Friday, 30 August 2013

Friday views - Cornwall, part two


It's Friday, woo hoo! Bring out the Pims!! Blogger decided not to work yesterday so my post about pretty packaging will have to wait for another day, as I'd promised last week more pix of Cornwall today. It was very pretty.

The sun came out a lot.

A lot of these boats were used by local fishermen.

I think someone lined these boats up for me to take a pic. Or maybe not!

The same boats with some round-window reflection going on.

This is actually mostly what you see driving about in Cornwall (and where satnavs seem to like taking you), single track roads and high hedges you can't see any views over.

There was even a very short ferry ride which cut out about 15 miles of driving on roads like the one above.

And lots of beaches.

They were all pretty nice. This was the view from Fifteen Cornwall, and the food was pretty good too.

Lots of sparkly seas and blue skies.

And the sun to play with for photos.

More beaches.

We also discovered the best cider, so much nicer than the big corporate brands, no matter what their adverts would have you believe.

Some of the seas were a lovely shade of green, this harbour was a good example.

It was all rather pretty.

Have a nice weekend!


Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Good 'ole Markies

I love pretty shops with inspirational displays and a good layout. Obviously they are designed to make people buy things but that's where reality generally kicks in - when you see the price tag! But it's free to have a look around and it can also give you ideas how to display things at your own place. That's my justification and I'm sticking to it... One of the nicest places locally is Marks and Spencer, or Markies as most British people call it for short. One of the two local branches is a homewares and food store and is conveniently placed in the city centre-located Union Square shopping mall, which has a cinema too. So instead of over-priced pick 'n' mix sweets to eat while watching a film, you can buy the best gummie sweet known to man - Marks and Spencer's Percy Pigs. Yes, I'll have a big bag please!
This particular branch of Markies has some very nice kitchen displays just now. This big Welsh dresser is a winner - a lovely shade of grey and see how good those copper pans look alongside it. And the cup handles. And the white countertop. All lovely!

Here's a close-up of the display on the white countertop, the copper, the wood, the white ceramics, all blend in together.

This free-standing kitchen is really nice, and very good quality. I had a hard time taking a good pic of it on my iPhone as the M&S's staff were giving me strange looks. I presume they don't get many people taking pix of their displays. It could have been worse, imagine if I'd taken them with the big camera!

Here's a close-up of the shelves above the sink unit. Very good styling, well done M&S staff!

Here's another Welsh dresser, but the lighting wasn't great on it for the pix as it's actually cream-coloured, not light blue as this pic looks.

These little cushions were very cute.

As were these bowls.

I love the font on these mugs, very old school. They look good all hung up together.

Perfect timing to release a pretty vintage-style book on cakes, with the new series of Great British Bake Off having just started. It's like the marketing people knew that!

And on the note of cakes, that might be a good idea for the weekend - cake is always good!

Karen x

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Flowers are a thing of beauty

Flowers are a thing of beauty. They have inspired poets, artists and songwriters for centuries so who am I to argue with them? And one of the most showy blooms has to be a hydrangea - their petals are like a delicate framework of petals, so closely packed in together the overall effect is more like a firework than a subtle wash of colour.
I usually buy lillies for their scent but since hydrangeas are in season in the UK, it seemed almost rude to ignore them. In one of the local florists' shops, I found these greeny-blue beauties and paid a grand total of £4.50 for three of them - that's two lattes from a coffee shop so well worth those pennies.
I decided to put them in the living room, to contrast with the dark wood coffee table and the dark cream-coloured walls.

The contrast against the dark wood is particularly pretty.

Those delicately-coloured petals make me smile.

I love the blue, it pops against the greeny-cream colour.

More pops of colour.

Ah, don't they make you smile?

Because there are three of them, they look good from every angle in the living room.

And particularly from this one, against the shutters, they look very dreamy.

So calming.

Have a fab flower-filled day!

Karen x

Friday, 23 August 2013

Friday views


We went to Cornwall for a week-long holiday earlier this year and boy, was it a photographer's dream. It has to be said it is one of those places where you could point-and-shoot in any direction, and you'd take a pretty good pic. The sunny weather helped considerably too.
So here were some of my favourite places there - I'll do beaches this week and more next week - yes, I did take that many pix!

The sun was kind to us all week and mostly stayed out. I didn't take photos when it was raining so these pix may give you the idea there is no rain in Cornwall - that would be a lie, as there was a lot that week. But in between the rain showers, the sun did a good job.

We found lots of very, very good cafes and bistros.

I love a sand dune or two.

This sand dune was a biggie.

Some of the beaches were stunning.

Here's one pic of the beach at a village called Rock, which I was told where all the celebs go to. And us!

St Ives was particularly pretty, we liked it a lot. There was a nice walk from the train station to the car park. Taking the train there was a smart move, when we saw how busy the car park was! You also have to pay in pretty much every car park which had a view or was in a pretty village.

The beach was pretty long, and had greeny-blue sea surrounding it.

This was the beach at the other side of the town, near the Tate St Ives - this is actually taken from the cafe and is one of my favourite views of a beach in Cornwall. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Garden updates


The back garden is taking shape. It's gone from the wasteland, sorry I meant not very pretty garden, it was before as previously posted....

To a patio courtesy of Steven the builder......

And is now getting the rest done which we're doing ourselves. Although the patio is a huge improvement already and we've found the garden is not too bad a size, now that we're using more than the small bit beside the back door.

So, the first stage was to construct a raised bed for one of the sides. I'm really looking forward to filling it up with some chicken poo (yes, chicken poo, mmmmm, it smells nice) and lots and lots of soil which is going to be dug out from the bit-at-the-back-which-is-going-to-be-a-pergola. And it will be really, really good when I can fill it with plants, flowers and herbs but that might be a bit way off yet.

This is what it looked like after the builders had finished, a good hardcore base.

And these are the pebbles delivered to the front garden by our local builders' yard. You should try shifting a tonne of medium-sized pebbles, it does good things to your arms!

The first part was to put down the special matting which doesn't let the weeds through. There are no pix of that, as I was busy concentrating on the matting. Then, it was using the wheelbarrow to cart the tonne of medium-sized pebbles (have I mentioned it was a tonne before) from the big bag to the back garden. My arm muscles are thanking me!

Then my husband and his mate made the raised bed from sleepers also delivered to the front garden. There were power tools involved....

And a good old fashioned hand saw.

And safety gloves, sunglasses, a radio, and big wood screws.

And ginger ale. Lashings and lashings of it. No Famous Five or Secret Seven though!

And fixing black plastic to the inside to stop the earth from leeching through. And lots of hammering.

So this is what it looks like just now, very sturdy and actually quite a decent-sized planter. Waiting for me to stop typing, go and out some more matting down, and start laying chicken manure and transferring soil from the back part into the wheelbarrow after it's going through a garden sieve. Can you tell I'm stalling by typing lots of unnecessary words? 

And then, once that is filled up, the last part of building starts - the decking and roofed pergola on top. The pergola looks like this just now.......

It doesn't really scream 'sophisticated outside dining experience' quite yet!