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Meet Ella’s menagerie

Meet Ella's Menagerie When we moved into our new house it was our mission to create a little menagerie of cool animals and characters – admittedly they are almost all ceramic, fabric or wood, but Dr B and I love them nonetheless and have invented back stories for all of them.

We have a collection of characters ‘protecting’ every room; here is a selection of our favourites…

Ceramic Bulls (C) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

Ferdinand and Isabella
We met this couple of bulls at Judy’s Vintage Fair in Bethnal Green. We got them for a song (I think a fiver for the pair). The mother and son duo are from Pamplona in Spain, Isabella is a bohemian pacifist and really didn’t want her boy getting into bull fighting so she came to East London after hearing that was where the art was at. However when Isabella heard about Wivenhoe’s amazing artistic heritage and community she was convinced this pretty estuary town was the perfect place to bring up her son – especially when she read about Wiv’s connection with Richard Chopping, Dennis Wirth-Miller and Francis Bacon in this article here.

Ceramic Bulls (C) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

Ceramic Cats (C) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

Henry and Matilda
This Anglo-French couple were first introduced to us at Divine Intervintage. Theirs is a beautiful story of love beyond the boundaries of class. Henry is a good East End boy, poor but honest with a musical hall past. Matilda, on the other hand, went to the finest Parisian finishing schools and dined with the créme de la créme of French society. According to Matilda the duo met when some cad had left her stranded outside the Royal Opera House in the rain. Henry was passing by and charmed her with his ready wit and impeccable manners – he has certainly charmed us!

Wooden Sparrow (C) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk
Cedric the Sparrow
Standing proud and resplendent in maple, Cedric may be a beautiful wooden turned Sparrow by designer Lars Beller Fjetland but what isn’t so well known is that Cedric’s also a leading academic. He has given lectures all around the world and is an expert in Egyptology – in fact he was working in the Cairo Museum of Antiquities when it all started kicking off in Tahrir Square. He prefers doing his research in the modernist masterpiece that is the Essex University Albert Sloman Library.

Wooden Sparrow (C) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

Wooden Figure (C) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

Thoreau
Cedric is very close to our resident poet Thoreau, an Alexander Girard handmade doll. He’s had a fairly colourful life, spending time in Havana, San Francisco, Ibiza and a period with Andy Warhol at the Factory. However he is notoriously discreet so he’s rubbish for getting gossip out of. But BRILLIANT for screenprinting and film-making tips!

Wooden Figure (C) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

Cloth Cat (C) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

Ian
This cloth cat has been friends with us for a long time. We met him at Family Tree in Exmouth Market. Ian’s life has been, well, eventful, and while he is mostly sober, sometimes we have been known to find him in a smoke-filled haze listening to Black Sabbath or hard-core nineties rave very loudly on his headphones with a thousand-yard stare on the go – we don’t judge him. We love him.

Cloth Cat (C) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

Wooden Owl (C) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

Mark
Luckily Ian has Mark. Mark is a Christian and, while DrB and I are not ‘believers’ we respect this wooden owl’s views. He has a qualification in counselling and is very understanding of Ian’s erratic behaviour having worked in various hostels around the country.




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7 lovely things for the weekend

It’s been a busy week here at Ella’s Place – I’ve been sending my Christmas stationery sets to the printers (more of that in good time) and drawing and painting for an upcoming book project (more of that later, too) as well as editing magazines. In the thick of it it’s lovely when little things fall in front of you that inspire you, take you to a different place or simply make you smile. Here are seven things that did just that this week.

Heleniums – 7 lovely things for the weekend at https://ellasplace.co.ukDr B took this photo of the little clump of heleniums and blue agastache growing in our garden. Such colours!
Lorien Stern via Anthologymag.com – 7 lovely things for the weekend at https://ellasplace.co.ukI really like the playfulness of Lorien Stern’s ceramics. You can see more of them at anthologymag.com.
Hello House via Design Milk – 7 lovely things for the weekend at https://ellasplace.co.ukWhat fun! The Hello House is a new facade on a Victorian house in Melbourne, Australia. It certainly beats a doormat saying ‘welcome’. See more at Design Milk.
Mlle Hipolyte paper jungle wall deco vis Fubiz – 7 lovely things for the weekend at https://ellasplace.co.ukMlle Hipolyte’s paper fresco in relief called Tropical Jungle is amazing. It features exotic birds and a black panther – and it’s really on trend for the coming year. See more at Fubiz.net.
Tori Murphy cushions – 7 lovely things for the weekend at https://ellasplace.co.ukTori Murphy‘s homewares, all woven and made in Nottingham, are lovely – but I particularly like this shot of cushions all piled in a corner. It’s got more impact than seeing one cushion on a chair – and of course it makes you want to dive right in.
O is for Owl LO RESThis folky little owl is actually a musical instrument. He seems to have found his way into the middle of this wooden O. O for owl.
Vietnamese thatched hideaway via Dezeen – 7 lovely things for the weekend at https://ellasplace.co.ukIt’s been such a busy week I’ve been dreaming of escapes – this thatched and bamboo hideaway in Vietnam looks just the thing. Via Dezeen. Have a great weekend!