Friday, 27 May 2011

Will We Have Rainbows Print from Making it Lovely

Nicole Balch of Making it lovely is one of my favourite bloggers. She posts about anything and everything that inspires her from her two children to fashion, interiors, and print design. She has just finished decorating her daughter Eleanor's bedroom and created this adorable print for her wall based on the Que Sera song sung by Doris Day. Nicole has also kindly made it available for download here. It makes me want to create my own song based art!

(Image from Making It Lovely)

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Retro Fridges

As we are in the process of buying our first house, I can't help but turn my attention to things I've always lusted after but never had a reason to buy. One of these items is a retro fridge. I absolutely love the Smeg fridges but they are quite pricey. The mint green one below is lovely but I think a nice clean off white version might fit better wit my vast collection of Orla Kiely kitchenware.

(Image origination unknown - if you recognise any let me know and I'll add credit)

I also found these new A+ rated retro fridges by a company called Gorenje which are much cheaper than the Smeg's but don't come in white/cream, it's more of a champagne colour. However might make a good alternative.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Homemade Elderflower Cordial

This time last year I was making homemade Elderflower Cordial. We are currently renting and at the end of our courtyard garden is a wonderfully huge Elderflower tree that hangs over from next door. I'd just like to point out that I had already been living there for 2 years when my mum pointed out it was an Elderflower tree, I'm not much of a gardening enthusiast. So I decided to get cracking and make a batch of wonderful cordial and bottle it to give to friends and family. Needless to say they loved it!

(Image from BBC Good Food)

It's that time of year again, but you'll have to be quick. It's been so unusually warm that the flowers have come out early and don't last long. The BBC Good Food website has a great recipe. Although when I made it last year it was very sweet so for an alternative I might give the one on the jamjarshop a try, it has a lot less sugar in it:

You'll need:-

900g/2lbs granulated sugar
50g/2oz citric acid
2 lemons, sliced
and about 25 large elderflower heads

Put the sugar into a large mixing bowl and pour over 3 litres boiling water. Stir to dissolve the sugar
and then leave to cool.ASdd the citric acid which acts a a preservative, along with the lemons. Shake the flower
heads gently to get rid of any bugs and rinse carefully. Add to the contents of the bowl, stirring to combine.
Cover with a clean tea towel and leave for 24 hours to infuse. Stir from time to time. 

Pour through a muslin-lined sieve into a jug then decant into sterilised glass bottles and seal. 

Cordial can be diluted to taste with iced sparkling mineral water or soda water.

Please note that it is better to keep the cordial in the fridge, even before opening, and for no longer than 6 months

If you are wondering where to get Citric acid, I searched high and low and eventually found it in Wilkinson's, so I'm hoping they still sell it. Don't be surprised if they ask you what you are using it for, apart from being used in making home brew, a lot of places have had to stop selling it as it's apparently used by drug addicts.

I made half the amount suggested on the GoodFood recipe and had loads to give away. I bought loads of Swing Top Glass bottles from my local kitchen shop. You can also get them online at the jamjarshop.

(Image from jamjarshop)

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Garden Furniture

I recently saw a great idea for relatively cheap garden furniture and wanted to share it with you.

This image from the June issue of Living Etc shows some lovely hardwood foldable tables painted in bright zesty colours.

(image from Living Etc)

I like the idea of having two tables that you can join together to make a DIY extendable table depending on how many guests you have. At £71 each from Gardeners-world these foldable side tables might do the trick and they are a pretty inexpensive way of updating your garden furniture in time for BBQ season. Just spray paint them with an outdoor suitable paint such as Rust-Oleum's Painters Touch Spray paint which is available in 32 colours. The Jade and Marigold colourways looks the closest match to the image above.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Habitat AW11

HomeShoppingSpy the blog for Ideal Home magazine has just posted some pics of Habitats AW11 collection. If you thought Victoriana was making a come-back then Habitat have gone all out but with a modern twist. Even the dark and moody photos give it a feel of a bygone era.

I love the lacquered top of the Giffen desk below, although it's hard to tell from the photo the colour looks fab too and a great contrast to the dark legs.

Giffen Desk
I love this look below, a living room filled with old heirlooms and paintings, I particularly like the framed butterfly.
Chesterfield Sofa
I am officially in love with this chair, and the footstool is so cute and well proportioned. The fretwork style fabric gives it a modern feel while the tapered legs are a nod to mid-century inspirations.
Orson wing-back chair
(All Images from HomeShoppingSpy)

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Glorious Knobs from Anthopologie

I am on the hunt for knobs! how rude but actually it's for a diy project. I would like to paint and do up a very boring standard pine chest of drawers I have in our spare bedroom. I think a lick of off white paint and some stylish knobs would look great. Below are some very cute ones from Anthropologie.

Sunflower Medallion Knob

Ceramic Melon Knob
Brilliant Batik Knob
Whilst looking at the Anthropoligie website I also came across this lovely Owl Coat hook you can even have a collection of animals such as foxes, birds and deer.

Creature Kingdom Hook, Owl

(All images from Anthropologie)

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Wallet Tote Tutorial

Now I'm quite a novice at sewing but occasionally I see something so useful and cute that I would love to be able to make, that I can't help but share it with you all. On Sew, Mama, Sew! Lorraine of the Ikat bag blog has shared a Wallet-to-Tote tutorial. The inspiration for this design came from her three girls and how impromptu adventures always required a bag. She also happens to use the wonderful Outside Oslo fabrics of Jessica Jones of How about Orange. So if you fancy a sewing challenge then take a look!

(Images from Ikat Bag)

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Fantastic Paper Lantern

If you're after a fun project or need to make some colour co-ordinated decorations for a party check out these Paper Lanterns on the Martha Stewart website. Basically all you need is a basic paper lantern, the kind you might buy from Ikea, (your local pound shop might sell them too) tissue paper circles and double sided tape. Personally I can't stand paper lanterns, they remind me of my student digs, but these look so pretty and delicate and because you attach the frame to a light bulb they look even better when they glow!

(Images from Martha Stewart)

If you're after another project this Tissue Paper Pom-Pom is also fantastic, It just makes me want to decorate for a little girls birthday party!

Step 1: Stack eight 20 by 30 inch sheets of tissue paper. Make 1 1/2 inch wide accordion folds, creasing with each fold.

Step 2: Fold an 18 inch piece of floral wire in half, and slip over the centre of the folded tissue, twist. With Scissors, trim ends of tissue into rounded or pointy shapes. 

Step 3: Separate layers, pulling away from centre one at a time

Step 4: Bend wire into a loop to fit around napkin, and twist end around loop to secure.

(Images from Martha Stewart)

Monday, 16 May 2011

Sofas, Sofas, Everywhere!

Hello, apologies for not posting on Friday, there seemed to be a problem with blogger so I couldn't access anything, but here is what I was going to post about.

Tom and I are in the process of buying our first house, we've been married for 3 years and been together for 11 and only just been able to get on the property ladder. Anyway, we have started looking at sofas. We've never had to buy a sofa as we have always had them supplied while renting or inherited old ones from family, so now we have the opportunity to choose it's proving quite difficult.

The main problem we have is that Tom is 6ft 5 so all the styles I love, i.e. contemporary low back mid-century types are absolutely useful for him. So I have trawled the Internet to try and find styles that I like and below are my top ten hopfully Tom will find a few of them comfortable!

1. This is my all time favourite design, Julep by Designers Guild has the most wonderful vintage feel but with the choice of all those fabulous guild fabrics. Definitely out of our price range though, you know something is too expensive when they don't advertise the price online!

(Image from Designers Guild)

2. The Barbican sofa by John Lewis has again got that mid-century feel, the colour might be a bit dark but it comes in a wide range to fit all tastes.
(Image from John Lewis)

3.  John Lewis also stock this lovely style called Milo available in a mulberry toned linen mix fabric. I particularly like the padded arms and button back cushions. It looks comfy as well as smart!

(Image from John Lewis)

4. John Lewis is looking like it could be the first port of call for us. The Parlour design combines a slightly higher back with the simple curves that I like. Not sure about Green but that can be changed. 
(Image from John Lewis)

5. Multiyork is not somewhere I would usually try for contemporary designs but their Long Island Sofa is very chic looking. It even has the option of making it into a corner unit. We both like the idea of a chaise at the end of the sofa.
(Image from Multiyork)

6. Buttons by Sofa Workshop has a got a lovely button back that you can choose in a contrasting fabric. The only issue is it's tight covered so keeping it clean would be an issue. love the simplicity though!

(Image from Sofa Workshop)

7. The Fancy Nancy from Sofa Workshop is also a beautiful design but comfort and height might be a real issue with this sofa.

(Image from Sofa Workshop)

8. Along with the Julep, Miss Behaving by Sofa Workshop is the most beautiful sofa I have ever seen, the smooth curves, tapered legs and hot pink colour make me want to stroke it, sorry that sounded quite weird! It would also be high enough at the back, but this small sofa is the biggest one they do.

(Image from Sofa Workshop)

9. Sofa Workshop is also looking like a good option for choice. Their Mr Sitter design has a lovely deep seat and looks very cosy, good for snuggling on a cold evening.

(Image from Sofa Workshop)

10. I realise Velvet is not the most practical fabric but the Iggy sofa from looks gorgeous in this Sloe coloured pure cotton velvet. It has a slightly higher back than most but the hubby would have to test it out to make sure. 

(Image from

So as you can see we have a lot of testing out to do, I'll post at some point to let you all know what we decided on. I hope if you are in the process of sofa hunting this has given you a few ideas. 

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Masking Tape Decorations from How about Orange

If you fancy a easy project to jazz up any plain ceramics or glassware you have lying around check out this recent post from How about Orange. As you can see Jessica's favourite colour is orange, she has used masking tape strips to make her ceramics just that little bit more exciting. She even suggests colour co-ordinating your belongings to party decorations but if you get bored or fancy a change just peel them off. What a great idea, this lady is a bloomin' Genius!

You can buy Japanese masking tape like this on Amazon, Papermash, Present and Correct, and PrettyTape on Etsy. 

(Images from How about Orange)

Tuesday, 10 May 2011


I've no idea why I haven't been here before as I always new TKMaxx were pretty good for kitchenware but there dedicated homewares stores HomeSense are fantastic. As Ellie from HomeShoppingSpy writes you can find everything from Moroccan lanterns and pouffes to cashmere throws and vintage treasures. Check out their blog for inspiration and a little hint of what they stock.

I love this chair and it actually looks really comfy, the aqua looks great next to the zesty greenery.

I've been looking for ages for some plan drawers like the ones on the top right of the pic below. I think another trip to the Cambridge store is needed to check out the vintage finds.

(Images from HomeShoppingSpy)

Monday, 9 May 2011

On Print Pattern!

I realise this is a bit of a sad post but I got very excited the other day when my colleague pointed out that when searching for Easter inspiration she came across one of my designs on on the Print Pattern blog. Print Pattern is the bible when it comes to all things print, so you can probably see why it's quite nice when something appears on it that you've worked really hard on, especially when you see it next other peoples fantastic work.
(Image from Print Pattern)

Friday, 6 May 2011

Paper Tiles by Louise Body

As I've said in previous posts my husband and I have a thing for Morrocan look tiles, we would love to have a wall or patio covered in them but unfortunately they are quite expensive. Fired Earth sell a good selection but they are anything from £4 to £11 each which could add up. So when I noticed these Paper Tiles by Louise Body I was very excited. She has created wallpapers that look like vintage tiles and at £25 per metre would be considerably cheaper than the real thing. My particular favourite is the 'Old Blue' design seen below.

The 'Mixed Folk' design is also really pretty, thus would look great it you had a summer room and fancied giving it a victorian feel.

(All images from Louise Body)

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Fiona Douglas of bluebellgray

While perusing the pages of the June issue of Elle Decoration I came across an article on Textile designer Fiona Douglas the creator of homewares brand bluebellgray. The article was about her Glasgow apartment. she has used her signature prints and textiles throughout her home and her use of colour is fantastic. The colour on the wall in the living room is Farrow & Ball's 'Pitch Blue', which compliments Fiona's 'Rosie' Floral pattern on the sofa perfectly. She is releasing Fabric to buy by the metre soon via her website.

I love the books in colour coordination here.

I really need to get on with a photo montage wall like this, it's a great way of displaying all of your fondest memories. The colour used on this wall is Farrow & Ball's 'Dix Blue'.

(All images above from Elle Decoration)

I am also in love with the blue painted Ercol chair on the right of this image, I am very tempted to do this myself.

(Image from bluebellgray)

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