Things I love no.1

Friday, 29 August 2008


Ever since I read the Faraway tree by Enid Blyton as a child I have been simply fascinated by treehouses. I think this photograph by Eugenio Recuneo particularly captures that feeling of a sheltered escape outside - the perfect place to snuggle up with a good read.

This book is full of great pictures of treehouses around the world and together with the Faraway Tree inspired me to paint my treehouse painting/card below.

It took me ages to paint!

If you love treehouses too, and money is no option, you could buy this Pirate themed treehouse from Scallywag Sloop. Or alternatively stay in a treehouse hotel such as

this Free spirit sphere in Qualicum beach, BC, Canada ( )

or Punta Uva in Costa Riva ( )

or Hang Nga's treehouse in Vietnam

or have a day out, and take a walk on the newly installed tree walkway high in Kew gardens (

Little black dress

Sunday, 24 August 2008

I went to the Fashion Museum to see the little black dress exhibition that is on there currently. It has black dresses from the 1920s up to current day. It was interesting but not wildly inspiring, and I think it would have been better if they had had more photos of iconic black dresses, and perhaps examples of different ways to accessorise a black dress. Still, it was nice to see different designers' takes on a theme.

Our So Audrey card above celebrates one of the most iconic black dresses. Below is a Givenchy dress made for Audrey Hepburn for her role in Breakfast at Tiffanys. This dress is a version of the one she wore in the opening scene. It was sold at Christies for £467,200 in 2006.

For me, this is another iconic black dress film moment - Rita Hayworth in Gilda. If you haven't seen it, it is worth seeing just for this moment and the witty one liners.

The little black dress exhibition finishes tomorrow at the Fashion museum so hurry now if you would like to see it ( ), or alternatively get this book on the little black dress from Assouline publishers.

Travilla exhibition, part 1

Thursday, 21 August 2008

These are my pictures from our visit to the Travilla exhibition in Bath. Travilla made many of Marilyn Monroe's most iconic dresses, and it was these dresses that were in the exhibition. Above is the actual dress that she wore in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. The bow is stuffed with ostrich feathers. Below are his sketches and measurements for the same dress

This is a photograph of a painting I did for one of our Marilyn inspired cards

The man himself, William Travilla during a dress fitting for Marilyn Monroe

This cream dress was lent to Marilyn. There is a dirty mark on the dress which came when Marilyn brushed against a car tyre. This exhibition was on at the Costume Museum in Bath (below is Jasmine trying on the crinolines there!). The exhibition is moving to Manchester Palace Hotel shortly. There is more information on the dresses and tour dates on There is also a touching story behind the exhibition, read it on the Travilla website or donate to the Alzheimer's Society I will also be adding another blog on Travilla and Marilyn once I've done some more creations, so keep checking back!

Book art

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

The July/ August edition of Crafts magazine has a feature on the book art of the artist Sue Blackwell (who also happens to be from Yorkshire like me!) and I am absolutely in love with them. Just to continue the anzu preoccupation with meadows I especially like the one above, which is on the cover. I've seen them in the V&A shop so if anyone out there would like to buy me one, feel free!!

White peacock

Friday, 15 August 2008

I love this photo of this incredible white peacock from It almost looks like stars.

Gold leaf and lapis

Thursday, 14 August 2008

I have just had to stock up on supplies so I paid a visit to the art shop Cornelissen, (which I have mentioned previously on this blog). I think the King Tutankhamun exhibition has had rather an impact on me and I have become more than preoccupied with gold. So amongst other things I bought real gold leaf, imitation gold leaf, gold paint and some oil paints so I can paint on top of the gold leaf! I haven't used gold leaf before, but will be sure to show my attempts on here once done.

Even the outfit I wore to go out and buy the gilding items was blue and gold, complete with my gold scarab ear-rings from the exhibition and Egyptian style shoes. Oh dear, it probably won't be long before I'm looking like one of these figures!


Tuesday, 12 August 2008

I finally got around to paying a visit to the King Tutankhamun exhibition, which is currently on at the O2 centre in Greenwich, London and it was amazing. Eleven galleries of the most beautiful, precious things was almost too much to take in and a little overwhelming. Most of these pictures are from the great book that accompanies the exhibition with photographs by Sandro Vannini. Above is a picture of the miniature version of the coffin.

I love the combination of lapis blue and gold, and the stylised way of doing feathers or blue lotus petals (as on this alabaster vase above).

Below is Tutankhamun's more informal crown.

I also like it when designers take inspiration from ancient Egypt, as Alexander McQueen did in last year's autumn/winter collection.

Fashion images courtesy of

I have only done one Egyptian style painting (of which you can see a small detail below), but after this exhibition I will definitely do more! See for more details. This exhibition is on until the 30th of August.

Skin and Bones

Saturday, 9 August 2008

I just went to the Skin and Bones exhibition, which sets out to show the parallel practices in fashion and architecture. I wasn't always one hundred per cent convinced of the connection, but there were some amazing pieces in there including this Alexander McQueen dress above. I loved it so much it inspired me to paint this little abstract pattern piece below.

Following my interest in patchwork, there were also photos of the Santa Caterina Market Barcelona which is covered with a patchwork ceramic tile roof.

Image courtesy of MoMA, New York

The exhibition is only on until tomorrow at the Embankment Galleries, Somerset House so hurry now if you want to see it. See


Thursday, 7 August 2008

Rellik, the great vintage shop is just around the corner from the office and for the sake of anzu and our wallets we have to be very strict with ourselves at all times. However, temptation got the better of us when we walked past for a sandwich yesterday, and in we went. They have everything from vintage Westwood and Dior to smaller inexpensive costume jewellery.

This fantastic Pucci dress below is Jasmine's loot from the outing. If you are prone to temptation like us, you can visit their website for their address and further details.

Wyvern bindery

Monday, 4 August 2008

Today I went to the Wyvern Bindery in Clerkenwell to get two portfolios made for my work. It is an old-fashioned shop, which specialises in making bespoke portfolios, books, boxes etc. using traditional techniques.

For my portfolio I had to choose cloth, ribbon colour, the size, pockets or no pockets, the font and numerous other things. It is certainly old style shopping - time consuming  and very pleasurable. 

Below is an example of one of their boxes. They make portfolios and boxes for all sorts of designers and projects including the book that is featured in the English Patient film. I went for portfolios that are rather plainer than the one below, but I trust they'll look nice and I can't wait to see them!

Never mix family and work!

Friday, 1 August 2008

My cousin has been doing some work for me this week. At least I think he has. Or is he just depleting my supply of chocolate buttons?