Yesterday made me smile – not only was it my birthday, but the sun shone all day long. Back in the UK, I always found February to be one of the bleakest months of all and so as a treat I would often choose to visit the home of Derek Jarman –  ‘Prospect Cottage’ in Dungeness. The stretch of Kent coastline due to the nuclear power station in the background is equally as bleak as my birthday month but to me, quite, quite beautiful. So, I was thrilled to stumble upon this little video yesterday – bringing back memories of birthdays past:

Other favourites making me smile is this amazing piece commissioned for my birthday by Clare Hillerby, a contemporary jeweller based in Scotland whose work makes my heart beat a little faster.

image: line of colour by clare hillerby

image: line of colour detail

My favourite lunch right now has to be take away sushi eaten in the park.

image: sushi in queen elizabeth park

My favourite music to play in the studio and car this week is this.

My favourite image on my camera right now is this one:

image: wood and copper detail on the bridge in wellington leading to civic square

Still this seasons favourite flower:

image: hydrangeas from a friends garden

This weeks favourite item of clothing:

image: wide grey linen pants (I’m washing and wearing them, washing and wearing them…)

and my favourite corner of the studio today:

image: bottom left-hand corner!

…and before I embarrass us both with my Julie Andrews impression I’d best say, until next time…

Leave a comment


  1. retrofemmeobjetdart

     /  February 11, 2011

    Happy birthday for yesterday Alison!!

    This is a lovely post and has been read, clicked and listened to with great pleasure… thank you for sharing your day.

    ps. Your new necklace is beautiful…

  2. Lots of lovely things! Happy birthday! I think a February birthday (in NZ anyway) is a lovely thing to have.

  3. Nikki Watson

     /  February 11, 2011

    Gosh, your studio is beautiful – relaxing, calm, peaceful and sooooo pretty. Also, love your mannequin – where did you purchase it from??? Oh, and happy birthday!!

  4. Happy Birthday my dear friend. Hope it was a grand one!

  5. Geeb

     /  February 11, 2011

    You go Julie!

    “When you’re lost and lonely,
    And feeling very small,
    Just sing a favourite song of mine
    And everything is all….. Oh…. kay”

  6. Happy Birthday to you! glad you had a lovely sunny day. Wishing you a great year ahead. KP

  7. Poppy Black

     /  February 12, 2011

    Happy, happy birthday. There’s nothing bleak about February here! Actually New Zealand isn’t really a bleak place at any time of year. Make the most of every day. XXX

  8. Happy Birthday!
    Derek J’s place is a favourite of mine too. I love the John Donne quote written on the side of his cottage. Are you a native of kent originally?

    The linen pants look great!

  9. Thank you for the birthday wishes retrofemme. So glad you enjoyed the post. I quite like writing the ones that are a little bit of everything.

  10. Hi Steph,
    I also think that a February birthday in NZ is rather lovely. Makes up for all of those grey, rainy Uk ones!

  11. Hi Nikki,
    Thank you for your lovely comments. The mannequin was purchased at a shop fitters in Brighton, England about 10 years ago.

  12. Hi Kelly,

    It was a smashing one!

    Love to you and Salisbury. x

  13. Gasp – I’d managed to block that out Gary!! Don’t ever tell anyone that I sung that on stage whilst dressed as a worm! x

  14. Thank you KP for the birthday wishes. Hope that all is well in Nelson.

  15. Hi Fiona,

    Thank you! Nope, certianly not bleak here. In fact, I love every season in NZ with winter being my favourite I think.

    Hope to see you next month. x

  16. Hi herhimnbryn. Yes, I love to quote as well. No, I’m not from Kent, I’m from Sussex so not too far away.

    Thank you for your lovely comments.

  17. hmmm lots of lovely favourites…

    I hope you had a wonderful birthday day!

  18. amy

     /  February 15, 2011

    hey Ali

    sounds like you had a great birthday, well the sound of music’ is a firm favourite in our house hold at present….. willow rose sings at the top of her voice ( currently ‘do ray me…….’) obvieously with hand actions too!!!!
    Everything is looking lovely and rosy in your humble abode, as always.
    much love
    amy x

  19. Geraldine

     /  February 15, 2011

    Hi Alison

    Spoke with your dad this morning and he said that I must look at your latest blog as it was lovely. I now have and it certainly is. A wonderful combination of sight and sound.

    It must have been such a lovely day for your birthday. Mine is the same day only I was born 20 years earlier, and here in England it was a grey and rainy day! I spent the morning looking after a grandson with chicken pox!!, however all the family visited and brought gorgeous flowers and your mother made me a pretty birthday card which was a lovely unexpected surprise.

  20. Rose

     /  February 15, 2011

    Blogs for me must be inspirational,
    Life enhancing,
    uplifting and or amusing. Thank you so much for yours. they make my day.

  21. Hi Amy,

    Lovely to hear from you. Can just imagine Willow Roase singing along. Having said that it’s been a few years now so I expect she’s changed a great deal. Maybe you could email a photo of the children when you have a minute. We’d love to see them.

    Love to the four of you. x

  22. Hi Geraldine,

    Thank you for checking in at the blog. Always great to see a name from home.

    Happy belated birthday wishes to you. How lovely that we share the date.

  23. Thank you for another smashing comment Rose. Always appreciated.

  24. Geeb

     /  February 17, 2011

    She sang that on stage while dressed as a worm!
    “Reader I married him…… Beeeeeerthaaaaaaaa!”


    Have you spotted these?
    I envision TreadSoftly versions galore.


  25. sigh – those were the days Gary – acting our little hearts out on stage and living on 40 pounds a week!

    No, I hadn’t spotted the little hearts. Very cute. Design Sponge is such an amazing blog. I adore the ‘peep into peoples homes’ posts.

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