Felt Better

Speaking of felt, I can’t wait to get my hands on this book – Alterknits Felt. How gorgeous do these projects look?


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I am of course the woman who has three little bowls all knitted up and ready to felt, but is entirely lacking in courage to do so.  So the chances of me making a felt footstool are probably fairly remote.


Pomegranate Princess

I saw these crazy cool crocheted wire thingies on Shelterrific and had to share them with you (and also with anyone who fancies buying me the silver hoop earrings).

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Yael is an industrial designer based in Israel who makes beautiful wire-crafted jewellery and homewares in her spare time, which she sells through her Etsy ship Yoola.  (Her profile is inspiring. Go read.) The 27th is the last day of her buy two-get-one-free offer just in case anyone fancies buying me a little silver, pink or orange pomegranate to go with the earrings. 



Oh, Muji, Muji, Muji how I love and miss you! 

Oh Muji, Muji, Muji how I hate that when I try shopping at your online store you say it will cost me £19.99 (approx $30) to have your nicely made, affordable stuff shipped to the US.  When on earth are you going to open a US online store? Thank goodness I have accommodating in-laws.

Here are some of my favourite Muji things.

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All available here if you’re in Europe or you’re prepared to pay the shipping. Lottie writes a beautiful eulogy to Muji here. Here’s a description with photos of Muji’s new flagship store in Tokyo.


Felt Happy

Aren’t these just utterly amazing? {All images from felt artist Hisano Takei}


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Having said which I’m not entirely convinced by this stackable set, though it would be warm.

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Miz Tula from Whorange also recently put together a fantastic felt round up full of fabulous felty ideas.


Bits ‘n’ Bobs

A few small announcements.


Holly at Decor8 has excellent taste in blogs.

The next meeting of the Grassroots Business Association is this Thursday at 7pm at Vermillion in Seattle.  Set up by Megan of Not Martha and The Organized Knitter and Kristen Rask from Schmancy among others, it’s for everyone currently owning or thinking of starting their own small business.  I hope to see lots of you there.

The fourth annual Urban Craft Uprising is taking place in Seattle on December 6th and 7th at the Seattle Center.  I last went two years ago and it was a typically Seattle mix of the homespun, the bizarre and the fabulous, so I’m much looking forward to going again.


Christmas Cake – Part II

The next step in the Christmas cake saga is to bind everything together with a simple sugar/butter/eggs/flour mixture.  The only unusual thing is to use dark brown muscovado sugar which gives the mixture its dark colour and a unique taste. Interestingly this particular recipe (unlike, say, Delia’s) doesn’t use any of the traditional Christmassy spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or mixed spice. The ‘Christmassy’ (for Brits anyway) taste and smell comes from the sugar and fruit.


Here’s the cake all ready to go into the oven for 4 hours. The recipe gives complicated instructions about lining the tin with a double thickness of greaseproof paper, wrapping brown paper round the prepared tin and then standing the cake on brown paper while cooking.  I have no idea why you have to do this but we followed the instructions anyway.


Here’s the finished unwrapped cake.  The next step is to wrap it in greaseproof paper and tin foil and then store it in an airtight tin, before ‘feeding’ it once a week with brandy.  The cake will keep like this until the week before Christmas when I’ll take it out and ice it.  The next step for me is looking out kitsch decorations online.

I assume that any Americans readers are staring to understand why this only gets made once a year.



It’s that time of year again.  Here are some of my faves.

Suzy Jack Deluxe 2009 Calendar, printed on 100% recycled paper using soy inks.

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(He he! I just nabbed the last one of these for our kitchen. She seems to be putting them in her shop in batches so check back again soon).

This year I have been accompanied by 2008 calendar from Green Chair Press.


This is made up of loose leafed letterpress cards in a jewel case, with a pattern and haiku for each month.  The quality is absolutely beautiful and the little haikus are really cute.

Here’s this years’ calendar.  I’m not sure I like the patterns quite as much as last year’s (which really has wormed its way into my heart) but it’s still lovely.


This year my desk calendar comes from a Seattle blogger and designer Still Dottie whom I met through the Lab.

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It’s all beautifully handmade and I just love the colours she’s used – each month scrolls through teal, turquoise, limes and corals – and the addition of colour-matched stitching adds a really original touch.  Here is mine all ready to go above my desk.  She’s still got some left in her Etsy shop and do check out her gorgeous blog as well.








Another Seattle-based designer who always produces a great calendar is Herman Yu, who makes beautiful designs from nature.


Check out the inside pages here.


If I had more wall real estate I would probably consider this enormous, incredibly stylish Vignelli Stendig calendar available here.  Yes, the baby is to scale.

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Vignelli also designed the classic Max 365 Perpetual Calendar, seen here in an otherwise fairly hideous room set from Pottery Barn.

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My favourite perpetual calendar though is the Corian Calendar by Niels Kjeldsen.  These were a special limited edition and enormously expensive (I’m not sure you can even buy them any more) but I do wish someone would mass-produce them.