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Me + Anthropologie = creativity!

Glittering Shards: Me + Anthropologie = creativity!

Glittering Shards

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Me + Anthropologie = creativity!

I spent a glorious hour in Creative Beadcraft in Soho today looking for just the right gemstone for my teardrop mosaic which currently in progress. I came away with the most beautiful Swarovski crystals (ehm...and quite a bit more). It was a veritable Aladdin's cave for a magpie like me.

Aware that I needed to get back to the studio to actually do some mosaicing before collecting the kids, I walked briskly back up Regent Street towards Oxford Circus tube station when I saw the famed Anthropologie store and was diverted in like a magnet.

My first 5 minutes left me a bit cold - beautiful clothes I know, but the thrifter in me just cannot contemplate spending £50 on a necklace I could easily make myself or £70 on a t-shirt. OK, so the clothes department was not for me (well, at least not until I am a rich and famous artist!) and I was just about to leave when my eye was drawn to a magnificent vertical garden adorning the huge left hand wall of the store. When I say huge, I am talking about 15 metres high and 10m wide.You can see a bit of the wall below...
I walked towards it and breathed in deeply - that most wonderful gift of plant oxygenated air. Stunning. When I turned, I was enthralled further by enormous lampshades made out of throwaway materials - plastic lids, bottles, old jewellery and toys.

Now we were talking! Thrifty ole me started smiling again. I wandered into the homeware department and was soon picking up objects, smiling and stroking with glee at the little details - those small (and not so expensive) things that make a house a home. Brass owl and cat hooks, fox doorknockers, beautiful measuring spoons and the good old fashioned cafe au lait bowls, just like the ones I drank out of when I lived with my aunt in France as a child (funny how things come around eh?).

I went to pay for a gorgeous children's book that was in the sale, written and illustrated with paper cuts  by a self taught artist, Nikki McClure. Loved it and love the fact that she has clearly carved out her creative career outside of the box.
As I was at the till paying, I was telling the cashier how much  I admired this stunning feature they had made of recycled bottles and rope.

She told me that their interiors team made it using glass cutters and a blow torch. "Aha!" I said, "Please tell them there is an easier way"...and I went on to explain my recent discovery of how to cut a glass bottle. She was amazed at how easy it was and now wanted to give it a try! I love these bottles and it has given me more ideas of beautiful things to try and make from recycling glass.

Reflecting on my visit to Anthropologie, I realised that just being in such an environment - where attention to detail, design and beauty was so meticulous and passionate - got me into a great creative zone. While I was there I got so inspired by possibility. I came away with three new ideas of things to make - a synthesis of things I saw and things in my head. So good. I think I will have to make some Artist Dates and hang out in beautiful shops (perhaps leaving my credit card at home)! Anyone have recommendations of cool stores to hang out in just for creative inspiration?

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  • ooooh the very same thing happened to me when I went there. its just fabulous isn't it. I really wanted a lot of things there though!! My main thing that I wanted, but didn't buy, was the book about Vera.... she rocks.

    By Blogger Moyra Scott, at 19 August 2010 at 16:49  

  • I love Anthropologie! What a cool experience you had there.

    By Blogger Dana Barbieri, at 19 August 2010 at 17:33  

  • not the same thing about the bottle cutting, obviously.....

    By Blogger Moyra Scott, at 19 August 2010 at 18:08  

  • Ha ha! Obviously Moyra! Who is Vera? Intrigued...

    By Blogger Concetta, at 19 August 2010 at 19:22  

  • My first visit there prompted a blog post too and like you I was also a bit shocked by the prices. However, we are kindred spirits too on the whole living wall thing. I suggested we have one at work! I adore all their little nick nacks and things. If I had an unlimited budget I'd love to turn my lounge into an Indian Maharjah's palace!
    Here's my post

    By Blogger WrightStuff, at 20 August 2010 at 19:15  

  • Anthropologie is my cool store for inspiration too. I asked to meet the women who heads my store's interior team. I told her that I didn't come to shop but to see what she was up to. Now she sees me and explains how she does so many of the great things I see in the store. So introduce yourself the next time you go in. They love to share their ideas!

    By Anonymous Cindy Cage, at 20 August 2010 at 21:47  

  • wow Concetta, love it when I get inspired like this! I MUST go to Anthropologie, I see it on many people's blogs but not been yet . . . I feel inspired like this too after the wonderful art and creativity I just experienced in Barcelona ;) - am itching to start another creative project . . .


    By Blogger Amelia, at 20 August 2010 at 22:56  

  • I love Anthropologie too! That is such an awesome experience you had there! Thanks so much for sharing it with us! Have a lovely merry happy week ahead! Love to you!

    By Anonymous jacqueline, at 23 August 2010 at 02:07  

  • Love window-shopping in Anthro.....there's a gorgeous one on the Kings Road now, which is more home-centric, less of the overblown clothes!x

    By Blogger Rachel Nixon, at 26 August 2010 at 13:56  

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