Saturday, 28 December 2013

Home Accessories

The past month or so has seen me add a few really nice finishing touches to my home. Although I've been in my house a few years now, I am still loving adding bits and pieces that I pick up on my travels. I absolutely LOVE finding individual things that I know not many people will have.
 
The first couple are things I picked up at the Country Living Christmas fair in Harrogate.
 
 
I got this from Marna at Little A Designs whose work I have admired for a long time. I recently had my bedroom decorated in sunny shades of yellow and I thought this would go brilliantly. It's a beautfilly painted yellow embroidery hoop filled with vintage linen and then embellished by Marna with writing, fabric, pearls and buttons. Gorgeous.

 
I admit this little guy will not be to everyone's taste, but this is my new stuffed, wall-mounted reindeer head from Indigo and Rose.

 
Last, but not least, is a plate my parents brought back from Anthropologie in New York. I love Anthropologie, but there isn't one locally so when my Mum and Dad said they were going to New York, I asked them to bring me something back.
This plate is beautiful. It has a slight Aboriginal feel to it and looks hand painted. I decided to wall mount it and put it next to my very amateur hand painted plate I did at one of those pottery places. It looks great and I can't stop looking at it.
 
Anyone else bought nice home accessories recently?
 
Thanks for reading.
Rachel xx

Monday, 2 December 2013

Christma is Coming...

This weekend was the start of December which meant I have let Christmas creep into my home. Because I will not spend Christmas in my own home, I got my real Christmas tree early to get my money's worth! I decorated it with the help of some family, and I am enjoying the smell and cosiness it adds to my home :-)
 
 
 
 
I am going to wait a little longer to put up some other deorations and just enjoy the tree for the time being.
The festive period is definitely here. Most of my presents have been bought and I am returning home from work covered in glitter on a daily basis.
 
A certain little man is also ready for the arrival of Santa :-)
 
 
Are you all on your way with the Christmas preparations or are you avoiding it like the plague!?
 
Thanks for reading.
Rachel xx

Friday, 15 November 2013

Recent Times

Well we're already in the middle of the half term holiday and it seems Autumn has landed. It is surprisingly nice to feel a chill in the air as it has been weirdly warm recently. However, I'm not too keen on the dark evenings that are creeping in. Before we know it, it'll be Christmas!
I spent a lovely couple of days in the Lake District this week, but as usual, was greeted with rain! Here are some of the things I enjoyed while I was there,
 
 
This photograph was taken in one of the rare occasions when it wasn't raining!
Derwentwater is beautiful and I could spend all day sitting on a nearby bench looking at the scenery.
 
 
Food and drink! There are some really lovely coffee shops, tea rooms, and traditional English pubs in Keswick. One place I really loved was Temporary Measure. A gorgeous little tea rooms/knitting shops selling a mixture of delicious cakes and beautiful wool.

 
 Shopping! I got a few nice bits and pieces as there are some lovely, individual shops to spend your money in. This photo is of a most stunning chair in the window of a shop called The Orchid House. They sell a super range of homeware, accessories, and lots of other nice bits from designers such as Greengate and RICE DK.
 
 
Hope you've been up to some lovely stuff.

Thanks for reading.
Rachel xxx
 
 

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Beauty in Bulgaria

I have spent this week in a small town named Velingrad, in Bulgaria. The week was part of an educational project, linking a range of school across Europe.
It was a shock to me to find a country so poor and lacking in amenities close in proximity to Britain. It is humbling to return home and realise how lucky we are to live in a successful country where the children in our schools have a good time and are well resourced.
Even though the country was poor and infrastructure was shabby, I believe beauty can be found everywhere and I managed to find some to share with you.
 
 

 
 
 

 

 
The week in Bulgaria had difficulties, but I have returned feeling thankful for the life I lead, the culture I experienced and the people I met and formed friendships with while I was away.  
 
I am looking forward to seeing the next country I will visit, wherever that may be.
 
Thanks for reading.
Rachel xx
 
 

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Before and After

I had wanted a new chair for my sewing table for quite a while when I came across an old, battered, wooden one in a reclamation shop which for some odd reason, I liked. A fiver later, I was trying to squueze it into the back of my little Corsa :-).
It stayed in the garage for ages until the summer holidays arrived and I had a bit more time than usual to give it a little TLC. Someone with woodwork knowledge very kindly made it sturdy again and sanded in down, in a much better way than I could. Here is what the chair looked like after the first couple of steps.
 
 
From here, I gave painted it with white undercoat, and then two coats of my chosen coloured emulsion. I had my paint mixed but it's still not the ideal colour. I'd have preferred it to be a bit more green.
Once it was dry I used a decorating knife to scrape off parts of the paint to reveal the wood underneath, giving it an old, battered effect. Finally, I painted it with quick drying emulsion and upholstered a drop in seat pad with some nice, new fabric.

 
The photo isn't the great quality and you can't see the colours very well but hopefully, you get the idea. I must admit, it was quite a bit of work to get the chair to this point, but I'm happy that it's completely individual and it does look lovely in my sewing room :-).
 
Thanks for reading.
Rachel xx 
 

Monday, 19 August 2013

Sensational Scandinavia

After returning from Tenerife, I was home for a few days before going away again! Although trips to Tenerife are lovely, I was desperate to see somewhere different this Summer, and so I booked a short, five day Scandinavian cruise. It's difficult to find a friend who can afford the money and time to be a travel companion in the summer holidays, so my Mum kindly joined me.
 
 
I had never been on a cruise before and didn't really know what to expect! However, I must admit that I experienced the best, most professional and personal customer service. The food was also exquisite, with a wide range of choice and tasted far better than any Michelin starred food I have eaten. Evenings on the ship were really lovely.

 
I visited Norway as a teenager and fell in love with its cleanliness, outdoors way of life, stunning scenery, traditions and politeness. This time, I came away loving it even more! We went up mountains, discovered the spectacular fjords, ate in Bergens famous fish market and explored the cities gorgeous wooden buildings.

 
 
The Orkney Isles were equally as gorgeous, but unfortunately it poured with rain while we were there. Of course, it wouldnt have been a holiday without doing a spot of shopping. We bought some real traditional Norwegian goods!

 
Overall, it was a fantastic holiday and I would love to do it all over again!!
 
Thanks for reading.
Love Rachel xx

Saturday, 10 August 2013

The Summer So Far

Although we've had some nice weather in England this Summer, this term did seem to be a long one and it took me a while to unwind and feel back to normal (if I ever really feel "normal").
I have got a few projects underway which I will hopefully show you soon, in the meantime, I'm going to share a few other things I've been getting up to. 
 
Some baking...

Bertie and I have made friends with lots of dogs of all shapes and sizes.

 
...and currently, I'm enjoying some sunshine and family time in our Tenerife home...

 
 
 
...eating tonnes of fresh, tropical fruit, frozen yoghurt, and drinking Sangria and Mojitos.


 
 
It's been a great start to the Summer and there's still more to come!
What have you been up to!?
 
Thanks for reading.
Rachel xx



Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Countryside Days...

I've been away a while...I'm sorry. This seems to be happening frequently, and I usually blame it on a busy time at work. But I've come to realise that all the time is 'busy time' at work. I think I have been lacking in inspiration and time to do things for me.
However, I have in the past couple of months, managed two walks in our beautiful countryside.
My family has always visited the countryside and been regular walkers, but it's only in the last 7 years or so that I've come to appreciate it so much.
 



 
Nothing else, but my wet, muddy and smelly dog can show just what a good time I've had in the countryside!

 
I'm hoping over the next couple of weeks that a few projects might come together and I'll have those or some pictures of inspiration to show you!
 
Enjoy the sunshine.
 
Thanks for reading.
Rachel xx

Monday, 29 April 2013

A Complete Cushion

This weekend, I finally managed to finish a project!! I'm always so busy with work, projects seem to last forever these days, which is not good for an impatient person like me!
 
 
 
I started this hand appliqued, hand quilted cushion back in February. I love applique and hand quilting, but it was the putting it together and the piping which stressed me out this weekend. It was very fiddly!
 
The pattern is from the lovely Sandra at Plain Navy who designed it herself as part of her 'Best in Show' quilt. Although my dog is a different breed, I love daschunds and this design is fab. He looks right at home on my Laura Ashley easy chair.  
 
 
Now that I've finished one project, I MUST finish another before I begin something new!
 
Thanks for reading.
Rachel x
 

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Pinterest

I've got a little addicted too Pinterest recently. I love the way you can put all the things you like in one place. Then you can look at all the images together instead of scrawling through websites. Here are a couple of my current favourite images.
 
 
 
 
 

Pinterest is proving to be a massive source of inspiration for me at the moment, things to make, places to go, clothes to wear...the list is endless!
Artwork by Angie very kindly designed me my own Pinterest logo to match my blog design and header, here it is, what do you think?
Anyway, if you click on said logo on the side bar, it will *hopefully* take you to my Pinterest page. Is there anyone else out there who I can follow on Pinterest? Any recommendations?
 
Thanks for reading.
Rachel x
 
 

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Liberty Love

On my little trip to London, my main aim was to go to the fabric department in Liberty's. I have visited Liberty's a few times, but never actually gone to the fabric department.
Usually, I can't get past the florist.
 
 
It's such a gorgeous display at the entrance to the shop. Inside, the shop is also stunning, with an old and intricate woodwork structure. 
 
 
I was blown away in the fabric department, it was so hard to decide what to buy. In the end, I got a bundle of fabrics in blues and greens. I also bought a cute mouse pin cushion, and a jar of liberty fabric covered buttons. My big treat was a new sewing box. Again, it took me ages to decide which one to get, but I'm pleased with my decision. I had a lot of fun filling the box when I got home!
 
 
It's safe to say my bank balance was a lot lighter after my wonderful trip to Liberty's!!
 
Thanks for reading.
Rachel x
 
 

Farbic Shopping in the City

The day after I did the lampshade making workshop, Mum and I went to London. We booked our train tickets a few weeks ago and managed to get quite a good deal. It only takes us a couple of hours to get there, so perfect to go just for the day. We go to London a couple of times a year, sometimes to shop, sometimes to see a show. This time, we wanted to only visit fabric/sewing shops and Liberty.
I did a bit of research before hand to find which fabric shops were worth visiting and where they were. We didn't want to spend all day zig-zagging our way over London, so had to decide not to visit some shops that were too far from central London. I found that Berwick Street, which is just off Oxford Street had a few shops worth visiting, so we headed there first. A few of the shops were very pricy, but great for browsing, but when I walked into The Cloth House, it was stunning!
 
 
The fabrics were gorgeous and really reasonably priced. They were all quite muted and were from all over the world. The natural coloured fabrics standing up behind the table in the above picture were all embroidered - gorgeous!
 
 
They also had ribbons, threads and trimmings galore. A lot of them were vintage too.
 
 
If you want somewhere special to go to buy fabric, this is it. The Cloth House is not only full to thr brim of gorgeousness, but it islaid out beautifully with stunning furniture and storage.
 
Thanks for reading.
Rachel x

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Lampshade Making

It is already the second week of the school Easter holidays. Why do they always go so fast!?
The first week of the holidays was a bit of a jobs week for me, I did some decorating, carpet laying, cleaning, wardrobe building, that type of thing. What got me through all of that was knowing I had some nice things planned for the start of this week. The first of those nice things was a lampshade making workshop at 'Angel' in Easingwold. Angel is a lovely little shop, you can visit their website here http://www.angel-lifestyle.com/about-angel/info_1.html  It sells lovely one off pieces (like cushions) which are all handmade from vintage fabrics by the owner.
The workshop was run by Georgia, from Jorja Wilkinson Design.(http://www.jorjawilkinsondesign.co.uk/)
Georgia designs gorgeous fabrics, inspired by animals. She not only sells the fabrics by the metre, but makes them into cushions, lampshades and noticeboards which you can buy from her website.
 
 
Anyway, here we are at the workshop. Georgia made the lampshade making look easy, and actually, it wasn't as hard as you would expect. Mum made a really big one, which looks great on her standard lamp base, and I made a smaller one for a table lamp. Here is my completd shade on its base.
 
 
If you are interested, Angel are also running other workshops throughout the Spring. You can also find Angel and Jorja Wilkinson Designs on Facebook.
 
Thanks for reading.
Rachel
xx
 

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Flowers

I think we're all frustrated with the lack of the Spring weather. Those poor newborn lambs will be freezing! I usually love Spring, mainly because of the gorgeous new flowers that start to crop up everywhere. I spent a some time, while I was at university as a part time florist and really loved it.
I think we're all in need of cheering up, so even though Spring may not have sprung, I'm bringing you some gorgeous pictures of flowers I found on Pinterest.
 
 
 

 
 
 
I bought myself a bunch of mixed tulips today. Such a simple flower, but so effective and definitely a spring flower.
TOP TIP: Use a pin/needle to put a hole through the stem of a tulip, just underneath the flower head. This will prevent them from drooping/floping over the side of the vase.
 
 
Let's hope for a little peek of Spring this week.
 
Thanks for reading.
Rachel x