Thursday, 9 August 2012

{ Interior Inspiration } Updates

I'm not too sure what's been happening these past few weeks - I just haven't been finding the inspiration to sit here with my laptop and write a blog post. I suppose I've been working lots of hours at the museum and so haven't been experimenting with craft as much as I had in the past. Anyway, today I finally got blogging back on the brain!

I just have a couple of updates for items I've mentioned in the past as 'works in progress'. The first is a crochet cushion I started a good six months or so ago. 


I was really interested to give the wavey pattern a try and was pleasantly surprised at how straight forward it was - if not a little tedious. However, after finishing that panel a good while ago, I never got round to deciding what to do with the back. In the end, I went with good-ole' Granny stitch in the same colour threads. At least this way it's multi-functioning with both sides presenting a nice cushion. One issue was the plain cushion I used for the inside - it's rather floppy and squidgy and so doesn't hold its shape very well, but never mind. It fits in nicely with the other cushions adorning the sofa anyway!

The second update is for the driftwood clock I've had my mind wrapped around since the end of June. Whilst sauntering along the beach in Cornwall I managed to find a few good pieces of driftwood and a selection of pretty pebbles.


Now all that's left is to decide on the design and get gluing! I think I'll use all of the flat pieces to make a block in the centre and use the gnarly bit of wood as a flourish for the top. I'll then use the pebbles to mark the 'hours' around the middle. What do you think?

Well that's all for today. Tomorrow I'll share a few snaps we've taken on our walks around The Drift. 

Have you been up to anything crafty lately?

Love and lacery,

Leah

Thursday, 26 July 2012

{ Interior Inspiration } Seaside Watercolours

St Ives, Cornwall is rather well known for its artistic flare. There are a handful of fantastic galleries and art shops that continue to pull on my purse strings annually. This year was no exception and I couldn't resist these two little watercolours. 


They're by an artist called W. Eaton, who, I was reliably told by the gallery owner, comes to St Ives every year on his holidays to indulge in the crystal waters and sparkling sands. These are original watercolours on 6"x4" white cards depicting the bay at St Ives. When I look at them, I'm transported back to that magical place, listening to the  lapping waves and cheeky seagulls, relaxing in the summer sun and dreaming of seaside delicacies. Last year Dave and I purchased a square oil painting of the coast at Gwithian and these new additions fit into the frame cluster wonderfully.


Do you find yourself hopelessly tempted by watercolours? Or is there some other vice you find on the shelves?

Love and lacery,

Leah

Saturday, 21 July 2012

{ Scrapbook } Cornwall

Cornwall is one of my favourite holiday destinations - even when you take into consideration the whole host of foreign places that can be reached! The sea and sand are beautifully clear and the little Cornish towns are so spectacular. The weather didn't hold out for us this year, however, but it was still nice to get away and have a relaxing time in a different location. 

Our holiday was filled with:
- Moody skies
- Paddling in the sea
- Visiting fishing villages
- Experiencing a new place (St Michael's Mount)
- Scouring the pebbles for sea glass and shells
- Enjoying the sun
- Eating seaside food
- Spending time with family

I hope you've been having a fun time these past two weeks!

Love and lacery,

Leah

Thursday, 5 July 2012

{ Interior Inspiration } Lemon and Blueberry Loaf Cake

I thought I'd share another recipe this week as it's such a good'un! I found it on the Good Food website. Loaf cakes are a tea party staple but are so easy to make, plus hold lots of flavour, that there should always be some excuse to have one every so often. This recipe is for a lemon and blueberry variety.



Ingredients:
- 175g butter, softened
- 100ml Greek yoghurt
- 2 tbsp lemon curd
- 3 eggs
- juice and zest of one lemon
- 200g self raising flour
- 175g golden caster sugar
- Punnet of blueberries

Method:
1) Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.
2) Grease a 2lb loaf tin and line with a long strip of baking parchment.
3) Put the yogurt, lemon curd, the softened butter, eggs, lemon zest, flour and caster sugar into a large mixing bowl. Mix until the batter just comes together.
4) Scrape half into the prepared tin. Sprinkle half of the blueberries into the tin and scrape the rest of the batter on top, then scatter the other half of the 85g berries on top.
5) Bake for 1 hr 10 mins-1 hr 15 mins until golden, and a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean.

You could decorate with icing sugar mixed with lemon juice, but it's scummy left as it is.

Love and lacery,
Leah

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

{ A Snapshot } Holiday Preparations



This week has been spent:
- Packing, packing, packing
- Imagining the beautiful beaches and Cornish villages
- Looking forward to rock pooling and wandering around the cobbled streets
- Planning time with family
- Being so excited about a trip away!

Love and lacery,


Monday, 2 July 2012

{ Over the Weekend }


Wow, did this weekend go past quickly!

- On Saturday afternoon Dave and I nipped over to the museum to survey the Flying Legends air show. There were a whole array of airplanes on show and the sun was shining nicely. We also had a saunter around the stalls that had pitched up alongside the runway - some of the paintings and books were beautiful!
- After the air show we had a BBQ in our little back garden. It was most enjoyable and included a couple of refreshing Gin and Tonics.
- We also got most of our packing sorted for the Cornwall trip next week (sure do like to be prepared!). I am so excited! There are so many fantastic places to go and the beaches are so picturesque - all white sands and clear blue seas. It'll be nice to have a whole week to relax and spend time with DG as well.

Did you get up to anything this weekend?

Love and lacery,

Leah

Thursday, 28 June 2012

{ Interior Inspiration } Chilli Crabmeat Risotto

Risotto is my all time favourite meal! I could eat it for breakfast, dinner and tea.... if only! I always thought that it was a mega hard dish to make but I was so wrong. Here's my recipe for a simple risotto dinner.

Ingredients:
- Couple of handfuls of risotto rice (I never weigh the rice, but I'm sure there'll be guidelines for portions somewhere)
- 425ml vegetable stock
- Half a tub of chilli cream cheese
- Tin of crabmeat
- 1 garlic clove (diced finely)
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 1 lemon, halved

Method:
1) Heat the hob to a medium simmering level (we use number four on an electrical hob with a range between 1 and 6) 
2) Add your risotto rice to your deep pan and introduce half of your stock solution. 
3) Gently stir the rice and stock until the liquid has been completely absorbed. The rice should begin to look sticky.
4) Add your garlic.
5) Continue to add half of the stock solution, allowing it to be absorbed between instalments, until all of your stock has been used. The rice should now look much thicker than it did when you began. If you give it a try, it will have a slight crunch but be soft enough to eat comfortably.
6) Take the pan from the heat and stir in the chilli cream cheese.
7) Once completely mixed, stir in the crabmeat.
8) To garnish add the tomato and sprinkle a little lemon on top of your risotto. Dave chooses not to have lemon but I love the juice of half a lemon on top of mine.

There we have it! A very simple recipe for a tasty fresh dish. You could always adapt it using different flavours of cream cheese and varying accompaniments, such as smoked sausage or bacon.

Love and lacery,

Leah

P.S: Sorry for the absence of photos - I can't help but gobble the risotto down as soon as possible!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

{ A Snapshot } Painted Roses


The colour of this rose is just stunning! It looks like it's been in a storm of falling paint drops, or tie-dyed by an eager primary school child. Beautiful.

Love and lacery,

Leah

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

{ Craft Corner } Watercolours

With a view to expanding upon my sketching, I had a root around in a couple of boxes I have stored away in search of shading pencils and sketchbooks. In the end though, I found something much better! I stumbled across this sweet watercolour sketcher's set...


Isn't it too cute! The little watercolours can come out and be replaced by new blocks as and when required, and it even came with a compact brush. I've had a bit of a dabble with this medium before (as can be seen from the lid!) but it's always been something I have scheduled to learn in the future. However, with this handy sketcher's box, I think I'll have a bit of fun with landscapes, especially as we'll be off to Cornwall next weekend. There's something so beautiful about little watercolour scenes and images - I'm always attracted to them at markets and boutiques.

Do you have any watercolour tips for me?

Love and lacery,

Leah

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

{ Craft Corner } Artistic Flair

I've always been one who appreciated art, both in observation and production. However, for some reason or another it'd been quite some time since my last drawing - until the weekend! I was sat opposite a beautiful bouquet of lilies and found inspiration in the fantastic shapes and shades created by their enormous blooms. Thus, I set down to sketch them, using only a HB pencil and a sheet of A4 printer paper.

This is the result.


I'm really rather pleased with my creation. The time spent observing and sketching was so peaceful and the end result is of great joy to me and those other eyes that fell upon it.

I have a feeling that I'll be sketching / painting quite a bit more in the near future. I'm glad my artistic inclination has resurfaced.

Do you ever fancy sitting down and drawing something? Be it fictional or factual?

Love and lacery,

Thursday, 14 June 2012

{ Scrapbook } A Valley Walk

Last weekend Mumma and I went for a stroll along the valley in the evening light. We also walked along to the village church, found at the bottom of a rather steep hill! The landscape is so beautiful that I couldn't resist getting a few snaps.





Do you have a favourite place to visit when the sun is out?

Love and lacery,

Leah

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

{ A Snapshot } Flanders Fields

Dave and I have taken to having a relaxing stroll after dinner in the subdued light of the early evening. We're quite lucky to live in the countryside and so have a variety of routes to choose from - the reservoir, along fields, the bridleway to the next village etc. Today we chose to walk along the field to the reservoir and were pleasantly surprised to meet a field of poppies all smiling up at us. This has to be one of my favourite sights.

I couldn't help but think of Flanders Fields...

"In Flanders Fields the poppies blow, between the crosses row on row 
 That mark our place; and in the sky, the larks still bravely singing, fly..."

Love and lacery,


Monday, 11 June 2012

{ Over the Weekend }

England has been sticking to its true guns this spring / summer, serving up a never ending supply of extreme weather events within the same season! After a few weeks of drought, we have now been inundated with torrential rain and flood events across the country. However, on Saturday we saw a little blue sky which did enable a little adventure! 

- Taking a walk down into the valley to admire the beautiful view and make the most of my new compact system SLR camera. The Rutland valley is truly breathtaking and the sun stayed out long enough to enable a few snaps to show the scenery. We also walked along to the village church - I do love looking at old village churches. They hold so much history and always have wonderful architecture. There'll be a scrapbook post coming up in the week to show a few more photos.
- Enjoying the floral delights of a few local stores. We've finally got enough flowers in the garden to give a good show now and the rain has helped to bring out a few of their blooms. The latest addition is a beautiful garden rose in a stained red / pink colour. It's been added to the group of terracotta pots upon the patio.
- Making a few purchases for our upcoming family holiday to Cornwall. It's so exciting! 
- Picking out recipes to try throughout the week and next weekend. So far we have a chocolate fudge cake and elderflower and lemon cupcakes on the list. I'll be sure to share the instructions if they turn out as well as hoped!

Did you get up to anything this weekend? I hope you didn't have to share of the soggy weather!

Love and lacery,

Thursday, 7 June 2012

{ Interior Inspiration } Bathroom Timepiece

The bathroom in our little house is the only room which we've re-decorated since moving in. This is partly because we rent and so have quite strict rules about what we can change within the space but we're also a little reluctant about changing interior aspects which we'll then leave behind when we move. However, the paint work in the bathroom was appalling and so we decided to dab our brushes and improve the room. After an evening of hard work, we were really pleased with the change. Since then we've added a new mirror and a selection of photos / seaside themed items but after a few months now we've realised we're lacking a clock - solely for convenience purposes of course!

With this in mind, i've been on the lookout for something suitable but have had no luck thus far. There's just been nothing that has really caught my eye and made me picture the wall with it purchased snugly upon it. This, along with my little adventure with sea debris to form a picture frame, has got me thinking about making a timepiece for our little wash room. I'm thinking of using sea glass for the hours and maybe driftwood running from the centre to each hour (imagine a spider's web design with a central area which spokes run out from).

Will have to see what spurs the imagination when we're walking along the Cornwall beach next month! Or wether we can find a clock in one of the fabulous boutique shops in the seaside county.

Have you ever made your own clock?

Love and lacery,


Tuesday, 5 June 2012

{ Garden-spiration }

I just can't stop buying flowers and pretty garden accessories! Over the past couple of weeks, our garden has gained a whole host of differing floral adornments including Lupin, Poppies, Hydrangea, Columbine, Foxgloves, Petunias, Dianthus and Rhododendron... to name but a few! It's such a nice way to spend the time - wandering around garden centres or picking out spots for specific flowers or planning what's next on the list.

Our most recent adventure took us to Scotsdales (a fantastic garden centre / nursery / gift emporium within a 10 minute drive of our house). Dave picked out a little cactus collection and decided on some gardening tools, which we've needed for a while.

Watching buds turn to great splashes of colour and intricate petal formations is just so fantastic. There are still a couple of gaps and a little selection of 'wish-list' flowers that might be looked at as the summer wears on. The prospects are exciting and it's a intriguing way to express creativity.

Do you take an interest in gardening? Or proon a little terrace garden or window box?

Love and lacery,


Wednesday, 30 May 2012

{ A Snapshot } Red, White & Blue

This weekend sees the celebration of our Queen's diamond jubilee and I must admit, I'm really loving all of the fun things that are around at the moment in preparation! For the past couple of days I've been wearing my red, white and blue hair clips as a mark of the jubilee festivities. 


On Sunday we held our jubilee airshow at the museum and it was a real hoot - the sun was shining (if not a little too excitedly) and the planes were displaying their agility in the air and our family came over to enjoy the day with us....although, I did have to work, but did manage to share a couple of hours with them.

Will you be indulging in a little tea and cake whilst watching the BBCs jubilee broadcasts? Or planning a street party / BBQ party to celebrate?

Love and lacery,

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

{ Craft Corner } Glass Jars

Mason jars have been a big hit for a long time now but they're not something I've ever seen around in English car-boots and vintage shops. However, there are plenty of other jars that could be used as a substitute and so I've still been making notes of inspiring DIYs and images. There really are so many things that can be done with empty glass jars!

Terraruims:



The prospect of furthering my floral gaze into succulents is truly enthralling. Glass bubbles are fantastic accessories for weddings or birthday parties but could also create a beautiful display in a nook in the garden or an unused room corner.

Fairy Lights:


Alike the glass bubbles, I really fancy using a few jam jars to add a little light to an unusual corner in our living room. I especially like the colour tint to this mason jar. This would make a great christening or birthday gift to a little'un.

Luminaries:

  


There are so many possibilities for candles in jars - be they floating or tall candles or tea lights. I especially like the idea of using silver wire to create makeshift handles for jars and hanging them in the garden along the flowers beds. 

These are just a few things that have been done using mason jars, the list truly is endless (as shown on this page). Using jars as vases is another idea which will probably be employed within our household - it's maybe an excuse to try out glass etching or staining!

I'll leave you with one final image of jarry utilisation...


I'll be sure to share my jam jar adventures once I've finally decided what to do with them!

Have you done anything with your empty glass jars? Or going to use one of these ideas to venture into the craft?

Love and lacery,


P.S: All images link back to their sources.