Seed and Stem….new stock and a bit of a SALE

I’m still cutting and pasting and cutting and pasting over here and have added a few more products to the Seed and Stem stationery range.

The Gift Tags are particularly lovely and the Note Cards make the perfect thank you card or simply as a “why not send something pretty through the post”. We all need a little bit of happy, real life post from time to time.


Flower notelets




Gift Tags Herbs and Veg


Gift Tags Flowers



And if you add JAN2014 at checkout, you’ll get FREE SHIPPING for the rest of the month


Avene and Avene and Avene…

I’ve never been terribly good with treatments and pampering, I always thought it was a little self-indulgent and something I’d embrace when I grew up. And then suddenly I realised I was grown up and my skin was screaming for some kind of attention. It’s happening, the wrinkles are starting to show and the irritating patches of dryness and redness are beginning lash out in all their frustrated glory. It’s my face mainly (nothing too noticeable) which apparently hates the Winter along with Christmas, stress, lack of sleep, the list continues and to add to the gripes, it has now decided to reject my moisturiser of choice for the past 15 years.

I have sensitive skin, always have, and so to find a facial routine which doesn’t leave me spotty and sad has taken me a very long time indeed. I went for Kiehls and it worked. Well it did. And then suddenly, around the 20th December I think it was, my skin started to revolt, literally. Dry patches and redness which worsened as the day went on accompanied by the odd blemish here and there. I googled, I questioned, I almost cried, I slathered my face in the children’s excema emollients and then I discovered a small, sealed canister at the back of my bathroom cabinet. I’ve had it for an age and never opened it, Eau Thermal Avene Water Spray. I held down the nozzle and a fine, gentle, reinvigorating mist covered my face. And now…15 days on….my skin is happy again. With my thermal mist (whatever that is) and accompanying Eau Thermale Avene Hydrance Optimale Rich moisturiser – for sensitive and atopic skin – the patches have gone and the dryness is no more.The wrinkles are being a little more stubborn but if anything can, Avene can.


Seed and Stem Greeting Cards

To say I’ve been slack in posting recently would be an understatement. I’ve been darn right lazy. Don’t think I haven’t been busy though, I have, I promise, been really very busy with all manner of things. Movember somewhat takes over around this time of year – it’s the busiest time in the Lucky Seven Caps calendar and therefore the busiest time in my own work / home / life calendar. It’s all worth it though, every single second and I’m very proud of all that we’ve achieved at this point in the Movember month. If you have no idea what on earth I’m talking about you can take a look around the STORE or watch the VIDEO. Enjoy.

I have managed to sneak in a bit of creative cutting and pasting though when no one’s looking. I’ve started making my own little greeting cards using my treasured collection of vintage French seed packets which I’ve had for years and have desperately wanted to put to good use. So, I bought some A6 Kraft cards and envelopes and a few postcards too and started sticking, packing and uploading and the result is enormously satisfying and so I thought it time to share.

Each and every card is handmade and most are completely unique so once they’ve gone, they’ve gone. They make the prettiest greeting card and the postcards make the loveliest note cards. The ideal thank you for all those Christmas presents perhaps…..just an idea. Feel free to share. I’m in danger of getting far too attached to them and I don’t know nearly enough people to send them all to.

You can see the current range on the Seed and Stem Store. It’s ever changing and ever growing so keep checking back. There are big plans ahead….


carotte rouge longue saint


reine marguerite folded card


radis national


soleil double




group of 4


Clever Zara

I’m aware that this isn’t exactly breaking news but I ventured in to Zara at the weekend and if you haven’t been recently then you MUST GO. Immediately. You’ll never want for another coat, knit, skirt, dress, trouser….the collections are incredible and with price tags to match. I was in a smartening up kind of mood so went for the kind of things I wish I wore every day but know I’ll probably only get to wear once a month.

I didn’t get everything I wanted, that would have been both ridiculous and bad for my marriage, but I did get a couple of things which will be worn the moment the temperatures drop and I have somewhere deserving to dress up for. Clever Zara.






check dress zara


Jelly and Jam

Apparently making your own jam or jelly is quite a rite of passage. It’s similar to shopping for fresh Sage in Waitrose on Christmas Eve, so I’m told. I’ve never made jam or jelly before, I have all the books and the all the jars and even some vintage jam jar labels but until a couple of weeks ago, I was never brave enough to try it myself. I’m also not a massive fan of jam / jelly on anything really but I AM a massive fan of peanut butter and jam / jelly sandwiches and it was this that inspired me. I could potentially be about to knock Goober Grape out of the market all together….although I haven’t actually attempted those stripes in a jar yet. So it was this, along with the glut of blackberries growing at the end of our garden, that made me give jelly making a go. We also have a rather wonderful fallen apple tree in our garden which, despite lying horizontally across the lawn, where it has been for over a year, still manages to yield the most beautiful branches of blossom and a very impressive harvest of apples.

I found my recipe, the shortest and easiest version I could, I dug out one of the children’s muslins from the just-in-case baby box, tied on my favourite apron (any excuse) and got started. It was easier than a blackberry and apple pie and far more satisfying. I thought the “leave the syrup to drip overnight” would put me off seeing as I’m a hugely impatient cook, but it actually had quite the opposite effect. I found this part the most enjoyable of all. Waking to find that I had created a perfectly glossy fruity syrup by simply leaving some apple and blackberry mush to work its way through a well used (but clean) muslin was very exciting indeed.




So here’s the recipe I followed from The River Cottage Handbook, Preserves by Pam Corbin. I’m certain you could find similar formula online as it seems to be the most straight forward and can be adapted to all manner of fruit.


jelly recipe



And here are my jars. I’ve given a few away already and am about to gather the last of the blackberries and make another round for Christmas presents. This could be a cottage industry in the making…..or it may just be added to the long list of other home spun enterprises which never quite get off the ground.


jelly jars



Early Saturday morning puns

Thank goodness for Zebedee Helm


What Matters Most…..inspired by John Lewis and Vine

I saw this link to a competition John Lewis are running with Vine about What Matters Most – I was busy buying grey school socks for my 5 year old. They’re asking people to make a short stop motion movie using vine about what matters to them and share it on Twitter. You can win £1000 in John Lewis vouchers which, quite frankly, would matter a very great deal to me indeed. I may not get the movie written and directed by Sunday but It did get me thinking. 

The things that mattered to me 10 years ago are very different to the things which matter most to me now. Then it was about what to wear, what to eat, who to be and who to be friends with. Now it’s all about my children, health and happiness, the things I love and have loved and the things that make me smile. 

I suppose what matters most to me now are memories and moments. Both these things can be attached to material objects, those which invoke happy thoughts and personal feelings. So, without wanting to be either too sentimental or too materialistic and whilst feeling rather under pressure to choose just one thing, I’m choosing this, my Fiorucci Panini sticker collection. 

In my formative fashion teenage years Fiorucci was my first brand obsession. The store on the Kings Road was my very favourite place to visit and it encapsulated everything I thought of as cool.  It was full of the kind of Pop 80s style I most loved. Bright, brash and painfully hip. The rates on pocket money around this time didn’t help secure many purchases but what I did buy on every single visit, was a pack of stickers, which allowed me my very own little bit of Fiorucci fashion. 

Over the years I lost or swapped or gave away most of my sticky treasure but I held on to a small collection which I framed in later years and have kept to this day. They make me smile and the colours, the imagery, the language all still make me feel like they did the day I bought them. 

So that’s the memory and until my 38th birthday, those 12 stickers were all I had and they were without a doubt my most prized possession. And then, having thought for years that my husband didn’t listen to anything I said nor did he care about any of my things (that could still be a little bit true), I was presented on my birthday morning with a full set of Panini Fiorucci stickers. I’m still not entirely sure how or where he found them but he did and I now own them, all of them, beautifully mounted on the official Panini cards and protected in their very own Fiorucci folder. I want to run back to school and show everyone but instead I just look at them from time to time when I need to smile and be reminded of what matters most.  

How could these not make you happy. I mean look at them #whatmattersmost 








Cooking in style

My Mum can’t cook unless she’s wearing an apron. I’ve always viewed it as something reserved for grown ups, which apparently I now am. Apron appreciation is basically one step up from tea towels. We have hundreds of tea towels and I wash, iron and change them frequently. Nothing worse than a smelly jay cloth and a mucky tea towel. There are tea towels out there which are so very very pretty, they’d be happier viewed in a frame than wiping down dishes and dirty hands. Aprons, it seems, are going the same way, they are the must have kitchen accessory for the fashion conscious cook. I have a few and I wear them all. I have a denim one with swallows made for me by my sister in law, a striped one made by my brother’s godmother using the fabric we had on the tables at our wedding, one with a large yellowTea Rex (obviously) and I even dabbled in making my own three tiered skirt apron which I love. It’s the perfect thing to wear when I’m not entirely sure about my outfit. It compliments a jean or plain dress beautifully and sends out all kinds of homely messages.

I’m always on the look out for lovely aprons and Anthropologie may have just about the prettiest I’ve ever seen. You could quite easily wear any of these over something very ordinary indeed and you’d be the belle of the ball – even if someone else is hosting the party. You just have to remember the behind, aprons do magical things to your front view but you will need to turn round at some point so beware.






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Short and sweet

I found them! Go to KIDS, then Boys Age 8 – 14, then Shoes and ta-daaah “Basketball Shoes” in almost grown up sizes (up to size 6) for £7.99

I treated myself to the bright pink and grey, they should arrive today. They may be terrible but I’ll be sure to report back. Sadly I don’t think they have the elasticated laces and velcro but perhaps that would be one step too far for a thirty something.


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A stolen Summer

This title makes it sound much more romantic than it actually is. What I mean by “stolen” is stolen by children and housework and guests and work and anything else which has taken me away from writing posts on my blog.

And now, I have nothing to say or rather I have so much to say that I don’t know where to start. I could tell you about the wonderful Wilderness Festival which was just about the best weekend I can remember, I could tell you about children’s parties and the sleepless pressure of bouncy castle hire vs weather forecasts. I could tell you about the emotional wonderment of welcoming my very first real blood nephew in to the world and I could tell you about my new kitchen…which obviously doesn’t really compare to my nephew but has also made me very happy indeed. I’m desperate to tell you about my Anthropologie rug (sale bargain) which is possibly the most grown up purchase I’ve ever made and my Andy Warhol reproduction Campbells soup tins – complete with soup and all the way from USA.

There’s so much to tell. I’m going to start writing tonight and I won’t stop until I’ve remembered it all.

For now though I’m going to leave you with these perfectly brilliant shoes from H&M kids which have seen the boys very stylishly and cheaply through the entire Summer and are still going strong. They come in so many fantastic colours and have elasticated laces and velcro fastening, all for just £5.99. I just wish they did them in adult sizes – for the same price.


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