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Final Craven thoughts for 2010..

December is always a time that forces one to reflect..maybe it’s an inherent reflex from years of ancestors paying homage to Janus, maybe its because the media reminds us to resolve over and over again. Whichever it is, I am a believer in and practicer of reevaluating ones life and reveling in the memories or making changes where necessary. This blog is no exception.

I’ve noticed many blogs promising ‘exciting things’ and whatnot in 2011..I can’t promise you excitement but I can promise you that there are some nifty changes and improvements in the works. This year I saw my audience morph from just me, to spammers { !! } to friends I know personally to friends of friends to web-mates, to food & design enthusiasts and more. As the visitors have grown, stayed or breezed by, the one thing that has remained the same is my dedication to writing about things related to food and the food experience that I personally find inspiring and just plain worth knowing. I hope that you have found craven maven’s content equally as rewarding.

One thing that I posted in 2010 was the Kitchen renovation inspiration..after a sudden change of events leading to 24 hours notice that I would be besieged by construction workers, the wood paneled bane of my existence, aka my old kitchen, was ripped to the studs and re-plastered, painted and made more efficient for cooking and entertaining. During the dust and chaos it was extremely cathartic to mood board and dream a wishlist of what my new kitchen would include; so much so that it was a series that fast became one of my favourite blog series of 2010. In 2011, you will see the reveal of this partial renovation..as well as a tie up to a few other loose ends from 2010. { LOST writer’s I am not! }. In case you’ve forgotten about my kitchen redesign inspiration wishlist(s), here they are for you one more time:

kitchen inspriation

1. Vintage Mod sideboard. 2. Boskke skyplanter . 3. Digsmed Circular Spice rack. 4. Skinny La’Minx tea towel. 5. Rachand Juicer

kitchen redesign insp II

1. Turquoise Poly Plastic Mat. 2. Pegboard for hanging pots and tools. 3. A chalkboard wall. 4. An amazing milk bottle chandelier. 5. A unique and unusual pestle and mortar.

kitchen redesign insp II

1. Illuminated cocktail cabinet. 2. Vintage Artwork. 3. Popcorn popper. 4. Giraffe Cafe’s new family cookbook. 5. A very intriguing knife rack.

kitchen redesign insp 4

1. Ikea Asker series wall system. 2. Bose Soundock. 3. Beast Feet tureen. 4. H&M Tea Towels.

kitchen redesign insp 5

1. Star Trek Enterprise Pizza Cutter. 2. Culin Home Decor Knives. 3. An Organised Kitchen. 4. Tea Towels by Hammocks & High Tea

Some made the cut, some didn’t – some are still on the wishlist til the budget will allow, but all in all I am pleased with how things turned out.

Roll on 2011, a year to be one year older, a smidge wiser and always, always a wee bit craven.


see previous post pages for picture credits

If I could sum up this weekend in one word it would be: cake

geek cake

Yes, cake. I ate much too much of it. Ice Cream cake, boston creme tarts, chocolate cake with frosting the list goes on. A friend of mine sent me the above picture of what she termed ‘geek cake’. I think that is C# written on it, not sure…but she was right to send it to me as I think its brilliantly kewl.

A few other interesting foods I spotted:

apple worldapple globe

choc dominoescaramel filled chocolate dominoes!!!

found via here

Sena Gu Ceramics

Sena Gu Cauliflower vasea cauliflower vase

To continue in the today’s theme of AMAZING concepts – have you heard of Sena Gu? Educated at the Royal College of Art, Sena creates mentally stimulating pieces of ceramics by fusing functional objects with unexpected content.

sena gu lemon juicerjuicer, complete with porcelain lemon

The whimsy and humour in her work is touching, it makes you smile, but – and what I love most – its totally functional! There is no doubt that these objects would be a humorous and decorative feature for any kitchen!

all images copyright of sena gu

Inside Tinderbox

Remember when I wrote about the coffee shop Tinderbox a few months ago? And then blogged from London that I’d actually popped by the local Tinderbox for some coffee and croissant action?

Well I just found a few shots I took there knocking around the archives and thought I would share..

neon signthe neon sign upon entry into the Islington cafe

interiora wall of windows floods the space with blinding light

elektra coffee machinethe vintage looking coffee machine

coffee and a book on the terracecoffee and a book on the terrace

door signthe rugged industrial elements

the goodstastes as good as it looks

interiorthe magazine rack and notice board look nothing like those in a cafe

light fixturethis light fixture is much bigger than you’d imagine

all images using shakeitphoto

Your placemat or mine

Your placemat or mine

Hot off the tail of my post a couple weeks back about the wonderful ceramics of People will Always Need Plates (PWANP) – the graphic loving company have come out with a set of placemats, humourously named ‘your placemant or mine’. The mat images come in eight designs and are a variety of solid coloured line drawn houses and retail in sets of 4 placemats for £40 or a set of 4 coasters for £20.


As with the mugs and plates of PWANP the placemat range pays tribute to the architecture of Britain through the ages. For more info go to the PWANP site.

images via people will always need plates

Jake Tilson’s ‘thing’ for food

jake tilson

Jake Tilson has a thing for food. So much so that he wrote, photographed and designed the book A Tale of 12 Kitchens, Family Cooking in Four Countries. But what makes this book different from your average food book is that its a personal journey through the cities, cusines and kitchens that entertained Jake throughout his life. From childhood homes, to college flats, to marital first homes.

Jake Tilson is not a chef, not a ‘trained’ cook, but rather an artist and a father. Who due to his creative inclinations looks at the things we do every day at a different slant. A slant that forces us to stop, think and question why…why we do the things we do.


“Why do we cook what we cook? What has the deepest effect on our culinary habits? Is it childhood, marriage, the neighbourhood or what we saw on television last night? ”

I love this line of questioning because it is one i’ve at times asked myself. I’ve found times where my siblings or friends and I will acquire a taste for exactly the same product even though we are many miles away from each other and have different dietary persuasions. Why does this always happen??


Pictures of the kitchens of Jake’s life, handwritten recipes and collage populate the pages of this book. Coupled with personal stories and characters this book goes beyond being ‘just about food’ to being a touching gastro-self portrait of the life and love of a regular man. A man who has a thing for food.

Jeff will be showing artworks at the Anti-Design Festival running through Sept 26th in London. More info here.

all images copyright jake tilson – a tale of 12 kitchens

Anti-Design Festival

The Anti-Design Festival kicked off in London this past weekend. What IS the Anti-Design Festival you ask? Their manifesto states:

As a response to 25 years of cultural deep freeze in the UK, the Anti Design Festival will attempt to unlock creative fires and ideas, exploring spaces hitherto deemed out-of-bounds by a purely commercial criteria.

Created initially as a direct response to the pretty commerciality of the London Design Festival, the festival will shift the focus from bums-on-seats to brain food, and from taste and style to experiment and risk. The festival will provide a rare space for unhindered exploration and creative opportunity, where ideas may fail as equally as succeed.

…and as expected, food was an inspiration in some of the works. I was especially attracted to this somewhat cute yet surreal mash up of a young ballerina girl meets ice cream cone meets milk explosion and sweets.

Ice cream ballerina surrealist mashup

I’m not sure who the artist is for this one, but if you know, send me an email!

The festival ends on September 26th, go to the ADF site for more information about exhibitors and locations.

image via the anti-design festival