Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Top 10 tips for a cut-price Christmas

Thanks to everyone who gave me tips for a cut-price Christmas in the kitchen this year.

This is the result. Please follow the link and post a comment!

Zoe Murphy furniture

My Eco Self quite likes numbers, and spreadsheets, and calculators with big buttons. So when I saw this table, I knew I just had to feature it here.It has been designed by British artist Zoe Murphy, who 'upcycles' pieces of mid-20th Century furniture, using bright colours inspired by her seaside home of Margate, Kent. Even her textiles are recycled; wedding dress silks which have been unpicked, dyed and printed.

Zoe kindly answered a few questions for me.

What inspires you?
I am mostly inspired by the 'everyday' and have always been influenced by designers and artists who turn a concept on its head or make people view things in different ways. Most of my work is focused on trying to draw attention to furniture and textile pieces that are otherwise left unloved and disregarded. As a result I use a lot of recycling in my designs and utilise processes such as veneering and patchworking constantly.

How would you describe your perfect day?
My perfect day - which I get to induldge in almost every Sunday of the summer - is waking up at 6am to get to a bootfair with my mum and rummaging around for an hour or three before retiring to a local cafe for a huge mug of tea and a bacon sandwich. The rest of the day is usually spent cleaning up all of the things I have bought and drawing up ambitious plans to regenerate each of them.

How can someone buy your work?
I mostly create bespoke pieces for individual clients. However, pieces are going into galleries in the UK and Scotland and I am in discussion with a London dept. store who will be taking on some of the work in the new year. Most of the work is made to order but some pieces, such as the Formica and some of the furniture, I will be making and then posting on the site for sale. With so much furniture and textiles gathered over the summer there are a lot of interesting things to come!

Thanks Zoe! Please check out her website for more information and up-to-date pieces for sale.
Originally posted at Tea for Joy.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Eco(nomy) Christmas

My Eco Self is looking for tips for a money-saving Christmas in the kitchen. Do you have any ideas? A cheaper alternative to turkey? Good ideas for leftovers? Telling the relatives to stay at home?

Any ideas welcome.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Vote for Boutiko

My Eco Self's friend, Boutiko, has been nominated for an award at Green England's Green Awards, in the best Fair Trade Company category. Go, Tara!

Please vote for Boutiko, here - it will only take a few seconds!

Rob Pepper and Daily Drawing Diary

My Eco Self has recently discovered the beautiful illustrations of Rob Pepper. He has drawn every day for the last four years, and posted the drawings at The Daily Drawing Diary. his simple images are just what I need when my brain is going fuzzy at blog text overload.

For all you budding artists out there (or even if you're not) Rob is running a two-week trip to Kerala in India with the Responsible Tourism Award-winning company The Blue Yonder in February 2009. A group of 10 will participate in art workshops alongside those of local Indian artists. The trip will offset its carbon by physically planting saplings in a local reforestation project. The trip will also go on a spice tour and learn local cooking.