Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Ralphy's Christmas Speech 2015




Deer everywun.

itz Ralfeee ere. I jus wantid to say ello to u all and say fanks for bein my frend this yeer. I like it wen u like my picturez cos it makes my couzin Buster jealos cos Iv got more frends than he has. I'v had a nice yeer an I hop u hav too ... iv had nice walks, cuddles and bonez and fings so im a very lucky doggie. this yeer instead of gettin me prezents I asked mummy an daddy to giv monie to a doggie charity insted cos i've got lotz of toyz so they did and that makes me feal nice. Tho I hope I mite get a doggie sister one day, mum sayz maybe an dad says 'mmmmm' .... anywhey hav a nic time wiv your famliez and dogs (butt not catz) this cristmis and fanks for bein my frends. 

luv frum ralfeee

xxx

ps. mummy sayz i must improove my spellings nect yeer. 




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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Felt Christmas decorations with the Cottage Crafters.


Felt decorations - pattern from http://cutesycrafts.com/


Last week I had a lovely day making felt craft decorations with the lovely ladies in my craft group - The Cottage Crafters! It was our annual Christmas get together - and each year bring a dish of nibbles, a handmade gift for the secret santa sack and we embark on a christmas project. I thought you might like to see some of our super cute Christmas felt decorations ....


Natural felt heart decoration

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Friday, 11 December 2015

AHC Christmas bumper special!


I thought I would use this opportunity to bring all things Christmas-related into one big bumper AHC Christmas special. To fill you inspiration my lovely festive friends, here you will find some Christmas decorations ideas, handmade gift ideas, some nature-inspired gifts, gifts for foodies and some easy peasy craft projects for you. Simply click the titles to see more. 


A Handmade Christmas Ideas



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Thursday, 3 December 2015

A month in pictures - November


November ... which means it's almost December ... which means it's almost ... CHRISTMAS!!!
I've had some lovely days out this month and discovered some wonderful artists which I'll be sharing with you soon. The big news this month is that hubby has moved his music studio out of the house into a premises which means one thing friends ... I HAVE A CRAFT ROOM!!! Well I can't tell you how nice it is to have some space to work. It's almost there, and I made sure to take a 'before' piccie for you so as soon as it's ready I'll give you a peekaboo! I hope you're all keeping well and cosy, and I hope all my friends over the pond had a lovely thanksgiving with their nearest and dearest. Here's this month in pictures ...



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Thursday, 26 November 2015

Pressed leaves and flower lampshade tutorial




I’ve been in my element this weekend as I’ve been wanting to make a pressed flower lampshade for so long now and this weekend I finally got around to it! I couldn't find a good tutorial for this so I'm really pleased I've been able to create one for you. This is such a lovely project as not only does it bring mother nature into our homes, it also looks absolutely stunning lit up in all it's glory. Anything goes for this project, as long the petals or leaves are dry and pressed completely flat. You could use autumn leaves, summer grasses, or flower petals … and if you don’t want to pick flowers, you could always order some that are already pressed online or pop into your local florists and press the petals yourself in a flower press or heavy book.  My only suggestion is; match the size of flowers to the lamp, so if you’re working with a small dainty lampshade use small dainty flowers.  Such a beautiful item would also make a beautiful Christmas gift don't you think?


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Thursday, 12 November 2015

Introducing Norfolk artist and textile designer Lottie Day + "Feather & Egg napkins"


Lottie Day's  'Feather and egg napkins'


I recently came across Norfolk artist Lottie Day - a textile designer who produces a range of hand-printed, hand-made textile products for the home, the garden or the beach. I love the natural simplicity of her work and thought you might too. Lottie’s unique illustrations are inspired by the beautiful Norfolk countryside and feature original line drawings of allotment produce, wild hares and sea creatures ... you can see why I love her work can't you? :-)

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Thursday, 5 November 2015

A month in pictures - Autumn in October


It's been a busy month as always at AHC HQ. I've been knee-deep in recording my album this month which is coming along wonderfully, and I can't wait to share it with you when finished. I've been enjoying autumn crafts, the cosy nights, hot ribena in a flask on our chilly doggy walks and enjoying the scenery of this beautiful season. There has been some lovely clear days, but there has been plenty of drizzle too - only today I was wondering why I had wet feet on our dog walk, and it turns out the soles of my boots had come completely unstuck! Another good reason to own a glue gun me thinks! Here is our autumn month in pictures ....



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Thursday, 29 October 2015

AHC Halloween Special!!! Pretty pumpkins and spooky nights out & about

I LOVE Halloween, and I love all the cold, misty, spooky, spine-tingling titillating things it brings to out murky October evenings. I seldom trick or treat nowadays, unless my nieces and nephews drag me kicking and screaming. I much prefer to be huddled somewhere telling ghost stories, surrounded by friends, a warm fire and some glowing pumpkins - OR I like to take part in a spooky evening of sorts. So today, I'm celebrating all thing Halloween, from pretty Pumpkin carvings to Victorian ghost walks .... so read on if your dare!! 


Halloween special

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Thursday, 15 October 2015

Dried autumn flowers heart wreath


With each season I like to have a little change around in my cottage ... the light pastel cushion are replaced by warm, earthy tones and the light summer blankets are swapped with their chunkier knitted cousins. As for the walls I thought some autumn decor would be nice this year, so I whipped up this Autumn flowers heart in just ONE hour. This is a super quick and easy project that has brought all the wonderful warm rustic tones of Autumn into my little cottage, and as they are dried flowers it can be re-used year after year!


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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

A month in pictures - September


I don't you about you dear readers but I really don't know where the days are going. I've been so busy of late ... working, making music, crafting and now autumn is upon us so I've been trying to 'winterfy' our draughty little cottage. I miss blogging regularly and I haven't been snapping as much as I'd like, but alas we can only do what we can do can't we? I'm also a singer songwriter you see ... and I'm about to record an album which is very exciting for me, so much of my creative energy is going into that at the moment. I'll share more about that in a separate post one day soon if you'd like? but for now here's what I've been up to this month ...



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Monday, 21 September 2015

Country cottage birdhouse - for string & ribbons!




I was recently invited to enter a crafty competition by a company called Ocean finance. They sent every blogger a simple, wooden birdhouse and a £25 Buddy Crafts voucher so they could buy all the supplies they needed. Initially I declined, as I was so strapped for time ... but within a matter of minutes I had changed my mind as I simply couldn't resist such a fun, crafty challenge! especially since my country cottage birdy house had already started to materialise in my minds eye. This is not suitable for outdoors so I wanted to find a practical use for my little birdhouse indoors, so please let me introduce you to my new ribbon (or string) holder!  I loved making this project - it may look incredibly intricate, but it really isn't. Aside from the supplies, all you need is glue and a bit of patience ... would make a lovely gift don't you think?!



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Tuesday, 15 September 2015

How to make a lined curtain with ribbon ties





I made a curtain this week which has also been featured on the Laura Ashley blog. I've made little kitchen curtains before, but this was my first big 'grown up' curtain project. I made this for my bedroom window. I only made one panel as the window isn't very wide, but you can just as easily make two. To make the process quick and simple this curtain has ribbon ties along the top, so there's no fiddly business with pelmets and pleats and such. 

It's surprising how easy it is to put something like this together, and I'm really pleased with how this curtain turned out, as I am a beginner when it comes to curtain making. You'll need basic sewing machine skills for this project. So get your bits together, take your time and if you get flustered 'pull yourself together!' Ka boom! (See what I did there?)


What you need: 

Curtain fabric 
I used Laura Ashley Abbeville Eau De Nil floral cotton curtain fabric
Curtain lining 
I used Laura Ashley plain cotton fabric in cream
Wide ribbon 
I used a wide velvet ribbon - as it has a nice thickness and holds the curtain well
Sewing machine
Needle and thread
Measuring tape
Square angled ruler
Pins 

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Thursday, 3 September 2015

A month in pictures - August


August has always been one of my favourite months as it means birfdays!!!! Ralphred Muss Muss turned 6 this year, and I turned the grand old age of 17 *ahem* ... OK add a fair bit more to that. This month I've been busy crafting and and I've also shared one of my latest, most favourite cottage getaways. This was our month in pictures ....



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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

A glimpse of heaven at Titchbourne Cottage - Shropshire


Rustic holiday cottage - Titchbourne Cottage


I have a treat for you today quirky cottage lovers. Remember in the Spring, when my little family and I headed to the Shropshire Hills and spent the week at the quirky cabin The Dipping Shed? well the following week we also visited this cottage, which I discovered on Cottages4you and it has quickly became one of my firm favourites. Titchbourne cottage is nestled amongst the Shropshire hills on a 200 acre farm, perfectly secluded in an AONB (area of outstanding natural beauty) with walks straight from the door and views of the beautiful valleys all around. The mature garden is bursting with flowers and wildlife, and the cottage itself is cosy, rustic, and full to the brim with charm and character.

Where is it: Shropshire
Price from: £324 for a week
Pets: 2 welcome
Sleeps: 4


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Wednesday, 12 August 2015

DIY storage box or craft organiser


When I was visiting my crafty friend Penny Perret a while back, I spotted a pretty tea caddy on her worktop which she had made herself. I fell in love with her little tea caddy and decided I wanted to make one for myself - as not only would it look dandy on my kitchen top, but it would free up some much needed cupboard space and keep my endless supply of teabags nicely organised! The great thing about using these metal label holders is you can swap and change the labels easily so you could use this little organiser for anything; hair pins, beauty bits, crafty goodies or herbs and spices!





 I simply dug out an old box I wasn't using, ordered some little brass labels from eBay, and I bought a sample pot of paint from Laura Ashley (since I've used it before and like the finish) and off I went! This project took me a couple of hours in total (minus drying time) and cost under £10 to make. Would make a fab pressie don't ya think?



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Tuesday, 4 August 2015

A month in pictures - July - Summer Madness


Well what a glorious month July has been. OK, so it's not so great now - the rain has been torrential this past week and "Oh I hope this isn't the end of summer" has been muttered at least once in every casual  conversations. But I have every faith our great British summer will return! July has been quite busy for our little house - work hasn't stopped but we've managed to escape for occasional day of fun! Here's our month in pictures ....


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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

A Q&A with Mad Man Knitter - Gregory Patrick


A few months ago I shared a story called A little brown bear saves a mad man knitter - which was about a man called Gregory Patrick; writer of popular blog Mad Man Knitting. Gregory had come upon hard times and was made homeless. With no car, home or money he threw himself into knitting to keep his mind occupied. He then began knitting and selling bears which enabled him to survive, and over time, flourish. Gregory has now published several books, and his little bears and knitting patters are well in demand. As a keen follower of his blog, I was interested to know more about Gregory, so I got in touch to see if he'd be interested in a little Q&A session with me, and as he's such a nice man of course he agreed :-) 


Photograph by Mad Man Knitting.

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Tuesday, 14 July 2015

A day out 'picking your own' at Cammas Hall Fruit Farm


This week I had a wonderful day out at Cammas Hall Fruit Farm. The farm is run by the Lukies family and has been for the last 128 years. I had only intended to pop in and out of Cammas Hall, but having seen the vast amount of goodies on offer, not to mention the lovely cafe full of homegrown produce I ended up staying far longer than I anticipated ...





I wasn't the only one either ... friends, couples and families often spend the whole afternoon here; catching up over lunch while the kids play in the adventure playground, followed by a leisurely stroll around the fruit farm, picking and nibbling as they go (though bear in mind ready-picked is also available if you're in a hurry).  If you fancy a slightly longer amble, Cammas Hall have recently introduced a nature trail through the beautiful surrounding countryside - what a lovely, nature-inspired way to tire out the kiddies during the summer holidays, don't you think?

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Friday, 3 July 2015

A month in pictures - June


Wow ... I can't quite believe it is the end of June. Hubby told me off the other day for pointing out that autumn was just a couple of months away! naughty me, but how it flies right?!  I don't know how the weathers been treating you over the pond, but here in the UK we're experiencing the hottest June on record - EVER! We Brits love the sun, but our country doesn't cope well with heat - my friend was glued to the middle of the road the other day when her flip flops fused with the tarmac! roads melt,  public transport comes to a standstill and the sale of paddling pools goes through the roof ... in fact I bought one for Ralphy when he was a puppy but he turned his nose up at it! I hope you're all enjoying this glorious season. Here's a glimpse at our month in pictures ....



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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Ceramics Course at The Little Arts Workshop


This month I took part in a pottery workshop at The Little Arts Workshop in Bishops Stortford ... and I absolutely loved it. I have never dabbled in clay before, but I have been itching to for some time. So when I discovered a pottery course running at The Little Arts Workshop, I jumped at the chance. It's a wonderful creative hub, which hosts a varied selection of crafty workshops seven days a week, during daytime and evenings, for both adults and children. For toddlers and primary school children there are workshops in clay and arts and crafts, and for adults there are life drawing courses, ceramics courses, watercolour painting courses, and photography courses to name a few...


The Little Arts Workshop in Bishops Stortford

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Wednesday, 17 June 2015

DIY Vintage lace candle lanterns (for weddings, home & garden)


Since summer is here I thought I'd share this little gem of a project! Initially I made these for our wedding day: they decorated the tables, hung from the trees. and gave a beautiful atmospheric, ambient glow. But now I use them in the house, in the garden, on camping trips, on cottage holidays and at seasonal celebrations! They are so easy to make and you can use them time and time again all year round ...


 How to make vintage lace candle lanterns for weddings, home and garden

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Friday, 12 June 2015

My fave reads: Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management - 1902 New Edition


There is something so wonderful about old books. The musty scent of the paper, how their history is etched into their worn leather and I often wonder about the various hands that have turned their pages through time, many of which I suppose are long gone today. Kindles and ipad just don't carry that kind of history, that's for sure. So when a friend of mine recently gave me this new edition of Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management from the year 1902, you can imagine how humbled I was. Here's a glimpse into the world of Mrs Beeton ...


Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management - New Edition 1902

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Wednesday, 3 June 2015

A month in pictures - May




May has been a lovely month indeed. Hubby and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary this month. We've actually been together for over 15 years, but celebrating our anniversary is still one of my favourite fings. I kept a diary in the lead up to our wedding so I would remember all the lovely little things that happened along the way ... so we read a little every night over our anniversary week! it was lovely reliving that journey. Aside from that I've been a busy bee transforming my writing bureau with the help of Laura Ashley, and we had a lovely break in Shropshire at The Dipping shed! Unfortunately it's back to the grindstone this week. Boo! Here's this month in pictures ....

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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

A quirky cabin in the Shropshire hills - The Dipping Shed




Dear readers, I've been itching to share our recent cottage getaway with you, as it's a quirky one for sure. I found The Dipping Shed on the Canopy and Stars website, which has wonderful collection of unusual accommodation; including tree houses, yurts, cabins, and other outdoor glamping sites in the UK and Europe. The Dipping Shed is situated in the grounds of the beautiful Walcot Hall, in Shropshire. As you know, we prefer rustic, secluded accommodation so I was a little worried we might be overlooked, as Walcot Hall not only hosts events, such as operas and weddings, it also has a varied collection of other glamping accommodation on site. However I needn't have worried. The grounds are extensive (30+ acres) and The Dipping Shed is not only secluded, it also has the most beautiful views over the lake, with many lovely walks from the doorstep. Though do bear in mind, the lodge is set in an elevated position, and is only accessed by foot and involves a climb up some steps, so it may be unsuitable for the elderly and those with mobility problems. 

Where is it: Shropshire
Price from: £525 a week
Pets: Welcome
Sleeps: 4





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Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Weekend DIY project: Writing bureau makeover + As featured on the Laura Ashley blog




 This week I transformed my old writing bureau 'Beatrix.' I love antiques in their natural state but this transformation has really lightened up our living space as she did darken our little corner somewhat. So with the help of Laura Ashley I transformed her! I used two different colours from the Laura Ashley furniture paint range: I used Dove grey (a lovely subtle shade) and cotton white. I also decoupaged some of the inside panels using Summer palace taupe / ivory floral wallpaper.  Isn't she looking lovely?  Read on for more photos, step-by-step instructions and my handy top tips!



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Monday, 4 May 2015

April - my month in pictures



Dear friends, well April has been and gone quite suddenly! Can you believe it? you may (or may not) have noticed that I haven't been posting as frequently as I once did. Unfortunately I've have to pull back a little ... I've been having a hard time juggling life, work, craft and music. But do not fear, you can't get rid of me that easily. I'll still be posting regularly and I'll see you on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter daily. That said, Hubby, Ralphy and I are heading into the countryside this week, for TEN WHOLE DAYS! I cannot wait - I almost don't want it to start so then it can't end! They'll be walkies in the wilderness, knitting, reading, eating and NO PHONES / INTERNET! .... heaven. So this is a brief goodbye, and when I return I'll have some crafty corkers coming up, including a mega makeover of 'Beatrix' ... remember her? In the meantime here's a little lookie back over this past month ...

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Thursday, 30 April 2015

Growing your own ... in a small garden


If you ask a handful of gardeners why they grow fruit and veg, not many will reply "because it saves money." People have been gardening and growing food for centuries because it enriches our lives on so many levels, but for many people, 'growing your own' can be a daunting prospect. I often hear my friends saying "I tried and failed / it's too much hassle / I don't have the space! Well firstly, I'll admit I have far more failures than I've had successes, but it's the failures that (eventually) make you into a good gardener. Secondly, I hardly have any time - but I find tending to the garden does me the world of good - working with the earth and being amongst nature is good for you body, mind and soul so it's worth making time for. Thirdly, I only have a little garden, but you can grow quite a lot in the smallest of places ... you just have to use your imagination! Here are a few ideas to help you on your way ....


Growing your own, in a small space

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Friday, 24 April 2015

The joy of pottering in the garden


I love pottering in the garden. When my hands are in the dirt, digging, sowing, clearing, it's one of the few times that my mind in completely quiet, and at peace. I seem unable to think ahead, or worry about pressing matters ... all is quiet, except for the occasional hum of the birds and bees. I think that's one of the many reasons why I, and billions of others, love gardening and pottering in the garden so much. I've loved flowers and being around nature for as long as I can remember ... my mum has always loved gardening and my nan could grow anything - the smell of tomato plants still takes me right back to my Grandad's old greenhouse. Handing down a love-of-nature to your children is a wonderful gift, and one that I've always been very thankful for.


My little 3 year old self - picking daisies in a church graveyard.


 Often in early Spring, I'll look out at the jumbled mess that is our garden and I start getting itchy feet, coupled with "oh but there's so much to do" and "where do I start? I've left it too late!" but once I start clearing the beds a fire ignites and I become a little garden ferret, fluttering around the garden at top speed until I have aching limbs and a crooked back. Miggins then tells me off for doing too much so I  hobble in, looking to hubby for sympathy, who in turns sends me off for a hot bath - but always, despite the throbbing limbs I know I will rest happy and content, for whether or not it flourishes, I know I've spent the afternoon doing something worthwhile.

JM x



 photo ff.png


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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

The AHC guide to growing herbs + PLUS a pretty downloadable guide for the garden shed wall!


A guide to growing herbs



Last year I made this beautiful herb box ... it was filled with my favourite herbs: Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme and Sage. I used a good compost, positioned it in full light and I watered and fed correctly and yet despite my best efforts ... it met a sorry end. Mrs Miggins next door has magic fingers and can grow anything, she will break off a twig from a rose bush (from a neighbours garden or nearby stately home) pop it in a pot and as if like magic it will flourish from her touch. So after some  'digging' about and 'leafing' through books (ok, ok I'll stop now) I have now seen the error of my ways, and the answer lies in the soil ...  get the soil right, and you can grow anything. So here is my AHC guide to growing herbs, which includes a pretty downloadable chart for your garden shed wall!

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Thursday, 2 April 2015

Pretty projects and a crafty March - A month in pictures


March - A month in pictures - A Handmade Cottage


March. It's been an incredibly crafty month in AHC headquarters, and I can't believe how quickly time passes. The trees were so bare, yet so quickly life blooms. This has been a busy month on the blog, with some lovely guest posts, and since Easter is coming up I've been sharing some fab quick and easy Easter craft projects! Now I'm looking forward to some time with my family -  it's good to have some time to put the feet up and over indulge in choccie bunnies and hot cross buns. Hubby's birthday is also coming up, which is one my favourite days of the year! (after Christmas and my own birthday of course ... you know how I feel about my birthday) but I love his birthday more, since it's the day he came into the world and changed mine (grab your buckets by all means, but it's true!) But back to crafty business, here's a glimpse of the funsies I've enjoyed this month ....

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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

How to make: Easter egg spring bunting


Easter egg spring bunting - Noolibird stamp


I love any excuse to decorate my house in a festive manner, and I love bringing the outside in as you know.  So this week I made some Easter spring bunting with the Noolibird 'folk egg' stamp. However you needn't use a stamp for this project if you don't have time, as it would work just as well with mis-matching floral fabric.You may have seen my previous ravings about Noolibird stamps, and I assure you I'm not getting paid to promote these stamps, I just love the detail and workmanship that goes into them ... they're just so pretty! So if you'd like to get festive 'Easter-stylie' here is how I made this pretty little string of easter bunting. Use it on the fireplace or string it around a flower arrangement as I have done - and once made, you can bring it out year after year ...

Difficulty rating: Easy
Skills needed: None, some sewing but could glue / peg instead.
Time: 2 / 3 hours.
Kiddy friendly: Absolutely
Dog friendly: Probably not.

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Thursday, 26 March 2015

Easter spring flower table display - in 10 minutes!


Hello my little Easter bunnies! Easter is around the corner - So I thought I'd get a little festive and throw together a couple of super quick and easy flower displays. Like most people, I don't have the time to make anything extravagant so the following displays won't take you longer than 10 minutes to make, but they look beautifully festive and oh so pretty - in fact, such a pretty display would also be ideal for a spring wedding! Let's get started, by cracking open the choccy eggs ... 



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Friday, 20 March 2015

Vintage crate furniture ideas!


I love crates. I've found them to be the most useful piece of furniture since sliced bread, as they are just so versatile. I realise that my ancestors will be looking over me now exclaiming 'but it's just an old wooden crate!' and miggins next door thinks it just looks like I haven't got around to buying furniture yet BUT, I care not, I love my crates. They're useful, practical and full of rustic charm!


Vintage crate furniture ideas

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Thursday, 12 March 2015

How to make a singer sewing machine dining table - with BBC correspondent Natalie Pirks



How to make a singer sewing machine table


I have a special treat for you today my crafty ones - today I'd like to welcome my good friend Natalie Pirks; BBC sports correspondent. Some of you may recognise Natalie from the BBC, where she can often be seen covering big sporting events and interviewing the likes of David Beckham (such pirks indeed!) but I'll admit, I don't often see Natalie on the telly myself because a) I don't have a telly and  b) I still shudder when I see a playing field because it reminds me of sports day at school ... in fact that was probably the last time I ran. But there is no doubt Natalie is an huge inspiration to many women, because aside from being a successful journalist she is also a wife and mother and unbeknown to me, a crafter! Today she is going to tell us a bit about her crafty ways, and tell us how she made this most beautiful Singer sewing machine dining table. In her own words "I love me some arts and crafts!" 


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Friday, 6 March 2015

Builders tea with a cinnamon stick




I love tea, and I drink far too much of it. You just can't beat a good cup of strong-but-milky builders tea. Miggins next door is always telling me off for making hers too strong ... "Just show it the tea bag gal, don't stew it for gawd sake!" So when a friend of mine (who is of Greek origin) recently told me to go ahead and drop half a stick of cinnamon into my tea, I told her she'd lost her tiny mind. She insisted it's very popular in Greece and said people also like to add cloves to the mix! So I humoured her, and dropped half a stick into my tea - well oh my days, it transformed my plain ole cup of tea ... it was like trying on silky pants after years of old scratchy cotton briefs! I'm not sure there's any turning back now. Not only does it give tea a sweet exotic kick, cinnamon also has fantastic health benefits. It can lower bad cholesterol and blood sugar levels, it has anti fungal, anti clotting properties, and can reduce the proliferation of leukaemia and lymphoma cancer cells, and it can also eliminate headaches and migraines. But before you start chomping into it like a mars bar be aware it is toxic in large doses, but 'a little a day will keep the doctor away' - according to Miggins.

JM x



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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

February - A month in pictures


February. It's been a busy month and I've spent a lot of time deep in thought. I seem to have many plates spinning; craft, music, work, and I often struggle to find balance and end up getting a little overwhelmed. Sometimes I daydream of moving to a little hobbit house in the middle of nowhere with no electricity or running water, where I can live off the land like stig of the dump. Do you ever feel like that? could you do it? I think I could. Though I'd miss blogging, and Mrs Miggins, and I'd have to have a little TV so I can watch 'Upstairs downstairs' and 'Wind in the willows' ... and a dishwasher perhaps??




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Thursday, 26 February 2015

Cockney Snowdrops & a delightful walk in Much Hadham, Hertfordshire


Well this weekend, our little trio headed out for a walk in Much Hadham, in Hertfordshire. It's one of our most favourite walks and includes woodland, tracks and arable farm land. I hadn't planned to take any photos on this particular day, as when you're a blogger you often find yourself living life through a lens, so I try to leave it behind now and again and just use my own eyes, but on this particular day I happened to have my iphone with me (turned to aeroplane mode of course!) and I snapped a few moments. This was our day of four seasons .... 


Much Hadham woodland - photograph by A Handmade Cottage


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Thursday, 12 February 2015

Embellished heart art - with Noolibird stamp



Today I'd like to show you how to make a beautiful, intricate piece of art which is really easy to make, you just need basic sewing skills. Basically, if you can thread a needle you can do this. This took me an evening, with one eye on 'Call the midwife' and it was really fun to make. The stamp, is called you and me and is designed and handmade by Nula, from Noolibird. You might recognise it as I used a smaller version in my how to make a simple rustic card for Valentines last year. I love this stamp, it's just so pretty and I find it incredibly useful as it suits every occasions. It's also ideal as a wedding gift, or for wedding craft, for making invites, the table plan, thank you cards, labels etc Now I plan on using this stamp for making gifts, such as artwork, lavender cushions, bunting and who know what else. All of which I'll share of course, starting with today. This is how I created some simple, yet beautiful art for the wall ... I might even make one for Mrs Miggins next door.



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Wednesday, 4 February 2015

A cosy cornish hideaway - Mellinzeath farmhouse, Cornwall.


Rustic cottage in Cornwall - Review of Mellinzeath Farmhouse, Helford



My dear readers. I almost didn't want to share this cottage with you because I wanted to keep it all to myself, and soon you'll see why. This is Mellinzeath Farmhouse, in Helford in Cornwall. I think this cottage is the most beautiful and idyllic place I have ever stayed. Both the cottage, and the surroundings are extraordinary. But before you get booking, you should know this cottage is not for the fainthearted ... this is a back to basic cottage, there is no central heating, there may be cobwebs and there are (supposedly) bats living in the bathroom. This cottage is a step back in time and that's what makes this such a remarkable place ....

Where is it: Cornwall
Weekly Price from: £333
Pets: Welcome of course!
Sleeps: 4 




 Mellinzeath Farmhouse. Photography by A Handmade Cottage

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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

A frosty January + my month in pictures


A frosty January + my month in pictures



Of all the months, January seems to get the most flack - with cold dark nights and icy mornings, it's the start of the year and we're either on diets or giving something up. Mrs Miggins refuses to give up her toy boy and evening tipple of Gin, and I've grown quite accustomed to my additional lumps and bumps, so I'm not going to be giving up my hot buttered toast anytime soon. To be honest, I'm quite enjoying this January. We've had some lovely walks, the air has been fresh and crisp and the scenery, though stark is still so beautiful. In fact, I commented on a photograph I shared recently, that no matter what mood I find myself at the start of a walk, I'm always smiling by the end, and so many of you felt the same. Here's what's new in my January so far ... would love to hear about yours?

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Friday, 23 January 2015

A little brown bear saves a mad man knitter


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Look who just popped into existence ... I made a little brown bear!!
He doesn't have a name as yet, so for now let's call him 'Bobo bear.' I made him for a friends baby and he's the second one I've made. I admit his arms are little long and he looks more 'mouse' than bear but there's no such thing as perfection after all. Aside from being impossibly cute, this bear comes with a heartwarming story ....

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