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Jessica Joy

Knitwear designer, teacher and author

Antique shops are a new thing for me. Aside from groaning at my mum and sister when they dragged me around as a kid, I’ve not explored them very much. Although I do love to re-use and recycle whatever I can so there’s hope. A few weeks ago I took myself on a tour of Bristol’s best haunts – here are a few Instagram shots of the things I found:There were so many treasures on display that I literally spent hours making sure I looked in every corner, and on every shelf. I saw a lot of old, painted Birdcages; wouldn’t they look cute as a jewellery display, or hung from the ceiling with a spider plant inside? I’d love a few of those tea tins to store my knitting needles in as well. Aah… I better start saving!

Do you enjoy roaming around antique shops, flea markets or a good ol’ fashioned car-boot sale?

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After years of using jars of dried herbs, and fighting for kitchen cupboard space, I decided my little balcony could do with a herb box. And a herb box it now has! Nurtured and donated by my mum the wooden trough houses mint, sage, rosemary, thyme, and a dense forest of parsley.

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A few weekends ago I mentioned that I was headed to the Larmer Tree Festival, so thought i’d share some instagram shots of the trip. It’s a lovely small scale festival set in public gardens near Salisbury.

There was a huge selection of local and world music amongst the beautiful lawns, hedges, and peacocks!

We were there for three days over the weekend and despite a bit of mud (reminded me of chocolate mousse, yum!) we discovered some amazing lindy hop/electronic music, relaxed in Mark Kermode’s cinema, chased our tent across a field, drank Guinness, and danced.

I felt bad for keeping the peacocks awake at night! Have you been, or are going to, any festivals this summer?

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Lipbalm seems to be one of those things that people hoard, myself included. I can never resist a pretty pot or unusual smell. That’s probably why i’ve wanted to make my own for so long. Here’s an incredibly simple recipe and method. These will last up to 2 years so make up a batch and keep them on hand for quick gifts, party favours, stocking fillers, teacher gifts, fundraising, anything you like!

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As you read this, i’m going to be winging my way to the lovely Larmer Tree Festival in Wiltshire. After a busy few weeks of designing and making lots of new products for the shop, it’ll be treat to get out into the ‘countryside’ and relax. As well as a rain coat, lots of layers and dry shampoo, i’d love to pack all of this in my rucksack.

The knit cord bracelet pictured is one of my new designs, handmade with silky smooth bamboo yarn. I’ve been test running one all week and they’re really comfy and easy to wear. Have a fantastic weekend whatever you’re doing, and lets hope it doesn’t rain.

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I’m sure 95% of taste in any chocolate pie, is the chocolate. What creates the base behind it doesn’t matter a huge amount. Although it was definitely the chickpeas that drew me to this recipe. I was intrigued by the healthy mix, which appealed so much more than heavy, dry chocolate cake. The recipe is from the healthy dessert blog, Chocolate Covered Katie, which you can find here.

Oh my goodness, it doesn’t disappoint. It’s really not so much a pie, as a giant, thick, gooey cookie. Due to my kitchen lacking a food processor, I made this at my dad’s this weekend. The picture was taken after the train journey home. Pie smoosh!

I made a minor adjustment and had to substitute the applesauce. Apparently it’s used as a healthy substitute for oils, so I reversed the theory and used an extra 1/4 cup of vegetable oil. It doesn’t taste fantastic as batter, but cooking does something magical to it.  Try it with a scoop of ice cream hot, or wait for it to cool completely for a real cookie experience.

The best bit, not feeling guilty about eating three slices at once!

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A few months ago I was faced with the dilema of how to add exercise to my daily routine. I was missing my cycle to work and things were getting squidgy! I turned to the convenience of the Gym, my refuge for exercise in the past, but £42 a month just wasn’t affordable, by a long stretch.

Spring was springing and my trainers were beaming shiny, white rays at me from the wardrobe. I knew I had to face my lifelong fear of running and hit the pavement. I had horrible flash backs to secondary school cross country; muddy, smelly and utterly impossible.

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