Tuesday, 26 February 2013

What should I do with old magazines?

I have been umming and ahhing over this magazine problem since we moved West Egg into its new home at the converted barn. I have so many interiors magazines now that I am struggling to store them. At the moment some of them are stacked on one of the shelves in the office and the rest are still in boxes.

My friend Holly Marder who writes the Love, Thomas blog just posted some lovely and inspiring images of her re-organised home office. It's tidy, organised and delicately decorated in Holly's wonderful style and makes me more determined than ever to sort out these magazines. I mean, look at this image below... this is not good. I only stopped putting them on the shelf because I thought it would buckle. And yes, I am using a door stop as a book end...it's temporary, I hope...

I've actually bought some Kassett boxes from Ikea with the intention of going through the magazines and tearing out the best bits, organising them into design sections and then filing them into the boxes. Like a real-life Pinterest, except not on boards, in boxes. I know what you're thinking, original...!

What I'm wondering though, is, does this make me a freak that on the one hand I would be very much looking forward to this type of massive organisation project but knowing full well I'll get side-tracked and it'll be 2 days later I eventually re-surface from under mountains of cut up bits of magazine and paper shreds to see my husband and my dog stood them shaking their heads at me...umm. I am back to umming. 

So, I thought I'd ask you guys: what do you do with old magazines? Are there people out there that actually throw them away? I'm not much of a hoarder but when it comes to magazines, I am definitely a keep-it-just-in-case person.

I am working in London the next two days but I hope by the time I'm back on Friday I will have been struck with a thunderbolt of inspiration, or, alternatively, one of you lovely readers will have an amazing idea for me...! I will report back this weekend.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Vintage Style at The Cheese Kitchen

When we first started renovating the barn for West Egg's studio and workshop, our structural engineer tipped us off about Castle Road in Bedford which is about 15 minutes drive from us. He recommended a place called The Cheese Kitchen and I'm so glad he did! I love this place. In terms of design and decoration it is definitely my cup of tea, as you can probably tell...

I went to meet Helen on Wednesday for a coffee and she gave me a little tour and talked me through some of her cool vintage finds. 

Helen diligently sources a really fabulous selection of food and wines from artisan makers and displays these lovely wares in vintage crates. When they converted what was originally a cop shop (a call in centre to report crime - I had never heard of them) into The Cheese Kitchen, they kept the original fireplace and used vintage pieces sourced from a local antiques dealer for the interiors. I love the clock hanging in the shop and also the vintage barrel which Helen spotted outside the second hand shop a few doors up.

Inside is a lovely original door which leads through to the cheese room. Wow! This is a cheese lover's paradise, all kinds of artisan cheese displayed in a temperature controlled room and ready for tasting. The French 17th century dresser is used for displaying dried meats, barrels of olives and other goodies.

My favourite cheese though was the lovely Pablo Cabrito... not just because I was smitten with the beautiful packaging, it also tastes divine! As someone who doesn't eat cow dairy, goats cheese is my absolute favourite and this one is the bees' knees. It's fair to say that Sarah at Brock Hall Farm in Shropshire has mastered the art of artisan cheese producing and making the goats cheese on site from their treasured herd of Pure Saanen goats. It is just delicious and if you aren't nearby to make the trip to The Cheese Kitchen, you can order from the online shop on their website.

As well as The Cheese Kitchen, Helen and her husband Justin also run a deli and coffee shop two doors up and on weekends they host bistro evenings. This weekend they have a pop up at their bistro featuring Alec Tomasso of Masterchef fame cooking up a 5 course meal for £30....

It sounds incredible doesn't it? Yum! Call Helen at The Cheese Kitchen, 108 Castle Road, Bedford to book on 01234 217325.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

BlogTour New York presented by Modenus

New York Print by Sugar Paper || Voyages over New York by David Fleck

I'm tempted to put caps lock on to really hammer home my sheer excitement at the AMAZING NEWS I have to share with you all. A few weeks ago, I woke up on Saturday morning and reached out for my iphone to check the time, sorry, that's a lie - I check my email the second I wake up. Bad habit, I know. Am I the only one? Probably not. I wonder how you stop? 

Anyway, anyway, in doing so, I spot an email from Veronika at Modenus, Subject: New York, New York. And since I open my email the way I open actual mail (interesting, colourful, sticker-adorned cards first and boring, automated statements last) Veronika got first pick.

Would I like to go to New York with BlogTourNYC in March? Ummmm, yes I would! Yes yes yes!! Would I like to go to amazing shows like the 12th annual Architectural Digest Home Design Show? YES I WOULD!!

I am still totally pinching myself that Modenus have asked me to be part of this amazing line up and I'm so excited to be invited to visit design shows, events, sites and all the other incredible things Modenus have lined up for us. I'm most excited about taking time out from the day to day running of West Egg and "normal life", and immersing myself in the wonderful world of design for one week in New York. And the best part is, I get to share every step of the journey with you via this blog, twitter, facebook, pinterest and instagram so please be my guest and come with me on this amazing trip!

Phew. Feels good to have got that off my chest.

So, now just the question of what to pack...

Monday, 11 February 2013

Petrol Blue Colour Trend || Spotted at Tried & True

As some of you might know, I run a Furniture Painting Workshop at The Decor Cafe in Putney once a month. Since I live in Bedfordshire I drive down fairly early in the morning and I always leave extra time because I am terrified of being late for everyone attending. Can you imagine?! 

Since I always have at least half an hour to spare I take Alfie the pug on a nice long walk around Putney but last week it was absolutely freezing cold so I called into an independent coffee shop I'd seen before called Tried & True. It was wonderful! A cup of coffee always tastes better when you've just come into the warm don't you think? I've been reading on lots of design blogs about one of the big colour trends for 2013 being petrol blue. I'm not really one for colour trends or any kind of trend usually, but I really love this colour so I'm happy to jump on this particular bandwagon and give it a shout out. 

The second I walked through the door I fell in love with this beautiful La Marzocco coffee machine. Look at that beauty - it's fabulous! Back in the day when I was a waitress in the university holidays I loved making proper fresh coffee for customers. You could never get bored of the smell of fresh coffee. As I looked around the cafe I noticed pops of petrol blue everywhere.

Anzac cookies? It turns out that Tried & True is inspired by the relaxed social cafe scene in Auckland, New Zealand. I love how even the product card holders are in petrol blue. Cute! 

It was super early in the morning when I arrived (2 minutes after they opened) but I was chatting to Debbie from The Decor Cafe later on and she said it is a really popular hang out on the Upper Richmond Road. I can totally see why. Lovely decor, fabulous coffee and a wonderful menu of interesting and delicious breakfast and lunch options.