• Archive for June, 2011

    Kitchen garden update

    by  • 30/06/2011 • Country moment • 0 Comments

    Fellow workers here at Country Homes & Interiors HQ are about to share in the garden bounty as we are in the midst of organising our first food crop raffle.

    Ticket buyers have the chance of winning a bag of our finest and freshest vegetables and salad including courgettes, peas, lettuce, radish and herbs. Here’s to raising lots of money for our chosen charity SPECAL!

    See below for some of the pickings waiting our lucky winner…

    Peas waiting to be picked

    Peas waiting to be picked

    Carrots waiting to be pulled up

    Carrots waiting to be pulled up

    Our first Calendula flower

    Our first Calendula flower

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    Make a magazine bag

    by  • 29/06/2011 • Country craft, Country style • 1 Comment

    This lovely hand-made bag is the latest Country Homes & Interiors sewing project and features in our August 2011 issue.

    It’s simple to sew with the pockets created from a single piece of fabric folded and stitched to create the pocket shapes (see the illustration below). The lovely leaf motif fabric is Embroidered Union in Sage Fern by Ian Mankin.

    If you fancy having a go at making it you’ll find the full instructions here, or go to our sister site House to Home for more easy country-style makes ideas.

    Choose a fabric to tone in with your decorating scheme and hang your magazine bag over the arm of your sofa for easy access...

    Measure, stitch, then fold up a single piece of fabric to create the two pockets.

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    100% Norway

    by  • 27/06/2011 • Country moment, Country style • 1 Comment

    I was very privileged to be invited to the Residence of the Norwegian Ambassador last Thursday to meet some amazing designers who will be showcasing their creations on the 100% Norway stand at the 100% Design show this September.

    Amongst the beautiful products were these ethereal porcelain bowls and vases by girl duo Wik & Wolsoe. The collection below, called Leve, was inspired by the intricate pattern of tree bark. ‘Our design inspiration comes from respect for nature and Norwegian folklore,’ they say. The range will be stocked in Heal’s from August.

    Leve collection

    Leve collection by Wik & Wolsoe

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    Oil cloth from New House Textiles

    by  • 24/06/2011 • Country craft, Country style • 0 Comments

    Oil cloth is a wonderful thing and a kitchen favourite of mine. It’s practical and pretty and can be flung over a table ready to endure lively family life. Now three designs from New House Textiles are available in oil cloth and I think they offer a nice alternative to floral or polka dot.

    Fabric and oil cloth by the metre.

    Fabric and oil cloth by the metre.

    Red Orchard oil cloth, £20.50 a metre, New House Textiles.

    Red Orchard oil cloth, £20.50 a metre, New House Textiles.

    Picknick oil cloth, £20.50 a metre.

    Picknick oil cloth, £20.50 a metre.

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    News from the garden

    by  • 23/06/2011 • Country moment • 1 Comment

    Whilst the rain may be halting Wimbledon, it’s certainly going down well with the veggies on our roof. So much so we had a mini-harvest the other day. The spring greens were cut back to enable the sun to get onto our ripening peas and a few leafy radishes were pulled to make some more ground room. The radishes were delicious raw, but any recipes suggestions for both of these crops are very welcome!

    Other news, as mentioned the peas are coming on a treat. There are many flowers and a few pods. Herby dill is bushing out and now in flower, as are the peppers and we have teeny-tiny cauliflowers coming on.

    Radish crop

    Radish crop

    Pea pods

    Pea pods

    Dill in flower

    Dill in flower

    Pepper flowers

    Pepper flowers

    Cauliflower

    Cauliflower

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    Sign up for a summer craft course

    by  • 22/06/2011 • Country craft • 0 Comments

    If you’ve got time on your hands over summer and feel like trying something creative why not sign up and learn a new craft.

    Hope and Elvis, run by artist Louise Presley, has a number of creative classes running through the summer at her studios based in the beautiful grounds for Welbeck Abbey, Nottinghamshire. Try your hand at bag, book, cushion or mosaic making, to name but a few. Living by the sea as I do, I particularly like the sound of her Coast course on the 23rd/24th July in which you can learn how to make beach inspired textiles. Course and ticket information is available from Five Go Mad

    Coast course

    Coast course

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    Pick your own…

    by  • 20/06/2011 • Country food • 3 Comments

    Spent a very happy morning yesterday picking summer fruits at our local Pick Your Own.  I can’t believe how lucky we are to have strawberries, raspberries, tayberries, gooseberries and cherries growing five minutes down the road.

    The kids loved it and were stunned into silence (unusual!) when we had them with homemade meringues and cream as Sunday dessert!

    pick your own strawberries

    Warmed-by-the-sun strawberries - my favourite!

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    Winter’s Moon

    by  • 17/06/2011 • Country style • 0 Comments

    For a quirky assortment of vintage, recycled and handmade items, browse away online at Winter’s Moon. Owners Julia and Becky run their little business from their studio in Chichester. They are both self-confessed magpies who love to give pieces a new lease of life. Their collection is a delight and here’s a pick of my favourites…

    Vintage Rocking Chair in Grey with Welsh Wool Seat, £195.

    Vintage Rocking Chair in Grey with Welsh Wool Seat, £195.

    Vintage Oversized Alarm Clock, £28.

    Vintage Oversized Alarm Clock, £28.

    Big Fat Squirrel Doorstop, £36.

    Big Fat Squirrel Doorstop, £36.

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    Roof garden update

    by  • 16/06/2011 • Country moment • 2 Comments

    Our garden is clearly enjoying the abundance of rain on the roof as everything is growing wild and green.

    This week the runner beans are racing up their poles and flowering handsomely; the chives are also abundant with flowers; we have baby courgettes coming through and the nasturtium and calendula seeds are now pushing through as small plants….see below!

    French beans

    French beans

    Chives in flower

    Chives in flower

    Baby courgettes

    Baby courgettes

    Nasturtium and calendula

    Nasturtium and calendula

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