Photography by: Debi Treloar
Photography by: Debi Treloar
Next up in our Christmas round-ups, we’re thinking about homemade gifts. As we mentioned in this post, we’re doing a Homemade Secret Santa this year, but whether you’re after a little stocking filler, or something personal for a friend or loved one, we’ve got you covered.
Grocery shopping will no longer be a chore, thanks to this gorgeous tote bag from our new book Hygge Knits (this book is published in January, but you can preorder it here). Find the pattern for the bag over on MAKEetc here.
These home-infused oils make a lovely stocking-filler for your favourite foodie. Click here for the recipes.
If you know someone celebrating their first Christmas this year, Laura Strutt’s Bunting Baby Blanket would make a lovely gift. Find the knitting pattern here.
Make these notebooks to kickstart a year of writing for any budding author. You can find a printable PDF project here.
These lavender bags make sweet little stocking fillers. The project is available here.
And as a bonus, homemade cards and gift tags can add a personal twist to any gift. We’ve got a video tutorial for these stocking cards here, and the instructions for homemade gift tags on the blog here.
We hope you’re feeling inspired, but don’t forget to check out our Top 10 Gifts for Crafters blog post on MAKEetc here.
We’re all a little bit guilty of showing the best version of our lives on social media. The perfect instagram snap of your lunch that doesn’t show all the washing up. That adorable story about your kids shared with facebook friends that omits the screaming match they had 5 minutes later. But Emily Henson’s gorgeous new book Life Unstyled provides a bit of an antidote to this. Yes, these homes are beautiful, but more importantly they’re lived in. We celebrated with a launch event at Anthropologie, after Emily led a workshop for making papier-mâché lampshades!
There was also a wonderful blog tour visiting some of our favourite interiors blogs. But don't worry if you missed it, because we've gathered all the links together. So grab a cup of something warming, and settle in for some cosy reading...
Lobster and Swan started us off with a gorgeous review admiring “Emily’s manifesto for creating a stylish home that is beautiful but lived in”, and showcasing some of her favourite pages from the book. Including this bath of our dreams, surrounded by real bathroom clutter. Read her review here.
Over on Makelight, Emily Quinton shared some lovely autumnal shots of the book reflecting its ‘cosy and homely’ style which had us feeling all hyggelig. Take a look at her post here.
Another gorgeous review followed at Décor Art UK declaring Life Unstyled the most relaxed interiors book she’d ever seen. Read the full review here.
Heart Home Magazine shared a lovely extract from the book, focusing on a tranquil home in Brixton. Find the full preview here.
Last but not last, we finished up the week at My Warehouse Home with a selection of their favourite shots from this ‘cover-to-cover delight’, and tips for creating the look in your own home too. Read their post here.
What a lovely week! For more real life interiors inspiration, pick up a copy of Life Unstyled by Emily Henson now, available here.
With autumn’s arrival and that New School Year feeling that we can never quite shake (despite it being rather a few years since we were attending school), we’re turning instead to our new interiors books. If we can’t have Mary-Janes and new stationery, maybe we can have new décor instead. That seems like a fair trade, right? Last week we hosted a blog tour for one of these new books, The Creative Home by Geraldine James, and seeing what our favourite interiors blogs thought was so inspiring. Nearly as good as a new pencil case.
Look at the lovely blogs we had taking part:
We started things off with a lovely post on My Warehouse Home who shared some of their favourite spaces, and ideas on recreating these looks in their own home. “Whether you live in a compact city apartment, a warehouse conversion or a country cottage, The Creative Home by Geraldine James features countless spaces to inspire a thoughtful and distinctive approach to interior decoration.” Read their full review here.
Emily Quinton shared some beautifully autumnal shots of the pages she found most inspiring over on Makelight, and of course, we had total stationery envy! She summed up the book rather beautifully with “the owners’ hearts at the centre, building a home that suits them and all they love and treasure”. You can see her post here.
Now if you’ll excuse us, we’ve got some shelves to rearrange…
The Creative Home by Geraldine James is available here.
It’s quite warm here in London and we’re certain that there’ll be one or two bbqs lit this weekend. So it’s great news that today is National Burger Day and we have not one, not two, not even three, but four fab recipes for burgers, perfect for whatever mood you’re in. Happy cooking!
If meat isn’t your thing, get a load of these veggie burgers going. You’ll be fighting the carnivores for one of these hearty burgers! Click here for the recipe.
With a burger-based twist on a British classic, these Fish Pie burgers are utterly delicious. Head over to The Pantry’s YouTube channel and find the recipe video.
And last but by no means least, finish up your burger party the super-cute way with adorable macarons! Head over here for the recipe.
Have a great weekend!
This post was posted in Featured, News, Recipes, UK and was tagged with fish, savoury, burger, school holidays, recipe for the weekend, beef, vegetarian, photos, quick, national burger day, 2016, macaron
Last night we somehow found ourselves ensconced on the sofa, G&T in hand, saying things like “Excellent pike position there, shame about the rotation”. We were watching the Men’s 3m Springboard diving final and we are, of course, now experts. That’s the beauty of the Olympics. You get very caught up in sports that you had hitherto not even known existed and suddenly Jack Laugher’s silver medal seems like the most exciting thing all week.
Speaking of medals, a flurry of Team GB successes over the last two days calls for something special and we think Will Torrent’s recipe for Pistachio and Strawberry Délices decorated with ACTUAL GOLD fits that bill nicely.
It’s not all about Team GB though and we thought we’d share some Olympian recipes for the other nations topping the medal table.
The United States are having a cracking Olympics – Simone Biles of their gymnastics team is our new hero – and we feel like it’s only right to honour such athletic skills with cheesey-goodness in the form of this Pimento Mac ‘n’ Cheese. Get the recipe here.
Fold dim sum dumplings with the artfulness of 4½ somersaults in the tuck position (that’s Cao Yuan’s gold medal-winning dive for the uninitiated) with our video tutorial from Modern Dim Sum. Find it on YouTube here.
Every Olympics viewing party needs snacks and with Russia and Italy doing so well, these two canapé recipes are topping our Must Cook list. Try Salmon Caviar Canapés from Mat Follas’ Fish (recipe here) and Courgette and Parmesan Crocchette, featured in Cicchetti by Liz Franklin (video tutorial here).
And last but not least, if you’d like to drink like a local head over here to find Mark Dredge’s top Brazilian Beers as featured in Craft Beer World. Cheers!
We can’t wait to see what the last few days in Rio bring, but we’re sure we’ll be experts in a few more sports before next Monday’s closing ceremony!
This post was posted in Featured, News, News, Recipes, UK, Videos, What's new and was tagged with fish, canapes, savoury, event, italian, Will Torrent, vegetarian, snacks, photos, quick, sweet, Asian, Mat Follas, 2016, Loretta Liu
Um, where did July go? It just seems to have whizzed by, and we can’t believe it’s August tomorrow! It’s been a beautiful month over on instagram, with beautiful food, gorgeous homes and fun crafts for grown-ups and kids alike. So we wanted to share some of your favourite shots here on the blog. Make sure you’re following us at @RylandPetersandSmall and @CICOBooks so you don’t miss a thing! (Aerosmith earworm? You are welcome.)
Food and drink was definitely the order of the day on the RPS account and loads of you loved these shots in particular.
We were also delighted that so many of you loved our “girls on film” too! Can’t wait to share the videos we shot with Isabelle Palmer and Elspeth Jackson when they popped in last week.
That’s all for now. Happy August!
Living Retro by Andrew Weaving, with photography by Andrew Wood, is available here.
Author Fiona Bird was on BBC Radio 4 Midweek today talking to Libby Purves about her latest book Let Your Kids Go Wild Outside, life on South Uist and seaweed, and it was a fascinating chat; you can catch up here. Fiona is hugely knowledgeable about seaweed and the many things you can use it for (she even dropped off some seaweed shortbread at the office!) so we thought we’d share some of the seaweed-y wisdom to be found in this amazing book, along with a super easy craft project. Over to Fiona…
Macroalgae is a really useful weed. You can pop seaweed in the bath, cook with it, or use it in craftwork. Plan a visit to a herbarium, where you will be able to see beautifully preserved plants and seaweeds—our ocean flowers—and find out the best ways to preserve a seaweed’s shape and color.
Collecting, Drying, And Storing
If you are not planning to use your seaweed fresh from the seashore, then it can easily be dried and stored for using in recipes or other projects later on.
There are a few rules to bear in mind when collecting seaweed from the seashore for use at home:
Don’t pick storm-cast seaweed for cooking; only use seaweed that is growing.
Do use a pair of scissors to cut seaweeds from their holdfasts at low tide on a clean beach. (Remember to take scissors with you when you visit the beach.)
Don’t cook with floating seaweed or seaweed that grows at the top of the shore near drains. Sea lettuce and sea grass like growing here—instead, pick these seaweeds from rock pools at low tide.
Do wash the seaweed in the sea so that any hidden “visitors” can find a new home locally. You should also rinse the seaweed in cold water when you get home.
Do use a separate bag for each type collected, as this will make it easier to sort out your seaweeds when you get home.
Drying Seaweed When you get home, wash the seaweed thoroughly. Rinse it in cold water and squeeze out as much of the water as possible. A salad spinner is helpful here—spin the seaweed around, just as you would if preparing salad leaves.
Next dry the seaweed. Lay the pieces of seaweed on a tray lined with newspaper or some paper towel—making sure that they aren’t touching—and leave to dry on a sunny windowsill. You could also pop the tray in a warm airing cupboard. On a sunny day, you can dry larger seaweeds such as sugar kelp by pegging them on a washing line. You can also dry seaweed on trays in a low oven or even in a food dehydrator if you have one. Some people dry seaweed in a hot oven, but you must be eagle-eyed if you do this and make sure that the seaweed does not burn.
Storing Seaweed When you have dried the seaweed, cut it into manageable lengths or grind it in a food-blender. It is easier to grind a little at a time, pop it in an airtight container, and then repeat the process until you have used up all of the seaweed. Shake the containers when you remember and use the dried seaweed as a flavoring, just as you would herbs or spices.
These easy-to-make bags make a lovely seaside vacation memory or gift. Younger children can practice knots as they tie the sacks. Soak the bath sack in your bath water for 5 minutes before you use it, unless, of course, you want to spend a long time in the bath. As the seaweed rehydrates, it releases a gel that has skin-softening properties.
WHAT TO USE
4 Dried seaweed, cut or broken by hand into short lengths
4 Jelly bag, pop sock, or a leg of pantyhose (tights), cut below the knee
4 Ribbon, for tying (optional)
WHAT TO DO
Stuff the dried seaweed into the jelly bag, pop sock, or section of pantyhose and then tie a knot (and a ribbon, if using) tightly at the top to make a sack. You can use colored or patterned pop socks or pantyhose if you wish to make your bath sacks look really pretty.
Let Your Kids Go Wild Outside by Fiona Bird is available here.
Spring is very much springing here in the UK. It starts with the crocuses and snowdrops, then the bright yellow daffodils start making an appearance and suddenly there are lambs frolicking in all the fields. So to celebrate the arrival of our favourite season (sssh! Don’t tell summer!), we thought we’d share this seasonal passage from our new book The New Homesteader by Bella and Nick Ivins. Over to Bella and Nick…
We started keeping sheep three years ago, as organic lamb is expensive to buy. When they are slaughtered in the autumn, the cuts we order from the butcher include rack of lamb, chops, ground mince, kidneys and boned shoulder and leg of lamb, and the sweetness add tenderness of the meat is indescribable. We’ve found that four small sheep can comfortably feed a family of four and our friends throughout the year.
The cycle starts in spring, when the three-day-old orphan lambs are delivered. These are the lambs that a ewe is unable to suckle – she only has two teats, so anything more than twins is not sustainable. Bottle-feeding lambs is time-consuming, so most commercially-minded farmers are happy to give up orphans rather than see them go to waste.
Raising these lambs is sheep-keeping in its easiest form, as there is no breeding or shearing involved. At first they are bottle-fed powdered milk, then weaned onto a compound pelleted feed (lamb creep) and grass. The nutritional value of the grass is at its highest in spring and early summer. When this starts to decline, the lambs need hay and a concentrate feed and things start to get expensive.
For the first few weeks, the lambs are kept in our potting shed on a bed of straw and only venture outside on warm spring days into a small area of grass enclosed with wooden hurdles. We shut them back in at night, out of reach of predators like foxes and crows. Once they are big enough to fend for themselves, the sheep are turned out into the field, but having been bottle-fed they always come rushing to the gate at the sight of us.
Sheep kept for only a few months are low maintenance. They need a regular supply of fresh water and we supplement the nutrition they get from grass with a bucket of feed mornings and evenings, but this is more as a treat than for any other reason. They are also sprayed with a chemical treatment to prevent flystrike and biting lice.
The arrival of the orphan lambs coincides perfectly with the school Easter holidays, providing daily entertainment for the children and their friends.
There is nothing more life-affirming than having a soft little lamb, with wrinkly, ill-fitting skin that’s too big for it, sitting on your lap, greedily feeding on its lukewarm bottle of milk. Where we live in Sussex, orphan lambs are known as sock lambs, probably because they were wrapped in socks in the farmhouse kitchen to keep them warm.
The milk replacement powder available from our local agricultural merchant arrives in a bag with making-up instructions usefully printed on the back. Four bottles will fit into a wire rack so, if necessary, all four lambs can be fed simultaneously. Once weaned, the lambs move on to grass and concentrate ‘creep’ feed. The sock lambs are always the smallest of their siblings and need to take every opportunity to put on weight over the summer.
The New Homesteader by Bella and Nick Ivins is available here. All photography is by Nick Ivins.