Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Small Changes

I made a few tweaks to my home a couple of weeks back, and have been meaning to show you.

I've had the below Caroline Rose print for a few years now...

But I changed up the off-white frame I had, to this black frame (both Ikea)...

I think the black frame really pops against the creamy/ivory walls, and also brings out the colourful print.  Just a small change but it makes a difference.

You may remember my hall, stairs and landing redecoration from last year.  It left a blank canvas that I wanted to brighten up.  The hall received a grandmother clock and some console table styling but upstairs was still rather plain.

The best way to rectify that was with a Cozamia print!  Nancy's work is absolutely beautiful.  I first saw her prints on Swoonworthy, but it took me ages to decide which to get, as they are all so tempting!

I eventually decided on Sweet Chinoiserie which I truly love.  Here is a close up shot I took on my phone for Instagram, but it actually shows the detail quite well (and looks better than my camera photos if I'm honest!)...

Dinki Dots - Cozamia Sweet Chinoiserie

Isn't it stunning?!  Even just looking at it here is making me smile!

Here it is in place over the stairs (and none of the walls are straight, so if things look like they're hung wonky, it's the walls to blame - we did what we could!)...

Dinki Dots - Cozamia Sweet Chinoiserie

I've gone with dark frames for the print and the mirror, to bring some contrast to the lightness of the hall.

It's very difficult to photograph, as I had to try to combat the glare from the window on the picture.

Dinki Dots - Cozamia Sweet Chinoiserie

These photos don't really do it justice, but you get the idea.  The colours and vibrancy of the print are shown much better in the Instagram close-up.

It honestly makes me happy every day.  At first I thought it might be wasted in that spot, but I end up seeing and enjoying it all the time.

It's difficult to get Cozamia prints in the UK, but Joss & Main sell them, which is where I bought mine from.  It's a member only website and has lots of different promotions for a few days at a time.  Cozamia prints often feature, so it's well worth a look.  (I'm not being sponsored by Cozamia or Joss & Main - I'm just letting you know in case you love the prints as much as I do and want to get your hands on one!  I haven't found them anywhere else in the UK.)

If you want to join Joss & Main, click on this link or on the icon below:

Joss and Main

(If you do join via my link and make a purchase, I will get a credit - but that's just a bonus, not the reason for this post!)

I bought another Cozamia print at the same time (picking just one was too difficult!) but I'll show you another time when I've found the perfect spot for it.  To be honest, looking at the Cozamia Gallery now, makes me want to buy more - aarrghhh!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Skull Doily and a Fabulous Dublin Weekend!

It's safe to say that you don't see a lot of skulls on this here blog of mine!  But when Alex (The Interior DIYer) and Kimberly (of Swoonworthy) and I made plans for a weekend in Dublin, I knew I wanted to make a little something for Alex to say thanks for putting us up.  A crocheted skull doily seemed just the ticket.

I first saw this crochet skull motif in my friend Anna's beautiful shawl here.  There was no way I was ever going to manage to crochet a whole shawl of fiddly skulls, but when I had the thought of a skull doily, I knew it was the perfect start.

I was going to study the pattern to try to figure out how to separate it into a single skull square, but luckily found this pattern which had done it for me.  (Although, looking at it, the original shawl patterns seem to be from different places, so there may be a few floating around and they may be slightly different...)

Regardless, I got to work and made a black skull square.  Interspersed with lots of comments from the Lumberjack... "What are you making?  That looks a bit racy!", "Sorry, am I interrupting your lingerie making?"... it went on.

I wanted the border to be a pretty juxtaposition against the edginess of the skull, so went for something very lacy.  After some Pinterest searching, I decided on this pattern, and it gave exactly the look I was hoping for.

I was determined it should be in Alex's favourite berry hue, so frantically searched my stash until I found some yarn in the right colour.  Things got dicey towards the end of the border...

That was all the yarn left after I made my final stitch!!!  I was actually wimpering out loud as I crocheted the final edge of the doily - I was so nervous I'd run out and have to rip it all back and start again with something different.

But all was well, and it just needed to be blocked (I obviously wove that end in too)...

One skull doily was ready to be given!

We've just had our amazing weekend in Dublin, and Alex seemed pretty pleased with the doily.

She met Kimberly and myself at the airport with these signs (and got a few odd looks while holding them)...

Brilliant!  We had such a fantastic weekend, full of constant chatter and laughter, talking nonsense about everything under the sun.  Alex's traumatised husband had to put up with a coven of giggling, screeching women for three days - that poor dear man!

Alex and I had met before, but it was the first time we had met Kimberly in person - it was safe to say we all got on like a house on fire.  In fact, we have become unhealthily dependent on each other - we'd barely separated at the airport before we started messaging each other with more nonsense!  Thanks to you both for a fantastic weekend - and to our chauffeur for ferrying us about without a word of complaint!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Book Reviews - March

March was a very slow reading month.  Only two books, and the first one wasn't a full length book, more a guide.

I was clearly in a very decluttering mood...

- Joshua Becker

This is an e-book and as the cover says, it is seven guiding principles to help anyone declutter their home and life.  It's a short guide, I read it in an hour or so (I think, I wasn't timing it!)

I discovered that there is such a thing as a minimalist way of life over a year ago, and Joshua Becker's blog 'Becoming Minimalist' has been a great source of information and inspiration.  In the past year I have done a lot of online reading, and have started my own blog, Exploring Minimalism.  Therefore, I would say that this book didn't really provide anything different for me.

However, I think if you are new to the idea and are interested in cutting the excess from your life and living more simply and contentedly, then this would be a very inspiring and motivating read!

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying
- Marie Kondo

I'd read about this book here and there online, and decided to give it a go.  I was impressed!

The way of tidying detailed in the book has been named the KonMari method.  The book describes how to tidy and declutter our homes - once and for all - using this method.  As mentioned above, I have been researching minimalism, decluttering, simplifying for the last year or so.  However, I still felt that this book gave a bit of a different perspective and fresh food for thought.

I can see that Marie Kondo could be considered somewhat eccentric in her views, and the way she seems to almost humanise the items we own.  However, when you get down to her method for tidying our homes, I can't help thinking that it's got to work!  I can honestly say that reading this book inspired and excited me - maybe I need to get out more?!

I would definitely recommend it if you are interested in decluttering and tidying your home, leaving only those things which make you happy.  I plan to publish a series on Exploring Minimalism, showing how I get on trying out the KonMari method.  Keep an eye out for that!

Like what you see?  Follow me on bloglovin!

* Links to the books I've read are Amazon affiliate links

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