Thursday, 1 March 2018

The Mother Load

If there was a mother of invention, it was mine. There was little she wouldn't make for us. Occasionally we wished it was chocolate and not carob cake in our lunch box, but mostly it made us feel special, treasured and nurtured. She's moved on from the Good Life phase and into the age of Prosecco (the Elderflower wine never was the best), although it's still usually served up with a home made meal for the ever increasing family she's now grand matriarch of. These are a few of our favourite finds for Mums this mother's day.

The Moth

Mums like to listen, right? This collection of true stories from The Moth is like a nourishing soup for the brain cooked up in the melting pot which is New York. People from all over the world tell their life stories at the Moth and this is a collection of some of the best. Find it here.

Øy Hand Cream

They perform some magic each and every day, Mum’s hands. Mums are a well of creativity - always able to turn their hands to a new project, fixing everything from bikes and grazed knees to broken hearts. They need their hands and we need them. Find it here.

Salted Caramel Truffles

More than worth the calories, these hand-crafted and gorgeously boxed truffles from Somerset’s James Chocolates make a stunning gift. They’ll be a memorable moment on the lips. Find it here.

Prosecco Bath Soak

A soak in the bath with a glass of the good stuff? Light and bubbly with a floral bouquet - just don’t get carried away and tip Aperol in the bath too. Made in Cumbria but inspired by Italy’s favourite way to kick back and relax, it’s one effervescent way to treat your Mum. Find it here.

Champagne Glass

These classic beauties are the perfect way to raise a glass to Mum and celebrate how she makes life awesome. Paired with a bottle and a card it's the party she deserves nearly as instantly as she made you feel better last time you needed her. Find it here.

White Tea and Ginger Candle

Mums help light the way through life but when mine does finally sit down with that glass of bubbly she loves some gentle candle light. This white tea and ginger candle from Meraki sets the mood for some well earned rest and relaxation. Probably best if you do the washing up too, though. Find it here.

Bird Candle Holder

What is life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare? Not a sentiment my Mum would hold much truck with - she’s always way too busy doing something - but on the rare occasion she does stand still she likes looking at the garden birds. These beauties on fine ceramic dance in the candle light. Find it here.

Wow Factor Scarves

Always making a difference in the background these scarves are a great way to bring out the leading lady in any Mum. Designed by Copenhagen design duo Beck Sondergaard, their scarves and accessories have playful character to match Mum’s joie de vivre. Find them here.

Hepworth Necklace

Ready for a chain of inspiration? Barbara Hepworth, the sculptor, was fascinated by finding symbols of motherhood in the Cornish landscape. It inspired her work and that work inspired this necklace, by East End jewellery designers Wolf and Moon. Your Mum might like it too. Find it here.

Clematis Lights

And if all else fails say it with flowers. Hand crafted metal decorations make these lights more artwork than ornament. Find it here.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Picnic I up - it's festival time!

Those long days where the sunlight lasts all evening, the grass smells sweet, the uptempo beat of the music keeps going sound tracking the chatter of your friends: that's what we love about summer.

We're not alone - perhaps it's the proximity to Glastonbury which means Bristol, our home town, is packed full of home grown festivals all summer long. We love it. This weekend is Bristol's biggest festival - the Harbour Festival - which is one of Europe's largest free festivals and takes place around the Harbour Side and other central sites. The crazy mish-mash of out there and loud local bands, contemporary dance troupes who can contort your concept of what shape a human body actually is, local history, the sweet dulcet acoustics of singer songwriters who sing poetry to music and a good helping of Bristol's best food and drink - all come together to make one amazing weekend.

Our new shop premises at Wapping Wharf is within the Harbour Festival site so it will be the first year we're fully part of it. To celebrate, we've a competition to win a set of Rice Melamine - the perfect companion to the festival picnic. The prize includes 4 cups and 4 small bowls in this summer's prints as well as a plate.

To enter all you have to do is like and comment on and share our posts on InstagramFacebook or Twitter before the deadline 28th July 2017. Competition winners will be picked on 31st July and contacted via social media.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Competition Time: Win a Dybdahl Print

Heinrick Dybdahl is a tall Norweigan magpie living in Copenhagen. He's a collector of images. He raids archives for beautiful things, picking them over for the best bits and then meticulously and carefully works on bringing out their beauty.

Read on to win 2 prints - one for you and one for a friend.

His prints are vibrant and full of colour and the result of hours of work restoring and enhancing old found images. Sometimes he cuts those images up or finds finer detail in them, enlarges or shrinks them and crops them to choice bits. The resulting images are a homage to the days when people explored the world through the pages of books and through exhibitions. The days when travel was a real luxury but jumping into a picture was the way people learnt about the mysteries of the world.

We've a chance to win a pair of prints this week - one for you and one for a friend - on our social media channels. You can enter on Instagram, on Facebook and on Twitter and if you enter on all three you will increase your chance of winning. Please note the prints to win will be 30 x 40 in size valued at £20 each, unframed.

Deadline 4th June 2017

To enter on Facebook:

Name the friend you think would like a print in the post

To enter on Instagram

Use their Instagram handle to name the person you think would like a print in the comments below the post

To enter on Twitter

Retweet the post and append the Twitter handle of the person you think would like a print to the end of your retweet

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Fig1.2 - Opening Our New Shop

Designing and building our second shop has been a personal creative journey for me. 

The process of opening our second shop has been quite an exciting journey. We first took a look at a new unit at Bristol's Wapping Wharf back in August. Wapping Wharf is a unique development. It's in the docks in Bristol on a previously little used piece of land which has now been opened up as a walk way from South Bristol to the city - a route that takes you into the historic harbour to some of the best of Bristol. More than that, though, and more than other developments of a similar nature it has embraced Bristol's independent and creative spirit, from the metal work detailing by local craftsmen on the buildings to the now bustling selection of completely independent businesses in the area. The man who runs the development company for Wapping Wharf, Stuart Hatton, has been clear from the start that he wanted to create an independent and sustainable community here, not a run of the mill estate. Some of the best of Bristol has gathered at Wapping Wharf and so it was with great excitement that we looked into opening our second outlet there.

For me in particular it has been an opportunity to build something new on to what we already have. Creativity, making new spaces and new businesses are all part of my DNA - my Mum and Dad had several businesses when we were growing up and my Dad was a carpenter. Some of my first interests in interior design were born out of working with the family and so it feels in many ways that Fig2, as we now call the second shop amongst ourselves, was the culmination of years of experience. For me it was like we had a chance to take all the best bits of what I've learnt over the years of running Fig1 and make them sing: a chance to take apart and reassemble the business to really show off what it has become.

I love the process of planning, designing, imagining and building: of learning and creating. 

It's a long and sometimes tiring journey but it is filled with creativity and that is the really good stuff - the stuff I thrive on and love. Nothing beats the satisfaction of getting to the end of  a long and carefully planned project; being able to look at your work and say "I made this".

The process began by redesigning our branding for Fig1 - updating our logo, and developing some brand patterns and styles for our graphics. I worked on the brand update with my sister who is an illustrator. It was a learning process for both of us, but we wanted to do this work ourselves so that what we came up with was a set of graphics which really speak about Fig1 and which are appropriate to the business. What we came up with married design elements - geometric hexagons and rhombuses, an asterisk motif - tied together with more natural elements - paint splodges, textures and pen lines. To us, it's a frame work in which we can speak visually about the creativity and design we love.

This graphics work was first as we wanted it to inform the interiors. I've worked many times with my Dad on interiors projects, helping him design and build furniture for a delicatessen as well as working on the original Fig1 shop. He's retired now but you never truly put down your tools and so, for the shop build, I had the great pleasure of working with him again. A much bigger space than the other shop, we wanted to keep the design elements clean and clear, to use the new branding and to allow space for lighting and furniture.

Part of the process of designing and building is learning. We wanted to work with new materials - plywood with a laminate finish, scaffold pole, industrial lighting but softened and made flexible enough to change with the business. Bringing all these elements together took research, planning and a hard graft with the final build being done in just 4 weeks so we could open before Christmas. We're thrilled with the results and really enjoying meeting new customers and colleagues at Wapping Wharf.

Fig1 Wapping Wharf opened the Saturday before Christmas but will be having a full launch soon.

To Celebrate opening we have a 15% Discount code active until 1st May 2017 of MyOpenShop to use in store or online - download the voucher!