Monday, 24 December 2012

Have a hippy Christmas!

The arty Californian community of Laguna Beach has a curiously cool way of commemorating Christmas. The perfect place for beach bums, surfers, artists and retired rock musicians, it is also the beautiful backdrop for Oliver Stone’s violent new film, Savages. Anyway, check out these fabulous hand painted Christmas decorations…

ShopCurious hopes you have a very hippy Christmas.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Crackers for Christmas cactus?

Is anyone a grower of cactuses – or should I say cacti? If so, do you have any of the variety that only flower once a year… usually around Christmas time? I’ve been doing a survey of cactuses cacti because they’re such curious plants. I spotted this giant flowering cactus in Sausalito - it must have been at least 10 feet tall.

And below are some scarily spiky cactus leaves seen in Laguna.  I rather like the idea of carving out a message for posterity… but I wouldn’t want to harm the long term health of the natural vegetation (or myself) in the process.

Closer to home, I saw this seriously strange looking specimen at the Chelsea Physic Garden.

Oh, and we’ve got some curiously exotic one-of-a-kind vintage style cactus brooches at ShopCurious. They’re made from upcycled stones, shells and glass - arranged into colourful mosaics by artist-designer Annie Sherburne.

Never mind Christmas, you can give unusual gifts at any time of the year.  And if you’re totally cactus crazy, the British Cactus and Succulent Society produces a quarterly magazine called Cactus World… 

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

New directions for 2013

You may have noticed that our website and blog have gone a bit quiet lately - I've been working on some new projects. I do hope the world doesn’t end before the New Year, as I have exciting plans for ShopCurious. 

Actually, I’ve got a few too many ideas about what to do next with the website and brand, so any helpful mentoring advice would be much appreciated (please email me on

If you’re signed up to our mailing list, you’ll be first to hear about new features planned for later next year. And if you would like to be a part of our expansion, please let me know – especially if you are digitally literate, creative and curious…

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving from ShopCurious! We're curious to hear about your table decorations. Do you have a turkey table centrepiece, turkey napkins rings, turkey tableware or other turkey themed home accessories?

Do you?

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A sad day

I'd rather not dwell on the subject of death, but now the trees have lost their leaves, almost everything growing above ground level is a lifeless brown. Then there’s the interminable greyness of the British sky, the drizzly (or downpoury, depending on the day), rain - and the fact it gets dark so impossibly early. It makes the late Autumn and Winter months something you either have to get used to, or get SAD.

Today I was the latter as I helped my mother sprinkle my Dad’s ashes into a pot in the garden in the pouring rain. How did my mother pick out this curiously blue ceramic pot  - and why did she not opt one of our eco-friendly acorn urns

Well, she says she was drawn to it – and when she looked inside the bowl, she discovered that someone had painted a large ‘H’ inside, which is the initial of my Dad’s first name. So it was meant to be.

Anyway, we planted some flowers in the pot of her choice and some bulbs underneath – dark mauve fritillaries and irises to work with the blue of the pot.  The cyclamen are there purely because they are flowering at the moment  - I guess they too will die once it gets frosty? 

I love the fact that something new will grow out of my father’s ashes. I think it’s important to accept death as part of life, because everyone dies. Even animals. In fact, ShopCurious’s poet in residence, Matt Bryden, has written a poem about burying his cat.


The tool weighed heavy in my hands as I lowered
her in a blanket into the hole which perhaps
that night would be raided by foxes.
I brought the back of the spade down
hard against the soil, tried
not to laugh as I cast my eyes
at the ground before my family.
Afterwards, I went up to my room,
knelt on the bed and gazed outside.
I was sure my voice would be stronger if I spoke.

I’m looking forward to the Spring.