Monthly Archives: July 2010

Saturday Morning showdown

We had an exciting time on ‘The Saturday Morning Show‘ hosted by the lovely Alyson McElroy Jones. Admittedly, as much as the sisters tried to appear nonchalant, a close up microphone earlyish on a Saturday morning did rattle our nerves ever so slightly! Alyson and her other guest for the day, Jennie Wallace skilfully made the experience cosy and chilled and we are thrilled  to have been honoured with the invite onto the show! Still high from the media debut here are some photos of the show in action..

Alyson is an inspiring entrepreneur with The Fashion Souk and Hola Lola evidence of her brilliant recent initiatives. She is commited to fashion and lifestyle with a green and ethical conscience. Check out the next Fashion Souk in the Ulster Hall, Belfast on the 8th August, for everything from Humble Jumble, to previously loved designer fashion, and brand new pieces from local designers, or peruse the ethically sourced mexican design goodies on Hola Lola which she runs along with her co-host on the Saturday morning show, Jenny Simon. I am cheered every time I see my recent purchase of funky cherry kitchen oil cloth.

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Salvage on the Radio

We are excited, delighted and flattered to be joining in ‘The Saturday Morning Show’ tomorrow at 10 am on 103.2fm or http://www.feilefm.com. Belfasts only green fashion and lifestyle show.. look forward to telling you about the lights, the lights..

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A multi-purpose room

A few shots of the guest room, which doubles as a study and quiet zone in a busy household. The soft furnishings on the bed are all salvaged from charity shops or handmade. The pink throw at the end is actually a curtain and is quietly awaiting transformation into a quilt. The lamps were picked up at the Meadows Festival, and the chairs are from the salvage yard (more about that venue to follow.) They were full of woodworm and a bit unsturdy to say the least, so they ended up as bedside tables.

I store all my sewing supplies as a display – why hide them in a drawer? It may not be a system that appeals to the regular seamstress, but it works for me, and then i can conjure up new projects in an idle moment by taking stock of what i have available.

The armchairs were purchased from the salvage yard a few years ago, along with a sofa (all for a mere £100.) I had high hopes of slip-covering all of them, but after spending about 2 years slowly doing the first one, i have decided to enjoy the original olive green corduroy of the other pieces. One would think that this little corner is so tempting that any spare moment would be spent relaxing here. The reality is, with all the salvaging there is to be done, i rarely have the time to sit here and soak up the vibe!

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Salvage Wedding

Take an engagement, a fleeting hilarious idea, a barn (well you could say shed), a family heirloom tractor, and quite a lot of enthusiasm, exertion and amazing friends and family and all their creativity, and you’ve got our Barn wedding.

It’s making me tired just browsing through all the photos of the whole process! But it was amazing to share the task with so many people dear to us, and on the day, before anyone took their seats they had all contributed in some way as their gift to us! Many hidden talents were unveiled after much initiative and lashings of humour!

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A team of salvagers, gathered china cups busily for a few months, competing their way to the best bargain, and best design. We managed flowers ‘for free’, planting little pots of grass in advance. The dandelions to go in them were harvested well in advance, into the night actually, as their season was ending when I had the idea! I recieved a tip from a friend that hairspraying them preserves them after musing how much I loved their delicately perfect puffball form, and reminiscence of their ability to tell the time, when time mattered not a jot!

In keeping with the barn theme, my fabulous aunt created the ‘fresian frisky cow’ graphic for the stationary, and an incredible fruity fresian cake was created by a friend from uni.

The tractor which was my grandfather’s, had an excuse to be restored to it’s former glory, and was our open air carriage, and is now a family treasure! Check out the bunting in the outdoor shots which was exquisitely made by hand by my sister in law. I still look at it in awe when it is rolled out to create instant festive spirit at any event.

The dance floor was a large cutting of classic chequer print lino which is now our kitchen floor! In true salvage style, nearly all of our decor is used and re-used now in our home, at parties and for any fitting events we can find for it, but I  still need to find a fitting place in my home for the disco ball! (if you fancy more photos see http://www.adammcmurray.co.uk and look at Gemma and Ivan album)

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Preserve it

I’ve been making the most of the fruit and flower season by preserving everything i can get my hands on. In January when i spoon out my July raspberry jam, picked after work in the evening sun at Lowes Fruit Farm, i’ll certainly be feeling quite smug.

The elderflower wine is the second lot, as i forgot to put the sugar into attempt one. (Note to self – must stop multi-tasking.) It is currently bubbling away in a very pleasing manner in the corner of the kitchen.

The jam is a mixture of raspberries and tummelberries, which are a blackberry/raspberry hybrid. What a romantic name to have if you were a fruit! I also have blackcurrant jam simmering happily in the picture. In case you were thinking at this point how daunting and complex jam-making is, and how you would never get around to it yourself, allow me to disabuse you of this notion. First, get the fruit. Put in a saucepan for a minute, throw in an equal volume of sugar, bubble away for a moment, and bob’s yer uncle. Ok, so the pouring of super-hot liquid into a pre-sterilised scorching hot jam jar isn’t going to be ideal with wee ‘uns running around the kitchen, but my point is, its easier than you think.

I’m a bit of a chutney maniac, in that no sooner is one lot neatly stacked away in a dark cupboard than another enticing recipe makes itself known. The Tomato, Pepper and Lemongrass is a new recipe i got from the River Cottage Preserving Handbook, which is a worthy investment i might add. I have never actually made the same chutney twice, there are just too many new recipes to try. This one won’t be edible for another month or two, so can’t make a ready recommendation for it just yet. The next one will be Tomato and Ginger. Mmm…

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Framed florals

These seed labels came from this nice little shop i found online. I picked up the frames at my local charity shop for 75p each. (Small interjection while i point out that 90% of my ‘finds’ in the bric-a-brac category come from this same shop, called ‘Thrift Shop 2’ on Gilmore Place. They support Birthlink. Its the only charity shop i know that you are allowed to bargain (50p here or there – all part of the fun) without being frowned upon. Also, the prices labeled never add up to the total you pay, so its always a nice surprise.) Anyway, the vision for the spare room was floral heaven, so these blend in rather well indeed.

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A Belfast favourite for useful finds..

Here are my recent ‘practical’ purchases from an amazing church based project that I love,East Belfast mission.
The first for a fiver, the second fifteen. I love anything to do with round/ oval mirrors or frames.

I can see this little bland guy as my new bathroom book stand and cabinet.. mags in a bathroom, essential!

Really fancy this painted up as a funky retro vanity unit.. My jewellery definately needs an inspiring shop fit, where I’ll be inspired to pluck each piece up anew!


And a little ‘after’ view for you. The contrast shade should maybe have been brighter.. went for grey/ aqua tones, and a blue/grey glass knob.



The colours were inpsired by a recent trip to a magnificent pebble beach in Donegal on a treasured visit with Salvage sis Lucy. I ‘salvaged a few’ to add feature to the bathroom.

I’ve since evolved this little cabinet with some birdy decals.. I recieved a beautiful little note with this design, and just knew it had to be saved from the bin or a dusty shelf!

too cute to trash/stash

Birdy decals

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