Beautiful Titanic inspired jewellery

This month is the 100th anniversary of the voyage of the Titanic. This amazing and tragic story has captured the nations attention with the endlessly fascinating stories of the ship and it’s passengers, as well as spotlighting the luxurious fashion of the era. This beautiful jewellery now available from Goldsmiths really captures the style of the Edwardian period…

Left to right: Swarovski Reverie Aqua Valentines Pendant £69, Swarovski Reverie Rose Valentines Pendant £69, Swarovski Crystal Oceanic Pendant £105, Ti Sento Silver Cubic Zirconia and Pearl Drop Earrings £90, Ti Sento Silver Cat’s Eye Pendant £310, Swarovski Peace, Purple Crystal Wings Motif Pendant £99.


My travels in South East Asia

I’ve not posted for a while now as I have been away traveling in my favourite part of the world – South East Asia – for a few weeks, visiting the temples of Cambodia, soaking up the sun and the history of Vietnam, and shopping heaven in Singapore. The weather was gloriously hot and the food was amazing, here are some regional specialties I tried…

Chicken Murtabak

Chicken Murtabak in Singapore

Amok Curry

Amok curry with squid from Siem Reap, Cambodia

White Rose Dumplings

White Rose dumplings from Hoi An, Vietnam

Beef Pho

Beef Pho from Saigon, Vietnam

Chicken and Beef Satay

Chicken and beef satay in Singapore

Plus a few of the obligatory scary bits…

Snake Wine

Snake wine – yes people where actually drinking this!

Saigon food market – pigs ears, intestines, tongues, hearts and livers

And dried fish – the smell was enough to knock you over!

Growing easy annual flowers from seed

Now is the time to start planning and planting your seeds if you are going to grow your own annual plants for summer flower. It may seem like alot of work if they are only going to last 1 year, but the benefits are huge, giving you flower beds and pots full of lovely flowers all summer long.

It’s much cheaper to grow from seed (around £2 for 150 seeds) compared to buying ready made plants (up to £7 per plant). You can pick and choose from a much wider range of plants and colours that those on offer in a garden centre. Annuals usually flower much more profusely than perennials and they only have one summer to do their work.

Just stick to a few simple rules and you can fill your borders and pots with an amazing display this summer.

First choose seeds that are “easy grow” varieties as some are tricky to get started. Usually annuals will just romp away without too much difficulty.

Second – always read the instructions on the packet carefully and follow them to the letter. Sow at the right time and at the right depth.

Third – if you are planting in the ground make sure the soil is warm – not cold and water logged. Rake the soil to give it a fine crumbly surface ready for sowing. Otherwise plant in seed trays using seedling compost for best results, and then plant on into bigger containers or into the ground later.

Then it’s just a matter of keeping them watered and weed-free. Here are some suggestions…

Cosmos – beautiful big blooms with fern-like leaves, some varieties grow to well over 1m tall.

Stocks – plant in pots by your door or along a path to make the most of their beautiful fragrance in the evenings.

Sweet Peas – grow them up a trellis or bamboo canes and keep picking the flowers regularly to keep them blooming.

Nasturtium – bright and cheerful flowers all summer long. Keep an eye out for those caterpillars though.

Nigellas – beautiful blue flowers and delicate leaves, flowers May and June.

Spring Summer fabrics, wallpapers and accessories from Designers Guild

The new Spring Summer collection 2012 from Designers Guild is now available for preview online. Featuring beautiful and bold floral patterns from the Kimono Blossom range, vibrant blues and lilac checks and stripes in the Saraille range and a softer Country range offering pale blues, greens and turquoise in pretty floral and check patterns.

Here are some beautiful images from the new ranges.

Designers Guild Kimono Blossom

Designers Guild Country

Designers Guild Saraille

Valentine’s Day special gift ideas – accessories for around the home

It’s not long now until Valentine’s Day. Are you struggling to find the perfect gift for your loved one? Or maybe just want to add a touch of romance to you home for the special day. Here are some great ideas of lovely home accessories to get you in the mood…

Love pillowcase set £29.95,  Personalised love hearts picture £58, from Not on the High Street

Andrew Martin love letter wallpaper £49.90, Libra love bookends £71.50, from Bouf,384&wid=288&hei=384&layer=1&src=G_129626450_50_20100825&size=288,384&qlt=65&wid=288&hei=384&op_usm=1,1,0,0,384&wid=288&hei=384&layer=1&src=I_143226769_00_20110120&size=288,384&qlt=65&wid=288&hei=384&op_usm=1,1,0,0

Wedgwood Queen of Hearts collection from £40, Rose sculpture cushion £12.50, House of Fraser

Wall sticker £11.99 from Bouf, 1000 red silk rose petals £7.24 from Amazon