A Day In Wallingford

So last Saturday we just hung out in the nabe.

Watched naked people cycle past.


Went for ice cream at the new and very fabulous Molly Moon’s (had the balsamic strawberry which was extremely delicious and the salted caramel which was too salty).


And then came home to watch the setting sun bounce off the downtown buildings from the deck.


I’m so glad we moved to this part of Seattle.

Speaking of which, very long time readers may remember me blogging ages ago about Matt whose videos of him dancing all over the world are some of the most watched on You Tube.  What I didn’t know then is that Matt lives in Seattle and always finishes his videos by dancing near a Seattle landmark (the 2006 video finishes at the Troll which is also just around the corner). The final scene of his latest effort was filmed in Gasworks Park, which is just on the other side of the trees which you can see at the bottom of the picture above.

Unfortunately I found out about the filming a couple of days too late (via the new and very excellent Wallingford Seattle Blog) or else the Minx and I would have been there with bells on (in the figurative sense of course).

Watch the new video and be strangely moved.  And look out for the very nice colourful houses in Buenos Aires.


Kitchen Wizard


I’ve just found the kitchen (and bathroom) cabinets of my dreams over on Scrappy Girl’s blog.  Danish design company Hansen Living has apparently just made it to New York.


On the assumption that these are as expensive as they look, has anyone got any good ideas on how I can get my hands on a huge amount of money very fast?   (I would imagine getting them to Seattle wouldn’t be exactly cheap either).

hanseninstantkitchen01  hansenindbygningsskab01


The Lab – Crush on Plush


Just a quick reminder that this month’s Lab is on tonight between 6pm and 8pm at Velocity’s showroom and is going to feature Kristen of Plush You and Schmancy, Hansi of Hansigurumi, and Moxie of Made by Moxie, talking about the rise of the plush movement and crafting in general.

I’m hoping very much to attend, though I’m currently mainlining echinacea and zinc in an attempt to stave off an increasingly spluttery cold. But if you’re in the Seattle area it should be a really fun evening as usual.


Come Into My Garden – June


The garden was looking all shiny and pretty just before we left for Mexico, but by the time we got back, after a week of rain and then record-breaking temps, it was looking like a branch of the Amazon rainforest.

I’ve spent every weekend since then attacking the lawn, pulling up thousands of weeds, planting new stuff and mulching everything, while the garden sort of went into suspended animation because it was so incredibly cold.

My efforts have finally been rewarded over the last couple of weeks as temperatures have risen (not that it’s exactly summer yet, mind you) and things are finally starting to happen.



It’s still looking a bit messy as all the bulbs die down (and I’m not too keen on the woodchip mulch either – who would have thought that one day I would have opinions about mulch?) However, the beds have finally filled out with perennials and the lilies I planted earlier in the year (very excited to see the lilies as I can’t for the life of me remember what colours I planted).

The big news is that we finally got round to constructing and planting a raised bed to the side of the garden and also planting a climbing rose to go over the arch.


Here’s a before picture from when we first moved into the house.


I’ve put in some roses – being English it doesn’t seem right to have a garden without them somehow. I’m wondering a bit about their garishness though.

To the side of the arch is rosa ‘ Zephirine Drouhin’  a hot pink which is looking lovely with the lavender at the front of the beds. At the moment it’s perfect, but I’m worrying whether she’ll be a bit OTT when/if she scrambles right over the arch.


In the raised bed is rosa Livin’ Easy which is the most beautiful orange (hate the name though)


IMG_5961and also rosa ‘Christopher Marlowe’ which looked good in the garden centre, but which might prove to have been a bit of a mistake as I think it’s too pink and sugary even for me. I may have to move him to the front garden somewhere.

Behind them is a soft pink jasmine to go with the white jasmine to the side of the trellis.  I’ve also planted a clematis, but it doesn’t seem to be doing too well at present, mostly I suspect, because we broke the growing tip in transit.


The most glorious iris has just finished blooming. It was so dark as to be almost black when in bud. The garden is so shaded now that I think I’m going to have to rein in my predilection for black flowers because you just can’t see them.  Also pretty and very unusual were the little bell-like flowers of the enkianthus by the side of the patio

020 026

The helianthemums at the front overlapping the stone walls have been flowering well, but I think they are a bit of a mistake.  I should have listened when the designer specified orange helianthemum ‘Ben Nevis’, instead I asked if we could have Ben Ledi  instead and although they look very pretty when the sun shines through them, from the front the just look too RED and don’t go so well with the lavender. 




The brig ht pink geranium Anne Folkard is also doing her thing and bringing a bit of colour to the shade garden at the back, where nothing much is happening at present, and the first oakleaf hydrangea caps are starting to come through.  I think they’re going to be beautiful next month.


IMG_5996 The herb garden at the side of the house has also filled in nicely – all ready for the grilling season.  If it ever gets here.


Always Judge a Book by its Cover

Aren’t these nice?  I’m very late to the party with these, but I’ve just seen (via Brocante Home) that last month Virago brought out a Special Edition of eight of its Modern Classics to celebrate its 30th anniversary, each with beautiful covers courtesy of celebrated textile designers.

Virago was set up by Carmen Callil to rescue out of print works by female authors and when I was growing up it had the reputation of being a very daring and feminist enterprise.  Which is why I read a lot of Virago books, particularly in my teens. Today their pine green spines are a hugely beloved part of the English literary landscape.

I actually quite fancy buying a couple of these (I love the Biba Valley of the Dolls and Orla Kiely Barbara Pym particularly) but can only find some of them (and not the ones I want) on sale here.

excellent women a game of hide and seek

Cover design by Orla Kiely
Cover design by Celia Birtwell

9781844085224  9781844085279

Cover design by Cath Kidston
Cover design by Lucienne Day


Cover design by Barbara Hulanicki
Cover design by Marion Dorn

9781844085231 9781844085286 

Cover design by Jacqueline Groag
Cover design by Lois Mailou Jones

Free magazines


I’m having a massive clear out ahead of the imminent arrival of my crazy Italian rellies (who hopefully do NOT read this blog) and have decided to limit myself to only a year’s worth of magazines. 

So if anyone in the Seattle area fancies getting their sticky mitts on back copies (from before June 2007, going back to 2005 in some cases) of Elle Decoration UK, Homes & Gardens UK, Vogue UK, Domino, Real Simple, Elle Decor then please contact me quick before they go in the recycling bin.


glassybaby glasses

I’ve posted about fabulous Seattle-based company glassybaby a couple of times before – I absolutely adore their little votives – so you can imagine how thrilled I was to see in the latest issue of Seattle Magazine that they are now branching out into glassware proper.

These glasses just reek of summer.


I wasn’t so thrilled by the price though. Unfortunately the glasses are going to cost $50 each, so I can’t see me collecting many any time soon. If they are anything like the votives though they will be handblown and of exquisite quality.

(Image from Seattle Magazine).













They also don’t seem to be up yet on their website. In the meantime here are some gorgeous pictures of the original glassybabies to drool over.

(Images from the glassybaby website).




It appears from their blog that next Saturday(21st June) they’re holding one of their regular ‘seconds’ sales.  Just don’t buy the colours I’m after. 


Ideal Home – Iconic Chairs Tea Towel

We got a very lovely piece of coverage in Ideal Home magazine just recently.

 Ideal Home suppl cover July 08

Ideal Home July 08

They had the clever idea to FRAME the Iconic Chairs Tea Towel by Grace & Go, which looks superb in this rather lovely kitchen (might be a bit inconvenient for the washing up though).

Thinking about it, some of the other teatowels we stock, most notably the colourful screen prints from Atelier LZC would also look fabulous framed. Cheap artwork! (I bet that gorgeous frame they’ve used cost a bit though).