Monday, 26 May 2014

This week in numbers: 19 - 26 May

1. Height of the BT Tower: 191m. Gulp. Yes indeed, this week I was lucky enough to go up this bad boy...
My level on excitement up there: super high. My level of vertigo up there: low (too busy gawping at the view), until it started SPINNING. But a rotating view won over any vertigo sharpish - it was truly amazing, the best views of this pretty darn cool city. 
Here's fellow blogging pal Fabric of my Life snapping away (it was pretty hard to *stop* to be honest!)...
Thanks for the lovely Google City Experts team for getting me up there! Ok one more pic of the view just because...well look at it! 
2. Number of envelopes stuffed: 7000 at home, 300 at work. It's been an envelope stuffing kinda week. 
3. Hours spent on delayed trains to get to-and-from Hastings: 5. Reasons to go there 1, bank holiday innit. And yes, of course, it rained the whole time.
4. Barbecues attended: 2. Again I refer you to bank holiday traditions. 
5. Anniversary date for Habitat: 50. Happy Birthday Habitat! A perpetual *fave* here are my very best pieces from this British institution - my beautiful birthday rocker
And this classic laundry basket which I think *might* be almost as old as me...but is still hauling my clothes about on a daily basis.
6. Second copy of a book bought thanks to Blook Club: 1 a hard copy of Everyday Sexism as I've this is a book I'm going to *have* to lend...

Mug Shots: Kate Clarke

You may call it nosy, but I prefer inquisitive...but I'm always super curious to find out about people's tea drinking habits - are you a two sugars? tea bag in with the milk? slice of lemon? super strong builders? (I'm the last one obvs). And to top it all off which is your favourite mug? The one that feels just right in your hands and that you'd *prefer* no one else used thank-you-very-much? 

Well I've been lucky enough to have had the super sweet, talented homeware designer Kate Clarke satisfy my curiosity when she kindly answered the Mug Shot questions I kicked off with this post last year.

Kate is a South London based designer who uses screenprinting and papercut techniques to make her fabulous bright, retro homeware products (including tea towels, prints, cushions and, of course, mugs!). With her fresh designs influenced by Scandinavian, Japanese and 50s textiles - you can see why I like them so much! 
So here's the lovely Kate telling us about her fave mug, bartering with tea towels and how she became a designer of marvellous homeware...

What do you do? And how do you find yourself explaining it to people?
I am a graphic designer by day, screenprinter by night. Well, that's not strictly true but I do a bit of both really. I'm pretty obsessed with pattern, colour, typography and anything Scandinavian. 

That's a nice mug, why have you chosen it?
Like you, I have a bit of a 'thing' for mugs so it took me a while just to choose just one. This isn't the craziest of choices but it's my favourite everyday mug and wanted to share with you. It's a piece of vintage hornsea pottery and is so light and satisfying to hold. My mum bought it at a flea market for me as knew I would love the colour. Thanks mum!
What have you got in there? Tea? Coffee? Something with a bit more of a kick?
 Tea! English breakfast. I can't get enough of it.. 

When you you have your first cuppa of the day?
The first thing I do when I get up is put the kettle on. Can't function properly without first cup of tea (and big bowl of porridge). 

Are you picky about porcelain? Chippy about using chipped mugs? 
Hmm..not too fussy really (more particular about the design/colour!) but I don't like mugs that are too thin and delicate. 
Prefer a nice chunky one.

Being a maker of mugs (and other lovely things of course) how did you get started as a designer/maker? 
I've been working as a graphic designer for over 12 years but launched my own range of homeware products in 2012. I have been screen printing since I left university and always dreamt of designing my own range of products. After much deliberation I finally signed up to take part in a Christmas open studio and went for it. It's hard work but a lot of fun! 
 What's your favourite cafe/location for a cuppa?
I live in Peckham and there are lots of nice little cafes in the area. I particularly like Anderson & Co cafe on Bellenden road as the food is great. The lovely lady who owns it once let me use it as a photoshoot location as well.. I paid her in tea towels!
And the final traditional question:  How do you take your tea?
Boring I know! But English breakfast tea is my favourite and will drink it any which way really. Preferably with a custard cream biscuit. Slurp 

And that's it! Thanks for answering my Mug Shot questions Kate :) If you'd like to see more of Kate's lovely homeware (including mugs of course!) please do take a peek on her website.

Friday, 23 May 2014


Treats: best new jumper from here (if you wear this spontaneous 'hellos' from friendly folk increase 70%), perfect wooden hanger from a local yard sale, this summer's dream sandals and this excellent new print that cheered me up greatly when I won it from my sick bed (via these good people's Twitter comp - thanks!). 

Sunday, 11 May 2014

This weekend in numbers: 10/11 May

  1. Films watched: 2, Frances Ha and Manhatten
  2. Films adored: 1, Frances Ha ("I'm so embarrassed. I'm not a real person yet.")
  3. Magazines bought: 1, Kinfolk (from Nook in Stoke Newington new favourite shop for *me* treats - 1st on the list this for my kitchen please)

  4. Newspapers read: 1, Guardian, as standard. Crossword still untackled
  5. Races missed: 1, We Own The Night will have to wait until next year to be owned
  6. Naps taken: 2 (a marked improvement after a week spent in bed with the lurgy)
  7. New found loves re-acquired: 2, Masterchef, I thought living without a telly would mean I avoided this addiction but I've got hooked in the semis on the iPlayer (Ping to win obvs) and budget shop bought Creme Caramels
  8. Countdowns: 1, for: this Hello Apparel top to be back in stock at Southwood Stores. It will be mine. Soon... 

Monday, 5 May 2014

Mondays are for Mugs: MMMG

It might be a total coincidence that the same day the boy flies to Korea, I happen to stumble across these excellent graphic 70s-style-chic mugs from Korean brand MMG (or Millimeter Milligram to give it its full name). 

And continuing with the coincidence I also can't find these available anywhere in the UK...but weirdly I *might* just know someone who is somewhere where he might be able to search out a nifty supply of these nice simply designed mugs just for me (hint: especially the brick one please).

D'you think the boy took the hint *forwards post to boy* *sends link to boy's twitter* *texts a picture of post to boy* *along with a picture of the cat just for luck*