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Category: interiors

About the house 6

About the house

Time for another little house update – quite a few things are new thanks to some lovely Christmas and birthday presents.

About the house
About the house

Some new mantel pottery: the white biscuit vase is (allegedly) Troika via eBay and the blue-dipped vases were a present from Josh.

About the house

I love this giant scallop-painted vase, also a Christmas present (from Habitat).

About the house
About the house

The art above the fireplace is new too, a Kai and Sunny screenprint.

P1160071

Dying flowers, still pretty though

DIY footstool

I made this footstool from an old duvet.

About the house

A new owl pal (from the Donna Wilson sample sale back in December) perched on top of the bookcase.

About the house
About the house

Gorgeous new kitchenware by Tom Butcher

About the house

Sewing notions are taking over! I can’t wait to get my own room back (my sister’s been staying with us for a while) and organise it into a proper sewing space with a home for everything.

DIY Christmas mantel and cards

Christmas mantel

We didn’t get a tree this year – even a baby one in the garden centre was £30 and we really don’t have the space. So instead I just bought a couple of large fir branches (£2.50 each), popped them on the fireplace and adorned them with lights and baubles. I think it looks just as pretty and festive as a whole tree!

Christmas mantel

I got the little horse and sausage dog from Jonathan Adler in the sale earlier this year – they are actually supposed to be Christmas tree ornaments but I keep them up all year.

Christmas mantel

Muji candles are my favourite: they cost like £3 each and smell gorgeous.

Christmas mantel

I found the berry twigs on the pavement after someone had cut their bushes – free decorations for the win.

Christmas mantel
Christmas mantel
The cotton and pussywillow are there year-round but I stuck some baubles on them too.

Christmas mantel
Christmas mantel
Christmas mantel

I made my cards this year using my loaned Cricut machine (first blogged here). There are tons of pretty Christmassy designs available so I picked out these ones and simply stuck them onto decorative paper (leftover wrap and some Japanese washi paper). Super quick but effective.

Makin’ cider

Cider making

Ugh, autumn is truly here isn’t it? I swear it got dark at 3pm yesterday, so miserable. In my mind the only good things about the gloomy seasons are of the edible and quaffable varieties: a few months of soups, stews and mulled things make it all bearable. So I was happy to get an email from Garden Trading asking if I’d like to try out an apple press from their range of harvest season products. If you haven’t heard of Garden Trading yet, they make timeless and practical homewares that look equally at home in a country cottage or a more modern setting: I’ve got their enamelled metal lightshades in both my bedroom and kitchen.

Cider making

Here’s the sweet little apple press they sent me. Crafted from solid wood and pretty sage green painted cast iron, it feels solid and well made. It’s nice and petite so fits onto the kitchen worktop easily.

Cider making

It comes ready to roll, complete with a mesh pulping bag, pressing blocks and simple instructions.

Cider making
Cider making

To give it a whirl, I bought a lovely range of apples from my local greengrocer: a mix of eating apples like Granny Smith and Gala for sweetness mixed with cooking varieties like Bramley for sharpness. Don’t they look pretty? The 9kg I bought yielded about 6 litres of juice.

Cider making
Cider making

The process is pretty simple, though you need a bit of elbow grease and be prepared to get pulpy and sticky! First wash and roughly chop the apples: I did this by hand but for a larger batch you’d probably want to use something more mechanised. Then you need to roughen/pulp them up a bit: we used a stick blender but a bowl food processor would have been quicker and cleaner. Give them a good whiz so they’re broken down but not entirely mush.

Cider making

Load the mesh bag into the barrel and fill with the pulpy apple goop. (This photo shows our first try where we hadn’t whizzed them up enough and they would not press: the right consistency looks more pulpy than this.)

Cider making

Pop the pressing blocks on top and start turning. Ta-da, out pours lovely apple juice! Of course you can just drink it right away, but I really fancied trying to make cider from it, with a little help from the live-in brewer boyfriend. It just requires a couple of extra supplies and ingredients – cider yeast, Campden tablets and PET bottles, all which I got from Brew UK – as well as the fermentation bottle and airlock which Josh already had from beer brewing.

Cider making

The Campden tablet stops any wild yeasts or bacteria from mucking up the fermentation, as well as lightening the colour. After 24-48 hours the cider yeast is added, then it needs to be tucked away away under the stairs for a couple of months, so it should be ready just in time for Christmas. Can’t wait to try it!

Cider making

We also had a bit leftover to drink straight away, to which I added some of this Morris Kitchen ginger syrup I got in Brooklyn. Delicious. The juice can be frozen too, which would be handy if you’re lucky enough to have a glut of apples to use up. All in all, top autumnal fun.

Apple press supplied for review by Garden Trading – thank you!

Fired Earth vs London Underground

underground

I’m loving this new Underground 150 collection from Fired Earth, a collaboration to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Tube.

edwardian

The Edwardian range, based on original early 20th century tile molds.

landmark

These Landmark tiles are also reproduced from original molds from 1939.

signage

Some classic Underground signage recreated in faithful typefaces.

posters

To complement the range they’ve also got a fabulous range of repro posters spanning the entire 20th century.

See the whole range here.

About the house 5

A few updates from the house, garden, and furry ones…

About the house
About the house
About the house

We solved our kitchen storage dilemma with this lovely Lean Man console from And Then Design. I just love it – it’s perfect for the space, beautifully made, and I can finally fulfil my dream of having grains, pulses and sugar stored in twee vintage jars.

About the house

Of course, it stayed this pristinely tidy for approximately three days and is now covered with mail, pottery and other life miscellany. Minimalist I will never be.

About the house
About the house

My brilliant mum made us some new curtains for the living room from this fabric. They’re thermally lined so will be cosy come the winter. They match the Roddy & Ginger print perfectly!

About the house

Here’s the Clive Pearson pot I picked up in Clovelly – it matches my (similarly named but I think unrelated) Colin Pearson goblet very well.

Garden
Garden
Garden

The garden’s ticking along nicely, with the veg taking it in turns to give us tiny harvests – broccoli, broad beans, tomatoes and chillies.

Yoni
Yoni

Yoni is taking his first steps outside since his accident. Obviously I’m a wreck whenever he goes out of sight, but his leg has healed up marvellously and seeing how happy he is outdoors makes it feel OK about it.

Lila
Lila

Lila’s so happy whenever we’re outside with her!