Monthly Archives: May 2012

Brownie Points: Egg & Spoon

 

I’ve been sent all kinds of twinkly bits and pretty bobs through the post, but never have I been more excited than when a certain Gold Dust Brownie from the sensational Egg and Spoon hit my mat in a chocolatey cloud last week.

Bonk.

Egg and Spoon are a boutique catering company in Sussex and specialise in creating bespoke and unique magical events; their Alice in Wonderland Picnic includes Gold Leaf Blackberry Jelly and Sea Salt and Black Pepper Lollipops. Uh huh.

For those of us who aren’t in Sussex and wish for a bit of Egg and Spoon magic, then Poppy brings good news – their infamous Gold Dust Brownies are now available to order for delivery! 

For £6.25 (postage included) you can send one of your favourite people a most exceptional, sparkling (literally) brownie of the most gooiest and deliciousist nature. I devoured mine, with the help of my friend Gemma. She can vouch for the amazingness of them too – so you can ask her if you don’t believe me.

Ding! For a few more pennies you can include a birthday candle too, so you can be saying Happy Birthday in the sweetest style from wherever you happen to be.

Ding ding! The clever folk also make gluten free brownies! Goodie.

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www.eggandspoon.net

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Great Patchwork

There’s a hole in my cardi, dear Liza, dear Liza.. not anymore there’s not.

Why? Because Clothes Plaster Queen, Jennie Maizels has created some rather exceptional patchy-uppyness which will render your favourite cosies holy no more, and make them look even more gorge than they were before. Ba Boom!

Clever Jennie has designed a multitude of prettiness in different themes ranging from The Circus to Rock n’ Roll with each plaster beautifully embroidered with delicate detail.  

They’re super duper easy to use too – these little gems can be ironed on in a jiffy, so no sewing or stitching shenanigans, just whizz bang done and you’re out the door.

Not just for kids or for hiding those minxy mishaps – they’re perfect for jazzing up any item of clothing you like. So wik wik wik, sweep away those snags, nip over to her website and treat yourself to some Maizels Magic.

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www.jenniemaizels.com

Win a pack of Birds and Rock n’ Roll Clothes Plasters!

All you have to do to win this super duper prize is one of the following, (the more you do the more chances you have.) Please leave me a comment below for each step you complete:

1. Sign up to my mailing list (Completion of this step is compulsory to be entered – please look out for the confirmation email in your inbox, otherwise you won’t be registered!)
2. Leave me a comment below 

5. Become my friend on Google Friend Connect (you’ll find this on the left column of my blog)

Competition ends next Monday 28th May – good luck!

Poppy’s important terms and conditions:
Entrants not meeting the above requirements will be deemed invalid and therefore not included in the draw. Signing up to my mailing list is compulsory and all the other steps are optional and are additional chances to win, however they will be deemed invalid if the entrant has not completed the compulsory step of signing up to my mailing list. Entrants are to leave a separate comment below for each step they complete. The competition will run from 7am on Monday 21st May 2012, through to midnight Monday 28th May 2102. I will contact the winner within a week of the competition ending. If the winner doesn’t respond or accept the prize within 2 weeks of notification I reserve the right to draw a new winner. Competition is open internationally.






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Rule Britannia!

Westminster Abbey III – Sara J Beazley

Oh Jubilation! I can can can NOT WAIT for the Jubilee weekend. It’s going to be pomp and romp and cottontails and cupcakes galore in reds whites and blues all over this fair town. Hip pip hurruh! I am a complete sucker for all things flag waving, promenading and Queenie… call me soppy. Soppy Poppy.

Happily, I am not the only one getting into the swell and spirit of things and there is one doll in particular, who is rocking my Right Royal World.

May I introduce the rather amazing Sara J Beazley – a London-based print maker who is oh so super talented that her work is known around the big wide world. Clever lady.

Big Ben II – Sara J Beazley

She mixes up old and new, prints and patterns, architectural drawings and vintage motifs and gets busy in her studio employing all kinds of traditional printing techniques, such as drypoint, etching and silkscreen printing. Ooooo.  

Gherkin IV – Sara J Beazley

All of these elements mean she has carved her own twinkly path in the design world and her works are always original, contemporary and pretty darn gorgeous too, which is why it’s no surprise she’s collaborated with the likes of Selfridges, Liberty of London and Shanghai Tang, to name but a fewsies.

London Eye III – Sara J Beazley

As you may know, this Summer, London is taking centre stage in a small sporting event we like to call The Olympics…and of course, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (Hooray! Land of Hope and Glory la la la laaaa) and to celebrate, the lovely Sara has created a collection of new works in her special signature style, drawing inspiration from her hometown’s iconic landmarks. I told you she was clever.

Buckingham Palace III – Sara J Beazley

A selection of these works are currently being exhibited at jaggedart in London until 16 June 2012 and if you’re quick you can snap one up for £325 unframed or £450 framed (yep – not cheapies).

Trafalgar Square IV – Sara J Beazley

Alternatively you can enter my ridiculously marvellous competition here and WIN one for yourself! *Faints* 

Each piece is part of a small series, with only 3 prints of each landmark. They all vary in composition and colour so no two are the same. They are etching and silkscreen hand printed by Sara’s very own hands on beautiful Somerset paper. They measure 51 x 70cm unframed, (the prize is unframed) and you can pick from any of the ones you see in this post… it’s too good.

Buckingham Palace V

All you have to do to win one of these amazing prints (worth £325!) is one of the following, (the more you do the more chances you have.) Please leave me a comment below for each step you complete:

1. Sign up to my mailing list (Completion of this step is compulsory to be entered – please look out for the confirmation email in your inbox, otherwise you won’t be registered!)
2. Leave me a comment below 
5. LIKE Sara J Beazley’s Facebook page

6. Become my friend on Google Friend Connect (you’ll find this on the left column of my blog)

Competition ends Monday, 28th May 2012 – good luck!

 

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www.sarajbeazley.com

Poppy’s important terms and conditions:
Entrants not meeting the above requirements will be deemed invalid and therefore not included in the draw. Signing up to my mailing list is compulsory and all the other steps are optional and are additional chances to win, however they will be deemed invalid if the entrant has not completed the compulsory step of signing up to my mailing list. Email addresses added to the mailing list during the period of the competition will be shared with Sara J Beazley and added to her mailing list as well. Entrants are to leave a separate comment below for each step they complete. The competition will run from 7am on Friday 18th May 2012, through to midnight Monday 28th May 2102. I will contact the winner within a week of the competition ending. If the winner doesn’t respond or accept the prize within 2 weeks of notification I reserve the right to draw a new winner. Competition is open internationally.

 

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Milk it

“Fancy a hot chocolate?” Says I (Poppy) to my brother, who was sat in my kitchen today being very cool, (he’s so much cooler than me) and bashing on his laptop. He was also saying all kinds of rude words that sound marvellous when he says them, stupid when I say them, but make me feel like I now need to wash my tablecloth in something that smells of meadows. (Cath Kidston doesn’t do swearing).

“Why yes I do” says he. So up Poppy leapt and flung open the cupboard door. (I’m not sure why I’m still in the 3rd person but not sure how to stop it).

As you know I got back from The Other Side Of The World a few weeks ago but haven’t yet managed to to The Big Shop where you get all the important things that your mum has in her cupboard when you go home. Like Dijon Mustard. Sadly, hot chocolate fell into this category today and Cadbury’s Cocoa circa 2010 wasn’t going to cut it. Favourite mug or not.

Mug from Anthropologie

We had a go with some funny low calorie thing, (to which we added enormous amounts of sugar) and it was, predictably, upsetting.

Hot chocolate is something very special. It’s warming and cosy and comforting and at the end of a rubbish day it’s the bees knees, so it needs to be the real deal… which is why I’m sharing a secret with you. (It’s not really a secret, but I haven’t told anyone before).

Here is Jamie Oliver’s Epic Hot Chocolate recipe, which I can confirm is the mostest epickest (?) bestest everest hot chocolate. I’m going shopping tomorrow. Oh yes I am.

What you need:

2 pints semi skimmed milk
2 tbsp Horlicks (I know! Crazy Jamie)
2 tbsp cornflour (weren’t expecting that, were you?)
3 tbsp icing sugar (stick with it, I promise it’s really really good.
4 tbsp organic cocoa
100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) finely grated
pinch ground cinnamon
pinch salt

What you do:

1. Pour the milk into a pan and bring almost to the boil
2. Put all the other ingredients into a large jar/tuppaware and give it a good shake to combine everything – you’ll need about 10 heaped tablespoons of the mix for this amount of milk.
3. Spoon the chocolate mix into the hot milk, give it a good whisk and leave to bubble away for a few mins before serving – you’re looking for that gorgeous, thick, knockout texture.
4. Call Poppy and she’ll be over in a flash. With marshmallows.

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Tea Time

Pic from http://inquisitiveg.tumblr.com

This isn’t me, it’s Keira Knightley. Although the likeness is uncanny. (That is a lie. See if you can spot the next one). She is wearing a dress I have been lusting after ever since I saw it, designed by the rather clever Orla Kiely. Who learnt everything she knows from me. (There it is.)

Prints and patterns and colours that make my heart zing – Orla Kiely has been getting it right in Poppyville since forever, so I am tickled pink to be attending a tea party (Squeal! A TEA PARTY!) at Coggles this Sunday 13th May. There will be cake, (CAKE!) tea, (obviously) Prosecco and nostalgic 1940’s gramophone hits tinkling away…

Orla Kiely’s Spring Summer 2012 collection has been designed to capture the romance and allure of those old Summer holibubs snaps from the 40s and 50s, inspired by the trail blazing American designer Claire McCardell (you can thank her for ballet slippers, trouser pockets and pleats!) and stunning vintage Vogue pattern books.

With 20% off her SS12 collection and an exciting exclusive pressie if you buy anything, I really can’t see why you’d want to be anywhere else.

Nope – I just thought about it again and I can’t think of anything better.

Make sure you click to reserve your place here though – there’ll only be so much cake to go around and you won’t want to miss it. 

See you there, ladybugs.

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www.orlakiely.com

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Word Up

I grew up with poetry. I spent many a childhood bedtime reading along with mum and I can still recite ‘The King’s Breakfast’ by A A Milne from start to finish. (Although she’s always done the voices better than me).

Poetry can pop up when you least expect it. I’ve been loving Poems on the Underground recently – spying the words between strangers’ heads and taking it all in…word by word.

This is one of my most favourite poems ever. It really struck a chord with me as I don’t tend to take the obvious path (friends are smacking their foreheads in despair at this very moment) so it was a special day when I found this gem sparkle back at me from the pages of an Oxfam bargain.

I’m sharing.

‘The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost 

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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What a sweetie

Rose lychee marshmallows

You may think you knew what a marshmallow was, (I did) but look what I found! 

Clever Maggie and her husband David are the brains behind Zukr Boutique, a sweet sugary miracle based in lovely Edinburgh, (I do like Edinburgh) where they busy themselves whipping up ridiculously delicious treats that not only taste divine, but look like this:

Combining David’s skills as a pastry chef (clever clogs) and Maggie’s love of crafting and nattering to all their customers, Zukr Boutique have nailed the art of beautiful, delicious confectionary AND making people happy… in fact, if I think about it that may be all I ever require.

Organic walnut brownies

Their signature marshmallows are packed with intoxicating flavours such as Passionfruit, ‘Apricot and Saffron’ and ‘Rose and Lychee’ and these along with the rest of their yummies are all lovingly hand-made, then wrapped, packed and pinged off as a gift to someone special.

I’m thinking me.

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www.zukrboutique.com

 

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Going to The Chapel

Pic by Andrew Firth

I do like a freebie. A pretty nail varnish in a magazine, or a massive Galaxy bar when you buy Grazia in WH Smith in Euston Station**… but FREE music in one of the most beautiful venues in London? Now that is something else altogether.

The completely gorgeous Union Chapel has opened its brilliant doors at noon to offer you the chance to hear some of the best contemporary, acoustic, folky and even classical tunes this fair city has to offer. All for free. FREE. I shall say it again. Free.

Daylight Music is a rocking notion, produced by Arctic Circle, who not only see the value of bringing top music to a shiny new bunch of people, (that’s you again) but recognise the need to have fresh and exciting platforms for up and coming artists to showcase their stuff. By stuff I mean ditties. 

There’s no standing around waiting for narky musicians to grace us with their presence, or being fobbed off with flat beer and soggy crisps. Nope. The music kicks off pronto and you can grab yourself a warming mug of tea and a scrummy cake from the Margins Union Cafe to nibble as you settle back at your FREE lunchtime concert. Lovely. What’s more, all the profits from the cafe go straight to the Margins Homelessness Project, so do spend your pennies – you’ll be doing a swell thing.

Folk like the The Leisure Society and Laura Marling have made a bit of a name for themselves here, so get your skates on and whizz on over…you never know who you might spot.

Did I mention it was free?

**This occurred once and it was one of the most exciting things that has ever happened to me. In a train station. I have no idea if this will ever occur again, or if I was the only one but I am writing this so I don’t get in trouble. 

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Daylight Music at Union Chapel
Compton Avenue, London, N1 2XD
Saturdays 12pm – 2pm
Free (See? FREE)

Schedule:

May
5th The Lowland Hundred, Olivia Chaney & Domingo Candelario
12th Geek Night Out: Cherry White, Tricity Vogue & Vikki Stone
19th Stephanie O’Brien, Sweet Lights & tbc
26th Idiot Son, Samson & Delilah & Emma Gatrill


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Paper Cut

Snip snip snippety snip! 

Whooosh she’s one clever lady that Miss Julene Harrison. She’s like a Kung Fu master, but with paper. And without Kung Fu.

And what a fairytale too – after being made redundant, lovely Miss Julene did not reach for the vodka, but instead reached for the scissors (I’d have pegged it had I been in the room) and merrily started creating gorgeous and rather special paper-cuts as gifts for her lucky chums.

One year later she was receiving commissions for her quirky and charming designs… and now she has a snazzy website and makes paper-cuts and laser-cuts for lovely folk all over the big wide world! Cor.

Her work is usually text based, but she can turn her nimble fingers to anything portraity or illustrationy.. and has done so not only for commoners like you and I, but also for the likes of The Telegraph, Nivea and Net-A-Porter…. Oooo. 

Just LOOK at what she creates. How how how? 

I have no idea. 

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www.madebyjulene.com


Win your very own Julene Harrison laser-cut!

Ahh oui oui bon bon and ooh la la. “Qu’ils Mangment de la Brioche!” Or, as we might say, “Let them eat cake!” This famous phrase from 18th century Paris could be hanging in your very own château. (Housey). 

All you have to do to win this masterpiece (worth $80!) is one of the following, (the more you do the more chances you have.) Please leave me a comment below for each step you complete:

 
1. Sign up to my mailing list (Completion of this step is compulsory to be entered – please look out for the confirmation email in your inbox, otherwise you won’t be registered!)
2. Leave me a comment below 
4. Follow Julene on Twitter
5. LIKE my Facebook page

6. Become my friend on Google Friend Connect (you’ll find this on the left column of my blog)

This competition ends 10th May – good luck!


Poppy’s important stuff:
T&C – Entrants not meeting the above requirements will be deemed invalid and therefore not included in the draw. Signing up to my mailing list is compulsory and all the other steps are optional and are additional chances to win, however they will be deemed invalid if the entrant has not completed the compulsory step of signing up to my mailing list. Entrants are to leave a separate comment below for each step they complete. The competition will run from 7am on Thursday 3rd May 2012, through to midnight Thursday 10th May 2102. I will contact the winner within a week of the competition ending. If the winner doesn’t respond or accept the prize within 2 weeks of notification I reserve the right to draw a new winner.




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Mixed signals

 

“I like you.”

If I have something important to say, I try as often as I can to say it.

Not Text it.
Not Tweet it. 
Not Bookface it. 
Or Ping Pong Email it.

Let’s be courageous. 

Pick up the phone.

(Dare you.)

 

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