Spring flowers…

April 13, 2012

I’ve just spent a few days in the West Country skipping around like a sprightly spring lamb. The fresh air was wondrous and I was amazed by the amount of daffodils bloomin’ everywhere. In my attempt to bring a little bit of the country back to the city, I picked daffodils from my Mother’s garden and gathered whatever greenery I could scrounge from the local hedgerows, along the Devon lanes. I decided to display them in the many jam jars I have collected over the years, I normally use these as tea light holders but with a bit of ribbon they looked suitably pretty for my little floral arrangements that are now dotted ALL over my house…

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Spring flowers, daffodils, countryside, Devon, Spring, flower display, country flowers, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

Spring flowers, daffodils, countryside, Devon, Spring, flower display, country flowers, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

If you’re looking for a similar weekend project then this is all you need:

1. A selection of glass jars or any other interesting glass receptacles! If you don’t have many kicking about at home try The Jam Jar Shop for all sorts of shapes and sizes or raid your local car boot/charity shop for old glass bottles.

2. Scraps of ribbon, baker’s twine, brown string..whatever you fancy (I used a selection of ribbons in yellows/creams to keep to a co-ordinated colour scheme.

3. A selection of cut spring flowers from your garden, florist or supermarket and greenery.

For more country decorating ideas why not visit the Ideal Home website. Happy weekend. The sun is set to shine! – Alice

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Gabrielle is a designer who lives with her husband and little dog in a rural cottage in Surrey. She makes cards, cute notebooks and plantable bunting (!) amongst other things. Her business is called The Green Gables. She only uses FSC certified paper, works with local printers and suppliers, uses recycled packaging and all orders are shipped from her local village Post Office. Her cheery post card designs landed in my inbox this week and I love the simple illustrations that feature some of my favourite vintage objects…
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The Green Gables, Vintage Typewriter card, typewriter, vintage, illustrations, eco-friendly, sustainable, The Green Gables, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

The Green Gables, Vintage tea cup, typewriter, vintage, illustrations, eco-friendly, sustainable, The Green Gables, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

The Green Gables, Vintage suitcase, typewriter, vintage, illustrations, eco-friendly, sustainable, The Green Gables, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

he Green Gables, Vintage suitcase, typewriter, vintage, illustrations, eco-friendly, sustainable, The Green Gables, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

he Green Gables, Vintage suitcase, typewriter, vintage, illustrations, eco-friendly, sustainable, The Green Gables, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

They’re a mere £3.50 for a mixed set of 6 and if you don’t feel like giving them away then why not use as a mini piece of wall art? Lovely. – Alice

I’m sure you remember Ellie mention Sparrow & Co. earlier on this year. Well, things have been very busy in the Sparrow household of late and Samuel Sparrow (great name!) has been creatively slaving away and his lovely on-line shop is now officially open. Once an interior designer for Habitat and Ikea, Sam now runs his own little homeware business with his wife, Laura, from their home in Glasgow. The photography and styling is beautiful and all done by the man himself:

Sparrow & Co, Samuel Sparrow, textiles, Glasgow, homeware, interiors, on-line, Moroccan, Ikat, artisan, ideal home, homeshoppingspy,1. Cableknit throw, £150; 2. Campfire candles, £20; 3. Ikat cushion covers in mustard and slate grey, £35.

Inspired by traditional crafting techniques, the collection includes handmade pieces designed by Sam and made by artisans around the world from bonnie Scotland to Morocco. Sam tells me the candles have a unique fragrance of leather bound books and gentleman’s cologne (hmmm..!) and the packaging, designed by illustrator Debbie Powell, makes me very happy indeed. You may recognise her designs from the M&S savoury snacks packaging!

Sparrow & Co. Samuel Sparrow, textiles, sheepskin rug, tealight holder, candlestick, artisan, welsh tapestry, ideal home, homeshoppingspy4. Welsh tapestry cushion, £50; 5. Tin lantern, £15; 6. Spool candlestick, from £45; 7. Sheepskin rug, £75.

handblown glasses, sparrow & co, samuel sparrow, artisan, ideal home, homeshoppingspy

Notebooks, Sparrow & Co. Samuel Sparrow, artisan, Scotland, ideal home, online, hopeshoppingspy

If you are a fan of Toast, love texture and warming autumnal colours – the site is well worth a visit. Look out for some of his designs in Urban Outfitters too. Sam plans to introduce two seasonal ranges a year and hopes to launch a Sparrow & Co. dining range (handmade in England). Can’t wait to ogle over that! Personally, I will be re-visiting on a regular basis. This man knows a thing or two about tasteful design. – Alice

Get crafty

March 4, 2009

If you’re crafty or creative, check out the Misi website, where you can buy or sell home-made stuff online. It’s a bit like a British version of Etsy – and full of gorgeous buys for you and your home. I love these little birdy gift tags from Misi seller Darling Dilly Dally  – they’re officially on my wish list!

9519867lb4

It seems like the nation’s going craft crazy at the moment! We’ve just heard that Kirstie Allsopp is about to launch a new TV show, Kirstie’s Homemade Home, due to air on Channel 4 this Spring. The four-part series will follow Allsopp as she attempts to transform a dilapidated country cottage in Devon into the ultimate ‘homemade’ home and she’ll try her hand at soap making, sewing, and rolling candles. Can’t wait! – Ellie