This Old Thing – Vintage Patterns

this-old-thingIf you’ve been watching Channel 4 recently then chances are that you caught a bit of Dawn O’Porter’s new show ‘This Old Thing’. In it Dawn tries to convince vintaphobes (my new word, do you like it?) to swap their brand new mass produced clothing for the unique wonders of vintage. She’s mostly successful and is certainly introducing a whole new group to second-hand (excuse me vintage) clothing.dawnoporter_2954682b

As for myself I’ve always had a bit of a love hate relationship with ‘vintage’. I love historical fashions (I’d be dressed in a bonnet everyday if I could!) and I love being unique so vintage definitely appeals. However I don’t always love vintage stores, I’ve visited several which were cramped, badly lit, musty smelling and generally uninviting. However all of that would be nothing if I bagged a real vintage treasure, unfortunately many are now overpriced and underwhelming and their idea of good quality clearly differs from my own.

On the flip side when vintage is done well, enticing stores with bright colours and enthusiastic staff, it can be incredibly exciting. Only the other day I was bouncing about my house with glee having found a 1970s Clothkits dress in perfect condition and it cost me the princely sum of £8!

However I have an unwavering passion for vintage patterns! With them I can create wonders from the past with my own two hands, I could even use vintage fabric if I wish. The end result is just as unique, and even better, I can tailor things to my own choice and size. I could even make them again!

patternRecent acquisitions include a wonderful collection of knitting patterns. I can actually remember many of these sitting about the houses of my relatives. The best creation by far though is a wonderful Teddy pattern that my Granny knitted for my brother when he was a baby.snidneys2

The Teddy was named Sidney and was dearly loved. Unfortunately my brother (being a baby and all) had the audacity to throw up on him and thanks to a trip in the washing machine he stretched and never looked the same. Despite this Sidney became something of a phenomenon in my little village and before we knew it Sidneys (all named after the original) were popping up everywhere, knitted loosely to resemble our stretched one. Of course what none of those knitting Mommas knew was that Sidney was named by my Father after Sid Snot who was one of Kenny Everett’s many characters!snidneys2-crop

I picked up my needles recently and knitted my bro a brand new bear. However what I hadn’t expected was the size difference between the new bear and the original, it goes to show what a washing machine can do to hand knitting. If it hadn’t been for this gorgeous vintage pattern Sidney would have spent the rest of his days alone but now he has a significantly smaller brother to keep him company.

So I guess Dawn is right, there’s still life in This Old Thing. :)

 

Easy Blackberry Pie Recipe

blackberry pieThis year our Blackberry bush has decided to produce fruit rather early and my children picked a bumper crop over the weekend. As much as I love a good pudding the weather was so hot and muggy that baking didn’t feel very appealing, so we needed a super quick and easy recipe to use up the berries. Therefore in today’s blog I’m going to share the most quick and easy blackberry pie recipe that I know!

What You’ll Need

1 block of shop bought Puff Pastry (I keep some in the freezer for just this kind of occasion)

550g Fresh Blackberries

125g Soft brown sugar

 

Preheat your oven to 180C/ 350F/ Gas Mark 4

IMG_9871Start by preparing your Blackberries. If they are shop bought then they will just need a quick wash, however hand picked garden berries need to be soaked in cold water for awhile to make sure any resident bugs etc. float up to the surface. After removing any bugs give your berries a final rinse under the tap.

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Next you need to roll out the pastry. Dust your worktop with plain flour and roll out thinly. It needs to cover the bottom and sides of your pie dish, but as it’s puff pastry don’t worry about a fold here or there, you wont notice it once baked.

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Cut any excess from the sides.

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In a large bowl mix together the brown sugar and blackberries. Tip the berries into the bottom of the lined pie dish.

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Using the remaining pastry roll out a top for your pie and lay across the dish, pushing the edges together with your fingers to seal. Cut a couple of steam holes into the centre of your pie.

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Bake in the oven for approximately 25 minutes or until golden and risen.

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Eat warm with oodles of custard and/or cream and ice cream.

Tip. This pie is full of juice, if you would rather have a firmer filling then the berries will need to be precooked or a little thickening added (such as cornflour).

 

 

George at Asda bedding review

beddingShopping online to organise a grocery delivery has become relatively commonplace, the ease and convenience mean it’s an option preferred by many. But, had you ever thought of visiting your favourite supermarket online to shop for home wares? Asda has launched a brand new George at Home range which allows quick and easy delivery of items from bedding to furniture, all ordered from the comfort of your own home. This gives you the convenience of internet shopping with the added value of a supermarket brand. However not all items are created equal and today I’m sharing my George at Asda bedding review.logo_george

I’ve always been an advocate of good quality bedding. It’s estimated that we spend around a third of our entire lives in bed, so comfort and relaxation have to be of paramount importance. Therefore a value range of bedding at first seems to fly in the face of such a belief and I was respectfully sceptical that George’s reasonably priced bedding couldn’t ever compete with their more expensive counterparts.

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George Home Potting Shed Birds Duvet Set in Single - £10

I absolutely adore the style of this duvet set, the print is gorgeous and the colour perfect. I prewashed it then placed it onto my daughters bed who was in love the moment she saw it!

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George Home Lemongrass Fitted Sheet in Single - £5

I teamed the potting shed birds set with this single sheet, they look fabulous together! I was also very impressed by the depth of this fitted sheet, sheets pinging off the mattress are the bane of my life but this sheet has a really good depth to it.

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George Home Vintage Patchwork Throw - £20

Bed throws can be notoriously expensive but this throw is a beautiful design for an extremely good price.

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George Home London Tube Map Duvet Set in King Size - £18

I loved the design of this duvet set, it’s funky and fresh and looks decidedly more expensive than its selling price.

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George Home Parisian Postcard Duvet Set in King Size

This set is definitely my kind of style, the wonderful quirky postcard design and feminine colours scream relaxation and sleep.

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Washing

All three sets and sheet washed amazing well. After their second wash the postcard set did feel a little rougher to the touch but this seemed to dissipate after it had been slept on for a night. All the colours have stayed vibrant and no runs have occurred. All in all I am thoroughly impressed.

Comfort

Again all three duvet sets and the sheet performed equally and everyone who has slept upon these beds has slept soundly and comfortably. There has been no compromise in comfort. As mentioned in the washing section the postcard set did feel a little rougher after the second wash but this settled within a night.

Value

The value of these sets, considering their washing and comfort credentials is amazing! I will definitely be buying more sets from George at Asda as and when I need them. They are also proving incredibly popular as several sets already appear to be sold out.

Would I recommend the bedding ranges at George at Asda?

I have and I will. I’m already planning on buying several more bits for myself which I think says it all really. The quality and value is amazing.

Details

To view the full range of bedding available online click here.