Staunch Industries

We haven’t posted for a while – there’s been a lot going on! And one of the fun things* was that we discovered Staunch Industries.


Now you know with us it’s more about the great indoors than the great outdoors, right? These guys couldn’t be more different. Staunch Industries is a design-led lifestyle brand that’s all about celebrating the ruggedness of the North Sea and the wild places of Scotland.

As well as producing some amazing design work for their clients all over the world, they sell a variety of products through their website, including clothes, accessories and homewares. (There is also some amazing wallpaper coming soon). Here are some of our favourites:


‘Kelpie’ tea towel
‘Wilderness’ card and gift wrap
‘Salmon and Trout’ utility pouches
‘Sea-life candle’ scented with sea salt and coconut

You’ll have noticed that those last four photographs are too good to have been taken by us – you know us so well. All copyright belongs to Staunch Industries.

We love the designs – maybe it’s time to be more outdoorsy with the indoors!



*One of the other fun things is that last month we turned two years old!

Super Supermarket find

You won’t believe where we found these cute mugs …

(OK so there’s a clue in the post title but you can let us be excited, right?)

They weren’t from some obscure specialist retailer of lovely household things – they were from Sainsbury’s! And they only cost £2.50 each! If that isn’t enough, you can include them in an on-line shop and have them delivered to your door with your groceries.

Now you can see why we were excited, maybe it’s time to have a cup of tea and calm down.

P.S. – Copyright in the photos belongs to Sainsburys!



Marcella Wylie


A few days ago we spotted this beautiful cushion cover and had to investigate further!

The design is by an artist called Marcella Wylie, who produces as well as beautiful illustrations and paintings (many of which can be bought as prints), printed items like phone cases, plates, bags, scarves and, of course, cushion covers. Most designs feature flowers and/or animals and use really vividly coloured inks to create striking images. We loved the contrast of the bright realism of the  orchids with the black and white flower outlines and the splash of, err, leopard print. (Because they are leopard orchids, right? We know!)

Marcella’s gorgeous designs are available on items from her Etsy shop. And that lovely cushion is only £50, which considering they are handmade to order, seems like very good value indeed! What a pity it’s still too early to think about Christmas…

The new bottle lamp


We bought this little thing the other day. It’s called a bottlelight – it’s a cork-sized LED that fits in a bottle to turn it into a light! Remember when people turned wine bottles into lamps and they looked like this?

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No? You’re so young! Well, take it from us, it used to be a thing. Anyway, one of the problems was that the lamps had to be plugged into the mains so there was always the issue of how you made a hole in the glass for the cable to pass through. But this little thing just sits in the neck of a bottle and can be recharged using a USB port or charger. So this is what we did:


(Please note – no lampshades this time round!) The bottle used to contain Gingerella ginger ale which is a delicious non-alcoholic drink made with Fair Trade ingredients by Karma Kola. You’re right of course – it did take seconds to make. But we are still pleased with the result! No problems with quick and easy here!

A revelation in the bathroom…

Thanks to a gift from lovely (and very generous) friends, we have had a revelation in the bathroom. They gave us these hammam towels:

P1040035Now, we had seen these before because they seem to be quite fashionable at the moment but to be honest, thought that they didn’t look as if they would be very absorbent or, well, cosy. And those are really the main qualities that towels need to have. But now we had the perfect opportunity to try them out so we did.

And they are wonderful. The thing we hadn’t realised is that the more you use them, the softer and the more absorbent they get! Plus there is the added bonus that they are thin, so they don’t take up much room and they dry really quickly – which makes them ideal for the beach or the gym. (Because that’s what was stopping us getting to the gym – not having the right kind of towel, but that will all change now! Definitely.)

At the moment Achica has some lovely Ikikiz beach sets, like  this one:


So we are quite happy to have had a revelation in the bathroom and will be using our new knowledge at the gym and the beach too!

What a great idea, Nora Fleming!

We saw some Nora Fleming tableware the other day – what a great idea! All the items are plain white with one tiny hole somewhere on the edge. Like these: P1040029 And into this tiny hole goes one of a range of ‘minis’: a ceramic embellishment. There are minis for every season and occasion so your plate or bowl or serving dish or bread tray can change with the theme of the event. As as well as being very stylish it is cheaper and takes less space than having a specific platter for each one. Isn’t that clever? Here are some of them: P1040030 P1040033P1040031 P1040032 And apparently, there are more coming soon. The not-so-good news is that you can only buy Nora Fleming tableware in the USA and Canada at the moment, but it is such a simple and fun idea that we wouldn’t be surprised if it gets an international market soon!

Colour dilemma…

This week we’re having a bit of a colour dilemma, caused by our ongoing love of bed linen.

You might remember that a while ago we got some new bedroom curtains – so that’s got to be an excuse to get some new bedlinen, right? The trouble is that we couldn’t find quite what we were looking for. There were lots that were lovely but nothing quite right. We were trying for something that had a kind of tongue-in-cheek, old school glamour. Maybe dark to offset the cream curtains? Maybe a bold pattern because the bed is the focus of the room? Maybe something heading towards the top even if not actually going over it? And then we saw this (and then, like you’d expect, we waited until the sale to get a bargainacious 50% off).:



So that’s the cover sorted, but here comes the dilemma – what colour sheets? In the picture the sheets are black, but aren’t black sheets a little… Austin Powers?

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 Each to their own an’ all (and it was a great movie) but that’s not quite the look we want.

So what colour? As a general rule, you can’t beat white sheets but we think white will look too stark.

So what colour? As a general rule, you can’t beat white sheets but we think white will look too stark. Yellow? Hhhmmmm. Maybe it’s time for a lie down while we think about it. We’ll let you know what we decide!

Gravely Gorgeous


You know we are all about lovely things – sometimes ‘lovely’ is in the eye of the beholder.

This is Magz the Guardian Dragon. She’s based on a pair of dragons that guard the doors of St Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Leith, Edinburgh. And she’s made by a company called Gravely Gorgeous, which produces wall art based on gargoyles and   grotesques found in Edinburgh. They make them from jesmonite, which uses real stone to make a composite material which looks like stone and is safer than fibreglass and lighter than concrete. Jesmonite is also suitable for outdoor use – and Magz is destined for a wall in South Yorkshire (we hope she enjoys the move south of the border and doesn’t feel the need to breathe fire on anyone).

The man behind Gravely Gorgeous is Philip Obermarck, a visual artist and sculptor who was born in the US but now lives in Scotland. A lot of his work other than for Gravely Gorgeous has quite a dark aspect to it, but Magz looks quite friendly – for a dragon.

Gravely Gorgeous sells online and ships internationally.

An answer to the cheeseboard question

Can we share something with you? Until this week, we have never owned a cheeseboard (as in a board that you put cheese on) although many cheeseboards (as in selection of cheeses) have been served and eaten. They just seemed to cost a lot for something that does the same as a large plate or a wooden chopping board. Why bother with an item specifically for one job when something else in the kitchen can just get on and multitask like the rest of us?

On the other hand though there’s that nagging feeling… wouldn’t a purpose-made cheeseboard look better? Shouldn’t real, mortgage-paying grown-ups have a proper cheeseboard and not improvise, like students making do with whatever past tenants left in the cupboards? And the slate ones look really good.

And the question has now been answered definitively (for us, anyway). This was on sale:


Not just on sale – reduced by 75%! That in itself was clearly a sign but it gets better. At the till, it became clear that not only did the board not have a price label, other than the sticker on the edge of the shelf. A very apologetic man spent a couple of minutes looking and then decided that as he couldn’t find one after asking us to wait, he would sell it for half the reduced price. Which means a total saving of 87%! And as you know if there’s one thing we like better than lovely things, it’s lovely things at bargainacious prices.

While we’re talking about cheese, can we recommend this Buzzfeed article on How To Put Together A Great Cheese Plate At A Regular Supermarket? (Some of the brands mentioned aren’t available in UK supermarkets, but that doesn’t really matter).

So that’s it – not one but two great (grate?) dilemmas solved. You’re welcome!

Tiger, Tiger…

Tiger, Tiger selling bright
Lovely things for our delight

We couldn’t resist this laptop case from Tiger! Who doesn’t sometimes want to look busy and important and online? 

Tiger is a Danish company which opened in 1995 and now has shops all over Europe and in Japan. As they say themselves, ‘Tiger is a place you go to explore, a place where it is fun to shop’. All their products are simple, colourful and reflect Scandinavian design but there are two important things that set them apart from other retailers.

The first is the range of things available. On our visit the other day we found stationery, kitchen goods, huge bags of herbs and spices, toys, batteries, dressing up kit, candles. door knobs, nail varnish, glasses, lamps… The second is the price – 80% of its products sell for £5 or less! All the pricing is in whole numbers, so for example £1, £2, £3, 2 for £3, 2 for £4 etc which could be why it has been described as a posh pound shop – and what’s not to love about that? (The laptop case was a whole spendy £7).

It came in this carrier bag, which shows some of the herbs and spices Tiger sells (4 million bags a year!):

The shops  themselves don’t look particularly exciting from the outside. To be honest, you can see Tiger’s discount store heritage – but it’s always worth popping in to see what’s inside. Unfortunately, Tiger doesn’t sell online but their website gives a good idea of the products available. Hundreds of new ones are introduced every month.

Chai latte or organic coconut water? Skinny flat white please – unless it’s a double espresso day!