When African-chique and Owls collide

There are two recent purchases that I'm rather enamoured by and have to share with the world. Partially to spread the love because it's always great to discover a new designer, photographer, blogger who can en-rich your life in their small way, and partially to simply gloat (don't tell me you don't experience an iota of glee when you have a one off item that everyone loves...coz you're lying!).

The first item caught my eye because of it's style and shape: a cute, simple, messenger, satchel bag with a chain handle that could be used as a 'night out' bag or casually. I'm not a high maintenance kind of a girl so anything that is versatile and makes my life easier is all good with me. So I was sold- but I hadn't even seen the front of it yet- all I had been looking at was the chic, plain back of it. On the front was this striking image on an owl. I love owls! I've always associated them with benevolence and wisdom. I'm pretty sure Accessorize recognise me for being 'the Owl Girl' in all their branches now.... Of course I purchased the bag in black...and in white...(don't judge me!)

Just big enough to fit my phone, purse, headphones, diary, spectacles...(kitchen sink.)..

Just big enough to fit my phone, purse, headphones, diary, spectacles...(kitchen sink.)..

Yup I love them! They're affordable and surprisingly spacious. They're made from silicone too so veggie/vegans can also enjoy this guilt free. The chain handle is removable so I sometimes replace the straps with something different- like a white leather one- which switches up the style (as long as it has a clasp attachment it will work).  Now these bags are quite tricky to get in London but will soon be available in a boutique Etsy in a shop called Osterley & Spring (look up OsterleyandSpring on Etsy.com/uk). They're not up and running yet, but will officially open at the end of April.

My second item is custom made. It's always a joy to have something created, especially, for you. Just makes you feel that extra bit unique. Sometime ago I bought a hanging basket, wicker, rattan (so many names) chair and when it arrived the cushions were covered in this cream/magnolia cotton material. I vowed that I would find a way to jazz it up but how? Do I use the dreaded-I don't know how to get rid of this horrid thing so I'll mask it with a-throw? No, God, anything but that...

Then I met a woman call Tumaini; a very talented designer. After showing me some of her handy work, I knew she was the one who would show my chair some much needed, tailor made TLC. On my last trip to Nigeria I had purchased a whole load of ankara fabric which was sitting in a box resenting me daily, for letting it go to waste. 'Perfect!', I thought, 'That will make my cushions look proper African-chique!'

Once Tumaini measure it all up, she set to work and her magical fingers created something rather beautiful:

Before...and After

Before...and After

It looks sooooo much better! I feel like I should be on a sandy beach with an drink in my hand and the sun kissing my face! You  can see I decided on two different fabric designs for the cushions and the contrast compliments the chair very well. The craftwoman-ship is top quality. I recommend Kai Personal Designs whole heartedly.

Tumaini's company is called KAI PERSONAL DESIGNS  Lovable Embroidered Gifts and Services

TEL: 07866863946     Email:  kaipersonaldesigns@yahoo.co.uk    Twitter:   @KaiPD

Check her out; she's awesome! And keep your eyes peeled for Osterley & Spring!