Soul Food Studio

Interior

Going Backwards to go Forwards: Rediscovering the Joy of Writing with a Fountain Pen

Crafts, Interior, StylingAmanda Russell
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With their generous flow of ink and near instant drying, my addiction to gel pens stretches back over many years. But, I miss using a fountain pen, the right nib brings the feeling it’s possible to write for miles. On a few occasions I have seriously tried to get back into using them, however I felt replacing empty gel pens for cartridges in landfill was neither sustainable nor tackling the root of the problem.

As an interior stylist, the constant flow of ‘bits’ through my life swiftly leads to an ugly build up and an urgent need to declutter. While tacking my accumulations of clutter in the studio, I inevitably uncovered my stash of old fountain pens. The question of what to do with them skated across my mind, closing the box and running away seemed attractive. A jumble of different makes, brings the inconvenient headache of both sourcing and storing a broad selection of refill cartridges, making fountain pens a complicated option to adopt.

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Lining up my cache of pens reminded me of the joy I have using them. Rather than ditching them I felt tackling the problem of keeping them charged with ink was worth one more shot. A recently invaluable discovery is Cult Pens, who stock a wide range of writing supplies and deliver speedily. I had a buzz of excitement as I ordered ink and reservoirs for the pens, a small change was about to become a reality on my journey towards a more sustainable life.

Making the swap back to using a fountain pen feels like a big win. There’s the aesthetic pleasure of holding a pen coupled with the delight of welcoming back an old friend, Waterman’s turquoise ink, in its design icon, quirky shaped bottle, that’s tip able for easy fill. A moment of peaceful reflection is brought to Sunday evening as I round up my pens, ready to fill for the week ahead. And incase of emergencies there’s always a few cartridges in a tin ready waiting in my bag.

 

Styling your Dartmouth Flower Urns

Interior, StylingAmanda Russell
   
  
   
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    Pedestal vases were inspired by the 30s to the 50s ceramics designs of the international household name, high society florist, Constance Spry. The most popular designs were copied and reproduced in the 50s for the thousands of housewives who read her books. To style an interior treat as a stand alone gorgeous sculptural statement piece, or fill with grasses, flowers, trails and twiggery.

Pedestal vases were inspired by the 30s to the 50s ceramics designs of the international household name, high society florist, Constance Spry. The most popular designs were copied and reproduced in the 50s for the thousands of housewives who read her books. To style an interior treat as a stand alone gorgeous sculptural statement piece, or fill with grasses, flowers, trails and twiggery.

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If you enjoyed reading this blog post, why not read my post on How to style your home using Sylvac Urns

Styling with Plants to Bring Life to Your Room

InteriorAmanda Russell
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Plants bring life to a room with texture and colour they are living, breathing, changing over time. 

Keep your interior styling interesting by changing groupings and moving your plant collection around. Let the freshest and healthiest shine at the front and the ones in need of a rest out of the limelight. 

Choose planters to suit your styling, I have an ever changing selection ready to ring the changes when curated groups need to be refreshed. Use your plants to style a new still life, combine them with books and things you love. Revive styled groupings and keep fresh and interesting by bringing in specimen flowers and leaves.

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If you like this post check out my Kokedama Moss Ball Plants

Kokedama Moss Ball Plants: Space saving plants

Crafts, InteriorAmanda Russell

Pressed to find pace for plants in your home? Get creative, make Kokedama, moss wrapping whatever plants take your fancy, herbs for the kitchen, ferns in the bathroom, spring bulbs, the choice is infinite. Suspend your moss ball plants, over the table or in a corner to create a hanging wonderland.

Making is my escape, even better when it’s something for my home. Kokedama is my guilty flight of fantasy, for me it's often about bringing the outside indoors. Flexing the creative muscle, the best tonic when I’m feeling jaded.

My kind of fun, getting in the flow, how do you recharge your batteries?

If you like this post you should check out my post on Kokedama Inspiration

Pantone Green with Pink: How to Work Contemporary with Vintage

Styling, InteriorAmanda Russell

A ladder of fresh green fern. Yes please, fresh lively pantone green with pink. What kind of pink? Rose, gold, plaster, copper, combine with lustre, splash with the swoosh of a brush. Styling interiors there’s colour in my blood pumping though my veins, combine colours how does it make you feel?

In the world of interiors and styling colour fashions come and go, how wonderful when a passion collides with the outside world. Pink splatter lustreware yes please! Colour referencing can give vintage and antique a contemporary edge. I always loved my grandfathers collection of Sunderland bowls lined up along his mirrored dresser. The severity of the graphic black steel engraved type against the anarchic abandonment of the splatter and swish of pink.

Kids in tow, oggling Sunderland bowls like his through the window of a bijou Georgian Hexham antique shop, thinking when will I ever have one and when I do, might it get destroyed? Recently I found this vintage mug, I don’t know where, I know nothing about it, I have no idea how old it is, not very. The utility of the shape and the pink lustre eases my need for those bowls. With the pink and green it's spot on for an eclectic contemporary interior.

If you liked this post make sure you check out my post on How to style your home using Sylvac Urns

Look No Further for Affordable Design Icons: Design icons, something to aspire to, often out of reach for the ordinary person

Interior, StylingAmanda Russell

Design icons, something to aspire to, often out of reach for the ordinary person. Good news! Not so with antique stoneware bottles. Sometime domestic ceramics, hardwearing, functional, they were the ultimate peoples product, now they come with their own unique history, I am a big fan.

Bottles like these have always featured in my life. As a child we dug them out of the pond in the spiny, the collection was organic, it grew then shrank, given away when moving on, new ones turning up, to start the cycle again.

The range of whites, like wines, describe with carefully picked words, mellow, creamy, blue, grey, mineral, earthy, stone, muddy, heritage. How do you describe your white?

Easy on the eye with simple utilitarian good looks, lyrical shapes, a curved shoulder, timeless classics they sit happily in both contemporary and classic interiors.

Why not take a minute to hop on over to the shop and take a look at the contemporary vintage ceramic collection on offer.

If you like this post check out my post on Kokedama Moss Ball Plants

Spring Flower Living Wall: Kokedama Inspiration

Interior, Crafts, StylingAmanda Russell
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Can't wait to get out and see what's growing in the garden but feeling a bit cold? Bring outside into the house with moss wrapped bulbs. When I'm styling I'm always trying new ways to bring life, colour and texture to the home.  These moss wrapped hanging Kokedama bulbs are great to bring a fresh twist.  Suspend them to  make a stunning interior living wall, move them around to create a  lush planty corner. Everyday beauty, mixing plants with vintage crockery and contemporary ideas. 

Lots of vintage contemporary ceramic finds for your home over at the shop, take a look. Happy hunting!

If you liked this post check out my post on working with contemporary and vintage