Monthly Archives: December 2015


painted bus stops

December 21, 2015

bus stops in belarus.

in a series called ‘it must be beautiful’ photographer alexandra soldatova shares pictures of painted bus shelters in her home country of belarus. created by unknown artists for the sole purpose of beautifying empty landscapes…

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i don’t know how this makes me feel. calm? hopeful? i love that no one takes credit for their paintings. like an anonymous gift.

see the full collection on IGNANT.

design - shop

laura spring / homewares

December 20, 2015

laura spring

the  mighty LAURA SPRING recently launched her new collection – and with that came a line of HOMEWARES. oh boy. i am best pleased.

expanding her existing collection of classics – lauras signature bold prints and bright colour ways (including fresh neon touches) are now available on a brilliant new array of beautiful functional kitchen accessories and decor items. MY FAVOURITE. plus those cleverly perfect wrist pouches above.

in a past post i spoke of lauras ‘friendly’ print series… namely tea towels called dave. and i am so merry to announce –  as well as more designs based on other lovely people in her life – you can now don a dave apron or wipe your christmas face/mess with a dave napkin too.

(the design below – in the ‘von’ print – is on #thebigkitchenlife wishlist. i’ll need it in 2016 when i become the amazing laid back big kitchen cooking earth-mother lady i seem to think i almost am but am not.)

the colour pattern textile wizard.
laura springlaura springlaura springlaura springlaura springlaura springlaura springlaura springlaura springlaura springlaura springlaura springlaura springlaura springlaura springlaura springlaura springlaura springaprons + lampshades + napkins + cushions + notebooks + tea towels. purses + totes + pouches + backpacks  –  a perfect range of useful and beautiful household bits and accessories that will add a bump of colour & pattern in your home and on your person. i’d have one of those wrist pouches in every colour if i could.
very cool designs from a very stylish lady.

gift someone a laura spring piece. shop small. give something that has been thoughtfully designed and handmade to last. ethically too, with quality and functionality in mind. something for taking on missions and adventures. a helpful ‘friendly’ kitchen piece. a tea towel people will notice. a pencil case the other kids haven’t seen before. something to be used and kept for years and years. the collections are so collectable you could even add to it every year.

FREE SHIPPING still available on orders place today! (& special delivery up until Tues) see all of lauras designs (which have been featured in VOGUE & THE GUARDIAN this winter – just saying) over on her website.  

or if you are in Glasgow – crazy Christmas shopper – take a break from the high street & pop in to the tea green event at the lighthouse today and see Lauras goods in person!


tonight | 4

December 19, 2015

post party

[from the series ‘plucked’ by GEIR MOSEID – via IGNANT]

last weekend we hosted our festive flat warming – a busy and messy cosy and christmassy night of family and friends eating and drinking. all merrily squashed into our new home celebrating december in #thebigkitchenlife with us. we made a lot of food and a mess. the start of our festive. all of a sudden it’s christmas next week and noone is ready it always seems. but cramming it all into the next few days – i feel all the more festive for it each year. december is not a slow month. tonight i’m listing and cleaning and stacking for packing. christmas gifts almost ready – all books this year – and party scraps almost finished. my last wedding is tomorrow and after? some slow christmas living. a little work before a lot of family time – warm whiskys – cold walks – and many naps in between i hope.

some merry slow days for us all please.

giftlist - shop

gift list 2 / kitchen colour

December 15, 2015

kitchen gift guide

cake & biscuit tins by hemingway design  /  unique and unity

tea towel  /  laura spring

oven dish by bisotti home  /  unique and unity

i know how to cook by ginette mathiot

mug by de terra  /  unique and unity

cake stand  /  howkapow

chocolate bars by arthouse meath*  /  unique and unity

i don’t think we have the most distinct kitchen style. my love of kitchen bits is almost confused. i want all of the bright colours and heavy patterns. AND any and every imperfect-perfect natural, ceramic or stone piece. so I buy them all. its a miss mash of beautiful messes and muddled objects in #thebigkitchenlife. and it works. for me …

but i’ve narrowed things down for a list easier on the eye. i know not everyone likes a mess. even a beautiful one.

shopping for our home is (in the words of John torrode) a lovely lovely thing. and receiving a house gift – something i wouldn’t have bought myself, or couldn’t afford, have never seen before or a piece that has been given to last a long long time (sentimental again i know – i cried looking at johns few grey hairs the other day.. it’s a very romantic idea this big kitchen life with a husband getting older with me in it) gifts like those – where did you get that tin? ah we were given it back in 2015. it has seen many a biscuit/Christmas/kitchen – gifts like those are perfect.

a basket of bits or a bundle of tea towels. an oven dish or a collection of spoons.


the above are some of my favourite more colourful ones. (and a beautiful chocolate bar with a great story behind it the packaging)


shop - wear

hilary grant knitwear

December 7, 2015

hilary grant knitwear

winter is my favourite season. i love the cold dark days – layers and lamps, candles and blankets, pubs and pints. being cold – and more often than not soaked – and then getting warm. never appreciating being cosy more than if you have been outside in a wet winter. the rush to get in from the weather and take your sog off turn the heating on and put on an oversized jumper and thick socks. warm sweetened whiskys or chocolatey stouts. roasting hot tea. reading books under blankets. cooking and steaming up windows. realising that although its been dark for hours.. it’s only 7oclock and you have the whole night to spend. i get very nostalgic in winter.
then there’s the rush to get out into the most beautiful of days –  a crispy winter sun one –  putting on all of the layers, boots and hats, and bundling outside for a walk and into an old comfy pub (never a bar) feeling festive and merry and warm.

HILARY GRANT KNITWEAR is all about those feelings. staple winter accessories with a nod to classic shapes and craftsmanship. blankets that could easily become heirlooms. modern, yet almost traditional nostalgic pattern designs and subtle wide-ranging colour ways. this is the kind of knitwear that you keep for a long time. and cherish. the kind of things you look after.  handcrafted from the softest lambswool and designed with durability in mind – hilary, based in the highlands of scotland, wholeheartedly believes in making pieces that last. winter after winter.

we complain about the weather in this country so often, but i feel very lucky to need such beautiful practical pieces in my wardrobe all year round. especially when they look like hilarys autumn/winter collection..
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any of these accessories would make a special gift this festive season. trendy yet classic. super wearable but with personality and style. and so importantly in this throwaway culture we’ve created – handcrafted in scotland by a young talented designer who believes that everyday items should still be beautifully made. and made to last.

GO. check out hilarys beautiful website and give someone – maybe you? – a bit of woolly joy this winter. and if you are in Glasgow – come along to the grey wolf studio sale this thursday and hand pick from the hilary grant a/w collection in person. good luck choosing a favourite….

[all images by the ever talented CARO WEISS. fun fact 6: caros most used word? douchebag.]

design - shop

emily mcdowell studio

December 1, 2015

emily mcdowell

i believe in giving people the right card. these are SO GOOD.

E M I L Y  M C D O W E L L

honest & inspiring & often rude.  the empathy cards are brilliant. when you don’t know what to say – swear and tell the truth. shipping is only about a fiver from the site (bargain i say). but you can also find some designs in PAPERCHASE.

“emily mcdowell – chronicling the human condition since 1976”

emily mcdowell