14 May

Just a quick re-blog to all new susbscribers. I will soon be closing this blog site and everything will be on the new one. Thanks for the follow! Ellie

eggmag

EggMag website

We have a new home! Which means we will no longer be posting articles on this site. If you’ve subscribed to this blog, we are sorry for the inconvenience, but please make sure you sign up at www.eggmag.co.uk so you can be kept up to date with new posts and EggMaggy goings on.

Thank you!

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EggMag’s new website

15 Dec

EggMag website

We have a new home! Which means we will no longer be posting articles on this site. If you’ve subscribed to this blog, we are sorry for the inconvenience, but please make sure you sign up at www.eggmag.co.uk so you can be kept up to date with new posts and EggMaggy goings on.

Thank you!

Handmade Home, by Mark and Sally Bailey

6 Dec

Handmade Home by Mark and Sally Bailey

‘Introducing elements of the handmade into your home will make sure you stand out from the crowd. When something is made by hand it is totally unique – no matter how hard the maker might try to make a replica, the way he or she holds the brush, moulds the clay or grips the pencil will alter slightly from piece to piece. This ‘perfect imperfection’ is what makes the handmade increasingly sought-after.’

So say Mark and Sally Bailey of Bailey’s Home & Garden shop in their new book Handmade Home. And they’re right. It’s no different to turning up to a party wearing the same high-street-bought top as someone else. If you’ve ever had a friend round, who commented on having the same Ikea armchair (or even if you haven’t) then this book’s for you.

handmade home

The Baileys revel in craftsmanship and the reader cannot help but be inspired by their passion and ideas. By leading you through the ‘elements’ of creating a handmade home, they explain the importance of colour and texture, discuss the effect that textiles and handmade pieces can have on your living space, and finally reveal how to collect and display objects in your home. We are then presented with twelve very beautiful and different case studies for you to draw inspiration from – such as Dutch farmhouse, Tokyo space and Finnish forest house (my personal favourite, pictured below).

The beauty of this book is that it generates ideas and you can take as much or as little influence from it as you please, be it a full-blown refurbish or two or three touches to an already furnished room. Although, if it is the latter, be warned – you may not be able to stop there…

Handmade home

Handmade Home by Mark and Sally Bailey, £19.99 (hardback) is published by Ryland Peters & Small

Beading Beautiful

5 Dec

Fashion Editor Zoe Robinson delves into the world of decorative hand-work and asks how a high street bag can possibly be cheaper than a sarnie.

Azuni fair trade beaded bracelet, £56

The new fair trade jewellery collection from Azuni got me thinking about the beaded skeletons in my closet.

Ten years ago, I bought a beaded evening bag from Primark.  I loved the colours, pattern and the price tag (£2) seemed too good to be true.

Fast forward ten years and I am now a far more conscious shopper. Whereas in my teens and early 20s I used to fuel my shopping addiction regularly and blindly, I now stop to consider the provenance of what I spend my money on.  Now I vote with my wallet.  If something seems too good – or too cheap – to be true, it probably is.

Back then it didn’t occur to me to think “how can a bag, covered in thousands of tiny beads cost less than a sandwich from M&S?” I never wondered whether the beading was done by hand or a machine – even if it was the latter, when you consider the profits of the producers, middlemen and retailer, surely the machinist can’t have been paid enough for the time it must have taken them to produce.

I am reminded of Lucy Siegle’s book To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing out the World, where she questions the production methods of embellished fashion:

There are machines that can apply and attach sequins and other decorations in seemingly random patterns that look like handwork, but they require a considerable capital investment by a garment factory.  Ask yourself this: is it likely that the piece you are buying has been sourced from a production facility that has invested in that scale of equipment?  If it’s from a fast-fashion label, particularly from the value end, that is highly unlikely.  Industry estimates suggest that 20 to 60 per cent of garment production (particularly children’s and women’s clothing) is produced at home by informal workers.  They are most likely to be adding beading, embroidery and general embellishment.

People Tree Hairband

People Tree embroidered hairband, hand-made in India, £22

And clearly working from home “in some of the poorest regions on earth” doesn’t bring an improved quality of life (associated with cutting down on that pesky commute) that many of us hanker after in the developed world. Siegle goes on to explain, “Millions of workers, hunched over, stitching and embroidering the contents of the global wardrobe in their own living spaces in slums where a whole family can live in a single room…they are at the bottom of the pile when it comes to rights and remuneration.”

People Tree Folk dress, hand-woven and hand cross-stitched in Bangladesh, £70

Uncovering the production methods of embellished garments and accessories may feel like a guessing-game, and in many cases avoidance might seem like the safest strategy.  However, some brands are transparent and do recognise the necessity to treat workers with respect, offering them a fair wage, training and community development.

Fair Trade pioneers People Tree create work for artisans by designing garments requiring detailed hand-work.  The embellishments on one garment might provide a decorative worker with three day’s paid employment.

This feather-inspired collection by Azuni (below) which launches this month, is hand-made by Mayan Indians using traditional, specialist beading techniques from Central America.

Long Tasselled earrings, £30

Beaded bracelet, £56

November’s tune of the month

28 Nov

Roots Manuva - Here We Go AgainRoots Manuva – Here We Go Again feat. Spikey Tee

Here’s another class tune by Rodney Smith (aka Mr Manuva) from his latest album 4everevolution. This time the UK rapper has teamed up with ragga-soul singer Spikey Tee (best known for his work with Mr Scruff, Sindecut and Jah Wobble) to produce an intense but soulful track about the childish nature of ‘street life’ and good friendships gone bad. Once again we’re hit with a deep groove and a dose of frank, genuine home truths to nod along to.

You’ll like it if you like:

– British hip-hop
– A filthy bassline
– Honest lyrics

The single is released on 4 December 2011. Buy / preview it on iTunes

Have an EggMag Christmas

25 Nov

EggMag guide to Christmas

Come one, it’s Christmas, we needed to make our gift-guide look nice. Flick through and download our guide EggMag Guide to Christmas.

(NB – you can download the document by clicking on the furthest-to-the-right grey icon, underneath the first page when you hit the link above. It’s the little box with a white  downwards arrow inside.)

A competition for budding snappers

14 Nov
Jaguar, Brazil

Jaguar (Panthera onca), Pantanal, Mato grosso, Brazil © 2002 Staffan Widstrand, All Rights Reserved

Per-Anders Pettersson

© Per-Anders Pettersson

Amazon is a free exhibition, currently being held at the brand new East Wing galleries at Somerset House. Showcasing photography by Sebastião Salgado and Per Anders Pettersson, the exhibition brings together some stunning and remarkable images that highlight the plight of the Amazonian rainforest – and the people living within it (see above).

If you are, yourself, a budding snapper, you’ll be interested to know that WWF and Sky are running a competition in conjunction with the exhibition, to find out what ‘Your own Amazon’ looks like. Get out your iPhone or your fancy camera, step into your own local environment and get photographing. In doing so, you will not only help raise awareness of the Sky Rainforest Rescue and their vital work in tackling deforestation in North-West Brazil, but you could also be in with a chance of winning an SLR camera worth £800. Plus, the chosen winning entry and four runners-up photographs will be selected for exhibition in Somerset House for the final week of the exhibition.

You can submit pictures by Tweeting @SkyBiggerPic and including the hashtag #SkyRainforest. All the images will be collated on the SRR Facebook page and winners will be selected on the 22nd November 2011. For terms and conditions and further info, please visit Sky Rainforest Rescue.

Exhibition details

When? 2 November 2011- 4 December 2011, open daily from 10am to 6pm
Where?
The new East Wing Galleries, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2
Web?
http://www.somersethouse.org.uk/visual-arts/amazon
Wonga?
Free