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freightliners farm

I don’t know why I have never before been to Freightliners farm. A mere 10 minutes away from me, bang in the middle of Islington, lies this little bit of paradise.

freightliners farm - colourliving

It’s a small community-run farm, a vibrant hub of wildlife with a wide range of animals.

freightliners farm - colourliving

freightliners farm - colourliving

There’s a great vegetarian café with daily specials. This is housed in a volunteer-built eco building. Everything about this place is great.

freightliners farm - colourliving

I’ve now been twice, both times it was pouring with rain so taking photographs was hard.

freightliners farm - colourliving

freightliners farm - colourliving

I wanted to show some details of the place.

freightliners farm - colourliving

There’s also a petting zoo, hence the wash basins here below.

freightliners farm - colourliving

They have a vegetable garden and bee hives (can’t wait to get some honey). There’s even an animal boarding for local pets. How great is that? For now, I’m raiding their shop. Bought these gorgeous tomatoes and super fresh eggs.

freightliners farm - colourliving

freightliners farm - colourliving

I feel so lucky to live near such beauty and be able to support this great community project.

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inspiration on tiles

Inspiration is everywhere, we just have to look. On the weekend I drove past some rather inspirational tiles that made me stop and get off my Vespa.

I was on my way to Freightliners City Farm. More of that later on in the week. On the outside brick wall there were a whole lot of etched, glazed tiles. They were clearly done by children or young teenagers (well, that’s what I thought).

I love accomplished art as much as everyone but also get very excited by children’s art. It’s innocent, dream like, fresh and raw. I tried to take as many images as I could. I also tried to enquire about the artists. I didn’t get very far except that apparently these were made by children in the 70’s.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

inspiration on tiles - colourliving

inspiration on tiles - colourliving

inspiration on tiles - colourliving

inspiration on tiles - colourliving

inspiration on tiles - colourliving

inspiration on tiles - colourliving

inspiration on tiles - colourliving

inspiration on tiles - colourliving

inspiration on tiles - colourliving

inspiration on tiles - colourliving

inspiration on tiles - colourliving

inspiration on tiles - colourliving

inspiration on tiles - colourliving

inspiration on tiles - colourliving

inspiration on tiles - colourliving

inspiration on tiles - colourliving

inspiration on tiles - colourliving

So, what do you think? Which are your favourites? Fried breakfast? Mr. Owl? How wonderful would some of these look tiles in a bathroom?

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east london juice company

East London Juice Company is a place after my own heart. They promote healthy living and inspire a cleaner urban lifestyle. They’re anti-diet, anti-cleanse and anti-starvation. Pure music to my ears!

Established in March 2015, after a successful Kickstarter campaign, they took residence in Shoreditch’s Boxpark where they make and serve a variety of beverages and food to keep body, mind and soul aligned.

These guys are serious. Not doing anything by half, just glance at that menu.

east london juice company - colourliving

From smoothie bowls to seasonal elixirs, you’ll find plenty to awaken your senses. A limited choice for dishes to eat makes this even more special in my mind.

See lovely Olivia here below. A dancer and health aficionado, she expertly looked after me while I visited.

east london juice company - colourliving

The simple space reflects their ethos. Everything is meticulously displayed and everyone puts their full attention and love into whatever concoction you might be ordering. The macamoons (here below) just burst with vitality and the hazelnuts & pecans looked super yummy!

east london juice company - colourliving

The art of coffee making. The pour over method. They serve it with their almond mylk. Their beans are from Ozone Coffee Roasters UK.

east london juice company - colourliving

Don’t you just love the Hario V60 Copper Buono Drip Kettle?

east london juice company - colourliving

They have a fridge full of their organic, cold-pressed juices from fresh, organic produce that’s sourced locally whenever possible. They don’t add water or sugar, their juices are deliciously intact with all of the enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients that our body needs. Great for the digestion.

east london juice company - colourliving

Simple and beautiful.

east london juice company - colourliving

A few chairs if you wanted to eat in. That’s what I chose to do.

east london juice company - colourliving

Now the piece de resistance…. the Bone Broth. I make my own Bone Broth every week so was super keen to try out someone else’s. There is a saying that “good broth will resurrect the dead”. I believe that good broth can cure any ailments. It’s definitely food for the soul and I was not disappointed. A little less chilli would have been preferable but this 36 hours broth was definitely nourishing in every way. Here garnished with carrots, courgettes, fresh herbs and mung bean noodles. Just the way I like it.

My organic wheatgrass with chlorella, spirulina, minerals, milk thistle, kale and orange chaser.

east london juice company - colourliving

There’s plenty of life affirming nourishment at East London Juice Company. I only wish there would be more places like this in London.

I would have loved to have some of their banana bread with full moon made Vanilla Maca Ghee, a smoothie and and and…. this will definitely be my new hangout in Shoreditch and if you like healthy food that’s made with love and full of intention, this is the place for you.

I hope the community supports them and I hope that we’ll see future branches roll out in London in the near future. I’m certainly a fan!

” Find a calm moment to taste your food and pay attention to how different ingredients feel in your body. Listen and honor what your body actually wants rather than what it’s addicted to”. East London Juice Company

Why not follow them on Instagram @eastlondonjuiceco

Unit 35 @ Boxpark, E1 6GY
Shoreditch, London
Mon-Sat 8am – 9pm
Sun 10am – 7pm

This post will stay live until Monday 24th August.

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project ocean 2015 at selfridges

Over the weekend I finally managed to go and visit the superb #ProjectOcean 2015 at Selfridges. Now in its fifth year, this year sets out to raise awareness of the harm plastic causes to our oceans.

Here are some horrifying figures. Almost 300 million tonnes of plastic are produced globally each year, but only about 10 percent of that is recycled. Between 5 and 14 million tonnes of plastic are estimated to enter our oceans every year killing a huge number of marine animals who get caught in plastic and sometimes mistake it for food. Thus humans who eat fish are affected by the toxic effect of plastic in the food chain and so it goes on!

project ocean 2015 at selfridges

Every year #ProjectOcean focuses its attention on another part of the dire situation the world’s oceans are in and what to do about it. The project is an ongoing collaboration with The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and various environmental organizations.

So how and why does Selfridges get involved? Firstly, they’re removing all single use plastic water bottles from their Foodhalls and restaurants. That alone amounts to roughly 400,000 bottles a year. Secondly, they’ve installed a Sea Change Drinking Fountain in the Foodhall to refill with water vessels we can buy from here.  After all ‘shopping’ in Selfridges is something many of us are very familiar with.

Thirdly, they collaborate with the best people to bring to life a serious issue and make us stop and think.

project ocean 2015 at selfridges

project ocean 2015 at selfridges
External window display.

They invited the masters of blurring boundaries between food and design, italian studio Arabeschi di Latte(I’ve previously blogged about them), together with curator Jane Withers, to install a Water Bar, an interactive exhibition where water laced with everything from charcoal, fruit infusions, superfoods to gold is served in rather beautifully designed glasses.

project ocean 2015 at selfridges

project ocean 2015 at selfridges
An installation of 5000 plastic water bottles collected from London’s waste stream. This is comparable to the number of plastic water bottles currently consumed by the UK in under 15 seconds.

project ocean 2015 at selfridges
For any help, information or just to simply say hello, here’s Aidan, a real charmer! He will make you a wicked water concoction.

The bar is made from a terrazzo material comprising recycled glass and epoxy resin. The taps and pipes are copper and brass.

project ocean 2015 at selfridges
The purpose designed Project Ocean glass can be bought at the exhibition for £15. All proceeds go to the project.

project ocean 2015 at selfridges
Some beautifully designed tools to make the water concoctions.

project ocean 2015 at selfridges
The attention to detail is staggering. Love these ‘closed’ signs and hanger for the specially designed uniforms.

On adjacent shelves you’ll find a vast range of different vessels that show alternatives to the plastic bottle and highlight the ‘ritual’ of drinking water. I was fascinated by the sheer beauty of most of them and found it very difficult to choose what to show you here.

project ocean 2015 at selfridges

project ocean 2015 at selfridges

project ocean 2015 at selfridges

project ocean 2015 at selfridges

project ocean 2015 at selfridges

project ocean 2015 at selfridges

project ocean 2015 at selfridges

project ocean 2015 at selfridges

project ocean 2015 at selfridges

On the other side  of the bar there’s the Gyrecraft project.  Studio Swine & Andrew Friend installed a replica of the 22-metre research ship called Sea Dragon, on which they sailed to the North Atlantic to explore how marine plastic might be turned into a valuable resource by making it possible for communities at sea and remote islands to harvest this abundant material and craft it into new artefacts. One can enter the Sea Dragon and listen to interviews with the crew and visitors can track the activities of the real ship, currently sailing the world’s oceans via a live link.

Here below is one such artefact. It’s made out of sea plastic, galvanised steel, etched brass, abalone shell, brass shackle and rope.
The first gyre was discovered by Captain Charles Moore in the North Pacific. This piece refers to industrial fishing, particularly the crab nets used to catch large Alaskan crabs.

project ocean 2015 at selfridges

Project Ocean is open until 3 September 2015
Selfridges
Ultralounge on the Lower Ground

This post will stay live until Monday 17th August.

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my roof terrace

I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed what fantastic weather we’re having this summer. One reason for noticing is that I literally spend a good chunk everyday on my roof terrace.

This isn’t the case every summer. Sometimes I’ve not even had one BBQ in a whole season. But when the weather is like this, you can make plans for al fresco eating, outside entertaining and generally topping up on Vitamin D. I also enjoy watching my neighbours make use of their outside spaces. The laughters and good times makes everyone happier and more relaxed and it’s felt throughout the area.

One big factor of buying my flat was the roof terrace and the view. When everything gets on top of me I come home and cocoon in my oasis. I thought I’ll share some images here so you can see where I hang out!

The terrace is an L-shape. You enter through my kitchen area into this:

my roof terrace | colourliving
Herb garden in an oil tin from Clifton Nurseries. Trees from a stall at Islington Farmers Market. Bird Bath and Buddha from Hayes Farm shop. Tables from Heals. Chairs: Philippe Starck Lord Yo bought from Aria. BBQ – similar from Weber. I covered the yellow railing with outdoor fabric from Sunbrella. I cannot recommend their outdoor fabrics enough. They are colour-fast and don’t fade with the sun and extremely durable! In fact it’s coming up to nearly 10 years and the colours have stayed the same. I had the seating built out of marine ply and the foam covered cushions are also made with Sunbrella fabric.

This is a side view to show the L-shape better.

my roof terrace | colourliving

Part of the roof. This side faces the street.

my roof terrace | colourliving

I’ve had many parasols over the years. Some funky ones, some pretty ones. In the end they were all badly manufactured and didn’t make the cut! I found this one in trusted John Lewis and I haven’t looked back. It’s sturdy, has a crank and just keeps its colour, even after 3 to 4 years. During the winter months I store it inside.

my roof terrace | colourliving

My outdoor urban jungle. A lot of thanks goes to Urban Jungle Bloggers. My appreciation of everything green has definitely changed since I joined this movement. It’s made me more aware, taught me lots of tricks and tips of how to care for my urban jungle and given me confidence that I can actually look after my plants. Thank you my friends!

my roof terrace | colourliving

My beloved kitsch fountain! The inlet metal pipe where the water flows through has snapped and I’m going to have to find someone to repair it. It’s one of those jobs you’re not quite sure who to call but I’m a woman on a mission and really miss the trickling of water. It might be too late for this summer but I’ll definitely get it working for next spring.

my roof terrace | colourliving

And part of the view….. yes, I appreciate it on a daily basis!

my roof terrace | colourliving

Unfortunately I’m not going away as I’m working on the next series of Mapology Guides. For now, I’ll blog only once a week on a Monday. I hope you’re all having a good time wherever you are in this world.  Thank you for hanging out with me on my roof terrace x

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my library – snail mail by michelle mackintosh

So here’s a confession. I have a massive weakness for everything to do with stationery, so when I saw the newly published Snail Mail: rediscovering the Art and Craft of handmade correspondence, I just couldn’t resist and had to have it!

Michelle Mackintosh is a book designer, illustrator, self-confessed stationery nerd and has designed dozens of books on a wide range of topics.

We live in an era where everything is instant and we’re in real danger of losing the ability of really communicating with loved ones. In this digital age, receiving a handwritten letter, card, or personalised package is such a treat. This book will make you stop and think about this, whether it’s saying thank you in a letter or maybe even reflecting on your life through writing.

my library - snail mail by michelle mackintosh

I’ve had this book for a couple of months. It lives in my bedroom and every night before going to bed I feast me eyes on a few pages in the hope that my dreams will be filled with creative endeavours and craft filled scenarios. Hmm, not working that well!

As a graphic designer, I love a well designed book full of intricate details. The photos and styling are gorgeous. The hard cover and matt pages are luscious and the stickers included at the back of the book are such a nice touch!

my library - snail mail by michelle mackintosh

The book is divided into seven sections: Write here, right now // Crafting a letter // Creative characters //Brown paper packages tied up with string // Post with personality // Getting the most from your post // Templates

my library - snail mail by michelle mackintosh

my library - snail mail by michelle mackintosh

my library - snail mail by michelle mackintosh

There’s so much inspiration in this 220 pages tome that I dare you nor to find something tempting. You might even be inclined to make one of the projects included in the book. The instructions are very clear and there are plenty of photographs to guide you through the creative process.

my library - snail mail by michelle mackintosh

my library - snail mail by michelle mackintosh

There’s no doubt that Michelle Mackintosh was inspired by the Japanese stationery and letter writing culture that is very much in vogue at the moment. I can’t wait to try out some of the recommendations here.

my library - snail mail by michelle mackintosh

my library - snail mail by michelle mackintosh

Whether you’re crafty or not, if you like stationery, letter writing or purely admire this form of mail art for any occasion, this book is a must for your library. It’s a happy new addition to mine.

This post will stay live until Monday 3rd August.

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the art of tea drinking

My regular readers will know that I don’t drink coffee, but instead indulge in the art of tea drinking. You may rightly ask why I refer to it as an art?

For me tea drinking has always been something nurturing, ritualistic, special and healing. My knowledge and passion for it has grown over the years and I invest in tea ephemera as well as the best loose tea I can find and afford. I drink various teas according to the time of the day, the healing properties or simply for the taste of it. Today I introduce you to some of my favourite teas and places you can buy them from.


the art of tea drinking | colourliving
Dried Rose petals found at Neals Yard // Moroccan mint from Fortnum and Mason.

the art of tea drinking | colourliving
Postcard Teas
– Sobacha//Green Mulberry
For more on postcard teas, see my post here.


the art of tea drinking | colourliving
Verveine tea//Tilleul tea from La Maison des Plantes

the art of tea drinking | colourliving
Hibiscus Infusion from La Fromagerie // Skin tea from Content
For more on Content see my post here.

the art of tea drinking | colourliving
Camomile – from left: wild camomile grown on my roof terrace//dried normal version found at Neals Yard//dried white from La Maison des Plantes

the art of tea drinking | colourliving
Jing Tea set My daily routine. I usually will infuse more than once, hence the decanting into another glass vessel before drinking.

the art of tea drinking | colourliving

the art of tea drinking | colourliving

For travelling I like to use unbleached teabags and fill them with my favourite teas. Like this I always take away a bit of home with me and make sure I get to have nice teas on planes, in hotel rooms or wherever I might find myself.


the art of tea drinking | colourliving
Jasmine pearls from Jing tea//unbleached teabags from Baldwins

For a great little film on three tea emporiums (London, Berlin and New York), why not watch this Monocle Retail Special.
How do you take your tea?

This post will stay live until Monday 27th July.

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an art deco walking tour in the strand

I love London and have been living here for nearly 35 years. Yet I’m always surprised how little I know and how much more there is to learn about this great city. My regular readers will know that I thoroughly enjoy being a tourist in my own city.

I first found out about Yannick Pucci’s quirky London tours after connecting with him on Twitter. Back in November 2013 I booked onto his Art Deco walking tour in Bloomsbury which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was a real eye opener to me that albeit spending most of my time in central London, I don’t always ‘see’ what’s around me. As a designer I know it’s all in the details and yet I miss so much of it when rushing around this city going about my business.

It will come as no surprise that I was excited when Yannick invited me to come on his new(ish) Art Deco walking tour in the Strand. This time, last Saturday, it was a glorious summer’s day. No umbrella or raining jacket in sight. Again, an area I’m most familiar with and yet I enjoyed learning about the buildings, architecture, art deco details and fascinating tidbits. Once again Yannick inspired me to take a better look.


an art deco walking tour in the strand | colourliving
A rare appearance of Ms Colourliving.

We were a small group of curious folks who enjoyed being expertly led around the Strand. I really enjoyed the mix of iconic buildings together with some more hidden gems I had never seen before, all the while admiring the art deco signatures. Yannick is very happy to answer any questions and is eager for people to participate if they wish.

an art deco walking tour in the strand | colourlivingInfinity

I thoroughly enjoyed this 2 hour tour and came away knowing a little bit more about this great city I live in.

I’m not going to give away what the Strand tour entails, but for anyone who follows me on Instagram it’s no secret one of our stops was the fabulous and recently refurbished Savoy Hotel. I leave you with some images of this iconic place!

an art deco walking tour in the strand | colourliving
The iconic Savoy Hotel front entrance.

an art deco walking tour in the strand | colourliving
Rather beautiful detail of how to display plaques.

an art deco walking tour in the strand | colourliving
The beautiful lobby as you walk in.

an art deco walking tour in the strand | colourliving
Another part of the lobby.

an art deco walking tour in the strand | colourliving
I just love all the paintings dotted around.

an art deco walking tour in the strand | colourliving
A rather charming gallery wall within the lobby area.

an art deco walking tour in the strand | colourliving
Beautiful wallpaper.

an art deco walking tour in the strand | colourliving
The famous tea rooms.

I can’t recommend highly enough to join one of Yannick’s quirky walking tours. Do peruse his website and take a look at the other tours he offers. Here’s one for you foodies.

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ladybird by design

On Saturday evening I had the pleasure to attend a late gallery opening at the House of Illustration and see their latest exhibition called Ladybird by Design.

ladybird by design - colourliving

I don’t know about you but I love late gallery openings. They seem so much more relaxed. With this one there were also drinks and activities. Wanting to savour the actual exhibition I decided to try the activities first.


ladybird by design - colourlivingTable full of templates, magazines, markers, scissors and glue for us to play with.

They aim was to take one of the supplied templates (text) which were taken from the Ladybird books and find some imagery for it. Here were some examples floating around.

ladybird by design - colourliving

ladybird by design - colourliving

ladybird by design - colourliving

ladybird by design - colourliving

And here was my attempt. As you can see I veered off a little from the original:-) but hey, creative license and all that…

ladybird by design - colourliving

That part was fun but now to the main attraction. There are over 120 illustrations from Ladybird books dating from the late 1950s to the early 70s, including images from classic Ladybird titles including People at Work, Shopping with Mother, Science, Nature, Well Loved Tales and Key Words. You’ll also find rare photographs, roughs and a spread of the actual book layout, showing the 24 illustrations with the text.

Photography isn’t allowed as there’s a wonderful book accompanying this exhibition but here are just a few images to wet your apetite.

ladybird by design - colourliving

ladybird by design - colourliving

ladybird by design - colourliving

ladybird by design - colourliving

ladybird by design - colourliving

I am always so impressed with the curation at the House of Illustration. Their exhibition are full of storytelling and have immense content. I always come out feeling I saw and learned a lot. One of my favourite feature is the accompanying videos as you exit the exhibition. They are so interesting that I find myself watching them a few times while absorbing what I’ve just seen. See the one on Ladybird by Design here.

The shop, filled to the brim with interesting illustration books, greeting cards and so much more has a variety of products accompanying this exhibition. A box of 100 postcards, the exhibition catalogue, a series of Ladybird prints depicting the alphabet and they also found some original vintage Ladybird books where the proceeds from the sale goes towards the cost of running their extensive education programme.

ladybird by design - colourliving

ladybird by design - colourliving

And here’s what I managed to pick up. The Ladybird book of London has been reproduced but the one on food and Gerry the Giraffe are originals. Hurry though, the vintage ones will sell out fast.

ladybird by design - colourliving

I cannot recommend the exhibition enough and at a price of £7.70 per adult it’s really worth a trip. Check out their website for details of Ladybird inspired talks and events, late gallery openings and family workshops. I cannot wait to return before it closes.

Ladybird by Design
10 July – 27 September
House of Illustration2 Granary Square
Kings Cross
London N1C 4BH
Open 10am – 6pm Tuesdays – Sundays

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wild life drawing at spitalfields city farm

Wild Life Drawing is a drawing class with a difference. Instead of the usual human life models, the subject here are real , live animals. How great is that? Their aim is to inspire a sense of appreciation and understanding for the animals and conservation issues around the globe.

I’ve known Jenni Webber, a London based visual artist, educator and animal lover for a while now. Last year she mentioned she was going to start some life drawing classes with animals. Wild Life Drawing has just celebrated it’s 1st Birthday. I’m happy I finally got to join a class.

This one was held at the wonderful Spitalfields City Farm. The sun was shining, it was the perfect evening to engage with the natural world and encourage appreciation of wonderful animals.

Meet the herd, both in people and animals. This class was all about lambs and sheep. I had no idea how challenging it was to draw life animals moving around. It was nearly impossible. However, it did make me look and study them more and after a while I realised I could take a photo, work from that whilst still referencing to the live animal.

wild life drawing at spitalfields city farm
It was special being amongst the animals.


wild life drawing at spitalfields city farm
Are you looking at me??? This is Karen, a Castlemilk Moorit. This is a rare breed of domestic sheep originating in Dumfriesshire in Scotland.

wild life drawing at spitalfields city farm
My 1st attempt!


wild life drawing at spitalfields city farm
This is Teggan (female), a Badger Face Welsh Mountain sheep. This is a is a distinct variety of the Welsh Mountain breed of domestic sheep bred for Sheep farming in Wales.


wild life drawing at spitalfields city farmMy humble attempt!


wild life drawing at spitalfields city farm
Meet Jenny, the farm’s manager and Twiglet, the baby lamb who is Karen’s daughter (see above). Twiglet hardly survived and was bottle fed by Jenny. She’s now 3 months and thinks Jenny is her mum!


wild life drawing at spitalfields city farm
Is she gorgeous or what?

wild life drawing at spitalfields city farm
The beginnings….

It was all too short and before I knew it the session was over. I asked Jenny whether 2 hours wasn’t a little short but then we are dealing with life animals and I need to get to grips with my drawings a little faster:-) I think it’s the notion of being in a farm amongst animals that I wanted to spend more time with.

Next up is Goats & Kids back at Spitalfields City farm. I know that in August there is a life drawing class with owls. Jenny has done snakes, meerkats (jealous) and there are more exotic animals on the agenda. Be warned, the classes fill very quickly so your best bet is to sign up to the newsletter to be the first to hear of new dates.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself and am dead proud of Jenny’s new venture that already is a big hit. See you in class?

This post will stay live until Monday 13th July

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