Thursday, 30 October 2008

Maybe it's because the clocks have gone back and the Christmas lights in Victoria Street have already been strung from the rafters. Or perhaps its because our boiler is being replaced and the shop is absolutely freezing. Whatever the reason, I've got mulled wine on the mind today, and I'm not sure that I can hold out until Edinburgh's German Christmas market begins to taste it again. Luckily, the BBC has a delicious recipe for a mulled wine that will be ready in only 40 minutes.

1 bottle red wine
60g/2oz demerara sugar
1 cinnamon stick
grated nutmeg
1 orange, halved
1 dried bay leaf
60ml/2fl oz sloe or damson gin (optional)

1. Put the wine in a saucepan with the orange, sugar, bayleaf and the spices.
2. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Taste to see if you want the wine sweeter, and add more sugar to taste.
3. Off the heat, stir in the sloe or damson gin if you are using it.
4. Strain into heatproof glasses and serve at once.

Mmm... enjoy. x.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Live in a flat with a no pet policy? Allergic to animals but always wanted one? Love a cat but can't afford to feed it? Miss your family labrador/bunny rabbit/kitten like crazy? Whatever your pet problem we now have a solution thanks to the recent arrival of a parcel from London-based creative collective Garudio Studiage (and no, I'm not dyslexic, that's really their name).
Flat pack pets are free-standing, near life-size animals, screenprinted onto 100% recycled cardboard. And at only £10 they're far more economical as well as eco-friendly than the real deal. They're pretty cute too. Just think: no more smelly cat food, no more dog droppings, no more problems with your rabbits reproducing. You'll never look back...

Here at the Red Door Gallery we have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of a package all the way from Australia for some time now... and finally it has arrived! Let me introduce you to Victoria Mason, jewellery designer par excellence, and her eclectic range of sterling silver necklaces and earrings. Inspired by domesticity and everyday household objects, Victoria has lovingly transformed traditionally mundane items including tea-bags, clothes pegs, pieces of toast and Nice biscuits into wearable miniature masterpieces. Even more extraordinary is her range of necklaces, forever preserving the ethereal objects of pencil shavings and paper planes into solid sterling silver.
We love her and we're sure you will too... come on in and marvel at her wares in person.

Monday, 27 October 2008

'All Hallows Eve' is not far away, so it's time to get stitching those costumes, carving pumpkins and dipping apples in toffee. Although the pomp and circumstance of 'Halloween' isn't as big here as it is in the states, we still love a good bonfire, fancy dress party and a reason to make extra special treats (mmmmm - cupcakes). In fact, it all began in this part of the world, so what better excuse do you need to grab yourself an outfit and goodie bag and hit the pavement this Friday.

For our pleasure, I have attached a few images that hit the Halloween spot! (thanks to neatocoolville and shenuckinfuts from flickr)

''A superb combination of Scotland and Italy - the finest Scottish Haggis with mozzarella and tomato'' - no this is not a joke, but a real pizza. What ingenious ways of using Haggis will they think of next!

There has been load of new stock arriving over the last few days, so here is a wee taster. We have lots more due to come in over the next few weeks so make sure you keep popping back. On show here are journals from Mateo Ilasco, cards from Hello Lucky, prints from Julie West, brooches from Haberdash House and lots of goodies (mugs, badges, prints and mirrors) from Gemma Correll.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

An Interview with Laurie Hastings

We are about to begin hanging Laurie Hastings solo show I Wish I Had a River and thought that getting to know Laurie a bit better was in order. Here are a few things that make Laurie tick....

Q - What made you choose illustration as your area of study and then career path?

A - I started my foundation course at Chelsea College of Art with aspirations of becoming an interior designer. When I found I was more interested in the visuals and what they were trying to communicate, rather than the 3D models, I quickly realised a 2D life was the one for me! Once I started the illustration course I was sold...

Q - You must have a huge list of inspirations as an artist, want to share any?

A - I always return to the city and urban landscape when seeking inspiration, whether it be memories from my hometown Hong Kong, places I visit, or admiring the interplay of Edinburgh's building and structure, old and new. I'm also inspired by people and their eccentricities, poetry, train journeys, music and drawing.

Q - We love 'I Wish I Had a River' as a title for your up and coming show, tell us how you came up with this Joni Mitchell inspired show name.

A - Each illustration in the show is inspired by a song from Joni's album Blue. When I arrived at the song River, the lyric 'I wish I had a river I could skate away on' invoked all sorts of images in my mind, so I used it for the focus of the illustration. The phrase is beautiful and captivating so it seemed like a good name for a show.

Q - Have you found your style of work changing over this body of work or was it a natural progression from your last collection of prints?

A - My approach has been different for this collection because rather than explore a specific theme, the work responds to lyrics and melody. So there has been a departure with regard to content, though stylistically I don't think there has been a great change.

Q - As well as working on illustration pieces, you have also launched a 'Suki' range of shoppers and purses. Do you plan on expanding this range?

A - Yes, I think Suki has a lot more dancing to do!

Q - A fan of your work recently got one of your Suki characters tattooed on their arm. How do you feel about this?

A - Amazed! Flattered!

Q - Any chance you can share your design process with us?

A - I draw and note ideas down in my sketchbooks whenever inspiration strikes. Once I have a more composed idea of what I want to achieve, I piece these sketchbook doodles together with new drawings and layer up the images through collage, computer and finally silk screen printing.

Q - What does the future hold for Laurie Hastings?

A - The near future holds the launch of a poetry book I have illustrated called 'Twinset', soon to be published by Knucker Press. After that, hopefully lots more drawing, exhibitions and interesting projects. If not, a one-way ticket to the Bahamas!

Monday, 20 October 2008

This Friday The Red Door Gallery has the pleasure of presenting I Wish I Had a River, and exhibition of printed illustrations by Edinburgh based artist Laurie Hastings. Inspired by Joni Mitchell's album Blue, I Wish I Had a River is the translation of Mitchell's lyrics and melodies into visual imagery. Laurie's works display illustrated snapshots of Mitchell's lyrics, as well as the artist's own personal interpretation and reflection upon the songs and their themes.

Born in Hong-Kong, Laurie now lives and works in Edinburgh as an illustrator, printmaker and graphic designer. Laurie draws and develops ideas in her sketchbooks and pieces these together through collage and the computer. The images comes to life through silk screen printing where she develops layers and colours. Together with her exhibition and freelance work, Laurie has also launched a line of purses and cotton shoppers printed with her Suki Dances illustration, which are of course available through The Red Door online shop.

Please join us and our wonderful sponsors AnCnoc for the opening night of I Wish I Had a River which opens this Friday 24th October from 6-8pm. You will not only get to check out some great artwork, but also sample both a dram or cocktail from this wonderful Highland Single Malt.

Thanks Laurie and thanks AnCnoc, we can't wait till Friday.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

For those of you who are sick of canapes and club sandwiches at your party events then Bompas & Parr are the guys for you! This team of jelly experts create fine English jellies, designs bespoke jelly moulds and curates spectacular culinary events. Bompas & Parr 'operates in the space between food and architecture'. Their projects (which include clients such as Habitat, V & A Museum and London Festival of Architecture) are focusing on Jelly to explore how the taste of food is 'altered through synaesthesia, performance and setting.' So, if a Jelly Banquet or specialised mould takes your fancy then these guys are for you.

A fresh new batch of Frozen Peas necklaces and brooches just arrived. We love the 'Kathy Redwood' pin which comes in teal or pink. Thanks Alberta for getting them to us so quickly!

Friday, 17 October 2008

It's official - yesterday I came across the cutest dress ever! I was busy having a gander at Mandy's from Belle and Boos blog and saw that she has been working on a fun project with Australian based retro children's clothing designer Esa from Tea Pony. Their collaboration resulted in this ADORABLE dress which comes in three sizes (3-6 mths, 6-12 mths, 1-2 years, 2-3 years and 3-4 years). You had best get in quick as they are selling like hotcakes from both the Belle and Boo etsy store and their online shop. How cute!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Decoration

We love supporting the creations of independent artists and designers and this Christmas is no exception. The festive season is lots of fun at The Red Door with our customers searching for that something special which they won't find on the high street. We also know that people love a Christmas decoration with a story to adorn their trees and what better decoration to hang than one made with love by hand from an independent artist!

'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Decoration' is a fun, seasonal project run by the team at The Red Door to bring our customers some independent Christmas cheer. This cheer comes in the form of a Christmas decoration made by artists, which are all for sale at The Red Door from December 1st. All pieces will be hanging from our tree in the window and can be bought and taken home on the spot. All decorations will sell from £1 - £25 each.

If you are an artist and are interested in being part of this great project then give us a shout at for more information. Seasons Greeting!

Yesterday Eleanor Young dropped by to give us some wonderful new leather brooches. With some gorgeous coloured leather (which smells oh so leathery) these petal and bow brooches are the perfect item to attach to any new winter coat and costing between £10-£14 they are a steal too!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

With the shortening days and falling temperatures a lot of people dread this time of year. Me on the other hand, loves all that comes with Autumn. I love the light at this time of year, the changing leaves, crisp mornings and the fact that we get to bring out our winter boots, scarves and hats again. Edinburgh is a wonderful city to be in during Autumn as our expanse of green areas and trees means we get to enjoy the seasonal changes in full force. One of my favourite places to wander at the moment is through the row of trees in the meadows and up Aurthers seat (photo above) as it lets you take in all the sights and smells of Autumn. If only all Winter was like this!

I was reading an article in this weeks Sunday Times which sadly mentioned that the helpful tea cosy is soon to be a thing of the past. Boohoo.
I just want to say - I think tea cosies are great! They take me back to sitting around the coal range in my grandparents kitchen, choosing which tea cosy to use for that perfect afternoon tea. I my 8 year old mind, it was the tea cosy that transformed an average pot of tea into an amazing pot that matched perfectly with that piece of cake. A cosy that would make my grans friends oooh and ahhh following up with 'what a neat cosy that is'.
With winter approaching and the credit crunch threatening to stop us from boiling the jug a second time, maybe the cosy will be bought back to life. A little bit of warmth on a grey day!

Above is a selection of ones that take my fancy (especially the Donna Wilson black cat cosy).
Below are some special blasts from the past - first up is 'A Happy Thought' pattern for a tea cosy from a 1940s Womens Weekly and lastly, the cover of pattern book called 'Cushions and Cosies' which was published during WWII.

Here is a sneak preview of our next solo show from Edinburgh based sweetie Laurie Hastings. Her show 'I wish I had a River' opens here on the 24th of this month. More to come on that subject later in the week!

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Maybe its because I am busy ordering Christmas stock or maybe its just because I am ready for some chocolate (its 4pm), but I can't seem to get Christmas advent calenders out of my head. The thought of counting down the days, finding a new image each day and sampling a sweet delight makes Advent Calenders well worth it. I have come across a few that are decidedly different with my favourite being the vintage one at the bottom from blogger grain edit. Maybe its time they started an advent calender that begins in October!

Monday, 6 October 2008

For those of you who have been asking, here are some photos of Alison Hardcastle's 'So Far So Good' show which is showing here at The Red Door till the October 19th. We has such a fun day hanging with Alison and her husband Tim and a lovely opening night. We are putting all the prints on the online shop today so if you are keen to grab a bargin then best get shopping!

Friday, 3 October 2008

It my dear friend Helens birthday yesterday which meant going out for a delicious meal with great company. Helen was showered with wonderful gifts including a very unique little finger puppet of Bjork. Yep, that's right. A finger puppet of Bjork in her swan outfit! With braided hair too boot! This little gem of a pressie was handmade by mother/daughter team ding dong from Lanarkshire right here in Scotland. They make a superb range of goodies including those above (Ziggy Stardust, Bjork, Miss Piggy, Abba) and are also happy to customise something special for you. Fun times!

With much nostalgia we are taken back to our childhoods at the thought of MY LITTLE PONY. It's now time to fast forward in celebration for 25 years of the fun and friendship that these little beauties gave us. Hasbro's are celebrating the landmark 25 years by sponsoring the 'MY LITTLE PONY 25 ponies for 25 years' programme that sees a series of 25 figures designed by popular culture's influential people and organisations including Jon Burgerman, Junko Mizuno, toki doki, tado and many more. This project is not only set up as a celebration of that magical figure, but also to help the non-profit 'Give Kids the World Village' organisation which provides memories to children with life threating illnesses.
My favourite MY LITTLE PONY (apart from my Starburst that I had when I was little) has to be gold gem by Claw Money which takes pride and place at the top of this blog entry. How rocking is that Pony!