• Archive for June, 2011

    Handmade cushions

    by  • 15/06/2011 • Country craft • 0 Comments

    Want to get the handcrafted look at home but don’t have the time? Me too. So I was delighted to stumble across textile designer Liz Padgham-Major who designs and makes beautiful decorative cushions. Made with collected vintage and contemporary fabrics each cushion is unique and hand-drawn, cut and machine embroidered by Liz herself and features charming creatures, flowers and favourite country imagery. For more information about Liz, her designs and where to buy visit Tallbird.

    Lavender bag

    Lavender bag

    Bird cushion

    Bird cushion

    Heart cushion

    Heart cushion

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    Little Greene paint colours

    by  • 10/06/2011 • Country style • 2 Comments

    One of our favourite paint companies, Little Greene, are launching a very exciting new collection. It will be part of their English Heritage range which draws inspiration from colours used in decoration over different periods in history. ‘Retrospective’ is a palette of 32 vibrant colours that represent the iconic colours of the mid-century. You will have to wait until September for the launch but here is a sneaky preview, beautifully styled with a vintage typewriter…

    'Retrospective' paint colours by Little Green.

    ‘Retrospective’ paint colours by Little Green, from £16 for 1litre.

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    More garden news

    by  • 09/06/2011 • Country moment • 0 Comments

    With the wind, rain and odd sunny spells this week, the garden is looking very lush and green.

    The cauliflower and lettuce continue to grow and grow – a job for this week is to re-pot the lettuce and neaten some of the cauliflower leaves that threaten to take over the entire raised bed! We planted some tomatoes at the beginning of the week too to expand our salad range and we now have more than a handful of ripe strawberries and even some young blueberries.

    The wetter weather did bring out the slugs and snails though as you can see with one happy visitor in our photography round-up. We’ve coiled some copper tape around the raised beds to try and prevent them snacking too much on our crops!

    Raised beds

    Raised beds

    Our abundant lettuce

    Our abundant lettuce

    New tomato plants - heritage Tornado

    New tomato plants – heritage Tornado

    Blueberries

    Blueberries

    A visiting snail

    A visiting snail

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    Snapdragon’s garden

    by  • 08/06/2011 • Country craft • 3 Comments

    Now that we’ve had a bit of rain and everything’s started growing again, it’s reminded me that I wanted to share a lovely blog with you. Stirlingshire-based Jane Lindsey writes Snapdragon’s garden alongside her living-the-dream business, which combines growing flowers for cutting with hand making gorgeous embroidered home acccessories. The business itself, Snapdragon, appears in our August issue, due out at the beginning of July – it was one of those features that are an extra pleasure to work on. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

    A beautiful iris in Jane Lindsey's garden, with raindrops

    A beautiful iris in Jane Lindsey's garden, with raindrops

    The vintage Airstream trailer where she sells her embroidery

    The vintage Airstream trailer where she sells her embroidery

    One of Jane's pretty lavender bags

    One of Jane's pretty lavender bags

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    New Potatoes with Crab, Parsley and Lemon

    by  • 07/06/2011 • Country food • 3 Comments

    Easy supper using fresh seasonal produce

    I love new potatoes but it’s easy to get in a rut and simply dish them up with a salad or fish. But I’ve just got hold of a copy of the new cookbook from organic home delivery company Riverford. Called Everyday and Sunday (£18.99, available from www.riverford.co.uk), it describes what vegetables are in season month by month and the best ways to use them. One of my favourites is this recipe using new potatoes and crab – perfect for this time of year and so easy to do. It serves 4. You will need…

    1kg new potatoes

    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    150g white crab meat

    juice of 1 lemon, plus more if needed

    1 garlic clove, crushed

    1 red chilli, deseeded if preferred, chopped

    2 tbsp chopped parsley

    3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

    Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 15-20 minutes, then drain. Allow to cool, then cut them into halves or quarters. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and toss through the potatoes. Adjust the seasoning and add extra lemon juice if required.

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    Winners of the Country Business of the Year 2011

    by  • 06/06/2011 • Country craft, Country moment • 4 Comments

    We had some brilliant entries this year and last week, I sat down with the judges – Samantha Raggart of the Next Stage Consultancy, Kate Forman, owner of Kate Forman Interiors, Martine Joule and Dominie Cripps from clothing company Joules and Publisher of Country Homes & Interiors, Belinda Cooper – to decide on the winning entry! You can read all about it in our October issue (on sale 1st September). but in the meantime the winners, who win £6,000 worth of expert advice from The Next Stage Consultancy, are…

    Ginny Knox and Caroline Wilson of Wild At Heart, a hedgerow food business from Kent. Congratulations!

    The runners-up are…

    Caroline Tatham for The Cotswold Gardening School

    Lucy Schmidt for Barnickes Furniture

    Sophie Field for Sophie Made This

    Kate Fletcher for Vintage Style Hire

    Angela Ward for Baby Roots

    Debbie Humphrys for Red Hound For Dogs

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    Rooftop garden news

    by  • 02/06/2011 • Country moment • 2 Comments

    Our rooftop garden continues to thrive and grow – helped I’m sure by the recent rains we’ve had over the weekend.

    News this week includes the ripening of our first strawberries; more courgette flowers are in bloom; the tender carrot seedlings we planted are looking sturdier; the chives are almost ready to flower; and the cauliflowers are bursting from their beds. See here for some of our favourite photographs

    Ripening strawberries

    Ripening strawberries

    Courgette flowers

    Courgette flowers

    Carrot seedlings

    Carrot seedlings

    Chives

    Chives

    Leafy cauliflowers

    Leafy cauliflowers

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    Fun craft stamps

    by  • 01/06/2011 • Country craft • 0 Comments

    I love the range of stamps and stickers made by Lollipop– an easy way to make your own cards or pictures. Inspired by designer Rachel Le Mesurier’s love of wildlife such as birds and butterflies, and the sun-bleached colours of South West France, the designs are really jolly and would make a cheerful addition to homemade gifts. They also have a great range of craft kits, wrapping paper, stationery, bags and some really cute colour-in T shirts.

    Lollipop stamps

    Lollipop stamps

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