Saturday, July 11, 2009

Heat Up the Rowenta!

When, during one of my recent internet trawls, I spied these deliciously chic napkins and tea towels from British designer Lisa Stickley, I had instant visions of owning them. 

In my fantasy, I had already skipped over the actual tea party and fast-forwarded ahead to ironing them. (Note: It's a predicament because I admit they ache with character all rumpled like that. But ironing linen is soo satisfying.). I'd send Piero and Luca on a multitude of errands, plug in my trusty Rowenta, turn up the soundtrack to "The Hours", take out my lavender ironing spray and go to town on these babies.

I love how the talented Ms. Stickley subverts a traditional idea and makes it cheekily modern. Her designs of vintage floral crockery completely avoid tweedom by mixing a nostalgia for the past with an elegant spareness.  

And look at this napkin with its photo of a menu from a local chip shop. 

I mean, come on.  Adorable, right?
This one, made of Irish linen, comes in a set of three and features a different dinner suggestion on each.

Here's another one which lists weekly food rations during wartime England in 1940. Among the items are "4 oz. bacon or ham", "2 oz. jam spread" "1 oz. cheese" and "1 shilling's worth of meat."

It just now came back to me how I found her website. I was doing a Google search for an ironing board cover and found her version

I love that it's scrawled with cleaning suggestions. The wallpaper tip is particularly appropriate for my house. (Stale bread? Who knew?)

Her website is extensive and includes a range of makeup bags, totes, pillows, mugs and more. And she couldn't be cuter herself...
Click here for the link to her press page which features an interview Elle Deco UK did on her and her darling retro apartment in South London.  She's a girl after my own heart -- I love that whenever she is stuck with work, she whips up a batch of scones!


Diane Dorrans Saeks said...


Hmm, yes. Lisa Stickley is quite brilliant. Her pieces are witty and not at all twee--and she conjures up nostalgic England with the clock stuck around 1935.
Love the fish and chip menu, and the flowers.

BUT--more important: is your house all Tour-de-France, all the time? I imagine your cycling boys are glued to all-day Tour de France. I must admit I love it--the scenery, the dramatic locations, the photography, the helicopter shots of riders and routes, the insightful and civilized commentary (I know what a peloton is, and what a 'breakaway' is, and what a 'chase car' does and what job a 'domestique' performs...yes and I hate sport)...well, yes, I admit it's the muscular men in tight glorious scenery. The Provencal stage was breathtaking and now they are in the Pyrenees.
I hope you are watching. It is such a superior sport-and the commentary is so intelligent. Highly recommend.
Books: did you read 'Nureyev' biography? Julie Kavanagh? If not, a must.
Kazuo Ishiguro: 'Cadence', breathtaking.

Scot Meacham Wood said...

I mean - come ON ! Those are wonderful !

zipping over right now to do some shopping.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Diane: Yes, my house is Tour-de-France all the time -- it's sacred ground these days! My husband has been in cycling shorts practically all weekend, and has only stopped watching TV to go on a bike ride of his own or dash to Whole Foods to cook up some kind of Michelin-inspired meal.

And yes, it's sooo gorgeous there. We have good friends who live in the mountains of the Esterel near Cannes, so go there quite frequently. In fact, we went to the Ojai Valley Inn on Thursday night and rhapsodized about a South of France back-up plan for the future... Done by everyone these days(!), but no less dreamy because of it.

And FYI, my husband is very impressed by your cycling knowledge and has invited you for a glass of iced Lillet at our house anytime!

TartanScot: I KNEW you'd like them! xx

Tavarua said...

Nice effect...for that special dinner..interesting concept...I like these - you are a pathfinder....

P.Gaye Tapp at Little Augury said...

these are darling, you find the most Bloomsburyish things. The creases and wrinkles don't bother me- interesting that they were photographed with creases and all. I am off to purchase some creases. la

Pigtown*Design said...

I am with you! Love to iron. It's meditative for me. And in the summer, nearly every single thing I wear is linen or cotton.

And T-D-F? LOVE it! {Except when they fall}

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Little Augury: I totally agree with you. I am always waging a war with myself between ironing and not ironing, as certain things - linens, especially -- have so much more character when rumpled. I'd probably have to restrain myself from ironing these!

Pigtown: I can hear the sounds of the T-D-F downstairs now, and my husband just incoherently yelled something, so better go see what happened...Allons-y! Allons-y!

vicki archer said...

Fabulous her and love her site. Thank you, xv.

Simply Mel {Reverie} said...

These are spectacular! I love the napkins and her witty words! Thank you for the intro...

Laura said...

Lisa, these are fantastic! I almost hyperventilated for a second when you mentioned The Hours...a wonderful band! Then I saw the word soundtrack and relaxed a bit...although the music is no less wonderful of course. I am heading over to her website immediately!

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

To Vicki, Mel and Laura: Your kind words have made me happy. Have a wonderful Sunday.

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

Hi Lisa-

ICED LILLET--I would be delighted. Delicious.Thank you! I accept.

Get the Ishiguro "Cadences' from Hatchard's...signed. I am really loving it.

So today on the Tour, in the Pyrenees, we saw some of the best cycling. The ride 7 km steep uphill and the cyclists don't even glisten with sweat and look so happy.
Scenery today was glorious, and photography of the thousands of crazy mad fans who follow the tour all over France in their shorts and caps are zany and fabulous.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Diane: Ordering "Cadences" now... :)

Cara said...

i love your blog, please check mine out at Maybe if you like it you can post about it or link it. I would love that!!!!

JMW said...

Ooo, I really like her work! I'm always looking for unique bags and such - thanks for sharing!

Cara said...

JMW, are you talking about my work???? If you are thanks and please keep checking my blog and spread the word about it!!!!

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...


'Cadences': this is a test!

If you loved his previous books ('Remains') you will find these stories create a world, a tone of voice, a cadence indeed, and a vocabulary for which Ishiguro is a master.
I hope Hatchard's still have some signed copies for you--mine is a fast scribble, but none-the-less I like having his imprimatur on my book.
When I read 'The Remains of the Day' I hear Tony Hopkins' working class accent with that deferential tone and it is pitch-perfect in language and intonation. A similar sensibility--painting portraits of the protagonists in 'Cadences' with language, observation, dialog, and their discreetly presented limitations and prejudices creates memorable reading in this 'confessional' genre.

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