Sunday, 12 November 2017

Transitioning to winter colours ...

Hi everyone

It has been a hectic few weeks with new students starting & generally not touching ground. However, I am always grateful for each visit & especially those who take time to leave a supportive comment - it is much appreciated.

Earlier in the year, I used lavender colours in the living room  & I love the colours & they are still there.  I really love that combination ...


A rare free afternoon today meant I could get some much needed things done at home.  I had changed my dining room curtains last week from the lighter summery cream ones to the woollen tartan curtains  which are warm & cosy in winter.

I also looked through my stash of fabrics - everyone has a stash of fabric, don't they?


I hemmed this lovely green woollen cloth to use as a table cloth in winter; it will go well with the heathery purple colour in the curtains. Yes, I do use iron on hemming tape when I need to get things done!


I usually have this large floral oil painting in the dining-room but I decided on a seasonal change ...


 I have had this lovely embroidered purple panel for some time & I decided to frame it & use it. It is just right for that space, even though it is not nearly as large as the painting.


A purple runner from some fabric in my stash ...


The long purple cloth returns to the table. It was a long bolt of fabric that I hemmed some years back for this space - sometimes it is easier to buy fabric to hem than to try to find a cloth ...


These two ladies love their spot on the sideboard ...


Some flowers repurposed from the living room, along with pink candles & bows to brighten it up ...


The lovely deer tea light holders were gifts, the larger deer came from the living room to join them ..


Don't you just love this new candle with its deer top. It was a recent find that I knew I would be taking with me when I saw it in the shop ...


Coming together nicely ...


The leather book pile has increased with some from the study to give the framed fabric some height.


I have decided that I want berry coloured decorations at home this year - pink, purple,  cream & so I am transitioning towards that. It will be a change from my usual red & gold so needs a bit more  planning ...

Are your thoughts turning to the festive season too?  What are your plans this year? Tell all ....
Thank you for stopping by & taking time to read & leave a comment,
Dee ~♥~

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Preparing the poinsettia for the festive season ....

The clocks go back this coming weekend & then it suddenly feels like winter rather than autumn as the days shorten.

While changing the sideboard to a more Autumnal look, I saw my poinsettia still on the console table in the conservatory. This poinsettia was a gift from 3 Christmases ago & it has soldered on quite happily since then. I have never, ever had one that has survived that long because they are fussy plants who drop their leaves if they are too hot, too cold, too light, too dark, too draughty, too wet, too dry ....

Hmmm, am I going to be the only one to have a green poinsettia at home?

I came across this article in the gardening section of a newspaper & thought - why not?



So it was decided that the pointesettia will be placed in the warm but very dark under stairs cupboard (along with my shoes) every night to force it to develop the red flowers / leaves, hopefully by Christmas.



Every morning it comes out & goes on a bright windowsill to get the light needed. This routine started this week & will hopefully yield the required results.


Will it work?  That I don't know but I am always up for a challenge & this one is interesting so do stop by again as I will be updating you on the progress of our poinsettia ...

Thank you for stopping by & taking the time to read & leave a comment.
Dee ~♥~

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

A woodland theme on the sideboard

Hi everyone

Has the weather turned wherever you are? Our Autumn has arrived quite quickly with cooler weather, rain & leaves falling.  I love raking the leaves in our garden & often photograph them like this ...


Don't you love these colours & how transparent the leaves are?


Many of you will be familiar with this Spode Woodland pattern. I bought it at the Portmeirion factory shop a few years ago & I love the quirky pattern. I deliberately chose different animals to bring interest to the set.

I did not look back over previous settings until I had changed the sideboard ...

In 2014, this is how I used the Spode Woodland set


In 2015, I brought in touches of silver to lift the pattern - the red touches compliment the large red South African platter than I am very fond of ...


This year, I cleared the sideboard & then brought out the set of plates as a starting point.  I bought this very cute crochet bunting from eBay & just knew it was going on the sideboard. Don't you just love the little hedgehogs & the toadstools?


Sometimes, it goes easily, other times  (like today) I wandered around looking for bits around the house. Then I remembered the 2 turkey / pheasant plates in my stash & it suddenly came together ...


The pheasant plate (Johnson Wild Turkey Game birds pattern) on the top shelf, & Mason's brown turkey plate on the left of the second shelf, came from a thrift / charity shop some years ago. They are the right colours. I balanced it with a shallow Wedgwood primrose pattern platter that is the right colour & size for the sideboard. That shallow platter is used often at home.


I had almost forgotten about this turkey shaped dish - ahem, I don't think this one has ever made a sideboard appearance.  I love feathers but need some more me thinks ....


I saw the Disaronno bottle on our liquor trays & had an inspired moment - the martini glasses were filled with my sparkly table gems with some crystal bottle stoppers poking out & then a few gorgeous conkers added -  I collected the conkers on a visit to A Wondering Star daughter recently - (please tell me I am not the only one to fill my pockets with conkers, pine cones & acorns ....)



Don't you love how a vintage plate teams so well with the Spode Woodland plates that are only a few years old?


A few small & large silver drinking glasses complete the look. The many candle holders with their different colour candles are a reminder that they are used so often; I like them on the sideboard because it is so easy to just reach up & select some to light our table when we eat in the conservatory.


I think it looks very Autumnal now - a good transitional sideboard with things that I really enjoy looking at.  Are you transitioning to Autumn? Tell me how you are doing it?

Thank  you for stopping by, taking the time to read & to leave a comment too.
Dee ~♥~

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Celebrating wide verandas / stoeps of the Karoo

Hiya

I spent some time in the tiny Karoo town of Aberdeen again visiting family.  I love the quaintness & simplicity of the town because it harks back to a time long gone!

The Tourist Information leaflet informs us that Aberdeen has some unique architectural styles - not that I can identify them with any certainty but these are the ones they named:

Victorian
Georgian
Karoo 
Cape Dutch
Germ
Gothic Revival
Russian
Art Nouveau
Flemish Revival 

One thing I really love is the wide stoeps or verandas so essential to life in the Karoo. The stifling hot summers mean that they are essential to surviving the heat.


 Beautiful wide & beautiful spaces ....


 This house & its elegant stoep / veranda reminds me of our childhood spent at my Grandfathers home in Pretoria where we spent many happy hours playing & running around. It is funny how a single image can bring back so many happy memories ...





How lovely is this detail on this house?


1897 with intricate metal work as well as towers that could be Russian or Gothic ...


Even the metal fence echoes the details on the house ... 



There is a hint of Dutch architecture here as well as turrets & broekie lace details on the stoep ...


Do you have a favourite stoep / veranda? Do you enjoy exploring places you visit? Tell all ...
Thank you for stopping by, taking time to read & even leave a comment.

Dee ~♥~

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Captain Lawrence Oats & the Karoo

Hi everyone

On a visit to the tiny Karoo town of Aberdeen in South Africa,  my eye was drawn to a blue plaque on a house in Brand Street & I walked over to read it.


What an amazing history collided in this tiny town! 

I am a great Boer War follower, having had family who fought on both sides of the war .... 

One of the famous historical figures that saw action in the Aberdeen district during the 2nd Anglo Boer War was Lawrence Edward Grace Oates. Serving in the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons he suffered a gunshot wound to his left thigh in March 1901 which shattered his leg and left it an inch shorter than his right leg when it eventually healed.

In that skirmish he was twice called upon to surrender, and replied “We came to fight, not to surrender.” He was recommended for the Victoria Cross for his actions. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 1902 and Captain in 1906. He later served in Ireland, Egypt, and India. He was nursed by the Harvey family of 16 Brand Street in Aberdeen where he celebrated his 21st birthday. The wound caused him a lifelong limp. 

The name of Captain Lawrence Edward Grace Oats is well known & it is forever associated with his selfless act of walking out in to the snow blizzard on his 32nd birthday, to his death so that he would not hinder the rest of the Antarctic team. 


According to Capt Scott's diary, his last words were: 'I'm just going outside and I may be some time.' 

What an amazing story of an amazing person whose life is celebrated in the tiny town, where his injury in the Boer War led him to make his final decision. 

I did not know this connection until I walked over to read the blue plaque on that wall but now that I know the story, I have a deep respect for how history was shaped in Aberdeen. 

I hope you have enjoyed this story with me. Thank you for stopping by, 
Dee ~♥~

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Harvest time in the Shire

Hi everyone

Suddenly it seems like Autumn has arrived in Shropshire, especially when I was out walking around a local farm with the Godsons & I saw the harvest stacks ....

The farmer suffered a devastating fire in his winter stacks some winters back so he has moved them far away from the road - this is the smaller stack ... 


A walk just a bit further revealed this enormous hay stack ...



To give you an idea of the size, that is me standing next to it - I was dwarfed by the stack ...



The fields also had loads of lovely carrots - Godson with some from the edges where the wildlife had nibbled on them too ...


It is brilliant to see the harvest out in the fields, it signals the start of Autumn & the Harvest celebrations which start soon.

Hope you are enjoying the start of Autumn too. Thank you for stopping by,
Dee ~♥~

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Winter salad greens for my planters

Hi everyone

I have neglected my blog over the summer due to an extended holiday. However, now it is time to get some of the jobs done ahead of Autumn.

My 4 tomato plants survived being left outside while we were away - fortunately, we had regular rain which kept them going, Hopefully they will still ripen because there are a lot of small tomatoes on the plants.


I shared my new salad planters with you earlier in the year - they have provided us with a plenty of salad greens over the summer - it has been brilliant to just open the back door & pick enough for a salad - the simple things in life are often the best!

My Elho planters have been absolutely brilliant & I am determined to make the most of them.

On my return from holiday, I knew it was time to redo them with the hope that I would have enough greens & salad leaves for winter. Do you also eat salad all year round?


 The straggly, last lettuce leaves were pulled out, then it was time for a trip to the local garden centre.

However, they only had kale plants or some swiss chard with its bright, colourful stems.



Fortunately, I found some salad seeds in their sale section so perhaps all is not lost.


The planter with the kale plugs has the first of the salad seeds sown - these are meant to be ready in 25 days so I will see how that goes ...


I love the bright stems of the chard - the ones at the back are from an early planting but they have not done too well so they will stay for the time being. 



These two planters have swiss chard in them ...


Planted & covered up again with their lovely covers that keep the soil warm & the plants protected. They benefit from radiated warmth from the house walls too in this sunny, protected spot.


The green planter on the left by the water butt, has the kale & first salad greens in it ...



A quick rain shower waters the planters before I had a chance to put the lids back on ... 


The Elho planters were a great idea for growing some bits at home.  I will give you an update on their use in winter ... 


Do you grow any bits of your own at home? I find it hugely satisfying to see things progress. Thank you for stopping by & visiting my blog ...
Dee ~♥~