Thornback-and-Peel-Christmas tree table setting home

How to Create a Magical Christmas Table Setting

There is something wonderful about bringing out the same decorations for your Christmas tree every year. The joy at remembering how each one came to be part of the box. We feel the same about the way we decorate our tables for the various Christmas feasts. We love to see the familiar table linen and placemats. It is sweet how the whole family enjoys this, the children delighting in the traditions as much as the older generations. Start with the end in mind – that moment everyone you love is gathered together around the table. Why not begin some new…

cherry cotton tea towel on a table with a bowl of cherries

Design Inspiration: Cherry

This quintessential summer fruit has always been a favourite.    There is something so deliciously tempting about their plump, juicy redness you can’t help but eat the whole bowl. Cherries are an iconic image, and have long been used in everything from fashion and beauty to pop art. Hockney, Warhol and Lichtenstein have all fallen for these sweet, summer treats. So designing the new Cherry print for our range of homewares and accessories has been a particularly delicious project. We spent a long time mixing inks to get the exact shade of luscious red for the cherries and a lighter pink for the fill behind the leaves. We’ve designed this nostalgic…

How to Create Natural Hand Dyed Easter Eggs

My maternal grandma, Omine, has always been an inspiration to me and Easter is a special time of year for our family. Tips of pale green are pushing their way through on all the trees and bushes and the air is beginning to lose its chill. Every Easter it’s a tradition in our family for Omine and all the grandchildren to colour hen eggs with natural dyes to decorate our breakfast table on Easter Sunday. Here’s our tried and tested family recipe that we’ve used over the years to create natural dyed eggs. You will need: White hens eggs 1 red cabbage (to create the…

Sweetheart Card

Thornback & Peel ♥ Marby & Elm

Thornback & Peel ♥ Marby & Elm. We’re a match made in heaven: vintage letterpress printer meets traditional screen printer, marrying age-old techniques with a modern design aesthetic. So for Valentine’s Day we decided to get together and create a unique card: Thornback & Peel’s classic Jelly illustration letterpressed with Marby & Elm’s signature fluoro script. Ready to pop in an envelope, seal with a kiss and post to your sweetheart. “This collaboration was a great opportunity to bring together our hand crafted printing techniques,” says Marby & Elm founder, Eleanor Tattersfield. “In fact you’re getting a product that is doubly hand made: a screen printed illustration by Thornback &…

The Art of Hanky Rolling

When you gift a Thornback & Peel Hanky Box, you are giving a present that has been handmade from start to finish.  The idea originally came about because Juliet was looking for an unusual present for her father-in-law. We start with a 100% cotton handkerchiefs, each one individually hand screen printed by our in house printer, Penni. As Christmas approaches, the large screen printing table in the middle of the studio is stacked with layer upon layer of tessellated hankies laid out to dry.  Hanky lasagne, if you will. Once the hankies have been heat pressed to make them colour fast…

Bromptons pennyfarthings tandems

Q&A: Anna Perring, ceramicist and founder of Luna Lighting

At this time of year, the glow of candlelight is a lovely thing. I have a set of delicate porcelain tea light holders lined up on our mantelpiece and I love the ritual of lighting them on a dark winter’s night. Each light is pierced with a tiny pinprick design, the patterns of light that scatter across the room have the quality of fairy lights and fireflies.  The random mixture of her designs also appeals. The tea light holders are individually hand made by ceramicist and fellow studio holder Anna Perring of Luna Lighting. Each one bears the maker’s mark,…

Rabbit & Cabbage kitchen textiles

All Creatures Great & Small

Rabbit & Cabbage was one of the first prints we designed.  We launched it on a deckchair in 2006.  It has remained one of our all-time best-sellers.  Over the years we have tweaked the design a little, but the deckchair remains true to the original. Inspired by tales of Peter Rabbit and the Flopsy Bunnies running amok in Mr McGregor’s garden, the design is filled with nostalgic references to our childhoods. The chocolatey brown and vivid green of the vegetable patch, the lazy buzzing of insects on a summer’s afternoon, and the secret delights of the English country garden.     Like all…

Beetroot chopping

Beetroot Bourguignon with Puy Lentils

With the onset of autumn and cold nights approaching, this to me only means it is time to comfort eat! But trying to stay healthy doing it is sometimes hard. Fortunately I absolutely love vegetables, but making them the star of every meal is sometimes quite a tricky task even for me and I am a vegetarian! However a couple of years ago I stumbled upon an amazing food blog written by David and Luise called Green Kitchen Stories  Not only do their recipes look mouth wateringly delicious in every picture but they are also super healthy too. The star of this…

Q&A: Ruth Tomlinson, Fine Jeweller

Internationally renowned fine jeweller Ruth Tomlinson works just along the corridor from us at Cockpit Arts. We love looking at her beautiful collections. The rough cut pieces and settings are more organic than conventional jewellery, creating a sense of history and buried treasure. There is a lot to covet.

blackbird_bramble_cosmetic bag

Blackbird & Bramble

The inspiration behind our new Blackbird & Bramble print – I particularly love this time of year when the seasons are in transition and the light is softer. There is so much to harvest in the slanting evening sunshine, the hedgerows laden with dark shiny treasure and the air still warm. We pick blackberries for puddings, balanced precariously on tip toe trying to get at the cluster of really big ripe ones just out of reach. The bowl gradually gets fuller but inevitably much of it is crammed into our mouths before it gets back to the kitchen. Hands stained, tummy full.