A living wreath
I think out of all the months December is the time when people really love taking pictures of their home. Christmas decorating brings out the inner child and creativity and, let's face it, at least for me, it will probably be the only time this year when the whole house will look tidy - not just my little 'Instagram corner'.
However, far from doing an indoors shot I decided that for this month's #stylingtheseasons project I am going to give my front door a 'winter makeover', with an alternative wreath. I'm still very much a novice at this, but I find it a very absorbing and relaxing activity, just the antidote to the chaos of frenzied Christmas activity, when I was making like a crazy lady and attending fairs, Christmas parties and generally catching up with people, whilst trying to get all the festive jobs done too. This is my third wreath ever, my first and second ones (which was also a #stylingtheseasonsatmine project can be seen here and here).
I know that for most people it is the tree which gets them properly excited for Christmas. I love my tree too - but that is more of a family affair - dusting off the handmade decorations; placing each one on with my children so it becomes a celebration of us as a family (including all the little personalised decorations that I have made). But the WREATH - it's all mine! :)
Those of you who follow me on Instagram know that I am a big fan of plants. So I knew for ages that the wreath I wanted to make this year would be a living wreath, and this week, already I've seen some amazing examples, including Katy's (from @apartmentapothecary) and @needlesandleaves.
Goodbye summer - hello autumn
August has been a funny month hasn't it? We went away to Turkey at the very beginning of the month so I felt like I got my dose of sun (and heat), but since returning, summer doesn't really seem to be living up to its name.
"That's why this month my styling the seasons is about clinging onto the vestiges of summer, but already thinking ahead to the cosy months of autumn and even winter! "
So, the tone is pared down. Lots of neutrals, whites, and wood, but some nods to August colours.
I set myself a little personal goal a couple of months ago to make-over my sofa. It has taken me a while to succeed, but I am gradually getting there...
Most people know me as a ceramacist, but before I started doing that full-time I used to do a lot of sewing. I was feeling a bit rusty, but had seen Katy, from Apartment Apothecary post a blog about simple envelope cushions, so I used that as a starting point.
I had already bought this lovely 'Spring' fabric from Emma Hardicker who is a Birmingham based print-maker and designer whose work I admire greatly. The cushions turned out pretty well, and I hope to add some handmade porcelain buttons, (which I am still making) to them in a couple of weeks.
I think we first bought this (Tomelelia) sofa around twenty years ago! And it really is the comfiest thing to sit on. We talked about getting a new one, but I read about Bemz who recover IKEA sofas, so we ordered one in a grey linen (Designers Guild espresso). It feels luxurious to sit on, without the expensive price tag of a new sofa. Win, win.
The white agapanthus and pink hydrangeas are reminders that this is the end of summer, but there are lots of snuggly items ready for some cold months ahead. The hydrangeas are still wearing yesterday's raindrops.
I must research how to preserve and dry these beautiful hydrangeas to brighten my home in the forthcoming months.
Styling the Seasons is run by Katy And Charlotte, and it involves taking a surface in your home and dressing it to represent the month and what it means to you.
What projects are you working on?
Links to items:
Wooden table - similar found at French Connection
Birmingham print and Spring fabric - Emma Hardicker
Macrame hanger - See tutorial by Allison Sadler
Feather print - The Eloise Bindery
Sheepskin rug - Cox and Cox
Grey porcelain bottle - Kt Robbins Ceramics
Heather rug - The Future Kept
White and grey vase - Habitat (discontinued)
Fluffy cushion - Rackhams (discontinued)
Sofa - Ikea
Wooden Candle - John Lewis (discontinued)
It's all about the bulbs...
Last month I discovered an on-line family of green enthusiasts known as the #urbanjunglebloggers (UJB). The team behind this are Igor and Judith who are both passionate about having plants in the home, in other interiors and in public spaces: "We want to highlight the beauty and benefits of houseplants and other greeneries in urban spaces.". Each month they suggest a blog topic to celebrate greenery in the home and as a plant lover myself I was keen to get involved.
This month's topic is '(Green) love is in the air'.
If you follow me on Instagram you will notice that I have fallen in love with spring bulbs with their roots on show. There is something so fragile and real about showing the beauty of the whole of a plant. I was inspired to try out this idea after reading a lovely blog over on A Quiet Style by Emma and Caroline of Wild Rubus. It was only after seeing another interpretation over on Apartment Apothecary by Katy that I got my act together to clean up some bulbs.
I chose some Mascari - as I love their delicate blue blooms which perfectly represent spring. But there are lots of other bulbs which equally look nice depending on your preference - hyacinth, tulips, daffodils, bluebells and my other favourite: Snakes Head Fritillary. Using the theme from UJB I think I have elevated the humble bulb to a piece of floral wall art. And it was so easy too!
I had some floral wire (left over from a wreath making project) which I simply wrapped around some washed jam-jars. Before I tied off and tightened the wire, by twisting the ends, I slipped some garden twine underneath and formed two single knots, on each side of the jam jar to create a simple loop or hanging thread.
Then it's just a matter of following Caroline's tutorial and washing the soil off the bulbs (I did this using the outside tap and leaving the bulbs to soak in water overnight so it was easier to remove the soil); popping the bulbs in the jar and adding enough water to cover the roots. I also added a few drops of plant food.
Finally I hung the jars on a couple of nails that my partner kindly hammered into the wall for me. It's best to display in odd numbers (since things look more natural this way). I chose 3 random heights, but I think 3 or 5 in a line might also give a good effect.
The room shot also shows some other blooms - alive and preserved which fit very nicely with the #stylingtheseasons topic organised by Katy (again) from Apartment Apothecary and Lotts from Lotts and Lots. I love the contrast of the dried hydrangeas and the fresh buds of the daffodils. I also sneaked in a couple of the pretty porcelain vases and vessels that I make. If you want to read about the inspiration for them have a look here.
I'm soooo looking forward to seeing other people's interpretations of UJB's theme.
And with mother's day just round the corner these bulbs in hanging jars would be an easy and thoughtful gift for any Mum. I hope you are inspired like I was... And if you are I'd love to see the images, just tag me on Instagram or post a pic on my facebook page.
Hi! I'm a ceramicist, based in Kings Heath, Birmingham. Combining beauty and function my porcelain vessels are everyday objects you'll want to treasure. My work is slip-cast and wheel-thrown.