Monday, 23 May 2011

Wild abandon

Occasionally, I can be one of Those People: a person who saves things because they seem too lovely to actually use. A prime example would be this treasured teacup and saucer that has sat on a shelf in my kitchen for the past two years, being looked at, but never used. I had seen it and wanted it so badly that it actually made me ache a little to leave the shop without buying it...but then several months later my father gave me some money at Christmas time and it seemed the perfect self-indulgent thing to spend it it.

The set is made by Wedgwood for the Harlequin range, which borrowed its designs from the archives at the Wedgwood Museum Trust. Everything about this little teacup delights me - its beautiful colours against the flecks of gold; that the Harlequin range is an eclectic bunch of mismatched cup and saucer sets, rather than a tasteful range designed in harmonising colours; that it came cocooned in a beautiful turquoise and gold hatbox for protection.

And then last week, without really thinking about it, I found myself getting up from my computer, taking the teacup from the shelf and making myself a pot of herb tea (Pukka's aniseed, fennel and cardamom). I'm unsure what caused this, but the tea tasted wonderful and every time I saw the lovely teacup and the beautiful roses (they were my mother's, given to me so that didn't go unlooked-at in an empty house while she was away for the weekend) on the table while I typed away I felt very happy indeed.

And so it seems that using lovely things feels even better than just looking at I think the future may hold half-empty jars of Laura Mercier Creme Brulee Honey Bath, a bar of Vetiver & Rose soap that has had the scent thoroughly sniffed away, White Company Winter-scented candles burnt with abandon and Anna Maria Horner voile fabrics made into garments, rather than being hoarded for the elusive perfect pattern.

Do you have things that you can't bring yourself to use?

Florence x

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Thoughts on Mollie Makes

Photo from Mollie Makes
I passed a happy hour looking through Mollie Makes yesterday evening - it's a new craft magazine that seems to have flown from the shelves of just about everywhere. It has a nice matt cover, a proper bound spine and feels just how you want a magazine to feel: a very long way from shiny, stapled pages. These are the things that shouldn't matter, but somehow do.

It's a lifestyle magazine with craft skew poked firmly through it. The articles and interviews focus on the process of craft and the evidence of it having infiltrated its way into the crafter's heart, home and thoughts, rather than teaching you how, which is just what I'm interested in reading about. Oh and there's some shopping bits too...which are always welcome. Who wouldn't love a magazine that alerted your attention to the existence of this floaty Anthropologie apron? (well, perhaps I loved it less when I realised that the apron was no longer for sale, but sometimes just feasting your eyes on something will suffice. I've already imagined the baking sessions and dinner parties I've lived through wearing that apron and I think in reality I'm not sure I could cope with its fabulousness).

Eyes Left: Apron love
I also love it when magazines hold secrets and nonchalantly dispense them in small and insignificant side columns as though they didn't really deserve a double page spread. Which is exactly what they achieved in their 'where to buy retro fabric' aside... amongst the others listed there you might want to go visiting Spinsters Emporium.

Overall, my impression of it was that it was rather wonderful and cringe-factor moments (which seem to feature frequently in craft magazines) were low. I hope they retain their very welcome small sewing pattern to editorial ratio, as so often if you don't want to make the item in question it can feel like a huge number of pages have been lost. My only complaint is that, as I said at the top of this post, I spent a happy hour looking through the magazine, which for £4.99 doesn't seem very long. However, if you add to that the subsequent time getting lost in Anthropolgie apron fantasies and further time looking up some of the online links shared within the pages, then perhaps it does represent jolly good value for money.

Florence x
A few of the books/products that I link to on Amazon from my blog contain affiliate links and very occasionally, I'll mention a product that I've been given free of charge. I choose the things that I recommend carefully and my priority is to only share things that I love.