31.5.15

TOP MAKES WITH ELDERFLOWER CORDIAL.



I love to forage, and this time of year I get so excited to see the elderflowers come into bloom!
Making elderflower cordial is one of my favourite things to do!
It promises long summer evenings yet to come, and a garden filled with the sweetest smelling blooms.

Here are a couple of my most easiest and favourite things to make with my elderflower cordial recipe.

ELDERFLOWER & HERB ICE CUBES.

 These ices are amazing in your G & T!

I like to use: Violas, mint leaves, lemon thyme and lemon peel.
Simply place a little bundle of herbs in each box and top with cordial.
Place in freezer, after an hour just check that all the flowers have submerged, if not just poke them down.




These little blocks don't set the same as ice cubes because of the sugar content in the cordial, but they are more like mini lollies.
Pop a couple into your G & T, as they melt all the flowers will float to the top and look so pretty!



ELDERFLOWER, LEMON AND MINT LOLLIES.
                   

These lollies are proper lush!

I like to use: violas for prettiness, lots of mint leaves, lemon verbena leaves and lemon thyme.
Half fill some lolly moulds (these are from +The Range UK ) with your herbs, then fill with elderflower cordial mixed with water
Pop in the freezer for an hour without the lids on, then take out and mush the flower/herb mix to the bottom, then add the rest of the flowers/herbs, pop the lids on and place back in the freezer till set.

                     

Hope you enjoy these!

Emma x



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EASY ELDERFLOWER CORDIAL RECIPE

So I've finally perfected my elderflower cordial recipe, and guess what? I'm going to share it with you lovely lot, as well as some fun things you can make with it!

                              

You will need: 20 elderflower heads, 3 lemons, 1000ml water and 1kg of sugar.
Plus sterilised bottles, a jam muslin, a large glass bowl, large sterilised jug and a heavy bottom pan.

                                     

Method:

Clean your elderflower heads in a bowl of water, let them soak for five minutes so all debris comes away, then shake gently and place in a clean glass bowl. It is hugely important that the bowl is glass or plastic, as if it is in metal it will start to ferment.

Next you want the zest and juice of three lemons, the better the quality the better the cordial will taste!
I know three lemons may seem like a lot but trust me!
Squeeze over the flowers.

        Next, pour your water and sugar into your saucepan and heat gently till all the sugar has dissolved, you don't want to boil it.

Then pour your sugar syrup over the flower and lemon mix and leave to steep over night.
You may want to pop a towel over the top.


                              

Finally sterilise a large jug and your bottles.
Pour the mixture through a jam muslin into the jug, don't squeeze it, just let it drip.
Then you are ready to pour into bottles!

How easy was that!

This mix should make around 2L, and will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.
If you're wondering what you're going to do with it all, then you can give some to your friends, or you can read my next post where i'll be sharing my favourite way to use it!

                 

            


                              

   I just love the new 'Truly Alice' range from +Talking Tables 
I was ├╝ber lucky to win a gift set the other week which was a lovely surprise when I got home from my hols!

Will be sharing more pics of it all soon when I throw my mad hatters tea party!         

                                

Hope everyone is having a lovely week end!

Emma x



 



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29.5.15

HOW TO MAKE CRYSTALLISED FLOWERS.

You will need edible flowers, I like violas/violets. One egg white whisked. Castor sugar. Baking paper and a fine paintbrush.

                  

Firstly clean your flowers, also make sure no pesticides have been used on them. Whisk your egg white and lay out your baking paper, in another bowl pour 2 tablespoons of castor sugar.


                    

 Using one hand to hold the flower, paint on the egg wash with the brush until there is an even coating. Next put the brush down and sprinkle over the sugar with the hand you held your brush in, this way only one hand gets sticky and you don't end up in a congealed sugar mess.

Lay your flowers on the paper and store in the airing cupboard overnight.

                  

The next day pop in an air tight container and store in a dry place, your flowers should keep for a few months. Then adorn your cakes and creations when needed.

                    


  Emma x




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27.5.15

POP UP TEAS IN THE GARDEN.

It has been a while since I hosted a pop up tea party in my cottage garden. I've been thinking about doing some more this year, as we've decided to stay put (did think of moving), the house is finished, the garden is looking lovely, and I found these pics of the last one....


        

                                          

                                          

        

This one was rather special as it was also a crafternoon tea for a bridal shower!

I'm just thinking of opening the garden casually for pop-up tea and cake maybe on a week day afternoon. What do you think?

 Emma x

*Please note, the kitchen at The Haven is registered with the local authorities and has been awarded 4 stars. Should you wish to do any kind of catering from your home you need to complete a course in basic food hygiene, and inform trading standards so they can check your kitchen. Don't let this put you off, it really isn't as daunting as it sounds! 



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NORFOLK BROADS BOAT TRIP

Oh I do love to mess about on the river! And there is no place better than the Norfolk Broads.

      

As most of you know, my second home is our vintage van in Suffolk, and I have been spending almost half my time here since I was born, so I'm ashamed to say I don't go on the broads nearly as much as I should. 
However, yesterday we decided to take a boat out, it was hilarious to say the least, and we all had a go at driving it. But enough of that, what I really wanted was to show you some gorgeous house pics!!

The one above is my favourite, but I also loved these...

                                   

                                   

                                   

                      

How amazing would it be to live somewhere like this and have your own little boat!

Emma x






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26.5.15

MY VINTAGE CARAVAN.

We've had our second vintage caravan about a year now, it was sad to say goodbye to our old one but we had outgrown it and needed something bigger.
Slow but steady I have been restoring and making pretty our great big old hobby van.

I've taken a few snaps so far...

                       

Meet Hans... I know he's a boy van but boys can love pink too! Right?... I've painted his once brown stripes in candy pink, and the dark horrible units have been painted in a pleasing mix of +Farrow & Ball  'All white' and 'Vert de terre'.

                               


         



I made new curtains last year from Clarke and Clarke fabric in 'Nancy', and the bunting is from +Talking Tables 

                                      

                                

                               

The pastel theme continues in little finishing touches from mugs to pretty things for the kitchen, and I'm slowly wallpapering my collage walls throughout.

                              

                                             

                                     

We still have our work cut out though as we need to replace parts of the floor and we are ripping the beds out and re jigging them. When it's finished I know I'll want to do another one, it's in my blood!

                                     Hope you enjoyed my pics. Have a lovely rest of the week.

            Emma x









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23.5.15

HOLIDAY MUST HAVE!




These stylish wash bags are the latest addition to my store.
Handmade from linen with a pretty oil cloth lining.
Just £10.95 from my store.





Stars make-up bag with linen lining.
Handmade.
£10.95 from my store







Happy holidays everyone.

Emma x





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22.5.15

MY FAVOURITE FABRIC COLLECTIONS.

Cottons and Linens.


Blue birds and roses.

Artists stripe.

Charlotte.

Pink tatty roses.
Happy Friday everyone!
And a bank holiday, how fabulous!

These are some of my favourite cottons and linens from my fabric collection.
I'm in love with my 'Charlotte' linen that I designed for the birth of our Royal Princess.
It features beautiful pink roses and little crowns, just fit for a princess!

My 'Pink tatty roses' linen would look lovely as a table cloth for outdoor parties, and I will be making more napkins from the 'Blue birds and roses', perfect for afternoon tea!

You can view my full fabric collection here.

Have a lovely week end!

Emma x




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21.5.15

PERFECT PETALS


The spring flowers have been spectacular so far, and now my gorgeous +David Austin Roses are in full bud and ready to burst!

The rose is my most favourite bloom of them all, sure I love a peony and the frilly ranunculus, but give me the scent and faded beauty of a rose and I am a very happy lady!

They are my inspiration to paint and create.

Emma x

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20.5.15

EVERY DAY IS AN ADVENTURE!



 Being your own boss sees everyday as a big adventure.

It takes enormous amount of self control.
Not everything always goes to plan, but it is the freedom I have come to love so much!
Waking up in the morning and deciding what to make today, what to photograph, shall I paint...

But don't be fooled.
As lovely as it sounds it's not for everyone, and there is a lot to be said for a monthly pay cheque, holiday pay, and no tax return forms to battle with.

I never know when my next sale will be.
But when it happens, and somebody actually buys my stuff, my fabric, my handmade items, my vintage treasure... well that is the best feeling ever!

I hope you are all enjoying your adventures whatever they may be!

Emma x




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18.5.15

PHOTOGRAPHY STYLING, BEHIND THE SCENES.

                      

 It's photography styling season again! It does sometimes feel like I am forever waiting for the light as it plays a huge part in my life of photography. From May to September I take on a few select commissions of product styling and photography for people wishing to build their brand- be it a website or blog, and my home gets utterly turned on its head as all of my pretty props come out.

 I thought I'd share with you a couple of shots from behind the scenes of a product shoot I did last September. I know I'm always intrigued by things like this, to see how others work. Mines pretty mess! Lol That is what I tell Mr C anyway... 

                      

If you have some pretty things you'd love to have styled and photographed then please drop me a message or email me at info@emmaconnollydesigns.co.uk 

 Emma x
  
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