The Decorative Living Fair

Friday, 27 May 2016

Whilst we were in Suffolk Dan and I made a resolution to have a family day once a month. Weekends can get pretty hectic trying to fit in jobs around the house, seeing family and friends etc. When I was invited to the The Decorative Living Fair I thought it would be a great opportunity to spend the day together outside looking at lovely things for the home and our garden. 

It was more beautiful than I could have imagined, the grounds and house of Eridge Park were stunning. Dan was able to spend quality boy time with Stanley on the grass whilst I looked around at the fabulous stalls. The fair is organised by Hetty Purbrick and Caroline Zoob who hand select the exhibitors, who in turn display only their finest wares - think dreamy French Brocante, treasured linens and all sorts of random goodies you didn't know you needed. 
I don't get to venture too far with a little one in tow, so was hugely inspired by the effort that all the stall holders went to to create such amazing stands. Just to wander around the stands was enough to fill my brain with happy colours and new ideas. I couldn't resist a purchase (or two) at one of my favourite stands - The Old Haberdashery. I've heard about them on Instagram but it was lovely to meet the owner Sonia and enthuse over the fair and my general love of haberdashery. Another favourite of mine was Su Mason textiles, the selection of prints and linens was gorgeous, just a little out of my price range which is a good thing as I would have bought the lot! 
I really loved the relaxed and friendly feel to the fair. It was easy to manoeuvre the pram around which is always a huge plus these days and great to speak to so many lovely people and make new discoveries.  I'll definitely be going again but with a few more pennies in my purse. 

Thanks so much to the organisers for inviting me, our tickets were complimentary all thought and opinions are my own. 

Lately - burglaries, building and babies

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

 Hello everyone! I wrote in May's Styling The Seasons that I was going to take a little break from the internet, too much internet time was effecting my confidence and I needed some space. It was all going swimmingly for a week, I was getting loads done and I didn't have the guilt of not writing posts. Then we were burgled. The thieves opened our front door and helped themselves to our laptop, iPad and Dan's wallet whilst we were asleep (something told me to hide my camera that afternoon and I'm SO grateful I listened). I don't care about the stuff it's the fact that there have been people in my house uninvited that makes me feel so violated. Luckily no harm came to any of us but I now sleep with a bat by my bed should anyone decide to try their luck again.

As I have gained access to a computer (what is a blogger without a computer?!)  and to stop this post being a downer I thought I'd share some of what's being going whilst I've been away. There has been plenty to keep me busy - repainting my bedroom, overseeing building work, filming tutorials for Red Online (eeeep!) and of course happy days being a mama and looking after my boy. I've actually managed to get some new DIY's started and as soon as I'm back up and running I can start sharing again. Until then here are a few pretty bits from the last month or so. 

top picture - garden flowers and freshly painted bedroom walls
Above - Beautiful blossom in Southend 

Hama bead tutorial in Mollie Makes magazine

My growing boy

Filming tutorials for Red Online 

The time I almost wrote a book

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

I firmly believe that when a opportunity comes along that scares and excites you in equal measure you should grab it with both hands. When an email arrived in my inbox asking if I'd like to write a jewellery making book the answer was an immediate 'yes!'. Ever since I discovered jewellery making, writing a book has been one of my wishes. I remember and still cherish the first two books I bought when I discovered jewellery making and in the back of my mind I've always wanted to one day create a book that I hope would inspire others to create like these did to me. 

The subject of the book was to be all about leather jewellery making, a subject that has become an unintentional specialism with me. Using leather began as a way to incorporate metallics, jewels and colour into my projects without having to learn silversmithing. From there its escalated into a material I can't work without. 

The process of book writing was fairly straight forward - it took me back to my fashion student days. First I submitted a synopsis outlining all the projects. I had to come up with a total of 30 ideas which I really loved doing. I hid myself away over the course of a few weekends and sketched and sampled until I was happy with the mix of projects. From there projects and book were reviewed by the publisher and I was given the go ahead to produce sample projects and pages. I shot the tutorials at the publishers with a photographer and creative director, again the process was exactly the same as i produce for my blog - white card, step by step shots, etc. From there these were put into pages. 

Sadly when the pages were sent out to publishers in the U.S it didn't get the go ahead which was a real shame as I'd been practice writing my thanks page (I love reading those) and planning a book tour! In hindsight I'm ok that it didn't go ahead, book writing and having a brand new baby wouldn't have been the best combination but I'm still incredibly proud that I was asked and that I have a book in me. The good news is, I"m still available to write a book (hi there publishers!) and I remembered how much I love a proper creative project. I'm at a crossroads at the moment - do I return to my safe office job or take a chance and finally embark on a more creative career? 

Styling The Seasons - May

Monday, 2 May 2016

The May bank holiday has always signalled the start of a new season to me - light bright mornings, warm days and the whole summer stretching ahead. I get so excited at the possibilities I don't know where to start! As someone addicted to colour I find setting the tone with a fresh colour palette really helpful - I adore all the bluebell shades that are scattered around the garden at the moment and couldn't resist adding the delicate peach, lilac and white shades to the mix for this months post. 
I had to venture outside and away from my own home this month, as I mentioned in this post the second part of our house renovations have begun so there is stuff everywhere and there is not a single surface to be styled. My home away from home is at my parents house and luckily for me there is creativity and props to be found everywhere. I took these photo's in my dads driftwood corner - a place in the garden where he displays and stores his beach finds. I love the colours and textures of the sea beaten wood and always take a nose to see his latest finds.
May is also a time of celebration it's our fourth wedding anniversary this month which I completely forgot about until I spotted this vase! I thought I should include as a reminder to myself, I'm so forgetful lately I feel like I need to spend some time off the internet this month and focus on simplifying and getting my brain in order. Whenever I see this vase I'm always taken back to our wedding day, it was the best and we had so much fun organising it. Just looking at it reminds me of the sight of all the flowers in the barn, the sound of all our loved ones laughing and all the crazy dancing that followed. My BFF is getting married this summer so I'm beside myself with excitement for the celebrations that will be happening over the next few months. 
I hope that everyone has a good May, things maybe a bit quiet around here this month as I try and balance building work and a lively baby but I'll be checking in when I can. If you want to join in Styling The Seasons this month the upload an image to any social media platform and make sure you tag in Katy and myself so that we can see. Have a wonderful month. xx 

Styling The Seasons Review - April

Sunday, 1 May 2016

It would appear that forgetting what day of the month it is is becoming a thing - the days are moving so fast I just can't keep up. The beginning of the month arrives and then its over before I know it, I've only had the chance to catch little snippets of Styling The Seasons this month as away from my blog home renovations and keeping up with a little one have kept me more than busy. My favourite posts this month are from Tea With Ruby and Little Maldod. I just loved the colours of Jane's whole post but its these linens that made me swoon, I'm back to being obsessed with interiors and am really drawn to the opposite of my natural style which is currently messy and chaotic! My other favourite post was Lowri's post about her treasured forget-me-nots it's a privilege to read people's stories behind their Styling The Seasons posts and I'm always so grateful when people take time to share. 
Thanks as always for to all everyone who has taken time to write blog posts this month, you can read them all below. I'll be back tomorrow with May's post. xx

Lobster and Swan / Growing Spaces / Bradshaw and Sons / Three Sons Later / The Nice Nest / The Twinkle Diaries / Tea with Ruby / The Cabinet Maker’s Love Tale / The Lovely Drawer / Under the Plum Blossom Tree / Little MaldodLotts and Lots / Apartment Apothecary

Ways to display

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

There are exciting changes happening here, the second part of our home renovations have begun. The process of finding a builder and getting the work started has happened relatively quickly - I cannot wait to have the final rooms finished, useable and not have random stuff everywhere. Like last time I find focusing on the end result the best way to get through the initial chaos, I'm really excited to get all the treasures I have stashed away out on display.

As I've mentioned before at{mine} is my favourite place to look for real life home inspiration. I'm really keen to work on the way I display my stuff around the house - everything on the walls has either been there since we moved in or propped up in a temporary home. As our needs at home have changed I feel its time for the rooms to reflect the changes and give everything a shake up. 
image - Claire Carlos
I love the mix of cushions and framed pictures in the top two pictures. Both different in style I really like how they have been clustered asymmetrically and tie in with the cushions below. I'm really not a neat and orderly person when it comes to hanging prints on the wall so these both really appeal to me.
Ihavethisthingwithplates, plates are an addiction of mine and I'd really love to get more of them out on display as I normally buy them for the colours. I wouldn't think to put them in a bedroom but I like it!
I'm really loving clusters of items at at the moment - I really like the mix of vases and natural treasures in this image.
I've brought this rug for my lounge as the current one is on the grotty side and I'm thinking of changing the room slightly by adding a picture shelf. There are hardly any photo's around the place so would like a ledge to increase the surface display area and perhaps a few new frames and cushions wouldn't go a miss! 

There's a round up of all my home renovation posts here and a kitchen before and after post here

DIY - simple supermarket bouquets

Friday, 22 April 2016

For todays post I want to show you a very simple way of creating simple bouquets from supermarket flowers. In a dream world I'd buy florist flowers all the time but sadly my budget doesn't allow, these flowers make a great alternative and as summer progresses I'll be adding my homegrown blooms into the mix.

A few months ago I took a flower arranging course at Hyde Hall my local RHS garden. I really enjoy flowers (growing, photographing and buying) and usually add a bunch in with my shopping. Since Stanley was born I haven't had much time away from him as he refusing any kind of bottle. Therefore anytime I do spend away from him as to be totally worthwhile and fairly close to home. The course was great as not only did I learn some really useful flower arranging skills, I got four hours of none baby time to do something creative. 

Here is what I remembered/picked up during my day, florists look away everyone else read on..!
First select your flowers, you want a mix of solid flowers like the carnations and germini and soft flowers like tulips and daisies. I normally find Gerbera's really annoying but loved the colour of these Germini's, if these weren't available I probably would have used roses instead. Carnations are a weakness of mine I love their kitschness and the colour range is amazing (I always try to get petals with a variant of colours). To add a dash of whimsey I used these daisies that I did buy from the florist, adding just a few special flowers keeps the bouquet looking interesting but overall costs low - the total for four mini bouquets was ten pounds.  
Now strip the stems and separate your flowers into piles. I did end up taking all the leaves off my tulips, you'll be surprised how much easier it is to arrange with all the leaves removed. I didn't end up using the foliage, it looked too heavy.
Now start to arrange your bunch. Start with a solid stem like the carnation and then lay the next stem across at an angle. Keep the flowers loosely between your thumb and forefinger and start to build the bouquet adding stems at an angle creating a spiral. I work in an anticlockwise direction but a clockwise direction might suit you better.

Make sure you mix the flowers as you go adding hard and soft blooms. Then general rule is to use odd numbers of each, I had to cheat slightly as I didn't have enough to use three in each bouquet. You can use the spiralling technique to create any size bouquet, I decided to stick with mini bouquets as I wanted to give as Easter gifts. 
When you think you've finished take a look from the top to check everything balances out and you have a good mix of flowers.
When you're happy tie the stems with string or twine and then cut the stems to a hands width. If you're giving these as a gift in a vase you might need to cut the stems shorter so they fit sungly inside a vase. Talking of vases I went for a classic jam jar but you could use a fancier vase and incorporate as part of the gift. 
I LOVE getting and giving flowers as gifts and whilst I know the lifespan of them can be limited they make me and my home much happier. This technique is so versatile as you can make bouquets in any scale and for any occasion from table settings at home through to a huge bridal bouquet. Have a great weekend and happy making! x 
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