Friday, 28 September 2012

Circus tents and flying elephants

I love having something finished. After weeks // months of designing, drawing, planning, sourcing, making, fiddling, tweaking, pricing and photographing, putting it out there in the world is a tiny bit nerve-racking too.

And today, I've have not one but two new lampshades in my shop.

They're made from specially coated parchment paper, which lets a mellow light seep through but keeps the pattern crisp. They'll be available in linen very soon too.

The first new lampshade is called Circus Tents and shows the canvas delights of the Butterscotch & Beesting Circus in corals, mints, teals and sunshine yellow sitting on a background of grey and white triangles. The triangles are the flags that fly above Betty and Bumblewick's magical world.

The second new lampshade is called Flying Elephants.

The repeat pattern on the shade shows Heidi LaLarge (as you may already know, Heidi is an elephant with exquisite panache on the highwire) flying across the circus big top. Like the Heidi Cushion, this print is inspired by an Art Deco pattern by Marion Dorn called Avis. Instead of Avis' doves, though, my version has airborne elephants. Naturally.

I love the lampbase in the Flying Elephants shot. It's an old Saxbo piece from the 1960s that my mum found in her cellar. (Why doesn't mine cellar hide any antique gems?) My mum is a professional ceramist, and we're working together to make a porcelain lampbase that can coordinate with the shades, using this beautiful bit of Danish Modernism as inspiration. I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, both lampshades are available from my shop. And if you want to see them in person, there's a list of upcoming events on my website, starting at the Pretty Dandy Flea in Nottingham.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Rainy-day baking

My sister came to visit us yesterday and since then it hasn't stopped raining. Every time we stepped out of the door it felt like someone tipped a bucket of water over our heads. So we turned on the radiators, hung our wet socks up to dry and took out the jigsaw puzzles. After the fifth puzzle, we wondered if a batch of chocolate brownies might banish the rain-sodden blues.

I wanted to make celebration brownies from an ever-so-delicious London Bakes recipe (just one of 11 brownies recipes on my favourite food blog ... which is quite possibly why it's my favourite). We were all out of Celebrations though and someone had eaten the last Mars Bar, so we used digestive biscuits and raspberries from my mum's allotment instead.*

* I know that adding fruit to baking doesn't really make it healthy, but even the hint that it's there makes me feel so much better when I've eaten my own body size in cake.

We measured, mixed, cracked eggs, sifted, licked and washed up in our steamy yellow and grey kitchen. And it didn't stop raining once.

PS. These are my sister's photos. Not mine. I was too busy licking the bowl and thinking about raspberries to reach for my camera.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Post Renegade

I'm still collected my photos together from the Renegade Craft Fair as well as taking photos of my new work and updating the shop. So until I've got myself organised, you can read more about the fair and even a bit about my stall on Decor8 and Bright.Bazaar. I love both these blogs, so I was over the moon to see Butterscotch + Beesting among their beautiful, bright photographs.

geometric, flags, triangles, print, print and pattern, flouro, fluro, brights, geometry, cushion, linen, handmade, Butterscotch & Beesting, Circus, homewares, circus homewares
Circus Flags Cushion in Yellow

And this is one of my new cushions. More to come...

Monday, 17 September 2012

A page from a book

I'm soooooo tired. Really, really tired. The kind of tired that floors you and leaves you garbling sentences. Earlier today I met my neighbour who told me he was going to London on the train to visit his daughters and I asked him if he'd had a good time. Ridiculous.

So I should be posting about Renegade Craft Fair, but I don't trust myself to write anything sensible or be capable of choosing and editing pictures. Instead here are some photos of a 1930s book plate I bought from Peony & Thistle a while ago. Their shop is beautiful, and I love the name too.

I really like the suggestion of the faces in the audience underneath the trapeze artists, and the idea of a woman carrying all her siblings on her shoulders.

"These people perform feats which we thought only possible for the giant of fairy tales."


Did I get through that without any mistakes? I promise there will be a Renegade Round-Up in the next few days. After I've slept.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

The Circus is coming to Renegade Craft Fair

This weekend I'll be taking Butterscotch & Beesting to the Renegade Craft Fair in London's Truman Brewery.

Here's a little glimpse of some of the things I'll be bringing. They're new and very exciting.

Tea trio set

Pocket mirrors

Almost best of all, I'll be sharing a stall with the super-duper-brilliant Jess Quinn. As you might already know, I'm a massive fan of her work - her drawing, her dolls, her characters. She's awesome (as Nearly-Teen would say). This is just one of her many incredible drawings.

Can't wait.  Better dash. Things to make.

Monday, 10 September 2012

A cardboard skyscraper

I promised to reveal our cardboard skyscraper which was the very last thing we did from our 44 Things to Do This Summer List.

Sadly this one isn't ours...

This is our inspiration: The Sky Is Falling (Henry Penny's Lament) by Australian artist Annalise Rees. Isn't it wonderful and totally magical? 

I first found it on one of Petit Poulou's Pinterest boards, and I immediately wanted to shrink in size and move in. I think I would be torn though between living in the apartment with the balconies and the pitched-roof house with the higgledy-piggledy staircase.

Annalise's sculpture reminds me of the cities you find in children's books, and childhood dreams of skyscrapers that go up and up and up forever, actually reaching the sky and scraping the clouds. It also reminds me a bit of the book Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty and the quite brilliant illustrator David Roberts –  I imagine it's the kind of building Iggy would design.

On one of the last days before school started again, me and the girls collected as many cardboard boxes as we could find, gathered bits of fabric to fashion into rugs and blankets, searched for paperclips to twist and turn into furniture, and embarked on our own tree-scraper (we grudgingly accepted it wouldn't be tall enough to reach the sky). Nearly-Teen was squirrelled away in his room animating and far to busy to be involved. We missed him.

This is what we built.

(Sorry about the grainy photos and smudge-stained carpet.)

And here are the girls fitting it out...