Saturday, 28 April 2012

Streamline Moderne

I've always been very drawn to the Art Deco period and fancied myself living in one of those white stucco houses with curved walls and clean lines. Or in a smart apartment building like the one at Florin Court, London, built in 1936 and used as the fictional residence of Hercule Poirot in the TV series.

A design movement that came out of Art Deco was Streamline Moderne (or just Streamline). Designers stripped Art Deco of its ornament and created sleek, modernist lines, drawing inspiration from the aerodynamic shapes of the aviation and motor industries.

Buildings of this period tended towards modernism and often had parallel lines, curvy chrome fittings and a light, airy feel. The De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea, built in 1935, is a wonderful example. It's on our list of places to visit this summer.

Parallel railings, straight lines and curves reminiscent of ocean-going liners, create a very pleasing effect and all that glass reflects the seaside light even on a grey day. Beautiful light fittings in the curved stairwell display the love of Machine-Age workmanship.

Given my love of this era, I was really thrilled to find this gorgeous bracelet recently. Dating to the 1930s, it beautifully evokes the design motifs of Streamline Moderne style. Simple, curved links with parallel lines are joined together by smaller curved links with channel-set green stones, to form a sinuous gate-link bracelet. The style is restrained beauty and elegance without effort. 

I've just listed this in my Etsy shop and I hope you agree it's a real gem. 

Friday, 20 April 2012

Happy weekend!

There's been a lot of activity here at English Rose house over the last couple of weeks. Lots of new treasures have been hunted down and quite a few are already for sale in my Etsy shop. It's been a lot of fun and we've got some great items waiting for a little more research or photographs to be taken. I still don't get things listed in the shop as quickly as I would like but, hey, there has to be time for snuggling on the sofa with a long cool glass of wine and my hubby!

Anyway folks, here's a taster of what's on offer - have yourself a jolly weekend!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Champagne Cocktails

Aaahh, Champagne Cocktails - how did I ever live without them?

Now a tradition on high days and holidays here at English Rose house, the Champagne Cocktail is intoxicatingly divine. I don't know why it took me so long to discover them but now I have I'm making up for time!

Here's how to knock up a wow of a cocktail at the drop of a hat ...

Drop one sugar cube in the bottom of your champagne glass and add to it about six drops of Angostura Bitters.

Add to that a tablespoon of brandy.

Then top up your glass with champagne (Cava will do but champagne is better).

Then tuck in - preferrably with a close friend - but beware - they're potent stuff!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Not Little

I read something a couple of weeks ago that's been niggling at the back of my mind ever since. I'm afraid I can't remember the original source now (sorry I can't credit you) but whoever it was said their pet peeve was people who describe their creations, shops, blogs or whatever, as "my little shop", or "my little business", etc. They went on to say that we should be proud of our achievements and own them and not dismiss them as somehow unimportant. It made me think. I'm always describing what I do as my little blog, or my little shop. Why?

By calling my blog or my shop 'little' am I saying it doesn't really matter much and isn't really terribly serious or important to me? That certainly isn't the case. I'm not sure if its a wholly feminine trait but something makes me think this relates to being a girl. I grew up in the 60s and 70s when little girls were supposed to be modest, not pushy, considerate of other people's feelings but not particularly able to express their own, especially if those feelings weren't considered very feminine. Having a naturally reticent and shy personality I've continued to go through life giving off a slightly apologetic vibe. Little me.

I guess I've been living a bit of a lie. This shrinking violet is at heart pretty ambitious, with strong opinions, and can be very passionate about things. My shop is small, yes, but it matters to me, I spend a lot of time thinking about it and I love finding things to put in it. My blog matters to me too. We all know its not nice to be arrogant or too pushy but this came as a timely reminder not to go too far the other way.

Be proud of what you do - and if you catch me describing anything as 'little' again tell me to stop!