Monday, 17th October 2016
Brrrrr! We don’t know about you, Qwerkiteers, but we’ve broken out our winter gear this week! Here are some of our favourite snuggly things to keep the cold at bay.
We all know the dilemma: you’re wrapped under a blanket on the sofa, and it’s a toss-up as to whether you’re prepared to get chilly again by taking your arms out of the blanket nest so you can drink your cup of tea or if you sit and watch said tea get cold while you stay warm. Whoever came up with the idea of adding sleeves to a blanket is an absolute genius, and we salute them. Snug Rug for the win(ter).
Not only are these fingerless gloves super snuggly with their fleece lining, they’re available in three different styles (Berry, Navy, or Natural). Handmade in Nepal, these wool gloves are perfect if there’s something of a chill in your office. Some of us at Qwerkity HQ like to wear them while driving, so our hands are nice and toasty!
Owl Hand Warmer
We don’t give a hoot about the cold when we have this little guy to snuggle with! He’s so soft and cuddly, and he has a pocket for you to slip your hands in to warm up. He’ll also double up as cushion. This sleepy looking fella makes the perfect cuddle companion.
It may be a “Matter of Loaf and Death” if you don’t have this cuddly Gromit Hottie. Filled with lavender and millet seeds, he heats up in the microwave as a snuggly alternative to a hot water bottle. The lavender scent and warmth will help your little ones (or you!) fall asleep in no time.
We’re fast moving in to log fire season, and this Fireside Companion Set will help to keep your hearth tidy. The set includes a metal ash shovel, hearth brush, poker and long heavy-duty gauntlets to protect your hands. There’s also a wrought iron stand to hang all your new tools on. Come on, baby – light your fire!
Keep your fire lighting tools to hand with this Scandinavian style Kindling Bucket. Minimalist but stylish, the bucket is ideal not only for storing your kindling, but also for keeping firelighters and old newspapers in.
With the cold comes talk of Christmas, and this Santa hat is perfect for the run up to winter’s highlight! The knitted beard will keep your face wonderfully warm and cosy; it’s ideal for a stroll on a chilly day (and if your face is getting too warm, you can detach the beard!).
Check out our Get Cosy category for more winter warmers! Stay toasty, Qwerkiteers!
Wednesday, 28th September 2016
Qwerktiteers, if you’re anything like us you’ve been hit hard by the colouring craze. We’re running out of space on the bookshelves for all of our colouring books, and our pencil cases are bursting with the prettiest colouring pencils. But, as they say, you can’t have too much of a good thing, so we’ve picked out our best books and pencil sets for you. Colour yourself happy!
First thing’s first, you’ll need some gorgeous colouring pencils. We have two new beautiful sets in Neon and Metallic. With vibrant shades like Sugarplum Fairy and Flaming Fuchsia, your pictures will really pop!
Colour Quest is a beautiful book. You may need relatively keen eyesight or good light to see the numbered shapes, but there’s some fantastic pictures to be found! Each page is has a number/colour code on the left hand side (if you want to follow a set colour scheme) and a perforated margin so you can display your results proudly. Who said the fridge door was exclusively for children’s art?
The Ultimate Dot To Dot will keep you entertained for hours. Perfect for some unwind time towards the end of the day, you’ll uncover thirty amazing creations simply by joining up the numbers. Once complete, you could colour your pictures in too. Double value!
Extreme Colouring – The Great Outdoors features landscapes from forty-seven National Parks across the USA. Each page has an informative description of the park, from Yosemite to Yellowstone. Extreme Colouring – Wonderful World allows you to express yourself through colour and imagination and stretch your creativity to the max. From the Hong Kong skyline to Iceland’s Seljalandsfoss, these books are a fantastic way to add to your travel bucket list!
If you find the garden a relaxing place, then the RHS Floral Colouring Book
is for you. There are forty-five inspirational images for you to lose yourself in for hours. Each image is accompanied by the original full-colour illustration taken from the RHS Lindley Library of historical gardening illustrations; you can use it as colour guideline, or let your imagination run wild.
So, as the evenings are drawing in, Qwerkiteers, get yourselves snuggled up on the sofa with a good colouring book. Enjoy!
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Tuesday, 27th September 2016
Well, Qwerkiteers, the weather has definitely turned (if our shivering is anything to go by). But with the return of winter comes the permission to indulge in all forms of comfort food (hurrah!) and we've decided that the best comfort food is a good old Sunday roast. You just can't beat it!
We’ve thrown together some of our favourite products to help you make the roast-ess with the most-ess. Aunt Bessie has nothing on you…
First up is the Roasteasy. As seen on Dragon’s Den, this chainmail sheet is a perfect alternative to all the reams of kitchen foil you’ll use over a lifetime of roast dinners. Just lay the chainmail over your bird, meat or veggies and it will retain your food’s natural juices for a succulent main! It will also keep your roast hot while it rests. Do feel free to drape yourself in the (cold!) Roasteasy and prance around the kitchen quoting Monty Python. Obviously, we haven’t done that. At all… Come, Patsy!
An alternative (or companion!) to the Roasteasy is the Highlighter Baster. Stop your roast from drying out with this quirky basting brush! Highlight your cooking skills and serve the best roast in town. Squeeze the body to suck up your marinade, oil, or sauce, then gently squeeze and brush to apply. Juicy!
Next is the Multi-Purpose Non-Stick Tray. If you’ve been following Bake Off, you’ll need one of these for sure; we’re still drooling over Jane’s Yorkshire puds! Made of silicone, there’s no need to pre-grease this tray, so you can at least pretend you’re being healthy as you scoff down your fourth Yorkie. It’s also incredibly easy to clean; you just run it under the tap, no scrubbing or elbow grease required.
Moving on to another fool proof way to ensure your roast dinner is the best in town, we have the Pre-Programmed Meat Thermometer. This is a roast saver if ever there was one; just select the type of meat you’re cooking (beef, veal, poultry, lamb, pork or fish), how well you’d like it cooked, and insert the probe into the thickest part of the meat. When you’re meat is at the recommended temperature the thermometer will beep. Perfect roast, every time.
Now what you need is a gorgeous board to serve from. We recommend our solid Wooden ‘Sunday Roast’ Carving Board. The board has a groove all around the edge to collect any juices (perfect for the tastiest gravies) and leaves you in no doubt as to its use! It would make a gorgeous centre piece for any Sunday table.
By far and away our most popular Sunday roast accessory is the Carving Tool. A great alternative to a carving fork, it has an easy-grip ergonomic handle and 4 super sharp spikes that hold all sorts of roasts firmly in place, even during the most enthusiastic carving! It also has a fork at the end for transferring
meat from board to plate.
Well, we don’t know about you, Qwerkiteers, but our mouths are watering now. Do we have to wait 'til Sunday for a roast dinner? Can we make Tuesday roasts a thing?
Let us know your favourite roast dinners!
Wednesday, 21st September 2016
We’re sure you’ve all heard at least one person mention that it’s only 13 weeks and 4 days(!) until Christmas. It may make some people grumpy, but we’re excited, Qwerkiteers, particularly as our new gift catalogue launched this week! We’ve been having fun picking out our favourite products to share with you. Take it away, team!
Jenny: “My favourite new product is the Queen Bee Necklace. It’s so dainty and pretty, plus it comes in a beautiful gift box. It’s on my Christmas list! I might even ask for the earrings to match!”
Ben: “I want the Skull Tidy! I’d have fun putting random sunglasses and hats on him.”
Chloe: “I love the Hare Doorstop; I’ve got one in my house already! It was a gorgeous housewarming gift from the buying girls, and I’m just in love with it. My cat’s rather fond of it too…”
Mandy: “I’m a little in love with the Highland Bull. In my head he’s called Hamish.”
Nic: “It has to be the Build Your Own Working Safe. I had to build the sample our supplier sent for a photo shoot, and it was surprisingly easy and really relaxing!”
Katy: “My favourite is the Robin Nesting Box. What could be more British than robins and teapots?! And it’s frost resistant, so it can stay out for your robins all year round.”
Cam: “Definitely the Eyeballs Lollipops
. I can’t wait to freak my kids out with them!”
Patti: “I really miss getting great pizza in America, so I’d have to go for the Pizza Maker!”
Laura-Anne: “I love and adore the Hair Chalks
! I’m a bit obsessed with hair chalk; I get bored easily with my hair style and colour, so these are great for mixing it up!”
Ameila: “There’s a new love in my life, and his name is Cyril Sloth. I keep sneaking in to the samples room to give him a cuddle. I need to smuggle him through to my desk.”
Michael: “I really like the Motor Racing Signs. I may drop a hint or two to my wife about Christmas presents!”
Jane: “My favourite is definitely the Bluebell & Wood Anemone Scented Candle. It smells just delicious and would make a beautiful gift. Plus, 3% of the profits go to bee conservation, which is highly important.”
Em: “I’m really fond of the Lurcher sculpture. He looks so content!”
Darren: “It’s the Bi-Plane all the way. I keep trying to get it to land in Em’s cup of tea, but no luck so far!”
Let us know what your favourite is, Qwerkiteers!
Tuesday, 20th September 2016
We know we're all in mourning for the future of GBBO, but let's bask in the excellence that remains for the next few weeks. And on that note, it's batter week. Oh my.
Who on earth has ever tried to make uniform Yorkshire puds?! Surely the beauty of them is that they're all over the place and somewhat wonky? Never before have we heard the word 'finesse' linked with yorkies; although 'mind over batter' may now be our favourite phrase, along with 'batter the devil you know'. Oh, Mel and Sue, whatever will we do without you?!
Our favourite Yorkie Pud: Jane's Meat & Two Veg. Could you beat it? And they look beautiful.
The Technical: Lacey Pancakes. Sure, it's very pretty, but we'd be wondering where the rest of our pancake was...
Candice - "It's a heart shaped pancake. I’m not sure who would wear it..." We agree, Candice. We’re not sure lace belongs in the context of food!
The winner: Benjamina. She's one of our secret favourites! Seriously pretty pancakes!
The Showstopper: Churros (forever more to be known as Churros Kemp). How on earth are you supposed to make a showstopper out of these? Spanish doughnut origami?
Our winner: It's Benjamina again!
Selasi, we're desperate for you to pull your socks up.
Kate, we've rather enjoyed your company, and we'd much rather you'd stayed than Tepidly Toxic Tom.
Next week is pastry week, and the return of the Soggy Bottom!
Friday, 9th September 2016
Today is NationalTeddy Bear Day, so we brought some of our best bedtime buddies to work with us! Amazingly, we're all still awake...
Tuesday, 30th August 2016
Hi Qwerkiteers! You may possibly have noticed (from the adorable puppy pictures all over Twitter) that last Friday was National Dog Day. In honour of our beloved Biscuit, the Qwerkity office dog, we've chosen some of our favourite products for both dogs and dog lovers. You're welcome, Biscuit.
A must-have mitt for any mucky mutt! The Pet Glove is made of a super-absorbent microfibre fabric that cleans and dries the coat in moments, making it an essential after a walk on a wet and muddy day. Save your carpets and give your dog an extra canine cuddle in the process. Perfect.
I know we don’t want to think about the nights drawing in, but it happens sooner than you think. This new dog lead will increase you and your dog’s visibility by up to 300 metres, so it’s perfect for twilight walks. Remember, Qwerkiteers: be seen, be safe!
There’s two “ruff guides” to choose from! Both contain information on dog friendly hotels, B&Bs, pubs and restaurants. You’ll also find information for some wonderful country walks with your furry best friend.
Add a little doggy décor to your place with this sweet doormat. Get your dog (and your guests!) to wipe off their muddy paws on the super-absorbent and bacteria resistant mat.
A runner in the same design is also available.
Does your dog disappear in the dark? Do you need him to be more visible, or do you like the idea of him looking like he’s on his way home from a rave? This light up necklace has a setting for solid or flashing lights (yay – doggy disco!) that will make your dog much more visible on dark nights.
We all know it’s true; share your bed with your dog and you’ll end up clinging to the edge of the mattress for dear life, whilst your playful pooch is sprawled out in comfort. We’re afraid there is no cure for this predicament. Sorry…
For more treats for man’s best friend, have a little look at our Puppy Love
category. And good luck getting that song out of your head. All together now: And they caaalllleeedd it puppy luuuuuurrrrrvvveeee…
Thursday, 25th August 2016
Oh my, our favourite reason to be smugly British has returned: The Great British Bake Off.
We’re only on episode one and already it’s a corker. #Jaffagate was trending on Twitter, the innuendos were flowing, the cake mix was separating and/or clumping, tears were running… and through it all there was evidence of what makes the Bake Off so wonderful; all the contestants were so pleased for everyone else. You can barely tell that GBBO is, in fact, a competition.
As we’re (nearly) all obsessed with the programme in the Qwerkity office, we thought we’d do a few Bake Off highlights for you each week. Beware, Qwerkiteers – here be spoilers.
Our favourites from last night’s episode are:
We have a sneaking suspicion that Candice will actually be very good. Nerves may have played a small part in her show stopper being slightly under baked. We did particularly enjoy her throwing her first attempt at the Genoese sponge across the tent like a Frisbee.
Mel: Where did you get orange juice from?!
Candice: An orange…
The Show Stopper. Shame it was under baked.
AKA the Cake Whisperer (or Listener)
We’re curious as to how many people now want to adopt Val as their honorary grandmother? We think she may be the one to go next week, unless she really steps up her game.
Listening to her cakes to check if they’re cooked.
The drizzle. Less drizzle and more icing, but such pretty frosted flowers on top!
Our honorary Star Baker: Selasi. Such a cool customer! Not even a hint of panic, even when he forgot to add cinnamon to his drizzle cake. At the moment, he’s our one to watch.
“Four Fruit Frosting”: try saying that five times after a glass or two of wine. We dare you.
“Make your drizz the shizz.”
Mary’s face when Paul dunked his Jaffa Cake in his cuppa.
Long live Bake Off! And remember:
Wednesday, 10th August 2016
Hey Qwerkiteers! Did you know that it’s Afternoon Tea Week? It’s the perfect excuse to stock up on scones, jam, and cucumber sandwiches. The only real question is whether you put the jam or cream on your scone first?
What is afternoon tea without a tiered display of your finest cakes? (You get extra brownie points if you bake them yourself. Get it? Brownie points? Never mind…) You can make this cake stand extra special by personalising it.
Continuing with a personalised theme, why not add these sweet heart shaped bowls to your tea table? The bowls are a lovely way to serve a variety of jams for your scones. The dishes come with a bamboo board on which you can have a message inscribed.
This beautiful set of four mugs is our latest offering from British artist, Madeleine Floyd. The bone china mugs feature some of our favourite birds, including the blue tit, bullfinch, blackbird and robin. They’ll add the perfect British accent to your afternoon tea.
Whether you like cream or milk in your tea, no tea party table is complete without a sweet jug. Our handmade stoneware jugs come in small
(200ml) or medium
(500ml). There’s even a mug
For more afternoon tea ideas, have a look at our Tea Time Category.
Monday, 8th August 2016
Today we've quizzed our Buying Team about their favourite products!
Happy Monday, Qwerkiteers! For today’s hot seat, we asked the Buying Team to take a short break from their Christmas Selection meeting (we know – it seems ages away to us too!) to have a cup of tea and tell us all about their favourite products.
“I just love it! It’s so sweet, plus you get to help out your local wildlife. Hedgehogs are great to have in your garden – they’re nature’s slug repellent. This little igloo gives hedgehogs a safe haven from predators, and they’re such fun to watch as they snuffle around your garden at twilight.”
“This is my favourite, and I don’t even paint! I’d have it as a picture frame, or I’d rest a mirror on it and keep my makeup in the little drawer. It would make a lovely décor accent in any room. I might buy a half finished canvas and pass it off as my own!”
“You can’t beat a good Sunday roast (even in the middle of a heatwave, I want my roast dinner) and just looking at this board makes my mouth water! It makes a gorgeous centrepiece for any Sunday table. It’s the first thing I’ve bought for my new kitchen.”
Nic’s gone controversial; she’s torn between two products, so we decided to be nice and let her have both.
“I’ve just moved house, so I have decorating on the brain right now. Rather than go out and buy loads of different tools and then have to find storage for them, I’ve just got this. Job’s a good ’un! The Exit Spray is just brilliant – it really works! The sooner you apply it to a stain, the more effective it is.”
To be fair, we do now have an office bottle of Exit Spray. I, in particular, am very good at throwing food down my front…