Thursday, 23 July 2015

A Summer Holiday in the Mountains

Don't be misled by the word 'summer' in the title... It describes this time of year, but definitely not the warm sunny weather associated with it! We are talking mysterious mists, rain, drizzle, down pours, and all other types of precipitation in combination with unseasonal chillyness.

So what to do in the mountains on an especially rainy day? Visit all the loppis! Loppis is the Swedish word for bootfair, antiques market type of places and there are an abundant multitude ranging from the enormous church halls staffed with charmingly dotty old ladies and filled with the unwanted treasures of the recently departed.( I hate to be morbid about these things but that stuff in there is the crap that their  loved ones left behind after the will was read and the treasured possessions were taken. It is the same stuff repeated over and over, doilies, ugly china statues, dubious wooden home made 'craft' items, unfinished embroidery...) to the 'garage of wonders' type of loppis. These cute little out buildings in the middle of nowhere, filled with a mix of antiques and rubbish stuff are where real bargains and surprises can be found. Finally there is the scary 'don't go in there alone' kind of loppis...

Often in a barn with no electrical light and limited natural light. On a dark rainy day you quite literally feel your way across the dusty 'treasures' until the futility of it robs you of the will to live and you stumble blindly towards the precarious and unevenly spaced rickety stairs in the direction of freedom.

Yesterday is was not raining so much so we took a walk through the forest to the beach. It was so beautiful in the forest but one could not stop to absorb the majesty of nature lest the blood thirsty horde of mosquitoes find you. They did find us ... and no amount of protective clothing and mosquitoe repellent can stop them 100%. I have about 20 bites on my face and ears and am so far away from glamorous right now. I'm pleased there are no mirrors in the forest. I don't really care though, the bites will faded the memories will remain ...

And tomorrow we travel to Trondheim in Norway...

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Pearls & Treasure in Interiors & fashion

One of my greatest loves are pearls and they have inspired me over the years in so many ways. I don't think of pearls in a conservative, old fashioned way and there are so many cool things you can do with them!
I use them  a lot on my cushion designs and photoshoots. In fact these are 2 long strands of pearls that are the most used things I own, in terms of props...

I've even used these same strands in the cushion design behind the old china

And again here threaded throughout the flowers on my Sugar Skull cushion

I even have a design that is nothing but pearls and a bits of lace...

So here are some of my favourite inspiring pearl related yumminess for you to pour your eyes into...

These pearl ships are made by Ann Carrington from old necklaces and tiaras and stuff. Talk about upcycling!!!

Carved pearl skulls

These 'Black Pearl' rug designs are by Catherine Martin, she did a lot of work on the Great Gatsby film and you can see strings of pearls in lots of her designs

 This is a nice and easy DIY project...Glamorous curtains using thrift store pearls -

Another nice easy decoration idea, perfect for weddings.

Now something a little more advanced! The skill involved in pearl inlay makes me feel a bit weak at the knees to be honest!

No collection of pearly loveliness would be complete without a chandelier by Erickson Beamon

And whilst we are on the theme of over the top, just check out this pimped up steering wheel!

Ok, time to sake it back a notch and show the other side of pearls, the clean lines and simplicity...

Ok, this isn't pearls exactly, more pearlescent but lovely anyway!
Wall paint, faux finishing and decorative painting products -

And Chanel knows a thing or two about pearls...
Chanel Resort 2015 Accessories Collection pearl bag

But I leave you with pearls in their darker incarnations, as skulls and well...guts...

 Decorative Authentic Cow Skull Miss Pearl by RusticBlueSkulls on

 The Inside is Much More Precious than the Outside (Jane Howarth, The Ladies, 2012)