Thursday, 22 March 2012

visually beautiful

 i seem to loving all things french inspired this week, must be to do with the collection i am working on at the moment (a sneak peek for you soon) . these lovely images are from the lovely jane sacchi, doyenne of antique french textiles website

Wednesday, 21 March 2012


found on pinterest via house of turquoise

i keep looking at this room because it hits the spot in terms of interior design style for me. i love the patterned chairs with the plain walls, and the vignettes styling on the mantle with the contrast turquoise,

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

visually beautiful

and here is as close to original source as i can find
so simple , but so beautiful

Monday, 19 March 2012

a little bit of luxury on a budget

Always at this time of year I get itchy feet for some travel. I normally don't like going back to the same place twice, however i am going to share my little secret island with you. last year we went to a hidden gem called noirmoutier, a little tiny flat spit of land sticking off the west coast of france.

 i am not a natural camper, it is a holiday of necessity rather than choice! so to combat this i spend hours on the internet looking for a nice campsite, if I have to holiday under canvas , i make sure it is somewhere lovely!
so last year we stayed at camping les moulins, and i can't tell you how fabulous it was. i was slightly worried as we drove through the pouring rain on to the island, as i hadn't been able to find any reviews. however it exceeded all expectations and was beautiful. very boutique in style and the loveliest staff imaginable.
 you can take your own tent or hire a ready erected one, and the beach is a 30 second walk through the dunes....bliss.

 Ile de Noirmoutier is crisscrossed with cycle paths and we crossed to the other side on our bikes to visit the stunning plage des dames.

i could go back tomorrow......

Sunday, 18 March 2012

visually beautiful

lovely idea i found on pinterest, if you look closely you will see they are not flowers at all they are woolly pompoms!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

ahoy there sailor!

We've had an exciting week as the children's first cousin was born. He was fairly late in arriving but we knew he was going to be a little boy so I had already decided what I was going to make for him (there was no point in giving some baby-gros as we'd passed on all our old, stained and unbelievably tiny clothes already).

At last I have all the relevant components of my sewing machine together and I had dug out one of my favourite books, Embroidered Treasures, (which I've mentioned before here) and with the help of the children chose this lovely little sailor to make. As always with my creations, the eyes are slightly peculiar and he looks more like a drunken sailor. However we met the teeny-weeny little boy today (were mine really that small once?) and he didn't really seem that bothered by the dodgy face at all!

manneqiuin obsession

 a few weeks ago one of my trade accounts (the lovely maria from sugar and spice) emailed me to ask me had i seen Lucy's mannequin made from my paisley fabric.  Lucy owns a company called corset laced mannequins, and makes  these beauties in all sorts of fabrics, you can even send your own fabric and lucy will make one for you, have a look at her website which is lovely.

 since Jo and I have always had a thing for tailors dummies or mannequins as we should call them, i thought i would collate all of the pictures i have gathered over time and post them here.
 from etsy

  from ideal homes section of house to home

from corset laced mannequins
  from corset laced mannequins
 from corset laced mannequins
 from corset laced mannequins

 from pinterest

 via pinterest

via pinterest

and if you feel like a DIY job heres one for you!

Friday, 9 March 2012

A little bit of liberty

Any regular readers will know that I have a bit of a thing about Liberty Tana Lawn, and over the last couple of years I've used it to make all manner of things, from lavender bags to skirts for the children. But, whenever I've made something I've saved every last tiny scrap.

Sarah and I are having a stall at the Vintage Jumble Sale in a couple of weeks so I decided here was an opportunity to sort out my fabrics and have made some little bags of tana lawn scraps in case any one out there has the same obsession as I do.

You will know that Sarah and I are keen advocates of tiny fabric scraps. There is so much you can do with them: fantastically useful for applique (see Sarah's Kindl cover!), to covering buttons, making suffolk puffs, tiny bunting and I just use random strips to decorate everyday objects, like my marshmallow jar.

A little bit of liberty can brighten up anything!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

cinnamon buns inspired by san francisco

 Ever since visiting Molly Stones in Sausalito i have been on the quest for a perfect "molly stones cinnamon bun" to make here.
I have had many attempts, some too doughy, some too bready, some not sweet enough, some too sweet.
Anyway with an amalgamation of a load of recipes and a lot of experimenting , i think i am there (18 were snaffled in a flash so i think they were ok!!)

also the blue stripey fabric in the pic is a sneak peak from my new collection! it is called provence stripe and will launch later in the year.

so my made up recipe is as follows (after the picture)
just a few things first though!
1. it wasn't until i tried baking them in a silicone muffin tin that i got the required squelch factor of the molly stones version ( though they were still delicious when i did them in a round cake tin)
2. i used a bread maker on raisin dough setting to make my dough, as i am impatient and had a million other things to do!
3. i usually make them unto the second rise and then leave them in a cold oven overnight to rise and then bake them when i wake up.


500g strong white flour
1 sachet of easy blend yeast
1 heap teasp salt
3  heap tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large free range egg
1 heap tablespoon butter
125ml milk
2 heap tablespoons yoghurt (i used greek because thats what i had, i think you could use any natural - apart from a 0% fat)
1 heap tablespoon marmalade
150g rasins or sultanas
1heap tablespoon cinnamon mixed with 3-4 tablespoons soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons softened butter (do not use marg)
tip all the ingredients into the bread maker in the order that your machine likes them and set to dough setting on mine this takes 2hrs 40mins.
if making by hand mix the dry ingredients in a roomy bowl, then mix the wet ingredients in a jug, then get messy! pour the wet in to the dry and mix it with your hands till you have a lovely smooth elastic dough. knead it and knead it some more, till the dough feels smooth and silky, then leave in an oiled bowl to rise, tom from hobbs suggests covering your bowl with a shower cap, the ones you get free in hotels! - this is a fab tip. leave to rise till doubled in size, about 1-2 hours depending on how warm it is, i use the airing cupboard or a warming oven.
after its proving tip the dough on to a lightly floured surface and roll out in to an oblong - tricky because it is springy and won't stay where you want it. but do your best to get it long and about 20cm wide. 
spread the dough as best you can with the softened butter - you may need a bit more, i didn't measure i just liberally covered the dough, sprinkle lavishly with the cinnamon sugar.
roll up along the length (difficult to explain but if you have the long side facing you roll in to a long sausage).
slice into spirals about 2cm thick, and pop each spiral in to a silicone muffin tin hole (if you are using a metal one you will probably need to grease it to stop any sticking, or put then in a cake tin with sides about 1cm spaced to allow for their next rise.
leave to rise (i do this overnight) till doubled in size then bake in a hot oven - don't let them catch.
i drizzled mine with icing made with icing sugar, orange juice and cinnamon.
scoff yourself silly!!!