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.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Flowers in the House

I knew I was going to be linking to Flower Jane's 'Flowers in the House  post today, but didn't think I would have any fresh flowers to show you, so I decided to go around my home and photograph things with a flowery theme. I then messed about on Picnik to achieve my little mosaic. I must admit I was quite taken by surprise, that all these lovely things are mine! I f I had seen these on someone else's blog I would have been lusting after them, so I am rather pleased that I did this little exercise.

As it turns out I do have some flowers in the house to show you as well. I picked up this little planter at Tesco's supermarket. I just love that it has Muscari written on it.

I also had some little miniature daffodils, which I displayed in my husbands empty beer bottles.

 Although they look pretty they do smell pretty awful. I made marmalade at the weekend and the smell of it cooking was glorious, and masked the flower smell! Have you ever made marmalade? It is quite laborious but I do think you just cannot beat home made marmalade. I adapted a recipe from Ina Garten and made mine into 4 fruit marmalade, and reduced the sugar a little as I like mine with a bit of a kick!
Wishing you all a productive and happy week! Love Linda x

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Breakfast in Blue

Do you eat like a King at breakfast time? What do you like? I think breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, probably because it is an excuse for me to have 'pudding' and get away with it. I love all the bread based lovelies, toast, scones, croissants, pancakes (oh happy pancake tuesday),waffles, brioche,etcetera, etcetera, etcetera! I do apologise to anyone planning to give up these things for Lent, I did think about it, for a brief second, but no, no, no self control, sorry.

My daughter isn't very keen on breakfast at all, and if I do manage to get her to eat, she likes very peculiar things (in my eyes), like tuna and mayonnaise, olives, or chocolate spread on toast.

My husband loves a fry-up, an Irish fry, with a big long list of ingredients, such as, sausages, bacon, black and white pudding,tomatoes, mushrooms,fried egg, potato bread,pancakes, soda bread. (Have I missed anything?) Needless to say he doesn't get this very often (heart attacks and all that!)

We normally have pancakes on a Sunday morning, but recently I bought a waffle maker and we are very partial to these, with maple syrup and a few blueberries.

 Croissants always go down rather well too with a little butter and jam. I never warmed to the French way of dipping them in your coffee. For Valentine's Day, my husband and I bought each other a pear tree, to add to our growing but tiny orchard. I must confess to being more excited about the fact that the trees came in little burlap (as our American friend's call it) sacks.(How sad am I?) See the above photo. I will have to think of  a creative project for these.

I have scones occasionally for breakfast, but generally prefer to keep some freshly baked scones in the freezer, in case someone should unexpectedly call. I really do not understand anyone buying these, unless you really are a hazard at baking, or you have a particularly good supplier. They are so easy to make yourself, and can be done from start to finish in 20 minutes. Because I am bad, I like mine filled with fresh raspberries and chocolate and all kinds of yummy stuff, but Mr. OK prefers his plain.

Porridge is very popular too in our household, again I like to add fresh raspberries, honey and almonds, or apple puree with cinnamon (pudding...I told you), but Mr. OK is plain again. Coffee is a must, or occasionally I like hot water with a slice of lemon and a shaving of fresh ginger. I would love to know, what sets you up for the day, do pop in and tell us what float's your boat! Love Linda x

Oh yes I nearly forgot, my daughter Lois asked if she could borrow my camera for a 'project', and look what I found......

Poor Sparky!!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Dusty Violet

I love colours that aren't true, that have been' dirtied' with a little ochre or umber or black. I very often like to mix my own colours when painting furniture as you can arrive at something a little more interesting. Even more than that, I love to add washes and layers to the finished colour to achieve something more complex.Here are some images from Pinterest to show you what I mean.

So soft and easy to live with all these dusky, dusty shades I find.

I hope you enjoyed my selection. Have a merry midweek. Love Linda x

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Little Houses

I just love them in all their various guises. So when I found the above pattern for a knitted dishcloth on Pinterest, I was delighted. I am not the world's best knitter though and not one of mine ended up like the pattern, but who cares, I still have the prettiest dishcloths ever. You can find the pattern here.

I used two different cottons and preferred the one that was a bit thicker as it made a slightly larger and chunkier cloth. It was very easy and quick to do.

I also rather admired the first picture of little red houses that I also found on Pinterest, and decided to have a little go at making some tags. Here's my efforts.........

They are very crude and simple but remind me of German or Swiss houses, and would do rather well for adorning Christmas presents. I used one or two on some food gifts for a friend.

I made some Apricot and Almond Macaroons, which are quite soft and sticky, but quite delicious. I also made Amaretti biscuits, which are flavoured with lemon and cinnamon and don't have that marzipan taste which I am not mad about. I am extremely pleased with these, as they taste and smell really good and are just the thing to serve with coffee. If anyone would like the recipes, just let me know.

I received in the post this week a most gorgeous giveaway from my friend Zuzu at A Cottage In The Woods. These little tags are copies of her original art printed unto tags that are only about an inch in size. They came in a little lacy envelope that Zuzu had made herself. They are so delightful and so special I shall have to think long and hard about how I can best use them. On her latest post Zuzu has found a very clever way to display hers, click on the link to see. I made an enlargement of the bee, so that you can see how adorable he is. Thankyou Zuzu!

Zuzu's lovely envelope gave me an idea for making a little pocket to put my tissue hearts in for Valentine's day.

I filled the hears with love hearts, with suitable messages for each of us. I will probably slip in some chocolate, as there is a bit of room in the pocket.

I do apologise for my very blurry pics of the other hearts I made. I stained some with coffee and I am not too sure if I prefer them clean and bright. The toile tissue paper looks like old toile fabric now though. Which do you prefer? I am not sure yet how I will use these. I might just scatter them over the table, or put them in a jar 'jar of hearts!' Or sew them into a garland. We don't really go in for Valentine's day in a big red  rosey way, but we shall have a cosy little romantic dinner at home (for three!) I think it is good to make a little space for some romance, without going O.T.T. What do you think about it?

Hoping you all have a lovely weekend, love Linda x (p.s. my larder cupboard isn't finished yet!)
The photographs are from Pinterest or my own.