31 Mar 2009

In the mood for a spring clean

 Yesterday I don't know what came over me, but I really got stuck into some spring cleaning, huge de-clutter, I mean I just  don't know where this rubbish comes from half the time! wallpaper samples, paint colour swatches, homes magazine galore, catalog's, I mean who is responsible for this stuff? 

1. Quick general tidy up, clear some floor space. Return kids stuff to kids room. Reunite DVDs with correct DVD covers, store away in cupboard. Take everything out of this room that does not belong here.

2. Tidy up magazine/book rack. I have to confess that I have piles of homes magazines, and it is very difficult for me to part with them. Try sticking articles and favourite pictures into a scrap book. Or try arranging them in imaginative ways.

3. As you work your way around, you may come across leads and cables which you have no idea what they are for. Everything from phones to camera, computers, laptops, play stations, seem to come with an endless supply of leads, even wireless stuff comes with leads. Next time you buy a new item that comes with leads, do your self a favour, get a little sticky label and write on it what it is and who its for, no good just writing on, for mobile phone, when every member of the house hold has one! Why not colour code each member of the family if you like. Mum has pink, so all mums leads have a little pink label on, Dad has blue, you get the picture. That way it takes some of the guess work out of trying to sort them all out.

Here's a pile I'll have to sort though later, a little homework for me.!

4. Sort through ornament's and brick a brac. Discard anything broken that cant be fixed. store away seasonal things, now that spring is here think about renewing your potpourri, I have a winter variety which composes of pine cone and red bits in it. No need to throw this away, you can actually bag this up and store it away until next winter. First pour the contents into a piece of fairly open weave clothe or tea towel, then get the vacuum nozzle and vacuum through the material. You will find that this loosen all the dust from the contents and freshen up the potpourri. Ready to be bagged up and stored away.

Once the room is looking declutterd, Give every thing a good dust over, pull the furniture away from the walls and vacume under every thing. Now stand back ane admire your handy work.
Finishing Touches. Arrange whats left neatly, and treat yourself to some sweet smelling spring flowers

Please feel free to add your own tips at the bottom of the post.

29 Mar 2009

Jersey farmers and craft Market.

There is nothing I love more than visiting craft fairs and checking out home and hand made items, and this years Jersey Craft Workers fair did not disappoint. Lots of hand made items a plenty, from jewellery and knitted items, to furniture and nappy cakes!
As we wondered around the stalls there where a few things that caught my eye for the home,that I thought where made to a very high standard, and had that special something, and as such are well worth a mention.

Aren't these just the most adorable little sewing bunnies you have ever seen? Found on the stall of Anna Le Sueur, which was just brimming with lovely hand made items such as these bunnies, hearts scented with lavender, notice boards made with brightly coloured fabric, door stops and slammers to name just a few! The standard of her work is second to none, and well worth every penny. When she told us that she has only been making these lovely items for a few months, while looking after two young children at home we where amazed!

As yet Anna only sells her items at local craft fairs, but if you are interested drop me a line at thishomesweethome@yahoo.co.uk and I will pass on your interest.

Next on my list is the lovely hand made furniture made by Simon Bellwood of Jersey Oak. Beautifully made from green oak, that is unlike any thing you will find in the shops. Simon began making furniture in his shed and started trading in 2007, he now runs his business full time.

He can also make custom items to fit in a particular area of the home, and to match the surrounding, for example matching stair railings to handles on custom made draws. For more info just pop over to the Jersey oak website here

Next its all about the seaside, with these ceramic fish, seabirds, and beach huts. Taking inspiration from the local coat line and seaside, Jane creates these very cute and amusing characters of the seashore. All made from home in her back room!
There is such a hype of activity going on in alot of Jerseys' back rooms I can tell you, we have so many talented people living on this little Island of ours!
Jane is also willing to ship her lovely items world wide, so for more info just check here.

And last but by no means least, by special request of my husband, because he liked this idea so much, or maybe he was trying to tell me something.. but I had to go back on Sunday and get a snappy shot of these Nappy Cakes, yes that's right Nappy Cakes. They look so good that the Girls told us people where actually putting in orders for Wedding cakes, until they realised that the cakes are in fact made up from baby nappies to form cakes. Its a lovely gift idea for new parents, baby showers, and Christening's

Made by Cheryl and Katie, and together make up Flairy Cakes, as yet they don't have a website, but one should be up and running very soon. For more info you can contact them at flairycakes@hotmail.com
Really did look like frosted icing on the top!
Well that's my round up of my top favourite's from the craft fair, hope you enjoyed it, next month we are off to the Grand Designs show in London!

28 Mar 2009

Cheats sea food Paella.

a box of ready made paella mix, I like this one (above) from Vesta, but you might have a favourite of your own.

Here's what I did.
1. Steam your muscles in a pan for a few minutes until the shells open, discard any that do not open these where dead before cooking and not good for eating. I like to add a clove of bruised garlic while steaming. Set to one side when done.
2. Heat up a little oil in a wok, and add the paella mix, pour over water (follow instructions on packet) turn down heat and simmer. For extra fishiness I added about 1/4 of a fish stock cube.
3. Cut the salmon into bite size chunks, add to wok when the water has reduced down. and is just covering the rice, gently cover the fish with the rice to help it cook through.
4. Once the salmon is cooked through, add the muscles, and at the last minute throw in the prawns just to heat through.
And that's it. Now get messy using your finger to eat the sweet juicy prawns, umm so so good really so so good.

On the menu is my cheats paella, I love sea food paella, but hate cooking, so this quick version is right up my street. I picked up some fresh muscles, salmon and large prawns from my local fish market in St. Helier, which cost just over £6.oo, and would serve two. Here comes the cheat bit,

25 Mar 2009

The Big spring clean!

Having decluttered the bathroom, its time to hit the bedrooms.! Bedrooms should be a calm resting place, though at the moment my bedroom is anything but. It seems to be the room that collects the most clutter, not having room for an office and work room in our house, the bedroom triples up as a place to sleep, an office space for my Husband, and a craft room for me. So a declutter in here is not going to be easy. But these are the steeps I will be following. Here goes.

1. Create some floor space.
If the floor space is cluttered with clothes shoes and laundry baskets, tidy these items away, you will need some floor space for moving things about.

2. Tops of Wardrobes.
Are the tops of the cupboards a landing ground for clutter? mine too. I tend to keep those nice boutique shopping bags and store them up there, not really knowing what to do with them. Well its time to part company. You can put them out for recycling. Any other items that you don't need, or think you need but have not uses them for the last 6 months, its time to get rid.

3. In side Wardrobes.
Most of us only ever wear 20% of the clothes in our wardrobes 80% of the time! Get a bin bag and bag up anything that is to small, unworn, broken, dated, or just does not suit you. Donate the good stuff to your favourite charity, (mine is going to Hospice) now arrange the items left to make them more easy to find. I like to hang like for like together, so all skirts go together, trousers, jackets etc. You might like to arrange things by colour, its up to you. Just make sure everything in the wardrobe are items that you will wear. Do the same with shoes.

4. Dressing tables/bedside tables.
Sort through empty and old cosmetics and perfume bottles, not matter how pretty the bottle looks! Its done its job now throw it out! Like to read in bed at night? Books piling up? again donate these to charity or friends who like a good read.

5. The bed.
Sort through the bedding, any duvet covers, sheets pillow cases etc that are worn or torn, its time to get rid of these. Check under the bed, clear out any stray items. Check the condition of the mattress, is it time you had a new one?

6. Rest of Room.
Stand back and look around the room. What other areas need looking at.? Are there items that don't belong in here? Sports equipment, kids stuff, return items to there proper place.

7. A place of rest.
Now that you room is free of clutter, put fresh clean linen on your bed and enjoy a good nights sleep tonight.

20 Mar 2009

More for your walls.

I found a great collection of decals or wall stickers for your walls, perfect for if you can't decide between wall paper or paint, these could just provide the solution. I love the Wallies Hummingbird, really on trend at the moment, or how about the folk arty Russian Babouchka (fbottom left). Add a bit of vintage style to the kitchen with the Kitchen wall sticker set or get all day dreamy with the daydream Maxi Wall Stickers. Which ever you choose they are bound to brighten any wall up no end.

17 Mar 2009

The big spring clean.

Well here we go! I have been meaning to do this since the new year, de-clutter and spring clean, and with the sun shinning this week it has really got me in the mood to fling open the windows and let the fresh air in and blow away the winter cobwebs. so lets get started.

This week I am going to focus on de-cluttering the home first, who wants to clean stuff you don't really want amy more, so its out with the old and in with the clean and fresh. So lets get started, are you with me?

I'm starting with the bathroom, its the smallest room in the house so should get quick results, Oh and please feel free to add you own tips in the comment section at the bottom of this post.

1. Clear out shelves and cupboards
Get rid of all those creams lotions and potions that you know you're never going to use, or anything that is past its shelf life. Creams and cosmetic's have a little pot sign on them and a number which indicates their shelf life.
Any medicines you have in the bathroom that you know longer need or use, put in a separate bag, take these down to you local chemist who can dispose of them appropriately. Please don't throw medication or over the counter remedies in the bin.

2. Towels and bath mats.
Go through you bath and hand towels, ones that are no longer fluffy and soft no longer belong in the bath room, simple as! Bath time should be pleasurable, and drying your self off with a thread bare and holly towel dose not make it so. you can use old bath towels as rags for dirty jobs around the house.

3. Bathroom trinkets, treasures and toys.
I'm talking smelly soaps, beach shells and stones, and children's bath toys. Get rid of anything that is dusty watter logged and falling apart, or no longer smells as it should do! Children's bath toys such as ducks tend to get filled with old stale bath water, if you can't clean them throw them out. Go through the rest of the toys weeding out anything that is just past its best.

4. Plants
Plants get dusty in the bathroom and because of the steam, leaves can get clogged up, give them a treat and stand in the shower for a little shower off. It really perks the leaves up. Clean off the leaves with a bit of damp cotton wool.

5. Reward Yourself.
Treat yourself to some new bathroom towels, then this evening reward yourself with a lovely bubble bath soak.! Job done.

Floor covering.

Whats down on the floor in your home? Do you prefer wooden floor boards, or the soft feeling under foot of carpet.? Well for me I have to say its carpet, but for a few years now there has been this love affair with wooden flooring, be it real, or laminate. So has the wool pile turned, is it time to pull up those fake laminate floor boards and reinstate carpet again? well if Danielle Proud has anything to do with it, then yes, she is on a mission to rekindle our interest in carpet and just to prove how versatile it is, she and a team of designers have teamed up with Fun on the Floor to do just that. They have been busy doing up a a Georgian town house in London to show case the latest styles and trends in carpet. And here's a sneak preview of what they have done, if you ever thought carpet is boring and just something to be walked all over then think again.!


To find out more, and who is taking part go to the fun on the floor website here.

13 Mar 2009

Rooting out the problem.

Mass of roots

I have to confess that gardening and growing things are not one of my stronger points, so any house plants we have need to be pretty indestructible. I have been known to kill off spider plants! But when I noticed one of my plants looking a bit sorry for its self I thought I better do something about it. This one has been with us for a few years now, but seems to have stooped growing and on further investigation I noticed that the roots have out grown the pot and have been busy growing around in circles at the bottom. May be that's the problem, its getting dizzy!

So it called for a trip to B&Q to pick up some houseplant compost and a bigger pot. (A tip for you here, measure the old pot size the your plant has grown out of before you go, because when you get to DIY store you will be standing in front of the pots wondering which size to buy) I bought a set of 3 16 inch pots for £2.12, and a 12 litre bag of B&Q houseplant compost at £2.76. For all you Eco lover out there, B&Q compost is a mixture of peat and alternative sustainable ingredients, and the peat does not come from areas of designated SSSi sites (sites of special scientific interest, though what makes them interesting I don't know)
After teasing out the roots a little, I put some compost in the bottom of the pot, then place the plant onto the pot and filled the sides in, filled the pot to the top and watered. And as you can see from the photo, the plant is looking much better.

Oh and another thing, you will need to place the plant and pot in a bigger container, as the one before will probably be to small, told you I'm not good at this stuff, lets hope my plant doesn't die off after the trauma of being moved!

4 Mar 2009

More Wall covering.

Today is all about using fabric for decorating walls with. A few years ago I whisked my husband off to Venice for a long weekend, and we stayed in a small B&B for the duration. It was quite basic but what stuck in my mind was the fact that the bedrooms where furnished with beautiful padded fabric on the walls, I think even the ceiling was draped in fabric, and everything matched, the curtains, walls and bed spread. This style is very venetian, and opulent, very grand, and usually accompanied with beautiful gilded light fittings and picture frames, as in the photo above. It also has other benefits as well such as insulating a room and adding a bit of sound proofing. But this look can be a bit over powering in a small room. A great way to use fabric would be perhaps as a feature wall in a bedroom behind the bed, adding a touch of drama, and grandeur without going over the top. The Designers Guild have some really lovely fabricicon that would look stunning used in this way.
There are a couple of ways to fix baric to walls, the first is by adding batons to the wall top and bottom, then stretching the fabric across them like a canvas, the second involves using spray starch to attach it to the walls, instructions can be found here.

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