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Monday 24 June 2013

Local Heroes: Designers On The Doorstep

I had a lovely weekend - thanks so much for asking - because despite intermittent torrential rain (actually, I adore rain, so this was a PLUS), I was out and about enjoying all that's good in my local area. I am lucky enough to live on the banks of the River Tay, in (PROBABLE City of Culture 2017) Dundee, which as well as being a tip-top place to live, is also only a short hop over a bridge to Fife, with its beautiful fishing villages (I'll admit I usually drive rather than hop, though).

I spent a good portion of my weekend in aforementioned Fife, spending money at Lovely Pigeon's pop-up shop in the coastal town of Anstruther (the rest of my cash went on a fish supper from the Anstruther Fish Bar, which in case you weren't aware, serves HANDS DOWN the best fish and chips in the world. Nope, don't tell me that you know somewhere better. You're wrong. Mama B and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall both agree with me, and they are two women who know their fish and chips).

Kirsty Thomas of Lovely Pigeon runs her pop-up shop every so often in various buildings along the Anstruther harbourfront. This year's shop is crammed full of gorgeous wares from designers across the UK, but I'm going to focus on three who live and work in my local area - including Kirsty herself.


Designer Kirsty lives and works in Cellardyke, a village neighbouring Anstruther - ENVY. Not only did she admire my satchel while I was shopping (and if you read this, Kirsty, I gave you duff info about its whereabouts - it's from Urban Outfitters, and has sold out, unfortch), but she also makes a vast array of lovely things.

I already own a Mr Pigeon brooch, and now I really want the yellow Pigeon Box, which contains all the stuff you see above, for a mere £20. That's one super-saving right there. And how cute is that lion card?

I've also got my eye on this pair of prints, made using vintage Spanish printing plates. They're £14 for both, or can be bought individually for £8 each. That shade of blue is perfection. 

I love the shapes in Lovely Pigeon's jewellery - this hexagon necklace reminds me of beach huts. It's £18. I really like all of the geometry going on in her work - from the sailing boat-esque triangle earrings (down to £6 in the sale) to a beautiful Anstruther print inspired by the seaside. Get the copper foil version for £40, or a coral one for £30. 


Nikki's Tunnock's Teacake cushions are pretty well-known - we featured them years ago - but she's done loads more biscuiteering since then. You can buy many more of your favourite Tunnock's treats - both milk and dark chocolate varieties - including these mouthwatering Caramel Wafer cushions, £44.50, as well as a whole host of teatime favourites.

Nikki lives and works in Dundee, and studied at the same art school as me (we were there at different times), so I have long been fangirling about her stuff. As a badge collector, I already own a couple of her Tunnock's badges, but my wishlist is growing by the minute. I saw her Digestive cushions, pictured at the top of this post, at the Pigeon pop-up, and would have bought one if I'd had enough cash on me. They're £29.50 each and ever so nice.

I love these Digestive biscuit coasters. They're £16.50 for a set of four. I'm wondering if I can get away with an entirely biscuit-themed living room? The answer's yes, isn't it? Okay then.

Can't choose your favourite biccy? Then this Biscuit Mix cushion is for you! It's new for 2013, and also comes in a lovely black and white colourway


YOKE design duo Zoe Brennan and Mark McConnell live and work in Perth, where they create happy, happy things like this Hello Sunshine screenprint, £40. Sara's already a fan of their Hiya! print, and everything else in their small-but-perfectly-formed collection of products is just as smile-inducing.

I'm really drawn to simple illustrations like these, especially when they have cute messages as well. And once you know that each design starts life as cut-out paper before being hand-printed, everything takes on an even greater back-to-basics charm.

I'm calling Michael Fish as the weatherman we should all be blaming. I think we all remember his faux pas during the Great Storm of My Birthday in 1987 (unofficial title), don't we? This reminder is £40. 

Wise advice indeed. This is the sort of motivation I need in my hallway, to set me up for the day. Cheaper than a life coach at £40. 

So, I expect you're all agog to know what I bought on my pop-up shopping trip? I displayed unusually high levels of self-control (I think I'm running a fever), and only came away with this little lot:

I bought: two rolls of Nikki McWilliams' biscuit tape - one in sunshine yellow, the other in mint green. They're £6 each, but I had to buy two because I knew I'd keep it for 'special' if I only had one. It makes sense in my head. I also bought a beautsie pair of Lovely Pigeon earrings for £15, made from copper and formica. I can't find them on the website yet, but maybe that's because they're all on sale in the shop! And finally, a special shout-out to Edinburgh-based Totes Amazed - we're already fans - who were selling this cats tote bag by Glasgow illustrator Jen Collins of hellojenuine. It's £10-worth of pure purr-fection.

Whew - it's a hotbed of creativity round my way, isn't it? I'm feeling pretty puffed up and proud right now. Tell me about the amazing designers in your area - let's spread the local love!

The Lovely Pigeon pop-up shop is open until June 30th, and can be found on Shore Street, Anstruther. Go and say hello - and buy stuff! - if you're in the area! 


  1. I really love Nikki's cushions! I think my favourite is her Malted Milk design. I will have to drop hints to the other half in the run up to Christmas :-) x

    1. I adore them. I'm going to have to splash out on a Digestive one, I think!


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