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Friday 29 May 2009

DIY illustrated skirt from Clothkits

Clothkits! Fun and funky clothes for you to sew at home. My mother informs me that these were really big in the 1970s - basically the Clothkits peeps send you the outfit with the sewing patterns already printed on, plus everything you need to make them.

Now Clothkits have teamed up with hot designers like Rob Ryan and Annabel Waterman to produce some truly gorgeous pieces.

This trellick skirt features an illustration by People Will Always Need Plates, comes in a variety of fresh colours, and can be yours for a snip (literally) at £34.50.

If only cupcakes grew on trees...

Imagine, if this cupcake tree stand from John Lewis was actually real! A bit like a Willy Wonka or Hansel and Gretel kinda fairy tale. Cupcakes growing from trees would be the best. Until someone actually invents a world that looks like my imagination, I'll have to settle with buying this for £25 instead.

Cocktail Hour: Classic champagne cocktail

We were asked on our Facebook page if we could write a cocktail recipe that had champagne or brandy in it. Well, I can go one better than that and give you a cocktail with both! The champagne cocktail is a classic and if you bubbly is too girly for you, this is a sophisticated way to drink it. Of course, the banging champagne headache you'll get the next day isn't so sophisticated.

You'll need these things:
  • Champagne
  • Half a shot of Cognac.
  • Angostura bitters
  • Sugar cube
And you need to do these things:

Put a sugar cube into the cocktail glass. Add a shot of bitters and the Cognac. Then top up with champagne. Add a twist of lemon and garnish with orange.

We are not responsible for your headache the next day. No.

Flickr image from flem007_uk's photostream.

Rugs Can Be Pretty Too!

Living in a house with wood and slate floors, rugs are a lot more important than I would otherwise consider them. Thankfully Woven Ground place as much importance on prettiness as I do and have made this lovely Butterfly rug.

It comes in three different colour ways meaning that there should be one to match your room and comes in four different sizes which provides plenty of choice!

Prices start at £195 and will be shipping from August.

More things like this please, Emma Bridgewater

That lovely Emma Bridgewater has pretty much summed everything up, hasn't she? Best. Tea towel. EVER.

Thursday 28 May 2009

Sexy Storage: Colloco kid's suitcases

Look how lovely these are! Now, I don't have kids, and if I'm going anywhere lovely I'll need suitcases a little bigger than these. But I think they'll be perfect for keeping trinkets and papers in. Like that pile of receipts on my desk that isn't getting any smaller. Or those letters my nan sends me. You could even use one as a retro lunch box or put them in the kitchen for packets of herbs and spices. They come in sets of three and you can choose polka dots or pastels. And the best bit? They're only £14.63 from Colloco. I'm going to have to start keeping a close eye on Colloco.

Cocktail Hour: Pina Colada

Does anyone drink pina coladas anymore? OK, let me rephrase that. Does anyone outside of Benidorm drink them anymore? You never see them on a cocktail menu. But they're fun! If ever there was a cocktail invented for one of those little unbrellas, it was this one. And if you want to pretend your back garden is actually the Costa Del Sol, this might just work.

You'll need these things:
  • 3 shots light rum.
  • 100ml pineapple juice.
  • 3 tablespoons coconut cream.
And you'll need to do these things:

Mix everything in a blender with crushed ice. Pour into a high ball glass and garnish with a piece of pineapple. Then, put on some huge sunglasses and go and soak up some rays.

Flickr image from Randy son Of Robert's photostream.

Free on July 2nd? Come to our shopping event!

Yes, those salacious rumours are true. We Domestic Sluts are throwing on our frocks, dragging ourselves away from the bar kitchen and putting on a fabulous shopping event at the wonderful Something... on Lambs Conduit Street in London. So if you're free on the evening of July 2nd, make sure you pop and see us.

We promise to share more details with you very soon, just make sure you cancel your holiday, record Big Brother and get yourself into London town. In return, we promise you presents, shopping discounts, bubbly and cakes. And, you'll get to meet us and quiz us about just what we get up to when we're not tapping away at our laptops with a hangover.

We're very very excited! See you soon!

Etsy Pick: Vintage purse by Plusonedesign

Every now and again, I'm unashamedly girly. Not very often, but when I do feel like being a bit girlish, a little bit of pink and vintage is great. So despite this purse being $76, I love it. It's made from vintage fabrics, and it's so pretty. This would be a great gift for someone getting married, but really, I just want to keep it for myself.

Plates that take the biscuit

No, they really do take the biscuit - looky:These babies are £9.50 each from Magma and the range features the brillianly old school Malted Milk, Nice, Rich Tea, Shortbread and the Rich Tea finger. So many to choose from! My personal favourite? The humble custard cream:

Wednesday 27 May 2009

Folksy find: Knitted cupcake

It's a cupcake. It's knitted. It's BRILLIANT!

Most importantly, it's just £6 from the lovely Crazy Daisy Crafts on Folksy.

And they don't just do cupcakes, there's also slices of cake, cherry bakewells and gateaux aplenty to tickle your fancy.

Tuesday 26 May 2009

Onion Goggles. Stop the tears, save chopping your finger off...

I'm a weeper, I'm not going to lie to you. I hate any recipe that calls for chopped onion, because I know I'll be in tears halfway through the first slice. So allow me to get all practical on you. No cupcakes or flock wallpaper here, sorry. But there is some pink...

You see, I'm sorely tempted by these Onion Goggles. Yes, Onion Goggles! They actually exist! You may laugh, but as someone who actually did once resort to wearing swimming goggles to chop some particularly strong onions, these are actually a lifesaver. And they come in pink for girls and white for people who don't want to look like complete idiots. Sublime or ridiculous, I've yet to decide, but I know next time I'm preparing a spag bol, I'll wish I'd splashed out £14.99 on a pair!

I heart Antoni & Alison

No, I'm not about to embark on a torrid three way relationship. In fact I wanted to draw to your attention the whimsical delights of the lovely Antoni & Alison. Their shop stocks all kinds of loveliness but my personal favourites are always handbags and purses. And their purses and handbags in particular are to.die.for. Don't believe me? I submit the following evidence...

Exhibit A:

I often need reminding of this so what better way than this brilliant purse. Its £22.50. A bargain considering the money it will save long term!

Exhibit B:

"I must dance...or I will die". A truer word has never been spoken by a purse. Surely the perfect little purse for those nights out on the town?

Exhibit C:
I rest my case.

Shop in the spotlight: Hunter Gatherer

Hunter Gatherer is perfect for all of you country bumpkins out there. If rolling about in the hay is your thing, you'll love this place. Sure, it's a bit twee, but twee is good sometimes, as long as you mix it with modern stuff as well to keep it interesting. I like these things the most:

I'd love somewhere to put this blue horse shoe hanging rail. It's £45.

Make your old jars of stuff, and your shelves pretty with this chicken edging. Cheap and clever!

There is no reason at all why you would need these little tiny toadstools, but I don't care! They're £2.75 and I want them. I'll put them in my flower bed. Fun!

Friday 22 May 2009

Fleur: our kindred spirit

Those canny folks at Whittard of Chelsea know when to branch out don't they? Not only are they fine purveyors of tea and coffee wonderment but they also do tea-themed eye and feet soothers! Its a well known fact that here at Domestic Sluttery one of our most desired tipples is indeed the humble cup of tea, but now we can enjoy some teabag eye soothers and also some jumbo tea infused foot soothers courtesy of the lovely Fleur!
I don't know about you but I reckon Fleur is very much one of us. Not only does she appreciate the finer things in life but she also knows how to do it so she has enough change from a tenner (the eye soothers are just £2.75 and the foot resorers are just £3.50) to treat herself to a pot of nail varnish or a Cosmopolitan afterwards.

Loving your work Fleur, loving your work.

Gossip Necklace

I was thinking back to the days before mobile phones the other day. Remember those days where you were younger and had to have that life-or-death conversation about that boy with your friend (who you only saw an hour or so ago and who you were meeting in an hour or so)? And you had to do it sat on the hall stairs where all and sundry were walking past, and every few minutes one of your parents would come out and point at their wrist and scowl? Ah, those were the days.

That's why I've gone totally old school and fallen for this lovely from Eclectic Eccentricity at Hannah Zakari. It even comes with a moveable dial!

Oliver Bonas love-in

I've always been a huge fan of the wonderful people at Oliver Bonas but just recently I noticed that they are doing even better than ever! Top marks to whoever it is who sits in their head office buying things (and can I perhaps get that job?) as they've really hit the mark - as you can see from our post last week on their gorgeous wicker basket bag). Not convinced? Check these out, and some of them are in the sale. Yes - SALE!! I know!

This cushion of loveliness is £25.45! And check out this lovely candlestick - quite literally a candle-stick! At £77.32 I will just have to covet this one for now. (I'm also wondering if this buyer person is also making up random prices, explaining the bizarre additional 45p and 32p?)

My favorite though is this rather genius set of indexed chopping boards!

How brilliant are they? I regularly wish that I had a more organised kitchen (seriously the draining board currently resembles some sort of ceramic jenga / cutlery buckaroo challenge) and these are just the thing to get me sorted. And methinks £42 is a small price to pay for chopping board and kitchen perfection!

Pretty Mobile - Cloudberry Living

What is it about Cloudberry Living that makes me childish? First it was their Moomin range, now it's this pretty hanging mobile (£33). And I know it's for kids. But here's the thing: I DON'T CARE! I actually think it's just a very pretty piece of design. What would I do with it? Hang it in the hallway. Of course, if you've got kids yourself, then hanging it in their room would be a pretty clever idea, too.

Shop in the spotlight: Sage, inspired by Life.

Sage, inspired by Life. That shop name is horribly pretentious and nearly made me not look at the website. But you should! Because you'll find all sorts of classy homestuffs there. Like these:

These lanterns are just £8.95.

I'd love this recipe box to keep all of my magazine cuttings in.

And I really really want this giant connect four! Even if my garden isn't really big enough for it.

Thursday 21 May 2009

Etsy pick: Golden snitch necklace

There is a small but very vocal Harry Potter geek inside me, and she rejoiced (read: squealed fangirlishly) upon finding this little gem of a necklace.

It's nerdy!

It's shiny!

It's pretty!

It's a golden snitch necklace! And it's only $USD21 from Etsy.

The Big Sleep: Penguin Deckchairs

As a book geek, I'm a big fan of the classics. Not for actual reading of course. But for putting on my bookshelf to make me look clever! It works better if you read the back so you get the gist of the book. But I do love the simple Penguin designs that are now adorning everything from cups to tea towels and everything those black and white birds can put their stamp on.

But until this morning, I'd never seen these deckchairs. I want them all. And they're only £64.99 from Crocus (sooooo much cheaper than the last deckchair I showed you!). That's around the same price as a set of their coffee mugs. I'd like to buy them as a set and sit in my chair and drink my coffee at the same time. And then have a nice Big Sleep.

The White Company candles

My housemate V introduced me to a deep, unshiftable love of scented candles. We cannot get enough of them. The very best and loveliest, as far as I'm concerned, are from The White Company. At £16 a pop, they're pretty reasonably priced (although not exactly cheap) and will last for awhile.

And they smell so gooooood. V's favourite is Cassis and I love, love, love Mustique. Ooh - I also recommend the Mustique hand moisturiser. It's the only moisturiser I can keep on my desk and reapply constantly throughout the day without my male colleagues making squishy-nose faces at the flowery girlishness of it all. And yet... it's still flowery and girlish. Win.

Wednesday 20 May 2009

Etsy Pick: Mosaic doorknobs from UneekGlassFusions

Mosaics are one of my favourite things. They're a big jumbled mess, but they're pretty too! They're always different and if you get good ones, they're works of art on their own. Even Kirstie Alsopp was getting in on the action a little while back. It's not very often I find them on anything other than a table top, or picture frame. So these little doorknobs from UneekGlassFusions are perfect. Even if they are $30 each.

Picnic Time: Cath Kidston Hamper

It's cold! Grumble grumble where did summer go? I'm not impressed. I want to buy pretty picnic things and sit in the park all day!

But sometimes picnics aren't that great. By the time everyone gets to the park it's raining, and half the people coming have already eaten (you know who you are you big picnic ruiners). Lugging hampers anywhere is a bit of a pain too.

But I want this Cath Kidston Strawberry Hamper so much! So I suggest an indoor picnic! Like you did when you were a kid! Just get everyone to sit on the floor and you can eat yummy food and stay nice and warm. You don't have to worry about grass stains on your pretty dress now. And if it rains, who cares! Extra points if you make a fort in the living room with a blanket and your kitchen chairs.

Design Porn: Ben Day

Usually when I write about whatever design porn is getting me all excited, it's about furniture, or some pretty chandeliers. Today, it's Ben Day. The fabulous jeweller behind these creations.

The website is very fancy and uses big words. Darn pretty will do for me. I'm not going to ask how much they are. That'll just make me cry.

Make us a brew!

Mmmmm tea. Lovely tea. I've had three cups already this morning. And the lovely PR folk behind Make Us A Brew clearly like us lots! They sent us a box of free tea! Yay! In Domestic Sluttery HQ, that's like Christmas presents.

DJ Mr. Scruff is behind the tea (yes, really). This brings back memories of me dancing about in a cellar club in my hometown. That's fun. It's organic and Fairtrade so extra points for that. And there's a cute little cartoon on the back to keep you amused while the kettle is boiling.

Taste wise, I'm not so sure. It's actually really really nice, but it tastes more like Earl Grey than PG. And that might be a good thing for some of you. I'm too much of a tea fiend to get used to it. 'Delicate' is a good way of describing it. Not bad, actually quite tasty. It's just not going to get rid of my champagne hangover any time soon.

Kartell Kitchen, anyone?

I know I tend to lean towards vintage furniture. But, sometimes something modern is just so stunning I can't help but fall in love a little bit. So these Kartell chairs have got me having a little love affair. I feel like I'm cheating on my pretty rickety old furniture. I love the glass panel at the top. Sometimes simple can be very effective.

Unfortunately, these Phillip Stark designed chairs won't look right in my house, but that's just as well as they're £143 each from Lifestyle Bazaar. They're quite striking, no?

Tuesday 19 May 2009

Sexy Storage: The Magical Self Shelf!

A couple of the Domestic Sluts are making their way to Hay Festival next weekend. We intend to read books, drink cocktails and flirt with handsome men who write books. An excellent plan, no? Of course, we'll also buy way too many books, so we need to find somewhere to put them once we get back from our travels.

So I want this Self Shelf. It might have a stupid name, but look! Books floating on their own like magic! That's the dream! These nifty little shelves are £19.95 from Dutch by Design. Very clever.

Baroque magnetic memo board from Catkin Collection


Well, I'm not going to. In fact I'm not going to call it a memo board; I shall name it a Flat Trinkets Aggregation Device. You can get this pretty magnetic Flat Trinkets Aggregation Device at Catkin Collection for the princely sum of £44.50.

Ivy creep shelf by Susan Bradley

Not enough green: that's my main gripe about living in London. Also that there are too many people, and why are all the buildings so close together?

I'm told I can't really do anything about my last two complaints, but I can add some greenery to my house (albeit in a clever and urban way) with this green ivy shelf by designer Susan Bradley at Hidden Art. She also has a black ivy shelf and a rather nice white rose silhouette shelf, if you're in the mood.

Book geekery: The Paper Princess vintage bookplates

I can foresee bookplates becoming a new obsession of mine. Sweet little 'This book belongs to' inner cover labels have gone almost completely out of vogue (except, perhaps, for we truly dedicated book geeks), but don't you love picking up a book from a secondhand store or jumble sale and finding a little 'Ex Libris' bookplate with a name like Mary or Margaret written in old-fashioned cursive handwriting? I do. It feels a leeeedle bit special.

There are still so many pretty bookplates out there if you know where to look. I just found these little beauties on The Paper Princess. They come in a set of 32 for $US24.99, personalised with your name (or the name of the lucky person you're giving them to - a lovely gift idea, no?), and you can choose two designs.

Monday 18 May 2009

Sluttishly Easy: chocolate ganache truffles

This weekend I found myself sitting in a library with several small children, a dozen or so women and a couple of men -- all their to learn the secrets of chocolate from Antonia, chocolate connoisseur and owner of Oohlalachocolaterie.

I'd stumbled into the Brighton Foodies' Festival, where I was about to learn how to make one of those fabulously useful, multi-purpose recipes that result in a whole range of dishes that really impress: chocolate ganache. Ganache can be used as an icing, it can be used to sandwich cakes together and has many other tasty applications. But perhaps most impressively, it can be used to make mouth-watering after dinner truffles in just a few minutes. Here's how.

You'll need these things:
  • 150 ml cream (whipping cream works best but you can use most other sorts)
  • 300g chocolate (a two-to-one mixture of plain and milk is ideal)
  • optional: icing sugar or ground nuts to coat the truffles, booze of your choice to fill them!

and you'll need to do this with them:

  • Melt the two types of chocolate together in a bowl. This is best done in a microwave: just put the chocolate in for ten second bursts, taking it out to stir very gently after each burst until it's completely melted. Be gentle with it! Too much stirring will affect the texure. If you don't have a microwave, you can place the chocolate in a glass bowl over a saucepan of boiling water and stir gently till smooth.
  • When the chocolate is smooth, gently add the cream
  • Leave the mixture to cool
  • Shape it into truffle-sized portions, and roll them in the icing sugar, nuts or other optional coating of your choice.

And there you have your almost-instant truffles! Once you've made a few, why not give them a professional touch by presenting them in gift bags or in decorative boxes? Your friends will love you forever.

Sweet, sweet dreams: Shawn Lovell Metalworks tree bed


There is something deeply, irrevocably ingrained in my DNA that draws me like a helpless, financially disabled zombie towards items that are way above and beyond my budget. I promise you, it's actually some sort of genetic illness or mental defect. Give me a copy of Grazia, open it to any page, and immediately my eyeballs will bypass the £90 dress or the £60 clutch and zero in on the £1,200 boots.

Groan. Sigh.

Enter Shawn Lovell Metalworks, and their stupid, hateful, beautiful, incredibly perfect, wonderful, almost-as-if-they-know-me, pretty, stunningly gorgeous, oh-god-I-want-it-so-much-I-could-weep metal tree bed frame.

I know this probably isn't to everyone's tastes - it might even be a bit obnoxious. It's kind of a bold, centre-of-the-room statement piece rather than something that just goes beautifully with everything.

But I love it. It has a sort of fairytaley, Snow Whitey feel to it. In this bed, I would always sleep in silk nightgowns. And when I woke up in the morning, tiny singing bluebirds would lay my clothes out for me and tie back my hair in a ribbon. And then a handsome member of some far-flung royal family would sweep into my bedroom and say, "There you are! I love you! Let me buy you pretty things and put you up in my awesome palace!"

So many things are possible with a bed like this.

As long as you have $US15,000 to buy it in the first place.

Shop In The Spotlight: Love The Rain

I was actually looking for the Les Nereides website when I stumbled across Love The Rain. They sell Les Nereides stuff, but also this lovely bunch of stuff as well!

These earrings are why I was looking for Les Nereides! So cute!

How cute are these dolly necklaces? (Or too creepy corn dolly for some of you?)

Love these cupcake cups.

I'm definitely going to keep an eye on this shop, these will make for excellent presents. I epxect you all to be nicer to me in anticipation of pretty things.

Home Office: Cox & Cox Notice Board

Cox & Cox can be annoying at times. For some reason they see fit to send me a new catalogue every month. Or sometimes two in a week! And they can be a little bit twee. But, if you're looking for something sleek (and indeed, twee) then they're a good place to start. As I've just put a new writing desk in my bedroom, I think I need this notice board too. It'll help me procrastinate while I choose what pretty photos I choose to pin on it. It comes with the bird images and the little egg shaped pins too!

Stuff Your Doodles!

I like doodling when I'm on the phone. My notebooks and all of those important letters I'm meant to file look very pretty indeed with all of the flowers and monsters that I doodle all over them. And some clever company thought that maybe people would want to turn their doodles into cuddly toys! Look at this little fella!

How much do you wanna get doodling right this second? Well get to it! The price of each doodle guy varies, but just send Stuff Your Doodles your work of art and they'll tell you how much it'll cost before they get sewing. Best idea ever!
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