Archive for the ‘textiles’ Category

Loving London

Monday, December 17th, 2012

London is better than ever. There’s so much good food, design, and so many beautiful shops.

The first thing I noticed was the creative store names. Broadway Market in Hackney has a gorgeous combination of the trendy new and the traditional. Hand made was everywhere.

In East London  Labour and Wait was my favorite store. Housed in an old pub called the Dolphin, it specializes in functional items which are everyday classics and therefore will not date.

These Welsh blankets caught my eye and having caught a cold the minute I arrived,  I walked out with several large polka dot handkerchiefs.

The canal near Broadway Market, packed boats of all shapes and sizes

and the floating hat shop.


More boats, on the canal in Victoria Park.

My visit to Loop was a highlight. I’d heard so much about it. The shop is several floors, all artful display, gorgeous yarns and helpful, friendly staff. Bravo, Susan!

I loved this garland across the stairs to an upper level. Felted balls and scraps of fabric = charming!

What’s really wonderful about London, and Brooklyn, New York, where I’m currently enjoying myself (will discuss this later) is that there are so many beautiful, independent stores that seem to be thriving. Owners of small businesses put so much heart, soul and in many cases, creativity into their work, it’s up to us to support them, don’t you think?



Friday, September 7th, 2012


I’m excited to show you this, the Finnish language edition of my book. Even though I knew it was coming, I wasn’t expecting how thrilling it would be to see my words in another language, especially one as exotic as this.

Speaking of things Finnish, if you love textiles, you’ll love this book. Mekko is an old Finnish word meaning “little girls’ dress”, so Marimekko means Mary-dress. It’s an apt name for a company that became famous for a look which, although criticized by the mainstream fashion world for being too plain-jane and “folksy”, actually had wide appeal to young women who wanted to get away from the traditional image of “feminine woman” as brought to us by the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot. Their dresses, derided by some as “sacks”, were loved by young women who wanted to be seen but not ogled. Started by a woman in the 1950s, the company became well known for its fresh look, graphic prints and clothing designs in simple shapes. I suspect they might have influenced Mary Quant.

Here are a few images from the book, which inspires on many levels; it’s about design, pattern, architecture, fashion and the development of a brand.


I love this gigantic print, and the way it’s photographed.


classic Marimekko “sack” dress and accessories to match


 a lovely big, bold stripe

a 1966 print used in a 2003 dress

the Bo-Boo pattern designed in 1975 by Katsuji Wakisaka and still popular for kids’ rooms today

there’s yarn in her basket