Thursday 18 August 2016

Guest Post - Artisan eco-gifts handmade in Ukraine

I recently stumbled upon a quirky little website called myfancycraft which sells a variety of unusual gifts and handmade crafts, made by craftsmen (and women) from all over Ukraine. Each product is made by hand using eco – friendly materials.

I had a little browse, and came upon this lovely nature-inspired collection on their website which is made from slavic clay. (The wording on the website doesn't translate very well into english but don't let that put you off, their products are lovely and their customer service is great.) I treated myself to a mug and jug (as I do have a bit of a 'Jug' obsession) they also make a teapot in the same range (see below). They arrived slightly more 'glazed' than it shows to the pictures but they are lovely all the same. Would make a lovely christmas gift for a nature-lover don't you think?

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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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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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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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Friday 23 May 2014

My thrifty finds!

It has been a while since I shared some of my thrifty finds with you so here's what I've managed to sneak past hubby in the last month or so (having said that it's often his own fault cos he points out pretty things for me!) I've also been trying to have a clean out - our little cottage is getting too small for us three so we need to either move house / do a charity run / car boot / get my eBay on / OR start a shop!?  I always spend more than I make at car boots  ... though it's always worth it for the banter alone ... "How much for the table love?" 
"Fiver love"
"Take 50p?"

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Tuesday 18 February 2014

My thrifty finds - When Hana met Jodie

Today I discovered ECCO, the fabulous new GIANT Charity shop in Bishops Stortford. Hubby is distraught because he knows what this means. However, I only walked out with TWO things today ... a new tray and a new friend!

ECCO in Bishops Stortford - my new fave haunt!

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Wednesday 5 February 2014

* AHC NEW FEATURE * My vintage thrifty finds

Morning my little magpies. I have a new feature to share with you! As you know I am a charity / antique shop fiend. I try not to go in every one as my little house is already heaving but this little voice in my head says 'Oh just have a peek, you probably won't find anything ' then BAM I walk out with a piano / welsh dresser / new side table (errr ... that last  one happened only today) whoopsie!

Today I found this gorgeous table for £20 ...
it's leg was broken but it took all of 2 mins to glue it back on.
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Friday 31 January 2014

A cup of tea

 photo ff.png

Mid afternoon and early evening are my most favourite times to stop, and make a pot (not cup) of tea.
Preparing my lovely little teapot with loose leaf tea, and choosing which pretty cup is all part and parcel of this little ritual that marks some 'time out' for me, and it's one that I've come to really love. 

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Tuesday 28 January 2014

Beginners guide to Polymer clay (Playdough for adults!)

This week my crafty crew and I spent a lovely day playing with grown up play dough! It's called 
 POLYMER CLAY. I hadn't even heard of it until today, but our fab FIMO expert Fiona (you can check her crafty blog out here!) showed us the ropes. I'm always astounded by how easy it is to make lovely things. You can make all sorts - buttons, brooches, jewellery or crockery.
Here's a step-by-step guide on how we made these lovely things.

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Friday 17 January 2014

My new toadstool lamp by White Rabbit

In November I saw this lovely little Toadstool lamp by White rabbit england in a local craft / nice fings shop. I immediately took a picture and put it on my Christmas list.

Toadstool lamp in red (they also do blue!)

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Friday 10 January 2014

Mason Cash bowls (in the forest)

I'm a sucker for ceramics ... mugs, jugs and bowls especially. When is comes to bowls you simply can't go wrong with Mason Cash. Established in 1800, this iconic brown bowl has held our cake mix for decades. I was always on the lookout for a classic brown Mason Cash bowl in the charity shops but I had no luck. Annoyingly my best friend did and she clearly took pleasure in telling me so!

Photograph from Mason Cash

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Tuesday 6 August 2013

How to make a teacup candle

How to make a teacup candle - Photograph by Binky Nixon

What girly doesn't love a teacup candle. They are feminine, decorative AND they serve a function! (this is what you point out to loved one when you get told off for buying more toot.) They also make a perfect gift.  When hubby and I were married we made all of our decor by hand. There was a LOT of decor and it took 8 hours to decorate a beautiful Tudor barn. But that's another story ...

One of the things I made were 50 Teacup candles as favours for the womenfolk. It was my first time at making them, and I wanted to give them something they could keep and enjoy, and in years to come remember us when they're sipping tea from their pretty cup : )  It may sound like a huge undertaking but it really was much easier and far cheaper than you think. It was also fun, easy and hugely satisfying. Buying a ready made teacup candle can set you back £12 a cup, but to make it is pennies. So why not start collecting, and make some up ready for xmas!!?? your girlies will love you for it ... (and feel free to send one to me for giving you the idea : )

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