Friday, March 23, 2007

Buried Treasure!

A few years ago we decided to investigate what was behind a wall in our living room. My husband was convinced there was a large fireplace so, mindful of the mess involved, I reluctantly agreed to get the builders in! I am so glad we did! We found this huge inglenook fireplace, complete with original brickwork, an arched seat, hanging rods and even an old cast iron kettle, which had been buried all these years! From what we know, the fireplace was bricked up in the late Victorian years. The cottage dates back to around 1800, a time when inglenooks were generally no longer being built. Our cottage is quite tiny so it was truly amazing to find this very large inglenook. The builders removed 6 tons of rubble - all of which left via the window!

I didn't want to scare you, so I have put the 'after' photo first!

I wouldn't be without our cosy woodburner now! Logs are a great way to keep the chill out - in fact they keep you warm twice; while you are stacking and piling them and then when you burn them!

I was reading Jane's blog recently and she has also discovered an inglenook! Have you made any amazing discoveries in your home?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Childhood Days

As the promise of Spring nears and the days begin to get longer, my thoughts turn to childhood, those carefree years when time really did seem endless. Growing up in the country was wonderful; days were filled with adventure playing hide and seek in the fields and building dens in the hedgerows. I have a real fondness for the fun and colourful make-believe characters of my era, in particular the Golliwog and Noddy - two of my favourite childhood toys and stories. I was an avid reader as a child and my staple diet of Enid Blyton's wonderful books kept me enthralled for many years, including the Famous Five, Secret Seven and Mallory Towers books - think I read them all!

The photos below are original Charlotte Becker prints from the 1940s, well before my time of course! She painted beautiful soft and delicate pictures of babies and animals, so perfect for a nursery wall. These are two of my favourites, isn't that dog so cute?!

Who are your favourite childhood characters?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Picture Perfect!

Many, many years ago, before I had even heard the words 'shabby chic' or 'vintage' I fell in love with the pretty floral and distressed painted look that epitomises everything that is English country cottage. I didn't know of any good flea markets where I could find old watercolours or oil paintings, so I created my own vintage-style pictures at home! I painted and distressed the wooden frames and was inspired to frame all manner of everyday items that I thought were beautiful. The delightful floral picture above is, in fact, a paper bag! The one below is a greetings card. I found a delightful coloured mount which exactly matched the feature wall in our bedroom, and there it has hung ever since. In fact, I have had both of these pictures hanging on my walls for many years and despite having found some beautiful paintings in the years since, I still think they look lovely!

Of course, I absolutely love the roses paintings that I have managed to find over the years - this beautiful oil painting is one of my favourites!

I think it is a wonderful talent to be able to paint! One of my favourite artists is a blogger too! If you haven't seen Joanna's work then you really will be in for a treat!

The pretty picture below is an original 1950's print and has a very interesting history attached to it. These are roses gathered from the gardens of the Glaxo premises in Greenford, England and are awaiting arrangement as they lie on the reception desk of the entrance hall. The original was painted by Gayford Rix (what a brilliant name!) Each rose is named on the reverse of the print. This delightful print will be added to my shop later this week! How I wish I knew where the original painting was!

Is there anyone who can resist a painting of roses?!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Ready for Summer!

Well, we've certainly had our share of nasty weather this week! Gales, heavy rain and a cold wind! I know there has been the odd peek of sunshine too, but it's not enough! I find myself yearning for the days when I can wake in the morning and throw open the bedroom window as the sunlight streams through. I look forward to long evenings when I can leave the stable door open. How lovely to sit as the sun slowly sets, reading a book and sipping on a cool glass of wine.

It would be wonderful to breathe in the beautiful scent of my ancient rose as I tend the garden. But that is not to be just yet. So, in the meantime I hope you enjoy these photos which were taken during last Summer.

Of course, There are always these colourful, floral delights inside my home, which I surround myself with all year round!

I shall be counting the days until the clocks go forward on 25th March!