Home for Christmas

December 29, 2011

Christmas has been a bit too much fun for homeshoppingspy! I’m looking forward to returning to regular blogging next week. Meanwhile, here’s a few things I’ve enjoyed from a Christmas in South Devon:

Blackpool sands, South Devon, coastal walk, coast, beach, Christmas, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

1. A blustery walk along the coast to Blackpool Sands for pasties and chips on the beach!

Winter bike Christmas card, Etsy, Christmas, stationary, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrtys

2. I received this lovely Winter bike Christmas card, available from Etsy.

Toast, Dee Puddy, Nigella Lawson, BBC Food, Christmas, Devon, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

(clockwise from left) 3. Nigella Lawson’s Christmas Cup cocktail as seen in Stylist. Cherry brandy, sparkling wine and ginger ale (tastes like liquid cherry drops – amazing and very festive!). 4. Chocolate mince pies. I made these for a Christmas party and they went down a storm, visit BBC Food for the recipe. 5. Pretty crackers from Toast to complete our table setting on Christmas day. 6. To add a little sparkle we used these charming nativity scene tea light decorations from Dee Puddy. I hope you all have a fun New Year’s Eve. I’ll see you on the other side. – Alice

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On the 1st day of Christmas…

November 26, 2011

Ok, it’s almost countdown to Christmas time! Alas, I always feel a little disheartened when I see the shops stocked with tacky, commercial Advent calendars with synthetic pressed chocolates, that taste like plastic. Who buys those?

So, i’ve scoured around to seek out a few creative alternatives that I like and wanted to share with you. And they’re calorie free. Justification #327 for eating lots on Christmas day.

First up: The eco-friendly stationary people, Lollipop Designs. Create your own poster with this graphic Advent calendar and sticker sheet, a different sticker for each day. Why not?

advent calendar, Christmas advent calendar, lollipop designs, stationary, ideal home, homeshoppingspy

Lollipop Designs, Christmas, advent calendar, poster, craft, stationary, ideal home, homeshoppingspy

Lollipop designs, advent calendar, alternative advent calendar, stationary, graphic, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, idealhomemagazine

And I love this idea from The Spotted Sparrow at notonthehighstreet.com. 24 pre-dated blank library cards that you can customise with a suggested festive activity for each day (eat a mince pie, adopt a reindeer, practice Auld Lang Syne, take your hands OUT of the Quality Street tin…). They sit in cute brown paper pockets and come with bakers twine and wooden pegs to hang garland-stylee over a mantlepiece or banister. Ooh er!

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advent calendar, original advent calendar, Christmas advent calendar, notonthehighstreet.com, ideal home, homeshoppingspy

Next up: The lovely Bodie and Fou. Ok, so this idea is slightly more aimed at kids but I wouldn’t say no to a cube a day filled with ‘toys’ and other small but useful things! It’s a bit more pricey at £35.50 but it can be re-used year after year. (please note: toys not included. The idea is you get creative and fill it yourself).

advent calendar, alternative advent calendar, bodie and fou, children, Christmas, ideal home, homeshoppingspy

advent calendar, noix de Coc, bodie and fou, christmas, craft, alternative Christmas advent calendar,ideal home, homehoppingspy

And lastly, but by no means least is a charming DIY Advent calendar from the creative genius that is Lucy Jane Batchelor. It comes with 25 dated illustrated stickers to create your own wintry scene. Such lovely retro colours. Jolly delightful! – Alice

Advent calendar scene, Lucy Jane Batchelor, Christmas, Devon, staionary, alternative stationary, craft, ideal home, homeshoppingspy

Lucy Jane Batchelor, Advent calendar scene, Christmas, advent calendar, craft, devon, ideal home, homeshoppingspy

SO! I’m sure you’re all aware but Christmas is less than 6 weeks away. 6 WEEKS, I cry! To make things easier in the madness of London life (we must do what we can) I have vowed to buy all my shopping on-line this year. Everything. Including decorations and suchlike, which is why I’m most excited to discover that The Original Pop-Up Shop have gone on-line. Ding dong! Two years ago the lovely interior stylist, Louise Rastall and her mum, Carol, decided to transform their family run ice-cream parlour in Newark into a little festive pop-up shop, chock full of handcrafted Christmas delights. Think Cox and Cox crossed with Papermash

Christmas, the original pop-up shop, decorations, festive, on-line, louise rastall, handcrafted, scandi, alice humphrys

Their natural, Scandi-style decorations include porcelain keys and handmade crochet snow flakes. Their ribbons and patterned tape work really well with brown paper wrap and how cute is this felt acorn garland!?

handcrafted, Christmas decorations, garland, Scandi, rustic decorations, country styleThe traditional wrap packs are perfect for homemade mince pies which include Kraft bags, bakers twine, vintage style paper doilies plus hand stamped tags..(you just have to make something tasty to go inside)

kraft bag, bakers twine, mince pies, Christmas ideas, Christmas, pop-up shop, Ideal Home, The Original pop-up shop, doilie, handmadeand last but by no means least are these folky style cards from boutique stationers, Rifle Paper and Co. Scrum!

The Original Christmas Pop-Up Shop, Christmas, online, boutique stationery, folkTra-la-la-la-laaaa-lala-la-la. – Alice