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

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

Beg, Borrow, Steal: Plates

I like the idea that walls have ears. My walls are 150 years old and I bet they could tell me some right gossip. So when I saw this gorgeous display of plates bearing curious Alice-in-Wonderland bunny ears at Decorex International, I knew the rumours were true: Plates are big news for wall decorations this year.

Walls have ears display by  Petit Friture  at Decorex International 

Walls have ears display by Petit Friture at Decorex International 

Beg, Borrow and Steal is my new feature about working an interiors trend at all levels of budget. Bored of canvas prints and black frames? Well here’s how you can serve up some serious style points using plates.


Fornasetti plates From £125

Fornasetti plates From £125

I was wowed by a wall of eery looking Fornasetti portrait plates on a recent stay at The Lowry hotel in Manchester. Eating your dinner with 36 pairs of porcelain eyes fixed on you can be a tad off putting. But if you’re looking for a feature wall to make you stare, these are the plates to start collecting.

Fornasetti wall plate £225  Liberty of London

Fornasetti wall plate £225 Liberty of London

At £225 each, these gold detailed ones are going to require some serious begging. But I’m putting it to The Purse Strings that he may want to consider buying me one plate each for my birthday, Christmas, wedding anniversary and Valentines Day throughout the course of next year. By the time I’ve got enough to call it a collection, their value may well have doubled. Free financial advice? ... you are most welcome.

Fornasetti Gold tone ceramic wall plate no 37

Fornasetti Gold tone ceramic wall plate no 37


This is the bit where I ‘borrow' from another era to show you how a bit of savvy salvage shopping can save you a fortune. Retro designs always do it for me and I picked up these 50s style dinner plates from an independent vintage homewares and gift shop a few years ago. These are actually modern Kimono plates by quirky design team freckle designs and though a full set would make the coolest dinner service, this twosome in my dining room will have to do for now. 


OK I hear you. This is way too safe to qualify for the Quirky Plates on Walls award so I’ve been on the hunt for something a bit more out there. How’s this?

Prince Primate is so darn cool he’s nailing three trends in one. I’ve told you before that monkeys are the new flamingos, right?. Art alternation is also scoring big points in the interiors world with the likes of Abigail Ahern (yes her again) coveting a range of graffitid portraits in her sell out accessory collections. Well this is the same thing in plate format. Genius Etsy artists Beat Up Creations give vintage plates an uber- cool update. This Plates + Primates + Art Alteration = one hell of an interior fashion hat-trick in my book. 

Look away if you’re in my fashion obsessed #girlsquad as Taylor Swift would say. Santa is going to need a whole load of bubble wrap to deliver this year’s Christmas shopping...

BFFs Lucinda and Hazel by Beat Up Creations £33.08

BFFs Lucinda and Hazel by Beat Up Creations £33.08


And finally, this is the section where I show you a high street steal - Or an on-trend bargain that’s not on the high street, as the case may be.

You can have your pick of super cute messages spelt out on these ceramic plates for only £14.95 by A Piece Of Art at … which means that with the plates trend, walls can have ears, eyes and a big mouth too :) 

Fornasetti plate £125

Fornasetti plate £125

Have a great week all. Want to spread some interior rumours of your own? If you could drop me a line that would be smashing.