Sunday, 23 December 2012

Merry Christmas

PolkaDot Lighthouse would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

We hope the New Year will bring you health, happiness and lots of love!

Monday, 26 November 2012


Karin Eriksson is the artist behind Manos, the ceramics shop and workshop we managed to visit, almost by chance, on our trip to Stockholm.

We had already come across the video showing her work a few months before that. The video exquisitely shows the delicate creative process as well as the effort and dedication that Karin invests in each of her pieces. We were so lucky to see her wonderful creations up-close.

We'll leave you with the video, worth dedicating six minutes of your time to watch it :)

When you're passionate about your work, you can see it in the results and in the smile you start each working day with.

Have a nice week!


Friday, 16 November 2012

DIY coasters

You might remember around this time last year we wrote a post about how to sew your own beautiful apple-shaped coasters. If sewing isn't your bag, maybe painting and spray-painting are. We recently stumbled across this lovely DIY on Penelope & Pip which shows you how to make colour-blocked coasters.

Basic wooden coasters seem quite easy to find in the shops or even charity shops and this is the perfect way to jazz them up for your own home or even to give as a gift. There's some big event coming up at the end of December, might be handy for that.

You can find the How-To for this over on Poppytalk where it was featured in a very nice Zine. We recommend taking a flick through it for other interesting ideas.

You will need:

wooden coasters
paint suitable for wood (in several or just one colour)
gold spraypaint
clear varnish
masking tape
a brush 
some paint containers

Method (see the Zine for pictures to go with these instructions):

1. Place masking tape diagonally across each coaster then paint one half of the coaster with the colour of your choice.
2. Once dry, paint on a second layer to make it more durable.
3. Once the second layer is dry, place the masking tape over the part you just painted so that you can spray the other half of the coaster gold. Make sure the first half is completely dry otherwise the paint will come off with the masking tape.
4. Spray away! You can also spray the underside of the coaster.
5. Once dry, cover the coasters with some clear varnish to make them nice and hardy.

They don't seem too tricky or time-consuming and look great. Will you be giving these a go?


Friday, 9 November 2012

Easy peasy chocolate cake

We were in birthday celebration mode not too long ago and as we all know a good birthday isn't complete without a cake. This time we decided to forget about calorie-counting and treated ourselves to a chocolate feast, mmm.

This cake is extremely easy to prepare and turns out really nice, moist and has finger-licking icing to boot. Let's just say it's one of those recipes that has to be shared for the good of humanity :)

Easy peasy chocolate cake

I based the recipe on this one from Rachel Manley:

For the cake:

225g/8oz plain flour (sifted)
350g/12½oz golden caster sugar
85g/3oz cocoa powder
1½ tsp baking powder
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 free-range eggs
250ml/9fl oz whole milk
125ml/4½fl oz sunflower oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
250ml/9fl oz boiling water

For the chocolate icing:
200g/7oz dark chocolate* (or dark chocolate with orange for an irresistible flavour combo, although it affects the texture a bit)
200ml/7fl oz double cream

To make the icing, heat the chocolate and cream in a saucepan. Stir it over a low heat until the chocolate melts. Then leave it to cool for 1 hour, or until thick enough to spread over the cake.

Now it's time to start on the cake. Place all of the cake ingredients, except the boiling water, into a large mixing bowl and mix or beat the mixture until smooth and well combined. Add the boiling water to the mixture, a little at a time, until smooth (the cake mixture will now be very liquid). Pour the cake batter into the greased cake tin and bake in the oven at 180ºC for 25-35 minutes, or until the top is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool completely, still in its tin, before icing (and please use all of the icing, try to resist the temptation to eat it before the cake is ready...).

The original recipe divides the batter into two sandwich tins so you can put icing in the middle too. It might require a little more effort but would make the cake very tasty.

Et voilà! All you have to do now is enjoy it!


Monday, 5 November 2012

Taking stock of Stockholm

In our last post we mentioned that we were going to Stockholm, well...we’re back and we had a great time! There was plenty to see and do - some of you might have caught a few snippets of our trip on Instagram here and here.

We went to the Royal Palace, Fotografiska (a really nice photography museum), the modern art museum - Moderna Museet (spent a lot of time in the shop making tricky decisions about the Andy Warhol posters), Vasa Museet (museum about a huge warship that sank in 1628 and was salvaged in 1961 almost fully intact) and we also went to the Skansen museum and zoo (to learn about life in Sweden through the ages, and to see moose :) at the same time).

Skansen museum and zoo
Of course no trip to Stockholm would be complete without visiting a few shops so when we weren't being culture vultures, we were perusing Monki, Cheap Monday, Urban Outfitters, DesignTorget and other more independent and second-hand shops.

We ate kanelbulle (a kind of cinnamon bun), meatballs, pickled herring (surprisingly tasty), smoked salmon, and had a few drinks too...but not too many because we might have broken the budget otherwise.

We also went to Urban Deli (nice for drinks and food) and a very nice place nearby called Parlans for the most delicious handmade caramels in lovely 40's style surroundings.

Urban Deli
We walked along Södermalm, listened to live music, went on a boat trip and all in all we had a ball.

Thank you Stockholm!

Carla and Olga

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Donna Wilson

Donna Wilson is another Scottish artist who we've been tracking for a while now. We're big fans of her work. A lot of you might already have heard of her but it's always a pleasure to take another look at her creations.

Since 2003 Donna has been knitting lovely creatures, sewing blankets, painting ceramics, designing gloves and short, creating a whole universe we would love to get lost in any day. Her efforts and her work have been recognised by the awards she has received ("2010 Designer of the Year" at Elle Decoration's British Design Awards) and the exhibitions she has protagonised.

Generally speaking, it's the plates and cushions from her collections that captivate us the most. Here is a selection of our favourites:

We also wanted to let you know that we're off to Stockholm tomorrow for a few days. Woo woo! You can track our polar adventures on Instagram here and here and if you have any tips about the city, we would love to hear them :)


Friday, 14 September 2012

Where do owls come from?

It's finally Friday so let your imagination run wild and get lost in the clouds, maybe we'll find a magical factory up there somewhere...
We'll only let you in on one thing - baby owls are not delivered by storks ;)

Owl Know How de Isobel Knowles vía Esty

Have a lovely weekend!


Thursday, 6 September 2012

Same same but different: smoke detectors

We're back! We hope you enjoyed your summer as much as we enjoyed ours :) We'll pick up where we left off with this feature I seem to have neglected but was recently inspired to come back to when I discovered these very interesting smoke alarms. Strange one I know but it's such a good idea! Smoke detectors aren't very nice to look at so why not get yourself a pretty one? It's all in the name of safety you know.

These were designed by Louise van der Veld and inspired by miners and nature.
"Since 1900 birds were used to protect mineworkers from danger. The canary is especially sensitive to dangerous gasses such as carbon monoxide. These gasses are mostly odorless, and have no color and are therefore impossible for humans to detect. Miners took the canaries in a small cage with them down into the mines. The canary whistled and sang the whole day, and was a welcome distraction from the harsh work in the mines. When the canary showed the smallest sign of unrest this was a clear sign for the miners to evacuate the mine as soon as possible. The bird was not only a good means of protection for miner, his presence was pleasant and gave the miners a feeling of safety and therefore formed an integrated part of the life of the miners."

What do you think? They would certainly brighten up your ceilings a lot more than a normal smoke detector.


Tuesday, 14 August 2012


1. Staring At The Sea, 2. Rainbow Colors, 3. Blue Sky Breeze, 4. I Feel Like Flying

We're taking a much awaited little break. We'll be away from our computer screens for a while to enjoy the summer before it's completely over.

See you when we get back with a lot more energy, a heap of ideas and inspiration!

Enjoy your summer:)

Olga and Carla

Friday, 10 August 2012

Cocktail hour

I've found my new drink of choice and that drink is Aperol Spritz! Maybe it's quite a well-known one, I don't know...but it has been a new and very nice discovery for me so just in case you didn't already know about it, I thought I would share. I am back in Zurich at the moment and it is very popular here although I can't say I've ever seen it in the UK. It is an Italian drink normally served as an aperitif (thanks Wikipedia).

And here is how it's made:

3 parts prosecco
2 parts aperol
1 splash of soda/sparkling water
slice of orange

There seem to be different variations on this. You can also use Campari instead of Aperol but it will give a more bitter taste so you might want to up the orange content. Some recipes also use dry white wine instead of prosecco.

 Photo by me

The Aperol website shows some vintage adverts for the drink from the 1930s. It was first promoted as the liqueur for the health-conscious woman because of its low alcohol content. I'm not sure drinking alcohol is the way to keep in shape but it is a very nice drink. 

Have you tried it? What's your favourite recipe for it? Or do you know of any other good cocktail recipes? Please feel free to share!


Thursday, 2 August 2012

Easy DIY bracelets

It's been a while since we posted some good DIYs so we thought it was about time we did something about that. I was recently looking at Honestly WTF because I find it always has the best and most original tutorials. I found this one for making bracelets using gold tube beads and cord. Fairly inexpensive, great results and easy to boot. What more could you ask for?

Go here for the step-by-step how-to.

If you want to make the cord bracelet you will need:

Alternatively you can make a bracelet using leather cord rather than chinese knotting cord, in which case you will need:

...Et voilà! You will end up with these beauties :)

Think you will be giving this a try? I know I will!

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