Friday, 10 November 2017

Wake up Amaryllis!

If you, like me, love to decorate your home with majestic Amaryllis flowers at Christmas time I can recommend these two beautiful little films from Zeta's Trädgård showing you how to 'awaken' the bulb before planting it...

I have always planted my Amaryllis bulbs into pots without this 'awakening' step and they have been consistently late in flowering, so a few days ago I yanked my 'Apple Blossom' bulb out of its pot, brushed off the compost and perched it on a bulb vase with the root shoots trailing in water. When these roots have perked up I will remove any withered root shoots and plant the bulb back in the pot - hopefully it will grow a bit faster this way.

Friday, 24 June 2016


It's Midsummer tonight - easy to forget when you live somewhere like London. But what a wonderful excuse to gather friends and family for a meal outdoors if the weather allows it. And don't forget the wildflowers, Midsummer is all about wildflowers.

We've postponed our Midsummer gathering to tomorrow, as I am quite simply not the kind of person who can dash home from work and whip up a dinner party in 30 minutes. Much rather a leisurely day tomorrow, a bit of gardening, a bit of cleaning, a little bit of cooking and mainly enjoying.

Tonight I'm just going home to relax and watch 'Dicte' on TV with a glass of wine to hand. And perhaps put some wildflowers under my pillow before I go to sleep. They say it's good for romance..

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Dream Kitchen

This is it, I am officially updating our kitchen cupboards. I've cleaned them with ammonia (my best tip for removing invisible traces of grease), removed the silly cup handles (silly because who puts cup handles on cupboard doors?? They're meant for drawers!) and right now I'm waiting for the filler to dry in the screw holes left by said handles.

I was trying to explain to my husband yesterday why I want to order brass handles (dark kitchen, brass is a warm colour which catches the light) when I came across photos from an IKEA project in Canada last spring. And lo, a dream kitchen. I'm afraid I am not acquainted Jillian Harris' work, but she has got beautiful taste in kitchens... Using IKEA's standard 'Sektion' kitchen system with 'Bodbyn' fronts in pale grey and antique brass handles, Jillian has created nigh on my dream vision. And it seems to have won my husband over to the brass handles as well. It's nice when we agree :)

I bet you're wondering about those beautiful tiles on the wall... I looked up Jillian's blog, and it looks as if they're called Carrara Bianco Bardiglio Hexagon Honed Marble Mosaic, available from The Builder Depot in the US. Luckily for our finances they don't ship to the UK.

Photo: IKEA

You can find the article featuring Jillian's kitchen here: Canadian Living - Celebrity Dream Kitchens

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Christmas Week Ponderings

We're back home after spending most of our time with family in the past couple of weeks. It's Christmas week - romjul - that quiet week between Christmas and New Year when we suddenly have time to ourselves again. It's lovely, and this kind of quiet gets my creative juices flowing again. I keep thinking about projects I could get stuck into, and the most tantalising (and also the biggest) job would be painting our 'faux' beech kitchen units. The previous owner put in lots and lots and lots of kitchen cupboards, teaming the beech effect with a black floor, mid-blue walls, black faux marble counter-tops and darker blue wall tiles. The effect was like a cave, so we painted the walls chalky white before we moved in.

Two and a half years down the line those blue tiles and beige units have acquired no further appeal and I find myself googling how to paint kitchens in every spare moment. The only thing is, I don't want it to be a huge job. And as there are so many units to paint, it could very easily turn into a mammoth job. Especially since I would like to replace the handles, which will mean filling in the holes and drilling new ones. I really want to do this, but I don't feel confident about finishing the job... However, if I pull myself together (and manage to chose between regular satin paint and Annie Sloan - I'm tilting towards Annie, but being a Libra it's not easy to make the final decision...), then I think it might be possible to achieve something like these:

Photo: Designstoenvy, Instagram
Photo: Marcus Lawett

Sunday, 29 November 2015


Today is the first Sunday of Advent.

I'm a bit late with the decorating, so I'll be doing that now. The most important thing is to have four new candles. And a clean house would be good. And a wreath on the front door. Time to get going...


Sunday, 8 November 2015

Careful in the Dark

Now that it's getting darker earlier I'm pulling out my little reflector badges and fastening them to my coat pockets. The ones I have are the classic flat plastic ones on a string, a bit like the cat's eye on a bicycle, and they glow as soon as the headlights of a car approach me in the dark. While I lived in brightly lit London I had no need for them but now that I live in a small town and walk everywhere, often along narrow darkened roads, I find them very useful for highlighting my presence to drivers.

I admit that they don't look fashion-forward in any way, so I'm going to order one of these reflective tassels from Firefly to attach to my handbag. And probably a few to give away as Christmas presents. Finally an attractive reflector!

Friday, 6 November 2015

Autumn Ornamented

These photos were taken at Petersham Nurseries just outside Richmond last weekend. Garden shops like this are a real feast for the eyes, and they serve tasty food too! I recommend it if you miss colour now that the days are getting shorter, greyer and darker.