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urban jungle bloggers – hanging planters

Urban Jungle Bloggers is a monthly series, devised by Igor and Judith. The idea is to get some green into our homes, especially for us urban folks! Every month they invite bloggers to share ideas for creating an urban jungle through styling challenges, DIYs, green tips and tricks. Every month there is a different theme on the topic. You can follow and get more Urban Jungle Bloggers inspiration on Pinterest and on Facebook.

February’s theme is: hanging planters

To be honest I didn’t quite know what to do or where to go to find some nice hanging planters. One always sees such beautiful ones online but where exactly do they come from? In the end I wondered whether it’s so difficult to make a macrame hanging planter myself. I wanted to keep it basic as time is short and my DIY skills not majorly fantastic.

I saw some beautiful macrame hanging planters offered in online shops . I took a closer look and thought, hey this isn’t so difficult to do. What do I need? I got some cotton rope (bit thick), fished out my bag of embroidery floss (I have tons), got a keyring from a hardware shop and enlisted the help of the boyfriend to work out knots and measurements. Hey presto, half an hour later I had a pretty presentable hanging planter.

I’m not good at DIY tutorials so won’t even attempt it. There must be 100’s out there explaining how to do this very simple hanging planter. Now I’m dreaming of doing some with beads and braids…. any ideas where to go for these are very welcome!

Now what to put in it? Look what I found. The most beautiful and colourful Spider Lily. Now how to keep it alive!

urban jungle bloggers - hanging planters - colourliving
Love this side view

urban jungle bloggers - hanging planters - colourliving
Aren’t the colours simply divine and if you look closely, you can see the little flowers coming through.

urban jungle bloggers - hanging planters - colourlivingSimple embroidery floss wrapped around the rope at the top and bottom holds it all together and gives it ‘that look’.

urban jungle bloggers - hanging planters - colourliving

After I had done my first hanging planter in white I remembered that I had bought this yellow rope for my roof terrace. I got the wrong thickness of rope so had a lot of rope to play with. Of course, now I had to make another hanging planter in yellow (what punishment for a colourlover). I had bought a couple of keyrings so had all necessary materials ready.

urban jungle bloggers - hanging planters - colourliving
This second one took less than 20 minutes to do. Once we worked out the system it was easy to adapt measurements.

urban jungle bloggers - hanging planters - colourliving
Hanging in situ

urban jungle bloggers - hanging planters - colourliving
And here’s my second, slightly smaller one with different coloured embroidery floss. I found a lovely Jasmine plant and rather fancy the green and yellow hues. They really make me think of spring.

urban jungle bloggers - hanging planters - colourliving
Showing off some knots and embroidery floss wrapping.

I really enjoyed doing this and although I have low ceilings and no more hanging space, I would love to make many more hanging planters. I cannot wait to see what everyone else has done and look forward to new ideas for different hanging planters.

There won’t be a new post on Monday so I see you all back here next Thursday.

UJB-sidebar-greenF

6 Comments

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood

Last week I went for some physiotherapy to University College London Hospital (UCLH). Happy to report that my frozen shoulder is healing very nicely and I’m looking forward to resume playing tennis in the not so distant future.

While there, I came across this lovely exhibition by illustrator Esther Cooper-Wood. A recent graduate from Cambridge School of Art freelance illustrator, Esther was exhibiting her food illustrations at The Street Gallery within the hospital. I apologise in advance. There was a lot of glare as all the illustrations faced clear windows with heavy traffic on Euston Road.

The UCLH arts and heritage is committed to providing a welcoming, uplifting environment for all patients, visitors and staff through the use of a varied and stimulating arts and heritage program. It’s work aims to improve the patient experience, boost staff morale, increase engagement with the arts and celebrate the Trust’s unique heritage and community.
How nice to have such beautiful and colourful illustrations in a hospital were a lot of people face a rather ‘grey’ time. It really cheered me up and I was only there for some physiotherapy.

My favourite part of the exhibition consisted of four large food illustrations depicting fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood according to the seasons.

Below here you see a smaller version of the full winter illustration.

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Winter by Esther Cooper-Wood | Pro marker, pencil and colouring pencils on paper £250

I believe that Spring, Summer and Autumn are also for sale at £250 each.
I wanted to show these charming illustrations in more details so divided each season in three sections: fruit – vegetables – meat and seafood.

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Detail showing the fruits | vegetables in season for Spring

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Detail showing the vegetables in season for Spring

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Detail showing the meat and seafood in season for Spring

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Detail showing the fruits in season for Summer

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Detail showing the vegetables in season for Summer

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Detail showing the seafood in season for Summer

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Detail showing the fruits in season for Autumn

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Detail showing the vegetables in season for Autumn

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Detail showing the meat and seafood in season for Autumn

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Detail showing the fruits in season for Winter

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Detail showing the vegetables in season for Winter

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Detail showing the meat and seafood in season for Winter

Another beautiful part of the exhibition was some of the illustrations from a book called 52 recipes  written by David Wilshin.

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving

Aren’t you charmed by these illustrations? I sure am!

The exhibition runs until 25th February.

Esther Cooper-Wood
The Street Gallery,
University College London Hospital,
235 Euston Road,
London,
NW1 2BU.

 

3 Comments

living with colour

Hi, my name is Tina and I’m a colour addict! There, I’ve said it out loud.

I’m not quite sure how all this colour love started but it must have originated whilst studying at art college. Back in the 80’s, Covent Garden was the place to be. Vibrant, exciting and full of life you couldn’t but fall in love with it all. I remember going to the Paul Smith shop and just being bowled over by all the wonderful stuff.

Fast forward 30 years and I’m a full on colour advocate which, of course, is also reflected in my abode…. Colourliving and Mapology Guides HQ.

To be honest I’ve been dreading the time when I have to re-decorate but after so many years, my flat is looking tired and is in need of a good overhaul. Not one for DIY, I’m getting the same crew back who did such an amazing job the first time round. What that means is I have to move out for a week while they take it in hand and the thought of packing up all my stuff already gives me nightmares…

I’m thinking about making a few changes. I’m kind of tired of some of the colour scheme so will be looking for inspiration. Any advice is very welcome. I took these photos to show you a little bit of how I live with colours.

I’m in love with this original 1998 Elizabeth film poster gifted to me by a dear friend. Not usually one for fake flowers, but you cannot go wrong with some faux ones from Abigail Ahern.

living with colour - colourliving

Of course, I’m not about to change my sofa. I’m sure you will agree that after 10 years this Missoni fabric has not dated. I’m also very happy with my recent purchase of Abigail Ahern’s watering hole side table.

living with colour - colourliving

All walls and shelves are white and will be painted white again. It’s a must for me if I want to have so much colour and patterns. Of course I dream about painting the walls in different colours but this flat and it’s layout does not lend itself to it.

living with colour - colourliving

Ah, the rug, or better the cowhide rug. I literally have struggled for years to find a rug that wouldn’t fight with all these colours and patterns in my space. I have finally found the right one and am completely smitten! Check out City Cows for the best selection.

living with colour - colourliving

Copper is always great and does really go with everything.

living with colour - colourliving

The doggy lamp was a present and I simply changed the lampshade. The gold side table was a great find from Atomic Antiques in Shoreditch.

living with colour - colourliving

I’ve loved these colours in my bathroom for many years and had them hand mixed for me. I’m definitely fancying a change here. Greens and blues and purple?

living with colour - colourliving

So, there you have it. Living with colour makes me happy and always puts a smile on my face. I couldn’t really imagine living any other way, But then I am Colourliving:-) And if you think that I only have colour in my decor you are mistaken. Opening a cupboard will show you this.:-)

IMG_1566

As I mentioned, any advice and tips are very welcome. Do you live with colour? Do tell.

6 Comments

daily sketching part two

My sketching mania seems to continue. From time to time I’ll post my sketches here on the blog for your perusal.

I’ve not enrolled onto another online course because for now I seem to be on a roll and don’t need the accountability. However I suspect as the months go on, this might change so I’ll keep a watchful eye on things.

Some of you, who follow me on Instagram, would have seen some of these sketches. I usually do them at night and photograph and post them there and then. I have since bought a long lasting daylight bulb (23 Watts) which has been a lifesaver for my eyes but also for photographing late at night. I can highly recommend them.

This piece below was inspired by visiting my partner daughter’s first home a few days after they completed on it. It’s in need of a lot of work but there’s something wonderful about beginnings and at 25, you are still full of hope, energy and zest.

daily sketching part two - colourliving
Full spread

daily sketching part two - colourliving
Detail left

daily sketching part two - colourliving
Detail right

Flowers are always nice to draw. I wanted a more muted colour palette and also incorporate some birds (spot the hummingbird) and a butterfly. I’m not very good at drawing animals or objects so that’s something I would like to improve on.

daily sketching part two - colourliving
Full spread

daily sketching part two - colourliving
Detail left

daily sketching part two - colourliving
Detail right

This below was inspired by some goblets I had seen that day. Again, it’s abstract but it helps me to have a starting point. As always, I’m inspired by patterns and colours.

daily sketching part two - colourliving
Full spread

daily sketching part two - colourliving
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daily sketching part two - colourliving
Detail right

Ahh, cityscape, rows of houses, neighbourhoods. This is a true fascination of mine. I would love to be better at this so will experiment further. I think there’s something compelling about a scene of houses. I’m currently taking photographs of different buildings to have something to base my sketches on.

daily sketching part two - colourliving
Full spread

daily sketching part two - colourliving
Detail left

daily sketching part two - colourliving
Detail right

More experiments with neighbourhood houses and different art materials.

daily sketching part two - colourliving
Full spread

daily sketching part two - colourliving
Detail left

daily sketching part two - colourliving
Detail right

I’m usually not good with whimsical  and fantasy sketching. This here below was a lot of fun as I merged some modern buildings with some own creations. I enjoyed this a lot and will explore this theme further.

daily sketching part two - colourliving
Full spread

 

daily sketching part two - colourliving
Detail left

daily sketching part two - colourliving
Detail right

This started out as a drawing of various fruit shapes. I didn’t know where I wanted to take this at all and slowly I was layering and layering until you couldn’t see the fruits anymore. It then became an exercise in shapes, mark making and colours. It’s interesting to see that gel pens will cover whatever is below and I love when happy accidents happen.

daily sketching part two - colourliving

daily sketching part two - colourliving

daily sketching part two - colourliving

I bought some Liquitex Acrylic paints, a few neon colours, so simply wanted to have a go. I used different paints for the background and like the vibrancy of the green against the acrylic colours of the shapes.

daily sketching part two - colourliving
Full spread

daily sketching part two - colourliving
Detail left

daily sketching part two - colourliving
Detail right

On Saturday I visited the Wellcome Collection. Whilst sitting in their café I got inspired by the hanging lights above me so I took out my sketchbook. Some of you would have seen the simple outline drawing. I did go and photocopy it so that I can experiment with different colours at a later stage. The lights in the café were colour changing LED lights and I was keen to reflect that here in my drawing.

daily sketching part two - colourliving

daily sketching part two - colourliving

daily sketching part two - colourliving

As you can see I’m trying to vary my subject matter if I can and challenge myself with different techniques. It’s more fun for me and I’ve never been someone who finds my sweet spot and do it over and over again. In order to grow creatively I need to challenge myself and go outside my comfort zone.

For now I’m just happy I’m still consistently exploring my sketchbook. I’ll keep you updated. As ever, thank you for the support and I hope that some of you will find some inspiration here, either in colours, patterns or simply to pick up a pen and doodle.

8 Comments

valentine oh valentine

Valentine’s Day is a curious phenomena and many either love or loathe it. Let’s not judge, but let’s use this day to be mindful about relationships and how we can learn to appreciate each other.

valentine oh valentine - colourliving
Some vibrant Anemones – Tina Bernstein

Now, of course I’m no expert at it all but I wanted to use this post to suggest some alternative ways to ‘gift’ to each other on this day. And gifting does not necessarily only mean goods bought with monetary value.

Read this wonderful post by Content Beauty & Wellbeing on the Ancient Art of Gift Giving.

valentine oh valentine - colourliving
© Content Beauty & Wellbeing

I have to start with my own Be Present Perfect map, a helpful guide to get the right gifts for everyone, every time. With over 250+ suggestions you’ll find something for everyone. There’s a 14% discount until Valentine’s Day so be a step ahead of everyone.

valentine oh valentine - colourliving

Commission Nanna Koekoek, the brilliant illustrator of the Mapology Guide Would Like to Meet, to draw a portrait of your loved one and hand letter five things you love about them. Full colour, A5 on card, £25+pp. The deadline for Valentine’s day for this has passed but hey, you can still order a Personalised card for another occasion. It’s good to appreciate each other throughout the year, not just on Valentine’s Day! Click on her ETSY site where you can find out more.

By the way, Mapology Guides newsletter subscribers got a 20% discounts on these personalised cards. Why not sign up for future news and discounts.

valentine oh valentine - colourliving

Then there is the DIY method. All around the world, people send each other snail mail. Yep, you read correctly. That still does exist. I recently got this beautiful package sent to me by Giova from One Bunting Away. Get on making!

 valentine oh valentine - colourliving

I’ve been into health and the magical healing powers of nutritional food since 1993 when I visited my first nutritionist. I’ve read many health food books and have had first hand experience with many health practitioners. We live in a society where everyone is advocating another way of eating. The truth is that we’re all individuals and have to find the right way for us and our families. It’s a maze out there.

I cannot recommend the The Art of Eating Well by the fantastic Hemsley+Hemsley sisters enough. It’s the definitive tome of everything you need to know about eating a healthy diet for you and your family. Packed with great tips, tricks, recipes and a wealth of information, this would make a perfect gift for man, woman, family member.

 valentine oh valentine - colourliving
My own copy.

Staying in for Valentine’s Night? If you haven’t heard of it yet, let me introduce you to the Empathy Library founded by Empathy guru extraordinaire Roman Krznaric. You can read my interview with Roman.

The Empathy Library is a digital treasure house to share inspiring books and films to spark a global empathy revolution. The perfect reading and viewing for couples at anytime of the year. Why not join the library.

The exciting news is that this summer sees the world’s first Empathy Museum. An experiential adventure space that I cannot wait to visit. What better than to experience for us to step into the shoes of others and explore the world through their eyes. The Museum will launch online and at the Southbank Centre in London.

To conclude, yes, by all means celebrate Valentine’s Day, gift each other, be nice to each other. On a wider scale it’s good to be mindful at all times of what we appreciate and love about each other all year round.

I simply had to include this wonderful short clip by The School of Life.

Happy Valentine’s Day people.

7 Comments

my library – a bowl of olives by sara midda

Today is the first my library post in 2015 and I couldn’t be more excited to show and review illustrator Sara Midda’s latest book A Bowl of Olives – on Food and Memory.

Regular readers will know that I have blogged about Sara Midda before as I’m a huge fan of her work. Lucky for me, we have been in touch for a while now. Actually I had earmarked Sara for a Mapology Guides map but she was in midst finishing off this book. Maybe some other time.

I thought it might be nice to ask Sara a few questions for people to get to know her a little.

A bowl of Olives is very much in the same format and vein as the legendary Southern France – a sketchbook. It’s a mix of memoirs, journal and sketchbook with Sara’s very gorgeous, distinctive and legible hand lettering. Each page is full of illustrations, sometimes using photographs but all with delectable watercolour drawings.

my library - A bowl of olives by sara midda

With a subject close to my heart I didn’t know whether to first read Sara’s thoughts and musings on random food topics or delight over the illustrations. Like with the sketchbook from Southern France, this will have pride of place in my library amongst my Sara Midda collection and I will refer to it often.

OK, over to Sara.

How did you first get to be an illustrator? Well apart from 5 minutes when I was about 8 wanting to be a hairdresser (my Brother quickly put me off that idea) and a longer period thinking I could be a vet,  I had always wanted to do something (did not know what) in this field and consider myself lucky to be able to do so.

Did you always illustrate in watercolours and why? I think I did except for pen or brush and ink, the other medium I sometimes work with.

You have a very distinctive style and beautiful handwriting. Did that come natural to you? Thank you. I was always interested in using hand lettering, and lettering as part of the image. And how different images need a different type of lettering .

In and Out of the Garden and South of France: A sketchbook are Bestsellers. They are as current today as they were when first published. What do you think is the secret to your success? No idea! Growing up and Other Vices is perhaps from my books a favourite , and it was not a success. Whatever success means?

You’ve recently illustrated A Bowl of Olives – on food and memory. Why did you choose this topic? It was a subject I was interested in. My sketchbooks were full of observations of food related subjects. I have many food books, ceramics, olive oil tins and artefacts related to cooking, that all inspired me.

my library - A bowl of olives by sara midda

my library - A bowl of olives by sara midda

What do you think of today’s illustration styles. Who inspires you? Any favourites? I am not really well informed about contemporary  illustrators .The work of Steinberg, André Francois, Edward Gorey, Ardizzone, Samuel Palmer, Blake, Van Gogh, Paul Klee, Maira Kalman, old packaging, wood block prints, typography, plants, fabrics, flower pots, landscape, baskets, vegetable gardens and on …………

If you could choose another medium to illustrate with, what would you choose? Pen or brush and ink, or etching, or potato prints.

Are you planning to illustrate more books? I hope so! if no publisher wants any of my ideas, I have much to carry on with, and right now I am trying to sort things out a bit.

If not books, what else would you like to work on? I worked with a Japanese store for 20 years, on a range of own label products, from baby clothes to china, soap et cetera. It was thoroughly spoiling. I worked on designs in London and travelled there each year. Often they would come here too. Different disciplines to work within. After working alone it was so different and lively to be with a group of people.

my library - A bowl of olives by sara midda

my library - A bowl of olives by sara midda

my library - A bowl of olives by sara midda

my library - A bowl of olives by sara midda

Thank you Sara for sharing this with us.

I cannot recommend this book enough. It makes for a perfect gift and if you love food, illustrations and charming musings and thoughts about food, you need to get a copy for yourself. Enough said!!

10 Comments

five things

So, a couple of days ago, while perusing the delectable Zine of Gerard from Walnutgreydesign I discovered this brilliant project called: five things! Upon closer investigation I saw that anyone can get involved. A quick browse through their website, an even quicker submission of my “five things” and low and behold I’m now also part of this great project. Thank you Paul. You can see my entry here!

 

five things - Tina Bernstein - colourliving

 

As I wanted to know more about the project and its creator, I fired over some questions to Paul McNally, creator of @_fivethings. Blogger at thing. Graphic Designer. Brand Creator. Music Lover. Enjoyer of Nice ‘Things’.

five things - colourliving
Image – logo of five things © Paul McNally

Tell us a little about your birth place and upbringing. I was born in Belfast (Northern Ireland) and have always lived here. At school, art was always the subject I was best at; so it was inevitable I would end up working in the creative industries at some stage. That took a while though; when I left school I embarked on a career as a club DJ (still do this at the weekends!) and it wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s that I began my career as a graphic designer. Your never too old to do anything.

What made you decide to study Graphic Design. Any creatives in your family? My dad is a great artist, although he doesn’t draw too much anymore and it’s fair to say my ‘creative’ side must come from him.

Working as a club DJ, and also being a huge music fan, I became a little obsessed with club flyers and album cover design. DJing isn’t a career that lasts forever, so I saw a potential career shift within the same industry; that’s why I decided to study graphic design. I wanted to be the designer of the album cover, rather than the admirer. (And, I needed ‘normal’ working hours to catch up on some sleep!)

Who or what inspires you? The aesthetics of Modernism would be the main influence on my design work. Clean, minimal, functional and typographically led. Designers such as Peter Saville, Hamish Muir, Tony Brooks (Spin) and Jonathan Barnbrook, are all peers that I admire.

Music & song lyrics are always a source of inspiration too; especially when creating a new brand or advertising campaign. I also love design blogs; particularly Design Milk and Swiss Miss.

When did you launch Paul McNally Design studio? Since around 2008 I have been working as a freelance graphic designer, specialising in print design and branding. In 2011 I launched Paul McNally Design as a design studio. Over the last few years we have become increasingly busy and we have created some great work for some great clients (if I may say so myself!)

What made you enrol in the MFA degree course in Multidisciplinary Design at the University of Ulster, Belfast? Quite simply, to create a new business and build a brand/product range of my own. The MFA (run by Chris Murphy and Debbie Fraser) has been an invaluable experience that has enabled me to experiment and also figure out what I want to do in the future. I’ll always be a graphic designer, but I knew I wanted to use my design skills to create my own brand of ‘things’. That brand ended up as ‘Five Things’.

What did the experience teach you? Practical skills such as effective use of social media, public speaking, innovative creativity, as well as a solid grounding of intuitive business thinking. It’s a great course.

Tell us about ‘five things’. Five Things is my final project for my MFA it’s aim is simple – to document the five things people choose as their favourites, and most importantly, why.

The project is inspired by a brilliant book – The Language Of Things by Deyan Sudjic. The book unravels our desire to own and possess ‘nice things’ and it got me thinking about the things I collect and treasure; as well as wondering what things other people would choose as their favourites. Intrigue (nosiness) got the better of me; so, I created Five Things (no point trying to be too fancy with names I find!). The goal of the Five Things is to grow a global community of individuals encompassing all ages, locations and occupations; discovering, and documenting, the stories behind the things people choose as their five favourites. Hopefully, growing into an archive of interesting stories about humans and the things we love. The project is also really fun to read, we all love to find out interesting secrets about other people.

Anyone can submit their five, so pop over to five things and submit yours!

What’s next on your radar?
Five Things: The Book
Five Things: The Product Range
Building the Five Things site
A holiday!

Thank you Paul. Fascinating. I wish you all the best of luck with your project and hope that some of my readers will submit their ‘five things’.

6 Comments

daily sketching in 2015

Wow. We’re already in February. Where did January go? Well, I was a little out of action after having caught the flu. Little did I know that although up and about, my energy was drained and I was still under the weather. I’m happy to report that since Saturday I’m back in full swing.

Miraculously, although under the weather I managed to complete the Sketching Exploration course I enrolled in back at the beginning of January. It seems that committing to a daily routine is not the problem. It’s more the time frame. I tend to start my drawings late in the evening, well into the night. If I want to maintain my daily sketching practice I will have to find creative ways to incorporate a sketch a day which does not take hours!!! Any tips welcome.

Meanwhile here’s my repertoire. I thought some of you might be interested to see the development of my work. It’ll be nice for me to look back and compare at the end of the year. Thank you to those who’ve been very supportive and complimentary over on Instagram and Twitter. It’s truly appreciated and keeps me motivated.

daily sketching in 2015 - colourliving

daily sketching in 2015 - colourliving

daily sketching in 2015 - colourliving

daily sketching in 2015 - colourliving

daily sketching in 2015 - colourliving

daily sketching in 2015 - colourliving

daily sketching in 2015 - colourliving

daily sketching in 2015 - colourliving

daily sketching in 2015 - colourliving

daily sketching in 2015 - colourliving

daily sketching in 2015 - colourliving

daily sketching in 2015 - colourliving

daily sketching in 2015 - colourliving

daily sketching in 2015 - colourliving

daily sketching in 2015 - colourliving

daily sketching in 2015 - colourliving

daily sketching in 2015 - colourliving

daily sketching in 2015 - colourliving

daily sketching in 2015 - colourliving

daily sketching in 2015 - colourliving

daily sketching in 2015 - colourliving

daily sketching in 2015 - colourliving

So now that Lisa Congdon’s course has finished I need to find more courses. Reason being that I’m much more motivated when somehow accountable and doing a life course is a great way to do that.

I’m also not so good with figurative drawing so I really want to practice and be able to incorporate animals, objects et cetera. I’ll keep you guys posted and will keep on showing my work on Instagram.

Some of you have been asking me which art materials I use. Here’s what I’ve been using in these sketches:

Sakura Micron Pens (in all different nib sizes)
Sakura Gelly Roll Pens (different colours, including white)
Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Big Brush Pens
Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Brush Pens
Uni-Ball Signo Broad in white
Sharpies (they are currently on offer for £9.99)
Stabilo Woody
Kuretake Gansai Japanese Watercolour Paint Set

Sketchbooks:
Moleskine watercolour notebook
Square shaped notebook
Arches Watercolour pad (grain satiné) as recommended by Katie from Paper Fashion

Maybe some of you want to join me in the daily(ish) sketching challenge. Go on……

Oh, and thank you Steller Stories for having published my Floral sketches in their Creative collection….

and my Cityscape Sketches in their Stellerverse collection.

28 Comments

urban jungle bloggers – plants & tea

The Urban Jungle Bloggers series is back for 2015. Hurray!

Urban Jungle Bloggers is a monthly series, devised by Igor and Judith. The idea is to get some green into our homes, especially for us urban folks! Every month they invite bloggers to share ideas for creating an urban jungle through styling challenges, DIYs, green tips and tricks. Every month there is a different theme on the topic. You can follow and get more Urban Jungle Bloggers inspiration on Pinterest and on Facebook.

January’s theme is: ‘plants & tea’. (or coffee, depending on your preference)

What have plants and tea got in common? Apparently plants do love coffee and tea. I know for a fact that you can give your plant a boost of antioxidents with some green tea and I’ve been known to pour in left over green tea into my plant pots.

Today I want to show you my new terrarium and talk more about the well-being qualities of plants & tea.

How cute is this terrarium, from the housing to the selection of plants and greens? It was New Year’s Eve and I was on my way home. Stopping at a florist I saw this one off and unique beauty and just had to take it home with me. I guess it was the perfect gift to myself for having had an exciting and special 2014. Why not celebrate ourselves? I did that quite a bit in 2014.

Have you seen the Mapology Guide on Be Present Perfect?

I digress, back to plants & tea.

 urban jungle bloggers – plants & tea
Spot the little slider of the door and the cute handle to carry it around!

I love what’s been chosen to make this terrarium. Succulents, bark, moss, greens and this gorgeous green stone!

 urban jungle bloggers – plants & tea

I’ve been wanting a terrarium for AGES and am also thinking of making my own. What has been the greatest obstacle for me has always been the actual housing. I don’t often come across beautiful glass vessels and that’s often the deterrent for me.

 urban jungle bloggers – plants & tea
I love these mini pine cones….

Ok, let’s talk tea. Tea comes in so many varieties and I drink different teas for different occasions. In the morning I mostly have fresh lemon and ginger with hot water. I find it wakes up my liver. Then during the day I change things up. If I want ‘normal tea’ I make a fresh leaved rooibos tea with homemade almond milk.

I also have a little ritual going. I try and stop at least once a day to practice a little mindfulness. For this I usually choose a variety of fresh tea leaves. Some favourites are Of Herbs by The Herball. My other go to shop is Postcard Teas. Love so many of their excellent teas and thumbs up for their amazing packaging. See more in this post.

 urban jungle bloggers – plants & tea
LOVE green mulberry by Postcard Teas. Also big fan of their Sobacha tea.

 urban jungle bloggers – plants & tea

My ritual requires me to stop, get some tea herbs, fill the little glass tea pot. After a couple of minutes I decant the brew into a glass pitcher as seen here above. Like this you can re-use the herbs a few times (depending on the tea and how strong you like it.)

 urban jungle bloggers – plants & tea

I find having and tending to plants has a certain mindfulness to it and so does my tea ritual.

This is my tea set with a bamboo tray. I’ve had it for years and it has become a firm favourite of my daily routine. You only need a little bit of tea to make you stop in your tracks, breathe and be in the hear and now.

 urban jungle bloggers – plants & tea
Jing Glass Gong Fu tea set

I look forward to seeing my fellow Urban Jungle Bloggers coffee, tea & plant posts!

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paradise by way of kensal green

On Saturday I popped into Fare Healthy, a health, food and fitness event held at Paradise by Way of Kensal Green. It was a collective approach to training body, mind and soul with talks and demonstrations from the leading ladies of the health food world – The Hemsley + Hemsley sisters, Ella Woodward and Natasha Corrett.

I’ve heard the ladies speak before and own the Hemsley sisters book, which is a must. This week see’s the release of the much anticipated Deliciously Ella book which I’m looking forward to receiving.

What is even more fascinating is the space that is Paradise by Way of Kensal Green. I first visited this space when I attended one of Ella Woodward’s supper clubs. That evening we stayed in the downstairs restaurant space. Yesterday saw every nook being used with activities, stands and demonstrations going on throughout the whole space. A bar, gastro pub restaurant, dance space, hip hangout, the eclectic décor in this shabby chic establishment is really worth the hype.

You’ll find a plethora of larger and more intimate spaces, all rather dark and moody and here is a selection of some examples of decor.

 paradise by way of kensal green - colourliving
A big bouquet of silk flowers really stood out.

 paradise by way of kensal green - colourliving
LOVED this wall treatment.

 paradise by way of kensal green - colourliving
There’s an array of cages willed with taxidermy species.

 paradise by way of kensal green - colourliving
A nice little touch to an otherwise empty room.

 paradise by way of kensal green - colourliving
Love this door with stained glass panels.

 paradise by way of kensal green - colourliving
The detail to moody lighting is second to none here. Rather in love with this globe.

 paradise by way of kensal green - colourliving
Big, bold chandeliers adorn the staircase areas.

 paradise by way of kensal green - colourliving
A bit of glitter always works its magic.

 paradise by way of kensal green - colourliving
I took particular liking to these indian figurines hanging from the ceiling.

 paradise by way of kensal green - colourliving

There were many more interesting décor ideas around but the lack of light and massive amount of people swirling around the event made it quite impossible to take more photographs.

If you’re thinking of holding an event or a party, this is definitely the place.

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