The Lab


This is just a reminder to everyone hoping to come to the Seattle creative meet up from 6pm- 8pm next Wednesday 16th April at Velocity’s South Lake Union showroom on Yale Avenue, featuring special guest artist Matte Stephens.

The events will go by the name of The Lab – we are hoping that they will become a place to experiment with new ideas, foster creative thinking and provide us all with plenty of opportunities for networking and inspiration.  Please feel free to invite anyone you think would like to come and remember that The Lab is open to both men and women. 

Special thanks are due to John Tusher and his staff at Velocity who have embraced the idea of regular meet-ups so wholeheartedly and who will be hosting and sponsoring future events.

For those of you on Facebook, we have created an events page here – please come and sign up.  All of you who have emailed me asking to go on the mailing list should be receiving an email within the next day or two. Anyone else who would like to be on the mailing list, please get in touch.

After resisting it for the longest time I have become a Facebook addict.  All huge fun, though somewhat disconcerting when it turns out that a very old flame appears to have found enlightenment and turned into a cross between Mother Teresa and Deepak Chopra…


Bee with Fern


Or, how the rich get richer…

Regular readers will remember that earlier on this year, there was much temporary excitement round these parts when This Morning  (which, for American readers, is a major networked morning TV show in the UK) called in the Atelier LZC Bee mirror for a feature.

The excitement quickly abated when the mirror wasn’t mentioned at all during the feature and indeed only a tiny corner of it was fleetingly visible during the programme, resulting in absolutely no sales whatsoever.

This is pretty much par for the course, I would say of everything that is called in by journalists etc. only about 25% is actually used in any capacity.  As is also par for the course the mirror was never returned to us. 

Most journalists are really bad at returning stuff.  In theory they’re meant to return it, and some are very good about it, but many seem to assume that you’ve just given them a generous gift, whether or not they actually use the item in their publication. The mythical Vogue accessories closet is not just a myth (and yes, one of their staffers managed to ‘acquire’ a couple of scented candles a year or so back, though they had at least featured them in the magazine).  And it doesn’t seem to matter to them whether the company they’re ‘acquiring’ things from is a huge multinational behemoth, or a teeny tiny online shop.

The reason I’m writing about this scam now is that when we emailed This Morning to enquire as to the whereabouts of the mirror, we were told by the researcher that it had been ‘passed on to Fern’.  For the uninitiated Fern Britton is the main anchorwoman of the show, one of the very few women on TV that I actually like, and one of the highest paid women on UK TV. 

While part of me is pleased that Fern liked it enough to ‘acquire’ it, she has gone down a long way in my estimation. Though to be fair, This Morning did say we could invoice them (but only after we’d emailed them).

The temptation to write “as ‘acquired’ by Fern Britton” on the mirror product page is almost too strong to resist. At least that way we might get SOME publicity out of all this.

And with this post all chances of ‘mirrormirror’ ever being on the telly have just disappeared….


Adirondack Pop Art

So, inspired by these, at Ocean Point Inn in Oregon where we stayed last year,


and these cushions by Karen Hilton, which I’m soon hoping to get on mirrormirror,

flower powe union jack

we went to the paint shop at the weekend and choose these


for the sickly pastel-coloured Adirondacks on our patio.

I’m hoping, since the colour scheme in the garden is supposed to be like this -  full of clashing hot pinks, oranges, reds and purples – that they might just work.


I know, subtle colour is not exactly a forte of mine.  We shall see. Painting updates to come. 


We have socks!


The sock obsession has been continuing unabated and I have actually finished my first pair of socks.  They were a very plain pattern (from Violet Green which comes free with their sock yarn, though I can’t find it on their site) and are riddled with mistakes, but hugely fun and I now own the most comfortable pair of socks in the history of the planet. Note they’re already slightly fluffy as I have been wearing them all weekend.402

I’m a complete novice at ‘reading’ sock yarn, so I had no idea they would end up looking like this.  Really quite subtle.  I actually love them, though next time I do a variegated yarn I might try a slightly more textured pattern. Because yes, there’s definitely going to be a ‘next time’.

It was a little embarrassing lying on my back on the lawn like a stranded beetle while I photographed my feet. The neighbours can’t laugh though, because the other night we watched them film a zombie movie in their back yard. The bit when the ‘body’ emerged from the hole they’d dug was really very effective.



So, I know we’ve been somewhat mean about her in the past, and that she’s recently had a facelift, and is no doubt Botoxed to the hilt and airbrushed to the max, but good grief, her Madgeness is looking HAWT in her latest vid.  And very inspirational to those of us who may be past our first flush of youth.

The song is the best thing she’s done in ages too.


Polaroid Pearls and Photo Swaps

I was sad to hear that Polaroid was no longer going to make cameras or film, because somewhere deep down I had a vision of myself one day taking gorgeous photos like these. 

Digital cameras just can’t get close to this sort of softness and subtlety.  Of course now I want one more than ever.

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The photos come from Jen of Fieryeyed Photography who writes the blog Nectar & Light – truly one of the most beautiful blogs on the web.

Jen also runs a monthly photoswap through her site The Photo Trade.  The rules are simple.  Give her your name and address and she will tell you the monthly theme and match you up with your swapees.  Get your picture in the post before the end of the month and then wait for the postman to deliver wondrous things.


I joined in for the first time this month and this is what I sent to Susannah on the theme ‘Morning Ritual’ (I’m very glad that I didn’t know beforehand that she is a freelance photographer).

And these are what I got back from Christine, which are currently looking very beautiful thank you on my inspiration board.


I think there was a teensy bit of confusion on the monthly theme, as I was told ‘Morning Ritual’ but lots of other people had ‘Green’.

Anyway, you’ve got until April 4th to sign up for this month’s swap, which is on the theme ‘A Faerie Tale Told’.

Updating to say that my breadbin photo made ‘Explore‘ on Flickr!  The first time anything I’ve taken has done so. 


Come Into My Garden – March

Quick! *Rushes to get the March update in before April*

Spring has indeed sprung and the garden is looking fab at the moment.  All the back-breaking effort in the autumn (oh my goodness, I nearly said ‘Fall’), planting daffodil and tulip bulbs is really paying off.


The star of the show is the shade garden at the back under the tree, which is bursting with daffodils and hellebores.  Hellebores, how much do I love you.  





The first tulips also bloomed this weekend – a sweet lipstick pink called (I think, I forgot to make a note) Elizabeth Arden.  You’ll notice that I’ve put in a wigwam to grow peas though nothing much is happening a present.  There’s parsley, rocket, red oak leaf lettuce and broccoli for harvesting in the little vegetable patch though, and the Minx and I recently sowed carrots, radishes, spring onions and more lettuces.

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The tulips in my pots are looking beautiful already, I just love them next to the watercolour-splashed pansies, which have been going strong all winter.


Next month I foresee painting in my stars.  I ordered these Adirondack chairs off Ebay hoping that the colours wouldn’t be quite as sickly as they looked on screen and lo and behold they look exactly like the Easter Bunny has just barfed all over the patio.