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We’re moving! Come with us and test our brand new blog

16 Apr

Decorator's Notebook new blog screen grab

It’s been a bit quiet around here recently because we’ve been hard at work on a beautiful redesign of the Decorator’s Notebook blog. It’s taken a bit longer than we’d hoped (apparently this is the biggest blog our hosting team have ever had to migrate… oops!) but we’re so pleased to unveil our new design and invite you to our new blogging home…

blog.decoratorsnotebook.co.uk

We hope you’ll like the clean new layout, bigger pin-ready pictures and useful new features, like the ‘Make and Do’ menu which makes it easier to find a craft project or recipe to try, or an inspiring home tour to explore…

Decorator's Notebook blog make and do screen grab

We’re not setting the new blog design in stone yet though… making sure that you like the changes we’ve made is really important to us so we’d love to hear your feedback (good and bad).

  • Do you like the new features?
  • Is there something we’ve removed that you miss?
  • Have you seen something cool elsewhere we should add?
  • Can you spot anything that doesn’t work?

Please leave a comment or get in touch on Twitter to tell us what you think.

In a couple of days visitors to this web address will be automatically redirected to the new blog, and if you follow us and receive new post updates via email we’ll transfer your subscription over.

If you follow via the WordPress.com reader you’ll need to update your RSS settings or add blog.decoratorsnotebook.co.uk to a different reader, like Feedly or Bloglovin.

Please be sure to update your settings so you don’t miss out… Decorator’s Notebook is about to get bigger and better than ever before and we can’t wait to start this new journey with you!

#Blognic the movie?!

6 Jun

Ahhh, what a day! The sun shone, the bloggers came, the garden was beautiful and the food was plentiful. I had such a lovely time chatting to friends old and new… thanks to everyone who came and especially my co-organisers Ellie and Lynne.

Here’s a few of the beautiful photos taken on the day…

blognic 2013 london

blognic bloggers picnic 2013

st johns lodge gardens regents park{above Decorator’s Notebook}

cakes at blognic 2013

blognic design bloggers picnic 2013{above Soumya from Made By Molu}

blognic design bloggers picnic 2013

sea salt cookies blogger picnic 2013

design blogger picnic blognic london

papermash striped straws blognic {above by Clare from The Digital Iris}

blognic bloggers picnic{above Michelle from MYCreative}

bloggers at blognic 2013{above Decorator’s Notebook}

Michelle even made this sweet little Blognic video. Let’s hope the sunshine is kind to us next year for the sequel!

NEW: photographic deliciousness from Good Company magazine

1 Apr

This such an interesting time to be working in magazines, as print and digital publications rise, fall and battle for supremacy. I think it’s too early to say how it’s going to end, but there’s no doubt that there have been some online launches recently that are every bit as inspirational as print mags. Good Company is the latest and serves up visually delectable food content centred around three core themes: people, tools and ingredients.

vintage plates Good Company magazine

vintage kitchenalia Good Company magazine

chalkboard kitchen tools

vintage style restaurant design Good Company magazine

root vegetables

{all Good Company}

As well as mouthwatering recipes, interesting interviews and gorgeous pictures, I love how Good Company is designed too. Rather than dressing up the pages with whizzy embedded videos and clickable everything, there’s a cheeky nod to paper with watercolour patterned pages and photographed book pages to separate each section. I like that.

Read Good Company online here.

My new favourite blog: Coffeeklatch

18 Feb

I stumbled across this blog beauty quite by accident and it’s immediately become a firm favourite. Think Freunde von Freunden meets the Brooklyn Makers Project, then transport to Belgium, and you’re just about appreciating the creative loveliness that is Coffeeklatch.

Coffeeklatch blog coffee pot on metal tray

red room with house plants Belgium

creative artists apartment in Antwerp

green kitchen tiles

vintage typewriter

room with red painted walls{Bart Kiggen / Coffeeklatch}

I wouldn’t have necessarily had Belgium down as a creative hub (mainly out of ignorance) but a few minutes spent exploring its homes, studios and workspaces and I soon realised I’ve been missing out on a whole country’s worth of design talent. This place in Antwerp belongs to artist Kati Heck – head over to Coffeeklatch right this second for loads more tours and interviews.*

*If you’re like me and haven’t yet joined the tech buffs using Chrome, you can paste the URL into Google Translate for a translation of the whole website.

Possibly the best mug ever

10 Dec

I love Toot as in Foot. Not only does it have one of the best blog names ever, author Jo always makes me laugh with her quirky tales and apparently fathomless vintage knowledge. If you’ve never seen a human jumble sale or you don’t yet know the weird and wonderful tale of Resusci Annie, you need to add this blog to your reading list.

homemade pottery mugs Toot as in Foot{Jo Waterhouse / Toot as in Foot}

I also think that Jo shares my compulsion to have a stab at new crafts… while I’ve been trying out screenprinting, she’s been playing around on the potters wheel. These wonderfully wobbly mugs are the fruits of her endeavours and they’re all so lovely I hope she won’t mind me sharing them. The one on the bottom right is captioned ‘possibly the worst mug ever’… and it’s absolutely my favourite.

Have you mastered any new skills during 2012 and what would you like to try in 2013?

French beauty: le dans la

25 Jul

The most beautiful photographs. The most beautiful home. The most beautiful blog.

le dans la

Sometimes you don’t need to know anything else – simply browse, follow and add it to your blogroll.

{all le dans la}

Le dans la is written in French but don’t let that put you off – this is a blog where pictures definitely speak louder than words. If this tiny snippet has whetted your appetite, there’s a whole blog full of beauty waiting for you here. I hope you like it!

Food Week: Cannelle et Vanille

29 Jun

Cannelle et Vanille is the food blog that introduced me to food blogs. I’ve been reading it for years, long before I started Decorator’s Notebook. However, I have to confess to hesitating before including it on the Food Week menu and I’m not really proud of the reason.

I was worried it would seem a bit obvious to include such a big, polished and successful blog in my list when what makes Decorator’s Notebook a bit different (I like to think) is the fact I try to hunt out things you hopefully haven’t seen a million other places before. I have to admit that I feel a bit skeptical when every ‘top 10′ of interiors blogs seems to include Decor8 and Design*Sponge. Both were instrumental in my desire to become a blogger in the first place and their success is awe inspiring, but their automatic inclusion makes me wonder whether the writer spent that long on their research.

Anyway, you’ll see that I got over my worries and have quite rightly dedicated the final installment to Cannelle et Vanille regardless. The reason being that when it comes to food blogging and photography, Aran Goyoaga ‘s blog is popular because everything she does is simply top class. Nobody brings out the natural beauty, freshness and colour of food quite like her.

What’s also remarkable is that while Cannelle etVanille is hugely popular it’s really a niche blog… Aran is gluten intolerant and so every recipe she shares is gluten free. I must confess that I assumed food with something ‘missing’ could never be quite as appetising, but looking through Aran’s photos makes me realise I must be wrong. Everything she makes looks utterly delicious, natural and healthy.

{all Aran Goyoaga / Cannelle et Vanille}

Another bonus is that Aran grew up in the beautiful Basque Country in Northern Spain (the region often features in her posts) so her recipes include metric quantities as well as American ones… so for those of us who don’t have a clue what a stick of butter looks like, we can still have a go at recreating her dishes!

So, what have you made of Food Week? Whether you’re into cooking or not, I hope you’ve enjoyed admiring the beautiful photography and discovered one or two blogs you might not have known before?

Have a lovely weekend and see you next week when the stage will be handed back to interiors and decorating once again. I’ve had a painter/decorator working at Le Flat all week so with luck I’ll have my own mini makeover to share with you. Watch this space…

Food Week: Fig & Fauna

28 Jun

A little-known fact for you…

My very first career ambition was to be a farmer’s wife.

My four year old self based this decision on one thing and one thing only: that this would give me the chance to hand-milk a cow. At 28, I’ve still never had the chance to milk a cow but I still quite fancy it, provided that marrying a farmer doesn’t have to be part of the package.

I suspect this slightly odd part of my history explains why I love Fig & Fauna so much.

In 2011 Megan and Michael Martin sold their home in the suburbs and bought a 3.5 acre smallholding in South Florida where they could pursue their dream of growing, cooking and selling natural produce. On new year’s day 2012 they started Fig & Fauna to record everyday life on the farm and share their favourite recipes.

The magic of Fig & Fauna is that it’s as much about the growing, harvesting and gathering of the ingredients as what’s done with them. We always had chickens, ducks and sometimes geese when I was growing up and I don’t think you ever get over the little flutter of excitement you get when opening the nesting boxes and finding a still warm egg inside.

As you’d expect, all of the recipes you’ll find here are seasonal, wholesome and sound absolutely delicious. I’d love to try this carrot marmalade and this strawberry and honey galette looks to die for. I’m also still stockpiling polenta recipes (I hosted a The Help themed book group recently and have lots leftover from baking cornbread muffins) so tomato and polenta pie could be on the cards too, although bought tomatoes are never a patch on homegrown.

{all Fig & Fauna / Rose Estelle Martin}

I strongly suggest you pull on your wellies, grab a basket and go and explore Fig & Fauna here… there are also some lovely photos Aran from Cannelle et Vanille took when she visited here!

Food Week: Simply Breakfast

27 Jun

So, breakfast.

The most important meal of the day or an unwelcome intrusion on your beauty sleep?

I have a mixed relationship with breakfast… during the week I’m the latter, at weekends the former. But whatever mood I’m in, I love an overhead photograph of it. Fortunate, considering that’s pretty much all you’ll find at Simply Breakfast.

Blogger Jennifer Causey is a professional lifestyle photographer, but shoots her morning meal each day for fun. Almost always overhead, always beautifully styled and always something 100% more exciting than my weekday Weetabix.

There’s something so pleasing to me about the concept of this blog and Jen’s beautifully understated photographs and minimal wordiness. You’ll find the odd recipe, snippet of insight and some really fascinating lists under the tabs at the top of the page (New York, gear, cookbooks…) but for the most part the pictures are left to speak quietly for themselves.

{all Jennifer Causey / Simply Breakfast}

One final thing… I often have trouble convincing others that crumble is the ultimate breakfast food so was delighted to find an ally in Jennifer. Trust me, dollop on Greek yogurt and try it. You’ll never look back.

Food Week: Sprinkle Bakes

26 Jun

I discovered Sprinkle Bakes via Tori of Wellies & Vogue. Or rather, her Mum who made this show-stopping jewel cake. Today’s food blog could hardly be more different from yesterday’s… while What Katie Ate is all about good, honest recipes photographed in a sophisticated way, at Sprinkle Bakes novelty, experimentation and food colouring is king.

I suspect that baker and blogger Heather Baird might’ve been told not to play with her food as a child and Sprinkle Bakes is a most glorious rebellion. Need a recipe for Flaming Baked Alaska? Peanut and Honey Pupcakes (cupcakes for puppies, obv)? Christmas Candy Coal? You’ve come to the right place!

Heather must spend hours preparing and decorating every single one of her recipes – the strap line to her cookbook is “dessert recipes to inspire your inner artist” and everything is created like a miniature masterpiece. If Willy Wonka was a baker rather than a chocolate maker, I think his factory would look a little something like this… a candy coloured world of pure imagination!

{all Heather Baird / Sprinkle Bakes}

Will I ever make any of these treats? I very much doubt it – I have neither the skill nor the patience – but I absolutely love browsing Sprinkle Bakes just to soak up all the dazzling ideas.

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