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Baby love

13 Mar

In a moment of aimless internet browsing today I stumbled back across a favourite blog. It’s not new, in fact you’ve most probably seen it before, but Mila’s Daydreams {milasdaydreams.blogspot.com} is such a genuinely original concept, which manages to be cute without being toe-curlingly corny. It’s no wonder it became an overnight online sensation.

Inspired by the positions her two-week old baby Mila slept in while she napped, Adele Enerson decided to photograph them – and create a fantasy daydream around her.  The latest update to the blog sees readers sending in their own sleeping baby scenes {I adore Kirsi Vuomajoki’s baby ice skating – see below}.

Kirsi Vuomajoki's sleeping baby picture from http://www.milasdaydreams.blogspot.com. Copyright Adele Enerson

I’m in awe of the creativity naturally, but also by the energy Adele must have. Most mums I know are either flat out with a cuppa, avoiding the housework, or scaling the heights of a lengthy list of chores as soon as the baby sleeps.

The blog is now a book – When my Baby Dreams by Adele Enerson {Harper Collins, Balzer + Bray}. Buy it from amazon here.

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Scandinavian chic

24 Feb

You know by now that I love coming across exceptional things in unexpected places. But I also get a real thrill from rediscovering my own forgotten possessions – especially those with a special place in my past. Last weekend I was rooting around in the attic and unearthed one of my favourite childhood books at the bottom of a box of unremarkable chick lit.

Mrs Pepperpot in the Magic Wood by Alf Proysen

My copy of Mrs Pepperpot in the Magic Wood, by Alf Proysen brought back magical memories of reading way after lights out. You only have to see the dog-eared pages to guess how many times I scoured it from cover to cover.

Mrs Pepperpot in the Magic Wood by Alf Proysen

Set in Norway, the adventures of this eccentric, shrinking old lady are totally spellbinding. And who knew that Mrs Pepperpot would be such a trailblazer for Scandinavian chic all these years later…

Folk tales and fairy stories from her homeland are the inspiration for Swedish illustrator Sandra Isaksson’s ISAK brand. {Visit the website at www.isak.co.uk}. I’ve already bought the alphabet and number posters for my little girl’s room, and you can bet she’ll be treated to Mrs Pepperpot and plenty more of my much-loved childhood books soon too.

ISAK numbers poster - isak.co.uk

ISAK alphabet poster - isak.co.uk

Swedish blogger living in Berlin, Sandra Juto, is something of an online phenomenon for undercover crafters. Read all about her stylish life, see her inspiring pictures and discover crocheted ‘wrist worms'{!} at sandrajuto.blogspot.com.

And finally, no trip to the cold Nordic climates is complete without a rare sighting of the Moomins! Pussyhomeboutique.co.uk has such a cute collection of gifts featuring these strangely loveable psychedelic trolls. Anyone from my generation is bound to be transported right back to warm buttered toast and comforting TV at teatime with just the slightest glimpse.

 

In the mood

2 Feb

I’m helping some friends design a few pieces of artwork for their newly revamped, freshly painted home at the moment. It reminded me how powerful – and how useful – a mood board can be in anchoring a creative conversation. ‘S’ loved all things girly, gorgeous and decorative, ‘J’ was looking for something bolder – he didn’t mind birds and butterflies in moderation, but didn’t want a house full of ‘fluff’!

They realised that when making the nuts and bolts decisions of doing up a house – door handles, floor tiles, light fittings – they were on safe territory, and largely in agreement. But when it came to giving the house some personality and injecting the space with a more revealing sense of taste they hit a blank wall. Literally.

In those instances I would always recommend a mood board. I’ve used them forever in a work environment; creatively they’re invaluable for allowing a team of people to visualise a concept. At home they are a great way of expressing – discovering, even – what kind of themes float your aesthetic boat and coming up with a look you will love to live with.

I’m a fan of making a mood board the good old fashioned way – cutting out pictures from magazines, ripping up paint charts, pinning pieces of fabric – but I’ve also just started creating virtual moodboards with the help of pinterest. It’s fun playing around with images that can help you design a room, a new look, a wedding, a whole lifestyle in fact. These images below are a few of my current favourites. Hope you like them too.

http://www.pinterest.com Tine K home collection pure SS2012

http://www.pinterest.com illegitimate-child.tumblr.com

 

http://www.pinterest.com caryambler/she-s-crafty/

I’m dreaming of a grown up Christmas

4 Dec

Been feeling the tiniest bit festive today, so dug out one of my favourite ever cook books – Snowflakes and Schnapps, by Jane Lawson {Murdoch Books}. It’s the most exquisite collection of recipes inspired by the snow-cloaked regions of Northern Europe. Not only is the food utterly mouthwatering, but the atmosphere of an enticingly cosy, chic Christmas is beautifully captured by the brilliant {and thoroughly charming} photographer Brett Stevens.

Snowflakes and Schnapps by Jane Lawson

Snowflakes and Schnapps by Jane Lawson

Snowflakes and Schnapps by Jane Lawson

Makes me think that’s exactly the kind of mood I’d like to achieve this Christmas… The warm, spicy aromas of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg wafting from every room; a glorious, understated palette of antique whites and glimmering silver accenting every detail; snowy walks followed by the inviting glow of an open fire and meltingly rich hot chocolate enjoyed by candlelight.

Instead, courtesy of my little girl, my Christmas so far consists of this

Oh well, back to the book. ‘Tis the season, so time for a sherry I think.

Something old, something new…

30 Nov

Hello, and welcome to Create Vintage. Thanks for dropping by!

Someone wise once said, ‘Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.’ Well, I don’t know about not giving a damn {because I really, really hope you’re going to like what you see here}, but I’ve certainly got lots to show, and plenty to say too, so I’ve finally decided to share it.

There’s no doubt about it: style is subjective. Having worked in the creative world of magazines for over ten years, with some of the most talented editors, photographers, stylists and art directors, I know that we all have our own critical viewpoints, tastes and judgment. I’m not saying my radar is impeccable, and I’m definitely no interiors expert, but recently I’ve been on a mission to find stylish, individual furnishings and home accessories that have their own unique story to tell.

My conclusion is that ‘vintage’ offers a quality and authenticity that you just don’t get on the high street. And my approach is simple – I just do the bare minimum to reinvent a fantastic piece for the modern home, uncovering its charm so it can be used and adored again. When you get the right mix of old meets new it’s pure style magic.

All the pieces I’ll be sharing with you, over the next few weeks and months, have been hunted for and carefully re-crafted, or as I like to say, ‘collected and resurrected’. From elaborate picture frames to perfectly pretty tea cups, elegant chairs and endearingly careworn home accessories, I’m going to seek out the future and potential in treasures that deserve to be given a second shot in life.

No destination is too daunting on my eternal hunt for gorgeous things. Whether it’s a cobwebbed cellar or a far-flung junk shop, the occasional moments of delightful discovery make it worthwhile. All my pieces have their own diverse origins, but they all have one thing in common – utter loveliness. I’m not talking antiques, or collector’s items or kitsch little trinkets… All the bits and pieces I’m going to share with you have age and beauty on their side and have proved their credentials to be as relevant now as they were in their prime.

The things I fall in love with are chosen for their originality, usefulness, style or sheer beauty. Forget high-tech, mass-market and factory packed; handmade, vintage and home-crafted is the kind of shopping experience that I think buys you a satisfied smile and gives your personal space some soul. Nothing is run of the mill or mass-produced. Each item I search for is individual with a character all of its own. Some will be given a new lease of life with a personal touch, others will appear in all their outright glory. And if you fall in love with any of the pieces you see here, please get in touch, because almost all of them will be available to buy and make your very own.

Come back soon for my first discoveries, due to be dusted off any day now…