Tuesday, 19 June 2012

around my home

This is a corner of my dining room. I don't have a lot of storage space so everything I use has to be pleasing to look at as it is all on display. These shelves were an Ebay find which I just gave a coat of Farrow and Ball Pointing. Most of the things on the shelves were flea market finds. The Cath Kidston plates were a bargain in the sale.
I just collect pretty things to use and don't mind about them matching - I love ecclectic.

Monday, 18 June 2012

goodbye jubilee hello olympics

I bought this outfit for the Queens Diamond Jubilee celebrations. I saw this in a shop window and thought I would pop in, a couple of days later, and try it on. It was perfect for what I wanted. But, as you might guess, every single one had gone apart from the one in the window; obviously everyone had the same idea. There were none left anywhere in the area or online. I didn't have a Plan B of what to wear at the party.
About a week later I just happened to be passing the store again and something made me go in. There it was - at the back of the counter! Someone had just brought it back. I went straight to the changing rooms with it and it felt like it was made for me. Fate!

 Although the Jubilee celebrations have been and gone, it will soon be the London Olympics! The Olympic torch relay will be passing our door in a few days. The whole village is planning activities to mark the occasion. So, the dress will be coming out again for the street party.

Flag print maxi dress - Next
Ballet pumps, sunglasses - H&M
Necklace - Republic
Bracelet - Topshop
Bag - New Look

Sunday, 17 June 2012

lace and nude

This is the outfit I wore for a dinner date with a friend. This dress has been in my wardrobe for a while (another of my lace favourites). I think it's got something of a sixties feel about it; maybe it's the length.

My treat this week was these gorgeous nude shoes. I am quite tall already so, when I put these on I feel quite Amazonian. I love that.

I love this bag. It is simple and versatile. However, I don't think it is that great with this outfit. Quite simply, although I seem to have got quite a few bags, I think I really need two or three good ones that can go with most things.
Has anyone got any ideas for good bags that don't break the bank and look good with many outfits? Do you know a good nude bag for these shoes?

Dress - Topshop
Shoes - Miss Selfridge
Bag - New Look
Sunglasses - Primark
Bracelet - H&M
Rings - H&M, Topshop, Primark

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

small sighs

Isn't this the sweetest of ideas for a birthday gift? My lovely friend bought me this 'pocket garden' of poppies. I will set it growing and post the results

You can buy the cutest of birthday cakes in the shops these days.

This set of Molton Brown hand wash and hand lotion is a lovely present from family. I love it. It is the kind of luxury treat that I wouldn't normally buy for myself. I wouldn't be surprised if people buy these as presents and end up keeping them for themselves.

Monday, 11 June 2012

secret sensations

It was Friday and I just wanted to curl up on the sofa, put on a DVD and eat something wicked. These are new so I thought that they had to be worth a try. As you would expect, the Haagan-Dazs ice-cream was delicious. Then, as you dig deeper you taste the chocolate brownie. Finally, in the middle, you reach a tasty chocolate sauce centre. Perfect.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

kurt geiger birthday shoes

I love birthdays! My lovely girls bought me these killer heels from Kurt Geiger. I was so surprised because they were just what I was looking for. I have wanted a pair of gorgeous black shoes for ages but, because it is summer, all I could find were peep toes. You would think, with the heel being so high, that they would not be comfortable - but they are! And so glamourous. The shiny heels are like mirrors.
Now I can start to look for an outfit that will do justice to these lovelies.

Friday, 8 June 2012

birthday morning

When I walked downstairs on my birthday morning.

#The weather outside is frightful......# So much for a garden party today. Ah well. So I came downstairs to a surprise champagne party breakfast for two.

S got the recipes here:
Eggs benedict - here for food and here for egg poaching trick
Strawberry smoothie

Sunday, 3 June 2012

around my home

So, it's party day. Fun, friends and a new dress. Well that was the idea.... until the rain; or should that be RAIN! So I thought I'd start a series of pics of my home, which is a pretty eclectic mix of styles. 

This peg board is on my dining room wall. When I looked to buy a peg board, they were all so expensive. So, I thought I would have a go myself and get exactly the size I wanted.

It was so easy to make using a piece of timber, cut to length and then drilled at intervals. The wooden pegs I got off Ebay for a very modest cost. I painted it in Farrow and Ball 'pigeon' and gave it a coat of water based varnish. I have been delighted with the results and I often swap things around on there to ring the changes a little.

Friday, 1 June 2012

make a decoupage jewellery box

I went to visit a friend and she was having a clear out. This set of drawers was one of the things she was letting go. It was covered in dark brown stain and ugly metal decoration. Straight away I saw a project in the making and my friend was happy to see it go to a good home.
It was decorated in very much the same way I did the tray in this earlier post (how to decoupage). I was really pleased with the drawer handles which are buttons similar to the ones on the paper design, sewed through the holes onto other buttons behind.

March 2013
After receiving a few questions about the drawers, I have updated this post. Originally I just linked it to a tray I made earlier. 

You will need:
  • Wooden drawers (Ikea ones would be fine)
  • pictures cut out of paper (any will do but I used one that already had a 'scrapbook' look) 
  • water-based primer (optional but may produce better results)
  • paint (I used Farrow & Ball 'Pointing')
  • water based satin varnish 
  • raw umber powder pigment or raw umber artist's acrylic paint (optional if you want an aged look - I didn't this time)
  • paper towel 
  • sandpaper (wet and dry causes fewer bits)
  • soft cloth

What you do:
  1. Wash off any grease from the drawers.
  2. Sand all the surfaces to smooth them and to provide a key for the paint. 
  3. Apply two coats of white water based primer paint, very lightly sanding after each one.
  4. Apply two coats of  paint in the colour of your choice (I used some left over from painting my dining room).
  5. Cut out, arrange and glue your pictures onto the drawers, taking care to make sure there are no air bubbles. I tried to plan out what was going where so that I had a slightly different look to the drawer fronts from the sides.The pictures can overlap and probably often look best if they do.  At this stage, after they have dried, you can spray the pictures with fixative to prevent the cut-outs from bubbling - I didn't.
  6. If you wish to give it an antique look, mix three parts raw umber pigment with one part white primer paint mixed with eight parts water. Brush this onto the drawers and quickly wipe it off with paper towel, before it dries, leaving the paint in the crevices and brush marks. As I say, I chose not to do that this time, as the oil based varnish gives a slightly yellow, aged hue as it is. 
  7. Brush on at least four coats, I used seven, of water-based satin varnish, brushing in different directions each coat, sanding lightly between each to remove bumps.
  8. After wiping to remove dust, finish with two coats of polyurethane matt varnish to seal the drawers.
  9. For the handles I used buttons sewn through the holes onto little buttons inside each drawer.
Check out the tray I finished in this way (click here). We have been using it every day for about a year and it still looks as good as when it was made. This way of finishing is really tough. My next project like this will be a small set of Ikea drawers I have that are looking a bit tired. I will post them when they are done. Have fun!

Monday, 28 May 2012

mojito cheesecake cocktails

I had friends for dinner and fancied something a little funky. I thought I'd try to recreate my favourite cocktail as a dessert. I love mojitos, and the mint in the garden had grown just enough. I found this recipe for mojito and pina colada cheesecake cocktails and you can see the results. Mind you, trying to get two sparklers to light without getting third degree burns, was a bit of a challenge!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

evening flair

I wore this outfit for an evening stroll. Both the skirt and jumper are newbies from Zara, which is filling my wish list right now. Although not an obvious combination, I think the jumper and skirt work really well together.All the material in the skirt makes it really floaty when I walk.

 I think the ribbon on the back of the jumper is an unusual touch, although my long hair does tend to hide it.

I still can't get used to having my photo taken, especially in public.
I am wearing:
Skirt and jumper - Zara
Bag, bracelet, ring, necklace, hair accessory - H&M
Sandals - Topshop
Watch - River Island

Friday, 25 May 2012

red shoes

What is it about red shoes; they are just so irresistible. If I wear a simple black or grey outfit, it is transformed when I put on red shoes. They immediately become a focal point you can't fail to notice. Oddly, the effect is lessened if I use any red accessories so I always keep them plain silver or gold and let the shoes do the talking. If I am having an off day, wearing these always makes me feel more upbeat.
How do you wear yours?
I got these beauties from Ebay again; another match made in heaven. They were such a bargain too. What's a girl to do...?

Thursday, 24 May 2012

what I wore for work

Yey! Sun at last. Time to work the wardrobe and bring out the summer dresses for work. They have been waiting in the wardrobe for too long. I was drawn to the eye-catching lace detail around the waist of this dress. I just had to have it.

What I really want, to finish off this look and other outfits, is a pair of coral shoes. Any ideas?

I am wearing:
Dress, leggings, bag, ring - Topshop
Cardigan and earrings - Primark
Shoes - New Look
Necklace - Republic
Watch - Urban Outfitters
Ring, bracelet and sunglasses - H&M

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

flea market finds

After I finish work I love to head off to one of the biggest open air flea markets in the area. Once a week  I enjoy digging around for trinkets and treasures. 
I am wearing:
Dress - Topshop
Cardigan, necklace, sunglasses and shoes -Primark
Watch - Urban Outfitters
Ring - H&M
Bag - TK Maxx

Today I found these dinky little Aynsley china tea cups and saucers. I also bought these two Poolele plates because I adored the design. A bargain at five pounds. I don't worry about everything being the same. I love to have an eclectic assortment of things that make me smile.