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.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Do You Believe in Magic?

I do!
My mother did. She loved 1940's and 1950's Movies, she believed that world of glamour was real. Sometimes I think real life disappointed her a little. When it came to Christmas my mum tried so hard with her very limited means to make it special for us.
When it comes to Christmas I always get the urge to create a magical environment, a place where anything can happen. Little corners of mystery with candlelight and reflections and frosted snowflakes. Christmas on the beach is not for me, it has to be cold and frosty or it holds no magic.
I felt the urge extremely strongly this year, even though I was busy with the shop. I managed to get my living room looking a little like a Ski Lodge or Cabin in the Woods, and repainted our draughty hall a lovely rich pinky red. We had a wonderful time with family and friends and I feel revived and ready to go again. I am sorry I did not manage to post before Christmas to wish all you lovely readers and followers the Compliments of the Season, we were unfortunately without the Internet for about 10 days. I do hope you all had a wonderful, peaceful Christmas with a little touch of magic about it.

Here a a few photos of home.

I look forward to catching up with you all and would like to wish you  a 'Magical New Year'! With all my love, Linda x

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Maker of things

A pretty pink angel, with moonbeams in a little jar.
So sorry for my absence dear friends, I have been having too good a time as the 'maker of things'. The shop where I have a little booth, had a couple of Open Days and I had to get my act together and get some stuff made. I do buy in some things, but try as much as possible to make a variety of things, so that my space is ever changing and different. It is labour intensive, and frustrating at times, but I love the variety of it.

Hand painted stockings.

A rosy wreath.

A hessian wreath complete with toadstools, and a very tired Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

A little nutcracker decoration, minus the scary teeth!
The hessian wreaths, I have been admiring for a while on Pinterest, so I thought I would have a go, they are really quite easy to make, and are a change from silk or fresh ones. I added my own little touch with some toadstools and dried hydrangea.

Irish Blessing Cushion.

You have seen this little fella before, but now it's finished!

These are brushes which I painted and then decided to add a tea towel and mug and package them for a domestic

There are going to be another 2 Open Days next week, so the pressure is on again. I have been doing various Workshops on painted furniture, flower arranging, and various crafty things, and although they are at night, they have been taking a lot of my time, in their preparation. I am enjoying it all though, it is good to be creative.
I do feel a little unhappy with my home , it has been neglected, and now that Christmas is coming, my nesting instincts are kicking in. I do realize that you can't 'do it all',but I will certainly have a crack at it. I know that once Christmas is over, things will be very quiet in the shop, so I can concentrate on my home then, but I kind of would like it to look cosy and lovely for the holidays. We shall see. I am certainly not going to stress over it.
I am very behind with my blog reading, but am looking forward to catching up with you all and seeing what is happening in your lives.Wishing you all a happy week ahead, and less of this awful weather we have been experiencing.
                                              With love, Linda x.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Remember, remember the 5th of November!

How about this for a firework with a difference? Interflora , who are always looking for new ways to use flowers, developed fireworks containing real flower petals. I rather like this idea, and wonder if they are silent or noisy.
                       I don't particularly like fireworks, because of the noise. Having grown up in war torn Belfast in the 1970's, they remind me of gun shots and explosions. In fact they were banned over here for a few years. I also dislike the effect the noise has on our pets, our own little dog gets quite distressed when he hears them.

However, I am not such a killjoy that I would ban them outright, as I know they can be very beautiful and give a lot of pleasure to young and old alike, but feel there should be restrictions on the times they can be used.

If you have time, click on this link to watch Interflora's lovely video of exploding flowers here.

How do you feel about fireworks in general? Do you like the look of flower petal fireworks? I would love to know. I hope you all have a happy Guy Fawkes Night! Love Linda x

Friday, 4 October 2013

Giftwrapping Workshop

Last night was the first of the Giftwrapping Workshops, held in Nanabelles, the shop where I have a little retail space. Kathleen, the owner, took the class and I added a little bit at the end. It was a very enjoyable evening, and I think all who came went home happy and satisfied, armed with a little more knowledge, to help tackle all those presents that need beautifying.

Sheer concentration! (Sorry Margaret, I chopped off your head!)

Empty tin can covered with a lovely printed image of deer, and wrapped with cellophane, and finished with matching tag, ribbon  and real berries.

A perfume box covered with paper, so that it can be kept.

An empty kitchen roll cardboard tube, covered with tissue paper and craft paper, homemade biscuits or sweets inside, and then wrapped with cellophane. A little wooden spoon was tied to the tag.

A printed cheque was used to wrap this little box.

'Brown paper packages, tied up with string, these are a few of my favourite things.'

Something elegant, perhaps for a gentleman friend?

On a  gardening theme.

A page taken from an unwanted children's  book. (This is my favourite!)

A map of Paris, the Eiffel tower, a love letter, and the key to my heart.

Oh I must have been in a romantic mood when making up these packages!

One for the pampered pooches. (Bonio dog biscuits, hot glued unto ribbon).

Nature's harvest.

Kathleen, showing how to wrap a basket.

For those who like a little bit of bling!
I hope you have enjoyed taking a look at some of our ideas. I found The Graphic's Fairy, a great source of inspiration, and also Martha Stewart Magazine, for free printable images. Wishing you all a fun-filled weekend, with love, Linda x

Monday, 30 September 2013

Glenarm Castle

 For a few years now I have been wanting to visit the walled garden at Glenarm Castle,County Antrim.
On Sunday, my husband and I had some unexpected free time and we decided to make the trip. What an absolute joy it was! It was a glorious day, which always improves things. It was full of all the things I love, artichokes, figs, crabapples ,sweetpea,lavender ,hydrangea,wild flower meadows etc. etc.
A wall of figs, so surprising in our climate.

The greenhouses emptied of apricots.

Still some late summer colour.

Stunning blue delphiniums.

Wild flower meadows, and a place to sit.

Stunning parkland views from 'The Mount.'

Views of the garden, with the sea in the distance.

Wonderful hydrangea.

Annabelle hydrangea.

We finished off our garden adventure with a delicious tea, taken outside in the sunshine. It was just heavenly.
We learned that it was the last day of opening until Easter, so we were most fortunate that we were able to visit. We will be back!Glenarm Castle. I hope you had a lovely weekend too. Love Linda x

Monday, 23 September 2013

Red Shoes

Oh dear, this is what happens when you post about red shoes and toadstools and then go off shopping!
These little beauties won't fit any of my nieces or friend's children, but I just could not walk past them (I tried to, honest!). No matter, I shall make a lovely little Christmas display with them. I already have a  red velvet pair that were my daughters when she was a baby. Pity they won't fit me, they look so comfy.

Last week I posted that I was off to a fabric place that I hadn't been to before. It was all quite overwhelming, the place Craftswoman Fabrics, Carrickfergus, is on an industrial estate. It is upstairs, in what feels like a school building and is a rabbit warren of rooms, bunged with stuff. I didn't know where to look first. I did come away with some lovely fat quarters, felt and cotton tape, but I will have to go again soon!

I am planning to make a series of cushions with Irish Blessings on. I bought a lovely book on holiday with lots of blessings in it, and they just appeal to me somehow, make me feel emotional even. So I thought I would have a bash at making some cushions. I am not quite sure if I want to print the blessing or embroider it, I will have to try a few different ways and see which I like. Here is the beginnings of my first one...

This is the centre panel, which is linen, I appliqued in felt and embroidered the words and will probably have some log cabin type fabric strips around it. I am not sure about it, what do you think?

Finally, I thought I would let you see a blackboard I made for the wedding I did recently. The bride and groom are both very unconventional people, and very well suited to one another. The bride picked these words from Dr. Seuss. I just love it. I saw the bride yesterday and she told me she is going to be using this in her home, which is very satisfying for me. Wishing you all a very happy Monday. Thank you for calling in to see me, you really make my day! Love Linda x

oops I almost forgot.. I was over the moon to find this in a charity shop the other day. A wonderful gardening book by my dear blogging friend, Lance Hattat. I actually shrieked with joy when I saw it in the window. It is a lovely book, full of great photos, beautiful illustrations and of course knowledgeable tips and ideas from Lance. Jane and Lance have been in my thoughts as they haven't been posting for a while, but I have it on very good authority that they are travelling about and having a jolly good time (quite right!).