Monday, 22 December 2014

To Your Health!

To see you through the holidays, I have a yummy selection of cocktails and holiday drinks to warm your hearth and your heart. Thanks for being with me all year and wishing you a Happy Christmas and New Year!
Godiva Martini
1 1/2 shots Godiva® chocolate liqueur
1 1/2 shots creme de cacao
1/2 shot vodka
2 1/2 shots half-and-half

Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake and pour into a chilled cocktail glass.
Mistletoe Jelly Shots
1 1/2 cups green apple soda
1 sheet plain gelatin
1/2 cup vanilla vodka
2 pack coconut milk
3 tablespoons sugar
18 sprigs mint leaves
1/2 cup red chocolate candies   
Directions Add 1/2 cup soda to a saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin over and let sit for two minutes. Add to low heat, and stir until dissolved. Add remaining soda and vodka. Pour into a measuring cup and into shot glasses. Let firm up in the fridge for 2 hours.  
Add coconut milk to a small saucepan and sprinkle gelatin over top, let sit for 2 minutes. Heat over low and add sugar. Stir until completely dissolved. Add vodka. Pour until a measuring cup and and gently pour over green layer. Chill until completely firm, about 4 hours or overnight.
Garnish with mint leaves and red chocolate candies

Coconut Hot Chocolate 
4 (13 oz) cans full-fat coconut milk
2 (14 oz) cans sweetened condensed milk
8 ounces high-quality dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup dutch process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons coconut extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked or shredded coconut
frosting to rim the mugs
whipped cream or
coconut whipped cream for topping
marshmallows for topping 

Directions: Add coconut milk, condensed milk and extracts to a crock pot, whisking to combine. Stir in salt, cocoa powder and chocolate, whisking again. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours. Stir and whisk every 10-15 minutes, making sure the chocolate is thoroughly distributed throughout the mixture. 
Add coconut to a small saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon. Toast for 5-6 minutes until golden. Let cool, then add to a ziplock bag and crush with hands until small flakes remain.
To serve, rim the edges of a mug with some frosting, then dip the rims in the toasted coconut flakes pressing gently to adhere. Pour hot chocolate in the mugs and garnish with whipped cream and marshmallows.

Peppermint Cosmo

1 cup of pomegranate juice
Juice of 1 lime
4 ounces of vodka
1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract
8 ice cubes
8 mini candy canes
2 tbsps of chopped, fresh mint

Directions Combine juices, vodka, peppermint and 1/2 cup water in a shaker with ice.
Shake vigorously and strain into 8 shot glasses.
Garnish with candy canes and mint.

Vanilla Peppermint Martini
Candy canes
2 1/2 ounces vanilla vodka
1 ounce peppermint schnapps
Fresh mint

Directions Crush your choice of candy canes to rim the martini glasses. If you don’t want to rim with crushed candy canes then just dangle a miniature candy cane on the rim of each glass.
Chill the martini glasses by filling with crushed ice and cold water.
Remove the water and ice from martini glasses. Wet glass rim with lime wedge and coat with crushed candy canes.
Pour vodka and schnapps in a shaker over crushed ice and shake well.
Strain peppermint martini into glass and add mint sprig.

Merry Christmas from Abbey Road Shabby, London! 

Monday, 15 December 2014

Have Yourself A Shabby Chic Christmas

I've been thinking to myself all year, Pinterest people (a vast majority of them, it seems, and I suspect the majority are in the Mid-West of the US) appear to go mad for Christmas stuff. I've been thinking, they must be in seventh heaven right about now. Decorating bannisters, crafting sprigs of this and wreaths of that. Honestly, some of them have tens of thousands of pins on Christmas nonsense. How avid do you need to be to gather 35,000 pictures of Christmas decor? I have precisely 13. A bit of a shameful showing for a pinner, but I only pick what I like. I'd also like to share them with you and hope you get similarly inspired. Me, I'm going to do the jewelery tree. Probably. Enjoy! 
Antique watch tree
Pink Santa...ah!
Monarch butterfly tree
Proper Victorian, innit?
Bottle brush trees in an old truck

Hand made button dangler
Shabby loves candles! Yeah!
Mother of Pearl button wreath for the tree. Doing one. Sweet!
Vintage German baubles from 1930
 Hand decorated perfume bottles...
Dipped in glitter feathers - I might, but last time I did glitter anything it was all over the house. All. Over. Still is.
Merry Christmas to all from Abbey and thanks for reading all year! XXX

Sunday, 7 December 2014

The Wonder of Wanders

I've long been an admirer of Dutch wunderkind Marcel Wanders. I just didn't know it was him I was admiring, until I specifically did a search on his work by name. He's my kind of hero - taking everyday, utilitarian functions and objects and turning them upside down with crazy ideas. If you've spent a lifetime hearing, 'You can't do that, it's insane,' you really understand how hard it is to break out and make a success on a grand scale for doing stuff that's out of the question. It's a continuous battle. This man stuck to his guns time and again and now people commission him to think up the improbable. I wish everyone got it - sadly there are still a vocal majority who don't, yet perversely delight in creativity when they encounter it without seeing the logic that it can be applied anywhere, and will increase productivity and profit alike. 
So here I salute Marcel Wanders, the improbable and impossible realist. 
Horse Lamp:
Silver 'liquid' crown, Dutch National Museum
Mondrian Hotel
Moooi, Amsterdam
Shower head INSIDE a chandelier
Villa Moda retail
Bathroom, Amsterdam
One of the 'Lute' suites created inside an old monastery
A Wanders house
Spectacular chandelier against black textures
The underwater display for Moooi, London Design Week
Hotel, Istanbul
Modern Delft interpretation for Amsterdam hotel
Modern Delft carpet for Amsterdam hotel
The Knot Chair, screen and lamp for Moooi
The Monster chair
'Crochet' gold Bon Bon chair
Private residence, Amsterdam - marquetry floor and textured plaster ceilings
Magical staircase
Marcel Wanders

Saturday, 29 November 2014

My Old Flames

Just the right time for some tea and biscuits and a good book in front of a roaring fire. How to do it Shabby Style is another matter, so on the fire theme this week a splendid assembly of my old flames. The ones that are keepers. Grand, chippy, historical, sleek, colorful and surrounds and mantles to be inspired by if you're firing up the old faithful this winter and how to make the most of your room's most spectacular asset. 
The humble English Art Deco tile found still in many semi's across suburbia (if you're lucky!)
Beautiful dressing with Victorian style fringe tying into blowsy wallpaper
The quintessential Art Nouveau surround shape that lends itself to any elegant decor. Reminds me of a Liberty clock.
Chaumont-sur-Loire castle, Loir-et-Cher, France. What I really adore about this picture is the chunk of tree in the grate. That's one hell of a fire on its way. 
Exquisite styling at Apsley House, London
Autumnal fantasy in Belmont House
Lovely dressing of the mantle and surround with mirrors and butterflies in a clear screen.
Soft greys and perfect coziness. Furry blankets essential.
Swedish tile stoves are spectacular.
Just about the ultimate in Shabby, the gorgeous grate and mirror of Richmond Road, East London.
A surprising fireplace in this meticulously restored Edwardian stairway landing in Tooting, London. Just in case you get the chills on your way up or down.
Tudor simplicity at Tudor Rose manor house. The real deal.