I've been enjoying dipping into the lovely hardback Orla Kiely book my husband bought me for Christmas. He knows me well and my obsession with fabric and design. There's little I like better than heading out on a cold and frosty morning with my good friend Sam to root around for vintage treasures. She's a graphic designer and we share a passion for spotting the jewels amongst the tat. We have so much fun - we will never forget the day we opened a pretty vintage tin to see what was inside and discovered a set of false teeth (well worn!).
Like this passage from Orla's book and couldn't agree more:
'Browsing through market stalls or in a charity shop is a good exercise for any designer. Because presentation isn't generally a key consideration, you have to develop a keen eye to find the treasures among the less desirable items. At the same time, the fact that often prices are rock bottom means that your choice or selection is not biased by the perceived value that a high price tag confers. Instead you have to learn to trust your taste and judgement - to feel the fabric to gauge its quality, or to examine the way a table is constructed. Most importantly, markets are great sources of reference material for colour ideas, patterns, silhouette and line.'