Sunday, 18 December 2016

Oh Christmas Tree!

Now, I'm going to say something that may shock you...
I'm not a big fan of Christmas
I know, people in my line of work are usually big on decorating and being festive but, for me, there's too much cynical emphasis on consumerism and spending money to create the 'perfect Christmas'.
I find it hard to square all that with the number of JAMs (people Just About Managing) out there and the amount of people without even a home or food.

However, before I cry "Bah, Humbug!" let me say I can't deny MLH his Christmas tree and this year I bypassed all the dusty crates and bags of decorations in the loft and went for a very simple design...

It's just candle lights and angels' wings... 

All aboard a vintage wooden sledge with hessian around the base of the tree...

and an antique French cherub on the top.

Simple, pretty, everyone's happy!

(especially the fur babies who are intrigued by all the little 'birds' they can just pick off the tree!)

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Thought for the day...

I took this photo on a trip to my favourite National Trust property Snowshill Manor near Broadway in Gloucestershire.

The C16th house was bought by Charles Wade just after the first world war. He saw the property advertised in Country Life while he was at the front and promised himself that, if he survived, he would buy it.

But he never intended it to be his home, in fact he converted a tiny building in the grounds, the Priest's House, to live in. It's said to be haunted by a monk and a young woman who was forced to marry in one of the upstairs rooms in 1604.

Wade kept the beautiful country manor simply as a repository for his amazing collection of STUFF.

I can't describe it any better than that because the variety is staggering: Samurai armour (26 suits), a collection of scrimshaw, toys, musical instruments, Oriental carving and furniture, bicycles, looms…the list goes on and on. He was an inveterate collector and almost every item came from large houses in the UK at a time when many old family properties were selling treasures because they were struggling with death duties and the lack of labour after the war (very Downton Abbey).

Thank goodness he saved so many wonderful things for us to enjoy now. You can see why it's a place I enjoy so much, It speaks to my wish to save and care for old things and enjoy them today and in the future. His motto was "let nothing perish" and so his quote below is my Thought for the Day:

Have a wonderful day and keep saving and enjoying wonderful things x

Monday, 19 September 2016

Life in my new Home!

I Love My Home has settled in to its new home at Brackley Antique Cellar. The first couple of weeks have been really good for sales and I've already had to restock so I'm a happy little camper!
The staff are all lovely and so helpful, I worried that moving from a  lovely intimate place to a much larger one might mean it was a bit clinical but not at all. Of course, it may have helped that I took a large box of chocolate biscuits for them when I went in this weekend!!

Here are a couple of photos to give you a slight idea of how HUGE the place is:

Even these don't really do it justice as it's impossible to capture the whole building and there are other areas which are separate from the main one, it just goes on and on...

Here are a few items in my humble little unit (I can see I might be upgrading to a larger one sooner rather than later)

Some of my larger items have already been sent off to new homes so I added a few more this weekend...

I think my favourites were firstly this lovely vintage double desk and bench, can you imagine the kids doing their homework at this while you cook dinner? and secondly, the gorgeous vintage Imperial typewriter. Don't they look great together?

I showed this to the lovely Alison from Stylish Shutters of Tring who's helping me with some new window treatments at home, and we were off down memory lane with our experiences of manual typewriters, telex machines etc, God I feel old!! 
Just for the record, I don't remember machines as old as this one!

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Pretty chair makeover

I found another pretty old chair recently, but in a very sorry state as you can see...

her bones were lovely but she'd seen better days and was exposing her foundation wear - not a good look for any lady … except maybe Madonna?

I couldn't resist bringing her home and treating her to a makeover…

and her true beauty was revealed, including some lovely gilded carving

she even looks good from the back, the mark of a true lady!

She'll be off to star at my new retail space in Brackley Antique Cellar very soon x

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Moving Home!

Fanfare please!

Well, I Love My Home has grown even larger and has had to look for a new home - meaning more space and even more fabulous unique items.

Yesterday we moved into Brackley Antique Cellar in the beautiful and historic Northamptonshire town of Brackley.

The Antique Cellar has 30,000 square feet of space with over 180 dealers, it is VAST and if you can't find something to buy there, then you haven't looked properly!

Plenty of parking, good accessibility and a tea room - what else could you want?

As if this wasn't enough, in 2013 it was voted 'Homes and Antiques' magazine's Best Antique Centre in Great Britain and is frequently featured on TV in programmes such as Antiques Road Trip.

Come and visit I Love My Home at Unit 88

Search for Brackley Antique Cellar online and you'll see lots more information including reviews and how to get there.

See you soon I hope x

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Cuter 'n a little red wagon

I've always loved the phrase 'cuter than a little red wagon' and today I found something that truly is 'cuter……' etc.

This morning we picked up these odds and ends for a few pounds. We didn't know what we were going to do with them but fell in love with the sweet little wheels and metal handle...

From that point on I can claim no credit for the resulting cuteness.
MLH (My Lovely Husband) put them together with an old wooden box we have been using to store logs by the fire in the Winter...

Even the box was bought a couple of years ago for about a fiver,
so all in all it fits my idea of rustic style for a song!

I mean seriously, how adorable is this?
I can wheel it to the door to load with logs from outside

and then wheel it back into the living room right next to the fireplace. 
No more carrying armfuls of logs for me! 

and all thanks to MLH - love him!

Monday, 8 August 2016

Magic storage solution

You know how it is, you've got books, DVDs etc etc stowed all over the house, you can't get at any of them and you end up not using them. This is my magic storage solution.
It looks like an ordinary cupboard, I bought it for a song and shabbied it up a bit...

Heere's how it ended up, I added an old handle, replaced the back panel and wallpapered it, and it fitted into a space in the garden room…

here's the magic bit, it takes almost no floor space but all my books DVDs and so on have disappeared inside with no trouble. Some are stacked two deep, but even so I couldn't believe how much stuff this little cupboard swallowed up!

Here it is empty...

and here it is full!

I can find what I want easily and then shut the door on it again so the room stays tidy - like I said "Magic"!

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

My newest quilt.....

Oh my word, quilting is addictive. I can't stop collecting vintage fabric with a view to making more and more quilts and throws.

here's my latest, I love working in pale colours and this random selection of fabrics with a floral theme spoke to me, I used a lot of the fabrics on the reverse side to give a soft, faded look

It also gave me the excuse to use this large white bobble trim I have been hoarding

I used hydrangea flowers cut from a larger piece of fabric for some of the squares and then used long strips of the same pattern to make a border

I like to add a 'Homemade' label to each piece I make to remind me that I am not in pursuit of perfection, just pleasure.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Addicted to quilts

You know the story, a young innocent girl (use your imagination here) picks up a square of fabric and thinks 'what harm can it do? I can stop whenever I like'. The next thing you know there are quilts everywhere. 
Now, I've always collected quilts, they're all over my day bed, on my sofas and bursting out of my cabinet

but I never thought I'd make my own until I started looking for a project to keep myself busy in the Winter. 

Just to clarify for any horrified 'proper' quilters out there:
I don't enjoy following the rules so I love starting something and then making it up as I go along. I think it's very liberating creatively to have no idea what you're doing so you aren't scared to try anything and see if it works - maybe there's a life lesson here? The Zen of Quilting? So, this is just my own take on quilt making ;)

The first creation was a large checkerboard of toile and striped fabric with sashimi style embroidery around the outer squares.

It was meant to protect a chair from the fur babies but they just climb underneath it to sleep!

The next was a mix of pale scraps from my stash, 
some using the reverse side to keep the effect very muted

I loved using up pieces I'd kept for 'just the right thing'

Next was a lilac and white theme inspired by some embroidered lavender fabric I found…

I trimmed it in a lilac pom pom trim - very French…

The next batch of fabrics were all in peachy tones so…

lots of lovely shades

And finally (who am I kidding?) last week I picked up some vintage french fabric swatches (in the centre of this quilt) and used a mixture of white embroidered and cutwork linen and matching squares to frame them. 

The camera angle makes this look more wonky than it actually is  - honest….

There is also a mix of machine and hand quilting to define the patterns.

Lovely old french fabrics…

What next? well I've got plenty of fabric in the stash just waiting for the 'right' project and I can't stop collecting so I'm sure there will be more to come!
Thanks for reading x

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Take a seat...

I can't resist chair makeovers, I'm always especially excited when I see something like this Edwardian chair. It had all the potential and beautiful 'bones', even though the upholstery on top was nasty the webbing etc underneath was in great condition.

So I painted it in Autentico 'Bath Stone' and sealed it with their sealer and refinished the seat et voila! A chair fit for a chateau boudoir ......

here she is from another angle showing her lovely curves

and here's the sad state I found her in...
hope you approve of the difference?

I've shown this one before but it bears repeating and the difference is, once again, quite dramatic...

Pretty as a picture!

and so useable in any home

what do you think?

Thursday, 17 March 2016

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I offer no reason or excuse for sharing this because it doesn't need one! It's just beautiful and how we all feel sometimes when we need a little peace

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

W. B. Yeats1865 - 1939

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Louis chair refurbish

I'm a big fan of these lovely Louis style chairs and you might remember that I refurb'd one last year. Well, it didn't stay around for long - in fact, it sold within an hour of being placed in the shop! I'd love to do more because they're so popular but getting hold of them is not easy. However….I was lucky enough to find another and here's it's story...

You can see it was covered in my 'favourite' orange varnish - don't get me started on WHY people would want to use this stuff - and some rather nasty old velour so all of that had to come off...

and after a LOT of scraped knuckles and broken nails, I managed to get all the original studs and staples out and finished the chair in Old White ASCP and some clear wax.

The fabric is a plain cotton so it will fit into any interior and I used an off white trim and a few accent upholstery studs to stop it being too bland.

The back is nicely finished too so it could be placed in the middle of a room.

It's off to Afterglow of Olney as soon as there is a space and I hope someone will love it as much as I do!