The Ridley part of this duo took herself off last night to a Brighton fringe festival Event, Rattle Tales.

Rattles Tales is a collaboration of talented writers diverse enough to make your head spin and in this guise they come together to share a selection of short stories. Writers with amazing histories, with celebrated novels like Starlings by Brighton based Erinna Mettler, others newer to the game, but all fused magically together in an appreciation for the written word and sharing stories.
So packing my best listening ears I took myself along to the Caroline of Brunswick and did just that: sat and listened. And I don’t think I’m alone when I say that, as human beings, it’s not often enough that we do just that.
The Rattle Tales gang took me on a journey through insects, schools and life as a bear. Oh but not so simple! This clever literary bunch twisted and turned the narratives and provoked my thoughts; these stories were of love and life and revenge and death and fear and the consequence of actions. All engaging, all read with love, passion and humour by their creators.
So here comes the rattle, a clever play on words you think as that is their craft. But also quite literally: at the end of each story you spin your rattle (pretty wooden ones provided for you) to show appreciation and to alert the host that you wish to ask a question.
I don’t want to be the one who asks the stupid question or the one who has misunderstood the story after all I’m the person who gets nervous having to step forward when my number is up in Argos so I’m unlikely to join in. Of course I leave wishing I had, next time I will….. well I might!
The questions are added value, more entertainment and a chance to have insight into the tales’ origins. The writers carefully answering questions about their inspiration – has it come from people they know? Interestingly they make the writers look at their work from different angles, and with the freshness of new eyes, an added richness to the proceedings.
So I can safely say that I was hooked by all the stories. They took me on a journey through the whole spectrum of emotions, some good, some bad, some a little too personal for comfort, one making me hold my breath, and as a good stories should be they are still in my mind the following day.
However there is one that will remain for a very long time, Waking up a Bear by Ryan Millar, I know any short summary can’t do it justice so go and look him up and take the journey, if he’s not in print yet I am fairly certain he will be soon, very funny, very clever.
So as someone who loves a good story but doesn’t read half enough I am whole heartily recommending this as a great evening out. With the last few events a sell out I am happy to say I think I was there at the start of something big.



So last night Ms Dowse and myself took a stroll down to 27 Compton Avenue to the private view of the One Must Dash open house.

Admittedly we have a vested interest, as a last minute addition Ridley and Dowse are selling their wares here as part of the Open House season in Brighton. Sometimes last minute decisions turn out well and this is one of those moments.
A refreshing new addition to the trail, this open house is resplendent in monochrome, setting it’s self apart and doing it so well with added heaps of style
If this is your thing you will of course want to move in and you will wonder where they keep the clutter life brings (I’m hoping there is a secret room of chaos somewhere behind closed doors) but it is a seriously pleasant experience. The owner of the house is one half of the duo One Must Dash they are purveyors of perfect graphic prints that make the corners of your mouth turn up and additional work by them as a special treat for all the trail followers. There are beautiful delicate ceramics and knitwear along side Ridley and Dowse are we are indeed very happy to be here.
So thank you to the lovely One Must Dash women, a Swedish pair with a seriously cheeky side, for the Prosecco, and for the interesting education in Swedish folklore!

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While we are creating dress wish lists from the other side of the world I introduce to you Eden Star another website worth taking a peek at if beautiful clothes and beautiful prints are your bag.
British designer Therese Bourne, has some lovely pieces in the sale too, an advantage of buying from Australia is as their summer season ends ours begins – or it is at least supposed to!
I can vouch for the quality of design, cut and fabric quality of these pieces being the very happy owner of one of the Edenstar dresses.


One of my favourite clothing labels is Australia’s  Milk from a Thistle created by Sydney based designer Danielle Atkinson. She’s taking time out next season as she’s just had her second child. In the meantime she’s having a 50% off sale. This is your last chance to get some of her wonderful clothing for a while. I highly recommend you do!

I love this digital print seagull maxi dress.




This weekend I went up to Somerset House to visit Pick Me Up. I’d been last year on a Saturday before. It’s obvious that word has spread about the show since last year as the queues were long and the galleries heaving. It was a better show for diversity than last year, with less of a definite trend dominating. With 20 new artists in the Selects section. The style that dominated felt more historical rather than trend based.

My pick of these are

Paul X Johnson: 1930s Hollywood with a touch of Otto Dix in watercolour.

Martin Nicolausson: Mr Blobby cubism. Blobbyism.

Mimi Leung
Would love to see her work animated

I was rather taken with the Peepshow Collectives Museum of Objects and Origins. With these figures being a favourite aspect.

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Three amazing places for ideas to upstyle your Ikea furniture. One site I’ve been aware of for ages is Ikea Hackers for those with a tool kit. People share their customising ideas for Ikea bits and bobs with instructions to follow. I always feel inspired by their ideas, but it never seems quite the right time to turn my living room in to a carpentry work shop.

Today I discovered Bemz and Pretty Pegs. Bemz make sofa and chair covers for Ikea seating. Long gone are the days of white or primary colours. I don’t want my sofa to look like it belongs in a childrens nursery school. Here you get an extensive range of colours, textures and prints from the likes of Marimeko to choose from. Pretty pegs make legs for Ikea furniture that are designed to fit in to the existing fixtures. Together you can cheat a mid-century look perfectly.

It’ll stop me pining for that Robin Day sofa I’ll probably never be able to afford for a little bit longer.

Here’s my choice

I decided to take a day out to see the bigger picture and that is just what I found, huge pictures.
After hearing from several people that the Hockney exhibitionwas a must see event I wanted in.
Rumours of sold out or queueing for hours didn’t deter me and after only 10 minutes in a perfectly executed British queue (well it is The Royal Academy) I was in!
So as I started I began to worry that I was under educated in the art of looking at art, I wasn’t quite getting it. I always assumed that exhibitions opened with show stoppers, here I am wrong,  as I moved through the crowds I was greeted with rooms full of magical things. Absorbed and amazed, drawn into the pieces of work.
I spent some time ear wigging on a school party talk, it was truly fascinating, the children (and me) taken on a journey of discovery and soon understanding perspective and the power of colour and the combination as used by Hockney.
If this wasn’t enough infringement on other peoples experience the whole thing was enhanced by the coach party of older people from Yorkshire, seemingly to be loving the experience, proud of their talented countryman and expressive and genuine, they knew so many of the landscapes, one declared he believed the hill was that steep but he had never seen it as magenta pink before.
 So to the ipad work, mind blowing, you really need to see it, technology and talent in a perfect merger, it made me think what changes Hockney must have seen in his life so far and a lesson learned in how to embrace them.
 After the exhibition you become trapped in the gift shop, postcards to glasses cases in signature Hockney prints but I leave them all behind, they belittle the enormity of what I have just seen and although I’m sure they had the stuff printed as best as possible the colours are not true, I don’t think you could ever capture that magic so I shall just keep it safely in my mind and dream of a day that I can hang an original in my home.
 I salute you, David Hockney, I am inspired by your experimentation with different medium, your extravagant use of colour  your playfulness with perspective and as always by your northern work ethic.
So Mr Hockney, you are cordially invited to my fantasy dinner party, I bet he has a tale or two to tell and of course Ridley and Dowse will happily throw in an ipad cover or two from our soon to be launched range.


Our cushions are now back in stock on our website. They’re 100% Certified organic cotton and have been made by hand by our good friend Laura from recycled clothing label All My Finds. So it seems like a good time to spread the word a little about them and their creations.

All My Finds pull together pieces from the past with new ideas and current trends and create a modern take on a vintage classic. Their take on upcycling is more creative and better executed than you’re probably used to seeing. Laura is a skilled pattern cutter and so her restyling of the vintage pieces are spot on and with a great fit. Nola, Laura’s partner in the biz is a fashion fanatic and has an eye for a trend and a risk worth taking. Together they create unique pieces that are both bold and wearable.


Our ever photogenic hometown Brighton sure looks sweet in the new Mulberry campaign. We’re not normally ones for designer label love (this lot need no promotion) but this campaign is lovely, has great art direction and a wonderful backdrop. We’re suckers for something on home turf.

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I’ve always like the idea of living in a pod, inspired by seeing the pod hotels in Japan. The nearest I’ve ever got is an Easy Hotel room.  And a little part of me wants, that when I retire I’ll travel around in a mobile home. I’ve found the thing I need to make both dreams come true. I’m very much taken with this sustainably produced portable home by Glen Grassi, a theatre designer who has turned his hand to producing the best looking trailer home I’ve ever seen.