Friday, 28 December 2012

New Year Party Planning

With the New Year festivities upon us I thought I would share with you my new favourite must have cookery books. Last Christmas my cousin gifted me Angel Adoree's the Vintage Tea Party Book and this Christmas I got the follow up. If you like books with beautiful illustrations, show stopping but easily accomplished recipes and little extras, then you will really enjoy these.
With goats cheese truffles, mushroom crème brûlée and edible keys your party will be a splendid affair!

Thursday, 27 December 2012

New Year, New Designs

Hello lovelies, I hope you had a super Christmas. I have to say it was a fairly quiet one for me this year, but it was quite nice to kick back and chill out in front of the goggle box for a bit. I grabbed a cup of tea and some posh chocs from my pal Claire and cried at the Downton Christmas special and the end of Merlin (one of my many guilty pleasures!).
And now it's the countdown to the New Year which is promising to be a little more lively. I will be sharing some of my party food plans over the next few days, but first, I wanted to give you a sneaky peek at a new design I'm going to work on for my 2013 shop. My friend Jimbob asked me to make this locket for his gorgeous wife (also one of my dearest friends) to hold a picture of their little Poppy-Jo. He gave me free rein on the design and Jai called today to say she loved. So I will be looking to work on this further to put on sale in the new year. I hope you like it xx

Monday, 24 December 2012

So Here It Is, Merry Christmas...

I wanted to post a huge thank you to everyone who has read and commented on my ramblings this year, I am very much in the early days of my blogging life and am thrilled that there are a few lovelies out there that have wanted to drop by. One year ago today I left the relative security of my job in retail to pursue a path as a designer/maker of silver goodies. Now, I am certainly not running an empire as yet but, with the support of many wonderful people, I do feel I am on my way there.

So now go and put on your Christmas jumper, heat up some mince pies and dance around the Christmas tree to your favourite festive tunes. I am wishing you all a magical kinda Christmas, make it a memorable one and remember to tell me all about it xx

Friday, 21 December 2012

Busy With Bakes & Makes

I'm very late writing up today, but I can't complain as I've been fulfilling some last minute Christmas orders!
I have also done some baking today, whipping up a batch of chestnut and brandy jam and my first round of marzipan mince pies. I thought you might like the mince pie recipe for any easy last minute bakes this weekend...


220g plain flour
100g unsalted butter, cubed
Pinch of salt
3 tbsp cold water
Mincemeat mixture


• Preheat oven to 200*c/gas mark6

• Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter to create a rough sand texture.

• Sprinkle water in to the bowl and lightly work mixture into a ball.

• Wrap in cling wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

• Roll out to a thickness of approx. 3mm and cut out enough circles to fill your greased tray (usually 12).
Press the pastry discs into the tray.

• Roll the marzipan out thinly and place a small disc in each pastry cup. Spoon a teaspoon of mincemeat on top of the marzipan.
For the lids I cut star shapes from the rolled out pastry and placed them on top of the mincemeat.

• Finish with a milk wash and bake for 20 minutes, or till golden.

Enjoy xx

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

That's a Cracker!

So it's less than a week to the big Ho Ho Ho and I've managed to get all the gifts together. I just need to wrap them now.
I thought I would share a last minute wrapping idea with you that I've done for the little people. Instead of tags I put together some Christmas crackers with little extra gifts inside (a chocolate snowman, stick on tattoos and such). I have yet to meet a child that doesn't love pulling crackers so it seemed a nice touch to add. I did cheat a little and buy a make your own kit from The Works for a couple if pounds as it had the hats, jokes and snaps included. But instead of colouring in the outer wrapper I covered it with brown paper and used red ink to stamp the children's names on the cracker. I then finished them off with some pretty ribbon and vintage stickers. Voila, fun (and I think quite stylish) gift wrap!

What have you been using to wrap up this year?

Monday, 17 December 2012

Wassail! Wassail! All Over The Town...

Over the weekend the Yuletide season went into full speed here, there was a dinner or two with old friends, a trip to the cinema for a Christmas blockbuster and more than a tot of something mulled! Now in the West Country we are obviously famed for our cider production, and whilst I do love a glass of German Gluwein, a cup of mulled cider will always go down a treat.
Traditionally hot mulled cider was drunk copiously at the Twelfth Night Wassail, where villagers and cider producers would gather around the largest apple tree, hang cider soaked toast on its branches and drink its good health with ale and mead laced with apple liqueur. In recent years it has become more associated with the festivities running up to Christmas, but which ever way you want to drink it there are many recipes out there to try. Here I have used Jamie Oliver's as an example for you to try, I would maybe add a tot of mead or Brandy to give it some extra warmth!

  • 2 litres good cider, such as Scrumpy
  • 6 cloves
  • 3 or 4 star anise
  • ¼nutmeg, finely grated into the pan
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla pod, halved
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of 2 clementines
  • Juice and seeds from 1 pomegranate
  • 4 or 5 tablespoons of caster sugar, to taste
  1. Pour all of the cider into a large pan on a low heat and warm it through for a few minutes. Add all of the spices and fruit juices and turn the heat up. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and leave to tick away for 5 to 8 minutes. As everything infuses you'll get the most delicious layers of flavour. Just because this is a glorified Christmas punch doesn't mean you don't taste it like you would a sauce. Pay attention and add a few tablespoons of sugar to taste. You don't want it to be sweet; you just want the sugar to join up all the different spices so you get a harmonious taste.
  2. When you are happy with the flavours, ladle the mulled cider into glasses or mugs and serve while warm and delicious. Personally I think it's nice to leave bits of spices floating around in the cider when you serve it but if you want yours clear and perfect just pour it into the glasses through a sieve.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

typically.pretty.wish list - to do

A list of gift ideas for those people in your life that like to get out and about and do stuff!

1. Afternoon Tea somewhere special. Tea at The Ritz London will set you back £45 per person.
2. A book spa. Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath offers a 2 hour session for £55-£100.
3. Subscription to a favourite magazine. My fave is The Simple Things for food, crafts & home decor.
4. Tickets to a show or the movies. Get Odeon vouchers to watch Les Mis in January!
5. A crafting book for busy fingers. Everything Oz is a fun book full of things to make and do.

Any ideas of your own?

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Faith, Trust & Pixie Dust!

So the last night I decorated my little tree, and I think you'll find it to be one of the kitschest trees you ever did see! Whilst out shopping for presents for little ones I ventured into the Disney store and came out with a Tinkerbell doll (nothing unusual there you say?)... it was for myself! Couldn't help it, I remembered I needed a tree fairy and what better one to have sitting there on the top my tree than Tink, the naughtiest fairy there ever was. I think she goes perfectly with my toadstools, typewriter key snowflake and vintage decs.

How is your tree shaping up? What's your favourite decoration?

Saturday, 8 December 2012

typically.pretty.wish list - knitwear

Good morning and a happy Saturday to you good people! As it is turning colder this week in the UK due to a Siberian chill heading our way, I decided a little cosy wish list was called for to ponder over.
Here you go...

1. snowflake snood £25 - Fat Face
2. snowflake sequin sweater £32 - Next
3. textured loop cardigan £48 - Sparkle & Fade @ Urban Outfitters
4. cable half zip £ 79 - Boden
5. knitted fluffy fairisle jumper £42 - Topshop
6. antique market beret £19.95 - White Stuff

Have a happy weekend xx

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Birds, Butterfies & Baubles

I have been making some little stocking fillers this week using some oven bake clay and ink stamps. Have a go at making some holiday ornaments yourself, just grab some clay and impress your favourite images in to it with permanent ink. Make a hole using a straw, bake according to the instructions and hang with pretty ribbon or twine... Or if you are able, come along to the Bath Artisan Market this Sunday where I will have some of these brooches for you to purchase.

What decorations have you been making this week? xx

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

I'm Sizing You Up

Over the weekend, whilst at the markets, I noticed that many people didn't know what size to choose in bangles and rings, so I have put together a quick guide to sizing.

The best way to find out your ring size is to visit your local jeweller and they should accurately size you without any problem, but if you need to find out at home there is a way to get a measurement that is fairly accurate. Take some string or paper and wrap it around the finger you want to size, making sure it is pulled firmly around. Mark or snip the join and measure the length, this gives you the inner circumference of the size ring you want. 

You can then use this chart to work out your size. Remember that the string/paper needs to feel as snug as the ring you want to wear.

Right, now for bangles! The size of a bangle is determined by its diameter and the standard size that most places sell will be 6.5-7 cm across. To know what size is best for you clench your hand in to a fist and measure the distance between the outside edge of your index finger to the inside of your little finger. This gives the diameter size you require.
In my shop I sell three sizes; small - 6cm, medium - 6.5cm, large - 7cm, but I can make them smaller or larger if required.

I hope you find this little guide useful xx

Monday, 3 December 2012

Fabulous Frome

Well the people of Frome did not disappoint. I had such a great day at the Christmas Super Market; an event featuring artisan sellers, vintage flea stalls, farmers market and outdoor food and entertainment. Not only did I meet lovely new customers but also bought up some great pieces from the flea section of the market, including a dressing table mirror, winter coat and hat and a couple old French army bags.

I also received a great little parcel today, a beautiful gold dipped arrow head necklace from Rose & Anchor (find her beautiful pieces on etsy). Love love love it!
All round a very pleasing couple of days.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Cold But Pretty

What a great market Bristol put on today, it was lovely to be a part of. The morning was bright and the waterfront looked beautiful in the winter sun. And although it was cold the lovely people I met, my 'Christmas jumper' and the hot mulled cider helped to keep me all toasty.

Now for the people of Frome to make tomorrows market just as amazing xx

Thursday, 29 November 2012

A Vintage Christmas

Well today I put on my cosy knitted hat and ventured out in to the cold to do a spot of window shopping, but who was I kidding, of course I ended up handing over some pennies for shiny pretty things!
This year I am hoping to pick up some vintage decorations to pair up with the bits I want to make, but I couldn't resist these adorable teeny tiny fairy bells on a beaded string today. I bought them along with some very pretty silver and white washi tape from one of my favourite crafty places, The Makery Emporium, where I very rarely leave empty handed!

I'm hoping to find my vintage bits and pieces at the markets I have a stalls at over the next couple of weeks. If you can, please come along to some wonderful festive events starting this Saturday. Firstly, Bristol's Waterfront Square is going all 1930s glamour with a vintage and artisan fair including its very own Spiegletent, pop up vintage hair salon, cabaret and plenty of stalls to tempt you. Then on Sunday we will be taking over Frome with a vintage flea and Christmas market. Finally, on the 9th December we have the next instalment of Baths artisan market at Green Park Station. Come and enjoy some mulled cider and eats and treats by local suppliers... yum!

Monday, 26 November 2012

One Stop Dec Shop!

Feeling totally festive today so I have put together a selection of decorations that you may want to go out and grab. There is something you'll want I'm sure from this collection of vintage kitsch, homespun and Nordic style ornaments.

1. quotesandnotes on Etsy
2. mellybee on folksy
3. inkmeup on folksy
4. tentvintage on Etsy
5. luncheonettevintage on Etsy
6. Bread and Jam on folksy
7. Anthropologie
8&9. Paperchase

Go forth and decorate people, and let me know your favourite xx

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Markets & Merriment

I love my city on a cool crisp day, wrapped up all warm and snug in woollies galore. The light shines so prettily on the Bath stone, then add to that the famous German style market that fills the streets around the Abbey at Christmas time and you got yourself a great day. Think mulled wine, butternut squash stew in a box, handmade stocking fillers (& stockings for that matter) and hot chocolate... yummy holiday heaven.

Prep for the Christmas market in Bristol next Saturday has also been top of the list this week, with Mumford & Sons keeping me company in the studio I have been working on lots of silver quote rings for my stall on the 1st December.   

Remember there is 10% off in my Etsy store for the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend xx

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Christmas Shopping Promotion

So today I have been giving my Etsy shop a Christmas makeover. With a little help from the brilliant themes, overlays and labels on Picmonkey I have decked out my jewellery for the holidays.
And for all you lovelies out there in cyberland I am giving you a 10% discount voucher to use for your Christmas Shopping. Pick up one of my artisan silver quote rings, the ones shown here say "& your bird can sing" and "curiouser & curiouser", perfect for the loved one in your life who likes pretty things.

To get your on line discount click on the Etsy button in my sidebar, shop away and use the discount coupon code SILVERSHED1 at the checkout. The offer ends at midnight GMT December 1st 2012. 

Happy shopping xx

Friday, 16 November 2012

Little Photo Shoot In Memory Lane

Most of you will be aware of the blog A Beautiful Mess and I'm sure like me you are often inspired to make and do by their wonderful posts and tutorials. Recently there was a beautiful post showing how to use old family photographs to decorate the back of a bookshelf. This got me looking out some of my family portraits, particularly the ones of my grandparents. I forgot how beautiful they are and when I saw them in front of me I decided on an impromptu little photo shoot.

By the way the fabric below is from Millie Moon in Frome and The Makery Emporium in Bath, not sure what it's going to be yet but I'm totally smitten with it!

I think I would like to put some of these old photographs in to a printed book, I did this with some of my uncle last year for my dad's Christmas present. Sadly my uncle Rich (one of my dad's 4 older brothers) passed away in 2011. Richard had been sent to the Malaysia conflict during his national service in the 1950's and had sent over 100 letters home, so along with some wonderful photographs he had taken over there I scanned and collated them in to a memory book for my dad. 
Here are a few of the photo's...


Hope you liked my trip down memory lane xx

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Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Jingle Bells . Jangle Bangles

So it seems the festive season is rapidly approaching and my beautiful city became all a glow this evening with silver lights. The streets were certainly full for the great switch on as it was being broadcast live on the BBCs One Show and after a shaky start the elegant chandeliers came flickering to life! 

Christmas was the main topic of conversation on Sunday as well with the pre-Christmas shopping market at Green Park. It was a beautiful day with lots of folk enjoying mulled cider and hot chestnuts whilst picking up early presents for their loved ones. If you can come to the next one on the 9th of December you really must, it is a great day and I will have lots of lovely sparkly goodies for sale!

Some of those items are these bangles I have been working on, I have taken the quote bangle I make and given it the look of three stacking singlets sitting together on the wrist. The one shown here is from one of my favourite stories, Peter Pan... 'Second to the right and straight on til morning', that, Peter had told Wendy was the way to the Neverland.


Thursday, 8 November 2012

Fireworks, Flea Markets & Fabric Labels

Over the last week I have been a little miserable as a vicious cold took hold, but we can't let these things stop us can we! I didn't manage to get to the big bonfire party in Bath, but there was plenty to see from the garden and I lit a sparkler or two to feel a part of it. I do love fireworks, it's the wrapping up all cosy and warm and being with lots of others all enjoying the same experience.

I have also managed to do some flea market shopping of late, picking up some brilliant finds to decorate a few spaces and to use as props for my Silver Shed booth (remember to come along to The Bath Artisan Market this Sunday at Green Park Station 9.30-4pm). I am particularly in love with the 1930's German sleigh I found in pretty Malmesbury. The enamel bowls are perfect for holding my jewellery goods, there is a song sheet which will be framed and a mini milking stool and shoe last for... um, well... well for no reason, but why not hey!

Lastly I need to share with you my new love... printing on fabric at home. Looking for some way to label my silver quote rings I started thinking about printable fabric sheets, these little gems enable you to design and print your own fabric with an ink jet printer. Perfect for text too, but just remember to mirror image!
It is quite pricey but looking on line I came across many people raving about freezer paper and how it allows you to make your own sheets by ironing it to the fabric and giving it enough structure for the printer. Sadly I soon realised this is an American product and tricky to find in the UK, but look on line and in quilting shops (it's popular for applique work) and you will eventually find it, and plenty of tutorials (here is one on the Instuctables website). Have some fun with it!


Thursday, 1 November 2012

Pumpkins and Packaging

So Hallow e'en has passed by without much fuss and bother, although I had the obligatory carved pumpkin and soup (most simple recipe ever!), one or two little witches and I finally managed to use the fake leaves I procured whilst doing a window display as a VM last year.

If you want to make the simple soup here's the recipe...

approx 1kg pumpkin, roughly chopped (mine was just the scooped out middle of this bad boy)
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
1l stock (chicken or veg are best)
any seasoning or spice to your taste (I used salt, black pepper and a little ground cinnamon)

Pop the onions in a large pan with a light coating of oil and sweat them down for 5 mins.
Add the pumpkin and cover with a lid, cook on a medium heat for approx. 40 mins, stirring occasionally to prevent any catching on the bottom of the pan.
Once the pumpkin is cooked add the stock and bring to the boil. Let the mixture cool then blend in batches.
Soup can be reheated when ready to eat. See simple!

I have just had a final bowl of soup for lunch and am now putting together some jewellery for the market on November 11th. I received some greetings cards I designed to go with my Forest Folk pendants this week, and I am so thrilled with them. Along with the cards I ordered from (check them out, they are fab) I also ordered some new packaging, and I have to say everything is shaping up to look pretty cool for the holiday season.

Monday, 29 October 2012

The sea is good for my soul...

seal and her pup playing in the surf on Carbis Bay beach

Well I am back from my trip and with lots of blustery walks, seal spotting on the beach and trips to the Tate, I have come back refreshed and inspired. One of the nicest things about autumn trips to the coast is being able to graze along the beach looking for goodies, and I did manage to pick up some very pretty pieces of sea glass and beach pottery which I am hoping to turn into rings and things.

For now though I am concentrating on putting stock together for the pre-Christmas markets booked up for November.

The Silver Shed booth at the first Bath Artisan Market

The first Artisan market at Green Park was a great day and I have high hopes for the next one on November 11th. Please come along for some delicious treats and to see plenty of stalls selling handmade and vintage goodies.
Over the next few weeks I am sure I will be posting about all the new goodies I am putting together for Christmas, so watch this space xx

Thursday, 27 September 2012

A Short Break

I'm all of an excited tiz at the moment as not only am I going away for a couple of weeks to my beloved Cornwall, but on my return I am hoping to be taking part in the first Bath Artisan Market. On the back of the hugely successful Farmers Markets and Vintage & Antiques Fairs that take place at Green Park Station in Bath, the organizers of The Secret Tea Party are giving handmade and artisan products their time to shine. I have submitted my booking form and am very much looking forward to hearing if I have got a place at the fair.
The first market, which is going to be held on the 2nd Sunday every month, is being run in conjunction with The Great Bath Feast 2012 on October 14th. This is a month long event celebrating all that is mouth-wateringly great about the South West.

Green Park Farmers Market - photo by ethical property

Anyway, whilst I am waiting to hear I am going to be soaking up the sea air in St Ives. I will let you know all about my rambling around the cobbled streets and cliff tops and visits to the Tate when I get back. 
Until then, check out these wonderful places where you can find vintage treats and handmade & home grown delights. Just click on the photo's to find out more...
Secret Tea Party

Bath Farmers Market

Vintage & Antiques Market

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

September Love part 2

Yesterday I had to pop in to town for a few supplies and I got the chance to do a few of my favourite things. It was a crisp autumn day so I grabbed a soy hot chocolate, wandered around to the Abbey courtyard and started people watching whilst listening to some of the many buskers that play in the city centre each day. 

Tucked in a corner of the courtyard, I love sitting and soaking up the life going on around the Abbey. There are tourists wandering around eyes heavenward, kids chasing the pigeons, suits grabbing lunch and musicians and acrobats milling about waiting for their turn to do a show. You are always guaranteed to see something unexpected, and yesterday was no exception. Just as I was watching the local healing group talking to those who need a little comfort, singing could be heard in the distance. Suddenly, a large group of Regency clad Americans came in to view singing in harmony. It turned out they were a touring show here for the Jane Austen Fest which takes place each year. They just calmly wandered past chatting and singing, and that's what I love about Bath, the random things that make you smile.

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