DIY Spotted Lamp Shade

October 31, 2014

spotted-lighting

Okay, I usually have tried out the DIYs that I share on here, but this time I’m jumping straight to the sharing because I’m excited and I know this will be easy. I need a lighting solution for my living room, so I’ve always got one eye open for interesting options. Ever the sucker for a black and white pattern, I saw this spotted lamp shade and had to share!

I’m not sure if the lamp shade in this photo is a DIY project or if it was purchased, but this would be a very easy (and cheap) project for you to do at home. Ikea sell these lantern shades for next to nothing (£2.75). You have a couple of options for how to make your spots. You could draw them in with a black art marker or you could get a pot of black paint and stamp little spots on with a sponge brush– both of which can be found in your local art supply shop. So excluding shipping, this project should come in around £5 or £6. Not bad!

This look would be a better fit for our bedroom, I think, but we have a light from Habitat that we’ve been procrastinating on hanging. If anyone tries this DIY, please let me know and send a picture!

Room image via

My Adventure with Designing Furniture

October 29, 2014

I’ve noticed that it’s become a pastime of mine to take on projects where I have no idea what I’m doing. This manifests itself in many ways, and one project that I’ve been working on for the past 2-3 months has been designing what I’ve named the Moroc stool. Do I know anything at all about furniture design? No, but I had a vision for a particular stool design I wanted for my flat, and I called around to furniture makers until someone would have me.

I was very fortunate to find a lovely joiner in Cornwall who has looked at my crazy collection of photos and bad drawings without laughing in my face, and has helped me to (almost) realise my first furniture design! These photos were sent to me from the workshop to show the stool in progress– I’ve not received the finish stool yet, which will be a brilliant shade of Moroccan blue (hence the name).

It’s in the back of my mind that I may want to sell this stool in my shop one day, so I’ve emailed this poor joiner with the craziest requests, like making it so that it can be flat-packed (picture 3). I never before thought about things like how shiny a piece of furniture should be, or what a good height is for a chair. It’s been fun to think about these things and I can already imagine the joy I’m going to have when the stool finally arrives.

This is a really empowering experience, and I encourage you to consider doing something like this for yourself if you have an idea kicking around. I hope to have the stool within the next week, and I’ll be posting pictures!

Shrimp and Grits Canapés Recipe

October 27, 2014

Last week I posted about the scotch quail egg canapés I made for a get-together I threw. The other dish I made was shrimp and grits, which went down really well– in retrospect, I wish I made much more of it! This is a classic southern American dish that works well as an appetizer or a main dish. Like the scotch eggs, I served this in small personal-sized dishes. Canapés are a great party option because they’re small and manageable to eat without being too awkward. This only thing to remember is to have enough of them so that guests don’t walk away hungry.

I grew up in the south, so I cook a lot of southern food. I’ve been hesitant to post recipes here because the instructions tend to have quantities like “a little of this” or “a dash of that,” but today I’m doing my best to relay this recipe with measurements! With that said, they are a guide, and you can really adjust everything to your personal taste. I hope you enjoy! continue reading

Designs by Crispin Finn

October 22, 2014

If you ever get to know me personally, it wont take long for it to come up in conversation that I love the restaurant Byron. They make the most amazing burgers in London (maybe the world?). People try to tell me about other burger joints around town, but so far none of them top Byron. Yes, it is a chain, but don’t be fooled. Each Byron has a different decor theme, and a consistent delicious freaking burger.

I’m getting side-tracked.

One of the many things I adore about them is their branding and design. They always have the best illustrations and themes on their menus and print work. I was mentioning this to a friend and she told me that the design work is mostly done by a guy named Crispin Finn. I know what you’re thinking: “That is an incredible name.” “Is he a character from a book?”

If you do yourself the service of going to Crispin’s website, you will find the gorgeous designs you see above, and many more prints. I was so excited by his work that I started typing in all caps in response to the friend who sent over the link. There’s nothing sensible I can say about his work, so I’ll just share some of the non-sense exclamations I thought when I first saw it:
“WHUT.”
“OMG”
“HE. IS. EVERYTHING.”
“I WANT ALL OF THE THINGS.”

Roughly translated, that means: I love this guy.

Scotch Quail Egg Canapés Recipe

October 20, 2014

scotch quail eggs

We had a few friends over for small get-together last night and had some fun with planning our menu. Actually, we waited until the absolute last minute to plan the menu, but when we settled on what we were serving, I was really pleased with how it came together.

Typically, I’ll cook a meal when we have a party so that everyone eats at one time and fills up (last time I made chicken and waffles, which went down well!). I thought it would be fun this time to serve canapés and give guests three different dishes to try. We made shrimp n’ grits, scotch quail eggs, and barbecue chicken wings served in adorable little ceramic dishes we picked up at Sainsburys.

You may have seen my recipe for scotch eggs with chicken eggs, but here is a slightly different version in case you’d like to serve up smaller, hors d’oeuvre-sized portions. continue reading