Showing posts with label Food Props. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food Props. Show all posts

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Review of Songmics Interlocking Storage Cube Organiser and Giveaway



I am sure that those of you that follow my blog on a regular basis know that I have an  obsession  no I mean a love for collecting blog props. I love pretty tea towels, plates, crockery, bowls and antique bakeware and cutlery. I cannot walk past a charity shop or kitchenware store and not go in. With all these props that I keep collecting, I needed some extra storage space, which is where Songmics UK came to my rescue and introduced me to their lovely interlocking storage cube organiser. 



 The interlocking storage cube organiser comes in a flat pack. The kit consists of panels and doors that are made of high quality pp plastic sheets that can be put together with the ABS plastic connectors . They click into place without using any tools. A Little wooden hammer is provided to help to tap the connectors in place if needed, also provided in the kit are screws and fittings should you wish to secure the cubes to the wall. 

The storage cubes are made from wipe clean plastic and are handy for storing shoes, craft items, toys or other light weight items. Since the cubes fit together with the connectors you can assemble them to different shapes and sizes to suit your needs.



Verdict:
The instructions provided in the box were easy to follow,although initially I found assembling the panels tricky single handed but once I got the hang of it and got familiar with the technique the unit came together. I did find that the more cubes you had to join, it became harder to move the unit without some parts coming detached. However with help of my partner we soon had it put together. The Instructions say that the cubes can hold up to 10 kg in weight but I did find that they started to warp with large heavier items and they are perhaps best used for storing lighter weight things.



I assembled my unit in two separate parts. A stack of 6 cubes for my shoe storage and a six cube for my blog props and craft items. I am really pleased that the extra storage means that all my props  and shoes are now organised well and I can find things more easily. The Storage unit is available from amazon and retails at £ 35.99

**I was sent the Songmics Interlocking Storage Cube Organiser to review , all opinions expressed in this post are my own as are the pictures.

As always I love my readers to have a chance to try products I use. Songmics have been really kind and they have agreed to send one citrusspice reader an interlocking storage cube organiser as a giveaway prize.

How To Enter:Open to Adults over 18 and living in UK only.

·         Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
·         Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
·         Please read the rules they form the terms and conditions of this Giveaway
·         Closing date – 20 th Sept 2017


How Rafflecopter works:

  • You will need to complete the mandatory entry first – usually making a blog comment. You can do this by clicking on leave a comment at the bottom of the post and leaving your reply in the comment box. Please note your comment will not show immediately as it needs to be moderated however rest assured it will appear on the site, so carry on with rest of entries.
  • Login to Rafflecopter – click to see what the question is. Make a comment answering the question on the blog.
  •  Go back to Rafflecopter and click the green button to tell me you have made a comment, this will unlock all the other options. All entries are checked to see that the mandatory question is answered, if its not all bonus entries will become void. 
  • Rafflecopter will tweet, like and follow on your behalf.
  • For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here
  • For bonus entries you can return to this page and enter the daily bonus entries. 
  • If you are still unsure as to how Rafflecopter works please do check out this short video.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 18 April 2016

Blog Props~ Floral china


It's been ages since I showcased my new additions to my prop collection. I have had some lovely variety of props that I have found from charity shops, ebay and also friends.
In my stash, I do not have floral crockery and I really wanted to add to my collection especially as recently I have been to a few afternoon teas and the beautiful crockery used to serve the food in was so gorgeous that it made the food and the tea that much more special and enticing.

This beautiful pottery collection of bowl, plate, jug, teacup, saucer and side plate were what I found on my two recent visits to a charity shop whilst dropping off some clothes I had. I always seem to de clutter but at the same time come back with more things, I cannot resist sourcing food props.



I love the fluted shape of the bowl and the floral design.Although the plate is completely plain the lovely green edging, its perfect for layering plates.



The sugar bowl too has a lovely fluted edging with a matching lid. It can be used with or with out the lid.


My favorite piece from the whole set is the jug, it too has the matching fluting on the rim and I can just visualise it on a  tea tray lined with crisp white linen napkin  or just used as a decoration on a window ledge with few wild flowers to brighten up any dull morning.


Unfortunately the set did not have a teapot or matching cup and saucer, but I must say I am really pleased with what I did buy as the whole set is in immaculate condition with no chips or cracks. I am really excited to feature these props in my post soon but for this I shall have to bake a cake!!!



A few days later I also found in the same shop this really pretty teacup and saucer and matching plate. I love the gold gilt trim around the top edge of the cup and on the handle and on the saucer. The matching plate also has a lovely gold gilt rim. Looking at these  makes me wonder how many afternoon tea settings they may have graced. 


Since I have only just acquired these pieces, I have not had time to feature all the crockery in my posts, however I have used the side plate in my Chocolate Brownie post which I shall post next week. But just so that you can see the usage of the plate, I am posting the photo below. Can you spot the plate in the picture???


Thursday, 7 January 2016

New brass plates for my prop collection.

New year brings new collection of brass plates to my ever increasing prop collection.  I love the look and feel of authentic silverware, brassware and copper ware. The tarnished look of the silver, the dulled copper and unpolished brass is what I love. When I handle these I start to day dream of who may have owned them where or what country they have come from and the history behind them.It just makes them that little bit more special.

This year my family and friends have gifted me some lovely authentic copper and brass plates.  I am guessing most of these are sourced from someone's grandma, ebay or charity shops. They range in different sizes and I am seriously in prop heaven at the moment because I love them all. I could not wish for nicer presents.


This plate is really pretty with a scalloped edge. I believe its Indian Origin judging from the motif 
in the centre.


These two oval plates are beautifully etched with intricate patterns. The top one seems to have some sort of animal design whilst the lower one is more floral .They are quite small  
in size but still gorgeous.

 This plate with the leaf design is about 12 cm in diameter and has a lovely scalloped edge.I love the scalloping and its one of my favorites.

The round plate above is the largest with a diameter of 24 cm, it has a few blue spots on it so I am not sure if I should try and clean them or leave them to give it the aged look.




The above two plate are from Jordan. They are unusual in that they are metal but are actually really deep brown in colour and almost look like wood. Both have some geometric pattern on they which makes them really eye catching.

These two small beauties are actually shallow bowls rather than plates. They are only 9 cm in diameter and they compliment the plates beautifully. The one on the right has a love red etching in it. I am not too sure if this is wear on the plate but whatever the reason it makes it very pretty. and the one on the right is just plain gold

I am so excited to feature all these plates in some of my blog posts. This year I am going to work on better styling and food photography so I am excited to use them in some authentic recipe posts.

Here is one example of where I used them.



If you have any ideas or suggestions of where these may have originated from do share with me, I would love to learn more about  their whereabouts and history.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Food photography props.

It has been a while since I have shared any updates on my addition to my food props collection. As my regular readers will know I have a rather soft for food photography props and there is never a missed opportunity when ever I am out and about.
 I recently went to Axminster Devon for a bloggers day at River Cottage HQ. Together with my foodie friends we decided to stay over in Devon for three days, this gave us lots of spare time to explore the nearby coastal town of Lyme Regis and Beer. Both these coastal towns are really pretty with cobbled alleyways and lots of quaint shops.





































In Axminster we accidently stumbled on this amazing recycling shop that was stacked from floor to ceiling with every type of crockery, houseware and old artefacts. My foodie friends Tina, Manjiri and I had an amazing time rummaging through the stack load of crockery for food props. It was really hard not to buy up everything in sight as we had travelled by train and there was no way we could manage to take it all home.





After much deliberation and will power, I bought some bright hand painted wooden bowls with spoons. I am looking forward to doing some sort of Mexican dish to serve in these bowls.




I also bought some really pretty antique look spoons, and the two brass bowls. 


I am excited to feature these in my food photos soon. My favorite spoon is the really tarnished one (second in photo), don't you think it looks really good? Funnily enough the lady in the shop said to me you will need to clean this one up and I thought to myself Nooooo!!. I am buying it for the worn tarnished look.

Finally my last buy was there pretty lace hankies. I can just picture a little old victorian lady having these in her purse. They will be lovely in a cake photo draped under a floral bone china cup and saucer. This little collection is on day one of my trip, you will have to wait to read my next post to see if I managed to control my prop addiction or not for the rest of my trip! 

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Blog Props and Storage

Since I started blogging, I have accumulated a lot of equipment, blog props, china, tea towels, napkins, background boards and of course gadgets and cake decorating equipment. Keeping these organised and easily accessible had become a challenge.


What I needed was:
  • Colour coordination of my props
  • Neatly folded and arranged napkins and fabrics
  • Bowls and plates in separate piles 
  • Labelled drawers to identify contents
  • Separate storage for arts and crafts items
  • Sturdy storage boxes for larger items
In my dining room I have two small sideboards that are dedicated to prop storage; but stacking everything in them was really difficult as everything was jumbled up. 

What I needed was a set of small drawers which would fit in the side board where I could separate the items and store them for easy finding.

First I sorted all my props into piles:
  • Napkins
  • Terracotta pots 
  • Small dipping bowls
  • Large bowls
  • Plates
  • Cutlery
  • Misc props such as ribbons, straws, flowers, string.
  • Larger electrical items and bake ware and cake tins
Since my budget was limited, I looked around for some sturdy card board boxes with lids for my napkins etc and I folded them and stacked them in the boxes so that I could easily see the colours of them. Asda do some pretty card board boxes that are perfect for this


Next I found two old wicker hampers I had in my loft. The hampers were empty baskets that were once received with food items although you can buy them separately for about five pounds each from wicker hampers. I used the larger one to store my cards and fabrics and all my craft items. The smaller basket I used to store my craft equipment such as scissors, glue, glue gun,stencils, brushes etc.


Finally I wanted some sort of storage drawers that I could use to store my smaller bowls, cutlery and have them easily accessible. I managed to purchase some fairly inexpensive plastic drawer sets from my local Asda supermarket in their home section. They are very basic plastic and not very heavy duty but for my purpose they were fine. 






Each drawer unit has three drawers two small and one large, the smaller drawers were perfect for the smaller items and the slightly larger drawer is ideal for the bigger bowls. 



Furthermore, the drawer units all fit into my sideboard but can also be stacked on the floor or on top of the sideboard unit for free standing. Ideally, I would have preferred something sturdier, however they do the job perfectly so for the moment I am happy.


For my haberdashery, braids, buttons, beads and smaller craft items I purchased some mini three drawer units that I bought from the pound shop, yes pound shop each unit was only one pound. They are ideal for storing the smaller nick nacks. For the larger bake ware and gadgets that I don't use very often I was able to store these in strong cardboard boxes. 


There are many storage systems available if you need to sort out your storage. These vary from permanent storage units to wicker basket units, cardboard boxes, plastic lidded tubs and plastic and wooden drawer units. 

In my case, I needed storage for the house, but there are many situations such as a house move, relocation, student move or whilst having home renovations where one may need to source packaging, transport, temporary storage or permanent storage that is safe and secure. Space station is one company that offers a full storage and removal solution to all your requirements.


I am happy that all my equipment is now sorted and easy to locate in one place.

This post was in collaboration with Space Station, all views and opinions in this post are my own.



Thursday, 5 February 2015

Middle Eastern glasses an addition to my blog props.



From time to time I love sharing how I come about obtaining some of my props for food photography. There is never a time when my eyes are not looking out for props whilst I am out and about, window shopping, at a restaurant or at a charity shop . This is an obsession and I just can't stop it.

Some time ago I went out with a group of work mates to a Lebanese restaurant for a meal. The restaurant was very ethnic with beautiful authentic rugs hanging on the walls and had a very middle Eastern Decor and ambience. The food was amazing and it was served in the lovely hand painted pottery, plates and bowls. But what really caught my eye was the lovely green and gold and silver rimmed glasses they used to serve the tea in. They were so pretty that all evening I had my eyes on them and couldn't stop admiring them.


The meal was over and we left the restaurant, although I was now on the look out for the pretty glasses I had seen.I googled the glasses but most came in sets and since all my blog props are only for photography it seemed a little bit extravagant to buy a whole set when I only needed one or two. My sensible side decided that I wil not purchase them and the thought was put at the back of my mind.


A few weeks later, while I was at work a collegue who knows about my prop obsession handed me a white paper bag, the type that restaurants put your takeaway in. I opened it thinking she had chosen to share her doggy bag from her previous nights meal  for my lunch!!! To my enormous surprise, wrapped in serviettes were the three glasses I had my eyes on from the Lebanese restaurant. My friend had been to the same place for a meal and somehow managed to persuade the owner to give her the glasses for me. I was overjoyed and couldn't wait to use them in a photo shoot.
Here is a picture of the two glasses in my  Almond masala milk recipe. Arn't they just gorgeous. I absolutely love the intricut gold and silver trim with the in lay design on the rim.




Monday, 12 May 2014

Aged Wooden Boards -DIY backgrounds for food pictures

If you have been following my blog you will  be aware that I have been collecting old scrap wood to create a collection of backgrounds for my food photos. In my last post I shared how I used pva glue and acrylic paint to create some cracked finished wood  boards.In this post I am going to share how I created an aged wooden platform to use for my food photos.
I had recently visited a garden centre where I had managed to source some aged off cuts of old fencing that the garden centre had thrown away. I also goggled how to make inexpensive stain for the wood using wire wool and vinegar.Below is a tutorial of how I created my wooden board.

Materials:

For Board:

7 strips of wood approximately 18 x 6 inches.
Few  nails 1.5 cm long(depends on thickness of wood)
Hammer
Paint brush
Bin liner
Empty Jar
Hack saw
Sandpaper
Old rag
Rubber gloves

For Stain:

Wire wool
Vinegar

Method:

1. In a glass jar add the wire wool and top it up fully with vinegar, place the lid and put the jar in the garage for 2 weeks.After two weeks open the jar in a well ventilated room ( the smell is very pungent) and you will notice that the wire wool has rusted and the vinegar has turned brown in to a stain.Strain the mixture into a clean jar and discard the rusted wire wool.


2. Cut the wood so that you have 7 pieces roughly the same length.They don't have to be cut  too perfect.


3.Place 5 pieces of the cut wood side by side as shown in diagram 1below and place the remaining two pieces horizontally as shown on diagram 2.
Diagram 1                          Diagram 2

4.Nail the  pieces 6 and 7  to the the pieces 1-5 as shown in diagram three with a grey dot. You may want to add a few extra nails to secure the pieces together.(Make sure the nails are not longer than the thickness of the wood.)

                                                                          Diagram 3


5. Using the sand paper sand away any splinters and wipe the wood with a damp cloth.
6. Place the bin liner on the floor and place the wooden board on it, using the brush paint the stain on both sides of the wooden board.To achieve a darker colour apply a second coat of stain after first coat is dry.I applied a single coat to one side of my board and a double coating on the other side so that I had two different finishes.
7. Leave the board to dry for 24 hours.

Finished Board top side



Here is a a picture showing this side of the board used in one of my photos.



Finished board bottom side


Here is a picture using the back this side of the same board in the photo below.



I am really pleased with my board as it has given me two different looks and finishes.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Cracked finished wooden boards-DIY backgrounds for food pictures

I have recently started to put together a collection of wooden boards and textured finished cards to use as backgrounds for food photos. Often you see beautiful food photos taken on rustic aged wooden tables, boards and they look really great.I googled and watched you tube videos on how to create different finishes. With some ideas pencilled down, I set about sourcing some off cuts of wood. First I raided the garage and found a couple of bits of wood that were old  plywood drawer bases. Next I went to my local builders yard and looked around to see if I could pick up some odd off cuts of wood. I was lucky as my local store cuts wood to size and has a box of small of off cuts that are discarded  and you can buy them for a small cost.I paid between fifty pence to one pound each  for a couple of bits of wood.

I also went to the local garden centre and bought a small piece of decking approx 18 square. Lastly looking and feeling like an idiot I asked the young assistant if they had any "old" wood off cuts I could purchase.After staring at me with a quizzical look he pointed me to a rubbish area and grunted look there. I rummaged through rubbish  old wood, feeling like a tramp and seriously trying to contain my embarrassment as the young lad starred at me in disbelief probably thinking I was eccentric. I managed to retrieve three battered pieces which  looked like old fencing. They were truly weathered from the rain and were covered in sticky tree sap in places but looked really rustic. Armed with my find I was really excited to get home to venture on my new project but before I could do that I had to pick up some painting supplies.

My next stop was a paint shop,I bought some mini emulsion sample paint pots, some small acrylic paints, some pva glue, wire wool, sand paper  and some in expensive brushes. I was excited as my project was finally going to commence. All these supplies will enable me to create some different finishes, today I am going to share my first project of creating cracked finish wooden boards, I hope to share more tutorials using my purchases above in later posts.


Project one- Cracked finished wooden boards.

Materials:

Two small plywood boards ( any size of your choice)
PVA glue
Acrylic paint (light pink) ( light blue for blue board)
Dulux emulsion paint sample pots (dark pink) (Dark blue for blue board)
2 paint brushes
2 old rags (old T shirt cut into squares )
Bin liner
Sand paper
Hair Dryer

Method:

1.Open out the bin liner and put it on the table so that you don't mess up your table.
2.Sand any rough edges from the wood so that you don't get splinters from it.
3. Damp one of the rags with water and wipe the wooden board to clean off any dust.


         Step 4                                                    Step 6                                                Step 7

4. Paint the wooden board with your base colour which should be darker than the top colour so that when
we put the lighter colour on top the darker colour will show through from underneath.
5. Leave the board to dry totally and wash your brush and dry it on the second rag.
6. Once the board is dry, we are going to paint it with the pva glue. This stage is important as you must choose which direction you want your cracks to form and paint the pva glue in that direction only.
7. The amount of glue you paint on the wood will determine the size of the cracked finish. For a lighter crack finish paint a thin layer of glue, for larger more prominent crack finish paint thicker layer of glue but remember always paint the glue in one direction.


            Step 8                                                Step 10

8. Immediately on top of the wet glue with a clean brush paint a thin layer of your acrylic paint. Take care to paint it lightly with gentle strokes as not to lift the glue off and also paint  in the same direction .
9. You don't have to be too careful with the painting, you get a better finish if you get some odd patches and the final  finish will be more natural.
10. Once the acrylic paint is on the wood, immediately dry the paint on the wooden board with the hair dryer or heat gun. The hot heat will dry the paint and as its drying you will see cracks appearing in the painted surface.



                                                                  Step 11

11. Once the paint is semi dry leave the board to air dry for another 24 hours before using it.



You can see I created a blue board and a pink board. The cracking on the blue board is more definite as I had painted a thicker layer of glue and I had also painted the glue diagonally  and with random brush strokes to change the pattern of the cracking.


The pink board the cracking is finer as I had painted a thinner layer of glue and also painted it in vertical lines.There is a noticeable difference in both the finishes.






Here you can see the finished boards in my food photos.



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