Rust

Lovely handmade jewellery from Rust, so pretty for the festive season.

Rust

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Rust

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Garland

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These vintage style garlands made from hand formed ceramic beads are such a sweet alternative to traditional Christmas decorations and work all year round. Made by artist Angela Hodgkins they can be bought from her online store OUI.

Angela also creates one-of-a-kind soy candles using hand-thrown pots painted by hand in mid-century inspired graphic patterns. I love the delicate and speckled patterns on the beads and candles and Angela’s pretty combination of colour.

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Winter Bookstore
Image from We Heart It

No matter how old I get, there will always be a certain thrill in gathering up and asessing my amassed cargo at the end of Christmas day (albeit the cargo is smaller but more precious these days). One, two or three things that are guaranteed to add weight and worth (in the sentimental sense) are books.  Glorious books! A Christmas is never the same without them – whether it’s an anticipated prize winner for the book lover, the year’s most popular biography for a fair weather reader, or a cool coffee table tome, a book is a cosy companion for a long and languorous Christmas Day.

Here is my pick of the year’s fiction and non-fiction reads that i would love to give and receive…

FICTION…

The Night Circus: Erin Morgenstern, Paperback £12.99

Harvill Secker

NightCircus Tipped to rival the beloved works of J.K Rowling, The Night Circus was released this autumn with great anticipation. It is the story of a mysterious travelling circus open only at night and constructed entirely in black and white, Le Cirque des Rêves delights all who wander its circular paths and warm themselves at its bonfire.

Absorbing, fast-paced and magical Morgenstern creates a rich and immersive world set somewhere in 1886, realised down to the last detail. The atmosphere of the circus is almost palpable, evoking sights, sounds, smells and tastes. There are acrobats, fortune-tellers and contortionists, some tents contain clouds
and some ice and the circus casts a spell over it’s audience.

At the heart of the story is the tangled relationship between two young magicians, Celia, an enchanter’s daughter, and Marco, a rival sorcerer’s apprentice. At the behest of their shadowy masters, they find themselves locked in a deadly contest, forced to test the very limits of the imagination, and of their love.

An exquisitely woven tale its beautifully illustrated cover hints at the wonders within with die-cut covers and black-edged pages, making it the top contender for my Christmas giving.

Mary Boleyn, The Great And Infamous Whore: Alison Wier, Hardback, £20

Jonathan Cape

MaryBoleynFor lovers of weighty historical fiction comes a highly anticipated tome from one of best writers of this genre, Alison Wier.

Mary Boleyn is remembered by posterity as a ‘great and infamous whore’. She was the mistress of two kings, Francois I of France and Henry VIII of England, and sister to Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife. In this biography, apparently the first full-length biography published about Mary, Wier seeks to identify the truth about Mary and her life. Was Mary promiscuous? On what basis was she known as `The Great and Infamous Whore’? What evidence exists to support the birth order of the Boleyn sisters?

In Mary Boleyn, The Great And Infamous Whore Weir also sets out to examine Mary’s time and reputation in France, the details of her affair with Henry VIII and the possible children born as a consequence. Weir touches, as well, on Mary’s treatment by her family as well as the relationship between Mary and Anne. Because of the scarce information available about this pivotal figure in history, the book offers up not many revelations about this famous sister, but serves as an absorbing and intriguing framework to her life.

Continue Reading…

Apparatus

New York lighting brand Apparatus’ lighting collection is created using vintage lighting fixtures, aged brass, painted glass and natural materials . I love their poetic use of the utilitarian and the delicate.

Apparatus

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A sweet and inspirational pocket planner illustrated by American artist Jessica Hische.

The Art Deco-inspired interior planner pages include full-page typographical illustrations by Hische of quotations by Emily Dickinson (“Forever is Composed of Nows”), Emily Bronte (“I’ve dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me”), John Gardner, Anthony D’Angelo, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and others. The spine reminds you to “write every day”, and the back cover encourages  you to make it happen! But them here.

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