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Archive for December, 2009

Christmas. No matter how far ahead you are with finding the perfect gifts, buying and wrapping them- somewhere between the first week of December and the 23rd you lose about two weeks because ‘stuff’ gets in the way and it all descends into panic.

No matter how I try to avoid this scenario – I am always one of those beings who look like I am eternally running for a bus during Christmas week. This year amongst the hosts of delicious scented candles, spotify subscriptions and handmade chocolates I felt the need to buy gifts that would give something back… It is lovely to make someone smile as they unwrap something perfect, but imagine if that gift could also make other people happy as well.

The lead up to the festive season has been strangely unfussy. Even the media, advertising and press seemed to scale back with tired looking stretches of tinsel, absurd and ruthlessly unstylish Christmas hats. I decorated at home but left it very minimal way as that is how it feels this time round.

Christmas but in a truer, purer sense of the word. Even a floret or two of snow has made a guest appearance in old London town. It feels like Christmas- Old Style.

 Below are a few ideas that mean and give something that is good.

 The Guardians Christmas Charity appeal is dedicated to helping children in Teso, Uganda realise their dreams and helping them study towards a brighter future. http://www.guardian.co.uk/christmasappeal2009

 At Oxfam.org.uk  you can by a family a goat couple for £50. This will help a family in Malawi farm their own area of land and produce milk.

The Raising Malawi charity in collaboration with gifted jewellery artisan Aurora Lopez Mejia, have created a custom jewellery line of bronze, gold and silver tablet shaped Ingot pendants on a necklace of natural rope.

All proceeds of sales will go directly to supporting the work of helping a country devastated by AIDS/HIV. $36 – $1200. http://www.auroralopezmejia.com/Ingot-Pendants.html

Twinkle twinkle towards 2010

xx Fuella.

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Let there be light

I have always had a deep passion about lamps. For me, they can be the very essence of a room. The most mundane Ikea furniture can become the canvas on which a gorgeous lamp spreads its rays and creates its beauty. There is something so sinuous and sexy about a great light. I have a long list of many favourites but perhaps its better to start with these few:

Danish designer Verner Panton is one of lighting’s legends. I particularly love his creation the “Fun” (right) in mother of pearl. This is a virtual waterfall of mother of pearl that cascades from the ceiling emitting a warm, sensual light to the room. But I also love the designers much bolder design the classic VP Globe- simply stunning.

Speaking of Cascading, I admit I am also rather enamored of Vincent van Duyen’s eponymous creation for Swarovski Crystal Palace (left)

But back to the classics. An all time favourite will always be the Arco (below) by Achille Castiglioni (now produced by Flos). One day, It WILL be mine.

And finally, I adore vintage 1950s and 60s lamps. There are some particularly groovy ones created with Murano glass. I’ve been on the hunt for the famous “egg swirl” Murano lamp on Ebay for quite some time.

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I am of the opinion that e-flitting is the internet equivalent of window shopping. I can drool that bit longer over something that catches my eye on the web longer than in a shop before the nice shop people might come over and politely ask me to leave for lurking there for over an hour. Still makes me feel bad to think that I am ‘still’ finding excuses for yet another party piece to wear. It’s not my fault! I blame fashion media for constantly bombarding me with gorgeous dresses and shoes and Polyvore for going ahead and putting it all together most beautifully before my eyes- its torture.

I am sure that this naughty sequined lace jump suit from Stella McCartney (stellamccartney.com) is following me, crying out to me with all the advantages of why I should buy it.

It’s sequined so no need to buy jewelry, its black so can be worn practically anytime of the year, it’s top and trousers so is a double saving and hey- its Christmas so why shouldn’t I treat myself or get someone else to. Good will to all sequins? Please someone stop me from being a bad girl.

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The air has got that crisp chill that encourages my cravings for apostrophe’s hot chocolate in between staggered gift scouting in W1. I am super excited about Portman Villages New York Street style Christmas Party which takes place tomorrow, Thursday 3rd December. Independent retailers and restaurants on New Quebec and Seymour Place in Portman Village, London W1 have joined forces to throw a street party to celebrate Christmas New York Style on the eve of the New York Winter Berkeley Square Ball.

From 4pm to 9pm there will be plenty of fun welcome in some festive cheer so if you are not dragging out those tree lights for testing just yet- this is sure to get you in the mood. From silver sparklers, flambeaux lighting, horse and carriage rides as well as a variety of Christmas market stalls from floral decorations & costume jewellery to hand baked indulgences.

The beautiful streets will be filled with a mixture of multicultural food delicacies, interior gems & hair pampering salons as well as other treasures. Spread across New Quebec Street and Seymour Place the streets will be host to live DJ’s and roasting chestnuts.

I love wandering around quaint and well stocked little stores decorated by handmade Christmas decorations and beaming with festive excitement. Yes, It is always the finer little details that can say so much.

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On Sunday as the rain took over and London’s streets emptied,  I huffed from my upstairs window and looked upon at my poor defenseless garden as it was drenched and drooping and I wondered when the last time had been that I actually stepped out there. I decided that sometimes, I do not make the most of what is around me and so I started to think of places to visit when it finally stopped raining.

 I made a list of  interesting places to visit in London. They do not cost anything but are inspiring, thought-provoking and have a presence that encourage you to switch off from the rest of the world.

1. The Wallace Collection, Manchester Square, W1, and at the moment you still have a chance to see Damien Hirst contemporary No Love Lost, Blue Paintings  exhibition (until 24th Jan 2010)

2. Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7. The long-awaited opening of the Medieval & Renaissance galleries takes place tomorrow 2nd December.

3. Battersea Park Power Station. I saw an amazing exhibition of Chinese contemporary art in 2006 and at the moment this imposing building is apparently the ‘sought after blank canvas’ for canape receptions and unique parties- never thought I would see the day. (nomadlondon.co.uk)

4. My final favourite place for now is Crystal Palace Park. This amazing South West gem will have your head in a spin as you turn each winding corner and discover another strange and wonderful alcove. From the dinosaur area (the worlds first ‘theme park’) featuring huge intricately carved dino’s in marble and stone to the site of the original palace itself, dating back to 1951 . The crystal no longer remains, but the majestic steps and rolling pillars still stand and offer the best view of London.  After a brisk walk in the winter chill, the best remedy is a hot whiskey in the nearby Cafe St Germain.

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