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Uptown Girl

Uptown girl…we’ve been living in our uptown world! Been so preoccupied with our move that Pillar Box Post…well got lost in the move. Things are starting to settle a bit now, which is very welcome at this point!

So….what has been happening? Well we made the big move in early August, spending the first week and a bit seeing the sights of our new hometown. We made the charming Ace Hotel our first stop…LOVED the typography and all the little details–everything has been tended to with love and care. Shame that the staff haven’t had as much love and care…and the music in the lobby made me feel old. Why is everything in NYC soooooo loud? Has everyone gone deaf from the noise?

We did a handful of tourist things like a harbour cruise in the pouring rain (spending the trip eavesdropping on two american teenagers who couldn’t tell Manhattan from New Jersey …and didn’t seem to have an understanding of the September 11 attacks. However they did have 4 smartphones between the two of them, so at least something next to us could be labelled ‘smart’.

Most of all we did a lot of walking…blocks and blocks and blocks. After the Ace we moved into our first sublet on Bleeker street in the West Village, right off Perry Street –the home of loads of movie ‘homes’ like Carrie from Sex and the City. All in all there were lots of complications with the move, nothing awful just annoying–internet not working, phones not working, bills not going through etc. but they reach breaking point at 4 am less than two weeks after arriving. It was a call from our family in England…Olive, our lovely 2.5 year old french bulldog, was very ill in the hospital and we had to make a decisions immediately whether or not to undergo an expensive surgery or to put her down. She had what they thought was a slipped disc and could be paralysed. We went for the surgery and crossed our fingers…and toes and legs.

The next few weeks were rough…Olive was in hospital and then in recovery at my in-laws…my husband was in a job hunt that didn’t seem very positive and I must admit I was a bit homesick. We didn’t have a place of our own, our goods were stuck in shipping purgatory. On the lovely side, we were getting to see someone from my family more in a few weeks than I probably did in the last two years…and then slowly, gradually things started picking up!

We were able to secure a longer sublet in the upper west side ( by forking over 4 months rent at once, eek!). An empty apartment, but at least it wasn’t full of someone else’s junk! And then the turning point — a job for my husband! It was a super quick turnaround and the pieces started to fall into place. Olive had hydrotherapy in England and was finally able to fly over and join us in October. Our shipment of clothes, books and my home goods arrived shortly after and bit  by bit we are getting things into place.

Thank you all for stopping by after such a long time away and I really appreciate the comments in my absence. I truly never thought anyone would notice and it was very touching to know someone out there did!

Now, onwards and upwards and I promise future posts will be a bit shorter, more colourful and a bit more exciting! The red British post box has been officially  moved to Manhattan…the post is in!


About the images…I thought it was fitting to ‘restart’ Pillar Box Post in the way that it originally came about, with a shop window photo! I spotted this fabulous window display on west 20th street (and 6th avenue) around the corner from my work. It appears to be for a ‘bag manufacturer’ who create shopping bags and advertisements. Their recreation of New York out of paper bags with adorably detailed paintings is inspired. I don’t have a use for this idea, but I know there is one out there somewhere. Perhaps we DO need a two bedroom apartment after all… for a village of pillar boxes made out of paper bags!?

Photos by Pillar Box Post


Card Bored…

Yesterday, there was paper, today cardboard…a touchy touchy craft extravaganza! A few weekends ago, David and I made a visit to the Pick Me Up, the graphic arts fair at Somerset House in London. We made a visit last year and were impressed with the work, so there was a lot to live up to…and I say it did pretty well. I had less of the wow-factor than last year as it had been something new BUT there were still some goodies.

The artist behind my favourite was Matthew Nicholson who designed a series of giant cardboard objects revolving around the theme ‘a few of our favourite things…’ for Nobrow had a special cove. My favourite was the Wacom tablet, but probably just because it’s a topical thing for me as I’ve started using one this year and have already grown way too attached to it. The Cup of Tea Chair with fabric tea bag was pretty incredible too as was the giant sushi, sneaker and watch. Everything was probably 3-5 feet in height/width and made of cardboard.  Plus check out this image here which shows the bookcase that completely passed me by..a typographic bookcase that was laser cut from over 25 sheets of 3  x 1.5 m heavy duty cardboard! How did I miss that? Probably too busy ogling the 5 foot shrimp I guess…

All photos by Pillar Box Post

Fancy all things cardboard? How about a desk? check some out here

For more from 2010 Pick Me Up fair, visit here


Type of Wall…

What ‘type’ of walls do you have…painted, wallpapered or TYPED? This fabulous texture just goes to show that even a sportstore* can be the source of drool and inspiration. Okay, yes the store is an experiential giant for one of the biggest brands in the world, but still… Although I’d pass with having random tennis players on my wall, I would most certainly fill up a bit of blank white wall with some textual texture. Sadly, I don’t think there is a cheap and easy DIY of this… In fact, I can’t even think of how you would do it WITH a budget. It reminds me of something House Industries would do for an exhibition, which is a compliment if you ask me!

* spotted at the Nike Town on Oxford Street in London (on the womenswear floor )


Back to School Supplies…

It feels like it’s been awhile since I’ve seen any good shop windows. Well last weekend, we got on our bikes to head down to Harrods (not often a destination of ours) but David wanted some piece of rock climbing equipment that he couldn’t find elsewhere, and well I went along becuase why not? And what to my heavenly eyes did appear but a fabulous window display for Harvey Nichols. For those of you unfamiliar with London luxury shopping, Harvey Nicks is one of the three luxury department stores (along with Harrods and Selfridges).

I don’t know if you can make it out in the phone pictures, but they’ve created full on displays out of basic supplies, dare I say school supplies. Each window uses a different object as its building material…so one window made out of tacks, another from clothes line clips, another out of pencils, tapes…you get the idea. I think I definitely need to get that clothes pin dress as a second outfit when my moss skirt is in wash.

If you like shop windows, you might want to check out the windows from Anthropologie, Fortnum & Mason, Christmas Windows


Christmas in the window…Part 2

Here is a few more of London’s shopping window displays ( view part 1 here).This first scandanavian theme from Daylesford Organic photographed horribly but was one of my favorites…not because its some elaborate display but because I loved what was in the window. Sadly, despite the fact that most items, (if not all) were sold by the shop, their online presence is appalling. All i can offer you are these wooden christmas decorations .

I have every colour of the rainbow going on in our christmas decs it seems, but would love one day to have this simple silver, white and wooden theme. I’ve been pestering my dad for some real antlers (he lives in the woods and is a source for all sorts of natural wildlife goodies)… I’d love to have them up all year round, but this christmas take on it has me even more keen.

Tip to take away: create giant pomanders (they are often created for weddings-here are two great tutorials, one from ruffledblog and one from martha stewart) but use whites/silvers instead for a giant snowflake/ornament effect. If you are lucky enough to have access to pinecones, a little hot glue and a styrofoam triangle would make an easy rustic tree. I love pinecones…the more the merrier.

This next creation really favors to my love of oversized…and for the theatrical limits of decorating for Christmas. This display from L& R bookshop in Notting Hill got me thinking…how great would it be to do a giant Santa’s naughty nice list that hung from the ceiling–flowing into the corners, behind and around a christmas tree. We used to have a Santa about 6 inches tall from Hallmark that was holding a scrolled list, and my mom had added our family’s names onto the ornament in the same style as the others. It was one of my favorite decs growing up.

Tip to take away: purchase a long roll of paper (or maybe fabric) and write names down for as long as you can…checking some off, relegating some to naughty etc. and Starting from the ceiling, drape your list around. Using fishing line or thin balsa wood or dowel rods to create creases at various points would really make this look fantastic. If you had a giant entryway, staircase or other area with tall ceilings this could be a cheap, yet dramatic decoration. And done carefully, could be rolled up and stored in postal tube for next year.