A bird in the hand is worth four on the Christmas tree, right? Or summat like that. It wouldn’t be hard to go all birdy this Christmas and especially not with these little fellas by Pols Potten. SCP are stocking a variety of their white ceramic birds, and I reckon they’ll be flying off the shelves (boom), because, whilst these photos do no justice to them, when you are up close to them, they are just totally adorable. Your hearts will melt and before you know it, you’ll have bought the lot. Well, I very almost did, at any rate. Now, who knows what ‘Sparrow’ is in Dutch?
It was the Christmas Cockpit Arts open last weekend at their Holborn studios, and whilst I’ve been to Deptford, I haven’t been to the original site for a good while. I used to work at the opens, sitting on the desk taking the entrance fee and shivering in the cold. But, alas, I digress. There were lots of old friends with new news, and Sapetra is just one of them. Well known for the ceramic ‘Air’ series, particularly the little travel pillows, it was nice to see them nestled amongst new designs. I’d not seen this ‘Spindle’ series before and was rather taken with them. They are a perfect form, that rests on one side of its sloping bottom, allowing a circular movement should you so wish. But the bit I liked the most were the colours and the way the slip had been dribbled in rivulets down the side of the vessel. Lovely.
Deptford Cockpit Arts is open this weekend, and most definitely worth a visit, for original and interesting handmade gifts.
Deptford Cockpit Arts
18-22 Creekside, Deptford,
T: 020 8692 4463
Opening times: Fri 11am-9pm, Sat – Sun 11am-6pm
You would be in your right to argue that the festive season is now officially behind us especially whilst we’re being bathed in the most glorious spring sunshine. However, I didn’t come to this Christmas video until rather late but I like it so much and it’s just so cheery and full of glowing heart-warming goodness that I couldn’t not share with everyone even if it is January.
Brought to you by a collaboration of three calling themselves ‘Group Hug’, they are Stephen Fitzgerald, Grant Harold and Nathan Deceasar. Based on the story of the song written by Deceasar, using a combination of strata-cut animation, paper craft and origami, this winter wonderland centres around a large magical snow globe sitting in a forest clearing set against a clear, star-filled night sky. The snow globe displays a constantly moving array of festive-based images and shapes whilst being watched by an ever-growing audience of origami woodland creatures and wise men. Rabbits sit next to foxes and birds perch on reindeer antlers to watch the show. The details are lovely and guaranteed you’ll watch it more than once.
I wish you all a happy new year and I hope you all have a fantastic 2012.
All wrapped up with a cheery warm glow…and that’s not just me trying to make a nice catchy title. These three handsome looking notebooks aren’t only great, bang on trend with their use of vintage gift paper as pages and recycled but they are also exclusively designed for the charity, Oxfam. Available as a sketch books, notebooks and a writing paper and envelopes set, each item is made up of reclaimed and recycled gift wrap making these paper products an excellent and unusual gift. Bold, bright and colourful, each page is plain on one side for writing with patterns on the other and come complete with colourful elastic closing. There are even memo pads for the more forgetful member of the family. Do two a good turns with every purchase of one present.
Available to buy online and in store, ‘Must Not Forget’ memo pad (not pictured), £3.99, ‘Write on’ writing sheets and plain envelopes, £7.99, ‘Take Note’ sketchbook notebook, £7.99, and ‘Draw’ sketchbook, £7.99, Oxfam
Surprise Balls, £7.50 each, Cox & Cox
Now, this year you might feel like ringing the changes on your Christmas table. Instead of your old bog-standard crackers, there are a few alternatives out there to fascinate both the kids and the adults. The above ‘Surprise Balls’ are from Cox and Cox, lovely to look at and wrapped up in ribbon these are a variation combining both cracker and pass-the-parcel with a surprise contained in each layer. Wrapped in a variety of different colour crepe papers, these balls will add a real cheery pop of colour to anyone’s table this year. My next option is sticking to a more traditional shape but this time with a twist on the contents. From one of my favourite independent online stationery and desk-top goodness, Present and Correct, these handmade crackers are very simply wrapped in graph paper and contain a sweet little selection of items including rubbers, gift tag book calendars, pencils and a chocolate sixpence.
handmade cracker, £11.50 each, Present & Correct
If you’re after a really nice cracker without the standard Christmas themes but with a slightly different illustration, then my favourite are absolutely the fabulous BPL crackers from Ben Pentreath. The paper is published by Pollock’s Toy Museum Trust and these crackers are covered in Pollock’s Zeotrope Strips. £40 for a tray of 6, these little pretties are filled with simple and unadorned ‘traditional’ gifts including marbles, a nail brush, some seeds and a die together with your standard fare of hat and jokes. These really are great but you may find that you do not want to snap them!
BPL crackers, £40 for 6, Ben Penreath
Images all taken from respective shop’s websites.
Now, since the beginning of Autumn, I’ve passed a number of times through two of my favourite high street shops in London and I have been stopped in my tracks and utterly captivated by these baubles by Wedgewood. I, like many people, was deeply saddened by the loss of yet another Irish/ British company to an international buyer, especially when the said company is so well-known and loved that it’s considered somewhat of an institution. However, better sold and still producing than to go under and so here they are still putting out fabulous products and for that, we are forever grateful, amen.
This very simple and elegant range of fine bone china baubles is up there with the kings. Embossed with a range of suitably festive imagery and patterns, they have an element of humour to them as well as just being tactile and aesthetically pleasing. Both in plain white and a matt powder blue and white, a tree adorned with these would be nothing short of a Christmas of fairytale-proportions. I just need loads of them, a huge tree, oh, and a nice big house to put them in. Ho-Hum.
images taken from Bodie and Fou’s website
These sweet little bundles are Pigmée Dolls from Bodie and Fou. For those of you new to Bodie and Fou, they are two French sisters (Elodie and Karine) who are now based in London who have compiled a vast compendium of products. The result is a rather splendid on-line boutique selling the best of European design, spanning art & prints to wedding gifts via fashion and furniture with a good dose of French homewares. This is a one stop shop that will serve your every gift requirements. There is something for everyone.
One of their latest offerings are these plain, unadorned handmade dolls that are made from white textured cotton and stuffed with hypo-allergenic synthetic doll-stuffing. They come all the way form Kiria, Morocco and are the perfect antidote to all the branded toys that have seemingly saturated our nation. With only red stitching for decoration, these dolls will help encourage your child with creative role play and will stave off the onslaught of consumerist desires for just that little bit longer (hopefully). Available in 5 different family-member sizes, the smallest measures 20cm tall and go up in increments to the biggest at 60cm.
Pigmée Doll, size 1. £25, all sizes available from the website.
images taken from New Found Original’s website
Have yourselves your own little tabletop menagerie this Christmas with these stylish depictions of some of our favourite feathered friends. New Found Original is comprised of two splendid graphic designers, Dominic Bell and Jo Murray. A collection of carefully chosen new and second-hand items, these letterpress coasters are just some of the products available on their website, the result of their first collaboration with artist and designer Ryan Todd. This small corner of the vast mall that is the ‘etailer’s’ domain is a small sliver of heaven; simple in layout and with just a few items on offer, this is shopping for the eclectically-driven, the aesthetic-seekers and for those after gifts that aren’t available in every high-street retailer. However, a number of the items available are one-offs so you gotta be quick. There are new etailers popping up every day it’s hard to keep up with all of them, granted most of them are nothing of note but this shop is definitely a keeper, it would appear there are a number of new things to come in the pipeline so be sure to bookmark it.
These letterpress coasters are available to buy from New Found Original’s website, £8 for set of 4, not including P&P.
Toothpic Nation were just one of the exhibitors at this year’s East London Design Show. These guys are not only an emporium of nice bits and bobs but a showcase of the best designers coming out of Asia; including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong amongst others. Named after the most popular and widely used tool in Asia, the toothpick, the USP of this shop is not only its unique situation of stocking product design from an area of the world we don’t get to see much from but they’ve also got a rotating theme in place. This means that twice a year, they have a new ‘season’ which ensures a whole new selection of products and designers. We’re currently on ‘Volume 1: Around the Desk’ so it’ll come as no surprise to find a collection of stationery and desk-based ephemera.
There is a shiny-edged lining to this already glorious cloud, they also have a big heart with 50% of the proceeds of the sale of one of each season’s named products going to a selected charity. This season’s elected product is the limited edition ‘Around the Desk’ eco bag whose proceeds are going to the all important Smile Cafe Project (predominantly written in Japanese) which is a not-for-profit Japanese organisation helping locals rebuild their lives and communities after the phenomenally destructive earthquake.
1.) ToNo Te connectable notebook by Taiji Fujimori, £15.95 for set of 3 colours
2.) Recycled paper pencils by Gongjang, ££5.95 for set of five
3.) Cardbar by Blueoculus, £29.95 desktop organiser, ruler and good for cutting all in one
4.) Spike eraser by Shian Wei Chang, £12.50, never be short of a clean pointed-edged eraser
5.) Transformer file pack by 25togo design, £11.95 for set of 3, a document folder or a storage box!
6.) 1/100 architectural model greeting card- Sorry by Terada Mokei, £6.95