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

Hot shop: DEE PUDDY

November 24, 2009

Dee Puddy has a fabulous name. It’s a bit like P Diddy, but cooler. Dee runs a lovely online shop, selling some wonderful little treats…

I like her vintage section in particular (surprise, surprise) and recently bought one of her little 1950s tea tins. You’ll spot some of these soon in the January issue of Ideal Home if you look closely. They were originally used for storing thousands of tea samples from North India, Malawi and Bangladesh. A small amount of each numbered batch was retained by the tea company for a year in case of any quality complaint from a buyer then, after the year had elapsed, the old samples would be tipped out and given or sold to staff. The tin I have still smells of tea! But I think I’ll be using it to store jewellery on my dressing table. I also bought a little ceramic ‘Buttons’ tag to tie to my jar of never-ever-used-or-needed-yet-lovely-to-look-at buttons:

And, since we’ve just officially launched Christmas on this blog, Dee does a lovely range of festive bits and bobs, too…

I was tempted by the French goose tape, because it goes so well with the goosey Thornback and Peel inspired (in other words, blatantly ripped-off) Christmas cards I am making. Should I tape each envelope shut? Shall I put a Hobbycraft feather in each card…? Hmmm. So many questions. What a very serious job I have. On a par with being an MP or a surgeon I’d say. Mwah ha ha haa. – Ellie