Monday, 25 February 2019

Mixing up the blues for Spring

Hi everyone

I am loving having the blues in the dining room, it is a nice change & feels much fresher as we approach Spring.  I planted some little grape hyacinths in the two blue containers & they are just coming in to flower.

 The table cloth is from IKEA, bought a few years ago & used often at home.

Don’t you just love the boldness of it? The winter tartan curtains still have to be swapped again ...

I used pink flowers to contrast with the blue & whites & it feels fresh. 

I decided to change the conservatory sideboard / dresser too as I have a large collection of blue & white china / pottery.

The china is stored in the large cupboard in the kitchen so it was a perfect opportunity to get out some favourites.

The Blue Danish pattern & its variations are so lovely. Much of it was gifted to me from the in laws attic where it had been for decades, unused.  I have added to it over time as it is a set I enjoy using.

I decided on some dark blue & white in the end. I fortunately have some bright daffodils that are just coming in to flower to the perfect contrast.

Can you see the contrasting patterns? The oval dish in the centre is the oldest, some of the others are an old Spode pattern, along with some vintage blue willow.

The flower pots / vases are a mixture of Delft & modern chinese ones which contrast well. I do rather like houses so my little collection of delft houses (KLM) sit on the top, with a Flemish one bought on a trip last year & another Dutch one on the same shelf.

They all go together because they are things chosen with the same eye (mine) and because they are linked by the colours.

I know that I have blue & white Easter decorations so I rather think this will be up for a while so a bit of forward planning is always useful because we genuinely love this space & it is the most used room at home.

It feels fresh, the cheerful daffodils makes it feel Spring like & is an uplifting space.

Have you welcomed Spring in to your home yet? Thank you for stopping by & taking time to read, visit & leave a comment so I know you have been.

Thank you for your company, stop by again soon,
Dee ~💕~

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Some favourite African ceramics ...

'Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful,' is the advice I love from William Morris.  With friends stopping by, I decided to reflect our shared South African heritage through the art I love & which often makes it to my sideboard.

You will all be familiar with these 3 lovely statues of animals; they often appear on the sideboard, alongside the beautiful platter that was a gift from my sister. They share the same sort of geometric patterns so just look like they belong together.

These plates are made by the South African ceramic artist Mfuneko Dingiswayo and they appeared together on this sideboard. He was born in Langa in Cape Town in 1979 & he has a very distinct style with raised details & vibrant colours & patterns which reflect the global nature of African art.

I am quite partial to guinea fowl which are found all over Southern Africa so the iconic images are so special to me & to others familiar with Africa.

All these items have been collected over a long time & they remind me of Africa

 Amarula, the South African version of Baileys is made with fruit from the Marula tree that ferment and animals, particularly elephant, are known to get drunk on the fruit. The company pride themselves on supporting conservation.

This lantern is made from an Amarula tin with cut outs that cast shadows from the candle - it looks lovely at night when lit, a reminder of time spent on safari, sipping Amarula at sunset.

The sideboard was ready for friends with things that we could use straight from it which makes it easier to relax & enjoy company. 

Thank you for your company, stop by again soon,
Dee ~💕~

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

A touch of the blues ....

Hi everyone,

Does anyone else feel they need a change from the festive colours of red & gold?  I always feel the need for fresher colours in the lead up to our Spring & my love of blues seems to arise.

I have a lot of blue & white china at home & this is some of the ways I used it in the past at home

A blue & white table setting for friends the-blues-in-action

Some vintage blue & whites I inherited vintage-blue-white-transfer-ware

Easter can be blue too getting-ready-for-easter

Some of my large collection of the Blue Danish pattern traditional-blue-crockery

Cheese & wine blues cheese-wine-blues

Our dining room still has its winter colour of the purple heather,  tartan curtains . My regular readers know that I like to change things around.  I remembered that my eclectic collection of blue & white bits had not come out in a while so I brought them in from their container in the garage.

Does anyone else love unpacking something they have not had out for a while? The joy of remembering why you collect things you love ...

My two busts - one black, one white, are a permanent fixture just because it is the only place they seem to fit - she seems to approve ...

I love the pairings of pink with the blue & whites so I rummaged around my large selection of faux or silk flowers. Pink & white go well with blue & white me thinks ...

It takes time to curate a collection of things that you like & these blue & white things have been collected over time & from many places but they all go together ...

I am always planting up some plants, bulbs or such likes because I really like greenery in the house, it brings a certain freshness to the decor. Sometimes, the bulbs might have been shop bought when mine have failed to bloom on time. I am really terrible about getting hyacinths to flower near Christmas & even worse at getting my 5 year old poinsettia to develop red bracts for Christmas, but these are challenges all gardeners own up to. For some reason, I am good at orchids & mine like this corner of the dining room & so they stay there where it is light & bright.

Do you change around your house decor as the seasons change?  I like moving things about because after a while you stop seeing the details when you are too used to them, and it is nice to have things you have collected brought out again.

Thank you for your company, stop by again soon,
Dee ~💕~

Sunday, 10 February 2019

A healing home made candle

Hi everyone, I have been neglectful of my blog posts but the start of a new term always heralds lots of additional work so thank you for bearing with me.

A Wondering Star daughter  brought a gorgeous homemade gift of a candle.

She bought a lovely hand made pottery bowl from a local potter & then used soya candle wax & scents of her own choice to make a stunning candle.

She used neroli, lavender & May Chang (an ancient Chinese healing herb) to create a unique & lovely gift that smells as good as it looks.

 How lovely is this?

Lavender or Lavandula Angustifolia, is a full-bodied steam-distilled oil from the flowering tops of the Lavender plant. Known for its many uses, Lavender essential oil is world renowned as one of the world’s most popular and versatile oils, and for good reason!  Lavender has an incredibly sweet, floral, herbal scent and is also highly prized for its many therapeutic properties.
The smell of Lavender alone can help produce a calm, peaceful tranquil environment.
Neroli is the perfect essential oil for when you need a break from the world. This absolutely delightful and vibrant floral essential oil comes from orange blossoms found in Egypt. It is one of the most comforting and effective essential oils when dealing with grief, nervous tension, or exhaustion. 

May Chang
Bright, lemony, and energizing, May Chang is most commonly known for its usefulness in dealing with skin problems. May Chang has uplifting properties, and it has a strong effect on promoting mental and physical well-being.

A Wondering Star is very aware of environmental issues & so used waxes which are not harmful to both the environment & those breathing it in. Air quality in homes can be a health issue so this is something we need to be aware of; I have beneficial, air cleaning plants about the home because our winter homes are particularly bad because we don’t open our windows enough. 

I have large pots of peace lilies, palms & aloe vera in our inglenook fireplace & the combination of intense greens & leaf shapes is very calming & I like to think that the air is clean too. I try hard to avoid harsh chemicals at home, you all know the ones that you can smell as soon as you walk in to a room. I also do not use any plug in air fresheners. 

Thank you for stopping by & spending time here, do stop by again & leave a comment so I know you have enjoyed an article.
Dee ~💕~