Monthly Archives: April 2011

TV Sista

As traumatic as it is to see yourself on TV, thought I’d share the link for your amusement, to tonight’s regional news, with me on it having a bad hair day!! It’s a feature on the brilliant Revamp Rethink Restyle classes I’m taking part in that I mentioned here..

Check it out!

Scroll in to about 16 minutes.. Not sure how long this link will stay up, sorry if you miss it!


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Seasonal Soup

Early spring is the time to pick your nettles I’ve heard,apparently they get tough after that.

It seems just as your getting into spring, its already speeding past, so I marched myself out on sunday, dentist latex gloves to hand, and went nettle hunting. Harder to remember where you last saw a lucious big clump of them than you might think!

I’m told you can pick nettles bare handed if you know how, always run your fingers upwards along the stem and your golden. I didn’t risk it, and was bemused to find my double layer of latex gloves still allowed the sting to cost me for my harvest!


I was surprised to find a Nettle soup recipe in ‘Rachel Allen’s Home Cooking’ book and this is what inspired my mission.

It turned out rather unnattractively, not the ideal ingredient for a soup I’d day, it doesnt merge itself into the rich bright velvet texture of perfect soup. Was it tasty? Yes, but the texture was off putting!

I served it up with some smoked haddock pate and bread so a hedgerow lunch was still achieved!

If you’re up for some nettle picking, here are two more recipes you might like to try,  Nettle Spanakopita and Nettle Lasagne. Don’t forget to report back if you do!


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On a shoe-string

A few years back, i decided that cheap shoes were a bad idea, and committed myself to buying only good quality, well made footwear. No easy task when it comes to second-hand shops. I have often bought shoes that look good in the shop, and the moment you step out in them you realise why someone put them into their charity bag. So i thought i would share with you my recent successes – two great pairs of shoes during one charity-shop foray.

Gotta love these Converse mid-calf orange laced boots…£9

These sheepskin-lined leather ankle boots in the bag for a pleasing £10.

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I had to get straight onto the blog to share my latest delightful furniture purchase from my latest salvage venue. I occasionally pop in to Drum Farm Antiques near the city bypass, and was pleasantly surprised during yesterday’s visit to find a new business adjoining the warehouse called Retropolis Antique and Vintage Emporium. Only 4 weeks old, they have a great spread of furniture and trinkets, either lovingly restored or in need of an imaginative friend. as it happened, i was late for a meeting so i didn’t get to ponder and pontificate in my usual way over the cabinet, an eclectic paring of glass-topped and shelf-bottomed loveliness, formerly a shop fitting. But it was love at first sight and there was no need for deliberation, especially at the enticing price of £70 including delivery later that evening. Luckily there was a rugby match on so that i could spend the evening staring at my new illuminated friend, dreaming up possibilities whilst Malkie was otherwise occupied.

I have opted for a cutesy china/enamelware combo for the display, but i’m sure this is merely the first incarnation of many. I have tried to keep it simple but also make the most of a great display opportunity. But i’m wondering if i should stick to a few signature wow-factor pieces….what do you think?


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Pair o’ chairs 1

Mostly when i buy an old wreck of a chair, table or otherwise, i drive home thinking of my expansive plans for re-vamping and re-working my fabulous find. However, its amazing how easily you can get used to a furniture’s foibles as time passes. Not so for this chair though, recently purchased at the lane sale as a pair for £1. Whilst its elm and blue velvet components were visually pleasing, the webbing in the seat was completely gone, making it somewhat akin to a parking your bum on an uncomfortable toilet seat. Thus began my first ‘proper’ upholstery job yesterday. Here’s a recap of the events as they unfolded.

1. Chair on arrival

2. Stripping the seat back to the frame

3. New sisal webbing, fixed with staple gun

4. Next 2 layers: horsehair and cotton

(5. A few more undocumented layers, as it started to rain!)

6. Colefax and Fowler fabric remnant to finish

Now to put it to the ultimate test – survival in our busy household…


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Rethink, Revamp, Restyle.. all after work!

Sigh – I’m high and drunk on my three blissful hours spent this evening at the first workshop in Ballynafeigh community centre by Rethink, Revamp, Restyle – an amazing collaboration by SS favourite ‘The Fashion Souk’ and Belfast Council. The ethos is on creating and ‘repurposing’ items to prevent waste and give them a new life of usefulness!

After a mad dash from work I found myself with lots of lovely ladies making cushions out of old jumpers and shirts – in a flash, whilst helping to reduce the fourteen double decker bus loads of clothes which are thrown into the waste every WEEK!

jumper cushion

shirt cushion

jumper embellishment

shirt embellishment

The fabulous team of demonstrators poked us into action and inspiration with a quick how to, and left us to wade into piles of old clothes and come out with a unique creation! No better way to spend an evening I tell you, I haven’t felt this relaxed in so long, with the added delight of new additions to my couch.. the husband probably wont share the sentiment that we needed a few more cushions though! I’m  quite pleased with how I matched them into my living room scheme..

My only problem was cushion envy, so many juicy little creations –  and the fact I forgot my camera, photos of the next one to come. Oh but BBC newsline did turn up, so keep them peeled on the regional news!!

Jealous? Check out the Rethink, Revamp, Restyle group on facebook to see what slots are left that you could sign up for. It’s old furniture revamping next time, can’t wait!


Filed under ethical, fashion