Saturday, 29 May 2010

Sex and the City 2: The Stories. The Fashion. The Adventure

Well as practically the whole world is bashing the Sex and the City 2 movie (read the excellent post by Katie Chutzpah hitting out at the critics) I have decided to have a go at the book. Yesterday while feeling excited about the prospect of seeing Carrie and the gals again I got happy and ordered the book from amazon. My thought process was that I would be able to labour over the book today while remicising over the film. You see I was expecting the film to be good but it wasn't and I was also expecting the book to be good too but guess what? It wasn't either. So hello to a less than pleased Ondo Lady. 
Before I go any further let me explain the concept of the S&TC books, now I am not talking about the one written by Candace Bushnell but the brilliant ones that acompany the show and films and written by Amy Sohn. These are well crafted items which are designed to lay luxuriously on your coffee table. Hardbacked and rectangle shaped they contain wonderful images of the characters, the show and people behind the scenes. For instance Sex and the City Kiss and Tell which is based on the TV series delves into the history of the show. The foreward is by Sarah Jessica Parker who tells us about how she initially turned down the role of Carrie because she did not want to go back to TV. There are also chapters on each of the four ladies which covers their personalities and how they have evolved since the first series and there is also a summary of each episode. As well as the fashion the book looks at the apartments of the four ladies and discusses their individual styles. The men of S&TC are featured as well as city the show is set in. This one of my favourite books because not only is it pretty with it's pinlk cover it provides you with every nut and bolt that you would love to know about the show.

Sex and the City: The Movie is rather similar to the first book as it kicks off with an intro from Sarah Jessica Parker who gives us a recap on the years between the end of the series and the film. Writer and director, Michael Patrick King's intro is very interesting as he gives us his ideas and aspirations on the fllm which I found really intruiging. The next few pages goes into the logistics of turning S&TC into a film. I guess I just took it for granted how it easy it would be to make the fiilm and get all the crew and props back. Well this section goes into the technicalities they faced. Like the beginning of the first film the book gives us a summary of the show season by season and on the character's lives. However, this is where the similarities between the first book ends, the next part of the book is a pictorial narration of the film. I mean if you have not seen the first film and read this you really will not need to as everything is given away. I must admit at over 120 pages long I felt a bit cheated because I was expecting a lot more features. There are a few nice touches like a piece on the Vogue shoot, why they chose the Vivienne Westwood dress and Carrie's apartment makeover. Of course you couldn't have a S&TC book without the fashion and there is a look book which documents all the clothes. Sex and the City: The Movie is not as brilliant as the first book but is is a must have for die hard S&TC fans and as I said before the pictures are beautiful.

Which brings me to Sex and the City 2: The Stories, The Fashion, The Adventure, the first thing that stands out is that thei book is not written by Amy Sohn but by someone called Eric Cyphers who I have never heard of and also the cover is more luxurious. It has a nice pouchy feel to it which I really like. However. this stops there. I hate the colour which is a light grey and a far cry from the girly pink of the first one and dynamic black of the second one. Believe me the content is not any better either: there is the usual introduction by Sarah Jessica Parker and Michael Patrick King where they talk about filming in the Middle East. There is the summary of what the characters have been up to since the first film then there is a section on filming in Morocco but is is all really lightweight as if they wanted to skimp over it. This is followed by Q&As with the four actresses which I find boring as they are not saying anything I have not heard before. The next section is on the men of S&TC and the supporting cast. Then of course we have the fashion but instead of a couple of pages of looks we have over 100 pages of the outfits featured in the film. Each outfit has two pages dedicated to it with full credits! Talk about blatant advertising and product placement. I felt disgusted and frankly ripped off. The whole book reads like a catalogue promoting designer clothes as well as a luxury holiday in Marrakesh. Talk about style and no bleedin substance. Me no likey!! My advice is if you want a fabulous S&TC book then just stick with the first one which has quality writing, fashion and fun.

The Sex and the City books are available to buy from amazon.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

In the Editor's Chair - Adriano Sack

I always get excited about the launch of a new magazine. I guess it is the concept of someone's new vision, cool ideas as well as a new magazine design. I came across Ilikemystyle Quarterly while infiltrating my ever so beloved Google Reader and checking out a post on Glowing Doll. Ilikemystyle Quarterly is the world's first user generated magazine, where members are invited to contribute to the publication. Imagine all your favourite posts put together into a glossy and trendy magazine and you soon get the picture. Based in Berlin, Ilikemystyle Quarterly was founded by Adriano Sack and Eva Munz and the first issue hit the streets last month. The ilikemystyle publication is so on point that it has it's own little trailer which was created to promote the launch. I caught up with Adriano to get the lowdown on this cool magazine.

How did you get into journalism?
While I was studying architecture in Hamburg I worked in a very notorious club as a bartender so I guess I was a nightlife person. The local city magazine needed a party reporter and hired me so I left architecture school and never looked back.

Describe the concept of Ilikemystyle Quarterly and the idea behind the name. is a social network for people interested and obsessed with fashion and who have a healthy appetite for self-exposure. Our users upload pictures, write comments, befriend each other etc. The print magazine, Ilikemystyle Quarterly is based on the website showcasing the diverse talents of our userbase. As far as I know it's the first user generated magazine. The project is called i Like my style because you have to like yourself to be liked by others. Obviously there's is a gentle irony to that name.
The design is very slick, how did you decide on the art design of the publication?
Our art directors Judith Banham and Alexander Wiederin created an unfussy, elegant look with a twist, because we felt the content and the images don't need to be pimped by self-indulgent design.

Who is behind the publication?
A couple of media and fashion people such as digital manager Klaus-Peter Frahm, movie director and writer Eva Munz, fashion designer and critic Martin Cho, philosopher Michael Ladner, cultural critic Emily Segal. And the users of our website.

How many members of staff work on the magazine?
No staff. We're all free radicals.

Describe a day in the life of Adriano Sack.
A prototypical day in New York:
8.17 am: I drink a glass of hot water as recommended by Chinese mothers (it’s good for everything).
8.19 am: I skip yoga to check and write emails instead. To distract myself I click through Spiegel Online, NYT online (including their fashion site The Moment),, some fashion blogs.
9.13 am: I call contributors, advertising clients, our tax consultant, my boyfriend who lives in Berlin, and some best friends and I write some stuff.
1.03 pm: I have lunch with Michael Bullock from Fantastic Man at a vegetarian Japanese noodle place.
2.00 pm: I go to the fashion boutique Opening Ceremony and the St. Mark’s bookstore. I’m so happy that they are carrying our magazine, that I end up not buying anything.
2.58 pm: I discuss stories, layouts and the long overdue redesign of the website with our art director.
7.03 pm: I go to some gallery openings, decide not to go to the movies and have dinner with friends instead.
10.05 pm: whatever.

Which blogs do you check out regularly?

What magazines do you read?
Der Spiegel, Pin-Up, Fantastic Man, Vogue (from every country my favourite being French and Russian), and literally every magazine in the world: from the rather heady neo-conservative German Cicero to Spanish Hola to Straight from Hell.

What tips do you have for anyone who wants to become a magazine editor?
Join and become a contributor. In case you want to work for other magazines/newspapers/website: 1. Find a rich wife or husband to support you because only few journalists make good money. 2. Travel the world, learn languages, sleep around, try exotic drugs. There’s nothing worse than journalists that have not experienced pain, beauty, danger and irresponsible fun. 3. Read the classics, old and new ones: from Tolstoi to Truman Capote to Christian Kracht. 4. Write only about things that matter to you. 5. Don’t take yourself too seriously. 6. Most important: Make your contributors shine.

You can check out Ilikemystyle Quarterly here.

Check out the trailer below, it is pretty cool isn't it?

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Good Hair and a Q&A with Chris Rock

Good Hair from Ronke Adeyemi on Vimeo.
I cannot tell you how long I have been dying to see this film. Well ever since I saw the trailer in September while I was in New York about to see The September Issue. I missed a screening a few months back so I was really excited when I heard that The Ritzy were hosting a screening as well as a Q&A with Mr Chris Rock. I have no idea what has gotten into The Ritzy (they have really stepped up their events with the premiere of Why Did I Get Married last Friday and having Tyler Perry and Janet Jackson on the red carpet) but I like it. Anyway despite having a complete castrophe on my route into London from Kent (a broke down train, a rerouted one and problems on the normally reliable Victoria Line) I made it to the screening in the nick of time.
Good Hair is a documentary comedy film made by Chris Rock which he was inspired to make after a rather disturbing conversation with one of his daughters about her hair. Questioned by his five year old, Lala about why she did not have 'good hair' prompted Rock into delving into the deep rooted issues that Black women have about their hair and boy did he get a real eye opener. He found out that the Black hair industry is worth $6 billion yet Black people have very little stake in the industry apart from as consumers. He travelled to Atlanta, home to many a Black person as well as numerous hair salons, he went to LA which is the capital of the weave and also to India to see where the weaves actually come from.  He also investigated the situation with the creamy crack aka the relaxer which is used by the majority of Black women. I found this aspect of the film very interesting as it really sort of represented the legacy of African American history. The whole perception that the straighter your hair is then the more acceptable you will be in white society especially in the workplace. Hence the outcry in 2007 over the insulting comments that a former journalist at US Glamour made during a presentation on the do's and don'ts of corporate fashion. What was really scaring was the science behind the chemical relaxer and exactly what it did to your scalp. Wooo! Talk about excruciating.
Good Hair showed Chris going into a variety of salons and spoke to numerous of Black women and girls about their hair. From grown women who have been relaxing their manes, to those who don a weave and also to very young girls - one as young as six - whose mothers took them to their hairdressers to get their hair relaxed. In the space of an hour and a half, The documentary covers a heck of a lot but also keeps us laughing with Rock's hilarious commentary. He takes what is a really serious issues and keeps it really educational and entertaining at the same time. As well as Black hair officonados the film features Nia Long, Salt n Pepa, Eve, Raven Symone, Ice T, Meagan Good, Lauren London, Kerry Washington, Reverend Al Sharpton, Maya Angelou and KRS One. The film was definitely worth the wait; it was funny and at times quite sad but moreover very informative and extremely thought provoking. It really made you sit down and think about how much effect the images of women in the media effect young Black women. How destructive those images can be if they are one sided and show one example of beauty. Afterwards we were treated to a Q&A with Chris where he entertained several questions about the film. I can confirm that he is as slight in real life as he appears on the screen but is just as funny.

Good Hair will be released in the UK in June.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Why Did I Get Married Too

never did get round to writing a blog post about Why Did I Get Married, I did a preview post but not a review. So here is a mini recap; Dianne and Terry, Patricia and Gavin, Angela and Marcus, Sheila and Mike are best friends from University who meet up once a year on a vacation for a bit of R&R. However friction is on the cards for all four couples; Terry played by Tyler Perry is unhappy about Dianne’s (played by Sharon Leal) involvement with her job, Patrica played by Janet Jackson and Gavin played by Malik Yoba are struggling to come to terms with the death of their child, Angela played by Tasha Smith and Marcus’ (played by Michael Jai White) constant bickering threatens to form a huge wedge between them and Sheila played by Jill Scott is close to the breaking point with Mike’s (played by Richard T. Jones) emotional abuse. To cut a long story after some serious drama in which Mike spills all the friends secrets this causes all four couples to look carefully at their relationships. Sheila dumps Mike and takes up with Troy played by Lamman Rucker, the sexy sherrif.
Why Did I Get Married Too starts a few years later with the friends gathering the Bahamas for their yearly ritual. Things are a little different now, Dianne and Terry have a little boy and Sheila is married to Troy and they have a baby son. Some things do not change though; Angela and Marcus are still at each other's throat or rather Angela is still at Marcus’s throat. His new job as a sportscaster on CNN is putting a strain on their marriage. Meanwhile Patricia and Gavin are under going a strain of their own with their marriage collapsing around their ears. The other couples still have their issues as well, Sheila and Troy’s move from Colorado to Atlanta means that Troy had to give up his job as a Sherrif and is finding it hard to find work. This has not just put a strain on their finances but also their marriage. Meanwhile Terry has noticed that Dianne has been extra happy for the last few months and is beginning to get suspicious about as to why. Meanwhile there is the small matter of Mike aka Sheila's ex turning up in the Bahamas with the intent of wooing her back.
I really really LOVED this film, ok it did get really cheesy towards the end but it was a wonderful film to watch. The characters were all relatable and warm which really made me really interested in their lives. The script for Why Did I Get Married Too is even more cracking and funny than the first film but it contains a few twists and turns that keep you gripped. On paper, it does not sound that much exciting but it really is a bit of an epic with great cinematography and a fabulous soundtrack. I don't care what anyone says about Tyler Perry, I think he is brilliant. I cannot wait to get my hands on the DVD when it comes out in a six months time. 

For those of you in the UK who missed the screening, Why Did I Get Married Too will be released in the UK.

You can check out the website here.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

The Night I Met Tyler Perry and Janet Jackson

Sequels are always met with a certain amount of skepticism, remember The Terminator, Jurasic Park and Die Hard? This is very well deserved because after such a hit movie how on earth can you improve on it. Well those movies did exactly that and lived up to its promise. The sequel to Why Did I Get Married ie Why Did I Get Married Too filled me with a lot of questions such as how will the characters have moved on and what is In store for them  in the second movie. I could not wait to see it so when I heard that there was to be a premiere at The Ritzy with an appearence by Janet Jackson and Tyler Perry I could not believe my ears. I rushed to book my ticket and counted down the days till Friday 21st May.

Yesterday I arrived at Brixton at 7pm to see crowds of people gathered outside The Ritzy waiting in anticipation for Janet and Tyler to arrive. There was even a red carpet laid outside, something I have never seen in Brixton in all my years. We strutted down the red carpet and made our way into the cinema. Later I had to rush out to meet Didi from Virtues of Beauty and I almost ran smack into Mr Perry himself. Talk about rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous. The event was due to start at 7.30pm but it started an houir late as the lovely Tyler decided to honour the excited Brit crouds by doing a Tom Cruise. He spent well over 30 minutes on the carpet signing autographs and taking pictures. The man is a legend. About 45 minutes later Tyler Perry made his entrance into screen one and practically everyone got up to take pictures and to applaud this talented director. He gave a very heart warming speech telling us how appreciative he was of our support then he introducded Janet Jackson. Now I have always enviomed Ms Jackson to be a voluptous lady but let me tell you the lady is tiny and that short crop of hers made her look very elfin like. It was a great night and really wonderful to see a Black film made by a Black director given a high profile premiere. Ok it wasn't Leicester Square but last night Brixton had a buzz about it and it was most certainly good to see. (Sorry for the blurry pics, I did try but it was not an easy task taking them).

Review of Why Did I Get Married Too is coming up soon.

Monday, 17 May 2010

I Heart Hollywood by Lindsey Kelk - Review

Los Angeles is one place that I have always been intruiged about but never managed to make it down to. It has a few crass stereotypes like being full of blonde barbie dolls with fake boobs and suntans but there is the goosd stuff. Such as fabulous vintage stores like Decades which Rachel Zoe made popular, wonderful restaurants and a ridiculous amount of places to shop like Rodeo Drive, Beverley Hills, Sunset Boulevard, oh and to top it off all that glorious weather. I was very pleased when Lindsey Kelk's new chapter of the I Heart series was released a few months back which saw our heroine Angela Clark jet off to Hollywood to interview an A-list movie star. So in a matter of eight months Angela has gone from a struggling writer in London who fleed to New York to start a new life and in the process bagging herself a cool hipster bloyfriend, a blog on a glossy mag and a fab bestie in the shape of Jenny Lopez. (You can read all about this in the first book, I Heart New York) Now she is heading to La La land for the assigment of her dreams. A converted New Yorker, Angela is determined to do her job as quickly as possible and get back to her ever so blissful life with boyfriend. Alex. However when she meets movie star, James Jacobs and he seems to take a fancy to her and goes out of his way to sweep her off her feet. He shows her all the wonderful spots of LA and gets her on the VIP list for all the hotest places. Angela finds herself loving this new lifestyle and being drawn to the gorgeous movie star. Then she and James are caught in a very uncompromisimg position leaving her to deal with the wrath of not only Alex but her boss.

As I have not been reading as much as before it took me a while to get into this book. It started very well with Angela settling into the New York winter and spending her time with Jenny and Alex. However from the time Angela got to LA I kind of fell out of love with the book. I know that the I Heart series is about us readers living vicariously through Angela's perfect life but meeting a Hollywood leading man and getting him to fall for you seemed just a little bit too far fetched. However, there is a huge bombshell in the book that really puts things into perspective and really gets the book back on track. I am not going to spoil it for you but trust me I did not see it coming. I really ended up enjoying I Heart Hollywood as it showed the protagonist and her friends moving on and growing as people and I cannot wait to read the follow up I Heart Paris which is due out in September.

You can buy I Heart Hollywood from amazon.

Check out the I Heart Hollywood website here.

Follow Lindsey Kelk on Twitter here.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

My Space - Efe Nas-Omogiafo from Efe Fabulous

I came across Efe Nas-Omogiafo during her prolific tweets while she was working at online fashion giant, However I did not get the pleasure of meeting her till last week when we both scored an invite to the Lisa Jewell event. A hard working fashionista, (she now works in merchandising for figleaves) Efe manages to find the time to maintain two fantastic blogs. First there is Efe Fabulous which is about her shopping addictions and then there is Books-Aholic which features the vast amount of books she has read. Efe started blogging last year in a bid to share her thoughts with the world. I caught up with her to find out where she blogs.

Describe the concept of Efe Fabulous.
Efe Fabulous is a blog about me and my shopping addiction, also my fave foods and just about anything that interests me. I decided to start blogging because Twitter's 140 characters wasn't enough for me to express myself. Also I love the internet and used to run fan sites years ago so blogging about myself seemed right.

Where do you scribe?
I write my blog on my laptop on the dining table which is ideally located by a huge window. Sometimes if I'm feeling lazy ill sit on the sofa in front of the TV.

Why that place?
It's comfortable also I have big windows by my desk so I can look out in the courtyard and see what the neighbours are up to.
What is on your sofa at the moment?
My sofa is quite tidy actually. I have loads of cushions as I like comfort and its more homely that way.

What form of inspiration do you have on the wall? 
I have a few paintings on the wall but they are just there to look pretty, I prefer looking outside at the little nature I can see as that's what inspires me, or I'll have a book or magazine next to me.

Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy work?
I'm very tidy as I can't work in a messy environment, I may make a mess but I always tidy up afterwards.

You can read Efe Fabulous here and Books-Aholic here.

You can follow Efe on Twitter here.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Model City

I blogged about Model City briefly in a previous post when I talked about Centric TV, the station that offers quality programming for sophisticated African Americans. After missing most of the episdoes I managed to catch a back to back airing over the weekend. Yep that is one of the beauties of having Sky you get to have major OD on the shows you missed. Anyway onto Model City; well it turned out to be better than I expected. The reality show is about RED Model Management NY, which is an agency that employs Black and Latino male models. It features Wendell Lissimore, Ibrahim Baaith, Nelson Nieves, Salieu Jalloh, Zeric Armenteros, and Henry Watkin as they make their way in the modelling world. Model City delves into the double whammy of being a male Black model in a female dominated industry where there are few people of colour. We see the models go on group photo sessions with Upscale magazine and Bleu magazines. Representing at New York Fashion Week by working with top notch designers.But who these gorgeous guys and what is their story?
Salieu is Sierre Leon born and from a devout Muslim family who detest the fact that he is a model. However, despite his rocky relationship with his family Salieu is determined to make it as a model and create a better life for them whether the like it or not. Harlem raised, Wendell is the confident and self assured one who has his sights on an acting career. With a supermodel girlfriend in the form of Sessilee Lopez, it looks like Wendell has it all. Call me a cynic but I just did not buy them as a real couple. I got the impression it was just for face value in order to raise both their profiles, there was no heat or passion or even petty squabbles that couples have. Ibrahim is the eldest of all the models, he was raised in the Nation of Islam which he rebelled against. However the experience provided him with a huge foundation to build on. He graduated from Pratt Institute and is also working as an artist alongside with his modelling. With smarts, talent and looks he was one of my favourite models.
Henry is the guy next door. Sweet and unassuming he has decided to take a year out of college to pursue his modelling dreams. As he comes from a very academic family - all his sisters are at college and he is expected to go - this has not gone down very well with his family, Nelson is the only Latino guy in the pack but has been modelling for five years. The Bronx native was discovered while working in retail and since then has been booked non stop. Nelon has a really nice aura and a fantastic mantra. I loved it when he said he was goal was to be great at what he does and be there for his girl to catch her when she falls. Such a gentleman. Zeric is from Miami and the veteran of the group, having been modelling for quite a while. A real prickly character he is very much like marmite, you either love him or you hate him. He was a real bitch to Nelson one night when the models all went out to a big party which resulted in a bust up. However his scenes with his sister and her baby boy really redeemed him to me. He came across as being so sweet and understanding. 
Model City is a really great show which shows the modelling scene for what it is. As I have ranted on for ages I am not a fan of modelling shows but I really took to this one like cats take to milk. It gave us a taste of what the industry is like not just for a young man of colour but for any model trying to make their mark. Going to go sees to have your portfolio checked out, getting into the groove on a photo shoot and running around during fashion week to fittings and strutting their stuff at Fashion Week. It also made a change to see hard working professionals mastering their craft ad maintaining personal relationships with partners and family rather than seeing a bunch of wannabe models bickering over pettiness. Yes there were a few bust ups in Model City but the majority of the time it was a bunch of brothers working their asses off. Oh yeah and Tyson Beckford makes an appearance in one episode looking more handsome than ever. 

You can catch Model City on BET.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Come and Meet Lisa Jewell

Despite being attracted to the vibrant and vigorous marketing campaign for Lisa Jewell's debut novel, Ralph's Party back in 1999, I did not get round to reading her books till a good few years later. Thirtysomething was my first taste of Lisa Jewell(ism) and it certainly left a fantastic taste in my mouth. The story was about Dig and Nadine, two best mates who were doomed for each other except things kept getting in the way. Like Dig's first love, Nadine's career etc. I read the book in a flash and really fell in love with the characters as well as Lisa Jewell's style of writing. I tucked into One-Hit Wonder and A Friend of the Family and enjoyed every bit of them - you see there is something very endearing about the way Lisa writes and you really do fall in love with her characters. So when I received an invite from Random House inviting me to a Blogger event to meet Lisa Jewell herself and other like minded bloggers, I was pretty estatic.
The event took place at Random House headquarters last Wednesday and bloggers such as Efe from Efe Fabulous, Emma from The Adventures of an English Mum, Tamsin from Tamsin's Blog, Hannah from Why Miss Jones, Lisa from The Wright StuffCate from Bitchbuzz and Yasmin Selena. The idea was to celebrate the sequel to Ralph's Party, After the Party which takes place 12 years after the first book. After some nibbles, a glass of wine and some chit chat we all settled down and Lisa Jewell took part in a Q&A where she talked about her life as an author and how her books always have to have a happy ending. How she got started, what her inspirations were, the idea behind the sequel of Ralph's Party. Lisa was a real gem, so down to earth and very inspiring. The staff at Random House were very welcoming and it is so great to see a huge brand like Random really taking the social media thing to another level. It was also really empowering to be in the company of very creative and independent thinking women. The evening ended with pleasantries and we were each given a huge goodie bag with lots of chick lits in. Now I read a lot of blogs especially fashion and beauty ones and I am always jealous of the goodies they receive so this experience was a real coup for me. As well as a copy of After the Party inside the goodie bag were books like Confetti Confidential by Holly McQueen, Lost Innocence by Susan Lewis, Midnight Girls by Lulu Taylor, Truth to Tell by Mavis Cheek, Every Last One by Anna Quindlen, a fancy notebook and of course a large bar of Galaxy chocolate. Needless to say I was very chuffed and it looks like I have a few more titles to add to my 'to be read' pile.

After the Party is available to buy from amazon.

Check out the website for After the Party and you can join the Lisa Jewell Facebook fan page.

You can follow Lisa Jewell on Twitter here.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Goodbye to Home Sweet Home

Well that was the week that was and the Home Sweet Home series is over. I had a very interesting time checking out lots of interior blogs and contacting bloggers who write about homes and crafts. I interviewed Jeska from Lobster and Swan in the Blogger of the Month series and also Huma from Her Little Place in the My Space section. I also interviewed several homes bloggers and asked them what their favourite interior magazine was. Basically I had a ball. Thanks for all the support you have given me and Home Sweet Home will be back next year.

Picture taken from Design Sponge.

Home Sweet Home: TGI Friday

Yes it has been a while, in fact it has been an age but here is an exciting installment of TGI Friday but from an interiors perspective. This is where I pick out all the blogs that rocked my world this week.

Ok I cheated a bit as this post was written in April but I love it and just had to share it. For those of you who always have a problem with storage (like I do) this blog post lists some great ways of storing your wares.

Brunch at Saks
Annemarie shows us her inspirations over choosing colours for her home and shares with us lots of yummy pictures from Apartment Therapy.

Lobster and Swan
I love a good cup of tea and Jeska from Lobster and Swan shows off some gorgeous tea that she sighted at Les Carnets de MissClara.

A Bloomsbury Life
Lisa gives us the lowdown of the preview for the Acme gallery. I love the way the magazines are artfully displayed on the floor under the chair.

Design Sponge
Grace salivates over designer, Caitlin Mociun's cool and fabulous open loft home.

Picture taken from Concrete and Honey.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Home Sweet Home: The World of Interior Magazines

Location. Location. Location. Relocation. Relocation. Relocation. Property Ladder. Houae Doctor, To Buy or Not to Buy, Homes Under the Hammer. Just a taste of all the property programme that were all the rage just a few years ago. Back in 2004 when I bought my first home I could not get enough of these shows and watched them over and over again. Now I can barely stand the sight of them. I also went through the same thing with magazines; Good Homes, Living etc, Elle Deco all became my best friends and I used to spend many an hour pouring over them till I got to the point where even the masthead would make me recoil. Now after an absence of a year or two and a house that needs a revamp, I have rekindled my passion for interior mags. Then they do say that absence makes the heart go fonder. With interior bloggers coming to the forefront it made me wonder what interior magazines they read to get their inspirations so I set out to ask a few of my fav bloggers who write about homes and style what their best publication is.
My favourite interiors magazine is Elle Décor because it has always showcased beautiful and inspiring interiors.  Over the past year, the magazine has made a wonderful transition including more modern homes and highlighting spaces that appeal to everyone whether an interior designer or just a design lover.  The trend spotting is also on point.  The latest feature on the ikat trend was my favourite thus far.  Every month I can't wait for more!
Jeanine Hays
I subscribe to a few different décor publications, but until I discover Domino’s rightful replacement, I’ll continue to resurrect old issues.  It’s my design Bible and is necessary for renewal of the décor mind.  It gives 200 pages of mind-inspiring, creative freshness, while touching the hems of the design elite.  Each section is like a different book of the Bible.  First, there’s the “Old Testament” which consists of decor traditions and wisdom.   Second, is the “New Testament” featuring the four gospels: trends, amazing finds, stylish spaces and today’s designers.  Its book of Revelations isn’t in the magazine itself, but in the inspiration it gives to create a beautiful lifestyle.
Adrienne S.
Mustard Seed Collective
My favourite interiors magazine is Ideal Home. It's mainstream and it's popular but it's always inspiring. I know that the products they feature are going to be things I can actually buy too and the rooms are rooms I can actually see myself living in. As nice as it is to see pics of a château, it's hard to see how that will work in a 1 bedroom flat and Ideal Home doesn't fall into that trap. The magazine really shows you how to use the high street to create an individual look but for the really unique and vintage inspired home ideas I still look to blogs to inspire me rather than magazines.
Jenny Haydon
The Style PA at Home

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Home Sweet Home: My Space - Huma Qureshi from Her Little Place

Huma Qureshi is a pretty prolific journalist who writes for The Guardian, The Times, The Metro and City AM. Her thing is home and lifestyle and my does she do it well with pieces on small space living, the demise of cupcakes and the trends in interior design. Her blog, Her Little Place also follows along the same lines of her freelance writing with the emphasis on creating beautiful things as well as a gorgeous environment. Huma started blogging last year after reading a article in the Financial Times by a fellow journalist and blogger, Caroline Taylor (from Patchwork Harmony) about the wonders of blogging. So Her Little Place was born where Huma can share her love of interiors and all other wonderful home life things. I caught up with her to discuss where she writes her blog.

Describe the concept of Her Little Place.
Her Little Place is all about inspiration and comfort, and a place for me to share my thoughts and ideas with readers, with recipes, photos and writing, as I love to let my readers know about my published pieces for papers and magazines. The boutique concept, selling mail-order cookies, is a lot newer, and is simply born out of my love for baking, and my friends' insistence that I make mycookies more available!

Where do you scribe?
I wish I could say I had some handsome vintage writing desk to write at; sadly, I don't. My apartment is small - so I either write sitting cross-legged on my bed (not the best for posture), or on the sofa, with my laptop poised on the arm rest. 

Why that place?
Well, I suppose I could write in a much more civilised manner by sitting at my dining table, but it gets too crowded with my papers and notebooks and besides, I can't plug in my laptop charger when I sit there!
What is on your sofa at the moment?
I have to say, my sofa is not in great shape at the moment - I bought it from Habitat only a year and a half ago and it seems to... sag. I bought it because I loved the indigo colour. I make it pop with bright coloured cushions - pink and purple when I'm feeling girly or I'll tone it down with olives. I've got a really lovely olive throw that I sometimes dress it up with too when I want to avoid it being too purple-pink.

What form of inspiration do you have on the wall ie photos, magazine cuttings or extracts?
Being a professional writer, I am always keeping my eye out for magazine or newspaper cuttings that might inspire a new piece - but I'd never stick these up on the wall. Instead, I keep my cuts in box files that I'll refresh every week. I like to keep the walls simple, keeping room for favourite framed artwork or prints instead.

Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker?
I'm pretty tidy when it comes to work - I guess when you live in a small space you have to be. So even if I have my papers or magazines spread out when I write, I'll gather them together and file away when I'm done. I can't stand leaving the flat in a messy state; putting everything back in it's place signals the end of my working day.

You can read Huma's blog here.

You can follow her on Twitter here.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Home Sweet Home: The Selby is in Your Place

There are some people who just inspire you to reach out and harness your inner creativity and Todd Selby is one of them. For fashionistas out there, Selby is the equivalent to The Satorialist and The Face Hunter except that he deals with interiors. A respected photographer, Selby has worked for the likes of Vogue Paris and the New York Times Magazine for over a decade. He launched The Selby in June 2008 as a sideline project, which consisted of him snooping around the pads of friends, friends of friends and other like minded people. Most of them were creatives, had cool jobs and lived in cool areas or were just down right cool. Pretty soon the website became a huge hit and was mentioned in magazines and websites and hence Todd Selby had landed himself a book deal.

What I love about Selby is the way he embraces clutter and hoarding. Not for him the cold and harsh reality of minimalism, instead he seeks out home owners who put their stuff out there. The Selby is in Your Place consists of 40 homes which Todd considers to be his favourites from the website. There are even some famous folk such as Helena Christensen, Erin Wasson and Karl Lagerfeld. We get to see where they live as well as how they live and also get to have a look at the objects they collect. The introduction to the book is written by Lesley Arfin who is a columnist for Vice Magazine where she writes the Dear Diary section which is now a book. The Selby is quite a hefty book which contains some wonderful and vibrant pictures of homes that are truly lived in and loved. It demonstrated that with a bit of imagination you can make your home a space that is just right for you and your possessions. 

The picture above is of Todd Selby at the Collette store in Paris launching his book.

The Selby is in your Place is available to buy from amazon.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Home Sweet Home: Open Houses

A few years ago I came across an article in my favourite magazine, Living etc which featured the London home of designer, Morag Myerscough. Her house is unique because not only does it serve as her haven it also holds a gallery as well as a studio. Morag's kitchen is home to the gallery and she showcases work by other designers. I found the idea as using your home as an open space very intriging and planned to visit it. However while browsimg round Hastings over the last Bank Holiday we came across an Open House hosted by Sally Underwood where she uses her lounge to display the work of local artists; knitwear, paintings, drawings, cards, jewellery, ceramics and sculptures are all on display here. She also uses her kitchen as a mini cafe where she serves tea, coffee and cakes. Sally opened up her home as part of an event called Hastings Hot Houses where ten houses in the area are picked to showcase amazing works of art. This is a great event as not only does it bring local artists together it gives you the chance to snap up some fantastic artwork and moreover it is an excuse to have a snoop around a fabulous house.
The Open House movement has rapidly grown into quite a big scene, now there are events in places such as Hove, Brighton and Eastbourne. There is even an Open House website and they have a presence on Twitter and Flickr. The Brighton and Hove Open House Festival kicked off yesterday with homes all over key areas of the city being flung open for visitors to buy artwork directly from the owners. As I am a nosey bugger I just adore the idea of nosing around other people's homes while perusing over a fantastic bit of art. 

Artsts Open Houses Festival takes place over the first four weekends of May. The dates are 1st and 2nd May, 8th and 9th May, 15th and 16th May. 

MIddle picture taken from AOH Artists Open House Flickr page

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Home Sweet Home: Swan Like

There are some gorgeous blogs out there that make you want to salivate over them and Lobster and Swan is one of them. The blog covers all things beautiful such as interiors, fashion, food, books and in particular her gorgeous home in Hastings. Lobster and Swan is run by Jeaka Hearne who started blogging in 2007 and since then has become one of the most popular blogs in blogsphere. With 1,545 followers, 681 on Twitter and being ranked no 18 in The Times in the poll for 50 of the world's best design blogs, it would be safe to say that Jeska is making quite a name for herself. She also runs another blog called Record of the Day which consists of pictures of the things she loves. When she is not browsing around the wonderful boutique shops in Hastings or blogging, Jeska is updating her flickr account and uploading stuff onto her Etsy shop. She took time out from her busy schedule to talk to me about blogging and life.

What made you start blogging?
When I discovered so many creative people online I just had to take the jump and start my own blog, really to connect with likeminded folk learn from others and express my creativity.

Describe the concept behind Lobster and Swan.
I guess its like an archive of all the things I find beautiful and want to share, I chose the name because of the romantic notion that these two creatures pair for life and I like the idea that the things we keep in our homes/wardrobes/lives should not be throw away but treasured forever.

The interiors blogging community has grown tremendously over the last year or so. Why do you think they are so popular?
I think they are accessible to a lot of people and if you want a more individual take on the design world this is where so much of it begins, I see the high street take trends that have started in the blogging community and really spread them a little thinly so the bloggers start new ones and have to keep one step ahead.

You come up with a lot of quirky ideas for your blog, how do you get your inspiration?
I am inspired by simple things that can make your day that little bit sweeter like baking, decorating or wrapping a gift beautifully. Also the other end of the scale by fantasy, huge extravagant fashion imagery and Tim Walker. John Galliano has been a hero of mine since I studied graphic design at college. 

What do you do when you are not working on your blog?
I have always been involved in retail, I ran a lighting store for years until the owner decided to close it, I am currently working in a bank just until I get on my feet and expand my blog further later this year. 

Describe a typical day in the life of Jeska Hearne.
Up early especially when the sun is around, make some sweet milky coffee then do some research for my blog posts, I love to bake, rearrange my inspiration wire and boards, often go out take as many photos as I can on bright days. Visiting small towns and boutiques for inspiration or looking for new artists and crafts people to promote. 

What are your favourite glossy magazines?
Selvedge, Australian Vogue Living, UK Country Living and Elle Decoration.

Name five blogs that you read religiously.        for Stunning recipes and photography.                   for pretty living.            for Healthy living.            for the most delicate design ethic.

How do you see Lobster and Swan evolving over the next two years? 
I am expanding the blog at the moment and that should go live in the next few weeks with a portfolio, new online store, directory and other features. I hope this is the year I get away from the high street and make the leap to stand alone.

You can read Jeska's blog here.

You can follow her on Twitter here.