Postmark London: Lea's Favorite Finds - Leafcutter Designs


Postmark London: Lea’s Favorite Finds

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This summer I had the big treat of spending two weeks in London, walking the city, haunting coffee shops, and uncovering treasures everywhere. Here are a few of my favorites…


Love their post boxes! But don’t get me wrong; I’m also quite fond of our cute blue ones here at home.



Pollock’s Toy Museum was a marvelous delight, jam packed full of a thousand+ historical games and toys. It was a total candy shop for someone like me. Wow wow wow.



Oh! Awesome! I had assumed Naef came up with this idea, but I guess it’s much older than I thought. Naef has a beautiful color mixing theory set of tops too.



Postcard Teas is magic. Sweet place, sweet people, sweet idea. And delicious tea!



At Postcard Teas – and on their website too! –  you can mail a postcard sack of tea to a friend! “Tea mail”!



At the V&A Museum, this little envelope-shaped stamp box stole my heart.



This watercolor set is about 2 inches long. I would totally wear one of these necklaces. You never know when you might need to add a dash of color to something.



Also at the V&A, there is a wonderful tea scoop collection. I especially liked the ones that were in the shapes of leaves. I like the idea of scooping tea leaves with leaf scoops.



These little globes live in The British Museum. They’re about the size of a baseball and the interior of the case has the constellations painted in it. Gorgeous.



My parents told me that I had to find the “tiny letter” at The British Museum. Little did I know that it would be ancient and made of clay! These must be the most hand-crafted, fanciest legal records ever. They’re just a few inches wide. The larger rectangle on the left is a clay envelope that held the pieces to the right which are covered in cuneiform on all 6 sides! I guess the scribe ran out of room, which is what explains the last tiny oval-shaped piece and the extra thickness in the clay envelope. Incredible. From now on, I only send clay letters.



And from now on, only clay receipts too!



Beautiful Arabian bronze hand at The British Museum. It’s difficult to see in my photo, but there is text across the back of the hand. You can listen to a whole wonderful podcast about this particular artifact at A History of the World in 100 Objects.



More curious and strange hands.



Fun dice ideas at The British Museum.



This tapestry is a giant map! The above photograph shows a part of it that is about 4 feet wide. The detail is remarkable. Kashmir, c1870, at the V&A.



I know this shawl doesn’t look like much, but what’s amazing is that it’s referred to as a “ring shawl” because the fabric is so fine and thin that you can pull the whole thing through a finger ring.



An original Doctor Who bill from the scene in a 2006 episode where a gazillion bills fly out of the ATM machine. I already checked eBay and no luck. I’m guessing I’m never going to get my hands on one of these…



I purchased these silkscreened goods at my favorite little shopping street made up of shipping containers. Fanny Shorter designs these fabulous patterns based on anatomical imagery. The yellow handbag is “brain” and the little bags are the coronal section of the human heart.



My father and I got to enjoy a School of Life “sermon” by Brené Brown which was quite a treat. As were these “courageous” cookies an artist made for the event. I very highly recommend Brown’s incredible TED talk about vulnerability.



Last but certainly not least, my favorite place of my entire trip. The Dennis Severs’ House at 18 Folgate Street. The fact that they do not allow photography inside is not unrelated to it being my favorite. My mom found it on a “historical house tour” list, but this is far from your average historical house. It’s historic house meets Museum of Jurassic Technology; it’s art as much as history. If you find yourself in London, go. If you walk the house with an attentive eye, you will be greatly rewarded.

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Lea Redmond is always looking for the poem hiding inside things: a salt shaker, a clothes tag, a hand gesture, a cloud. She is infinitely intrigued by the way experiences can slip from the ordinary to the extraordinary and she endeavors to design things that hold this possibility. Leafcutter Designs, her creative studio in Berkeley, CA, makes the world more playful and peaceful one little experience at a time.


  1. Karen Kubovchick

    May 3, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Can i purchase the watercolor necklace?

    • Lea Redmond

      May 5, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Oh I wish! It’s super old and in a glass case in a museum! So… nope!

  2. Laura

    September 19, 2013 at 3:37 am

    Great finds! What gallery did you find the little stamp box and paint set in? I’d love to go see those in person when I am next in London.

    • Lea Redmond

      September 19, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      Oh gosh, I don’t remember the official name for the area, but it’s an upstairs room fill of fancy old silver of various sorts! Same room as the tea scoops!

  3. gingerh

    September 19, 2013 at 1:27 am

    missed some of these and will go back to British Museum. add Magna Carta and Mozart’s marriage license and Beatle lyrics at British Library to the list!

  4. joy

    September 18, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Thank you for sharing your London favorites! I agree that Postcard Teas is a treasure. I was at the Dennis Severs House in the spring and was in awe of the experience. And of course, one could spend days at the V&A; you highlighted some collections that I will need to see on my next visit!

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