Friday, 17 February 2017

Fashion: Can We Dress Ourselves Happy?

Well apparently we can! It's called Dopamine Dressing and it really is a thing. It's fashions answer to these dark and difficult times.
Normally when Fashion has an answer, it is to a question like 'How can I give myself a really bad body image?' or ' how to spend too much money on a skirt that looks like a lampshade?'... Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of the fashion industry. But occasionally something unexpected and positive pops out of the Fashion industry's collective gob and this is one of those rare occurrences. Dressing to make yourself more happy.

There certainly has been plenty of bright colours gracing the catwalk recently...

Pic courtesy of Fashionisers

And surely this would make anyone hysterical with laughter? Hmmm perhaps not in a good way...
Moschino Spring 2017

But it's not all about wearing jolly colours, unless wearing jolly colours makes you feel good. Personally I'd feel like an idiot, but the point it that it is more about wearing clothes that make you feel good and happy rather than just bright colours. It also starts to explain the idea of 'your lucky jumper' or whatever special good luck charm garment it may be... I do believe there is some sciencey stuff to explain it, but we need not bother our pretty little heads with that nonsense, just grab those lemon yellow flares and get out there!
You know, when I typed the words 'Yellow Flares', I really didn't think there would be all that much out there, I mean I was poking fun, but you'd be surprised! the internet is absolutely chocker block full of bright yellow flares! Amazing!
I think I'm getting very boring in my old age...favourite colour for clothes is grey. How sad is that? Only it's not sad! It's happy! Because Grey makes me feel happy, so there.
Want to know what colours Pantone thinks are the hot shades for spring 2017?
Thought you did...

And now I'm going to leave you with a peak into what kind of clothes I really like...

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

What I Really Think About Valentines Day

'Disclaimer' This is actually a repost from my blog in 2014 but I still feel the same about it and I still want to share this with you, I hope you don't mind....

Whilst all around you, businesses are trying to shove 'romantic' gift ideas down your throat, I just want to say that you don't need to spend lots of money to prove anything on Valentines day. Time and effort are the greatest gifts, breakfast in bed or a romantic meal get the idea. I am nauseated by the cringey way businesses use that particular celebration as another way to wrangle our hard earned cash out of our pockets. They use those charming twin sisters of guilt and obligation to make as much money as possible. 

Now don't get me wrong, I love a bit of shopping, but for what I hope are the right reasons, not guilt and obligation. But rather for appreciation of beautiful things (that would be for myself) or because something is just perfect for someone and it would bring them lots of happiness to have it. 
I don't buy something to say 'I love you'. Nothing says 'I love you' like you saying the words 'I love you'. 
I apologise for my little rant here but the commercialisation of emotion is hideous.

Perhaps I'm also a bit bitter as my husband is not here, he's away for work…we'll, I use the word 'work' very loosely! What I really mean is playing bass in a goth band to thousands of crazy young Japanese goths! But anyway, this Valentines day I celebrate with my lovely children and am doubly happy that hubby gets to do something he loves (I'm not really bitter ;-). Personally I think Valentines day should be about love. Love for each other, love for things you do, just love. Not necessarily romantic love, let's widen the net and get more love out there and more love in here!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Clean & Dirty

Well... it's been a week since my last blog and things have been developing... If you haven't read last Friday's blog 'What I Think About When I'm Jogging' then this post will make no sense, so go check that out if you haven't already....
Ok, now we are all on the same page, I have to say that there is only so much entertainment one can get out of imagining disembodied brushes and sponges cleaning my internal organs so I thought I better take it to the next level.
This week,  hot half naked blokes have been giving my internal organs an imaginary work over...

Yep, they guy has been lovingly cleaning my liver, giving it a right good shine. 
(do my photoshop skills know no bounds? ;-) 

I wanted to show you the half naked ghostbuster strippers that are sucking up the gremlins in my lungs but I couldn't find any pictures of hot half naked ghostbusters on the internet, surprisingly. I can't tell you how much I've been laughing, trying to find these pictures though. Bloody hysterical! I also need to wash my eyes out with soap! 

I needed a good laugh today because the day started off rather frighteningly... I was driving the girls to school...I saw 3 teenaged boys on the other side of the road, one was on the footpath and the other 2 in the road. They weren't exactly monkeying about but my Spidey senses (as in Spider man) were on high alert so I drove past them very slowly, and a good thing too because one of them just decided to run across the road without looking and he hit the car. His whole body bashed into the side of the car with a huge thump, right on the wing mirror, folding it back and rolling onto the driver window with more banging. He leapt back and apologised profusely, told me he was fine, he was totally ok.. Me though, had a heart attack. Ok, I didn't really have a heart attack but I was this close to my worst fear, which is accidentally killing a child with my car, so my adrenaline was going crazy.

A few seconds difference there and something truly awful could've happened. Makes you realise how life is incredibly precious, to drive slowly and also that teenaged boys are capable of extreme silliness. So be careful out there! 
I'll leave you with this guy... he's going to go and check out my kidneys and make sure they are doing whatever they are supposed to be doing properly... 

I know it's weird that my body is filled with legions of tiny microscopic hot gay guys... I can't explain it...

Oh, and incase you were wondering, no, I don't fancy any of these blokes, not my taste at all but they are really good at imaginary cleaning of internal organs in a weird combination of mindful meditation and soft porn...seems to work.

Friday, 3 February 2017

What I Think About When I'm Jogging

Recently I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed in the department of the visual. That is to say, I've been seeing too much stuff and am suffering from overload. I often get this way after I've been showing at Formex. I'm open like a giant eyeball hoovering up information and inspiration, seeing all the new stuff coming out and also reading lots of trend articles in the magazines...and don't even get me started on the relentless eyeball stimulating Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook feeds. Well, it's all too much for me and my eyeballs...we need a break.
It isn't all the eyeballs fault. There is also the inner eye. My inner eye, or imagination department, is in hyper mode, processing all this stuff I've been seeing and running endless design concepts through my mind... It's so bloody noisy in there right now!

Which brings me on to jogging... Normally when I'm jogging I run videos in my imagination and because there is an unlimited production budget on these imaginings, then the end results are quite spectacular and usually keep me occupied for the 30 minutes or so I'm on the treadmill. However, due to my overloaded imagination I thought I would try something different whilst jogging...

Meditating on my inner organs...yep, sounds weird right?

I remember reading, years ago, about a study involving school children. 1 class was told to lay on the floor and imagine that their white blood cells were white knights riding around destroying the bad invaders. The other class was told to lay on the floor and relax but not given any special instruction. Both classes were tested before and after this session and the kids that had imagined the white knights had considerably raised levels of white blood cells. I don't know if this is a true and real thing but I figure that meditating on my inner organs certainly can't hurt and is a blessed relief from all the imaginings. However, being the kind of person I am, there is still a visual element that goes alongside but it is slow and simple.

Firstly I imaging my liver having a good clean, a bit like going through an old fashioned car wash. There are scrubbing brushes washing away fatty business and then soft rags polishing it up to a lovely dark reddy brown shine.

Then we go on the the heart. There is a pink fluffy creature resting its head on my bloody heart and wrapping its furry arms around the heart breathing in love, breathing out bullshit. Cuddling the heart to make it stronger and better at loving.

Next step are the lungs. We have tiny ghostbusters here sucking up green viral invaders.

Then there seems to be workmen in hardhats moving on to the ovaries, womb and fallopian tube department. They wipe the dust off, scratch their heads and say 'um, this area is not getting much use, lets put it on standby' then they give the pipes a bit of a kick and move on.

Next stop kidneys, I don't really know what they do so its just a cursory spit polish there and moving on to the pancreas, which I have even less of an idea about what it does but thankfully my half hour is up by this point and I can stop thinking about my inner organs and get on with the day.
To counteract the visual overload I'm taking long dog walks in the day time and reading instead of watching  my black mirror with all it's endless temptations and distractions...

I feel good. 

If you are feeling like you have bees in the brain then go talk a deep breath of the outside air, walk in the park, pat a dog, smell interesting things, cuddle and remember we have all these other senses that can be so much fun. I'll leave you with a picture of a couple of my latest cushion designs and the one in the back says exactly that...

Friday, 27 January 2017

Purple & Green. The Interiors Trend Colours for 2017

I know I've been banging on a lot about colour recently but it is hugely important in my line of work and also personally. Harmonious colours make me feel nice and discordant colours make me feel uncomfortable. I consider myself to be colour sensitive... or something like that. Anyway, I want to talk about the big trend colours for 2017 which are purple and green, often together.
I have a love/hate relationship with both of these colours. Take purple for example. I loathe and detest bright blue purples but I adore deep red purples...go figure! And the same with greens. I love muted natural shades of green, olive, sage, moss, forest etc but hate lime, fluorescent or bright green.

I visited one of my fabric stockists recently Glada Ungmöns Diversehandel, we chatted about the new colour trends, I could see she was right onboard with it...

and what did I say about parrots last year? I said they were going to be everywhere...and they are!

I saw lots of purple and green being mixed together when I was at Formex trade show last week too, combined with tropical birds and lots of botanicals....

You can see what I mean from this pic from a PR bureau in Stockholm...

I really loved the stand by Jacobsdahls fabrics. It always looks so beautifully presented.. and more parrots! I'm telling you! We're being taken over!

I showed you some gorgeous tableware from STHÅL in my last blog, but I just have to show you more of their stuff because I just love this colour combo so much..

It wasn't just interiors rocking this colour combo though, even the furs on offer from Natures Collection featured gorgeous shades... I have to say I'm a bit hesitant to mention them because I'm kind of anti fur, I'm a huge animal lover, I don't eat red meat and I feel a bit weird about it all. But I love these colours together, so lets just leave my ethical dilemma aside for a moment shall we?

Actually, I've been inspired by the combination of these colours for a while, so much so it inspired me for one of my latest designs, Green Snake
You can buy it here

I'm going to be doing a lot more in these kinds of colours this year, I'm definitely feeling' it!
And if you are not convinced, then check out these gorgeous examples of when this colour combo can really work...

and this has to be a personal favourite, just for the sheer exuberant love of colour, and done by my friend Janice Issitt for Annie Sloans Chalk Paint Painters in Residence project. If you love painting, interior decorating, renovating, photography, knitting, travelling, crafty business or a million other things that Janice can do, then go check out her blog

And if you feel inspired and want to get some more eye candy then check out my Pinterest...

Friday, 20 January 2017

Formex Trade Show SS2017 Trends and Thoughts

I'm sitting here at Formex, as I do twice every year. formex is Scandinavias largest gifts and interiors trade fair and I've been doing it for years....

I've had a chance to mooch about and look around before it opens in the mornings and I have to say that I'm not super impressed...firstly, there is the very weird 'trend zone' in the lobby... There are tumbleweeds blowing through there...ok, not actual tumbleweeds, but it is a bit ghost towny. Actual tumbleweeds would fit in quite nicely though as the trend zone is just a bunch of mirrored boxes containing pine cones and tree branches and leaves and stuff. No actual trend prediction or guidance there then... Apart from that nature is really 'in' right now. Can you detect my sarcasm? Well there's lots of it. I am not impressed. Nature is always in, nature is the most awesome thing, but I'm just not sure what it is doing in a trend zone.

I'm seeing a huge trend for Greekkey and strong deco inspired graphic patterns, and really masses of gold foil embossed on velvet. I'm seeing really a lot of velvet...

These gorgeous cushions by Livva 
As far as colour go, well I have seen hardly any of Pantones 'Vile Bile' sorry, of course I mean 'Greenery' the only thing I saw was some glassware on Jonathan Adlers stand
But I have seen a huge amount of green, natural greens, but not as bright and nasty as Greenery. Lots of sage, moss and forest greens which I just love and frequently teamed up with purples.

This gorgeous crockery is by STHÅL

My feeling is that purple and green are going to be really big colours this year, so much so that I'll be doing a whole blog next Friday about that very topic....
And in case you are wondering, here are a couple of pics from my stand...

And how could I not include the cushions that I did featuring my daughters Scarlett's drawings?

Friday, 13 January 2017

What's New for 2017

Well, you might've thought I'd dropped off the face of the earth recently as it has been a quite place in my blog world... I almost did drop off the face of the earth, well, lost up a mountain anyway. I spent my Christmas holiday tucked away up in the snowy north of Sweden, no wifi, no work, just peace and quiet and breath taking nature..

This is the cute cottage we were staying in...

On the morning that we left we saw the most incredible thing in the sky, It was like a huge oil slick in the sky, but less gross and more unicorny. So beautiful, the picture doesn't do it justice...

I only just got back to work and it is the madness that is 'getting ready for Formex'. I do this trade show twice a year, but it doesn't matter how organised I am or how much I prepare, there is alway last minute bonkerness!
Next Friday I will actually be at Formex, so I'll try to post up some pics from the show and the following week I want to talk about the trends for 2017.
But before I do that I will leave you with a few of my brand new designs to give you a flavour of what is to come...
Ibiza Nights cushion

Victorian Gothic Long

Green Snake

This is a new design that is available in cushions, fabrics, wash bags, purses, shoppers, carpets...
Luna Gold / Luna Way