It’s been a while

•March 27, 2015 • Leave a Comment

I apologise and then revoke the apology over and over. I do feel remorse for the fact that it has been such a long time since I posted a long and meaningful design based blog but I need to let you know my reason why.
I am writing now at 6am because this is one of the few precious moments I get now where I am in complete silence and alone. I am now mother to two beautiful children. My son is 3 and my daughter one. They bring joy and laughter and (let’s not deny it) misery! One minute you’re all dancing round the kitchen to songs titled ‘I wish I had a pet dinosaur’, the next my sons bawling because he has suddenly decided I’m dancing wrong and must immediately turn the music off.
I left my job, not because I want to stay home all day and be driven to the point where I forget when I last washed my hair or how many times I washed the same tshirt before I realised it’s still in the washing machine and is now so colour stained it resembles the clothing on adverts for washing powders that work miracles. I will no doubt then pick that brand up at the supermarket and spend ten minutes persuading my husband (to be) that it is most definitely something we must have. Or at least that’s what the advertiser hopes I’ll do! In fact no, that isn’t why. The real reason is brutally honest and something that I don’t think enough people are aware of. I left my job because I couldn’t afford to work anymore! Childcare is extortionate, it actually cost me over £100 in order to go to work and leave my children, the youngest 9 months old, with someone I had met twice! Of course, this is absolutely insane so despite a promotion looming I walked away. I don’t regret it. The things I miss are getting dressed up in smart clothes and the drive of the workload, feeling challenged and respected as a person of authority. I miss that but hey, I’m just turning twenty-six this year, I have so many years ahead to get back to work.
For now, my main focus is my kids but I’m making a promise to myself (for my sanity more than anything and my ambitions for the future). I will write one post per week and even though some of these may include stories about my kids I truly hope that they are enjoyable to read.
When I was at uni the majority of my lecturers were female and I vividly remember a lecture one day when we were told that being a woman in the design industry was a hard position to be in. ‘They see you as having potential to have a family, they will try to undermine you and will laugh at you crossing the build site in your skirt and heels.’ ‘If you become pregnant you may as well leave the job because you’ll never get the same work once you are tied to a family.’ Ouch, is the word that comes to mind. We would like to think this kind of thinking was ‘old fashioned’ but it’s truer than true. I challenge you to prove otherwise because having been told this as a student I can’t deny that it doesn’t haunt my hopes for the future.
But here goes, I will post as often as is feasibly possible because I don’t want to prove that mind set right. Having a family should not be a set back. My children have taught me so much and I feel that my scope for design has expanded. I am now crafting and beginning to think differently about concept because an area of design that I originally knew very little about has opened up to me; Design for children, and it is oh so fun!

When the designer should be distinguished from the decorator… an ongoing discussion

•January 15, 2013 • 1 Comment

The next time you step into a restaurant, bar, club, hotel, shop, office or hospital or any other interior, look around; really stop and take in your surroundings. The majority of these spaces will have been put together by an interior designer. Everything is there for a reason, every inch of the room has been thought over. Great interior design requires more than a dash of creativity, it requires extremely imaginative thinking, seeing space as an empty shell with endless possibilities or rearrangement. Primarily it is about space, light, functionality and atmosphere. I’m sorry to be pedantic but I feel strongly that Interior design should be recognised for the great resource that it is.

‘When I’m at a dinner party and I’m asked what I do… I have found myself trying to explain without using the term ‘interior designer’ as this generally is received with a certain look… Lunches, shopping, cushion plumping, all flash before their eyes, followed by something along the lines of, ‘I have this difficult room, what could I do?’

Simon Cavelle, A Professional Approach: FX Magazine

As society has changed there has become a larger market and therefore a wider variety of demand. We no longer have just architects and designers, industry has developed and we are in the age of computers, there are graphic designers, creative designers, computer technicians and computer aided design technicians to name a tiny few of the wide expanse of specialisms today. The interior designer has had to rename itself as an interior architect because the interior decorator feels that the word decorate is be-littling. The title distinguishes the consumer market just as much as it does the professional.

‘The Interior designer at the end of the twentieth century is necessarily a businessperson as well as an artist, and also the master of expert knowledge in building codes, fire and safety codes, environmental issues, ergonomics, space planning, accessibility and more.’ (S. Abercrombie, A Century of Interior Design)

‘The modern interior is designed, not decorated.’

Donald Deskey, Interior Decorator magazine (later becoming Interiors Magazine)

http://www.fxmagazine.co.uk/story.asp?storyCode=3239

Archies art

•January 2, 2013 • Leave a Comment

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Archie’s first go at finger painting at 9 months =)

Handmade Christmas

•November 10, 2012 • Leave a Comment

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This year has been a pretty eventful one full of surprises. We are starting from scratch as a new family in our first home together at Christmas. As money is a bit tight I thought it would be a good idea to make our own decorations. Our baby son is a bit too little to help with decorations this year and we decided to start our own family traditions including letting him choose one new decoration each year (and his brother(s)/sister(s) in future).
To fill the Christmas tree this year I’ve been making my own decorations in the thought that they wouldn’t look amazing but they’ve exceeded my expectations so here are they are and you can make them yourself if you like. They’re really easy!

You will need:
Assorted Cookie cutters
Air drying clay
Ribbon
Nail varnish
Gold pen (I used a rollerball)
Gold Embossing powder
Something to make the hole eg. End of a paintbrush
Use a wipeable surface (I use the underside of a cutting mat.

Step 1: roll a ball of clay into a ball then flatten and roll out flat about 5mm thick.

Step 2: using a cookie cutter press out the shape.

Step 3: Press the end of the paintbrush into the top of the shape leaving minimum 5mm around to make a hole for the ribbon. I then drew onto the shape while still wet so the writing was imprinted.
Leave to dry overnight.

Step 4: using nail varnish and glitter paint the decoration as you wish. Remember to leave each coat to dry before adding to it. Go over imprinted writing with gold pen.

Step 5: once dry cut a length of ribbon fold in half, thread it through the hole in the decoration and loop over. Or you can glue it to the back of the decoration if you don’t want to make a hole.

Hope you have fun making them.

Warning: If you’re making these with kids you should use non toxic materials and supervise them at all times!!

Peeping from the nest

•April 10, 2012 • Leave a Comment

You may be wondering where I’ve been all this time. My life has taken massive leaps of change in the last year and I am now posting to you with my newborn son in my arms. Life never looked so precious.

Robots in Love

•May 17, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I popped down to the Affordable Art fair in Bristol this weekend and spotted some gems.
One of which was a print by Mengsel design, called ‘Robots in Love’. My friend turned to me automatically and asked the inevitable question that has now become the central point to an ongoing discussion, ‘Do you think its possible for Robots to fall in love?’.
This is an obsession for some, the idea that one day machines will be able to think for themselves, developing emotion and feeling.
The questions roll off our tongues; how long will it take?; what are the dangers?; what will it cost?. Until we reached the stage that we had questioned whether we ourselves could possibly be robots, and the it hit me.
Maybe it isn’t literally about robots being in love at all. Robots are merely machines built to imitate our actions and perform them in a more efficient manner in order to improve the skill, speed and quality of work. They are programmed to fulfil their function.
Is this idea of robots in love more of a joke at our own expense?
What is love after all? We only know it as being a feeling, an emotion. We have been told what it is and how it feels by others, through film, television, magazines, blogs, conversation, etc. We are programmed to think that we know what love is and what it feels like. So is this image really just a way of saying that in love we are all just robots performing a role?

Prepare to engage your opinion…drive the change

•October 27, 2010 • Leave a Comment

This year the car manufacture company Renault brought out a new campaign called ‘Drive the change’ that promotes the changes that they are putting forward in order to be more environmentally responsible. The campaign highlights the need for people to regard the state of the planet before satisfying themselves, Renault asks, ‘does enjoyment for some have to cost the lives of others? Making the most of our lives today shouldn’t imply a lower quality of life tomorrow.’

‘today it is no longer the world that must adjust to the automobile; it’s the automobile that must adapt to people’