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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Beautiful Pomegranate

'Tis the season for the beautiful pomegranate.

I remember eating pomegranates as a child. My mom would break one open, pull out the bread board under the counter (remember those) and my brother and I would stand there and gobble up all of the juicy seeds. 

Perhaps because they're a fruit from my childhood, they are a favorite fruit of the season. 

I like to seed the fruit all at once so that there's a lovely bowl from which to scoop up big bites. The seeds are a wonderful topping on just about everything from savory cheese and crackers to...

...delicious sweet pancakes. 

We eat a lot of pancakes in our household, but I have an extra spring in my step when we have pomegranates to enjoy with them. It's such a special treat.  

I've posted about Hubby's spelt pancakes before and just have to reiterate how delicious and fluffy they are (the trick is whipping the egg whites). 

Hubby's Spelt Pancakes

2/3 cup stone ground corn flour
1 cup spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp raw sugar
1 tsp salt 
2 eggs - separated
1 1/2 cup milk 
2 TB melted butter

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Whisk wet ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk egg whites separately in another small bowl until frothy. Combine together with dry ingredients in large bowl.

A 'tail' of two halves...creativity and destruction!

Being the last weekend before the Swedish Fayre, and being ever so slightly concerned that I wouldn't have enough goodies for my stall, I decided to spend Sunday afternoon cooking up some of the pinecone firelighters that feature in our book, A Green Guide to Country Crafts. 
They are ever so simple to make so, having gathered together all of the suitable vessels I could find to fill, I set about melting my soy wax flakes...
The job was made all the easier due to a recent find in our local Sue Ryder Charity shop - this rather fetching preserving pan - very sturdy and in great condition.  A steal at £5! 
I waxed some wick and put one in each mould before filling with melted wax.....
And then topping each one off with a hand-picked pine cone!  The trick is popping in the pine cone just at the right time - when the wax has partly set.
The metal patisserie moulds are the ones I used in the book, but I have to say, the silicone moulds worked a dream and were dead easy to slip out once the wax had set.
All ready to go the fayre!

And then.....ready and waiting to counter my burst of creativity head on...Rory the destroyer set to work!
Firstly it was hubby's (quite expensive) slippers.....whilst my back was turned for a moment.
Followed shortly afterwards by the very swift destruction of a new toy.  It lasted all of half an hour in Rory's very capable paws!
And as something of a finale, a pair of our lovely painted bamboo needles bit the dust care of yours truly!
Good job I love him to bits, little monkey!
Still, without him, I would not have been out walking this morning and I would have missed the pleasure of these.  I just love the ethereal quality of honesty and have an idea for using some to make a card for a friend.....

Simple Stockings


How thrifty is this?  Using old sweaters and flannel shirts to make stockings.  When I originally saw this image on Pinterest, I was instantly sold on the recycled, hand made holiday aesthetic.  But being the purger that I am, I didn’t have any old sweaters or flannel shirts sitting around in storage.  Several trips to Goodwill later, I was able to successfully stock up on a pile of cable knit.  The problem?  It’s still in a pile.  I never got around to the project.  Sigh. 


But thanks to my friendly neighborhood Target, I got off the hook.   So much for the “recycled” aspect.  But it still looks “homemade holiday”, especially  mixed with our unfinished staircase.  ;) 


The stockings were around $12 a piece.  The monograms add a personal touch, and each letter is on sale for $2.50 in the ornament section… thrifty! 


I simply tied the pompom strings around the ornament string.


If you ever get around to the recycled stocking project, I have some old sweaters you can use.  :)  

A model hotel

If this morning's hotel wasn't quite your thing, how about this one? This is a snap shot from The Exchange hotel in Amsterdam. where each room is designed by a student from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. Talk about staying in style!

Picture: The Exchange Hotel via April & May

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Surround yourself with beautiful pieces

Morning and happy 'lilla lördag' (little saturday) as it's known in Sweden as everyone should go out and have a mid-week drink. Not for me unfortunately, so instead I am mentally transporting myself to one of three apartment suites in the Azzedeine Alaia hotel in Paris....

Photographs: Persona Production via SF Girl By Bay
The rooms, designed by Yatzer, have carefully selected the furniture and lighting and kept everything else minimal so that you can enjoy its beauty and your stay. Oh and I would Yatzer, I would. It also supposedly leaves room for the guests own creativity. What do you think? Something for the weekend? Or to stark for your tastes? Read more about it here.  

Wonderful Copenhagen

I am in beautiful Copenhagen this afternoon looking for a cool home for a press shoot. I love the Danish capital, it's so relaxed with a lovely bohemian feel. I might just stay all afternoon....

Picture and poem: an exquisite waste of time

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Swedish apartment in monochrome

A little morning monochrome to share with you today! This Stockholm nugget of an apartment (I say 'nugget' as it's 45 metres square!) is light, white and completely clutter-free. There is no way I could have so few things around me, no matter how hard I tried, but it does look rather lovely....

All pictures: Alvhem via 79 ideas
PS I especially love the calendar, which you could make at home perhaps, using computer print outs stuck to the wall with oh-so-now masking tape. Or any other tips? 



sn’t it pretty?  I love it.  We would have preferred to lay true wood  flooring, but the kind we wanted was way over our budget (of course).  So, it came down to choosing between cheap hardwoods, laminate or Allure vinyl flooring.  I know, I know, vinyl sounds absolutely horrid right?  But have you seen the Trafficmaster Allure selection at Home Depot?  So beautiful! 


I chose the color, “Limed Oak”.  I like the variation of warm tones throughout it, and I especially love how it looks pickled in spots.  The fact that it doesn’t go clickity-clack when you walk on it is also a plus (like laminate would).  With it being vinyl, clean up is a breeze. 


Not only is the floor down, but I finally finished one wall in our foyer.  It’s so wonderful being able to look at this one spot in our house and see it complete.  Look to the left or the right or above… and not so much.  All in time.


We decided to keep the plank walls and caulk in between them.  Thanks for your votes on that one!  It helped tremendously.  The planks are painted “Clean White” (Valspar) flat, and semi-gloss for trim and baseboards.  The doors are painted “Cottage White” (Behr). 


I found the drawer pulls at Anthropologie, but they work just as well for door pulls set vertically. 


I’m enjoying my new finished spots, however small they might be!

Support Movember!

Hej hej! A hairy reminder that there's only a few days left of the month formerly known as 'November' where cool men (Mo bros) sprout moustaches around the world for 30 days to raise money and awareness for men's health issues such as prostate cancer. Find out more at Movember!

Moustache bedding: Urban Outfitters

Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

I hope that everyone had a beautiful Thanksgiving. Many of our holiday favorites were enjoyed over the course of the weekend. It was a bit of a drawn out affair around here, as we didn't get to roasting the turkey until Friday! Even though Graham and Margaret were still too young to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal, I loved filing the house with that wonderful smell of roasting, baking and simmering. The house always feels coziest when there's a wonderful meal being prepared. 

We picked the last few bunches of herbs from the garden before the snow blankets the ground for the winter. I couldn't resist adorning a few pieces of brown transfer ware with them before they went into our Thanksgiving feast.

Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs. We used it in everything from the turkey brine, to the stuffing. 

The sage accompanied the roasted brussel sprouts. 

Monday DIY: Stag wall hanging

How about this for a Monday project? Fun, cheap and hopefully you'll have a wonderful stag trophy like this one to hang on your wall at the end....for the complete step-by-step 'know-how' click here.

Picture: Instructables via April & May
If you make one make sure you share it with us, we'd love to see it....:)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Photographer's studio in a plough factory

So it's Monday. And hopefully not to manic?! This morning I spied this beautiful studio belonging to creative couple Rob & Jill Brinson, which they've converted from an old plough factory, I had to share it with you as I think it's a wonderful space, so light and airy.

All pictures: Via Design Sponge

I particularly love the brick wall gallery and the office.  I'm not sure I could have my bed in the middle of the room though as I have enough problems with my pillows as it is! I'd love to hear your thoughts. For more pics and the complete interview click here. Back shortly with a fun DIY project for the wall....Oooooo!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Girl’s Day Out

I was so excited to have the opportunity to meet fellow bloggers today in my neck of the woods.  It was my first ever blogger meet-up.  Technically, we were all strangers, but it didn’t feel like it.  A few of them I felt like I already knew through reading their blogs.  Funny, but true. 

It was the magnificent Marian (Miss Mustard Seed) who sent the invite for Raleigh locals to meet for a day of fleamarketing.  Not only were there decorating bloggers, but also some Miss Mustard Seed fans as well.  I qualify for both.  :) I should have gotten Marian’s autograph as I’m certain it will be worth gold one day.  Big things are happening for her, and I’m so thrilled to witness her journey.

So… I didn’t bring any cash, since I was only there for the social aspect.  Ahem.  What do you know?  They take checks.  I was forced to bring home a few treasures…a vintage hamper (the coolest one I’ve ever seen), a wicker night table (fabulous lines), and some old Victorian shutters.  I would have brought home more loot had the other ladies not been the first to spot it!  :)  I’m not bitter.  Nope.  

Here were the blogger stragglers left over at the end of the day… taken at SuzAnna’s Antiques:

blogger friends

From the left to the right:  me (hi!), Marian (Miss Mustard Seed), Tammy (Tattered and Timeless), Fiquet (Farmhouse to  Home), Brittany (Pretty Handy Girl), and Kristen (Sophia’s Décor).  Click on ‘em and visit.  So happy to have met these talented and creative chickies today!  Thanks Marian for the girl’s day out… a rare but fun treat for me.  :)

By the way, our floors are in!  I must say, I’m enjoying our improved living conditions.  Although, I miss the crickets

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