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Wednesday 30 September 2009

Shop in the spotlight: Camel & Yak

I've been sitting on Camel & Yak for a while, waiting for their online shop to finally be ready. And now it is! Hurrah! I was right to be excited too. Here's some of the rather wonderful stuff you can buy:

I really like this glass cake stand. It's simple, but it's got a much more unique shape than a lot of the standard cake stands. It's £24.95.

I can't believe I don't have a ballerina garland anywhere in Domestic Sluttery HQ. I need one right this second. Once you've stopped swooning, you can pick on up for £14.

Need a new purse? The little heart button purse is really unique. It's not cheap at £24.95, but it'll look better than the one you bought for a fiver in the Topshop sale.

And all orders in October will get a 10% discount! Even better!

Oliver Bonas Competition... a little clue

Wow, there's some beady-eyed folk amongst you! You're all playing along with the "find the cupcake" Oliver Bonas competition and not ten minutes after we posted about it on Monday, there was entries flying in! But! I think it's actually pretty difficult (they've got a lot of lovely things that are distracting). So here's a little clue for all of you...

To find the cupcake, look on a page for something you would wear, but never on a night out.

See? That was helpful, wasn't it?! No? Oh.

We've also had a couple of entries telling us the cupcake is on a birthday card. It's not! But there is indeed a birthday card with a cupcake on (a brilliant design for a card if ever there was one). You're looking for the cupcake in our header, the little pink one. Exactly as it is right there at the top of the screen. No other one will do. So go over to Oliver Bonas, have a hunt for that cupcake and you could win lots of lovely vouchers! And that handbag if you're lucky. Once you've found the cupcake, just email us with the link to be in with a chance of winning!

Bollocks to Baking: Peggy's Cupcakes

At the Alternative Village Fete on the Southbank this weekend I made a new cupcake discovery: Peggy's Cupcakes. This roving, one-woman operation had set up for the day on Theatre Square, not far from its new patch on Bankside, where you'll next be able to sample the delights that Rosalind (not Peggy) bakes and sells for £2.50 a pop.

I went for a fashionable choice - a red velvet cupcake - and enjoyed it as I watched grown men and women throw themselves around on an astroturf lawn attempting country dancing (I think I got the better deal). The texture of the cake itself was more on the 'fairy cake' side than some cupcakes I've tried: a lighter, less cloying texture, but this felt just right for a fete and also helped balance the supersweet flavour of the whipped buttercream that was just the right consistency - set off with a cute little red rose.

The best thing about this cupcakery is that it has a cupcake van.

...just how much would you love to see that coming your way on a bad day at the office?

Etsy Pick: Yellow Goat rainy day earrings

I actually gasped when I saw these Rainy Day earrings from Yellow Goat on Etsy. I love mis-matched earrings anyway (actually, I love anything that doesn't match) but these are so cute. It's the dangly umbrella that does it. They're sterling silver and they're $98. They're perfect for a rainy day. Actually, they're just perfect.

Tuesday 29 September 2009

Green Fingers: Colloco's Seasonal Tea Towel

This is such a genius idea! A tea towel chart that will show you what fruit and vegetables are in season! Not only fab for when I actually decide to start growing my own produce (I will, I promise), but it's also brilliant for working out when the asparagus season starts! I save extra pennies for my weekly shop then.

This bit of kitchen happiness is just £10 from Colloco and I can't wait to snap mine up.

Emma Bridgewater takes on the aga

Cookers, fridges and the like aren't often featured on Domestic Sluttery. Because they're mostly really really boring. But then I caught wind of this polka dot aga designed by Emma Bridgewater and I love it. I've never cooked with an aga, and honestly I think my landlady would probably be against me ripping out the fixtures and fittings in the kitchen. But I bet if she saw a picture of it she'd change her mind. It's classic Bridgewater but it's new and exciting! I wants it! God it would look great in my kitchen.

It's limited edition and £9,999. OK, so I can't really afford that, but maybe this is a turning point for standard designed cookers? Can they be jazzed up a bit please? At least throw a lick of paint on them.

Shop in the spotlight: Poppy Treffry

Aaaah Poppy Treffry, how I love you. With all your little cute touches and hand-sewn goodies you my me very happy. So much to choose from and so little time! So I'll just get my mits on this little lot:

I like this "best spotty cup" mug. Perfect for morning tea drinking. It's £11.50.

Sunshine yellow is the perfect colour for this pretty passport holder. It's £24.95.

This canvas shopper bag makes me smile. It's only £14.95 too so I'll actually have some money left to do some shopping.

Peek-a-boo cups from Crumpet & Skirt

I spotted these charming tea cups at the recent 15-Minute-Factory craft fair in Brick Lane, where they were being sold by the equally delightful Elizabeth of Crumpet & Skirt, a new gift and homeware line for the discerning pin-up devotee.

Seen from the outside, the mugs are virginal white bone china, but tip them up for a slurp of tea and each piece tells a different story. I like the subtlety of the design, and the way that Elizabeth has resisted the urge to go for a more in-your-face showgirl design with these cups, which I'd have no problem leaving out when granny comes to tea.

Every cloud has a silver lining...

Well it does thanks to Lulu Guinness. I'm not one for getting over excited about umbrellas. They're just a way of keeping my hair dry on my way to the bus stop. But Lulu Guinness has wowed me with this black and silver creation. Every cloud does indeed have a silver lining. Not least because it's a little bit of designer happiness for £32.

Monday 28 September 2009

Cocktail Hour: Pisco Sour

If you're bored of the (frankly wonderful) margarita, then maybe the Pisco Sour is the drink for you. Pisco is a Peruvian Brandy so it's not a spirit that's very common over here. That said, over in America it's getting as popular as the mojito and even has its very own national day (I approve of all cocktails having their own day, that's a great idea).

Where does the drink come from? Apparently the King of Spain banned wine in the 17th century so the Peruvians were forced to create alcohol from other goodies - lime and brandy in this case. Luckily, the results were rather tasty.

To make a Pisco Sour, you'll need these things:
  • 50ml Pisco Brandy
  • 25ml lime juice
  • 10ml simple syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • dash of bitters
You'll need to do these things:

Shake everything apart from the bitters together with ice, making sure the egg whites have turned into a light foam. Pout into an old-fashioned and drop in three drops of bitters. Put them in a row and then run a cocktail stick through the middle of the drops to make a fancy pattern.

Flickr image from twohelmetscooking's photostream.

Saucy - The Icecreamists at Selfridges

The words ice cream and boutique aren't usually found together in the same sentence but maybe they should be...that's what Matt O'Connor (founder of The Icecreamists who apparently eats, sleeps and breathes ice cream) thinks anyway, and quite frankly who are we to disagree with a man who not only eats the stuff but also sleeps AND breathes it(?!)

But this is no 50s retro parlour, this is proper hard core adult stuff (ooh-er missus). Fancy a molecular cryogenic cocktail complete wth liquid nitrogen? Or maybe the Selfridges Ice Cream Sandwich with cream of cucumber? What about a sorbetto (I don't even know what it is but I want one!). They are open Monday to Sunday and there's a live in-house band and DJ and everything. You've got until 1st November to get yourself to the lower ground floor of Selfridges on Oxford Street to sample these masterpieces! Onmomnomnomnomnom!

Anarchic prints at Rose & Grey

This print from Rose & Grey really appeals to my sense of mischief - and I can already imagine it taking pride of place in the dream house I'm hunting for.

So, if you live in the sort of house where supper is a movable feast - and guests are definitely not sent like naughty schoolchildren to remove their footwear before treading on your pristine carpet - the sentiment behind this print might just speak to you, too. The neutral colour palate would work almost anywhere - but if you really take the 'anarchy' thing seriously I guess that doesn't matter.

Buy it here for £35

Vintage Milk Bottles from Pedlars

We've featured a few bits and pieces from the wonderfully diverse Pedlars before. Selling everything from Penguin Classics pencils to charming double deckchairs, it's no wonder we love them.

My latest Pedlars obsession are these vintage Milk Bottles (£9.95 each). They date from the 1950s-70s and no two are alike - like a vintage glass lucky dip! They'd look lovely filled with milk on the breakfast table or filled with a tulip on my desk.

Win! Find the cupcake and win Oliver Bonas vouchers!

Don't ever say we don't treat you well, readers! The wonderful people at Oliver Bonas (they are lovely, and they have very nice hair) are offering all the Domestic Sluttery readers the chance to win one of three fab prizes in our competition this week.

For your chance to win:
  • First prize of a £50 (yes FIFTY) Oliver Bonas voucher;
  • Second prize of this rather splendid best-selling grey Sorcerer Bag (worth £29.50);
  • Third prize of a £10 Oliver Bonas voucher
...just go to the Oliver Bonas website and find the Domestic Sluttery pink cupcake (with a cherry on top). We've hidden it somewhere on their site and need you to find it!

Once you've found it email us with the subject "I've spotted the cupcake" and tell us where it is. Don't write it in the comments underneath here as then everyone will know! That will spoil all the fun. And we'll move it! Ha!

You've got until 5pm on Friday before we pick the winner at random from all of the correct answers. How exciting! What are you waiting for....go!

The small print bit: Please tell us in your email if you don't want to signed up to the Oliver Bonas and Domestic Sluttery newsletters, we have to say both newsetters are rather brilliant and you don't want to miss out now do you? Winners will be selected completely at random from all the correct entries and we'll let the lucky three know on Friday evening. Don't shout at us if you don't win, there will be other competitions. We're not allowed to enter our own, but if we did win £50 we'd spend it on a jewellery stand, glass votives and maybe a crystal doorknob or two. We wish we could enter our own competitions. Humph.

Friday 25 September 2009

Lazy Oaf's London Bus card holder

Do you live in London? You should definitely cloister your Oyster in this little cutie.

Lazy Oaf have come up with the goods again this season, and one of my favourites from their line of stationery and gifty things is this cute-as-a-button London bus card holder... it's sweet and neat, and it has not just one but 16 sleeves to store every card you could possibly think about needing. Get it for £6 from the Lazy Oaf shop on Kingly Court off Carnaby Street in Soho, or check out their online shop.

Etsy Pick: House of Mouse

I don't know why I'd need a collection of handmade felt mice, but House of Mouse has filled that gap in the market - and they are my new favourite things.

This Hannibal Lecter Mouse ($35) is a little creepy, but look at his little pink ears!

Don't want Frodo Baggins Mouse ($35) to go to Middle Earth! Want him to sit on my bookshelf instead!

Best homage to the Beatles yet?What's your favourite?

Design Porn: Maarten de Ceulaer

My friend Kas sent me a link to Maarten de Ceulaer after he spotted this over on Dezeen:

That's the best wardrobe I've ever seen. Ever! Graham & Green have a slightly more subdued version, but I like this. A lot. If you had the right kind of room, I think it would work really well. It's nice to see the focus on bedroom furniture being on something other than the bed or the dressing table.

Simple, iconic and functional design. It's stuff like this that makes me really giddy with excitement. The next Phillipe Starcke? Maybe. It's stunning.

Eclectic Cutlery without the effort

Mis-matched crockery and cutlery is all well and good in theory, but in practice it's much harder to get right. Because the shades of blue are wrong or the patterns somehow just don't look right together. The overall look is great, but you have to by a whole lot of stuff to get there and well, that's just a lot of effort isn't it?

So I was very happy to stumble in this electic cutlery set from The Contemporary Home. Look! It's all mis-matched! But it still works like magic. You get four of each piece, all different and all very very pretty. It'll cost you £29.99, but it'll save you so much time. Which can now be spent eating lunch with your new cutlery.

Thursday 24 September 2009

Design Porn: Lou Rota

I love customised vintage furniture. There's something lovely about turning something old and battered into something modern and fresh, without losing any of the original design. And Lou Rota does this very well indeed. Here are some of my favourites:

I wouldn't normally suggest bugs on dinner plates, but somehow this works.

This chair would look great in your kitchen.

I'm already a big fan of Lou Rota (since discovering her ooooh ten minutes ago) and can't wait to see what else she comes up with. I'm even more excited to find that you can buy her stuff in Liberty. And in a rather wonderful little shop called Caravan, which I can't wait to check out.

Don't forget! Afternoon tea on the 4th!

What's that? You're free on October 4th and looking for something exciting and fun to do? Then come to our afternoon tea! We're holding the tea at The Underground Restaurant and there's going to be all sorts of exciting stuff going on.

For a start, we've got a psychic! Yay! So once you've had your fill of tea and cakes, you can pop into the garden and have your palm read, which is going to be great fun.

And well, I'm learning how to make those fancy macarons, Ms Marmite Lover is going to be making her famed crumpets too! We're going to be serving you tea martinis and other lovely treats. All sorts of yum things, depending on what it is we feel like cooking on the day. We're very fickle, but you knew that already.

We'll be there in our tea dresses serving you tea and more food than you can possibly imagine. Of course, you get the added fun of being in a slighly illegal eaterie, and you won't find out the address until you've booked. heaps of fun.

All this for the tiny price of £25. The event runs from 3pm - 7.30 (ish) and you'll be able to buy glasses of bubbly throughout the afternoon. So go and get your ticket and pop on a pretty frock.

See you there! ('There' being a secret location in North West London which will be revealed as soon as you've booked!)

Flickr image from Toby Barnes' photostream.

Bollocks to baking: The English Cheesecake Company

When The English Cheesecake Company asked me if they could send me a cheesecake to sample, I wasn't going to turn them down. But nothing prepared me for the cheesecake goodness that was bestowed upon me.

This wasn't just cheesecake. This was the best looking cheesecake I've ever seen.

And also the biggest. There was no way I could ever eat even more than half of it before it went bad. So I did what any Domestic Slut would do. Had a party! Only a little one, with some of the Domestic Sluts and friends. But there was about eight of us throughout the evening munching on cheesecake. And it was good.

Cookie Dough Collision flavour had a chocolate biscuity base, and there was cookie dough in the creamiest cheese filling I've ever tried. But it wasn't heavy. I could probably eat another piece right now. I won't though. That would be greedy of me. But with all the chocolate cookie pieces and chocolate drops on top, you'd expect us all to be feeling a little bit sick. Not in the slightest. But we are kind of amazed.

We didn't have actual dinner. Just cheesecake and fresh lemonade. There's still some left! Eight people with two slices each couldn't polish this off! Which means that I get to eat the rest for lunch. Awesome. You can get about 20 good sized slices out of one cake.

The English Cheesecake Company are fabulous. Their cheesecakes cost between £22 and £32, but honestly it's worth every penny. I wouldn't suggest spending that much on a cake if it wasn't worth it, but I'll buy one of these again. Possibly going for the Sicilian Lemon one next time which is my favourite flavour in the world. The filling is too good to need extra stuff thrown in it, but they've got so many flavours you'll be spoilt for choice.

They've converted me, and my friends are going to be buzzing around Domestic Sluttery HQ for the next few days until it's all gone. Buy English Company Cheesecake and make friends. Or eat a whole one all to yourself and suffer early onset diabetes, whichever works for you.

Mix 'n' match at Whittards

Nothing brightens up your crockery more than colourful stripes. They're so much cooler than polka dots. And this striped teapot set from Whittards of Chelsea is just one of the many lovely things in the 'mix 'n' match' range. This set will set you back £15 and if you want to, you can mix and match it with the colourful hearts:

Or the funky geometric shapes.

A lot of the stuff has already sold out online, but that's OK. Mix just a few bits in with your boring old white stuff and it'll look even better.

Cosy Caro Kimonos

I stumbled across Caro looking for new PJs - it's getting chilly now. But instead of finding pyjamas that I wanted to buy, I found this really lovely cotton kimono. Now I want this! It's such a stunning colour, and the cherry blossom print is perfect. It'll also stop me accidentally flashing the postman when he knocks on my door. £42 well spent, I think.

Wednesday 23 September 2009

The Black Rabbit's twist on the bird motif

You might have already guessed, but I'm a tad bored of the bird motif that's everywhere at the moment. Sometimes it's fine, and there's some really great designs out there. But putting a bird on something does not make it an instant design classic. Not if Asda are doing it.

But then I found these really unique bird brooches at The Black Rabbit. And these made me sit up and take notice. They're £17.50 each and well, just look at them.

One for sorrow? Not when the magpie looks this pretty.

Apparently this little fella is a curlew. He's a cute little thing, isn't he?

Nice to see someone doing an original take on the motif. More of this please!

Bodie and Fou revamped

I'm feeling a little fragile this morning (too many mimosas last night) so instead of working hard, I'm nosing about the internet and drinking lots and lots of coffee. But that means we got to take a look at Bodie and Fou's new website. Hurrah!

Now they've got gift wrapping services (which is handy as I'm rubbish at wrapping presents), and a fab wishlist service which I will be sending out about two weeks before my birthday. Very pretty the website is too. Much cleaner than the old version and easy to navigate. There's an awful lot of lovely things at Bodie and Fou so now it's even easier to find them.

I stumbled across this blogs and coffee print and it made me smile. As a professional (hungover) blogger, I reckon it'll look lovely perched beside my desk. It's only £20 which means I can afford to pop over the road and get another latte.

In the meantime, go check out Bodie and Fou's new website and treat yourself to something lovely.

Cocktail Hour: The Bramble

There's some variations on the Bramble (and I'm quite partial to one I had not long ago that was made with apple as well as blackberries) but if you're looking for the simple classic then this recipe should be perfect. It was invented by Dick Bradsell - the UK's most famed barman and it seems only right to keep the recipe the same. Strong, but sweet blackberry flavour, with a kick of gin behind it. It's a great cocktail that's perfect for autumn evenings.

You'll need these things:
  • 50ml gin
  • 10ml creme de mure
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 10ml sugar syrup
  • Crushed ice
  • Blackberries
You'll need to do these things:

Fill an old-fashioned glass with the crushed ice. Pour in the gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup. Stir and add more crushed ice if you need to. Then lace with the creme de mure and garnish with the blackberries. Simple, perfect.

Flickr image from Muffet's photostream.

Heavenly Rob Ryan a snip at To Dry For

We've written about Rob Ryan before, and we've written about To Dry For as well. So how is it I've only just discovered that they had a little collaboration?! Fabulous! This Heaven tea towel was spotted by new Rob Ryan fan Alex and it's the same print we wrote about a little while ago when Rob's Columbia Road shop Ryantown turned one.

But the best bit? It's only £9.95. Use it to do your dishes, or pop it in a frame and hang it in your kitchen. Just be happy that you've got yourself a piece of iconic loveliness for less than a tenner.

Tuesday 22 September 2009

Happy Birthday, Something!

Tomorrow, the wonderful "didn't know I needed that until I saw it" shop, Something, will turn five. Domestic Sluttery's shopping event was held there and it's one of our favourite places in London. Once even described by one of our readers as their "happy place" it's a really great little place. Happy birthday Something! Hooray!

So as they're nearly five (only one more sleep!) they're having a bit of a celebration! Hurrah! Celebrations of any kind are always good with us. But they're being very kind to all of their customers and giving you 10% off instore (if you spend over a tenner) AND they'll give you free cake when you buy something! You can buy online and get a discount too (just use the code 5BDAY) but then you wouldn't get cake, and you wouldn't be able to chat to the lovely girls behind the counter. Go and take them cards and stuff.

Something make us happy. So happy that if you keep your eyes peeled, you might just find a little competition from them later this week...

Something is smack bang in the middle of Lamb's Conduit Street. Nearest tubes are Russell Square and Chancery Lane, but it's a rather nice walk past Bea's of Bloomsbury if you happen to be coming from Farringdon.

Noolibird, don't stamp on our hearts

This is such a pretty little stamp. It's from a whole range at the wonderfully named Noolibird (what's a noolibird? can we have one?). The website isn't great, but that lovely heart stamp is just £14.50 and I reckon you'll be using it to stamp just about anything. Although I recommend using it to jazz up your downstairs loo, or on the back of hand written love letters.

Green Fingers: Marnie Moyle Herb Markers

Domestic Slut Miss Cay heard my pleas for gardening help and she's promised to write a few posts on how to grow herbs. (By grow, I'm assuming she doesn't mean water once and then forget about until they're a shrivelled brown mess). So I need to be prepared! And investing in these cute little herb markers by Marnie Moyle will be perfect.

Now all I need to do is keep a plant alive for longer than three days.

Design Porn: Sarah Hough

Sarah Hough has done the impossible, she just made me coo "ooooh I want those" over a bag of clothes pegs. Clothes pegs! Her fun designs adorn stationery, notecards and gift tags. And indeed, clothes pegs:

They're £3.95 for 8. They're pretty.

If I had this dandelion clock pattern on some notecards, I'd write more thank you notes to people.

Five gift tags for £1.95? That's not too shabby for pretty presents.

I love her stuff, but here's hoping the range gets even bigger soon. It's mighty pretty.

Monday 21 September 2009

Wall Candy: Dupenny Wallpapers

I think I might be a little bit in love with Emily Dupen-Hopkins. She lives by the seaside in Brighton, and spends her days doodling retro housewives, buxom burlesque beauties, animals and zombies, before hand screen-printing her designs to create amazing statement wallpaper that’s unique and playful without being amateurish or zany for the sake of it. And if that wasn’t enough to induce awe and envy in equal amounts, she’s also been shortlisted for an Elle Deco British Design Award, admits to an obsession with felt-tip pens, and says on her website that she can be bribed with tea and chocolate hob-nobs. My kind of girl.

My favourite is the burlesque design, priced at £90 a panel, but I also have to admit to being quite taken with this cheeky call girl-themed design, which comes with optional green star stickers to cover the gratuitous bits. Although I’m not sure my gran would be impressed when she next comes round to visit…

Sluttery loves: Illustrated Living

Every once in a while you find a website and wonder exactly how you'd never found it before. This happened to me recently with the really rather ace Illustrated Living. The site is full of all manner of joys to make your life better from mugs to posters, tea towels to purses. I quite fancy getting one of their Now Panic and Freak Out mugs to go alongside the Keep Calm and Carry On one! What about this rather brilliant 'Things to make' Ladybird notebook, it would make a great little book for noting down recipes and all sorts of crafty projects, and its only a bargainous £8.50 (and you know how much us Domestic Sluts love our retro Ladybird prints)

Speaking of bargains, what about this pretty felt placemat - it's only £3.25! WANT!
If you've got a few more pennies to spend then you might fancy this stunning Thermo Mug with a very pretty golden tree design for £18.95. I'm sure you'll agree, a whole load of want-iness!

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