A gift for you and your home!

We always have products at low prices that are perfect for the use around your home, from candle holders to dog sculptures we always have an assortment products that would fit in perfectly with your interior decor.

We want to inspire you to turn your house into a home, show your seasonal spirit with decorations and most importantly make the space yours. So we cut the prices on products throughout the year, allowing you to mix it up but never know what you may need next!

If you want ideas keep checking this blog, but if its deals you want then here’s the link you need: http://www.prettymaison.co.uk/sale

 

How to choose the perfect gift this Father’s Day

fathers day

Father’s Day is a precious time to show your Dad how much you care and how grateful you are for the love and support that he has shown to you throughout the years.

Many people take time to send cards and gifts, visit if possible and spend the day with the special man in their life. Why not take your Dad out to lunch, go for a stroll in the park, a walk on the beach or simply just spend some time together.

I am sure everybody thinks they have the worlds best Dad so what better way to tell him than with a fabulous and thoughtful gift. If you have time you could try your hand at baking him a cake? You could present this in a vintage cake tin to give it the homemade edge.

If your Dad is a budding Monty Don at heart then our seed storage tins make a perfect gift, why not double up with a matching string dispenser!

The most important thing is to think about your Dad and what he would like. It’s not really that difficult, just cast your mind back and you will re-discover a whole new shopping list!

We all have precious memories of our childhood days. Mine include wrestling with Dad (I always won of course!), being buried in the sand every summer holiday, running around the local park with Dad pretending to be Rocky Balboa in training, burnt sausages at every family BBQ and shaving foam fights at Christmas!

Whatever your memories are make sure you enjoy the day with your Dad, take some time to show him you care, enjoy yourselves and create more wonderful and happy memories together.

Most of all have a happy Father’s Day x

Are you ready for summer?

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We are famous for our British summers aren’t we? Rain, sunshine and more rain! But our keep calm and carry on attitude gets us through as will our fabulous new range of casual dining sets, perfect for eating, entertaining and watching the sun going down.

Whatever the weather the beauty of our outdoor furniture is that it can be left outside all summer long, come rain and shine. Fantastic for family get-togethers, birthday parties, romantic evening meals and leisurely breakfasts, simply re-arrange on the patio in the formation that best suits your occasion and enjoy al-fresco dining to the max.

The beauty of modern materials is that they look like a traditional design but are actually built to endure years of British summers! Our Bosham Corner Sofa Set is manufactured from polywood, a timber-styled material that is made from recycled plastic, not only it is perfect for all weathers but it is environmentally friendly and requires no maintenance either! The showerproof cushions partner the driftwood style furniture beautifully and will make any patio the envy of the Jones’!

If it’s more of a rattan furniture you prefer then why not go for a PE rattan? This really is the new kid on the block as far as outdoor furniture goes. It looks like natural rattan but is UV resistant and weatherproof and our Lolsworth Corner Sofa Set comes complete with showerproof linen-look cushions too.

With your artistic flair running free why not spruce up your patio area and add some decorative pots and containers to make it a real showpiece, big pots full of colour work well against large pieces of furniture whilst smaller pots really come into their own when dotted against walls or used as a table centrepiece.

Whatever you use to create your oasis, just remember it’s all about having somewhere to comfortably sit back, eat, entertain and watch the sun go down, with G & T in hand of course x

What should you buy for Mothers’ Day?

mothers day

Mothers’ Day is such a special day, to show Mum how much she’s valued and appreciated, but have you ever wondered where Mother’s Day came from?

Mothers Day (or Mothering Sunday as it sometimes known in the UK) is celebrated all over the world, but at different times of the year and like many traditions began with a religious purpose. Held on the fourth Sunday in Lent, the day was originally a day to honour and give thanks to the Virgin Mary and with the spread of Christianity in the 16th century, celebrations increased and put Mothering Sunday firmly on the map. However by 1935 the popularity of this special day had started to decrease and was celebrated less and less until WWII.

American & Canadian troops felt a desperate need to give thanks to their Mother’s whilst away at war and the British and other European troops soon followed suit, since then Mothers’ Day has become one of the most celebrated holidays making it one of the biggest days for flowers and cards.

But what if you fancy giving something a little different, or your dear ole Mum suffers from hay fever! It is often the most thoughtful gifts that are treasured like adding a photograph of a happy memory to a sentimental frame or why not gift our gorgeous duck family, with Mum fondly admiring her two small ducklings, it is very appropriate for this time of year and will be treasured for years to come.

Or if you fancy being a little creative then traditionally Simnel Cake was given on Mothering Sunday. Simnel cakes are made of two rich fruit cakes that are sandwiched together with almond paste and decorated with eleven marzipan balls on the top representing the eleven disciples (excluding Judas). It tastes absolutely delicious and I’m sure Mum will share 🙂

Tune in next week for my favourite Simnel cake recipe and get baking! If you haven’t got time for Mothers’ Day don’t worry Simnel cake is great for Easter too:-)

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Who was St Valentine?

valentines dayEvery year we show our nearest and dearest how much they mean to us but why do we do this? Don’t get me wrong it’s great to receive a dozen red roses on the 14th of February (and a box of chocolates!) but have you ever wondered where it all started?

Apparently the saint himself is a bit of a mystery. Early stories suggest Valentine wasn’t the god of love or a gigolo but merely a Roman priest in the third century. The ruling emperor of that era decided that men without wives and children made the best soldiers, so he outlawed marriage for young men, this upset Valentine greatly and he continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. Unfortunately his actions were discovered and Emperor Claudius II ordered Valentine to be sentenced to death.

Whilst imprisoned he fell in love with a young girl, rumour has it that this was a jailers daughter who visited him whilst he was incarcerated and just before his death he wrote her a farewell letter signed ‘From your Valentine’ and so the first ‘valentine’ greeting was sent.

The UK now sends over 1 billion valentines cards every year, with women purchasing approximately 85% of all cards. With retail sales of around £978m the commercial side of Valentines day has rapidly increased over the last three centuries making it the second most commercially celebrated day after Christmas.

But how do you go the extra mile and show your other half the meaning of true love? With the personal touch of course!

Why not print off your favourite photo and place it in a simple frame, or simply say it in words with one of our romantic wall plaques.

All in all, if you’re not sure what to give your significant other this year, just make sure you reach out and give them a great big hug on the 14th February and show them you care, although if you want your day to run smoothly I seriously suggest you take a peek at our gifts for Valentines!

Happy Valentines x

Who is Michael Talbot?

michael talbotThis is a question we are commonly asked after adding some of Michael Talbots fine art sculptures to our range of ornaments. I’m delighted to be able to share his biography with you and give you an insight into his passion.

Michael Talbot was born in Staffordshire in 1959, and during his early school years his fascination with clay began. He also developed a love of the human figure which started an interest in life drawing; combining the two set him on a creative journey and a lifelong study of sculpting.

After completing a BA Hons degree in Sculpture, he gained a scholarship to the Royal Academy Schools in London for post graduate study and won the Landseer prize in 1983. Further studies included The Sir Henry Doulton Sculpture School under Colin Melbourne ARCA and Dame Elizabeth Frink RA. Michael was elected a member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 1997.

Michael is known for creating an original clay sculpture which he then casts into bronze, uniquely finishing and patinating each sculpture. This process allows him to enhance and refine the final image, using his exquisite skills that makes his work so intricate and interesting.

Michael is well known for his beautiful female figures and dancers but recently his work has included more contemporary creations including detailed wildlife sculptures resulting in stunning works of art that will sit comfortably in modern and very traditional environments.

His work can be found in some of the finest galleries throughout the world including: Patrick Lichfield, former chairman of the Arts Council, Lord Gibson and the Nat West Bank, leading politician Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the actress Jamie Winstone, hotelier David Morgan Hewitt as well as recently embarking on exciting new projects with the Royal Ballet and the Supermodel Kate Moss.

We are very privileged to be able to offer Michael’s British Countryside Animal Collection at Pretty Maison; a chance for you to bring a timeless piece of fine art into your home, to be admired and enjoyed for years to come.

Michael still lives in the heart of Moorland National Park, where we hope he continues to delight us with his stunning contemporary sculptures and works of art.

Give a bird a home!

national nest box week

This great idea is organised by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and gives us all a chance to get involved in helping our wildlife.

With more and more trees being cut down we need to not only protect our wildlife but also encourage more birds to come home to roost.

National Nest Box Week takes places from 14-21 February 2015 and is a great time to get the whole family involved, you can buy a ready made box or if you are feeling more adventurous why not make your own the National Nest Box Week Website has some great advice. Different types of nest boxes attract different birds, Robins are partial to open fronted boxes whereas a Great Spotted Woodpecker likes a large box with holes.

Once you have decided on the type of box you would like to put up you then need to take the necessary steps to ensure it will be in favour with your feathered friends. The main points to keep in mind are :

  • Don’t position nest boxes of the same type too close together as this may promote aggressive behaviour.
  • Shelter your box from rain, strong sunlight & prevailing winds. Ensure the box is angled vertically.
  • Position boxes 3 meters from the ground preferably on a tree trunk, although sheds & walls work just as well.
  • Ensure open-fronted boxes are hidden from view with shrubs & plants.
  • Position nest box away from feeders, as high levels of activity can birds disturb nesting.

There are now around 6 million nest boxes in the UK and I’m happy to say we have a few in our garden. It’s fascinating to be able to watch the comings and goings of our little neighbours and knowing that we are doing our bit to ensure our native breeds continue to strive.

Good luck with your nesting, I hope boxes are busy! Why not pop onto our Facebook page and send us your piccies we’d love to see your success x

https://www.facebook.com/prettymaisonuk

Losing the plot!

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Ever get the feeling you are losing your mind? Can’t remember what you needed to buy from the supermarket? OMG when is or even worse when was little Joe’s sportsday?

Worry no more, what you need to make life easier is one of our gorgeous memo boards. Not only do they look fantastic on your wall but they will also get you organised!

We have a memo board to suit all needs and decors. From beautifully hand painted designs to fabric and ribbon memo boards.

Don’t despair, life’s just too short. Get organised!

We’re Jamming!

Our 100% Homemade Storage Jars are great for pickling and preserving, not only are they the perfect size they look stylish too! To get you started I have added my favourite Seedless Raspberry Jam recipe (courtesy of Good Food Magazine) below. Not only is this the perfect recipe for first time jammers it tastes super duper too!

Ingredients

  • 1kg raspberries
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1kg bag jam sugar (the one with pectin added)

Method

  1. Before you start, sterilise your jars and put a plate in the freezer to chill. Tip half the raspberries into a preserving pan and add the lemon juice. Mash the berries to a pulp over the heat with a potato masher, then leave to cook for 5 mins. Tip the cooked berries into a sieve over a bowl, then once all of the juice has drained off, firmly work the pulp through the sieve with a wooden spoon until you are left with just the seeds.
  2. Tip the juice and pulp back into the preserving pan and stir in the sugar. Heat gently, then add the remaining whole raspberries. Bring to the boil, then boil rapidly for 5 mins. Remove from the heat and drop a little jam onto the chilled plate. Now push your finger through itâ it should wrinkle and look like jam. If it doesn’t, boil for 2 mins, then test again.
  3. The top of the jam may look like it has sediment on it, but I find that if you stir it well as it cools, a little of this disappears. Pour into your 100% Homemade Jars and seal. It will keep unopened for a year, although the lovely bright colour will darken a little. Once open, keep in the fridge.

 

 

Clocks Have Gone Back!

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Not ours! Our crazy clocks clocks are still as popular as ever and stocked for next day delivery. Our clocks are available in all sizes from the ridiculously large to the norm! Each ticks away and keeps time perfectly (providing you add a battery).

Choose from French vintage style to traditional Bisto themed, each designed to create a focal point in your favourite room and give your guests something else to talk about!

P.s Also makes a super Christmas present 😉