The Nesting Magpie

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Fränze Straessle Mobiles

You know, it's times when I came across adorable nursery décor that I -very,very momentarily- rethink how soon I want to have babies. NOT because I think babies are toys you get to dress up and look at, but because when you really think of how you can choose to influence a brand new person through visual art is kind of fascinating. I studied Sociology at university, and one of my favourite parts of our course was evaluating the impact gender-specific toys have on children. I loved my dolls as much as the next guy (unintentional play-on-words right there?) as a kid, but looking at it now, what kind of crazy message are these toys sending to children? I can't help but feel that there's a reason why young girls hold themselves to ridiculous 'Barbie doll standards' or why the male Grand Theft generation bring such danger to the roads?Mobile
This post wasn't meant as an attack on popular childrens' toys. I get that children need to be stimulated and enjoy things that are bright and shiny, so why not let them get as shiny as they want with an arts and crafts set, or some books, or something to encourage them to go outdoors and learn about the world we live in. Tools, not toys. Inexpensive, gender-neutral and timeless. Most importantly, they will help the children grow and learn and appreciate. And not to get to Coat-of-Many-Colours on your asses, but rooting an uncompetitive, un-materialistic attitude in kids at an early age with serve them dearly through life.
With all this in mind, I was so excited to come across these hand-made mobiles by German artist Franze Straessle. Made from vintage, odd and utterly random objects- some everyday, some of a more ambiguous character, each mobile is unique. When placing an order, you are asked to fill in a questionnaire in order for each piece to personal to each customer. Oooh, I love a bit of personalisation! So this is like the whimsical/baby version of a monogrammed towel bale?finds
These pieces are absolutely not just for the nursery. Like a lantern or ornamental birdcage, these would look beautiful hanging in a window or in groups of three varying sizes above a bed. Each mobile comes autographed by the artist, which is such a lovely touch. Other things you will find dangling in the sky from these pieces include pocket watches, skeleton keys, bobbles of colourful thread, cookie-cutters, tambourine chimes and, as you do, a mini monkey sock. Why? "Simply to be there- like us all."
seal and name tag
(All images via Fränze Straessle's website)

Friday, 22 November 2013

Friday Favourites 22/11/2013

Favourite scent;
 At first I just wanted this perfume for the adorably charming bottle that would look so cute on my dressing table but then I smelt it in real life and, oh! Such a lovely, rosey scent! It's very lady-like and floral and not unlike the ever popular 'Stella' by Stella McCartney. But to be honest, between the bottle and Anthropologie's description of it, even if it smelt like crap I'd probably still want it (yes, I'm THAT girl).
 "Inspired by The Grand Tour - a trip across Europe enjoyed by young ladies in the 19th century as a finishing course to their educations - this ethereal floral scent evokes rose gardens, high teas and happy accidents. Housed in an inkwell-inspired bottle and topped with a pincushion to enhance the air of Victorian-era romance." -Anthropologie's Editor's Notes
Favourite Adventure;
Spending my Monday walking around Chelsea, with a little money and a little agenda. I had never been to Chelsea, and had never spent a day in London on my own before, but I've always been the kind of person who craves a little solitary wander and a new discovery.. and Chelsea was just that for my this week. Lots of blogging, photos and lovey memories from my trip to come. Stay tuned!
Favourite quote;
-Dalai Lama
Favourite album;
I've been obsessed with Kacey Musgraves' sassy take on small-town America since seeing her last year in the Olympia Theatre Dublin opening for Lady Antebellum. And her first major-release album released earlier this year did not disappoint. The album title 'Same Trailer Different Park' (lyrics taken from her hit single, and lyrically genius- dare I say it- 'Merry Go Round') say it all, I think; Same country sound, different take on country life.
Favourite photograph;
This photo is one of very many I must have come across and saved to my laptop without searching for the artist's name. Please know that I mean no disrespect for anything I post without full credit to the artist on this blog. I just really love some stuff, and really want to share it.
Hope you have a lovely weekend, Louise... x

{"The Flowering of Love is Meditation"}

(All images via Amateur Couture)

Friday, 15 November 2013

{Paper Crown's Office featured in Domaine}

As I've got older (and hopefully wiser) and as I've cemented in my mind that there is no other industry I want to be apart of but design, I've become a bit fascinated by creative spaces and offices of design companies. I feel like a bit of a walking contradiction- I spent my whole life running from offices, as such, and now all I want is a space of my own; complete with dainty stationary, an inspiration board and enough table space to sit and talk about design ideas for people. But navy suits and neon highlighter pens still freak me out.
Be it interior design studios, craft workshops or fashion label head offices, I feel like there's always something that will inspire me. Fashion label Paper Crown(created by reality tv survivor Lauren Conrad, who, unlike many of her reality peers actually has a schooling in fashion, which is refreshing) is a few seasons in, and is obviously doing something right. It's wearable, modernised ladylike chic (I never, ever use the word "chic", by the way, but that just seems like the most accurate adjective for this collection) and it has a nice name- Paper Crown, yes? What I want to talk about is their office space, as featured in Domaine recently. It's beautifully designed, but most importantly, it's been designed with both staff and clients in mind. A lot of companies produce really great things, but without content staff and clients, they don't get very far.
Call me biased, but I truly believe that people work better and think more creatively in a nice space. And  by "nice", I mean not cluttered, comfortable and well planned out. And if it's a space where potential clients might pop in, you really should not underestimate the importance of a welcoming space. Your surroundings are a reflection of who you are. Who's going to want to do business with someone who's scatty and careless? So in the unlikely event that there are some CEO company masterminds reading a 23 year old's interior design blog (!), think of your office space as a crucial investment. Better working staff + clients who are more at ease = a better business.

The Office
Back to the Drawing Board
..And a space to Show and Tell
(All images from Domaine)
Check out the article and shop the look here.

Friday Favourites 15/11/13

Favourite plan;
I shouldn't be writing this so late- I need to be up early for a flight to London, but I'm kinda excited so I can't sleep (mind you, I can be a bit overly-excitable, and sometimes I can't sleep knowing I'm gonna have nice cereal the next morning). I'm actually only going for a few days but my itinerary is about 5 pages long. I'm also hoping to befriend a dutchess and I'm planning to develop an accent like Keira Knightley's. I'll let you know how I get on with that...
Favourite lyrics;
"'Cause that was the real you running through the fields of gold wide open
Standing in places no picture contains
That was the real you, windows down, we could smell the mint fields crying
Sing with the radio to song we can't name
That was the real you saying, "Maybe I'm not too young to be a cowboy?"
Hey brother, we're all learning to love again."

- Mat Kearney's "Learning to Love Again"
Favourite TV show;

With the exception of my beloved Downton Abbey, there really aren't many tv series I follow. Having said that, I'm surprised it took me so long to catch onto ABC's Nashville. As a music fan, it's so interesting/ sad, annoying and cynical to see what the business side of the industry is like.
Favourite life lesson;
The way I like drinking tea and things that are floral, that's how some people just like to hate. Haters Gonna Hate.
Favourite room;
I came across this shot of Nicole Richie's living room on, promoting a collection she curated for Joss and Main and really liked its electic look: laid-back and just fancy enough. Check out my post on Nicole's garden area here.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

My first (and one day late) "Friday Favourites" 9/11/13

Favourite song;
My taste in music is very much a little bit country, so of course I stay up late to stream the CMA awards in the same way most people stay up for the Superbowl. This stripped-down, country/folk rendition of Red featuring Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Sam Bush, Eric Darken and Edgar Meyer was reminiscent of the Taylor Swift I stumbled upon back in 2006 on YouTube before country got cool. And I liked it better that way.

Favourite place;
My room in my family home. Constantly reshuffling my large array of unnecessary-to-most-but-necessary-to-me stuff.

Favourite movie;
Admittedly I hadn't even heard about the buzz with this new Dame Judi Dench- Steve Coogan movie until I happened to tune into the radio one morning. When you hear radio-callers talk about the life that you could've lived had you been born 60 years earlier, you listen. In fact, as I left the cinema I saw an elderly woman crying so hard it really made me think about what it was like to be a young woman in Catholic Church run Ireland in the 20th century. This true-life story of life after a Madeline Laundry is one of the best films I've seen in ages; a perfect mix of funniness, sadness and unfortunate realness.

Favourite eat;
Molloy's Artisan Bakery and Fine Food Emporium in Roscommon town. When you live in rural Ireland, you sure get excited about places selling artisan produce, freshly baked goods and things that are fancy and French. So this places makes me very excitable. I've never ate something from here that I didn't love.

Favourite find;
When we were little, my siblings and I would hang our stockings outside our bedroom doors for Santa. He'd fill them with small random goodies, and when they had been filled, we knew that there was more waiting for us downstairs by the tree. I haven't hung a stocking since I grew up, but I'm hoping that this Free People creation might entice some chocolate coins, mandarins and mini bubble baths like when I was 7.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

To Do;

{Living Eclectically}

"  adjective
  1. 1. deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources. "

    The Carolyn Donnelly e c l e c t i c range for DunnesHome is definitely that; eclectic. My favourite word. One can only imagine my excitement when I moved into my first Dublin apartment autumn of last year and discovered this new and shiny range in the Dunnes Stores dangerously close to my new digs. Fast forward a year; my apartment is very, very well accessorized and the guy who works in my local Dunnes thinks I'm a creep. Excellent
    This wasn't Donnelly's fist foray into design- she is the Donnelly of longstanding Irish fashion label Quin and Donnelly. Along with the, little more sophisticated and masculine, Paul Costello Living range, Dunnes Stores have not only introduced the Irish market to an affordable way to add warmth and style to a home, but introduced the Irish market to a new way to support our own talent. And in a country so small that everyone is a-friend-of-a-neighbour-of-a-cousin, supporting Irish is a lovely thing to do.
    The range really is what it says on the tin. It's my favourite kind of style; well-matched mis-matched. It's a beautiful mix of French, Asian, mid-century, delicate, country, tribal, (yes, I know I'm listing a lot of adjectives) industrial, folksy-inspired pieces ranging from tableware and bedding to stationary and storage.
    Like I said, I really do have a LOT of the pieces from the collection, and I can vouch for their good quality and good price points (and because it's half the price, you can buy double the amount. Sound reasoning.). I've been sleeping on a wonderful set of floral (of course), crochet-trimmed bedding for a year and it really does make such a difference to my mood when I wake up to such soft whimsy. I mean, if there's anyway to start the day it has to be in a state of soft whimsy, right?

Monday, 4 November 2013

Live anyway.

{Home is where the Hart is}

I love a good celebrity home. Why? Not because I am a slave to the Kardashians or because I read £1 magazines to catch up on their goss, but because the only celebrities I even know tend to be actors or musicians and are creative, have creative homes and (what separates them form your regular street artist) they have the cha-ching to decorate their homes with art, antiques and pieces from their travels. And if they prove me wrong and aren't as creative as I think, they can just pay interior designers to do it for them. Win-win, right?
I'm always to curious to see houses of musicians I am a fan of, stars with a fashion sense I like, or artists who seem to live in an interesting way. Hart of Dixie star Rachel Bilson is definitely someone whose bohemian-yet-simple style I've always admired, but it was her beautiful, whimsical tableware collaboration, Edie Rose,with Macy's that made me really like her. Seriously, if there's one thing that makes me like a person, it's a bird-themed home ware line! 
Here's a peek inside her LA home in this month's Lonny magazine. Arty, antiquey, well-traveled and professionally designed by Kishani Perera. It did not disappoint!