the bad and the ugly doesn’t exist for them  its just that they’ve been carefully cropped out of the picture!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Fabulous Cakes from Jens Party Cakes

My Sister in law Jenny is a super talented cake maker and owns her own business Jens Party CakesJen can make literally anything out of icing and cake from beautiful intricate wedding cakes to  crazy quirky bespoke cakes for all sorts of occasions. As well as looking amazing they are delicious, chocolate fudge cake, carrot cake, biscuit cake...nom nom nom.
Here is the tiniest peek of some of her creations. You can check out more of her fabulous cakes or contact Jen on Facebook and Flickr
For any interested Irish readers Jen is based in Kilkenny.

All photos owned by Jens Party Cakes