New Ted Baker Collection, July '15
I don't usually blog about my freelance designs but I had a lovely surprise last Thursday when one of my lovely stockist's Amara announced the launch of a new range of Ted Baker bedding that they are now stocking & the image below used one of my prints! I think it works really well for bedding with the drama of all the shadowy photo florals at the large scale & if you check out their new arrivals in-store you'll see a few more of my floral prints adorning a range of wares creating a big floral impact for the new season!

Rob Ryan @ The Yorkshire Sculpture Park, July '15
I visited 'The Yorkshire Sculpture Park' the other day to see their latest Rob Ryan exhibition & it was so lovely! I've long been a fan of Mr Ryan's work since I was lucky enough to work on his first collaboration for womenswear for the Japanese collection at Paul Smith back when I first started out. His whimsical characters & way with words just captures the heart...so much so that one of the pieces on show 'Can we? Shall we?' became a reading at our wedding, all about phoning in sick & running away to the seaside together. It's that kind of sentimental escapism that I love so much about Rob Ryan's work, I'm not usually one for soppy stuff but when twinned with his beautifully intricate paper cuts & story-telling characters & patterning it gets me every time. YSP is a great day out regardless, but I'd thoroughly recommend a visit while the exhibition is on & there's some limited edition YSP collaboration pieces available in their brilliantly stocked shop as well as all prints being on sale if you fancy taking one home!
Portugal Inspiration
I'm just back from a trip to Portugal...well a holiday but managed to squeeze in a fair bit of research too!
Lisbon was the first stop for a few nights, the tile museum was a definite & well worth the trip out of the centre via taxi/bus. The 'Alfama' area was buzzing as they were having street parties for one of the local saints so there were streamers, sardine grills & live music 'til the early hours in all the winding, cobbled streets. A great place for watching the sun set with a cocktail is the totally unsign-posted 'Park' bar which resides at the top of a multi-storey car park, great place! Onwards, to the coast there's some amazing & deserted beaches just north of Cascais (upmarket holiday town a 20min train ride from Lisbon), amazing tapas at Dom Diniz, Cascais & great surfers beach at Guincho. 

We then spent a couple of days in Sintra, the unesco world heritage site & land of secret gardens & palaces! On recommendation we visited 2 of the palaces, by far the best (in my opinion) was Quinta De Regaleira or "The Palace of Monteiro the Millionaire" an opulently decorated palace commissioned to be built in early 1900 with everything internally & externally made to commission to the the designs of Italian Architect Luigi Manini in the romantic style. Mosaic floors, carved ceilings & walls, ironwork, statues, garden grotos, lakes, fountains, all designed & made especially, true opulence! The 2nd palace we visited is the famous 'Palàcio Da Pena' that adorns all the postcards & apparently was the inspiration behind Walt Disney's Castle! After the opulence of 'Monteiro's Palace' this all seemed a bit pastiche in comparison but amazing spectacle & view at the top. Stayed in a great hostel called 'Nice Way Sintra Palace' with a great chill-out garden & in an old renaissance villa,so loads of character & quirkily decorated.
Onwards to Viana Do Costello (North of Porto) which seems to be gearing up for a massive tourist explosion as lots of areas been cleaned up. Amazing architecture & the 'Santa Luzia' basilica is definitely worth a trip. Stayed in a great pensao & resturant called 'O Laranjeira' (means 'orange' in English), true family business & lovely people. Then back to old fave Porto for a few nights, returning to Poets Inn & generally wandering about loving all things tiled, sun bleached paint colours, narrow streets & elaborately guilded & frescoed churches, not to mention the daily 'Pastel de Nata' which I'll miss greatly when my duty-free stash is exhausted!
Amazing architectural salvage, T.H.Goode, Sheffield May '15
We have recently been on the look out for a reclaimed Victorian fireplace for our dining room & were recommended to Mr T.H. Goode on Abbeydale Rd in Sheffield. I have driven past this shop countless times over the years & seen loads of cast iron radiators & bathtubs chained up & rusting outside but never thought to delve deeper & look inside. If you're in the market for an antique fireplace, some old chimney pots to use as planters for your garden, some reclaimed wooden doors or maybe something bespoke made from various bits of architectural salvage I suggest you prepare to rummage amongst the piles of stock in Thomas' shop. Really knowledgable guy & how he hasn't tripped trying to 'walk/rummage' around his own shop is a miracle, but he & the shop are still going strong 30 years on! A little gem on my doorstep that I just wanted to share, so check out his website & Facebook page. As you'll see from the photos below, there's an amazing art nouveau tiled front room t0 the shop, beautiful!
Launch of my first Korean Stockist, LonPanew
Yesterday also saw the launch of my product in Korea for the first time! I met with the lovely ladies behind LonPanew last month while they were over here on business & it was fantastic to hear their enthusiasm for my brand & the rising growth of the independent luxury interior market in Korea.  
LonPanew stock a range of quirky, English independent designers in their own concept store in Seoul along with starting to roll out their designer edit into luxury department stores in Seoul & into the rest of Korea. I look forward to seeing how well it's received over seas!
Peter Blake Exhibition at 99 Mary Street, May '15
I've been meaning to go to 99 Mary St' Peter Blake exhibition of limited edition rare & new silkscreens since I saw it advertised a few months back. I've been a fan of Peter Blake for some time, his characteristic Pop Art, collage style is something I can relate to in my own method of working. He's a reputable hoarder of all things vintage & quirky, showcasing & juxtapositioning them so cleverly within his work. I went to an exhibition hosted by 'The Museum of Everything' back in 2010 that showcased some of his collection, notably his collection of Walter Potter taxidermy & vintage circus ephemera & have been a fan ever since...so when I saw that his work was being shown on my doorstep I jumped at the chance! A great book of Peter Blake's work is "Peter Blake (DESIGN)" if you fancy investigating further.
It was great to see my former employer Ted Baker had sponsored the exhibition & paid for the beautiful & generously free catalogue to accompany the show. I got chatting to one of the Owners/Founders of the 99 Mary St gallery space & the design company behind it DED & was delighted to hear about the success & attention the exhibition has attracted here in Sheffield & also about their other creative ventures. DED are very much 100% behind the promotion of all things creative in Sheffield, from their fantastic post industrial gallery/event space in 99 Mary St, to collaborations with fellow creatives...so watch this space!
Peddlers Market, Sheffield, May '15
This bank holiday Saturday I went along to one of my fave Sheffield spots, the bi-monthly Peddlers street food market held in Sheffield's designated 'Cultural Industries Quarter' that has blossomed in the last few years with galleries, workshops, studio spaces & great little cafes making fantastic use of the beautiful dilapidated industrial buildings left over following Sheffield's industrial past.
The market is a great initiative organised by some visionary local business owners, keen to push Sheffield in the right direction & draw attention back to the centre & towards the creative types that make Sheffield what it is today; an unpretentious, culturally diverse community of like-minded people celebrating our cities industrial past, industrious creative future & proud to to call it home. The market is held in a blocked off section of Arundel Street, encompassing '156 Arundel Street', a fantastic glass roofed former industrial unit (available for venue hire) & a stone's throw from some great boozers & one of my faves 'Tamper' at Sellers Wheel.
Having migrated back to Sheffield after 8 years in London I'm loving the cultural spontaneity & creative buzz reminiscent of my fave research stomping ground of East London. The Peddlers' events span 2 days with varying street food vendors (inc among others; Nether Edge Pizza Company, Percy & Lilys) offering up their tasty treats ( alongside some suitably crafty ales (Hop Box), cocktail & coffee bars, sweet treats, arty goodies to buy & DJ sets to keep the party going into the night.
If you are planning a trip to Sheffield, you'd do well to coincide it with the next Peddlers market dates, maybe I'm biased (very!) as a Sheffielder but the city has so much to offer & keeps getting better so check it out! For other top tips of what to get up to in Sheffield check out 'Our Favourite Places'.
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