• Archive for September, 2010


    by  • 30/09/2010 • Country food, Country moment • 7 Comments

    I have been patiently waiting for the damsons at the back of our house to ripen. Yesterday, Jamie and I pottered over on our ritual late-afternoon walk to discover that, hooray, they were. Under their beautiful blue-suede skin was that rare deliciousness that you only ever get straight from the tree  – heaven!

    Can anyone recommend a good damson recipe? I would love hear about it…


    They're ready!

    Jamie holding damsons

    Little balls of loveliness!

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    Make jam pot covers

    by  • 29/09/2010 • Country craft, Country food, Country style • 6 Comments

    Deputy Editor Sara Bird has jazzed up these jam pots in minutes just with a bit of fabric and some ribbon.

    To make cut a square fabric swatch so it is big enough to generously cover the lid of the jam jar. Stick the swatch centrally on to the top of lid with some double sided tape, then pull the sides down and tie in place with some pretty ribbon. If you have more time, add a name label for the jam.

    And for a delicious jam recipe, try using the same as Sara followed for plum and ginger jam seen in the Waitrose Kitchen magazine.

    Fabrics from a selection at Cabbages and Roses. Ribbon from a selection at John Lewis.

    For more craft ideas visit housetohome.co.uk

    Jam pot cover

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    Decorex favourites

    by  • 28/09/2010 • Country moment, Country style • 0 Comments

    At Decorex, the UK’s best-known interior design shows, yesterday, we were treated to a unique and exciting new mix of looks and ideas. This show is a ‘must-go’ date in the diary as it gives us an opportunity to sift through the key themes and trends that will inspire our pages in the coming months. It’s also a great opportunity to chat to the incredibly talented people behind the brands.

    Here are four of my favourites for country style…

    1. The playful new Gilbert range from Cabbages & Roses

    Cabbages & Roses

    Passing Ships from the Gilbert range, Cabbages & Roses

    2. Linwood‘s New England collection for its elegant fern leaves, checks, plains and ticking stripes…


    New England collection from Linwood

    3. Newcomer Louise Body‘s charming new wallpaper and fabric collection…

    Louise Body

    Autumn Woods from Louise Body

    4. The carefree and zingy spirit of the Avalon collection from Thibaut


    Island Ikat wallpaler from Avalon collection at Thibaut

    On Thursday, I will also be posting my favourites from Focus at Chelsea Harbour Design Centre, including Sanderson, RomoGP&J Baker and Jane Churchill.

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    Roger La Borde

    by  • 27/09/2010 • Country moment, Country style • 0 Comments

    Known for their beautifully illustarted cards and stationery, Roger La Borde is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a pop-up shop at design emporium Liberty.

    Don’t miss a chance to see some incredible originals by some of their favourite artists, including a giant Rob Ryan Paper Cut, three of Su Blackwell breath-taking book sculptures, quirky and dreamy hand-coloured prints by Elise Hurst. Then treat yourself to exquisite the notecards and notebooks.

    Roger La Borde

    Elise Hurst's notebooks and Jubilee tea towel from Roger La Borde

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    Stitch an autumn napkin ring

    by  • 22/09/2010 • Country craft • 1 Comment

    It’s nice to have a few little seasonal bits and bobs about the house. This sweet napkin ring appears in our up-and-coming November issue.

    It’s so easy to make – just a linen collar with a hook and loop fastener and a felt oak-leaf trim held in place with a press-stud.

    Click for instructions and for more autumn ideas visit our sister site House to Home.

    Choose felt and linen fabrics for an autumn feel.

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    George Clarke on carpet

    by  • 21/09/2010 • Country style • 2 Comments

    I had the pleasure of meeting architect and TV presenter George Clarke, and the team from funonthefloor.com, this morning.

    As lovely in real life as he is when appearing on shows like Build A New Life and Restoration Man, George is one of the many interior experts currently getting people to reconsider their perception of carpet. ‘I’m a big fan of carpet,’ he says. ‘Carpet is warm, easy to care for and hygienic. It absorbs sound and keeps the heat in. And there is a huge variety of textures, colours and styles that can completely transform a room.’

    When you see rooms like this, it makes me want to reconsider my oak flooring!

    Gorgeous carpets for country homes

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    Quentin Blake wallpaper

    by  • 17/09/2010 • Country style • 2 Comments

    Always a favourite were the wonderful Roald Dahl stories that Quentin Blake illustrated. Based on his favourite characters and graphics is this new collection of children’s wallpapers that will transport you back to your childhood days. Designed exclusively for Osborne and Little, I love this fun Menagerie design with naughty farmyard animals bounding around!

    Menagerie wallpaper, £27 a roll, Osborne and Little

    Menagerie wallpaper, £27 a roll, Osborne and Little

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    Country Homes & Interiors Garden Party

    by  • 16/09/2010 • Country moment • 5 Comments

    We held our first-ever Country Homes & Interiors Garden Party yesterday.

    Friends, clients and staff of the magazine gathered at the very-special Clifton Nurseries to celebrate two things: the winners of our Country Business of the Year competition; and the fact that the magazine has just achieved its sixth consecutive circulation increase.

    It was great fun to have so many lovely people and everyone enjoyed the music from the Galamian String Quartet and beautiful afternoon tea. Here are a few photos…

    Party Welcome

    Welcome to our party

    Clifton Nurseries

    The lovely venue - Clifton Nurseries

    Everyone starts arriving

    Everyone starts arriving


    Me making the 'welcome' speech

    Hayley Southwood and Rhoda

    The winner Hayley Southwood and me

    Yvonne Ramsden

    Our lovely publishing director, Yvonne Ramsden




    ...and nibbles

    Many thanks to Joules, Bonne Maman and Cabbages & Roses, and Clifton Nurseries.

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    Covered button purse

    by  • 15/09/2010 • Country craft, Country style • 3 Comments

    I love finding easy ways to update accessories and clothes, such adding these pretty covered buttons, made by Deputy Editor Sara Bird.

    To make the covered buttons, buy a self-cover button pack available at most good haberdasheries. Separate the enclosed button parts and cut out the circular card templates. Place the template onto your fabric, cut around it then sew a running stitch around the edge of the fabric, leaving the thread ends loose. Place the fabric circle right side down, then the button front on top and tighten the loose threads around the button shaft and tie off. Push the remaining button ‘back’ on the shaft to seal.

    The buttons can be used to update all sorts of things, or why not place on a purse made with co-ordinating fabric folded and sewn into an envelope shape with a button loop made from braid. Perfect for loose change or back-to-school lunch money

    Self-cover buttons from Sew Essential. Fabrics from a selection at Elanbach

    For more craft ideas visit housetohome.co.uk

    Covered button purse

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