4 ways to cacti up your christmas

:: by Lizzie


Plants have been a very big thing this year haven’t they? My flat is full of them, my pattern collection has been inspired by them, our Pinterest boards are over flowing with them and I’m pleased to say that my Christmas decoration buying and festive styling has been infiltrated by them too. Hoorah!


House plants and particularly cacti are still very much enjoying the limelight and long may it continue. My plant babies at home and at SMUG have been collected over several years – some even from our wedding in 2013 where we used cacti and succulents to dress the tables. As you know cacti are very low maintenance and even more so during the colder months. So, now we’re not even needing to tend to them with water on a weekly or fortnightly basis, maybe it’s time we switch our focus over to making our cactus friends a little more festive! Don’t you think?


This blog post is jam packed with inspiration on how to style your home this festive season with cacti, both alive and ornamental. Keep scrolling and reading for my top tips and suggestions.




D I S C O  –  Cacti respond very well to glitter and metallics! Whether you style your living cacti by hanging glittery baubles nearby, whack these glass cacti ornaments on your tree, or go for HAY’s phallic metallic ceramic Cacti Dos – go disco or go home.


Cacti Dos  |  Disco Star Bauble  |  Cacti Ornament Set  |  Disco Glitter Bauble




M O N O C H R O M E  –  Not quite game for all that glitter? Then go monochrome for a more low-key and fashion forward Cacti Christmas. If I can tempt you to throw in some gold in the form of a tasteful bottle opener, time turner or even mini tree, then all the better.


Ruby Taylor Pot  |  Bottle Openers  |  Time Turners  |  Flowerpot  |  Candle Holder  |  Glitter Trees




T R O P I C A L  –  Loving the flamingo, palm tree and toucan trends? Then who’s to say we can’t have a tropical Christmas here in old Blighty!? Cacti work so well with tropical themed items like pineapples, watermelon, florals and birds of paradise.


Cacti Dos  |  Tropical Ornament Set  |  2017 Midnight Hard Cover Planner  |  Fruit Ornament Set




C E R A M I C  –  If you really can’t muster any green-fingeredness what-so-ever, then maybe you’d be safer to go with these ceramic cacti vases which make great sculptural decorations but also double as vases. If cut flowers are more your thing, you’ll be safe with these guys.


Cactus Vases  |  Mini Glitter Tree Ornaments  |  Rose Hexagon Vase  |  Gold Splash Ornament




Tempted to get your house plants and cacti in on the Christmas decorating action? I hope this post will have helped get your festive juices flowing. I’ll certainly be cranking up the Cacti Christmas loving this week. It’s nearly December don’t you know?! Eek! If you do get cacti glittery, monochrome, golden, tropical or ceramic in your Christmas decorating then please do let me know. I’d love to see! You can tag me on insta @ifeelsmug and/or use the hashtag #cactichristmas


Mini Cacti Vases  |  Glitter Tree  |  Gold Hooks  |  Time Turner  |  Large Gold Hexagon Vase


SMUG X One We Made Earlier Colab

:: by Lizzie




May, Elspeth, Edie and Molly Wren. These are the names of the necklaces from the collaboration between myself and One We Made Earlier launching this weekend at SMUG. It’s been wonderful to work with Emma and Rob on this lovely collaboration and I’m so pleased to be able to share it with you at last. If you don’t know long standing friends of SMUG, One We Made Earlier, then keep reading for a mini interview with Emma below.


The configurations of strung shapes on these necklaces are completely exclusive to SMUG and the grey resin set with peach and white fragments, featured on three of the necklaces in the collection, has been made especially for this project.


The names for the necklaces have been inspired by some of the little girl babies we know and love born this year. I’m so happy with all four necklaces and can’t decide which one to wear first! If you’d like to purchase one of these limited edition necklaces you can pop in store to SMUG on Camden Passage in Islington or shop the collection online here.




Tell us a bit about each of your backgrounds and how you came to be doing what you’re doing now.

We met at art college in Scotland where I studied textiles and Rob studied fine art. We both moved to London to study more at Goldsmiths college. Rob pursued his practice as a contemporary artist and I worked in various teaching roles alongside selling stitched stationery at Spitalfields market.


A number of years later with 2 children along the way, we wanted to collaborate on a creative project, and somehow the necklaces emerged! Initial designs took the form of colourful collections of wooden shapes on rope, and One we made earlier has grown from there. Our studio is based in South East London. Rob cuts, drills and casts shapes and I do hand finishing, construction and admin. Rob continues his practice as a contemporary artist alongside our jewellery.


What are you most inspired by and which key elements of the One We Made Earlier studio most resonate with you personally?

We are inspired by a wide range of things, from modernist buildings to exhibitions we visit, like a recent Ulm Design show we enjoyed. If you look at our Instagram page, you can see that inspiration comes in many shapes and forms – nice shoes to unusual children’s climbing frames, Bauhaus furniture to constructivist stage set design.


In terms of what aspects of the studio reflect our personalities, this year we combined our two studios into one space, which has worked well, particularly as it is very close to home. The tools you use inevitably end up feeling like an extension of who you are, and over time we have become quite attached to the various tools and pieces of machinery we use! The studio also houses lots of other odds and ends that we have accumulated over time though, from artworks to fun, colourful objects, which reflect another aspect of who we are. Maybe the One we made earlier studio is a bit of a mixture of these more functional, utilitarian items as a backdrop for playful pops of colour!


If you each had to choose one SMUG product to have what would it be?

We would choose something from the beautiful Scholten & Baijings Ceramics range. The gridded porcelain container and the amazing milk and sugar set are beautiful!








Emma and Rob also took part in my  P L A N T  P O T  exhibition upstairs at SMUG during London Design Festival both this year and last. The beady-eyed of you will have already noticed it in the images above but for a better look, see below for some snaps of their one-off plant pot offering from this September. Featuring again the grey resin set with white and peach fragments that was designed and made by them especially for SMUG and this collaboration. So now, in drawing this post to a close, all that remains is for me to say a big thank you to One We Made Earlier for working with me on this project and for producing such beautiful collection. And to say to you, perfect Christmas present no?