New art work from artist ‘I Felt It’

This year we have enjoyed adding new art collections to our range. We have given space to a new textile artist ‘I Felt It’ who specialises in sea and landscapes created using needle felting techniques.

I Felt It - Needle Felting Wool Art

I Felt It – Seascapes

We caught up with her recently to needle her for some answers!

SIO So why needle felting to create your art?
I Felt It Funny you should ask this as I did kind of stumble across this whilst having a creative session with a fellow artist friend. I have always enjoyed working with textiles doing embroidery, knitting and making things with felt and buttons – for which I have a bit of an obsession. I had gone to an amazing annual textile exhibition at Hilliers Arboretum near Romsey (Hampshire) and bought a starter kit of wool inspired by my friend and we had a ‘play’ with it the next week.

I Felt It

I Felt It – On the Cornish Rocks

Creatively you experiment with lots of different techniques to express yourself but sometimes you find your ambition does not often match your skills! However within one session I had produced a needle felting seascape that I was inordinately proud of and the rest is history. I love the fact you build up your picture gradually in layers and can incorporate raw wool as well as woven strands, embroidery threads, silk etc. The more layers and interesting fibres you use the better. It is very forgiving as well – if you are not happy with your piece you just layer more on over the top until you are happy with it and in fact that first piece I felted has already been overfelted and upcyled into something better.

SIO What about the frames – you seem to have a few interesting ones
I Felt It  As with a lot of art you have your finished piece but it is mounting and framing that really adds the magic to the final article. I have a supplier in Brighton of upcycled wooden frames which are washed and distressed and really add to the naturalness of the subjects. Recently my husband has started a great line in upcycling and finds frames for me and paints them up in the exact colours to match my finished pieces – using Farrow and Ball paint don’t you know! They are my current favourites and a cool way to bring something back to life that was found looking a bit sad.

I Felt It - needle felting art

I Felt It – Mesmerising Waves

SIO So what about the button obsession then?
I Felt It Yes. Well…My favourite jewellery pieces are made of buttons. You know you have your stash of all your arty farty bits? A lot of my boxes are filled with buttons. I cannot resist buying them – vintage ones at antique markets or a few random ones at car boot sales. Sometimes I just rummage through them – enjoying them just for having a collection. I have made some felt button boxes as gifts. I have plans to make some rings out of my latest purchases and maybe try some other art – so watch this space! Variety is the spice of life.

To view the complete I Felt It collection we have click here: http://www.styleitoutonline.co.uk/art-new-i-felt-it-c-111_143.html

Cool designer home style: Headsprung!

One of our most popular brands is Headsprung! ‘Live life beautifully’ is their strap line and they have produced a wonderful range of modern home accessories. I am sure their Ribbon and Scribble coat racks will become design classics.

Founded by design engineer Hemal Patel, HeadSprung! is a London-based practice specialising in the design and manufacture of contemporary home accessories, furniture and lighting. Believing that good design is a universal right, that it should neither discriminate nor be the privilege of just the affluent, Hemal setup the company as a vehicle to create products that combined style, beauty and functionality at accessible prices.

Like a modern day William Morris his mission is to make good design more visible and accessible to the masses.

The Ribbon Coat Rack was one of their early pieces: ‘When we first sat down to design the Ribbon coat rack, our objective was to create an innovative coat rack that was fun and beautiful, yet also functional; a coat rack that our customers would delight in and be proud to display in their homes. Playing on these themes of practicality and aesthetics we concluded that our coat rack should embody the idea of functional art, that is to say artistic objects designed to serve a useful function, as well as look good. We worked through many concepts to create a coat rack that fulfilled these objectives, but our “eureka” moment finally came when we hit upon the idea of making the coat rack look like a ribbon blowing in the wind’.

Headsprung

Headsprung! – Ribbon Coat Rack

Our customers have enjoyed this piece what do you think?

In designing the Scribble Coat Rack they ‘played around with a number of different design concepts but finally found inspiration in a scribble mark drawn on a piece of paper. After further research and development we expanded the concept to encompass Japanese calligraphy, renowned for it’s beauty and steep cultural heritage (which resonated deeply with us)’.

Scribble Coat Rack

Headsprung! Scribble Coat Rack

The Scribble has been one of our most popular lines – reasonably priced and oh so stylish.

Click here to see what you think of the Headsprung range as well as our full range of coat racks http://www.styleitoutonline.co.uk/home-accessories-coat-shoe-racks-c-1_19.html

New artist Rosy Gould talks about her inspiration

We have found a fabulous new artist, Rosy Gould, to feature on our site. We have chosen some amazing seascapes in stunning colours. We caught up with Rosy to see what makes her tick.

Evening Seascape I

By Rosy Gould – Evening Seascape 1

SIO When did it all start?
RG Drawing and painting is something I have enjoyed as long as I can remember and even when I have not been able to practise art for whatever reason, the camera has been a useful substitute to keep my eye in, particularly in terms of composition and the effects of light on the landscape.

SIO So what inspires you?
RG The natural world is my inspiration, landscapes and seascapes in particular as they are constantly changing with the seasons, the light, day to day, and there are gorgeous colours, textures and lights and darks to be found.

Seaspray

Rosy Gould – Seaspray

SIO How do you work?
RG Rather than to reproduce a scene exactly I like to suggest the atmosphere and mood of a place, whether it is a grand vista or an intimate group of trees. I try to sketch on the spot but this is not always possible and a camera is handy, in which case I’ll produce a sketch afterwards from the photo which will take me back to the feeling I had when I was in the place. Then I put the photo away and work up the final painting from my sketch and memory of being there and the feelings this evokes.

SIO What do you like to use?
RG I like to paint in acrylics, oils, pastels, sometimes a mixture of acrylic and pastel, with other elements thrown in occasionally – tissue paper, newsprint or texture from eggshells, string, even teabags!

Evening Light

By Rosy Gould – Evening Light

SIO Do you exhibit?
RG I am a member of the New Forest Art Society and exhibit with them regularly. I have also had my work accepted in open exhibitions and competitions in Hampshire and Dorset, and participated in Hampshire Open Studios. My paintings have sold to people living inLondon,Suffolk, the Midlands,Jersey and the south coast.

Why not take a look at Rosy’s amazing work on the site and own your own unique piece of art.  http://www.styleitoutonline.co.uk/art-new-rosy-gould-c-111_149.html

The Artistic Lake District Part 1

A holiday in January and February in the UK is always a risk with the weather but this year we took the chance and booked a place in the Lake District. Waking up to hear the M6 had been closed in the night did not put us off but like the intrepid explorers we aren’t we set off north from the South Coast.

The Lake District in the snow is one of the best sites you can see. The mountains were dusted in snow like icing sugar on a cake. We were revelling in the beauty of it all like soft Southerners until we turned up the drive and were presented with a path not yet travelled to the car park. An hour later we made it in doors to our cosy holiday rental after a not insignificant work out of snow dispersal. But isn’t it all just so pretty….

Snow still high up on the mountains

We love the Lake District – it is so versatile and you can enjoy it on so many levels – walking, climbing, zip lining, eating, drinking, cream teas, cosy fires, Beatrix Potter, daffodils (lonely or otherwise) shopping for anoraks, walking boots, art, books, Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding… the list goes on. Of course the landscape has provided huge inspiration and peace to many writers, poets and artists. Grasmereis the centre for Wordsworth fans.

Near where we stayed in Bowness was Blackwell, an Arts and Crafts house. It was built by Sir Edward Holt – a Manchester brewery owner – as a holiday retreat for his family. The Architect was MH Baillie Scott and it is a truly inspiring place.

The fantastic exterior of Blackwell

The best bit for us was as you walk along the masculine wood panelled hallway you enter into the White Drawing Room where light floods in and the views of Lake Windermere are unrivalled. Even on a dullish January day you struggled to peel yourself away from the window seat and the view.

The delightful White Drawing Room

There are some lovely rooms, beautiful tiling and stained glass and a great snapshot of Arts and Crafts decorative items.

They also use some of the rooms as exhibition space for a varied programme of events and displays so that adds to the interest of the place. One small room has some panels and information on the family, life at Blackwell and its more recent history. It was used as a school when Liverpool pupils were evacuated during World War 2 and it stayed a school until 1976. So you really can get a fantastic picture of the history of the place.

There is a modern tea room with lovely cakes hard to resist – although I am a cake-aholic! Plus there is a Craft and Gift shop with a classy collection of arty bits – ceramics, glass, jewellery and books. This was our third visit and we fell in love with it all over again – especially the stunning White Drawing Room – it’s a must.

Have you been there? If not, when you’re next in The Lakes why not take a look: http://www.blackwell.org.uk/ (pictures courtesy of the Blackwell wesbite).

What’s your favourite place in The Lakes?

Inspiring visit to William Morris Gallery

Last week I visited the William Morris Gallery in London. Not only is this the most beautiful Georgian house it is home to a wonderful collection celebrating one of Britain’s most amazing men. He was a designer, craftsman as well as writer, retailer and political activist. He was at the forefront of the Arts and Crafts movement.

The wonderful Gallery building

I have always been inspired by Morris and his belief: ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.’

This is nowhere more evident in the museum than in the tea room with lovely outlook over the park and the loos are even decorated attractively in Morris prints! So after a trek out to the far reaches of the Victoria line to Walthamstow you can immerse yourself in another world.

The museum is put together in an informative and visual way with lots of interactive things for adults and children alike. You get a wonderful introduction to Morris the man, falling in love with Jane Burden at Oxford University where he first met his artist friend and collaborator Edward Burne-Jones. It goes on to explain how he started an interior decoration company with a group of his friends. ‘Determined to revolutionise standards of design, they produced furniture, textiles, tiles and glass as well as wallpaper.’ Some of his designs are of course still produced today.

It cleverly tells of his inspirations like Medieval stories and tapestries, and his research into colour and production techniques. He opened a showroom on Oxford Street with displays of how the items Morris & Co would look in people’s homes – quite revolutionary for the time. You could borrow swatches from the shop but were advised not to ask for discounts!

One of Morris & Co’s specialities was stained glass and they were commissioned by churches around the country. It reminded me we visited a church in Brampton,Cumbria. It was a bit out of our way but was well worth the visit – absolutely stunning stained glass designed by Burne-Jones and produced by the Morris studio. It is a Pre-Raphaelite joy in resplendent style and colour.

Stunning stained glass window, Brampton Church.
Picture by P Neil Ralley

http://www.visitcumbria.com/car/brampton-st-martins-church.htm

A bonus on the visit to Walthamstow was an additional exhibition at the gallery – Everyday Encounters – on until 3rd February 2013. This is a collection from members of the Society of Designer Craftsmen – with roots stretching back to the Arts & Crafts Exhibition Society. There was a range of textiles, ceramics and metal work. What stood out for me were some wonderful lamps by Rosalind Roberts made out of amazing wood and book lamp shades. Very unusual…

Unusual lamp by designer Rosalind Roberts

http://warwickshireopenstudios.org/artistsevents/silver-barn-studio.aspx

As often is the case when you visit galleries and exhibitions you want to push your own boundaries and it has inspired us to develop our business further to differentiate us in a small way like Morris did.

 

To find out more take a look at the William Morris Gallery website: http://www.wmgallery.org.uk/

 

 

 

That is inspired….

There are certain days that I feel inspired, challenged and truly alive. But what makes that happen? It is not a wet Sunday painting a room. It is probably not watching a re-run of Top Gear on Dave!

But what is it? Sometimes a fleeting moment, a point in time, a feeling that at that point you could take on the world. If only you could bottle it. For me it could be

  • The sea
  • A piece of art
  • A tender moment
  • Some music
  • Driving home the day you go on holiday
  • An amazing idea
  • A laughter fuelled evening with friends
  • A funeral and that feeling of mortality that makes you want to grab life
  • Trying something new
  • Seeing what you have worked on makes people happy
  • St Ives, The Lake District, Dubrovnik
  • A slightly drunken group dance to ‘New York, New York’ at the end of a wedding reception
  • Helping someone
  • Standing back and looking at something you made
  • A relaxed boozy lunch on holiday
  • Small steps to success with Style It Out
  • My regular 4 mile run
  • A sporting moment – watching… in 2012 there were so many! Mo Farrar, David Weir, Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy, the Queen and Daniel Craig, Ellie Symonds, Richard Whitehead, the list goes on. They inspired lots of generations!
  • Starting an exciting new year…

If you can’t bottle it how can you keep that feeling going?

We all feel better when we take ACTION. Do something, anything rather than nothing. Snatch that walk by the sea; have an evening being your own DJ; go to that latest art exhibition – your local gallery, museum, London; have a go yourself at an evening class. Buy a piece of art – an original or frame up a print or even put a postcard on your desk or fridge. Volunteer for something – check out http://www.do-it.org.uk/. You can find something in your area doing many things.

We set up Style It Out a couple of years ago now and as expected it takes a good deal of time, but there is nothing better than the feeling when you hear from customers and orders come in as it is something we created from scratch. We had talked about it for a while but it was great to actually get it off the ground.

What inspires you? Share your inspiration…

 

Word Art to inspire

A common theme of my blogs – even at this early stage – is being inspired. Often a book or a quote will stick in your mind and give you a memory or inspire you especially when bogged down in the mundane of day to day life!

Arthur O’Shaughnessy

One of our great new makers this season has taken this concept to a new level and made it into a successful business! That is Louise from Wall Envy Art. The only thing I envy is the simple idea she came up with which she executes so well…

Louise is inspired by literature – starting with the classics but expanding into more recent words of wisdom. Her first love was typography so text features heavily in her creations with her hand drawn or printed words. Her mission was to create affordable art whilst minimising the environmental impact. With a starting price of £22 she has done just that.

Wall Art Quote

Love the life you live…

She takes rescued books, comics and sheet music and over prints her key quote. Then these pages are hand framed in eco-friendly wood by a small family run business. And the great news it is her family run business – doesn’t that work perfectly too! Keep it in the family I say.

She started this all back in 2009 with firm favourites from Oscar Wilde and Pride and Prejudice. I know the women out there will go weak at the knees at the memory of Colin Firth as Mr Darcy. So it is great to feature that wonderful quote…

Mr Darcy in full flow

There is no glass involved so you can really feel the page from the book with all its age.

From The Wizard of Oz

They lend themselves perfectly to be gifts as the words can mean so much. And Louise has cleverly selected quotes and books with a wide appeal of meaning.

For Sherlock Holmes fans

Ferris Beuller’s day off!

William Blake – an absolute classic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We stock a selection of her book range so why not take a look? http://www.styleitoutonline.co.uk/shop-by-brand-wall-envy-art-c-28_107.html

But are there any quotes that inspire you? Let us know.

Perfection in stainless steel

Blomus was one of the first suppliers we found. Meandering around one of the trade shows amongst brands you have heard of and some you haven’t we stopped in front of the Blomus stand. A couple of items really stood out for us – a curved log basket – ‘Chimo’ and the sleek magazine rack – Seamo.

Luscious curves on the Chimo log basket

Shiny Seamo magazine rack

They were just what we were looking for – such stylish simplicity. The curves on the stainless steel were just delicious. Well Blomus put it slightly differently when talking about their range:

“It represents the exceptional amongst the mundane, the face that stands out in a crowd”

Ok yes that sounds better. But the curves are great…

It was very easy to deal with Blomus – even as a brand new company which was refreshing – the UK agent was very helpful. Blomus is a German company. So after falling in love with the product we were so impressed with the quality and how the goods arrived – all the packaging and care taken to protect the product was amazing. We knew our customers would be blown away from the moment they opened the box!

So as we have grown we have extended our range from Blomus. Our best sellers epitomise the style and clever design.

You can be reassured when you pull another bottle of red out of the funky wine rack or top up the seed in the bird feeder that these guys at Blomus took the design of these items very seriously indeed:

Gravity defying Cioso wine rack

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clever bird bath / bird feeder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The reduced form language of Blomus products is consistent with the concept of purity and focus on the essential. They are irrestistibly clear and simple in their functionality – each individual item constitutes a pure enrichment of our everyday life.”

A pure enrichment of our everyday life… well that ties in with one of our favourite quotes from William Morris the eminent textile designer, artist and writer:

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

This was a key premise for us and our business.

I had to finish on another stonking quote from Blomus.

“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

Cool.

Do you have a favourite quote that inspires you? Let us know.

Style It Out was born…

Have you trudged round shops endlessly looking for the item that is just a little bit different? It may only have a simple function but it might as well be pleasing to the eye? Surely we can have one that looks a bit more funky than that? What present do we get the trendy friend or relative?

These were the types of questions we were asking ourselves with increasing regularity. Finding the right magazine rack, hall table, chair for the office, cushions for the sofa, side tables, picture for the hall, bird feeder, gifts for a ‘younger person’. Ok we would have a nice day out looking with a lunch thrown in but – we inevitably came home empty handed.

Then of course we started our sweep of online stores and catalogues. And it is great to see a much wider range of choices. But it still left us thinking, surely there is a place in the market for a new brand offering an edited collection of modern home accessories just like we wanted to find.

We are inspired by colour, sleek design and the unusual! Our home is an eclectic mix of furniture, art and ceramics picked up from the High Street, online, galleries and from happy travels.

Yes we had to explain the papier mache hand sculpture at Venice airport bought at the Peggy Guggenheim museum. On reflection it probably did look a bit weird on the x-ray machine…

Found at the Peggy Guggenheim museum, Venice

Yes we have fought the IKEA crowds to get some funky red cabinets. Yes we have bought the quirky pot on a hot summer’s day in Croatia. Yes we bought the cute black and white giraffe Cmielow figurine in a shop in Krakow.

My Cmielow giraffe figurine

And yes we have bought too many paintings on our travels – but everyone is loved and cherished!

Amazing seascape found on our travels

So Style It Out was born to bring together a quirky mix of modern home accessories and gifts to take the strain out of it for you! Sit back and relax at home and find some of the things you have been looking for! But we would love to know what you struggle to find so that we can try and help you with your quest for the unusual. Send us a comment or an email.