Friday, 23 September 2016

Pantone Colour of the Year 2017?

You know I'm mad keen on colour and have very strong feelings about the subject, well it got me thinking about how on earth could anyone choose a 'Colour of the Year'? Pantone do it every year and for the most part, I think they do a pretty spot on job... but it is made easier by the fact that it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy to a certain extent. I mean you can't know the power that these big trend predictors have. If they say something is going to be THE colour this year then lots of designers take that into consideration and is...
I remember a friend of mine, many years ago, had a top job in a very big global brand, as the coordinator of women wear or some such thing. Anyway, I vaguely remember that she got a look book from one of these big trend predicting companies and it cost something like £20 000 to have this book over the weekend and look at it. Really. This was in the pre internet days I must admit, but even so...utterly bonkers, and you didn't even get to keep the thing, just look at it!

This year Pantone did a dual colour of the year, for the first time, with Serenity blue and Rose Quartz

and I think they were bang on with Rose Quartz, but I have not seen any of that pale blue, well anyway, what is going to be the colour for 2017? And how do they choose it?
Apparently the team of about 20 Pantonians travel around looking at the obvious markers for up coming trends, like street fashion and interior design, but they also take note of the colours of luxury cars being released and if some new artist is super hot and uses a particular shade a basically they go around absorbing as much of everything as they can then sit about and thrash it out together until they come to a decision of sorts, which then gets released to the public in December.

So what do I think the colour for 2017 will be? well I don't get out that much and I certainly don't get to visit the fashion capitals of the world and hang about in cafes looking at people as a job...sounds quite good actually... so I don't have quite so much to go on... If I got to choose it would be Dove Grey

I've seen it a lot in homewares, interior design, hair colour and street clothes...

But Pantone almost never choose muted colours so I think it very unlikely that they will pick Dove Grey.
Lets look at the last 10 years of Pantone Colour of the Year...
see, no neutrals. So how about a dark vibrant blue? It's a big colour in interior design,  cars, hair and fashion...
well, it's a bit too close to the 2008 colour, but still a contender. 
Do they ever choose metallics? No, but maybe this could be the thing for next year? For the first time. They could pick Copper/Rose Gold. Copper has and still is huge in homewares, interior design and fashion accessories. I see that trend continuing for sure...

or is that more of a 2016 thing? I don't know, I just know that I love it, especially teamed with soft pink and grey...
It's easy to look back over the year and see the strong trends, but it is a very different thing to look forward and predict what they will be, but I'm always very excited to find out... I'm not sure why it thrills me so much, I guess it is because it is one of the few  times people focus on colour in the abstract and then I feel like my colour mad gang just got bigger and I'm not alone in my fascination with colour.  I would love to know what you think will be the colour of 2017...

Friday, 16 September 2016

The Scandisysters Collective, Women Bloggers & Entrepreneurs

I want to tell you all about this fabulous initiative that myself and some friends of mine have set up...a few months ago my friend and fab UK blogger Janice Issitt came over to Sweden to give a talk about social media to a networked group of women that I am a member of, and she also gave us a great idea...That we could band together to form a collective, do monthly blogging competitions and generally be there to support each other and to extend that support to the wider community of female bloggers, artists, designers and entrepreneurs ... So, we set up a Facebook page to promote fun blogs we find and nice photos and artwork by women from all over the place...

Pic by Janice Issitt

plus we set up an instagram account @scandisysters where we feature nice pics with the hashtag #scandisysters

If you fancy joining in the fun then use #scandisysters  on Instagram or if you know a really great blog you would love to share then copy in a link to the Facebook page so we can all check it out!

Friday, 9 September 2016

My Time in the Mediaeval Baebes

This blog is not so much about what I've been up to in the last 20 minutes as what I did in the last 20 years. The thing is that I have not had one single second to do anything interesting, or see anything thought provoking, since Formex finished a week ago. I have had my head down packing orders from dawn till dusk...just like a factory robot fulfilment centre. Kinda boring but quite rewarding on several levels ;-)

Also, people often wonder what I used to do, so I thought I'd share with you a bit about my time with the Mediaeval Baebes

I was one of the 11 women who jumped on Katharine Blakes mad idea to form a singing group sometime in the mid 90's. It was all choral stuff and long virginal white frocks, but we got progressively more outlandish with the clothing and head pieces as time went on. I would've rather joined a rock band but alas, I was 'blessed' with a little reedy choir boy voice, so no bitch growling rock for me. But on the upside, I was in a band with all of my best mates and we had the most fun it is possible to have, for many years. We made albums and they sold a few copies and I got to travel around the world touring. Marvellous stuff...
Got to pose for lots of photos too!

This is the kind of thing we did back then...

That was us being vampires for a festival in Vancouver, but here is us at the same festival before our 'transformation' in a more regular performance. I'm the blond one next to Marie doing all the talking.

It's weird looking back at that stuff, seems like a million lifetimes away. I was never much of a one for the performing, made me horribly nervous.

If you want to hear what I sound like singing then play San'c Fuy Belha Ni Prezada (in the spotify box underneath). It is me all by myself... I'd like to say that it was a one take wonder but that would be horribly untrue..

From being in the Baebes I started my clothing company, making mad mediaeval inspired frocks for all the fans and assorted lovely witches, freaks and mediaeval enthusiasts to enjoy. This was me getting a round of applause after my fashion show at a huge witch festival.

more of my creations...
Anyway, the long and short of it is that my clothing really started to take off and I also had my first daughter so I had to leave the band and life on the road. I don't regret that at all, performing was never really my thing, but I did have the most fantastic 10 year long party. It's probably why I'm so 'stay at home' now.
In fact I'm looking forward to a delightful staying at home this friday evening with my lovely family. Have a great weekend!

Friday, 2 September 2016

Formex Autumn/Winter 2016 Trends in Interiors & Even Celebrities!

Well I promised you a bumper blog, to make up for my lack last Friday, due to being at Formex, and I'm gonna deliver! Yes! We are talking celebrities, boobs and perhaps a bit of interior trends...
So for anyone that doesn't have a clue what I'm talking about, Formex is the biggest trade show for Gifts and Interiors in Scandinavia and I have a stand there, twice a year. I've been doing it for years and it is a great way to get a sneek peek at the up coming trends...but before that, I promised you celebrities, so here is me and Ann Wilson, judge from Sweden's Let's Dance TV show. I'm not normally one for these things, it's all a bit low brow ;-) you. know, going on about who you know and who you've met etc... but she was super nice, popped by the stand to say 'hi' to my mate... and the pic came out quite well, excuse my vampire teeth...

Right across from me was a very nicely decorated little stand for TV interior designer Lulu Carter. Very boho gorgeous. She was launching her collections exclusively for Royal Design, and I gotta say, I liked them, I don't normally say that about other designers cushions... Plus there were really cool little props and stuff. You could see that this was a stand for the press to take pictures, not to take orders. Because it is exclusively sold in Royal Design, it wasn't possible to order anything there, which is kinda weird, but anyway, the casually flung surfboards and boho tasselled accessories looked lovely, and gave it a nice vibe.

The stand that really got me chortling was the Jonathan Adler stand. So funny. I mean I loved the overall look of the stand but upon close inspection, everything was covered in boobs!

Ok, not everything, but a lot of things! I didn't think it was funny in a British 'oh er missus...tits and bums' kind of way. Just that some designers will do almost anything to get the wow factor even it is just incredulity, disbelief or shock. Just seems silly to me. I've nothing against the boob...have two of them myself, but I don't fancy a vase of them. Also, I've always had a bit of a 'thing' about bumpy things....(shiver)

 There were mouths and faces too. Didn't like them either but I did like the white and gold circle vase

This is a picture of a corner of my stand..

 And I'm going to leave you with my impression... going back some years now there was a huge fad for Flamingos, then it was cheese plant leaves and Pineapples then it was octopus and it is Parrots (and boobs). I've seen so many Parrot statues and things with parrots on them...mark my's Parrot time and combined with the fact that the whole botanical thing is still going really strong, and even still loads of pineapples out there... put them all together and it's getting seriously tropical baby!

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Rock & Roll Carpentry & Fabulous Posters

I usually blog every Friday afternoon but had to miss this Friday because I was loading up a truck with all my goodies for Formex. That is Scandinavias biggest interiors and gifts trade show. I've been doing it for about 8 years and it starts on Wednesday so I had lots to do. Not least because I decided on a last minute stand display idea the day before load in. The result of that last minute decision meant lots of painting and rock n roll carpentry. When I say 'Rock & Roll' carpentry, what I mean is shoddy rubbish hasty bashing together of bits of wood, filling in all the obvious gaps and cracks with chemical wood filler and hoping that the result will be acceptable. There is some measuring going on, but not much. It's too boring. Same reason I was always really bad at making curtains.... Anyway, I digress... I hope it will all look good after the final paint job.
I am starting to get quite excited about the show now as I love launching my new cushion and fabric designs but I also have a new product, posters. I only decided to get them made last week, also another last minute decision, so was very happy to get delivery on Thursday and they look super!
Here is one of the designs and there will be lots more and bigger sizes too...

I won't be blogging next Friday because I'll be at Formex but I'll do a bumper one the following week with all my top picks from the show and a recap of the  trends as I see them....

Friday, 12 August 2016

The Majesty of Nature Vs The Majesty of His Majesty

Sorry there was no blog last Friday and that is because I was away on holiday up in the mountains of Sweden, in Jämtland. It was a wonderful week of hiking and nature appreciation...
We have been going to the family cottage up there for 10 years and still there are new things to discover.
I was totally blown away by the Fröå Copper mine. There was a 90 meter deep hole into the ground, straight down, with a water driven pump, pumping out the water so that miners could go beneath the water table to get out copper. An incredible engineering achievement and unbelievable working conditions. They went down there in pitch blackness with burning torches! This is pre electricity times don't forget... What a job! The whole site was peppered with cute buildings and had the most fantastic food in the cafe. A must see if you are ever near Åre in the summer.

This is the view from our cottage. We were given the most incredible display every day by Mother Nature including rainbows galore!

Another thing we discovered was the lake called Blankstärn. It has totally crystal clear bright turquoise water. Breathtaking! We had to go on a 12 kilometre round hike to see it, but it was worth it

The sheer scale up there and the vivid colours and changeability of the weather was very inspiring, so much that I designed my new collection whilst on holiday... well, in my head. Now I have to actually make it all, but the ideas are there...

When we got back to Stockholm we decided to have a day out at Drottningholmsslott Castle, where the King and Queen live. There are 2 floors open to the public and we had a great wander around. I loved all the blue and gold colour combos..

But all that gold twirly stuff made me feel like I had visual indigestion. I couldn't help but compare the majesty of nature, which I had so recently experienced, to the majesty that the castle interior designers were trying to achieve... Nature wins hands down. It made the interior seem a bit silly somehow. I can't really explain it.
Anyway, my holiday is nearly over now, the kids will soon be back at school... I've seen so much art and exhibitions, amazing things and places that I feel full to the brim and can't wait to start this next season, with lots of creative energy...

Friday, 29 July 2016

Time saving Delicious Cous Cous Recipe

I love healthy food, and really naughty food too, but that's another sorry... today I want to tell you about a great time saving discovery. When I was down in Helsingborg visiting my friend and colleague Malin from the fashion label E.MallaS, we were setting up a big party together and were in a big hurry to get everything done. No one had time to fix a special lunch but we didn't need to, she had already pre made some delicious cous cous, so we ate a mug of it and got on with what we had to do.

When I got back home I thought, what a great idea! Make a batch of this healthy stuff, store it in the fridge and that is lunches taken care of for the next 3 - 4 days.
You can put what ever you like in but this is what I did...
I fried onion and courgette in a little butter then when they were a bit golden I added the cous cous and water and cooked as per the packet instructions.
Once it had cooled down I added chopped feta, coriander, peppers, cooked beetroot, sweetcorn, kidney beans and butter beans but you can add whatever you like.

I hate thinking about food but I want to be healthy and eat well. This stopped me just grabbing a cheese sandwich or whatever. Really good for the summer too, light and fresh.