Donald Robertson is a man who is an actual marvel. Once Creative Director at Conde Nast America (launching Marie Claire and redesigning Glamour). He is now the head of Creative Development at Bobbi Brown Cosmetics; a truly creative man. What I love the most about him is his instagram feed. It is a constant joy to me all day every day (he is a very prolific poster) full of his fashion illustrations, ideas from projects he is working on and his life in general.
If I write too much I will just get really gushy and soppy so I’ll let some of his pictures do the talking. (All images taken from Donalds instagram feed @donalddrawbertson (seriously, you must follow him))
He can make beautiful things from a few simple lines of marker pen and Gaffa tape.
Or paint …He has his own little creative projects, currently it’s drawing on nuts…Don’t put anything down when you are round his house as he is likely to draw on it …Or turn it in to something else …He’s funny …and to top it off, he’s got really cute dogs … and kids.
I had the fortune to collaborate with him on the new issue of Marie Claire Runway (out 6th of Feb) We spent a fun couple of days emailing back and forth to create four illustrations to depict all that is great and good about New York, London, Milan and Paris. Here’s a little sneak peak.
We also worked together on the cover and in what is quite possibly the Most Exciting Thing I’ve Done In My Career So Far … STICKERS! Yup, we have a sheet of free fashion stickers inside the magazine … I’ll show you them on Thursday.
I’m not even going to say how many days there are till Christmas as that is just too depressing BUT if you are looking to start your Christmas shopping or just for something to do on Saturday in the South London area then please do pop your head in at this super cool fete hosted by my friends Emma and Rik raising money for their delicious baby Ted who has CP.
From past experience I know there’ll be some excellent products in the beauty sale, some fantastic prizes in the raffle and everyone I know who’s a good baker is making some sort of edible delight. I’m making some Christmas cards and apparently there’s going to be a human fruit machine and Splat the Rat game (one of my favourite fete games, not my actual favourite which was the race between two teams to see who could demolish an upright piano with a sledge hammer into pieces small enough to post through a car tyre … Ahh Ringmer School fetes. Weird.)
For more info about Super Ted visit treatmentforted.com and hope to see one or two of you at the weekend.
Just as the Spring finally starts to make an apperance I’m back at Marie Claire Runway, immersing myself in the colours, styles and trends that we’re all going to be wearing this autumn and into 2014 (fyi: punk, pink and mannish suits). So even though we have barely started to wear our flip flops I am already planning my next winter coat and hat (a nice 1940′s style Prada piece, thank you please).
I have decided that if I have room for another career in my lifetime I might like to be a set designer. I’ve spent a lot of time watching catwalk videos of the shows, (check out Louis Vuitton or Prada to see what I mean) but it’s this little ‘making of’ video from Mulberry that really made me think … “yeah, that’d be fun to do”.
Working with 3D designers extrordinaire Millington Associates Mulberry turned the entrance of Claridges into a magnificent hedgerow, full of butterflies, harvest mice, flowers and mulberries (obvs) then carried the theme through on to the catwalk.
Want to make a giant mouse. now.
The wonder that is Liberty has a new department. A garden department. It’s up on the fourth floor taking full advantage of the beautiful vaulted glass roof that makes you feel you are wandering round an orangery of some grand stately home.
In true Liberty style not only are there beautiful things to buy but their merchandise displays are cool, humorous and inspiring. Their use of unorthadox planting vessels really got me thinking.
They are selling everything from seeds and tiny plant pots, perfect for the city gardener with only window boxes to tend to, to outdoor dining goodies for those with a bit more space.
If you can’t get to the store then they have a selection of wares on their website. Here are three of my favourite things…
1. Fallen Fruits Red Insect Hotel £24.95 2. Fallen Fruits Four terracotta pots in a box £19.95 3. Fallen Fruits zinc rectangular outdoor serving tray £19.95
My new house (I’ve moved don’t you know) has walls, lots of walls. My old house only had room for one large picture but now everywhere I look there is a wall crying out for a poster, a print or a photograph.
I have a problem buying art. A lot of the things I like I think I could either A: Do myself if I had the time. Or (more often) B: Get so jealous that I couldn’t do it myself that though I love it I feel ever so slightly depressed when ever I look at it.
But today I have found a brilliant website that has so many prints I like that I could probably do the whole house in one go. It all started when I was looking online for a Charley Harper print (no, not a picture of Charlie Sheen’s character in Two and A Half Men, that is this Charlie Harper), I love his graphic style and bold colours, I love the fact that he illustrated Betty Crocker’s Dinner for Two Cookbook in the 50′s, I love it all really.
So I’m very excited that I’ve found Elphicks an online shop (and actual shop in Columbia Road, London) that has so many prints I want to own. Right. Now.
The prints range from small to large, cheap to a bit spenny. There are Limited Edition Prints, Signed Prints, Litho, Lino, and Screen prints, Giclee prints and Tiny prints (lots are sold as more purse friendly greetings cards).
To see the rest of Elphicks collection head over there now (or click on one of the above prints)
I still think the Charley Harper will be the first purchase though.
And we all think this is a jolly nice bit of design. Right?
SAME GUY! Apparently when Dick Bruna the well loved Dutch author/illustrator of Miffy (top picture in case you were wondering) wasn’t drawing rabbits in dresses and Poppy the Kind Pig Lady he was illustrating book jackets for the family firm A.W.Bruna and Zoon.
Between 1957 and 1970 he created over 2000 illustrations for Black Bear books. Inspired by Mattisse, Leger and Mondrian his striking imagery was very indicative of the time. Surely he and Saul Bass (my other design hero) were great friends … or maybe great rivals?
If you want to own your own little bit of Dick Bruna art (and Miffy skipping doesn’t quite cut it for you) then Retrobook.com is selling original and second hand books for the princely sum of 5 euros each.
I have bought these five and will be framing and hanging them in pride of place in one of my many new rooms in my Brand New House which I have actually found now and am moving into next week! HURRAH!
PS. One thing about the Retrobook site is that the preview images are ver ver small (on my browser anyway) but I guess that just means it’ll be an extra treat when I get my parcel delivered and I can see the typography properly.
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 platesI’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. Fortunately the designers of these plates have also created notebooks and mugs so Im sure I’ll be purchasing something from them very soon… Visit Socialnesting.com here and Magpie Designs here
This morning a Little Parcel of Joy turned up in my letterbox. It was a stack of paper. How does that give you joy? I hear you ask. Well, this wasn’t a boring stack of A4 printer paper or a pile of forms needing to be filled in but an Instant Collection of Paper from presentandcorrect.com a wonderful website full of unusual stationery, old office supplies and random bits of paper ephemera they have collected on their travels round the world.
I stared at my paper packet for a while trying to guess what the snippets of words I could see spelled out and what the interesting patterns belonged to and then decided if I opened it I would have a much better chance of finding these things out.
Here are my spoils.
I love my bits of paper, they have no real use to me apart from looking lovely. I’ll probably pin them and frame them as if they were rare butterflies and hang them In The New House. They fascinate me as to where they’ve come from and what stories they could tell so with the aid of Google translate, my imagination and Wikipedia I’ve imagineered what I could use them for …
(from top left to right)
I could …
1. Write a letter to a far off land.
2. Draw a bar chart or play Battleships
3. Import grapes (1933 vintage) from Crete to Paris neatly recording when they come in and when they go out and how many bunches I have in stock.
4. Buy a hotel with one room. Start a lending library of my personal books to said room (let’s call it room one) and become a slightly officious librarian in a beige pink cardigan smelling faintly of mint imperials.
5. Travel to Germany and visit the Town Formally Known As Karl Marx City*. When there find a farm where happy pigs wear chefs hats and see if I can taste a sample of their quality combined meat lard. Yum.
6. Write in my best hand my name and display it somewhere about my person when I am in a stranger filled environment.
7. Board a train travelling through Germany (maybe to Chemnitz) during World War One and take a job as a waitress in the buffet carriage**. Take someones order and try not to spill hot coffee on them. (Unless they looked spylike.)
8. Find eight of something and give it this sticker.
9. As above (but for 6. Maybe some eggs).
10. Use these stickers to identify two similar things, maybe two notebooks. I would call them Book 1 and Book 2.
11. Check out the Dependable Hardware Service store*** for its values. (Probably monetary, possibly spiritual.)
12. Make a batch of Double Blackberry and Grape jam.
13. Save up all my sixpences till I have reached one whole pound**** then take them to Lloyds bank and ask the advice of a Bank Manager on how best to invest them (or put them under my mattress. Same difference)
14. Invent an automatic bingo caller and play a solitary game of bingo. House!
15. Write another number in this round circle and stick it on something.
16. Sit and ponder what use this card had for a long time and not come any closer to deciding what it did!
17. Mark down by a couple of Euro’s some overpriced stock I’ve been trying to sell for a while. (Jetzt means ‘now’ in German)
*between 1953 and 1990 the German town of Chemnitz was known as Karl Marx City, It has a population of 3.5 million. None of these 3.5 million are or ever have been Karl Marx.
** Mitropa was a German catering company for the railway, it had sleeper and buffet carriages on trains from 1916 till 2002. Now it has cafes in stations. Here is the Mitropa logo. Very German. Very nice.
As I’ve said I love my bits of paper but now I feel I know a little bit of history about them I love them that little bit more. If you want to get your own packet of paper history click here Jetzt.