A grand day out.

Yesterday Emily Neale and I visited the charming historic city of Chichester. The main attraction for us is that there is a huge fabric and craft shop there called Eternal Maker. Emily hadn’t been before and I couldn’t wait to show her the sheer array of fabric, haberdashery, notions and other tempting crafty bits.

After fabric heaven we decided to visit cake heaven and made our way to bakery ‘Whipped and Baked’ which lies in the north of the city on the edge of the gorgeous Priory Park. I’d heard so many good things about the hand baked breads and especially the decadent oreo chocolate brownie. We plumped for a fat squidgy cinnamon roll, an oreo chocolate brownie and a gorgeous garlic, sun-dried tomato and mozzarella focaccia. Clutching our paper bags of baked goodies we sat in the sun soaked park and watched the world go by. Sadly soon it was time to return home but we will definitely be making our way back for more!

 

 

Amsterdam: Fabric shopping and Kitsch Kitchen

Happy New Year folks! I hope everyone had an enjoyable Christmas too?

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My first post is going to be about our wonderful little adventure to Amsterdam we had in December. We travelled by Eurostar and stayed for four nights at the Lloyd Hotel + Cultural Embassy which was fantastic. We strolled up and down canals, ate wonderful food ( fav food places include La Perla and Los Pilones), visited pretty boutiques (All The Luck in the World and Hear Hear) markets and drunk the best coffee at Screaming Beans.

My main mission was to buy some super cute kitsch pieces from Kitsch Kitchen and visit the Lapjesmarkt.

Every Monday morning, the Westerstraat is home to the weekly ‘Lapjesmarkt’ or fabric market. As the name suggests, you’ll find stall after stall filled with assorted fabrics sold by the metre. In addition, you’ll find a variety of clothes – both new and vintage. The lapjesmarkt runs into the Noordermarkt just around the corner. Here you’ll find more fabric, plus some antiques and second-hand books.

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To be honest I was a bit underwhelmed by the fabric stall selection, most were just your run of the mill cheap bolts of fabric and didn’t excite me. However a handful of traders were selling quirky and pretty fat quarters, vintage ribbons, trims, appliqué and amazing buttons. This kept me pretty busy and I had to be careful not to buy too much.

Next on my list was the cathedral of colour that is Kitsch Kitchen! I defy you not to go there and come away with something fabulous! It’s selection of oilcloth is legendary and the home wares are out of this world. In fact I visited twice whilst we were on holiday and blew most of spending money, oops.

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We had such a wonderful time and a well earned rest from parenting our severely disabled son, there is just too much to fit into this post so here are some more pics. Thanks Amsterdam see you again soon!

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The latest

I am so in love with instagram, it really is the best way of keeping a visual diary of all your daily goings on.

Here are some of my latest adventures…

On location doing a toy shoot in the woods.

Date night at our local funfair.

My little dachshund Margot.

I visited the Cartoon Museum in Holborn, London last week.

Pistachio Macaroon at Salon Paul in London.

My vintage cat ornament collection.

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Cafe garden at Casa de Castro

Eggs and asparagus lunch.

Finishing off Mr Lumberjack in the studio.

12 hour guides.

What a fantastic idea, a 12 hour travel guide. Having kids means I don’t normally get anymore than the odd weekend away maybe once or twice a year (if I’m really lucky). So when I do travel I love to pack my trip with cultural, foodie and design highlights, sitting on beach is most definitely  not who I am.

About:

We love to travel. We also love design, and music, and fashion. And we were missing a website full of travel tips for people like us. Somewhere between the backpackers and the luxury hotels. With tips that aren’t about money, but about great discoveries from all around the world. So we built 12hrs.

   To keep it simple, we organized them in itineraries. 12 hours per trip. Sweet and short. With the best to see, do, eat, dance we could fit in one short stay. We ignored a lot of the usual recommendations, because we trust you that you will find the obvious tourist highlights yourself. You can follow our schedule, or you can just pick a few selected tips and ignore the rest. We won’t judge you. Let’s go on a trip together!

Check out 12hrs for their beautiful guides.

A city and a home.

I can’t explain how passionate I am about culture, it is after all a mirror of society. It tells us more about ourselves then we would ever know or dream of. Collectively music, art, literature and performance form a big fractured picture, if we assemble it all together it will never fit but it somehow gives us a snapshot of time. From civil unrest, feminism, class, youth, decay, hope, desire, need and expression.

I live in a City that is rich in culture and creativity, you should come to Portsmouth it’s pretty awesome. More and more this place is becoming ‘known’ for its creative scene. For some eye candy check out ‘Fuck Yeah Southsea’.

I run an art gallery ‘The Gold Room’, but it’s more than just a place to look at things hanging on a wall. It’s an idea, a meeting place and a culmination of very hard work from myself and Angelo Tirotto (all round dude and creator of smash hit comic No Place like Home). This month sees the launch of not only our underground alternative reading group ‘Book Club’ but a whole day celebrating zine culture on the 30th March with guest speakers, music performance and zines galore, exhibitions by Philippa Rice (until March 27th) and photographer Ali Tollervy and the Dark Horses project on the 29th.

It’s hard work and I often over reach myself but I am trying so very hard to add to the culture of this place.

Any how enough talk how about some pictures?

Billie Rae 

both images: Claire Sambrook

Bored of Southsea

ALL CAPS Portsmouth Map

For awesome bands Champagne Justice put on the best nights!

A rainy day.

Woah, where did that come form? Autumn is well and truly here! The rain has not stopped pouring today, the wind is rattling the windows and a the low rumble of thunder can be heard in the distance.

Its days like this I wished I owned a cozy cabin that looked like this (via cabinporn)

With an interior like this…

I would while away the hours making these flannel crochet edged blankets…

Oh and I would bake this beautiful Swedish cardamon buns (via honeymoon child)

Alas thats enough fantasising for now. Back to washing dishes, vacuuming and chasing after children.

Off to London

Today Josh and I travel to London. Oh I do love a little night away in our amazing capital, but it is for work I assure you. We have been invited to Jerwood Space this evening to attend the launch of a project we are working on called ‘Our Mutual Friends‘. Click that link to read more about this fascinating project!

So naturally a few things were running through my mind, the first was ‘What to wear’? I intend on wearing my home made £10 dress and my lovely healed lace up ankle boots. Secondly was where to stay for the night? Well my Uncle Chris and his fantastic husband Johnny are putting us up for the night and we are attending a comedy gig together after Jerwood, so I will let you know how that goes!

Well wish me luck, no rain and a witty sparkling intellect for the evening!

A day with an artist and an autistic boy.

On Friday Josh, Joel and I spent the day with artist Graham Hudson checking out sites for the up and coming ROCPO project. Graham was a super nice guy and we had an interesting time talking to him about his practice and adventures. At lunch time we showed Graham the Camber and bought lunch from Carters on the Camber, pulled pork roll and mac and cheese. My job as an artist is so wonderful as my autistic son was able to tag along for the day and chill with us. Rad!

Josh and Graham find an object.

A merry jaunt to The Belle Isle

Today Josh, Phoebe and I went to visit fellow artist Wendy Middleditch in Chichester.

The Belle Isle in Southsea has always been a favourite haunt for us to enjoy a cold beer and amazing food so we thought it was about time we visit the new sister establishment in Chichester. We weren’t disappointed, friendly attentive staff, beautiful decoration and attention to detail. We enjoyed a yummy croissant filled with emmantel cheese and carved ham and a creamy latte. I would love to go back for a meal with my boyfriend some evening as the menu looked so inviting!

The Belle is located on Chapel Street in the shadow of Chichester Cathedral.