60 - Hello Pedlars!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pedlars Friday Vintage
Old Wooden Signs from Pedlars Friday Vintage
Instruction sign on an Airstream
Adventures in colour with Pedlars
Duralex Glasses at Pedlars

When I bought my first house it quickly became filled with Ikea and Homebase furniture in an effort to create what I thought was a cohesive and grown up look (I'd just turned 24, I didn't know any better). We'd gotten married earlier that year and I guess I wanted to feel like I'd arrived somehow. As years have gone by, the Ikea and Homebase have been purged (all except for the Pax wardrobe that is actually wedged in between the wall and fireplace, and I plan to get an axe to it early next year) and slowly as our family has grown, we are shaping up to be a household of doers who don't really value "stuff" that highly, but do love what we have to tell a story.

I was strolling through the Trafford Centre Selfridges one day, I think Dominic was just a baby at that point. Pedlars caught my eye, I remember them being a lifeline in a surrounding sea of perfect blah... I can't quite remember exactly what it was that caught my eye, but I've been hooked ever since. That point in life was somewhat of a re-birth for our family. After a false start and a lot of grey days and beige thoughts, colour slowly seemed to creep back in. It seems somewhat poetic that 5 years on I'm now not only stocked by Pedlars, but have been collaborating with them on neon screen printed Christmas cards (available here).

Pedlars (all products chosen by founders, Charlie and Caroline Gladstone) have an eye for blending old with new and picking products that will become (or at least reflect) the fabric of your life. New goods are brought to you because they are the very best of their kind and built to last, with Pedlars often collaborating on items to get them just so (check out their new Signet Pencils here). Their Friday Vintage selection brings the most excellently collected vintage items from across the globe. I have a lovely set of vintage arrows that are waiting to be mounted and hung that serve as a reminder of my Hunger Games fetish and 31st Birthday doing archery with my family and a "Come in, We're Open" sign that I plan to hang on the door to the office of my "campsite" one day. I have my eye on their stripy fleece blankets that will become part of our growing camping kit as we begin our overnight outdoor adventures (now the littles are not so little that I'm afraid of them freezing to death camping anymore). I have every faith they will continue to seek out and sell products that become part of my narrative and I'm so very proud to be stocked by them. Hello Pedlars...

All images taken from pedlars.co.uk

59 - Camp Dreams

Saturday, October 25, 2014

I've felt a funny sort of grumpy today, not quite comfortable in my seat and a bit fidgety.

As I begin to start to "get Christmas online" my mind drifts off to a small meadow surrounded by tall trees with a lake off to the side and a great area almost like an amphitheatre with a camp fire in the middle of it. There are tents and lodges scattered through the trees and an area that has large chunks of wood and assorted branches and bits to build dens and climbing things with. Theres a lodge near the main entrance that has a grand entrance hall that can be used for gatherings and to the side, a glass house for growing produce that can have the plants moved to the edge and also be used for gatherings. A sort of multi-function-roomed hotel for people who hate hotels and love being outdoors, to gather and celebrate, and mostly, just be at. There are bushcraft and archery lessons, camp fires for each "pitch" as well as a central one for gathering, a little shop that sells recipe boxes and camping essentials. A tree house that you can sleep in. Theres a family that runs it, they are some of the cheeriest people you could ever meet. They are living their dream and love adventures.

Then I drift back to whats on my screen and begin to look for land to make it real. We are that family, and that is our dream (and it's not just a passing fad, its been in our heads and hearts growing steadily for seven or eight years now). I have no idea if we'll ever end up living it (I'd like to think so, but for every ounce of enthusiasm there seems to be 3lbs of red tape and laws about permitted use, planning etc), but in the mean time, a girl can dream...

Top two images from the fabulous Wood and Faulk and the rest from Camp Wandawega which may be one of the most swoon worthy places I've ever laid eyes on...

58 - Kiss Me Once

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Kiss Me Once Tour - Friday 26th September - Manchester Arena

I've seen Kylie on every major tour since the Showgirl tour. I must admit I was never a very big Kylie fan 'til I saw her Fever tour coverage on TV and became smitten with the very showmanship of the whole affair. Visual spectacles - costumes beyond imagination, sets that look like they have been taken directly from dreams, shaken up renditions of old classics and, well, quite honestly, the dancers (which usually are some of the finest male specimens you could ever want to lay eyes on).

A stage full of 20 or 30 of the finest dancers imaginable grooving to the pop princesses tunes with some amazing visual direction by Kylie's long time partner in crime William Baker usually delivers track after track and scene after scene of delight. This time, not so much.

I wouldn't like to say whether it is due to her move to Roc Nation or perhaps a want to do something a little more subtle that means we are delivered a dance troupe of only 7 on this tour (purse strings tightened or maybe she just wants to be able to move on stage without it having to be carefully choreographed so that she doesn't crash in to someone) but it somehow lacked the energy of other performances. That having said, during Slow (I can't fully commit to that being the right track, must remember to make notes next time) I felt moved. The dancers on stage with Kylie are usually magnificently attractive and can move to a beat like no other, but with this, I was blown away and speechless. The movements were so beautifully executed, I'd struggle to think of a ballet that has such wonderfully precise grace. The other standout moment of course being Kylie's cover of "Need you Tonight", sexually charged and loaded with questions on her relationship with INXS singer Michael Hutchence.

Whilst slightly more concept heavy and a little less "showy", a good time was still had by all. Without hesitation I'll still be booking tickets on the next tour when the time comes, interested to see whether this a permanent change in direction or a blip on the radar.

All images are my own.

57 - An Artful Life

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Introducing the newest Alfies Studio stockist - An Artful Life.

An Artful Life studio and shop was set up by Interior Architect Kate Whitfield. Kate curates an ever changing eclectic collection of one-off vintage finds as well as new items, chosen for their beauty and modernity. Head on over to anartfullife.co.uk to see Kate's most recent finds, my goods are certainly in fine company - I have my eyes on a few of her items myself (Christmas present to the house maybe, my bedroom needs that vintage wooden filing cabinet as a bedside table)!

All images taken from http://www.anartfullife.co.uk

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