Draw us a picture of your Dad for Father's Day and Mum could win £50 to spend in FROM...
Open to all under 14s
Entries must be in by June 5th and submitted on an A4 piece of paper.
Any medium welcome, you can draw, paint, collage.... Please sign your masterpiece with your name and age and hand it in to the lovely FROM team.
The winner will revive a £50 voucher to spend in FROM and all works will be exhibited along side other local artist.
Don't forget to capture Daddy's best side!
The FROM team x
An odd thing to be blogging about this rather wet Tuesday in Feb, but hey - I'm going with it! I've been seeking inspiration for my impending (tiny) bathroom makeover, in particular - sinks.
Take a look at my top picks below (none of which would actually fit in said bathroom), but they're rather beautiful none-the-less.
I'm going to have to go for a wall-mounted option to free up that valuable floor space and am looking for something with a vintage feel in black and copper. If you've seen anything that fits the bill, let me know won't you. x
Had enough of the grey skies and the dull hues of January? Never fear, this weekend we welcome in February and the return of colour! Hoorah!
Lapis Lazuli Paloma necklace - £119 - Bee Gregson
Dotty Mug - £15.25 - Fenella Smith
Red Leather 'Elsa' Pouch - £37.50 - Miller and Jeeves
Dachshund Cushion - £50 - The Graduate Collection
Seagrass hand and body wash - £12.60 - Littlecote Soaps
Pink Stag Scarf - £69.99 - Lisa Bliss
Caroline & Zanna from Oliveblue have been creating unique and stylish jewellery for many years, and here at FROM we feel very privileged to stock, and indeed SELL lots of their jewellery to our customers.
The Oliveblue range of handmade pieces is inspired by Zanna and Caroline's love of travel drawing on the colours and textures of the Middle and Far East, whilst remaining wholly relevant to classical European tastes. Not an easy thing to achieve!
Oliveblue appeals to every style and budget but each design is individual. Semi-precious gems and metals are used imaginatively and the emphasis is on colour and individuality, whether delicate and pretty or bold and chunky. Here's some of our favourite pieces FROM the range.
Friendship Bracelet - £38
Gold Butterfly & Silver Chain Necklace - £40
Gold Bird Hoop Earrings - £25
Smokey Quartz & Gold cord necklace - £35
A thriving local economy can have such an impact on our everyday life. It makes our area a nicer place to live, meaning more new businesses will succeed, which in turn will mean people are better off and have more money to spend - some of which will be spent back in the local community and so it goes around again......
Businesses that are independently owned, that create local employment and that use local suppliers all play a really powerful part in helping our local economy and we should support them all when we can. Of course, we have a vested interest in promoting local spending, but it's about more than just FROM. It's about spending locally within Thame, and within Oxfordshire and Bucks as a whole.
Here's ten compelling reasons for you to shop locally today......
1.) Keep your money circulating in the local economy
2.) Help to retain the character of your local area
3.) Nobody wants to look at empty, abandoned shop windows
4.) You will be reducing your carbon imprint
5.) You will be helping to protect local jobs
6.) Local businesses know their customers personally and you get better customer service
7.) Local business owners are REAL people whose children go to local schools, churches, parks etc and they CARE
8.) Local businesses are at the heart of your community and everyone needs a community
9.) Local businesses invest back into the community
10.) Diversity = more customer choice
Here at FROM HQ, we firmly believe that it's the curiosities that make a house a home and that's why we love a bit of mismatching furniture in the world of design and interiors!
I'm currently updating my dining table - well actually, I'm not, I'm just updating the chairs and the theme I am going for is 'MISMATCH'.
Some of my favourite pieces of inspiration are below but my main aims are to:
1.) Keep my existing oak table
2.) Not to pay for any of the chairs (or pay very little)
3.) Find something to tie the theme together i.e all chairs made from the same material, made in the same period, or different chairs but same colour etc....
4.) Keep all the chairs at a consistant height, I don't want mealtimes to become a circus act!
What do you think? Has anyone achieved this look at home already? Drop us a line if so >>>>
Now's probably a good time to pause to reflect and pay homage to our bestselling Christmas products - in particular this heart shaped pomander FROM Branche d'Olive. We (and you guys) couldn't get enough of them. At one point we were taking pre-orders and reserving stock via twitter and suchlike, so these little trinkets really were creating a buzz over the festive period.
I think one of the things folk like about these silver hearts is the fact that they are so versatile, slightly vintage (pomanders were one of the earliest forms of aromatherapy) and of course oh-so-pretty. I am sure they could be wonderfully incorportated into a winter wedding somehow......if anyone does have any plans to do this, please let us know!
Every so often a trend comes along that not only looks good, but it's genuinely oh-so-cheap to create. No strings attached....well maybe a few strings as the trend I am talking about is paper pom-poms. Currently taking the world of interiors, gifts, weddings and parties by storm, these beautiful, delicate hand-made pieces can be used as table centrepieces, wrapping accessories of even as stand-alone decorations in your childrens bedroom or nursery. They look simply exquisite against a neutral backdrop and my favourites come in shades of peaches and pinks, but you can have any colour you desire.
Here's a few of my favourite images from pinterest, and here's a link to a wonderful DIY tutorial via Martha Stewart.com >>>>
P.S If you don't fancy having a go at making these yourself, they're still cheap as chips to buy from ebay Etsy and Folksy.
Juliet Thornback and Delia Peel met in 2003 whilst working as a florist (Thornback) and theatre designer (Peel). They set up a studio together in 2006 at Cockpit Arts, London and now create beautiful, intricate screen-printed pieces for the home.
Their work is inspired by an eclectic mixture of Victoriana, Mrs Beeton’s household management, Mr McGregor’s garden, 17th century microscope imagery of the natural world, Norfolk and Devon. Thornback & Peel is a celebration of the quirkiness of British humour and design.
Here at FROM, we love all that quirkiness, and are delighted to welcome Thornback & Peel to our shop floor and our website. Good day to you Ladies.
Designers Chris Harrison and Polly Glass created Wrap in 2010 to showcase the work of up-and-coming illustrators. This publication bridges the gap between magazine and product – while each themed edition comes full of interviews and features on an eclectic range of creative endeavours, it also includes ten illustrated wrapping papers made especially for that issue, printed on five double-sided pull-out sheets.
Form and function all wrapped up.
On one of their furniture-selling trips to France, Jane and Ruth found a traditionally made Marseilles soap. 11 years on, that original product base has expanded to include a range of elegant gifts, home fragrances and luxury bath and body products. Having outgrown their kitchen tables, they now operate from premises in Oxford, fulfilling orders for the likes of Liberty, Fortnum & Mason, Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons.... and FROM!
This Autumn, we're inviting a few of the neighbours over.
We thought it would be nice to have some guest suppliers from our closest counties to come and stay for a while.
This month, we've invited designers from Hertforshire, Berkshire and a sneaky smattering from London. As well as some great new artisans from our beloved Oxfordshire and Bucks of course.
We are excited to open our doors to our nearest and dearest and hope you'll enjoy a few new faces.
We know you'll make them feel at home.
My mother always used to tell me that not everything is black or white, but right now in the world of FROM it is!
This week, we've been busy putting together a board of monochrome must-haves (all designed and made right here in the U.K, from Cornwall to Dundee) and we think it looks pretty darned splendid.
Here's our top 6 picks below, but you can also visit our Monochrome inspired board over here at Pinterest for more black and white pinspiration >>>
1.) 3 Hooks in the shape of Sparrows (available in black & white) - Hanna Francis - fromroundhere.com - £57.50
2.) 5 pack of Christmas Cards - £12 - Ros Shiers
3.) Black & White Handmade iPad Cover - £16.75 - Sew Very Pretty
4.) Statue of Liberty Cushion - £60 - Jane Hornsby
5.) Mechanical Bear mug - £9.50 - Bear Follows Cat
6.) Giant Monochrome Letter Prints - £35 - More than Words
This week at From Towers, we've been getting back to nature. Take a peek at our 'woodland wonderland' board over on pinterest for our top picks of woodland themed pieces all available to buy on the web - and all made in England.
We particularly like our very own branch hook designed and made by the wondeful Hanna Francis right here in Thame. Who would've thought that Autumn could be this much fun? I'm off to skip about in the leaves......
What a wonderful weekend we had setting up shop on the street, for the 6th annual Thame Food Festival! People came in their droves and we had a fantastic day of sales and recognition for our local artists and produce. Thank you so much to Elaine from Littlecote Soaps for helping out big time. We couldn't have done it with out her.
Or without you lovely lot either, all 25,000 of you....here's some snaps from the day.
We're thrilled to have the full range of Joes Tea's back in stock and will be offering a little taster to our customers tomorrow as part of the wonderful 6th annual Thame Food Festival celebrations. Pop by and say hello won't you?
In homage to all things 'tea' related, here's our top pick of British teapots, all made right here in England, and all available to purchase on the web today. Bottoms up!
1.) Vintage Crown Teapot - £26.95 - Tea Palace, London
2.) Books & Flowers Teapot - £48 - Sophie Richardson Designs, London
3.) A Pot of Everything Teapot - £35 - The Museum of Everything
4.) A Bugs Life Teapot - £28 - Yvonne Ellen London (on Folksy)
5.) Busy Bees Teapot - £24 - Sophie Allport
Well, it's officially Autumn folks, and here at FROM we're fully embracing the colder weather, the darker nights - and the abundance of new autumnal collections hitting the high street and the web right now.
One little fella we've noticed popping up everywhere is our friend Mr Fox. From cushions and lampshades, to ceramics and ovenware, anything emblazened with a fox (or other woodland creatures for that matter), is hot to trot.
As you well know, we're big fans of Fenella Smith's work, and her 'animals' range features a few 'foxy' pieces of her own - plus, they're available to buy in FROM instore or online. Yippee!
And here's some of our favourite fox-inspired pieces from around the web this September.....and it goes without saying, they're all made right here in the U.K.
1.) Fox Teatowel - £9 - Whinberry & Antler - (Made in England)
2.) Fox Linen Lampshade - £103 - Orwelle & Good (Made in Scotland)
3.) Personalised Fox Print - £13 - MyLoveBubble on Etsy - (Made in England)
4.) Fox Onesie - £15 - LittlePiglet by Aniwa on Etsy (made in England)
5.) Fox Plate - £22 - Donna Wilson (Made in England)
6.) Fox Cushion - The Nursery Blind Company - £22 (Handmade in England)
Did you know it was National 'Love a Pug' week?
It's not really, but here at FROM Towers, we just love pugs for what they are and think you should too!
In honour of all things Pugly, we created a mood board over on pinterest, which you can view here ..... It's the next best thing to actually owning a pug, plus it doesn't shed its hair or make you want to dress it up in 'other animal' outtfits.
P.S If you do happen to own a real live pug, feel free to send us some snaps as we'd love to celebrate some local pugliness.
As everyone else seems to be talking about Fenella Smith at the moment - we thought we would too!
We caught up with the beautiful Fenella this month, to find out what makes her tick.
Meet the Maker.....Spotlight on Fenella Smith.
1.How did you get started as a artist/designer/maker?
I remember pottery being my favourite class at junior school, I'm not classically creative - I'm not great at drawing but I have a real interest in form and function which I think is crucial for a potter. I'm lucky to have my very talented illustrator animator brother who has won a BAFTA to work with. We have huge fun creating new designs.
2. Talk us through your work.
My ethos is to create objects to love and use everyday. I think my products combine elegance, fun and good quality. More and more I think we want the pieces in our home to define us and the Animals range is a perfect accent to an elegant kitchen.
3. Do you have an all time favourite piece?
The Labrador Dog Bowl is my favourite. The Labrador design is of my much loved lab Bramble the Bear. It always amuses me that as she finishes her supper, she comes face to face with herself!
4. Who/What inspires you?
I daydream lots (maybe too much?!) and it is in these moments I think my mind becomes really open to the surroundings. I am often inspired by the lifestyle and relaxed approach to life of those that live on the Ile de Re where I spend a lot of my time. I cycle for hours taking in the views; amazing wildlife, the quiet tenacity of the oyster farmers, it is in those moments ideas just appear.
5. Where is your favourite place to visit round here?
I love the wide open fields at the top of the hill at Maidensgrove. The sky seems so epic and endless up there. Even on a wintry day the light is quite remarkable.
6. Whose work from round here do you admire the most?
I love one of the ranges in FROM - I can't remember the brand name but the cashmere range for babies …. the softest! They need to make adult sizes!
From the area - Isie Norgrove - she is so talented and enormous fun. She also made my engagement ring and wedding ring.. she captured exactly what I had envisaged in my mind. http://isierocks.com
Calling all snap-happy youngsters
As you know at FROM we love nurturing the next generation of talent from round here. If you're 14 years or under (or know someone who is), live within 20 miles of Thame and fancy yourself as a budding photographer, then send us your best locally-inspired image.
Images must be high resolution (300 dpi or more) and with us by October 31st. They will be judged by professional, local, photographer Rob Wheal.
The winning photograph will be framed by us and sold in FROM with all profit in the pocket of our young snapper.
Go on, give us your best shot. Images can be posted to us, or emailed to us using the contact details here. Or dropped into the shop in person. Please make sure you include your name, address, age and telephone number.
Joe Kinch - Making Britain’s favourite drink cool again.
First it was coffee, then smoothies, now Britain's favourite drink - tea, has been given a modern day makeover by home-grown entrepreneur Joe Kinch, FROM Great Milton. Alongside quirky re-inventions of Earl Grey (The Earl of Grey) and English Breakfast (Ever-so-English Breakfast Tea) Joe gives us weird and wonderful explorations of fruits (St Clements Lemon Tea), herbs (The Berry Best Tea) and even chocolate (Chocca-Roo-Brew) perfect for those of us who love a more creative cuppa.
When Joe was growing up - his parents owned the local pub in Great Hasley, where he originally trained as a chef. Here, he learned from a young age how to combine flavours and carefully select ingredients.
In his fruit teas - Joe uses only large whole leaves to maximize flavour, all packaged up in corn starch ‘good-to-go’ fuso bags. This means the leaves can expand and infuse like a good tea should do and have none of the bitterness you may get with other teas – just pure, refreshing local loveliness.
In the herbal teas - Joe uses organic herbs and fruit only. The large cut pieces ensure you get fullest of flavour and the farms that grow all the ingredients only use organic methods of farming.
This isn’t because of any moral worthiness, but simply because if you don’t want chemicals in your body, you probably shouldn’t have them in your food.....or your tea.
Joe may look more at home DJ-ing in a trendy London bar, but his passion for tea has created a unique mix of fine teas that, are guaranteed to surprise and delight anyone who loves a brew... We’ll get the kettle on Joe.
Let's talk about Tassels...
If you thought tassels were strictly reserved for Burlesque dancers, Cowboys or on the set of Aladdin then think again! This season, the pom pom, fringe and tassel trend continues, adorning shirts, shoes, necklaces, bracelets and even swimwear!
Here at FROM towers, we're embracing this playful trend and hanging them from our handbags. Oh yes sister! You heard it here first.
How fabulous are these tassel keyrings from Liz Fletcher of Miller and Jeeves fame?!
Available in an array of stunning colours from cobalt blue to mustard yellow, they're fun, flirty and would make a perfect gift. What's even better is they all cost just £14.99 (thank you very much, Liz. Don't mind if I do)!
Our ceramics ad featured in this month's fabulous FIX magazine, written and published exclusively by Little Italy Espresso Bar.
If you're yet to sample a coffee from Little Italy - make sure you pay a visit to one of their 3 coffee bars at either Bicester North train station, Haddenham & Thame Parkway or Haddenham High Street. We guarantee you'll be impressed enough to keep going back.
Oooh - and aforementioned ceramics can be found here >>>>
We caught up with the wonderful Cate Wise this month, to find out what makes her tick.
Cate has been a freelance artist, author and book illustrator now for almost 20 years, and put quite simply, we think she's great.
Meet the Maker.....Spotlight on Cate Wise.
1.How did you get started as a artist/designer/maker?
Love started me. Obession started me. Total, infatuation and adoration of the subject and inspiration that is ART. I studied Fine Art at School and University, then studied Book Illustration in Oxford, under the tuition of the genius Korky Paul. I became freelance from school age, happily selling work through private commissions or local exhibitions. When my second child was born, eleven years ago, I was able to commit to being an Artist full time. I always drew, made books and loved all things Art and Craft, so it's been an utter dream to be able to follow this through into a daily job. I also feel the continuation beyond yourself, creating something that matters to others, that out lasts and out lives you; something that can connect to people you have never even met and make a difference to their home or for a moment or a special day is a priviledge.
2. Talk us through your work.
My work involves many varieties of art disciplines as my mind in constantly buzzing with new projects and ideas, and I require various art skills to produce these both in volume and in quality. I work in unbelievably divine Watercolours by Schmincke, collage from almost entirely recycled papers, dip pen and ink for all sorts of detailed images, I make second hand book sculptures, hand stamped lyrics and poetry using the supreme Memento ink pads, as well as creating and printing work with a Tablet and in Photoshop on the computer.
With these mediums I am able to produce large and ornate paintings for Children's Picture Books, hand cut, collaged cards and stationary, as well as endless picture design series such as the inked graphic black dogs and the serene watercrayon Hares.
3. Do you have an all time favourite piece?
My "Beautiful Death" range of rock and royal collaged skulls and crossbones, with Pink Floyd lyrics hand stamped over the paper sunglasses were created in honour of my Dad so it has an eternal love for me personally.
4. Who/What inspires you?
Wonderful Children and Graphic illustrators from the 50's, 60's and 70's, like Mary Blair, Alice and Martin Provensen, M Sasek are all stunning to me. The wonder that is Korky Paul, my teacher, mentor and friend whose watercolours are like looking at magic. Also my most prominent inspiration is Recycling. Recycling is a concept I value greatly, in all aspects of my home and work life. Converting unloved or lost pieces into new and interesting works of art in all diciplines both fascinates and soothes my soul.
5. Where is your favourite place to visit round here?
Will I be selling my secrets if I confess to the charity shops as well as the car boot sales that surround us in the summer? Heaven for me and my children to visit.
6. Whose work from round here do you admire the most?
I admire so many artists, especially those who can sew, crochet or knit as I am incapable of these skills and in awe of their work and talents. But hand on heart I have to say the beautiful Fenella Smith. Her button mugs with gentle animal paintings are my weakness. I am lucky to have a few which my guests can look at from a distance or use at their terror. Unfortunately I have also just spied a new fox version in FROM...oh dear, far too lovely to leave behind...
Hello lovers of local loveliness.
Hope you're enjoying the heatwave. And with the weather on our side, we're thrilled to introduce The Garden Trading Company to our online offering. If you've popped into FROM lately, you'll have seen this beautiful range of home and gardenware. Every item is lovingly designed by the team based in Carterton, Oxford.
Garden Trading are passionate about designing and producing high quality, original accessories, lighting and furniture for the traditional and contemporary home. They offer affordable and stylish solutions to make everyday living that bit easier, whether you are outside in the garden, inside cooking or curled up with a glass of something lovely.
We hope you enjoy their pieces as much as we do, and with free delivery on orders over £50, now's the perfect time to shop FROM our online collection.
If you haven't had chance to see our in-store exhibition this month, here's what the clever students at Lord William's Lower School have been up to.
A handful of year 9 students who have shown a natural ability to design, communicate and make technological items were selected to take part in a Gifted and Talented Workshop.
The project focussed around resistant materials and product design. The aim was to provide students with enhanced Computer Aided Design skills. Access to the computer controlled equipment at the Upper School site enabled them to make and then hand-finish the intricate mazes.
We're proud to display the next generation of talent from round here. Well done to all the students who took part.
We've just got some gorgeous new stock delivered from the ever popular Elaine Stavert a.k.a, Littlecote Soaps, and felt the need to shout about it!
If you're not familiar with Elaine's work, she specialises in handmade organic toiletries made using nature’s herbs, aromatherapy oils and exclusive perfumes. And of course - she's FROM round these here parts.
Elaine formed The Littlecote Soap Co after ditching her London TV career for life on a farm in beautiful Buckinghamshire.
‘I’ve always had a keen interest in herbalism and aromatherapy, and I couldn’t wait to start designing my traditional toiletries and bath products with a contemporary twist', says Elaine.
Or how about this beautiful little jute travel bag containing a mini bar of soap, hand & body wash, hand & body lotion and a lip balm all in Littlecote's signature Gin & Tonic scent.
If you're feeling lucky, subscribe to our mailing list to receive our monthly newsletter below, and you could be the first person to receive this travel set absolutely free! Winner will be announced on 24th July!
Pssst.....don't forget, we're now trialling free delivery on orders over £50, so now's the perfect time to order.
The FROM team is thrilled to announce the launch of our ecommerce site.
It's been a long time in the making, but we're proud to say we're now able to share the talent, from our little corner of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, with the whole wide world.
It's been a labour of love to gather content, photographs and descriptions for each and every piece. Our little shop in Thame, has grown to represent hundreds of artists and producers. We couldn't add them all here (lots of pieces are one-offs), but we will be adding to the online offering all the time, so don't worry if you can't see your favourite piece just yet.
The site is super-easy to navigate, you can select to shop by product type, producer or price. We've bundled together ideas for the perfect wedding gift or something for 'him' or 'her'. And if it's still tricky to decide, you can always spoil someone with gift vouchers to spend in store.
Each and every item will come with a little biography of the artist who has made it, where they're from and how they work. It will then be wrapped with love, in the finest white tissue paper and if you'd like it gift-wrapped, there's a button for that too. Just let us know when you click through to order and we'll finish with ribbon for that extra special touch.
Thank you to Tracey and David at Adapt Communications for all your genius coding and expertise, to the brilliant Lynda, who has joined the FROM team to help us with all things online (we would not be here without her) and to Becky, Miranda, Diana and Rachel, who will be fulfilling your orders from the shop floor on a daily basis. We salute you all.
FROM 16 Cornmarket, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 2BW Tel. 01844 217998
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