Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Glorious summer and other musings

Here in the south of England, we've had lovely hot summer days, mixed with grey skies, rain and even a thunderstorm!  

Lazy days have been spent cycling, doing mosaic, sewing my first bunting (I had so many flags I forgot my design and ended up putting two exact same designs side by side!), baking and of course sunny days out in the countryside.

  I've learned the pleasure of growing my own flowers from seed and I've enjoyed watching them all grow, albeit in pots.  I am amazed at how tall a cosmos can grow from a tiny seed...the wonder of nature never ceases to amaze me! And I've watched bees and butterflies flit by and rest on my newly flowered plants and it's made me smile.
Such simple pleasures!

And of course summer is for indulgent afternoon teas.  It's a bit of a ritual in our home, especially Sunday afternoons.   Out comes the vintage cotton tablecloth with the crocheted lace edging, the collection of odd pieces of vintage china tea cups, silver cake forks, the silver tea set, they all come out to play when we have tea.  The cake lifter and knife come from a lovely lifestyle shop in Franschoek, South Africa, but they're not vintage.  The cake plate is by Wonki Ware long before they became famous and exported all over the world.  I love how my individual pieces have come from all different places and even countries but they all work so well when used together!

I hope you are enjoying your summer and enjoying the simplier things in life, they are after all, what memories are made of.


Saturday, 10 August 2013


Thank you all for your lovely comments on my recent visit to East Sussex.   

I have a new book, and I haven't put it down since it was delivered a few weeks ago!  It's a garden book with a difference.  Instead of a book about gardens and planting, it's all about garden DECOR - just up my street!  It's filled with pages and pages of the most gorgeous dreamy gardens you could imagine, all decorated very differently using architectural salvage, vintage garden furniture, repurposing gates/windows, paving, willow features, statues etc...


The book was written by Sally Coulthard, who is also the author of SHED CHIC...another great book to read and enjoy!

I first saw the book in the Charleston Farmhouse shop and picked it up to page through.  I'd seen it on Amazon but the quick peek didn't give me enough to want to buy the book.  I'm so glad I happened upon it during my visit to East Sussex because 

Sometimes gardens are the last places we think of decorating, but they can be great extensions of our indoor space, especially during the summer months.  The book features antique gardenalia as well as vintage finds, either from eBay or charity shops.  Anything from stone statues to wooden stairs used as as a shelf for hydrangeas.  It's a beautifully written book with lovely photographs that takes the reader on a journey through garden decor to gardens of artists, boutique owners and gardeners.

Available from Amazon here

Here are a few pictures from Pinterest which I felt captured the heart of gardenalia:

Love the red chairs and the cute bird house

New ways with an old gate

An office in a shed

Chandelier in the garden

old china plates jazz up a wooden fence and the chair makes for a great pot stand

Statues in hidden places - you need a bit of space for statues though.  Not all gardens can carry off such a formal approach
(last six photos from Pinterest)

It's been raining on and off this week.  I hope it's sunny where you are.  

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Another day out in East Sussex

I hope you like churches, because this post is all about a tiny parish church in East Sussex.  When we visited Charleston Farmhouse recently, our lovely tour guide insisted we couldn't leave without seeing Berwick Church.

The church is a grade I listed building and is said to stand on hallowed ground. The Parish Church of Berwick has stood on this ground for more than 1000 years!  The first church was built of wood, and one of them was made of flint and part of an existing wall bears testimony to this.   The present church was built around the 12th century.

The interesting thing about this church is that the interior was painted by Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and Quentin Bell during the 2nd world war.   It's very small, very intimate and of course has a beautiful peaceful serenity.  The grounds were mostly dotted with old gravestones, covered with moss and wild flowers.  A beautiful place with spectacular views over the Sussex Downs.

I hope you're enjoying the summer weather.  We had a thunderstorm last night, and it was lovely to hear the rain on the windowpanes.
Last but not least, welcome to my new followers, thank you for joining me!

Time for a cup of tea!