Category: art and artists

(A few of) My Girl Crushes

I should have posted this a few weeks ago for international women’s day. But I missed it. So I shall post it now and can tell you a little about just a few of the women I admire and whose work I follow. I could add some of my other girl crushes in the music world like Stevie Nicks, Lisa Stansfield, Julia Fordham, Georgia Middleman, Aretha Franklin …. the purpose of my blog was to share some of the beautiful things I come across and think about, and those women’s music, although beautiful, is not so easily captured in a blog.

Frida Kahlo, I love for so many reasons I don’t know where to begin. Her creative talent, her irreverence, her freedom of spirit and her resilience… and some of the other women I am highlighting this week share similar traits. I don’t know much about the personal lives of some like Cassandra Ellis but she has a passion for textiles, from what I can tell that is much like my own, but her knowledge and understanding of textiles is something I hope to one day have. Katherine Hooker makes clothing that is classic and timeless but individual and luxurious in the fabrics and style. I’m looking forward to having her make me something I will cherish. Sheila Bridges is a woman I have admired and followed for years now. I LOVE her style!! Her interiors are classic and timeless with the boring and predictable taken out. Her personal story is admirable and I hope to see her work for a long time to come. Tracy Reese – well I just love her clothes. Admittedly, most of the pieces I have owned have been from her ‘Plenty’ label, but she uses beautiful fabrics with an ethnic or global or anywhere appeal that is my kind of thing. Serena Crawford is the kind of interior designer I’d like to work for/with when I am a grown up! The portfolio on her website is full of the kind of Southern Hemisphere spaces and interiors that I grew up in and I long to recreate rooms like that for “northerners”. Large spaces that are elegant, mostly because they are luxurious in the simple textures and comfort, not because they are full of expensive pretentious stuff. It is the volume of the spaces and the life you imagine living in them that makes them aspirational. And the last lady, but definitely not the least, is Malene Birger. I fell in love with her clothing a while back and since then it seems she has cropped onto my radar more and more, and now I discover she does interiors. Her London apartment is monochromatic in a Scandinavian way we might expect, but her use of texture and world textile and globe trotter type finds makes her appeal broad and very NOW.


Below …. the woman…….&……..her work.

World fabrics and their place in my heart – I mean space.

My stash is on my mind a lot at the moment and I am eager to carve out some time to do something with it all. The pictures below are the sorts of textiles that make my heart beat a little bit faster… no all pretty fabrics do that. These ethnic, vibrant, exciting handmade, rich-in-history fabrics make my wanderlust and need for exploration come to the surface, and make my heart do a little jig. Not all my stash is like this but a lot of it is, and I would surround myself with things like this all the time, but I found some pictures online that show how you can incorporate some of these gems into your space in a meaningful way, without turning your home into a boho chick 1960’s lovechild’s den throwback. From Vietnamese sheets, to Indian threadwork and embroidered pieces to ikats, suzanis and african block prints, there is a place for all of them in a contemporary (and realistic) home. The interiors photographed below all have something special about them and as I wonder what I will do with my stash I think my biggest challenge is choosing between all the possibilities. For now I will continue to trawl through Pinterest,  explore Instagram and all the wonderful places the web allows us to visit from the comfort of our gadgets. It’s a bit like being an interiors peeping tom, and I’m afraid I can’t apologise.









“Single girl” – Denyse Schmidt


“Haze Kilim”, by Kaffe Fassett

I lived up the road, well 4 hours up the road, from the capital of quilting, Paducah Kentucky, for over 10 years. In that time I taught myself how to quilt and have been in love with the art form ever since. Of course, being in the south of the US the use of Quilts as a means to communicate in secret along the underground railroad – the system of safe houses that helped free slaves to the north as they escaped their southern masters – was a large part of what you saw in museums and exhibitions. It is fascinating and humbling to see the resourcefulness with which beautiful quilts were created by enslaved women and girls with very few resources and limited supplies.

But the quilts that I find myself drawn to now, from an aesthetic point of view, are the modern ones that have been created with the huge palette of fabrics now available to us by amazing artists that have chosen fabric as their medium. There are several celebs that I have followed for years, Kaffe Fasset, Denyse Schmidt, a husband and wife team that call their designs Fun Quilts, Willyne Hammerstein with her Millefiori Quilts that aside from being striking visually, are a masterpiece of precision and engineering. Of course there are many many quilters that create absolutely stunning pieces. Many are twists on an old theme or a traditional pattern. Some have come up with extraordinary new designs, that at first glance are, yes visually very pleasing, but if you understand what is involved in the construction of a quilt top and then the actual “quilting” itself, are absolutely genius! The cleverest are tricks played with colour and shapes and contrast that take a real artist with vision, planning and exquisite craftsmanship to produce. For some of us a life long challenge to pursue.

See more:

Huichol Art

The Huichol indians of the sates of Jalisco, Durango and Nayarit in Mexico have been producing their brand of artwork for hundreds of years. Their work is bright and vibrant, and they use yarn or beads which they press into wax or resin to create the images. I have heard that they often work under the influence of peyote a powerful hallucinogenic brew, but that may be an urban myth. Whether they do or don’t what they produce is fascinating. A bit like fire or the sea, I never tire of looking at their work, I always see new things in the images and the colours.