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Jul 09 2012

Monday Blues

Published by under Colours,My house

Monday Blues here today – there’s only so many puddles the children want to splash in!  Poor hubby has run out of ‘dry’ fields for the cows and we’re all feeling rather waterlogged looking over at the mid-West of America with their drought and wondering which is worse!

So here’s some blues of my blue and white china:

Blue Willow Jug
Blue Willow Jug

Antique  Blue China Mug
Antique Blue China Mug

Old blue medicine bottles
Antique Blue Medicine Bottles

I have lots of green and blue bottles but the blues are my favourite. The light wasn’t great in the kitchen today but it was worse in the downstairs loo where the green bottles are on shelves so I’ll leave them for another day. The little jug is one of my favourites – love the scale of it. The little mug was expensive so it’s another favourite! The little bottles were all medicine bottles and written down the side of each is ‘Not to be taken’!

Looking at my blue and white collection cheered me up :)  and you never know, the sun might shine tomorrow!

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May 31 2012

Blue & White China

Published by under kitchen,My house

Off to Móna Wise’s book launch shortly and I’m really looking forward to getting my signed copy of ‘The Chef and I’. Hope you all have a lovely bank holiday weekend and if you’re in the UK, I believe you have a bank holiday on Tuesday too for the Jubilee?

Here’s a quick picture taken with my iphone of yet another move around of furniture in my kitchen. I brought the Chesterfield sofa back to the living room as I really missed it and have painted this new/old dresser for that corner. I still have to find one box of blue and white china (am missing large serving plates) in the attic but here’s some of them for now. Unpacking them brought back such memories and I really wish I’d kept a record of how much we’d paid for each piece in the various auctions or antique shops as well as where we bought them. I can remember some but others have faded in memory. I’ll take some better pictures when I have more time.

I ‘volunteered’ to write up a booklet for our local church’s 200th anniversary service at the end of June.  18,000 words and numerous photos have just been emailed and delivered to the printers. In many ways, the most time-consuming part was trying to find out information from people. Everything else has been taking a back seat for the last three weeks but hopefully everything will be back to normal next week. I am really hoping that we’ll be able to take Monday off as a proper bank holiday but as it looks like we’ll be cutting silage on Saturday, we’ll probably be covering the silage on Monday (which for the children and I means we’ll be throwing tyres around!)

Have a lovely weekend, Lorna x

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Apr 12 2012

Blue & White

Published by under My house

Here’s a peek at some of the old blue and white china and old medicine bottles that have, at long last, been retrieved from the attic. I’m still missing some Willow serving plates and think they must be in a box at the extreme end of the low eaves in the attic!

Willow Pattern

The light was too dark (we had really heavy showers this evening) to take many photos so I’ll get some more over the weekend.  So many of these pieces bring back so many memories of scouring antique shops and auctions many many moons ago.

Antique Blue Medicine Bottles

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Dec 15 2011

Getting those decorating jobs done

Published by under Christmas,My house

It’s December, the cows are dry ( they are having a rest from milking before they start calving in February) so that means my husband is in from work at a reasonable time (6.30ish) rather than the usual 9pm.  Now I usually leave it until January before I start getting him to do those jobs around the house that have been waiting for him but that means there is only a couple of weeks before he is back working long hours again so this year I’ve started cracking the whip a bit earlier!

I got him to remove the sink and old units in the utility last January and I painted it. Unfortunately, the cows started calving before he did any more so I think I’ve been a very tolerant wife for the last 11 months! Tolerant or mad – not sure which.  The new worktop was delivered today so that will start taking shape next week.

Excuse the quality of these photos but my camera wasn’t charged so I just took a couple of quick photos with the iphone.  It all needs to be tidied up along with the new blinds (waiting to be hung) but here’s the wallpaper up in the downstairs loo.

It’ll need a coat of varnish to protect it from water splashes. If you are wondering what the wallpaper design is – it’s Zepherine in crocus by Designers Guild – it’s great for using on its own as it is extra wide at 68.5cm.

There is a cloakroom leading to the downstairs loo from the hall, it is basically just a walk through. There is an alcove that was traditionally used for storing coats but I’ve decided to make more of a feature of it and got Brian to wallpaper the back of the alcove with this Palmieri wallpaper in slate – again by Designers Guild.

The plan is to place about 3 shelves there with some white and glass accessories to profile nicely against the wallpaper.

What about all those coats? Where are they? Well, the ones that are rarely used are in the spare room wardrobe. Our more frequently used coats can now hang on the back of the door now that these coat hooks have been put up :)

Do you find you have a quiet time of the year when you or your partner can catch up on the decorating and those jobs that have been waiting?  Unfortunately ours is in the depths of winter and the dark evenings aren’t the most inspiring for getting started.

We’re putting up our Christmas tree today. We have had an artificial tree (which is reasonably realistic and nice) for the last number of years because I’m allergic to pine.  When we moved here, the house was surrounded by a small forest of evergreen pine trees and as my eczema became steadily worse, we discovered that I was allergic to the trees. We always intended cutting them down as they make the house so dark but then getting rid of them became a priority. It seemed a bit silly that Christmas to bring in a tree that I was allergic to!

I’ve missed the smell of the pine though. I have childhood memories of tiptoeing down the stairs and smelling the pine from our tree in the hall. This year I asked Brian to bring in a small real tree, I was thinking of something that would be 2-3 feet high and I was going to let the children decorate it with these miniature decorations and fairy decorations but he brought in one that is 8 foot high!

Have you got your decorations up? We’ll get the tree for the living room up tonight and then get everything else done at the weekend including the real tree in the hall.  It’s been some time since we left putting the decorations up so late but it actually makes me feel more Christmassy rather than seeing them up for ages and ages.

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Oct 18 2011

Tips for Wallpapering Feature Walls

I was asked this question recently ‘How do you decide on a paint colour for the other walls when wallpapering a feature wall?’

Wallpapering feature walls is very popular and works particularly well in rooms such as bedrooms when the ‘unbroken’ wall (not broken up by windows or doors) is that which the bed is set against.  It also works well in reception rooms with a fireplace (either the whole wall, the chimney breast or the alcoves can be wallpapered), bathrooms and within rooms that are an unusual shape.

But how to decide on the paint colour? Choose your wallpaper first and then you have to decide on whether you want to wallpaper to really stand out as the feature or not.  If you do, it is best to let the paint blend into the background of the wallpaper so the paint colour will be similar to or lighter than the main background wallpaper colour.

In my own hall, you can see that the backgrounds in the Taraz wallpaper and in the fabric are of a similar tone. The carpet has varying shades so we opted for Farrow & Ball’s Old White for the other 3 walls which is lighter, partly because the hall can be quite dark.  There is a very subtle metallic stripe in the wallpaper which means that it looks much darker in the evenings and can be quite bright when the late afternoon sun is streaming in.

This bedroom from House to Home has a matching pair of curtains to the feature wall wallpaper and rather than letting the painted walls recede  into the background with white paint, they are making a bolder statement by picking out the vivid green leaf detailing in the pattern.  This gives the other walls more impact but also draws more attention to the pattern within the wallpaper and fabric.

In this living room (image also from House to Home) , the feature wall simply has a couple of strips of wallpaper in its centre and symmetry is created with the positioning of the console table, the lamps, the framed wallpapers and the centralised coffee table.  Here the silvery grey in the wallpaper pattern is used on the walls which gives the wallpaper and the yellow chaise much more impact in this room.

I hope those tips help. If you have any more queries, do add them in the comments.

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