Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Frequently asked questions

 Do you live in a thatched cottage in the wilderness?

No. We would LOVE to live in a thatched cottage in the wilderness and I hope one day we will. Like most people we walk past lovely old houses while out walking whilst going "ooooh I love that one" and "nah that ones too big for my liking" but for now we live in a 2 bedroom Victorian terraced cottage, in an old market town in Hertfordshire. 

What's your house like? 

Our house is old and has lots of character, which I love. However it's dimensions are quite small and we're outgrowing it to be honest - as you know I like collecting things! Although it's not our dream house, I do love it. It has 2 bedrooms (our bedroom and a hubby manhole - meaning his studio, he doesn't work in an actual manhole) and it has a small garden. It does us perfectly well for now and we're lucky to have it. However, I do have my hopes pinned on a thatched cottage in the wilderness - or something like it :-) a shed perhaps?

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Friday, 25 July 2014

My floral fair isle cardigan + shopping for knitwear in Summer (yes that's what I said)

Oh my dear readers, look what Mr Postie brought me this week! I can say with the utmost certainty, this humble cardigan is, without a doubt, one of my favourite fings. You can tell I love it by how happy I look ... especially since it was one of the hottest days of the year at the time of this picture (it's roasting!) As well as being a 'favourite fing' it's also a 'thrifty find' because it wasn't just luck that brought me to this cardi, it was sneakiness! and here's how you can be sneaky too ....

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Thursday, 24 July 2014

My rustic garden furniture - affordable, natural and easily sourced.

Rustic tree table - natural and easily sourced.

Tables and chairs ...

I needed to source some garden furniture earlier this year, and since I'm a bit of hippy earth-mother (as you know) I wanted to find some lovely rustic furniture that was, ideally, handmade. First I wanted some comfy seating ... and lucky for me I found a lovely three-piece bamboo suite from an ECCO charity shop for £50! The cushions were all handmade. Although meant for inside, I've painted and weather-proofed it for outside.

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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Love My Dress features A Handmade Wedding

I've been feeling quite popular this month! Last week I was Laura Ashley's blogger of the month (oh yes I was) and today our handmade rustic wedding was been featured on Love my dress! What is Love my dress? it's the largest, most widely read, multi-award winning wedding blog in the UK and world ... and today they featured our wedding! Here's a quick glimpse ...

Awww I want to do it all over again!

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Monday, 21 July 2014

GIVEAWAY: Win 2 tickets to the 2014 Alexandra Palace Knit & Stitch Show

Morning lovelies! Well today I am super excited because I'm giving you crafty lot the chance to ...


I'm so pleased because I love the knit and stitch show and attend every year. If you love craft you will LOVE the show. It's a great day out and is full of demonstrations, workshops and wonderful stalls selling everything to do with craft. To see photo's and read my review of last years show you can do so here.  The competition will run for the 3 weeks and expire on the 10th August. The winner will be announced soon after ... see below to enter (it's easy and everyone has a good chance of winning - no favourites!)

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Friday, 18 July 2014

An interview with artist Brian Seymour

I love surrounding myself with beautiful scenes and images that move me in some way. I don't pretend to know much about art, but I don't think you need to know anything in order to love, and appreciate something. Today I have a super special guest to share with you. His name is Brian Seymour (Uncle Titch to me) - and he's an artist. He is my uncle, and the man responsible for our beautiful 'wedding tree' (which you can view below). Today I'd like to share his work with you, some of which I'm lucky enough to own myself.

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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Laura Ashley's blogger of the month!

Well I am pleased as punch, because this month Laura Ashley are featuring me as their blogger crush - blogger of the month! Their feature includes piccies from my blog, plus a Q and A with yours truly, in which they asked questions like; how did it all come about? what inspires me? what do I love about blogging? and what blogs do I follow?  I've always had a soft spot for Laura Ashley; their floral dresses, their soft furnishings and not to mention their blankets (hubby knows he can't go wrong with one of Laura's blankets.) So for them to like my little blog enough to share it with their followers makes me feel very humbled indeed. Below is a glimpse of the feature but should you like to read it for yourself just click this link ... 

* Laura Ashley's blogger of the month - A Handmade Cottage *

JM x

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Friday, 11 July 2014

The making of my antique lace wedding dress - Part 2

My antique lace wedding dress - The making of

Stage 1 -  Sourcing the fabric.

    So in part 1 I told you all about my search for the right dressmaker, how I went about designing my dress and finding the right fabric. Now it was finally time to make the dress! As we were using my Normandy antique lace bedspread to make this dress, our fabric needed to be supplemented with some more 'tulle' (very fine netting) as the bedspread alone wouldn't be enough. So I sourced some 'point d'esprit' - which is a tulle with tiny dots on. Adrienne, my dressmaker from Bridal path then dyed the tulle to match our lace with ... Nescafe coffee! It worked perfectly (though always do test run first!) We then sourced some lovely shimmery satin to use underneath the lace.

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Friday, 4 July 2014

Cider with Rosie

I picked up this lovely fabric-covered edition of 'Cider with Rosie' by Laurie Lee, from a second hand bookshop the other day. I'm only a few chapters in but already I can tell you with confidence, this is a wonderful book, and I can't believe I've reached the grand old age of 35 without having read it before!

It's such a lovely story, and this particular edition also contains some beautiful illustrations and images that bring the story to life. It also includes a handful of precious photographs of that time and place, preserved by the author for over 50 years.
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Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Beautiful handmade beauty gifts + harvesting lavender

Would you like to make these little bathing beauties for yourself, or as a gift for loved ones? I made these to feature in a craft magazine that's due on the shelves in the autumn / winter. They're so easy and cheap to make, and make beautiful gifts. I can't tell you how to make them now, as the instructions are going to be published but what I can tell you is; harvest your Lavender when it's ready (about now - July) and dry it out! Or if you don't have any growing keep your eye out for dried lavender, so when the time comes in Autumn you can make these (and the pretty labels too) for loved ones at Christmas! though if you do make them I suggest you make a few as some won't be leaving your bathroom ... x

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