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How to: Dine in style for under £10

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Interior Trends: Enduring or Fads?

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Introducing Paula Beades Bespoke

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How to: Revamp an old chair

Category: Vintage

Introducing Paula Beades Bespoke

On July 11th, 2014 by .

I am thrilled to share with you these beautiful memory blankets, handmade by my good friend Paula, from Paula Beades Bespoke. The colourful eiderdowns have been created using all of my children’s old clothes that were too precious to giveaway, each piece unlocks a story and holds a special place in my heart.

The girls have one each and are absolutely thrilled with them, hopefully they will stay with them as they grow up and be treasured (rather than trashed!) Thank you so much Paula, you are one talented lady!

Also shown below is selection of Paula other designs ranging from jean bags, fairy wings (which are gorgeous) stools, cushions, blinds, curtains and other creative pieces. If you would like to commission Paula Beades Bespoke, please email her directly at: paulabeades@yahoo.co.uk.


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How to: make a small flower arrangement

On June 17th, 2014 by .

This feature is a step-by-step on how to make a small flower arrangement.  I created the following display for Fathers Day, using flowers from our garden, and thought it might be useful to explain the thought process of how I put flowers together.

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Things to think about…

– Colour
Don’t be afraid of colour, use the same rules for flower arranging as you would for interiors to a) create a palette that you like and b) one that would work in your home.  For a rule of thumb, opt for one strong colour, a few mid tones and lighter hues for highlighting. For single colour displays, a simple formula is to stick to three types of flower, this avoids an overly busy design.  Even with single colour displays, I would still recommend a splash of green foliage for contrast.

– Height
Keep the flowers to a similar height.  You will need to vary the stem height slightly to create depth, but no more than an inch above the top of the vase.  The only time I would suggest using something higher would be the introduction of a tall feature, such thin grass stems.

– Pruning
Remove the leaves from all stems in the water, what you are aiming for are clean and modern lines, not bushy and dirty stems.  I would also thin out the leaves around the flower head to simplify the display.

– Arranging
Make sure you have an even spread of colour with a good mix of dark, mid and light tones.  The same applies with shape and size; avoid placing the fuller flowers next to one another, instead, group small and large together to create an even balance.

– Choosing your vase
Base your decision on the type of flower and reflect this in your vase; i.e for a small and pretty arrangement, I would choose a delicate tumbler like the one I used below.  For tall simple stems, such as Arum lilies, a tall cylinder vase would work well. Oriental displays look great when wrapped around the inside of a goldfish bowl, and all hydrangeas look fab in enamel or galvanized jugs.  A good place to look for inspiration is Pinterest as they have some beautiful flower images.

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To create my display, I used a pretty tumbler from John Lewis, I loved them so much I bought six as they are perfect for little displays such as these. My finished arrangement sat on our white dining table, but I wanted to show you what happens when you move the flowers to a different location; with colour.  The pale grey backdrop compliments the soft pinks and purples whilst the mustard base makes all the colours pop, just something to think about when you are deciding where to place yours.

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Top tips for creating the perfect display
- Think about the colour of your flowers and whether the combination works
– Decide on your vase before you begin and make sure it compliments the style of flower
– Leave no more than 1 inch of stalk to sit above the top of the vase
– Know when to stop adding flowers, do not let the stalks get cramped
– Cold water prolongs the life of flowers
– If the flowers are from the market then re-cut the stem at an angle to allow more water in

If you are a designer of any sort then you will enjoy the following video. Ken Marten, Senior flower designer at McQueens, shows us how he interprets a brief for Mulberry.  I find it fascinating to watch a designers journey from concept to a finished product.

Bright Bazaar - debut book!

On April 15th, 2014 by .

I bought a copy of Mollie Makes magazine last week as my fellow blogger and author, Will Taylor,  mentioned that his super stylish home was going to be featured. The article is to coincide with the launch of his fantastic debut Bright Bazaar book, where Will shows you how to use colour in an intelligent and user-friendly way.  It’s available to buy through Amazon now, and if you haven’t bought it already then what are you waiting for!  Image below by Andrew Boyd

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Above is a picture of Wills office space, combining a mix of old and new pieces.  The weathered table sits quite comfortably with his modern accessories and it’s his fresh pastel palette that pulls it all together.  This is a common thread throughout Wills work, he is so passionate about colour and manages to articulate his expertise in such a friendly and conversational way.  This relaxed journalistic style has won him fans right across the globe and I almost certain that this will the first of many publications from Mr Bright Bazaar, huge congratulations Will xx

Now it’s time to get crafty!  As I was flicking through the beautiful pages of Molly Makes, I stumbled across their free giveaway, a template for a floral brooch that was so pretty, I had simply had to make it. This was partly due to the fact that my 4 year old daughter was sitting at the tale with me and said “Mummy, you can sew, can you make this?!” Below is a picture of the finished article with my very happy daughter wearing it.

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