Tuesday, 29 December 2009
I have had quite a long break from blogging recently due to the fact I've been busy being a new Mum! Parenting is tiring, but amazing at the same time. I can't imagine life without our baby girl now and I'm loving being a Mum.
The Pouch etsy store is closed for the time being whilst I take a break to be with my new baby. Rest assured, it's not a permanent closure and I have lots of ideas and plans for 2010. It's all a bit of a shock to the system at the moment, especially the lack of sleep, but hopefully I can get back into the swing of things once we've settled into some sort of a routine!
Saturday, 3 October 2009
One of the first signs that the seasons are changing, before the leaves change colour and start to fall, are the garden spiders which appear in late August and Setember. They are festooned from every available plant and you have to walk through their webs every morning, just to get out into the garden! I hate spiders, but I don't like breaking their webs, even I can see they are a thing of beauty. I don't know what type of spider they are, my husband calls them 'shredded wheat' spiders! The spider photographed above had made his web right across the back door, reluctant as I was to break-up all that hard work, I had to do it eventually or remain trapped indoors!
Once the air starts to get cooler, my mind instantly turns to comfort food. I no longer want to eat salads, I crave pies, stews and cakes. One of the easiest things to bake is flapjack. I discovered this particular recipe on the internet, it's called 'chewy flapjack' because it contains mashed-up banana. I've never tried adding banana to flapjack before, but it was absolutely delicious.
If you feel like trying it out, here's the recipe.
Brown Sugar 80g
Golden Syrup 2 tablespoons
1. Over a low heat melt the butter and the Margarine in a deep saucepan
2. add the sugar and 2 tablespoons of golden syrup and stir well
3. Mix in the oats. You may find it easier add them in gradually stirring and covering the oats with the paste
4. add a pinch of salt and continue to stir
5. Mash up the banana and stir in. This may take a bit of time to make sure the banana completely covers the mixture
6. spread the mixture evenly over a non stick baking tray. Smooth over with a knife making sure the mixture is even
7. Place the baking tray onto the middle shelf in a preheated oven (gas mark 5, 220 C) and bake for 15 minutes, checking the progress regularly. Take out when the mixture starts turning a golden brown.
8. Stand for a minute or two, then score the mixture with a knife into you portions
9. Cover the tray with something light such as a few pieces of kitchen roll and leave for a couple of hours
September and October are traditionally harvesting months. I seem to have loads of chillies at the moment and I'm planning on making chilli oil to store over the winter. We've also been eating rhubarb, peppers, the last of the tomatoes and green beans from the garden. I'm already thinking about next year, I want to try pak choi, carrots, more herbs and different varieties of potatoes.
I've also been very organised and made up three jars of pickled onions to eat at Christmas. I found the recipe for spiced vinegar in the Gardeners World Magazine it contains peppercorns, chillies, cinnamon, honey and mustard seeds. I've got a feeling they are going to be pretty strong!
Although it's sad to see the Summer end, I do love Autumn. I think it's because I'm a homebody and love to get cosy and eat lots of hearty, warming food.
Thursday, 17 September 2009
Pouch currently has a number of vintage fabric laundry bags listed here
Made with repurposed, vintage fabric, they come in three designs:
Flower meadow drawstring laundry bag
Harvest berries drawstring laundry bag
Cotton candy drawstring laundry bag
Brighten up your wash-day with these pretty laundry bags
Monday, 14 September 2009
All of Pouch’s peg bags are made with vintage wooden coat hangers. One of the nice things about working with vintage materials is the fact that they have a history. Many of the coathangers I use have initials carved onto them, or names of hotels stamped into the wood. It all adds to the charm and I’m often intrigued by their history.
Often, vintage items can provide a snapshot of times gone by and this coat hanger is a perfect example. I found it amongst my collection and was fascinated by the still intact price label.
Not only does it show the now bankrupt Woolworths company’s logo, it shows a dual price with the pre-decimalisation and post-decimalisation figure.
Decimalisation took place before I was born, so the pounds and pence prices are second nature to me, but I can only imagine how confusing the switch must have been for people in the early
It’s also sad to think that Woolworth’s shops no longer exist. Founded in the 1920s, Woolworths was a popular fixture on high streets across the UK.
Woolworths was also responsible for creating and selling many household items that have since become collectable. In particular the Homemaker range. Designed in 1957 by Enid Seeney, Homemaker pottery was once made for the masses and sold cheaply by Woolies both in the US and UK.
Image curtesy of the Kay Loves Vintage Blog
A victim of the recent financial climate, the final Woolworths stores shut down in 2008. It was sad to see them go. Many people, including myself, can remember that a trip to Woolies to get pick n’ mix or to buy the latest 7 inch vinyl single was an essential part of a Saturday morning shop!
Having said that, it appears Woolworths is rising from the ashes in an online format. Take a look at Woolworths online to find out more!
Monday, 7 September 2009
I guess this isn't strictly a 'find' as these Salter Scales were kindly given to me by my Gran a few weeks ago, but I love them so much I had to include it on the blog!
They date from around 1945, when my Gran was newly married. She started married life in an austere, post-war Britain where home cooking and being thrifty was second nature to most women.
As you can see from the photos, these scales were well used by my Gran. She used to set aside one day a week to bake. This was a very common thing for post-war housewives to do as there was very little, if any, convenience food in the shops. So if you wanted a pie, a pudding or a cake, you had to make it from scratch.
Apart from the timeless design of the scales, I love the fact that my Gran was so fond of them.
It's nice to know that she cooked food for her family using these scales every week. It's a tradition I hope to continue with my own family.
Wednesday, 2 September 2009
I've been working on some lavender rabbits in two new colourways.
This bunny is made with one of my favourite vintage fabrics.
It features a retro floral pattern in shades of zesty orange and lemon yellow.
Each rabbit is made from recycled, vintage fabric
Its ears are filled with chemical-free, French lavender
Lavender makes a great eco-friendly alternative to conventional moth balls which are full of hazardous chemicals
I will be listing another new colorway soon, in turquoise and aqua blue, watch this space for details ;)
Thursday, 20 August 2009
I was recently reading the National Trust Magazine and saw an article about allotments. In particular it mentioned how the NT are allocating 1000 plots for the general public on their land. I think this is a great idea, imagine having an allotment on a beautiful NT estate?!
I saw a link at the end of the article for a website called landshare.net
I think landshare.net is a fantastic and helpful website
It connects growers with landowners and visa versa
If you live in the United Kingdom and would love to grow your own vegetables, but don’t have the space, then landshare.net is the site for you.
Browse listings in your local area to connect with people who may need to share an allotment, have too much garden and not enough time to maintain it, or organisations which require help with community gardens.
Similarly, if you have some spare land that you would like to put to good use, then you can submit it to the Landshare site.
you can read more about how it works here
Growing your own produce if a great way to keep fit and cut down on food miles!
So if you've ever wanted to give it a go but lack the 'growing room', check out the Landshare website
Saturday, 15 August 2009
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
I had a pleasant surprise yesterday when I saw this green leaves reversible market day tote featured in an Etsy Finds: Green with Envy email
Following on from that, I received an email this morning from Country Homes & Interiors Magazine saying that the same tote would appear on their Country Days blog
You can read the full feature here:
An online treasure trove
It's always lovely to get positive feedback and know that people like your work!
Thursday, 6 August 2009
I picked up this lovely sewing cabinet a few weeks ago from a local furniture project. It was an absolute bargain at just £5! It's really well made, in great condition and perfect for storing my sewing and craft paraphernalia.
It is made from gorgeous honey coloured wood with pretty and understated floral detailing on the front.
I think buying furniture from local second hand stores and furniture projects is a fantastic way to find gems such as this. I love a mooch round Ikea or other furniture stores as much as the next person, but sometimes it's good to reject buying a new item and opt for second hand instead. By supporting second hand furniture stores you reduce the need to use fresh wood, glass, metal and other materials. Consequently purchases such as this put less strain on the world's resources.
Also, sprucing up or upcycling second hand furniture can open up an exciting world of DIY projects where improvements are made on the original piece. Plus it lets you put your own stamp and identity on your home. There are lots of 'before & after' projects featured on the Design*Sponge blog. Check them out for inspiration for your next recycling project!
Thursday, 30 July 2009
I've recently added a two new Lavender rabbits in warm amber orange. This particular colourway proved to be very popular and the first batch sold out last month. Each rabbit is made from recycled, vintage fabric. Its ears are filled with chemical-free, French lavender.
You can see the current range of Lavender Rabbits, by clicking here
I've also just purchased this vibrant piece of vintage fabric which is earmarked to make more lavender rabbits and owls
This type of vintage, open-weave, man made fabric is becoming harder and harder to source. I find it is perfect for the lavender rabbits and owls because it is just the right thickness and the colours are normally very bright, even 30-40 years after its been manufactured.
Monday, 27 July 2009
I decided this year that my gardening goal would be to grow some vegetables that I had never grown before.
I blogged about my rhubarb success in June.
By far my favourite vegetable I've grown this year is new potatoes. The taste of spuds grown in my own back garden far surpasses anything you can get in the shops. They are absolutely delicious!
Like I mentioned in my rhubarb blog post, I don't have a large veg patch, just containers on the patio. I used these potato planters from Natural Collection, some smaller black grow-bags from ebay and a large plastic pot.
Each container provided a very good yield, the only thing I would say about the large Natural Collection bag is that you have to use alot of water to soak the soil right the way down to the bottom. If there's one thing potatoes like, it's lots of water!
I will definitely grow potatoes again. Not only is it satisfying to know that my evening meal's food miles have been cut dramatically (literally a few metres from pot to plate), but the taste of freshly dug spuds is fantastic.
If you fancy trying to grow your own veg and herbs, check out the excellent self-sufficientish website for loads of helpful information
Thursday, 23 July 2009
The Summer issue of the UK Handmade Magazine is out now
Available to view online, for free, it's packed with interesting interviews with UK-based designer-makers, crafty tutorials, gardening advice and craft-related business info!
Click here to visit the UK Handmade website
If you think you could write an interesting article for the next issue, we are always happy to accept your submissions
To find out more, please follow this link:
Friday, 17 July 2009
This clutch purse is made with a sumptuous pink velvet. It's so soft to touch and adds a touch of glamour to any outfit.
Pink is widely-tipped as the must-have colour for this season!
It is fully lined with beautiful, vintage cotton fabric, featuring a floral pattern in shades of magenta, pure white and lime green.
If you have a Summer wedding, garden party or special night out on the horizon, then this is the purse for you.
You'll be bang on trend when you carry this little pink number with you.
Raspberry pink vintage velvet clutch purse
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
Last month Pouch ran a blog giveaway, up for grabs was a vintage Liberty fabric peg bag.
The winner picked at random from all the comments and followers was...
her comment read:
"I'm not kidding when I said everything is wonderful because, they are hard to pick!! Really, I love lavender owls, I had a hard time choosing the fabrics, so I guess i love them all and reversible bags are so on top of my list. but, if you really insist me picking only one, it would be Burnt orange and rich brown vintage fabric Dilly tote, just maybe. because I love them all!!"
I hope the winner enjoys their prize and that it makes laundry day just that little bit more cheerful :)
Many thanks for all your lovely comments and for taking part.
Friday, 3 July 2009
I thrifted this tin for £1 in a local charity shop. I fell in love with the colours and the images. It represents a snapshot of times gone by when wheeling out your latest creation on a hostess trolley was the height of sophistication.
Judging by the images, it seems that you had to smother everything in aspic jelly in the 1960s or 1970s! This tin indicates that shops were starting to stock 'exotic' food such as bananas, peppers and grapes. After the rationing many people had to endure in post-war Britian, it must've been a relief to cook with some interesting ingredients again.
When I got home, I was slightly taken aback when I opened the lid and saw the writing inside 'Recipe for Preserving Children'.
It's ok though, not as sinister as it sounds at all. It's actually quite sweet and again highlights a time gone by when people allowed their children the freedom to play outside, get the sun on their skin and heaven forbid, get a bit dirty!
I think it's a really unique piece and I look forward to putting some of my own recipes in it.
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
I love bags made with bright, zesty fabrics.
They are the perfect way to lift any outfit and give it a Summery vibe.
They don't get much more bright than the vintage fabric used to make this mojo tote!
It features a bold pattern of summer flowers in shades of lime, olive and apple green.
A Pouch mojo tote makes a great beach bag, knitting bag, book bag or gym bag.
It's also perfect for taking to the shops or farmers market to stock up on provisions. You can cram virtually anything into this handy tote.
The 'Lime zest vintage fabric mojo tote' is available in Pouch's Etsy store