About Me

My photo
antrim, antrim, Ireland
Hello and welcome to my blog. If you like flowers and gardens, housey stuff, food and banter, then this is the place for you. I am a decorative artist, florist and maker of things. I sell painted furniture, plants and crafts, through a local retail shop, in my native Ireland, and wedding flowers from home. I am married to a lovely patient man and have a smashing little girl. I blog for the fun of it. Thank you for listening.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Singing in the Rain!

Well I am trying to! I am trying to see the positives.....my garden is very lush and  green. I am trapped inside the house and therefore my long needed housework is being done. I also do appreciate any little chink of sunlight and make the most of it...so it's all good ...isn't it? However I feel like I'm doing this.........

and want to be doing this..............

It's not all wet and dull around here though, I have the results of the giveaway.....................(drum roll).....firstly, the winner of the coffee cosy...

and secondly................(drum roll no.2 ) ...the winner of the tea cosy is...

So the winner of the coffee cosy was the lovely Diane from Southams Darling. (Sorry Diane I can't seem to create a link to your blog). Congratulations to you! And the winner of the tea cosy was the equally lovely Deborah from http://thefishermanscottage.blogspot.com/. Congratulations Deborah!

So I am hoping that my images of summer will encourage the sun to come out and play. Have a wonderful weekend everyone. I am sorry I don't have the painted furniture photos for you just yet.

All images

All images are from here or my own.
Love Linda x

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Antrim Coast

Today we had an impromptu visit to the North Antrim coast, Cushendun to be precise. It is my most favourite place in Nortern Ireland to go to, and if I could live there I would. The village square was designed by Architect Clough William Ellis, also responsible for Portmeirion in Wales, and is inspired by the architecture of Cornwall. It is all black, white and slate grey cottagey charm and I love, love, love it! It is now owned by the National Trust, but is lived in by locals and there is a tea-room, pub and shop. The beach is fabulous, and any time we have ever been, it is always quiet! My husband and daughter donned wetsuits and surfed the waves, whilst I settled into my foldaway chair and read my new book 'Parisian Chic' a style guide by Ines de la Fressange, what more could you ask? We had a lovely day, made perfect by going to 'Harry's Bar' in Cushendall for tea, which means I have time to blog.......hurray!

I hope to have some pictures of the painted furniture in my next post. Now I need to go and find out what all of you have been up to this week. My daughter finishes school for the summer on Thursday, so life is going to be pretty hectic around here! Have a wonderful week, love Linda x

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Cosy Giveaway!

Having been the lucky recipient of two gorgeous giveaways, I have decided to have a giveaway myself. Last week I made a coffee cosy for my coffee pot and thought, as you seemed to like it I would make one for you. Yes Wendy (15 Coast Road) they are addictive! So as not to disappoint the tea drinkers out there I have made a tea cosy as well.

The coffee cosy is embroidered with the word Espresso and is  appliqued with a coffee cup and cupcake in yellow and pink with a touch of green. The fabric to the back is a Laura Ashley cotton print with teacups and cakes on it, the same fabric is on the inside. The front is recycled linen in a kind of off-white shade.

These are not the most wonderfully worked items you have ever seen, but they should last at least a few washes and they are a bit of fun. Now to those of you who say...poo hoo, a tea cosy, not on your nellie,woul
dn't be seen dead with one of those old fashioned things, I say, think on, when you brew your pot of tea and then get carried away blogging, and forget your tea (or coffee), never fear, if it is ensconced underneath one of my cosies it will stay hot for.......ages!

The tea cosy is embroidered with the words 'English breakfast tea' and has printed Minton teacups, recycled from the most expensive pillowcase I ever bought! It is lined and backed with a cotton check and the front is the same as before. I do hope you like my offerings and will leave a little comment to say which you would prefer. I will put the names into a hat and my daughter can draw one out for each cosy. I will make the draw on Thursday 30th June.

I have been Picniking again! Some images from the garden, the Escallonia hedge is wonderful this year and it is a very big attraction for the bees. The peas are coming along nicely! The Pinks, I bought last year after hearing a T.V. gardener sing their praises. I have to admit, I am a bit snobbish about Carnations in flower arrangements, but decided to give the Pinks a go, and they are tremendous, they have so many buds on this year and will keep flowering all summer, and if I call them Pinks or Gillyflowers, then I rather like them!

Saw this idea on Pinterest and decided to have a go. Not just as easy as you'd think! The little blighters spread, even though thoroughly chilled and the holes closed over. I used the wrong recipe, James Martin's shortbread biscuits, heavy on the butter (as ever with James....oh I do love him). I should jave used Peggy Porchen's cookie recipe, as they are less delicate. However, they tasted delish and I think they are still rather cute. The Pinterest ones were threaded unto ribbon, but these would just have broken if I'd tried that.

My little chick  did this picture using oil pastels in school. I think it's really wonderful, but then I would , wouldn't I?

Some thought provoking words to leave you with. Have a happy Father's Day, whoever you are and whatever you are doing, and don't forget to leave me a comment, so that your life can be complete with a  flowers on my table cosy! Love Linda x   p.s. I forgot to say, if anyone wants to be so kind as to put my little giveaway button on their sidebar, then let me know and I will put your name in an extra time for the draw. Many thanks!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

{How to Make a Heart Using Coffee Art

{How to Make a Heart Using Coffee Art

I admit it, hands up, I am guilty......I am addicted to coffee. I started drinking coffee when I was about 11 or 12, in a tea-drinking country, I was quite an oddity! When I was 18, I didn't drink alcohol, I much preferred to have a coffee, but in those days, you couldn't get coffee in pubs and if you did, it was either a filter coffee that had been keeping warm for hours on end, or that hideous instant stuff! Nowadays, it's a different matter, coffee culture abounds, and I for one am sooo happy about it. I remember my first visit to France, the coffee....mmmm, dark brown and fragrant with hot milk served separately in a little jug.. I had died and gone to heaven! Then my first trip to Italy...oh my goodness, the hotel, which had a bit of a Maffioso atmosphere, had the most fantastic coffee machine I had ever seen ,all copper and brass, gleaming  magnificence! The coffee it produced, has never been matched, smooth, rich with a perfect crema on top!

Now , the foam atop your cappucino is manipulated into incredible shapes and pictures, and labelled as 'art'. Check out the link above to watch the artist at work, it is a joy to watch. I love trying and buying different coffee's, I love the smell, the cups and saucers, the beans themselves, coffee cake, ice-cream, machines and equipment, I just love it all! I have only recently discovered the sheer heaven that is, espresso poured over ice-cream, if you haven't tried it, I highly recommend you do.

At home, I make my coffee in a stove top espresso maker, like the one in the above picture and think it makes a really good coffee. I would like to get, at some time, one of the new machines, which use capsules (although I don't like the wasteful packaging element ). Perhaps, by the time I get one, they will have sorted that out!

I would adore an antique silver coffee pot , like this. How special would coffee time be then!

Notice the Irish coffee, all ginger hair and tipsy...how rude!!

Look at this little fellow, you wouldn't want to drink it!

Gorgeous blue and white (Spode, I think).
Aren't these little cuties from Riviera Maison fab?

I would love to get my hands on some of these coffee coloured coffee cups.

So 'slip me a slug from that wonderful mug' and plant me in this chair, looking out at that gorgeous view and you won't get a peep out of me. Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone, love Linda x

                                                              Images are from here and here.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Making things

from here
I love this quote, it's just how I feel. I have been enjoying making things without the pressure of having to sell them, simply for the joy of creating something. Here's what I've been up to..........

I painted some paper with cupcakes, coffee beans, ice-cream cones, I don't know what for, just for the hell of it.

I made Elvis Presley's favourite ice-cream......Peach.......it's not the usual custard based ice-cream, basically just pureed peaches and cream and it's pure summer heaven!
I made Peach Cake with Butterscotch Sauce......very naughty!...................

My husband doesn't like jam, so I make him Lavender jelly in the summer and Crabapple and Clove jelly in the winter. I love making jelly, I don't have a jelly bag, so I do it the old fashioned way by turning a kitchen chair upside down and tying a muslin hammock to the legs and straining the juices overnight into a bowl. Then I boil up the juice with the sugar and it gives me such a thrill when it is bottled to see the sunlight passing through the jewel-like jelly, as in the picture below..............

from here.
I had borrowed a book from the Library by Poppy Treffry. I have often seen her handmade goods featured in magazines and longed for one of her coffee cosies. So, I thought I would make myself one. Hers as you will see below are tall and thin, but my coffee pot has a protuding handle, so I had to alter the shape. Poppy's work is machine embroidered, but that would be my idea of hell, so I appliqued and embroidered by hand. I am rather pleased with how it turned out, especially as it was made entirely from recycled material.

It's not as finely sewn an article as I know many of you talented bloggers can produce, but it's fun and has personality I figure. Finally, I had a little go at crochet, it's everywhere you look at the moment, and in such vibrant colours, it's very appealing. I used to be able to do crochet, many many years ago, but had forgotten how, but with a little help from a magazine, I am off and running. Not too sure what I will make, a throw is a bit of a big first project, perhaps a scarf?

Last but not least, I dried some artichokes. I had hoped that they would just dry, sitting in a bowl, but no, one or two went mouldy. I then put them on a double radiator and kept turning them to dry them out completely. They are a bit browner than I would have liked, but still have the lovely purple colouring. This morning when I looked at them I couldn't believe my eyes, as the largest one had grown vibrant lilac tips to the centre part overnight, it looks fabulous, I just hope it's not some kind of mould! I think perhaps a more successful way to dry them would be in some kind of dessicant, or silica gel. If anyone has any tips, I would be grateful.



Thankyou to all of you who are kind enough to leave comments, I love receiving them, love Linda x.