Soul Food Studio

styling

Wild, Romantic Shoreline Wedding Styled by Nancy Staughan

StylingAmanda Russell
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When talented stylist Nancy Straughan puts her mind to a project you know it’s going to look stunning. With wedding season in full swing Nancy used her wealth of styling know how to create a beautiful otherworldly experience peppered with unexpected twists. Thinking outside the box stylist Nancy designed her take on the elegant romance of the Lady of the Lake combined with the raw passion of Wuthering Heights.

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The first floor assembly room of The Drapers Arms a beautiful Georgian Islington pub is the ideal location for an intimate wedding venue. Here natural light streams in through the tall elegant sash windows, lighting up the duck egg blue room with its painted checkerboard floor, period fireplaces and dark bistro style chairs.

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Elemental, the theme draws on a rich combination of bleached and watery tones combining them with a comprehensive collection of textures, from silks to twigs and coral, to fresh and dried flowers. To make her spell binding vision a reality she drew a group of skilled artisans around her, do check them out to see more beautiful work by them, details below.

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Location

The Drapers Arms http://www.thedrapersarms.com

 

The People

Stylist, Nancy Straughan http://www.nancy-straughan.com

Stationery, Paper Knots http://www.paperknots.co.uk/

Photography, Caro Hutchins http://carohutchings.com/

Flowers, Hazel Gardiner https://www.hazelgardinerdesign.com/

Cake, My Little Cake Tin https://www.instagram.com/mylittlecaketin/

Props, Re-Found Objects https://www.re-foundobjects.com/

Extra crockery Limehouse

Ceramics http://www.limehouseceramics.com/

Stoneware bottles, Soulfoodstudio https://www.soulfoodstudio.com/shop/

Calligraphy and signage by Hannah Watt https://www.instagram.com/hannahlwatt/

Embroidery by very talented friend, Olivia

 

If you like this post check out my post on Constance Spry Vases for Everyone

Book Review - Modern Lettering: A Guide to Modern Calligraphy and Hand Lettering by Rebecca Cahill Roots

Book ReviewsAmanda Russell
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With the infinity of the holiday season stretching away into the future, I get excited there’s time to get to grips with a new hobby. Packed with all the know how to improve my hand writing, Modern Lettering: A Guide to Modern Calligraphy and Hand Lettering by Rebecca Cahill Roots, arrived in the studio at a very opportune moment. 

All this time we’ve been beavering away behind computer screens we’ve all but abandoned our handwriting skills. Meanwhile the cult of celebrating the individual has been on the rise. With its lack of humanity and the predictable regularity of computer text, our neglected handwriting, is having a moment embracing the intervention of the human hand over machine. Rather than leaving our handwriting skills dormant there’s a big move to dust off the art form and use it to create beautiful and special projects, from the heart. Imagine being able to address envelopes in a stylish and eye catching way, writing special stationary for weddings, or designing unique invitations, this book gives you all the tools.

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Don’t be alarmed by the words calligraphy or hand lettering, this is the kind of lettering that excels because of its individual hand drawn quality. Within the covers you will find a complete manual to get you writing beautifully, its packed with insider know how along with plenty of detailed knowledge, making the learning process a whole lot easier. 

Full of quirky illustrations this practical workbook of how tos, gently eases you into hand lettering. Divided into sections, illustrated diagrams lead you through the basic tool kit and of the anatomy of the pen before you get started on mark making. There are practice pages for all the letters starting with how to form them including useful information on the names for each part of the letter. There are handy tips on making it your own, along with useful trouble shooting advice. 

 

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And the book isn’t limited to the mechanics of letter forming, once you have mastered the skill there’s plenty more help on designing your page, combining different styles while exploring a variety of media. The book finishes with a plethora of beautiful examples of projects using your new skills.

If you are ready to take on the satisfying challenge of smartening up your handwriting skills while getting the individual edge, look no further than this invaluable volume. It guarantees your new skill will elicit enthusiastic oohs and ahhs of envy and admiration.

Book: Modern Lettering: A Guide to Modern Calligraphy and Hand Lettering by Rebecca Cahill Roots

Published by Batsford

Price £14.99

 If you liked this book review then why not read my book review of Garden Style: Inspirational Styling for Your Outside Space by Selina Lake

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.

If you like this post check out my post on Plastic Free Kitchen

 

Constance Spry Vases for Everyone

StylingAmanda Russell

With her innovative approach society florist Constance Spry brought bohemian vision
to floristry from the 30s beyond the 50s into the 60s. A visionary, her books on flower
arranging and cooking influenced a generation of 50s housewives. Much copied,
mantle vases in her style became a must have for every 50s homemaker hungry for
her look.

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Their cool and classic designs are perfect for making a bold statement, adding style
to any interior. The vases often come in a family of sizes, a different one to cater for
all your floral needs, short or long stemmed.

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Follow the 30’s society florist example and add more than just flowers. Extend a
bunch of market or garden flowers and make them altogether more interesting by
mixing in gnarly twigs for height, vine trails for waft, infill with garden foliage then add
flowers.

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Or generously plant up with a cushion of moss studded through with spring bulbs, or
fill to overflowing with fresh fruit, with bunches of grapes and summer stoned fruit.
Ring the changes by displaying it empty, as a stand alone sculptural piece. Your
imagination is the only limit to how you choose to style your vase.

When you’re looking for these vintage pieces expect signs of wear. More often than
not the surface of the glaze will have slight crazing and there will be scattered iron
spots on the interior, which add to the character of ceramics of this age.

If you are interested in seeing more, go have a look in my shop, where theres a big
selection.

Book Review, Garden Style: Inspirational Styling for Your Outside Space by Selina Lake

Book ReviewsAmanda Russell
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With the recent upturn in the weather, once more it’s time to get back into the garden and embrace the wide-open spaces. With immaculate timing a review copy of the gorgeous Garden Style: Inspirational Styling for Your Outside Space by the talented stylist, Selina Lake, arrived in the studio. The garden has greened up, here I am falling in love with it all over again, ripe for any garden porn that comes my way.

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 Lakes style is approachable and practical, full of beautifully styled shots it is a wonderful book to reach for when you are looking for new inspiration. Divided into chapters, each covers a different theme. Garden Inspirations is the opening chapter, here Lake shows us the spaces and plants she enjoys, as well as encouraging the reader to look for places to help develop their own individual style. I love the chapter name, Decorating Your Garden, it includes advice on choosing furniture, rounding up ways to display plants and also how to get essential decorative details like lighting into the space. Further chapters are about creating garden rooms as well as relaxing and eating outdoors and the one that presses my buttons, wont be any surprise to my readers, as it’s all about Bringing the Outside In, including details on foraging and very usefully tips to help you create your very own cutting garden. 

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Lake envelopes us with the idea a garden is an extra space for escaping to, it’s your own other worldly corner. Peppered through out the text are useful style tips along with very doable, attractive projects, for instance, use small vintage bottles to hold posies to jazz up a picket fence. I suggest mixing up one of the recipes for botanical cocktails, settling down in a verdant corner to have a good read of this book, a beautiful and informative garden companion.

 

Garden Style: Inspirational Styling for Your Outside Space by Selina Lake  Photography: Rachael Whiting  Ryland Peters and Small £19.99       http://selinalake.co.uk     http://www.rachelwhiting.co.uk

Garden Style: Inspirational Styling for Your Outside Space by Selina Lake

Photography: Rachael Whiting

Ryland Peters and Small £19.99

http://selinalake.co.uk

http://www.rachelwhiting.co.uk

If you liked this book review then why not read my book review of Mad About the House by Kate Watson-Smyth

Book Review: WREATHS: Fresh, Foraged & Dried Florals Arrangements by Katie Smyth & Terri Chandler

Book ReviewsAmanda Russell

Foraging flowers and foliage, is now a thing, we all delight at coming home with a handful of hedgerow discoveries, but how to make the most of our collection?

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I was sent a review copy of the book WREATHS: Fresh, Foraged & Dried Florals Arrangements by Katie Smyth & Terri Chandler. It gives a glimpse into the world of flower arrangers, Worm, packed with insider knowledge into how they achieve their original and contemporary approach to wreaths and flower installations. Exuberant and full of life, the can do flower company aims to bring the delight of natural foraged flowers to your home or venue.

With their characteristic enthusiasm they set out to demystify the art with a wealth of fresh new tips for constructing and building up original floral installations so they look their very best. Even if you are not into creating with flowers the book is a must for the beautiful images alone. Photographer Kristin Perers, creates serene moments of floral calm leaving us all wishing they were part of our lives.

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Liberated from more formal arrangements this book reflects the recent move away from monoculture flower arrangements towards a more seasonal approach, as often as possible, using foraged and farmed British flowers and foliage. People who know me will be aware I am always looking for new ways to bring the outside in and I love the crazy, mad, romantic almost Midsummers Night Dream vibe of Worm designs.

The detailed recipe for Meadow Ball, makes the concept approachable, I’m itching to sling a hook in the ceiling and get on with it. Another design I am keen to try is the Late Summer Chandelier, which uses a gnarled, ropey clematis vine as a base. The smell from the Giant Pine Wreath promises to deliver an intoxicating perfume, so that’s a must when the time comes round. And for sheer vibrancy the Autumnal Wreath would be the star at a Harvest or Thanksgiving celebration.

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Dip into the pages of this beautiful book, Wreaths, with its glorious images and all the tools and know how to develop your own instinctive floral style,  you will be ready to create a wreath to celebrate each seasonal event when it comes along. 

WREATHS: Fresh, Foraged & Dried Florals Arrangements by Katie Smyth & Terri Chandler (Quadrille, £14.99)

Photography: Kristin Perers

Worm London http://www.wormlondon.com

Kristin Perers http://kristinperers.com

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If you liked this book review then why not read my book review of Modern Lettering: A Guide to Modern Calligraphy and Hand Lettering by Rebecca Cahill Roots

Styling Interiors with Plants

StylingAmanda Russell
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Take your time and have fun styling with plants, here are a few tips to set you on your way.

  • Move plants around and give them a new spot so they don't look samey and static. Move them around and style up with a variety of hero objects, you might have a collection of pots, a favourite beach find or a treasure picked up on an adventure

 

  • Before you get cracking with the styling, first tidy up and clear your space. Remember beautiful styled images are about what's in front of the camera. You maybe very aware of the cluttered corner behind you, but so long as the view in the shot is clear, nobody else needs to be any the wiser. Tidying completed, gather together the pieces you have chosen to work with in one place.

 

  • To construct the narrative, choose plants of different heights, leaf shape and colour. Start to layer up the plants along with the hero object. The rich texture of green on green gives the hero a backdrop shine out from. Alternitively choose just one plant or a frond or leaf and display alone in a vintage ceramic vessel with a couple of shapely pieces. With space around, you will be able to observe the design and beauty of the plant and leaf construction.

 

  • Remember, be generous at all times. Try a variety of groupings, taking images as you go along a clear space where your hero sings in glorious isolation can have as much impact as a large curated collection.

 

  • Be brave, remember rules are there for breaking. Try a variety of groupings taking images as you go along. When you look back over them note how very slight changes to the styled arrangement can make a world of difference.

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

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