Category Archives: Yndlingsting

Second-hand find: 2 x green Jonathan Adler vases

I love ceramics and pottery and have been collecting the fragile, hand-made pieces for many years.

When it comes to vases, Jonathan Adler is a firm favourite. (You might have spotted his pieces in Carrie’s flat in Sex and The City).  All Adler pottery is designed in his Soho studio in New York and then thrown in Peruvian workshops which have been found through Aid to Artisans, a non-profit organisation that promotes fair trade.

And what’s not to love about a designer with a an amazingly inspired and witty cv like this. And take a look at his manifesto.

I used to own only two Adler vases. A blue and a white. The blue one I don’t think is in production anymore and I bought it on sale in the shop Stilleben in Copenhagen. The white bulb vase (£118) is a gift from my former colleagues.

But then recently I spotted these two in my favourite charity shop, St John’s Hospice Shop, in St. John’s Wood:

I actually first thought they were cheap copies from Ikea, so I quickly turned them upside down:

“Yay me!” I silently shouted to myself and ran to the till. The were both £7.

The left one is called gourd relief (£98) and the one on the right is called abacus (£88). Both are inspired by “seeds, barnacles, pebbles and other natural wonders”.

Matryoshka dolls

When I was 6 years old and in kindergarten I was deeply fascinated by this set of Russian matryoshka dolls (also called nesting dolls or babushka dolls). I could spend hours peeling off the outer “doll layers” until I got to the amazingly tiny baby one in the middle.

I’ve never owned any of these myself, until a while ago, when I spotted a set of these in a local bric-à-brac shop. They cost £1, so although they looked nothing like the classic ones from my childhood I had to buy them.  They’ve been cheering up our mantelpiece ever since.

And then when I read a post on Liberty London Girl’s blog about how she had bought one of the more traditional sets while in Moscow for around £8, I decided it was time to invest in the “real thing”.

Luckily for me Sam has a very nice Russian friend & colleague, who was just about to go to Moscow on holiday. And this is what he came back with:

The perfect set, which instantly takes me back to kindergarten.

I excitedly pulled them apart to see who was nesting in the middle: and yay, there it was, the teeny weeny little baby. How cute (sorry pregnancy hormones taking over here).

The dolls make great gifts for kids too (over 3-years-old though because of the small bits). If a trip to Moscow isn’t on the horizon you can buy cheap ones online at for example Amazon or Play.com.

Or if you’re a real aficionado you can visit matryoshkastore.com, which is 100% dedicated to nesting dolls in all shapes and genres. Here’s something for everyone, from cats to Little Red Riding Hood matryoshkas.

The pregnancy sausage

Meet my new best friend:

My beloved new pregnancy pillow or “pølsen” (the sausage) as I tenderly call it. Sam just calls it “the white maggot” – maybe because it seems to have a life of its own and is trying to slowly squeeze him out of bed every night.

This wonderful pillow creature is filled with tiny micro beads and you can mold it into whatever shape you like. You can use it while pregnant for support while sleeping, for back support and for breastfeeding the baby later on.

Look at all the things you can do with it:

I paid £45 pounds for it in John Lewis and so far it has been worth every penny. It has won all kinds of awards and is free from any chemical nasties

Read more about it and shop at www.theraline.co.uk

Today’s view from the balcony…

Brownies and muffins for lunch. What more can I say….

The cakes are from a new local place in Maida Vale called The Coffee Tree. More about that later.

Habitat spring sale, here I come!

The always cool Habitat stores are having a great sale on at the moment. Furniture, cushions, bathroom accessories and many more products are discounted with 50%…..and you get a further 10% on everything at checkout. Last day is Sunday.

Habitat sales are known for being pretty great, and with the discount their prices are shot down to the same level as cheapo IKEA’s = a win/win situation, as Habitat’s quality and designs are just so much better.

So I popped by their store on Tottenham Court Road yesterday to check it out.

I left the shop with a bathroom mat, a stylish toilet brush (oh yes, you just can’t live without one of those!) and this grey Foxglove cushion, £35 17.50. It’s big and fluffy and stuffed with feathers. So much nicer than the ones I saw in IKEA.

I also stocked up on towels. This pack with 2 bath towels and 2 hand towels cost £20 10. The “soin douche extra pure rose” from Savon de Marseille was £9 4.50.

Oh, and then there was of course another 10% off the prices above.

Photo via habitat.co.uk

And I might just have to stop by again today as I have my eyes on this cute Flipnfriends jigsaw puzzle. Aren’t those eyes just begging to be bought? £25 12.50.

Photo via habitat.co.uk

And I need another cushion. I hope I can track down this turquoise Dachshund one £10 5.

If not I’ll have to bite the dust and pay full price for this charming Joane “Love” cushion, designed by Ella Doran. £20.

Photo via habitat.co.uk

All items can also be bought via habitat.co.uk

Maida Vale moving

It’s been a bit quiet on the blog for the last few days as we’ve been busy moving.

After three years in furnished London flats and with a baby on its way, the nesting instinct finally kicked in and we decided it was about time to surround ourselves with our own stuff.

We’ve always lived in Maida Vale and have completely fallen in love with this central, yet quiet residential area. We were lucky to find an unfurnished flat just 100 metres from the old one. The moment I walked in and saw this balcony & view I was sold:

And I can’t wait to sit here and read a good book when the weather gets a bit better.

All that’s left to do now is buying a sofa and all the other things that you need for everyday life. We’ll also be going to Denmark soon and I can’t wait to bring all my ceramics, pictures etc. over here.

Oh, and of course there’s the unpacking: right now I’m sitting in the living room with a cup of (microwave-heated) tea and untoasted toast, contemplating this mess:

Huggable peace planet (and an atlas shower curtain)

Today we went for baby’s 20 week scan. Everything looks great and it’s a little BOY!

So to celebrate we headed straight for Kopapa in Seven Dials for lunch. On our way back to Piccadilly we passed the amazing travel shop Stanfords. It’s one of those rare, specialised stores with a strong personality that I hope will survive for a long time.

Stanfords sell everything travel-related: from books to maps, toys, movies and gifts for travelling souls.  And if you make your way across the atlas floor, you’ll get to the laid-back café in the back (it’s run by Kiwis = excellent coffee).

The very first thing that caught my eye was this huggable planet. It’s made by a company called Peacetoys. They also sell eco-friendly books and organic cotton toys and have won several green awards.

So Mr. Baby Bassett now has his first toy. And even though this planet isn’t made from organic cotton like the other toys, I still think its message is pretty positive: hug and love the planet you’re on.

Plus it will help this baby’s geography-dyslexic mum remember exactly where Malaysia, The Philippines, Micronesia and all those other wonderful exotic travel destinations are on the map.

The huggable planet is on sale at the moment: £25 £20!

And I probably have to go back to Stanfords flagship store again soon. We’re moving next month and our new bathroom is screaming for this world atlas shower curtain. £24.95.

Stanfords
12-14 Long Acre
Covent Garden, London
Website

Dressing the bump: second-hand Diane von Furstenberg dress

The observant reader may have noticed that this blog has taken a slight turn away from second-hand shopping towards comfort-food, comfortable footwear and cakes recently.

As a result I now have a baby bump to show for it (and a scanning just confirmed that it aint just a food baby :-))

Dressing the growing bump is becoming more and more difficult and I’ve had to sort through my closet to dig out everything oversized and stretchy and hide away anything with a waist.

I’m not a big fan of the high street shop’s maternity ranges (too cutesy and unimaginative) so I’m trying to make do with stuff from my closet for as long as possible.

Tonight I’m meeting up with some friends in Soho and I felt like wearing something cheerful. So I decided to see if I could still squeeze into this Diane von Furstenberg dress that I bought in Chiswick for £40 last year (here’s how it looked back then).

I made it into the dress and will enjoy wearing it tonight as I know it’ll become too small very soon.

From Finland with love

Apparently it’s Hug a Finn Day today.

Sadly I don’t have any Finns close enough to hug them today but I did hug two of them last week, when Sam’s cousin and her boyfriend visited us.

And they brought us the loveliest presents, all made in Finland of course. First up are these fabulous Iittala tea mugs. This series is designed by Klaus Haapaniemi and called Satumetsä which means “fable forest”. I just love the fairytale’esque design.

And then there are these Moomin pillow cases. I think it’s the nicest ones I’ve ever seen and am sure I’ll sleep even better when I rest my head on this sleepy Moomintroll (I’m glad it isn’t angry Little My on it, as I’m sure I wouldn’t sleep as well then).

Finlayson makes a lot of different Moomin duvet covers and pillow cases etc. Check them out here.

Oh, and we also got some Karl Fazer milk chocolate. So much better than Cadbury. They’re quickly disappearing and even Sam, who normally hates milk chocolate, has been seen eating them.

Bloody Bambi that’s what I call subversive crocheting!

Who killed Bambi? - from the series Crossing Wonderland, 2008

Today I stumbled upon and fell head-over-heels in love with textile/crochet artist Patricia Waller. This Berlin-based artist is right up my morbid alley (so morbid am I that I did an essay at Uni about the aesthetic value of post-mortem photography).

Back to Patricia, because what she does with her crochet sculptures is she takes a homely craft that is normally associated with cosy grannies and cutesy baby toys and gives it a gigantic bloody whack in the forehead with her crochet hook.

A lot of the sculptures are pretty big, up to 2 metres long. I have no idea how expensive these things are but I if our flat was big enough I would happily let one of these creatures inhabit a corner.

Here are a few of my favourites, you can see more  right here.

Rabbit 2 - from the series Rabbits, 2003

Accident 4 - from the series Accidents, 2004

Unicorn - from the series Crossing Wonderland, 2005

Bad Luck - from the series Crossing Wonderland 2007

Twins 1 - from the series Twins, 2005

Accident 4 - from the series Accidents, 2004

Antlers, 2002

Bird in the Hand, 2006

Baby Ghost, 2006

Rabbit 1 - from the series Rabbits, 2003

All pictures are © Patricia Waller and via  www.patriciawaller.com