Check out these new retro slogan prints from our old favourite the Keep Calm Gallery. Being a Grease fanatic, I’ve got my eye on the ‘AWOPBOPALOOBOP AWOPBAMBOOM!’ one…

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What an appropriately jolly word for a sunny day like today! – Ellie

Let’s go camping…

May 29, 2009

Today is the last official day of National Camping Week and it’s gloriously sunny outside, so let’s mark the occasion with this dreamy image from Laura Ashley.

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Yes, the Teepee-without-a-roof looks a bit impractical, the white armchair isn’t ideal for a muddy field, and there’s no electricity supply for the lamp – but that’s the joy of styling! I love the pretty bunting – it’s £14.69 and perfect for a garden party. – Ellie

Are you a domestic goddess with a sweet tooth? Shopping Spy’s secret sources have revealed that the owners of retro sweet shop Hope and Greenwood are working on a recipe book, which will be released this autumn, possibly in October.

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Miss Hope and Mr Greenwood are writing a book

The ‘purveyors of splendid confectionary’ will be packing the book full of treats such as sticky toffee apples – yum! If this book is as gorgeous as the lovely Hope and Greenwood shop and website, we think it will be one to watch out for! – Ellie

I’m a huge fan of these stunning new wallpaper designs from Focus – and an even bigger fan of their Credit-Crunch-tastic tiny price tags!

Sara Green, £9.99 per roll, Focus

Sara Green, £9.99 per roll, Focus

Mode Elinor Gold, £16.99 per roll, Focus

Mode Elinor Gold, £16.99 per roll, Focus

Cherish Fresh Green, £14.99 per roll, Focus

Cherish Fresh Green, £14.99 per roll, Focus

These papers have added more confusion to my never-ending search for the perfect bedroom feature wall pattern – the elegant Sara Green design is in my new top five…but the hunt continues! – Ellie

This is a subtle message to my boyfriend and also a gorgeous new tea towel from Emma Henderson via Hannah Zakari. Check out the detail on this pretty accessory – if you look closely at the photo, you can see some of the items from Emma’s kitchen are included in her design. I love a gorgeous tea towel. It’ll liven up a boring chore and look cute hanging up in your kitchen. I think this one is nice enough to frame as bargain art work!Picture 2

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Check out the weird and wonderful jewellery and accessories on the Hannah Zakari site, too. – Ellie

Emily Peacock cushions

May 19, 2009

Check out these lovely designs from cross-stitch craft queen Emily Peacock – follow the instructions in her cute kits to create these fantastic tapestries, then sew them into cushions.

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I spoke to Emily this morning, and she revealed she’s working on some new designs – so watch this space! Have a look at her retro rock chic patterns, too:

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The great thing about cross-stitch is that once you get the hang of it, you can just do it while you watch TV…my kinda hobby! – Ellie

After last year’s successful ‘MAKE!‘ book, we can reveal that Cath Kidston is publishing another craft book later this year. ‘SEW!’ is due to hit shops in early October, but we can’t wait until then, so here’s a sneaky peek at what to expect…

CATH1The book will come with a length of Cath Kidston fabric, a label and buttons so you’ll have everything you need to sew the pretty bag shown on the front cover. When you consider that Cath Kidston‘s bags start at £16 in her shops for a basic cloth bag, and this book is retailing at £14.99 – plus, you get loads of other sewing patterns and projects too – I think this is an absolute bargain!

CATH2Pia Tryde‘s colourful photography is cheerful and bright in truth Cath spirit and the styling is as gorgeous as ever – how cute is the little red vintage sewing machine on the back cover?! Love it! There are some lovely projects in this book, guaranteed to keep us all stitching and sewing for quite some time – expect hot water bottle covers, kitchen aprons and clothes hangers.

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cath4Even if you’re not a sewing expert, you’ll be OK – there’s a handy step-by-step section at the beginning of the book where all the basic stitches and techniques are explained nice and clearly.

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Craft and sewing has taken the country by storm this year. TV show Kirstie’s Homemade Home has proved so popular that Channel 4 is filming another series, where Kirstie Allsopp will transform real people’s homes (apply online here!), and it has been announced today that a new sewing magazine will launch on 29 May in the UK, called ‘Sew‘ (not to be confused with CK’s book, ‘SEW!’)

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With the strapline: ‘Join the sewing revolution’ splashed across the cover, it’s aimed at a new generation of younger sewing fans. If you’re embracing the craft movement, check out the easy-sew cushion projects in the June issue of Ideal Home, out now. – Ellie