About Me

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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.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Watch out for the Witching Hour!

I made a Halloween wreath for the door using orange roses, chinese lanterns, crabapple, eucalyptus, hydrangea, and even some green tomatoes! The spiky bits around the edge, I don't know what it's called, but if you look up close, they look like little teeny weeny pumpkins. Unfortunately the weather is wet and windy and I thought this may get a little too battered outside, so I decided to use it as a table decoration.

 Sadly my husband won't be sharing Halloween with us, as he is taking care of his mum.So I decided that we would have a lovely meal this evening  instead and go mad with the table decorations!

I made Rioja-braised lambshanks with garlic and chorizo. Absolutely delicious, but not for the faint-hearted, the sauce contained 250ml. of Balsamic vinegar as well as the red wine. The recipe is by TV chef Lorraine Pascale and if you would like to check it out, here's the  link. We had Poached Pears with Blackberries for dessert, but everyone was too full to eat it! Oh well there's always breakfast!

I wish you all a Happy Halloween, with much love, Linda x. I am linking to Small But Charming, the lovely Jane for her 'Flowers in the House of Horror' post. If you like to nosey at what flowers people have in their homes, then this is the spot for you!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

A touch of red, does the trick!

This time last year my kitchen was a deep cream colour with some of the cupboards in a dark pink. I loved it, it was warm and cosy. When the Spring came I found it too dark, I wanted light, and so I painted the cupboards white, and the walls an off-white. It was such a contrast, and so bright, i loved it too.

However, as the sun goes lower in the sky and the weather has been very wet and windy, I found that I wasn't liking it quite so much, it seemed dull and cold. My daughter and I had been making some papier mache toadstools, and this was my inspiration......of course.....a touch of red was what was needed. Those clever Scandinavians know that, their mostly white interiors do almost always have a little red somewhere, and it really does draw the eye in. So I set to and made a little corner where I could display red things. My daughter is so excited, she thinks Christmas has come early!

We have a little 'toadstool' mania in this house at the moment. This rather lovely glass treee ornament was unearthed at T.K.Maxx.

I had originally intended for these toadstools to look natural, but then my daughter suggested we put a bit of glitter on them, so they are now 1950's kitcsh, but that's ok, we like that!

I found the red sign 'Eat drink and be merry' at a local garden cente. I decided it was a bit small by itself and painted a blackboard around it. I am thinking in the future (after Christmas perhaps), if Santa is good to me, and brings me a little red Nespresso machine, that this can be my longed for coffee counter.I can then write the specials on the board. I don't think I've grown up, I still like to play 'shops'. The toadstools were gathered under the cloche. and some Ilex berries added for a little height. Oh and the lamp makes my kitchen extra cosy at night. I also made some Swedish blinds from some vintage ticking that I bought from Julie at The Cloth Shed. I lined them with a black bedcover from Ikea and tied them up with some black cotton tape.

I was asked to do a dried flower arrangement for a client, in her own antique planter. I dried everything myself, apart from the chillies, so Iam rather pleased with it. I managed to incorporate my dried artichokes.

A little bit of chutney, for the festive season. Delia Smith's recipe, it's rather good!

Some more touches of red from Tumblr.
Finishing off with two little red santa's that I made last year, can't wait to get them out again. With lots of love to all my readers, followers, commentators, I appreciate you all so much. Love Linda x

Monday, 17 October 2011

Halloween is Coming!

I found the above images on Etsy. They are the work of Susan Templin at Firstlight Photography. I think they are wonderfully evocative and atmospheric. How do you feel about Halloween? I have to admit, I am not a big fan. I love the autumn, the harvest, the pumpkins, fires, cosy blankets, apples and all. I am just not too keen on the scary, spooky stuff. I have to make an effort to decorate for my daughters sake, but I try to keep it to cute cats, pumpkins and friendly witches. Neither of us are too enthusiastic about bats, spiders, snakes and de-capitated things....uuuurrgghh!

So with this in mind I will show you some of the more pleasant Halloween things I have found.

All the above images are from Pinterest.
Look at these adorable Folk Art patterns for cute creatures you can make.....I love them!

The three above are from The Cheswick Company on Etsy.

The above images are from http://www.countrystitchesonline.com/. Brenda also has a lovely blog http://withthyneedleandthread.blogspot.com/.

Wishing you all the joys of the season, with love Linda x.

Monday, 10 October 2011

The Circle of Life

Image from Tumblr.
Wreaths, are one of my most favourite types of flower arrangements. They are so uplifting when you see them on someone's front door. I have never been to America on Thanksgiving weekend, but I know I would just love to see all those beautiful door wreaths.

This is my own image, I apolagize for the quality!
In Ireland, they tend to be only used at Christmas time, and usually they are either artificial or made from holly with a plastic decoration here and there. I would love to see people be a little more adventurous, and make their own. Depending on what you use, and the weather, they can sometimes last for quite a long time. I have known mine , made with fir, eucalyptus and roses last for a month, with perhaps only the odd rose needing replaced.

 I would love to see people have a different one for each different season. I do try to do that in my own home. When I drive or walk towards my home, it really gives me a little lift to see it there. I also love them as a table decoration, either on its own, or with a hurricane lamp or candle inside.

Above images from Pinterest.
A creepy one for Halloween from Martha Stewart.
A gorgeous simple wreath via Tumblr.

 It is the symbolism of the wreath that I love too. Some think that they are only connected with death and funerals, but they do actually represent, the 'circle of life', birth, marriage, death. I have been thinking about this recently as a friends mother died, and my youngest sister had a little baby girl.....life goes on, and so it should.
Little lamb viaTumblr.
Welcome to the new little one Florence Ellie, she's as cute as this little lamb!