Welcome to EarthLab

Organic and sustainable design for modern homes

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Bringing gold accents to your space with gold and white pillows

Danielle's charming classic walk up via Apartment Therapy

Adding metallic gold accents to your home is a great way to bring in warmth and visual texture. And gold can be remarkably versatile too: it brings a hint of luxury and glam but it also complements perfectly natural elements like wood or wicker.

Elle Decor, via Apartment Therapy

Gold also works beautifully with a variety of colours: think bright red, rich green, aqua or hot pink.

Contemporary Living Room by Seattle Interior Designers & Decorators Beth Dotolo, RID, ASID via Houzz

Or part of a layering of rich textures and patterns.

Earthlab's gold and cream pillows
Pillows of course are a great way to experiment with colour and design trends without making a the kind of commitment involved in buying new furniture or repainting your walls. I love the combination of gold on cream, and when I  found this beautiful nubbly ivory silk noile I thought it cried out for some gold. On silk it seemed natural to print my Indian inspired tile design.

Indian inspired gold print on ivory silk pillow

My second gold and cream pillow is printed on slightly more robust organic cotton twill with a playful star design. This really is a pillow that will fit in just about anywhere, I have a sage green sofa which is rather fussy about the pillows it mixes with and this pillow looks great on it, although at the moment it's hanging out on a burgundy art deco chair from the 30s.

Gold on cream star print pillow by Earthlab

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Cosy sofa

It's always fun to show off my cushions in their natural habitat, in this case my living room!

I tried my best this winter to have the soft furnishings compensate for the heating system's lack of oopmh, which meant pulling out  the wooly throws and rugs. The velvet stripes in these two organic cotton cushions add to the warm cosy vibe of the sofa, and the neutral palette works well with the woolen rug and the African kuba cloth wall hanging.

The neutral stripes pillow is one of my best sellers and a personal favourite, I have several in my living room, as it is so versatile and easy to live with.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Kid's craft project: underwater habitat in a box

Underwater habitat in a box. Great kids craft project, the secret was to do a bit at a time and assemble at the end.

It even involved a trip to the beach to collect sand and shells. The jellyfish are made from plastic egg cartons and strips of bubble wrap.

Note from the artist:

How to make a Habitat Box

First choose a habitat you want to make in your box. Round up things that you can use e.g. scrap paper and card, plastic egg boxes, das or clay and toy animals. You may also need  paint, glue and scissors. Now you are ready to make your habitat box! To make a background you could cover the back with paper or paint it.

Ideas for different boxes

For a forest or a jungle habitat box, you can glue some toy animals to the bottom of the box or make animals out of das or clay. 

If you are making a underground habitat you could collect soil, dried leaves and twigs to glue on to make a special background.

A desert or a beach habitat could have real sand and shells that could be collected from any beach.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

New metallic fabrics

I'm very pleased with my latest haul of designer fabrics. As usual they come from ends of rolls used by the fashion house Max Mara, high quality Italian textiles.

Three of them use gold metallic elements, I love how they combine with the other textures, creating a sort of rustic but luxurious feel. The bottom fabric is a hemp/linen weave which I couldn't resist for its natural, textural qualities.

I can't wait to use these fabrics for some pillows, my collection for spring and summer 2013 will be featuring a lot of metallic elements so these fit right in.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Etsy Holiday Shop

Back in october I was contacted by Etsy to take part in an amazing project, the Etsy Holiday Shop in New York, a pop-up shopping experience combining workshops, performances, art and of course a selection of items from Etsy sellers, including mine. I only wish they could've fedexed me to New York along with my pillows, as I would've loved to have been there, especially to see the great Reggie Watts!

There's my rainbow houses pillow at the right end of the couch.

You can read more about the shop in the Etsy Blog or check out their flickr photos of the event

Friday, 23 March 2012

Earthlab on Miss Moss

So, how thrilled was I exactly to dicover one of my pillows on Miss Moss? Well, very thrilled actually. If you don't know Miss Moss, her blog is described as a compendium of radness. I. Am. Officially. Rad.

Her guest blogger Elise of Pennyweight chose my modern neutral pillow as one of her "ten things".  Thanks Diana and Elise : )

Monday, 27 February 2012

Thanks Jenny!

Many thanks to Jenny, who featured EarthLab on her blog, today. Jenny has a shop on Etsy, as well as a blog, Jenny the Artist where she features the work of various Etsy artists and crafters, she has a great selection!

Today it was the turn of my blush pink pillow with a houses print.

Thanks Jenny!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Indian inspired printed pillows

Last week I wrote about my African inspired pillows, made using printing blocks carved in Namibia. This week it's the turn of my Indian pillows.

When I began making my own printng blocks I happened to be at my parent's house and my Mum pulled some old Indian printing blocks out of her lifetime's accumulation of arts and crafts supplies, and asked if I could do anything with them. I'm not sure how or when she aquired them, or how old they are!

Originally these blocks were used for applying wax in batik work, as well as for printing. They include some lovely circle designs as well as some birds and plant motifs.

I love the simple charm of these designs, and I've used them to produce my range of Indian inspired pillows, in bright happy colours.

Although I'm not usually a great fan of pink I love the combination of raspberry  and lighter pink used in the Indian birds and circles pillow and again in the Indian pink throw pillow. The other pillow features the same circle design: Indian blue and green print pillow.

All of these designs are printed on fairtrade organic cotton produced by Indian artisans. Check my Etsy pillow shop for future variations on these designs.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

African inspired printed pillows

I've always been inspired by African art, and I own a number of beautiful examples, from sculpture to cloth. I love the boldness and simplicity of it, and I think it complements modern design perfectly.

So when I was getting into block printing and saw the beautiful Oshiwa printing blocks I was immediatly hooked. The Oshiwa designs were produced at their workshop in Namibia by three local craftsmen, and you can buy their hand carved wooden printing blocks from the Oshiwa shop on Etsy.

I have used my blocks to produce African inspired pillows, the first pillow is a bird and lizard design on natural linen, and the second features lizards and turtles, it's printed on fairtrade organic cotton from India.

I'm kind of proud of the fact that these pillows combine the skills of craftspeople from three continents, African woodcarvers, Indian weavers, and myself!