Tuesday, July 26, 2011


The shops, the people who sell my work worldwide...who are they? What are their dreams, their inspirations, what made them start their own businesses? A feature in words and images with a little surprise-coupon at the end...

Just before I leave the country for a summer break I would like to put the stockist spotlight on Hen & Hammock, a succesfull online gardening, home and outdoor lifestyle shop. They are based in Moreton, Oxfordshire (UK). I love their honest concept, their well chosen assortment, their style...

Owner Andrew Jones, mowing the lawn together with his daughter Katie.

Hen & Hammock: webshop - blog - twitter

When did you start your webstore and what made you decide to start it?
It was a time-of-life thing. Time to stop commuting to the big city and time to spend more time in the garden. The former was achieved very early on. The latter is still an aspiration!

What choices do you make when you purchase new products?
When we look at new products we have two priorities. The first is that the product needs to look good and be practical. Beauty alone is not enough, neither is functionality. We search for nice looking products that serve a purpose.
The second is that products should make the world a better place. This can’t always be achieved, but we should try by asking the right questions and by favouring producers that share our values.

What is the most beautiful part of your work and what part just ‘comes with the job’?
There are lots of rewards in what we do. Helping producers by buying their products is enormously rewarding. We also donate 10% of our profits to causes we feel strongly about, which is very satisfying. This year we gave £500 to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, which is striving to reverse the decline in the bumblebee population
The biggest challenge for us is getting products from some of our producers in a timely fashion. We don’t like letting our customers down with the words ‘Out of Stock’.

Which Hen and Hammock products would you like to show to us?

Kettle watering cans, because they show what fun practical gifts can be made from recycled plastic.

Picnic blankets, made from new wool waste. There is something very appealing about having a unique colourway. And they are a good excuse for a picnic!

Seed trays. These simple trays are made locally from waste wood and make germinating seeds all the more satisfying.

Paper maché bowls. The cooperative which makes these bowls is inspiring, as are their designs.

Is there any article that is produced almost uniquely for your shop?
The scarecrow kits are unique to Hen and Hammock. We collect the coffee sacks, which would otherwise go into landfill, and assemble the kits in house.

What are the items you took home from work?
Every day at this time of year I use one of our recycled tyre trugs for collecting weeds.
And later in the year, one of our Sussex trugs for collecting vegetables.

What do you expect to be a real trend for the future in your business?
I think product provenance will move to centre stage. It is already important for food, and will become increasingly important for the gift market. A gift is so much more if you can show who made it, where and how.

What will you be doing in five years? What is your ultimate dream?
We are living the dream already. I hope to be doing the same in 5 years!

Thanks so much Andrew, for this little peek in your green paradise!

I wish you all a wonderful summer, with nice relaxing garden work. And of course: For tools and other great stuff, made with love go to Hen & Hammock and use the discount code on the coupon below. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

DIY rope swirl tapestry

This morning my heart started beating faster when I visited Handmade Charlotte's blog and discovered this amazing rope swirl tapestry. It is handmade by the display team from the Free People store in Philadelphia US. Untill the 5th of July you could list for the give away of this piece of art. How could I have missed this?
Hooray: Free People has written a clear tutorial for making this tapestry. And I think it is even more fun to make one (in your own style) than to win one!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

just wandering

Oh, how I missed doing this on a quiet Sunday morning. I have been working so hard lately - even in the weekends - that I almost forgot what a relaxing joy it is to just wander a bit through the internet, looking for colourful food for the soul.
I adore the above kind of hip Waldorf (Rudolf Steiner) style: organic geometric shapes (wooden chrystals), soft pastels, and natural materials. Necklaces and pendants by the designers of the Italian Studio Fludd, who call these gems 'simple but not dull'.

The pots above haven't been in the ceramics oven, they are made of 100% biodegradable cellulose and are air dried! I love innovative use of materials. Ett la Ben has created a wonderful lampshade in the same material as well.

High on my wishlist: the tea towels Scholten & Baijings designed for Hay.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

NEW shine - reversible lanterns

I actually came up with the idea last winter. I wanted to design a second series of lanterns, and the task I had set myself was this: they still had to be made of paper, still had to include a slight DIY factor and of course they still had to be eco friendly, but they had to be COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from the first series! I realised I had set myself a tough assignment: to create an entirely new shape and totally different style whilst retaining my own ‘signature’…

Now, at last, after endless sketching, printing, cutting, folding, looking and choosing, a set of 3 completely new lanterns is ready to shine! “

Shine lanterns shimmer in the twilight of every season, lighting up your garden in summer and your stylish Scandinavian interior at Christmas.

For those who like to dabble in DIY, Shine asks for a touch of creativity. Push the flaps inwards or outwards – whatever you like best – and simply choose the side you like most, because these lanterns are reversible! Once lit up, the inner side of the lantern becomes slightly transparent, giving it an enchanting look.

Each Shine set contains 3 lanterns. The pop-out cards are size 31 cm x 15 cm. The lanterns are large enough to fit over most drinking glasses and jam jars. Recommended retail price per set: EUR 7.95

From today the Shine lanterns will be available for my retailers. Please consult the stockists page on my website to find a salespoint near you.

And thanks to Irene from Bloesem for lighting my SHINES so lovely on her blog today. I feel honoured!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Ladies & gentlemen!

Came across this little crowd of wooden ladies and gentlemen via an old post written by Kickan & Conckers. They are designed by UK artist Chrissie Mac Donald. Love them!