Thursday, 17 April 2014

Paper Hammer

When I was in Seattle last month I was lucky enough to stumble across Paper Hammer. If you are a stationery nerd, you are going to LOVE Paper Hammer. I could have spent hours in there, and I wanted to buy everything.

I visited their store at 1400 2nd Ave in Seattle, but the Paper Hammer studio is based in Tieton, Washington. It's such an interesting story behind the company itself, but first I have to share with you the story of Mighty Tieton.

So, Tieton is a town in the Yakima Valley in Central Washington. It has beautiful apple, pear, cherry and apricot orchards surrounding it and it also has the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains as a backdrop - sounds amazing doesn't it? Unfortunately, with the loss of many of the small family owned farms in the area, the economy suffered badly, particularly in the local town of Tieton. The collective 'Mighty Tieton' is a group of businesses that connect urban professionals like designers, architects and artists with studio and production space utilising unused buildings with the purpose of revitalising the local economy.

They are literally bringing this area back to life which is beyond inspiring - I think TED should ask them to do a talk at one of their events. It would be amazing to hear even more about this incredible story. Ed Marquand, the founder of Paper Hammer described it as "a romantic idea that has become a compelling story". I think that sums it up perfectly. There is lots more information on the Mighty Tieton website which you can visit here. When I go back to Seattle in the autumn, I am definitely organising a trip out to Tieton to see and visit all these amazing businesses.

So, back to Paper Hammer. Ed Marquand set up Marquand Books which produces books for museums. He wanted to set up a design studio where he could produce art books for private clients and work on different aspects of design that interested him. The result is Paper Hammer. They kindly let me take lots of photos to share with you all so here, come on a little tour with me:

Paper Hammer have an online store with a selection of some of their stationery, notebooks, posters and gifts. Take a look here. I can't wait to go and visit their studio in Tieton in autumn and see their production in action. I might also try to take the handwriting workshop if there is one on while I'm over on Bainbridge Island - it looks wonderful - you can read more about that here.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my visit to Paper Hammer, I bought a ton of loot I'll share with you another time as that is kind of a post in itself ;)

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Tomato + Basil Bruschetta

Hello all. A quick post today to share with you my current culinary obsession - tomato & basil bruschetta. I just cannot get enough. I think it's because this recipe is so quick, so simple and sooooo delicious.

I make up the tomato topping using fresh tomatoes that have been sat ripening on the window sill, a handful of fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil and a dash of red wine vinegar, plus salt and pepper.

While that's marinading, I grill the bread and then rub each slice with a clove of garlic sliced in half. We have some friends coming over for dinner on thursday night, I have a feeling I know what they're getting. Have a lovely evening and enjoy this beautiful sunshine.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Alone in Berlin

When you have a friend who is as super talented as Hester Finch, you literally have to SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS because she is so amazing and I'm so proud of everything she has achieved. I already blogged about her here and I said I'd post details of her upcoming exhibition so here you are. 

As a career path, I think being an artist is up there with the toughest of them so I'm just beyond thrilled that Hester's incredible talent has led to this new exhibition "Alone in Berlin", her first with Jessica Carlisle in Knightsbridge. 

Vukovar, Bosnia 2014 | from The Atrocities series | Oil on linen laid on board | 6 x 8 in | £500

This is an exhibition of new paintings which continues Hester's investigation into the psychological potential of painting, and takes a poetic and poignant journey through the darker realms of the human experience. 

Foča, Bosnia 2014 | from The Atrocities series | Oil on linen laid on board | 6 x 8 in | £500                              

The reason I love art, as I'm sure many do, is the connection you make. Art, real amazing art, makes us stop dead in our tracks and look, think and feel way more deeply than we do on a daily basis. Most of my days are filled with a blur of activity as I'm sure yours are too. Visiting an exhibition like this is almost therapeutic in its ability to refresh and invigorate the mind and the senses - like a mind spa, if you will. So, if you've had one of those weeks and you live in/near London, pop over to 83 Kinnerton Street in Knightsbridge and enjoy this incredible showcase. All details below. And for those we don't live in London, you can read more / see more here.

Tuesday 8th - Sunday 13th April 2014
10am to 8pm (Sunday 12pm to 6pm)

Jessica Carlisle || 83 Kinnerton Street, London SW1X 8ED
Map here

Images used with kind permission from Hester Finch