Feeling a teensy bit bored? Then why not pull out the photocopier paper and make yourself a hat.  Which is exactly what Japanese hairstylist Katsaya Kamo did for Chanel’s Spring 2009 collection. I think this should be a Project Runway challenge. (Speaking of which, WHEN is it coming back?)

{More here} 





Ginkgo Sock

I’m knitting some more socks. This time a rather fiendish Ginkgo pattern again from Violet Green. The pattern isn’t beyond me per se, it just requires ferocious concentration, and since I usually only knit in front of the TV, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to undo this. 


Still it’s coming along slowly, and I thought it looked good with our new ‘button’ box from Habitat.

My camera is very sick (broken LED screen, focusing issues, erratic pop up flash) and has been sent to the camera hospital to get a quote for repair (which I have a horrible feeling is going to be astronomical).  In the meantime I’m taking photos on my little point and click, which is not the same at all, particularly as I can’t remember how to work it.  Oh I miss my camera so…


Victorian Colour

I’m not so sure about some of the textile choices in this English Victorian house – a bit too old fashioned for my taste – but I love the owner’s use of colour and the use of contemporary furniture contrasted with the house’s old bones. A couple of great Ikea hacks too.




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The stair runner is made of Barnslig Rand rugs sewn together.

  CropperCapture[31] a626_20

The round bed was apparently sold in Ikea but I can’t find it on the current website.  There’s one for sale here.  The owner of the house made the round headboard for her teenage daughter’s room.  I would have KILLED for this bed when I was a teenager (except for the surprisingly nasty Lulu Guinness bed linen).

{All house photos from Living etc.)


Domino to Close?


Look here (though I can’t read the full article Decorno links to as I’m not a subscriber to WWD).

I can’t say I’m surprised.  It’s been really dreadful recently and the articles have only been good for ‘Go Fug Your Room’ posts. I’ll miss the website though.

I do wish the editors of shelter magazines stateside (which are all closing rapidly) would take a look at their British counterparts, such as Living etc, Elle Deco and even Ideal Home. All fabulous, and none, as far as I know, in danger of closing.

Living etc. there’s a huge gap in the US market now.  Come and launch here!


UPDATE: Here’s the full text of the WWD article, again courtesy of Decorno.

Domino magazine will cease publication, it was announced today by Charles H. Townsend, President and CEO of Condé Nast. The final issue will be published in March 2009.

“This decision to cease publication of the magazine and its website is driven entirely by the economy,” Mr. Townsend said. “Although readership and advertising response was encouraging in the early years, we have concluded that this economic market will not support our business expectations.”

Domino was launched in April 2005. The magazine’s current ratebase is 800,000.
Condé Nast, a unit of Advance Publications, includes twenty-three consumer magazines, Condé Nast Digital, the Fairchild Fashion Group, Parade, the Condé Nast Media Group, and the Shared Services Centers.


Recession-Busting Italian Lentil & Bacon Soup


Italians traditionally eat lentils at New Year as they’re supposed to bring wealth and good fortune. So make this incredibly delicious, nutritious, quick, easy and CHEAP soup and I guarantee you’ll have no money worries whatsoever this year. (We’ve been eating LOADS.)

This recipe is one of my own devising, so it’s all a bit approximate.


1 onion

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cloves garlic

2-3 tablespoons tiny cubes of bacon (experiment with this, pancetta would be what the Italians would use, we’ve had great success recently with maple smoked bacon.  The little packets of cubed pancetta you can get in the UK would be ideal.)

1 tub of good tomato pasta sauce from the chiller cabinet (about 16 fl oz/500 ml).  In Seattle my favourite is Cucina Fresca’s Marinara Sauce.

1 carton chicken broth (32 fl oz/ 1litre) or equivalent of chicken stock made with a cube for those of you in the UK who don’t have access to such a thing

1 cup green lentils (don’t use any other type of lentil. Puy lentils are the best.)

Finely dice the onion and sweat it down in the olive oil until soft and slightly golden.  Towards the end of the cooking time crush the garlic and add it to the pan.  Continue cookng for another few minutes, being careful not to let the garlic and onion brown, and then add the bacon. Continue cooking until the bacon starts to brown. Then add the tomato sauce, the chicken broth/stock and the lentils. 

Simmer until the lentils are cooked, about 20-30 minutes.  I like mine slightly al dente.  Season with salt and pepper, then serve.  If you haven’t used maple smoked bacon serve with a swirl of olive oil and lots of grated Parmesan (if you do use the maple smoked bacon I think the strong flavour of the bacon is too much for the cheese but you may beg to differ).

I keep Parmesan cheese rinds in a plastic bag in the freezer and it’s good to throw one of these in with the stock and sauce for extra richness and depth of flavour.  A couple of handfuls of spinach leaves thrown in at the end are also a good addition.


Tees Made

il_fullxfull_43116530 il_fullxfull_49115488

il_430xN_44586933If your daughter is as obsessed with bright colour as mine is then I suggest taking a look at Little Overcoat on Etsy.

Made by a woman living on an island in Puget Sound, just a short boat trip from Seattle, these tees and dresses are patched together from vintage and recycled materials, with some new European prints added to the mix.

There are also some boys’ designs and some women’s tees and skirts which I am VERY tempted by.





Barack Obama’s Bed?

It has been reported on the extremely fabulous Mrs O blog that Michael Smith, the Obamas’ decorator, ordered the bed below (though not the rest of the furniture) to be sent to the White House.  The bed is an 1820s tiger’s eye maple king size four poster from Leonards of New England.


Photo by Leonard’s of New England.

If so, it fits in very well with Michael Smith’s, dare I say it, somewhat boring style. Here are some examples of beds he’s done from the Domino website.

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I know the White House is a historic house and he can’t go too funky and modern but I do hope the Obamas are getting something that doesn’t look like it belongs in a cluttered Cotswolds B&B.








While we’re on the subject of White House bedrooms the below made me laugh.

This is Jackie Kennedy’s fabulous bedroom – elegant, sophisticated, timeless and quietly sexy.


And here is the bedroom she created for her husband Jack Kennedy – frilly, awkward (what’s with the bedside table in front of the door?), uncomfortable looking, it’s hardly a shag palace is it?  He must have been SO embarrassed bringing Marilyn Monroe back here for a session.