Hyacinth – The Natural Springtime Air Freshener!

Hyacinth

This beautiful Hyacinth was given to me by a lovely friend.

Incredibly, it hasn’t become all top-heavy, with long leggy stems which struggle to support the weight of the flowers.

(Unfortunately, this seems to happen with many indoor Hyacinths).

It is completely stunning and has scented the room, so that I get a waft of loveliness every time I come inside.

I thought you’d like to enjoy it with me.

Have a great weekend.

Limed Coat Rack From Oak Floorboards

Coat Rack From Floorboards

Mr D-F decided he fancied getting crafty last weekend.

I think it was a result of me saying things like…

‘I wish I didn’t have to live under a pile of coats.’

‘…can you see the cat? I think he might have been smothered by coats.’

(You get the picture)

So, after selecting two old floorboards that we had carefully stored away, he set about making the coat rack of my dreams! It has a shelf for storing hats, twine and other useful things and has heavy-duty galvanised hooks to withstand the many years of hanging that it will have to do.

After asking my opinion on the finish, I opted for a limed effect.  It was my hope that this would work against the Farrow and Ball – Cornforth White, painted wall behind it.

Doesn’t it look brill? Maximum Brownie Points to Mr D-F!

Sprouting Despite The Rain

Anemone Sprouts

Now this was a real surprise this week.

I had planted my anemones (rather foolishly) months ago.  Since then, as all UK dwellers are well aware, we have had rain a-plenty… and flooding… and more rain… 

I had given up all hope that my plantings would make it through the inevitable rot, that would surely come after spending months in a rather waterlogged raised bed.

However – ha! Nature has toughed it out and I am seeing sprout after sprout appearing.  All fresh and green and lovely.  I now have my fingers firmly crossed that they will continue to grow healthily and produce their beautiful, almost poppy-like flowers, which always look incredible in hand-tied posies.

Have a great weekend!

A Houseplant With Serious Attitude – The Fiddle Leaf Fig

Fiddle-Leaf Fig Leaf

Fiddle Leaf Fig leaf

Now there’s a tricky thing to say quickly.

Last week, I finally succeeded in my hunt for the houseplant to beat all houseplants…

…the Fiddle Leaf Fig.

With its big, beautiful leaves showing road-map like veins, it brings a sense of jungle architecture into the home.  Apparently not recommended for the houseplant ‘beginner’ – possibly due to our tendencies, as humans, to either over-fuss or completely neglect plants in our care.  However, given a good amount of indirect light, a weekly water (of about 2 cupfuls) and the occasional mist, this plant doesn’t require much else…

…and boy does it make an impact?!

Fiddle Leaf Fig

Trees seem to be available in 3 sizes (approx. 70cm – 120cm in height) with prices ranging from around £20 – £80.  They can either be branching (several stems coming from the pot) or as a single stem, which gives the more usual tree-like look.  Trees can be displayed singly, as focal points to add interest to the corners of rooms or used in pairs to frame an arch, doorway or fireplace… just don’t let it get too dry or hot… this guy likes a humid environment.

To see some truly beautiful examples take a look at these posts:

Gardenista – Considering the Fiddle Leaf Fig

The Fiddle Leaf Fig and I

Great advice on care from Purity Plants

Identification Help Please!

Beech Leaf Colony

 

I know you are full of clever knowledge… and this one has me stumped… although I have a few suspicions.

I stumbled across this little colony of… pustules… this morning on the leaf of one of my little Beech trees.

They appear to be egg cases, surrounded by a sort of web or silk and they were just dangling there, on the remnants of last year’s leaf.

Please let me know your thoughts.

Mother’s Day DIY – Kitchen Blackboard

finished chalkboard

This may seem familiar to you…

I posted this DIY way back in 2012, but in the meantime, I made one for last year’s Mother’s Day (to give to my Mum) and it went down a treat.

If you fancy making something unique and creative for your gift… here is the how-to…

chalkboard step by step

  1. Take initial measurements and cut some plywood and beading/edging to the correct size that you would like. I wanted my finished board to end up at about 2 foot by 14 inches.
  2. Paint both sides with 2 coats of a suitable primer/undercoat – I used normal white matt emulsion as it gives a nice even finish.  Leave any bits that are to be glued, unpainted.
  3. Once dry, paint the back of the plywood and the edging strips with a suitably stunning colour.  I chose Blackened, No.2011 by Farrow and Ball.  Paint the face of the blackboard (the other side of the plywood) with blackboard paint. Most places like Homebase and B&Q sell it. Again, I needed 2 coats of both paints.
  4. Once dry, glue it all together and fasten it to the wall, either with a lovely bit of rope (in which case, you may need to drill two holes at the top) or screw it into the wall in the four corners.  I chose this way as I didn’t want it to wobble as I wrote.

Enjoy!

Terracotta Pots With A Twist

painted terracotta pots

 

The sun has been shining beautifully today and I felt like a bit of garden craftiness…

…all over sites like Pinterest, there are pictures of painted terracotta pots looking extremely chic inside people’s homes, out on patios and decorating greenhouses.  There were pots of mismatched colours, some that had been artificially aged to look beautifully vintage and others of a uniform colour, creating a bold statement.

I took two terracotta pots from my (ever-growing) collection and dug out one of my favourite Farrow and Ball colours ~ No. 18, French Gray.

After two coats of paint, the pots were ready to be filled with compost and planted up.

Instant joy!

Adaptable Advertising For Your Blog Or Business

business cards

 

Just a quickie today… but have a lovely bit of craftiness for you next week.

I love stationery. I mean it makes me go all silly and ridiculous.

However, I like things to be adaptable and flexible so that they can be used in a variety of ways.

My new mini-business cards (half the size of a regular card) are completely PERFECT…

…and after designing the image to go on the front, they were all made up for me and arrived within three days.

The best thing about them is that they can be hole-punched to become promotional tags, given out to important business contacts (like my mum) and tucked into packaging to give that extra business-y feel.

You loving them so far?

There are lots of places online that you can go to… these ones were made by moo.com

How To Make a Chicken Doorstop

Easter Chicken Doorstop

The chickens are getting in their springtime groove with all the new buds that are appearing.

So, I thought that I would re-post this pattern for making your very own chicken doorstop…

…perfect to embrace the spring-like joy and Easter’s arrival (which is just around the corner, you know).

This pattern has had lots of clicks, so I’m wondering if there are lots of chickens like this one, adorning doors all over the world… I’d like to think so… it gives me the warm and fuzzies.

Stanley Chicken Pattern

Vertical Vases ~ Wendy Jung Ceramics

wendy jung stem vases

I can’t quite describe my excitement at finding Wendy Jung’s beautiful, hand-crafted ceramic vases.

They are the perfect adornment to our pretty bare, but newly painted sitting room walls (in Farrow & Ball’s Cornforth White, if you’re wondering)!

Their smooth, organic shapes, look at home as pieces in their own right or as a backdrop to display carefully chosen stems.

I am currently trying to source some particularly tiny air plants that would look great, perched just inside the little ‘mouths’ of the vases.

If you would like to see more of Wendy’s incredible designs, please take a look at her website, here.

Wouldn’t they make the perfect Mother’s Day presents?

P.S. To my own mother, don’t get any ideas… these babies are mine!