Thursday, 26 September 2013

A Cool 1966 Car

Good morning!

My husband has been doing up this car for about 18 months and it's now on the road, passed it's MOT and driving lovely. It's a 1966 Volvo Amazon and, while she's not built for speed, she's certainly a looker.
The other do-er up-er he has though, a Volvo P1800, will take considerably longer to do it - it's needing   a lot of work and is going to be made for speed. I won't ask how long it'll take, as I suspect I wouldn't like the answer.....

We took the Amazon out to our cottage for the weekend for her first long run - she looked lovely against the backdrop of the blue skies and seas. Don't worry though, she's going to be garaged when it's raining or snowing, so she should stay pristine.

What do you reckon? Would you prefer an older car with character, or a modern one with more conveniences?

Karen x

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Front door before and after


Hope you're well and dandy! I thought you might like to see what a new colour of paint and some glass can do to transform our front door. It was inspired by the new front door with glass our former neighbours-round-the-corner the lovely Sarah and Neil had.
I loved the red colour of the original door, but thought a black front door would suit the house better - what do you think?
Here it was before, sorry there's no close-up of the door by itself. 

Here's the inside. Brown, heavy-looking and very, very dark.

It was even more dark behind the vestibule door.

The first stage was for a glazier to put glass into the top two panels.

Then I painted the back of the front door white to reflect more light around.

Behind the vestibule door gets tons more light now!

A proper undercoat for the front, before the black. I actually really like this grey so maybe next year, it might change colour again.....
You can also see here the glass stickers I put on, for a bit more privacy and they also make it look better.

Finished! Do you think black is good, or a grey like the undercoat would be better? Decisions, decisions.....

Thanks for stopping y - I'll do more house 'before and afters' in the coming weeks. The pix might also help me to remember that through the long saga that is the back garden, it will turn out good in the end!

Karen x

Friday, 20 September 2013

Friday views - beach

Good morning!

It's the best weekday day! Well, if you work Monday to Friday it is, not so much if you do shifts over the weekend. Here are some pix of our local beach in Aberdeen which is pretty stunning for a city - I still pinch myself sometimes that it is a walk away from our house. There's also a big harbour which is good to watch the boats come in and out while eating ice cream. Not too shabby for a city!

The weather is forecast to be sunny and warm here so fingers crossed there might be a nice long walk - maybe with a pub visit at the end!

Have a great weekend!

Karen x

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

New colours


The paint firm Farrow & Ball has unveiled a set of new colours and they are rather lovely. We only have a couple of rooms painted in F&B colours as they are a bit pricey compared to 'normal' paint, but the depth of colour and tone is excellent. The names given to the colours are a marketing dream - Elephant's Breath, Mouse's Back, Savage Ground - and are a lot more romantic than 229, 40, and 213.
Here are the new colours.

This one is Wevet, the old Dorset name for a spider's web. From the pic, it looks like a silvery grey, with a touch of mauve.

This is Ammonite, the colour of fossils found on the Dorset coast. A subtle off white/cream, I'd say.

Purbeck Stone, a stronger neutral colour. I LOVE the pop of yellow from the broom against this colour.

Mole's Breath. It's supposed to be like Mouse's Back but without the slight greenish tinge. I reckon it would be really good in a dining room - could be made very dramatic with some red or black accessories.

Dimpse, the colour of of twilight, according to West Country dialect. This is a light grey, according to F&B, but looks a lot more creamy in this photo - it might just be the lighting.

Nancy's Blushes - how many young girls are going to love this in their bedroom?

Yellowcake. I think the name says where they got this colour from. I hope they got to eat a lot of cake to get just exactly the right colour....

St Giles Blue, a lovely bright turquoise-looking colour. The white and green of the flowers stand out against this one.

Stiffkey Blue, which is a more blue version of the smokey grey Down Pipe.

The only thing wrong with these gorgeous F&B photos is that is does make you want to paint a room and start again. Hmmmmmmm.......

Karen x

Monday, 16 September 2013

Let there be earth


The back garden has taken a small (but significant in my eyes) step forward - it has some greenery in it again. When I say greenery, I mean something I've planted rather than the weeds which spring up out of nowhere!

Here's a reminder of what it looked like just after the patio was laid, the pebbles were shovelled in, and the raised bed was built.

Now, after digging, wheelbarrowing, sieving and shovelling several tonnes of earth with my own fair hands (and a lot of help), it looks like this.

Thankfully, the memory of this garden is starting to fade......

Hello lovely greenery, with a patio below!

One thing I've found is that it's difficult to buy lavender from garden centres in mid-September - it's like it's not in season or something!

Does gardening always take this long to do? Even though it's just one single raised bed, it seems like it's never-ending.

Karen x

Friday, 13 September 2013

Friday views - a ruined castle by the sea


This is one of the prettiest castles in our local area - it's stunning on a day like the above. It's called Dunnottar Castle ( and it's a ruin which sits on top of a big lump of rock right next to the sea. You can see why they built them on places such as these centuries ago - they are difficult to attack.
It's called Dunottar Castle - from the Pictish word "Dun" which means hill fort or a place of strength - and there's been a building on the site in some shape or form since Pictish times.

To our modern eyes, it has a very dramatic and romantic setting.

And it's bigger than it looks when you get there, after going down lots of steps and back up again.

In a way, exploring a ruined castle is better than one which is still intact as you get to let your imagination run riot.

And, like most castles, it has a dark time in his history. In 1685, 122 men and 45 women were killed here for refusing to acknowledge the King's supremacy in spiritual matters.

Some parts of the interior are quite spooky. 

Here, you can see the tall chimneys - there was no central heating in those days.

The walls were built high and are very think to withstand attack, and the weather in the winter.

Some parts look like a ruined cottage, rather than a castle.

But other parts are decidedly castle-looking - imagine having this as your view from your window? But of course you'd be looking out for raiders on the horizon rather than oo-ing and ah-ing at the pretty colours!

Have a great weekend!

Karen x