Hello Lovelies! I’ve missed being here and I’ve missed you.
Two good things… At last my back is on the mend after 3 weeks of doing nothing. I’m still not 100%, but getting there. Yay! Thanks so much for your well wishes. Things are really piling up here… my ‘to do’ list (for both work and home) is out of control and I have a mountain of emails to answer. But I have managed to read a few good books and to actually do nothing for large chunks of time, which I never do. I re-watched Mad Men series one and two in a marathon 2 day viewing (I have series 3 on pre-order and can’t wait to get it), and I’ve done a bit of embroidery. Stuart has been fantastic looking after me, Roxy and the house. He even cleaned the oven the other day. A proper clean. Without so much as a hint from me. So despite the pain I’ve been in, there have been some positives too.
And I just had to show you my first international magazine clipping. Lovely Coretty from one of my gorgeous stockists, PSikhouvanjou (PS I love you) in The Netherlands sent me this image of a little feature on my Sweetie Petites in Dutch magazine flow… weeeee!!
flow looks like a beautiful magazine – you can flick through a few pages online here. I’d love to get a copy of it.
I hope to be back on deck really soon. I’m still struggling to sit for any period of time, so I’ll see how I go. I hope you’re having a lovely weekend.
Take a look at Rob Ryan's brand new Valentine for this year. Could the man get any more old-school romantic? I think not. This lovely laser cut is hand-screenprinted and available in a limited edition of 250. You can purchase them directly from Ryantown on Columbia Road.
Loving Emma Cook's spring/summer 2010 collection, which signals a return to her favourite woodland creature motifs across a muted palette of caramels, dusky pinks and chocolate. When I talked to the Dalston designer last year for Time Out, she mentioned that she was inspired by the wildlife in her local park (I spy a birdy and a foxy!).
There are some very pretty and ultra-feminine throw-on-and-go summer frocks in the collection, but my favourite pieces include the fitted short-sleeved shift dress, as well as the '40s-style frock with the tied waist. And I do love the ruffled black coat below for a hint of drama… it's light-weight but has enough coverage for the perfect summer coat (a necessary accessory for British summers). Stockists include Liberty and Matches.
Just wanted to give you a heads-up about Liberty's open call for new British designers and creative talent. They're holding an open call on Saturday 6 February, where designer-makers can present their ideas to a panel of experts including the Liberty buying team (and they promise it won't be anything like Dragon's Den!). The best ideas and designs will have their wares snapped up and sold at Liberty. For more info, including registration details, click here. Good luck, everyone!
In other Liberty news, the store is returning to its Arts & Crafts heritage with a new dedicated department on the fourth floor. Curated by Arts & Crafts expert Patch Rogers, the department will feature original furniture, metalwork and textiles. Look out for a full Wee Birdy report…
One of the wee finds I stumbled across in the Glasgow School of Art shop is this collection of stationery and homewares by London designer Ella Doran, whose shop I reviewed a few years ago.
Capturing some of the more unknown details of Mackintosh's building in her inimitable photographic style, Ella's produced a range of notebooks, mugs and coaster for the shop. Apparently she used the student tour guides' list of favourite 'hidden' spots for inspiration.
Glasgow School of Art 167 Renfrew Street Glasgow G3 6RQ Tel. 0141 353 4526 Nearest underground: Cowcaddens
Wee Birdy sponsor Kitty and Polly has just relaunched their website, and are now offering shipment to most of the EU countries. Sign up to their newsletter and receive a 10 per cent voucher every month. Keep an eye out for the brilliant new products arriving in store from early February, including a gorgeous retro-style camper van tea towel and vintage tea towel journal.
To celebrate their brand new website, Kitty and Polly are offering one Wee Birdy reader the chance to win this luxury silver leather purse (above) with handprinted lovebirds motif, valued at £45.
To be in the running for the prize, leave a comment below telling me what your favourite Kitty and Polly product is. The winner will be chosen using a random number generator. Entries close 6pm Thursday 28 January (GMT) and the winner will be announced on Friday 25 January. Please be sure to leave your email address below so I can contact you if you win. Good luck!
***NB: This competition is now closed, thank you all for entering.***
Chintz has never looked so chic since London shoe designer Tracey Neuls got her hands on Sanderson's reissued vintage textiles.
This somewhat surprising collaboration between the British heritage wallpaper company, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, and one of London's more avant-garde shoe designers will coincide with London Fashion Week next month.
Neuls' gallery-like Marylebone Lane shop (read my shop tour here) will be transformed into an eccentric English tea party, complete with a large-scale installation by sculptor Nina Saunders. And apparently birds will be involved – I await with baited breath!
Admittedly, I've got a soft spot for Neuls' rubber-soled shoes, as her mid-height heels are about as high as I can go with my rotten old arthritic toes. It hasn't been easy finding anything attractive I can actually wear, with season after season of increasingly vertiginous heels. So I can't wait to see what she's done with Sanderson's prints – her signature sculptural silhouettes combined with her penchant for dramatic contrast piping will give the chintzy florals a quirky edge.
'Most Curious' Footwear from Tracey Neuls
Sculptural installation from Nina Saunders
To celebrate Sanderson's 150th Anniversary From 17 February 2010 to 30 June 2010 Tracey Neuls 29 Marylebone Lane London W1U 2NQ Click here for a Wee Birdy map.