Month: May, 2011

New Found Original

I was recently in touch with the guys behind new online shop New Found Original and love what they do. The online shop, set up by Jo Murray and Dominic Bell, sells a carefully selected and ever-changing collection of graphic products – tempting to both graphics junkies and normal people alike.

The two graphic designers founded the project with the idea of selling new, found and original items chosen for their graphic aesthetic. The shop always displays a concise range of products chosen by Jo and Dominic’s beady eyes for the quality of their design, whether it’s a beautiful vintage item with bold, colourful typography, or an exciting collaboration with an up and coming designer or artist.

They told me what their favourite products are and why:

I love the hand screen printed Ping Pong tote bags (above). I love the play on words, with Ping on one side, Pong on the other! It imitates the game! And they come in perfect red and blue ping pong colours…
I’m also really pleased with the Ryvita paper bags I found (below). I love the 2 colour print, the type and illustration. They have a shopping list on the back which I would definitely use and nice type detail on the sides.
It has to be the letterpress coasters (below) – I like the use of colour, the tactility of the letterpress print and the character of the birds.

I agree with Dom.

Check it all out at


Stag picnic blanket by Anorak

This is my favourite print by Anorak so far, and the most stylish picnic rug I’ve seen in a while. Stag print picnic blanket, £36, Anorak

Cash vs. credit: Barbecue Buckets


Purple BBQ bucket, £15, Sainsbury’s; Fire BBQ bucket, £35.74, Nigel’s Eco Store



A Life Less Ordinary

Set of 9 apothecary storage jars, £49.99

Busy embarking upon my new adventure co-manning the Choc Star mobile chocolate bar*, I regret I have not had time to post recently. But now I am back on track, and today warrants a special post as I am very excited to introduce my new sponsor for 2011: A Life Less Ordinary. Everything from this beautiful new homewares site is right up my street and I am so pleased to have come across them, and equally thankful for their support.

Selling hard-to-find wares like chunky jute baskets, unusual button and glass storage jars, and beautiful hammam soap dishes, A Life Less Ordinary was set up by husband and wife duo Jane and Sam, who wanted to offer offbeat and quirky pieces that are hard to find under one roof. Growing all the time, their new little empire is a breath of fresh air for summer, offering a carefully curated selection of rare and pretty gems.

Here are my favourites.

Jute baskets, £42


Cast iron bird hooks, £10


Marseille jute doorstop, £25


Pure olive hammam soap flakes in zinc container, £10


* you can find us in the Choc Star van on the Southbank every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so come and feast.

Folksy love-in: Hopper and Space

Chairs, £595

Until this morning I always browsed on Folksy for sweet, crafty, handmade things like finger puppets, placemats or soap – never  believing it to be the place for big, proper, impressive furniture. (Incidentally I did just order this, which looks lovely. I have high hopes).

But today I was proven wrong as a sleek trio of contemporary upcycled pieces by sellers Hopper and Space caught my eye and I thought it was definitely worth posting on – even if they’re not everyone’s style, they are proof that the UK’s online handmade community can thrive on a big scale as well as small, and testament to how far Folksy has come since it offered cutesy pin cushions and greetings cards.

Sofa, £1,295

Joe and Ben of Hopper & Space take vintage furniture, cover it with a neutral cream or fawn brushed linen and a contemporary flash of colour – usually neon – and the designs work really well on the angular, retro lines which can often seem too tough. Shunning sweatshops, unethical factories and mass production, they reupholster whatever comes their way, usually spanning the 40s to the 80s. Two of the three pieces they’re currently selling are reupholstered 1953 chairs and a sofa by British company E Gomme, who introduced their ‘G Range’ in the fifties to provide affordable and individual pieces to design-aware homemakers.

Chairs, £695

Their thoughtfully designed 2011 incarnations do exactly the same thing and should be snapped up immediately by anyone in need of a chair. Sadly, I am not.