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For the last   I have been on the hunt for the perfect leather bag. Not too large, but able to fit a laptop, my knitting projects for the tube, my lunch and occasionally teaching materials for when I need to cart in large art books for classes.

Having coveted a Campomaggi bag from Italy for over 3 years – namely the one below…

…which periodically pops up at Toast or Plümo, and promptly sells out – I started looking at this bag as my starting point.

It was interesting how hard it was to find the actual bag in stock anywhere…and I mean ANYWHERE – not just in the UK but worldwide.

Campomaggi is a relatively small company that hand makes their bags and therefore keep production to a rather limited scale. Not only  are they hard to find, but when the bags become available they seem to sell out in minutes! It is amazing.

They really seem to have nailed the aged vintage mailbag look with their washed leather and have some gorgeous styles, which, I guess is why!

I waffled for a few months trying to decide between the bag above and the one below, not having seen either in the flesh, and not quite willing to spend large sums of cash on a bag unseen (felt/smelt/and pawed!):

Then the new collection came out and all hell broke loose! So many more choices…but so few suppliers. Hmmph.

These ones were added to the possible want list:

Then I saw it. THE ONE:

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…and the angels sang…

…then screeched as they saw the £524 price tag!

There was NO WAY I would spend that much money on a bag. I just couldn’t justify it.

So I kept looking, and looking, trolling bags online like some leather obsessed pedo.

Then.

I saw my precious on another website, in Germany, this time. And lo and behold it was a fraction of the Swedish one. But sold out. Then weeks later it came back in stock…for a bit more money but still within my range! But before I could purchase – due to a glitch in the checkout system – sold out again. I was really starting to get irritated. And the company was not willing to help in any way, shape or form (Hence my not crediting them anywhere. Trolls.).

So I waited. And fumed. And plotted revenge. And waited. And  one day. ONE FINE DAY (months later)…it came back in stock and I managed to get the transaction through before someone else scooped the bag! VICTORY. Satisfaction. Smugness. And a huge touch of apprehension.

What if I didn’t like the bag in real life after spending all that covet energy and dosh? Eep.

So after much drama she finally arrived – well wrapped in a box…in a bag…in a cloth bag…! (not the most environmental of packaging, but adding to the anticipation of unveiling)

In sunshiney glory!

The shots were taken with my iphone, so the colour is a bit washed out on the back right corner. It isn’t actually two-tone in real life, but a rich, warm cognac colour.

The leather is actually thicker than I expected and will get better with age and last me a lifetime (or until some sketcher steals the bag from me. I DO live in London, after all!).

The front pockets are fully functional and close with a solid magnetic clasp – the top one with the clasp and the leather thong threaded through the one below, so secure to prying hands in the Tube. There is a phone pocket and a large zippered pocket inside for a wallet and other smaller stuff you want to keep from losing in the bottom of the bag.

The only thing I am not thrilled about is the chunky zip they used.

It is sturdy, but due to the wibbles in the thick leather and the fact that the large teeth have to change direction so much (if that makes sense), it isn’t the smoothest running zipper. Which is a bit annoying for a bag in this price range. However, it will surely last for ages, and also has a heavy chain toggle that you can ‘lock’ the bag with or use to hang your keys on which is handy. You can see it on the left, if you click on the image below.


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All and all I am pretty giddy! It is perfect. Sigh. Phew!

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Is it really sad that I am horrifically pleased with my newest acquisition, this vintage Ohio Art Co. 1950s Tiger Target?

Purchased from the lovely Donna at Dandelion Lane Vintage on Etsy.

I have been driving Bubs nuts by saying ‘tiger, tiger’ repeatedly in a strange voice. It must be stuck in my head from some old advert, but I just can’t place it! Oh well.

Tiger, tiger.

Happy New Year lovelies!

Did you all make it through the festivities?

The holidays at the Roost were a calm and restful affair this year, and I hope the same for all of you.

As mentioned in an inadvertent post-xmas post (I intended to schedule the placemat post, but it all went horribly wrong. heh) I decided I would use xmas gift money to treat myself to the much covetted pair of glorious Danish Glerups slippers. They arrived a few weeks ago and I have to say I have not regretted a single penny of the £52 I spent on them.

(Yes, I know, I know, it seems like a ridiculous amount of money to spend on a pair of slippers. But you know what? They truly are AMAZING!)

The ads don’t lie – they are addictive! Super soft, thick and unbelievably warm. So warm that I frequently have to take them off as my tootsies get …wait for it… too hot!

My feet have got from ice cold cringers from our insanely cold, uninsulated floors (flagstones in the kitchen?? What Dickensian chic were our landlords going for?), to toasty and cushioned by little clouds. Bliss.

It is really amazing how the felted wool creates heat on bare skin. Who knew?

Here is the big reveal (pay no mind to the hairy ankles. It IS winter, after all. 😉 ):

They are very sturdily made out of thick felt and the suede soles carefully stitched on. Definitely made to last for years. A good investment in comfort if you ask me.

I got the short booties, thinking it would be nice to have the backs to hold my feet in when I have them up on the footstool, but now wish I had gotten the longer booties as the backs dig in a little with feet up. I am guessing this will soften up with repeated squishing, tho. It’s not a biggie.

I got them from Brandosa with a 20% off voucher, which they likely have quite often. Just keep an eye out on myvouchers if you are in the UK.

I HIGHLY recommend them if you have cold floors…or if you just love your feet. Think I might get some felt insoles for my shoes now after experiencing the joy that is felt.

They have created a monster. I thought I loved felt before – but now! Oh dear.

A gorgeous neutral palette that is cropping up a lot recently is the combination of natural light woods and steely greys.

Creating a feeling of calm simplicity this colour combination draws on recent trends towards natural, sustainable, well made products without frills or fuss (eco-luxe?). Beautifully made wood and cork products, ‘earth-tone’ metals -steel, copper and brass- natural linen and marbled stone all highlighting their unique properties.

Think classically simple Scandinavian or Japanese products like those sold at Mjölk in Toronto:


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So pretty. I wish I could commit to one simple colour scheme like this, but just love colour too much!

A layering of autumnal texture and colour from Anthropologie.

The newest obsession around the Roost… moulded felt slippers.

As the ongoing quest to stay warm in our icebox continues I am trying to find some cozy slippers which are sturdy enough on the bottoms to block out the chill of the bare floorboards and icy paving stones in the kitchen.

I ran across Pia Wallen’s felted slippers but they didn’t look quite what I was after…no soles…and at that price they had to be perfect!


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Then I saw these:

Made in Denmark these Gelrups were designed by Nanny Gelrup in 1993 as a hobby, knitting socks, then felting them into booties and adding a suede sole. They became so popular that she and her husband have found a way to produce them for sale.

From The Label Finder:

‘Handmade from 100% pure, natural wool. The wool is treated naturally, and the product is followed closely, all the way from the animal to your foot. The wool is washed in soft water and trimmed afterwards. The wool is made into socks and finally felted with steam. After this they are fitted with soles of pure soft calves´ skin.’

They come in a variety of styles from clogs to little booties and even come with a rubber sole as a shoe.

I do love the booties:

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But the rubber soled ones would last longer and stay cleaner:

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Think this will be my xmas money purchase, but which one?

Decisions, decisions!

Did you know that trends have an upcurve that plateaus and then peters out? The upcurve occurs as the mainstream catches on to the trend, getting more and more popular until it reaches its maximum popularity and becomes …unpopular.

I think I instinctively always understood this and have always felt that the uncool factor is reached when the trend STARTS to hit mainstream. It is interesting to look at the business of trend forecasting and getting a better understanding of how something that is oh-so-cool one moment becomes yesterday’s news.

The whole process is depressingly predictable for me. I get really excited about something which most people don’t even care exists …then years later it hits mainstream and becomes (for me) incredibly un-cool and loses its unique charm.

As such, here are a few such things that are, sadly, well on their way out:

Bus blinds, route signs and other ubiquitous signage from the war urging states of mind (don’t even say it…I can no longer even bear to hear the phrase. Brrr. It makes me slightly ill inside when I see them now.).


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Chevrons – rugs pillow, curtains, bags, shoes, jumpers….you get the picture. Once fun and punchy, they now scream ‘last year’.


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Closely linked to chevrons are Ikat patterns…a shame, this one. A little too closely linked to fashion and now EVERYONE is on the bandwagon. sigh.


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Juju tribal hats. This one didn’t really have much of a hope in hell. Once the hat was mass produced for sale it lost a lot of its charm. Another shame.


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And lastly for today, but certainly not least in my books – the ‘Victorian natural history’ look (damn you, Sibella, for getting this one on the mainstream radar!!).

Bell jars, taxidermy, dried plants, skulls, shells, glass displays.


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Everywhere now. How depressing. Big sigh.

More and more faceted bowls and dishes are cropping up lately and I am loving them.

These jelly bean hued planters are by Kelly Lamb and come in cast ceramic and concrete.

They also come in hanging planters, which is fab, as I have been looking for an interesting hanging planter for the house…except that they aren’t available in the UK. Hmmph.

These ones below by Kosta Boda are cut out of marble and called ‘Diva’.

How perfect!

In desperate need of a good nail brush with all the painting, planting and other grubby DIY I have been up to lately, I have been keeping my eyes peeled for something utilitarian but beautiful. I was thinking of one of those old-school wooden ones like the one we had when I was growing up.

How is this for perfect?

Made in Sweden (of course!) by Iris Hantverk Company, these brushes are made by hand. As if that isn’t awesome enough, the company employs visually impaired crafts people for the job. You can watch a Youtube video here to see how the brushes are made.

The company makes a variety of brushes – the backs and handles are made of oil treated birch, oak or beech and the bristles are horsehair, goat hair, Tampico fiber (native to northern Mexico) and/or plassava (bass) fiber, depending on their use.

I particularly like the body brushes made of horsehair that are firm but soft enough not to scrape. I can imagine they would lather up quite nicely! There are a variety of shapes…here are a few below:

My favourite is the round-knobbed one, as it looks like it would fit quite nicely in the palm. Though the short handled one with the hole is also nice and has a good heft.

Hantverk also produces a range of beautiful cleaning and kitchen brushes.

Wouldn’t they make cleaning more bearable??

Some of you may recognise the beautiful long handled brush and pan set that has been featured on several blogs lately:

I want them ALL.

I dropped into the Fritz Hansen shop on lunch and found a few there – they are as gorgeous as I’d hoped. Now I just have to figure out where the best place to get them will be!

I see that they are also available to my Canuck darlings through Örling & Wu in Vancouver and through Mjölk in Toronto.

Not that I am encouraging you to shop. (Like I have to….!)

You know how sometimes you just see something and it just gets under your skin? Like these tiles by Made a Mano in Denmark profiled on The Style-Files.

I don’t usually let myself get excited about tiles, as I don’t have the opportunity to properly re-tile anything in a rental…but these are just beautiful on their own!

These are so utterly gorgeous, you could use one as a coaster tray on a bedside table, or as a serving plate. And look at its chunky profile on top of a bathroom vanity:

Drool.

I think this shot below is now my ‘dream bathroom’ inspiration.

So perfect.

Winston


art, design and interiors obsessed

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