Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Quick and easy winter curtains (without the need for sewing!)

Well like it or not, Jack frost is on our heels my dear people. We're already putting our heating on and I'm sitting here writing this in my thermals.  As you know I LOVE this time of year because I love being cosy. In fact my husband often calls me 'Mole' (affectionately of course) because I sit by the fire wrapped up in my blanket with Ralphy (my doggy) in one arm and my hot-water bottle in the other. Yes I know I'm only 35 but I feel the cold! When you live in an old Victorian cottage it sneaks in through the floorboards, doors, keyholes and windows. So it's time to baton down the hatches and heavy winter curtains are vital for keeping the warm in and the cold out. 

How to make the 'blanket and lace' winter curtain

Sourcing thick heavy curtains can prove VERY expensive. I know because I recently looked. Sourcing nice fabric is also expensive so I had a good think and came up with a solution and your going to love me for it! (it's probably already been done but I haven't checked so don't sue me) all I know is anyone can do this and it takes no time at all ...

Please note I've now made a video for this post, if you would like to see it click ... here 

All you need is:

* Thick blanket / bedspread 
big enough to cover the entire doorway / window (I found mine in a charity shop). Make sure there's no gap at the bottom.

* Lace tablecloth (optional) 
 long enough to cover the blanket

* Pincer clips with ring 
(from hobbycraft) I stumbled upon these purely by accident ... and they have saved me (and possibly you) an absolute fortune.

To make the curtain: 

1. Lay the lace over the blanket

2. Clip them together using the pincer clips at regular intervals along the top.

3.  Pop them on your curtain rail! It's a simple as that and not a needle and thread in sight : )

Curtains for every season

This is such an easy way to make curtains. You can just change your fabric throughout the year... perhaps just leave the lace for the summer?I'm also going to be making a pair of cotton curtains this week for my kitchen without the need for sewing! So I'll video this for you and share it later this week. If you'd like to receive these posts / videos / tips by email just join the cottage mailing list below.

Tips for winter-proofing your home

Draft excluders 

'Sausage dogs' along the bottom of your front and back door.

Foam door sticky stuff 

For gaps around the door. You can by a roll of this foam (inch wide, 5mm thick) that you can stick around the door. Works a treat on our back door.

Indoor letterbox cover 

I get a terrible draught from our letter box and have just bought a letterbox draught excluder myself. 

Keyhole cover 

I didn't think a keyhole could produce a draught but it really does. Something else I bought this week! 

Ralphy's not too impressed by winter ...

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Monday, 9 September 2013

The cottage guide to BLACKBERRY picking!

I LOVE this time of Year! When blackberry picking time comes around I get so excited. I do love summer but I love autumn more. It's such a beautiful time ... the colours, snugly blankets, fires, hot chocolate and BLACKBERRY AND APPLE CRUMBLE! we're also allowed to get a bit fat as we need the warmth : ) I realise I haven't talked about craft much lately but I'm just too distracted by the pick n' mix of berries in our hedgerows at the moment. Thanks to a glorious summer the bushes are jam-packed (see what I did there?) with fruit this year which means? ... 'one for me, one for the basket, one for me ...' 

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Monday, 2 September 2013

Making Sloe gin - How to tell when Sloe Berries are ripe

So it's been a wonderful summer and the hedgerows are bursting with bumper crops this year ... 'one for me, one for Ralphy, one for me ...' I'm determined to make the most of mother natures bounty this year. So today I want to give you a heads up on the SLOE berry. It's not picking time yet but it will be soon so here's a guide to picking at the right time.

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