8 eco-friendly Christmas wrapping ideas

I am always looking for new eco-friendly ways to wrap my presents. Here are just a few ideas that I’ve come up with during the last year….

Use the index pages of an old atlas or book and decorate your parcel with a machine-sewn 3D Christmas tree…

Gift wrapping on Peony and Thistle Blog

Sew some gift bags from old books, like these comic bags – made from old Comic Books …

Gift Wrap on Peony and Thistle Blog

…with matching tags!

Gift Wrapping on Peony and Thistle Blog

These Country Diary bags are sewn from pages of Edith Holden’s lovely book with her beautiful hand-writing and poems.

Gift wrapping on Peony and Thistle Blog

Re-use security envelopes by turning them inside out to wrap small gifts!

Gift wrapping on Peony and Thistle Blog

Wrap gifts in old magazines, calendars and tourist brochures. There is so much fabulous photography in these that it’s a pity to send the photos straight to the recycling bin without giving them another moment in the spotlight!

Gift wrap on Peony and Thistle Blog

Gift wrapping on Peony and Thistle Blog

Gift wrapping on Peony and Thistle Blog

You can see a few more of my wrapping ideas in the Cards, Postcards and Wrapping section of our Etsy shop.  You can also find LOTS more Wrapping inspiration in my Gift Wrapped Pinterest Board. Happy wrapping!

 

10 ways with pictures

Ever since I set up our Etsy Paper and Print shop, I’ve been fascinated by the different ways people display pictures in their homes. I particularly love the casual look you get by simply pinning botanical prints onto the wall, like this…

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…and this…

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Pictures also look great if you stick them on with some brightly coloured washi tape….

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I love this idea of displaying your pictures around corners, like this…

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 … and this…

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And how about mixing up your picture frames – all different sizes, colours and shapes, like this ….

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… and this ….

helena

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Or make all the frames exactly the same, like this ….

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 … and this…

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… or this….

mydiealhome

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We have lots of gorgeous vintage pictures, prints and maps in our Etsy Paper and Print shop so if you’re looking for some inspiration for beautiful things to hang on your wall, do have a look!  Pictures also make thoughtful and inexpensive gifts.  Simply buy a picture reflecting someone’s interests or travels, pop it in a frame and you have a fabulous, personal gift.

For more ideas on how to display pictures, have a peek at my Picture Walls Pinterest Board!

Alternative Christmas Trees

I love Christmas trees but they do take up a lot of space …. something we are a bit short of at home. So I’ve become a bit obsessed with alternative Christmas trees….

 I love the simplicity of this one – though I’m not sure how you’d attach this to a wall…..

Alternative Christmas Trees on Peony and Thistle's Blog

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 Another lovely simple one…

Alternative Christmas Trees on Peony and Thistle's Blog

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This is a great DIY hanging tree mobile….

Alternative Christmas Trees on Peony and Thistle's Blog

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Some fairy lights and stars and you have this beauty……

Alternative Christmas Trees on Peony and Thistle's Blog

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This one would take a bit of patience to put together but it’d be well worth the effort….

Alternative Christmas Trees on Peony and Thistle's Blog

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This is such a great way to display your Christmas cards … old or new….

Alternative Christmas Trees on Peony and Thistle's Blog

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Made with IKEA Ribba picture edge shelves, this one is so simple and so pretty!

Alternative Christmas Trees on Peony and Thistle's Blog

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I have collected lots more alternative Christmas trees and lots of other lovely Christmas ideas on my Christmas Pinterest Board – do have a peek!

3 reasons to visit the Isle of May

…Puffins,

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 Puffins,

 

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 Puffins!

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Puffins are my favourite, favourite bird – so cute and so funny to watch. They just lift your spirits whenever you see then. Yesterday we decided to have a wee trip to visit them on the Isle of May. The island is on the East coast of Scotland – easy to reach from Glasgow.  We took the ferry from Anstruther and had a wonderful afternoon watching the puffins on the island.

Of course there is a lot more to see on the beautiful Isle of May than just puffins …

ISLE OF MAY 1

Fabulous lighthouses….

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Beautiful thistles….

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And lots of razorbills… another of my favourite birds.

And lots, lots, lots more …. We were sad to have to leave the island at the end of the afternoon.  There’s something very therapeutic and captivating about watching birds going about their business, as if the rest of the world didn’t exist. I thoroughly recommend a visit to the Isle of May – but if you want to catch the puffins, you’d better be quick. They only come to the island to nest and will be leaving very soon …

 

The beauty of vintage sheets…

I love the bright cheerful colours of vintage sheets – especially from the sixties and seventies. For the past three years I’ve been building up a beautiful collection, with lots of plans for lovely projects… But I find it so hard to start cutting up these pretty fabrics and keep changing my mind about what I’m going to make with them… So, to get me kick started, I decided that I should sell some pieces of fabric in our Etsy shop – the idea was that this would force me to start cutting up the sheets so that (so my thinking goes) I’d then find it easier to get started with my own projects…

So this week, I’ve been very busy measuring, cutting and listing some gorgeous fabric fat quarter collections in our shop. I love seeing all the bundles of colours together – so cheerful and perfect for summer projects!

12293 e fabrics12292 d fabrics 12295 d pink sheet

12294 b 4 FQs

I’ve come across some fabulous vintage sheet projects on Pinterest.  Here is just a tiny handful of my favourites… They would all be perfect for the fat quarter packs I’ve put together.

sheet incolororder

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sheet emmylizzy

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sheets rosehip.typepad

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There are so many more wonderful things to do with vintage sheets. Pinterest is a great source of inspiration. I’m always adding more pins, so keep your eyes on my Vintage Sheet Projects board and Things to Make board for more ideas.

A weekend in Gigha

We’re just back from a lovely weekend in Gigha – a gorgeous small island off the west coast of Scotland. We’ve been there a few times and always enjoy it. This weekend’s weather was amazing – almost wall to wall sunshine – so everything looked especially beautiful. We fitted in some great walking and were rewarded by wonderful views.

A weekend in Gigha | Peony and Thistle

A weekend in Gigha | peonyandthistle.com

A weekend in Gigha | peonyandthistle.com

The gardens at Achamore House seem to be at their best at this time of year with carpets of bluebells and a huge collection of rhododendrons.

Achamore Gardens, Isle of Gigha

 A weekend in Gigha | peonyandthistle.com

A weekend in Gigha | peonyandthistle.com

If you fancy a trip to Gigha, we thoroughly recommend staying with Betty and Kenny at Springbank B & B.  We stayed with them 3 years ago and were delighted to be able to stay with them again this time.

Tiptoe through the tulips

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I last blogged. Where has the time gone?

Last week Phil and I visited Keukenhof Gardens near Amsterdam. The gardens were absolutely spectacular with millions of beautiful tulips. My parents and I had visited the gardens – many years ago – when I was studying in Amsterdam.  But it was obviously very cold  that year and there were no flowers in bloom at all in April!   I’ve wanted to re-visit Keukenhof ever since…

Thankfully this time the gardens were looking at their best when we visited.  I thought I’d share just a few of the beautiful flowers so that you can have a little stroll through the gardens with us…

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Like a child at Christmas….

I was as excited as a child at Christmas yesterday when the postman brought me the first edition of PaperCrafter magazine.  Let’s Make Cards has undergone an extensive make-over to become the lovely PaperCrafter, which will be launched on Thursday.

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Not only is PaperCrafter full of fabulous projects – which I’m now desperate to try – but it also has a gorgeous collection of papers, cards, ribbons, stamps, die-cuts and embellishments… and…

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… last, but CERTAINLY not least (…in our opinion!), is a lovely feature on Peony and Thistle!

PaperCrafter5

 How exciting is that!!!

Britain In Pictures

I’ve often admired the lovely ‘Britain in Pictures’ books while browsing in secondhand bookshops. I love the beautifully designed covers and the fabulous illustrations inside. But I had no idea of their interesting background until I undertook a little research when adding some of these wonderful books to our shop.

 

Publication of the ‘Britain in Pictures’ Series started during the second world war. The books were designed to be a celebration of Britain’s contribution to the arts, science, industry and culture.

Their aim was to boost British morale during the war and to help maintain British national identity. A bit of patriotic propaganda in print!
 

The books are beautifully illustrated with colour and black and white pictures and many of the books were written by the most famous authors of the day, including George Orwell and Graham Greene.

 

Publication of the series continued after the end of the war – between 1941 and 1949 a total of 132 titles were published. The books cover a huge and, sometimes eccentric, range of topics – Waterways and Canals, Ship Builders and Fishermen, Butterflies, Hills and Mountains, English Villages and, my favourite title of all, Life Among the English.
 
These books are an absolute joy…. Full of all sorts of snippets of fascinating information which give a wonderful insight into life as it was before the second world war.
 
I think I feel a new collection coming on….

Inspiring Upcycling – Lee Broom Decanterlights

I often come across beautiful crystal decanters on purchasing trips for vintage goodies for our shop. Tastes have changed over the years and many people no longer feel the need to put their whisky or sherry into a decanter – no matter how fabulous it may be! So I was really delighted to discover these amazing decanterlights by interior and product designer, Lee Broom.

All photos copyright of Lee Broom

It’s great to see that some of these wonderful decanters have been given a new lease of life and can keep on sparkling prettily!