Saturday, 24 March 2012


During a recent spring clean of our workshop [you wouldn't recognise the place now!] we came across some bespoke cushions we created, sometime ago, for a feature in Homes and Gardens magazine.  We would really love these to go to good homes, so, it's over to you...

The first cushion has the name ROSE and the date 12.2.11 hand-appliqued in dark blue/cream vintage French ticking on an off-white background.  If this name and date are special to you [or yours], get in touch, via the comments box below, or on our facebook or twitter pages, and let us know why your home would be the perfect place for this bespoke, handmade cushion.

The second cushion has THE LOFT hand-appliqued in dark blue/cream vintage French ticking on an off-white background.  Again, if this 'name' is special to your home [or the home of a friend], then leave a comment on our blog, on our facebook page or on our twitter page, and let us know why you/your home deserves this cushion!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Mother's Day

For Mother's Day, I bought a very pretty woven basket full of lovely, blueberry coloured, grape hyacinths.  It was the perfect afternoon to take them to Mum's grave.  The churchyard was brightly lit by sunlight and the trees full of the most gorgeous blossom.  The peace and tranquility interrupted only by the singing of birds and the buzzing of bees...

Happy Mother's Day Mum.
I miss talking to you and laughing with you. x

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Spring is in the Air...

Even though I should have been busy in the workshop, I couldn't resist a walk around the garden on such a beautiful day.  I call the garden my 'work in progress'.  I should point out, in the interests of honesty, that I have been describing it thus for the last 4-5 years!

Whilst I love living on a farm, it does have its drawbacks when it comes to gardens.  Firstly, farmers do not like gardening.  My OH claims he gardens on a larger scale, for little or no money, every day of his working life so why should he do it on his rare days off? He has a point, I will grant you, but it still leaves it all up to yours truly!  Secondly, our garden is not much more than a partially reclaimed field and it has been an ongoing battle to rid it of wicks, ground elder and bindweed.  Our gorgeous lavender bordered, gravel path succumbed to these merciless invaders and we had to replace the plants with sleepers - try growing through solid wood you rotters!!

The sleeper path did, at least, give the garden some structure but, over the last few summers, due to a very busy work schedule, everything else has been neglected and allowed to grow wild.

Now, I love a wild garden as much as the next person but I do want some level of control and would like to enter the garden, in summer, without the need for a machete and compass! So, spurred on by an impending magazine photo-shoot, which may or may not include the garden [but I am not telling my OH that], I have convinced OH to get professional help.  So, Gerard [no, not Butler but a girl can dream!] the gardener will be arriving in the morning to tame my wilderness - sorry still thinking about Gerard Butler!

The wilderness will be cleared, ready for a wild garden that comes out of a seed packet and hasn't been blown over the hedge from the field next door!  The pond margins will also be given a bit of a makeover, with due regard being given to the newts and frogs who are in residence, in abundance, if today's sightings were anything to go by.

I will be sad to see the remnants of last year's growth finally cleared away.  We tend not to do this until Spring as I think it adds interest to the garden during the winter months.  Well, that's my excuse and I am sticking to it!  I mean, you just can't beat what nature serves up... like these wonderful wispy clematis seed-heads.

It will also be a shame to clear away the lichens that have grown on top of our table over the winter.  You couldn't recreate these wonderful textures if you tried...

It was lovely to see signs of spring everywhere in the garden though.  From a basket of muscari [all ready for Mother's Day], to the buds of magnolia blooms [this normally spells cold, wind and rain!], the bright yellow of forsythia and, of course, the compulsory nodding heads of daffodils.

I will keep posting about the makeover, as it progresses, and hopefully you will be able to see a difference.  Design ideas and general advice gratefully accepted!

Lazy Sunday Mornings!

Sunday is the one day of the week when I am not rushing around, like the proverbial headless chicken, trying to get everybody else organised and myself off to work on time... oh, and usually failing miserably!  Sunday is my day for relaxed breakfasts in the company of the Archers Omnibus.  Yes, I know it doesn't start until 10am - when I said 'leisurely', I really meant 'late'!

As if by wonderful coincidence, my latest delivery of culinary loveliness arrived yesterday from Jamsmith, a 'preserves by subscription' business run by clever foodie Vicky Smith.  This month, the ever so retro, brown paper parcel, tied up with string, contained a little jar of sunshine - Seville Orange and Juniper Marmalade to you and me...

Vicky cleverly adds tasting notes as well as innovative recipe ideas and serving suggestions.  Feeling that it was a tad early for the decadent cocktail recipe, I plumped for two thick slices of wholemeal toast with, yup, you've guessed it...