Monday, April 27, 2015

Decorator's Notebook - Empowering Artisans

Cyanotype candle holder
I came across this website on Twitter. I am not usually drawn to the Ethnic look, I suppose because I had my first home in the 1970s and it reminds me of the hippy era, oh yes I took part in that.
Lambswool Woven Cushion and Blanket Picos
However Decorator's Notebook and it's products have no resemblance to that era I am glad to say.
Leather kindling bucket
They ensure each purchase you make brings talented artisans in the developing world closer to a financially stable future. They particularly support women, people with disabilities and ethnically marginalised groups. Your purchase helps to elevate their position in society and gives them the resources, skills and confidence to challenge discrimination and take on new roles in their households and communities.
Indigo water drop blue white ceramic serving bowl
It is all so effortlessly stylish. I am very tempted to buy that Leather Kindling Bucket, beats the old wine box I store mine in.
Indian etched metal dish

Green African woven baskets Kenya

Shibori dyed indigo cushions pinstripes

projects around the world
A huge plus is they dont just source their products from the third world but also from the UK. I sometimes think we tend to forget that there are people struggling here at home.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Making It Mine

french copper pans
 About a month ago I decided I need to make this ancient cottage of mine into MY home not OUR home. 

I have kept only the items Harvey owned that meant a lot to both of us. Some are being passed on to the children but I had no intention of throwing memories away. 

We did have similar taste but that masculine side of the lounge that was his is not my style. Not that I wanted totally feminine but I did want more light. 
cottage with corinthian pillars
The corner he used to work in has now been opened up and an old Corinthian pillar (one of a pair) has been added. It's all a lot more feminine than masculine. 
pink leather stool
I have dyed and waxed the leather on the banquette and thrown a Gotland Sheepskin over one end. I don't think he would have been keen on the pink. 
cottage fireplace
I couldn't bring myself to take down the D and the H from the mantle but I did give them a new look. 
pigskin chairs
I have re-painted the glass cabinet in the dining area and placed our pigskin chairs in the windows. 

All in all I am happy with what I've done up to now. It's all part of the process of moving on. I don't think it's healthy to live in a shrine I'll keep that in my head.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Country Living - Rural Rage

hamlet in northumberland
I was never a country girl in fact I should not really be here especially now I am on my own. I live in one of the most beautiful places in England, the Northumberland National Park and as much as I love and appreciate it I am useless at living with nature. For a start I am scared stiff of all creatures great and small. If something can't speak to me then how can I trust it?
 It's Spring and everything around me is awe inspiring. Last night I went outside to photograph a beautiful sky and there were bats flying around having their in flight meal of midges.
Don't get me going on midges those tiny things that can eat you alive.
highland cattle
I live on a gated road and sometimes I have to get out of the car to open a gate and shoo huge cows away. If one of them happens to be a bull I turn the car around and go the long way.
mouse on a swing
Last year I had lodgers in the form of mice. They squatted in my ancient stone walls and came out of the tiniest of cracks to use my cottage as a toilet and a snack bar. After filling every visible hole with wire wool and boarding up the back of my kitchen cupboards I called in the cavalry. My next door neighbour has an arsenal of mouse traps, these aren't just any mouse traps they are designer mouse traps. She kindly set them for me whilst I ran away to Dubai for 10 days. On my return she reported the death toll at five. Considering three had been caught previously I had had eight lodgers. Think how much I could have earned if they had come via Air bnb.
Last autumn I had a crow attack on my cottage. I returned from a holiday to find the west wall of my cottage had turned black and white and I couldn't see out of my windows. You can guess what is black and white and falls out of birds. I had to have the whole wall hosed down and scrubbed. I have since discovered it happened because I had nothing on the window sills so they were fighting with their own reflections.
cottage door
My back door is a stable door and in summer on a warm day it's lovely to have the top open but birds fly over the village green, see straight into my 40 odd foot long open plan ground floor and think it's part of the scenery and fly straight in.
bugger off mask
Now we are approaching that time of year when huge spiders come calling. I am still trying to find a way of getting rid of them without actually looking at them. Any ideas?

Image Links - 2  3  5  6

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

My Mojo and I Are Back

northumberland hamlet
Today it is exactly 9 months since Harvey passed away. Yesterday evening I suddenly had the urge, for the very first time, to take a walk along the gated road from our cottage. Every day Harvey took this walk and up until now I just haven't been able to bring myself to do the same thing. This was his favourite tree which he passed on his way to
northumberland hamlet
these gates where he would stand and
northumberland hamlet
take in this fabulous view, one of his favourites. I cried and cried as I stood in his place and as I turned to walk back alone to our cottage I noticed
northumberland hamlet
a beautful little lamb with it's mother in the field next to me. It made me realise that new life does come along and that we are expecting our daughter to give birth to a baby boy in July and he will have Harvey as his middle name.
So Harvey continues just not in the same way he used to. His bench on the village green is surrounded by flowers and they are even growing inside it.
You may have noticed I keep saying ours or us, that's because he is still a big part of me and my life and always will be, I have given our initials and their setting a new coat of paint. As now is the time for me to move into a new phase and to accompany me I have my MOJO which has returned to me after a long absence and am I pleased to see it? Of course I am.

driving in france
In a few weeks I am driving down to France to stay with our daughter Charlotte, visit the brocantes, bring back some Ghost Furniture pieces and on my return I shall do my magic again, add them to the website and do some Antique Fairs through summer. It seems an age since I did this, I am so excited and so is my MOJO. I shall be reporting back.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Then It All Went Tits Up

I have just spent a few hours looking back on my blog reading posts about how happy I was with my life. Well 3 years gone March that all changed when Harvey walked into the cottage and told me he had cancer. Yes the dreaded C word. After almost being physically sick we decided to take it a day at a time. This was the hardest thing we had ever faced. It put all our other trials and tribulations in the shade.
It's been just over 4 months since the C word took Harvey from me and the kids and it's been tough to say the least. Everything has changed but stayed the same. I feel his presence all the time but not his touch, his breath or his voice.
It's almost Christmas but I don't feel at all festive. I am going to France to be with our youngest daughter and granddaughter for Christmas and New Year and when I return I will face 2015 without him.
I need to take a serious look at my life and what I want to do with what's left of it. Decisions like this used to be exciting but now they just seem a necessity.
I know I can do this and with the help of my fabulous family and friends my life will be happy again and full of lovely memories. I shall take him with me in whatever I do but in my heart this time.
I feel blessed to have experienced life with a man that never bored me and made sure I always knew how much he loved me. It wasn't all a bed of roses but it was often fabulous.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Docking Stations To Please

Moai iPad docking station by scott eaton
 A couple of years ago I featured Venus (bottom image) a docking station by Scott Eaton. Since then he has designed two new ones. Not just Hercules XIII but the Moai iPad docking station, based on the monolithic icons of Easter Island. Love that he is looking at his iphone whilst charging.
Hercules XIII docking station by scott eaton

Venus docking station by scott eaton

scott eaton studio

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Reflecting on The Narcissus Desk

The Narcissus Desk
Sometimes you just come across something and think- I WISH I HAD THOUGHT OF THAT - this is one of those things. A genius idea from Sebastian Errazuriz via Mocoloco
The Narcissus Desk

The Narcissus Desk

The Narcissus Desk

The Narcissus Desk

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Crochetdermy by Shauna Richardson

Crochetdermy by Shauna Richardson bulldog
I never mastered the art of corchet even though I was a knitwear designer for many years. Had I seen these I may have tried. Shauna Richardson creates taxidermy that doesn't make you cringe in fact it makes you smile. Love how she calls it Crochetdermy.
Crochetdermy by Shauna Richardson stag

Crochetdermy by Shauna Richardson gorilla

Crochetdermy by Shauna Richardson bull

Crochetdermy by Shauna Richardson deer
Crochetdermy by Shauna Richardson lioness