Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Apples...An apple a day keeps the Doctor away!

At least where I am right now, Fall/Autumn is in the air. Crisp, bright days like these make me think of apples. In Vermont, the Macintosh Apple makes up 70% of the harvest and the early macs start to appear in early September. They are my absolute favourite, tart, juicy and perfect for cider, pies or just on their own. And they smell delicious!
They got me thinking of my favourite apple-things. Apples are not just for eating you know!
Apple Mac Candle from Shearer Hill Farm, VT

1. Apple Soy Candle, ecram1 2. Apple Jacket, Jacqueline Knits 3. Big Apple Charm, Links of London 4. Apple Pickin'Skirt, Made With Love By Hannah

In Southern Vermont we are blessed with the Dutton Berry Farm stands, stuffed with appley goodness (& cider to die for!). What these guys don't know about apples, isn't worth knowing.

My brother at 10engines has a little more to say on the topic of Apple Pie...and cheese (Cabot of course).
And remember folks....


Scented Candles...
There are few things in life that I love more than scented candles. I always have them burning, and although my addiction is strong, I am also very discerning in the candles I buy. Quality of the scent and the length of burn time are key. I like to think of my years of obsessively trying the newest out there, as research. So here are my top picks!
Recently, I have been converted to Soy Candles, for their cleaner burn and lack of pollutants, but my first love has to be Diptyque.
Originally a Paris interior design store, Diptyque was founded in 1961 by three friends, Desmond Knox-Leet, Christiane Gautrot and Yves Coueslant, all with an artistic and interior decoration background. It was their collective love of travel, to far flung exotic places such as the Far East and Africa, that first inspired the range of scents (launched in 1963). Initially created as an accessory to their interior design range using their own designs of printed cotton fabrics, their luxurious range of scented candles has gone on to be famous around the world. Their designs are simple and clean, using scents that range from herbal, to floral, fruity and woody. Figuier (fig) is my everyday favourite.
A cult brand based in Los Angeles, are A Scent of Scandal. Their soy candle tins are given names like "8 inches" (banana scent), "knocked up" (baby powder scent), "walk of shame" (morning dew scent) get the picture, risque names that have a tongue in cheek reference to their scents. "D-cups".......Melons of course!
For the best value candles, both in terms of scent and burn-time, I choose Bridgewater Candles. I have to admit I was put off initially by their generic "Yankee Candle" look, until they redesigned their packaging. These are natural soy blend wax candles, with simple scents that will evoke warm memories with their Christmas scents, Fresh Baked Apple Pie, Cinnamon and Clove and Butterscotch. I don't like sickly sweet scents, but the Red Hot Cinnamon is spicy and warm. My favourite of the bunch!
I included Shearer Hill Farm Country Candles in a previous post, so had to revisit them for this. I'll admit I haven't tried them, but their unique packaging in Mason Jars, their soy base and the homely scents they use, all make this my current favourite to try. Having just given up coffee (my life's love is Green Mountain Coffee Hazelnut), I guess I will have to settle for this to curb my cravings.
Hazelnut Coffee Candle
Hmm, I think this might just add to my Coffee addiction!


This week, I am loving....

1. "Let's Hug, Print" Belle and Boo 2."Cupcake Stand with Bell Jar" Whitney Smith 3. "Deer and Cupcake, Photobox" e.soule

4. "Ship in a Bottle, Brooch" Shiny Lil Things 5. "One for You, One for Me, Postcard" Threefold 6. "Coffee and Cake, Tea Towel" MrPS

7. "Lemon Lady, Digital Collage" Peggy Wolf Designs
8. "Vintage Memo Board" Shabby Vintage Mom 9. "Pink Bear Brooch" Ememem

Sunday, August 23, 2009


My love of this genre knows no here is part 2 of my favourite Typography based prints...Etsy Rules!

No need for any more words from me!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


This genre has it's roots in ancient history, but it could be said that many see it as an American craft from Pioneer times, and more specifically identify the Amish Community with the art of quilting.

Traditional patchwork quilts come in many designs, all with specific stories behind their unique styles. There is more information about this craft than you could wish for on the internet, for example here and here. Originally the Patchwork Quilt was a craft using much loved and worn clothing, recycling what was at hand to create a practical item of beauty. The ultimate in make do and mend. Each one told a story, and often groups of women would join together to assist in the completion of a quilt, known as a Quilting Bee.

Anyway, enough of the history lesson. Today, there are vibrant and modern examples of this design in all kinds of quilts and home accessories. I adore the incredible fabrics and colours that can be found in patchwork these days. No surprise that Etsy has an incredible array of patchwork items from quilts to cushions, bags to clothing. My Picks...

Fire Horse Textiles
For the ultimate in patchwork, Squint Ltd specialises in bespoke vintage furniture covered in luxurious patchwork, using the most decadent materials. This is high end stuff.

DESIGN THERAPY: Johnny Cupcakes

It will come as no surprise to my nearest and dearest, if I say that Johnny Cupcakes is my absolute all time favourite designer for unique T-shirts. It is a rare day indeed if I am seen without one of his quirky and cute designs on. You could say that I have a bit of an addiction. I prefer to call it LOVE!

Johnny Earle, launched his T-shirt line in 2001 whilst touring with the band On Broken Wings, selling his screen printed creations from the back of his car. The signature look of Johnny's designs is a cupcake with crossed skulls, the cupcake image appearing in all manner of places where you would least expect it, in each creation.
There is a humour and irony to his designs that have created a cult following for his wares and this is intensified by the release of limited edition shirts and invite-only releases at each of his stores. With stores in Hull and Boston, Massachusetts, and one in L.A. Johnny has established himself from coast to coast, for those in the know.

Johnny Cupcakes stores are set out like bakeries. The Newbury Street store in Boston displays t-shirts in glass cases and "fridges", whilst the L.A. store is more like a Willy Wonka-themed cake shop with over sized candy coloured ovens, that open and close letting out steam. Staff wear aprons and purchases are packaged in take-out style boxes.
Johnny Earle on display, Newbury Street Store

Interior of L.A. Store

I admire Johnny for his determination to go out on his own, and stay true to his ethos of a creative business that he controls, which has so far seen him recognised in 2008 by Business Week as number one in their Best Entrepreneurs 25 and Under awards, among many accolades. Yes, 25 and Under!! Yikes, this guy is seriously talented, and a genuinely funny and lovely person to boot. He regularly travels the country, and now the world, to give inspirational talks to young students about business and design. Johnny recently travelled to England for the first of his international lectures, stopping off in Leeds on his travels.

Follow his "freshly baked" antics here, to get a sense of the man behind the magic.

My all time favourites.....

from Johnny's Girls Collection, past and present

It is a testament to the strength of his brand that Johnny Cupcakes is going strong in 2009, despite the financial climate we find ourselves in now. Johnny, over to you...

**Update 08/21/09: Johnny Cupcakes has just be placed in 237th position by Inc. Magazine for their Fastest Growing Private Companies in U.S.A. piece. Read more here.. Nice**

(all images courtesy of Johnny Cupcakes)

Friday, August 14, 2009


Those who know me well, will tell you that I am not exactly a winter sports kind of gal. Shame on me, as I grew up in the Green Mountains of Vermont, where skiing, snowboarding and snow-shoeing are in the blood. I will say that I started life skiing as soon as I could walk but through the years have left that far behind. I think it must stem from the trauma of getting on a chair lift on my own (aged about 7 or 8), not able to reach the bar to secure me in, and the ski patrol stopping the lift while I was about 30 feet off the ground, shouting at me to pull the bar down. I of course couldn't reach the bar, and apparently didn't much seem to care, waving at my brother down below completely unaware of the danger of my situation. At the time, I guess I thought it was a great adventure. Latterly, I have to assume it scarred me for life! It has been some 15 years or so since I strapped on a pair of skis.
Anyway, in the spirit of childhood enthusiasm, if I WAS to take up winter sports again it would have to be snowboarding. It's a Vermont thing.

My Boarding for Girls Picks
Selected from the Current Women's Collection
Burton Snowboards

Burton Snowboards, founded by Jake Burton Carpenter, began in Londonderry Vermont in 1977 and is now the world's leading snowboard manufacturer. Living just 5 miles down the road from there, Burton is synonymous with snowboard culture for us. Jake is credited with turning Snowboarding into a professional sport, although not for inventing the board itself. There are many who are deep into the culture of this sport in Vermont, most notably Ross Powers (also from Londonderry) the Olympic Gold Medal winner in the Half Pipe from the 2002 Games. Now diversifying his business and pursuits, Ross has a store with a mini museum dedicated to the board, check it out here.

It must be said that my brother over at 10engines is quite the artist when it comes to making short films on snowboarding, and his love of the life surrounding it. He is not bad on a board either.

Open Season -highbacks and gunracks from 10engines

You never know, I might even give it a go this year. That outfit won't wear itself! James, that one's for you.

RETAIL THERAPY: Modern Trophies

I grew up in a house full of stuffed animal heads, trophies. Pops has always had a "thing" for them, and I am by no means a fan of the moth-eaten Deer, Fox, Otter or Bear parts that he chooses to decorate his "man space" with. Pops' first score was a large Buck head he purchased from a gentleman's clothier in England, nicknamed Albert, used to display silk neckties on it's antlers. The Huntin', Shootin', Fishin' culture of rural Vermont has left me with a cautious understanding of the traditional culture (but not necessarily an approval of it), without the gratuitous display of the product of this practice.
A coat rack made of deer hooves or standard lamp from antlers, why would you? There really is no end to the home decor items that are made from animal parts. I prefer to surround myself with pretty things that did not involve the harming of animals to create them.

So, to the Modern Trophies. Whimsical and beautiful decorating items taking the idea of the Trophy and turning them into works of art. No animals were hurt in the creation of any of these beauties!
Ruby's Lounge Pink Flocked Deer

Decor Designs Decals

Touch the Dutch Silver Moose Antler pin

Girl Savage Feltidermy

Cardboard Safari
The clever folks from Cardboard Safari have an array of animal trophies made from laser cut cardboard, that can be customised by you with glitter, paint and any manner embellishments. For the ultimate Deer Trophy, their camouflage deer head on a blaze orange wall-plate is the perfect example of this trend. Pops, this one's for you!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I have always loved dolls, but I particularly love rag dolls. There is something so much more unique and individual about these lovelies, not to mention the squishy cuddliness of them. No plastic or nylon here. And no scary dolls eyes stares!
This type of doll really has its roots in history (The British Museum has a Roman rag doll dating back to 300BC). Raggedy Ann must be the most recognisable form of this doll in most recent history. They are a toy that can be crafted from just scraps of material (and some considerable sewing talent) and transformed into virtual works of art. The handmade element is particularly appealing to me, each with their own story to tell.
These wonderful Etsy artists have created some of the most delightful versions of the rag doll, each and every one has a special character all of their own.


The mother of all rag dolls from an Etsy artist, has to be the work of Milkrun. These are less dolls, and more stunning works of art, entirely handmade with beautiful detail everywhere you look.
Related Posts with Thumbnails