Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Twelve Days of Christmas...

Hello everyone! We're so excited to be kicking off our Twelve Days of Christmas extravaganza this evening... at midnight tonight (GMT) no less! midnight for the next twelve days we will be putting one item on sale, or on offer, for 24 hours ONLY. You will find crazee-good prices and never before seen discounts - Tis the Season, after all ;)

Follow the snowflakes each day to find the item on offer in the shop... here's a little clue for today's offer which will go live in just over two hours...

Watch out on our facebook, Twitter and here for daily offers galore :))

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Studio Visit: Alison Macleod

When I was in Glasgow a few weeks ago, you might remember that Ryan, Angus and I visited my lovely friend Marianne Anderson in her studio? Well, she happily shared this lovely space with the equally talented and lovely jeweller, Alison Macleod!

I took some snaps of Alison's bench and inspiration wall and she has been kind enough to let me share them here... I love Alison's work - a fabulously layered collection of found objects and delicate formed silver to create pretty, ecclectic pieces of jewellery that you just want to wear! Alison is very inspired by found objects and places like junk shops, and I think that 'treasure trove' feel is evident in both her work, and her space. There is something gorgeous to look at in every corner...

I didn't know where to look first, but the lovely space certainly put a smile on my face!

You can see all Alison's beautiful jewellery here on her website and online shop, and can also follow her fab blog right HERE, find her on pinterest, and on twitter, too!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Book Review: The Liberty Book of Home Sewing...

A few months ago, Ryan surprised me with (as far as I am concerned!) one of the craft book releases of the YEAR! The Liberty Book of Home Sewing... I was extremely excited when I opened it...

Now, obviously, we run a business with foundations of sewing, designing sewn products and fabric, but that in no way took the sheen off how inspiring this book is for me!

From the moment you pick up the book, you appreciate the details: The fabric cover, so tactile, and beautifully embossed with the title. And as soon as you open the book you are greeted with bright and breezy end pages, printed with gorgeous Liberty designs! It's certainly a good start ;)

... going forward, you turn page after page of inspiring sewing projects - from pretty frilly aprons, door-stops, or even kimono-dressing gowns where you can be inspired by the combinations of colours and fabrics the stylists and authors have so (seemingly) effortlessly woven together. The feel of the book is upbeat, with cheerful hand-drawn step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow and engaging. The projects themselves, are like jewels you would happily lay down a lot of money for in a shop, and you are excited about the prospect of being able to create yourself!

I personally think this would be a wonderful book for beginner and more experienced sewers alike. It's really an exercise in learning how wonderfully all sorts of patterns, colours, scales of prints and textures can work together... as a serious colour and print enthusiast, I loved it!

Yet another wonderful release from the Liberty team, and a fabulous glimpse in to their fabric collection, somehow capturing the feel of their haberdashery department (which is one of my favourites) for those who might not be able to visit in person.

I would certainly recommend this book. Sitting down with this, and a cup of good tea on a sunny afternoon is a VERY nice way to spend some time.

Don't miss Liberty's wonderful SEW LIBERTY club, where you can find some How to Make Videos and downloadable patterns...


Friday, 18 November 2011

Breast Cancer Care Tea-towel...THINK PINK!

Hello everyone - we are very pleased to annouce that today we are launching a limited edition run of 200 pale pink tea-towels to raise £1000 for Breast Cancer Care!

Our best selling Rhododendron design has been re-worked in this very lovely pale pink and we will donate £5.00 from the sale of each tea-towel to the charity in the hope our funds can make a very big difference.

Every tea-towel is hand screen printed on eco-friendly unbleached cotton, with water-based inks. Every one will come beautifully tissue gift wrapped and protected in a plastic envelope adorned with our signature labelling - this one specifically produced for this occasion!

Please spread the word about this very special launch, and gift as many of these this Christmas as you can - not only are you buying something beautiful, you're doing something beautiful as well.

Thank you so much! Please help us support the amazing work done by Breast Cancer Care...

xo A & R

Wednesday, 16 November 2011


We've been pretty busy for the last few days, assembling, wrapping and labelling up products and packaging ahead of Christmas and for a pop up shop we are taking part in (info for TANK Gallery Pop-Ups, right here on facebook!) and a charity Craft Fair we're doing tomorrow evening at Clandyboye Estate courtyard (7-9pm for anyone local!)... we have had new labels printed, which we are delighted with - do you like them?!

The last of our new batch of tea-towels arrived this morning, and we have begun assembling our new boxed gift sets. There is just a little sneak above, but I must say, they're very gorgeous and we can't wait to share them and get them up online! I'm rather excited to think some people might be opening these on xmas morning ;)

Back soon!
A@a*r xo

Friday, 11 November 2011

Hilary Grant MITTENS!

I decided to take a little break from work yesterday and get out the gorgeous Hilary Grant DIY mitten kit my Mum had bought me last Christmas (yes, yes, I know it's almost a year ago but I have literally blinked and missed the last 10 months... now I am cold again!) ... several hours of lovely making followed and now, I have a pair of pretty mittens to keep my paws warm. LOVE them!

Above is a little work in progress sequence to show how I made them (as per instruction!). The only change I made was to whip-stitch through the blanket stitched edge with the second colour of wool I got in the pack to give them a piped edge look... I think I got a little carried away enjoying the sewing ;) As you can see by the second from last photo, it got pretty dark - so I shot them again this morning to show the detail...

For those of you who don't know, Hilary Grant is a super talented and lovely knitwear designer based in Dundee, Scotland. Her work is absolutely gorgeous, and her current collection is inspired by the patterns she finds in the street combined with traditional motifs found in Scottish and Scandinavian textiles... most of her knitting is done using the Fairisle technique which allows her textiles to have beautiful intricate patterns and a wonderful mixture of colours within each piece... all are made from the highest quality lambswool, which is super soft. Something I can attest to with my new mitts! ;)

Some of my favourite pieces from Hilary include her super long *gorgeous* PomPon Scarfs and of course, the DIY Mitts! You can purchase these lovelies from her online shop...

Thanks Hilary for such lovely MITTS!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Lovely Press...

A big shout out and a thank you to Ireland's Homes Interiors & Living magazine, who featured us in their December Christmas issue, not once, but TWICE!

Our Hydrangea tea-towel in duck-egg appeared on page 14, and on page 64, our *forthcoming* Tea-Towel Gift Set (all eight designs, beautifully boxed and ready for giving) appeared in the Gift Guide section...

Very delighted to be in such a lovely magazine! Hope you can pick up an issue :)


Friday, 4 November 2011

Welcome Home Glasgow - Store Tour...

I was so happy when back in Glasgow to have a chance to get up to Sauchiehall Street and see our friend Mhari's newly re-opened shop, Welcome Home, inside the lovely foyer of the CCA!

Full of some of the most beautiful and unique art and design finds you will see in Glasgow - it was very hard to resist bringing a lot of it home with us. Good thing we didn't have any luggage allowance (or budget to speak of!)... I am pretty sure I could have filled a few carrier bags full of loot if things had been different.

Mhari, and Welcome Home, were previously housed on Keith Street in Partick, but after running a pop-up shop in the CCA last Christmas, they couldn't let her go (smart cookies!) and offered her the chance to stay permanently, the new space being revamped in a more bespoke fashion a few months ago. This was the first time I has seen the shop in person, and it didn't disappoint! The perfect mix of quirk and slick (in style, and content!), it's a pleasure to walk around and explore the displays Mhari curates on the plinths and in the cabinets, making it feel like you are discovering something new every time you turn around.

We're delighted to say some of our tea-towels and lavender bags are also stocked in-store, along with lovely things from Fun Makes Good, Finch and Fouracre, Imogen Luddy (I bought one of her badge brooch cards!) and Mhari's sisters line, Forgotten Stitches, amongst many others!

Hope all who are in Glasgow or pass through will pay Welcome Home a visit! The cafe at the CCA is great, too ;) We had some drinks and snacks there with Mhari while we had a long over-due catch up and then we went and had some FAB Japanese food along the road a'la Mhari's recommendation (thanks!!)... a lovely way to end our day :)

A@a*r xo

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Anthropologie Edinburgh - Store Tour...

While in Edinburgh last week, we just HAD to pay a visit to the recently opened Anthropologie store on George Street... when the news broke last year that Anthro was branching in to Scotland, I did kick myself every so slightly that we had moved away to Belfast and I was adding many extra hours travel to my journey before I could be in heaven ;) Still, I finally made it.

The lovely staff in the store very kindly let me photograph the beautiful merchandising and stock for the blog, so I hope you will enjoy browsing around via my lens!

I fell in love especially with a beautiful embroidered Day Birger et Mikkelsen coat, above, (their clothes always slay me!) and, as usual, the homeware proved a serious temptation to a complete addict like me. There are also some lovely little nooks, complete with beautiful sofa's for weary chaps to rest on - as there is only so much shopping a man can do, even in a store such as this, EVEN when they're a homeware designer! Ryan held up pretty well (so did Angus!)... but they did enjoy that yellow couch ;)

Congratulations to the Anthropologie team on another beautiful space and stunning displays. There is *always* something special and unique to look at in each Anthropologie shop you go in to. My favourite displays and textures in the store included the cast concrete wall with botanical impressions, the stunning tiled floor in the back of the shop and the fantastic central sculptural focal point with ladders and ropes galore! So chic! The bed-sets always look incredibly luscious as well... I was tempted to jump in, or take the whole thing home...

Another highlight was getting to see the beautiful Ceramics by Adam Harvey, which are completely stunning in person. I had a pinning frenzy with those new pieces a few weeks ago, so getting to see them in real life was a thrill... I am so glad we got to spend some time in this beautiful shop!

Thank you again to the staff for allowing me permission to shoot the store.
Abigail @abigail*ryan