Etsy List: Top of the Class

September 1st, 2014

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'Top of the Class' Etsy List by H is for HomeKids are back, this week or next, for the start of a brand new school year. September to me meant a crisp, starched, fresh school uniform; shiny new shoes; unwritten in exercise books and catching up with classmates after a 6-week hiatus.

I was always filled with a mixture of excitement and dread at this time of year – new teachers, new subjects, new timetable, new books… and Christmas holidays were only 3 months away! ;-)

Top of the Class
Curated by H is for Home

Trinca Ferro decorative knobs giveaway

September 1st, 2014

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Collection of Trinca Ferro decorative knobs in a heart shape on grass

Welcome to September’s giveaway. This month we’re working with Trinca Ferro. Originally launched in Brazil over 18 years ago, Trinca Ferro is an online hardware boutique specialising in decorative knobs and handles.

They have a huge range to choose from on their website, in materials such as metal, glass, ceramic, bone and resin.

If you’re fond of getting stuck into a bit of furniture up-cycling this competition is for you. Even if you’re a DIY newbie, changing the handles is the easiest & quickest way to give a new lease of life to a treasured chest (see what we did there?) of drawers or wardrobe.

There are lots of ways to enter, just leave a comment below to get started – good luck!

Trinca Ferro Decorative Knobs giveaway

Gardening for Wildlife

August 31st, 2014

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Cottage garden with borders, paths and shedImage credit: Kellan

Nothing beats sitting in your garden on a sunny afternoon, listening to the birds sing and watching other little wild creatures shuffle in and out of your garden. To encourage more wildlife info your garden, there are lots of tips and tricks you can implement so your garden is even more welcoming.

Starlings eating on a bird tableImage credit: pjs2005

Bird Tables

Having a bird table is a wonderful addition to a garden: you’ll have so many different bird species fluttering in and out of your garden throughout the year. There are many different types, from free standing bird tables, through wall mounted, ground feeding and small ones hanging from trees or fences. Place yours in front of a window so you can watch the birds even when the weather is chilly, and keep it stocked up with bird feed throughout the year to ensure you have your fair share of feathered visitors.

detailed view of a log pileImage credit: Martin Bamford

Log Pile

Piles of logs not only allow your wood to dry out for the best log fires in your fireplace, but they also allow biodiversity to thrive. It’s a great location for growing different mosses, and encouraging small mammals, insects and amphibians. Build it in a pyramid shape if you’d like to attract hedgehogs too, but never set it alight without checking for wildlife.

frog popping its head out of a pondImage credit: Dan Zen

Pond Life

Ponds are great for wildlife, and they’re really easy to construct. Make sure the edges are shallow: that’ll allow easy access for little creatures like frogs and newts. Install plants around the edges to shelter the pond life, and keep it clean with pond cleaners that aren’t made with too many chemicals.

Virginia creeper growing on a wooden fenceImage credit: Laura Bernhardt

Plants

Climbing plants are not only beautiful, but they also provide excellent nesting habitats. There are lots to choose from but good ones are roses, honeysuckle and clematis. If you have a bit more space, plant a hawthorn hedge, blackthorn or hazel: the hedge will provide nesting sites along with nuts and berries for wildlife during the harsh winter months.

Bee on lavenderImage credit: Alden Chadwick

Flowers

Encourage bees with pollen and nectar-producing plants like lavender. The Royal Horticultural Society can advise on the best plants, and you can also provide a dry nesting box for bees: one with a see-through window would allow you to watch them at work!

The garden is an amazing place for wildlife if you can create the perfect environment. With just a few easy steps you’ll have a garden bustling with life!

Charity Vintage: Apple Mac SE30

August 30th, 2014

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Apple Mac SE30 for sale by & in support of Emmaus Bristol(Ends 1 Sept, 2014 11:30:57 BST)

We’re big Apple Mac fans at H is for Home – in fact, we never part with them. We have a vintage Apple Mac SE30, iMac G4 and MacBook stored in the loft; and currently use a MacBook Pro and iPad Mini… and that’s not to mention the iPhone, iPod and iPod Nano!

If you have the space, wouldn’t all the various models look great displayed on a long shelf, charting the history of computer technology? A veritable Mac museum!

Way back in 1989, an Apple Mac SE30 would have set you back a cool $6,500 US. This one, for sale by & on behalf of Emmaus Bristol*, is currently a mere £26.00.

Emmaus Bristol provides “A bed and a reason to get out of it”. They are a community of formerly homeless people who do not claim benefits but work full time in their own recycling workshop repairing and refurbishing donated goods such as furniture, bicycles, electrical goods and bric-a-brac and selling to the public at reasonable cost.

Gimme Five! Outdoor thermometers

August 29th, 2014

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selection of 5 outdoor thermometers

The weather’s been all over the place in the past few weeks. The summer started with long hot sunny days then things became far more unpredictable; the remnants of a hurricane blew in from the US, there were hailstones in Hove and we’ve just had the coldest August bank holiday on record.

I’ve learnt from bitter (literally!) experience that just because the sun’s out doesn’t mean it’s warm. Or that rain means it will be cold. One big help with choosing outdoor attire has been the thermometer we have in our back garden, just outside the kitchen window. We can peak through the glass and see just how warm or cold it actually is. You’ll never go out over or under-dressed again!

There are quite a few outdoor thermometers available on the net. You can even find full-on weather stations if you’re that way inclined! As well as temperature, they measure humidity, rainfall, wind speed & direction, sunrise & sunset times, phase of the moon… We’re not that weather obsessed – a basic thermometer will suffice! :-)

  1. Annecy thermometer: £18, Garden Trading
  2. Giverny thermometer: £10, Notonthehighstreet
  3. Filigree thermometer: £9.99 Primrose
  4. Gooseberry thermometer: £26.50, John Lewis
  5. Giant solar garden thermometer: £9.99, Coopers of Stortford