Friday, 22 May 2015

hangers, clipboards and book pages

My choices for my home are mostly fuelled by envy...............I've been hankering after trouser hangers, clipboards and using book pages somewhere for some time.
Other people have them and it makes me think 'I'd like some of those'.

An idea came to me for my landing after I found this mirror in a local shop for the knock down price of £12.99.
It's a bit small but I thought I could make a wall display, using the mirror as the centre piece.

First I sent off for three trouser hangers from the US. I love them all but two were identical and perfect for my display.

As I wanted eight clipboards, the cost of finding vintage ones was a bit prohibitive, so I chose new ones that worked out at around £2 each.

I cut up some old calendars that had colourful pictures of Islamic tiles and textiles (calendars are such a good source for decoupage and frame-able pictures).

I added book pages (not book pages that I had torn out of a book myself, as I still haven't managed to do that yet, but ones that I bought, a great selection for £5), and then added photos of places I've visited.

I put eight on the wall around the mirror, and left them for a couple of weeks but they just weren't right, I didn't feel happy at all, so I started again, and now I have this.

I've had the fruit and stamp pictures in my stash for years and years, I just tore them out of magazines.
I never read the article about the stamps, but they were painted by American artist Donald Evans, who made up a whole series of countries and individual stamps for each nation. They're fascinating and give the display the drama it so badly needed (and now I've read a bit about him, I feel lucky to have them).

I downloaded some graphics from this etsy site and got someone to print them on the book pages, I love the result. If I ever get bored with the current arrangement, I might change them all to printed book pages.

Oops, they're a bit crooked.

The maps came out of some other old calendars, so I just chose two of similar size.

The long piece at the top came from TK Maxx and used to hang over the picture at the end, but I felt it would help finish off the wall display.

I might hang something else to either side of the maps if I get inspired, but for now the view is a whole lot more interesting than before. 
My favourite parts are definitely the printed book pages, but I just discovered something on the back of one of the calendar pages......................

the date we picked up my dear little dog from the RSPCA in Brighton......January 10th 2007.

It was completely by chance that I chose this calendar page, but I love that it's here, because Rufie (Rufus) means the world to me.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

garden tales #2 'patience is a virtue'

I love flowers with pom pom like heads............thin stems with a flower head like the Armeria I showed you in the last post.
Chives have very pretty lavender/ish pom pom like flowers, so when I saw them sprouting up all over my flower bed last Summer, I decided to wait and see if they would flower.
I left them and left them and waited..............patiently.

A few nice plants, lots of weeds and lots of chives, growing separately.
The long stems started to grow buds.

Which started to look I waited.

Then they sprouted long green tendrils not resembling petals at all.

Which died.

But patience is a virtue so I waited some more, and eventually I saw the beginnings of the resemblance of a flower.

A definite pom pom like flower.

Until I had fully open (?) lavender coloured tiny pom pom flower head.

Did you read that carefully ? I said ONE, just ONE tiny pom pom flower head that doesn't look much like other chive flowers I've seen and only lasted a couple of days.

Needless to say............this year I didn't feel like being quite so patient so I pulled them all up.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

garden tales # 1

Once upon a time I lived in my house with a man called Alan and our back garden looked like this. I did the planting and Alan did the weeding and kept the lawn neat and tidy, it was a great place to spend a sunny day.

Needless to say, my tenants didn't look after the garden quite so well, and when I moved back here, the garden looked like this (you might spy my brother behind a bush), with a rockery, large flower bed, lawn and raised patio at the back.

On the right, just in front of the kitchen window is a gravel area and then a small pond.
The white wrought iron furniture got moved (one chair sits in the front garden) because it's not quite my cup of tea, but it was free.

This was the view then, back to the house.

And after a lot of weeding.

I had to stake the Arum Lily last year as it grew so big (due to no frost the winter before that), at one point I counted 38 flowers. What's wonderful is that it flowers for months and months, unlike the Australian Bottlebrush that unfortunately doesn't flower for very long.

I tidied up the area round the pond too and half buried a terracotta pot amongst the rocks with another smaller one inside it. There's a sort of potting bench area to the right, but I'll save that for another day as it needs a lot of work.

Unfortunately the Saxifrage to the left of the terracotta pot didn't survive, and it's one of my favourite plants along with Armeria.

My absolute favourite though is Agapanthus, and I have quite a few in the garden. The large clump on the left has been there for years; I'm trying to fill up the rest of the flower bed so you can't see any earth, so far there are a few Lavender plants, a Hellebore and a Ceanothus, and of course the Bluebells that are starting to flower now but die back before summer.

The Agapanthus are a little shaded by the Acer tree here, hence them straining to find the sun.

I divided the plant in the pot below early last year and now have Agapanthus in about six different places, though they didn't flower last summer so fingers crossed for this year.
This is the raised back patio with the strange zig zag edging which I'm not very fond of - I have an idea to disguise it, it's on the never ending list.
This picture is also for Maureen, who asked to see my Bay tree. It self seeded in a tiny spot behind a pine tree that we cut down and when I moved back here it had grown............somewhat.
There is so much I want to do in the garden, but I think it'll take a few years, especially as my house takes priority, but I just found out that I can have some reclaimed wood to change the path and make it wider and then I want to have some more paved areas......................
I really should get my brother onto it, as he used to lay paving for a living !

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Ta da !!

Here it is, my hall, stairs and landing all finished.

I painted all the wood work white, including the floor. Then there's the blackboard wall on the left that I showed you after Christmas. The rest of the walls are painted in a grey I mixed myself (from some white and about ten old tins in the shed) and once again based on Farrow and Ball's Lamp Room Grey (I did a lighter version in my bathroom). On the right is the radiator cover that got a new grille and beyond the mirror, the wall display that I showed you in the last post.

Then there are the stairs, whoever thought of dressing up stair risers first, thank you, thank you, thank you.

I nearly went with the words from a poem or song, and have you seen the ones painted to look like books, there are so many fun ways to decorate stair risers; but after finding the Chinese dogs (on the radiator cover) in TKMaxx, I knew I wanted some bright turquoise blue's, so I chose maps showing a lot of sea.

I've had the maps for years and years, in fact I wrote about them here. I'm so happy that I'm a hoarder and that after over 30 years of holding onto them, I was able to put them to good use.

I decided the chalkboard wall needed a map too and did one of the world and wrote a couple of paragraphs from Moby Dick around it, which was once again inspired by something I'd pinned.

Apologies if you live on an island or a peninsula somewhere, I couldn't get in every detail of every continent !

The mirror got a makeover too, some turquoise paint, then black paint washed back a little to allow the original gold to show through.

Between the Chinese dogs, there are two pots filled with driftwood and moss, then a basket with book boxes, to hold the items one needs to take a dog for a walk (sorry if I've just lowered the tone of this post haha).

Rufie's leads are back on the end of the newly made over rad cover (he's hanging around because it's his dinner time).

I like the fact they're hardly visible from the other end of the room and no-one notices them when they come in the door.

I kept the doormat that's fitted to the front of the hall, but I'm looking for an old Persian runner rug in deep reds to pick out the red in the stained glass, because although my brother and I can take our shoes off, my little't, and that white floor won't be white for much longer.

The landing looks refreshed with the new grey walls and white woodwork but I've got a few projects to do up here, to make it more interesting.

The large mirror is going to get a makeover and then I have a few ideas for the wall between the guest room and my room. Also as you can see, there is one step up to the landing that runs to my bedroom so I'm still contemplating adding a map to it as well.

This area looks very dark but normally I don't shut my bedroom door, it's just that it's not photo worthy. The white thing sticking out on the left is the loft hatch which is permanently down because my brother has the whole of the loft as his bedroom.

Ok, I guess you can have a proper look, it's all quite plain for me isn't it.

And now, I guess I really should go and give Rufie his dinner, he's been patient enough, but I'll leave you with some before and after shots.


Yes, my hall is definitely darker, but personally I love the drama, it's just so much more interesting than before.

linking up with
Inspire Me Monday @ Sand and Sisal
Show and Share @ Coastal Charm
Inspire Me Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life
Before and After Wednesday @ The Dedicated House
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage