19.7.17

| STREETS | Even More Shop Fronts


I've been sloppy at sharing my shop front finds. Meanwhile, the dedicated file on my cloud is getting chubbier by the day.

I like my shop fronts local. Proper local. The ones with that 'I've seen it all' look in their windows. The ones that have seen a generation turn in to another. 

They are the everyday familiars for us in Britain. From corner shop convenience to corner niche specialist. They've been serving the community before we rolled in....


























































These are the understated. The corner shops, chip shops, grocers, tinkers, launderettes. Nourishing, filling and dealing with the dirty washing of a generation. Behind each of these doors is a familiar face, a family story and a connection that cannot be found within the sterile aisles of the 'big chains'.

These are the places that the mass marketing giants might like us to forget and in turn see us relent to their ample shelve laden with the stuff that they dictate we should have. Fooling us into believing that we are spoiled for choice. Blinding us with convenience and special offers while they dissolve our High Streets into a bland branded, copied from a template and pasted to our streets.

Catch up with my previous shop fronts here.






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10.7.17

| Thoughts | Time Always Wins


























Being bombarded with the type of busy-ness that numbs the soul and makes us think that we cannot make time to have some time to enjoy the quiet details of life is as glorified as it is overrated. 

Racing against time to get everything done, is in fact running a race that can never be won. Time always wins.

So I take it slow and watch how I go. 
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28.6.17

| Photo Diary | Chilling with Jellyfish


I am of the opinion that jellyfish are wonderful company to keep. Just be sure to ensure that there are inches of glass between you and their hypnotic vicious tentacles. 

I had the pleasure of loitering wide-eyed and gobsmacked in their rather sophisticated lair that can be found within the aquarium in Enoshima, Japan. Here, blooms of jellyfish  waltz with ethereal delicacy in a darkened room. Their glazed enclosures, emanate sheer luminous fluctuations that lull some, curiously, mainly men, to sleep.  








Were it not for the intermittent snores of dozing fellows in the dimness, I felt like I were surrounded with true magic.  And in this world where we demand explanations for everything (our have it imposed upon us like it or not), I was happy to not read any of the scientific commentary for these jellyfish. I decided to believe in magic.

P.S. The aquarium in Enoshima is generally of the international tourist radar. It is however, a popular date location for Japanese. For year's I've wanted to visit for a Japanese style date with Hiro. We made it! Finally, though our date did include our son who seemed thoroughly entranced - when he was awake, at least. 


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26.5.17

| Home | Cliptomania
























There is a clip for most things in life and I seem to have most of them in my clip, (formerly biscuit) tin.

I use them for everything and anything -  from keeping papers together, laundry, keeping slippery clothes on hangers, sewing projects, keeping curtains closed, closing up opened food packets, keeping cables in place, guiding plants, hanging silly things from anywhere possible to amuse my son......

My favourite ones are the aluminium clips. They are a great example of the kind of anonymous design that I mentioned HERE. They are made in Japan, lightweight, don't rust and infinitely useful. I got mine from Labour and Wait.  I also like the stainless steel wire clip hooks from Muji. It's a hook aaaaand a clip! Oh and the rubber tipped heavy duty swivel one from Commes des Garcon's Good Design Shop in Omotesando.



Useful Links (unsponsored and unaffiliated)


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17.5.17

| Plants | Good Leaf Wish List


If you visited our home, you would probably tell me that the very last thing that we need is another plant. You would be oh-so-right; but for the fact that I got this idea stuck in my head. More of a grand plan than just an idea actually. I want a jungle in our home. Yep! Our very own Jungle. Therefore, just a few more would be marvellous!

Here are a few that I am currently looking out for via some of my favourite plant loving Instagrammers:





































Alocasia 'Stingray'
Leaves that end with a flourish that makes them resembles sting rays. And look at those stems.





































Alocasia Zebrina

I know! Another Alocasia? Yes! Can't get enough of those beautiful stems. Alocasia's can be a bit fussy but they are worth it.










































Anthurium Crystallinum
Bold and vivid with strange flowers. Every serious jungle needs one. 





































Euphorbia Lactea Variegata "white ghost".

Finding one is not my main obstacle with this one. Affording one is the issue - I saw one for £400 the other day. I want one - but free. Please? Anyone? Oh never mind.






























Aglaonima Pictum Tricolor

Looks like someone's been at it with a paintbrush no? I love it. Matches a pair of trainers I have tucked away somewhere.




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28.4.17

The Beauty of Anonymous Design: Hidden Forms


I am so annoyed with myself for not buying a copy of Hidden Forms when I had a chance. Trust it to have gone out of print in English since. I am so ANNOYED. I often search for it. I keep my eyes peeled in every second-hand bookshop that I visit. I even hope that a digital copy might be available soon. Sadly, miserably, nothing's come up at a non "I saw you coming/rip off price" appeared.


Hidden Forms is a collaboration between Franco Clivio (director industrial design at Zurich University of the Arts), Hans Hansen (photographer) and Pierre Mendell (graphic designer). The book documents Clivio's collection of ordinary, everyday, practical, often unregarded objects collected over many years. Presented in perfect flat-lays, thoughtfully curated groups of items are accompanied by Clivio's explanations of their personal significance to him as well as some learned commentary on the manufacturing or design processes behind a selection of items. Pictures from the book can be viewed HERE

Until the day I have a copy of the book to gaze over at my leisure, I enjoy looking at Clivio's collection on the MUDAC website.

Photo credit: MUDAC

Photo credit: MUDAC

Photo credit: MUDAC

Photo credit: MUDAC

Photo credit: MUDAC
























Sulky laments aside, my failure to find a copy of Hidden Forms has put me on the path (via Google) to an aspect of design that I find fascinating. Clivio finds considered design and innovative thinking in the  'unremarkable, everyday things' that he has amassed over the years. His appreciation of anonymously designed objects has struck a chord with me piqued my curiosity enough for me to embark on a little study of my own. I hope to explore this field more in the near future on the blog.

I like Clivio's insistence that holding something in your own hand, feeling its weight and literally getting to grips with its workings is vital to any understanding of design. This hands-on way of thinking reminds me of Yanagi Sori's design principles and I feel that in this 'everything online age' it's never been more relevant or important get back to a more analogue approach to life and design.


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