Christmas @ Barbican

Last Sunday, Hubbie & I viewed The Hobbit at Cinema 1, Barbican Centre…

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He wasn’t very keen on the idea initially – he didn’t like the first sequel very much but I managed to persuade him by serenading by his ear how good the review was in Time Out…

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The film was great! It was definitely better than the previous one and watching it (nearly 3 hours long) was exhausting. My viewing experience could have been even more fabulous if 3-D glasses I was given were cleaner and comfortable. Oh well, you can’t have it all, can you?

After the film, we visited a Christmas fair in the foyer which we had to forego because we had to run to the box office for our tickets.

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The fair was a small affair and the atmosphere was rather muted.
I guess the fair wasn’t very lively because there weren’t enough stalls and the items on sale was a little too sameish…

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Still, I managed to excavate a couple of interesting looking stalls…

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Her handmade jewellery, AvaRea17 Jewellery, were dainty and adorable. I thought any of her offerings would make a perfect stocking filler.

This stall by Amy Strike was exhibiting a collection of small ornaments, using books & fairy tales as inspiration…

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I seriously considered buying one of those paper-made ornaments for my mother as she loved to decorate her place with pretty things. However, I abandoned the idea because they appeared too delicate & fragile to withstand a long journey to Japan in my suitcase.

In the end, I came home with a small necklace bought at Ava Rae…

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Mr.B resembled a fox cub therefore it would be appropriate, I thought…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Wild Kingdom @ Siren Gallery, Dalston

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending “Wild Kingdom”, the event showcasing a select group of designers at Siren Gallery, Dalston.
When I got to the venue around 19:00, the place was already buzzing with an excited crowd, exchanging pleasantry and ogling beautiful offerings on display…

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I brought Mr.B with me because of the fireworks. It appeared some idiots still could not get enough of lighting stupid rockets in their backyards. *SIGH*

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The event was organised by Jacey of Jacey Withers London who founded his jewellery line which was highly acclaimed and well received home and abroad …

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The collection seemed to be inspired by the beauties of nature…

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Animals, feathers, plants, mystical creatures, legendary motifs, they were transformed to ultra seductive jewellery pieces. The way Jacey worked with materials was so complicated and awe-inspiring.

My friend, Fei Wang, who invited me to the event was also showcasing her highly coveted collection…

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Her sunglasses were greatly in demand, especially by discerning oriental ladies who love to have original and fashionable shades but also want them to be comfortable to wear…

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Each frame was lovingly hand-made in UK…

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Fei’s frames were not plastic but made from top quality Italian acetate. At her factory, sheets of acetate were plied according to her specification in order to create a highly unique finish.

Another items intrigued my antenna was Feather.M

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The brand was founded by Leo Featherman in 2012.  Her iconic pentagonal bag came in various sizes and finishes. Her attention to detail did not end on the outside but it was carried on reflecting on the material and finish employed for the inside of the bags. They were lined beautifully and it was a pleasure to slip in my hand into them.

Another amazing point of her product was this python bag, named as “Friday Clutch”…

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Could you believe that the clutch would glow in the dark? How cool would it be?
It would be very useful when I were to be lost in a dark night club. I would just hold up the bag above my head and my friends could find me.

Next to Leo’s sleek handbags, there were lovely silk scarves on display…

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They were by Silken Favours, the brand created by Victoria Murdoch. Ever since Liberty of London picked up her silk cushions, her collection had been amassing fans of her kitsch yet irresistable artworks…

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“HEDGEHOG SWEETHEARTS”…

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“I LOVE EVERYTHING” in pink…

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It was a lovely occasion to catch up with old friends as well as to meet new people. I was so inspired and energised.
Like Earl Nightingale famously quoted,  “Creativity is a natural extension of our enthusiasm”, we, all like-minded creators, have to fuel each other with our enthusiasm in order to move forward together and fill our environment with beautifully original things…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Gems of Bloomsbury

My favourite route to home from Hubbie’s office is through Bloomsbury area.
From Tottenham Court Road – one of my least favourite streets in London. Apart from Heal’s and Habitat, there are no places of interest for me –  I turn into Torrington Place.
From there, I carry on walking eastward via my favourite Byng Place & Gordon Square.
Passing a rather dreary looking Tavistock Hotel on the right, I proceeded towards Tavistock place.

On this street, there is a handsome landmark, Mary Ward House

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Playfully arranged windows above the entrance grabs my attention.
Then, my eyes are drawn to the details – the masonry work with organic curves which strongly suggests the influence by the Art & Craft Movement of the 19th Century.
Also the sign above the left entrance, painted in the same black as the double leaf doors below, reminds me of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s…

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The golden lettering which is bordered with uneven oval dots has the uncanny charm of Art Nouveau.
Apparently, the building is up for hire for cooperate events.
Through their image gallery, the state of the interior becomes apparent.
Alas, most of the rooms are devoid of the original features!
The walls are painted in lighter shades instead of William Morris style wallpaper or dark stained wood panels.
Apart from Dickens Library which preserves beautifully glazed tile fireplaces as well as the dark wood panelling which divides the wall surfaces with the distinctive geometry of the Art & Craft style, the building has been modernised in a rather bland manner.
Oh well, even historical buildings have to earn their own keep somehow nowadays.
I understand…

From Tavistock Place, I turn into lively Marchmont Street.
Then, skirting around Brunswick Centre, I head towards Lambs Conduit Street.

Lambs Conduit Street is crammed with independent shops, mainly men’s / unisex fashion retailers.
Most of the shops were closed when I walked through the street last time.
So I had to be content with peeping through the darkened shop windows.
How do you find this display case?

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Instead of treating the cabinet too preciously, they rejuvenated it with a playful use of magazine clippings.
What a great idea!

On nearby Rugby Street, there are a few places you shouldn’t miss when you are visiting the area.

Ben Pentreath Ltd on 17 Rugby Street…

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Shame that I can’t show you their beautiful shop window.
It is obvious that the items they sell are chosen with love and care.
I find most of them quintessentially modern British. Refined, yet left with a hint of handcrafting. Sophisticated, yet approachable. And not cheap, yet the price worth paying for.

Another shop never to be missed is Maggie Owen

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They specialised in costume jewellery.

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You mustn’t underestimate it only because they are not fine jewellery.
Maggie Owen’s offerings are costume jewellery with gusto.
Until visiting this Aladdin’s Cave, I never knew that costume jewellery could be this opulent and flamboyant.
The intricacy of the work involves does reflect on the price. However, the impact which a lucky wearer gives to her audience is well worth paying for.

I shall revisit the area once I’ve recover from the surgery.
So please watch out this space…

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