27 Jan 2012

Jewellery Collection: Typical Freaks

I picked up this wooden, vintage pocket watch inspired necklace from Typical Freaks at Brick Lane's Sunday Up Market last month, having been instantly taken with the intricate look of it. From what I can tell, it's made of several layers of lazer-cut, engraved wood - each layer featuring a cog or two cut into it - pressed together to make the final, 3D piece. I love the depth of it and how it's so interesting to look at from whatever angle you see it. Take a look at the Typical Freaks webshop for other, similar items. Other favourites of mine are the lock and key necklace and the telephone necklace!
From above:
Which items from the Typical Freaks shop do you like the best?

25 Jan 2012

Lily Loves: Ruth Tomlinson jewellery

I think I've died and gone to jewellery heaven! Just look how amazing these pieces by London-based Ruth Tomlinson are! With their un-polished, natural quality, the metals used remind me of lichen; as if it's taken centuries for the silver and gold to grow over the colourful gems, almost engulfing them and but not quite completely gobbling them up, leaving the gems on display in a subtly muted way. Surely the perfect collection for anyone who, like me, enjoys a bit of sparkle but not in a showy way.  

Ruth on her work:
“I am driven by my passion for the magic of minutiae, tiny intricacies, small oddities and the search for preciousness within the world. I always search for beauty within objects; this might be found in the inherent value of a piece, the rarity of the material or in a curiosity of nature. My inspiration comes from the idea of lifecycles and change in nature, in transience from birth to decay. I am interested in archaeological finds and Pre-Raphaelite imagery, lifecycles, decay and natural changes.”
(Ruth's quote taken from here)


19 Jan 2012

Lily Loves: Comfort Station jewellery . . .

After receiving a bundle of lovely, broken old books as a Christmas present I'm currently going crazy making decorations and art with them (watch this space to see the outcome), so these sliced book necklaces from Comfort Station really strike a chord!
Featuring little snippets of sheet music, poetry, and scripture hidden behind engraved metal discs and keyholes that swing aside to reveal the vintage papers, the necklaces are available to buy online or in Comfort Station's London store, just off Brick Lane (22 Cheshire Street) for around the £200 mark. But if every penny counts in the post-Christmas lull or you just can't justify another self-gift, then this could make a fun DIY project. In fact, I may give it a go . . . 
Also brilliant is the barometer necklace (£162). If that little gold weather-indicator on it is moveable then the necklace would make a really fun mood indicator! Slide it to stormy to warn people not to mess with you, or switch it to 'excellent' if you're having a particularly good day. There are some lovely, unusual jewellery items on the Comfort Station site so be sure to have a look at their other ranges if you like what you've seen here.

16 Jan 2012

Learn with Lily: Jewellery symbolism . . .

Hamsa Hands, the Evil Eye and Sideways Crosses
The Evil Eye. The Hamsa Hand. The Sideways Cross – just three symbols that have become incredibly popular in jewellery design in the UK over recent months. It’s so easy to buy something ‘just because it looks nice’, or because it’s fashionable, but what do the symbols you’re wearing actually mean? I thought it might be interesting to take a look . . .
1: Urban Outfitters. Bracelet - £6 | Necklace - £14
2: Aamaya by Priyanka. Charm Necklace - £150
3: Butler & Wilson. Crystal Eye Ring - £18
4: House of Harlow. Eye Studs - £27 (on sale)
5: Dana Levy. Braided Hamsa & Eye Bracelet - £75
6: Lovehearts & Crosses. Red Cord Hamsa - £9
7: Urban Outfitters. Evil Eye Ring - £6
8: Lovehearts & Crosses. Topshop-dupe Eye Ring - £14
9: Ileana Makri. Hamsa Bracelet - £399
10: Lovehearts & Crosses - Coral Hamsa Ring - £14
11: Dana Levy. Glass Bead Hamsa Bracelet - £35 (also sold at Liberty) 

The Hamsa Hand:
The Hamsa Hand is an ancient symbol of protection found under various guises in many religions... and Urban Outfitters. With ‘Hamsa’ literally meaning ‘five’ (as in five fingers), the palm shaped amulet is a universal symbol of protection and depicts an open right hand, sometimes with two thumbs, one either side of the palm. As well as protection, the open hand also symbolises blessings, power, and strength whilst also being seen as potent in deflecting the Evil Eye, a malicious stare believed to be able to cause illness, death, or just general unluckiness.
Historically and traditionally hung or painted in homes, or carved in jet or formed from silver – a metal believed to contain ‘magical properties’ – the Hamsa Hand can be depicted with the fingers spread apart to ward off evil, or closed together to bring good luck. In recent years new interest has been bought to the Hamsa symbol by the celebrity endorsement of Kabbalah bracelets. That famous red Kabbalah string bracelet worn by celebrities such as Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mick Jagger, Britney Spears and co (on their left wrist if they read the rule book), often features the Hamsa and perhaps sparked this new interest in the symbol and the related Evil Eye charm.

The Evil Eye:
The Evil Eye charm is very popular in mainstream jewellery design at the moment and a staple of tourist knick-knacks across the Mediterranean. But what does it represent?
The ‘evil eye’ is, as the name suggests, a malicious stare believed to be able to cause a person misfortune, ill-luck and possibly death. Wearing the Evil Eye talisman has been seen as a means of protection for centuries, with the charm believed to protect the wearer from any harm the glare might inflict. Disks or balls (known as Nazars) featuring a simplistic blue and white circular ‘eye’ design are popular talismans across the Middle East and Mediterranean, with the staring eyes believed to bend the malicious gaze back on the sorcerer. These amulets are commonly found worn as beads or used as hanging decorations in houses, cars and on boats in countries such as Turkey and Greece. The blue eye symbol can also be found on some forms of the Hamsa Hand.

Sideways Crosses:

This is a grey area. The quick answer is that no one really seems to know what the Sideways Cross represents – unless I missed a newsflash and you all know? In which case, fill me in! There doesn’t seem to be much out there on the symbolism of the Sideways Cross. Some believe it could link to an ancient use of the cross in symbolism where the horizontal bar indicates the equator and the vertical bar represents the path of the sun across the equator in Spring time. My hunch is that the Sideways Cross was simply born out of someone taking artistic licence with a universal symbol and it’s taken off due to the current trend for meaningless crosses in highstreet clothing and jewellery, in a similar way that meaningless rosary beads were popular in the mainstream a few years ago . . .
So there you go, a little light has been shed on the meanings behind Hamsa Hands, the Evil Eye and the Sideways Cross. I hope someone out there found that useful! Please let me know if you did, it would make my day. 

12 Jan 2012

Lily Loves: House of Mouse

This little fellow moved in to my mum's treasure cabinet on Christmas day. He's a Tom Baker mouse and travelled all the way from the brilliant House of Mouse to set up home with my family :) If you've never heard of House of Mouse, prepare to be amazed. This brilliant UK-based etsy shop sells super cute little felt mice in various ingenious guises - from Tom Baker and other classic Doctor Who characters, to Sherlock Holmes and Watson; Ewoks and Chewbaccas, Harry Potter and friends; Wonder Woman; hobbits; teachers; librarians; brides and grooms; zombies... pretty much any character type you could ever want!
Lovingly crafted by Anna and Nicole, each mouse comes beautifully packaged with a little certificate of authenticity. Honestly, these mice make perfect gifts - my Mum was over the moon with her little mouse. Be sure to check out the House of Mouse shop - and let me know which is your favourite! 

7 Jan 2012

Corners of our home...

 From top:
- A model of one of the soldiers from the Terracotta Army
- White porcelain oriental figurine - bought at Lewes Flea Market
- Danish decorations - I bought these in Copenhagen
- A decoration crafted from an old book - bought at Made 2011

Lily says: These items can all be found in our living room. We have a rather mixed theme going on, with delicate oriental items nestled in with Scandinavian gems and vintage finds. I'm hoping to make 'Corners of our home' a little series of posts and can't wait to share some more of my favourite items from around the house. Let me know if that's something you're interested in :)


5 Jan 2012

That was: December...

From top: Advent calendar | Vintage baubles | Dennis Sever's House - amazing | Christmas in London | Flying to Lyon | Lyon for work | Interviewing designers | Working lunches | Travelling in France | The Fete des Lumieres | More working lunches | Regent's Street christmas lights | Liberty | Oxford Street christmas lights | My boyfriend has an operation on his arm... not so festive!
From top: St Pauls, London | Walking through Occupy London | Work christmas party - Jack the Ripper walking tour | Candles and decorations | Christmas gingerbread! | The cuckoo clock | Christmas baking - cookies and cake pops | Presents | Christmassy PJs | Dog toy from Hong Kong in the form of a Foo Dog | Christmas dinner | My brother, home from Hong Kong for christmas | NYE - Hello 2012!

Lily says: Happy New Year! Sorry I have been a little AWOL recently - December was rather jam-packed and on top of all you can see above, I was also involved in a car accident on 27 December that left me rather brusied and shaken. Slowly getting back to normal now though so blogging should hopefully resume! Hope you all had wonderful Christmasses.

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