Monthly Mood Board: Organised craft room

October 19th, 2014

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'Organised craft room' mood board

We have a spare bedroom in our house that has been earmarked as a work room. It’s currently acting as a spill-over stock room, but the dream is for it to be a craft room. Well, part organised craft room and part creative home office.

One of the main considerations for a craft room is storage. I like and need order in a work room – everything in its place and conveniently to hand. Although they’re lightweight and often transparent, I really don’t like ugly plastic boxes. Give me wood, wicker, cardboard, textile and other natural materials any day.

Another important thing to take into account is your comfort. You’ll probably be sitting down for long periods of time – at a sewing machine, at a desk – you don’t need a chair that makes your back ache. It needs to be the right height for the table or desk that you sit at so an adjustable workshop stool is ideal.

Adequate lighting is another necessity – especially if you’re doing jobs like embroidery or fitting a zip or attaching buttons. A good desk light with angled arms and a pivoting head is ideal for this kind of work. No straining your eyes with a dim overhead light casting a shadow over what you’re doing.

Once all these physical practicalities are taken care of, the emotional requirements need addressing. Colour is the best way to set a mood in an interior environment. Bright bursts of colour around the room lift the spirits. We both spend much of our working day listening to the radio – it’s usually tuned to BBC 6 Music but Radio 4 is the soundtrack to our lazy Sunday afternoons.

  1. Perival Sewing Silks box: £200, H is for Home
  2. JL110 sewing machine, yellow: £99, John Lewis
  3. Female tailor’s dummy/mannequin: £28.95, eBay
  4. Wooden sewing box with legs: £50, Hobbycraft
  5. Large green cutting mat: £14.99, Dunelm
  6. PALLRA box with lid, set of 4, dark yellow: 12, IKEA
  7. PURE Evoke Mio radio stem print by Orla Kiely: £149.99, Selfridges
  8. Hemingway ladies print sewing & knitting range: £3-£6, John Lewis
  9. Colour pop wall shelves by I Love Retro: £129, Notonthehighstreet
  10. White pegboard with wooden pegs, large: £47.30, Amazon
  11. Jielde Signal desk light: £220, Clippings
  12. Konstantin Grcic Tom & Jerry stool: £336, Conran Shop
  13. Fonteyn console desk, oak: £369, MADE

Charity Vintage: Cathrineholm milk pan

October 18th, 2014

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vintage Cathrineholm milk pan for sale on eBay for Charity by & in support of Midleton Elderly Aid
(ends 23 Oct, 2014 18:10:56 BST)

This vintage orange on white Cathrineholm milk pan is currently being auctioned on eBay for Charity.  It’s been listed with just a single photograph which shows a bit of scorching to the wooden handle. However, the enamel looks to be in very good nick. It’s for sale by & in support of Middleton Elderly Aid over in Leeds.

Unfortunately, they’ve spelt Cathrineholm wrong and haven’t mentioned the Lotus pattern. Hopefully potential buyers will find it despite this. Perhaps this is why it’s top bid is still only 99p despite being on eBay for Charity for two days and counting. The current going rate on eBay at the moment, for examples with a bit of wear & tear, is about £20.

Currently, in addition to the milk pan, Midleton Elderly Aid also have listed a matching medium-sized saucepan and skillet/frying pan – both in similar condition. If you bid on and win all three, postage costs will tumble!

*Middleton Elderly Aid intends to promote independence amongst the over-60s population of the Middleton area through a range of activites and services.

Gimme Five! Wool warmers

October 17th, 2014

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'Wool warmers' Gimme Five collection

It was National Wool Week here in the UK last week and to celebrate, the Campaign for Wool launched their Interiors Collection. “A curated edit of over fifty wool interior pieces, including a selection of specially commissioned items.”

Our favourites were London Transport Museum’s District moquette dog coat and the Woolroom’s sheep stool.

We’ve decided to put our own mini interiors collection together in homage! :-)

  1. ‘For Her’ cashmere hot water bottle gift by YUYU: £75, Notonthehighstreet
  2. Fern copper throw: £168, Luxdeco
  3. Cork sole wool shoes grey green: £97, Bouf
  4. Melin Tregwynt navy St David’s Cross cushion: £69.95, Liberty
  5. Crocheted bedspread/blanket: £75, H is for Home

Salted toffee popcorn

October 16th, 2014

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salted toffee popcorn | H is for Home

Popcorn is a ‘superfood’. It’s low in calories, fat, sugar and salt and high in fibre, protein, magnesium, iron, B1, B2, B6… You could almost live on popcorn alone!

If a healthy option is what you’re after, you’ve come to the wrong place. We’ve taken this healthy & delicious snack and morphed it into a devilish delight – salted toffee popcorn. It doesn’t take long to transform – a mere 10 minutes – it knocks the socks off (and costs a tiny fraction of) the stuff you can buy at the cinema.

So, next time you’re sitting down to an episode of Gogglebox, Homeland or Downton Abbey – quickly pop yoursef up some of this, it’s the perfect accompaniment!

We purloined the recipe from Katy Salter over at lovefood.

Salted toffee popcorn

Salted toffee popcorn

Ingredients

  • For the corn
  • 100g/3½oz popping corn
  • 1 tbsp vegetable/sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp butter
  • pinch sea salt flakes
  • For the toffee coating
  • 40g/1½oz soft brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • 30g/1oz unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  •  
  •  

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat
  2. Add the butter and melt, swirling it into the oil with a wooden spoon
  3. Pour in the corn and add a pinch of salt. Put the lid on the pan. The corn will start popping after about 1 minute and carry on for another 2-3 minutes
  4. When the popping sounds slow down to more than 4 or 5 seconds between pops, remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly in the pan
  5. In the meantime, add the butter, syrup, sugar and water to a saucepan over a medium-high heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the butter has melted and sugar dissolved
  6. Bring to the boil and let it bubble rapidly for 4-5 minutes, stirring throughout, until the mixture is a dark, toffee colour
  7. Pour the toffee sauce over the popcorn, and stir to coat all the kernels
  8. Sprinkle the salt over, again stirring to coat all the kernals
  9. Leave to cool slightly and let the toffee sauce harden for around 5 minutes before serving
http://hisforhomeblog.com/food/salted-toffee-popcorn/

Allotment Diary: Clearing up, winding down

October 15th, 2014

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cabbage, apples and potatoes from our allotment

Autumn is well & truly here – and our weekend visit to the allotment certainly proved it.

ripening tomatoes on our allotment

It was a beautiful sunny day, but the unmistakable signs of nature winding down for the year were all around.

collecting fallen leaves into a wheelbarrow

We picked a few remaining crops and cleared fallen leaves & beech masts.

robin on our allotment

Within seconds, our canny little friend appeared to snack on freshly uncovered worms & insects.

chilli apple compote made from windfall apples

Justin didn’t go hungry either – he rustled up an evening meal from the last of the vegetables and windfall apples.

pork chop with veg and apple sauce made from produce from our allotment

Pork chop with an apple & chilli compote – baby potatoes & cabbage with balsamic vinegar. Ready, Steady, Cook – eat your heart out! ;-)