Wednesday 23 November 2011

Anyone for an illuminated cup of tea?

Do you like my new kettle? It arrived in the post today, all the way from Gilles Eichenbaum in Paris and it is my present to myself for working hard on my book...something to mark the occasion! It is wonderful that it should arrive today as yesterday as I had the loveliest email from my editor. She has read my manuscript and is really pleased with my submission and thinks it will make a beautiful book! I had a little cry with relief I can tell you. I put my heart and soul into that book and it is wonderful to hear that it has been enjoyed.

It's not over yet though. I have been over zealous and written way too much. I have to cut it down by 6000 words. Yes that's SIX THOUSAND....and by Monday afternoon. Haven't quite got my head around that yet....

Anyway this wonderful art piece is something that I fell in love with along the way. It has been lovingly crafted by Gilles Eichenbaum who has a business called GARBAGE as he makes new artefacts out of peoples disused items. Kettles, coffee pots, saucepans, colanders with beautiful lace work patterns cut out using simple tools in his workshop. It LOVE it . It has made my day to unwrap the box and see it in real life. I love that it is so smooth and well finished. I love that it is painted white inside to reflect the light around. I love that the lid comes off (why wouldn't it?) so that you can change the bulb. I feel that if I tipped it up, bright illuminated light would pour from the spout. I like the sound of that cup of tea!

Monday 21 November 2011

Lighting up the Russian Tea Room

I have been working on some designs for the Russian Tea Room in Skipton which is due to open in December. They asked me to make lampshades for the tables in the cafe so I have been working on some designs based on traditional Russian folk art.

It's a nice subject to draw inspiration from with beautiful scrolling designs of flowers, leaves, birds and berries. This is the first design but there will be another four to come.

The Russian Tearoom already has one outlet in Bacup, Lancashire but they are opening their second cafe in the Yorkshire market town of Skipton and as well as the tearoom it will also have a shop and the lamps will be on sale there. Looks like it's going to be lovely.

Monday 14 November 2011

Virtual studio tour

Today we launched the new Radiance virtual tour and this time you can make your way right to the back of the shop and see me hard at work in my studio! (look, there I am...can you tell I tidies up for the occasion). But before you go and have a look, here's an idea. My talented boy Euan wrote a new tune over the weekend which is rather lovely. Why don't you go to his Bandcamp page, press play and while it's playing go and have a spin around the shop. They will go very well together! :)

The fantastic virtual tour was cleverly crafted by Joby Catto of Anti Limited. He does some amazing panoramic photos. I recommend you check him out.

Wednesday 9 November 2011

New Stockists

I thought I'd share some of my new stockists with you as I am pleased to have some lamps in some great new locations. First up Nova Scotia, Canada! This is Dots & Loops Handmade and holds the record for being my most distant stockist.What an inspiring shopfront! I love it. They sell handmade goods from all over the world and I would very much like to visit! This photo montage came from

Next up, Pippin in Edinburgh, a brand new gift and homewares shop opened by jeweller Erica Stahl. I will look forward to popping in when I go up and visit next time.

I'm pleased to be in Harrison Lord in Brighouse too after they ordered some work at GNCCF. My dear friend Kate Lycett talks highly of them as she sells many of her beautiful paintings there. (have a quick peep on her website, you might see the new paper lanterns that she's cooking up...they are soooo sweet and I'm going to have them at Radiance when they're ready).

And here we have my FIRST STOCKIST IN IRELAND! Hooray! Ireland always looked so bare on my stockist map and I thought it would be great to seek out some stockists, but as I hadn't got round to it I was very happy to take an order from this lovely gallery O'Reilly & Turpin in County Mayo. I'll be posting their order off next week.

Met someone at the show who distributes crafts to Japan too who I'm now in conversation with. Watch this space!

Sunday 6 November 2011

Timber House on Skye

I am a very lucky lady. When I went to the Do What You Love Retreat this year I made friends with book artist Rachel Hazell who was teaching the book binding workshop. Rachel loves making and reading and collecting books and travels all around the world (a lot) teaching inspiring workshops. Rachel has been a great support during my months of book writing, and in the summer when I was moaning about not having had a holiday (that was before Brighton and Wales turned out to be productive AND relaxing) she invited me to share her annual trip up to The Isle of Skye to stay in the Timber House.

Timber House has been beautifully designed with huge windows so you can make the most of the far reaching views.
It is SO comfy and cosy in there with underfloor heating and a wood burning stove, so if the wind is howling and the rain is horizontal (like it was a lot of the time) you don't mind having to stay indoors at all!

The house looks out over Loch Dunvegan so we could keep an eye on the wildlife. We got a quick glimpse of an otter splashing about and one morning we watched a sea eagle circle majestically around the house. I saw him again out of the bathroom window while I was having a shower! We were visited each day by a weasel (or was he a stoat?) running over the decking, one day he was carrying a mouse home for his dinner. When the rain stopped I ventured down to sit on a rock by the foreshore to watch the lovely seals poking their inquisitive heads out of the water.

Rachel said that I would love the Coral Beach and she was absolutely right!

These golden 'sands' are made up of the richest mosaic of tiny pieces of coral and shell.

The sun made an appearance lighting up the beach!

Look at the textures...

and the colours....
Timber House was the BEST house for yoga and we did a good hour every morning looking at the big sky. We spent a lot of time talking, thinking, planning and eating. The Three Chimneys Restaurant was a treat on my last night!

Rachel showed me how to make an origami box so I could take home my handful of beach!

It was a long old trip home but the coach from Syke to Glasgow was the most awesome bus journey I have ever been on. Six hours of absolutely stunning scenery. We passed mountain, lochs and forests, we passed Ben Nevis, Glencoe and Loch Lomand. Amazing and it only cost ten pounds too, for all that beauty!

And now home and not planning to go anywhere really until Rachels book making workshop on the Summer Isles next March (wanna come? check it out!). It's time to embrace the crazy Christmas weeks ahead! I'm ready!
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