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, 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!).

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

It's good to be young....

if only for a little while! As I walked to the shop on Monday morning, the fallen leaves where all around, I just couldn't resist it, I shuffled through the middle of them, kicking the leaves in the air. I was on the main road, people were on their way to work, but I didn't care, I was having fun.

I blame my new Cath Kidston skirt, it has little toadstools all over it and an elastic waistband, and when I wear it I feel like my 3 year old niece Nancy. All that was missing was a pair of these.

When I was a little girl I drove my poor mother mad, every time we went shoe shopping I had to have red patent leather mary jane's, nothing else would do. It is amazing that these shoes can still be bought today, and even in ladies sizes, there must be a lot of people out there as weird as me!

It really has turned quite Autumnal here now, but I don't mind, I love Autumn, I somehow feel more alive in this season. I have been planning a series of workshops for the shop, the furniture painting is still proving very popular, so I have added stencilling and decoupage , also patchwork for beginners, and Christmas wreath making, and Kathleen, the owner of the shop is doing one on giftwrapping. The response so far has been very good, as there isn't really anywhere doing these kind of classes in Antrim.

Today, I am off in search of fabrics, as I need to be making lots of things for Christmas, I shall let you see what I find.
Wishing you all, my lovely loyal readers and followers a very happy day. (Oh and don't forget to be young!)
Love Linda x

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

A busy little bee!

Time has just flown in for me this summer, as I have been a busy little bee. Things are picking up for me at the shop and so there has been a lot of making, painting and planting going on.

vintage style bunting.

hand painted scrubbing brushes.

slightly mad looking rabbit cake to make, for a certain someone's 11th birthday.

hanging baskets to plant.

furniture to paint.

cotton bunting in various colourways.

Bespoke bunting for a wedding.

The 'Tweed' family rabbits.

Decoupaged nest of tables.

A One Direction movie to watch, and photographs to be taken with cardboard cutouts, of Lois's favourite boys.

So you see,a busy bee. I do hope I will be forgiven for not posting?
Then on Saturday, there was 'the wedding', which has been taking up a lot of my time too.
It was a lovely wedding, the couple Leigh and Stuart, had very clear ideas of what they wanted, something vintage, something fun and something different. As usual my photographing was forgotten about until the last minute, and so some of the details were missed, but you will get an idea of what it was like at least.

The venue was a lovely old stone barn in the middle of the countryside called Breckenhill

Romance was definitely in the air.

Everything was so well thought out, with lots of  items homemade by the bride, such as the order of service.

Beautiful blue hydrangea in an old cart.

The bride broke with tradition and sported a top hat!

vintage details.

My lovely Lois in her high heels, and me in my 1940's get up, ready to serve the vintage tea, which was lovingly prepared by the Bride's mother, Kathleen, and mother-in-law Kathy. Friends also chipped in with their delicious scones and traybakes, and the staff from Nanabelle's Vintage Tearoom, served the team with great style. I loved the friendly message on the blackboard too!


A very poor picture of the Bride's bouquet.

More vintage details.

The seating plan, pretty plates on an old stepladder.

There were 8 deep window ledges, which we decorated with various vintage themes.

The tables set for tea. Each table had a classic book as it's name, and a romantic quote from each book was printed unto parchment and glued unto the table centre, which then had bunting attached, made with little mini books and hearts. It is difficult to get the detail with my camera.

Everyone seemed to really enjoy the day, and there were loads of games to play and things to do. I wish the happy couple every happiness.

I hope to be back to blogging once a week from now on , and I have a lot of catching up to do, to see how busy you have all been. Much love, Linda x