Happy Clouds

 Happy Clouds by Stuart Semple


Oh please, London readers, tell me you saw these. What were they like? How did they make you feel? Did you kidnap one and take it home with you? (Despite the grey skies and general doom and gloom coming out of the UK, they made me very nostalgic for London today).

London artist Stuart Semple wanted to cheer people up, so he released 2057 pink smiley faced clouds made of helium, biodegradable soap and vegetable dye into the sky. After 30 minutes they dissolved in the air. More deets here.


Keyboards of Desire


I want one of these so badly it hurts (though probably not as much as my hands would hurt using one, as I can currently only use a very ugly ergonomic keyboard). I never knew before that there was a hole in my life only a decorative keyboard could fill.

NISHIKI Handmade Keyboard

NISHIKI Handmade Keyboard

NISHIKI Handmade Keyboard

USAGI Handmade Keyboard

USAGI Handmade Keyboard

Handmade and available here and here for about $165 or £115.

{via If It’s Hip It’s Here}


Two More Awesome Videos


A sign of the times – which has inspired me to count up those coins {via The Daily Dish}


This is long, but if you’re struggling to create something, anything, it’s well worth the listen. I wasn’t a huge fan of Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Eat, Pray, Love but she sure can give a cracking a motivational speech {via the ever-inspirational Uncle Beefy}.


Man Cooking

Tuesday was Shrove Tuesday – Pancake Day in the UK – so like good little expats we whipped up some batter and pretended we were in England.  English pancakes are more like a French crepe than fluffy American pancakes, but are cooked in a smaller pan and are tossed to make them brown on both sides – with much ensuing hilarity in the kitchen. 


Pancakes are most traditionally served with a sprinkling of lemon juice and sugar, but this year the Husband introduced a new level of danger and excitement by caramelising the sugar with his blowtorch. 

This proved to be a great innovation, as it introduced a layer of sweet crunch between the smooshy folds of the pancakes, and family cooking is definitely made more interesting by the brandishing of naked flames and throwing food around the room.


Fabulous Lampshades – Insatiable Studios

The wonderful lampshades in the house featured below are handmade by Seattle-based designer Jill Smith, owner of Insatiable Studios.

insatiable lamps

The shades are all meticulously crafted using a papier-mâché process and then decorated with found papers. Her lampshades are available to buy online and her work also adorns several commercial spaces, such as PCC and the Dahlia Lounge here in Seattle and Nordstroms in Chicago.

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Two of my favourite places to go – the Dahlia Lounge and PCC 

I really want one for the lucite lamp base I found on Ebay last year which is currently adorned by a VERY dull Ikea lampshade.  It’s going to have to wait a bit though as I’ve just had a nasty bill for camera repairs.


This is NOT a fabulous lampshade

Go Love Your Room – Seattle Craftsman

I was flicking through last month’s Sunset (which just gets better and better), when what did I see? A Seattle Craftsman house very much like ours, even down to the need for kid-friendliness. 


Loving the furniture placement here.  Unfortunately we can’t emulate it because of our built in bookcases.


They’ve even got a Tripp Trapp! And I like the way they’ve done the lighting over the table.  I’ve been contemplating doing something like this, but am wondering about maintaining the symmetry in the room.  Need to think about this.


Nice kitchen, for when we ever have the money to do ours.  I like how the cabinets and shelves look modern, but completely fit in with the look of the house.  


I ADORE this lamp. The house is owned by an architect couple, and from their website it seems that they’ve done some very sympathetic renovations of Craftsman properties in Seattle.  I’m keeping them on file just in case we ever win the lottery and can afford to remodel our basement and downstairs kitchen.


Adventures in Knitting

I’ve recently, and very belatedly, signed up to the very fabulous knitting site Ravelry, which is not only an incredibly useful resource, it is also very inspirational. As a result I’ve been knitting up a storm in recent weeks, though I’m sure this will soon pass, cursed as I am with butterfly-mindedness.

But in the spirit of making knitting while the sun shines here’s what I’ve been working on recently.

Firstly, the socks from hell continue to drive me nuts, though I’ve managed to get as far as the heel on the second sock, so I should be finished soon. The pattern is not difficult but it is complicated, and so not compatible with watching telly, which is when I usually knit.  I blame Jon Stewart entirely.

I also accidentally started knitting some socks for the Minx. I took her to the playground last week, forgot to take my existing sock knitting and so had to pop into the local yarn shop so that I didn’t explode with boredom. I’ve been promising to make the Minx a pair of socks for a long time and she has become sweetly fascinated by the process.  I wonder if you can guess who chose the (very fluffy and splitty) yarn? 


Finally I’ve been sorting through all the knitting stuff I brought over from the UK and am thinking about reviving the blanket I started knitting for the Minx before she was born.  I was astonished to find that I’d actually completed eleven out of sixteen interminable squares, knit entirely in tiny stocking stitch and I really feel like I ought to continue it. Unfortunately I’m not so sure I like the colour very much any more (why on earth did I choose BEIGE?) but I will persevere, despite it being desperately boring to knit. It’s probably the project I should turn to when I’m ogling Jon Stewart.


I am determined to have only three ‘Works In Progress’ on the go at any one time.  So please yell if I show you something else before I’ve finished any of these. 

All details of yarn etc. are in my Ravelry notebook.  My user name is ‘mirrormirror’. Please come and find me on there.


Some Random Oscar Observations


I love them


He loves her

– Thrilled that Slumdog won.  Such an amazing film.

– When they brought the little kids on at the end I cried. Sorry.


– Thrilled also that AR Rahman won Best Score and Best Song.  Seriously the soundtrack is absolutely awesome and has been playing on a loop here at mirrormirror’s intergalactic headquarters (aka my bedroom office)

– Also very glad about Sean Penn as I can’t quite manage to look at Mickey Rourke’s face.

– What am I not getting about Hugh Jackman?  He leaves me stone cold.

– RDJ on the other hand was looking HAWT. Excessive drug taking is obviously good for the complexion.


Cutie pie

– Speaking of acronym people, when is SJP going to realise that she is no longer an ingenue and that people with long faces shouldn’t wear centre partings and hippie hair?


– Lots of lovely British accents on the podium tonight.  How come Brits always looks so scruffy? Wouldn’t you at least get a haircut if there was a chance you were going to win an Oscar?


Scruffy Brits.  You can spot them a mile off. 

– Except for Kate Winslet.  I swear her hair was carved out of marble. And her dress looked like armour. Scary stuff.


– Kate Winslet’s Dad should have won the ‘Best Dad’ and ‘Best Hat’ Oscars.

– ‘Best Dressed’ and ‘Funniest Person’ was Tina Fey.  I adore her.



Another candidate for ‘Best Dressed’

– Hated all the frothy fishtail pouffery.  And Miley Cyrus. (Why was she even there?)

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Worst dressed (and Whoopi Goldberg, but she’s allowed).

– Halle Berry is just insanely beautiful.





Love – the Watts House Project

Alexandra grant love necklace watts house project love on the house

Tula alerted me to this fun project down in LA where local artists are trying to enhance the community through art and architecture.

Artist Alexandra Grant wants to create this giant Love structure on a family home and is selling necklaces to raise funds for the project.  The necklace is available in both gold and silver here.

Alexandra Grant Love Necklace

Alexandra Grant Love Necklace

Living very close to the Fremont area of Seattle, which prides itself on its many quirky works of public art, I know very well how much they can engender a sense of local pride and just raise a smile on a grey day.