February 22, 2013 in my london
As a continuation of my ‘through the window‘ photo series that I thought I would share a day trip with you we took as a family, from Wesminster to Greenwich by boat on the River Thames. Our goal was to see the Cutty Sark, restored and open to the public once more, as we had taken our son when he was a toddler before it closed for the renovation and it was almost lost to the terrible fire. As usual I had the camera with me and I abstracted the views through the window while we all took in the amazing views. It was an extremely dark and rainy winter day, but in the boat it was cosy and fine.
We hopped on a Thames Clipper at Embankment pier and the half an hour boat trip took us past so many of London’s landmarks. We travelled past the Millennium wheel, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, the South Bank, past the Gherkin, the Globe theatre, the Tower of London, under Tower Bridge and on past Canary Wharf to Greenwich. There are so many historic sights on either side from the middle of the river.
We had a long look around the Cutty Sark and made our way to the Ansel Adams exhibition a short stroll away in the National Maritime Museum. Walking back we had a wander through the crafty weekend market and pressed our noses up against the windows of the traditional old pie and eel shops, and admired the Georgian architecture. Greenwich is rather beautiful, even on a grey, rainy day.
By the time we reached the pier to wait for our Clipper, the sky had turned an extremely dramatic dark blue-grey and the lights of Canary Wharf and the City glowed like jewels under its weight.
I would highly recommend a trip down the Thames by boat, come rain or shine.
February 18, 2013 in news
I was recently interviewed by journalist Jennifer Gaskin for the new February issue of Making magazine as part of their ‘Meet the makers’ series. Jennifer popped over to my home one chilly winter’s day and, over a cup of coffee and biscuits at my kitchen table, asked me a series of questions. She made me feel very comfortable and the article is really lovely – thank you Jennifer!
Issue 31 of Making magazine – Beautiful crafts for your home, is also packed with lots of ideas for projects, diy instructions and crafty articles. You can pick up a copy at WH Smiths and all good newsagents now.
February 12, 2013 in flowers
Snowdrops are such a fresh little flower, so simple and delicate yet elegant. I‘m always excited when I first see them poking their heads through the soil in my garden. I planted the bulbs several years ago, purposefully in a little spot near the kitchen doors where they could catch my eye, and I now enjoy them blooming every year.
With this little vision of joy, you just know that Spring is not far away.
For some of the projects in my book The Homemade Home for Children, I made several variations but there just wasn’t space to show them all within the book. So I thought it would be interesting to show you some of the ones that we didn’t photograph for the book. They are extensions of the projects, helping to show how the basic idea can be taken and interpreted in different ways to create unique items for your home. Shown here is a variation of the Graphic Box project on pages 158 and 159 of the book and even though it was meant for small children, I really like the monochrome graphic quality and modernist feel and would be happy to have it on display anywhere in my house. This version hasn’t been seen anywhere before so thought I would take some photos and share it on my blog.
I had bought the old printer’s trays years ago from an antiques market in Greenwich, just because I liked it and thought I would use it at some point. I painted it white, inset some vintage map graphics into the back of holes and painted some wooden pieces in different shapes, taken from an old children’s game, and stuck them in with sticky pads so they were raised away from the back. I painted it in the simple black and white colour scheme as babies react well to monochrome visuals.
The large printer’s tray that features in the book was bought at my local car boot sale and I photographed this too below. The idea for was to create teaching aids that you would be happy to have on the wall and keep for future generations. I also made one for colours which is shown in the book and there is also another version that looks like a little house in the introduction pages if you have a copy of the book to flick through.
I wanted this project to show how you can make an attractive, unusual and unique item that will inspire children’s learning and look great hanging on the wall or placed on a shelf. I hope it succeeds.
If you haven’t got a copy of the book you can see some examples of the type of projects I created here.
February 3, 2013 in inspiring places
One freezing morning last month, I caught an early train out of London to look at a location for a magazine shoot I have been working on. The countryside was covered in frost and the fields whizzed before my eyes. I love how the landscape became pastel, the colours watered down by the layer of frost. Trees disappeared, fading into the distance, becoming ghostly in the damp, foggy air. I took these images through the window of the train, capturing fleeting moments of time on a chilly English morning.
Taking photos through windows and abstracting the landscape has become a regular thing I do on long journeys now. It began through the car window whilst visiting Tate Modern one rainy day and from the train on my family trip to Edinburgh last October. I have some more images through the windows of a boat, taken on a family day trip over Christmas, that I will post soon too.
Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, creative director and consultant based in London. She is a Contributing Stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for over 18 years, and is known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading international brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for top architecture practices and property development companies. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.
To enquire about commissioning Sania for commercial or editorial projects, please use the contact form.