Monday, 23 December 2013

anyone for a cuppa ?

Well, the presents are under the tree.

The table is laid with blue and white china, green glass bowls with sprigs of rosemary and bay from my garden and tiny mercury glass baubles.
The paperwhites make a centrepiece with driftwood and tiny silver candles that I will light on Christmas Day.
I added more baubles and bay to a twiggy wreath I found on sale and hung it from my mirror.

So why don't you come on over for a cuppa. I have Indian or Earl Grey tea, or I may even have some herbal tea if that is your preference. You could have a mince pie, a Lebkuchen (yummy German biscuit with ginger and cinnamon) or a piece of panettone, which my boss kindly gave me for Christmas. It's all laid out and ready for you to visit anytime.

There are a few savoury nibbles too.

If you can't make it, that's fine, I know it's a very busy time of year for everyone.
I'd just like to say, that I hope you all have a....
with love from Fiona xxx


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

*** Ho Ho Ho ***

WARNING ! If you have a delicate disposition and err on the side of minimalism and not maximalism, GO NO FURTHER, I do not wish to be responsible for any unforeseen Christmas decoration overdose !

Many of you have gone for the simple and elegant look, but I'm just not capable of simplicity. I bought my first decoration in my early twenties, when I lived in London and I haven't stopped collecting since then. And if you read the last post, you'll know how long ago that was. I'm addicted to decorations, and feel the need to add to my collection every year.

This is my very first decoration and I bought it in Fenwicks in London. I always like to buy two of everything, or 'the set' if there is one, but this was so expensive, I could only afford one !

My tree is slightly overwhelmed !
Fabric, metal and wood are my favourite, with a huge emphasis on Santa's, I can't resist them.
But as my poor old tree is burgeoning under all the weight, I've put a few decs elsewhere.

More Santa's everywhere. I don't have any cupboard space to put anything away, so I just layer it all up, with the usual vignettes.

Specimen corner (as I like to call it), got a smattering of Christmas and some paperwhites, thanks to inspiration from Donna.
This is one of 6 items I managed to plant out with a £5.99 bag of these gorgeous flowers.
A few jewels for the more traditional table.

This year's acquisitions, are the large metal reindeer head and the three wooden reindeers, holding up some very small and old little stockings, over the buffet.

The buffet is yet to be arranged, because hopefully there'll be some goodies to eat, laid out on my Christmas dishes.

And finally, my mantle-less fireplace has some wired lights and decorations fixed to existing nails, to give the semblance of a mantle. I used to have a couple of fake wired Christmas tree branches that I put here, and from which I hung loads of decorations, but I can't find them, or any similar replacement, so the light will do for now.

 This little set of Russian Santa's cost me £1 and is also one of the first things I bought.


There are a few bits, in the hall, and the kitchen, but if you're still here, I'm sure you're rather weary, so I'll just say...
Ho Ho Ho
Or should that be Hoe Hoe Hoe !!!
linking up with
Make it pretty Monday @ The Dedicated House
Inspire Me Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life
Wow Us Wednesdays @ Savvy Southern Style
Open House Party @ No Minimalist Here
Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

tis the season to be jolly

Tis definitely the season to be jolly, but
twas also my birthday on Monday, and it was one of those birthdays with a big fat zero on the end.

I was fine, absolutely fine (unlike the last birthday with a big fat zero on the end). I went to work as usual, got a card and a couple of sweet gifts. My bff and her mother came to the café for lunch, when I was presented with lots of pretty things, and some money to go towards something big, because reaching half a century IS big, isn't it !!

Love this spoon so much, perfect for my kitchen

Miniature cloche

Everyone knows I love a cup of tea

Great garden sign, ring and chocolates
I went out for a Chinese meal after work, which was really nice.

The only problem with the day................... too many cards TELLING me how old I was !!!
I KNOW how old I am, I don't need to be reminded.
Age is just a number I know, but big fat numbers that don't feel like they belong to me are totally unnecessary !

(To my bff, just wait till YOUR birthday, he he he!)

BTW, that was two days ago, Christmas is now in da house !

Friday, 15 November 2013

from cheap to shabby chic

I think it's finished, goodness knows it's taken a long time.
No, not the whole bathroom, just the bathroom cabinet !

I previously wrote about it here, when I bought the baskets for it.

 And now it looks like this.

Maybe more shabby than chic, but at least it's nothing like the original (you could stop here, there's just loads more chat and pictures of the same thing !!!).
I really wanted to change it completely, with no resemblance to what it once was. As I mentioned before, I was really happy with my effort to re-hang the bottom door, and add a shelf.

I looked for some paint in my shed and found a Timbershield fence paint that went on really well and acted as a primer, but it was a bit orange. Then I found a darker brown, and painted a layer of that as well.
I wanted chicken wire in the top door with fabric behind and tried to work out a way of adding it all on top of the mirror, so that I wouldn't have to smash it, but in the end it was no good, I just had to take the whole top door apart.
The mirror didn't smash because it was stuck to a bit of board, but the frame looked like a few bits of old cardboard when I'd finished !
With a lot of glue, panel pins and some caulk, I managed to stick it all back together.

I went to the closest diy store to check out the chicken wire but it was all bright and shiny and only sold in rolls of expensive lengths. I found a great alternative, a panel of galvanised mesh that was all grey and powdery from having been left out in the rain.
The mesh isn't fixed at all, I just cut it to size and it slotted in perfectly where the mirror and board used to sit.

After the brown I painted two coats of a light grey, a colour I made from a charcoal matchpot and some white paint, and did lots of distressing and some odd scratching to make it look pretty old.
Finding the right fabric was hard, but in the end I settled on a Jamie Oliver tea towel that I stained with coffee.
They came in a pack of two, and I stained the one with the thicker stripes first to see if it would work. The coffee seemed to dull the colours slightly, which worked well with all the distressing I had done.
So I fixed it in the back with plastic coated wire and hooks.

I found the two ceramic egg shaped and perfectly coloured knobs in my stash.

I painted a graphic on the side (not well, I couldn't find my old glasses). I saw 'Pharmacie Centrale' on something at the Graphics Fairy, and the address was found on a soap graphic from the same place.

And of course, this is where I stuck my little poster, that I wrote about in the previous post, and for which I bought a new pair of glasses.

On the bottom door I put some numbers, so that one can do stock control on the contents !

Not that my contents need stock control, but at least they all fit in.

I'm really pleased with it, although I did plan to do something else to it. I am sure you're thinking it's rather gimmicky already (enough Fiona, just STOP), but when an idea pops in my head, it's hard to get rid of it.
So my little store cupboard from La Pharmacie Centrale at Rue Lafayette is now finished and although it took a lot of time, it actually cost me less than £20, and I'm half way round the bathroom with the tongue and groove !
linking up to
Make it pretty Monday @ The Dedicated House
Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays @ Coastal Charm
Knick of Time Tuesdays @ Knick of Time
Inspire Me Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life
Wow Us Wednesdays @ Savvy Southern Style
The Inspiration Gallery @ Craftberry Bush
Treasure Hunt Thursday @ From My Front Porch To Yours
Open House Party @ No Minimalist Here
Inspire Me Link Party @ Liz Marie Blog
Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home
Furniture Feature Friday @ Miss Mustard Seed
Be Inspired @ Common Ground
Party Junk @ Funky Junk Interiors
Silver Pennies Sundays Link Party @ Silver Pennies
Sunday Show Off @ Twigg Studios