s
journal
Castles in the sand
Last year we didn't stop at all. No breaks. By Christmas I was hanging on by a thread so this year I decided we needed to make a real effort to stop and take a proper break. So, to celebrate shoemaker Toms birthday we went to Morocco for a few days - with no kids. Yippee! 
 
A fly by visit to Marrakesh to see the YSL musuem & Majorelle gardens (see previous post) then off to the coastal town of Essouira. A chilled out hippy-ish town with traditional fishermen, fort (where they filmed Game of Thromes for anyone who's a fan), beach and plenty of kite surfers.
 
We stayed in the old medina in the most beautiful of houses: Dar Emma. A cool, contemporary take on traditional moroccan living. The house revolves around a central stairwell with no roof so it's open all the way to the sky, keeping the place cool and airy. Simple living and I've come back wanting to tile our whole house with pattern and colour. 

 

The medina is a maze of small streets, full of interesting shops and bazaars and wild cats, it would be easy to get lost. Thankfully we had a Mohammed to show us around a little and to help get our bearings through the maze of the medina. With no cars allowed it's relatively relaxed and although there's a little bit of hustle bustle it's pretty chilled out really. For a taste of Morocco without the hastle I'd highly recommend it. Knowing myself and in the interests of not bringing back a whole load of stuff to our little house we only took hand luggage but if we ever do get a house of our own then this is the place to come and find some interesting homewares, starting with traditional Moroccan rugs! Such a nice few days breather and a chance to take life at a slower pace. We'll definitely be back.
 

 

Majorelle Blue
We've talked about going to Morocco for a while now, since I read about the YSL museum and Majorelle gardens I specifically wanted to go there. If you get the chance to go then for sure you have to do it as the gardens are so so nice. Apart from all the selfie takers the gardens are super tranquil, the cacti, bamboo and other plants impressive and the colours just gorgeous. You can't help but come away totally in love with the famous Majorelle blue, yellow pots and terracotta dustiness which reminds you you're in Morocco. 
 
  
As for the museum, I'll be honest I was a little disappointed. I mean the building is super nice and what was displayed was interesting but there could've/should've been more. I wanted to leave totally bowled over and inspired by Yves Saint Laurent and his work and although it was interesting one room of his clothing wasn't enough. I wanted more. 
 
Connor goes to work
As some of you know I work freelance for a luxury British designer most of the week, designing their women's shoe collection. The boys are pretty curious as I head out to London super early in the morning and come back around bedtime or after they're asleep so during the week the majority of my time is spent there rather than at home. Connor has been asking for a while if he could come into work with me for the day so finally I decided to do it. Give him a chance to see where I work, what I do and to let him have a go at designing a shoe on the computer for himself. I'm so glad I did it as he had the best day and was SO proud of what he'd done.
 
He's pretty good at drawing anyway so I figured he'd like to try his hand at cad. He drew his sneaker by hand, we scanned it in and then I showed him how to use Illustrator to draw the lines and we transferred it to Photoshop so he could colour it in. The same process I use on a daily basis to draw and colour up my designs. Considering he's only 9, never used either of these two programs before or drawn anything on the computer, to say I was impressed is an understatement! I know shoe designers who've been working in the industry for 20 years who still can't cad their designs on the computer so hats off to Connor. such a success he's already asking when he cam come back again and he wants to design a shoe which will really be in the collection! 
 

in the workshop

It's not often that me and the boys are at the workshop. If we are it's usually a quick drop off and pick up but last weekend we all decamped to the workshop late afternoon to work on a little film. We foolishly thought it would be easy to film Tom making the shoes and talking about shoemaking for a minute or two but 3 hours later and with the boys completely run out of patience and good behaviour it was time to call it a day. Quite a lot of laughs were had in the process and it was nice for us all to hang out in the workshop for once but I'm not in a hurry for there to be a next time. Here's a few snaps from our afternoon and some goings on in the workshop including gold Wren boots and fluffy Buzzard shoes...

  • Italia
  • fay murphy
Italia
Tom and I have been in Italy this past week working on some pretty exciting things and if everything works out we'll be making some big changes to the way we work next season. We've been visiting the Marche region of Italy which is a specialised shoemaking area nestled in some purely beautiful countryside, a stones throw from the beach. Each village or town is built on the top of a hill and each supplier we visited had the most incredible view. If you have to go work somewhere in Italy you could do much worse than a few days in Marche. 
 
So, what have we been doing there? well, for a long time now we have been talking about and investigating the idea of making some of our ready to wear styles with a factory. As we grow the workload of making our production is too much for one man to do alone, not to mention the time spent ordering and shipping every single component from across Europe to the UK. I also know that more often than not we make 1 size run of our styles and when that's gone, it's gone and we don't always have what you're looking for in stock. So, the plan is to work with a small family run factory in Italy to make some of our favourite and classic styles so that we have better stock availability and also so that we don't run our shoemaker Tom into the ground! Last year we did a lot of research in Spain and Portugal and even started working on a project with a factory in Spain but it didn't work out. Fingers crossed that we have found a great little factory in Italy to make our beautiful children's shoes, and who knows we maybe even found one for the long awaited womens collection... exciting times! watch this space for more news in the next few months...

 

Hastings
It's been a while since we had a proper day as a family so spending Sunday morning checking out the contemporary new pier at Hastings was some long overdue family time. 
A pier for the community the design is modern, the wide open space is refreshing and calming while the dull greyness of the wood blends into the grey skies. Through the telescopes we watched the lifeboat return to shore and sailing boats gliding out at sea. Inside the main structure we found a fun exhibit of Automata which kept the boys busy for a while. A quick blast in the photo booth, Shea only just sneaked into shot even though he was pulling his best photo face! 
Looking forward to visit again in summertime and to play and explore the rockpools on the shore below. 
Connor wears Magpie Boots and Shea wears Achilles in Emerald Leo 

 

 

Inspirations
As with each season we are inspired and influenced by exhibitions, colours and things that we have seen. Our Spring Summer 18 collection "Colours of the Tribe" takes influence from the work of African photographer Malike Sidibe who's portraits of African culture in the 1960s are just brilliant. Having fallen in love with his work years ago when I bought a book of his photos of African dancers, there was a small exhibition of his portraits at Somerset House in London so I went along. Strong portraits shot with a simple backdrop which clashes patterns and texture, not to mention the outfits and confident poses. Shot in black and white you can only imagine the colours!
Combine that with a contemporary burst of bold colour and a little bit of streetwear styling and hey presto: new season, "Colours of the Tribe".

 

 

 

Mother's Day
Oh for a few flowers on Mother's Day! We're not big on days like Mother's Day in our house, the boys usually make me a lovely card and I get an extra cuddle or two throughout the day which is always nice. This year Tom headed off to play football and I played with the boys out the back of the house, and nothing says Happy Mother's Day quite like a game of football, but just once it would be nice to be given some flowers. 
Achilles shoes in Copper with Daffodils - bought by me ;)
Dancing boots
Boots that are made for dancing and twirling in: Jackdaw Boots in Tan. 
Currently sold out but we'll be re-making our  Jackdaw Boots in tan later in the season so if you missed out on these before then watch this space. We'll also be launching the Jackdaw Boots in Black in the next couple of weeks...
Photos by @piperandpoppies
Spring Snowdrops
The first signs of Spring are starting to appear and the sight of snowdrops marks the promise of many an adventure to come. Making tents and secret dens in the woods is always fun and even more so when your favourite teddybears keep you company. Oak and his photographer mum Natasha braved the cold temperatures to enjoy the change in seasons while Winter turns to Spring. Wrapped up warm in his long red socks and Jackdaw boots Oak is certainly ready to set up camp in the blanket snowdrops and enjoy his teddybears picnic in style. 
  
Read all about Oak's adventures over on Junior Style. Photographs by Natasha Bridges
  • Page 1 of 12
  • Page 1 of 12