Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy New Year

Wishing you all 
 a wonderful 2015!

Thank you all for following, reading and just stopping by to comment.

I want it to slow down

As last year passed in a blink of an eye
I want to cherish my family more

Spend time with my lovely husband

Take more bike rides

Indulge in me time

 Go on a photography course so that I can post pretty pics on this blog of mine

Take more walks

Eat healthier foods

Laugh more

Worry less about the future and embrace the present

And all its possibilities…

(All images via Pinterest)

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Merry Christmas

This year has passed too quickly.  And tomorrow is Christmas Eve and the start of our family tradition of the feast of seven fishes.  Fish will be cleaned, garlic chopped and lemons squeezed.  We will hold hands in thanks and remember our blessings.

It's time.  Time to wind down, find inner peace and reflect on the past year and to be grateful.  All that remains is to say happy holidays and Merry Christmas.  May you and your families enjoy the blessings of togetherness that this season brings.


Sunday, 14 December 2014

Christmas Decorating

The tree is up, a real one.  We had this debate about whether to go faux or real.  It was 3:1 for the faux, but I won on the multiple benefits to having a real tree…the smell, the colour…but truth be told, I wanted a real tree for Honeybee who is once again on the move…

A week ago, I casually draped some lights over a curtain rod, added sparkly lights to the mirror.  I decorated with the same stars from last year, except I sprayed them gold and added some white reindeer and a small faux Christmas tree.  This year my colour is gold…it was going to be red, gold and green, however somehow the red got lost….maybe next year…I’m not big on  tinsel and wall to wall Christmas decorations but this year I bought some honeycomb decorations which seem to be enjoying a bit of a revival.  Old news in terms of Christmas decorations, but they now come in lovely gold, silver and white, which I am loving.  And finally, a gold Reindeer, beautiful isn’t he? 

Speaking of Christmas and all the stress of buying gifts and creating a magnificent meal fit for a king, I've decided I'm not going to play superwoman this year.   I'm going to be kinder to myself and let my hair down a little (think Farah Fawcett in her big hair days).    I've made lists but I'm not panicked when I see names not yet ticked off and I'm not stressing about THE MEAL; I decided to cut a few corners so that I have more time to chill with the family instead of peeling, slicing and dicing…there, I've said it… (being the sort who peels her own fresh carrots, this is a big deal for me!) All except the roast potatoes which I've already frozen.  This year for the first time ever in my life, it’s all about making it easy on myself.    The croquembouche I boasted about to all and sundry will have to wait until I can master the spun sugar technique which is proving more difficult than I anticipated….the rest I can deal with.  I can.  And I’m looking forward to it.

How are you decorating this Christmas?  


Sunday, 7 December 2014

Wild Wreath making

Hello lovely people, I haven't managed to blog very often this last month.  So how's your Christmas prep list going? Do you have your Christmas tree all tinselled and baubled up yet?  I confess I haven’t! This year I can’t decide between buying a real tree and going down the faux route as there are some pretty amazing faux Christmas trees around and they are getting better and better looking each year.  If I don’t make up my mind soon it just might be too late to put one up at all.  

Anyhow, talking of foliage, pine needles, and all things festive, instead of dressing the tree, my eldest daughter and I went on an amazing wild wreath making course at Sarah Moore Vintage and what a morning it was.  Making my own wreath always sounded so intimidating, but it's quite easy when you're given tips by an expert!

Our Saturday morning started bright and early driving up and down winding narrow country roads, all frosted up and glistening in the early morning sunlight, it finally felt more like December should…cold and icy... we pulled up to see the barn door flanked with Christmas trees and all lit up with lights.   Inside was all decked out with beautiful vintage treasures to buy, flickering candlelight, and gorgeously dressed tables laden with vintage crockery and glassware with the scent of pine needles and the fresh foliage wafting through the air.  I deliberately left my purse at home because I knew I would not be able to resist the urge to buy, buy, buy! Instead I focused on making a wreath from hand-picked wild foliage, which Sarah had ready for us in large florist buckets and woven baskets.  There was so much variety it was hard to imagine it all came from our wonderful countryside.  A large log fire burned warmly outside in the courtyard and mince pies and plenty of tea in pretty vintage cups was available for warming up. 

We were so busy ‘making’ we forgot to take ‘before’ pics so these iPhone photos will have to do.  It was fun to see how we all started off with the same florist’s foam base but we all created such different wreaths! A few hours later and I have a stunning (well I think so!) wreath to hang and dare I say it… it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas ….

Now to hang it on the door, a little drilling is required me thinks!

Until next time

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Pots of gold

Hello lovely people, we've been a bit washed out here in good old England.  Slightly wet and grey but I have my eyes on a bit of sparkle, especially with Christmas approaching.

I've always been drawn to a little bling, a little gold, and after completing the dining room project, I was liking the gold even more.  I knew I wanted a white and gold plant holder  for the top shelf, but I couldn't find any so while I was in Ikea buying the curtains to sew for the little dining room project I picked up a small plastic plant pot for about £3.  I had left over Montana Gold spray paint and I was on a mission to turn this little white pot into something a little more special.  I used some Washi tape making sure I taped it down firmly and I just sprayed the pot until it was well covered.  I gave it two coats, left it to dry for 10 minutes and popped the greenery in.  It looked fantastic, so much so that I decided to make one for myself. 

And there's a lot of gold happening in interiors as well, so I’ve put together a few of my favourite gold items I've found on the web, they are all affordable and budget friendly!  One of my absolute favourites is the Uashmama washable metallic paper bag...I have to buy one!

1. BHS, 2. Graham&Green 3. Zara Home

It's a miserable night outside, but we are off to our son's formal GCSE award ceremony.
Hope you are snug and cosy inside!


Saturday, 18 October 2014

DIY Gold Accessories

I've had a busy few weeks, which is why I haven’t blogged for a while. My parents came for a visit from South Africa and Honeybee arrived home from the USA after 3 ½ months away along with bags and bags of dirty laundry – my washing machine is working overtime and I think about to spin itself out of the room!  And yes, she had an AMAZING time.  With no job as yet, she has time to think about what she wants to do for her future, and how being away has shaped her spiritually and emotionally…she's been asked to go back next year, so who knows what the future holds…it’s all one big adventure!  And to top it all off, we attended her graduation ceremony yesterday at Winchester feet just don't know how to cope in high heels anymore!

And talking of the dining room design, thank you for your lovely comments and welcome to new followers Jody and Stan!  

I had a lot of fun doing the entire dining room project.  Sourcing the right décor items for a particular space takes time and patience, and as I’ve mentioned before you can’t and shouldn’t source everything from the same place. It took me several months to find the right objects I was looking for.  And sometimes you don’t always find what you’re looking for, when you want it, which means you need to just step back and pause and when you do that sometimes you get an ‘Ah ha’ moment, an idea that’s so simple, so effective, it’s quite literally child’s play!

At the moment I am quite obsessed with spraying everything gold…ever since I glammed up this shelf and realised how simple it was and how something as easy as gold spray paint can change an off the shelf item into something unique.  So I started to think about other things to spray.   I wanted to inject a whimsical element in the dining room, something a little quirky and off centre, and I really love Abigail Ahern’s gold rabbit money box here but it wasn’t quite right for the tropical feel in the dining room, and so I started thinking about the dining room and palm trees, balmy weather and heat and finally stopped at South Africa, which is where I used to live.  The Big Five are what most people associate with Africa, along with thinking that we have lions roaming on the streets…but that’s a whole other story…anyhow I love elephants, they are such large graceful animals … and so I sourced an African elephant online (now you’re thinking how do I know it’s an African Elephant and not an Asian elephant yes?  It’s all in the ears darling, the ears…they are bigger on African elephants!)  He’s a mighty fine specimen if I may say so… and his role is to stand guard on the bar cart and look impressive, heavy and GOLD….

All you need is a little gold spray paint - I used RustOleums's Metallic gold Spray paint.  Give it two coats, leaving it to dry in between coats.
and this is how he looked before I got hold of him....I bought him on Amazon.

With my high heels back in the closet where they belong, I'm planning on doing absolutely nothing this weekend except walking around barefoot!

'Till next time!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

The Little Dining Room Project Reveal!

 Rome wasn’t built in a day…

And neither was this little project.  Did I mention I’m finally finished with it?  I am….sort of.  This tiny little front room was a dumping ground for everything old and ugly. It needed a SERIOUS makeover.  The carpets were no longer recognisable as such and beyond any kind of cleaning so with that in mind we opted for faux wood flooring;  there’s no comparison to real wooden floors, but as usual budget dictated the purchase.

BEFORE photos taken after tenant had moved out, but before we renovated the entire house:

A small boxy room by anyone’s standards, so we went for a grand wallpaper, creating the illusion of a much bigger space as well as creating visual interest.  I wanted over the top glamour and initially I wanted to paint the ceiling gold but that was just a bit too much for my client, so we left it as is.  Instead I glammed it up with gold elements like the chandelier,  gold framed mirror,  Gold Mirrored Shelving and a few accessories. 

The wall directly opposite the window needs a statement piece and I have my eye on this Carl Bengtsson poster but I can’t seem to find a supplier in the UK…if anyone knows please drop me a line… in the meantime I’m thinking of creating my own piece of photography, if it works it’s going up, if not it's back to the drawing board!  Except for the mirror, a pineapple painting and this lovely African Grey print, the walls have been left bare.  That’s intentional as the wallpaper is very busy and doesn’t need a lot of wall art.  The addition of a palm tree in the corner gives a real tropical feel to the room.

It’s a tiny space, but I wanted to create a little bit of Hollywood sparkle.  I kept the drapes white and sheer, the light from the window still floods the room and the Purl Window Frost has given this road facing dining space much needed privacy. The table is an antique Gate leg table given to my client by her mother. The replica Phillip Starke Ghost chairs give a modern and spacious feel to the room.  There are no children in this home, so it was easy to accessorise the gold shelving with lovely décor pieces without having to make the space child friendly.   The Bar Cart adds a touch of old Hollywood glamour and fits in nicely with the whole feel of the space. The look is young and not too serious and in good old England, where we often have more grey days than sunny skies it’s a tropical oasis guaranteed to cause a smile….so what do you think?

I’ll be sharing my resource list next time – budget style!
Take care!


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Drinks anyone?

I thought summer was over, but we’re having amazing weather for September, slightly cooler in the mornings, but our days are lovely and warm.

I don’t want to jinx it but we’ve had humid days and lots of sunshine with a slight breeze which is ideal for spending time on the beach.  Great weather means I still get to cycle along the beach front in t-shirt and shorts and so before the temperatures start dropping I want to show you pics of the bar cart that I found for the dining room project. 

Bar carts/drinks trolleys have been gaining popularity in recent years and there are some beautiful ones to be found on line.  Remember this post I did a few years back tea or drinks trolley Some are hugely expensive and others less so….this little number was £10 and I found it on eBay! It’s not quite up there with the uber glam models but it will do and does the job nicely until a more expensive one can be purchased.

I love how you can put everything to do with mixing drinks, slicing lemons and popping in a straw, all onto one small trolley. They provide just enough space for keeping all the paraphernalia together with the added bonus of being able to take it outside for a BBQ.  Plus they add a super glamorous look to any space.

I bought the vintage striped gold tumblers from Etsy and the wine glasses  with the gold coral motif from Zara Home.  

I dressed it up to fit in with the rest of the room, a slightly tropical sparkly feel…love it! Drinks anyone?

I've been promising you pics of the little dining room project for weeks now, so that's up next, promise!

Take care