Wednesday, June 28

{ my june }


June has been a somewhat puzzling month. We've had the most glorious of sunshine, yet also had some grey, drizzly, wet and windy days. It felt as if Summer had arrived, then left as quickly as she came. It has not been the super productive month I'd hoped it would be. Perhaps next month, instead of hoping for a super productive month, it might be better to plan and prepare for a super productive month. Then again, I do like to feel I'm doing my best to support the #slowliving mantra so popular at the moment.

{ blooming }
The mix of sunshine and showers has proved a winning combination for the garden, and I've tried my best to fill this month with as many flowers as possible. The peonie season is short but oh, so sweet and the blooms lingered for many many days, brightening many corners of my home, as I couldn't resist moving them to places I could enjoy them most throughout the day. My garden is more of a haven for wildflowers than anything else, but I've enjoyed pottering around my mum and dad's garden, tending to their geraniums, and whispering words of encouragement to the stocks seedlings, so tentatively planted by my dad, who believes he never succeeds with anything grown from seed. Happy to report the stocks are thriving and proving him wrong.


{ reading }
The second meeting of The Little Book Club discussed The Little Paris Bookshop. Unfortunately the overwhelming feeling was a book which promised much, yet disappointed. I enjoyed it in parts, loving the descriptions of Paris and the journey the book takes down to Provence, yet the story seemed one of too many different story lines, ones that never quite came together. Earlier in the month I'd read The Bookshop, by Penelope Fitzgerald.  A much gentler, slower read, set on the East Anglian coast, telling the  story of Florence Green, who, despite opposition from most of the town, decides to open a bookshop. It has one of the saddest last lines I've ever read, but was a wonderful short read. I'm currently intrigued by the going's on in Peyton Place. Set in New Hampshire, it tells of small town life, of the secrets and hypocrisy that takes place.


{ painting }
The knitting has been put to one side for now, as a little design work has trickled in over the last few weeks. It's so lovely when a client wants a print or design that is hand worked, and it's been the perfect excuse to dig out the watercolour paints and paintbrushes, and sit quietly painting, instead of the usual pen, tablet and laptop.


{ picking }
As well as the flowers blooming, June has been a month for the Summer fruit and vegetables to ripen ready for picking.  Broad beans freshly podded, were enjoyed in a Summer salad, and tayberries, or loganberries, we can't quite decide which, have been enjoyed with a simple dollop of yogurt on top. After finding a local PYO farm, strawberries were picked and quickly made into jam, and the beginnings of a strawberry wine, with a few making their way into a cake, drizzled with champagne, to form a rather delicious, edible, Strawberry Bellini.

I'm not sure if I should make any promises for July.  At the moment it looks a rather quiet month, though it has the loveliest of starts with the Derbyshire Summer Market, hosted as always by Fabulous Places. After that, we shall have to wait and see what the month brings.

{ have a happy day }

Friday, June 23

{ happy friday }

ten lovely things that caught my eye this week.

{ 1 } Summer musings from one of my favourite books, To Kill a Mockingbird. 
{ 2 } Smudgetikka gives a peek at next Summer's collection from Iglo+Indi.
{ 3 } And for this Summer, super stripes from Monkind-Berlin.
{ 4 } I think this has to be one of the most Adorable collaborative collections Ever ♥︎
{ 5 } Happy Birthday #OneGoodThing. Celebrating the little splendid everyday things.
{ 6 } Alice in Wonderland + stripes ♥︎
{ 7 } Etsy find of the week.  Jessica Hogarth Designs.  My favourite, these cute coastal cottages.
{ 8 } Note to self!
{ 9 } If only the sun would shine for a few days longer I could justify splashing out on these.
{ + } Wondering if this would work with homemade strawberry jam instead?

{ have a happy day }

Wednesday, June 21

{ inspired#15 . strawberry fields . pick your own . & . summertime }

. inspired#15 .
She was a curious girl, a wanderer, who spent her summers
chasing fluttering pieces of prose, and eating strawberries.
clockwise from centre
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

Tomorrow I'm going strawberry picking.  It has been many many years since I went last, but it was a regular trip for us when I was a child.  Loading up the car with the empty fruit baskets, a picnic packed to enjoy after the picking, never really knowing which fruit farm we'd end up at, or whether it would be a bountiful year, or a less than blessed year for Summer fruits.  There are perhaps, few things in life lovelier than a freshly picked and eaten strawberry, and those few lovelier things perhaps being the lovely things you can make with those freshly picked strawberries.  My mum is planning a jam making session with her few baskets worth, my dad will make a few bottles of strawberry wine with his.  And me? I'm thinking a few jars of jam, and then a wonderfully indulgent strawberry cheesecake, and if the sunshine stays a while longer perhaps a homemade strawberry icecream. 

I could perhaps go on, but lets see how many strawberries we pick first eh?

There is a little more strawberry & summer inspiration on my pinterest board { inspired#15 }, pretty prints, nostalgic images of strawberry picking, and more recipes than you could possibly pick fruit for.

Oh, and happy first day of Summer ☀️

{ have a happy & sunny day }

Friday, June 16

{ happy friday }

ten lovely things that caught my eye this week.

{ 3 } This reminds me of me as a child, sitting reading, and my sister, whispering, 'come play'.
{ 4 } Happy Birthday to The People Shop.  Celebrating this weekend with cake, drinks, and tunes.
{ 5 } Every dad deserves a 'Best Dad' trophy, particularly one as lovely as these from RE.
{ 6 } Celebrate the sunshine by being silly with some homemade bubbles.
{ 7 } Etsy find of the week. Reker Drees Design.  Beautiful botanical drawings.
{ 8 } Every moment matters. After events this week this is especially true. You can donate here.
{ 9 } The most beautiful paintings emulating the loveliness of embroidery. By Kirstin Lamb.
{ + } It's apricot season. Which means it's also Apricot Shortcake season. Obviously!

{ have a happy day }

Monday, June 12

{ a cornucopia of cupcakes . ten delightful cupcake recipes for cupcake day )


This should have been a fun post to research and write, instead it's been a huge reminder of all the delicious sweetness I can't indulge in at the moment. I'm on week four of an elimination diet, to see if there is a particular food which has been causing me to feel, well, not quite myself. Most of the time the no gluten, diary, eggs, sugar, caffeine and nuts has not been too much of a problem. Unfortunately baking, and particularly cakes, is one of those areas where gluten, dairy, eggs and sugar are fairly key ingredients, and my attempts at baking without them have not proven too successful.

So I will resolve myself to a few more weeks without cake, and whilst I won't be able to join in with the eating of cupcakes on Cupcake Day, thankfully it doesn't preclude me from baking some to raise a little money for the Alzheimer's Society. This year Cupcake Day falls on 15th June, and people up and down the country will be baking, buying and eating cupcakes in order to raise money for this wonderful cause. And to help you on your way I've compiled a little inspiration, a cornucopia of cupcake recipes, from the most classic of vanilla, to one's brightened by berries, those of the darkest chocolate, and a few more besides.  Surely there is one here to tickle everybody's taste buds.

Victoria Sandwich Cupcakes . Baking Mischief .
Vegan Funfetti Vanilla Cupcakes . Minimalist Baker .


Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes . Sugar & Charm .
Olive Oil Cupcakes with Berry Frosting . My Name is Yeh .
Lemon Cupcakes with Blueberry Buttercream . This is Sweet .


Chocolate Cupcakes . Sophisticated Gourmet .
S'mores Cupcakes . Call me Cupcake .

Snickers Cupcake . A Cookie Named Desire .
Café au Lait Macaron Cupcakes . Butter and Brioche .
Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting . Foodess .

So which is your favourite?
I don't think you can beat a classically simple Vanilla, but then again that Chocolate Cupcake looks so incredibly inviting.  But can you beat the combination of cherries and chocolate?
Can I have more than one favourite?

For lots more tempting cupcake inspiration pop over to take a look on my pinterest board.
Just maybe eat first, so you don't drool too much whilst looking!

{ have a happy day }

Friday, June 9

{ happy friday }

Ten lovely things that caught my eye this week.

{ 1 } Cute little Clover bunny with her pink cheeks embroidered so beautifully by Posy+Petal.
{ 2 } So many things about this room I'd like to borrow for my room.
{ 3 } So many things from this collection by So Sense I'd like in my size.
{ 4 } Oh, and ditto this collection by Annice.
{ 5 } Is Peggy Porschen's the prettiest, and the pinkest, bakery in London?
{ 6 } Strawberry picking plans on hold due to weather.  Consoling myself with this sweet print.
{ 7 } How much do I think I'd like The Old Haberdashery?  Quite a lot I think.
{ 8 } Thought for today. Just be kind.
{ 9 } How much do I love this dreamy botanical print by Danse De Lune?  Quite a lot I think.
{ + } Weekend baking goals; gluten, dairy, egg, and sugar free Beetroot & Chocolate Cake.

{ have a happy day }

Monday, June 5

{ local ♥︎ . meeting makers at the Makers Market }


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

Writing about my first Summer market seems strange, as I'm listening to the wind gusting, and the rain lashing against the window.  Then again, isn't this what we expect from a traditional British Summer?

That said, I'm pleased to say that the sun shone for most of Saturday, and I strolled along to the Quartermaster's Artisan Makers Market wearing sunglasses and eyeing up the coffee and croissants being enjoyed at the tables set up outside most of the Jewellery Quarters coffee shops.  The market was held at the very lovely 1000 Trades.  My first visit to this friendly neighbourhood bar and kitchen, which is housed in a converted jewellery workshop, and does much to support local artists and crafts.  

Whilst the market may not be a big one, there was a really lovely mix of artisans there;  painters, embroiderers, ceramicists, illustrators and sign makers.  Set over two floors, it was busy enough not to feel conspicuous, not so much so that you couldn't have a good look at all the goods on offer.  The makers were wonderfully friendly, chatting and taking time to tell you a little about their crafts, and very obliging of my ( slight ) re-arrangement of their stalls in order to take some pictures for this post.

Dolly and Beau is Georgia, or as she describes herself on her Etsy shop, one mama and her sewing machine.  Named after her daughters, she makes baprons ( it's a bib and it's an apron ) in an array of super soft oil cloth prints.  However, it was these cute, monochrome cushions that caught my eye. Perfectly soft and squishy, and doesn't that panda almost say 'take me home'?

Emma Blue seems to be a girl after my own heart, and my denim jacket is now adorned with 'dream' and 'bookworm' badges courtesy of a small purchase at the market. Making things from paper and fabric, she is inspired by books, libraries, music, tea and maps. Another book inspired maker was Tigerlily Makes, who's Alice range I fell a little in love with. Inspired by the classic Alice in Wonderland, is a range of cards, clothes and china.  I particularly loved the china mugs, and teapots, all illustrated with either Alice, or the White Rabbit.

One of the first stall's I stopped by was Chloe's.  Her quirky illustrative style can't help but draw you in to look further, and I was very tempted to buy her 'Do What You Love' print for myself. And probably would have done, if not for treating myself to a fabulous floral embroidery hoop from The Barmy Fox. Tory's stall was full of tempting delights, with the sweetest, and sassiest, embroidered badges sitting alongside more embroidered hoops.

Now to save my pennies back up again for the next Summer market which is just next weekend! Shall I start praying now for another sunny day?

{ have a happy day }

Friday, June 2

{ happy friday }

ten lovely things that caught my eye this week.

{ 1 } Etsy find of the week.  Snowdon Prints.  Loving her latest botanical print
{ 2 } Gorgeous on-trend volume sleeve blouse that begs the question 'Does it come in my size?'
{ 3 } Perfect for Summer layering, in the prettiest shade of Rhubarb Juice ♥︎
{ 4 } A little in love with everything Désuet, an on-line vintage store you'll lose yourself for hours in.
{ 5 } A lovely review of Anita Brookner's Hotel du Lac on Toast *pops on To-Read list*
{ 6 } And a lovely chair for curling up and reading away the day, from Rockett St George.
{ 7 } A look behind the scenes of taking that perfect IG shot, with The Bookish Baker.
{ 9 } A lovely review of The Pig Hotel from Wuthering Bites *pops on To-Visit list*
{ + } Celebrate strawberry season with The Kitchen McCabe's Lilac Scented Strawberry Shortcake.

{ have a happy day }

Thursday, June 1

{ hello June }


. hello june .

{ have a happy day }