Friday, 10 August 2018

Star Map for my blogging room

Customised star poster
I have a fondness for the stars, for staring up at the inky night sky and the constellations, trying to name a few, spotting Orion's Belt, Cassiopeia, finding the signs of the Zodiac and wondering about those that used them to navigate. There's a mysterious feel to the stars, how they've been viewed before and what symbolism was made of them. 

I have a few stargazing related items around the house, they add a vintage scientific feel and I'm always on the look out for anything with a celestial style. However, it is hard to come by so I was really pleased to hear of Custom Star Maps by Modern Map Art who produce posters of the night sky on a special date to you, so perhaps an anniversary or your birthday, which is what I decided upon. You can have the place name added and choose a title and in addition can select between black or white, navy or grey posters in a variety of sizes. Such a cute way to commemorate something and a lovely gift.

Starry Night poster
I have put my poster up in my new blogging room, hopefully it will be the start of more starry home pieces to create a bit of twinkle. Totally loving how it looks against the white walls, the poster is good quality and has a gorgeous matt finish to it. I have a few ideas gathered on a starry Pinterest board of vintage space posters and rocket cushions to add to the room. 
Blogging room
*I received a Star Map for the purpose of the review, thoughts and opinions my own.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

A dog called Brillo

sunlit hills

A walk up Bromlow Callow in Shropshire as the sunset, blanket to sit on and something to drink. Along with the shadows and the last rays came a dog and a pup, a Brillo and a scamp. Long legged and long snouted, coming over for a back scratch and a happy sniff before running off to play on top of the hill in the golden hour grass.whippet cross view from Bromlow Callow sunset on the hill up on Bromlow Callow Shropshire Brillo dog dog and pup playing dusk on the hill

Thursday, 12 July 2018

6 Practical Life-Skills You Learn After Being a Dog Parent

While you spend hours training your dog, you probably never realised that your dog was actually training you. The daily challenges of keeping a dog healthy and happy indirectly teach dog parents to do a lot of things. Even though dogs don’t live as long as humans do, the little time they spend with us changes us as people and grants us skills we never had before. Without much ado, the following are 6 practical life-skills you learn after taking care of a dog. 
cute dog

How to Browse the Internet to Find the Best Pet-Product Deals: 
Providing proper nutrition and creating a safe space for the dog are the two basic pillars of pet care. Achieving those can prove to be expensive. From buying pet beds to finding high-quality pet food, you need to constantly look for deals and discounts to save money on pet products. While you struggle at first, you slowly learn the trick of how to order discount pet items online. You become a pro at finding coupon codes and special offers online to find the best value for your buck. If that’s not a skill, what is. 

Cleaning Up Yucky Stuff Like a Pro: 
Someone who has never owned a pet before may find it impossible to clean up something really disgusting. Veteran pet parents, however, face no problem cleaning up nasty messes. Best of all, seasoned doggie parents are always prepared with poop bags and cleaning agents.

How to Multitask When Walking: 
Walking the dog takes a good 30 minutes every day. Now, if you are a busy person, finding that 30 minutes every single day often proves to be impossible. Working pet moms and dads, often bring along Bluetooth headsets so that they can take care of important phone calls while they are walking their dogs. 

Cooking Nutritious Meals Quickly: 
Buying expensive pet food is not something that everyone wants to do. A better alternative for many is to buy cheap yet healthy ingredients and then cooking them to make nutritious meals for their dogs. The home-made food is not only more nutritionally dense but also cheaper than buying expensive dog food products that offer the same nutritive value. Seasoned pet parents usually learn the skill to use few basic ingredients such as minced beef and veggies to quickly make meals for their dogs.

Reading Food Labels Like a Boss: 
As a pet parent, you are responsible for your dog’s diet. This means you need to be ever-vigilant when picking dog food and treats. One of the skills most pet parents are forced to learn is to read product labels. Instead of being swayed by the fancy marketing claims upfront, dog parents know that the best information is usually labelled in the back. 

 Administering Pills and Shots:
 Administering pills to dogs is a skill that takes a lot of effort to master. Even with special pet pill tools, you need steady hands to ensure the tablet is not spat out. You also need to calm your dog and secure it in position. This is a skill that comes in handy when administering tasteless tablets to any small animal.

*collaborative post

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Creating a new garden quickly for summer

I've been moving, gradually, I've probably hinted at it since it's so very hard to contain excitement but also not say too much until it has happened. One of the aspects of the move has been my ferrying of plants and pots from one county to another to their new village location to create a new garden. I love my garden in Cheshire and losing it has been difficult but I love my man more than flowers and climbing roses so I set about changing the front yard into a little country garden. 

I wanted to create a space for us to sit and enjoy the summer, but in the quickest time possible since I'm incredibly impatient and wanted to make the most of any sunshine and build the basics of a garden for the following year. Using what was there was, so some existing amazing planters to be filled, I added more from my house in Cheshire to build up a structure of a herbaceous border but using pots and containers.

container garden

In just over a month, we have created a beautiful knitted together flowery front garden, secluded and filled with herbs, perennials, trees in pots and roses. I have spent hours poring over my Pinterest garden board and finding ways to creatively garden using containers. The outcome has been a joy to document and watch, every week, growing and uplifting.

To create a courtyard garden for instant impact I have a few recommendations:

Local plant sales
We have been going to local plant sales, one at a local library and one at a cottage, both selling a variety of flowers cheaply. The sweet peas climbed up sticks we collected on dog walks and have provided scent and deep colour. The philadelphus little white love from the cottage sale and the bear's breeches are thriving and the coreopsis from the local shop is attracting the bees and hoverflies. For a small amount of money, the pots have been filled with colour and we've added some courgettes, pumpkins and homegrown salad leaves in for veggie crops too. Herbs too are providing a scented small garden and have been useful adding to our cooking.


For evening use of the garden, some glowing lights for ambience extends the hours and adds a pretty look whilst sitting out with a glass of cider for me as dusk descends. Have a look at Lights for a range of outdoor lighting for patios and terraces with interesting options for every kind of style, contemporary to more traditional and eclectic such as fabulous LED illuminated plant pots and solar mosaic lights. I love the way garden lights create a cosy glow through leaves and casts shadows of flowers. The bedroom looks out over the garden and it looks so pretty and atmospheric with lights positioned around the space and we can enjoy the garden for much longer. I eventually want an electrical supply in the garden for path lights when we develop the space behind the house but for now solar is such a useful, instant and inexpensive solution. 
garden lights

Adding height
We've added some patio fruit trees to bring height to the garden and interest, cherry, apple and pear trees so we will have in future years some nice fruit crops. I'm most excited about the morello cherries. My clever man has made an amazing arch gate for roses to climb up and over, spilling across and blurring the edges. It's given the illusion of a maturer garden. Different heights and textures using lavatera, buddleia and clematis, quick growers that are working hard already. Runner beans are now escaping over the wall and the garden is bursting with energy. 
courtyard garden

Variety of containers
A bit of creativity when selecting containers has added impact to the garden, such as those I found at the cute plant place in Shropshire. Traditional pots are quite expensive so variety by way of crates and baskets has enabled many plants to be grown and a layered structure has been put together to create an exuberant mix of flowers. I've grown seeds in anything possible and we've picked up found items to pop a courgette or two into. Hopefully too creating a garden for wildlife, herbs in old sinks, bee attracting flowers in moss lines wire baskets or a drawer full of frothy butterfly attracting annuals.

I'm so pleased with how it is all looking and leaving my more traditional garden behind has felt like no problem at all as I feel so happy in our new garden and loving the space more and more. I have always admired gardens created in less typical spaces so the challenge is very fulfilling.

*collaborative post 

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Styling my new creative room

I have a new room that needs some styling, it's going to be part study, work room and a place where hopefully creative things happen. I want this room to encompass all the ideas I've been collating on my weird and wonderful Pinterest board - dark shelves of Victoriana and curiosities, skulls and botanicals, old photos and postcards frames.

Here are my ideas and we shall see how the room takes shape as time goes on.

Vintage nature prints

I'll be searching junk shops and having a look online for vintage flora and fauna prints that I can hang up in my creative room, which has yet to have a name, perhaps blogging room might be the final choice. I love collections of things and illustrations are perfect, grouping together bugs and butterflies or ferns and flowers. The RHS have some super prints available, I have some in postcard form of 19th century seed catalogue covers, beautifully coloured and bringing inspiration for some of the work I intend on doing. Postcards are a cheap way of decorating and some I've picked up as wonderful freebies from flower shows that I can hang up with bulldog clips and string.

bug illustrations

botanical RHS print
see RHS for similar

Industrial Lighting

I'd like the room to have an industrial feel, an element of school science laboratory and workshop with utilitarian vibes, metal and brick but softened by the floral elements of the illustrations. I am particular in love with pendant lights that bring a warm glow and a modern warehouse feel. Against the rusticity of a brick wall or the wood of shelving a metallic of copper or  sleek black light  would look great and would add the look I want to my room.  My next element is something I purchased recently and I'm very much adoring it.
Pendant lights industrial feel

School items

I purchased a mid century desk and chair off eBay, massively loving them and the oak wood against the metal handles on the desk. The retro beech and blue vinyl of the chair makes me want to line up some glass school milk bottles on a shelf and some vintage chemistry set glassware, use them as stem vases.  Currently I'm looking out for a big wooden cupboard reminiscent of Mrs Battersby in primary school year 2, full of white glue in bottles and paints in squeezy tubes. Also some simple wooden shelves on brackets for displaying curious items but even better would be a curiosity cabinet.
mid century school desk and chair

Cabinet of curiosities

Probably my ultimate desire is to have a cabinet full of weird things, whatever that may be, birds skulls, not the human finger bone I recently found in a mole hill in a churchyard though (promptly placed back) but other found objects, something to spend time looking over, seeking inspiration and a touch of the gothic. So far I have a voodoo doll and a mini pumpkin left from last year that has gone solid. Also some feathers and remains of hatched bird eggs found in the garden, a combination of nature and the sublime.
curiosity cabinet

* Collaborative post