Tuesday 28 October 2008

On My Mantelpiece

My mantelpiece is looking quite autumnal at the moment.

It's not a large room so not a large mantelpiece. I have loads of stuff I would love to put on there, but have restrained myself to a few favourite pieces.

Small details - beaded earings clipped onto a lampshade, a mother-of-pearl heart hangs on a bottle, bling in a glass salt, a tiny floral brooch, candlesticks dressed with floral paper.

Though I love bright colours I seem to be drawn to russets, reds and creams for my front room decor. It feels calm and peaceful, I love to sit in there at dusk, no lights on yet, just listening to the clock ticking - if someone has remembered to wind it!

Wednesday 15 October 2008

Tall, Dark and Handsome

You might have thought I was going to post about Mr. Bloom... but no, though he might well be those things, it's not about him, nor Pierce Brosnan for that matter. Tall Dark and Handsome is this cupboard in my front room. It's tucked into an alcove and was acquired because it was the right size and had shelves behind glass for displaying lots of trinkets. When I saw it I knew it would be just right for this space - Mr. Bloom needed a bit of persuading, but came round to my way of thinking in the end.

Not a very handsome pic, that's the 'before', I wasn't too keen on the dull green/gold fabric lining the inside. It didn't make a good backdrop for the contents, so one afternoon out it came.

In it's place I used some fabric left over from making the curtains in this room (my favourite Malmaison fabric from Laura Ashley). I used fabric on the back of the cupboard only, the top, sides and shelves were lined with a co-ordinating cream wallpaper.

What a difference - so much brighter and prettier. Then onto the fun part - putting things back! I added a lace trim along the back then placed a few carefully chosen pieces, mainly glass, so that my efforts could be seen and appreciated.

I really liked the light and airy effect. Unfortunately I was left with a table full of trinkets that had nowhere to go. So now, the contents look like this.

So much for light and airy effects...ah well - I can live with the over-stuffed look for a while, until I find new homes for everything.

Of course, I'd like it even better if my cupboard was Tall, Light and Handsome, I was thinking a nice creamy white eggshell, but I haven't been able to persuade Mr. Bloom what a good idea that would be!

Thursday 9 October 2008

I'll be darned!

Sometime during my summer thrifting expeditions I bought a bag of empty cotton reels and wooden darning mushrooms. Does anyone actually darn anything any more, I don't, well certainly not socks anyway. I might darn a tiny hole in a woollen jumper but that's about it. And though I have a couple of darning mushrooms, they haven't seen a needle in quite some time.

These though, were obviously well used so I thought they could do with a bit of sprucing up. Some vintage fabric, trim a dollop of glue and some fiddling about later...

They are just decorative now, but so much prettier I think.

Some of the cotton reels became tiny pin cushions.

And some were just trimmed for fun.

Once I've decided which ones I'm going to keep, the rest will be going to the fair.

They were fun to make and they're so darned cute!

Saturday 4 October 2008

Touches of Red

Saturday in the Bloom house and DIY is in progress. Mr. Bloom is sanding the stairs and banisters (I don't envy him!) and I am generally faffing about.

Yesterday afternoon we popped out to the craft store as I needed a few supplies. I was thrilled to find these red toadstools in the Christmas section.

I bought some of these several years ago, I can't remember where, and every year I attach them to the Christmas tree because they look really sweet and pretty on the ends of the branches. They are only made of polystyrene and had started to disintegrate and the wires fall out. I couldn't find any last year but now I have a whole new supply.

I love them so much I had to take several photos, you'll see them again later.

Mr. Bloom rather liked these little feather robin redbreasts (they look better from a distance) to put on the Christmas tree. Trouble is, I've planned to have a rather sparkly and sumptuous theme for the Christmas tree this year and I don't think the robins will quite fit in. Come to think of it, I'm not sure the toadstools will either, may have to re-think that one.

Anyway, in the meantime I have found a temporary home for the robins, on my geranium plant which I brought in today from the garden. I think they look rather cute here, it's a family of 6.

I had this geranium outside for the whole summer thinking it would grow some beautiful lush foliage ready for the winter indoors - something went wrong. During the summer it produced a rather pathetic display of red flowers. I think it probably needs a trim, still, the robins brighten it up.

On the way home yesteday we stopped off some charity shops. I found these folksy red and black wooden eggcups. They are decorative really, as if you put an egg in it plops right inside and you can't see it.

Actually, I didn't really want these but they came in a job lot with some lovely painted wooden easter eggs which I did want. There were also a couple of these matching egg-shaped pots. I didn't photograph the eggs as I'd already put them away for Easter.

I think the red makes them quite festive-looking though and I think they'd look nice dotted around other pieces on a dresser.

I hadn't set out to buy red things, but I found this pretty red spotty handkerchief glass bowl, don't come across these very often.

This juicy red apple pegboard caught my eye. I'd seen these in House of Fraser a few years ago and thought they were really sweet - until I looked at the price. This one was in my price range at 50p.

I've hung it in the kitchen in the space behind the cooker, which looked rather empty before. We hadn't tiled here as the cooker has a glass lid which protects the wall when in use. I've resisted the temptation to hang anything from the knobs, sometimes less is enough.