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Betty Boyns

21 Sep

I must be a bit behind the times because I’ve only just discovered Paula Nicholls’ lovely vintage-inspired Betty Boyns designs.

My favourite is called ‘Kitchenalia’ and those of you who know me and my car boot habits will understand why I’m particularly fond of it.

I’ve just bought a Kitchenalia tea cosy!

There are loads of gorgeous designs, and they’re made into aprons, bags, cards, cushions, oilcloth, mugs, gift wrap, tablecloths, tea towels, etc.

I also really like ‘Tea Time’:

And ‘Chicken Little’:

The ‘Boating’ design is lovely too:

Oh, and ‘Wow It’s a Fish’:

You can buy Betty Boyns online or at the shop in St. Ives. If you can’t get to St. Ives, don’t worry – rumour has it the products will soon be available more widely!


Fairground Mugs

31 Mar

I’m more than a bit in love with these splendid mugs from Snowden Flood, inspired by vintage fairground text and images.

They’re £15.95 each, or £60 for a set of all four designs.

Scented Macaroon Drawer Thingies

8 Feb

Think that’s something to eat? Think again!

Poule de Luxe sells gorgeous very real-looking scented macaroons for you to tuck into your drawers and make all your clothes smell scrummy. They’re made in Provence and look so much like the real thing that I might be a bit worried about making a terrible teatime mistake.

For £26, you get six macaroons and a little bottle of lavender oil. You add a few drops of oil to the macaroons and there you have it. They’re reuseable as well.

My friend Liz (of the fabulous Feasts and Festivals blog) told me about Poule de Luxe and now I’m lusting after their mohair wraps and cream linen nighties as well as the macaroons. The nightdresses are made from smooth, fine linen and are all named after breeds of chickens, which is a lovely bonus! Fancy a Chantecler, anyone?

Hot Water Bottle Covers

1 Feb

My friend Barbara, who can make anything and make it beautifully, gave me a gorgeous handmade hot water bottle cover for Christmas. I believe she made it from a Welsh blanket. I should really have photographed it a month ago because it’s beginning to look a little ‘loved’ – but that only makes it all the more precious to me.

If you’re like me, you can’t possibly go to bed at this time of the year without a hot water bottle. Or a hottie, as it’s usually known in my family. For some reason, my husband calls it a bot-bot, but that’s just plain wrong. It’s a hottie or, if you’re feeling a little bit frivolous, a hottle-bottle. But never a bot-bot. Perish the thought.

Anyway, on the off chance that you don’t have a crafty friend like Barbara, I thought I’d share some of my favourite hot water bottle covers available in shops and online:

Here’s a beautiful hand-knitted cover from Ageeta. It can be made in a variety of colours and patterns, but this one would be my pick:

And a lovely cotton-linen Corsica cover from étoile home:

And here’s a stunning classic 100% cashmere cable-knitted cover from Plum & Ivory:

Or what about a luxurious velvet quilted cover? These lovelies are from Graham and Green:

And here are some  more beautiful hand-knitted covers. First this one from Seven Gauge Studios:

Or this one from Catherine Tough:

Or perhaps this lovely fairisle cover from Papa Stour. I love the ruffle:

Papa Stour also has another of my favourites, this felted jacquard cover:

For something a little less cuddly, what about these very tasteful lightly-quilted linen covers from Volga Linen:

Or these cheerful flowery printed covers from Alison Capeling:

Or this pretty V&A collection cover, available at Argos:

Or what about a slinky silk cover like this ivory one from Made in Silk:

And for those days when you just can’t bring yourself to get out of bed and face the day, there’s always this one, available from The Gifted Penguin:

Tillie Mint House Number Plaques

17 Jan

If we had a numbered house rather than a named one, I’d buy one of these gorgeous signs from Tillie Mint in a minute!

The red cherries design above is my favourite, but I’m also quite partial to these two:

Cox & Cox numbered vases

7 Jan

I picked up these lovely numbered vases in the Christmas sale at Cox & Cox and they’re already my favourites! Flowers are pretty scarce in the garden at this time of the year, so I just cut a few bits of greenery and popped them in. But I’m already picturing them in spring, each holding a perfect single tulip.

Clare Nicolson Textiles

1 Sep

I’ve always loved Clare Nicolson‘s designs, but have only ever bought her little lavender birds. Now, however, she has these fabulous linen cushions. They’re all lovely, but I think I like this one best:

The cushions are 100% linen and are backed with vintage fabrics. The one pictured above is £45, but some of the others are £60.

British Fruit & Veg Tea Towel

20 Aug

I bought this tea towel a week or so ago, but haven’t used it yet. It’s almost too pretty to use!


This lovely unbleached cotton tea towel is designed by Stuart Gardiner and costs £10. It’s a handy-dandy chart showing which fruit and vegetables are in season in which months.

I bought mine at the fabulous Hooper & Shaw (An Emporium of Wonderful Things) in Port Isaac, which is worth a mention itself. It’s a gallery/shop that showcases lots of handmade stuff produced by Cornish artists. They do these amazing screen prints, of which this is my favourite:

If you find yourself in Port Isaac scoping out the Doc Martin filming locations, be sure to stop in at Hooper & Shaw. They’re on Fore Street on your right as you walk out of the village, not much beyond The Old School Hotel.