Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Tea: a constant source of inspiration

f there’s one thing we love nothing more, it’s a good old-fashioned cup of tea. The thing is, not only is it refreshing (and the perfect excuse for a natter with good friends) it’s also great for everything from cooling sunburn to inspiring a new craft project. Who'd have thought it?

Cue our five tips for tea...

1. Calm suburn with ice cold left overs.

2. Dye fabric for crafts.

3. Mix loose leaves with glitter for favours (or gift wrapping).

4. Rejuvenate eyes with cold tea bags.

5. Create gift tags, inspired by tea. Watch homeware blogger Love Mae's tutorial.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Busy with buttons

In the midst of a spring clean, we came across a heap of spare buttons tucked away - some from clothes no-longer owned. So what to do with them? Here are a few great ideas; some of which we plan on beavering away with this weekend...

craft pictures

make magnets

personalise possessions

We also found some amazing vintage tins in our drawers – what do you keep your buttons in?

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Finally made it...Hockney Exhibition

Since its opening, I have been meaning to book and go to the Hockney exhibition, but by the time I finally got around to it, it was sold out. So yesterday I decided to brave a trip to the Royal Academy and hope and pray the queue wasn't too horrific.

We made it. And we weren't disappointed at all! The exhibition was luminous, the colours bright, the seasons so beautifully illustrated. Nature was captured in all its glory in Hockney's vibrant style.

The 'Spring' room, the centre of the exhibition, was mesmarising with bold pictures created using an iPad, surely the next artistic medium.

It was truly inspiring and uplifting and certainly worth the visit - but always take a buggy (and if you don't have one, borrow a baby and buggy for the day). They let you bypass the queue (and it is quite a queue) and go straight in.

The David Hockney Exhibition is on at the Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly until 9 April 2012. Tickets £16

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Yayoi Kusama at the Tate Modern

Most of us have a taste for colour and pattern, but Japanese artist Yayoi Kusuma has devoted her life to both subjects.

Yayoi was born in 20s Japan, where from an early age she was encouraged to express herself through creative mediums.

In 1948, she chose to study painting in Kyoto, but quickly became frustrated by the conformity of traditional painting and developed a hunger for wildly experimental work – perhaps inspiring her move to New York.

The Big Apple played an important part in defining Yayoi's work, and her creativity – it was here she regularly put on 'Body Festivals' where friends and volunteers would paint each other’s naked bodies with a flurry of polka dots – another deep obsession for Yayoi.

In the 70s, Yayoi returned to Japan, voluntarily checking herself into Seiwa Hospital for the Mentally Ill. To this day, she still resides here, and it’s here she has created some of her most spectacular works – some of which are now on show at the Tate Modern, London.

Certainly, few artists can count painting, sculpture, collage, performance art and environmental installations as their regular mediums. Yayoi, and her polka dot fixation, are without a doubt unique, not to mention utterly captivating.

"A polka-dot has the form of the sun, which is a symbol of the energy of the whole world and our living life, and also the form of the moon, which is calm. Round, soft, colourful, senseless and unknowing. Polka-dots become movement... Polka dots are a way to infinity." Yayoi Kusama.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Alice Hart: Friends at My Table

We've been keeping a close eye on twenty-something chef Alice Hart ever since she released her first book, Vegetarian, that’s filled with all sorts of delicacies like carrot and haloumi stacks, drizzled with zingy lemon dressing. Delicious!

As if that wasn't quite enough to stir your taste buds, Alice has just published her next book: Friends at My Table.

This one holds a bit of a twist - far from just recipes, it's filled with a checklist of kitchen bits you'd need on a weekend break, tips about what to do while away, and even a few drink ideas like how to make your own vodka infusions.

The book really has it all - how to entertain guests, what to cook and everything in between. All you need to do is start planning that weekend away!