Month: July 2012

6 design pieces for under $100

When I lived in Adelaide, Australia, for a few months last year, JamFactory was one of the first places the locals told me to visit. A beautiful big brick building, it was home to studios and workshops for talented craftspeople, specialising in glass, metal, ceramics and furniture. You can take courses, watch the artists at work, visit exhibitions, and shop for one-off pieces in the adjacent store.

And today I have some super exciting news. JamFactory has just launched a small but oh-so-elegant line of self-branded, handcrafted products for the home. It opened last week and we can all get our sticky little hands (see what I did there? because it’s called JAM Factory?) on the collection via JamFactory’s online shop.

By my reckoning, I have approximately 12 months during which time I can fill my home with a select few of these chic pieces and pretend to all my friends that I am a stylish and design-savvy homemaker, before my baby girl turns into a toddler and smashes them all to bits.

I’ve already picked out six favourites from this line (all rather reasonably priced at under $100 to make up for the imminent smashing), to go on my birthday wish list. My birthday is in October. Hint hint.

What will go on your wish list?

1.    Turf paperweight (Danielle Rickaby) – $98
2.    KINK vinegar bottle (Deb Jones) – $95
3.    Fusion Tumbler (Madeline Prowd) – $77
4.    Aircraft brooch (Christian Hall) – $75
5.    PADDLE Bread Board (Furniture Design Studio) – $95
6.    Husque Bauple bowls (Marc Harrison) – $165 for two

What are you reading?

For the first time in a very long time, I’m actually not reading anything right now. I am thinking about picking up Jennifer Weiner’s new book, The Next Best Thing. Her books always make me happy. What are you reading?



{Incredibly cute image is from here.}

Explosions of Flowers

Often I post about artwork that is more inspirational than aspirational. Today I am so excited to feature an artist who sells prints of her work on Etsy.  You too, can have these beautiful images hanging on your wall.

Yellena James is the artist, currently living in coastal Oregon, but she is originally from Sarajevo.

In her featured seller interview on Etsy she writes about how her art education helped her through the dark days during the siege of Sarajevo.

“I was born in Sarajevo and lived there until the end of the civil war, in 1995. During the war, I had to sneak past numerous snipers to attend a high-school that was dedicated to the arts. That’s where I really grew passionate about my own art. The school had electricity most of the time, which meant heat and music, and similar-minded people who just wanted to create and get away from the horrible outside world.”

I love how complicated her work is, the line work draws me in and my eyes keep traveling.

She sells the originals in galleries but has a wide selection of prints on Etsy. Right now she is running a sale on her prints buy 2 get one free! Happy Shopping! All images from Yellena’s shop


Have a lovely Tuesday,

Sarah from Design Flourishes

Subway tile love

Morning guys. Welcome to Monday. How was your weekend? We spent the weekend working on our new house. It was hard work, but it is really rewarding and so much fun. I am making plans to redo the bathroom and I am also planning a little tile feature behind the stove. I have completely fallen in love with subway tiles.

I love their paired down simplicity and elegance. They are small enough to be striking, yet not too overwhelming in the space.

They look equally lovely in the kitchen and the bathroom.

What do you think of these spaces and the tiles? Love them or hate them?

Have a lovely Monday,


of Beauty and Love

Subway1, Subway2, Subway3, Subway4, Subway5, Subway6

Inside the clothes

Hello English Muse readers! Karen from A Simple Cup of Tea once again. This week I wanted to share this quote from Yves Saint Laurent with you all. The man not only was a visionary about women’s fashions – but also had very clear views about the kind of woman he designed for.

Have a lovely Sunday!


PS: the awesome print in this post is from Blimpcat and you can purchase the poster here.

Shelves in a closet…

…happy thought indeed!

This year’s Jane Austen festival did not disappoint.  I enjoyed my cup (or three) of Mr. Knightley’s Reserve, a perfect Earl Grey from Bingley’s Teas, delightful and delicate tea sandwiches and scones, and the most wonderful lavender rum cake.  During the tea, we were regaled with a reading from the wonderful last few pages of Pride and Prejudice by a friend who had thought to bring her copy along, and laughed at the blundering of various characters.

While wandering around the beautiful house at Locust Grove, we noticed the shelving in the bedroom closets and were shortly engaged in a good-humored debate about the various representations of Mr. Collins and his bumbling ways in films.  The scene  that inspired our little debate makes us laugh every time in the original text and in every adaptation: Mr. Collins takes Elizabeth around his home, showing off what she missed by refusing his hand in marriage, and goes on about the shelves placed in the closet at Lady Catherine’s suggestion.  He paints this simple suggestion–shelves in a closet!–in the most glowing of speeches, practically his patroness.

And so I wonder, dear readers: which depiction of the delightfully dreadful Mr. Collins leaves you laughing the most?

Until next Thursday, when I shall return with pictures (hopefully) and a few more good laughs about Austen’s most delightful characters,

Katie (Unwritten, Untitled)

If I told you what it’s about, you’d want to kill me.

Jesse Kornbluth, of, here to tell you about a book that’s so thrilling, so full of plot twists, I don’t dare spoil your fun.

It’s #3 on the New York Times best seller list for fiction.

It’s the #5 best-selling book on Amazon, where it’s got 750 reader reviews — in two months.

The movie rights just sold to 20th Century Fox for more than $1 million.

I’m less than fond of mystery/thrillers, and yet I stayed up until 4 AM to finish Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl.”

And if I told you too much about it, you’d have to kill me.

You’d have to kill me because you don’t want anything to spoil your reading pleasure. Which does not mean your pleasure in figuring out whodunnit, because in “Gone Girl” you basically have no idea what has happened. Or if something happened. Or, if something happened, what it means. To say nothing of what happens next. [To buy the book from Amazon, click here. For the Kindle edition, click here.]

Let’s leave it at this: Nick and Amy Dunne had a blissful romance and marriage. Then his magazine job evaporated. Then she lost her job writing quizzes for another magazine. Then his mother got sick. So: two unemployed people in New York, one sick woman in North Carthage, Missouri. What would you do? Well, what’s what they did.

Life in a rented McMansion in Missouri: tolerable for Nick, very tough for Amy. Her opening remark: “Should I remove my soul before I come inside?” Make friends? Oh, come on. Amy: “This is a town of contented also-rans.”

And then, on the morning of their fifth anniversary, Amy disappears.

And if something bad happened to her, guess who the most obvious suspect is?

The novel is told from two points-of-view: hers and his. But it’s not like that tired cliché: No two people remember events the same way. It’s more like the line that powered the medical TV series, “House” — everybody lies.

Ooops, that was almost a hint.

And I should limit myself to advice; If you have something planned between midnight and 4 AM…. don’t start this book.

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