Kerry’s Diary Entry – Down a Creative Side Track

I’ve been in the studio playing with new ideas and coming up with different designs. It’s nice to get back to that again.

As well as fashion design I’ve also been playing a bit with other creative avenues. I’ve been planning my wedding with Mr CS and it has allowed me (given me the excuse) to stretch my creative wings in different directions.

I love flowers and floristry, so I thought, why not?! I have developed quite a specific idea through photos in magazines and pinterest regarding what I want at the wedding, flower wise for bouquet and table decor. So through the help of You tube videos, a couple of books I’ve purchased and some tips from a friend who’s been on a flower course I started to experiment and practice.

IMG_0074
First go at a hand tied bouquet

To start practicing and trying techniques out I bought some flowers that were not in the best state (heavily discounted – end of shelf life). I thought I’d share with you some of my first experiements!

hand tied bouquet
Second bouquet trial – again, hand tied

You can see in the bouquets I was squeezing the stalks together too tightly – resulting in the flowers being squashed together.

I then went on to try a different way of creating a bouquet because I really want to have a cascading bouquet for the wedding. For this I purchased a handle. This comes with foam in it which you soak and then insert the foliage and flowers.

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Foiliage plus roses

This is the start of building up a shape on the bouquet holder:IMG_0172

Here I am trialling and creating a shape out for a table display:Flower display yellow and white

So I am definately no expert, but I have enjoyed my foray into floristry. It won’t be for everyone and I’m yet to do it for the wedding – I will let you know how that goes!

 

 

Needing a bit of Inspiration?

Read on, there are lot of fantastic exhibitions in 2015 that should inspire you or at least stir some grey cells!

Fashion, art, textiles and clothing exhibitions

in 2015 and beyond!

(London, NYC and Paris)

(if there is a fantastic fashion or art exhibition near you then do let me know!!)

On NOW:

LONDON:

Marlene Dumas: The Image as Burden, Tate Modern, 5th February – 10th May 2015 Art

I first encountered Marlene Dumas’ work in New York at the MoMa museum. I found her work strange and beautiful, refreshing and stark, modern and classic. I had to have the book Marlene Dumas: Measuring Your Own Grave when I saw it in NYC. I am booking tickets for this exhibit in London.

Fashion Rules Exhibition – (till July 4th 2015) – Royal gowns on display at Kensington Palace

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty – The V&A (14th March – 19th July 2015) – This is a must see fashion exhibition

I loved it when I was lucky enough to see it NYC. I’m so pleased it has made it across to London where it belongs!!

get your tickets here NOW

What is luxury?  – The V&A (25th April – 27th September 2015) A variety of craft discipline from haute couture to a watchmaker. This exhibition will explore the future of luxury ask questions about its role in society.

Fashion on the Ration: 1940s street style – The Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, SE1 6HZ (March 5th – August 31st 2015) £10 10am till 6pm

Sargent: Portraits of Artist and Friends – National Portrait Gallery 12th Feb – 25th May

Coming Up……

 

Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon – National Portrait Gallery, (2nd July – 18th October 2015) £9

 

 

Shifting Patterns: Pacific Barkcloth Clothing – British Museum, Free

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain – V&A – (Sat June 13th to Sunday Jan 13th 2016) £12

Barbara Hepworth: Sculpture For A Modern World – Tate Britain (24th June – 25th October 2015) This is the first major exhibition in London for almost 50 years of the work by Barbara Hepworth. I love Hepworth’s work and find it to be very inspiring as a designer, especially her sculptures.

If you are ever in Cornwall, go to St Ives, her home, garden and art studio are well worth a visit.

Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture – Tate Modern (11th Nov 2015 – 3rd April 2016)

In my eyes his work is so contemporary, it would easily fit into any modern minimalist home. Get ahead of the crowd with this book Calder (Album Series).

Liverpool

Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots – Tate Liverpool (30th June – 18th October 2015)

Piet Mondrian – Tate Liverpool (June 6th – Oct 5th 2015)

PARIS:

Jeanne Lanvin – The Palais Galliera Museum of Fashion (March 8th – August 23rd 2015)
Fashion Mix Musee de l’histoire de l’immigration (till 31st May 2015) = Palais de la porte doree

Jean Paul Gaultier (Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais (from 1st March till 3rd August 2015)

Déboutonnez La Mode(Unbuttoning Fashion!)- Les Arts Decoratifs
Doesn’t sound exciting but the pictures of some of the buttons are beautiful (12th feb – sunday 19th July 2015)

The David Bowie ExhibitPhilharmonie de Paris/ Cité de la Musique, Paris, France from 2 March to 31 May 2015

NYC:

Female, Artist, NYC, Exhibition
Frida Kahlo exhibition at The New York Botanical Gardens 2015

Friday Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life – The New York Botanical Gardens (May 16th – 1st November 2015)

Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe – The Brooklyn Museum: Robert E. Blum Gallery, 1st Floor (September 10, 2014–February 15, 2015)

China Through The Looking Glass – The Met Museum (7th May – 16th August 2015)

Exploring the Chinese influence on western fashions. The exhibition will juxtopose high fashion with Chinese objects.

Sadly I will miss this one, I do with the big fashion exhibitions would go on for a bit longer. 4 months is not long at all and I think fashion exhibitions are a big draw for those going to the visit the museums.

and whilst you are there (because the entry fee to the museum includes everything) go and see;

Van Gogh: Irises and Roses paintings May 12 – August 16th 2015

and

Sargent: Portraits of Artists and friends June 30th – October 4th  2015

One of my favorite galleries in NYC is the Neue Galerie. They still have the  Woman in Gold exhibition on untill 7th September 2015

Fashioning the body: An Intimate History of the Silhouette  – The Bard Graduate Center Gallery (untill 26th July 2015)

I saw this in Paris at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs. The Curator Denis Bruna has brought it NYC and it illustrates the way humans have changed and sculpted their bodies throughout time

Ralph Pucci, The Art of the MannequinMAD Museum (Till 30th August) Exploring the work of Ralph Pucci.

Alice: 150 years of Wonderland – The Morgan Library and Museum (26th June – 11th October 2015)

The original manuscript travels from London to NYC for this exhibit with vintage photos, origional drawings and letters

Leighton’s Flaming June – The Frick Collection (9th June – 6th Sept 2015)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome Wellcome – Let Curiosity Get The Better of You

On Friday I went to the Wellcome Collection in London which I thoroughly enjoyed. This is a gallery/museum that is a little bit different to others. As a designer and being a curious person I enjoy going to exhibitions and learning new things. I find that inspiration can come from anywhere, you never know when the creative spark may happen!

The main exhibition they have on at the moment is called Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime. It takes you through the development of the different areas of forensics through time. You can look at an 18th Century miniature scaled model of a house that has a murder scene in it (the set of houses are still used in Forensic Police training today).

London exhibition Wellcome Collection
One of the Wellcome collection brochures for the Forensics Exhibit

They showed the development of the autopsy. Then taking you right through to today with current developments in virtual autopsies the ‘virtopsy’. You could see the first crime scene photographs and listen to experts explain how it works in their part of forensics. It was very interesting. I really would have liked to have heard a lot more about each of the areas in depth but I’m guessing that would have made it a huge exhibition!

I love a gallery or museum shop. In the Wellcome Collection they had a great range of books that seemed quite different than you can find elsewhere. They also had an unusual selection of gifts and bits and pieces to buy. I could have bought a lot but in the end I bought 1 book!

I would definitely recommend this FREE exhibition as you will certainly learn a lot!

They also have a great little cafe that gets very busy. I wanted to eat in the restaurant upstairs (it looks nice) but I was too early for dinner (starts at 6pm) and I didn’t fancy afternoon tea.

Staircase Wellcome Collection
I love this main staircase in the Wellcome Collection
Reading Room, London
The stairs in The Reading Room at the Wellcome Collection

Fashion Weeks – Are they in your diary?

These are the first Fashion Weeks for 2015. You can follow the Fashion shows as they happen throughout the weeks on Vogue, style.com and lots of designers have live streaming these days.

Showing A/W 2015 Fashion:

NYC 12th – 19th February 2015

London 20th – 24th February 2015

Milan 25th February – 2nd March 2015

Paris 4th – 11th March 2015

Istanbul and Tokyo 16th – 21st March 2015

Mumbai and Shenzhen 20th – 24th March 2015

Toronto 23rd – 27th March 2015

Moscow 26th – 30th March 2015

Sydney 12th – 16th April 2015

 

February For Dresses and Love

 I got engaged last year in September. It seems a while ago  and now we are trying to organise getting married for October 2015 and I need to get a dress!

As a designer I get ask if I’m going to design/make my own, the answer is no! I don’t even know what I want! I’m doing a lot of trying on dresses this month.

I do love Pinterest and I have got lots of great ideas from it. It’s a great resource!

Wedding board, dress, pinterest
My Pinterest Wedding Board – So many options

If you are engaged or you just LOVE wedding dresses! – why not take a look at the wedding exhibitions on at the moment:

Something Blue;Wedding Fashions 1914-2014 (1st Aug 2014 – 15th March 2015) the Gallery of costume, Platt Hall. Manchester

Wedding Dress 1755-2014(3rd May 2014 – 15th March 2015) – V&A (Bridal Fashions) London

Satin Wedding dress V and A London
Satin wedding dress by Catherine Rayner, 1996. Photographer Nik Hartley © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

February 2015 – Time For A Refresh with Fashion and Food

Here we are in February. Are you feeling a little deflated because you didn’t achieve enough in January or your resolutions were not so resolute?

I think it’s time to get out and get inspired. Whether you love art and fashion, whether you’ve never been to an exhibit before or you’re an avid member; there is a lot to see. I’ve selected some great art and fashion exhibitions it will be worth seeing in February and some food ideas too (because seeing exhibitions makes me hungry!).

NYC

If you’re in NYC go to The Brooklyn Museum for the Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe (September 10, 2014–February 15, 2015). Why not make a day of it and have brunch, see some other sites and then have a delicious dinner (a great day out on Sat 14th Feb!). I fancy trying Piquant for brunch and then take a 20 minute stroll to the Brooklyn Museum.

You could then pay a visit to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens or Prospect Park Zoo. Once you have built up an appetite I would then take a walk back up through the park to Franny’s. Enjoy a relaxing lunch or dinner of seasonal Italian food in Franny’s no frills paired back space.

London

If you fancy going to the Rubens and Legacy: Van Dyck to Cezanne at the Royal Academy (24th January – 10th April 2015) you will need to buy a ticket. Once I’ve been to see an exhibition at the Royal Academy I like to head out onto Piccadilly. Depending on what I fancy I’ll either go to Waterstones (On Piccadilly) where they have an excellent cafe on the top floor,


for an afternoon tea I like Fortnum and Masons or for a high end dinner with friends I’ll book a table at a Hotel Cafe Royal.

If you want to take the kids to a free exhibition try the Grayson Perry: Who are you? at the National Portrait Gallery (25th October 2014-15th March 2015). You search out the Grayson Perry pieces that are dotted around and look at the other great portraits in between. I like the sound of the National Portrait ‘Portrait’ restaurant on the third floor. But if you are looking for something a little bit more low key with the kids I’d take a walk over to the Jamies Italian at Piccadilly Circus.

Or maybe head to an exhibition in Paris:
Enlightenment: Carte Blanche of Christian Lacroix – Le Musee Cognacq-Jay (till 19th April 2015) Museum of the Eighteenth Century

 

Wet Your Arty Whistle – 3 exhibitions to get excited about in 2015!

I am excited about 2015. As well as the usual hopes and promises a new year brings.

For me there are personal and business events happening in 2015 to get excited about, as well as a fantastic roster of art exhibitions!!

I’m so excited that for once there are exhibitions of my favorite artists and photographers! For now I have chosen 3 exhibitions to wet your arty whistle!

Marlene Dumas

2015 begins with an exhibition by Marlene Dumas. Her work is strange and beautiful, modern and classic. I first encountered it in New York at the MoMa museum. I had paid the main museum entry fee and made my way around the museum eventually making my way to the very top floor. Here on the top floor of the MoMa I gazed at the special exhibition of Marlene Dumas wonderful work, a refreshing sight.

I had to have the book of this top floor bonus exhibit! This is the book Marlene Dumas: Measuring Your Own Grave

So in 2015 I have to see the new exhibition at Tate Modern!

Marlene Dumas: The Image as Burden, Tate Modern, 5th February – 10th May 2015

Barbara Hepworth

From the 24th June – 25th October 2015 at the Tate Britain there is the first major exhibition in London for almost 50 years of the work by Barbara Hepworth.  According to the Tate Britain website her ‘prominence’ is ‘often overlooked’ ‘in the international art world’. I find that to be crazy! I love Hepworth’s work, especially her sculptures. Her work had a massive impact on the world and she had huge success during the 1930s and then again in the 50s and 60s.

If you are ever in Cornwall, go to St Ives as her lovely home, garden and art studio is well worth a visit. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and this book, The Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden, is on my wish list because the sculpture garden was my favorite part.

To see her work and learn more about Barbara Hepworth head to this major retrospective in London next summer.

Babara Hepworth Tate Britain 24th June – 25th October 2015

Alexander Calder

Finally, in 2015 the Tate Modern has an exhibition of Alexander Calder’s work. The grace and elegant balance that Alexander Calder plays with in his work is beautiful to see. In my eyes his work is so contemporary, it would easily fit into any modern minimalist home.

Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture, Tate Modern 11th November 2015 – 3rd April 2016

Get ahead of the crowd with this book Calder (Album Series) which receives great reviews on amazon.

A special Christmas Trip With Family or Friends

It’s nice to do things with friends and family at this time of year. You may not have time for any big event or get away i.e. like me your diary is soooooo full up till Christmas. If you can squeeze an extra special trip around Christmas time it’s well worth the effort. We are coming closer and closer to Christmas now but sometimes the last minute plans are the best! Personally, I think I’m going to arrange stuff for the days after Christmas.

London

somerset house, ice skating, London, Christmas
The ice skating rink at Somerset House, London for Christmas 2014. Image courtesy of the Somerset House website

Make a day of it in London. I love having a wander around London and looking at all the Christmas lights and decorations. Go to some of the big stores to see their festive window displays. Head to Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park – free entry. Open from 10am to 10pm (from 21st November 2014 – 4th January 2014).

Then grab some skates for ice skating at Somerset House (11th December 2014 – 11th January 2015) or just sit in the Fortnum’s Lodge with a large glass of bubbly and feel smug that your not falling over on an icy sheet!

After some serious window shopping stay in the west end for a mulled wine at a pub, (try Pontefracte Castle on Wigmore street)  for a warming end to the day.

Paris
I always fancy heading to a Christmasy market abroad. But how about doing something different and heading to Paris for a Christmas outing?

Chrismas Tree, Galleries Lafayette, Paris
Head to Paris to see the amazing Christmas Tree at the Galeries Lafayette.

Go ice skating at the Grand Palais des Glaces, see the lights at the Champs-Elysees and the Christmas tree at Galeries Lafayette (with of course a bit of shopping!).

NYC

For a long weekend away, you can’t beat New York New York, especially at Christmas time. I love the hussle and bussle on the streets in NYC and they really know how to make it feel Christmasy. Go shopping and meet Santa on the 8th floor at Macys Santaland. The Mommy Poppins gives a great breakdown of the what’s, where’s, when and who’s of Santaland  (buy tickets in advance).

See the Christmas tree and go ice skating and then do a bit more shopping at the Rockefeller Centre!

tree, Christmas, trip, NYC
The magnificent tree at the Rockerfeller Centre, NYC that you need to go and see in person. Picture courtesy of the Rockerfeller Centre website

Christmas Gift Giving – All Wrapped Up

If you struggle every year at Christmas time with wrapping presents. I’ve come up with some ideas for you!

  • Get a gift wrapping Book
  • Go on a wrapping course – one to one, group or corporate
  • Get someone else to do it!!
  • Choose some different and unusual wrapping paper

How about doing a wrapping course? They go on all across the country

Jane Means

Jane is a British ribbon designer and gift wrapping specialist and does courses in London, Glasgow, Hampshire, Manchester and Lincoln.

Eclipse Gift Wrapping (Porthcawl, Mid Glamorgan)

Courses and Training

Gift wrapping services

All Occasions Gift Wrap (Wolverhampton)

A range of online, DVD and in-person gift wrapping courses

Creative courses online

Corporate Gift Wrapping Service

More Pretty Things

Gift wrapping courses: (Derbyshire and Yorkshire)

Corporate gift wrapping courses

Get yourself a book on gift wrapping! Books are great for giving you instructions to follow combined with some fab creative ideas.

Gift Wrapping by Lucy Berridge

Gifted Wrapping: Step-by-step Instructions for Stylish and Elegant Wraps for Perfect ‘present’ Ations by Christine Fritsch

Quick & Clever Gift Wraps: Quick and Clever Gift Wraps (Make it in Minutes) by Nicole Steiman

Gift Wrapping: Creative Ideas from Japan by Kunio Ekiguchi

Jane Means recently released a book on gift wrapping:

Get Someone Else To Do It

If you can’t manage wrapping due to a severe lack of wrapping abilities or you just don’t know when you are going to find the time you should get someone else to do.

There are people out there whose job it is to wrap your gifts and take some of the Christmas pressure from you.

Wonder Wrap – Kent

Urban Angels – London

Wrapsody

Thats a Wrap – Greater and North London and Essex

Wrapper Snapper (Pop Up Shop at Old Street Underground from 15th -24th December)

Sue Lacey – Warrington

Don’t forget that most top retailers online and in store will offer a gift wrapping service. Even if they don’t offer one the rest of the year, often they provide a special one at Christmas.

In their Piccadilly store Fortnum and Masons (one of my favorite shops!) does a gift wrapping service:

‘this is priced at £5.00 per item or free for individual items over £100’

Aspinal of London

A few online gift shops offering a wrapping service:

Selfridges

Stylish Life

The Present Finder

Jarrold – Norwich in store and online

Vintage Toys

To help make your gifts look a bit different try getting your wrapping paper from somewhere different this year!

Paperchase: I love paperchase. They seem to come up with such a nice range of different ideas each season. I buy a lot of their wrapping paper!

Not On The Highstreet have a variety of brands who sell various types of unusual, creative and quirky designed paper and wrapping stuff!:

Paper and bags made in India. Pretty range of brightly coloured and patterned designs: Namaste

From chalk board wrap and washi tape to wads of Art Nouveau paper: Pipii

From maps of London to a full skeleton. Different and unusual wrapping paper at the National Gallery.

Jean Means sells a range of nice ribbons, paper, bags, ribbon spools and other lovely bits and pieces for wrapping requirements on her website!

Stylish paper and coordinating ribbons. I like the crafty yet smart range of their items: Cox and Cox

At the Dot Com Gift Shop they stock a huge range of different wrapping papers. From flowers and Paris fashion to Christmas foxes!

See some ideas for wrapping your gifts in different ways here….

Full disclosure: Just to let you know that I’m an Associate of Amazon and if you purchase some of the items on this page via clicking on the pictures I will get a small payment!

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