Spring Cottage Garden

I love this time of year, not only is it my birthday, but the garden has really woken up and starting to burst into bloom. The colours are vibrant and the foliage is still very lime fresh. This little corner is particularly pretty this time of year. The Daffodils and Grape Hyacinths are first to show, followed by the Lungwort, Forget-me-nots and Bleeding Hearts.

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April Interiors, Cheltenham

This is my first solo trade show and luckily for me April Interiors is a super friendly event created and run by a small group of people in the Curtain and Blind Makers Friendly Forum (CABMFF).

It’s a great community and I thoroughly recommend anyone joining if you’re in the trade.

Preparing for a trade show is hard work. Not only do I need to think about the display, I must think about all the paperwork that will be needed on the day.

Once I’ve got all my paperwork together, things like price lists and leaflets I need to consider the display. There’s lots of creative ways to display fabric, but because I’m on my own, I have to keep it fairly simple and light-weight. It also needs to fit in the car!

These photos show how it all came together on the day.

April Interiors
Monday 24th April  2017
Cheltenham Racecourse, The Hall of Fame, Cheltenham GL50 4SH.

Easter Biscuits

These tasty biscuits are a great alternative to chocolate at Easter and easy to make with the children.


Ingredients
200g/8oz softened butter
150g/6oz caster sugar
2 egg yolks
400g/14oz plain flour
1 level tsp mixed spice
1 level tsp ground cinnamon
1 Lemon zest (optional, but I like it)
100g/4oz currants
2-4 tbsp milk (if required)
a little caster sugar, for sprinkling

Serves 12

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. Lightly grease two baking trays lined with baking parchment.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the lemon zest (optional) and beat in the egg yolk.
  5. Sieve in the flour, spices and currants and add milk (if necessary) to give a fairly stiff dough.
  6. Roll out dough on a floured surface until 5mm/¼” thick.
  7. Cut into rounds using a circular cutter (or shapes if you prefer).
  8. Place on the prepared baking trays.
  9. Gather together the off cuts and re roll to make further biscuits.
  10. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 10/12 minutes or until golden brown. My oven’s quite fierce, they all vary.
  11. Sprinkle with extra caster sugar when still hot, then transfer to a wire tray to cool.
  12. Or wait until cooled and decorate with icing.

If you don’t like currants, then just leave them out – you still get a delicious biscuit which could be decorated with icing instead.

I always think these make nice presents at Easter; you can package them up in cellophane, tie with a ribbon and decorate with Easter chicks or flowers.

Happy Easter! x

Decorating with Grey & Yellow

Mixing neutral greys with shades of yellow creates cheerful and sophisticated interiors, they complement each other perfectly. Grey on its own is very soothing and extremely versatile but for stunning results; mix it with shades of yellow.

Pattern helps to bring this combination alive. For retro and Scandi enthusiasts remember to keep the lines clean; simple patterns and geometrics work best. If you are aiming for more of a country chic look, then try adding some floral prints to the scheme.

Always try out different paint samples and fabric swatches before you make your final selection. The light will change throughout the day and this will affect how the colours appear in your room.

Accessorise with chunky knits and wicker; don’t be afraid to mix textures because this helps to add interest to the room. I’m a big admirer of the chunky knits and rugs that are around at the moment; they work with so many different styles and just add a little bit of cosiness.

Fabrics clockwise from top left: Rose Garden Dove, Kitchen Garden Caramel, Mollie Saffron, Mollie Dove, Busy Bee Natural White and Wisteria Warm Saffron.

Wisteria Warm Saffron