• Archive for November, 2010

    Lovely letter

    by  • 30/11/2010 • Country craft, Country style • 1 Comment

    I had a lovely letter from Mrs Peggy Ruscoe yesterday, that I thought I’d share with you:

    ‘I have just seen the front cover of the November issue of Country Homes & Interiors and had to do a double-take. Covering the table was the identical tablecloth to the one I have! Mine was bought as a kit to embroider oneself from, if  I remember correctly, my mother’s weekly Woman magazine in about 1964.

    ‘I was engaged to be married and made this cloth for my future home. I used it a lot in our early married life, but as our family grew in size we needed a bigger dining table and a larger cloth to fit! On seeing it in print I have found it in the cupboard and shall be proud to use it again – it still looks good for a 46-year-old cloth! Thanks for making my day!

    Embroidered tablecloth

    November's cover picture with embroidered cloth, £24, Tobias and The Angel

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    by  • 29/11/2010 • Country moment • 5 Comments

    Down here on the South coast, it looked like we had had it pretty easy on the snow front. But there was a fine carpet of the white stuff outside at sunrise this morning. Have you had any?


    The first snow

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    Make a Christmas present sack

    by  • 24/11/2010 • Country craft • 7 Comments

    You’ll find this lovely festive sack in our out-very-soon January issue. It’s been personalised with an appliquéd initial in a beautifully plush velvet fabric – just choose a shade that fits your decorating scheme. It’s simple to make from a single piece of linen fabric with a channel stitched at the top for the rope pulls. If you can’t wait until the issue is out to have a go, click for our easy step-by-step instructions. All you have to do now is buy the presents to fill it!

    Personalise your sack with an appliquéd initial in velvet fabric

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    by  • 23/11/2010 • Country style • 2 Comments

    I am totally obsessed with storage today. Having tripped over my sons’ muddy shoes and waded through the pile of winter coats on the floor last night, our entrance area is in dire need of order! I am hankering after this Farmhouse chest from The Cotswold Company. Bliss!

    Farmhouse Chest

    The Farmhouse Chest from The Cotswold Company, £299

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    Christmas wreath masterclass

    by  • 22/11/2010 • Country craft, Country moment, Country style • 2 Comments

    The Country Homes & Interiors reader event in conjunction with Peony, the silk faux flower specialist, was a great success last Thursday. Held on the Ruckley Estate in Shropshire, readers enjoyed making their own Christmas wreaths, a tour of the Peony factory with its extensive range of beautiful silk flowers, and a delicious lunch in the drawing room. Many thanks to Julie Bates and everyone at Peony for making it such a special day.

    If you went along, I would love to hear how you got on…

    Ruckley Estate

    The home of Peony

    Country Homes & Interiors guests arrive for coffee

    Peony range

    The amazing selection of faux flowers from Peony

    Making Peony wreaths

    Readers get creative making their own Christmas wreaths

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    Marks & Spencer Crochet Cool

    by  • 19/11/2010 • Country craft, Country style • 5 Comments

    While the rest of the nation is settling into winter we’re enjoying a little light relief as we get stuck into our spring/summer ’11 issues. One of my favourite collections seen so far is Crochet Cool from Marks and Spencer where they’ve taken this classic technique and given it a fresh, modern makeover. Statement crochet rugs, large scale prints and crochet corsage detailing on cushions and throws all come in wonderfully vibrant colours.

    beautiful spring summer crochet home textiles from marks and spencer

    Fashion Vintage Floral Bed Set, £49.50; Fashion Vintage Stripe Bed Set, £49.50; Fashion Vintage Crochet Throw, £75; Home Text Cushion, £25; Modern Task Light, £29.50; Clock, £25; Tea Light Holders, £25 (set of 3).

    Beautiful crochet designs from marks and spencer spring summer collection

    Penrose Medium Sofa in Baker Chenille Amethyst, £499; Love Letters, £19.50; Multi Crochet Flower Cushion, £45; Fashion Vintage Print Cushion, £15; Ditsy Print Floral Cushion, £15; 3D Large Flower Cushion, £35; La Perla Cushion, £15; Round Button Velvet Cushion, £15; Fashion Vintage Corsage Cushion, £25.

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    Country Homes & Interiors – 25 years on…

    by  • 18/11/2010 • Country style • 2 Comments

    Did you live in, or move to, the country in the mid 1980s?

    Country Homes & Interiors is celebrating its 25th birthday in April 2011 and, as part of the celebrations, we are looking for stories and anecdotes from readers old and new on how you think country property, decorating style, food and lifestyle has changed over the last 25 years.

    I would love to hear your thoughts. I hope to include as many of them as I can in the magazine next year. Here’s a look at the first-ever cover…

    Country Homes & Interiors

    The launch issue of Country Homes & Interiors

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    Fabric flower corsage

    by  • 17/11/2010 • Country craft, Country style • 1 Comment

    This fabric flower corsage, made by Deputy Editor Sara Bird, is a great way to brighten up Autumn and Winter jackets – or even a cushion!

    Cut long double petal shapes by folding fabrics in half, right side facing. With the fold near you, draw a heart shape but omit the point at the bottom. Cut out and unfold fabric to make curvy bow shaped petals. Make further petal shapes of decreasing sizes to represent the smaller petals. Starting with the larger shapes overlay to make a circular flower shape. To secure in place pinch the back of the flower and sew a few stitches, keeping the thread taught to add a slightly gathered look to the fabrics. Sew a couple of buttons in the middle of the flower to cover the join and stitches. Finally add a brooch back to the reverse of the flower with a couple of secure stitches.

    Fabrics from a selection at Clarke & Clarke and curtainsforkids.co.uk. Buttons from John Lewis. Brooch back from beadsdirect.co.uk

    For more creative ideas visit housetohome.co.uk

    Fabric corsage

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    Bonfire night

    by  • 15/11/2010 • Country moment • 1 Comment

    Rye – ‘The Fifth’

    Remember, Remember the Fifth of November

    The Gunpowder Treason and Plot

    There is no reason why gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.

    A stick ands a stake, for George’s sake,

    One for Peter, two for Paul,

    If you don’t give us one, We’ll steal ‘em all.

    So oller boys, oller boys, make the bells ring

    Blow up the Sluice and

    God Save the King!

    In celebration of the above, The Rye Bonfire Society put on another spectacular night. I wrote about it last year and this November was no exception…

    Rye bonfire

    Rye bonfire

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    The Contemporary Home

    by  • 12/11/2010 • Country craft, Country style • 2 Comments

    We hope you’re all enjoying our latest Christmas issue! Unfortunately there was a mis-credit in the gift guide on page 13.  This friendly felt robin is in fact from The Contemporary Home. Our apologies to them for the error.

    Felt robin decoration, £3.79.

    Felt robin decoration, £3.79.

    Also, have a peek at their expansive range of other Christmas goodies. A one-stop shop for hand-picked gifts and lovely decorations with a crafty feel. Here’s a few of our favourites to inspire and entice…

    Cranberry Wreath, £17.99; other products shown, from £3.50.

    Cranberry Wreath, £17.99; other products shown, from £3.50.

    A lovely idea; present your Christmas cards on this garland and attach to a kitchen dresser…

    Cardholder garland, £8.99.

    Cardholder garland, £8.99.

    A bit of a twist on the traditional wreath is this fun brussel sprout design and I love these rustic hand-carved wooden letters; the perfect finishing touch to a mantle piece or shelf…

    Brussel sprout wreath, £19.99; Wooden letters, £24.99.

    Brussel sprout wreath, £19.99; Wooden letters, £24.99.

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