Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Goodbye Old Friend

Oh dear.  Thanks to one stormy night too many my rickety, salvaged potting shed has finally given up the ghost and collapsed.  Thank goodness, then, that it was photographed in its prime - stuffed full of fleamarket finds and reclaimed goodies.  I'll have to start planning a new one now.....

Photos: Victoria Harley

Monday, 16 January 2012

Meeting Rhoda Parry

On Friday I had the pleasure of meeting Rhoda Parry, editor of one of my favourite magazines Country Homes & Interiors.  What an inspiring lady.  She manages to balance life in the country with running a magazine in London - not sure how she does it!  Anyway, check out her blog - it's full of lovely ideas and inspirational photos.

Photo: Country Homes & Interiors

Farm Signs

Handwritten signs have an undeniable charm.  I made these two simple signs for the farm by printing out the lettering from the computer and then pricking through with a pin onto the wood below.  This gives you a rough guide of where to paint but still means the signs retain their hand-made quality.  Signs painted in Farrow and Ball 'Off Black' with 'James White' lettering.

Photo: Andrea Deniss (Pink Lily Photography)

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Out in the Orchard

We've had some gorgeous autumn days in the past few weeks - clear, crisp and perfect for gathering fruit.  To celebrate our last apple picking day in the orchard, we dragged across the kids' shepherds hut and had our very own harvesters' picnic complete with vintage chairs, second-hand rugs and old baskets.  Look out for more of these photos in my new garden decoration book, coming out this Spring.

Photos: Victoria Harley

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Tea Cup Cottage

The girls have been wanting a playhouse for a while.  Always one to find a cheap and cheerful way to do something, I bought a second-hand pine wendyhouse on ebay and spent a very happy Saturday painting it and decorating it to the girls' exacting standards!  The exterior is Farrow & Ball 'Old White', with home-made window boxes and plastic box balls from the local pound store.  The inside is pink (of course) with the obligatory bunting, and I handpainted the name of the cottage over the door.  The windows were stencilled to create glazing bars, with curtains and a dark grey painted floor to finish.  Total cost all in?  Less than £200.  And two very happy customers.
Photos: Andrea Denniss - Pink Lily photography

Monday, 17 October 2011

New Life for an Old Kids' Chair

It's been a gorgeous October so far, and we've been making the most of these last few gasps of good weather.  It's great to get the kids playing outside as long as the weather holds, so to tempt them out into the garden, I made-over an old 1960s child's chair I picked up at a junk shop this summer.  The upholstery was wrecked but it was a very quick job to rip off the fabric and staple some new onto the frame.  The fabric is Cath Kidston's 'Cowboy', in cotton duck.
(Photo: Victoria Harley)

Friday, 14 October 2011

Retro Pumpkins

A momentous moment - my first post!  A little Halloween treat to start off with.  My five year old and two year old girls, Maddy and Isabella, were terrified by my spooky pumpkins last year, so this year I've made simple lanterns from mini squashes carved with 1950s inspired motifs and Leeds pottery patterns.  They were a doddle to make (I've still got all my fingers intact which is always a good sign) and made a truly atmospheric addition to our misty orchard...

(Photos by Victoria Harley)