I thought I’d do a sweep round the house and how the rooms are right now as I am constantly shifting things about. Lets start with the bathroom. Coming in from the landing.
Little baskets bought in a market on holiday.
I love these Anthropologie towels.
I’ve always loved the cracked paint on this door.
And my favourite bit is this little green door knob.
It is well and truly here. And many of the bulbs I planted last Autumn are pleasingly emerging.
Some old faithfuls are coming back.
Some new addition doing ok.
I love these little guys, have pots and pots of them now.
And the edible bits also looking OK. Strawberries are back…
And the fruit trees I put in have flowered and seem happy. I have high hopes for these this year.
Can’t wait for summer.
All quiet on the house projects for a while, I’ve been focussing more on my artwork. However I finally sorted out some pictures that have been framed and waiting to be hung for months. I’ve got them all out several times, had a bit of a think and put them away again. This time was different and I got the majority up on the wall.
There’s been a small change in the kitchen. Actually the first of a few changes.
Friday night was spent living the highlife and driving to Ikea. It seems like a weird time to go, but it really makes sense. No on in their right mind would go to Ikea on a Friday night. Meaning you have to place (relatively speaking) to yourself.
The main target for the shop was to buy some extra spot lighting for the kitchen. This was successful but tragically I forgot to buy the corresponding bulbs so their great unveiling will have to wait for another day.
However I did take the chance to change the kitchen rug. It’s been subject to a grime onslaught and being made from jute is not easy to clean. Here’s an old picture showing it in it’s former glory.
I was going to just replace it like for like, but then I saw this character and decided it was time for a change.
A bargain at £50.
I’ve been busy working on the garden this year. When I moved into the house the garden was all lawn apart from one small bush and a rose. And so I have been slowly adding to it and starting to fill out the beds, although that obviously takes some considerable time.
I made two trips over the summer which were kind of inspirational.
One was to Grow London, a new event held in Hampstead which I think is run by the same people who organise the Affordable Art Fair. Essentially it was a large exhibition with sellers of plants, garden furniture, landscape gardeners and many more.
They made it really easy by having a free shuttle service from the tube station.
They had some quirkier products like these Seed Bombs.
And some ideas to steal like a plant stand made from an old painted stepladder – something to look out for eBay and try at home.
Plenty of other ideas…
And I did buy. And I’d go again.
The other was a trip to the Chelsea Physic Garden. It was founded in 1673 and is still arranged as a botanical garden. I went with my parents and it’s a great summer afternoon out and a really interesting insight into our changing relationship with plants not to mention the fact that it’s really very beautiful (and the cakes in the restaurant aren’t bad too).
Today is the first day of the Camberwell Arts Festival. And for those who don’t know Camberwell (my wonderful home in London) I will attempt to paint the scene…. it is a quirky multi-cultural corner of the city, close to the Oval for the cricket fans among you. Where you can, as I did this morning, get your nails done by a Thai man whilst sat between a Russian lady and a Ghanian mother and daughter getting their nails done for a family wedding – all of us Londoners. It is also home to the famous Camberwell College of Arts hence its strong creative flavour and history.
Anyway the Art Festival’s imminent arrival had passed my by until I decided to visit the Farmers Market on Camberwell Green on a whim. There is often a good plant stall selling some more unusual herbs that I thought I would seek out.
However, it was not as I expected. A pop-up choir were entertaining the shoppers and there were stalls with all sorts of art and craft products from the local area.
And I did well.
I purchased a new bag which I am going to use to carry my gym kit and laptop about in, no more grubby freebie canvas bags for me. That came from Gitas Portal who I think are based in Deptford…or maybe New Cross. I did ask but now I am not so sure.
And the admittedly quite similar reverse…
And I also came across this stall selling handmade pottery.
Initially I was really drawn to this little tea light holder, but I have some many candle related items I restrained myself.
I’d include a website link but they don’t have one. The potter was there manning the stall herself and she did give me these details.
I finally decided on two that were coming home with me. One is a gift.
It’s a coil pot rather than a thrown one. I think the glaze is really beautiful and works brilliantly with the colours of the plant.
And one for me made using the same method.
And in it’s final resting place in the house.
As part of the festival they have also produced these really attractive mugs based on the local area. Lovely and available to buy here.
In my other life, when I am not working on the house or at my day job I also work as a painter and I have a show coming um – more details here. It’s only a tiny venue but if you’re in the area you’d be most welcome to come along.
I tend to paint urban scenes mainly from the area where I live, but this time I have devoted the whole show to the menu of a fast food restaurant near my house – Perfect Fried Chicken.
My friend has come to stay with me while he writes a book. So we’re transforming the sitting room into a bedroom and the kitchen/dining room into a kitchen/sitting room. It’s actually been fun. A bit of a struggle moving sofas between floors (the sitting room is…well was..on the first floor) but quite a good challenge.
As part of this I took the chance to get the painting finally done in the kitchen. It got a quick once over with pigeon when the room was first worked on but it was never a polished job. Plus overtime I had decided that it would be better to have all the woodwork, ceiling and walls one colour. I got some raised eyebrows when trying this out on people as an idea but I felt pretty sure it would work. Or I’d like it at least. So I plunged in and got going.
Taking delivery of plenty of paint.
How it was before.
I’m also changing the lights in this room to two of these which I bought in the John Lewis sale after Christmas. I don’t think they do this one anymore but they have some similar styles.
Sitting room end.
Painting the ceiling a dark colour is definitely the most controversial idea, but (and it may seem strange that I consider this a good thing) no one actually notices that it’s been painted until you point it out. Just that something is different and I think it makes the room seem more complete and the ceilings seem higher as there’s not a band of colour demarcating the divide.
Overall I’m pleased with the results.
You may have noticed a small dog sneaking into a number of pictures on this blog. It’s Heidi after whom, with her counterpart Klaus, the blog is named.
Being a Dachshund you are supposed to discourage them from running up and down stairs, leaping ill advisedly from heights and general activities that might put a stress on their backs. Basically all the things Heidi truly loves. Because of this Heidi needs to be stopped from using the stairs all the time as she attempts to follow you around the house. You could achieve this through training or through mini barriers just to be doubly sure. Being short of stature they don’t need much height and so are easy to step over but do thwart Heidi. I actually suspect she could climb over but they are enough to discourage her.
Mind are quite crudely made but I’ve used left over paint to make them a bit smarter…
Because they are so low I am tempted to paint a height restriction on them like they have for fairground rides, but presumably Heidi would be the only one short enough to see it and I’m not sure she would appreciate the effort.