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IMAGE Book Club: Read an extract from ‘The Homemade Year’ by Lilly Higgins


by Sarah Gill
05th Sep 2022

This week’s IMAGE Book Club title of choice is The Homemade Year by Lilly Higgins, and we’re getting a taster of the selection of crafts, projects and recipes in store with a how-to guide for making your very own wine cork trivet.

A creative handbook of seasonal crafts, projects and recipes inspired by the Irish calendar and Lilly Higgins’ own traditions, The Homemade Year taps into all the current trends such as crafting, baking, slow living, self-care and eco-awareness.

Placing Lilly in a new category of modern homemaking and creativity, the author not only wrote the book, but did all the styling and photos herself, and the end result is truly stunning. Broken up into seasonal chapters with at least six projects for each month, there are child-friendly crafts like St. Patrick’s Day badges and natural tie dye, wellness ideas such as bath tea mix and sage bundles, and more complex activities such as paper-making and homemade kombucha and sourdough.

A celebration of creativity and sustainability, The Homemade Year by Lilly Higgins was published on Thursday, 1 September and would make for the perfect gift for anyone who loves to get crafty and enjoys a bit of DIY. Read an extract below…

The Homemade Year Lilly Higgins


Wine cork trivet

What you’ll need:

  • A collection of wine corks
  • A small pan
  • A serrated knife
  • Felt or heavy cardboard for backing the corks
  • Superglue

I’m a big fan of natural wines. I spent a few years studying wine and sitting the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) exams, but there was very little included on the wild wines that I love. It felt a bit like being back in school. I wanted to know more about the Georgian wines fermented underground in large clay pots called Qvevris, biodynamic wines made from multiple grape varieties where dogs and donkeys roam the vineyards.

I love the naturally wild fermented wines, the characterful skin-contact wines and the bubbling pét-nats. All of these wines are made by smaller producers, families who have been making wine for generations or new winemakers trying something exciting. Popping the cork on one of these bottles and tasting the wine helps to tell these families’ stories and supports them.

I keep any corks from notable bottles to help me remember which ones we loved. Depending on the size of your cork collection, you can make bath mats, cork notice boards or coasters. This cute little trivet is perfect for placing under a hot dish or tea pot to protect your table. Fun and functional!

Method

  1. For this project we have to cut the wine corks in half. Boil some water in a pan with the corks and simmer them for 10 minutes. This will clean them well and will make them easier to cut.
  2. Once boiled, cut the corks on a wooden chopping board or other non-slip surface. Be careful! Use the serrated knife to cut the corks in half lengthways. Set aside and leave to dry before moving on to the next step.
  3. Arrange your corks in whatever pattern you like. I’ve used a cross-hatch pattern for strength, and it looks nice too.
  4. Once in place, measure and cut a piece of felt to be the bottom of the trivet. You will be gluing all the corks to this.
  5. Place the felt square on a piece of card, to protect your work surface from glue. One by one, apply superglue to the cut side of each cork. Starting in the far left corner of your felt, press the cork down firmly right at the edge. Continue to build your trivet, copying the pattern you had laid out.
  6. Once all the corks are in place, you can add a little extra glue around the joints to make sure they stay in place.
  7. Leave to dry completely before neatly trimming away any visible pieces of felt.

The Homemade Year by Lilly Higgins is on sale now.

Make sure you check back into later this week to get an insight into the life, times and writing process of Lilly Higgins with our Author’s Bookshelf…