Last year was a busy year for me. I wrote two books, had two very young children, and I generally ran around trying to do far too much. I think I might be still recovering. The nice thing, is that the first book, The Sustainable Design Book, has just come out. Because a good amount of time passes between writing a book and it being printed and available to buy, I had sort of forgotten what I had written. So, it was a pleasant surprise when a couple of copies arrived in the post and I could flick through the pages reading. "It's quite good" I thought. Far better than I had remembered anyway! The book contains profiles and interviews with over 250 designers working in a sustainable way. I've focused on material use and good design, highlighting experimental, natural materials and also a considered use of traditional materials. I'd like to think that there is an excellent range of products in there, hopefully there is something to appeal to everyone, whether they are a design professional or simply a casual reader. I'll be featuring some of the more in-depth interviews from the book on here over the next few weeks. I hope you'll enjoy reading them.
Maker Spaces is a new book which features the homes and studios of creative makers. It includes a variety of styles and disciplines from Donna Wilson's large warehouse in East London, to jewellery designer Teresa Robinson's converted garage in Portland, Oregon. The book looks first at each maker's home and then at their workspace. I found the studios most intriguing, as we rarely have the opportunity to see the places where other people work, as well as their specialised tools and machinery. I'm interested in how a workspace increasingly reflects its owners personality as it evolves into an efficient and well used working environment. My own recent experience of setting up a small pottery has taught me that tools and materials will find their way to the best place through daily use. It seems that only by allowing our working methods to gradually shape our environment, can we create the best, most efficient and uplifting space for ourselves. To see my own maker space, click here for a recent picture on Instagram.
Late last summer we had a little photoshoot at our house for Design Bloggers at Home, a new book that is soon to be released by Ryland Peters and Small. I felt honoured to be even considered for the book, but also a little embarrassed, because it feels a bit silly getting your house photographed all the time. Mostly our cottage is a chaotic, lived-in mess but it does scrub up well. Thankfully, I had nothing to worry about that day as author Ellie Tennant, and photographer Rachel Whiting, both did an amazing job on the shoot. I really enjoyed hanging out with them all day, chatting about textiles and playing house. Their photographs look beautiful and I'm very excited to see the rest of the homes in the book. Design Bloggers at Home features twelve spaces belonging to, ahem, 'leading online trend-setters'!! These include SF Girl by Bay, Oh Joy!, Happy Mundane, Vosgesparis, My Scandinavian Home and myself! The spaces range from a pared-back monochrome cabin, to a maximalist, colour-filled apartment in California, and of course, my own little cottage in Cornwall. If you'd like to see more, you can pre-order the book now from rylandpeters.com.
Canadian Rohan Anderson is known for his blog Whole Larder Love, where he uses stunning photography to document his simple rural lifestyle. He lives close to the land; growing, hunting, fishing, and his new cookbook (also called Whole Larder Love) is not only a collection of down to earth, tasty recipes but is also as a guide for living a simple and sustainable life.
Exciting news! My new book Recycled Home comes out next Monday! The book, published by Laurence King, features instructions for 50 craft projects that anyone can create from recycled materials. Above is a sneak preview of some of the projects and as you can see, some of them are easy - like the Recycled Storage Tins, which could be completed in half an hour and some are a little more complicated - like the Tribal Teepee. Either way, I hope there is lots of inspiration and practical advice in there for readers!
I am really pleased with how the book has come out, particularly as I wrote most of it when my daughter was a tiny newborn. She was a good little assistant and I have fond memories of carrying her around in a sling, writing, making and photographing the book. Fun times indeed!
If you would like to pre-order a copy you can do so from Amazon. Otherwise, it should be available in all good bookshops from Monday August 13th!