Saturday, January 10, 2015

a quiet style

Hello and happy 2015! Last week I toasted the New Year with petals and pancakes over at A Quiet Style. Author, Emma Harris, and I share a mutual love of florets and photography so I jumped at the chance to nominate my favourite flower for her so-named monthly column. David Austin's Claire Rose has my heart more than any other. She's the complete package - pink, pretty and poised. Even in decay, she's still so beautiful. You can read my post on the Claire Rose HERE. Thanks for inviting me to play along, Emma. I wish I could send you a bunch across the seas. x 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

diy - babybounce backpack

If you're anything like me, you'll find it impossible to part with your child's outgrown belongings. Your house is probably filled with heirlooms which are too precious to throw away but are never used and take up valuable space. Yes? Here's the trick: if you love something enough, find a way to keep it.

Our house is teeny and has no storage (seriously, one small linen cupboard - that's it) so I've learnt to upcycle what I don't want recycled. I get to keep Alice's cute things while challenging my creativity to whip them into something new. Win, win!

Today I want to show you how to make a super fast crochet bag from an old Babybounce. The old-school bouncer nets are way too pretty to pitch and because they are lightweight and strong, make ideal backpacks. Alice uses hers to cart around her crew; no more worrying about losing Bunny at the shops because I know Alice has her back, literally. 

Let's get started! 

Before you start on your backpack, you must prep your Babybounce net. To slip it off the wire frame, squeeze both sides of the frame inwards and pull the net downwards. It might take some wriggling but will eventually slide off. This is the trickiest part of the whole project. Wash the net in warm water and dry flat in the sun. It will smell of summer. Now it's ready for action!

1. Grab some matching ribbon. I used a cream satin which I already had but any cord will do. Cut two pieces with matching lengths (mine were about 30'' long). Tie a knot at the ends of the ribbon to prevent fraying. Attach a safety pin at one end of one length of ribbon and thread through the existing channel at the top of the net, starting on on one side and then threading it all the way back around the other. Both ends of the ribbon should now be on the same side.

2. Repeat this process with the second piece of ribbon starting on the opposite side. Pull the ribbons so both pieces are even. Pull again to close the bag shut. 

3. Cut off the straps that held your mini in place on the bouncer. I've kept the straps as I plan to upcycle these too, probably into a headband for Alice.

4. Your net should now look like this. Nearly done!

5. Add some shoulder straps. I used white pom-pom trim as I wanted the straps to be a feature of the bag. The length of the straps will depend on the age of the person using the backpack. With the bag closed, I measured from the centre out to each bottom corner and then doubled this length for Alice's straps and then adjusted to fit. It took a bit of playing and guess work to get the right length. Tie one end of both straps to the centre point of the bag.

6. Tie the remaining ends to the bottom left and right hand corners of the bag. This forms the straps to loop over the shoulders. 

7. Finally add an accent to your bag. I tied on a grey bow but you can omit this if you please and just keep it plain. Your Babybounce backpack is done! Store in a pretty place when not in use.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

the divine @fleursdamelie

Since joining the Instagram fun last year, I've fallen for a bunch of feeds but none more than @fleursdamelie. I stumbled on Maaike Goldbach's divine world via a picture of her daughter, Amelie's, swan rocker. It stole my heart  (oh, the swan's peach beak and that floral Thibaut wallpaper!) and I've trawled Maaike's squares everyday since.

I adore her inimitable style and the way she and husband, Onno, have used their respective love of pattern and nature to blend vintage and modern design around white, coral and green.

I asked Maaike, an interior designer, to share a little of the story behind the 106-year-old church her family calls home. You're going to want to pack your bags and move in, it's so pretty ...

``We live in the Netherlands in an old church. Two couples lived here before us. The first couple designed the layout of the house - all the rooms and the stairway. The second couple made it look pretty. They added the kitchen and the door (which came from India) and all the little details, like the doorknobs etc. Then we came in and I did my decorating thing!

We have lived here for two years and we love it. It's so bright when the sunlight comes in; cool in summer but cold in winter. When we play music it sounds so beautiful - especially when you turn the sound up - but this doesn't happen very often, only when Amelie is with her grandparents!

Most of my interior inspiration comes from finding a nice cushion with a print, or a wallpaper, which I'll then build around with items that match. Sometimes I find things when I'm thrifting but specific things I find on Dutch ebay, Marktplaats. I love coral and green - my whole house is in those colours. For now, they are my favourites but that could change. I don't like the primary colours.

I love to combine different prints that somehow work together. I think this makes a room exciting. It's the wallpaper combined with pillows, blankets, flowers... 

I'm very strict with colour. I think too much colour gets messy, so I stick to no more than two or three. Also, I think in a church, you can't go too crazy, so I try and keep the palette calm. 

I love change! In my former home, I had five layers of wallpaper. I didn't want that to happen again, so this time I chose furniture in soft colours and made the accessories and the wallpaper the eye-catching elements. I really love this look - I think I finally found my style! 

Onno loves nature, that's why you see a lot of birds, feathers, stones and shells. The vintage element makes the house more personal and unique and the modern spices things up a little; makes it more fresh.

My favourite room of the house is the living room with its high ceilings. You can see every season through those windows. They are really pretty, like paintings that change now and then.

Some items in my home aren't that pretty at all if you see them alone but, combined with others, they match and bring the right atmosphere. If I had to choose a favourite, it would be something really personal like my poetry album in which my grandparents and other family and friends have written beautiful wisdom.

When we were rebuilding, we found a wooden board commemorating a painter named Ydesma who'd painted the church in 1909 and had given 21 years service to the company, Posthuma. That was a really special find. We kept the little board as it's a part of the church's history. 

We got the piano because Onno has always wanted to learn how to play and we also wanted Amelie to grow up in a house with music. My father can play the piano very well and Onno is practising a lot! We hope that when Amelie gets older, she will join in.

My favourite time of the year is Autumn and then Spring. I love to take long walks in the woods and burn candles and drink cappuccino when we come home. I love Amelie's rosy cheeks! Autumn is cosy.

I couldn't live without Onno, Amelie and my two cats, Pipa and Noel (we got them on Christmas Eve). They make my home sparkly.''


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014


Tyler Knott, what can I say? The man moves me, enough to make me do a 3pm happy dance standing on a chair with his new book, Chasers of the Light. Random, I know, but such is the Tyler effect... Plus, to be brutally honest, I wanted to get his attention for the #chasersofthelight photo sweepstakes, because the only thing better than his poetry would be working with him on a photoshoot. Just as his words illuminate small things and grand gestures, Tyler has pledged to fly anywhere in the world to photograph the winner of his IG-driven comp. It's all about readers snapping a pic of his exquisite work and showing the world poetry isn't dead. I have loved his typewriter series and photos for so long, to now be able to see them as one in his little book is very, very cool. For the record, this is my fave of Tyler's poems...

Flowers grew where you stood, 
sprung from the soles of you,
strong despite the shade
from the shadow you left.
You leave gardens
every time
you walk away.

Fall hopelessly in love with Tyler's words here and here and here.
Then go dance on a chair.


Thank you to my best friend, Esther, for these pics. So much laugher and light...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

sitting pretty

Poor peach. She's survived five rounds of wardrobe cuts, yet hasn't seen a spring since 2009 when I snapped her up on sale. So here she rests, her tulle crumpled over a chair waiting for white paint. Why do we always save favourites for special days, only then never wear them at all?

Monday, September 15, 2014


Another day, another pot of gold dust, this time pooled on paper for a French lesson with Kiki & Coco in Paris. Who needs lead pencils anyway? Je t'aime, Coco; je t'aime, Kiki ...