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A Vintage Candleholder

When we were In Stratford Upon Avon recently, I insisted on dragging Ian around a lovely little antique market we stumbled upon there.

Since we bought our home, I have become more interested in pottering around places like these. I’m not talking about proper, historical, cost-the-earth antiques but just pretty trinkets like odd pieces of china, floral teacups, teaspoons, vases and milk jugs. And although I love IKEA (hello meatballs!), I really do like the idea of having some more personal and unique things dotted around the house.

I picked up a few pieces from this market and at the time wasn’t really too sure what I was going to do with them. I just knew that I liked them and most of the things I pick up at places like this are real bargains too!

The first thing I bought was this pretty glass bowl for just £1 with a simple pattern etched onto the underside of it.

I thought it looked and felt too delicate for everyday use in the kitchen and my first thought was that it would be perfect on my dressing table to keep trinkets or earrings in.

I also picked up a little bag of vintage buttons for only 50p – I wish I had bought more now! The colour-coding appeals to my slightly neurotic side and I find buttons really pretty anyway, especially the pearlescent ones.

After giving it a good wash, I had the glass bowl on the side in our dining room but I felt it looked a bit plain and was missing something.

At this time of year, I crave candles and fairy lights twinkling in the corners of rooms and so decided to transform this piece of glassware from bowl to candleholder. To soften the look of the tealight in there, I poured in the bag of buttons.

And here it is sat on my shelf, a lovely looking and original piece, costing less than £2.

I didn’t add too many buttons so you can still see the delicate pattern on the bowl peeking through, and when the candle is burning, the light leaves a very pretty pattern on the shelf.

Finally, I just had to share my most random purchase of the day at this market…a little wooden toadstool for 10p – why not?!

Pomegranate Punch

We had a power cut yesterday evening. The whole village was plunged into darkness, which meant torches were grabbed, candles were lit and all the surrounding houses had a warm glow coming out from behind the curtains. It looked so cosy that I was almost disappointed when the power came back on!

Lots of neighbours were popping next door to check on people, which made me feel really happy to be living in a village that has that kind of community feeling where we all look out for each other.

It did of course mean we had to create our own fun, so out came the ukulele and I played the only two tunes I currently know, until I was finally asked to stop! Hehe

We now need to try and figure out how to reset all the timers on various kitchen equipment, and catch up on the new series of The Apprentice!

My Dad is still staying with us meaning we have had dish after dish of gorgeous home-cooked food;

Ribs (which were left to marinate and tenderise in a brine before being cooked until they were literally falling off the bone)

And Chicken Cacciatore, a lovely Italian dish

It is lovely to be able to come home after a long day at school and not have to worry about cooking, although his services don’t include the washing up!

Today’s quick recipe is for a summery punch, and it also meant I got to use my new stripy straws for the first time!

I can see myself making this cocktail time and time again over the summer. The pomegranate is sweet, yet crisp, and mint adds a refreshing element to the drink. I made this sans alcohol, but I plan to experiment with adding dashes of vodka and amaretto to it too.

Ingredients

Pomegranate juice

Fresh mint

Sparkling water or lemonade

A teaspoon of sugar (optional)

How to make it

  • Begin by picking sprigs of mint and tearing them to release their sweet flavour
  • Put the mint in the bottom of the glass or jug and fill it roughly two thirds full with pomegranate juice then top with the sparkling water
  • Add the sugar if needed and give it a stir
  • After a few minutes, the mint will start to infuse so enjoy over ice, with pretty straws and preferably in the sun!