Sunday, 2 December 2018

A blessed start to Advent

Hi everyone

I am hopelessly behind on all things due to work commitments but on this first Sunday of Advent, I just want to stop by & send my richest blessings to everyone as we start the countdown to Christmas.

I find this day always reminds me of the Christianity of the season & is a time of reflection.

I have lit my advent candle & I love watching it flicker each night - a few minutes to focus on the passing days & especially those who will not be with us at Christmas ...

I love my Ethiopian crosses - bought on my many travels around that amazing country. I mounted them in a vintage gold frame some time back & they keep me grounded; I describe myself as spiritual & like the observances that punctuate our year leading up to Christmas.

Tonight my candle is near the crosses & also my angel candle holder & a favourite book

May you have a lovely & peaceful start to the festive season, from my home to yours,
Dee ~💕~

Saturday, 3 November 2018

A girlies evening & table setting

Hi all

Do you have a favourite meal? My friend makes a fabulous ox tail stew - it is not something everyone eats but it is an amazing meal when cooked long & slow so that it falls off the bone. Being our half term (we both work in education) we decided on a girlies night to catch up.

 One of my favourite things to do is to set a lovely table & even though our clocks went back last weekend, I am not ready to give up my bright colours. I love pinks so a favourite hand painted South African table cloth set the tone.

I have these lovely Wedgwood charger plates in various tones; these pink ones are my favourite (I always have to mix them up when there are many of us as they vary in tones)

I love these traditional plates but don’t have a full set of the Merrie Olde England Ironstone with its traditional patterns or the cream Chelsea Wicker plates by Spode but because they have the same wavy edges, they go very well together.  I think mixing up the sets of plates makes the setting less formal & my regular readers will recognise these from previous settings

The traditional scenes on the Old Merrie England Ironstone plates  ... 

The darker nights need lots of warming candles & lights - battery lights are warm & safe too.

I love the very girlie setting  - perfect for catching up with a friend ...

I love my sideboard / dresser; the little battery lights always looks pretty as it backlights the pocket watch plates.

I love pretty tables & I think this one was .... 

My friend made the most fabulous ox tail in red wine, with samp, a South African speciality. I made spicy butternut & honey glazed red heritage carrots - perfectly lovely meal.

Beautiful candles ...

The fabulous ox tail stew - a traditional meal which was perfect for our weather which has turned rather cool ...

Oven baked baked vegetables - a great favourite of mine

Plain vanilla cheesecake with winter berries which were cooked with Latvian Riga Balsam - used widely in Riga for its health properties ...

A warm & comforting traditional meal, a perfect catch up time. What is your favourite meal which is not too much fuss?  

Thank you for stopping by, taking the time to read & comment - it is much appreciated. 
Dee ~💕~

Friday, 12 October 2018

A beautiful home in Africa

While in South Africa, we spent time with my cousins in the beautiful home In Johannesburg where  they graciously welcomed all the cousins & second cousins to a huge get together;  they fed & watered us all, unfazed by so many of us - gracious hosts epitomised.

It is very special to meet up with so many cousins & family members on this trip

This is how it should be - all smiling, happy catch up times, so lovely that the cousins made their lovely home available to us ..

I asked if I could share some of the details on my blog (always ask hosts before sharing pics I think). They collect lovely art & it is all very restrained but beautiful.

An enclosed, private garden always feels indulgent ...

The beauty of their home is in how welcoming it is & how genuinely warm they are. They have this enclosed patio with a bbq built in; the counter & shutters afford total privacy here. The space is absolutely comfortable & beautiful - hugged by the house & a sociable place you just want to relax in.  As more of us arrived, the generous space allowed for another table to be added  - a really sociable space.

I naturally approve of lovely table settings - another of my passions ...

The lovely details & dappled light add atmosphere to the patio. They bought several screens with patterns they liked & used some of the screens on this patio & others on the upstairs landing where there is a library / reading corner. This is an entertaining space with a fridge in the cupboards & everything at hand ...

A patio garden in the ‘u’ shape of the house next to the entertaining space - clean lines with greenery & water ...

The living room next to the patio has classic decor; blue & white china & a rabbit head - quirky & beautiful; you all know how I have a soft spot for rabbits & blue & white wares . It is important that continuity exists around the home & here the animal heads, ikat pattern & colours continue .... 

Be still my heart - the jewel like colour of the velvet sofa is the mark of someone very certain in their choices. I too am a fan of orchids & the ikat patterns of the cushions  which are repeated about the house, the same calm & lovely atmosphere flows peacefully in this lovely home. Blue & white is a classic choice  ...

We share a deep love of Africa that is bred from our pioneering ancestors. I too have a great fondness for deer heads; this faux one is so sculptural against the pale walls ... 

Another touch of antlers which speaks of a love of Africa - the use of traditional materials can be modern & pared back. I love that their love of Africa is evident as well as embracing a global trend.

Everything is beautiful, carefully curated & deliberate to reflect their interest & style.

A snug with touches of Africa - inviting, beautiful, welcoming ... 

The painting is of the Voortrekker Monument is offset by the modern glass bowl on a sculptural stand

Our family were Trekkers, those celebrated in the Voortrekker Monument in the print so it is lovely to see our history reflected in their home. We visited the Voortrekker Monument the next day with cousin Gavin - collective history celebrated.

Collective history at the Voortrekker Monument,  next to the Trek leader we followed 

I do rather have a love for gilt mirrors as well - who could not stop & adjust their look when passing this. Wood & mirrored gilt are always elegant  ...

 The combination of solid wood, glossy tiles, hints of red  & touches of Africa are so welcoming in the entrance to their home.  This is Africa with a modern touch. I love how the sunlight floods this entrance ...

Perfectly beautiful & arranged with such a great eye, they love collecting art that speaks to them & that they enjoy;  this is reflected around their home in lovely original works, all framed in black frames which bind the images.

Can you see the arrangement of protea flowers I shared in a previous blog post?   ...

An upstairs landing offers comfortable chairs alongside a bookcase of inviting books. I love the bold contrasts of the plush upholstery & the sharp horns - it all speaks of a great love of our heritage.  The colours are repeated from the landing below so the home flows so well. 

I could have whiled away hours on this landing, the dappled light coming through the shutters, again repeated from those downstairs on the patio so it is familiar & homely - a cosy, comfortable space; welcoming like our hosts!

The enclosed patio (where the set table featured for our get together) is the perfect space for enjoying the glorious African sunshine. We had our breakfasts out there with the birds flitting in & out of the trees, the dappled sunshine & a relaxed - gesellig - way of living. 

The lovely pool close to the patio is perfect for the long summers that they enjoy out there.

Drinks anyone? How can you refuse a drink from this lovely table? Their renovations are recently completed & they are working at stocking that sizeable wine wall ...

The open shelves in the kitchen show off items that are used daily, yet they are beautiful too.

It reminded me of the Charles Rennie Macintosh saying:

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.

I love china from my time as a university student when I worked in an upmarket department store. One of the jobs was matching up china patterns & ordering replacements from all around the world. That love of china & glass has stayed with me since then ...

Ikat like patterns flowing through the house,  repetition that  is important in any home; colours, themes, patterns that flow through like a ribbon  ...

No home is complete without fur babies - these are such cuties

Another patio of the other side of the home - perfect for looking out over the veld & hillside on a long summer evening ...

I hope you have been inspired after looking at this beautiful home.

Lessons for me:

They do not do clutter at all
Curate your items
Africa can really be chic
Enjoy history through art & antlers but keep it simple
Live with things that you truly love

Global decor really works & we should really live with things that makes our heart sing.

Thank you for stopping by, for supporting my blog & being kind enough to leave a comment
Dee ~💕~

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Proteas in many guises

Proteas are one of the flowers that are found mainly in the Cape in South Africa & they are hardy & very elegant. There are many species & remain very popular because they last long.

While back in South Africa, I really enjoyed seeing them widely because they really bring back happy memories.

I love the authenticity of Proteas, they are woody, honest, stunning. Their beauty is in their simplicity

My cousins have a fresh arrangement delivered regularly - this is elegant with the various blooms

How can you not love the sculptural quality of the blooms ...

Faux proteas are widely found too, many are so good that it is hard to tell the difference ...

The province (county) of Kwa Zulu Natal is known for its beadwork. I have seen these beaded proteas in magazines & online & could barely contain my excitement when I saw them. I just knew some would be going home with me. 

It is labour intensive work to make these & they are heavy but quite stunning ...

I visited this very same site some years back when my Mother was still with us & so this was a happy visit because she loved both proteas & bead work - I knew she would have approved of me buying some to take with as a reminder of Africa ....

The beaded displays are just an absolute joy to behold - so much talent & beauty ...

Authentically Zulu - 3 different ones have winged their way back with me.

 A final stop in a homeware shop I am very fond of, & these were there - how stunning are they. I did not buy any because of space; I had a large collection of my grandmothers photos to bring back & they were more important.

However, the most important proteas were for the family graves in the cemetery - to honour them, along with special stones I had selected on the beach for them, following the Yiddish traditions of stones last longer than flowers. The purple & pink flowers for my great aunt were because she coloured her hair with a blue rinse & applied red rouge to her cheeks - the two colours met at her temple - a lovely maiden aunt I loved dearly.

I hope you have enjoyed the beauty of these Proteas as much as I enjoyed finding & sharing them.

Thank you for stopping by, for supporting my blog & being kind enough to leave a comment
Dee ~💕~