Now I know we’ve only just started enjoying the summer but may I turn your attention to the season of beautiful coats and crazy fur, massive hats and embellished bags as today the new issue of Marie Claire Runway is out. Showcasing the latest trends hot from the catwalks of New York, Milan, London and Paris, we’re showing you what you (and the highstreet) will be inspired by when the days turn chilly (hopefully not next week). Giving you all the backstage news and gossip and interviewing design greats including Frida Giannini, Alber Elbaz and we also snuck backstage at Vuitton …

Hung out with some Fraggles …

Got a new font …

Did some more patterns that make your eyes go bonkers …

Found a new illustrator. The amazing Nina Cosford who drew my favourite thing in the whole magazine …

Got slightly freaked out by some of the beauty looks

And also got a cover that not only had a beautiful foil title but also a super shiny bit and a matter than matt black bit.. you really need to buy it to appreciate it, it’s soooooo strokable (and smells good too)

For inspiration when designing the magazine I created this strange story about a eccentric Victorian who traveled the world collecting and cataloging the peculiar people he met, curiosities he found and experiences he encountered. I visited the great Horniman Museum in South London for inspiration and trawled car boot sales for odd artifacts (the camera used in our photo diaries is one such car boot booty). Lots of the Victoriana references were left out of the final design as it was tricky to stop it turning into a bad pastiche or something you’d buy from ‘Ye Olde Victorian Tourist Shoppe’ (est.2010). The final design is much slicker but still has little nods to my crazy Victorian anthropologist.

This was my Pinterest inspiration board. Click the image to see more …

All in all it was a joy to work on and you should probably go Buy. It. Now.

We all know I like a bit of typography and last night whilst watching telly, surfing the net and cutting one million and one felt circles for a new project I visited my friends Master E’s excellent blog social nesting.com and spotted these paper plates

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magpie designs paper plates Β£10

I’d seen these plates before and though I love them I wasn’t sure what I could use them for… I knew I would never be able to eat off them as they were Just Too Pretty. But the wonderful Master E has come up with a cunning plan. His blog is full of crafty makes, junk shop finds and renovation projects which make him (in my eyes) the UK’s Grace Bonney (though he may or may not be actually Canadian, (apologies E if you are or aren’t and I’ve offended you one way or the other!)) and by simply sticking the plates up on the wall of a nursery he has created a thing of genius. Clever boy.

from socialnesting.com

Fortunately the designers of these plates have also created notebooks

magpie notebooks Β£6

and mugs

magpie mugs Β£8

so Im sure I’ll be purchasing something from them very soon… Visit Socialnesting.com here and Magpie Designs here

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Some may say 9am is too early for cake. Not I. To me cake is a perfectly fine food for any meal. My favourite Christmas breakfast is warm Christmas cake (in the microwave for seconds so the marzipan and icing gets hot but not melted) and natural yoghurt (see, it is healthy).

Here is a cake of joy and surprise which Hannah created for our book Everything Oz. She has been kind enough to share the recipe and instructions on her blog the wonderful Couture Craft. So if you have a special occasion this weekend that deserve a rather special cake then head over to her blog and have a go yourself…

Once you’ve got the basic method sorted then there’s no end to the colour combos you can do with the cake… Graduated blues from dark to pale, alternate pink and chocolate stripes, a pastel version. Every time a different surprise when the recipient cuts into the cake.

Er. YUM!

Click here for the recipe and step by step photos.

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I bought these delightfully cute/scary/pretty/weird* doll faces from Craftability in Ipswich last week when I was up there watching the new issue of Marie Claire Runway being printed (looking good, out 26th July). I don’t know what I’m going to do with my faces and can’t even work out how they attach to the doll… Glue? Stitching?

Craftability is one of those lovely craft shops full of random bits and bobs that you just have to buy because They Might Come In Useful One Day. The staff were really helpful and gave me lots of help on my embroidery issues … Top Tip: When embroidering with metallic floss use two strands of metallic and four of a normal floss in a matching colour. You still get a metallic shimmer but the floss goes through the fabric much easier.

You can visit Craftability online here or in St Lawrence Street, Ipswich.

*delete where appropriate