Thursday, December 27, 2012

My 2012 in pictures

Well we are just a few days off the end of 2012. Its been a great year, so like last year, I thought I'd share a few of my highlights, before I head off to Switzerland to see in the new year in the mountains! If you want to see more pics or read more just click on the links throughout. 

2012 was kicked off was an amazing 6 week holiday to South East Asia, visiting Vietnam and Cambodia, watching 2 friends tie the knot in Koh Samui, Thailand, and then getting engaged myself in Koh Tao! What a trip, I will never forget it!

We've been to a quite a few weddings this year! As well as our friends in Thailand, we've been to two in Northern Ireland and one in Sussex...

In May my mum threw us a little engagement party for friends and family back home. A vintage tea party theme of course!  

It really has been a year of celebrations all round! In June we had the Queens Diamond Jubilee, for which we threw another tea party for! 

 It was so lovely walking around the neighbourhood and coming across street parties and people just coming together to have a great time! 

In June we popped over to France, as we'd decided to have our wedding there, and we wanted to start a little bit of planning, and have a little bit of break too! 

So with a year until our wedding I was already in full swing planning mode! looking for inspiration, making a scrapbook, the works! 

I spent the summer scouring the markets and car boots sales for props and craft materials....

We started to practice our macaroon making skills, as we wanted to try and have as many handmade touches as possible at our wedding! It definitely takes a while to master these, but I think we've improved gradually....!

And in August, myself and my 3 bridesmaids met in Paris for a day of wedding dress shopping! I thought where else to look for my dress than in the capital of the country I'm getting married in! This is the glass ceiling in Galerie Lafayette where I tried on some dresses....

And a trip to Paris is not complete without a little bit of vintage shop rummaging and a visit to the most perfect of tea shops! 

In September I launched the new Patchwork Harmony website... after long deliberation, I decided to wind down my online shop to concentrate on 91 Magazine as well as other editorial work and I also launched a new service, offering small business advice to new creative start ups. New business cards were definitely needed! 

At the end of Sept, we returned to France for some more wedding planning, including checking out our venue (below).  And of course fitted in a few visits to brocantes - essentially wedding planning business! 

In October, my other half produced another one of his legendary birthday cakes! And we spent my birthday rummaging in Spitalfields market... perfect! 

A friend surprised me with an exciting night out! 

2012 has been a great year for 91 Magazine. I've published 4 issues and our readership has been growing steadily. I've met and worked with so many fantastic people over the last year on this project and I am really excited to see where it takes us in 2013. At the end of October I held a little get together for my contributors which was really great fun. 

In November, my fiancé and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary as a couple! We treated ourselves to a little break down in Somerset, of course when there was some bad flooding, but that didn't stop us having a lovely trip!

December brought another celebration! A very unexpected one.... I won the Women in Publishing New Venture award for 91 Magazine! Such an honour, and a fantastic way to end a very busy year. 

We rounded off the year with a quiet Christmas at home, followed by a few days in Switzerland where we'll head this weekend! 

It really has been an incredible year! So many celebrations and the anticipation of exciting times ahead! I hope you have had a fantastic year too, and I can't wait to see what 2013 has in store! 

Happy new year everyone! xxx

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A rustic, natural Christmas table

We are hosting Christmas this year at our house, and as I mentioned before, as we are saving for our wedding we wanted to create simple decorations that weren't going to cost much. I've already made a garland for the fireplace using leaves we collected in Richmond Park, so I decided to carry this natural theme through to the Christmas table. I turned to Pinterest to get a little bit of inspiration which is rife with beautiful Christmas ideas at the moment! This is the kind of look I wanted to go for... (you can see more ideas on my Christmas pinboard)
Photos via Pinterest
I loved the idea with the cinnamon sticks as not only do they look great, they also will make your room smell lovely! I ordered these extra long sticks on eBay for a couple of quid. I found a few French linen teatowels I had in a drawer and decided they'd be put to better use as napkins! So cut them in half and added a hem.  Then I went scavenging in the garden for some rosemary and bay leaves... again adding delicious foodie aromas to your decorations! Then simply bound the lot up with some twine...
I also loved the idea of adding rosemary around tealights - so  I did this in the centrepiece. I got a piece of thin wire and entwined it with the rosemary sprig and then wrapped it around the tealight holders. The little berries with the bakers twine actually came in a gift box from Kiehls! So I thought I'd reuse it, but you can get similar in any bag of Christmas pot pourri.
I whipped out the good old gold spray paint again and sprayed a few glass jars and tin cans to add a little bit of shimmer to the table, and then finally added some pine cones and dried limes which we found in the supermarket.

All pics: Patchwork Harmony

The only real expense here was the vintage French linen tablecloth which I ordered from Etsy, but even that was only about £25 including delivery from France, and is obviously something which I can use all year round. Even the flowers I picked up from the reduced section in Waitrose for just £1.49!

So there you go! Save on your table decorations and there'll be more money left for wine and mince pies! 

Merry Christmas everyone! xxx

PS... if you happen to want to pin any pics you can find them on my Flickr page!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

We've won an award!

Last night was a very exciting night. I found out last week that I had been shortlisted for the Women in Publishing New Venture award for 91 Magazine! Last night was the awards ceremony at the beautiful Women's University Club in Mayfair.  I went along with no expectations at all of winning as I don't think I've ever won anything in my life before!

In the drawing room of this beautiful building with its hand painted walls and a cosy fire burning in the corner, we excitedly listened to the awards being announced firstly for the Pandora Award, which interesting went to the CEO of Pearson, who own the FT, the newspaper I work for. Then they announced a commendation and the runner up of the New Venture award, both great women doing fab things in publishing. When I heard them say my name as the winner I literally nearly burst into tears! I was so shocked! ;) Luckily I held it together to say a few words and receive my certificate... I really was so overwhelmed and honoured to win this. 

91 Magazine has been my little baby for the last year and a half, and it is so wonderful to be awarded this from such a great organsiation that has been running since 1979.  It is also such a lovely way to finish off 2012 and really our first year of 91 Magazine. The support from the contributors, readers, advertisers and my two beautiful assistants Charlotte & Hannah, has really been amazing! I feel so proud of everything we've done as a group, and this award is not just for me, its for everyone who has put something into the magazine since it launched last year. Thank you so much everyone, and here's to an even more exciting 2013! xxx

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sian Elin designs at Mocha

You can't have missed the recent trend for geometric pattern, its everywhere on Etsy and Pinterest and its one of those trends that I think is going to carry over into 2013. I'm really loving these cushion designs from Welsh surface pattern designer Sian Elin...

I particularly love the colour palette of this first grouping of cushions, wouldn't they look lovely on a dark grey sofa?! I think my fave is the one in the middle....

The cushions are £59.99 from Mocha or from Sian's own website There also teatowels in some of the patterns too, and I am liking the look of the wallpaper on Sian's site!

Friday, December 7, 2012

'For the love of it!' Gift Guides

I'm sure you have probably perused many a gift guide so far this festive season, not least our lovely guide in the latest issue of 91 Magazine curated by Yvestown's Yvonne - so many gorgeous things! Check it out in Issue 5.

So, similar to the magazine guide,  I thought I would put together some 'interest specific' gift guides - so rather than the standard (and very useful) 'Gifts for her' and 'Gifts for him', these selections give ideas for certain hobbies or just for the love it!

NB: This guide could also be known as my own personal wish list! *nudge* *wink*!

1. Love stamps, Papermash, £12.95    2. Notebook, Brown Paper Designs, £8   3. A6 Diary, Urban Outfitters, £12   4. Tin of pencils, Liberty, £16.95   5. A4 bicycle print, Charlotte Love, £7   6. Cake bookplates, Papermash, £4.95   7. Shopping pad, The Hambledon, £8.95

1. Floral notebook, Mini Moderns, £4   2. Plate, Liberty, £32.50   3. Silk shorts, Liberty, £55   4. Pillowcases, Lulu and Nat, £26   5. Vintage Flowers book, The Hambledon, £25   6. vintage seed packet postcards, Bouf, £12   7. Vintage tins, I Heart Vintage, £30
1. Butterfly stamps, Cox and Cox, £22   2. Giant safety pin, Dee Puddy, £21   3. Homemade Home classes, Ray Stitch, £155   4. parcel string, Dotcomgiftshop, £2.95   5. Sewing kit, John Lewis, £12   6. Recycled ribbon, Ebury Home & Garden, £16.95    7. Paper and Craft book, The Hambledon, £12.99

1. 16 piece dinner set, Pedlars, £95   2. Confessions of a Design geek book, coadg, £10   3. Pink blanket, Ruby Roost, £89   4. Cushion, Mini Moderns, £45   5. Malin and Goetz lime soap, The Conran Shop, £8.50   6.Dinner plate, Donna Wilson, £27.50   7. Mug, Jonathan Adler, £26

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A thrifty Christmas Decoration DIY

If you liked the gold leaves in my recent gift wrapping post, then you will hopefully love this too! I had gathered up loads of leaves when in Richmond Park at the weekend, so I decided to make a leaf garland for the mantlepiece.  We are frantically saving for our wedding in June, so spending money on decorations this year wasn't really an option. So this is pretty much a free idea which I think looks subtle but glamourous! All you need is a can of gold spray paint, I got mine in Homebase for less than £2.

So to make: When I got my bag of leaves home I went through and picked out all the best shaped ones, discarding any that were too ripped up.  I then laid them on a baking tray and put them in the oven on a low temp for literally a couple of minutes, just to get the excess water and any dampness off them. Next, the fun bit! There is something really satisfying about spray painting stuff! And I love how it *leaves* (haha! get it!) a stenciled pattern underneath the leaf....

Leave the paint to dry for around an hour or so and then all you need to do is get a needle and thread and stitch together your leaves into a garland! simples! Mix up the sizes of the leaves and you can overlap some for a fuller look if you like. I also added in a few triangles of vintage sheet music to break it up and add interest. And thats it! get hanging! 

To continue with the gold theme, I also made a few mini paper pom poms. Again super cheap to do and look really effective - giving your room a festive but understated and classy look! 

And of course you don't have to paint your leaves gold, you can go for any color you like! So there you go! Who says Christmas has to be an expensive time of year?! xxx

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Issue 5 of 91 Magazine is now online!

So, here is it. Our last issue of 91 Magazine in 2012! And it is a bumper issue, with an extra 20+ pages! Packed full of thrifty, stylish loveliness for your home and life....

In this issue we have an alternative gift guide curated by Yvonne from Yvestown, a vintage lovers guide to York by resident Kirstin Hodgson, a beautiful feature styled by Charlotte Love and photographed by Michelle Young on how to use flowers simply but beautifully in your home. Leigh Metcalf of Found now Home shows us how to create a characterful child's bedroom using vintage and handmade items, while our featured designer Emily Burt, co-founder of Shipshape Studio shares a simple craft project for making tissue paper flowers.

Joanna Thornhill and Malcolm Menzies show us lovely ways to incorporate old vintage books into your interior, and we take a peek inside homes from California to Cape Town. You can download our exclusive desktop calendars for your computer designed by Charlotte Love, and be inspired by this issues Ladies Online when Charlotte Rivers chatted to Julia from Winters Moon.

So head on over to the website and have a read!  Be sure to check out all our lovely contributors and advertisers - without them I could not do what I do with the magazine, so thank you to each and every one for your support over the last year - you are all fantastic! 

You can follow 91 Magazine on Twitter, we also have a Pinterest board if you'd like to pin images from our issues and if you don't want to miss an issue again be sure to subscribe for updates - just email SUBSCRIBE to

Enjoy! Do let me know your thoughts & feedback! 

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