Thursday, 28 July 2011

Just Perched at Roost: Ms Chattanooga by Kathy Dalwood

We have been a long time collaborator and admirer of Kathy Dalwood’s work and we’re thrilled that she has crafted us an exclusive piece; the ‘Ms Chattanooga’ bust.

In keeping with Kathy’s full collection of characters, the elegant Ms Chattanooga takes her inspiration from 18th and 19th century portrait busts but instead of being sculpted in stone or clay, she is made by direct casting from real-life materials, fabrics and objects, hence the fascinating level of textured detail.

To see Kathy’s masterpieces in-the-making, take a look at her blog, where you’ll also discover the full story behind Ms Chattanooga and how she was made, as well as the inspiration behind Kathy's pieces.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Easy artichoke spaghetti

Everyone has a few of those ‘go-to’ recipes that that they make time and again (and they always go down a treat, too).

Here at Roost, we just can’t get enough of artichoke spaghetti – it’s so simple and quick to make, that’s it become somewhat of a regular on our dinner table. The best thing about it is (apart from the fact that it’s so fast and easy to make) is that really, the ingredients are so incredibly simple. And, unlike normal recipes, which can often lead to making far too much (or worse, not enough) the recipe below quotes just enough ingredients to make the dish for one. Cooking for friends and family? All you need to do is multiply the ingredients by how many you’re cooking for and hey presto.


1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1-2 small shallots, finely diced

1 handful marinated artichokes

½ can chopped tomatoes

30ml single cream

1 handful of wholemeal spaghetti

2 tbsp grated parmesan

2 tbsp olive oil

1 knob butter

Chives, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste


Add the spaghetti and a tablespoon of oil to a pan of boiling water. Brown the garlic and shallots in a frying pan with the butter and a tablespoon of oil. When soft, but not brown, add the tomatoes, artichokes and salt and pepper to the garlic and shallots. Simmer for 8-10 minutes. Add one and a half tablespoons of parmesan to the artichokes, stir well, and then add the cream slowly - making sure the sauce doesn’t become too runny. Drain and plate the spaghetti, topping it with the artichoke mix. Sprinkle with parmesan and chives to serve.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Let there be light (just make it up-cycled, please!)

Forget “vintage” or “recycled” – today’s buzzword is “up-cycling”. It’s a word that covers everything from the classic stripping and re-painting an old chest of drawers, to even transforming disused traffic lights into a desk lamp—an idea we simply love here at Roost, and one that has inspired us to pick a few of our favourite environmentally friendly finds. Plus, we’re also sharing a few tips on how to easily start (and finish!) your very own up-cycled project.

Ready, steady, go!

This trio of colourful signals (from Chiswick’s The Old Cinema) makes for a desk lamp with a difference.

Ruling the Roost

We love our best selling shade as it’s just so unique – made of vintage rulers, it creates such a talking-point piece.

Bright idea

BootsNGus reincarnate commonly found glass jars into eco friendly yet modern chandeliers.

Feeling creative? Give up-cycling your own lampshade a go. Here’s how:

1. Use an old lampshade that you’re happy to reinvent or pick one up from a charity shop. Top tip: we recommend using one that has a wire frame with easy to remove fabric.

2. Make a new pattern for the frame by removing the old fabric and placing it seam down on a piece of brown paper.

3. Place a pencil on the top edge of the lampshade and onto the paper. Keep the pencil in place and roll the lampshade, drawing a line around the edge. Make sure you keep the pencil to the paper the whole way round

4. Repeat this process by laying the lampshade back down where you started drawing the first line and continue until you have made a complete circle.

5. Cut out the pattern and trace it onto your new material and cut the fabric to the pattern.

6. Cover the reverse side of the fabric with a spray-on adhesive and carefully position the fabric, starting at the seam, around the lampshade.

7. Trim any excess fabric from the top and bottom of the lampshade (or hand-stitch for a neater finish).

8. Time for the piece de résistance! Raid your spare button tin (or buy some odd ones from a haberdashery) and sew them on, covering the entire shade. Et voila!

P.S. Too much like hard work? Fast track to a unique up-cycled shade by adorning an old one with plenty of cute buttons.