Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Feeling very guilty.

Today is a bit of a sad day. When we moved up here to the cottage, one of the highlights for me was that we inherited the owners last chicken, Henny Penny. She was very timid at first but within a week I had her eating out of my hand, she was a real character and used to follow you around the garden, over that first summer here she was my best friend. She roosted in the stables and we were amazed that nothing had attacked her in the night but she survived right through the winter. We then added to the collection this Spring but she chose to keep her own little house in the stables, so we let her. She has probably been a lot safer since we got Chrissie the dog, as she also sleeps out in the stables at night, almost a bit like a chicken body guard. Well, for the last couple of nights I have let Chrissie sleep in the house as it's been sooooo cold, and to be frank I just didn't really fancy going out into the cold of the night to put her to bed. But, through my laziness, poor Henny Penny is no longer there, she wasn't there when I went to let the others out this morning and there is a rather suspicious pile of feathers just outside the stables door, I can't believe that she's no longer around. It would a delight if she suddenly appeared as she has been known to wander, but I really don't think that is going to happen today. What shall I do without my little Henny Penny? :o(

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A long week..........

It has been a week since I last posted, and what a week it has been. The dreaded lurgy set in and I ended up in bed ill during what was probably one of the busiest weeks of the year, great! But, we survived, my mum and youngest sister came to the rescue on Friday night so it all came together in the end. On Saturday we did the Meigle Christmas Fair, a lovely little village not far from us. Last year was our first Christmas living in Perthshire so I was very much a new face on the block. It was so nice to be asked again this year, to know a few faces and to have so many returning customers - even when you don't have as much work made as you should do! As usual I forgot to take the camera so no photos I'm afraid! Saturday evening was spent baking and setting the dining room up as a "shop" for the day as Sunday was our "Open Day"! Sunday morning was the usual rush getting last minute bits and bobs sorted, while I was out in the greenhouse making up a fresh wreath for on the door I was thinking "why are we doing this, nobody is going to turn up!" - well I couldn't have been more wrong! From the first customer who arrive at 11am, the house never stopped until 5.30pm! Copious amounts of mulled wine was drunk and many a mince pie devoured! It was such a fab day and I'm so glad we made the efforts that we did as I truly think they were really appreciated. Above is a photo of the kitchen textiles we are selling this year, gorgeous peg bags, oven gloves, T-towels and aprons, unfortunately not made by myself, but lovely all the same! They are hanging up in our lovely newly painted kitchen - more to follow on that in another post!

So this week is another mad week of sewing as I have got almost no stock left! We have the Ashfield Village Christmas Fair on Sunday - a lovely little conservation village just outside Dunblane, the ethos of the fair is that everything is handmade in Scotland so that should be really nice. Then it's a two day Charity Christmas Fair in Perth on Monday and Tuesday which I'm really looking forward to as I've never done it before. I promise I will take more photos!!

Over at Pixie Wood , Cherry was attending a fair at Losely House in Surrey so I can't wait to hear about how she got on, I'm sure she did fantastically.

Anyway, I'm off to let the chickens out and walk the dog before I get stuck into the sewing!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Thank you

Just a very quick post to say Thank you to everyone who has commented on our success in getting into Country Living Mag. Every time a comment is left there's a little bubble of excitment inside me when opening it, so thank you all. Frantically sewing at the moment as we've got a fair on Saturday and then our "Open Day" is on Sunday, we must be mad! And as well as all that we're trying to get the web site updated with some Christmas bits and bobs, phew! Well, just to get you in the mood, here's a nice snowy picture that is hopefully destined for the web site - we are forecast for sleet this week so fingers crossed it doesn't arrive at the weekend - although it would give it a lovely Christmasy feel, wouldn't it?!!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Country Living Magazine

Today is a very exciting day! The postman delivered my monthly edition of Country Living
Magazine, but not just any edition, the December Christmas issue, I love it - this magazine is my bible! You're probably all thinking, yeah, it's nice but it's only a magazine......... Well, the reason for it being soooo extremely special is that we, Primrose Hill Interiors, are featured in the Christmas Emporium, our little felt covered notebooks are on the first page. I really do think I am going to burst with joy!
I was very lucky to meet Kitty Corrigan, the Deputy Editor of CL magazine, when we exhibited at the CL Spring Fair in Scotland.
Kitty very kindly bought a couple of the notebooks at the fair, so they obviously went down rather well in the office!
Sooo, I am now off to spend the entire weekend making copious amounts of stock! We are also hoping to have the website updated with some lovely little Christmas bits and bobs by the beginning of the week, ooh I am going to be busy - there just aren't enough hours in the day at the moment!
I have had a quick flick through the mag and it looks absolutely divine, lots of gorgeous ideas for the coming festive season, ooh I can't wait!
Enjoy the weekend whatever you may be up to, I don't think I'll be posting again for another couple of days!!

P.S. Please do go out and buy yourself a copy of the Country Living December issue - it's well worth it, although I would imagine a lot of you are subscribers anyway!!!

L x

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What's in a name?

Now that the Christmas Fairs have started again I am meeting lots of existing and new customers on a weekly basis, this is the part that I really enjoy as it gives me a chance to catch up with people and find out which products are selling well etc. A question I am frequently asked is whether we are a London based company because of our name - Primrose Hill Interiors - Primrose Hill being a rather posh part of London. It always give me great pleasure in explaining the story behind the name. Primrose Hill is the name of the house (pictured) which my mothers family were brought up in. My grandparents moved down to Lanrick Estate when my mother and her brothers and sisters were all very young so we were all brought up there. I have so many fond memories of living on the estate, I spent the majority of my childhood there and always returned as a teenager on a weekly basis. I often spent the weekend with my nana and papa sewing, gardening, cooking and generally exploring the estate. It has had a great influence on my life and I constantly find myself doing things now that I remember my nana doing when I was young - it's funny how life can go full circle - don't you think? Anyway, enough of my ramblings, I just thought I'd explain that we're not from London - although the connection with the name does help! Here's a link to the estate website incase you want to have a bit more of a look at the magical place where I grew up..........

Friday, November 03, 2006

Carrot Cake Recipe

After so many of you commented on my carrot cake yesterday, I promised to post the recipe, so here it is! It's a real fave of mine, kindly given to me by my aunt Linda!!


For the cake:
7 Fl. oz. sunflower oil
3 tblspoons golden syrup
8 oz. brown sugar
12 oz. plain flour
3 tspoons baking powder
3 tspoons mixed spice (I'm always fairly generous with this!)
3 eggs
3/4 lb of grated carrots

For the icing:
8 oz. icing sugar
1 1/2 oz. cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
little milk

Heat oven to 180 deg. C
The above mixture can make either one big cake in a 10" tin or two smaller cakes in 8" tins. Grease desired tin size with butter.
Put the oil, syrup and sugar in a large pan over a very low heat until the sugar has dissolved. (The sugar and syrup will melt together but the oil will stay separate)
Add all the other ingredients to the pan (remember to seive the flour & baking powder!) and mix well.
Place mixture in tin and pop in the oven. I generally leave in the oven for about 45 minutes but that is not a fan assisted oven, so remember to change the time accordingly.
Leave the cake to cool and then turn out of the tin. For the icing, seive the icing sugar into a large bowl, add the vanilla essence and the cream cheese and mix well, if needed add a little milk and then ice your cake.
All that's then needed is a good cup of coffee and some friends to help you eat it!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Door Stop Lady

Well, I discovered today that in Bridge of Allan I am known as "The Door Stop Lady"! It could be a hell of a lot worse, and I am actually quite flattered - so thank you all! My feet have never hit the ground since 6am but it has been a wonderful day, so thank you to all who came along to the fair and thank you to Gill for hosting it, I think it was a real success and everyone really enjoyed themselves. I eventually remembered to take some photos halfway through the day so a lot of the handmade goodies had gone by then, never mind, I've got another fair on Monday so I'll hopefully have more made by then! I'm now off to bed with a hot ribena and this months Country Living!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Handmade Woodland Pot Pourri

Just a quick post today as loads to do before the fair in Bridge of Allan tomorrow. I sat and made lots of bags of woodland pot pourri last night, it's always very popular at this time of year and makes a lovely gift. Sorry the photo isn't the greatest, it was taken very quickly this morning! It's a gorgeous sunny day today but very cold, just the kind of day I love at this time of year. There's nothing beats going for a walk in the woods, rustling through all the leaves and gathering mossy twigs. When Gregg took Chrissie for a walk this morning he saw a red squirrel up close, it stopped to have a good look at him while running up a tree, he said it was lovely and fluffy with little tufty ears, so much prettier than the grey squirrels. Amazingly, since we've moved here, I have yet to see a grey squirrel, it has always been reds that I've spotted, which really is quite special, we're very lucky to have so much wildlife right on our doorstep. Anyway, off to get another carrot cake in the oven for tomorrow! The fair is at 33 Kenilworth Rd, Bridge of Allan, 10.30am - 4pm, all welcome.