Friday, 8 September 2017

Too Trendy Teenagers Bedroom Interior Design

Since when were youngins' so interior savvy? Ok, so obviously teens are spending huge amounts of time on the internet and specifically social media, like Instagram and Pinterest, watching you tube videos etc - looking at masses of pictures of beautifully decorated homes. It's given them the inspiration, and I hate to say it, pressure, to have their own rooms decorated just so.

But the thing that baffles me is why 12 year olds opt for Nordic minimalism as the style of choice. I mean when I was a kid I loved bright colours and crazy patterns...oh hang on...that hasn't really changed, but I mean most kids either didn't care about decorating their rooms or just stuck a couple of band posters on the wall, job done!
Not anymore! Jeez these kids are so sophisticated it blows my mind...



Cushions by Van Asch and bedding from Ikea



I think part of the reason that this style is so popular with teens is that it is easy to keep clean and neutral for all the relentless social media pics and selfies they do...

Big thanks to Klara for these pictures.

When I asked my daughter what were the key features of this look she said 'black, white and minimal. The focus is on the details'.
So there we have it... thats what kids seem to like these days ... here are some fancy versions..

One of the things I do really like about this whole monochrome kids room thing is the gender neutral feel of it which is in keeping with the way society seems to be moving, I like that.

and just so you see what a difference it is now from when I was a kid...just check out a typical teens room from days gone by and I think you'll agree, a lot has changed...

That looks like a bedroom someone goes to die in! Ugh!!!



See what I mean!


Friday, 1 September 2017

Formex & the Autumn Trends for 2017

I've just finished doing Formex, Scandinavias biggest interiors and gifts trade show, in Stockholm last weekend. I've been doing it for years now and one of my favourite things about it, apart from seeing my lovely stockists, is seeing the trends emerging.

There was the usual abundance of grey and muted soft pink that has been constant for years but also lots of jewel tone greens and blues. From Marine shades through to deep indigos and light apple green...





There is still massive amounts of parrots and botanical themes everywhere... including on my neighbours stand. Petra Bush is a designer who loves colour and we can respect that!
I love all those kinds of marine colours and used lots in my own new collection...I'll be putting them up on the website as they come into stock.

But the other really strong trend is for  sort of terracotta, salmon, murky earthy colours. These colours don't really have familiar names like pink or blue... this is a world of spicy earthy euphemism...
This pic is from Home and Delicious blog which is full of interiors eye candy...
But Pinterest is full of this colour right now, from salmon to Masala ...sounds more like cooking recipes than interiors colour themes!

I don't personally relate to this colour palette much but I can totally imagine that a colour like this could end up being the Pantone colour of the year 2018.. Is it a bit like Masala, which was there colour of the year a few years ago? yes, but still.... that's where my money is going. Some kind of pinky earthy tone. Maybe I'll even be able to like it by then.  So what do you think? Do you love these strange spicy earthy colours? Do you think they are a trend on the rise or have we seen the peak? Or do we even care?  

Well, Formex really took it out of me and I've got a cold now, so I'm off home to wrap up warm and take care of myself for the weekend... You have a lovely weekend too...








Friday, 18 August 2017

Are You Sweating in Style?

No, I'm not talking about fancy gym clothes....well, not just yet...more about that later. What I want to know is can you pimp your sauna? Is it even possible? I mean it gets really hot and moist in there! so most kinds of decorating are right off the menu. It's natural wood and not much else...

I was staying at  a friends country cottage recently and they had a stand alone sauna. A little building with a terrace, changing room and the sauna proper, not uncommon in the countryside of Sweden. They had decorated it so nicely, in the changing room outside the sauna, with old fashioned sauna accessories and what looks like instruments of torture... surely they would've served some quite innocent and useful purpose once but I can't imagine what!

The decorating vibe here would definitely be called 'Man Cave'... think shot glasses, funky bottle openers, booze cabinet and cozy places to sit and enjoy the pre and post sauna glow.

 There were also plenty of guns around, and not all decorative...Hmmmm VERY man cave.

It got me thinking, has anyone else pimped their sauna? Well there are certainly plenty of amazing saunas out there... check out this amazing multi level floating Saunalautta raft boat!












Gorgeous, but still just wood...
There are plenty of lovely decorated changing rooms... This one from an article in elinfossland.no




But aside form some fancy lighting or curvy wooden business..there is not much scope for pimping your sauna. To be honest though, when your nearly fainting from the heat, I don't think anyone is going to care whether their sauna  is jazzy or not.






So What was I talking about fancy gym clothing earlier? Well, it just so happens that I'm launching a brand new range of fabulous athleisure  clothing at Formex trade show next week. I'm going to show you more  next week but for now I'll leave you with this...





Friday, 28 July 2017

Sinful Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

You know I'm always hunting for the yummiest cake and cookie recipes... well I came across a beauty yesterday by @displacedhousewife and want to share it with you. I made a few tweaks to her recipe (I didn't have any bread flour so I substituted for coconut flour because I love the flavour) and I think you'll love it...
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
110g butter softened
1/2 cup olive oil
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups ordinary flour
1 cup coconut flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
200g block of dark chocolate roughly chopped

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees C. Line baking tray with baking paper.
2. In an electric mixer, cream the brown sugar, butter, oil and granulated sugar.
3. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix again.
4. Add sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix until incorporated.
5. Gently fold in the roughly chopped dark chocolate pieces.
6. Roll into heaped tablespoon sized balls and place on the baking tray. Allow about 5 cm between balls.
7. Place the tray into the freezer for 10 minutes. This step will really help the cookies keep their shape and not flatten out in the oven and it really is worth the bother, believe me.
8. Put the cookies in nearer the top of the oven and cook for 11 minutes. Don't worry that they will look a bit underdone, they will be slightly crispy on the outside and gooey but cooked through on the inside.
9. Take the cookies out and let them cool down for as long as you can stand to wait before stuffing them in your face ;-)





Saturday, 22 July 2017

Photoshoots, Fashion & Behind the Scenes

I usually do my blog on a Friday afternoon but I was busy yesterday doing photoshoots with Janice Issitt ... So here is a few sneaky behind the scenes pics. And the reality of photoshoots is that sometimes the photographer has to get in the most unlikely places to get the angle. Janice is actually inside a bush here, nothing for it, had to get in the bush...

And poor Nicole had to suffer bitey ants to get this pic. What a trooper!

I did not escape having my pic taken too...


Friday, 14 July 2017

Juggling Holidays & Working

Well, it can't really be done. That's how it seems anyway. Now the kids are off school I'm basically on holiday but I still have masses of work to do. What that means is that our kitchen table has become a 'temporary' office desk with all the tech and clutter that entails. I have to clear it off every evening before dinner and then put it all back. It's a bloody pain in the butt! Plus I'm shuttling back and forth between the studio and home because I've forgotten something tiny, like a lead or a delivery is coming or something. I just want a proper holiday where I can concentrate on just being one thing, a relaxed Mother. No such mercy for us self employed folks. Also I had to remove the most ENORMOUS spider from my studio yesterday. Who else is going to do it? No-one. So I caught it and re located it to a nearby hedge. I even have a special spider catching kit ever at the ready. It's a see through plastic cup (so I can know where the little horror is at all times) and piece of thin but stiff card. My studio is on the ground floor and seems to attract huge spiders specially to amuse/torture me... thanks universe.

On the upside I did just get a delivery of loads of new samples for the trade show I'm doing in August... lots of cushions and clothing and the cool backdrop I'll be using for display...
Check it out

That fab picture in the middle is by Janice Issitt who is coming over to see me next week and we will spend the week doing photo sessions for the catalogue...
Just a bit more work then it's the weekend!!!! And I'm going to be a relaxed Mother. It is decided!


Friday, 7 July 2017

Bohemian Warrior Queen Headdress Thingy

Last week I was supposed to go to Ibiza for a photoshoot. Everything was all planned and lined up except that the clothing samples didn't arrive in time so I had to cancel at the last minute. Talk about a stressful week! Well, no point going to Ibiza for a photoshoot if there are no clothes to photograph! So I've rescheduled it for about 10 days hence. I'm actually really happy about that too because it gives me more time to make props and accessories for it. Today I made a warrior boho queen headdress thingy.

It's just a load of old stuff I've been hoarding over the years. I do that. In truth, apart from the studs on the front, which I bought for doing my jacket, every other thing is just recycled old crap...

Now that I've made that, I don't have any more ideas about what I want to make.... my mind is a creative void, but I bet something will come to me overnight ;-) That sounds a bit creepy, but you know what I mean.

Friday, 30 June 2017

My Embroidered Black Leather studded Jacket & Paverpol

You know I was working on my old leather jacket last week, sewing appliqué bits onto the leather, which took AGES!!! and bloody hurt my fingers, but it was well worth the effort...
The studs finally came and I got to work with my hole puncher and power screwdriver, putting about 250 studs in, which also took ages. I also decided to lengthen the jacket and actually used some old bits of leather I had left over from a pair of lace up black thigh high boots I had as a 16 year old. Can you believe it! 30 years old bits of leather!! I'm such a hoarder! Who keeps this crap? But, I thought it would come in handy one day...didn't realise I'd have to wait 30 years!

Anyway, I'm super pleased with the result and the fit is perfect!



Last weekend I went on a course to learn how to sculpt with fabric using something called Paverpol.
We started by making a base from wire and tinfoil attached to an angel wing base.
All the ladies made very different shapes, some very curvy, others bowed and some, like mine with their arms flung out. As much different personality as the creators them selves...



But they were all lovely in their own ways. It was so nice to see these women enjoying themselves making things. I know how absorbing and calming it is to make stuff. I do it all the time and it is part of my job, but it was so wonderful to feel the energy of the group, totally focused and relaxed together.
This Paverpol stuff was incredibly easy to work with and the end result is surprisingly hard, light and durable. Definitely a great product to experiment with..

We used different fabrics, with different textures, but all stretchy, dipped in black Paverpol. The excess glue was smoothed out of the fabric to leave it drenched but not dripping then it was arranged around the frame. Once it had dried to the touch, which is surprisingly fast, we applied metallic gold paint to bring up the details.

I've had 2 big creative projects recently, plus this Paverpol thingy and feel like I have cleaned out all my ideas for now. I feel unburdened and light. Empty in a really nice way... I look forward to doing nothing creative at all for the next little while! Now I feel like talking....

Friday, 23 June 2017

Gucci, Embroidery & Roses on Black Leather

There has been a combination that I have loved for as long as I can remember (not that that is saying much these days ! ;-) It is traditional eastern European style flowers and embroidery on a black background. It was a big inspiration for me a couple of years ago when I started to design the 'Make Peace not war Collection'


It is also something that has inspired me on my next creative project. Unusually this is something just for me, nothing to do with work, just a personal project.

Last year I saw this jacket  by Gucci and I thought, mmmmm me wanty. But me cannot havey because it costs silly money...

Still, it didn't leave my mind because it featured several of my favourite things...flowers and embroidery on black, leather bikers jackets and studs... all together, all at once, in the same place! too fabulous.

I decided I wanted to do something like this but make it more me, and more affordable of course. I looked forever for the perfect plain black leather jacket that I could augment but I never found anything that was 100% right so I ended up using an old cropped leather jacket from my ancient past.

I found a really lovely embroidered mesh top from Zara for next to nothing, so I've cut out all the bits of embroidery and have started sewing them onto the jacket.


Once, I've sewn on all the bits of appliqué I'm going to add a bit of leather to make it longer then start putting the studs on, which is going to be epic! There are about 200 of them to screw in. I'll show you pictures as I go on with it. If you love embroidery and fabulous bohemian clothes then you must check out my Pinterest Board of My Favourite Clothes



Today is Midsommar here in Sweden and a very important day for celebrating it is! Many strawberries will be consumed, there may be silly dancing around pagan looking May poles, but whatever way you are celebrating today, have wonderful day and I hope you have good weather!


Friday, 16 June 2017

AirBnB... Are you Late to the Party?

I'm going away to Ibiza in a few weeks, for a photoshoot, and I was looking into hotels...all either fully booked or stupidly expensive and then I thought 'Air BnB!' Well it might have been my mate that suggested it... I'm still bit new to Air BnB. Only used 1 once before and it is not what I first think of when I need to sort out accommodations. But my mate Janice is next to a professional traveller and Air BnB is her bitch so she sussed out a fantastic place for us to stay in Ibiza. I mean seriously...you could choose this...

or for half the price you can have this all to yourselves...


I mean seriously! What would you choose?
Not convinced yet? ok you can have this outside your room...

or this...

And it costs half the price, comes with excellent local knowledge and a helpful host... Well you can see which I chose and that is where we will be going in a couple of weeks. Can't wait!

Yesterday I booked another Air BnB for the family, a long weekend in a cottage with a big pool, just a few hours drive away. I just thought it would be fun for the girls to have their own pool for a bit and none of us like becoming an ingredient in the human soup that is our local public pool but the girls really need to practice and have fun in the water. So, this might be more expensive than a family of 4 getting tickets to the local pool but it will be soooo much nicer and worth every kronor (penny ;-)


Friday, 9 June 2017

When is it ok to say 'That's a Mans job'?

Ok, before you get all heated under your hood, let me just put it out there that I'm a committed Feminist. I know that women deserve equal pay, equal rights and opportunities and that we are still viewed as commodities. That we are patronised, exploited and generally have a more challenging time moving ahead in business and balancing the job of baring the next generation. But when is it ok to say 'I'm not doing that. Thats a mans job!'?

Recently I found myself in a bit of a difficult situation... My street is very community minded and we gather twice a year to beautify, tidy and maintain our lovely neighbourhood. I was given the job of helping a big strapping dad lay the speed bumps down on the road. These are super heavy and it is hard dirty work. I didn't really want to do it but I'm no idle princess so I just got on with it. I'm sure I was close to busting some important inner body part when a lovely old fella said ' You shouldn't be doing that! Thats a mans job!' He rushed off and found another strapping young fella to assist the first one. I'd nearly finished and my nose was a bit out of joint. I felt very conflicted, I was pissed off that they thought I couldn't handle it but I sort of couldn't. Ok, the fact is I could handle it but those big chaps can handle that kind of thing much better. You don't even want to know about the state of my nails!

But it got me thinking... what's the feminists line on 'Mens jobs'??? I notice that it was an older man that suggested It was 'Mans Work'...and I know that kind of thinking is often part of that generation. I mean my mum has definite opinions on what is women or mens work... Cleaning, tidying, ironing is basically women work. Plumbing, electrical stuff, car maintenance and heavy lifting all mans department. When it comes to strength related stuff, I can see what might be a mans job, but electrical stuff and certain car related things...hmmm... It all just panders to the view that women are weak and don't like to get dirty. Do men especially like to get dirty? Or do they just do it because it's expected?

I'm not looking for answers, every situation and person is different and that's the key really. But imagine a society of free individuals not held back by weird stereotypes and pre conceptions.... I think we are still pretty far away from that but it definitely gets better with every generation...

I love watching Super Girl with my kids. She is such a great role model and I love that my kids are growing up with female super heroes that are not sidekicks, not overtly sexual, just strong and powerful. I'm so looking forward to go see the new Wonder Woman movie! There was nothing like that when I was growing up. Back then, Wonder Woman was still a mans idea of a powerful woman but this time around...? I think she's gonna kick some ass!


Friday, 2 June 2017

Networking, Social Media, Ex Pats & Scared Hearts

When I was younger, you know, before the internet happened, I just had friends. We hung out, did stuff, it was all good. Now we have networks. We have compartmentalised groups of friends which we socialise with for specific reasons. Almost all of my human IRL interactions happen in neatly organised networks... I've got my bookclub, my Women's Entrepreneurs Network, I've got my Ex Pats in Sweden network. It is all very neat and tidy. ...
I'm not a robot though, I do have a few friends who I eat cake with, maybe look at art and have non specific chats with... it all works anyway...

One of the networks I belong to is  MamaMötet run by UK blogger in Stockholm Littlebearabroad which is a parents in Stockholm guide to whats on, where to eat, where to shop etc.... All the essential stuff you need to know, but don't know how to find, if you move to Stockholm and don't speak the language. MamaMötet is an evening mixer with informative talks and all very friendly and chilled. I love hearing English spoken by the natives, makes me feel all warm and nice inside.

Another network I belong to is the Scandisysters Collective. We are a bunch of business women who have set up a monthly blogging competition and this month I'm the host! Yep, Van Asch is taking the reins this month, so lets see what these clever bloggers can do with my cushions! I'll be blogging about that  more, later in the month, closer to when the winner gets announced at the end of June.

Now for something completely different... If you have been following my creative journey making a winged heart, my next step was painting the wings gold. I did this with gold metallic acrylic paint and a square ended brush. I didn't use much paint and put it on in very light strokes...

This weekend I'm starting on the heart...
I'm very inspired by the religious sacred hearts from Mexico and tattoo styles..here are some of my faves ...
                                                                                                                       
                         This one is from Catbox Art Studio and they do loads of cool day of the dead stuff.
 






                         
                      Just love this! Would make an excellent tattoo







And this super pretty beaded one is lovely, by artist Laurie Mika


If you want to see more of these lovely things then check out my Hearts Board on Pinterest