Friday, 18 April 2014

Swedish Blue Part Two

Remember I showed you these a few weeks ago? My old pine bedside cabinet and toybox. Well between eldest daughter visiting from uni and a few nice days out I managed to get them finished.
My bedside cabinet now looks like this.
  I painted the drawer knobs and decorated them with small butterflies cut from wrapping paper. I applied the cutouts with pva glue and then coated them in another layer of pva to protect them.
 This is the toybox which will go between my wardrobes for extra storage.
 The pretty bird cushion was a present from my lovely sister when she last visited.
I'm looking forward to seeing her again tomorrow when we visit the Royal Albert Hall to see James Blunt in concert. We're starting off with a meal in the new Italian restaurant 'Verdi' that opened a few days ago. Should be fun. 

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Swedish Blue

I'm hoping this... 
will transform these... 
...into something nice for my bedroom.
 My pine bedside cabinet which I made up from a flatpack about 18 years ago and varnished and my children's old pine toybox which I'll use for storing odds and ends.
Sanded and cleaned ready for undercoating and painting.
I may wallpaper the draw fronts and fix new drawer knobs....not quite sure yet.
I'll let you know how they turn out.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Birthday Orchid

I was given this beautiful Orchid back in early January for my Birthday and it is still in flower nearly 3 months later. I love the way the sunlight picks out the delicate detail in the flowers. So pretty.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Lupins, Tomatoes, Dahlias and Raspberries

I've been busy on the allotment the past few weeks digging, weeding, laying new barkchip on the paths, under the plum tree and around my fruit bushes and generally tidying up. I'm also digging out my large compost bin which has been left brewing for a few years. It has produced some lovely compost which I've used to top up my raised beds and mulch my fruit with.
I started some Lupin seeds off last year at home and the warmth has started them back into growth. I haven't grown these for a few years so looking forward to their beautiful colours. Might be able to squeeze a few in the garden but if not I'll grow them on the allotment for cutting.
My tomato seedlings 'Roma VF' and 'Marmande' are doing well (indoors) and now need potting on. This is when I start to run out of windowsill space! Unfortunately my cherry tomatoes haven't germinated so I'll have to buy some new seed. 
I'm also trying two new Dahlias this year as cutting flowers which have beautiful dark blooms. 
A decorative Dahlia 'Arabian Night' with fully-double flowerheads of dark burgundy-red and 'Pompon, Natel' which has a very dark red (almost black) flower.
Could look good in a vase with orange and pink flowers maybe?
I also bought some new summer fruiting Raspberry canes yesterday for the allotment - 'Glen Ample' which have been given the RHS prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM) so I'm expecting a great crop (well maybe not this year). I've been meaning to invest in some new canes the last few years but never seem to get around to it. Just need to build a support structure now!
Cooling down here in the south after our heatwave the past week.
Hope you all have an enjoyable week.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Bedroom makeover

The inspiration for my bedroom makeover began when I saw this beautiful sky blue wallpaper from Mini Moderns (in collaboration with artist Rob Ryan) on a program a while back called Kirstie's Vintage Home. 
The wallpaper shows Rob Ryan's distinctive paper cut designs and is called 'Our Adventure is About to Begin'. The little birds are holding these words in their beaks along with flowers and leaves as they fly away from their open cages.
I had a plasterer skim the ceiling and over a number of months I painted all the woodwork and hung the wallpaper.
My backroom housed my bedroom and I slept in my eldest daughter's bedroom while she was away at uni. It was all a little chaotic but I managed to move back in just before Christmas when my daughter returned home.
I painted my pine chest of drawers.
I hung a mirror with an 'old gold' finish bought from a charity shop for £15. I'm not usually a 'gold' person' but I do like this mirror.
 I removed all ten of my pine wardrobe doors over the summer and painted them and the framework. 
I also painted my old pine bed as I was determined to upcycle as much of my existing furniture as possible.

I treated myself to a pretty quilt set from Dunelm Mill called 'Duck Egg Beautiful Birds' (£19.99). 
I joke to my children that all the birds in my room keep me awake at night with their chirping!
I did start to make some patchwork curtains but they just didn't look right in the room. Too many different fabrics maybe? Instead I ended up buying curtains that matched the quilt cover and will use the patches (only pinned in this photo) to make a colourful patchwork quilt (but that's a blog post for another day).
It took me ages to find a ceiling light shade that I liked and could be fitted easily. In the end I bought this laser cut one from Wilkinsons with crystal effect droplets for £20.
I've also added some heart lace effect fairy lights that I also bought from Wilkinsons at Christmas. They look really pretty if I'm reading in bed with my bedside light on.
I still need to paint my pine bedside cabinet and a small blanket box, hang pictures and generally dress the room. I'd like to have a small table and chair in the bay window too. It feels so much brighter now although it still needs those finishing touches to make it feel a little more cosy and lived in but I'm pleased with how it's progressing so far.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Spring Flowers and Sandbags

I went on a lovely walk from Shoreham to Otford in Kent on Sunday. 
So many pretty spring flowers along the way.

Browsed the lovely antique shop at Otford and then had tea and cake in one of the tearooms before following the path back along the river. As you can see the arches of the bridge at Shoreham had almost disappeared as the water level was so high. The bridge and ford at Eynesford nearby were closed a few weeks ago as the river level was even higher then.
You get a sneaky peek at some lovely houses and gardens on the opposite side of the river as you walk along which I can never resist.
I wouldn't mind a stroll around this garden with all its beautiful topiary.
Don't think I've ever seen as many Snowdrops. There seemed to be large clumps and drifts of them everywhere. Very beautiful.
Some of the houses near to the river had sand bags outside the doors. 
I just hope they didn't get flooded.
A big hello to my new followers and I hope everyone has a lovely week.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

I'm so excited!

 Just received my tickets to see James Blunt in concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Sunshine on the Allotment

So nice to wake up to a calm, sunny day yesterday with blue sky. I packed a flask and lunch and headed down to my allotment to catch up on some digging.
The soil drains pretty quickly on my plot which made the digging and weeding easier.
These daffodils on a plot at the far end of the allotment have been in flower for about 3 weeks now. So pretty.
I had my usual stroll around to take some photos and have a chat.
Lovely to see the beautiful pink stems of Rhubarb pushing through the ground. I'm hoping to make a Rhubarb meringue pie soon with my first pickings! I made a lemon meringue pie for the first time last year using a Bramley apple lemon curd made from apples I had been given. It was scrumptious and didn't last long. 
An old grass roller that sits on the allotment.

I introduced myself to this chap (below) yesterday but he didn't reply. Some people like to keep to themselves. I thought he was a tad over-dressed though!
I visited the allotment shop which opens for a couple of hours on a Sunday and bought some potatoes (Estima, Nicola & Albert Bartlett Vivaldi), onion sets (Red Baron) and shallots. I shall also be growing Charlotte potatoes again as they are one of my favourites and Desiree which are good for storing.

 An experienced plot holder told me you can feed the potato tubers while they are chitting by spray misting a few times a week with a diluted feed! This helps the potatoes grow larger once they're in the ground. I've never heard of this before but bought some liquid organic seaweed fertiliser to give it a try. I've since researched this online and have read that you should only start spraying once the potatoes have chitted  and the stumpy shoots start to throw out small air shoots. I suppose the danger is not to dampen the potatoes too much so they end up rotting.
Hope everyone has a lovely week and we all see a little more sunshine to cheer us up.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Laura Ashley Cups and Saucers

I found these lovely hand-painted Laura Ashley flower cups and saucers in the charity shop last week.
The colours were so perfect I just couldn't resist them!
 I also found the pretty vintage hand embroidered tray cloth and table cloth.
 As you can probably imagine I was over the moon when I found this exquisite vintage hand embroidered picture. It had been pushed right to the back of a box of old picture frames (lucky for me). It was quite hard to get to so I nearly didn't bother. So glad I did.
 Isn't it beautiful?
 I can just imagine the hours of work that has gone into it and as a gardener I love trying to identify all the different flowers.
 The yellow Mimosa is lovely and reminds me of home as my Mum and Dad used to grow one in our bathroom. I loved the little yellow pom pom flowers and the leaves that used to close when you touched them.
 Last but not least this 1950's hand- painted plate (the date stamp is 1953). Again I just couldn't resist the colours and design. Hard to believe it is already 60 years old!
We've had a little break in the rain this afternoon and the sun is out. It makes such a difference but we have more bad weather on the way! Just got to make the best of it when you can.