Liberty Quilt Finished!

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Oh my goodness!  I have finally done it and I am so pleased with this darling quilt.  Although it might not look that intricate, I am chuffed to death with this little beauty. Why? It is my first ‘all Liberty’ quilt.

Ever since childhood I have been a massive fan of the department store. Boutiques are sassy and chain stores offer consistency, but I just cannot top the feeling I get when I walk into a really large department store.  John Lewis; I adore you. Selfridges is pure indulgence, and Liberty – well that is pure love.

So it should come as no great surprise to see that I have stitched my first quilt made completely out of Liberty fabrics, although you may wonder why I have waited so long.

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The short answer is that, as beautiful as they are, Liberty fabrics are not cheap, and I wanted every part of it to be Liberty – even the backing – so for me it was a real investment. I am so very pleased with it and I hope you like it to.  It will be perfect for snuggling under as the autumn kicks in.

Liberty quilt, mug of tea, and a fabulous film – what is not to love?

(BTW – if you were wondering what the quote is along the bottom, it is how Time Out magazine defined Liberty – “innovation, tradition, and English eccentricity” – perfect!)

Karen x

Graduation 2014

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So yesterday I received my degree certificate in the post and it brought back all the memories of my graduation day. I’m not sure I even know what to say – what a surreal experience! I was even lucky enough to have two graduations since my boyfriend graduated the day before me and I celebrated with his family before waking up the next day and doing it all again with mine. It was so weird to think that I was ending three years of my life and moving onto something new and unknown. Seeing my degree certificate reminded me that that part of my life is over, which made me sad and scared and excited all at once. This summer has been full of wonderful experiences (some of which I will hopefully get to share) but it’s been strange too. Everyday I’ve woken, feeling like I’m in limbo. Speaking to others, I’ve learnt that they feel/felt exactly the same way. Since I’m not a fan of change, this all feels a bit scary, but I’m trying to embrace the uncertainty and the freedom that comes with it.

Thank you for letting me share!

Georgia xxx

Chalk Board Flour Jars

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Now here’s a story:

Once upon a time I bought two lovely jars to store my flour, one slightly larger than the other and  I added a jaunty cardboard label on a string to tell me which one held plain flour and which held self raising flour.  I thought they looked very good.

Unfortunately (due to wear and tear) the labels soon fell off – but that was OK because I knew that the large jar held SR flour and smaller one plain flour.  Easy to remember then…

…however it became apparent that I actually use more plain flour in my cooking and baking than SR flour and so I realised that I had them the wrong way around.  I needed the larger jar to hold the plain flour.

The next time I was low on flour I emptied them and washed them out, this time switching the flour around.  Easy peasy I thought, I just have to remember that they are now in the opposite jars than I had them in originally.

The following month we had a few major catastrophe’s which resulted in my not reaching for the flour to do any cooking for over a month.  I sense you know where I am going with this one – when my daughter wanted to bake a cake, I could not remember which jar held which flour. I couldn’t remember whether I had switched the flours – or just THOUGHT I had done it. (Oh the joys of age!)

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I needed a more permanent solution and so I reached for some old chalkboard paint. Quick, simple and highly effective.  Three coats took no longer than a couple of hours to dry and voila! No more mix up.

I like them – hope you do too!

Karen x

London Zoo

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This feels like too long ago! For my boyfriend’s birthday, we spent the day at London Zoo, finishing off at Comptoi Libanais, a lebanese restaurant. The animals at the zoo were as cute as they look in these photos and I think that we were both pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed our time there. Of course, we didn’t go expecting not to have fun (that would be dumb) but it was probably one of the best attractions we’ve been to together! I was surprised how interactive a lot of it was – lots of walking through dens while monkeys swung over our heads – and the penguins were gorgeous! Just look at that cheeky face in the second photo.

We stayed at the zoo a lot longer than I expected and just before we left, I convinced my boyfriend to go in the butterfly dome “just quickly.” I’m so pleased that I did because it turned out to be my favourite part. The butterflies were beautiful and at points, they were landing all over me (shame I didn’t manage to get a photo of that). When we finally left the dome, we were hungry and headed to Kensington for a very late lunch at Comptoi Libanais. For a while now, we’ve been trying to eat our way around the world, testing as many cuisines as we can and we’d yet to try Lebanese so Comptoi Libanais was a no-brainer. Being a humous-lover, I loved it and my boyfriend enjoyed it too (which is the priority). Altogether an awesome celebration!

Lavender Sugar

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Everyone knows that I am a lavender freak, right?  I just love lavender in its every form, and if you do too, then here is an easy way to bring that lavender luxury to your cooking, without having to  buy any expensive ingredients.  It is so easy too, and makes a fabulous present for any time of the year.

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Ingredients:

  • one jar with a lid that seals (Kilner jars are great but you can use other types)
  • culinary lavender
  • granulated white sugar

A quick note before we begin.  It is important to use culinary lavender in this recipe as we are going to leave the lavender heads in. Culinary lavender is widely available and very cheap from garden centres.  You can grow these plants in any herb garden or window boxes – or you could buy the heads online.

Here we go…..

The lavender oil (and therefore the fragrance and taste) is held in a minute sack, just behind the flower head. Therefore you don’t want the whole stem in there. You also don’t want the lavender flowers so pick your lavender just before it bursts into flower.  That way you will have the firm little buds, just aching to release their goodness.

If you have picked your lavender, leave on the stem for around 24 – 48 hours (to dry a little) and then stroke the lavender so that the heads fall off onto paper. They should fall off easily (and your fingers will smell delicious).

Discard the stems (unless you want to bundle them up to dry and later put on your BBQ – they are a wonderful infusion for lamb).

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Make sure your jar is clean and dry and then layer the sugar with the lavender heads. You can put in as much as you want or as little – just think about how definite a flavour you want. Don’t fill the jar completely to the top, as you want to be able to shake it from time to time. Seal the jar and leave for a month.

Tiny amounts of oil will come out of the heads and into the sugar, that will absorb it.  After a month the sugar is ready to use, in its normal amount, in cakes or shortbread – in fact anywhere where you want that delicate lavender touch to your cooking.

Enjoy!

Karen x

 

Changes on the Horizon

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Just recently there has been lots of changes in our little household and for a while, neither myself or Karen knew what we were going to do about Honey Rose Crafts. We’ve loved filling this corner of the internet with our handmade products and diary photos, but we’ve been struggling just recently to stick to our ‘two posts a week’ promise. We’ve often felt the pressure and ‘pushed’ out posts that we weren’t 100% happy with just because we were short on time, and then often, we’ve missed weeks altogether.

We didn’t want to get rid of Honey Rose Crafts – we established that straight away. Both of us enjoy sharing our makes and we feel that HRC encourages us to be bolder in our crafty endeavours. We’ve tried out new things and tackled projects that would otherwise have been forgotten in the cycle of daily life, so we knew that we didn’t want to lose that encouragement.

Instead, we’ve decided that Honey Rose Crafts will be a lifestyle and crafty diary for us. When things get a bit hectic then we might not post for a while, but when the crafting is in full swing, we might end up posting quite a lot! We both think this ‘free and easy’ attitude is healthier for the site and healthier for us too. We’re hoping that it will actually create better content that’s more enjoyable for you to read (and we hope that you agree).

So this was just a short little post to let you know what’s been going on back here. You might have noticed the changes in the design of the site too – I’ve been fiddling around with a few images and testing some designs. We hope that you like it!

And you’ll be hearing again from us very soon.

Travel Diaries: Rome

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Hey guys, it’s Georgia here. So last week I was lucky enough to get the chance to go to Rome. My boyfriend found a cheap, last-minuite deal two weeks ago and we went ahead and booked it along with two friends from uni. When my boyfriend rang me up, I couldn’t believe it, and I’ll admit that I was pretty freaked out. I don’t react well to change or spontaneity (I say “I don’t react well” – I just mean that it makes me anxious). Then a family tragedy struck and I was even more unsure about the whole trip, but I went for it in the end, and I’m so pleased that I did.

We were there for four days and we walked our legs off around that city! Boy, was Rome hot, but it was also incredibly beautiful. I suspected that it would be pretty, but I didn’t think it would be so drop dead gorgeous as it was. About a year and a half ago, we planned a previous trip to Rome but the whole thing fell through. I had hoped that we’d go this summer, but since we both had busy schedules and little cash, we’d resigned ourselves to waiting until next summer at the nearest, then this deal came out of nowhere! And we had to take it.

This was my first experience of Italy and it’s given me an incessant craving for the rest of that country! I’m desperate to see more of Italy. Everyone was so friendly and I felt completely at ease. I’ve spent a lot of time in France in the past and although I do love it, I think I might like Italy more…

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Definitely want to go back!

Crochet Make-Up Remover Pads

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Hi everyone!  I just had to show you these.  I saw them in a Mollie Makes magazine and I knew straight away that with my ‘thrifty Karen’ hat on I just had to give them a go.  They are re-useable make-up pads.  You can use them with cleanser or eye make-up remover and then you just throw them into your washing machine when you next do a wash, to clean them again for re-use.  How fantastic is that?

I used a recycled natural cotton to make them and decided to do two colours, one for facial make-up and the other for eye make-up remover, and therefore keep them separate.  I decided on the darker ones for my eye make-up (because of the mascara) and the paler ones for my face.

I am quite a tight crocheter and so if you are like me, you would need to do these more loosely.  They were very quick to make and it was lovely seeing them come together.  In fact I found it easy to dash off about six in an evening of television.

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…now I guess you all want to know whether they work or not.  Well, I can report that they do! Not only that but they are lovely to use with Georgia’s natural soaps too.  They give a very slight exfoliation to the skin and are just the right size for those little nooks and crannies around your nose and eyes too. They would also make a wonderful accompaniment to the crocheted wash cloth that we featured here.  What a fab holiday gift for a friend or even start making early for a truly homemade Christmas present.

Karen x

 

Homemade Tea Bags

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So people thought that I was a little bit crazy when I decided to make these, but I was absolutely sure that they would be the best present for my friend, Allie. Allie and I lived together for three years at university and for her birthday I wanted to make her something symbolic and special so naturally, I decided on homemade tea bags.

Okay, so that probably doesn’t sound particularly glamorous, but it’s one of those ‘private jokes’ you have with friends. Allie and I have spent an enormous amount of time in pjs with a cup of tea in-hand, putting the world to rights and I wanted something that would reflect all those lovely memories. Enter homemade tea bags.

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Ingredients:

  • Coffee filters (I could only get brown, after scouring several supermarkets, but ideally they should be white)
  • loose leaf tea of your choice
  • sewing machine
  • thread (colour of your choice)
  • scissors
  • string
  • sellotape
  • paper & pen

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What to do:

1. Thread up your sewing machine and decide how many tea bags you would like to make (I did 20).

2. Take your first coffee filter and sew a tea bag shape onto it using your sewing machine. However, you need to leave one side open to put your loose leaf tea in (see above image).

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3. Repeat this with all of your coffee filters and then trim off the edges. Then pop the loose leaf tea inside – I put two teaspoons in each pocket.

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4. Next, take a length of string and sellotape one end to the pocket. Trim the other end to your desired length and staple a small square of paper to it. On the paper draw something personal like a heart, star or a little quote.

5. In order to seal the tea bag, you fold down the corners of the open end over the top of the sellotaped string to hide it and then staple that in place as well.

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6. Repeat this for all of your tea bags. It takes a while but it’s well worth the effort!

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And then you’re done! Just display them in a nice pot/wrap them up and give them to someone special.

Merchant and Mills

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We shared our trip to Rye recently, but we left out a big bit – Merchant & Mills! This shop was awesome and made such an impression on us that we felt it deserved its own deadicated post. If you get the opportunity, do click above and check out their website; we’re big fans of their utilitarian style.

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Merchant & Mills is a drapery that sells beautifully designed sewing gear, fabrics and patterns. As soon as we walked in, we wanted EVERYTHING. Their styling is difficult to resist and we walked away with a dress pattern and a long list of future purchases we’d like to make (I’ll hopefully be sharing the dress pattern soon and letting you know how I got on). We fell in love with their sewing kit too.

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To top it all off, the customer service in Merchant & Mills was brilliant. They were kind, incredibly helpful and friendly. We chatted about sewing and photography, and they even let us ‘borrow’ a bit of their wifi that we were sorely in need of. All in all, we were incredibly impressed and hope to visit again soon.

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