Friday, 28 November 2014

My month in pictures + A chilly November

Well it's almost the end of November. There's a chill in the air, the fires are burning and hot milky drinks have been keeping my cockles toasty. The autumn was lovely wasn't it? I think the reason I haven't started bombarding you with rustic Christmas delights yet is because I'm not quite ready to let the autumn go - but my inner child is screaming at me to put up decorations and watch Christmas films. How lucky we are, to be warm and loved ... and have such things to look forward too.  So before we begin the countdown into cosy winter madness, here's a look back over November ...

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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Rag rugging for beginners - with Jenni Stuart-Anderson

I've wanted to make a rag rug ever since I learned that my great grandma used to make them, while sitting in front of her fire. Like many people she couldn't afford to buy rugs, so she would keep her toesies warm by making rag rugs - for the lounge, bedroom and bathroom ... and all she used was some sack cloth, and some old duvets. Rag rugging is such an easy, pleasurable craft and anyone can do it. It's a rough and ready craft that doesn't require too much concentration so we can still keep one eye on our beloved Downton Abbey! 

How to make a rag rug

At my recent visit to the Alexandra knitting and stitching show, I took a 'rag-rugging' workshop (which is also known as 'progging') with the rag-rugging Jedi MASTER - Jenni Stuart Anderson and she very kindly said I could share it with my lovely readers. So grab ya bodgers (oh-err missus) and lets get progging! 

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Thursday, 20 November 2014

A handmade holiday - Otter Cottage (Bwthyn Dwrgi) in Wales.

For some time I've been meaning to share some of the wonderful holiday cottages we have had the fortune to stay in. If you' have never tried a country cottage getaway and you are not sure if it's right thing for you,  then I'd suggest having a quick read of the handmade cottage guide to cottage holidays. Many associate a holiday with sun, sand, and foreign lands but once you dip your toe into exploring the UK, you'll not only find it's far cheaper than hopping abroad, but you'll soon discover a wonderful array of magical and mysterious places that are sitting just beyond our doorstep. 

Photograph Otter Cottage (Bwthyn Dwrgi) in Wales

'Otter Cottage' otherwise known as 'Bwthyn Dwrgi' by the locals, is a beautiful rustic family cottage situated in the Welsh countryside, a short drive from Hay on Wye. It has views of the Black mountain and a babbling brook running alongside it. I spent Christmas 2013 here, with Hubby, my parents, and the two dogs. It was our christmas present to ourselves. It's worth remembering that cottages differ in price depending on the time of year, so if you're watching pennies check for low peak seasons as they can be as cheap as £250 for a week.

Where is it: Wales
Sleeps: 5
Price from: 299.00 (based on minimum of two staying)
Bed layout: Master Double, Double and the Single only
Pets: Welcome (max 2 dogs)
Note: The stairs are quite steep, so may not be suitable for those with mobility issues.

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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

A Brambly Hedge Haven - by Penny Perrett

In today's guest post I'd like to share some beautiful work with you.  I have a very crafty friend, called Penny Perrett, and while visiting Penny at her granddaughters house the other day I was lucky enough to see some of Penny's work. She showed me into her granddaughters nursery - and it was a very special nursery indeed. Penny had decorated the room with Mural's - all inspired by the lovely Brambly hedge! You can imagine my squeals of delight can't you? what a lovely nature-inspired environment for a child to grow up in. 

The Brambly Hedge Toy Box

by Penny Perrett

Brambly hedge Toy box

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Friday, 14 November 2014

My thrifty finds + The chandelier, the silver tray & the hunt for the floral mohair.

Well it's been a while since I posted some thrifty finds - but don't let this fool you into thinking I haven't been a thrifty bee. Once bitten by the 'vintage thrift spotting' bug it's in your blood and cannot be denied! I'm not the only one - Mrs Miggins next door loves to blow her bingo winnings on thrifty finds ... at least it keeps her out of the betting shops ;-) So what's new in thrifty podie town?

Silver tray gives dressing table focal point

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Monday, 10 November 2014

Shabby chic wooden heart GIVEAWAY - from Earths Deco.

 photo woodenhearts.png

I bring crafty good news! I have FIVE of these gorgeous shabby chic hearts to giveaway to five of my readers this week, courtesy of Earths Deco - a lovely cottage business who craft Home ware and Jewellery using mainly natural materials.  If you'd like one of these gorgeous trinkets to shabby-chic-up your Christmas tree, all you have to do to enter is:

1. Leave a comment below, telling me what you'd like from Santa this year.
2. Follow A Handmade Cottage AND Earth deco's page on Facebook! 

The competition ends at midnight on monday 17th November. Good luck, and don't forget there's 5 chances to win ;-) 

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Thursday, 6 November 2014

NEW VIDEO: Making gifts from pressed flowers and autumn leaves

Hello all! Well I've been a busy bee filming this week, and I have several new videos on their way to you. The first, is about pressing flowers and leaves. The projects mentioned in this video are already on the blog, so forgive me for repeating myself. Only many of my youtube subscribers don't follow the blog, so I thought I'd make an autumn video and inspire you all into making some quick and easy pressed flower christmas gifts!  PS. Apologies for Ralphy's absence, he was away on business.

In this short video I show you ... 

1. How to press flowers 
2. Some simple yet beautiful gifts that can be made with pressed flowers
3. How to make an autumn leaf garland using pressed autumn leaves in 5 minutes.
To see the full tutorial on each of these projects simply click the links below.

JM x

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Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Autumn leaf candle lanterns

With so many beautiful coloured leaves scattered around our feet it seems a shame not to put them to good use. Aside from the autumn leaf garland I made earlier in the month, I also like to decorate the fireplace with autumn leaf candle lanterns. They make wonderful centerpieces ... give a lovely warm glow on dark autumn evenings and in true AHC fashion, they're super simple and quick to make.

All you need ...

Autumn leaves (fresh or pressed)
Brown twine / string
Jam jar
Sticky pads
Wire and pliers (optional)
Small pine cone or berries (optional)

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