Lauden Chocolates Giveaway!

Following our Valentine’s Day ‘Girls Night In’ posting, when we featured some beautiful patterned  chocolates by Lauden, the fine chocolatiers have been generous enough to offer a fab giveaway - you’ve got the chance to win a box for yourself,  just in time for Easter!

At Scarlet Opus we love that Lauden’s multi-award winning chocolates are not only delicious, but look amazing. They are adorned with decorative on-trend motifs and patterns in striking colours:

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Lauden, based locally to us in Yorkshire, was founded in 2007 by Sun – a creative chocolatier from Singapore with a passion for food, and chocoholic Stephen whose ambition is to educate, and share the experience of fine chocolate.  First testing their creations at their local Leeds Farmers Market, they continue to create chocolate with character, depth and lasting taste through marrying the finest of ingredients to create wonderful flavours - from real Marc de Champagne, to fragrant Lychee & Rose, and Bohemian Sour Cherry.

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As you can see above, Lauden’s British Airways First Class Collection is a mixed box of 24 beautifully decorated chocolates in flavours such as Salted Caramel (European Semi-final Winner & World Finalist at the International Chocolate Awards), and indulgent Marc de Champagne (3 Gold Star Winner 2013 and Top 50 Foods in the United Kingdom 2013 at the Great Taste Awards).

For your chance to win this box of gorgeous chocolates, all you need to do is email me at catherine@scarletopus.com with ‘Chocolate’ in the subject line, and your name, before the closing date on 14th April 2014 (This giveaway is open to our UK readers only because of postal restrictions).

We will pick a winner at random… Good Luck!!!

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Tweed Lounge

Time for another Giveaway!  This month we’re offering you the chance to win pieces from the Park Square collection by Sally Green of Tweed Lounge.

Pugsy cushion £65; Jack cushion £75; Herringbone throw £150; Chalk Stripe door stop £30; Chalk Stripe draught excluder £40

Park Square is the financial centre of Leeds and the inspiration for this collection, combining chalk pin-stripes in fine Worsted wool suiting cloths, Herringbone weaves, and dogtooth checks with leather and suede trim to create a ‘sharply dressed’ styling.  The luxurious fabrics and colour palette of charcoal greys and winter whites creates a super cosy aesthetic and is perfect for the A/W 12/13 season.

As usual, all you have to do to win is email me (shelley@scarletopus.com) with the subject ‘Tweed Lounge Giveaway’, telling me your name – it really is that simple!  We’ll announce the winner on Monday 19th November.

Sally describes herself as a “proud Yorkshire lass, born and bred”.  She grew up in a West Yorkshire village where you will still find her today with her son Francisco and dog Pugsy!

She spent many years sourcing textiles and garments in the Far East before deciding that working back in Yorkshire with locally sourced, high quality luxury fabrics was the way forward.

I took a time out with Sally and here’s what she had to say…

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Shelley Pond: What is it that you love about Yorkshire?

Sally Green: I love having my family and friends close to me; and nearby Leeds and Harrogate are great for shopping.  I also love the Yorkshire countryside, the inspiration for the three Tweed Lounge collections – Wharfedale, Ripley, and of course, Park Square.

This collection was inspired by the Yorkshire Dales on my doorstep – traditional Herringbones, Checks, Tweeds, and Plains in soft muted earth tones combined with leather trim for a country classic look that is homely, yet stylish.

The Ripley collection is less country, more Chic County.  The perfect selection of fabrics and accessories to create the much sought after Hunting Lodge look.  Tweed checks perhaps more usually associated with hacking jackets than cushions, create a smart and sophisticated interior look with an edge.

SP: For a number of seasons we’ve been talking to clients and seminar audiences about supporting local businesses and the building of a stronger community spirit.  Has working with local mills and businesses inspired your work?

SG: Yorkshire is a region with a rich history of wool production and craftsmanship and I became interested in rediscovering this heritage.  The industrial revolution meant that the crafts were made largely redundant by mass production; I grew up surrounded by the mills and saw the decline of many – which is a great shame.  I am inspired by the quality, and fabulous designs, of regionally produced fabrics.  I hope my work can promote British craftsmanship and heritage in general, and that of Yorkshire and The North of England in particular.

SP: How important is it do you think for British businesses to support UK wool production and heritage?

SG: VERY, but not just wool production: we have lost so many skills and trades in this country - from lace making and ceramics to dry stone walling.  Given our current economic difficulties, we need to promote our local/regional skills and trades.

SP: Has the time you spent in the Far East inspired/informed your work in any way? 

SG: I have sourced and bought product from the Far East more for the lower end of the market place – the high street is flooded with a lot of poor quality and very few things are unique or different.  I like nice quality and beautiful design which is what I am enjoying now (with Tweed Lounge).  I lived in India for a year which was an invaluable experience.  Mainly supplying the American market, the volumes were huge and cost was very important – clothing really was a commodity – quality not a focus.  The amazing thing about the Indian people I met was the way they remained untouched by the fast rat race of the West: I met kind, genuine people with core family values.

SP: Who is your favourite Designer?

SG: When it comes to interiors I love Fabric Designer, Margo Selby, her work coincidentally is also influenced by her travels, in particular India.  And, for the way he manages to effortlessly design both fashion and interior ranges, I admire Paul Smith.

(Margo Selby’s wonderful work features on our Spring/Summer 2013 trend board, Origins.  This trend takes you on a journey across the arid plains of Africa.  Along the way collecting sand textures, sketching gatherings of wild animals, amassing new skills, reviving long-forgotten crafts, and reconnecting with the earth and nature.  It then crosses to South America to explore Latin cultures, humid jungles, and lush rainforests before arriving in the heart of Rio to celebrate cultural diversity, eclectic patterns, and daring colours.)  

SP: What’s your favourite room in your home?

SG: My lounge in winter – it’s my place to relax, my sanctuary.  I love sitting by the fire, glass of wine in hand, cocooning myself in a warm wool throw and celebrating just being at home.  After years of travelling with work I’m enjoying the simple pleasures!

SP: Do you have a favourite style tip you’d like to share with the Trends Blog?

SG: Have fun with texture and pattern – I regularly combine checks, stripes, and spots in a single scheme.  It works surprisingly well if you stick to a tonal palette of colour.  I think texture is the new colour, it adds depth to an interior, making it feel more homely.  I like mixing vintage and antique with modern pieces to create a rich and interesting, eclectic mix.  I like combining things I have collected on my travels with items passed down from family members, adding quirky, brand new pieces that act as highlights and reflect my personality and style.  I like creating interiors with a bit of drama and fun!

Princess brooch from Etsy shope, Noble Studios; Pigeon desk light by Alex Randall

(Miss V has recently been writing about the growing desire to archive, preserve, display, treasure, and share heirlooms and souvenirs as our modern lives become more digital and virtual.  The Curator is one of our Autumn/Winter 2013/14 trends that time travels across the centuries in search of bijoux treasures and techniques that had fallen from favour.  An eclectic assemblage of discarded, vintage, antique, and the most lavish avant garde pieces that contemporary designers dare to offer are accumulated… To find out more about the A/W 2013/14 season and how you can start work now with the trends, drop us an email or give us a call on +44 1482 870 360 – we’re always happy to chat!)

What I love about my job is… Being able to work with local businesses and discovering the potential of locally produced fabrics.  But in particular, I love creating things for people and seeing my ideas come to life.  I love to feast over beautiful cloth!

SP: What 5 words would you use to describe your style?

SP: What’s next for Tweed Lounge?

SG: I’m launching a range of scarves that combine vertical bands of various tweeds and suiting fabrics.  I  try to incorporate fabric selvedges (the strip at the side of a fabric most people disgard) into my designs which creates a stylish twist.  No two scarves are identical and they are proving very popular!

My cushions are included in a set being filmed for the Christmas Boots (the chemist) ad and I’m frantically busy making product for The Living North Essence of Christmas Fair at York Racecourse from the 16 – 18 November.  A/W 2012/13 looks set to be busy for Tweed Lounge!

HUGE thanks to Sally for today’s posting and giveaway prize.  Once again, for your chance to win the Jack cushion and Chalk Stripe door stop and draught excluder from Tweed Lounge’s Park Square collection, send your email NOW.

Next Monday we’ll be contributing to the 2012 Bathroom Blogfest with a look at Diffused Pastels and a sneak peek at one of our A/W 13/14 trends, The Vision… don’t miss it!

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The Loving Chair Company

On Monday I told you that today we’d be announcing a super exciting giveaway from the fabulous ladies that are The Loving Chair Company.  When Victoria first came across them a couple of weeks ago, we just KNEW we had to get in touch as they represent everything we’ve been talking to our clients and seminar audiences about for the past year: upcycling and repurposing, the mixing of traditional crafts with contemporary styling, bold use of colour, getting personal…

TLC is a family business driven by the talent and vision of 3 generation’s of women; between them Celeste, Alex, and Brontey design and produce fabrics using the latest digital printing technology, and transform antique and vintage furniture into modern, statement pieces through a revival of traditional craft, skill, and a touch of old-fashioned personal service – could the ladies be any more on trend?!!

August has been an excitingly busy month for TLC, they started out with a request from the producers of Big Brother to supply some chairs for a weekly task; on August 8 one of my favourites from their collection, the Joy tub chairs with glamorously upholstered legs (check her out in Turquoise!), featured on the show.  They’ve also been hard at work creating an Olympic-inspired chair in honour of Britain’s Olympic gold medalists … and today we’re thrilled to be offering you the chance to win Jessica, named in honour of Jessica Ennis.

To win this fabulous piece all you have to do is email me (shelley@scarletopus.com) with the subject, ‘TLC Jessica Giveaway’ and tell me your name – it really is that simple!  We’ll pick the winner from a hat during London Design Festival on Thursday 20th September.  So, for your chance to win TLC’s Olympic-inspired Jessica chair … send your email NOW.

If you aren’t lucky enough to win – or if you simply can’t wait until September! – take a look through the collection of chairs, footstools, and home accessories and order online with free delivery across the UK.  TLC also offer a wonderful bespoke service, genuinely encouraging you to be a real part of the creative process as they help you design the perfect chair for your interior space.

Allow me to introduce you to the creative forces behind the name:

Grandma Celeste started working as a milliner at the age of 13!  She is at the heart of the company, bringing all the ideas to life with her master sewing skills and an incredible eye for detail.  Celeste is also apparently the keeper of the peace!

Mum Alex grew up in the creative world that Celeste built, picking up her craft at an early age.  Although she’s one with a sandblaster, Alex is the innovator: “Here to change the world, one chair at a time”.

Daughter Brontey has been developing her artistic talent for fabric and textile design since birth.  She is the creative genius behind TLC’s exciting and wondrous fabric collections, bringing them to life in record time.

The ladies generously took time out of their travels around Asia and Portugal last week for a short interview, here’s what they had to say…

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Here are some of my favourite pieces:

TLC’s exclusive stamp fabric, Pat, perfectly captures the essence of my favourite S/S 2012 trend, Colour Capital.

Left to right: Stamp cushions £50; Vintage chesterfield wingback armchair with chrome legs, Vinni £950; Tallulah footstool £475; Mahogany Victorian gentleman’s easy chair, Christopher Colombus £695

The super contemporary Bonnie and Clyde vintage dining chairs are a sophisticated way of working the mix and match trend with bright, bold colours.  Available as a pair in Blue/Turquoise and Yellow/Green combinations.

Who could not fall in love with these delightful Victorian nursing chairs, they have so much character.

Left to right: Sunny £225; Joey £250; Silvia £250

And finally, I just A D O R E Emma, a Mid-Century Ercol occasional chair in pink with studded seat pad.  I love that she has a simplicity to her form yet maintains a strong aesthetic.

(All photography by Andy Le Gresley.)

A HUGE thank you to Celeste, Alex, and Brontey for taking time out to help put today’s posting together … if you still haven’t entered, send your email now for a chance to win the TLC Jessica chair.

See you all next week lovely readers!

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