Tuesday, 31 May 2011

wonderful walls ...

Hello all,

Over the last few weeks I've been filling a sketchbook with pattern work in prep for an interview I have in June. I've always been a pattern enthusiast, my love for it first stemming from the wonders of William Morris. Pattern and colour have always been two areas of design that capture my interest and imagination and with the ever growing amount of beautiful work out there it's hard to go a day without being inspired by a delicate pattern or bold print in fashion or interiors.

Whilst gathering ideas and inspiration for my sketches I delved into the wonderful world of wallpaper. When thinking of wallpaper you can be forgiven of thinking of dated patterns or predictable colour ways, but infact wallpapers are as bold, stylish and contemporary as many of the prints in fashion.  
Don't believe me? Check out some of my favourite examples below.



Saturday, 28 May 2011

Thursday, 26 May 2011

perfect porcelain ...


how to ...

Hello all,

So as I mentioned over the weekend I planned to do a post on table setting - a "how to" kind of thing. After doing a mood board in the previous post, focusing on blue, white and greys I decided to stick with this colour palette when creating the table setting for this post.
I wanted to keep the theme of this table setting fresh, perfect for spring time, using layers of white, blue, silver and a bit of pattern to lift the objects. 

So here is my Table Setting How To.

  • I think the best way to start a table setting is to get all of the crockery, linen, flowers, glassware and anything else you might want to use an lay everything out on the floor to see exactly what you have. You can then start grouping things together before your hands even touch the table. This really helps me visually see what items work well together, its a really easy way to shuffle things around without having to worry about knocking anything over.
  • Once you have found what items work well together, I recommend taking photographs to refer to in case you forget, it's just nice to have a visual reference to look back at in the midst of moving around all the different items.
  • Once all the prep work is done it's time for the fun part. Obviously this starts with the table cloths, linens and/or placements. Using a patterned cloth with a textured or plain runner or linen place mats is a great way to create more texture and layers which I think only add to the interest of a table setting.
  • As many of the items I'm using for the table setting are plain surfaces without pattern, along with the limited colour palette I have decided to use a patterned cloth. I then layered with white cotton placements, which match the napkins.

  • Once the table cloth and place mats are set it's now down to placing objects, I usually start with the crockery and glassware next. Once the key elements of the table are set it's just a case of adding things such as flowers and decorative items, this tends to take the longest as it's just a case of placing things and seeing whether they not only visually work but also whether they work practically. I constantly change my mind during this stage, as you will see from the image above which has the two dipping bowls in the wicker basket, they are soon changed when I start to adding other items.

  • Now that the crockery, cutlery and glassware is in place it's time to start decorating the table space around it. Whatever your table theme I think the addition of flowers is one of the most important aspects of pulling together the look of the table. I like to have a centre piece of flowers and then smaller cuts either in glass jars placed randomly around the table or hand tied flowers laid upon the crockery or against the napkins.  

    • In my opinion there aren't any rules in terms of what items should or shouldn't be used when creating a table setting, within reason obviously. I have used silver tree decorations which sit along side the crockery and glassware, on paper it may not seem like the ideal partnership but aslong as the size and colour fit in with the over theme of your table I say be as creative as you want. After all it's merely just a case of taking it off the table and putting something else in it's place. Trial and error is the best way to think of it. As long as the essentials are in place then you can be as playful as you want. Just keep in mind your colours and the practical element of your items, you don't want items to get in the way or feel uneasy about things getting knocked over. Also bear in mind the height of flowers and extra decoration as you don't want to block out the sight of any guests at the table.
    Here are some more snaps of my table setting with the finishing touches added.


    Monday, 23 May 2011

    blue crush ...

    Hello all,

    I've been working away at creating a few mood boards today along with planning some boards in prep for Saturday, the more preparation I do the more I can enjoy the day so I'm making sure I have everything I can done in advance.
    Today I've been making some mood boards for the two ceramic designers whose work I am using for the photo shoot, both are very different in style, so I'm making sure I have a mood board for each to remind me of their style, colour palette and company aesthetic. 
    The designer who I've been making a mood board for today uses a very subtle palette, often using white on white, white and duck egg blue, greys and the occasional pop of colour through some tiny detailing.
    With this I put together a few mood boards to visually trigger ideas for the shoot, one of which I've posted below.

    I'm still totally obsessed with table setting, I think it's all down to having to style for ceramic designers, but I'm not complaining, it's so much fun! Later on this week I'm going to do a "how to" table setting post which was suggested by one of my lovely followers. I'll be taking photographs at each stage, hopefully it will inspire you all to have a go yourself.

    Exciting times tomorrow, I'm going to one of the designers I'm working with to select products to pick up for the shoot, this mean I have to be decisive... something which I often struggle with. I'll be taking lots of photographs of the products, so I'll be sure to post some of my final picks when everything is done and dusted.

    Until then,



    Tuesday, 17 May 2011

    table of art ...

    Hello all,
    Once again I am busy organising for a photo shoot which I have in just under two weeks. One of the looks which I'm styling is a table top for a lovely, local ceramic designer. I have always loved the art of table dressing, there is something about having the simplicity of a table surface and the freedom to dress it up in flowers, linens and glass ware that I am totally obsessed with.

    Having to dress a table for my shoot is something which I'm most excited about, building the layers of the table top with linens, crockery, flowers and favors, it's such a lovely process. By introducing small accessories and stationary a table can be one of the most interesting and impressive things to style, especially if you're not afraid to be a bit playful with textures, pattern and colour.

    I have been collecting inspirational images for my "table top" mood board in preparation for the photo shoot and I thought I'd share some of my favourites on here. Take a look and see which ones catch your eye!

    I think it's clear to see that all of these tables are brought to life by the use of fresh flowers and colourful crockery and linens. I think the best examples of beautiful table dressing is when you mix and match pattern and textures, layering patterned crockery on top of simple linens, using polished cutlery with matte or frosted glass ware. It's all about having fun,being creative and creating a mood which you're happy with.

    So next time, even if it's just you at the dinner table, why not get out some pretty napkins, use a fancy wine glass and throw a flower into a jar of water ... it'll make something as ordinary as meal time feel that much prettier. I promise!



    Sunday, 15 May 2011

    Light Night ...

    Hello all,
    So I have to post about the amazing night festival  in Liverpool that I went to on Friday Night. It was called Light Night and it was jam packed with exhibitions, craft and vintage fairs, open studios, art workshops amongst other events. It was such an incredibly inspiring night, I was so shocked when I came across places in the city that I never even knew existed. The art scene in Liverpool is far bigger and more diverse than I ever thought, the night really made me excited to be developing my creative career here in my home city.
    I started off the night at the CUC in Liverpool, which was hosting a large vintage fair. Stall upon stall of vintage clothing (a very fashionable nod towards the midi skirt) and if you anything like me, a jewellery junkies haven!
    It was great to see so many independent businesses together for one night, I tried to chat to as many stall holders as possible, grabbing pictures and business cards along the way.
    Here are some images from the fair, I forgot my camera AND note pad... two essentials that seemingly slipped my mind. Thankfully my friend had her snazzy camera phone at the ready and saved the day by snapping away at my request. Thanks Katie.

    LiverBirds Vintage. Cute clothing and great jewllery.

    Lovely hand made soaps by Ayntre Soaps. Me and my friend Katie were impressed /baffled by the felted soaps. Merino Wool felted around lavender soap ... built in exfoliator. I say genius!

    Memory Box. This stalls was a jewellery junkies dreams (my dream) so much to choose from!

    Kitty Kavanagh Jewellery. Some of the pretties and quirkiest pendants I've seen! Lovely stall. Easy to shop, irresistible.

    Can't find the name of this stall which is such a shame. Really pretty accessories. perfect for wedding favors. I will try my hardest to find the name out.

    So after the marvels of the vintage fair I headed up to Bluecoats, which was a buzz of excitement, the best atmosphere of all venues I believe. With a silver fox djing to help the mood along I headed into the galleries to check out the photography exhibitions. As the Liverpool International photography festival is underway (13th May - 26th June) there was a brilliantly diverse collection of work in the galleries, from Juergen Chill, Edmund Clark and my favourite of the night Dornith Doherty (amongst many others).

    Dornith Doherty's work was based on botanical influences, observing how seeds respond to the process of collection and containment. My favourite pieces from her collection being the seed xrays. At first glance they almost look like detailed chalk drawings, though once you get close to the huge (i mean huge)  framed piece of work you can see so much detail from the xrays, it was fascinating and so different to everything else.

    I then headed off to a few more places before calling it home time. I have to say it really was a brilliant night for Liverpool, I just wish it had spread across a few days as there was just so much to do. But at least the photography festival gives me enough time to potter about and make my way around everything.

    Inspiring Liverpool!



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