The Simple Things

The Simple Things May 2020

The Simple Things is a beautiful, useful, quirky and fun magazine about taking time to live well. We cover mindfulness and microadventures, eating and growing, forgotten wisdom, home life and slow moments. It's for people who love their lives but want to take the pressure off and remember what’s really important. We like tea & cake, learning stuff, being outside and the satisfaction of a job well done. Do you?

United Kingdom
Iceberg Press Limited
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12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.

If necessity is the mother of invention, then this is our most creative issue ever. Welcome to the May special scrapbook edition. Many of our regular readers have told us that The Simple Things offers some respite from stress, worry and boredom during this difficult time, so we wanted to bring you a magazine that was even more full of comfort, calm and cheer than usual. Like small businesses everywhere, we’ve been forced to find ways to work with less people, less money and less time. So, we combed the archive for our best work that offers the most help and diversion, or resonates right now. We’ve redesigned and updated these favourite features to gather them together in a magazine created to INSPIRE. You’ll find good things to eat (of course), could-do projects,…

2 min.
may almanac

Recipe Handmade pasta How to make your own pasta (even without a pasta maker) You will need 100g semolina flour and 1 egg per person 1 If you want to be properly Italian, put your flour on the work surface, make a well in the centre and crack your eggs in. Beat them well, then slowly work into the flour until it’s all combined. (Or you can bung it all in a food processor and whizz). 2 Give your dough a really thorough kneading in order to develop the gluten in the flour. This can take a fair while of stretching, pulling, slapping and pummelling. Expect to have achy arms afterwards. When the dough is really smooth and silky to touch, it’s ready. 3 Wrap your dough in cling film and rest in the fridge for about…

2 min.

Project Make a floral crown Because everyone deserves to feel like a flower queen. • Use some florist’s wire to create a circle that sits neatly atop your head and secure the ends with florist’s tape or washi tape. • Choose greenery and flowers from the garden. A mix of big blousy ones and dainty blooms is good. • Attach the greenery all around the wire to cover it. • Tape together mini bunches of three to five flowers and then secure each bunch around the crown with craft wire. • Add a ribbon to trail artfully down your back. • Retreat to the garden barefoot with a drink of your choice in an elfin manner, if you like. READ... ❍ The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig. Nix sails to places anywhere, at any time in history – real…

2 min.
thyme for tea

We’re not using herbs as much as we could be. That’s the premise of Nat Mady’s social enterprise, Hackney Herbal, which aims to inspire people in the way they think about and use herbs. That doesn’t have to mean anything too complex – harnessing their potential for wellbeing can be as simple as this project for making your own herbal tea bags. Over the many workshops and events run by Hackney Herbal, one of the things that Nat always notices is how people connect with herbs in different ways, whether it’s through the folklore that surrounds them, or – especially in an area as diverse as the east London borough of Hackney – memories of different cultural uses. “People get so excited,” she says. “I’m always being told something I don’t…

3 min.
the great indoors

Creative gardening need not be restricted to outdoors. Or, indeed, to off-the-shelf plant pots. Making an eye-catching hanging plant holder is a craftier way to display greenery, and is a great project for anyone finding themselves with limited space. Be warned, though, this retro project comes with a major flashback warning. Macramé, once hugely popular in the 70s and now enjoying a well-deserved comeback, will have you hooked – a revival of a past craze, which, hopefully much like your plants, refuses to fade. The ancient craft of macramé was a hit with the Victorians, although it’s most associated with 1970s homespun style. Plant hangers are back, given a colourful – and, dare we say it, tasteful – makeover. There are plenty of options on the market if you’re after some inspiration (or, if…

2 min.
tricks of the light

Sun printing sounds magical and actually, the process is about as close to magic as you can get. By applying a light-sensitive dye to a piece of paper or fabric and exposing it to sunlight, you’ll see it change colour before your eyes! Where things get interesting is when you start shielding areas from the sunlight to create intricate patterns. As the process requires very little kit or set-up, it’s a simple way to make your mark. It’s a method with a proud heritage – it links back to the earliest days of photography and cyanotyping (see below). The very first images made using this method were of botanical specimens – plants and flowers, reeds and grasses all offer easy-to-find and distinctive templates. However, anything with a distinctive shape can be…