Wednesday Wants: Back to School

OK, so I’m not *actually* going back to school. BUT, I do have a shiny new studio in our shiny new house to set up and fill with shiny things!

Most things are still in boxes after the move, although my desk is up at least! I have a load of amazing second hand white metal peg boards to put up before I do any serious unpacking though….can’t wait to fill them with stuff!

Anyways, I get all excited at this time of year with all the “back to school” things around…..as you’ll probably already know, I’m pretty stationery obsessed anyway, so this is a super tempting time for me!

Here are my current lust-after picks…..

I’m super into rose gold, copper and brass at the moment….it’s featuring heavily in our new home decor for sure. And how classy would these babies look on my lush new desk, huh?

Brass Scissors by HAY via Really Well Made, £9.00

Brass Scissors by HAY via Really Well Made, £9.00

I’ve also been crazy about neons for a while now, and well, I’m in love with this clever case by Undercover on Not on the High Street. I’m CONSTANTLY losing all those important strings and things that you need to connect all the gadgets, and I HATE them not having a real home. So, against all the odds, I’ve actually chosen a really *sensible* something for once!

Cables and Wires tidy case by Undercover via Not on the High Street, £34.95

Cables and Wires tidy case by Undercover via Not on the High Street, £34.95

So the third and final thing on the list is basically EVERYTHING at Paperchase. They do it to me every time…..new collections FILLED with shiny new things I WANT WANT WANT. Here are a few of my particular favourites though…..

Pony Party List Clip Board, £6.00

Pony Party List Clip Board, £6.00

Monster Mashup Stickers, £1.50

Monster Mashup Stickers, £1.50

Pony Party Sticky Tabs, £2.50

Pony Party Sticky Tabs, £2.50

Chips Lunch Bag, £12.00

Chips Lunch Bag, £12.00

Unicorn Pencil Case, £6.00

Unicorn Pencil Case, £6.00

What are your favourites? Do you get to shop for a bunch of “back to school” stuff?
Ems x
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Wednesday Wants: tools for my new garden

Well I think most of us enjoyed a rather nice show of sun last week. And whilst it’s not quite as exquisite as it was, the rumours of a coming heatwave and the recent memory of blue skies and warmth have me thinking of being outdoors.

There’s the added factor that with our impending house move, I’m starting to think about our lovely new garden. I got really into my gardening when we had a rather large outdoor space to tend to in Hitchin, but knowing we wouldn’t be in this house for long I’ve not really invested any time in the garden here. I can’t wait to get my hands on my very own, ‘forever’ garden though, and that’s got me thinking (as I do) about shopping for exciting things to help me make it beautiful…..

OK, so I already have a little Haws watering can (in a pretty powder blue), but I think this copper one is rather special. It is said that you can improve the quality of water by bringing it into contact with copper, so this can is sure to help my plants along. Plus it’s really shiny and pretty. Just because it’s for the garden, it doesn’t mean I have to be *completely* practical!

And because I’m aiming for some pretty impressive boarders as well as smaller pots, I’m going to need something a little heftier to help me water in bulk. This nine litre galvanised can with copper trim has a top and a back handle, to help feeble little me pick it up and dispense the water more easily.

And keeping with the copper theme….The PKS bronze (aka copper and tin) tools are made to last a lifetime. The Castor trowel has a smooth beech handle and pointed, heart-shaped blade. The sharp edge and scoop shape make it a most practical trowel for general weeding and planting. And yes, again, isn’t it pretty?!

I’ve never really gone in for more specialised tools before, but I have to say that something to help me with those tricky bits of stray grass and weeds would be a God-send. The PKS Tabit weeding tool is specifically designed for lifting perennial weeds such as creeping buttercup and small clumps of grass without disturbing the surrounding plants. The pronged point gets underneath the roots, then using the rounded underside you can lever the interloper out!

Er, yeah, so I’m really into copper right now. Anyway, I love to label pretty much anything that stands still long enough. I’m the proud owner of not one, but four label makers, and so it only seems fitting that I get to label the garden too. These copper ‘Tee’ labels by Burgon and Ball are easy to engrave using a ball point pen, plus the copper helps to repel pests such as slugs. Bonus!

I’ve always bought cheap secateurs in the past, which is a total false economy as they don’t last long at all. There’s also the issue of my feeble little hands, which really struggle with pruning, but I’ve found that a pair of ratchet pruners could help me immensely. These ones by Darlac have a slim profile, perfect for my small hands, and the squeeze/release action reduces effort by up to a third. And they’re gold. Gold.

Not all pruning requires such hard-core toolage though, and for the more delicate plants, dead-heading and flower arranging, these mini snips look great. They work like embroidery snips and come in a handy pocket size, perfect for well, keeping in your pocket!

I bought a kneeler to use in our last garden, and used it precisely once.  The problem is that you have to move it around with you, and I’m so forgetful I just ended up leaving it behind each time I moved. Plus I usually have my hands full whilst gardening, so something that’s actually attached to me sounds like a much better idea! These leather knee pads are made in Shropshire from carefully selected British leather, and feature a soft lining to cushion your knees as you work. They are attached to an elasticated velcro band to make them easy to get on and off, as well as fit anyone (even me with my chubby knees), and are built to last a lifetime.

And on the subject of forgetfulness, if I got a penny for every time I lost my tools in the garden, I’d be able to afford to pay Monty Don to come and work for me full time. Enter this tool pouch, which you wear as a belt around the waist so you always have your most-used tools with you. I’d keep my nice bronze trowel in the main back pocket and my secatuers in that handy pointed pocket at the front.

 

Whilst shopping I also came across lots of wonderful non-tool things for the garden too….so perhaps I’ll share those next week!

 

Do you have a garden? Do you have any tips or recommendations?

 

Ems x

 

 

Wednesday Wants….. from now on they shall be in triplicate

So I rather enjoyed choosing three things for my Wednesday Wants last week…. and who can blame me? Three imaginary / virtual purchases are better than one right? And so I figure that from now on, and whenever I have difficulty choosing, my Wednesday Wants shall come in threes…..

Lulu Guinness at Uniqlo

I’ve been crazy about everything Lulu Guinness for the longest time….. I have all sorts of bits and bobs in her amazing designs….. a gorgeous lilac corduroy hand bag…. a cameo fronted compact…. a couple of vanity cases and make up bags…. and the wonderful pop up book ‘Put on Your Pearls Girls’. All have been kind gifts or bargain finds though, as the brand is not at everyday spending prices. However, teaming up with Uniqlo has brought the brand to a much more affordable level…..

One of the latest high streeters to start collaborating with iconic designers, I’ve loved Uniqlo‘s Orla Kiely and Laura Ashley ranges. Bringing adored prints together with their well cut tees, I think it’s a great way to get hold of that designer you’ve always coveted. Of course, they sell out fast though (hardly any of the Orla Kiely stuff left) and I can see that one of my favourites has already gone from the website…. but here are my top three from the Lulu range (all at £14.90, but on offer at the minute at £12.90!)…..

Love knot stacker rings by Ring Binder

As a Folksy and Etsy account holder, one of my biggest browsing dangers are the newsletters they send each day…. there is always something I like that is featured, and some of them are so temptingly well priced! One amazing shop I have found on Etsy is Ring Binder, a treasure trove of clever and beautiful jewellery. I think my favourite has to be her set of three knot stacker rings, which you can have made to size and come in copper, silver plated copper and gold plated copper…. they are an amazing £7.67 for the three! I love the way the shop owner and maker Sarah photographs her items on leaves, and I think she has a wonderful collection….. I adore the little ‘Yes’ and ‘Oui’ rings too, and the cute little bow necklaces.

Trevor Jackson Skull Teapot

So I’ve got some kind of skull obsession going on at the minute….. possibly because of my new interest in everything Mexican Day of the Dead. I’ve been spotting gorgeous skull jewellery and bits and bobs for ages, but when Adam found this beauty I had to scream ‘waaaaaant’! It is currently sold out on the retailer’s website as far as I can see, not that it changes much as it’s a whopping $900! Still, a girl can dream right?

The creator, Trevor Jackson is a Seattle based artist / graphic designer / ceramicist / apparel designer / poet / performance artist. Often a cultural observation, his work uses slip-casting with earthenware and “traditional” Delft painting techniques (a style I have loved for ages), as well as transfer-ware applications. “He has a reverence for the traditions from which he draws, but will often retool those same traditional images and apply them in unconventional contexts”….. such as this remarkable tea pot…..

I want it allllll!!!