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Category: Christmas (Page 1 of 3)

Winter Wonderland

This Christmas I have had the most fun creating a Winter Wonderland for my nearest and dearest.

And here the story begins….

As we approached the log cabin snow was falling onto the pine trees, filling the air with anticipation.

Garlands of fairy lights illuminated the entrance whilst lanterns hanging from the wooden beams provided a warm glow.

Sheepskin rugs strewn over wicker chairs and cushions piled high on wooden trunks beckoned us into this magical setting.

Here we feasted on tasty aprés-ski delights starting with baked Camembert served with crunchy green apples, carrot, celery and crusty ciabatta. This was followed by a warm chocolate dipping fondue accompanied by fluffy marshmallows, juicy red strawberries, stiff white meringue peaks, and home baked cookies. Lastly, my own toffee vodka ice-cream was consumed with rich mince pies.

Bellies full, we raised a glass to the season, and relaxed into this resplendent moment pleased with ourselves for creating a very memorable evening.

Its Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas…

My decorative theme this year is very much about bringing the outside in…

Ornamental birds, stags, polar bears, and hares adorn the surfaces, whilst leaves, twigs, and flowers are found on the curtains, tablecloths, and cushions.

The colours of the golden beech tree’s leaves are replicated in the porch with the installation of these Neptune pillar candles. Alongside an oil based Huxley Reed Diffusor emits a subtle blend of landscape scent from a gorgeous matte brown glass bottle. The simple handmade willow wreath was my first attempt at this particular craft.

This natural theme extends into the entrance hall. Here I have used this stunning brown/cream Indigo & Rose throw and cushion to dress my John Sankey slipper chair. The orange rug from Ikea and lampshade from RHS Wisley add a cheerful glow to this otherwise subdued scheme.

On the window cill in the background an Ikea glass vase is filled to the brim with a combination of green, yellow, and orange painted baubles and a wooden star wreath. A choir of angels play their version of “Santa Clause Is Coming To Town” when the music box on which they stand is wound up.

Leading from the hall are the lounge and the dining room. The colours in each are quite different although both rooms are south facing so both enjoy the benefit of the low winter sunshine when it chooses to appear.

In the lounge I have chosen a frosty white colour scheme with highlights of forest green and gold. The handmade paper pinwheels, interspersed with a ski-holiday themed paper chain, set the scene. Fastened to the beams above the fireplace their shapes reflect in the two above-mantle mirrors.

The dining room is dressed with red patterned fabrics in the form of a table cloth, runner, and curtains. The Christmas tree is covered with a mix of gold decorations, white berries, and fir cones (both real and faux).

Red Amaryllis bulbs planted in glass storm lanterns are beginning to shoot out and will hopefully be in flower over the next week or so.

Gold, white, and silver painted fir cones add decoration to glass domes and dishes placed on shelves in the dining room.

Faux stems of Eucalyptus and silver painted berries sit happily side-by-side in this lovely storm lantern. These, and the wintry characters on skis, add a hint of the season to the upstairs landing.

With skiing in mind I have converted my home studio to a “cosy mountain lodge” for the duration of the holiday.

My voluntary work with my local Wildlife Trust enabled me to cut my own pine trees to put in pots outside the window. A toboggan and penguin sit outside the door to evoke a sense of a winter wonderland.

Inside the “lodge” sheepskin rugs and large scatter cushions provide a warm welcome. An ornamental antelope’s head on the wall, and a frosty white tree decorated with glass icicles, are both in keeping with the mid-winter story that is being created here.

I hope you are enjoying the loveliness of the season too and wish you much happiness into the new year and beyond.

A Day To Remember

The Design Centre Chelsea Harbour pulled out all the stops to host a Christmas Design Day on Monday this week.

Design Centre Chelsea Harbour

The central atrium had been transformed into to a snowy wonderland with snow laden fir trees and garlands of snow balls cascading from the glass dome.

DCCH Winter Wonderland

The main foyer continued the winter wonderland theme with its ski resort backdrop for diners. Anyone for a hot chocolate?

Christmas Design Day in aid of Screw Cancer

The day was packed with events to entice people to the centre to help raise awareness of cancer charity, SCREW CANCER.

The vision of designer William Yeoward, who had lived with cancer until his untimely passing in June 2019, Screw Cancer’s mission is to help cancer patients find clarity through their own journey.

With the aid of the Screw Cancer App cancer sufferers can store information specific to their illness in a single place on their phone.

Event Programme

Many of the showrooms at DCCH welcomed visitors to a day of talks, demonstrations, workshops, and delicious cuisine.

Floral Inspiration at Colefax & Fowler

I made an early start so that I could attend a demonstration hosted by The Odd Flower Company at the Colefax & Fowler studio. With Bucks Fizz in one hand and a notebook in the other I avidly watched the creation of this fabulous floral centrepiece.

My next stop on the ground floor was to Kvadrat’s showroom where we were promised the opportunity to create a Danish Pleated Christmas Heart from recycled fabric.

I can’t say this was my strength, but resident expert, Nicolina, handled the class incredibly well ensuring that everyone had a heart, or two, to take home.

Pleated Danish Hearts

Sadly, I could not spend the whole day at this tremendously special event but before I left I popped into Fox Linton to check out their Christmas Wreath Making workshop.

Stepping inside the showroom I was immediately overwhelmed by the evocative aromas of fresh spruce, pine and fir. What a fabulous way to while away an hour or so.

The afternoon programme looked just as enticing with a packed programme of tours, crafts, and the opportunity to learn new skills.

This was certainly a day to remember!

Alresford, Hampshire

Alresford, home of the Watercress Steam Railway Line, is a small town which lies just north of Winchester in Hampshire.

In search of Susie Watson Designs I took a trip there after a morning spent in Farnham.

West Street

The shop is located at 16 West Street amidst a plethora of independent retailers much to my delight.

So many shops – so little time

The purpose of my visit was to buy some red and white hand painted candles to display in two brass holders which I had retrieved from our garage.

I also bought a beech and ivory fan edge trimming which had been reduced by 50%. It will provide a luxurious finish to a Neptune Emma Sage linen that I have for making some scatter cushions.

Broad Street

Just around the corner in Broad Street I came across another parade of specialist interior and gift shops.

The Alresford Linen Company housed an array of fashionable clothing and jewellery, interior accessories, and gifts, including a colourful selection of candles.

A couple of doors down Lavenders has an eclectic mix of greetings cards, gift wrap, and miscellany.

Having achieved my aim, and a lot more besides, I decided it was time to leave this gorgeous Georgian town for a tad more exploring…

The Long Barn

Having arrived at Alresford on the B3047 I had passed The Long Barn at The Old Sheep Fair, Bishops Sutton Road.

Curious to find out more I pulled off the road and into the extensive car park. With fairy lights twinkling in the late afternoon light I was immediately smitten.

To a newby it is an extremely glamorous garden centre with integral café and shopping. That said, the quality of the merchandise is of the highest standard and the café was absolutely buzzing.

The garden store itself is modest in size but has an interesting selection of trees, plants, shrubs, and rusted metalwork. There is even a little shop that sells vintage finds.

I have to own up to not realising at the time of my visit that lavender is grown on this site and that it is used to create the Long Barn’s own goods from its annual crop.

I was so pleased that I chose to drop by and would certainly recommend a visit to this favoured destination.

Christmas Is Coming

It’s a sure sign that Christmas is coming when you walk into a bar and there’s a tree suspended upside-down from the ceiling.  The one below was seen at The Bugle in Brading on the Isle of Wight last weekend.

Full marks for novelty, although maybe not so many for practicality.

The Bugle, Brading

The first of December spurred me on to buy our family Christmas tree. Having seen this room set at Neptune in Guildford I decided to buy a table top Nordmanniana from the Farm Shop Lyne.

I was taken by the simplicity of the decoration of this tree and by the glass vase in which it had been planted. Both struck a chord with me as I have spent much of 2018 aiming for a more pared back interior in our cottage.

Container grown Nordmanniana

Here you can see a close up of our tree along with some of the snow globes that I have made for the craft fairs that I have been attending this season. The one shown below is my most recent addition.

“Bringing the tree home” snow globe

Using a glass yoghurt jar, a miniature truck bought from Hobbycraft, and a mixed bag of bottle-brush Christmas trees bought on-line, I created a minute replica of these Ikea filled vases that I saw for sale at the Country Living Christmas Fair last month.

Giant truck snow globes

The homecoming truck laden with an oversized tree has been a popular image over the past few years. It seems to have been particularly prevalent this year and, with this in mind, I couldn’t resist buying this M&S bedding set which depicts the  tree being brought home on the roof of the family car.

M&S bedding set

I waited for the rain to stop today, and for the sun to emerge, before taking photographs of this lovely set along with our little tree and a selection of snow -globes.

Winter wonderland

Aside from snow globes and homecoming trees another popular decoration this year is the humble pom-pom. They have adorned everything from handbags to jewellery and have now been seen being used in Christmas decorations.

Handcrafted snow globes

The wreath shown below was one of my favourites and was spotted in the Giraffe & Custard gift shop in the Rectory Mansion, Brading.

I am now really excited about next weekend as I hope to plunder our loft and revisit my ever expanding supply of decorations. That said, I hope to honour my paring back strategy and use a mixture of fresh foliage and simple baubles.

I look forward to sharing the end results with you and hope that this blog has inspired you to start thinking about the season and the delights that come from the preparation for the big day.

Happy decorating!

Christmas Food & Craft Market

‘Tis the season of the Christmas Fair and I am pleased to announce that Langdon Hyde Design will be taking part in the festivities.

Next weekend Bourne Valley Nursery will be hosting its Christmas Food & Craft Market on Sunday, November 18 between 10am and 3.30pm.

I am delighted to say that Langdon Hyde Design will have a stall selling handcrafted gifts and decorations under the banner of The Edit by Langdon Hyde Design.


Raindrops on roses

And whiskers on kittens

Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens

Brown paper packages tied up with strings

These are a few of my favorite things

Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels

Doorbells and sleigh bells And schnitzel with noodles

Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings

These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes

Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes

Silver-white winters that melt into springs

These are a few of my favorite things¹

Snow Globes With Ribbons

The Edit at Langdon Hyde Design’s pop-up shop may not have all of your favourite Christmas things but it will have:

Snow globes with ribbons

and fairies with crowns

Lanterns like houses to glow all night long

Gold and white fir cones

to hang from the tree

And a selection of gifts for your family

Warm woolly hats

for the young and the grown

Hand-painted furniture to go in your rooms

Candles and prints

and cushions as well

Langdon Hyde Design will have these to sell

A few of my favourite things…


Please come along as we would love to see you

For directions and more information go to https://www.bournevalleygardencentre.co.uk/static/contact-us.html

¹”My Favorite Things” is a show tune from the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music


Inspired by an article published on the Neptune website I decided to embark on a wholly new form of Christmas decoration this year; pinwheels.

Having restyled our sitting room in time for Christmas I took the opportunity to evolve a whole new style of festive festoons.

To make your own pinwheels take a sheet of normal A4 or A3 paper to practice on.

Draw a straight line to mark the first fold; 3/4″ from the end for A4 and 1″ for A3. 

Ensure the first fold is as accurate as possible as this will be the template for the remaining folds.

Press all the folds together and repeat this on two pieces of paper for each pinwheel.

Fold in half length ways to mark the middle of each concertina.

Using double-sided tape stick the two halves together and, using fine sewing thread, secure the mid-points.

If a patterned pinwheel is required carefully snip triangles through all of the folds.

Again, using double-sided tape stick the two folded halves together so they join and form a fan.Repeat with the mirror image so that both halves have opened out into fans which in turn form a circle.

Punch a hole in one of the folds and thread through a length of Baker’s twine for hanging.

Arrange with a choice of paper of chains, baubles, or foliage to make a display of your choice.

Whereas I chose to hang my finished arrangement above a mantlepiece it would look equally successful above a dining table.

The Winter Brocante 2017

As I left the house on Friday morning to attend the Winter Brocante at Cowdray House in West Sussex I suddenly realised that winter was upon us. It was a beautiful, bright, crisp morning, with a real chill in the air.

My good friend offered to drive us to the event as she knows the area well from when her son, as a young teenager, played polo at Cowdray Park. Settling into the comfort of her warm car, the imposing wrought iron gates opened majestically to allow our exit from the security of her swish country abode and onto the open road. We swept down past the abbey ruins and traversed the water meadows, only slowing down to negotiate the hump back bridge which allowed safe passage across the sunlit water.

We quickly arrived at the A road which bypasses Guildford and quickly allowed us to drop down onto the A286. We passed village greens, country pubs, and quaint villages, which seemed to come one after the other as we headed further south.

Leaving the village of Fernhurst behind us the road opened out and we were suddenly sweeping down through forests of golden leafed trees. Within moments we arrived on the outskirts of Midhurst and picked up signs directing us to the Winter Brocante which was set in the grounds of the grand house.

Once we had entered the grounds we were expertly directed to a parking spot on the grassy slopes along with a host of smart cars all of which had brought their passengers to this delightful home, set in the midst of the Sussex countryside.

Tents nestled into the hillside

As we stepped from our vehicle we could see (what I am reliably told) were the South Downs in the distance. Nestled immediately below the “car park” was a huge white tent which, for two days, was home to over one hundred carefully selected exhibitors.

On arrival at the entrance to the fair we were presented with wrist bands so that we were able to come and go as we wished. I found this immediately reassuring knowing that we could load the car as we felt the need, or even nip off to the Cowdray Park Farm Shop for some well deserved refreshments before embarking on more browsing.

The three antique bears by Cachepot

The first tent we entered was mostly home to antique and bric and brac stalls. Occasionally we would stumble across a gem of a stall selling the most contemporary tree decorations. One in particular had a selection of wooden whippets and sausage dogs painted in beautiful seasonal colours. Irresistible to my friend!

Handmade Bunting

Handmade crafts were on display throughout the three tents. Everything from this lovely bunting, to handmade fresh flower garlands, to original works of art.

Nancy Meiland perfumes

Nancy Meiland Parfums’ stall stood out as super sophisticated. Having explored her website since our visit I have learnt that you can have your own signature scent created which really appeals to me.

Decorative glassware

These coloured glasses reminded me of some that my mum has in her china cabinet. A must for a winter tipple.

Baubles & figs

Glass jars full of faux figs and delicate glass baubles caught my eye as well.

Pheasant feathers

I particularly liked this combination of terracotta, glass and feathers. I think winter is a great season to bring texture into the house and these simple items add warmth to an interior scheme.


These hydrangea wreaths were stunning and add another dimension to using fresh flowers to decorate your home.

I was very lucky with the hydrangeas in my garden this year and cut many blooms for the house. I had ambitions to dry some for the winter but unfortunately the frosts brought them to an abrupt end.

Helen McNiven’s rag and twig angel

Leaving the fair as the sun was low in the sky we bumped into Peter McNiven. His wife Helen makes the most gorgeous Christmas angels and sells them each year to raise money for charity. This year’s “Have A Heart” Christmas Sale is on Sunday 10th December at Old Farm Barn, Cranleigh, GU6 8LE.

Be Inspired

Use hamper boxes and large decorative carrier bags for storage

It’s a new year – what better time to be inspired to clear out the old and bring in the new! As the Christmas decorations come down it is a great time to review your surroundings and update/amend/adjust your look/style. I always take the opportunity to dust down the shelves and surfaces where decorations have been placed for the past few weeks and decide whether to put back the same ornaments and objects or whether to completely upend everything. It might only be a small change as a lot of what is on display is there for practical purposes rather than just for show, but the addition of a colourful object, or the rearrangement of some china, can go a long way to make you home feel refreshed for the coming months.

You might even go further and rearrange furniture. Out of necessity I had to move a chest of drawers to make space for the Christmas tree and am now in two minds whether to put it back in the Hall or leave it on the Landing. I am actually considering moving it into the study and swapping if for a table that is currently home to the printer. I would hope that this isn’t change for changes sake but to tidy up a messy corner and to bring freshness to a stale scheme.

I have some pictures to frame that I have been putting off as I wasn’t sure where to hang them. This has been the starting point for reviewing the layout in the Study as I will have to make some wall space to display this collection of prints effectively. I might even go as far as refurbishing the pine furniture which fills the room as I have my eye on some Annie Sloan Graphite chalk paint which I think will smarten up the room no end.

It’s also a great time to bring fresh flowers indoors as the supermarkets are full of spring blooms and indoor bulbs. Amongst my favourites are tulips and hyacinths as these bring colour and fragrance indoors and with them the feeling of Spring as the longer days approach.

If, like me, you are on holiday until tomorrow then today is an ideal opportunity to pack up the old and bring on the new. On that note I would like to wish you all the best for 2017 and hope you start the year inspired!

It’s A Wrap


It’s A Wrap!

Some people love it and some people hate it but for me wrapping presents is a real pleasure.  Finding the time is not always easy but this year I have found it easier as some presents were despatched earlier than others and therefore wrapped in plenty of time.

I guess the other reason some people find it such a chore is due to the cost of the materials required. Having bought a gift it is often a financial burden to spend more money on the requisite wrapping paper, gift tags and ribbon.

Polka dot ribbon from random packaging

Polka dot ribbon from random packaging

This year I found that I had quite a lot of paper leftover from last Christmas so rather than buy new I decided to jazz it up a bit with a variety of bits and pieces that I picked up whilst in and out of shops and fairs.

One of the High Street shops that turned out to be particularly useful was Tiger. For very little money I bought a pack of six miniature brown carrier bags; three rolls of satin ribbon in red, blue and purple; and a pack of tiny wooden Christmas trees. I think each item was about £1 so for £5 I had plenty of choice when it came to jazzing up my parcels.

Last year's paper jazzed up with Waitrose tag & snowflake, and Tiger satin ribbon

Last year’s paper jazzed up with Waitrose tag & snowflake, and Tiger satin ribbon and wooden tree

Next stop Waitrose where I bought a pack of gift tags, ribbon, string, and tiny wooden snowflakes. These were a little more pricey but not outrageous. Lastly, I bought three packs of plain white gift labels and two rolls of embroidered ribbon from The Loseley Rural Crafts Christmas Fair that I had the pleasure of attending in November.

I always re-use the gorgeous gift and bottle bags that I am given as they are far too lovely to throw away. This year I did splash out and buy some new bottle bags from Tesco, purely because they appealed to me. I find gift bags are really handy as it so much easier to put pressies in these, especially if they are an awkward shape, and much less time consuming. I have also found that bottle bags are not just for bottles; they are ideal for wrapping packs of socks which are an absolute must for the man in your life!

Tesco bottle bag

Tesco bottle bag

My final tips, which I’m sure you’ve heard before is to keep ribbon from any random packaging you receive and to use greetings card to make into gift tags. Chocolate boxes often come tied with a ribbon and many boutique carrier bags have ribbon handles. By using the picture, or part of the picture, from last year’s Christmas cards to make gift tags you will not only save a pile of money but give gifts that are truly individual and help save the planet into the bargain! What more could you ask for.

Happy wrapping x

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