Marimekko and beyond

So there I was admiring this Marimekko cushion, when I learnt I was going to be lucky enough to spend a weekend in Helsinki with my other half.  My designer-taste-buds started watering!
Here are a few of my visual highlights:

Graffiti Finnish style....

How great is this carved bear for a kids playground...

I had to sit on him

Here we go vintage Marimekko in the Design Museum

Fab Marimekko swatch books from the 60s

Wonderful Annika Rimala designs for Marimekko in 1963-4

Lovely bits of art deco

the station interior is fantastic with gems like these green tiles

I think these might be alvar aalto lamps...

These are definately Alvar Aalto lamps, as is the whole building 
in the Akateeminen Kirjakauppa bookshop cafe 
(which by the way has the best spinach quiche I've ever tasted!)

I also visited Tove Jansson's centenary exhibition 
What an incredible woman.  I have to admit I didn't love her early paintings which before the exhibition I didn't even know about. However, the exquisite pen and ink drawings for her illustrated books in the later half of the exhibition are absolutely stunning.

Festive Gift Boutique in Clerkenwell

Can't believe it's December!  A busy time for me, meeting customers at shows and updating the online shop.  This week, I'm part of a pop up shop with nine other fab designers in Clerkenwell, at Craft Central's beautiful gallery space.  I love this area - very buzzing with activity and combining business and creativity.  Great architecture too and superb cafes and restaurants.

MON 9th - FRI 13th 9am - 8pm   
THURSDAY til 9pm - Pop in for a glass of wine!
SAT 14th - SUN 15th  11am - 5pm
33-35 St John's Square EC1M 4DS (map)

One of the exhibitors "LOVE BESSIE" created our wonderful doggy illustration for 
the event and I designed all the graphics around it.  
Please keep scrolling down for pics of the gallery and designers work.

Early in the morning!  The gallery is on the corner behind the lovely rowan tree with plump red berries


Here are a few photos from the gallery - hastily taken on my phone but hopefully gives the general flavour!

my scarves!

my scarves

  Velvet cushions from me
my eyepillows
my lavender mini-pillows
Beanbags and lavender kitties

My proudest Eco Design moment

Besides the lovely moment when I won an industry sponsored competition, set by a great British wallpaper company, Graham and Brown, my proudest moment was when a roll of the finished paper was taken into the archives of a museum.
The wallpaper was on show as part of an exhibition 'Eco Home' in 2010 at the Geffrye Museum, a wonderful London museum dedicated to the history of the home. 
The 'Eco Home' exhibition hoped 'to address, without preaching, widespread and increasing concerns about ecology and the state of the planet and how this links to our homes and the way we use, decorate and inhabit them.'
A roll of the Bittern Wallpaper, along with a recorded interview with me about the design was taken into the archives at The Geffrye Museum as an example of the eco movement in design.
The three wallpaper designs are based around the Bittern, a bird who's reedbed habitat is seriously under threat from rising sea levels. 
I used mainly pen and ink to draw the birds in order to give a handcrafted feel to the collection.  The colour palette was based on the browns of the Bitterns themselves.  Bitterns are masters of disguise, shrinking to ball shapes or extending their necks to hide in the reeds so the designs combine these two elements.
This is a warm up to other blog posts I'm going to be writing about trying to balance my eco concerns with my love of designing.