Key Trend: Diffused Pastels – Bathroom BlogFest 2012

“We’re pleased to have been invited to participate in the Bathroom Blogfest again this year; particularly because Miss P & I were just last week discussing how we should translate our 2013/14 forecasts for Interiors into styles specifically appropriate for bathrooms.”

“We’ve been building our 2014/15 colour forecasts and so have been looking back at our previous season’s forecast – because trends for Interiors tend to directly evolve from one season to the next.  One of our previous palettes we’ve been discussing and developing for 2014/15 is Diffused Pastels.  Here’s what they’ll look like next year as part of our Vision trend.”

“Of all the 2013/14 colour palettes this is the one that lends itself most beautifully to bathroom schemes.  And, as you can see below, the Angely Hotel in Paris have pushed Diffused Pastels in their guest bathrooms to the max!”

“And at the Imperial Art Hotel in Italy they’ve perfectly captured our Vision trend in their open plan Penthouse Suite.”

“Below we’ve given you some examples of surface effects, textures and tiles to inspire your own translation of this delicate trend into bathroom products and interior design schemes.”

“After analysing all of the research alongside our previous colour forecasts, we have identified the direction in which Diffused Pastels will move next.”

“So thinking ahead to the mood for pastels during 2014/15 - we’re taking inspiration from Creative’s such as US photographer, Alicia Bock.”

“Do check out the other bloggers also posting as part of the Bathroom Blogfest 2012, the complete list is at the bottom of this post; you can also follow the Blogfest on Twitter.  And for our next post on the Trends Blog Miss V will be revealing how the Interiors trend of using natural materials in their raw state is changing.  The post will include a look at Bathrooms so be sure to check in with us again soon.”

To discover more about how you can successfully apply the full 2013/14 colour forecast to your own product ranges simply:

  • Call us now on +44 (0)1482 870360
  • Whizz off a short email to phil@scarletopus.com
  • Fill in a few quick details in the form below

We look forward to hearing from you today!

Name Twitter Username Blog Name Blog URL
Susan Abbott susanabbott theIdeaStudio www.theideastudio.ca
Laurence Borel blogtillyoudrop blog till you drop www.laurenceborel.com
Bill Buyok AventeTile Avente Tile Talk www.aventetiletalk.com
Jeanne Byington jmbyington The Importance of Earnest Service blog.jmbyington.com
Nora DePalma steamtherapy The Mr. Steam SteamTherapy Blog http://blog.mrsteam.com
Mr. Steam noradepalma OR-DP POV www.oreilly-depalma.com/blog
Stacy Garcia kbtribechat kbtribe http://kbtribe.wordpress.com
Diane Kazan dkazan Public Bathroom Blog http://thekazan.blogspot.com
Arpi Nalbandian Arpi_Nalb Avente Tile Talk www.aventetiletalk.com
Victoria & Shelley Redshaw & Pond scarletopus Scarlet Opus Trends Blog www.scarletopus.com
Sandy Renshaw sandyrenshaw Purple Wren purplewren.com
Bruce D. Sanders rimtailing RIMtailing http://rimtailing.blogspot.com
Paige Smith none Tile tips from installation professionals http://neusetile.wordpress.com
Todd Vendituoli TALV58 Thebuildingblox www.thebuildingblox.com
Shannon Vogel cyswebsites From the Floors Up http://fromthefloorsup.com
CB Whittemore cbwhittemore Content Talks Business Blog http://simplemarketingnow.com/content-talks-business-blog
Irene Williams crossvilleinc Elevate Your Space http://elevateyourspace.wordpress.com
Linda Wright skiptotheloo Skip to the Loo! http://lindaloo.com
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Miss V to Miss P: August

From: victoria@scarletopus.com

To: shelley@scarletopus.com

Sent: 20.08.12 at 09:05

Subject: There’s No Place Like Home

Morgun Miss P!  As you know I moved house at the end of March and I had the mother of all clear-outs!  Apart from the practical necessity to own less stuff (because we were moving from a spacious house to a small 18th Century town centre apartment) I had also started to feel quite tied down by the things I’d accumulated (I don’t need 4 sieves so why did I own 4 sieves?!).  I followed 1 simple rule during the sorting process – If I didn’t really like it or use it regularly then I got rid of it!  And I was completely ruthless!!!  Let’s just say I own A LOT less stuff now. 

Now I’m only surrounded by things that I enjoy or use.  Anyway it got me thinking about what the things I’d chosen to keep say about me and my style, and whether there are conscious links to current trends or quite the opposite!  So I thought it would be interesting to share our favourite possessions and personal decorating styles on the blog today and mull over what it all means!

I’ve discovered during the process of writing today’s feature that my home is a reflection of my wardrobe i.e. I own a lot of black and brown stuff!  I’m always saying that interior design trends run alongside fashion trends … that when a woman has a colour, pattern, fabric or style in her wardrobe then she’s ready to welcome that same colour, pattern, fabric or style into her home!  And no … there is no escaping my strange obsession with empty bird cages.  Freud would have had a field day!

There were boxes upon boxes of pictures that made their way to the new apartment regardless of my strict editing and the fact I suspected there simply wasn’t going to be enough space to hang them all.  But I’ve tackled this conundrum by applying my take on the Salon Hang … basically tightly cramming pictures next to each other, and also in my version overlapping them too.  I was inspired to do this after seeing the Salon Hang at  the Summer Exhibition last year at the Royal Academy of Arts.

You’ll have noticed from the furniture in the photo above that I really can’t be doing with ‘matching sets’ of anything!  It’s just so … what’s the word … oh yeah – BORING!!!  And it just so happens that ’eclectic’ and ’mismatched’ are strong trends right now so that’s a big tick for me :)

Something I’ve noticed since the recession hit in the UK in 2008 is I’ve received more handmade gifts from friends rather than mass-produced items.  And my family has taken to gifting me ‘heirlooms’, which has made birthday and Christmas presents much more meaningful (and random!) over the past few years.  So I’ve now got a rather eclectic collection of tableware including 1970s Babycham glasses, Russian aperitif glasses and an antique Muffin Warmer!  Don’t ask!

A desire to archive, preserve, display, treasure and share heirlooms, souvenirs and mementoes of happy times is increasing as modern life becomes more digital and virtual.  It’s a trend I’ve been writing about recently for 1 of our Autumn/Winter 2013/14 interior trend forecasts … ‘The Curator’.

I love textiles.  Furniture makes me swoon but it’s textiles that I love.  At University I was always in awe of the students working with the devoré (or burnout) technique so I really appreciate the work Brooklyn-based Designer Aviva Stanoff puts into her cushions (pictured above) and I was delighted to receive a couple after I interviewed her for the blog in 2009.  A Sea Fan has been pressed by hand into the surface of the fabric of the cushion pictured above, which leaves a deeply engraved impression.  Each 1 is made to order so no 2 are alike and I really cherish this uniqueness.  Items that are somehow rare, unique or limited are very desirable currently and that’s a trend which is set to increase.

 I literally have no clue how or why this has started but I’ve got a bit of a thing for kitsch royal memorablia…or more specifically (yeah I’m specific about it!) items depicting the young Queen Elizabeth II.  My most recent acquisition is the miniature portrait fob pictured above.  I really need to curb this new obsession.  I mean I can get away with it this year because of the Jubilee and next year because of the anniversary of her Coronation, but after that … well there’s no excuse is there.

I have to admit I was slow to get onboard with the whole Urban Homesteader movement.  Even though I wrote a feature for Furniture News about it a couple of years ago, it wasn’t until we moved to a place with a sun terrace this Spring that I finally embraced the idea of ‘grow your own’.  It just seems so much more manageable now that space is limited and so we’re growing peppers and tomatoes … the whole bit.  I have a Watering Can - d’ya know what I mean!  If you’re wondering about the weird mask pictured above, well it was brought back from a remote village near Kanjanjunga by my Grandfather in the 1950′s.  It’s been handed down to me and is meant to ward off evil (i.e. burglars!) - it’s always both scared and intrigued me – look at its maniacal eyes!  I have days like that … and I know you do!

I’ve already mentioned the wall space issue re hanging pictures.  Well I had a stack of paintings my Mum did and nowhere to put them up inside … so we put them up outside.  They are painted with acrylic (which basically hardens to a plastic-like finish) on pre-stretched & primed canvas and I’ve sprayed the charcoal bits with regular hairspray and they’ve survived 5 months of every kind of weather you can imagine perfectly intact.  The owner of the restaurant next door saw the paintings and asked whether he could buy a few and do the same thing.  Now I’m surrounded by her colourful seascapes.

It’s over to you Miss P.  I’m anticipating more colour and more sparkle in your home style.  Reveal all!

From: shelley@scarletopus.com

To: victoria@scarletopus.com

Sent: 26.08.12 at 16:20

Subject: RE: There’s No Place Like Home

I agree, having a clear out is always great, and you did have rather a lot of stuff packed into that farmhouse Miss V!  I can’t really say I’m a hoarder of things, my clear-outs are always clothes related – they love me at the Safa Park flea market!  Feeling tied down (even by my husband!!) makes me anxious, and I can’t bear little bits and pieces all over the place crowding me in, so I don’t actually have a lot of stuff, plus I hate packing and moving and since I’ve done a lot of both in the last few years I think not having too much makes it all much simpler!  My own discovery after this exercise is that my few possessions are a real reflection of who I am and the things I enjoy to do.

I haven’t really decorated this apartment, as it’s just a short-term rental, so there’s not an awful lot of colour and sparkle unfortunately (other than a bit of a shimmering midnight blue sofa – does that count?!) but nevertheless, here are some of my favourite bits…

The family photo wall is something I create wherever I’m living.  Since moving to Dubai this wall has really meant a lot to me; I’m always changing it to reflect what everyone in the family is doing (it’s probably about time for an update actually) and I love that when friends are here they all stop by the wall for a good look through!

Because I don’t feel like this apartment is really my home, I’ve bought most of my furniture to fit the space rather than taking my time to find pieces that I truly love.  The one exception and the only piece of furniture I’ve invested in, is my huge, studded, black leather bed.  This I truly love!

Other than that I have just a mirror and two of these black leather trunk-style sets of drawers.  I like a bedroom to be dark and sparsely furnished, displaying favourite pieces of jewellery, clothing, and shoes for just a touch of glamour.

I’m planning a wall of Meystyle’s LED and Swarovski wallpaper for my next bedroom!

You know I don’t like trinkets and little things but I know you can’t avoid accruing a few pieces in life!  I’ve got one memory plate in the house where I keep little bits with meaning.

I’m very attached to my books; they are the one thing I can never get rid of, reading my favourites over and over.  Every time I go back to the Mother Ship, I load my suitcase with a few more … my poor Mum has been storing boxes of books for both my sister and I for years now – thank you Mum!

I fell completely head over heels in love with Bodo Sperlein’s exquisite tableware collection for NIKKO the moment I set eyes on it at TENT during LDF last year, starting my collection shortly after when I was generously gifted a piece by Bodo!  I don’t have many pieces yet but collecting is half the fun.

I’m also a collector of glass bottles!  I was inspired by Nigella (my favourite chef); I’ve always loved her presentation style, she doesn’t do anything elaborate but always manages to create a wonderful impact.  Years ago I saw her putting flowers all over her house in jam jars – simple yet super effective.  Jam jars don’t really do it for me so I started collecting bottles; when we have friends over I fill them with flowers and candles, et voila!

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Miss V to Miss P: Celebrating the City of LONDON

London Skyline by Iveta Angelova

From: victoria@scarletopus.com

To: shelley@scarletopus.com

Sent: 28.07.12 at 14:10

Subject: I  LONDON

All the creativity taking place in London during the Olympic Opening Ceremony reminded me of what a great place it is!  So diverse, vibrant, eccentric and edgy (popping down there so often I think I’d started taking it for granted - bad Miss V!).  So I thought it would be nice to share our favourite London creatives with our lovely readers in a kind of Designer Showcase slash Hot Spot posting.  Allow me to get the ball rolling by introducing you to the work of one of my favourite creatives.

P R I N T – M A K E R  &  I L L U S T R A T O R | PAUL CATHERALL

Paul is a London-based printmaker and illustrator, renowned for his clean, sharp linocuts of architectural landmarks as well as his illustrations for high profile clients.  I really admire the graphic simplicity of his style (it’s so hard to reduce a building down to a few block shapes and still produce something that is recognisable and a great image!)…and having made many linocuts myself, I completely appreciate the intricate nature of the work involved in creating his images:

He is possibly best known for his work on a series of London Transport posters. I think they are just beautifully done…a bold, colourful, modernist representation of London architecture:

Each limited edition print is created entirely by hand, from the initial design and sketches through to carving the lino, inking and printing.  And this process, from beginning to end, can take several weeks to complete!

Paul Catherall is currently exhibiting his linocut work at the Paul McPherson Gallery in Greenwich (23 July to 12 August 2012).  The show includes his latest piece – Orbit Grey – based on Anish Kapoor’s Olympic Park sculpture:

Right, next up I’d like to share some of the amazing work of a London Fashion Photographer.

P H O T O G R A P H E R | DIANA GOMEZ

I know you are going to LOVE Diana’s work Miss P.  A wonderful dynamism and vibrant energy is portrayed in much of her work and this particular shoot (Ruby Tuesday) really captures her love of colour and appreciation of current trends.

I’ll leave you to scroll down and enjoy a few of her shots:

Check out more of her amazing work in her website Fashion and Fashion2 portfolios (I recommend looking through the ’Fearless Nudes’, ‘A Heady Mix’ and ‘Love To Love You Baby’ from the Fashion portfolio and ‘Maharani Express’, ‘Walk On The Wild Side’, ‘New Romantic’ and ‘Freestyle’ shoots from the Fashion2 portfolio).  Plus you only have to look through her Portraits portfolio to see the calibre of this fantastic photographer…it’s a veritable Who’s Who of gorgeous songstresses!…And YES the Rihanna shoot is FABULOUS!

Now I’d like to share a secret with you.  Well it’s a London hotel actually…a rather special one.

H O T E L | 40 WINKS

40 WINKS is London’s smallest most exclusive boutique hotel.  Am I exaggerating?  NO!  It’s only got 2 bedrooms!!!  That’s about as small and exclusive as you can get!

The 4 storey townhouse in London’s Stepney Green  is actually interior designer David Carter’s home, and is often used for fashion and video shoots, but with 2 guest bedrooms it also offers a place for photographers, stylists, designers, models and anyone in the creative and fashion industries to lay their weary heads and get 40 winks sleep.

I love the eclectic, decadent, bohemian styling…it’s wonderfully eccentric and appeals to my love of the theatrical!  It is certainly a welcome antidote to the tedious, mundane blandness of so many of the worlds large hotel chains.  And 40 WINKS is also host to regular events such as glamorous bedtime story pyjama parties and vintage tea parties:

Now I know that London is your favourite city in the world Miss P (if that still its current status?) so I thought you might like to tell us all about the places & spaces you like most.
 
I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours…
 
O U T  &  A B O U T  I N  L O N D O N | SPITALFIELDS MARKET

I’ve got lots of favourite places and areas in London but one that I often pine for, especially when gift buying is called for, is Spitalfields Market.  To me it’s like Etsy under a roof!  Hundreds of stalls are manned by knowledgeable enthusiasts selling their fascinating finds, as well as enterprising Designer-Makers selling their latest creations:

Nestled in the heart of the city, in the shadow of Christ Church, Old Spitalfields Market offers the perfect antidote to clinical shopping malls and High Street chainstores. The huge covered market is off Brushfield Street (if you’re coming from Liverpool Street Station):

There is a buzz in the covered market…it’s a real retro and vintage appreciation zone.  Plus its great for people-watching!

There are also plenty of quirky shops surrounding the covered market, so its good to take a leisurely stroll around the nearby streets to bag yourself an unusual vintage find:

The market is open 7 days a week but Sundays are the busiest by far.  On Thursdays the market transforms into a good Antiques Fair and on Fridays there is a Fashion and Design Market, where young designers showcase their work.  Plus on the 1st and 3rd Friday of every month there is a Record Fair (I’m still trying to buy an old Dansette in good working order!).  You can take a Virtual Tour of the market and surrounding streets HERE

And finally…I have a fabulous London-themed reader giveaway to announce!

R E A D E R  G I V E A W A Y | KNIT THE CITY BOOK

As you know I LOVE Yarn Bombing, graffiti knitting and Yarnstorming – whatever you want to call it, I love it!  So when our friends over at Knit The City  tweeted news of the release of the UK’s first graffiti knitting book – well I just had to grab a copy to offer as a special giveaway for 1 lucky reader.

The book charts the knitted mischief of Deadly Knitshade and her covert group of knitting ninjas who have been transforming the grey streets of London into a riot of woolly colour since 2009. The ’Knit The City’ book showcases the transformation of a forlorn ballerina outside the Royal Opera House, a Parliament Square phone box and the creation of a 13-ft spider’s web in a tunnel beneath Waterloo station to name but a few!

To win this wonderful book simply email me ( victoria@scarletopus.com ) with ’KNIT THE CITY BOOK‘ typed in the subject box and tell me your name.  Then on Friday 3rd August we’ll pop all the names in a hat (or similar) and pull out 1 lucky winner.  I’ll then email the winner to arrange delivery…easy-peasy!  So if you love knitting, Yarn Bombing or London…send your email NOW

If you aren’t lucky enough to win the book…or if you simply can’t wait until Friday…or you simply can’t risk not winning the book…you can of course buy a copy from Amazon right this very second HERE

And if you like that, you might also enjoy knitting some London characters yourself with the help of this Stitch London book.

Well Miss P…will you tell us what you  most about London?

London Underground by Luz Graphic Studio

From: shelley@scarletopus.com

To: victoria@scarletopus.com

Sent: 29.07.12 at 15:33

Subject: RE: I ♥ LONDON

I LOVE that we’re celebrating all things London!  Here are some of my fave places and creative people…

B A R | The Booking Office Bar, St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel

I know you just looove Kings Cross after it’s little facelift, so you’ll be delighted to see the Booking Office Bar at the Renaissance hotel in St. Pancras on my list of favourites!

The actual bar was once the ticketing office of St. Pancras Station and Sir George Gilbert Scott’s Midland Grand was the original hotel, built during the Industrial Revolution.  All of the original arched windows, that A M A Z I N G staircase, cornices, and the beautifully patterned, richly-coloured walls have been lovingly restored to ensure the “romance, elegance, and power of the building remains true to Gilbert Scott’s vision”.

At a mere £250 million I think they’ve done rather well don’t you Miss V?!!  (As an aside, did you know that the original Ladies’ Smoking Room was the first place in Europe that women could acceptably smoke in public?)

I fell in love with the Booking Office the very first time we went together, do you remember?  And I’m not the only one, the reviews have been fantastic…

“The new bar at the St. Pancras Renaissance is one of the grandest rooms in London.  To call it stately would be selling it short – this place borders on palatial.”

worldsbestbars.com

 

“Epic, soaring, dramatic, magnificent.”

TIME OUT

… it’s also shortlisted for the 2012 Restaurant & Bar Design Awards.  Bravo G|A|Design International!

You know I’m not a lover of small things: I prefer large, solid pieces of furniture; oversized lighting; I love to be surrounded by piles of books but HATE ornaments – so it’s the grand scale of this building that first captures my attention.

Photo Credit: Heathcliff O’Malley

I also find the juxtaposition of the Gothic architecture with the simple, clean lines and uniformity of the contemporary furniture, and the cool, urban edge aesthetically very appealing.

London’s celebrated Mixologist, Nick Strangeway (of Hix and Mark’s Bar), is responsible for the superb cocktail menu, and although the Soyer au Champagne looks intriguingly delicious, it’s the super unique Victorian Punches that really excite me.

… roll on September – a mug of Billy Dawson’s Punch, and Pigs in a Blanket for me please.

D E S I G N E R | Fay McCaul 

Fay McCaul is a London-based Textile Designer in a class of her own.  You know me, I’m all over a metallic shimmer so Fay’s my girl – she embeds reflective materials into cotton yarns, mixing fibre optics and iridescent acrylics with traditional knitting methods to create these fabulously unique textiles for interiors:

I WANT this!  Would you ever imagine this screen to be knitted?  Knitted it is; each panel has over 1000 iridescent acrylic squares embedded into the cotton yarn creating a wonderful changeant effect with the colours shifting from blues and mauves to silvers and golds depending on the light.

I’m really looking forward to seeing Fay at Tent in September, she’ll be in Hall T4 on Stand H08.  Follow this link to see Fay’s fabric collection in action, she has some great video images of her work that really show the “intuitive behaviour and integral lighting effects” of the fabrics.

P H O T O G R A P H Y | Top Deck Project

Earlier this year I heard about an interesting collaborative project between London-based photographers, James Pearson-Howes and Will Robson-Scott, Top Deck.  It’s a collection of images taken over 2 years from the top deck of East London’s buses.  The photos don’t portray anything remarkable, instead they capture, with perfect simplicity, the people of a city living their daily lives.  I really like the man sitting in his deck chair in the middle of the street and wonder what on earth the man leaning against the fence is thinking.

You can buy Top Deck here.

L O N D O N  T O W N | Kensington

When I first moved to Dubai I missed London terribly and although I’ve totally embraced the desert as my home now, yes, London’s still my favourite city in the world.  I love that each area has it’s own unique vibe, completely foreign to it’s neighbour, allowing you to experience so much more culturally – everyone brings something different: attitudes, values, food, language … and the fashion in London?  Men and women are just so super stylish it’s almost unreal!  This is why I ♥ LONDON!  And seriously, where else are you going to go to see this kind of street art?

I just LOVE the individuality of Camden in North London, Saturday afternoons spent at a pub on the Lock are remembered fondly, as is seeing Lynden David Hall play at the Jazz Cafe - one of the best nights of my life!  It’s always cool to spend some time in Shoreditch – I like to go there to remind myself of real life when I’ve spent too long in the glamour of Dubai!  And I’m just dying to visit Boxpark.

But if I really had to choose my favourite place, I’d head to the other side of London, to Kensington, that’s where the P’s heart lies!

Things I love about Kensington?  Kensington Gardens; the V & A and the Royal Albert Hall; Harrods of course, particularly the pizza and sushi bars downstairs, but really I prefer Harvey Nic’s next door (I know technically they’re in Knightsbridge!); Portobello Market (although we tended to really stay around Westway for the clothes!) and The Kings Road for it’s fab boutiques and cafes; The Scarsdale pub; Kensington Roof Gardens; Sheherazade restaurant and Patisserie Valerie … I could go on!

I just adore the feeling of being in Kensington, it’s not like being anywhere else in the world – I always have a sense of excitement when I’m there and I feel particularly convinced that I can do absolutely anything I set my mind to.

It’s one of the most expensive parts of London so of course it’s beauty comes in the form of chic pub gardens, grand residences and parks, Designer boutiques, exquisitely dressed people, and a super chic cultural diversity … all very intoxicating.

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Miss V to Miss P: Olympic Opening Ceremony

From: victoria@scarletopus.com

To: shelley@scarletopus.com

Sent: 28.07.12 at 14:10

Subject: I LONDON

Well Miss P…what did you think of the Olympic Opening Ceremony???  I was enjoying a bottle of champagne whilst watching it on tv (but I promise it didn’t cloud my judgement) and although it was a bit of a slow start and a couple of sections didn’t really do it for me, overall I honestly agree with what the UK commentators said when closing the coverage on the BBC – “It was bold, bonkers, brilliant and British”.  All in all it’s been hailed a triumph by the British Press and Danny Boyle has received heaps of praise.  How was it received by the Media in Dubai Miss P?

You know, ever since we first became aware that the stadium would have a countryside opening scene, I’ve been praying it would transform from rural to urban and provide us with some sort of striking industrial or city scene.  And I was not disappointed!  Triggered by the the gradual tearing-up of the turf covering the centre of the stadium, an industrial Britain was revealed, crowned by the raising of immense factory chimneys representing the dark satanic mills of our past.

The BBC commentators said they could smell burning in the stadium as the effect of molten metal flowed from the foundries through the cityscape and forged 5 huge Olympic rings.  This was by far my favourite part of the ceremony – so theatrical!  And, as someone so involved with the flooring industry, I couldn’t help but admire how the street map, laid on the ground of the stadium, acted as a striking and unexpectedly effective backdrop for the aerial shots of the stadium.  I wonder if carpet tile manufacturers will pick up on this in their product development work?

We’d expected a bit of British humour but who could have predicted that The Queen would make a special cameo appearance as a Bond Girl!  From her first cheeky smirk at Mr Bond’s arrival and her apparent parachute jump, to the point of actually taking her seat in the stadium in a radiant peach outfit (how very NEXT YEAR of you Your Majesty!) with diamond & handmade porcelain flower accessories…well it was just fantastically amusing and endearing.  And I have to say that it’s the Queen’s acting debut that has been stealing all the headlines in the UK.

I found the final sequence of lighting the flame very poignant.  Obviously David Beckham set a rather exciting tone when he raced up the Thames in an illuminated speedboat to hand over to Sir Steve Redgrave.  But it was the symbolic entrusting of our hopes, by Olympians of the past, to a new generation of athletes that really captured a sense of generosity…and proclaimed that it doesn’t always have to be about big names and celebrities!  A sentiment that is very much in line with the driving forces behind the design trends we’ve forecast for 2013.  Did you like the actual cauldron?

Now I’m excited to watch as many events as I can without my workload suffering ;) Like many people, I’m most looking forward to hopefully watching Mr Bolt win an Olympic gold in the 100m.  I’m also really keen to watch the diving competition.  There are 2 reasons for this – 1. British diver Tom Daley is an exciting prospect for a medal – watch him on Monday 30th (and he’s also very active on twitter keeping everyone in touch with Olympic Village life via personal photos etc… @TomDaley1994) and 2. Because I think Zaha Hadid’s Aquatic Centre is the best of the Olympic buildings and I particularly like her fabulously curvaceous concrete diving board design:

And…you absolutely must make sure you watch coverage of the High Jump!  Why?  Because of U.S athlete Chaunte Lowe!  Other than the fact she often totally ROCKS the neon trend via her super-cool sportswear…she is the most vivacious, ‘happy-to-be-here-doing-what-I’m-doing’ sportswoman I think I’ve ever seen!  She is such a showwoman!

By the way…I was really lucky on the morning of the Opening Ceremony to meet one of the Torch Bearers and get a really good look at a torch.  It’s a fabulous design and much bigger than I’d expected it to be…and Yes of course I had my photo taken with the torch and it’s lovely, patient bearer:

And finally…I have a fabulous London-themed reader giveaway to announce!

R E A D E R  G I V E A W A Y | KNIT THE CITY BOOK

As you know I LOVE Yarn Bombing, graffiti knitting, and Yarnstorming – whatever you want to call it, I love it!  So when our friends over at Knit The City  tweeted news of the release of the UK’s first graffiti knitting book – well I just had to grab a copy to offer as a special giveaway for 1 lucky reader.

The book charts the knitted mischief of Deadly Knitshade and her covert group of knitting ninjas who have been transforming the grey streets of London into a riot of woolly colour since 2009. The ’Knit The City’ book showcases the transformation of a forlorn ballerina outside the Royal Opera House, a Parliament Square phone box and the creation of a 13-ft spider’s web in a tunnel beneath Waterloo station to name but a few!

To win this wonderful book simply email me ( victoria@scarletopus.com ) withKNIT THE CITY BOOKtyped in the subject box and tell me your name.  Then on Friday 3rd August we’ll pop all the names in a hat (or similar) and pull out 1 lucky winner.  I’ll then email the winner to arrange delivery…easy-peasy!  So if you love knitting, Yarn Bombing or London…send your email NOW

If you aren’t lucky enough to win the book…or if you simply can’t wait until Friday…or you simply can’t risk not winning the book…you can of course buy a copy from Amazon right this very second HERE

And if you like that, you might also enjoy knitting some London characters yourself with the help of this Stitch London book.

Well Miss P…I’ll hand over to you so we can get a feel for how the Olympic Opening Ceremony was received over in Dubai.

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From: shelley@scarletopus.com

To: victoria@scarletopus.com

Sent: 29.07.12 at 15:33

Subject: RE: I LONDON

WOW!

WOOOOOOOW!

Mary Poppins, huge white birds/angels on bikes, a parachuting Queen, topped off with Paul McCartney and ‘Hey Jude’ … what more could you ask for?!  Before the ceremony Danny Boyle said, “We hope that our Isles of Wonder will be as unpredictable and inventive as the British people”, and unpredictable and inventive it certainly was!

It wasn’t a spectacular in the same way that Beijing was but I loved it all the more for that.  For me Danny Boyle created a show that was so perfectly British – capturing an entire history with humour and respect.  My stand-out moments?  Rowan Atkinson’s performance during Chariot’s of Fire, the Queen with Bond, the entrance of the Team GB athletes, those beautiful biking birds (were they angels?) …

… and of course the lighting of that fabulous Olympic Cauldron.

Check out this short video interview with Dezeen’s Marcus Fairs and Thomas Heatherwick (are they twins?!!) talking about the Cauldron and working with Danny Boyle:

– love the idea of designing moments!

My favourite part however, was the making of the Olympic Rings – genius and just magical to watch.  An aesthetic triumph.

I was also really taken with the mood of the night, particularly when the athletes entered the stadium.  There was of course such pride to be representing their country but there was also a real sense of wanting to share culture – what a wonderful world it would be if we lived in that night.

If there was anything I wasn’t entirely convinced on it would probably be the Night Out scene … the texting couple kind of got in the way of the celebration of the music for me.  This part of the ceremony had the potential to be truly outstanding musically and it didn’t really do that for me, although that isn’t to say I still didn’t enjoy it.

Here in the UAE the ceremony was received with rapturous glee – although I think some of the humour got lost in translation – the creativity and quirkiness was highly appreciated.  A couple of channels elsewhere in the Middle East seemed disappointed by the lighting of the cauldron reporting that it was very simply done in comparison to the rest of the celebration … at which point we switched back to the BBC!

Overall I think the ceremony was a great representation of the British people – it didn’t take itself too seriously neither was it over the top, but was super creative and quirky, with a humour that is recognised as uniquely British throughout.  I challenge any country not to love us for that!

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