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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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

Christmas is coming

November 24, 2009

I can’t ignore it any longer. The lights are twinkling away on Oxford Street, the carols are playing in the shops, and I overheard a woman on Saturday saying she only had one more present to buy, which sent me into a mad panic. Advent starts next week – SO, it’s time to bite the bullet and get festive…

Our gorgeous December issue front cover is just the picture to get us in the mood. Highlights include: walls painted in the lovely Potter’s Wheel matt emulsion, Dulux; Glass dome bell jar, Dee Puddy; White bird bottles, Polly George; Large 3d star, Heal’s; Porcelain church tealight holder, Dotcomgiftshop; White Christmas trees, M&S; and white metal tree centrepiece, Velvet Brown. I love the Potter’s Wheel grey walls in this shot, and it’s made my current obsession with dark grey even worse. As has this December shot:

The wooden stars in this pic are from RE and the cool twiggy tree is from John Lewis. Check out stylist Milly Goodwin’s lovely flat, and you’ll see my dream combo of dark grey walls and brightly coloured accessories – just got to persuade the OH that it’s the way forward! Colours that have made it through to the shortlist for our living room include: Farrow and Ball’s Downpipe, The Little Greene Paint Co’s Dark Lead, and Fired Earth’s Mercury. OH says, like the front door swatches, they all look the same. He might have a point. – Ellie