Sunday, 23 December 2012

a little Christmas decoration addiction 2012

Last week the sofa looked like this !

It took me about three days to sort them out, and now they look like this !
Still just as untidy, but at least they are on the tree !
Next year I will do better, and I definitely need to add some ribbon. In fact I think I need a bigger tree because all the decs are falling over each other for space !

I needed to find room for all the things I usually put on the mantle, so I just added them to my other vignettes.

I really do need a bigger tree because all of the things in the picture below are normally on it as well !

I put my favourite little Russian Santa dolls that are a little bit old and chippy (they cost £1 over 20 years ago) under a cloche with some holly.

That's it folks - I'm all ready
I hope you all have a very
Merry Christmas

with all good wishes
Fiona xxx


Friday, 14 December 2012

a 'blinging' christmas mantle

At last, the mantle is done, and I may be in time to join a couple of parties.

Last year, I did three ! A traditional one with all my Santa's, a mostly white mantle, and a blinging one, and asked people to guess which one I'd put back.
I knew all along that I would put the Santa's back, because they are treasured items that I have picked up over the years.

Now that I have more shelving, I decided to go bling, because the Santa's have other places they can sit !

I just love a bit of bling, made more blingey with lights and candles.

My favourite Santa fits perfectly with this mantle. Although he is made of resin, I like to pretend that a woodcutter carved him and his doves and the cute little bunny.

At night, the bling looks even better.

Maximalism +

bling =

a fulfilled Christmas decoration addiction !

linking up with


Saturday, 8 December 2012

my no cost Coast Cafe Christmas

About a month ago I asked my boss at the cafe where I work if I could decorate the place for Christmas. He agreed but said on one condition - that I don't start till December !

Then he asked me what budget I would like - I said no budget. I wanted to do a zero cost, re-cycled, up-cycled, cafe relevant Christmas.

The cafe is in a little building on the seafront. 18 months ago it was only a kiosk. Now it has seating for 22 inside and a large deck that can seat 60 outside, right on the beach, weather permitting ! It is very simple inside, done out with wood from the beach and reclaimed materials by the owner and a couple of friends, so a re-cycled cafe Christmas is very appropriate.

Yes, it's a little bit old and dishevelled, but it does get a battering from the wind and the rain !
And now it is ready for Christmas !
With twigs, holly and bay from the boss' garden, which I decorated with dried and fresh chillies, espresso cups, teaspoons and anything else I could find.

There are tea strainers, and coffee tin lids, scourers, some red tags and the lids from Camembert cheese boxes hung all over the place.

One of the artists in the studios next door, hung some of his artwork, and made some other signs for us.

The basket is mine, and the twigs are held in place by stones from the beach. The ribbons are all re-cyled from my own Christmas last year and I'll be saving them all for next year too.

We've hung things wherever there is a space !

The illy coffee espresso cups are perfect for my red, white and natural theme (customers rave about the illy coffee we serve).

Some driftwood from my collection, a few pots from my garden, and some book pages from the boss (he's covering the toilets in artists pictures and book pages) and we have some little trees.

The silver star on this tree is made from the seal on a chocolate powder carton.

And a little wonky driftwood tree with a garland of twine and bottle tops.

A wreath made from packaging that one of the other staff brought in ( there is a light behind the twigs, but we need a new light bulb, and we don't like to hurry anything down on the beach !).
And a 'Merry Christmas' garland, made from lining paper and music sheets. It's double sided so that you can see it from the outside (that took a bit of brain power making sure I had the right letter on the back so that it read both ways).

I spent money on one thing - the fresh red chillies, but I intend to cut them up and dry them and keep them for soups etc. so I like to think that I've achieved my 'No cost Coast Cafe Christmas'.
So a little bit of Christmas has come to my neck of the woods at last - yippee !!
 linking up with

Monday, 3 December 2012

a little bit of history and a mural

Last week I finished the second mural. I got my inspiration for both of them from books I had and some Laura Ashley wallpaper.

My favourite go to style is Regency or Adam style. I reference it a lot because there is so much detail - swags, flowers, bows, urns, cornucopia, the designs are endless.

Many architects and designers travelled around Europe in the 1700's and explored the ancient sites in Italy and Greece. The style they created became Neoclassicism, because it was classic style used in a new way.
Robert Adam was one such Scottish architect whose designs and influence have had far reaching effect. To quote Wikipedia - 'He influenced the development of Western architecture, both in Europe and in North America'.
Regency followed Adam style, and the rest of Europe were developing similar design aesthetics. The French were using classical designs in their Empire style. The Germans and Scandinavians also used similar themes and in North America the style was called Federal (according to Wikipedia).

Adam style mirror
Adam style fireplace

Robert Adam building
I believe there is a home in just about every street in Britain that has some sort of Adam style detail somewhere. Whether it's on a fireplace, a piece of furniture, or in the style of the building itself, it is the basis for so much of our design history.
So back to my recent mural. When I painted the first mural  I was asked to use a heart, so it was easy to 'grow' the design from there, and just use my references for the birds and flowers. With the second mural I was only asked to include flowers and butterflies, but I needed a centre, or something to start from.

I found a lovely Regency reference with a rod, floral swags and ribbons, which was the perfect design to include butterflies, so here is the second mural.

It sits above this bed, hence the choice of colours. My clients moved the bed out for me, but weren't there to push it back when I had finished, so I don't have a proper after shot.

You need to imagine the bed pushed back about 6 ft, between the two lamps, then the scale won't look so wrong.

I am feeling left out, just like I did this time last year, because I haven't done any Christmas posts yet, but I just wanted to get this done.
Christmas is coming here soon !
Disclaimer: I am not a Historian, so don't quote me on anything I have written above. I knew some of this stuff already, I looked some up and I probably made some up, but hopefully you will get the essence of what I am trying to say. Design is all around us, but somewhere, sometime, someone did it first !