10 Pineapple Picks!

10 Pineapple picks ellasplace.co.uk

At the end of last year I went to lots of Spring/Summer 2016 press shows. From high-end interior brands to high street favourites, all the retailers featured one key motif – the pineapple.

Inspired by this, I did a drawing/illustration of one of my own little fruit, which is now available as a print from my Etsy store .

Ella Johnston Pineapple print, £12. Etsy. ellasplace.co.uk
Ella Johnston Pineapple print, £12. Etsy.

Ella Johnston Pineapple print, £12. Etsy. ellasplace.co.uk
Ella Johnston Pineapple print, £12. Etsy.

I’ve also rounded up 10 of my favourite pineapple products in the shops right now. It’s amazing how one motif can be adapted to suit such an eclectic range of styles… As a little postscript, this is as near as a pineapple as I can get to as I’m allergic to them; one bite and I swell up like a sea sponge!

Glass vase, £20 BHS, Pineapple Trend ellasplace.co.uk
Glass vase, £20 BHS
Pineapple apron, £24.95. Thornback and Peel. Pineapple trend ellasplace.co.uk
Pineapple apron, £24.95. Thornback and Peel
Prints Eisenherz Pineapple print, £7. DaWanda. Pineapple trend ellasplace.co.uk
Prints Eisenherz Pineapple print, £7. DaWanda
Pols Potten Pineapple Jar, £45 Amara, Pineapple Trend ellasplace.co.uk
Pols Potten Pineapple Jar, £45 Amara
Decorative Pineapple, £89.95, Mia Fleur. Pineapple trend ellasplace.co.uk
Decorative Pineapple, £89.95, Mia Fleur
Steel Grey Pineapple Bedlinen, £50, Secret Linen Store, Pineapple Trend ellasplace.co.uk
Steel Grey Pineapple Bedlinen, £50, Secret Linen Store
Zeus Lamp £80 House of Fraser Pineapple Trend ellasplace.co.uk
Zeus Lamp £80 House of Fraser
Temerity Jones Pineapple trinket dish SS15, £5, Lisa Angel. Pineapple trend ellasplace.co.uk
Temerity Jones Pineapple trinket dish SS15, £5, Lisa Angel.
Copper Pineapple Ice Bucket, £40 Oliver Bonas. Pineapple Trend ellasplace.co.uk
Copper Pineapple Ice Bucket, £40 Oliver Bonas
Pineapple Fruit Platter, £12.75. The Contemporary Home. Pineapple Trend ellasplace.co.uk
Pineapple Fruit Platter, £12.75. The Contemporary Home

DIY: Embossed clay jewellery holders

Clay jewellery holders (c) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

These embossed clay jewellery holders are really easy to make and take minutes to create. This simple DIY is great if you’re looking to make a handmade gift as they can be adapted to suit all design tastes.

It’s my new year’s resolution to revamp our bedroom – I’ve gathered a collection of inspiring looks to set the mood for the boudoir and I also want to have homemade elements to make it more personal. Although I do have a jewellery box I’m always dumping my earrings and necklaces at the side of my bed before I go to sleep so I wanted to make something that would at least keep them in one place when I did so.

Clay jewellery holders (c) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

Making these holders couldn’t be simpler, I rolled out some air-dry clay and then embossed it with my hand-carved rubber stamps. I cut the clay into squares and gently shaped them over some bowls to create wells. After the clay had dried, I coloured the leaves with a light washes of acrylic paint to give them a bit of colour. I’d imagine if you sealed them with a waterproof varnish the would make attractive soap dishes too.

Clay jewellery holders (c) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

Clay jewellery holders (c) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

Clay jewellery holders (c) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

Hack: Simple ways to update your plates with ceramic pens

Update your plates (c) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

As my one of my previous post suggests I am really playing with pattern at the moment, trying to free myself up as an illustrator and exploring ways of drawing to see what ideas ‘land’.

Update your plates (c) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

I thought I’d try doing things beyond pencil and paper to really put my mind away from the subconscious self-imposed constraints that I may place on my illustration.

Update your plates (c) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

I had these spare plain plates that I’d bought originally for photography props when I was editing Homemaker Mag, I actually never used them because they were too plain and the rim wasn’t delicate enough for any of the shots (it’s amazing what you obsess about on a shoot and what works and what doesn’t).

Any-hoo these thick plate rims really allowed themselves for drawing on and I thought at the very least I’d be updating some dull crockery. So out came my cobalt blue ceramic pen and had a little play, here are the results.

Update your plates (c) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

I gave myself a 20-minute time frame to do them so it was five mins per plate. I did this because I didn’t want to overthink it. I wanted the designs to be spontaneous and completely from the top of my head. So there’s fishes, some Charles Rennie Mackintoshesque roses, wheat germs and blue retro-style flowers.

Update your plates (c) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

I like the plates and am pleased with the designs. I think I’m going to looking to the wheat germ and fish shapes further. I’ll keep you updated!

Update your plates (c) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

Getting smart with Sharpies: Mexican inspired coasters

Mexican Coasters (c) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

I’ve recently got obsessed with all things Mexican. There was a reason for this, myself and the good Dr B always cook something nice on New Year’s Eve and this year we fancied a feast of Mexican style veggie food.

As I was researching various tasty vegetarian recipes* to prepare for us, I kept coming across some beautiful Mexican tile designs. They were absolutely stunning. Not only did I want these tiles in my kitchen and bathroom (when we get round to doing them up) but I was so inspired that I needed these designs in my life straight away.

Although many of the tiles came in a gorgeous array of different colour combinations, I was really drawn to the blue and white ones (you know me, I love to keep designs simple when I can help it). So I got out my Sharpie pens, grabbed my spare mdf coasters from my old Shibori coaster project and set to work on whipping up these beauties.

Mexican Coasters (c) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

Mexican Coasters (c) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

First I gave the mdf squares a lick of white acrylic paint. Once they were dry I drew out my designs freehand on the coasters in pencil. I didn’t want to trace the designs directly as I wanted to add my touches to them to make them my own. I also opted for freehand because, and I know some of my design friends won’t like this, I don’t like it when everything is straight on and symmetrical. I like to keep things wonky every now and again – for me it’s more fun that way.

Mexican Coasters (c) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

I’m going to give them a little varnish so I can actually use them (I was in such haste to draw the designs on and then get them shot that I clean forgot) but I thought I’d share them with you now as I’m chuffed with them. Can’t wait to get them out now.

The whole exercise has got me thinking of my own pattern designs, can I be more ornate? If I keep my colour scheme simple, can I go to town on the motifs? This project has inspired me to have a bit more of a play and to come up with some new work – watch this space for what I do with this.

Mexican Coasters (c) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk


Mexican Coasters (c) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk
Mexican Coasters (c) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

*Spiced roast cauliflower and chickpea tacos with a yoghurt lime dressing and salsa plus nachos with black bean chilli and guacamole with a side order of red cabbage slaw and smoked paprika roast potatoes, if you’re asking. No, we couldn’t eat it all and it lasted through to the next day and beyond. I did take pictures but the light was rubbish and to be honest we were too intent on scoffing rather than blog stuff – sorry!