• Archive for January, 2010

    Bird worry

    by  • 29/01/2010 • Country moment • 2 Comments

    I don’t know about you but I have been worrying about the birds. During the snow a couple of weeks ago, all manner of birds were hopping around in our garden looking for things to eat. Our garden table has become an enormous bird bowl covered in apples, bits of leftover cake, pasta or rice for the robins, tits and blackbirds. I am pleased that is has become slightly warmer for them now. I saw this Solar Panel Bird Box from The Balcony Gardener and thought it was great idea.

    This Dutch-designed eco-friendly birdhouse is made from meranti wood. During the day sunlight feeds the solar panels in the roof, charging a small battery inside. Then, at twilight, the transparent stick at the front of the box lights up and casts a welcoming glow over the garden, attracting all manner of night-time snacks for the birds.

    Solar birdhouse from Balcony Gardener

    Solar birdhouse from The Balcony Gardener

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    Discover the My Daddy Cooks blog

    by  • 27/01/2010 • Country food • 2 Comments

    I was delighted to read about the wonderful My Daddy Cooks blog in the London Evening Standard on my commute home last Thursday. It’s the brainchild of recently-made-redundant-and-now-stay-at-home dad Nick Coffer who has uploaded videos of himself cooking delicious classics like vegetable frittata, chicken and tarragon hotpot and plum clafoutis. The undoubted star, however, is Nick’s two-year-old son Archie. Due to the somewhat cramped filming conditions in the family kitchen often you can only see Archie’s arm or the top of his chef’s hat – even when he’s standing in his sturdy ‘Fun Pod’ safety chair – but it really doesn’t matter. In fact it all adds to the charm of the pair getting to grips with good food – especially seeing Archie tucking into everything from sea bass to beef chow mein (with chopsticks!)… 

    Check out Nick and Archie’s recipes at My Daddy Cooks

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    Old and new at Cotswold Company

    by  • 26/01/2010 • Country style • 0 Comments

    I popped along to see the preview of the Spring/summer ranges from Cotswold Company this morning. This company that prides itself on offering classic country styles has added some new lines, including the Burford bedroom collection and a gorgeous tripod light. The old favourites are still the best-sellers though – I love the Wiltshire Round table, which is hand-crafted in Wiltshire from solid pine. With a turned pedestal base in a soft cream paint finish, it has a natural waxed top with a pull-out extension leaf which allows it to easily seat six. I think it sets the perfect country mood for mealtimes!

    Cotswold Company Wiltshire round table, £439

    Cotswold Company Wiltshire round table, £439

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    by  • 25/01/2010 • Country style • 1 Comment

    What a lovely and simple way to freshen up a bathroom window. Coral patterns started appearing on fabrics and accessories a couple of years ago and are set to continue this spring/summer. This roller blind in Coral cream from Novatec is a quick and easy way to brighten up a neglected space. I love the way the light accentuates the coral motif.

    Novatec Coral cream roller blind, from £78

    Novatec Coral cream roller blind, from £78

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    Spring yellows

    by  • 21/01/2010 • Country style • 1 Comment

    We are all happily working on the Spring issues at the moment, which is heart-lifting with all the grey weather around. I am particularly loving the use of yellow that is popping up everywhere in this year’s fabric and wallpaper collections. Take a look these new fabrics from Vanessa Arbuthnott‘s new Meadow collection that use pretty yellows and soft greys. ‘All the good things that I love in the meadows around us – foliage, blossom, butterflies and birds are here,’ she says.

    Vanessa Arbuthnott

    Vanessa Arbuthnott's new Meadow collection

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    The Make Lounge

    by  • 20/01/2010 • Country craft • 0 Comments

    I love this pretty purse made by Laura Stimpson at a workshop at The Make Lounge – a great craft studio and shop that offers contemporary workshops in a relaxed setting. You can see more pictures of Laura’s metal frame purses on her blog Well.illbedarned. There are lots of other crafts to try at The Make Lounge, too. Try your hand at jewellery making, learn to sew or decorate cupcakes – it’s a great way to spend an evening learning something new! 

    A pretty purse made by Laura Stimpson at The Make Lounge.

    A pretty purse made by Laura Stimpson at The Make Lounge.

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    by  • 18/01/2010 • Country style • 2 Comments

    There is something so country about a dresser.

    The shelves are the perfect place to display favourite china, keepsakes and knick-knacks, and the cupboards and drawers underneath can be used for everyday cutlery and crockery or for hiding away all the junk you don’t want anyone to see!

    I love the clean lines and cosy oak colouring of this one from Warren Cabinets. A family business based near Ledbury in Herefordshire, it specialises in hand built and customised freestanding furniture.

    Warren Cabinets Dresser

    Warren Cabinets Dresser, £3,950

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    Print and pattern

    by  • 14/01/2010 • Country style • 1 Comment

    Just came across this beautiful, understated blog by Jane Foster, an artist specialising in silk screen prints. She has produced designs on fabric for the new revamped Clothkits (remember them?) and her greetings cards have been on sale in Habitat. She also sells things online. I find her clean, fresh yet retro style irresistible – and perfect for a new year.

    Jane Foster's vintage fabric cats


    Intricate silk screen prints by Jane Foster

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    Snowdrops and Emma Bridgewater

    by  • 12/01/2010 • Country style • 3 Comments

    The first snowdrops are just starting to push through despite the freezing weather. It never fails to surprise me how delicate and beautiful they are.

    Emma Bridgewater has just launched a new range of Spring mugs, which includes this one with snowdrops. Every piece of Emma’s pottery is made by hand in a Victorian factory in Stoke-on-Trent using an adapted ‘recipe’ for earthenware that was invented by Josiah Wedgewood 250 years ago. Pretty, isn’t it?

    Snowdrop mug from Emma Bridgewater

    Snowdrop mug from Emma Bridgewater, £15.95

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