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Country Living UKCountry Living UK

Country Living UK December 2018

Whether you live in the town or countryside, in Country Living you’ll find a wealth of ideas for your home and garden, learn about traditional crafts, keep informed of rural issues, enjoy irresistible dishes using seasonal produce and, above all, escape the stress and strain of modern-day life.

United Kingdom
Hearst Magazines UK
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access_time1 Min.
celebrate christmas…

In this issue of Country Living, we have everything you need to create the perfect Christmas, from festive food (page 146) and a comprehensive gift guide (page 9) to decorating ideas (page 28), great craft makes to give your home an original touch (pages 40 and 54) and a round-up of the best markets (page 117). Then, as you’d expect, there are a number of more unusual features that celebrate the season in all its guises: we follow in the footsteps of two pilgrims on their spiritual journey across southern England (page 102), enjoy the tradition of sledging (page 51) and meet a family who harvest mistletoe from their ancient apple trees (page 94). We also get an insight into other people’s Christmases – Michael Morpurgo talks about his love…

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country living’s christmas gift guide

ARTS & craftsQuirky kits and decorative pieces for keen creatives and artistsContemporary embroidery kit, £16, by Jenny Blair – great for beginnersHandmade vintage-style pin cushion, £8.95, Dee PuddyHare needle-felt kit (makes two), designed by Sophie Buckley of The Makerss, £20*Felt needlecase kit with a Scandinavian-inspired embroidered design by Corinne Lapierre, £9.60Handmade notebooks, from £28, The Shop Floor ProjectNappa leather artist’s roll with pencils, £55, Not Another BillCharleston-inspired decorative paint set by Annie Sloan, £29.95Calligraphy set with two penholders, 12 nibs and black, blue, red and sepia ink, £30, Hobbycraft*RECEIVE TEN PER CENT OFF BY QUOTING ‘COUNTRYLIVING’ UNTIL 4 DECEMBER 2018HOME comfortsUseful and beautiful items to inspire and delightThis book from Good Housekeeping has lots of festive recipes for canapés, desserts, edible gifts and more, £18.99, Harper CollinsLinen union cushion cover…

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a month in the country

TAKE PART IN TREE DRESSING DAYTrees were focal points for celebrations long before the Victorians adopted the Germanic tradition of bringing a pine indoors and decorating it with candles. Ancient Celts, for example, would tie cloth dipped in holy well water to a ‘clootie tree’, while in Japan, blossomy boughs are still decorated with wishes written on paper. Reviving this tradition of celebrating our leafy companions, Tree Dressing Day takes place on the first weekend of December. Gather friends and family around a favourite oak, alder, buckthorn or beech and bedeck its branches with coloured cloth, yarn or paper. Visit commonground.org.uk for more details.Look out for fascinating fernsIN AN OTHERWISE MONOCHROME LANDSCAPE, evergreen ferns (Dryopteris marginalis) offer respite with splashes of vivid green. Having evolved more than 300 million years…

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tales from the blacksmith’s cottage

(ILLUSTRATION BY CLARE MELINSKY)There are so many people in the house for Christmas that my husband (the Lawyer) and I have been relegated to the granny annexe – The Barn, as my parents have taken to calling it. They can label it with whatever country-chic moniker they want – it will always be ‘Granny’s House’ to me. Some of the guests have come from America, so they need to be as near as possible to all the central heating outlets and not have to suffer the indignity of having to step out of their rooms in pyjamas. Others are coming from their hot London houses and, even though we’ve expressly said ‘bring your warms’, the message will be lost on them because they simply can’t comprehend how cold Georgian cottages…

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’twas the night before christmas

Decorations with brass and gold finishes reflect candlelight to add twinkle to a windowsillWrap bottles by rolling them in decorative paper. Press the paper down underneath, bunch together at the top and tie with a ribbonPrinted paper chain garland kit, £14, The Shop Floor Project On windowsill, from left: owl, £19.99; ceramic decorations, £2.99 each: all Dobbies. Winter Mercury votive candles, £35 for two, The White Company. Aged zinc star wreath, £24.50, Petersham Nurseries. Vintage Eastern European milk bottles, £50 for four, Raj Tent Club. Frosted cone wreath, £18.99, Dobbies On chest, from left: belly basket, £35, Olli Ella. Red giftwrap and green giftwrap, £2.50/sheet, Cambridge Imprint. Gold box, from a selection, Paperchase. Houses giftwrap, £1.99/sheet, Roger la Borde. Berries giftwrap (on tiny present), £5.40 for three sheets, Caroline Gardner On…

access_time9 Min.
craft ideas to inspire

THIS MONTH: THE FESTIVE SEASONSPONGE-STAMPED GIFT TAGSThis is a simple and effective printing technique for making your own wrapping essentials and greetings cards.YOU WILL NEEDPencilCream scalloped circle tags (available from hobbycraft.co.uk)PaperScissors or craft knife and cutting matNewspaper or magazineAcrylic paint – I used red, green and turquoise, mixed with a little whiteOld plate for mixing paintWide-area brushFelt tip penMagic eraser sponge (such as Doktor Power)Acrylic gel retarderBristle paintbrushTwine or ribbon1 Draw simple bird shapes, including doves and robins, and other festive motifs to fit the diameter of a tag (inside the scallop edge) onto paper. Draw and cut out several shapes, folding the paper to cut more than one at a time.2 Cover the top of a flat surface with newspaper. Alternatively, use the pages of a magazine and simply…