Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Emma Cassi

Subtle and sparkly - the upcoming collection from Emma Cassi.

A sales situation

What is it about sales which make me believe I need 500 thread count sheets? I fall for it every time (a reduction from £100 to £30 must mean they are selling at cost, surely.) And another duvet cover, too. I'm going to team this duvet cover, with grey pillowcases, for a slightly toned-down look, but this is my first foray into official yellow territory.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Tea of the week: Folklover

Fairytale illustrations from Folklover.

An English summer

For me, there is nothing which typifies an English summer (and its partner in crime, hayfever) more than the colourful and joyful photographs below.

This lady is well kitted out for the irregularities of our British climate.

First, a spot near the shade (or shelter from rain.)

A kite for those carefree (and breezy) moments. No clouds nearby? Never a guarantee. Just in case, some wellies for the always-imminent downpour, and a nearby caravan retreat for an afternoon siesta.

A wise lady always keeps her umbrella (or parasol) close at hand.

Somewhere to lounge...

That's all eventualities covered. I'm tempted to ditch my neutral interiors theme and invite some flowery patterns in for the sticky summer months. These photographs by Craig Fordham, styled by Finola Inger, woke me from my grey-toned stupor, and I've just bought two garish 70s tablecloths for a volunteer appreciation picnic I'm helping to organise. They might not know it yet, but it is going to be themed.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

New sponsor: Boutiko

Welcome to my new sponsor, Boutiko. Boutiko's USP is that it sells accessories and homewares which have 'an ethical twist' meaning that all of its products are organic, fair trade, recycled or locally made.

I'm looking for a summer bag to replace my heavy leather burden, so what about this striped and ruffled soft cotton jersey number?

Smart recycled leather accessories: luggage labels for the style-savvy traveller (only £3.95, too) and a handbag-must for the Knowledge-free Londoner, a semi-disguised A-Z.

And if these are as soft as they look, then I'm definitely adding one of these light jersey scarves to my early autumn wishlist. Striped, soft and more ruffles - perfect.

Visit Boutiko for lots of other guilt-free shopping, and there is a big sale on too as Tara, the owner, is working on refining the range.

Interested in advertising on Tea for Joy? Just e-mail me for more details. Don't forget to visit my other sponsor too, Le Petit Boutique.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Five Friday Faves

I'm quoted, in an official blog capacity, in this article about vintage tea sets, on the Tea Council's website.

Some decal paper (mentioned yesterday) already in use.

A cute owl clock.

Love these letters to everyone who lives in Cushendall (in Northern Ireland, where I'm from.) It's strange for me to follow a link through to my local news bulletin via Simplesong, in Washington DC. Thanks for sharing, Suann!

Have a great weekend, everyone. I'm off to a 30th birthday party and am very impressed with my parcel wrapping!

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Nina Invorm

Gauging by the number of sales in her Etsy shop, I don't think Nina Invorm is a blog secret, but I hadn't heard of her until I came across her designs today on Home Shopping Spy.

Nina screenprints onto ceramics and prints, but also 'repurposes' old crockery with new designs.

Oui, that is adorable.

Do you like how I included the print and the milk jug, for diversity and range, when really all I want to post about are the 'new' vintage plates?

I can't help it - here's more:

What about this one? Just the thing to cheer up a plate collection which is verging on granny-style overload? Well, admire it all you like, but it won't be yours as I bought it within about 2 minutes of reading about her.

Also, if you haven't heard about it already, I would highly recommend reading Home Shopping Spy. It is affiliated to Ideal Home magazine, so often it has fantastic finds ahead of the game (winter Toast catalogue anyone?) It's actually a blog I don't like to read too often, lest I fall into complete blog lethargy and re-blog every single thing they write about instead of finding something original myself. So far, total demeanours in the last week, 2 (fully credited of course.)

Fancy repurposing your own plate? See here. Let's just say I will definitely be adding plate decorating to my list of craft activities which sound brilliant but which I will ultimately never get around to doing.

London love: SORT

I've always thought that the US has the letterpress market all sewn up, so I am excited to discover that a London-based printer, SORT, specialises in the same old-fashioned techniques. I love their name - the Society of Revisionist Typographers, and I love their Etsy shop.

The Scribble notebook is my particular favourite, hand-bound with medium weight paper. It is an infinitely more luxurious alternative to my own recent notebook creations, which are staple-bound with pieces of scrap paper folded in half, and the cover 'decorated' with a highlighter pen motif. I find my own creations strangely satisfying and useful, but they can't compare to the real deal, deserving of a fountain pen and a slow, steady hand.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Weekend finds

Some weekend charity shop and car boot sale finds...

I bought these, not for the stamps or first day covers, but because I thought they would make an interesting scanned background for a blog photo.

I only wanted one plate, but it was being sold by a little old lady who was there with her son and looked despondent that she didn't have any customers. She is downsizing, and bless her, tried to give me a free gift as I bought a few things. I told her I would take some hand-worked linen, but she still insisted in taking them out of the packet to show me.

What's your car boot sale strategy? I stomped away from a young guy who was selling an appealing fireproof box, because he wouldn't come down from £5 to £4 (it was totally worth £5, but on principle.) But then I didn't haggle with anyone else! The little old lady was funding her move to an old people's home, and I felt the others were asking a fair price and only trying to make a living...

I usually only take about £40 in cash, but on Sunday I saw an exquisite set of old birthday cards and postcards. There were 160 in mint condition and the seller was asking £75. I scrabbled round in my purse but all I had was £45 - which understandably he wouldn't accept. But, it only occurred to me later that I should have given him my phone number in case they didn't sell. The best ideas always come to me much too late.

Wednesday workspace

So, I've always thought I would be more productive if someone was working alongside me - I get very inspired to tidy when other people are in my flat - except, wait, that's what I do every day, and my boss (who sits about as far away from me as in this photograph) is just a little too close for comfort.

This workspace is actually not that different to many office environments, except that the row of propped pictures really gives it a lift. That blue actually distracted me for long enough to not even notice that a lot of the fixtures and fittings are actually reasonably standard. It demonstrates that just a little thought can really change an otherwise ordinary environment.

via ffffound.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Alice Mara Ceramics

There's something I find intriguing about these 'hanging people' ceramics from Alice Mara, available at the Hidden Art Shop.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Marcel Wanders for Graham and Brown

This is one of the most appealing editorials I've seen in a very long time - from Easy Living magazine. I have actually subscribed to it as they were offering a really cheap deal. Their content isn't completely up my street, but their design pages are brilliantly put together - they feature original designers and small businesses. I do find some other design magazines recycle the same shops and suppliers every single month so I love that I often haven't seen the designers they feature elsewhere.

This wallpaper is now the frontrunner for decorating a feature wall in my hallway.

The wallpaper is Stella by Marcel Wanders for Graham & Brown. Unlike almost everything I ever like, it's actually quite affordable at £30 a roll.

Which colour is your favourite? I actually love the white and gold, as in the photo above. Can you tell I was totally bowled over by this design? I ordered a yellow sample, because I like the idea of doing something radical - but never quite manage it. Think it through carefully before commenting please...I've been collecting wallpaper samples for nearly two years now. I have very dark brown floorboards. An adjoining room will have a black and white bird wallpaper which will be in the line of sight from the hallway.

As a reward for your much appreciated interior consulting, I'm going to share this video with you of Alain Clark singing with his father, which I saw on GMTV on Friday. If you can't muster up the energy to discriminate between yellow and taupe, at least watch this, which will blow you away more than any wallpaper - I couldn't speak afterwards. If you can't watch the live version outside the UK, this is the You Tube version. I think it might actually be a year old - GMTV were showing a repeat for Father's Day.

Image scanned from Easy Living.

Tea of the week: desk tidy

Desk tidy, from Black and Brum.

Friday, 19 June 2009

le petit boutique and discount

Welcome to Tea for Joy's newest advertiser, le petit boutique. I'm thrilled to feature this pretty little shop which sells a lovely range of vintage finds, some with a French theme, such as Pob-like French knitting dolls (I never knew such a thing existed) and an apple-adorned measuring jug.

Le petit boutique is offering a special discount for Tea for Joy readers - just enter the code teaforjoy at checkout.

Have a look at Natalie's blog too, le petit oiseau, which I mentioned a while ago because it has a cute header featuring blogland's perennial favourite, graph paper.

If you are interested in advertising on Tea for Joy, please email me for statistics etc - I'm offering a sizzling summer special of only £10 for 2 months.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

EM Papers

Downloadable templates haven't really taken off yet in the UK, but I'm thinking of starting to use them, because printing out my own card constitutes 'making' something, even if I didn't design it. Do you agree?

I love these designs from EM Papers. My favourites are these bookmarks, with pertinent slogans which I definitely need to see in large, bold letters, for example 'get out and exercise.' (Although if I was reading a bookmarked novel, I'm not sure it would stir me...)

Still, I don't know much about these things, but I think the white background of this design means it wouldn't use up too much ink.

Other appealing designs:

It's Father's Day in the UK this Sunday, so there's still time to sort yourself out with one of the Father's Day cards.

EM Papers has its own website, and an Etsy shop too.

PS On a totally unrelated note, was anyone else watching Mary, Queen of (Charity) Shops? - I absolutely LOVED it and keep watching it again on i-player. It's totally made me resolve to stop selling anything on eBay.

Wednesday workspace

I'm ignoring the child elements of this room (pink angel wings, the mouse cushion) but I think it's pretty special anyway. I love how the old school desk compliments the oak beam, and the accents of bright colours and pattern.

Marie Claire Maison, via The Seventy Tree.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Bold and Noble

Recently I've been thinking of purchasing a print from Bold and Noble. I'm in love with the yellow tone which appears on several of their prints, and their nature-inspired designs.

This one is a strong contender, just because it's called 'Moonlight.' For someone who isn't at all into anything 'mystical,' I can't explain why I'm so drawn to a picture of a moon...

There are child-friendly prints too, but why should kids have all the fun - I think this would work anywhere.

This one is my favourite; it's yellow, and has a tree theme. I think it will be featuring on a wall near me very soon.

Folksy Four

From top left; seed packet from Lapwing Printworks, oak pencil box from Chris Dodsworth, , Funland card by I Like, collaged brooch from Zoe-Est.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Emma Lee photographer

Gorgeous images by photographer Emma Lee. I love how the layout of the portfolio uses complimentary images - the bedroom with the shiny lampshade and subtly sparkling bedspread, for example, is paired with the photo of the glistening knives and forks.

All images by Emma Lee.