Saturday, 16 February 2013

Eye spy - Jewelry by Claire Allain of lovebird

Claire Allain of lovebird

Claire has been making contemporary jewelry for 15 years.  She moved to New Zealand from the UK five years ago and opened her shop lovebird on Felt in February 2012.  Claire uses precious metals (including silver she recycles herself) and annodised aluminium. Claire's designs are simple and contemporary but the lines and shapes are exquisite.  My absolute favorite is the Tui necklaces.  The bird earrings below have a child-like simplicity that is enchanting; they make me smile every time I see them.  Now that might be just what I need to walk into work on Monday morning with a smile on my face!   

You can buy Claire's jewelry at lovebird on Felt or at and visit her blog

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

All lit up

Decorating a house in theory is easy.  Renovating your home is much harder, I’ve found.  In the first case you’re browsing magazines, books and the internet thinking “I like that, that and that!”  In the second case you’re asking; should I have that or that?  Pay for it.  And live with it. For potentially the next 10+ years.  Eeek!  That’s a whole ‘nother game.

Case in point: my lampshades.

One of the first things we learned about our new house on moving day was that several light fittings didn’t go and most had no earth wire.  (Insurance companies please forget I just said that).  So for a while we lived with naked bulbs and live wires poking out of the walls.  Scary.  On the bright side there is a glorious 1930’s milk glass lamp in the front hall.  I just make sure it’s turned off before I dust it. 
Getting new lights fitted was a priority.  But expensive.  In the end we had plain pendants fitted and foolishly thought it would be easy to find shades when time and budget allowed. 
Now in any country that had an Ikea that would be easy.  And cheap too.  But this is New Zealand and sad to say we don’t have Ikea or anything that really compares.  The lighting I found in was overpriced and just didn’t feel special enough.  But Google has the answer (doesn’t it always?).  Googling “lamp shades New Zealand” produced this website which is so much more exciting than its plain Jane name suggests.

Lampshades Direct2 U (based in Dunedin) offers two collections; fabric & wallpaper (stunning and very affordable) and these drop dead gorgeous digitalfine art collaborations between interior designer Robyn Buis and photographer/landscape architect StefanMutch.  Stefan’s photos have a beautiful painterly quality.  Some of them feature fantails and other native birds, yet without the kitsch kiwiana quality.  (Actually, I like the kiwiana thing, but this is so elegant and easy to live with).  Here are just a few of their shades, and honestly, I have no idea which ones to choose!

If I had just one recommendation; it would be awesome if they put this gorgeous photography onto more than lampshades.  I could happily live with this on cushions or a framed print.  I only have so many lamps!  

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Hello world

I am beginning World Beautiful as a sort of messages in a bottle; to celebrate the fact that outside of the 8-5 weekday, junk mail and laundry the world is full of extraordinary places, brilliant people and incredible creations.  I will be about design.  But more than that.  It will be a reminder that 

life is beautiful.

Hello world, 
My name is Grace...