Wednesday 30 April 2014

The lazy guide to a cottage garden - with Garden Nomey

At last, summer is on the way!  We all love spending time in our gardens, and while some are flourishing and bursting with blooms, others are not. If your garden is lacking in flowery loveliness (like mine was) do not despair! There is a quick and easy way of creating a beautiful cottage garden on a shoestring. Enter, the lovely Naomi, author of Garden Nomey blog! Naomi currently works for BBC Gardeners' World Magazine and writes a brilliant gardening blog, full of tips and advice on all things flowery.  I lured Naomi round with the promise of tea, cake and doggie cuddles (which she got) and around she came, armed with .... SEEDS!!! In a matter of weeks my garden will be transformed into a beautiful flowery haven, providing ole Mrs Miggins' cat Cliff Damien (!) doesn't have his way with it! and luckily for you, our green-fingered goddess Naomi is going to share her wisdom, and tell you how we did it!

JM x

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Friday 25 April 2014

A picnic in the Bluebell Woods

Bluebell woodlands are by far, one of my favourite fings ... well places. There is something truly magical about Bluebells. This might be because they are, in fact, little faerie houses or maybe it's their heavenly scent. Whatever it is, spending time in a beautiful bluebell-covered woodland is by far, one of the best things you and your people can do this April.

Bluebell woodland - by A Handmade Cottage

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Tuesday 22 April 2014

Finished Spring Crochet 'Bluebell' blanket

Hello lovelies. 
Just a quickie. I really wanted to show you my finished Crochet Spring blanket! 
'She' has been aptly named 'Bluebell Blanket' after the bluebell woods that inspired her. You really can't go wrong if you take your colour pallet from our lovely mother nature. Thanks again to Sarah at Weaveknitit for the lovely yarn. I'm snuggled up in it as I type : ) 

JM x

The beautiful Bluebell wood that inspired this blanket.
Take your colours from nature and they will usually work together.

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Thursday 17 April 2014

Super quick Easter gift and table display

Hey peeps. Ok so I'm visiting family this weekend and a trillion kids will want eggs. So I came up with a cheap, super quick way of giving everyone a treat whilst making a nice table display at the same time.  I made two of these for two families, it took 10 minutes and cost £7.

Easy Easter table display

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Tuesday 15 April 2014

How to make a simple cushion - with Poppy Loves

Our masterpiece in Poppy's cosy corner!
Cushions, cushions and more cushions please! We love cushions. They're cosy, functional and can completely change the look of a room, whether you're changing to suit the season or simply adding a splash of colour. Cushions can be expensive, yet they are SO EASY to make! Once you've chosen your pretty fabric and made your first cushion, you'll never buy off the shelf again, I bet you large sums of cake.

So when my lovely friend and bloggy pal Poppy asked if I'd help her to make a cushion I jumped at the chance. If you don't already know Poppy allow me to introduce you. Poppy is the Notting hill-based lifestyle blogger of,uk. She writes about all the gorgeous little cafes, boutiques and hidden gems she finds on her travels around London. She also loves a bit of a craft, so today Poppy and I are going to show you how to make a simple but beautiful cushion in 10 easy steps! Now don't be put off by measurements. This patterns is easy to follow and the cushion consists of just three pieces. 

All you need:

* Lovely fabric!
* Three buttons (ours are Cath Kidston)
* Ribbon for button loops
* The pillow
* Newspaper.

  Then make a cuppa and let the fun begin!

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Friday 11 April 2014

How to get birds into your garden

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I love the birdies ... as I put my washing out I daydream they come and sit on my shoulders like in Snow White (everyone does that right?) But alas, my garden is birdless! So the other day I asked my lovely facebook followers for some advice. I wrote ...

Q "I'm having bird trouble! 
I just cannot entice the birdies into my garden. 
What am I doing wrong? I do get a lovely old couple (of wood pigeons) but that's it. Thoughts?"

After make just a few changes, here are my new feathery friends!
Ralphy's not so sure but in time ...

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Monday 7 April 2014

Changing soft furnishings with nature 'Spring summer'

Spring is here! Little creatures are unfurling and so are our gardens. Blokes are wearing flip flops as early as March and we girls are fretting over our pastry white legs. We change our wardrobe and our diet with the seasons so why not the inside of our homes? I can't afford to do much but even swapping my soft furnishings over twice a year (in the spring and again in the autumn) makes the world of difference. Why? because it lifts my spirits and invigorates my surroundings. I feel more in tune with nature and it just makes me feel better.

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Friday 4 April 2014

The William Morris 'Tree of Life' Tapestry Cushion

I've always loved the 'Tree of life' tapestry by the 19th Century artist William Morris. 
It's such a beautiful design, so I was over the moon when I discovered this beautiful
 loom-woven Flemish Tapestry cushion over at Wye NeedlecraftI found the cushion just after hubby and I were married, so I thought it would mark the occasion perfectly ... now it sits quietly in the corner watching our marriage 'grow' and it's always in reaching distance should I ever need to hit him with it : ) Aw not that I would!

My 'Tree of Life' cushion by William Morris.
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Wednesday 2 April 2014

How to disguise and makeover an ugly armchair (in 5 mins)

Now I love my armchair. It's comfy, cosy and sits snugly in my little nook under the stairs. 
But while I love the shape of the chair, I detest the fabric. It may have had its plus points back in its day but today it's dark and a bit too shabby (not the chic variety.)

So until I can afford to upholster it - which I will learn to do (anyone care to teach me? skill for a skill?)
I need to find a way to live with it. I've tried all sorts, from disguising it with cushions to covering the whole thing in a big blanket. That didn't work - it just looked like an obese ghost.
Then I tried this: a simple tablecloth, pinned in place ... and it works perfectly! it brightens the whole room, took all of 5 minutes and required no effort whatsoever. Perfect : )



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Friday 28 March 2014

My favourite fings - My mum (on Mother's day)

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My mum.

I have a lovely mum. She's the kindest,  most loving, most humble person I've ever met, and not a day goes by when I don't feel loved by her. So since Mother's day is approaching, while my mum isn't an actual 'fing,' she is one of my most favourite people. 
So today Mummykins, you are my favourite fing!

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