Advent calendar: DEC 4

December 4, 2010

Brrrrrr – it sure is chilly round here. Time for a warming mug of hot chocolate and a little peek behind door number four…

Hurrah! It’s the pretty vintage Christmas brooches from Acorn and Will. While we’re there, let’s have a little look at the 1950s-style Christmas wrapping paper and vintage ribbons, too. It’d be rude not to. – Ellie


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Drum roll, please! Ladies and gentlemen of the blogosphere – the five winning names have been plucked from a (bobble) hat and the lucky people who will each be receiving a copy of Angie Lewin’s beautiful Plants and Places book are… in no particular order: Simon Fox, Emma McCann, Ellen Woodfin, Emma Oakes and Viv Jones. Congratulations to you all! I’ll be emailing you for delivery addresses asap.

We’ve got another great giveaway coming up next week with a Christmas theme – so don’t be disappointed if you didn’t win this time. Remember, it could be YOU! – Ellie

20 GORGEOUS gift ideas

November 29, 2010

Advent is nearly upon us. One very organised person recently announced to me that she has ‘finished’ her Christmas shopping. I haven’t started mine. So, let’s get organised.

I recently compiled the Ideal Home Gift Guide, and jolly good fun it was too. We used some beautiful robins wrapping paper from Allihopa (Notonthehighstreet) which you can admire above and buy here, and I got the task of scouring high street shops, supermarkets and online stores for the best gifts for our readers. It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it. If you were sensible enough to pick up a copy of our December issue, you’ll be able to enjoy pages and pages and PAGES of gorgeous gifts. But here’s a little taster – 20 top online buys! Sadly I can’t set up links from every image because I’ve made them into stupid collages in PhotoShop now and I am what is known in the trade as ‘technologically-challenged’, but each image is labelled and I’ve put the links below. Alas, ’tis the best I can do.

Bowls, Roost Living; Calendar, V&A Shop; Cushion, Peak Princess; Chocolate tongues (!), Betty’s; Bird bath, The Balcony Gardener; Tea cosy, Emily Bond.

Needle case, The Contemporary Home; Alphabet purse, Alphabetbags; Hottie, The Fine Cotton Co; Personalised Cornishware, TG Green.

Candles, Jamie Oliver; Glasses, Jasmine Way; Bricks, Silver Cross; Print, Rockett St George.

Glass pots, Dotcomgiftshop; Orla Kiely casserole, BlissHome; Blanket, Anorak; Little mice, Notonthehighstreet; Platter, W2 Products; Compagnie de Provence set, Lifestyle Bazaar. Well, that’s given me a few ideas at least. (Anybody reading this who knows me, that ORLA KIELY casserole pot is VERY nice, HINT HINT HINT…) – Ellie

The 12 days of Christmas

December 1, 2009

Happy Advent! And ‘hurrah’ for whoever came up with the idea of a chocolate calendar. Yeah, yeah, I know. The 12 days of Christmas period officially starts on Christmas Day and ends on Epiphany (5th January), but for artistic purposes, we’re going to do the 12 days of Christmas on HomeShoppingSpy for the first 12 days of Advent instead. Each day, we’ll bring you a beautiful buy based on a verse from the song…

Today is the first day, so check out the partridge in a pear tree Christmas card on the right from one of my favourite Textile designers, Thornback and Peel. In case you’re wondering, the lovely image above is from Homes and Gardens. It’s making me feel very festive. In fact, I’m off to wrap a load of fruit in foil. I may be some time…  – Ellie