Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Florentine Inspiration

Anyone who has visited Italy will probably recognise some of these beautiful traditionally- inspired designs from the stationary sets that can be bought as souvenirs in the gift shops. In my Etsy store - The Paper Tree - you can choose from a range of these gorgeous papers in large 50 x 70cm sheets to use as gift wrapping, but also in a wide range of crafts such as bookbinding, box making, origami, decoupage, scrapbooking - and many more!

The paper is lovely quality, weighing approx 80gsm, so is strong but still flexible enough to use in your craft projects. I also sell them in handy 6" x 6" sample packs so you can try a selection of your choice without buying a whole sheet. Perfect too for smaller projects such as card making and collage!

As well as traditional patterns there are also some more contemporary designs such as this stunning peacock feather paper, which is highlighted with soft gold as many of these gorgeous papers are. It also happens to be my best seller!

Keep updated on new additions on the Facebook page  :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Harissa Chicken & Roasted Vegetables

I cooked this quick and easy chicken dish up for our midweek supper - I love throwing things together from what's in the fridge, and this really worked! Very simple and tasty :)

Here's what I used:

4 chicken fillets/pieces
1 green bell pepper, chopped into chunks
A handful of cherry or chopped fresh tomatoes
Regular and sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
Harissa paste
Olive oil
Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper to taste

I pre-cooked the sweet potato in some boiling water for 4-5 mins to soften a little first before roasting, and also pan-fried the chicken pieces that had been smeared with harissa paste for a couple of minutes on each side to brown. Just pop it all into a roasting tin with some olive oil and cook for about 20-25 mins at 180C, or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are soft. Yum! :-P

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tackling the Jungle

I booked some time off work recently and was lucky enough to get some sunshine to go with it! I've been making some big alterations in the garden and house, so it's been perfect for getting outside and topping up the Vitamin D ;-)

 I've had a lovely buddleia in my garden for some years now, and have let it grow from what should have been a large shrub into a huge tree due to not pruning it back hard enough. I decided to cut it right back this year to hopefully rejuvenate it - these are some of the branches waiting to be cleared away! You can see the trees on the right hand side were getting pushed away and mis-shapen so it will give them some much needed space too :)

This white potentilla was planted in front of the buddleia and has never really done much - but already the difference is amazing, it's really starting to thrive!

And after all that hard work? Homemade tzatziki and bbq kebabs... ;-)

Monday, April 15, 2013

New Beginnings

I'm back! :D

Well... there have been a lot of changes round here over the last couple of years. Major personal upheaval for one, time is a great healer as they say! I am still making jewellery, commissions only at the moment but that may change soon :) And as usual I have managed to pick up a few more interests along the way... I've decided not to fight this compulsion any more and just go with it - I'm obviously not meant to just stick to one thing. Variety is the spice of life!

So firstly, another shop on Etsy! This time selling beautiful decorative paper. I have Japanese chiyogami and Italian at the moment - a lovely selection and hopefully more to come soon. So many uses - from book covers and boxes, scrapbooking, card making, origami, decoupage, or just wrap with it! Lots more ideas, and I'm hoping to show some here too from time to time as I have one or two projects of my own on the go ;-) Visit the Paper Tree to see more gorgeous paper!

Sitting Pretty is still going strong too - I have lots of vintage postcards and photographs waiting to be listed, but even so the shop is pretty well stocked, so if you love vintage do go and have a browse!

I'm enjoying a few days off at home at the moment, so looking forward to catching up with a few projects this week, as well as enjoying some welcome spring sunshine here in the UK - it makes a change from snow!! I had my first bbq of the year this weekend with some friends, looking forward to lots more! 


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