Friday, 10 May 2013
And although our mobile phones do take very good pictures these days, I think that you rarely get that little heart flutter that a truly beautiful shot taken on a "real" camera can create.
I have found inspiration to use my DSLR in a somewhat unlikely place - VELUX (the company that makes roof windows, sun tunnels etc) have created a beautiful short film/slide show Lovers of Light which showcases some of the stunning landscape images they received during their Lovers Of Light photo competition.
The competition was run for several months and in that time VELUX received some 9000 photographs - the Lovers of Light photography competition was designed to celebrate light in its every form and the images are breathtaking and a true inspiration to get to grips with ones "proper" camera!!
So, with bluebell season upon us (rather late due to all this unseasonably cold weather we have been having) I will definitely be taking my big girls camera up to the local copse which every year has the most fantastic display of bluebells, with carpets of them as far as the eye can see.
Hopefully, I will be able to improve upon the photos I have taken in previous years (as the trip to admire the bluebells is naturally an annual tradition) such as this one taken with our old Fuji point and shoot:
The VELUX Lovers Of Light film is set to music and well worth sitting down with a cup of tea to enjoy for five minutes - who knows, maybe you will be inspired to get to know your camera better too....
(Although this is a sponsored post all opinions are my own)
Wednesday, 8 May 2013
Some weeks ago I was contacted by a journalist who wondered if I might like to have our house featured in a home magazine. It was the second time since I began blogging that I was asked and this time I said yes.
We have spent the last few weeks doing all those jobs that need doing but you never get around to, plus Mr G had the last week off so we could repaint/touch-up/clean like mad and finally we were ready.
Unfortunately, I had to be in some of the photos and like many I detest having my photo taken - I delete nine out of ten I take but Brett (who also shoots weddings) very much put me at my ease and it was a relatively painless affair.
The inclusion of my knitting gave me something to do with my hands and soon I was nattering away while Brett took pictures, occasionally asking me to look up at him:
The letter from the magazine had said that the shoot would last a full day, and as our house is a modest semi we couldn't understand how they were possibly take so long. However, we soon realised why as the attention to detail and time taken to set up each shot is phenomenal.
Each shot was styled very carefully by Jo, the composition checked, adjusted and rechecked several times before each shot and after four and a half hours only the downstairs had been completed:
Thursday, 2 May 2013
Hello my lovelies!!
Yet again time has whizzed past and we find ourselves in May - it seems remarkable considering how cold and unspringlike it has been. This week has been beautiful so far though and the sunshine really lifts the spirits.
So, what have I been up to?
My Mum and little niece Little E had birthdays. We usually take Mum out for the day but as she was just a few weeks post-open heart surgery we just opted for a pub lunch in a lovely little pub set by the sea:
Mum; Sis; Little E; Auntie Betty and Maz (Mum's BFF)
Among other things I made Mum some hand embroidered pillowcases;
And a little brooch:
For Little E I made a topsy-turvey Cinderella doll:
I spent a lovely day with Gem of Treasures From The Cherry Tree - there was cake:
Swoon!! I could just eat a piece now....
There has also been a vintage fair that meant I could sport my victory rolls:
Last week Ashley from Country Rose and I spent a few days with the lovely Cuckoo . She welcomed us wholeheartedly into her gorgeous home and it was just lovely to spend time with two of my best bloggy friends, not least because of the wonderful surroundings:
The view from my bedroom....
And yummy food:
There were twice as many cookies as this. Ashley and I ate the lot.
All that coupled with fantastic company meant for a really lovely few days.
This week Mr G is off work and we have been madly doing jobs (hence the decorating paraphernalia in the above pic!!) as we have a home magazine coming to photograph the house for a future issue!!:
We repainted and added wallpaper to one wall in the conservatory. Mr G and I nearly came to blows over the addition of the plates but I won him over:
Mr G and his Dad worked really hard on fitting our new 1930's style garage doors - so much nicer than an up and over:
Painted in Farrow and Ball's "Green Blue"....
We are currently working through a very long "To Do" list so hopefullt when magazine comes next week we will be all shipshape!!
That was a mammoth catch up, if you're still reading, well done!!
Wednesday, 17 April 2013
....on the lovely Modern Country Style blog here - I did a portrait of Sarah's house, she interviewed me and has written a fab post.
I am currently accepting orders for portraits and have added a tab ^^above^^ where you can find details of how to order or you can click here: Custom Signs & Home Embroidery.
Tuesday, 2 April 2013
Did you have a lovely Easter? We didn't do much, Easter has never really been a big event in our family - we just tend to enjoy the long weekend and eat lots of chocolate. Of course H and W had Easter eggs for breakfast on Sunday as it is the law.
Mr G and I just shared the one egg. We are both on the wagon food-wise. I have been doing Weight Watchers for a month and have managed to lose just over half a stone which I am very happy with - particularly as we have every Saturday as a "day off". This way there is no need to feel deprived as if you fancy something "naughty" there is only a few days to wait and you can have it.
My biggest inspiration is my gorgeous husband - over the last 18mths he has lost about 6 stone:
The picture above was taken about a year into his weight loss - he bought these leathers to "slim into" and in the left hand picture could only just squeeze into them. The picture on the right was taken last week before he went for his very first ride wearing them.
I was meant to do it with him when he started all those months ago but I just couldn't get in the right headspace and spent the year bouncing 3lbs on and off again. However, my Mum's recent heart attack has spurred me on to Get On With It.
If I can lose 7lb per month like I did this month I would be more than happy. My ultimate goal would be to fit in a Cath Kidston dress - their biggest size is a 16 (I am currently a 22/24). I mentioned it to a dear friend and she has kindly offered to buy me a dress when I reach my goal and Mr G says he'll buy me another so that is a good goal to aim for!!
In other news, my BFF announced she is pregnant so naturally I dashed out to choose some yarn and started little cardi:
I also got some pretty woodland animal fabric from eBay:
I'm going to attempt a dress - I haven't made any clothes in ages because I became disheartened with the fact that I disliked the last couple of things I made - I hate spending all that time and effort only to put on the garment and find it makes one look like a ship in full sail!!
I'm going to make this fabric up using a pattern I've used before so hopefully I'll like the finished thing.
It's actually sunny here today!! Still cold though, I am hoping that this extra long winter means we are going to in for a lovely summer - but I shan't hold my breath!!
Monday, 1 April 2013
Now, in common with the rest of the population of this island of ours I am thoroughly fed up of this weather. Today is April 1st and it is still bitter out there. I am not least cheesed off because it is way too cold to wear my lovely new clogs:
These are my first ever clogs - purchased via Lotta From Stockholm. I was bored of living in either Uggs or Crocs or flip flops and so decided clogs were the way forward.
They arrived really quickly and are made of lovely tan leather, you can tell they are good quality from the feel of them in your hands.
The style I went for were the low peep toe and as advised on the website I ordered one size smaller than usual. I was a bit concerned that they were too small as when I first put them on the right one (my bigger foot) felt very tight although the wooden foot bed was perfect.
I clomped about in them and after just a couple of minutes they felt a bit better but as I thought I would just call to ask advice.
Lotta herself answered the phone and was super helpful, saying that they will give and if really tight to slip my hands in and tug to stretch the leather a little. She explained that the uppers are stapled really well onto the base and I didn't have to worry about damaging them.
So, I followed her advice and immediately the right clog felt better.
I wore them out to fist my Mum and I *love* them!! I love the style, the fact they make me taller, and most of all the sheer clompy clogginess of them!!
I was concerned the wooden base might feel odd but already it is very comfortable. In fact I've worn them a couple of times now (blimmin' weather!!) and so far the leather has rubbed just a tiny bit on my bigger foot but I find most shoes require a little bit of pain before they are perfect.
My sister (we are chalk and cheese) said "Ewww, they look like granny shoes" which in view of my love of all things granny chic I took as a compliment!!
Hope you have had a lovely Easter and your body weight in chocolate has been consumed!!
Wednesday, 20 March 2013
Which do you prefer? Lounge or sitting room? I'm afraid we say "lounge" even though its terribly common and only airports and hotels have them.
I haven't shared many pictures of ours as its only recently that I have been happy with it - Mr G was the most stubborn about the shabby-chicing of that room and so it was the last to get the treatment.
I got round it by being even stealthier than usual about the addition and transformation of things!! Slowly, slowly, catchy monkey and all that!!
Our house is open plan downstairs. We had a lounge/diner (now you wouldn't say sitting room/diner would you?) but then six years ago we had a conservatory all across the back of the house which kind of transformed the kitchen into a kitchen/diner/family room. In the picture below I am taking it from the front window, the room past the arch was the old dining room and you can see the conservatory beyond:
From the other end (since I took these pics we've added a lovely shaggy rug in the most beautiful shade of duck egg, so it looks cosier):
Virtually everything you see is secondhand. The porch/hall door was from the tip as was the Art Deco sideboard in bottom right. The other sideboard (which we call The Mouse Organ due to its resemblance to the one out of Bagpuss) was from eBay.
The leather sofas and footstool were my Mum's cast offs (she has a habit of changing her suite every five minutes) and the floral footstool I made from a coffee table (also from the tip) which I upholstered.
The former dining room was a bit of a non-room but since we got a nice sideboard (eBay), put shelves up and added a radiator cabinet it looks much better.
The large cupboard houses the computer which belongs to our eldest H, we insist it stays downstairs in the heart of the home as if it was in his room we'd never see him!!
Mr G made the shelves (I only had to wait 6 months for him to do them!!) and the radiator cover was from eBay. The chair (one of a pair) was from the tip.
The painting is of my first horse Merlin and I made the book wreath out of a copy of Gone With The Wind.
Just beyond the former dining room is the conservatory:
The sofa came all the way from America and is one of my sisters cast offs (we've now had three of her old suites over the years and so joke that we should go with them whenever they choose a new one to check we approve!!); the coffee table is from eBay as is the chair which I reupholstered in patchwork. The tea trolley is from Freecycle.
Daisy is sitting in one of my favourite spots in the house, known as "Mummy's Corner":
I haven't got a decent pic of the other side of the conservatory which has my dresser (Mum's cast off) and dining table (eBay).
I think I've said before, but the only new items of furniture we own are our bed and one wardrobe. I can honestly say that even if we had the money to flash on furniture we still wouldn't buy new. I really love my thrifted, upcycled and hand me down home....