Monday, 6 December 2010

New York state of mind

Above: a typical painted New England style house that look so pretty at this time of year.

Just back from a wonderful trip to New York for Thanksgiving with family and a surprise party for my cousin, Bill. We stayed with Bill and his family at their beautiful home in Pawling, upstate New York. Lights were twinkling around the pretty painted New England style houses as we drove upstate from the airport and arrived at dinner time in time for a glass of chilled champagne and a traditional Thanksgiving feast complete with turkey, all the trimmings and our first ever pumpkin pie. Enjoying fine food and wine in the company of Bill and Elizabeth is one of our very favourite things. Why can't every Thursday be like that?

Bill's wife, Elizabeth, and I spent a very happy afternoon in the incredibly friendly town of Pawling, choosing the most amazing cakes from the fabulous McKinney and Doyle as well as trying on sparkly vintage jewellery at the antiques centre. I could barely contain myself when I discovered the most wonderful haul of vintage American christmas decorations from the 40s and 50s on the stall run by Elizabeth's lovely friend, Barrie.

Several bags of exquisite glass baubles and a family group of old snow-tipped brush Christmas trees later, I decided I couldn't really justify the vintage Christmas tray as well... I didn't notice Elizabeth giving Barrie instructions to wrap it up for me as a surprise to take home. Of course the tray is now a treasured possession (see above) and will be unpacked every Christmas and remind me always of Elizabeth and our wonderful trip.

Above: The wonderful McKinney and Doyle in Pawling has a bakery on one side and great restaurant on the other. Worth a trip for the wonderful smell of home baking alone. Oh, and the best scallops I've ever tasted...

Saturday night was party night (Mad Men theme) and it was utterly fabulous. I got to wear the beautiful vintage stole my friend Sam gave me last year and even got to grips with false eye lashes! It was so wonderful to catch up on over 15 years with my cousin Laurie and his wife, Cathy, who had flown in from Vancouver. Such fun to reminisce about our great Auntie Nancy and her wonderful Liverpool turn of phrase. Laurie's tales of being bought a seriously cool watch brought back just what an expert the old lady was at taking you out shopping for those treats that your mum and dad would never agree were a priority... That's how I ended up with dangerously high-heeled boots with shiny spurs on the back that I really could not walk even a single step in, but which earned me such respect from the girls at school.

Above: download free Martha Stewart templates for cards, labels and gift lists etc and get crafty New England style.

I bought a Martha Stewart Living magazine at the airport for the flight home and barely looked up until we were a good two thirds of the way over the Atlantic. Best find were free to download templates for cards, tags and labels (see link above).

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Twinkle, twinkle!

Above: our first raspberry and white chocolate muffins of the day eaten, Donna is getting set up for the first shot. Our shoot days are fun but very intense as Donna and I are both total perfectionists. Individual fairy lights in the background were positioned one by one to get the twinkle EXACTLY where we wanted it! And to get the positioning of the Dorothy neclace's tiny red shoes and the glass 'no place like home' message just right needed Donna's steady hand and limitless patience!

Above: the bracelet needed moving ever so slightly so that the individual silver leaves could be seen at their very best. The question now is... second vintage deer in middle of the shot or not...? The finished version below has him peering out proudly! You wouldn't know that we'd had to glue his legs back on because, just as I was explaining to Donna how delicate this particularly wonderful vintage find was, she fumbled and dropped him on to a slate floor. It's normally me who's accident prone on shoots whilst Donna is the calm, methodical one and I couldn't resist mentioning the poor maimed deer at every opportunity!

What do you think? We were really happy with the final shots we ended up with.
Don't look too closely at the deer's back legs though...

Monday, 16 August 2010

a sneak preview...

A small taste of the lovely new collections coming soon...

behind the scenes at the shoot

A fantastic day's photography shooting the latest collections to be added to LTM. We get very excited at shoot time opening the boxes that arrive packed with samples. With every batch of new recruits, we are totally blown away by the level of talent out there. We can't wait to add all the new collections to the website. We have fab and funky cushions, beautiful jewellery, quirky artwork, children's furniture, bags, hearts and masses more to upload. We always love to hear what you think!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Meet the team: Donna Eaves

Donna is our regular photographer and has taken so many of our favourite photos on the site. Give her a beautiful collection of objects, some decent day light, a quirky prop or two, and she's away. We love Donna and what she has brought to lasso the moon.

Favourite possession? I have an album I made when my daughter was born which has some beautiful black & white pictures and my wedding album which is more like a scrapbook/journal. The wonderful comments in it from our friends & family and the remnants of confetti totally take me back.

Favourite LTM piece? Caroline Green's heart tealights. I absolutely love porcelain and all things ceramic. These are just beautiful. I want some!

Most annoying habit? Can I change this to: most annoying personality trait? Stubborn as a mule!

Most likely to say when things go wrong? Think of some swear words. String them all together. Repeat as necessary.

Which of your LTM shots is your favourite? Vintage Magpie's bunnies! We shot this in my daughter's bedroom. It was the last shot of the day and the light was fading fast. We'd painstakingly position them perfectly together, turn our backs for one second and they'd invariably have nose-dived into each other. Cue mild hysteria followed by lots of swearing! See above.

Most useful tip for taking successful product photography? My most useful tip would be: look at your product from all angles before you even put a camera on it and above all else, keep it simple. Less is definitely more!

Friday, 28 May 2010

Meet the team: Charlie Barrowcliffe

Charlie is the brains behind the functionality side of the website (in other words he's clever with computer programming and knows how to make our pretty design ideas actually work.) Whenever something goes wrong with the site, he can always fix it.
Most likely thing to say when things go wrong? Give me a couple of hours to look into it and I'll get back to you.
Most annoying habit? see above!
Favourite LTM item? I like Cath Deeson's cards and prints because they make me laugh.
All time favourite possession? In my first week at university I bought a pair of Doc Martens and a biker's jacket and wore them pretty much constantly for the next 15 years. The boots are still in my cupboard and come out once or twice a month, but the jacket was retired for a few years until my nephew found it in a box in the attic and I’m pleased to say its now back at university with him.
Why did you want to work with lasso the moon?
I love the attention to detail in the design and presentation of the site and the fact that the text and images are always changing.
Best thing to cook/eat?
There is something very special about the season’s first crop of anything. Which makes the next few months one of the most exciting times of the year for cooking/eating. So for now the answer is a frittata made with the first spinach and kale from the garden which I had last night, but ask again next week.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Meet the team: Sam Farrow

Sam and her team at Farrow Creative are always on hand with their immense creative talent to solve our endless design-based questions. More importantly, we invariably end up crying with laughter whenever we get together. Lasso the moon wouldn't be the same without her.
Most annoying habit? Burping my words
What do you do best? Getting the best out of people
All time favourite possession? My Omega Seamaster Deville watch that belonged to my dad
Favourite lasso the moon item? Kali 3-drop aquamarine silver hook earrings by Alexis Dove
Most likely thing to say when things go wrong? 'What a liberty!'

Friday, 21 May 2010

just because...

We have been processing paperwork this morning as well as trying to get our heads around content management changes and issues - which isn't easy! Because it's such a beautiful sunny day we decided to take some of it outside and discuss over a cup of tea under the white lilac tree. We actually had some brilliant ideas whilst we soaked up a few rays and here's a picture of the lilac tree. Just a shame you can't breathe in the wonderful scent too. Right, on with the sales sheets now...

Monday, 17 May 2010

There's no place like... lasso the moon!

We're all loving Over the Rainbow here - and as we approach the moment where all but one of the Dorothy wannabes must hand back her tear-splashed sparkly shoes to Lord Webber before exiting aboard the flying silvery moon, we've decided, after much soul searching, that our vote goes to Danielle and Dangerous Dave (for Toto).
And with eerily spooky good timing, we've just added a fantastic new jewellery collection to the website which includes a wonderfully kitsch and quirky Wizard of Oz range. The lovely Perri Lewis (who writes for The Guardian on all things crafty) gave us a great mention on the 'make and do with Perri' blog
So if, like us, you've been struck by Dorothy fever, this would be perfect for you!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

The aftermath following a full day's shooting!

The lovely Jo Henderson shot our latest batch of photographs and here she is after a long but really enjoyable day. It was her first day back after a month travelling in India - hence the scarf! - but she says her creative juices were flowing better than ever! We managed to make our way through several packets of Waitrose chocolate brownies as well as the Tunnocks Teacakes we'd bought to prop fab Glasgow-based designer Gillian Kyle's shots.

how gorgeous are these new collections?

We are busy adding fab new collections to the website - we have so many gorgeous new things all made by our talented and hand-chosen UK designers and makers. It never ceases to amaze us just how many wonderfully creative makers there are out there! It's hard to pick a favourite, but at this very moment I am really hankering after Julia Davey's Bluebird teapot. I have a bit of a thing about teapots and up until now a vintage red polka dot china one I found in a junk shop was the favourite. At lasso the moon we're all fans of tea made in a proper teapot. Preferably with a home-made biscuit.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

meet the team: Laura

Laura Dunkley is the founder of lasso the moon and also the bossiest
This was such a happy day. I was in Venice with my husband, Matt, who was conducting a concert of AR Rahmann music. Gorgeous hotel (The Bauer Palladio and Spa), lovely music, wonderful concert (beside the water in a candle-lit, crystal-filled venue next door to The Cipriani hosted by Swarovski). I even came home with a beautifully sparkly Swarovski pen!
Most annoying habit: listening in to other people's conversations and yet failing to listen when something complicated (and probably numbers based) is being explained to me.
All time favourite possession: a Tiffany necklace my husband Matt bought me with three hearts on it - representing him and our two little boys.
Favourite LTM item: It's always changing but at the moment I'm really in love with Nicola Fraser's vintage fabric bunnies. Their faces just make you want to pick them up and give them a hug.
Most likely thing to say when things go wrong: Don't look down!

meet the team: Emma

Lovely Emma Keast is responsible for all the paperwork and payments. She's the one who keeps us all organized.
Most likely thing to say when things go wrong: 'Can someone please get me a chocolate biscuit?'
Most annoying habit: 'swearing under my breath when I'm entering the accounts into Sage and I make a mistake.'
Favourite LTM item? 'Emma Benson's Ellie ring. I had been hoping for it for Christmas but no luck. If any of my friends or family are reading this...'
All-time favourite possession: 'it has to be the cashmere bed socks I bought myself for Christmas. Their softness around my feet at the end of the day is a real stress-buster.'

perks of the job

These were left over from a photo shoot and so beautiful that we wanted to photograph before they started wilting. We get through a lot of flowers at lasso the moon which means we normally have blossoms and blooms around us as we work. One of the perks of the job I guess. We think it actually does help us to work better

today we are...

loving the sunshine. We have the office door open so we can hear the birds and let the sunshine in. We're all looking forward to warm summer air... fresh salads, cold white wine drunk outside in gardens that are light until 10, with that lovely herby smell you get after a warm sunny day. Meantime, that draft is getting a bit chilly. Someone put the kettle on so we can warm up with a cup of tea.

a few of our favourite things…

Laura's tiny old wooden clogs.
'I remember playing with these as a little girl at my grandmother’s house. When she died a few years ago, and my dad asked if there was anything I would like to have to remind me of her, it had to be these because of the memories attached to them. Every day when I dry my hair and see them sitting on my dressing table I get a wave of nostalgia. Whenever you dropped in she'd always have something a bit special and delicious in the biscuit tin.'