Saturday, 29 March 2014

Martin Creed: What's the point of it?

Good question Martin... what IS the point of it?

For those of you who have not heard of Martin Creed, where have you been?! He is probably one of the most famous living artists in Britain today. You know... the guy who won the Turner Prize for a light turning on and off. There we go. Got it.

That exhibit is actually in Tate Britain at the moment if you're interested, only until 13th April 2014 and then it goes on tour.

Anyway, back to the blog post. Today I went to see Martin Creed's new exhibition at the Hayward Gallery with my good friend, Holly. She wanted to go because there is a room filled with balloons. 

You walk into the exhibition and walk past the first exhibit, which is a sofa blocking the doorway. Then you automatically want to duck, as a huge neon sign that says 'MOTHERS' spins around the room at a fairly low height. Be warned if you are tall, over 6 ft, you will probably need to avoid that room! There are also some of his more classic pieces, such as blocks of colour stacked on top of each other in a pyramid shape. 

The exhibition goes on with more wacky pieces of art, for example, the classic 'pieces of torn up paper', and this type of modern art that I never understand. There are some nice pieces on the two terraces, including nice views over London.

The last piece on the top floor is the balloon room, with a large queue I must add. The gallery assistants give you pieces of paper with warnings about not going in if you have asthma or food allergies. My friend Holly has both, she went in anyway. It is so odd, so odd it just gives you the giggles. It is like a giant ball pit but better. As you go deeper into the room the balloons cover you more and you sort of feel like you're drowning in balloons. I giggled some more and then... ergh... a balloon with clumps of hair on hit my face, and then I noticed more and more, people are somehow leaving their hair on these balloons! Gross. I left.

Thought that was gross, went to the exit, through the sick film... yes, the film of people being sick, to the shop, where the sick film was being sold on DVD. 

So Martin Creed, I'm guessing what you're trying to say, is lots of things scare us in modern day life, lots of things make us sick, but ultimately we should always put the highest value on fun and having a laugh. I mean, really, he must have always known the balloon room would be the selling point of the exhibition. One thing though, Martin, multi-colour balloons would have been better. Or maybe I'm missing... the point?


Sunday, 23 March 2014

Mid-century furniture

Mid-century furniture is the height of interior design fashion. You may have noticed people like Essie Button and Zoella with this retro furniture in their backgrounds.

Teak is the colour of choice. If you type 'teak retro dressing table' into eBay – the first result you get is a dressing table almost exactly the same as the one in Zoella's background. 

This afternoon I visited my Grandparents' house and started to notice how much mid-century furniture they had. I pointed this out to my Granddad and he said 'Well yes, these are Ercol chairs'. Ercol is probably one of the most desirable retro brands. The company still exists and you can buy brand new furniture from them. John Lewis and Heals both stock the Ercol range.
And oh wow – I need this rocking chair. However at £790 – that is NEVER going to happen! 

So, I had a look on eBay. I found this one for £195. That's a saving of £595!

If you put Ercol into eBay you get well over 1,500 results. I have had a good browse online of many retro furniture dealers and still eBay is by far the cheapest place to buy these pieces. However do check carefully for all the correct markings and that they are not poor quality. Other brands include Eames and Herman Miller. eBay also do a great guide to buying mid-century furniture. So, go on, have a browse, see what takes your fancy, and do let me know if you buy any pieces, I would love to hear about them!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Very green risotto

I came up with this recipe after craving a really fresh tasting dish. This risotto takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour to cook. It is super healthy and tasty. Don't add the parmesan if you want it to be even more healthy! It makes enough for four people.

You will need:
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 1 1/2 litres of vegetable stock
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • margarine
  • 4 x asparagus tips
  • 4 x stringless beans
  • 2 x celery sticks
  • parmesan
  • mint
  • lemon
  • cress

1. Chop the asparagus tips, stringless beans and celery sticks into small pieces and fry. Then pour out and into a bowl until ready to use in the risotto.

2. Boil the kettle for 1 1/2 litres of stock. Get out a large pan. Once you have made the stock – pour it into the large pan and keep on a simmering heat. 

3. Melt the butter in a large shallow pan (like the one above and the same one you used for the vegetables). Then add all the risotto rice to the pan. Wait until the ends of the rice look see-through. Then add the glass of white wine. Once the wine has evaporated add the first ladle of stock.

4. Keep stirring the rice and adding the stock every time it appears to all have evaporated. Do this until you have run out of stock.

5. Once all the rice has cooked – add the parmesan cheese. Add as much or as little as you want and stir. Then pour all your vegetables into the risotto rice and stir.

6. Now made the topping. Take your mint and finely chop. Add it to a bowl.

7. Then take some cress, add it to the same bowl.

8. Finally add a squeeze of lemon.

9. Add the topping to the risotto and serve!

10. Add a touch of pepper and serve!

Best of bathroom bins

The metal Ikea bin I have in my bathroom has started to rust, a lot. Therefore I thought why not combine my search for a new bathroom bin with a blog post. Initially I thought actually this might be really dull and why would anyone want to read about bins!? However the more I searched the more I found there are so many boring bathroom bins and it is quite hard to find nice ones. After researching and researching I realised that this blog post is actually very useful. I have found you the best bathroom bins on the internet. So please do let me know if you agree with me and whether or not this post is too dull! I am reaching 26 next month, is this a sign of my age?! Does anyone else care about bins?!

1. Parfumerie Pedal Bin by Dibor, Not on the high street, £39.95

2. Toujours Propre Retro Pedal Bin, The Holding Company, £15.95

3. Florence Collection Metal Bin, Dunelm Mill, £7.99

4. Dune Bathroom Bin, Sandstone, John Lewis, £30

5. Ash Dust Box, Muji, £24.95

6. Birillo Bathroom Waste Bin, Alessi, £48

Monday, 10 March 2014

Light and healthy pasta salad

Makes a large lunchbox full for 3 days worth of lunches.

You will need:
  • 250g Farfalle pasta
  • 2 courgettes
  • 8 plum tomatoes
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 cup of frozen broad beans
  • parmesan
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil

1. Boil the Farfalle pasta until the centre of the bows are soft, this will take approximately 10 minutes from boiling.

2. Five minutes after you have started boiling the pasta, start boiling the frozen peas and frozen broad beans together in a pan for five minutes.

3. Whilst the pasta, peas and beans are cooking use a peeler to create ribbons with the courgette. Uncooked courgette is delicious and keeps its crunch.

4. Cut the plum tomatoes into quarters.

5. Once the pasta and the peas and beans are done, drain well and rinse under cold water. This is to stop the cooking process and to ensure the pasta does not stick together. Remember this is a pasta salad so will be eaten cold.

6. Put the pasta and peas and beans back into an empty pan and add in the tomatoes and courgettes, mix well.

7. Stir in approximately two tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste.

8. Pour into a lunchbox and store in the fridge until you are ready to eat. Enjoy!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

The best of Anthropologie homeware under £15

If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know that I am obsessed with Anthropologie homeware. So I thought it only right that I should dedicate a whole blog post to this amazing store. However as I am furiously saving to go to Australia this is a budget blog post, looking particularly at pieces of homeware in Anthropologie for under £15. I have already posted about the Celestial Coasters before, I keep meaning to buy them, maybe this month I will! They remind me of playing with these random gemstones my mum kept in a bowl when I was a child. Me and my sister used to just get the stones out to feel the texture of each one. Weird children. Anyhow, hope you enjoy this blog post and do let me know of your top picks from Anthropologie.

1. Homegrown Monogram Mug, £8

2. Celestial Coaster, £8 each

3. Latte Bowl, £3.50 each

4. Random Notes of Appreciation, £12

5. Magnetic Timer, £10

6. Mini Capri Blue Mercury Candle, £10

Saturday, 1 March 2014

The cushion edit: ZARA

I was going to do a cushion edit from various homeware stores, however whilst looking through the Zara homeware website I was amazed to see how many of their cushions are totally gorgeous and affordable. I have picked my top four. You may think this is lazy, but it was a hard task. These are seriously nice cushions and I am now left pondering whether to just buy all of them! Please let me know if you like this post in the comments and whether or not I should continue with 'the cushion edit' as a blog post theme.
Wait... is that Missoni? Nope... it's Zara home, Zigzag Weave Cushion Cover, £19.99!

House of Hackney at Liberty? Nope... it's Zara home, Jungle Cushion Cover, £19.99!

The orange, the pattern, the geometric cut, everything, love it. Flower and Paisley Cushion Cover, £19.99.

This cushion makes me feel like I'm in the sunny courtyard of a Spanish or maybe a Greek villa, basking in the sun. Satin Tile Cushion Cover, £19.99
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