On how to decorate your home for Christmas.
I like being involved in articles that show people how to do things, how to have a go, not be scared of flowers. People can be scared of flowers, i blame those wretched "flower arranging" classes, the 3's the 5's, the triangles, the bridges. It's important to remember that whatever you make will eventually die, we aren't sculpting statues out of bronze, if you make a mistake or don't like what you did, it isn't going to be around for hundreds of years to haunt you and your ancestors.
Give it a go
In reality, it takes an army to make 5 pages of editorial.
Firstly you need a florist and a hound, a pretty hound with an inflated ego if you have one.
Then you need a team from a magazine, Clare Nolan and her assistant, Nicole Grey.
A photographer Brent Darby and his assistant Kristy .
and then you are going to need a pub so that you can hijack their fireplace, a turkish restaurant who will let you bang a nail into their freshly painted door, a very talented former bride who will do typography on your shop boards.
and most importantly friends, family, lovers and customers who will listen to your endless insecurities and stressful rants, and still love you.
Reaction to the article has been quite wonderful, emails and telephone calls from lovely people.
In other news the next flower school date is being sent out to those on the mailing list on Friday....
Posted by Miss Pickering at 1:44 PM
of things to do, and bring me your vases for filling for Christmas. Whether it is flowers, foliage, both, bulbs, book it in now.
Taylor Swift and Gary Lightbody - unlikely combination.
Note to Cityboy don't click on the link, dodgy music klaxon.
Posted by Miss Pickering at 1:57 PM
I spent most of Sunday thinking we had been dropped, and that it was Grazia magazine all over again, and was forever to be known as the girl that cried press.
and then i opened for the Christmas festival in town, and people came and said things like
"ere have you seen how much these f***ing wreaths are? I reckon i could make one of those for a couple of quid"
"I like to see you f***ing try" said I
in my head, obvs.
The festival attracts a different crowd.
Successful day all round really.
Yesterday i found out we had been moved, because they wanted to put the feature over more pages. Next weekend they said.
and now i don't know if next weekend means this weekend, or the one after.
I will keep you posted.
Also Lotte and I are doing the December photo project again. hashtag i phone only.
Did you have good weekending?
Posted by Miss Pickering at 1:40 PM
Oasis floral spray in metallic gold.
Get behind it. Don't go barmy, just some berries, and wire them into a bridal head-dress.
In other news I have the biggest ball of mistletoe ever seen, so big it wouldn't fit through the shop door, and so i stood with it on the street and everybody wanted a kiss.
I laughed. The sort of laugh i give when I walk past someone whilst delivering flowers, and they come towards to me and say
"You shouldn't have" or "For me?"
It's been such a brilliant day in the shop, chat has been of Christmas, crosswords (The Telegraph has a bumper puzzle section today) the merits of plucking versus just slipping the breasts out of a pheasant, and of course The Hound.
I should be tidying up but instead I'm eating all the chocolate coins i bought to amuse customers.
and who knew Tony Hadley was singing about dilapidated furniture?
Also there is a new "about this blog" section
Posted by Miss Pickering at 4:45 PM
Sage, rosemary, blue cypress, blue spruce, eucalyptus pods, ivy, bay, other pine I can't remember the name of, hydrangea, viburnum tinus, lingunstrum berries, pheasant feather, pear branches, spanish moss, leucodendren.
All reeled onto a traditional brass ring/ moss base.
We don't live in Brooklyn....
This weekend is the weekend we are in the You magazine, I think. I hope, otherwise I'm going to look like a bit of tit. There are ideas on how to decorate your home for Christmas. You are going to need some china dogs.
We are also open this Sunday, because of the Christmas Festival 11-3, bring coffee, mulled wine, pigs in blankets.
Back tomorrow, in the meantime, we now have a mailing list, sign up, it's the really big button at the top of the page. HTML and I aren't the best of friends.
Posted by Miss Pickering at 2:14 PM
my cheery hello is met with a stony silence
"not content with taking my husband, you want my florist too?"
Awkward laughter all round.
Life in a small town.
Posted by Miss Pickering at 2:38 PM
On Sunday I went to Norfolk on a photography course. An early birthday present from The 'rents.
It was fascinating, no matter where you put me, I will always find some flowers to take a picture of.
Left for the queen? A love that had passed? A blind date that didn't show?
As i spend most of my time photographing flowers and The Hound, i was definitely out of my comfort zone looking at landscapes, but I think that's how you learn. Learn to crank down the ISO and think a bit more before depressing the button. I shall endeavour to make the pictures here of a better quality. Or at the very least blog with more frequency...
James really is a brilliant teacher, he has some sort of mystical way of having it all make sense. You may recognise him from here, he was the groom. I am hoping for another course to go on, preferably California, or somewhere WARM.
These shots are all unedited, because you need to go on another course to do that.
Posted by Miss Pickering at 2:16 PM
Vintage glass votives, gold eucalyptus, ilex, things to make your own things, ribbons, vases, foliages.
I have also made a fresh garland to decorate the front of the shop - pic to follow later in the week...
It's not the sort of thing one can bring in every night, and so it is clinging on through high winds, rain, drunks.
So far it's only assault is from middle aged women pulling at it to see how i have made it.
Posted by Miss Pickering at 1:54 PM
My reaction was a little wtf? who has time to do this? and can't a child be happy with a present of a new bike and some satsumas on the actual day? does it have to go on and on? It wasn't like this in my day, and could people stop putting washi tape on everything? Please.
Then i read this post and realised i was one of those. (you should read this blog whether you have children or not)
So whilst i might not feel the pressure of creating the perfect christmas eve for my children, I did feel pressure last month to make ALL the jams and jellies. Must. Preserve. All. The. Fruit. Said all those blogs with washed out colours and lots of thick black rimmed glasses.
I tried making a pear and sage jelly. I missed the setting point, the stuff came out like glue. No fancy jelly, no lifestyle blog post. No domestic goddess. Failure. I did think it might be good for adding a little sweetness to a sauce, if it melted. It did. I am saved.
Pheasant with cider, apples and dodgy pear jelly
1 medium sized bottle of dry cider
1 glass of leftover white wine
some bacon or pancetta - whatever didn't get eaten for breakfast
Very thick or normal pear jelly
Pluck, draw and quarter your bird. Or skin it if you are lazy like me. dust in seasoned flour, brown in a pan. Set aside.
Sweat off the chopped onion and bacon.
Bruise juniper berries, and add with a bit of herbage.
Deglaze pan with the alcohol
Add a tablespoon of aforementioned jelly
Pop it all in a pan
Put on a tight fitting lid
Cook for 45 minutes or so, until the bird is tender.
Meanwhile, fry some windfall apples in butter
Remove the meat, and reduce the sauce.
Arrange all the component parts on a suitable warm platter.
This recipe is great if you have a man who brings you birds. If you don't just do it with pork chops instead, and cook for less time. Don't feel you SHOULD be eating game, especially if you have to pay £6.50 for an oven ready bird from Waitrose.
You probably don't feel that you should, you are probably far more secure than I.
Posted by Miss Pickering at 1:28 PM