Garden Update – The Arrival Of The Pond

The new Finca garden is everything that I have wanted for so long. A lovely walled surround to grow things up, a dangly branched tree that provides dappled shade and a general atmosphere of peacefulness.  Last summer, I sat under the tree with my tea, a book and was happy and content, except that one thing niggled me.

Every day that I was outside, I could hear the faint bubbling of a pond fountain in the distance.  I loved that sound and wished it was closer; that I could have some running, trickling water in the garden. How relaxing would that be? I would generally think to myself.

fish in pond

I didn’t really want to have a pond that involved digging. I wanted a pond at a height that you could sit around, rest your feet on the sides and see easily out of the kitchen window. Doing the washing up and watching the water ripple in the wind is a very relaxing way to do the dishes!

We looked at lots of different pond kit options (I’ll leave you the links below). We chose one eventually that came with a good liner and was wooden, so that it would work well aesthetically in the garden.

spiral pond plant

floating pond plant

It took us an afternoon to build and another afternoon to wire in the filter and pump.  A few days later, I got some little plants and after a week, we added the fish! Five little fish.

They are the happiest fish I have even seen. They zoom around in their little group, jump and flip. They hide in the weed and come and greet you eagerly at feeding time. I love these little guys.

Do you want to see? Mr D-F and I had great fun with this next little number:


Some of the ponds I was considering:

Wooden raised pond

Square pond

Rectangular pond

The pond pump we bought:

Pond pump and filter

Outside electrical switch box

We use these floating planters for our marginal plants:

Pond planters

Some of the plants we bought:


Oxygenating Elodea


Shopping Spree – Harts Haul

I was in a dangerous situation earlier in the week.

I had to go to Harts of Stur to buy something very practical and slightly boring – a tea strainer I think it was.

If you’re a local you’ll totally understand why I consider this a mission with much jeopardy. However, if you have not taken a trip to Sturminster Newton and into Harts… you’ll soon see what I mean.

harts cover large

So I parked up outside, wandered in thinking ‘tea strainers, tea strainers, tea strainers…’ and then the first hazardous thing occurred.

‘Ooh lip balms!’ the hazardous thing shrieked. (The ‘thing’ being my inner magpie for anything colourful, shiny or generally beautiful looking).

With mission tea strainer totally out of my mind I went to look at these gorgeous, organic lip balms. I use A LOT of lip balm and I have been thinking that maybe I should switch to something much more natural and less chemically-laced.

bee lippy lip balm

I am so happy with this little pot. I love the colours of the packaging (I am such a sucker for luscious packaging). The balm sits on a little dish on my desk so that I can use it throughout the day.

Feeling really rather pleased with myself at this point, I looked to my left… BIG MISTAKE.

travel mug

There were the coolest travel mugs by Bodum just perched on a stand, looking enticing. To justify my thinking at this point – I use a travel mug a lot. If I am out and about, I always forget to drink. By having a travel mug with me, filled with mint tea, vanilla rooibos or something similar, I can try and entice myself to drink once I get to my destination. I currently use a ceramic mug, which has been great but water can drip out of the hole at the top (really inconvenient when you spill this on yourself), whereas this one above has a totally sealed top.

Beware though – I gave it a test run and it really does keep drinks very hot! Like for hours. If I know I’m going to need to drink it within an hour, I either leave the top opening on ‘open’ or I add some cold water. Never the less, I love this new mug.

…and look, doesn’t it go amazingly with the new tea towels that I found?! I can’t decide which is my favourite. I think I am quite in love with the burnt tangerine colour.

colourful tea towels

My mantra of ‘tea strainer’ came back to me at this point and as I was getting so easily distracted, I asked a very lovely lady (who works at Harts btw, not just another customer… that would have been weird) to direct me to the right place.

While on my way to the tea strainers, I picked up some cards for future needs. It’s always good to have a stock of interesting cards and these ones really called to me:

emma ball cards

By the time that I got to the tea strainers my basket was looking quite full and while very functional, the strainers now no longer looked even remotely enticing. ‘I really don’t need anything else today, do I?’ I said to myself.

…and I ended up not getting one at all.

At least that gives me an excuse for another visit in the near future – don’t you think?!


The Great Greys – It’s Time To Choose A New Paint

Why is it that when the sun comes out, I get a desire to paint? It’s possibly because all of the beautiful light shows up colours for what they really are, and if you saw my Instagram post yesterday, you will have noticed that I had got to the point where the magnolia in the guest room was just too painful for me to withstand a moment longer. So it’s time to wave bye-bye to a colour that inspires me the least.

So what to choose? Probably one of the colours that I find the most inspirational. Those colours that create such an incredible backdrop for your rooms that you can accessorise in any way that you like. It’s like the perfect base.

Before we delve into these beautiful colours, I would like you to know that I am in no way promoting these colours for any other reason other than that they are my favourites at the moment. I have tried other paint brands, but currently these colours react to light in a way in which I haven’t found in other paint brands.

FB skimming stone

… Farrow and Ball’s Skimming Stone – No. 241 …

I currently have Skimming Stone in the office and it looks AMAZING against white. It’s a warm, pebble grey that works so well with taupes and neutrals. Such a calm colour and in no way a risky ‘Will I like it?’ kind of shade. I’ve had this colour up for about a year and a half now and I still notice and love it every day.

 FB ammonite

… Farrow and Ball’s Ammonite – No. 274 …

Ammonite is a cool, blue grey. Still very much a grey neutral but it has a colder feel. I currently have this colour in the kitchen and it works brilliantly alongside deeper greys, whites and mustards. It reflects light extremely well and gives a sense of spaciousness – especially perfect if you want a bit of a colour but are worried that it might make your room feel smaller; this won’t.

FB Elephants Breath

FB Elephants Breath 2

… Farrow and Ball’s Elephants Breath – No. 229 …

Elephants Breath is a deeper version of Skimming Stone. A rich, grey with a very slight pink undertone. It can look very grey towards the evening but a bit more blush in brighter light. It is a majorly delicious colour.

We chose this for our bedroom because I wanted a deeper, cosier colour that would still work wonderfully with the white sloped ceilings that we have. I apologise for the quality of these photos but I didn’t want to edit them away from the true colour. I felt that that wouldn’t be particularly helpful if you were using these to help you to choose too.

So, by talking this through with you, I think I have made a choice! Which one would you choose?


Farrow and Ball’s Skimming Stone

Farrow and Ball’s Ammonite

Farrow and Ball’s Elephants Breath

Turnworth In May – A Dorset Date For Your Diary

Why have I never blogged about this before? Sorry, not helpful. I’ll start at the beginning.

There is a little, tiny hamlet nestled at the base of Okeford Hill called Turnworth. It is made up of only a few collection of houses, a church and a phone box. Surrounding this ‘metropolis’ are fields and trees, hills and grassy banks. It’s the sort of place where everyone knows and takes care of one another.

Sound good?

Turnworth holds an annual fete which celebrates all things to do with springtime and quintessential village life and they would really like you to join them.

Turnworth in May – Sunday 28th May – 11 am until 5 pm

DT11 0EE

Turnworth in May

You can have a wander around the village, have a peek into the vegetable gardens, stroll over people’s lawns if open to the public (these will be clearly signposted).  Take a moment in the church where Thomas Hardy stood and look at the flower arrangements.

There are also plenty of things to tempt you… such as a range of delicious home-made cakes, jams and preserves…


… some of this year’s stock, ready for purchase …

…and just look at these… too cute!

crochet teddies

crochet emojis

… crochet emoji keyrings and teddies …

I have already got my eye on a few of these bags and doorstops which will be on sale. So you’ll have to race me…

handmade bag

handmade bag2

crochet doorstop

There’ll be lots of easy parking and everyone in the village will be out to help and point you in the direction of the things that will interest you.

Shall we make a date to see each other there?

Actually, if you think you see me – with armfuls of bags and jams probably – please come and say hi! I love those “Hey, you’re the Dorset Finca” moments! xx 


My Top 5 Easiest Houseplants To Care For

The weather is warming, the days are longer and (hopefully) sunnier. It is always this time of year that encourages me to bring more greenery inside. However, I have got to the point where I don’t really want to be looking after oodles of plants and worrying about every brown leaf or patch of dry soil. I need an easier life with my plants.houseplants

So after a bit of trial and error, I have come up with my top 5 houseplant choices. They are in the top spots due to their price, their level of need and their inability (so far) to wither away into a brown twiggy mess.

Here’s number 1:

succulent in copper pot

… a little green succulent in a copper pot …

Perfect, on trend and actually artificial! It looks great on our coffee table and I don’t need to worry about watering it and leaving watery marks on the wood. I absolutely love this little guy.

Number 2:

kentia palm

… the Kentia Palm …

A beautiful flashback to the 20s when they were all the rage in people’s parlours. I’ve had this plant for about 3 years and so far, I’ve not had to repot it yet. It is happy being in most areas of the house and I love it’s jungle-like personality.

If you want a statement plant – then this is the one for you!

Number 3:

aloe in window

… aloe vera …

The best kitchen companion. It loves a sunny window and doesn’t really mind if you forget to water it. The best bit is that the juice from inside the leaves is wonderful at treating skin injuries, like burns. You just have to snap off a twig and rub it on!

Number 4:

livistona rotundifolia

… Livistona Rotundifolia …

Another wonderfully easy-going plant. I bought this one in Ikea about a year ago to jolly up the office. Again, not one to need copious watering or fussy light conditions. The only downside is that this plant has spines running up its stems so care needs to be taken when moving it about. Currently, he’s sitting in this beautiful beaded basket – which I absolutely adore!

Finally, number 5:


… micro cactus …

This was totally an impulse purchase! I was actually shopping for glasses (the drinking kind) as Mr D-F seems to get through quite a lot. I often here a call from the kitchen with ‘oh no, I’ve only gone and broken another one!’

As I was browsing through tumblers and water glasses, I saw these cute little cacti. Totally fake but utterly cool. This one needs no care whatsoever but nevertheless, sits happily in the bathroom, spreading its joy.


Succulent in Copper Pot

Kentia Palm 

Aloe Vera

Livistona Rotundifolia

Mini Cactus

Oh no! The succulent is now showing as out of stock!! I have had a search and you can get some similar ones here in cute white ceramic looking containers – they would look great in a group.

A Dorset Deal – Free Pizza and Food Offers

Hello my friends! I have been contacted this week about two exciting new restaurant openings in Bournemouth.  They are especially exciting as the restaurants are offering huge discounts and even free food in their first few days of opening their doors.

I’m not going to be able to make it over there in time to make good use of this, so please go in my stead and fill up on deliciousness.

So… the details…


… picture courtesy of Franco Manca Pizza …

Neapolitan pizza pioneer Franco Manca has recently launched its new pizzeria in Bournemouth. There are 200 pizzas that will be given out each day (this is based on a lovely Italian tradition of celebrating new customers by giving out free pizzas).

This offer is only available for today (Sunday 14th May) and tomorrow – so get down there and fill up on some Margherita!

greek food

… picture courtesy of The Real Greek

The Real Greek restaurant is offering:

50% off all Main Menu food on Monday 15th & Tuesday 16th May, dine in only.
25% off all Main Menu food Wednesday 17th & Thursday 18th May, dine in only.
They’ve just let me know that they are now fully booked for reservations, but they have plenty of space for people to walk in without a booking. The more the merrier!
Let me know if you manage to make it to any of these great new places and what you think. I’ll be thinking of you enjoying all of the great food.
Speak soon x

My Make Updates

Hello to you! I hope you are having a lovely Easter weekend and are looking forward to a leisurely Bank Holiday.

I was determined to use this time to get my bag finished (I talked about beginning this project in this post) and as I’m am still learning to sew properly, I was prepared that each stage was going to take much longer than anticipated – which it did, oh yes.

The first priority, was to clear a space on my table so that I wasn’t going to knock pots of pins, scissors or anything else off the edge. I learnt this lesson from a little accident that I had earlier on in the week. Picking up pins? Not fun!

Dorset Finca workspace

I was quite impressed that the hound didn’t pay any attention whatsoever to the sewing machine. He usually wants to seek out and attack anything that makes a mechanical metal whirring noise. We’ve managed to get past the ironing board issue (massive sigh of relief) – creeping upstairs to do some secret ironing when he was having a sleep seemed a little ridiculous! The hoover, let’s not even talk about that and the rotary washing line is now living in the shed as Young Sir thought that it was only there to upset him. Obvs.

Sorry, I digress. Anyway – good boy for loving the sewing machine. I spent a few days pinning, pressing, tacking and sewing, which finally resulted in:

Dorset Finca Bag

A finished bag, complete with pocket.

Yay! I’m so pleased with it! The pattern and instructions are from Lauren Guthrie’s book, which you can find here. The main fabric I bought from Hansons Fabrics and the fabric I used for the bias binding, I had in my stash. It has cute little flowers on it, which I felt really worked with the feel of the large pattern of the main bag.

I chose to leave out the button fastening on the front pocket. Yes, I was a bit scared of attempting my first buttonhole but the main reason was that the fabric was quite thick at this point with all of the hemming and binding. I was sure that I was going to make a complete mess trying to get through all of those layers.

I’m hoping that I’ll find lots of good uses for this bag, especially as I am planning to make another one (possibly without a pocket), but enough bags for now… my next project will be cushions. Gulp.

What is currently on your making table? x