Friday, August 18

{ happy friday }

ten lovely things that caught my eye this week.

{ 2 } Linen love #1.  I know it's not Easter, but how cute are these bunnies?
{ 3 } Gorgeous shoot from Hooligans.  
{ 4 } Cosy cushions from Numero74.
{ 5 } One of each pretty please?
{ 6 } This weeks artist crush is Antoinette Ferwerda. Just ♡ the colours in Copper Hills
{ 7 } Linen love #2.  I think I would like one of everything from notPerfectLinen!
{ 8 } Dwell on all the beautiful things.
{ 9 } Like these very beautiful plates from Anthropologie ♡ 
{ + } Get your scone on, it's Afternoon Tea Week.

{ have a happy day }

Friday, August 11

{ happy friday }

ten lovely things that caught my eye this week.

{ 1 } The very cutest of all the cats I spotted celebrating International Cat Day.
{ 2 } The rosie dress. Made to be passed on. As all the best clothes should.
{ 3 } That feeling when you wear your new dress for the first time.
{ 4 } Just this ♡
{ 5 } Pops DIY hanging table on dad's To Do list.
{ 6 } Etsy find of the week. Pickles Studio. Darling dolls who don disguises.
{ 8 } Nothing ever happens like you imagine it will. Sometimes it's better.
{ 9 } Just this
{ + } When a cake is described as perfect for breakfast you just have to bake it don't you?

{ have a happy day }

Wednesday, August 9

{ summer stripes }

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

I'm dreaming of summer by the seaside, the French seaside, drifting about wearing the perfect Breton stripe t-shirt, and sitting on the sand, reading all day in the sunshine.


A lovely dream, though the closest I'm likely to come to that this year is wearing that Breton stripe t-shirt, and surrounding myself with these wonderful things in simple summer stripes.

*returns to daydreaming about the French seaside, ignoring the rain battering the window outside*

{ have a happy day }

Monday, August 7

{ pop up + hustle }

I absolutely love spotting a new pop up market happening, and the Pop Up + Hustle hosted a few weekends ago by Studio NL, was a particular gem. Studio NL are a small business, making their own screen printed goods as Young Double, whilst running their workshop, a space where others can watch them work, shop and as they so delightfully describe it, have a cup of tea and learn something new.

The market held on the last weekend of July was their first, with a refreshing mix of independent designers to discover. Their workshop is a deceptive space, a little like a tardis. It appears modest in size from the outside, and yet managed to hold a myriad of makers inside. There was a lovely buzz in the air, and even though it was a grey sort of a day, there was a crowd of shoppers happily browsing not too long after it opened.

As is usually the case, choosing my favourites from the day has not been easy, but here are my highlights from my visit.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

I stood talking to Rob and Syreeta from Moments of Sense and Style for quite a while, sharing stories of Hong Kong and Sydney. The story behind their brand is bittersweet; after meeting in Hong Kong they travelled to Sydney, where Rob suffered a brain haemorrhage, leading to their return home to Lincoln. As part of his rehabilitation, Rob began drawing, and it's these illustrations, along with products that evoke memories of each of those special places, which are the soul of MOSS. The stylish simplicity of their products is wonderful, every detail is so beautifully thought out and considered, and the colours and scents are so true to each of those places, familiar to those who have been, and a glimpse to those who haven't.

Little m has been a favourite shop of mine on Etsy for a while, so it was lovely to see all Claire's doodles and drawings in real life. Named after her little boy, Max, all her work starts off the old fashioned way, with pencil and paper. Cute characters come to life in black and white, sitting alongside hand drawn type in quotes and affirmations. The same, but also completely different, was Tipperleyhill. Roz and Abbie, two best friends, creating the quirkiest of animal artworks for your wall. Miller the Flamingo didn't quite make it home with me, but I hovered with him in my hand for a long long while!

Philippa, of Phirefly Designs, was super busy on her laptop, customising her gorgeous artworks for people to take away that day. Alongside her prints, Philippa has designed a small collection for babies and children, soft jersey pieces developed in her own prints. Both ranges have a feel for adventure, and are inspired by her love of the outdoors, nature and camping, none more so than the enamel Take Me To The Mountains mug shown above.

Finally we have Stalf, a range of women's wear, which is the embodiment of the concept of slow living. Designed and made in their studio in Lincolnshire, it's another brand with a sweet story behind it. Named after her grandparent's Stella and Alf, and remembering a time when clothes were bought to wear for years, not seasons. Simple silhouettes, in subdued tones and stripes, each garment is made to order. The quality, and timelessness of each piece makes it easy to imagine that you'll still be wearing them for years to come.

{ photo credit . OhMerde }

A few shots from the day, oh, and winner of The cutest use of the Vespa goes to Rachel of Oh Merde on Instagram. I often regret that my lack of offspring means I never get to take cute pics like this! 

{ photo credit . HAHonline }

If, having read all this, you are now crying into your coffee for having missed it all, fear not. The next Pop Up + Hustle is happening very very soon, on the 2nd and 3rd of September. Start saving your pennies now, and read a little more about it over here.

{ have a happy day }

Friday, August 4

{ happy friday }

ten lovely things that caught my eye this week.

{ 1 } Coveting Holly Becker's new pouffes from the wonderful bohemia design.
{ 2 } A gardener in the making, wearing City Goats gorgeous apron.
{ 3 } Loving UPA's new campaign for summer'18, Unleashed Princess Army.
{ 4 } Goodbye Vogue Bambini. Lovely 'Sunday Morning' editorial by Julia Bostock.
{ 5 } Etsy find of the week. AtelierMoune. And a sneak peek at work in progress.
{ 6 } New exhibition to see. Matisse in the Studio opens tomorrow at the RA.
{ 7 } New book to read. See What I Have Done released last Tuesday.
{ 8 } According to this rather fabulous quote the weekend started this morning. Yay!
{ 9 } This weeks #shelfie love.
{ + } This weekend I will mostly be baking birthday cake for my darling dad.

{ have a happy day }

Tuesday, August 1

{ hello August }

. hello August .

{ have a happy day }

Monday, July 31

{ my july }

Can somebody stop this year, I want to get off.

I'm sure I say this at the end of every month, and if I don't I certainly think it. But, is it just me, or is this year going really really quickly? I don't think I can blame this strange time phenomena on being really busy. Nicely busy, yes, really busy, not so much. The super productive month I was hoping for in June's reflective post didn't materialise in quite the way it could have done. I'm thinking more that tentative baby steps might be a better description for it. However, as I realise that we're hurtling at breakneck speed towards Autumn, Christmas, and Winter, and peak knitwear season, I really had better start taking bigger steps towards getting MissSmith up and running.

{ exploring }
A month which began with a trip to the Derbyshire Summer Market, which as usual was a delight, and led to me discovering a few more designers and makers. A day trip to Uppingham in Leicestershire led to a few more discoveries. An incredible pretty town, with an antiques centre that you can quite happily lose yourself in for a few hours, and home to a number of lovely independents, including Priddy Essentials, and Goodwin and Belle.

A happy discovery was another great independent coffee shop, almost on the doorstep. The Steamroom opened earlier this year, and it's combination of really good coffee, and a quieter location than that afforded Booboo Coffee and Peel & Stone, I think it may become my new favourite.

The month ended with the PopUp + Hustle market, hosted by Studio NL at their workshop in Tur Langton. A wonderful mix of designers, illustrators, ceramicists, and others were brought together under one roof, for a weekend celebrating local independents. A really lovely new find to end the month on, and the dates for their next one are already in my diary.

{ baking }
Slowly starting to bake again after a short break. The last of this years blackcurrants were baked on top of a madeira cake. Using Donna Hay's Olive Oil Madeira Cake, replacing the orange with lemon, and scattering a good handful of blackcurrants on top. The blackcurrants bake into a jam like consistency, adding a wonderful tart note to the cake. On a slightly healthier note, Madeleine Shaw's Buckwheat Granola made a change to my usual porridge, though it is incredibly moreish, and much like the cake, really needs to be put out of sight between servings.

{ painting }
Continuing to enjoy a little watercolour painting, as I finished the last couple of prints for a client. Really looking forward to seeing how these turn out on the finished product, and I'm happy that it's given me a bit more confidence to step away from the laptop and return to drawing and painting more. Plus I have a feeling it's a little better for my increasingly ageing eyesight.

{ freeing up my insta }
I don't think it's any secret that I love Instagram, but just recently there's been a feeling of Insta fatigue. Frustration with the change in algorithm's, the more recent phenomenon shadowbans, and a sense that Instagram has lost the spontaneity that was it's original intention. My feed is full of undeniably beautiful images, but I also know that in reality most of them are not captures of a moment, but are carefully curated, edited, captioned and scheduled, something of which I'm as guilty of as most. 

I know that I'm not alone in feeling this, but it was Allison Sadler who stepped up to the plate, with her hashtag #freeupyourinsta, which in her words, gives you the ' freedom to share whatever the f*ck you like your way '. 10,000 posts and counting, and if you fancy being an Insta rebel then round 2 starts tomorrow.

And so July, over, but for a few hours. In August I've got friends and family birthday's to look forward to, and a To Do list which reads something like this; Knit, Sell, Sleep, Repeat.

{ have a happy day }

Friday, July 28

{ happy friday }

ten lovely things that caught my eye this week.

{ 1 } Don't judge a book by it's cover. Instead enjoy a blind date with a book instead. 
{ 2 } Etsy find of the week. Le Petite Alice. Embroidered linen handmade with a lot of love.
{ 3 } When you don't let a little rain stop you from wearing your favourite summer dress.
{ 4 } The next generation of crazy plant ladies 🌿  dressed by Lacey Lane.
{ 5 } When you spot a really cute coffee shop on Insta. Then discover it's in Nova Scotia!
{ 6 } A love letter to the sea side ⚓️  drawn by Jonny Hannah.
{ 7 } Dare I say the perfect bag to take to the sea side?
{ 8 } You are great. Yes, you are!
{ 9 } Lucky enough to be off to NYC? Here are the 10 best spots for that Insta worthy pic.
{ + } A lemon tart to bake and serve with the last of the Summer's berries.

{ have a happy day }

Wednesday, July 26

{ a delightfully delicious Dundee cake }

I have always thought that fruit cakes get a bit of a raw deal. They're not the prettiest of cakes, have a reputation for being dry, and heavy, not to mention full of candied peel - have you ever met anyone who likes candied peel? - and usually only get thought about at Christmas time. And lets face it, even then they're likely to be overlooked in favour of the mince pies and yule log. Admittedly they wouldn't be my first choice out in a tea room or coffee shop. Not that I have seen many, if any, in tea rooms and coffee shops, forgotten about amongst the more fashionable layer cakes, brownies and banana loaves.

And yet I have quite fond memories of them. There would always be freshly baked cake at home when I was younger, and a simple fruit cake took it's turn with the equally classic Victoria Sandwich, chocolate or coffee sponge cakes, or lemon drizzle. Never ever made with candied peel (yay, thank you mum) but full of currants, raisins and sultanas, it's a comfort blanket of a cake. Perfect with a cup of tea, and one of those cakes it almost feels ok to enjoy a slice of everyday.

It's also the cake I remember us taking on picnics. Individual slices wrapped in foil, to be enjoyed after the, slightly soggy, salmon sandwiches. And so it was a fruit cake that I turned to when looking for a treat to bake to take with us on our journey to Scotland last year. The Dundee cake has it's origins in Scotland, produced by the marmalade company Keiller's, and is said to be a favourite of the Queen's. Baking a Dundee cake to take to Scotland may seem like taking coals to Newcastle, but I had a feeling that it wouldn't be something we'd see on offer there, and if it's good enough for the Queen, it's good enough for us.

Now there are so many different Dundee cake recipes out there, and the original is no doubt lost somewhere in the sands of time. I'm not sure how I stumbled upon it, but the recipe I chose was Dan Lepard's, whose recipe featured in The Guardian. No whiskey, which I'm not averse to, but didn't have any, and didn't want to buy especially for this, and more importantly, no candied peel (yay, thank you Dan).

This is such a lovely cake to make. I made two smaller cakes, and if my memory serves me correctly I soaked the fruit overnight in the juice and zest from the orange. This makes the fruit lovely and plump, and will eradicate any memory of dry and mealy fruit cakes of the past.

Do try and make this cake a little ahead of when you're planning on eating it. Like most fruit cakes it tastes even better a few days after baking it. Just wrap it up tightly in parchment, pop it away in the pantry, and forget about it for a little while.

{ recipe credit . Dan Lepard }

I remember now why this is a perfect picnic cake. It travels well, no worrying about messy frosting, or curdling cream, just unwrap, cut a slice, and settle back with a cup of tea and watch the world go by. Ah, happy memories. And a reminder that perhaps I need to plan a little train journey, just for the excuse of baking this again.

{ have a happy day }

Monday, July 24

{ lets go somewhere . Edinburgh }

Last week I asked Instagram for ideas on places to explore here in the Uk.  I had some wonderful suggestions, places I'd already been wondering about, and places I'd not even thought of, and one city, suggested by a couple of people,  was somewhere I'd been lucky enough to visit already. A family wedding last year was a wonderful reason to visit Scotland, Perth for the wedding itself, with a few days either side spent exploring Edinburgh. I came away with very fond memories, but feeling that I'd not really scratched the surface of what the city had to offer.

Edinburgh, like many cities today, is an eclectic mix of old and new. With a wealth of history, beautiful architecture, and alleyways dotted here and there, it's a city you can wander around just looking, without needing to visit anything in particular. Though if you did it would be a shame, as there is an abundance of coffee shops and cafe's to eat your way around, museums, castle's and palaces to be a tourist in, and lots of lovely independent boutiques to shop from.

{ stay }
We stayed in Edinburgh for one night before travelling onto Perth, and stayed in the charming Albyn Townhouse. A little further out of the centre of the city than some, it proved a lucky find, as it was just off Bruntsfield Place, a street where you'll find even more cafés and shops to explore, and that we might not have discovered otherwise. It's perfect walking distance from the city, giving you time to appreciate the gorgeous architecture, the parks, and for those bookworms amongst you, seek out Admiral Terrace, the home of Muriel Sparks, author of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, and whose house was featured in the opening shots of the film.

On our return, we ventured into our first Airbnb adventure, with a few days staying in the grandeur of one of the townhouses in Eglinton Crescent. I was already a little in love with this apartment from the photo's on line, and it did not disappoint. Beautifully high ceilings, original detailing, and as per it's description, both elegant and cosy, it was the perfect place from which to explore more of Edinburgh. Not far from the Haymarket, it was only a short walk away from yet more lovely coffee shops, and also not far from the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, which I happily came across on my morning run.

{ eat & drink }
Where do I start? This is a city with an abundance of really, really good coffee. I tried my very best, but I didn't manage to get to try everywhere I would have liked to.

You'll find The Milkman on Cockburn Street, behind the unassuming facade of an old confectionary shop. One of those small, but perfectly formed places, that was a cosy hideaway from the summer rain.  Not too far away on Bank Street is Zebra Coffee Co. They have a reputation for great coffee, but it was the window display of Rocky Road that drew my attention. Sadly this was one place that had to be popped on the 'to visit next time' list, possibly losing out due to my inability to resist a return visit to Lovecrumbs. Yes, a place so good, I went there twice. You can read more about the very very lovely Lovecrumbs in my review for the Clandestine Cake Club

Söderberg has bakery's dotted around Edinburgh. Their Kardemummabulle and Kanelbulle (Cardamom and Cinnamon buns ) make the perfect breakfast to set you up for a day of sightseeing. Wellington Coffee, on the corner of George Street and Hanover Street, would be easy to miss, but is worth looking out for, as is Mimi's Bakehouse, where I bought one of the loveliest cupcakes I have ever eaten.

{ history }
I was lucky enough to visit Holyrood in time to catch Fashioning a Reign, one of the three exhibitions of the Queen's frocks that was held last year. The Palace of Holyroodhouse is a beautiful place, and even on a grey day, you can't help but be moved by the architecture and the history.

In complete contrast to the history of the palace, is the Scottish Parliament Building, a contemporary building opened in 2004, not without some controversy. Standing opposite the palace, it has a stark, impressive facade. The Canongate Wall is dotted with 24 stones, each engraved with quotations, my favourite being that of Charles Rennie Mackintosh;

There is hope in honest error;
None in the icy perfections of the mere stylist.

{ shop }
For lovers of all things vintage, head to Grassmarket and W.Armstrong & Son, then wander down West Port stopping off at Godiva and Herman Brown.

For quirky gifts, and some not so typical, but still very Scottish, souvenirs, try Old Town Context, where you'll find, amongst many other things, a wonderful print with instructions on How to Make a Deep-Fried Mars Bar. For some not so Scottish, but still very lovely gifts, you could do worse than stopping by Biscuit, which you'll find tucked away in Thistle Street. Described as 'Somewhere to come and buy a pretty top to wear for a Saturday night at a friends dinner party, and while you are there why not pick up the perfect present for the hostess!' a description I don't think I can better, only to say that they had the loveliest selection of stationery and cards too.

{ culture }
And for my last day in Edinburgh I spent it immersed in art, at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Comprised of two galleries either side of the Belford Road, both buildings sit in the midst of a beautiful sculpture park. They are both wonderful places to visit, quiet and contemplative, and on a sunny day, a lovely place to spend wandering the grounds taking in all the art outside. The fact that both have equally lovely coffee shops is an added bonus, meaning there is no need to hurry your visit, being able to take your time to look, in between well timed coffee breaks.

There are so many places I've not been able to mention, and many more that I didn't discover on last year's trip. This is Edinburgh is a great place to read more, and for a more local point of view, take a read of 48hours in Edinburgh like a local.

{ have a happy day }

Friday, July 21

{ happy friday }

ten lovely things that caught my eye this week.

{ 1 } Sssh. A freshly hatched little Hatchling, and ready to be adopted.
{ 2 } For summer playtime. This lovely linen pinafore from Moonroom.
{ 3 } For summer partytime. This fabulous frolic dress from Le Petit Tom.
{ 4 } Sigh. How beautiful are these silver spoons, and too lovely to use?
{ 5 } Lets go fly a { really lovely Sailing Ship } kite!
{ 6 } It's #shelfie love.
{ 7 } Etsy find of the week. BAGatelle Studio. Just love this Pride & Prejudice clutch.
{ 8 } Dare to fail. JF Kennedy.
{ 9 } Enjoy the ride. With these über cute embroidered bikes by Walker Boyes.
{ + } Weekend + Rain = Chocolate Pie #anyexcuse.

{ have a happy day }

Wednesday, July 19

{ inspired#16 . jane austen . reading & love }

. inspired#16 .
It isn't what we say or think that defines us
It's what we do
clockwise from centre
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

This year marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death.  Whether you have read her novels or not, you can't help but be familiar with her work; Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice { Her heart did whisper that he had done it for her }, the Dashwood sisters of Sense and Sensibility { I wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way }, Fanny Price of Mansfield Park { A fondness for reading, properly directed, must be an education in itself }, the matchmaking meddling Emma { If I love you less, I might be able to talk about it more }, Northanger Abbey, and her last novel, Persuasion { None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives }.

There was so much love for her on Instagram yesterday, the day that marked 200 years since Jane's last, and I'm going to borrow the caption from this picture, which sums up Jane in a way in which I think the author herself would approve.

photo credit // janice mier

' Ardently remembering a badass woman who has taught me so much. There were too many lessons but if there's one thing I'd like to share with your ladies, it is that we should love using our heart and our head. Do proper assessment of character. Know the difference between a man who has a plan and a boy who just wants to waste your time.

Thank you Jane for your books. For who you are. For everything you've done. I'm grateful you existed. '

You'll find lots more Austen inspiration on my pinterest board { inspired#16 } and to read more about the anniversary take a look over on Jane Austen 200.

{ have a happy day }

Monday, July 17

{ four I adore . Illustrators }

One of the exhibitions I'm hoping to see during the Summer is the shortly opening at Somerset House, featuring highlights from the World Illustration Awards. The shortlist featured many illustrators of children's books, something of particular interest to me. There were 26 talented artist in the category, which left me spoilt for choice for today's post, but as it's 'four I adore' I have picked my very favourites to share with you.

Duncan Beedie
The first is Duncan Beedie, a Bristol based artist, who has illustrated books, including two of which he is author, The Bear who Stared, and the wonderfully titled The Lumberjack's Beard. There are so many things to love about Duncan's work, but in particular I love his use of colour, and the quality of light he manages to bring into his work.

Carly Gledhill
Carly Gledhill's work was already familiar to me, through the quirky characters she creates for Corby Tindersticks. Equally at home designing for children's wear, as she is illustrating children's books, she is currently working on her first author / illustrator book, due for release next year. Oh, and if all that didn't keep her busy enough she's the co-founder of Dot to Dot. It's hard to say what I don't love about Carly's work, but her lovely quality of line, and fantastic imagination have me feeling a little envious.

Silvia Bonanni
Italian illustrator Silvia Bonanni, works creatively in collage to produce the lovelies, and intricately detailed artworks for the many books she's helped bring to life. Her illustrations for The Magic Flute are crafted from fabric, paper and small objects, and have such a charm about them, creating a miniature theatre on the page.

Lesley Barnes
My final artist is Lesley Barnes. An illustrator and animator whose work spans children's books, film, fashion and music, and whose style is recognisable for it's distinctive bright use of colour. There is a mid century quality to Lesley's work, and a wonderful sense of pattern and texture within her illustrations that you could imagine brought to life on fabric and textiles.

Sadly, and as a reflection of how high the standard was, none of my featured artists won their category, but I'm keeping my finger's crossed that some of their work will be on display at the exhibition at Somerset House.

{ have a happy day }