Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Hang on to that summer feeling

The summer holidays might be reaching an end but it’s always good to be prepared for your next trip so if you’re looking to update your luggage, here are some colourful ideas for you:

                         Eastpak                                                  Benetton                                         Roxy


I also love this suitcase for its brightness and traditional style combined with handy modern features although I might need to save up a bit before I can even think about buying it.

If, like me, you can’t splash out on new luggage right now, maybe you could update your existing bags by investing in these suitcase eyes from Japanese store Muji. The stickers are available at select stores and come in four different styles - Minako, Takeshi, Kokoro and Aiko. They would make me smile if I had them on my bags and would definitely make your luggage stand out from the crowd.

via lilsnob
I hope you enjoy the selection!


Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Recreating your home in 3D images

It’s already one year since we moved house. How time flies! And although all of the main furniture (most of which we had before and some new pieces) is already in its place we still have a few things to do: put a lamp here, hang up some pictures there, find a new table for the dining area… The adventures of dealing with an empty, and not very big, flat are exciting but exhausting at the same time. Measurements, distribution, will this fit here, or will it be better over there - it can be a real puzzle.
Most of our time was spent making decisions about the bedroom. Because of its limited dimensions, we couldn’t picture how a big bed and bedside tables would look in the space. A decorator friend of ours drew up some 3D images for us using the exact measurements and they were key to making our decision.
That’s why, when I recently started playing around with a new tool created by for designing 3D images, I was hooked right from the start. I tried to recreate my sitting room, and those of you who have seen my house will be able to vouch for the likeness. Ok, so I might have allowed myself a few treats like the Orla Kiely rug or a lovely Heal’s chair, which I don’t suppose I will ever get ;)

What I really wanted to see though was the effect of the table in the dining area which will be my next purchase. I wasn’t entirely sure if there would be enough space or how it would look with the chairs being white as well, and the 3D layout helped me make up my mind :). The tool is very easy to use and although I am no professional, the results, in my opinion, are great. Sometimes it did seem like the furniture moved out of its place on creating the 3D image but after a wee while it all went back into position. I think I over-worked the tool!

Using your floor plan, you can create your own room from scratch and personalise walls, floors, etc. with a whole host of finishes. What I liked the best was the fact you can add real furniture from shops you can visit with just one click and you can check their price, features etc. Isn’t that great?
There is also an extensive gallery of images that have been created using the tool to provide inspiration. Here are some of my favourites:

Just look at all the details you can add.
My next project is my balcony which needs a good going over and that I hope to add outdoor furniture to as well. 
What do you make of the 3D tool? Would you give it a try or are you more of the “can’t imagine it until I see it for real” variety?


Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Music and technology: a good combination

You wait ages for the holidays to come and then they're over in a flash! I'm just back from my first break and consoling myself with thoughts of the few more days I still have left for enjoying the summer in the company of good friends, so for now I won't complain ;)

To make this semi-return easier to bear, we'll start off with a burst of energy thanks to the guys from OK Go. They've astounded us again and to create their latest video All is not lost joined forces with Google Japan no less - sounds pretty good, doesn't it? And it is - the result is an excellent interactive video made in HTML5 that you can enjoy here with Google Chrome, as part of the experimental Chrome Experiments project. 

Promotional photo for the video All is not lost, 2011
We don't want to give away too much but the browser forms an additional part of the choreography in which the dancers don't stop moving their feet and that you can personalise with your own message...

We'll leave you with the normal video as well if you want to start revving up your engines:

OK Go were however not the first to redefine the musical experience with the help of new technologies. Arcade Fire already did it last year with a video clip that featured Google Maps. It was for Wilderness Downtown and you can see it here (in Chrome). In addition, the website also lets you write a message. Enter your address and prepare to be amazed!

A lot has happened since MTV launched with its first music video 30 years ago so we're happy to see music videos are also evolving at a good pace, don't you agree?


Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Doily DIY

A while ago I saw a tutorial for this thread lampshade on Pickles and although I bought all the materials I needed, I've still never managed to set time aside to make it. Since then, I've seen several other similar ideas for making lamps like these in different shapes and sizes. They look excellent all clustered together as a unique light feature or even without the bulb inside just hanging from the ceiling (or like this). It looks fairly easy so there's really no excuse not to make it.

via Shannon South
I also really like this doily lampshade, which is made a bit like the one above - find the instructions here.

And for those of you that can crochet, why not have a bash at making one of these great rugs? Or you could just buy one here.

And the fun doesn't stop there, here's an idea for a nice vase at Country Living

Country Living
And lastly, to complete the doilification of your home, why not rustle up a nice doily table runner or glam up your mirrors with the help of a doily and some frosted glass finish spray.

Hope you can enjoy making some of these and have more success than me and my poor attempts at the lampshade!

Ashley Ann Photography

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Spot the difference

A few months ago, I showed you some of the plants I potted out in my garden and I’m pleased to say that they’ve grown, some more than others but the main thing is I didn’t kill them...yet. One of the tomato plants must be on steroids because it’s reached a colossal height whereas the other two are nowhere near as big. Only the giant tomatoberry plant has started showing signs of tomatoes so I hope that means a nice salad for me any day now :). The sweet peas have also turned out well and add some colour to the garden. As for the Chinese Lanterns, they’ve shown some progress but no sign of anything red on them yet.

The herbs and lettuce leaves are also taking their time so I think I might have done something wrong there since they should have grown pretty fast. I might have to start again with those and I’d also like to plant mint after spending time in Marrakesh this summer and drinking lots of mint tea, yummy! I’ve also heard it grows quite easily so that’s enough encouragement for me.

If you’re still looking for inspiration here’s a nice way to re-use plastic bottles over on Comparte tus ecoideas – a simple way to brighten up your garden or balcony.

How are your plant babies getting on? Any fruits of success yet?


Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Pick 'n' Mix: Some little birds here, some little birds there

August, the month everyone looks forward to the most, is already upon us and I imagine a lot of you have already flown away to places just like the birds in this month's Pick ‘n’ Mix.

We're going to be here, there and everywhere this month, so we're going to reduce our posts to one a week and will get back to our normal posting routine come September.

We hope you like today's selection. Enjoy the outdoors and the good weather!

1. Beautiful picnic plate by Terrain
2. Turquoise laptop bag by TrackandFieldDesigns
3. Lovely stackable cups at Dutch by Design
4. Double ring at Harvey Nichols
5. Birdy T-shirt by Karen Walker
6. Salt and pepper set also at Dutch by Design
7. Vintage-style boxes by Mothology


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