Tag Archives: Homewares

Halen Môn – Anglesey salt


We’ve just returned home after 3 days on Anglesey and I’ve done the washing, removed sand from pockets and put the salt away. Not just any salt! Halen Môn salt. THE salt of Anglesey!

On Thursday we nipped into Halen Môn to pick up some salt for gifts and of course me, and I could have bought plenty in their beautiful shop that is stocked with salt, salt products like Nom Nom chocolate (delicious I tell you), oils, vinegars, sauces, home wares and stationery and much more!

The shop is spacious, beautifully stocked, well presented and lovely staff to boot. A beautiful shop!  When I say it’s a beautiful shop I really mean it, so I’m going to award it a Nellington Pom Poms pom pom of excellence! 



Ooooooh! A day at the Country Living Spring Fair


Oooh I’ve just had a lovely day at the Country Living Spring Fair with my flower ace friend that is Georgie of Common Farm Flowers.  She was giving talks on cut flowers and signing books whilst I was being her wing woman which was huge fun as I got to chat to lots of people.  Georgie’s survival guide is well worth reading as is the rest of her blog and of course her book of which there will be copies at her talks on Thursday!

In between talks we had a chance to mingle around and see lots of lovely people as well as meeting new people and there was lots of oohing going on I can tell you!

I approached the Nathalie Bond stand and said “ooooh I follow you and blogged about you in my candle round up“, she asked who I was so I told her and then she oohed.  It’s the simple things that make me smile!  Georgie treated me to a lip balm for my birthday, there’s lots of flavours but I chose rose.

I have known of The Linen Press for a while but hadn’t actually seen their products in real life …. oh but hello I was very soon smitten!  Totally smitten and came away with a green Foxglove jacket.  In her blog Georgie mentioned my brogues, which are none other than these from Its got soul.  There’s nothing worse than being too hot and uncomfortable when you’re on your feet all day so these shoes are ideal.

One of the new people I met was Rustique who has THE most stunning products, no seriously they are stunning, this chair for example!  The work that goes into such beauty must be hours but the end result is utterly amazing!


Another business I had not yet met was Artbox who use recycled leather and their range and colours is a treat!  Talking of colours I soon found myself over at the Plooms stand where I admired the weight and colour of the pens before using one. That’s definitely on my list!

Pinny Pockets look great fun, an apron with detachable oven mitts in a variety of colours and designs.  How useful!

These Kirigami and Origami pop-up cards literally made us stop in our steps.  They are outstanding!


Georgie and I also did some oohing at the amazing Shabby Sheep Crafts – I can guarantee you will too!  As much as I wanted everything I was very restrained and picked up a tiny acorn for my late friend’s mother.  I really do marvel at anyone who can create anything and it was uncanny that these stunners were infact handcrafted.


I did rather love the badger!


The quilts and cushions from Lisa Watson are exceedingly well made and in a variety of colours and designs, again I marvel at how much time, heart and soul goes into making such treasures.


It’s well known that I have a thing for mugs and the vintage set from Jin Designs made me smile, ok they made me laugh loudly.  I enjoy browsing for items for my own home and for gifts in general and had a good long look at what was available from Luca’s Garden, The Stripes Company, The New Eden, Punica and Sarah Field Ceramics where I picked up a dinky bunny with a spotty tail.

I was particularly taken with the cushions from Ideal Grace, the green spotty dog collar and lead from BlossomCo and the cushions from Cwtch the dragon – funny that!

There was also a lot of food stands I walked very  S L O W L Y  past whilst stretching out my hand to try things, oh my gosh the chilli chocolate from Goupie was more than moreish I was almost tempted to don a disguise and head back under the cover of a beard!  I might just have cleared the display breads from Dassie and I could have been the one who was hogging the Cotswold Gold Chilli Oil!

It was lovely to see old friends like Eliza Wray, L & S Interiors and to see their new range Olive & Daisy and to finally meet the wonder that is Jane Means who so kindly allowed me to use a photo of her gorgeous dog in my wedding anniversary party planning blog.  I couldn’t resist the orange pom pom ribbon that is going to be part of a window display as opposed to adorning a gift!

Oooooooooh!  One product that I wanted to bring home and put straight on the wall was the laundry ladder which is the new approach to drying laundry from Julu.  Yes.  I know you want one too!

All too soon it was time to go home, my commuter days are long gone and I had no desire to be stuck on a train in crush hour so I headed off with my bags aplenty and a happy smile following a lovely day and sauntered onto the train where I read my book in peace before getting home.

Thanks Georgie for a lovely day once again I do so enjoy wing woman duties, hope it goes well tomorrow!  And if you are going to this fair or any in the future don’t forget Georgie’s survival guide ….. and I will if I may just add in just 1 little hint which is to suss out where the loos are furthest away from the entrance as the queue will be smaller and you will be happier!

Happy days and I hope you have gained some inspiration from this blog.

Ever changing decorations


I’ve been teasing everyone with my heart wreath crammed full of goodies and thought I should share it with you!

Jardins Animes are based in France but I met them when I was at Spirit of Christmas last month. Aren’t they fabulous?! I spoke to them last week and they’ve said if you order them NOW they’ll arrive in time for Christmas.

I think they’re brilliant filled with satsumas


Or with Ferrero Rocher


Or Pot Pourri, this gorgeous lot is from Pollyfields


What a lovely way to give a gift that is attractive and useful afterwards. Win win!

For more gift ideas have a look here for gardeners or here for kitchens or here or infact anywhere on the blog as I love to share my finds!

Afternoon in Brecon


I’m off to Hay Festival tomorrow with Laree so we headed to Brecon en route to the in laws and went to see Becca in her gorgeous toy and shoe shop Cariad which has recently moved down the road and is now next door up Ty Cariad.

The shop is gorgeously decorated, I love the bright orange lampshades


and the cosy little table and chairs under the stairs


As ever it was lovely to see Becca, but she was working and we needed a cup of tea before heading over to the Valleys. Becca suggested we went to the new cafe in her old shoe shop so we wandered down the hill and found ourselves in Bijou Cafe Deli, which has only been open a week, before we knew it there was a cream tea on our table!

The scone was massive!

Having been in the building when it was a shoe shop it was great to see it occupied and the decorative changes they had made were simple and stylish.


As well as being a cafe and deli, there’s homewares from Susie Watson and Sophie Allport.


Laree gave her cake and my scone a big thumbs up and said it was a brilliant cafe, which is a big thing for a critical 9 year!

We’ll certainly go back when we’re in Brecon and will enjoy seeing their news Facebook and their Twitter feed.


In 2005, whilst struggling with postnatal depression, I started Present Cupboard selling handmade and handcrafted gorgeousness.

Each item was made by people, real people – family, friends, friends of friends, friends of family, family of friends – well you get the picture!

After a career change I returned briefly to The Original Present Cupboard and caught up with everyone and through them met some new contacts. All of these marvels are talented, creative, artistic, independent, unique and honest. To see those lovely people I have known and loved to be copied by pretenders annoys me hugely. The effort, attention and detail that goes into each piece is time consuming.

When you buy from someone who has crafted something you are also are acknowledging their skill. You might be able to make it cheaper yourself. You might be able to find it cheaper yourself. You might be tempted to try making it yourself.

I remember having a giggle with someone at a gift event about how rude people can be when they pick up an item and talk to their friends about how easy it would be to make it, how they could make it cheaper – all within earshot of the makers.

That’s rude.

By all means chat to the makers about their products and the skills they’ve used to make something so brilliant and of course chat to people who have started businesses for they might share hints and tips.

But what you don’t do is copy anything and pass it off as your idea.

That’s wrong.

Christmas Market at the Racing and River Boat Museum, Lower Basildon


On Saturday 30 November 2013 between 330pm and 730pm The Old Tithe Barn which houses the Racing and River Boat Museum at Beale Park in Lower Basildon will be full of lovely stalls and smiling faces. 

The elves have been busy creating a vintage grotto and there will be a festively themed pop up tea room selling mince pies and hot drinks.

I will be there with gorgeous gifts and must-have homewares as well as the luxury skincare range Lubatti.

It will be lovely to see Denny and Stella & Dot, Kelly from The Little Print Co and Sandy Ebdon-Jackson again.

Fiona Saunders will be there with the Jamie At Home range, which is great as my kitchen is almost finished and I love all things kitchen!

Bette & Barb from Somerset will be tempting everyone with their handmade vintage inspired Christmas cards.

I have just bought a handbag but it doesn’t stop me browsing, oh look there’s Sampson & Christie!

As well as RNLI, Shane Miller Photography and Daisy Chain Candles there will also be stalls offering seasonal silk flower arrangements, handmade soaps and beauty products, wood turning, homemade jams and chutneys, Barefoot Books,  Aloe Vera health & wellbeing, handmade appliqué cushions, knitted scarves, shawls, fingerless gloves and handmade fabric bags, kids hair accessories, deco patch items, sock monkeys and other animals, handbags, New Age gifts from Phoenix and Eagle, Christmas decorations, plus you can pre-order your Christmas tree and wreaths from Berkshire Plant Nursery.

Entry is free.

If you do come along then do come and say hello!

What’s not to like?


I like nothing better than finding a shop or website that grabs my attention and makes me want to look inside! 

On one of my daily hourly checks on Twitter I found @2Littlebirdz with a lovely website showing lots of lovely things that I would like to buy, give away or keep for myself.

How can anyone resist this bio “Two Little Birdies are purveyors of lovely stuff old & new for the modern vintage home.  An inspiring online emporium filled with home decor & accessories”.  Clearly I couldn’t.


 I started with the photo frames, because it’s Christmas coming and there will be family needing presents, memories being made and places needed for cherished memories.  (Christmas this year will be more special because this year my step sister and her 2 children will be in the UK and I’ve not seen them for 10 years since we spent Christmas Day in Coffs Harbour – but that’s another story for another time!). 

I now have this frame on my bedroom wall with a very old photo of my lot, but it’s a fabulous photo and the the frame does it justice!



Of course I was also going to be drawn to the ribbon, every well dressed present needs to be finished off with ribbon – especially as it has Labradors on it!

The very lovely thing about Two Little Birdies is they are based in Wokingham and said they could deliver to me the next day, that’s what I call the personal touch!

At the appointed hour there was a knock on the door and the normal stampede to see who it was and who could open the door first, I think I won that round!

My shopping was so beautifully wrapped and presented that seemed wrong to unwrap it!  Froths of crisp white tissue paper tied up with string.  What’s not to love.

Of course you don’t have to just take my word for it, you could go and look at the website and drool for yourself!  Or you could sign up to their newsletter and follow them on Twitter, then you will know when their next open house is and you can see for yourself and meet my new friends!

Talking of their open house has reminded me that I must nip back with a bottle of wine and my credit card to pick up those bits I put by!