art, Lifestyle

Snaps this week

This week’s Instagram

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During the week Auriol and I went to Oxford to see Love is Enough: William Morris & Andy Warhol at Oxford Modern Art. I highly recommend a visit – three rooms of apparently rarely seen works, linked by both artists’ print making businesses and their collaborations with their peers.

This was a great show with a broad selection of line drawings, textiles, prints, books and magazines. Well worth a look.

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Elsewhere at Oxford Modern Art – Inventory of Objects Belonging to a Young Man of Oxford: Christian Boltanski

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architecture, art, design, fashion, interiors, lifestyle, recycling, style, vintage

Interview: Moorbi.com

Bullets made into rings, ‘climbing’ lamps and crate-turned-desks are just some of the statement pieces available on Moorbi.com, a website striving to revolutionise up-cycled fashion and home accessories. JennyVintage talks to its chief executive, Martina Basile, about her mission, trawling through landfills and why she’s no tree hugger.

What is Moorbi.com and how did it come about?

Moorbi is a marketplace where sustainable designers, artists, upcyclers and makers will be first time all grouped together online aiming to provide a valid alternative for a richer and more sustainable living.

We see a future where design will drive the change, where sustainable will be normal, where designers will be conscious about their responsibilities in thinking about the whole product life-cycle, where all the people will have possibility to have rooms and houses like magazine covers, unique in the world.

We are a team of people passionate about design, sustainability and revolution.

Where did the site’s name come from? What does it mean?

Moorbi was the name of a toy I did out of waste and old cloth when I was a child. It was quite ugly but screamingly funny – I remember was quite crooked, unfinished but uniquely mine.

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Climbing lamp by Furniture MagPies

What makes Moorbi.com different from other websites focused on vintage pieces and recycled materials?

Vintage is a trend, recycling is overused – what we have in mind is to create the main referent for people loving authenticity, style and quality but also something uniquely theirs and not impacting the environment or their pocket.

It is going to be a revolution of the entire production process; we decided to start from promoting the designers already conscious about their responsibility.

We are neither tree-huggers nor fashion victims. We like cool things.

Bullet rings by Adi Zaffran

Bullet ring by Adi Zaffran

 

How do you source sustainable designers and what are your criteria for sustainability? Does it differ at all from product to product?

We source sustainable designers directly at exhibitions, fairs, design weeks or reading about their projects on newspapers and blogs. Our criteria for sustainability? There are many of them, sustainability is many things and can seem nothing.

Generally I can say that all of them have a wider vision of the product – they do think about the beauty of it, but only after having considered what material to repurpose, reuse, upcycle, recycle, save, restore, how to assemble and deliver, ship it, how will it be dismiss and which message to give to people.

Some of them spend three days per week sourcing materials from landfills or around their houses and then working to save them, others have invented a new material much more sustainable, some others and saving materials and leftovers of production processes.

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Magazine rack by Wandle Tree

Who are the greatest designers you have come across so far in your search for sustainable products? What does it take to be a Moorbi.com featured designer?

As Victor Papanek – the godfather of sustainable design – said in 1972 “There are professions more harmful than design, but only a few”. So, the greatest designers I came across so far are the ones that are creatively approaching the sustainability factor and sustainably letting their creativity be.

Being a designer at Moorbi.com is pretty easy – all of them dream about and work hard to build a green future for all of us with even more quality and richer lifestyle. All of them are creatively revolutionists building great things out of leftovers of a consumerist society.

Are there any particularly young and new designers you have found?

We are actually planning to focus more on young and emergent designers. I believe it’s needed to give them a space and the right visibility but also since the beginning one clear rule: no more designers designing cosmetics, now the hardest thing is being a designer with a brain and think about before, during and after your project has been produced, sold and used.

What are your favourite items available on the website and what are the dream Moorbi.com products you are still on the lookout for?

I select personally all the designers to contact and to get on board as well as collaborate with the designers about the products to put on Moorbi.com. I love all of them, and I am so amazed looking at this when I think that has been only few months we’ve been up and so many designers and people interested in design to get in touch and interacting with this site. I dream about giving people the possibility to be sustainable and make everything around them sustainable from A to Z but never forgetting style and quality.

How would you describe your own home’s style?

My own? Essential but warm, functional but romantic, tiny but mine.

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Lamp by Garbage

What’s next for Moorbi.com? What are your goals for the site for the rest of the year?

Moorbi aims to become the first place where design and art will be something everyone could get. Where sustainable won’t be more expensive than unsustainable, and where designers will be actively improving our own areas, cities and countries.

We want to democratise quality in terms of products and production. Everyone’s a tastemaker and an artist and would love to own something special and unique in the all world while dad Design always gets under people’s skins.

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Branch table by Adi Zaffran

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art, crafts, DIY, fashion, interiors, lifestyle, recycling, style, vintage

Interview: My Make Do and Mend Year

In September fellow blogger Jen embarked on a year-long mission to avoid buying anything brand new by making do and mending in the Blitz spirit. Already she estimates she has saved £1,000.

JennyVintage finds out how she’s bearing up, how her craft skills are coming and how it’s changed her style.

What inspired you to embark on a year of make do and mend?

I got fed up with all the ‘stuff’ and a little bit scared that by the age of three, my eldest (BigSmall) was already so focused on getting more ‘stuff’. I also wondered if it could be done, and then read about Suzy Prince and her Secondhand Safari, and it gave me the shove I needed to give it a go!

Did you already have a lot of craft and sewing skills to prepare you for what you may have let yourself in for?

Having never been at all arty or crafty I learned to sew when I was on maternity leave after having BigSmall, and then got into all things ‘upcycling’ and discovered vintage along the way!

What are the best craft skills you have learnt since starting your year?

I would probably say crocheting. I learnt just before Christmas, and I am now well and truly hooked (excuse the pun!)

Any craft disasters or tears?

My first attempt at a crocheted hat was a bit of a disaster – not at all glamorous or flattering, and it is now being used as a crocheted ‘bucket’!

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Has make do and mend had a big impact on your style? How would you sum up your current style?

I have never been big follower of fashion and the latest styles, but I hope I am not so bad that I embarrass the kids! Buying second-hand has definitely influenced my style though. I have gone from no dresses, to four (yes, four!), all from charity shops. And I have picked up several lovely snuggly wooly jumpers at vintage fairs. I think I am now braver in what I will try, as things are invariably a bit cheaper than buying new. And I have more confidence to just go with what I like, rather than what I think I should like because the shop is telling me to.

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What have been your best second-hand and vintage finds during your project?

I bought a faux fur coat from the car boot for £15 that I love! And I have a weakness for vintage haberdashery and got a job lot of wooden vintage cotton spools at a flea market, that again I love. No idea if I will even use them for their original purpose, but I enjoy just looking at them, and planning projects for them!

What are the best markets, shops and websites you’ve found to shop for second-hand and vintage since starting the project? 

Car boots are good for general everyday stuff, and you can sometimes find a genuine vintage bargain. I love the flea market at the Bath and West Showground, although it is becoming less of a flea market and more of a vintage fair now, and the prices are rising accordingly…

How much money do you estimate you have saved by not buying brand new? Did you start with a target for savings?

We didn’t set out to save money, it was more of a ‘sustainable living’ project, but we have undoubtedly saved some cash along the way. Over Christmas, our maximum spend for all the presents was less than £50, compared with the more like £300 we would usually have spent. We have possibly saved up to £1,000 in the first six months, but I couldn’t be sure.

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What are your make do and mend plans like for the second half of your year? Is there anything you’re determined to achieve before it’s over?

I want to spread the word!  I feel quite passionately that a little bit of Make Do and Mend is what we should all be aiming for, and would encourage everyone to just stop and think for a minute or two before rushing out and buying yet more stuff, about whether or not they really need it, and if they do, can they find it second-hand?

I want mending to be as cool as baking is at the moment – it could be the next big thing.

I want to run some Make Do and Mend craft days, and some mending evenings, and maybe some school workshops – big plans, and really start to get the message out there.

Would you do another year?

Definitely (although hubby may say otherwise). It has without a doubt changed the way we will shop in the future. Just by giving a bit more thought to what we are buying is not only saving us money, but has meant that we have often ended up with one-off unique to us items (clothes and furniture, for instance) that are far more interesting than yet another identikit outfit or piece of furniture.

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http://mymakedoandmendyear.wordpress.com/

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art, culture, entertainment, interiors, lifestyle, music, style

Friday sights and sounds

Friday sights and sounds

Pull Bear pull bear
$28 – pullandbear.com

4th Street Breakfast Tea
shopterrain.com
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art, culture, interiors, lifestyle, style

Elizabeth Blades

I’m still on the hunt for the perfect frame for my Elizabeth Blades picture, The Tatty Two. I bought this several months ago and it arrived beautifully wrapped in tissue paper and a bow but it’s still not up on my wall. I found this gold-coloured frame at Boutique 73 in Wolverton a couple of months ago but I think I ought to get a black one to set the picture of properly.

In the meantime, here it is. This one reminds me of an old children’s book. Liz has a beautiful collection of etchings, including more owls and birds.

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