I spent a glorious hour in Creative Beadcraft in Soho today looking for just the right gemstone for my teardrop mosaic which currently in progress. I came away with the most beautiful Swarovski crystals (ehm…and quite a bit more). It was a veritable Aladdin’s cave for a magpie like me.
Aware that I needed to get back to the studio to actually do some mosaicing before collecting the kids, I walked briskly back up Regent Street towards Oxford Circus tube station when I saw the famed Anthropologie store and was diverted in like a magnet.
My first 5 minutes left me a bit cold – beautiful clothes I know, but the thrifter in me just cannot contemplate spending £50 on a necklace I could easily make myself or £70 on a t-shirt. OK, so the clothes department was not for me (well, at least not until I am a rich and famous artist!) and I was just about to leave when my eye was drawn to a magnificent vertical garden adorning the huge left hand wall of the store. When I say huge, I am talking about 15 metres high and 10m wide.You can see a bit of the wall below…
Now we were talking! Thrifty ole me started smiling again. I wandered into the homeware department and was soon picking up objects, smiling and stroking with glee at the little details – those small (and not so expensive) things that make a house a home. Brass owl and cat hooks, fox doorknockers, beautiful measuring spoons and the good old fashioned cafe au lait bowls, just like the ones I drank out of when I lived with my aunt in France as a child (funny how things come around eh?).
As I was at the till paying, I was telling the cashier how much I admired this stunning feature they had made of recycled bottles and rope.
She told me that their interiors team made it using glass cutters and a blow torch. “Aha!” I said, “Please tell them there is an easier way”…and I went on to explain my recent discovery of how to cut a glass bottle an awesome technique that you can use in mosaic making. She was amazed at how easy it was and now wanted to give it a try! I love these bottles and it has given me more ideas of beautiful things to try and make from recycling glass.
Reflecting on my visit to Anthropologie, I realised that just being in such an environment – where attention to detail, design and beauty was so meticulous and passionate – got me into a great creative zone. While I was there I got so inspired by possibility. I came away with three new ideas of things to make – a synthesis of things I saw and things in my head. So good. I think I will have to make some Artist Dates and hang out in beautiful shops (perhaps leaving my credit card at home)! Anyone have recommendations of cool places to hang out in just for creative inspiration?