Thursday, 18 December 2014

Looking back


Please forgive me... what follows is a bunch of instagramz from our trip to Lisbon in November, because I still somehow haven't got round to getting the real photos off my camera! Anyway... aren't the tiles just beautiful? I was a total tourist pain in the ass, stopping every twenty steps to take yet another photo of the beautiful intricate azulejos that kept grabbing my eye. I'd love to get all the patterns together and make a beautiful sourcebook.






Sunday, 14 December 2014

Full Christmas, yeah?

This year, I have been feeling VERY Christmassy, which seems to have manifested itself in a multi-layered paper/bauble decoration extravaganza. I'd be embarrassed to admit how happy it makes me to see all this shiny pretty nonsense and fairylights lighting up our living room. It's a truth universally acknowledged that a pack of gold crepe paper can banish most blues, especially if you also have a batch of fresh lebkuchen to munch.

{ PS great paper bauble image tutorial here }

Jam News: an update


For Christmas this year I've made a batch of plum and mulled wine jam using a mix of this and this recipe. It is my strongly held opinion that there's nothing that a bit of mulling won't fix, not to mention wine, so this seemed like a good idea. It's come out well - the spice flavour not too heavy so it won't get sickly before you've finished your toast. Also, I'm going to have a go of it with cheese... got a feeling that that might be pretty good too!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Souvenirs


Those of you that follow me on instagram will already know that we went to Lisbon in November (which feels like five minutes ago!) as I took about one million photos of the beautiful tiled buildings there. A highlight was a trip to the Saturday flea market, the Feira da Ladra, (or 'Thieves' Market') from where I brought these pretties home. I thoroughly recommend it, it made me wish that we'd bought hold luggage and brought an empty suitcase specially!

Friday, 5 December 2014

Damson jam


This year's autumn jam, made a couple of weeks back from damsons from my parents garden. A bumper crop this year! They'd been stored in the freezer until I was ready to deal with them, which I find makes things pretty easy. Now, I've made this a good few times, and this year's is particularly good, though I say so myself (smug smile). Not overdone, not runny, and that beautiful jewel-like colour that you get, with a good balance of sweet and tangy. This is a good recipe, if any come your way! Flippin' perfect on a vanilla sponge (courtesy of boyfriend - very pleased with himself. An excellent cake it was too).

For those of you who are very much enjoying Jam News, and I know there are many of you, good news: its nearly time for Project Christmas Jam! Coming soon...

PS, you may have noticed that the embarrassing graphic designer in me couldn't resist making proper labels for my jars. Sigh...

Monday, 1 December 2014

DECEMBER??!




That's right, it's bloody December already! Which means that, should you wish, the Christmas run-up of cosiness and eating and merrification can officially begin! I highly recommend that, to further facilitate this, you get any Christmas shopping done early and joyfully (perhaps with a glass of mulled wine in one hand and a mince pie in your mouth) by stepping this way to the shop. If not, and things get a bit out of hand, then I refer you to the message of this new typographic print, above.

PS, seeing as it's apparently Cyber Monday and to show my appreciation for you lovely folk, blog readers can get 15% off their order all this week (ends Dec 8th) with coupon code DEC1BLOG15

x

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Mark Lazenby


I'm really enjoying the vibrant playfulness in these collage works by Mark Lazenby, who currently has an exhibition at Maybe a Vole here in London. Loads of great work on his site, here!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Big news


After a little break and a shake-up, the shop is now stocked with a brand-new range of prints and posters. I'm really excited to show these off to the world, after planning and developing them for quite some time. You can see the whole range here - notebooks, artist books and original artwork coming soon! Plus, there's free UK shipping, perfect if your thoughts are turning to Christmas gifts...

I'd love to hear any feedback, please let me know what you think in the comments!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

pom-poms

 It's been a while since I made any pom-poms! But recently I found myself tucked up on the sofa on a rainy Sunday afternoon, watching Harry Potter and winding wool around bits of cardboard. Very therapeutic.

I wanted something to decorate my stall at the market, but somehow it was slow going and I didn't get that many done! Pom-pom necklace = better than a scarf, though, no?

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Pottery for beginners


These, apart from some early masterpieces done at summer school aged 8, are my first attempts at pottery, at least the first things I've brought home fired and glazed from pottery sessions at Hackney City Farm. Well, it's a start! I'd forgotten how much fun it is just to handle and coax with your hands, though I will move on to the wheel at some point.

Wasn't really sure what to do with these, as they are so small, but they'll be perfect for the succulent cuttings that I'm trying to grow on.

Onwards and upwards!

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Proper autumn


Despite the unseasonable warmth here, we have been getting all cosy with all the trappings of autumn: leaves, pumpkins and a toffee apple upside-down cake that was so indescribably delicious that we nearly ate all of it before I could take a picture...

I love this time of year! Now we are off out to watch fireworks with a flask full of mulled wine.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Rug -> bag


Oh, handbags! So necessary, so nice, and sometimes so troublesome. A few months ago mine broke, and since then I've been searching for the perfect new bag to carry all the rubbish that I seem to feel it necessary to tote around with me. I tried a few out, but none were quite right - usually either not big enough, or too tricky to find little bits like keys in quickly. We were in IKEA a couple of weekends ago for some much needed bits, and (despite my promises of no impulse buys!) a SIGNE rug caught my eye. Now, we have all the rugs we need, but there's something about the rough robustness of the weave that I loved, so I decided I'd make my perfect bag out of it. I really only have two demands from a bag: that it be easy to get your stuff in and out of it, and that you can fit a bottle of wine in it...

I started by removing the fringe, folding it in half and cutting small rectangles from the bottom corners. This was so I could fold under a bottom panel to create a shape with depth, rather than a straight envelope-style bag.
 

I double and then triple-stitched it for strength, plus a zig-zag stitch along the internal seams which I then sealed with a great all-purpose craft varnish. My bags take quite a lot of wear and I wasn't taking any chances on this one - I wanted it to last!
 

Time for a cup of mint tea... and then onto pockets! Using some faux-leather from a cheap rucsack that had broken, I cut one large pocket (for kindle!) and two small ones (phone/keys etc) and stitched those into place. Plus handles, also recycled from the broken rucsack and we're nearly there!


I wanted a closure that I could easily undo with one hand to reach in and grab things easily, so I attached a duffel coat toggle with quite a generous loop. And there we have it! One new bag for a grand total of £1.75, plus an afternoon's work. I've been using it for a week and so far I have to say I'm pretty pleased with it. It seems really strong and you can get loads in there while still being able to fish your lip balm out with one hand. Job done!