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Happy Living: The Japanese House at The Barbican

8 June 2017

All year round, the Barbican Centre hosts a diverse range of exhibitions within the fields of contemporary art, design, fashion and architecture. When I used to live in the Golden Lane estate I could easily pop over and be truly inspired by what was currently on display. Now I have 2 little boys and live further East, it’s a bit tricky to get the time to go as regularly. I managed to find some time to see The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945 last month and it really did not disappoint.

When you arrive, the exhibition starts on the mezzanine which gives you a terrific bird’s eye view of the installation-scale models by some of Japan’s most iconic architects. My favourite was the fantastic wooden teahouse by Terunobu Fujimori that sits in a minimal garden of grassy mounds. You can climb inside, take a seat and people watch through the massive porthole window (pic above, right). I thought it would make the best tree house in my back garden  (you may have read my Tree House inspiration post earlier last month here) The shape of this tree carving (pic above, left) reminds me of my Giant House Cushion.

japanese house barbican

japanese house barbican

I loved the styling of the Moriyama House model (by SANAA’s Ryue Nishizawa, pic above right) which is a combination of 10 stark white-painted prefab units including fully -furnished rooms. In Tokyo, this is a real building which that is co-habited by Yasuo Moriyama and a community of  5 other tenants. The maze-like structure and gardens have such an unusual warmth when you walk through and you discover personal possessions in every corner. From piles of books, vinyl records, functional kitchen utensils and ambient lighting. When can I move in?

I also want to highlight Hideyuki Nakayama‘s series of childlike sketches (see pic above). All his buildings designs use these drawings as a starting point.  It’s the same approach I take when inventing new knitted creatures.  I think about the way that children draw things and how uninhibited it can be. Like drawing a cat with ten legs and three eyes or a bird with an exaggerated big head.

The exhibition is on until the 25th June. I hope you have time to visit and enjoy it as much I did! Make sure you visit The Conservatory too. It’s a bit of a hidden gem.

MYO with Line us

7 June 2017

Presenting Line us… the robot that can draw!

We were very privileged to have the inventors Durrell Bishop and Robert Poll at the MYO Launch party. Line us also helped us illustrate our guest interviews in volume 1 of MYO Magazine.

Learn more about it here at the MYO Blog.

Make Your Own Fox Mask with Noodoll

5 June 2017

Our friends at Noodoll have some great creative ideas to get you making! Donna has shared how to make this super easy DIY Fox mask over at Noodoll’s blog. Looks a bit like Cyril Squirrel Fox! Find out how to make your own here. Take a look at Donna’s Pinterest board for more Mask inspiration.

You’ll also find more fantastic coverage of our MYO Magazine Launch Party from the other weekend. Thank you to the Noodoll team Yi Ying, Darcy and Dana for joining our fun!

Father’s Day Gift Ideas – 18th June

1 June 2017

It’s Father’s Day very soon. Is your dad top of the pops? A master chef? Perhaps a keen cyclist? An angry bird? A big papa bear? (or just really hairy?)

We have some smashing gift ideas for all kinds of dads this Father’s Day! Cosy scarves and hats, fun ceramics for tea and toast, soft cushions and cheeky greeting cards.

Shop Gifts for Him

Fathers Day Gifts



Home Inspiration: Special Day Decoration Ideas

31 May 2017

Party time! I hope these decoration ideas inspire your special day, whether you’re planning a wedding, a special garden party or an impromptu excuse to celebrate summer.

Details Details: (Pictured above) my bespoke knitted arrows leading the way at YSP my Endanger Species art installation in 2012. Donna Wilson faces plates, Greg and Grace. DIY Daisy backdrop by The House That Lars Built. Bright Mexican paper flower backdrop, quirky wooden stools for each little guest.

donna wilson wedding decoration

Decorations: I love spending time outdoors. The way the sunlight changes throughout the day is so magic. Simple decorations made out of paper are so easy and using coloured paper make a mega impact. Here’s DIY paper flowers here’s the how to guide for these realistic looking ones. For something more extravagant I’d love to get my friend Tord Boontje is so masterful with delicate natural floral shapes. I have this same lamp (see picture above top left) as a focal feature in my bathroom at home. Real flowers are also so classic. I love my regular delivery from Freddie’s Flowers. My sister makes such wonderful displays, foraging country flowers and displays them in vintage vases. Here’s my Bird Jug with freshly picked blossoms (photo by Erin McIntyre).

Cakes Designs: As you know, I use nature as inspiration for much of my work. Edible decorations on the top of cakes and pies make great table settings. A fruit pie with delicately shaped pastry leaves by Judy Kim on FeedFeed, herb infused pastel cakes by A Subtle Revelry. fig and blackberry cake (with a hint of decorative rosemary by Twigg Studio. Also pictured are Donna Wilson Forest and Acorn Dinner Plate and dream Mendels cake tower from Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel.

donna wilson wedding cakes

Don’t forget to bring a gift! Shop our gift ideas here:

Gifts for Wedding
Gift Wrap and Trimmings
Gifts for Her
Gifts for Him

Glass City Vase Donna WIlson Styled

MYO Launch Party

30 May 2017

I hope everyone had great bank holiday weekend and enjoyed the glorious sunshine. On Saturday we hosted the launch party for my new magazine MYO. Wow! What a great turn out. Lots of creative minds (little and large) attended our afternoon of creativity at Protein Studios in Shoreditch, London.

I can’t wait to share pics of everyone’s handmade masks, badges, animal cupcakes, necklaces and selfies with our knitted creatures. If you were at our launch party, join our competition. Please share your pics using hashtag #myocreate and our favourite pic will receive a prize of £100 gift voucher to spend at www.donnawilson.com

We’ll be sharing our own pics of the day over the next couple of days. We’ll have coverage of the creative workshops and of course, the brilliant puppet show “Goose The Bear”.

MYO Launch Party Audience Trees

MYO Launch Party Audience

Read all about it at the MYO Newsstand.

MYO Launch Party Audience

MYO Launch Party Donna Wilson

Thank you to everyone that attended this fantastic afternoon of creativity. I hope you feel inspired to get making!

Also, thank you to our sponsors Hey! Yum, Noodoll, Pip Organic, Rebel Kitchen. A very special thanks to Ljubljana Puppet Theatre, BKD, The Amazing Art Cart, Rosy Nicholas, Line Us, Protein Studios, Gareth Hacker and the Donna Wilson / MYO team for all your hard work and making this spectacular event such a wonderful afternoon.

Photo credit: Gareth Hacker.