Design: Top 10 for Christmas 2016

 

This is my pick of design pieces and gift ideas that will give your interior some definite Scandi style this Christmas!

 

1.Kay Bojesen santa hat for small monkey

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Fun & beautifully designed, this would make an awesome gift for a design lover! Made from solid hand-painted beech, this little santa hat is perfect for getting your Kay Bojesen monkey (and other wooden animals!) into the festive mood!

Available here.

2. Moomin Winter 2016 mug by Arabia Finland

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This years mug features more scenes from Tove Jansson’s Moominland Midwinter (1957) and feature Hemulen, Sorry-oo, Moomin and the Snowhorse. It’s a fab gift for any Moomin lover, or Scandiphile and would look perfect, filled with hot cocoa to heat up in this cold period!

Available here.

3. The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, illustrated by Sanna Annukka

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One of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tales and some of the source inspiration of Disney’s Frozen, this chilly tale is a perfect Christmas read, made even better by the new illustrations by Finnish illustrator Sanna Annukka. Known for her collaborations for Marimekko, this is Annukka’s second HCA book, with her illustarted version of The Fir Tree, out 2012. The art is stunning and the deep blue cloth binding really gives you the chilly winter vibe, its simply amazing!

Available here.

4. IKEA VINTER 2016 decorations

 

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Usually the UK (in my opinion) lags behind in the Christmas decoration game, compared to Scandinavia, where you can get Traditional busy, red decorations and also sleek monochrome ones too. well, welldone IKEA for bringing these chic, paired back decs to GB!

-I love the origami styling that would look perfect with the Issey Miyake x Iittala collection!

Available here/ in store.

5.Moomin advent calendar

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This Advent calendar has 24 little Moomin figurines by Finnish company Martinex. I’m in love with it and I wish I had got one!!

Available here.

6.Sarah Edmonds Sami pattern tote

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Sarah is an illustrator based in Worthing and has illustrated for Humble by Nature, the books A Dylan Odyssey & Coming to England, Roald’s Cardiff map for Roald 100, maps for Tranås and exhibited in Fika, a Swedish eatery in shoreditch, London. She extensively travelled the Nordic countries, and was inspired from her travels through Lapland and Sapmi to create this tote. The zig-zag patterns come from Sami textiles and would look great stuffed full of books!

Available here.

7. IKEA STRÅLA LED candle bridge

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Usually I’m not the biggest fan of candle bridges, but once again IKEA are knocking it out of the park with this! The STRÅLA candle bridge looks sleek and very modernist with its stylish black powder-coated steel curves. It could perfectly suit a modern home and be a stand-out piece in a more Traditional home.

Available here / in store

8. Origami-Est topper

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Available here.

Origami-Est are a small company based in Kent, that make folded paper ornaments, lightshades and books/stationary. At least 10% of the proceeds are donated to Stop the Traffik, a charity helping the victims of traffiking, which is cool AF!

As well as all of that, Esther has released a Christmas collection of cards, ornaments and this tree topper. A Simple folded paper star, with a choice of coloured stars and ribbons, it is sure to look great on top of the tree, whether it be real or artificial!

9.Let’s Hygge print by Gillian Gamble

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Gillian Gamble is a talented artist/ illustrator based in County Durham, but grew up in Dundee, Scotland. Gillan nods to her home city in her prints of Dundee marmalade jars. She has illustrated two books The Listening Stone and I Love St Andrews, and has a variety of well executed art styles. Seen as ‘hygge’ one of 2016’s buzzwords, she’s decided to do a little print of a hyggelig scene. Simple & cute, it perfectly captures what hygge is about!

Perfect for cosying up the house in cold winter, or as a gift for the person you’d like to hygge with!

Available here

10.Young Double Dolls

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Handmade dolls from the British company, Young Double. Cute & stylish monochrome buddies, they are perfect to add a touch of stylish quick to your interior or a Perfect gift for some chic children. With 4 different screen printed characters to choose from, I’m sure you’ll find the perfect companion with these!

 

Available here.

 

 

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Food: Apple, Plum & ginger crumble

Here’s a recipe for a hearty and warming crumble with a speculoos/speculaas topping.

Makes 6 portions.

To make, you’ll need:

For the filling:

  • 8 medium apples,
  • 1 jar of sour plums,
  • Half the liquid from the plum jar,
  • 1 star anise,
  • Thumb size piece of ginger (grated),
  • 125ml of apple cider,
  • 20g of crystallised ginger,
  • 1 knob vegan butter,
  • 80g of brown sugar
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon,
  • 1 tbs of golden syrup (agave/ corn syrup will work as well),

For the topping:

  • 120g of plain flour,
  • 60g of brown sugar,
  • 60g of vegan butter,
  • 60g speculoos biscuits,

 

To make the filling:

Peel, core and slice the apples then set aside. Begin by melting the butter in a pan, add the sugar and allow them to caramelise. Add the apples and stir them around until they’re coated. Then add the plums along with the juice, the apple cider, the star anise and allow to simmer on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes with the lid off.

When the mixture has reduced add the grated fresh ginger, the crystallised ginger, the zest and juice of half a lemon and the golden syrup. Stir until combined and the golden syrup has loosened and melted. Spoon into a medium sized baking tin until you’re ready with the topping.

To make the topping:

Measure out and combine the flour, sugar and butter in a bowl and breadcrumb by rubbing between your fingers. Smash the biscuits in a pestle and mortar (or in a plastic bag and bashed with a rolling pin) until they’re a mixture of crumb and rubble sized pieces. Combine the two and sprinkle over the mixture.

Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for forty minutes until the topping is rich and golden. Once out of the oven, leave it cool slightly and serve with some soy custard 😉

Enjoy!

 

Design: Christmas top 10

With Christmas around the corner it’s important that you get your place primed and ready for the holiday. Often, people fall victim to the surplus of kitsch that fills the high street and overload their interiors with seasonal items that leave a lot to be desired.

(Not saying that we all can’t do with a bit of kitsch, sometimes 😉 )

Here is my top 10 pieces of design that will make your interior pop this Christmas:

1. Kubus by Lassen

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Geometric, simple and timeless, this piece by architect Mogens Lassen was designed in 1962, for his colleagues and family, now available for all. Its sharp lines have made it the design classic that it is today. It would be great to use as a centrepiece at the Christmas dinner, or as an advent candle. It’s still produced in Denmark. Available here 

 2. Kay Bojesen Santa

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A bit of fun! Designed by Kay Bojesen in the 1940s this little figure in solid beech will bring joy to every festive period with his little sack and his walking stick. He is sure to be a treasured family heirloom for generations to come.  Available here.

3. Advent candle by Normann Copenhagen

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Nothing says a Danish Christmas, or ‘Jul’ like an advent candle. Normann have brought the Scandinavian tradition right into the 21st century with their advent candle. Its use of the trademark  Scandinavian monochrome palate and minimalism that Nordic design is famous for. Designed by Anne Lehmann, this years candle features the numbers in rows and the ’24’ in an enlarged font on the bottom, so that you can see how many days are left till Christmas from every angle. Available here (but sold out from Normann Copenhagen’s website)

4. Rudolph print by Emerybloom

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This Christmas you can have a great, limited edition piece of design and help those in need too!

With this print  (a limited edition of 50)  from the Welsh/Swedish duo Emerybloom 100% of the profit made will be donated to charities helping refugee children this Christmas.

Order before 12th December from here, to guarantee delivery in time for Christmas!

5.  Moomin Hibernation mug by Arabia Finland

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With a new Moomin mug out every winter, it would make the perfect gift idea. This collectable mug using the form of the Kartio mug, a design classic from Finnish Designer Kaj Franck, displays the original drawings by Tove Jansson at their best. Plus it’s adorable! Available here.

6. Sarjaton glasses by Iittala

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These crystal glasses, designed by Finnish designers Harri Koskinnen and Aleksi Koukka are a part of Iittala’s Sarjaton collection. Evoking elements from Finnish traditional crafts. Sarjaton, meaning ‘without series’ brought six designers from different fields together for this collection. The shapely curves of the glass, make it a pleasure to hold and the pattern on the glass reminds me of the Finnish forests – very apt for the festive period! Available here.

7. Angel mobile by  Flensted mobiles

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The name Flensted is synonymous with great quality. Based on the Danish island of Funen, this company has been making mobiles since 1953.  This mobile is a great example of Scandinavian minimalism, combining a simple, monochrome silhouette with a traditional seasonal image, 6 angels playing their instruments.  I couldn’t believe it last year, when I managed to find this in my local charity shop for 64p! Available here.

8. Skandinavisk Christmas by Skandinavisk

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This candle set by the Anglo-Scandinavian brand, Skandinavisk combines their SKOG, SNÖ & JUL scented candles into a lovely festive triptych. Perfect if, like me,  you can’t decide which candle is your favourite- so have three! Available here.

9. Felt classic slipper by Pia Wallén

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Designed in 1992, this unisex  wool slipper was inspired by the use of wool linings in boots across Scandinavia, to combat the bitter and cold winters. These slippers are a perfect minimalist addition to your wardrobe and just imagine wearing these keeping your feet toasty and warm on Christmas morning! Available here.

10. Cranberry & Frankincense large soy candle by Eastwick

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The London based brand, Eastwick  have brought a new addition to their premium range of soy candles. A mix of sweet cranberry and warm frankincense, along with notes of bergamot, orange and a touch of spiced apple, this candle is sure to get everyone in festive spirit. Limited edition, only available through winter. Available here.

Design: RSD ’15 & Cardiff

Carrying on from my last post from Friday, my brother picked me up to queue in Cardiff for Record Store Day. With a quick stop to Tesco to pick up the essential energy drinks and a snack (or two!) we were off! The roads, were pretty clear, as one would imagine at 1am!

Arriving at 2, we parked up at an NCP and tried to rush to the queue (spurred on by a tweet from Spillers Records that the queue had started at 8:30) we thought it would be huge by now, thankfully it wasn’t. We were third in the queue, next to my old friend Nia, and her boyfriend, Jonathan.

The tweet wasn’t lying though, the queue had truly started at 8:30, albeit by one guy, a regular at RSD at Spillers. This year me and Ryan (the bro) got talking to him and found out he’s a very interesting, lovely guy.

Time went relatively quick, probably because Nia and I hadn’t seen each other in ages, so we had lots to talk about…although there was the 6am slump, where all you could hear were the groans of the tired coming from the queue, which at this point had gone around the street. Plenty of coffee runs were needed!

With 9am finally approaching, light piercing through the arcade, it was nearly time, just a bit more waiting and it would be over! We then received tickets, so we could each go in order, rather than it be a huge free-for-all. Ashli then gave the go ahead. I was number 3, and my brother number 2.

Card at the ready I asked for the Warpaint/Daughter crossover remix 12”, ‘Put your arms around me 12”‘– a collaboration between Norwegian electo master Hans-Peter Lindstrøm/ also known simply as Lindstrøm, Swedish American musician Todd Rundgren, and Norwegian musician/producer Emil Nikolaisen. I had also asked for the RSD exclusive from the record label Finders Keepers, ‘Moomin Theme’ 7”. Limited to only 900 copies, the 7” has the theme from the 1983 televison series of The Moomins. It’s also housed in a fuzzy felt style sleeve, all factors which decided for me, haha! You know how much I love the Moomins, anything Moomin related, plus it’s great timing considering The Moomins on the Riviera movie is soon out in the cinemas. I’m sure fellow Moomin/Scandiphiles will totally snatch this up! As with my copy, Finders Keepers were hand delivering the record to its chosen record shops. Sadly they hadn’t got there in time for RSD, so I ordered it to pick it up next time I was in Cardiff. All was well.

The total of my spend, came under £20, which seemed peanuts compared to the bro, which was about £80-ish. As we were in Cardiff, we decided to get some things in Tiger, my second home, some German mustard in Wally’s and a surprise for Tom’s birthday (which is next week). While we were looking for a board game shop for the bro, I spotted a little shop that seemed just up my street. Home byKirsty, which opened in 2014, by trendsetter and designer Kirsty Patrick, who’s by Kirsty brand had already started to make waves. The place is an amazing little nook in Cardiff, and I adore the place so much, I will devote a whole blog post to it soon!

With a piece of lemon cheesecake from Patisserie Valerie to go, it was time to return home. All in all, a great day!

After being in Cardiff, I still had yet another shift to get through (yay!) and I didn’t end up sleeping until 11ish that night, it’s crazy how the body works, haha!

Thanks brawd (brother) xxx

-Also check out Nia’s blog, its worth a read 🙂

Food: Fika with the inlaws

This morning, I found out Tom’s parents were coming over to help with the floor in the living space (building site), so I got out the teapot, percolator and the necessary cake for a little Fika.

So, out came the Marimekko teapot, Mid century Iittala Solaris crystal plates by Tapio Wirkkala, Alessi forks and my vintage Hornsea creamer.

We had some Valencian orange and almond cake, leftover from my Spanish dinner party, yesterday,

– homemade Spanish Amarguillos served in my Georg Jensen leaf dish

– representing Italy were Amaretti di Saronno in a vintage Deka ‘Cathrineholm style’ lotus bowl

– representing Denmark were some Romkugler in an Iittala Aalto dish

And…

– representing good ‘ol Blighty were some custard creams in a Marimekko/Iittala Maribowl.

Even though it was last minute, thankfully they enjoyed. Tom’s mam even praised the Little My Moomin Arabia Finland mug 😉 – these days she even can recognise Marimekko 🙂