Festive Beasts and Where to Find Them

It's the office party at House Candy HQ and what a bunch of party animals we are. 

OK, truth be told it's just me and a load of animal shaped paraphernalia with ribbons round our necks, but hey, I've been to worse Christmas do's (and the obligatory mannequin challenge is going to be a breeze). 

Here's how the idea for a wilder take on trimming up came about.

Nothing I found in the pile of Christmas decorations stored up in the loft filled me with any joy this year. I took one look at all the tasteful gold baubles, the pretty, frosted white tea light holders, the au-naturel garlands bearing faux mistletoe and any festive spirit that had been there, suddenly drained away.

2016 does not feel like the year for sticking with the norm where Christmas is concerned. As Grazia so perfectly put it this week, it started with the death of David Bowie and went down hill from there. It's been a car crash on a global scale, so no wonder it needs help getting into party mode.  For me, that help has arrived in the unexpected form of a fat little penguin from TK Maxx. Mr Popper here got me thinking...

My Party Popper £8 TK Maxx

My Party Popper £8 TK Maxx

My place has turned into quite the ornamental zoo this year. No trip to the second hand market has been complete without an animal themed trophy of some sort, be it a vintage brass heron or a yellow ceramic deer head. These fellas have lifted the tone of my interior to new levels and it occurred to me that they could easily do the same thing with Christmas. 

I'm not alone in my thinking that it's the animals having all the fun this year. John Lewis clearly got the brief and its seasonal squad of trampoline-ing wildlife has captured the nation's heart.

My four legged friends (2 in some cases) can't do party tricks, but my God do they know how to rock a festive ribbon. Let me introduce them to you:

My House Candy Party Animals

1. The Horny Host

Find me at the Baaa?

Find me at the Baaa?

2). Babycham

3). The Grumpy Git Who Loves You Really

4) The Unlikely Pairing

5). Seasonal Stalkers

6). Feathered friends

"Have you seen what she's wearing?"

"Have you seen what she's wearing?"

If Christmas Party at the Zoo feels like a totally appropriate theme for your mad house, but you haven't hoarded quite as many animal themed ornaments as me over the last 12 months, worry not. Here's a roundup of some totally gift appropriate festive beasts and where to find them in time for party season. (Just don't forget the ribbon). 

1) Monkey bottle holder

2. Flamingo Wall Hanging

3. Felt tiger head

£69  Uburnara

4. Swan Vase

5. Beagle Bust

£60 Abigail Ahern at  Debenhams

£60 Abigail Ahern at Debenhams

So there, no reason for any of us to feel alone this Christmas and please, PLEASE don't keep your festive fun to yourself. Let me see what fantastic beasts are residing at your place. Share them with me on Twitter or Instagram @myhousecandy using the hashtag #housecandyparty or post a pic on my Facebook page to come and join the party.  

Have fun all!

Claire xx 



Rebel on a tea plate

"She's a bit of a daydreamer", said my first school teacher. And the one after that. And then everyone who ever taught me until I left uni with an 'airy fairy' degree from The University of Cloud Cuckoo Land.

They were right of course. My dad was also right when he said that fame and fortune does not come easily to girls with the attention span of a gnat. What does come easily however, is the ability to appreciate the beauty in little everyday things that all the busy, successful people of the world are in danger of missing out on. And here's where I've found my calling. It's my job to let you know the things worth getting distracted over.

Upcycled vintage plate art is one of those things. And here's why I need to blab about it.

Blabbermouth £55 By  Alijoedesigns

Blabbermouth £55 By Alijoedesigns

I discovered Alijoe Designs on Twitter. It was the profile pic I fell in love with, which I guess is the way lots of internet love affairs begin and probably a reason why I ought to change mine.

Anyway, this is the dapper young fellow that distracted me from what might have have been the aggressive, life-changing, blog-catapulting social media campaign I have so far successfully evaded. 

Sweet isn't he? But also cool and clever and in my opinion guiding the way for the world of modern vintage up-cycling to go. In fact, I'd go as far as to say he's a rebel on a tea plate. Which kind of makes Debbie Carne - the artist behind Alijoe Designs - something of a secret Banksy of the vintage china world. Inspired by artists such as Fornasetti, Savignac, Warhol, Terry Gilliam and Schwitters, Debbie's kitsch and quirky decals are artistically defacing little pieces of British domestic history. A pretty cool achievement for another self confessed career misfit I reckon.

More tea vicar?

Mind the Gap plate set £55 by  Alijoedesigns

Mind the Gap plate set £55 by Alijoedesigns

You've got to agree that £55 is not a lot to pay for a one off piece of original artwork. Especially when you consider that the London based designer has already taken commissions for local restaurants where her work is currently being admired.

I purchased my Head in the Clouds design (for obvious reasons) and as gift to myself for Mother's Day. It felt like the perfect legacy for me to pass on to my children, one of whom has definitely inherited my daydreaming gene and will no doubt endure the same personality bashing that I got/get.

But whenever I see that dreaded D word on my son's school report, I'm going to try not to persuade him to knuckle down and become an accountant. Instead he must let his ideas and his daydreams run free. Because I know from experience that as long as his head is in the clouds, his heart will beat a little faster. 


You can grab your own piece of super cool, rocked up vintage china on Debbie's website www.alijoedesigns.com

Have you stumbled upon any amazing art finds recently? What do you think to mine? Are you doing any cool vintage upcycles I really should get distracted over? Please leave me your comments below, I would love to hear from you. 

Claire x