DIY Ombre Pot: Hibiscus in the House!

Some of you might know that I have family living in Malaysia, which is suddenly relevant because May’s Plant of the Month at The Joy of Plants was the Hibiscus, Malaysia’s national flower!


The Hibiscus flower always reminds me of hotter, sunnier climes; aren’t Hawaiian shirts typically covered in the flower, for example? And I’m pretty sure hibiscus drinks/cocktails were invented in the tropics (by the way, there is a recipe for hibiscus tea on the website, and it looks YUM. Did you know that the flower is full of vitamin C and can lower blood pressure? Well, now you do!).


It’s only fitting then, now summer is upon us, that we spend some time admiring the hibiscus plant and showing it off in our homes. Here’s a DIY for a dip-dye flower pot! Enjoy.

What you need:

  • Hibiscus (in a pot)
  • Glass tank, vase or a bucket
  • Coat hanger with clamps (the kind for clipping trousers with)
  • Tin that will fit the plant
  • Piece of cotton fabric, preferably washed so that it doesn’t shrink
  • Pot to mix the glue with water
  • Textile dye
  • Salt to add to the dye (so it will set)
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Rubber gloves


Fill the tank vase with dye according to the instructions. Cut the fabric to the width of the tin. Hang the longer side of the fabric on the coat hanger.


Put the rubber gloves on and lower the bottom half of the fabric into the dye. Take the fabric out after 1 minute and then lower the fabric a bit further into the dye. After 5 minutes take the fabric out of the dye again and then lower it even further into the dye. You do this until the whole fabric is coloured in stages. Tip: attach the hanger to a string hanging from something, so that you don’t have to hold the fabric the whole time.


Let the coloured fabric dry. Then mix the glue with the water in the pot. Cover the whole tin with the glue mixture and stick the fabric to the tin. Make sure that the end of the fabric is glued securely so that it can’t come loose.


Your dip dye pot is now ready! Now all you have to do is put your Hibiscus in it. It will look best if the edge of the plastic plant pot is at the same height as the edge of the tin. You could put stones, or something else in the bottom of the tin to fill it up to right height.

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Images and DIY courtesy of The Joy of Plants


So pretty, you’ll want it all…

It’s Christmas eve! Today is officially the start of the Christmas celebration – as a family, we watch The Snowman, Father Christmas, and A Christmas Carol together, before adding the remaining presents to the pile of gifts under the tree that had been growing steadily over the past week. We also eat more family Christmas cake, play some silly games, and spend plenty of time laughing lots in preparation for more fun and festivity the next day. After all, it’s not every day you get to remember the birth of Christ! What are some of your traditions?

Thinking of Christmas reminds us of the Magi – the wise men of the Orient who brought three gifts to the baby Jesus in his manger – and in turn reminds us of talented gift-makers, Birch & Goldberry. The company, which we first discovered on Design Love Fest, makes limited edition collections of hand painted wrapping paper, colourful soaps, fragrant soy candles, and small greeting+holiday cards. We adore the whimsy, invigorating mix of colours and swirls in their products.BundleExample_o

Birch & Goldberry is Elizabeth Burnham, Hillaree Hamblin & Stephanie Hamblin. They all studied Painting at the University of Houston, where they bonded over shared styles and visions; in Sept. 2013, the triplet launched the company, and have since taken part in pop up shops and markets.

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Image above: Bri Emergy, Design Love Fest

We love that Birch & Goldberry products are a labour of love. As all three founders have creative backgrounds and formal training in fine art, the packaging and design of the collections are well thought out and diligently created, including the rolls and rolls of hand-painted wrapping paper!

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We can’t get enough of the vivid colours and bold pattern in Birch & Goldberry products. To be honest, we’re not sure we’d want to wrap anything in their wrapping paper – would feel far too decadent to do so!

Have a happy Christmas eve; may you have a wonderful time with your loved ones and your festive traditions.

For more Birch & Goldberry goodness, see them at:


Images: Birch & Goldberry (unless otherwise stated)

Renting? It can still be your home…


We forgot to tell you that we made a tiny appearance on the Laura Ashley blog here! We joined two other bloggers to talk about what makes a house a home, especially if you (like us) are renting your space. Snippets below, click on the link here for the full post. Thanks for having us, Laura Ashley Blog!

1. Tell us a little bit about Courage & Dash:

Courage & Dash is an interiors+lifestyle blog with a focus on setting up home in a rental property. More people than ever before now rent, and with a new wave of home‑grown businesses and online resources, it’s easier than before to put one’s stamp on one’s residence, whatever the state it came in.

I’ve been living in rented flats in London since I moved out of home (that’s about 10 years now!) and have had various experiences with landlords and flats that were, with hindsight, honestly horrific, so I thought how about I find retailers, designer‑makers, stylists, interior experts, etc. to share some inspiration. I love small‑medium British businesses, and independent designers ‑ there’s so much talent out there ‑ and I love looking at beautiful things, and the blog seemed a logical conclusion.

2. How can interiors help you feel more at home?

Interiors make all the difference in the world! We had to have a cracked wall fixed because water was seeping in, so removed all our wall hangings while our landlady sorted it out ‑ the first time I saw the wall without the hangings, I thought “this place feels so unloved.” It suddenly felt like a flat that hadn’t been moved into, from being our cosy living room. Having rooms look and feel the way you want helps you feel settled, even if you don’t own the place. It can turn a room into a haven. And it doesn’t have to be big things like wallpaper/paint/furniture ‑ it’s the little things like lighting, throws, cushions that make all the difference, in my view. I know some people that take soft furnishings with them on holiday to ‘home‑ify’ their hotel room ‑ I’m not so extreme!


3. What’s your must have item from laura ashley to create a homely atmosphere?

I’m really loving the Grayson Horse Table Lamp for creating some low level cosy lighting when the winter nights set in, and definitely the Elsham chunky knit blanket as the weather starts getting cooler.

4. To you, what makes a house a home?

At the risk of sounding sentimental, home to me is a house full of memories, so it’s really important to have your favourite items that capture the relationships and experiences that have made you who you are. Things that tell your story really transform a room/building into a living space. But more broadly, as long as it’s a place you can relax in, it’s your home.


Get more inspiration at the Laura Ashley blog:


Images via Laura Ashley

Still Looking? Festive Gold+Bombay Duck Giveaway!


We are having a massive thing for glossy metallics at the moment – it’s most certainly been brought on by tinsel and glitter and sequins that are traditional for this time of year, but for some reason, we can’t seem to get enough! Can you gold foil everything? WE WANT TO.

So… now that you know we are obsessed with shiny things, take a look at the latest Bombay Duck collection, which we absolutely adore. We spotted them at Top Drawer London this year, and could not help but wander over (multiple times) to pick up various bits of crockery and homewares.


Bombay Duck was founded by two sisters, Laura and Steph, who love shopping and travelling. The brand is well known for its vivacious colours and bold print, inspired by time spent by both of them in the Far East. Bombay Ducks’ style has changed since we first discovered it – the new designs work for both lovers of pattern as well as of block colours. However, our favourite thing about the business, is that it started as a sisterly dream and has now grown into a large, global lifestyle name.

The site has everything you could possibly need to kit out your home (esp. your rented home!) with – from soft furnishings to kitchenware to picture frames, there is something for every home. And most definitely something for everyone, especially if like us you are not done with your Christmas shopping yet, eek!


Doesn’t the tea set above look so chic?

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To celebrate the season, and since it is nearly Christmas after all, we are giving away a Besotted mug from the new Bombay Duck collection. Simply follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and get more chances to win: click here
for details!
Competition closes on Dec. 21, 2014, and we will select a winner at random.

Visit Bombay Duck for more homely goodness and inspiration:


Images via Bombay Duck

Curious Shop: The Future Kept

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Why, hello there! Only 9 sleeps until Christmas day… how quickly the festive season has crept up on us. It’s  been some time since we had a #CuriousShop feature, so here we are, with our current favourite new online shop, The Future Kept. Remember Jeska Hearne from Lobster and Swan, whose lovely home studio we visited here?

Jeska, and her husband, Dean, recently launched their latest project that combines their backgrounds in design, styling, photography, writing, and brand development. The Future Kept is based on the ethos of slow-living, sustainability, and supporting artisans. And you can tell that the two have a clear vision for their brand – from the product images, to the materials to the design and makers, all tell the same story of taking a deep breath and stopping to think about how and why we buy.

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The shop stocks a range of products, from bags to bath products to home furnishings, and the is something for almost every budget. If you are still on the hunt for that elusive Christmas present for the friend who has it all, or the picky aunt, pop on over to the shop for a browse! Oh, and you really don’t want to miss their Instagram feed: it’s gorgeous (@thefuturekept).


Visit The Future Kept at

See Jeska’s blog at


Images via Jeska Hearne

Maker Thursday: Colourful, hand-printed fabrics inspired by global travel…

We bring you another maker/designer from across the Atlantic to love: Graymarket, the creation of Hallie Gray. Graymarket is the answer to all your linen (bedding, bath, and table) needs, made from beautiful fabrics designed by Hallie. The textiles feature colours and patterns that echo traditions from her travels all over the world.


After completing degrees in International Relations and Textile Design, Hallie Gray found herself with a love for simple, scaled-back design and an immense respect for the textile traditions of artisans around the world she’d encountered on her travels. She became intrigued with the idea of combining these two elements to create fresh, modern textiles and accessories, and luckily she managed to find some workshops that were up for the collaboration.


And thus was born Graymarket Design, through this network of many skilled, loving craftspeople.

Graymarket features individual pieces created through direct collaboration with the workshops – the textiles are designed in California (like your iDevice!), and the textiles are produced in small batches by the artisans. Block-printers, weavers and embroiderers… all traditional disciplines and all features in Graymarket textiles…

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“I have a deep respect and appreciation for traditional textile techniques, and feel very committed to helping create a market that can help support and preserve these practices,” Hallie says. “I also prefer the aesthetics of fabrics that have been hand printed or woven- I find a lot beauty in imperfections and irregularities, which are inherent in any textile made with human hands.”


When she’s not designing and making, Hallie spends her time outside as much as possible. “I love being outside, and recharge by hiking, rock climbing and doing yoga,” she says. Her environment is pretty energising. Up in West Berkeley, CA, she is surrounded by factories and warehouses, intermingled with small wineries, studios and an active railroad.

“I find it a really authentic and inspiring environment where it’s easy to be productive and creative. I started Graymarket Design about a year ago, and it’s been an exhilarating (and humbling) journey so far!”


“Getting the chance to work with and learn from different artisans and create a space where different textile traditions come together has been really amazing,” Hallie shares.

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Look at those colours! I am adoring the mix of print and pattern, as well as the wide range of tones. Something for every season, and every occasion. Want some of those herringbone patterned, pink napkins above…

For more of Hallie’s creative work, visit

Images: Kara Brodgesell