It’s a (vintage) wrap

After a few busy weekends, we’ve got a quiet one ahead of us; just the thing for a spot of card writing and present wrapping. If you haven’t already done yours, here are some ideas for your favourite vintage cards:

A nice simple idea to add a vintage touch to your presents. Kraft paper doesn’t cost much and works well for male and female recipients.

A step on from the previous idea if you have more time/patience/skill. It’s a layer of wax paper sewn to a vintage image and finished with ribbon and pinking shears.

A simple way to add more decorations to your tree.

Or a lovely place setting idea. I think the candlesticks match the old images beautifully.

Happy making.


courgette anyone?

Reap what you sow
Courgette and prawn pasta, courgette and corn tacos, courgette and carrots and fishcakes; in fact courgettes and anything we can think of. After months of heavy work and careful tending, our garden is bursting out all over, so we’ve spent a tasty couple of weeks working our way through all the courgette recipes we can find. The beetroots and beans are next, so we’ll be scouring our recipe books for things to make with them soon too.

We haven’t planted many flowers and we’ve had mixed fortunes with what we have tried. Our snapdragons are flourishing. I was fascinated by snapdragons when I was small – an interactive flower that my parents didn’t mind me playing with – and we now have two very healthy pots of yellow spires with one or two purple, white and pink. They’re just outside the back door so I get a nice view of them every time I’m in the hall:
After a severe pruning over the winter, the lavender has burst out, spreading it’s stems to our bench and out over our path. It’s in the way a bit, but the bees are enjoying it, so we’ll work round it until the they have had their fill. Sadly the sweet peas have been less successful. They climbed their way up to about two feet, then stopped and steadfastly refused to produce flowers. We grew them from a packet of seeds that were free on the front of a magazine, so perhaps their progress reflects our investment! Still, one duff lot out of everything we’ve tried feels like a pretty good result.

Have a good week.

a fairy tale for the weekend

paris apartment

Mr E spotted this amazing story a couple of days ago about a Paris apartment that lay untouched for 70 years. I particularly like this picture, which must rate as one of the oddest still life arrangements ever captured:
Ostrich and Mickey Mouse
I can’t imagine what it must have felt like to be the first person to see it after all those years, but I would love to have had a rummage to see if there was any old stationery left behind.

In other news, we’re off to the Rye Arts & Crafts Fair a week on Saturday, that’s May 25. We’d love to see you if you’re in the area.

Have a good weekend.

fresh paint and bluebells

I mentioned on Thursday that my work room was in need of a bit of a re-vamp, so I took advantage of the late April showers to make a start at the weekend. Mr E helped me haul my belongings into the spare room and removed an ugly grey metal blind from the window, then I got to work with some matt white emulsion. I decided on white because my room is usually full of things I’m working on in various stages of completion, so it doesn’t really need any more clashing patterns.

Here’s how it looked in the calm, empty moments before I started to fill it up again:
White room

The reward for our efforts was a walk in some nearby woods yesterday morning. The bluebells were in full bloom and they looked and smelled fantastic:

We also popped along to King John’s Nursery, near Ticehurst for a nose around. It’s a lovely place and another to add to our list of independent local nurseries. They sell a good range of native plants and we picked up a couple of new things to add to our back garden collection. The shop had lots of things to tempt and the tea room looked pretty inviting too, but we decided to save that treat for our next visit because we’ll definitely be back.

busy bees

We’ve been hard at work on our spring range; a small range of correspondence cards and a very pretty thank you card. We sent the artwork to our printer at the start of the week and will spend the next week or two ironing out glitches in the proofs. We’re hoping the new cards will be ready for our first fair in Rye on 9 March and we’ll add them to the shop around the same time.

In other news, I reported in my snowy post in January that we had been struggling to take a photo of the woodpecker that visits our bird feeders; he’s too quick and seems to have a sixth sense for when the camera is to hand. Well Mr E’s stealth and persistence has paid off and he has taken some really good shots of our colourful visitor:
Great Spotted Woodpecker
And our mail order garden supplies have arrived; two planters with ingenious built in channels to hold the canes for my sweet peas and an assortment of veg and herbs. I’ll let you know how we get on.

nice with a cup of tea

sour cherry
I had a few extra hours built up at work, so I took this afternoon off. And what did I do with my bonus afternoon? I spent it organising cupboards and baking.

Now I have a natural flair for one of these things and most definitely not the other, so it was a pleasant surprise when the biscuits I baked turned out to be edible.

They’re oat and sour cherry cookies from Dan Lepard’s Short & Sweet, which I bought for Mr E because he’s really quite good at cooking.
dan lepard
I wouldn’t usually bother to post a picture of a book, but I think this one looks like a chunk of old fashioned Neapolitan ice cream – you know the stuff, back when Gino Ginelli’s was the premium ice cream brand. So it looks very pretty on our cookbook shelf as well as telling you how to bake lots of things that look and sound delicious.

These biscuits were easy to make, bar the usual arm ache you get stirring a stiff biscuit mix and they taste very nice indeed, especially with a cup of tea…that’s the kettle waiting patiently in the background.