Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Shiny and New

So I finally took some time yesterday to jazz up the blog a bit having spent approximately 5 minutes on it the first time round. That cloudy background has been driving me crazy. I hope it looks good for you guys too as I have a pretty old school basic screen to work so it isn't always possible to tell. I'm super happy with the template I downloaded and adapted from Pugly Pixel (which has become one of my favourite and most resourceful blogs), it's also where I was inspired to try out our new banner using scans of fabric from the new Crooked collection which I orginally did for the website - so it's nice to re-use them. It also means I finally bothered to have a go with my own clipping masks which probably seems ridiculously  simple to photoshop geeks out there (that's cause it is) but as I'm just figuring it out as I go along, I had neglected to learn this useful little trick, so yay me!

Anyway there are still somethings that I think could do with tweaking but with with the Designer Open House & Arts Trail just around the corner I doubt I'll be getting to it for a while. In the meantime I'd love to hear any comments or suggestion you might have on the changes. I'm really happy to see that comments are starting to trickle so thank you Miss Bangkok and other anonymous commenter, it's lovely to hear your positive feedback.  Tori x

Monday, June 11, 2012


Alice Kell

So about a week or so ago I got to meet Alice Kell who popped round for a chat and to discuss her up-coming exhibition as the headlining artist of our Designer Open House & Mini Arts Trail. I saw her work exhibited in an empty retail space on the Derby high-street  a few years ago and never forgot it, so I was very chuffed when one day on Facebook she pops up as someone I might know. I didn't know her but as I was looking for someone new to fill some space on the Crooked House walls I decided to send her a message and a few weeks later on a sunny afternoon she was knocking on our door.

Suddenly I'm aware that I am feeling a little shy as she looks to me to lead the way so thankfully Megan shows up to break the ice, we discuss her art and show her the house I am pleased to find her to be approachable and candid. She tells us about her three main areas of focus; politics, beauty and lesbian art the latter of which intrigues me. Perhaps, like me you wonder what that entails? Well it seems for Alice it involves watching lesbian pornography trying to find 'moments of beauty' which she then interprets into line-drawings. I like this, while I'll happily admit it's the beauty that attracts me to her work, I enjoy her subversive edge and though I'm no art aficionado I am relieved to see she is not overly pretentious, she shares my dislike of artistic elitism and I think her work reflects this. So I'm very pleased to introduce Alice Kell, who also sent us this interview with Marley Butler creator of the artists' collective Naplew Productions, enjoy!


Friday, June 8, 2012


With the Designer Open House & Arts Trail only two weeks away I decided to take the opportunity to get know some of our contributers a little bit better so I'm very pleased to introduce to you Erica Godfrey - creator of the deliciously quirky, 'environmentally trendy' fashion brand Oddly Enough. Erica's work was first brought to my attenion by Leren Connor of to-be-irreplaceable as another designer who gets their thrills from breathing new life in objects people once regarded as junk. As a blogger, it probably comes as no surprise that I'm a big fan of up-cycling and more and more these days it seems to be cropping up as the fashion buzz-word of the moment so I'm thrilled that Erica has decided to jump on board as we created the Designer Open House  with a view of it being one of the ways we can help promote local creative talent and I would certainly view Oddly Enough as one to watch. She was kind enough to tell us a bit about her self so here she is in her own words:


Oddly Enough makes handmade and up-cycled, gifts and accessories. All items are handmade from odds & ends, we give them new life in one form or another.

Each item has its own individual personality, and is guaranteed to be 100% unique.


My aim is to show the world that with resourcefulness and imagination up-cyled, ethical fashion should not have to compromise on style or more importantly colour! My designs are heavily influenced by the resources available to me, through gathering and hunting for unwanted or unusable stock.


Oddly Enough was born as a reaction to waste, responding to the fast changing fashion industry which rids itself frequently of last seasons prints, fabrics and trims. By using traditional craft techniques in new ways and using alternative materials, I turn this waste into something new and desirable.

Taking on a new aesthetic; 'Pop Vintage' our new collection combines garments and accessories incorporating up-cycling and re-use.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

In the Crooked Kitchen

Tom Yam (Traditional Thai Soup)

Lately I've been missing Thailand and sometimes it really hits me that this time last year I was happily living and working there. Since coming back though I'd layed off the oriental food for a while, my cravings have tended towards traditonal British grub or mediterranean food, both of which are quite hard to find in South-East Asia.

Last weekend I went to visit my Dad who is currently quite poorly and spending some time in hospital, so I decided to cheer him up with a delicious traditional Thai recipe known for it's immune boosting properties and it's ability to fight off colds and viruses. So much so that it's even been subjected to scientific study. I realise that most people would consider the cold and flu season to be over but I still think this is a great summer recipe packed full of mouth-watering aromatic flavours. Hopefully it will keep any summer sniffles at bay leaving you free to make the most of the sunshine (if/when it returns).

What you will need:

  • 3 pints chicken stock
  • 4 sticks of lemongrass, lightly crushed
  • 1 bunch coriander with roots, crushed
  • Tom Yum Paste
  • 10 or So cherry tomatoes
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic finely chopped
  • 1-2 limes, juice only
  • 3fl oz tamarind water
  • 3 red chillies, thinly sliced
  • 3fl oz fish sauce (nam pla), or to taste
  • 3oz palm sugar (available from Asian supermarkets), use brown sugar if unavailable
  • Pak Choi (optional)
  • 1 can on coconut milk 
  • 1 Large bag of frozen tiger prawns (shelled and gutted)


Friday, June 1, 2012

The bi-annual Crooked House Designer Open House is growing! We're very pleased to announce that this time we will also be joined in hosting the event by our friends ElizaLeren Boutique and Bar One to put together an entire weekend of arts,crafts and music featuring some old Crooked House favourites as well as some brand new exhibitors showing for the first time at the Crooked House, so keep an eye out for up-coming exhibitor profiles over the next month! Of course, as well as turning the Crooked House into an emporium of pretty things you can expect all the usual Crooked trimmings such as home-made food and drinks. We've also invited some of our favourite musicians to take part and provide some light entertainment over the weekend culminating a special open mic on the Sunday evening at Bar One from 7pm onwards. Don't forget Crooked Knitwear customers can also enjoy discounts so make make sure you subscribe to our mailing list to recieve the full benefits and stay up to date on all the latest news.