THE BOOK OF PALMS

To say I found this book inspiring would be an understatement. I absolutely LOVE it. My husband bought it for me for christmas, although I think he also loved it so much that he couldn’t wait and gave it to me the week before. The Book of Palms by Taschen has now been published in a mini edition and we have been lucky enough to get a few copies for the shop. Where should I start? This is a very unique art book as well as a book of information to learn about trees from paradise. There are 240 beautiful illustrations of tropical palms and antique reproduction drawings that are stunning. All the images would look amazing as framed prints for the wall.

The Author H. Walter Lack is the Director at the Botanic Garden and Botanic Museum Berlin-Dahlem and Professor at the Free University of Berlin. A leading expert in the history of botany. The illustrations of the palm family included in the book depict microscopic plant anatomy, geographical maps and graphs depicting growth etc.The book was based on Martius’ expeditions through Brazil and Peru. From 1817 to 1820, he traveled over 2,250 km, (1,400 miles), through the Amazon basin to investigate natural history and native tribes with zoologist Johann Baptist von Spix. The result was this amazing catalog of all known genera of the palm family.

Am I starting to sound a bit nerdy yet? I do love my botanicals! Those of you who follow me on my other social media accounts will already know of my passion, (obsession?), for palms and this book is where it all began. It has been the inspiration for much of my photography and print making over the last year. The Palm for me truly depicts paradise and who wouldn’t want to be reminded of that everyday.

The Book of Palms by Taschen (mini edition) and our monochrome palm prints are available in the SOOuK shop.

THE DEEP BLUE

The South of France is still on my mind since our trip there earlier this month. I just can’t get the beautiful deep inky blues of the stunning Cote d’Azure landscapes out of my head and unsurprisingly it’s been flowing in to my work. I have hunted down some gorgeous interior pieces that really depict the feeling of the ocean and the invigorating sense of escape.

Firstly a piece that has been on my mind for quite some time, The Oilva Saapaivakirja plate designed by iconic Finnish design house Marimekko, with a striking blue watercolour design reminiscent of rippling water. I adore this piece it completely takes me straight back to the water every time I see it. Marimekko’s simple signature prints and bold use of colour keeps them at the forefront of design every season. This beautiful plate is available from amara.com

Another piece that has caught my eye this week is a striking painting by contemporary artist Tommy Fitchet of Saorsa Art. I could happily get lost in this painting with all it’s vibrant aquatic hues. Tommy paints directly on to glass to achieve this amazing depth of tone and colour giving his work a radiant energy. Tommy’s work is mainly inspired by Scottish landscape, sea scape and the changing light of the seasons. You can see more of his amazing work at saorsa-art.com

Stelton have a new moody blue range out this spring called Stockholm Aquatic it is a collection of vases and bowls inspired by ‘the full pallet of blue nuances reflected in the Baltic sea’. The pattern is of waves breaking over the shore. I love the deep midnight blues set against the stark white porcelain. This whole collection is stunning. You can see more at stelton.com.

‘The Blue View Cushion’ is inspired by ink blot prints and mirrored landscapes. This cushion invokes thoughts of the Rocky Mountains and is painted in gorgeous watery blues. I couldn’t find  any information about this designer but I wanted to include it as it’s so unique and completely on trend for spring summer. It is Available from rockettstgeorge.co.uk

‘Out of the blue’  is a print designed by Crisp Sheets of Amsterdam you should take a look at there whole collection of stunning botanical art prints and inky bedding. There are several pieces I would like to of included in this feature. The print is made with aquarelle and printed on high quality 300 gram matte, bright white bamboo paper. It would be perfect displayed with a collection of framed prints.

Hopefully some of these beautiful accessories will of wet your appetite, they certainly transport me back to the freedom of being out on the water. A few of these pieces will help me hang on to the Cote d’azure for a little bit longer, my life aquatic.

THIS IS A DAMN GOOD DAY FOR DISCO!

I am soooo excited about these lovely new products we have arriving in the shop next week, I just had to share a few pictures with you. These little One Must Dash – ‘This is a damn good day for disco’ totes are perfect for fashionable trips to the shops and are only £18 (bargain!) plastic bags be gone. We also have a new print arriving from One Must Dash which I have been lusting after for a very long time ‘This is not a bloody hotel’ which just makes me smile every time see it, hopefully some one will take note when I hang it up in our house. We have also been continuing to expand our own SOOuK range of botanical prints with all this spring feeling in the air, these sunny day’s have been inspiring. We have two very beautiful Eucalyptus giclee art prints arriving to the shop, the perfect seasonal additions to our existing collection. Enjoy the sun lovely people and long may it continue!

A LOOK INSIDE TOP DRAWER

 

The only good thing to come out of January – Top Drawer and Home London have been on (woo hoo!). I flew down first thing on Sunday with the lovely Holly (aka Holly Brown designs) and what a day we had. Olympia was the new venue for the design show this year, a much better venue in my opinion. The stands were well laid out and there was a great feeling of space with the spectacular domed ceilings. I was excited to look for some new talent for the SOOuK shop and I was not disappointed. Over 700 hand selected Iconic designers and manufacturers of lifestyle and fashion products, many new and exclusive to Top Drawer. One of my new favourites includes Above and Beyond founded in 2011 by Claudia Pape. A Graphic Designer by trade, she has a simple monochrome pallet throughout, (are you surprised I like it?!), prints, plates and bedding – all gorgeous. She creates ideas and concepts that go beyond simply applying a graphic or pattern to an item. Whether it is to connect two pillow cases to form a unit, or turn two plates into a set telling the time, there is always a reason behind what she does, her stand really stood out above (and beyond) the rest.

Another stand that I was completely blown away by was Skagerk. The styling on this stand was phenomenal with modern white tiles grouted in black, succulents and brass accessories made this one a clear winner for me. Is it natural to get this excited about furniture? This Danish company famous for many pieces, but more recently Skagerak’s prizewinning Georg series. I fell madly in love with Christina Liljenberg Halstrom’s console table and stool a while back. It was quite a moment being able to see and touch it. This season Skagerak has extended the series with three new items in untreated oak. But it’s the black one for me.

International had a very striking lighting display again this year – I went looking for it as it was a real highlight last time! I actually NEED their industrial apollo white lights in my life. So beautiful and I love the idea of mixing and matching to get a different effect, just a brilliant design.

We spent 5 hours walking round, meeting companies and seeing all of their new ideas. I would highly recommend any design lover a visit to Top Drawer and Home London when it next comes round in September. I am over whelmed by the wealth of design talent at top drawer this year. A little look in side the best Top Drawer ever.

VIEW FROM THE TOP

As featured in February’s addition of 25 Beautiful Homes. This is a gorgeous house that we shot last summer in Glasgow’s fashionable west end. This Stunning top floor flat over looking the royal botanical gardens belongs to Graphic designer Stuart and photo editor Catherine. They completely transformed this space in just 6 months with every structural hiccup you could imagine. The result is this stylish and contemporary home filled with wonderful vintage finds. The bright white walls are the perfect base for adding punchy wall art and muted furniture tones. Cat and Stuart are regular visitors to Glasgow’s ‘Love Salvage’ it’s a great place to pick up reclaimed items and other interesting architectural salvage. Items to steal… well where would you start? I’d be better just packing a suitcase and moving in. I LOVE this flat. The old school desk would be a must, all the prints from society 6 – yes please! my list could go on…

 

PICTURE THIS

It’s been a busy few week’s over here, lots of editing to be done for recent magazine shoots – more on that soon. I thought I would quickly share a few images of our first samples from our new print range. I am absolutely delighted with them, They are beautifully printed thick soft art paper, almost velvety.  The whole range is printed in punchy black and white, striking text or pattern. I am especially proud of the new botanical range and already have plans to add to this. I really hope you like them too.

WELCOME TO PARADISE

It’s all been go go go at SOOuK head quarters the past few weeks. My head has been crammed pack full of things to do! I have been organising new lines for the shop (more on that coming soon!) and also working on our new collection. The first art prints arrived today and I am SO excited about them I had to share them with you.  I have spent the summer obsessing over palm trees and just generally being outside as much as I can. Living in Scotland you have to seize these opportunities! I have two Palm trees in my studio (they would never survive outside) they’re my own little bit of paradise to keep me calm on the dark winter days. When the bright sunlight floods in they cast the most incredible shadows on my white floor and white walls. This has been the inspiration behind the collection. The Palms are printed on the most beautiful soft, bright white art paper. The contrasty black palm leaves look so punchy set against black frames and white walls. We are taking pre-orders for these now please email [email protected] Have a great weekend!

Soo

 

ZERO TO FIFTY

I was very lucky to be invited to the latest exhibition by Scottish artist Kate Downie last week – Zero to Fifty is an exhibition celebrating 50 years of the Forth Road Bridge. It is currently being shown in the spectacular setting of Hopetoun House (image above). The Forth Road Bridge is a vast structure with incredible engineering, it spans 2.5km across the Firth of Forth. Kate was appointed artist in residence for the bridges 50th Year celebration by the Fourth Estuary Transport Authority. Kate had a temporary studio space directly under the side tower of the bridge where she fully immersed her self in the project, meeting bridge staff, climbing to the top of the bridge and fully exploring and experiencing all aspects of the structure. Kate brings a huge wealth of knowledge in creating bridge inspired work including her previous residency at the Forth Bridge – which is the world famous Rail bridge that sits along side the road bridge.

I absolutely fell in love with her large scale drawings, dark, smudgy, bold and paintings of the bridge. Here are some of images from the exhibition and some of her other work. I would definitely recommend checking out her work at www.katedownie.com. The exhibition runs till September the 13th.

PRINTS CHARMING

 

Punchy typographical, black and white art prints have been around for a while now, but I still just can’t get enough of them! I have quite a sizeable collection around my own home and the quirky phrases really make me smile. Some of my current  favourite artists include Anthony Burrill, the first piece of art we bought for our house when we had finished the build, ” I like it what is it”, makes me laugh out loud everyday. One must dash’s, “small talk”, is one of my all time favourite pictures and I am seriously lusting after, “this is not a bloody hotel”. I love Anki and Anneli’s hilarious out look on life, it really come across in their work. Ham is a new discovery and I first became aware of them at a design show in London. Established in 2011 by Jo Robinson her designs are based on her own childhood nostalgia, keeping all of the designs  minimal, punchy, black and white. The superhero rabbit is a personal favourite but I found it hard just to pick one. Kristina Dam’s (based in Denmark) stunning 3d and embossed illustrations are also on my list of current obsessions. I will run out of wall space if I keep this up! All of these artists are completely amazing and I would highly recommend checking out their work.

|www.onemustdash.comwww.kristinadam.dk| www.hammade.comwww.anthonyburril.com| other prints from SOOuK