Taking a little break

picture144Brancaster Beach Norfolk.

It’s yet another school holiday week!  I’ve just realised there is no way of entertaining Miss Miss L (we have the beach and a first horseriding trip planned!), going to work, doing my household chores, all the painting I need to do on the garden furniture and writing Violet Posy this week.  I don’t want the blog to become another chore, and recently it’s started to feel like one so I’m going to take a little break.

I’ll see you all next week, miss you all x

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Hooked on….Painted Furniture

Now you know that I’m bit of a fan of painted re-furbished thrift furniture from my dining room chair makeover, but my obsession with painted wood is starting to spread.   It seems to be everywhere at the moment and getting more beautiful, even Ikea is getting on the look with the Trollsta sideboard below.

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Photo Credit: Ikea

I spend ages on Flickr looking for inspiration and Yvestown’s photostream is one of my favourite places to stop by.  I think she does the painted furniture look better than anywhere else I’ve seen.  Using whites as the background colour the bold colours she uses on furniture doesn’t overpower the room.

This image from House to Home.co.uk also uses the white background and a stand out colour for the coat rack and it looks fabulous.

If you have a small space painting furniture can bring the room together and bring unity to mismatching items, this works especially well in children’s rooms where you might have more ‘hand me down’ furniture.  This look is cheap to acheive and easy to change as your child grows.

Have your painted furniture in your home? How do you think it worked?

If you want to see more of what fellow bloggers are Hooked on pop over to Hooked on Houses

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When it’s time to stop writing about your child

You may have noticed that Violet Posy has been a little Miss L free of late and here’s why.  You know when they’re little and you forget that they can talk and the odd swear word pops out and next time your toddler drops something you hear a baby voice saying ‘Oh Shit!’.  Well I forgot she can read,  yes I know stupid of me. My daughter has a reading age of eight but it just didn’t occur to me that she could read my Facebook update.

We’d had one of those days where she’d been a mini teenager, refused to do any of her homework, made a massive mess and had done her best to wind me up all day.  So come evening I was frustrated beyond belief and at the end of my tether so I’d put on my Facebook update something along the lines of ‘Does anyone want an annoying child?’.

She read it

She cried

A LOT

and told me I’d humiliated her.

I felt totally awful. Like many other Mum’s I don’t think when I pop something in Facebook,  Twitter or on here. She’s my child and I write about her.  It never occurred to me that she’s her own person and might not want the world to know about something cute/embarrassing she’s done.  So from now on if I have something I want to write on the blog about her;  I ask if it’s ok and if it’s not I don’t. I also try not to put anything on Facebook or Twitter about her either.  She’s her own person now and not my baby anymore so I have afford her that respect.

So here’ s my public apology – Miss L I’m so very sorry and Mummy loves you very much xx

 

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Mini Monday Link Love

I should be cleaning, but instead I’m sitting catching up on my Google Reader.  But I must get on soon, I’m sitting here in what feels like most of Betty’s fur.  Despite hoovering (or is that Dysoning) on a every other day basis the dog appears to have lost all her body hair in the last 24 hours but miraculously is still covered in fur – how does she do it?

So here’s my quick Link Love for this last week

Creating your own Family Traditions guest post from Sherrie (Serene Journey) from Simple Mom We do some of them Saturday Morning’s in bed, Easter Egg Hunt and the Summer BBQ.  But there are some there that I love the idea of like the birthday hat 🙂

Gorgeous Tulip Fields from the always stylish Mirror Mirror.  I want to go somewhere like that, it looks like heaven!

Right off to clean….again!

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French Market comes to town

Selection of French Jams
Selection of French Jams

I’ve just been into town as I thought it was the Farmer’s Market this weekend, turns out it was the French Market.  We’re really lucky in our town that we have a travelling French Market come and visit us twice a year.  They travel from France with their gorgeous products: cheeses, sausage, wines, sweets, cakes, breads and soaps.   Sadly the queue for the patisserie and fresh breads was massive. I couldn’t even get close enough for a picture, but take my word the cakes looked luscious!

Fresh Baklava and Honey Cakes
Fresh Baklava and Honey Cakes

I had to stop myself from buying the fresh Baklava it looked and smelt wonderful.

Sweets
Sweets

Just look at the presentation though, I love the co-coordinating baskets with the sweets and the colours.

Turkish Delight, Chilli Goats Cheese, Olives, French Sausages
Turkish Delight, Chilli Goats Cheese, Olives, French Sausages

They also cook French street food and sell it to passers-by, look at the size of these serving bowls

Mussels and Rice
Mussels and Rice
Potato, Cheese and Ham
Potato, Cheese and Ham

My favourite had to be the soap stall, it smelt wonderful

Soaps
Soaps!

I treated myself to some lavender soap, just because it’s so chunky!

Lavender Soap
Lavender Soap

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From Dumping Ground to Boudoir

Ok deep breath… this is really embarrassing to admit but our bedroom had become a complete and utter dumping ground for everything that couldn’t find a home elsewhere in our house.  We had friends stay recently and the travel cot is still up in Miss L’s room, which means all her stuff was still in our room….for like 4 weeks!

So today I decided enough was enough and I’ll surprise Paul when he get’s home from work today, so here are some before and after shots of my very, very hard work.  It took roughly 4 hours and that included getting rid of about a years old paperwork. Also despite Paul’s love for it, that bloody plant….. seriously I’ve had it with it.  The evil thing is going to the tip tomorrow!

Before the dumping ground
Before the dumping ground
After - look you can see the floor!
After - look you can see the floor!

I moved round the book case as I felt that the drawers were too much next to the wardrobe, too much large wood against large wood. And I couldn’t see the pretty picture behind the drawers.

Just too much
Before: Just too much
After: Much better use of space and makes the room seem bigger
After: Much better use of space and makes the room seem bigger

I’m going to pop to Homesense tomorrow and see if I can get some wicker baskets for the bookcase and that will help ‘pretty’ up the look as well.  If only I could afford a flat screen TV to get rid of that bulky old TV….still I can dream!

If you’d like to see more makeovers pop over to Melissa’s Procrastinator Party at The Inspired Room

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Link Love Monday

photo3-pola

It’s been a very stylish week in Blogland much like my stylish girl above. I’ve been totally inspired by what I’ve read and seen this week everyone seems to be decorating or spring cleaning.

Abbey Goes Design Scouting has just finished a beautiful nursery for her soon to be new arrival, if you love bunting you’ll think this room is just adorable.

Coco & Kelley has a great article about closet organisation, I’d love a walk in closet one day but in the meantime I can dream. and use some of the ideas on my tiny wardrobe.

Jan’s Gems has a ‘how to’ change a tired chair – easy with great results!

Linda at Restyled Home has done and entire home-makeover!  I’m just in total awe of what’s she’s done it’s AMAZING! Check out Parts 1 and Part 2

simple-mom-spring-cleaning-party

Simple Mom has done and entire series on Spring cleaning, I’m a few days behind but I’m off to tackle my bedroom and my airing cupboard now and the kitchen tomorrow. I’ve decided that I’m going to try and do a room a day, anything more than that will be a bonus!

I have the plumber coming on Friday to service the boiler , at the moment you can’t actually see our boiler for all the linens in the way – oops!  So to start with all my pillow cases (every single one!) are in the wash and I’m even going to iron them.   Which means my rather large collection will get into a smaller space if they are all ironed, I’ll have to tackle the duvet covers during the week – eek!  Wish me luck and I’ll posting pictures of my progress.

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Hooked on….Outside Living

Summer’s here!

 

My Garden
My Garden

Well kind of!.  You know what it’s like with Britain in the summer, it’s either hot sunshine or pouring with rain and at the moment out of my window it could do either.  But that does not deter the Violet Posy household from enjoying the outside space around our home.  We eat and play outside in the garden as much as possible, and I’ve tried to pack the garden with as many climbers, shrubs and roses as possible to make it seem smaller and seemingly more intimate than it actually is.  The roses, peonies and lavender give a lovely fragrance wherever you maybe in the garden, which makes it more inviting and an endless source of cut flowers for the house.

 

This year we are determined to have a ‘proper’ outside dining area, and I’m also going to spruce up our sad looking picnic table with a lick of new cream paint.  But I want to add something to jazz up the area where we sit, I really like the use of canvas to add to the ‘secret’ garden look.  A cheaper option and maybe easier option is plain bunting can also give a family party or BBQ a festive feel

 

I also like to buy inexpensive wipe clean oilcloth from ebay or our local market to cover the table.  There are a million different patterns to choose from and you can pick it up from as little as £4 a metre which is a bargain.  They brighten up your table and it means you don’t ruin your ‘good’ linens.  If you’re eating at night add some tealights in jam jars and your set for a delightful evening.

Enjoy your garden and eating outside, I can’t think of anything more fun.

To see what everyone else is ‘Hooked on’ this week pop over to ‘Hooked on Houses

 

 

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Featured Etsy Shop of the Month – Little Ginger’s Tea Shop

I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.org

I’ve become a little addicted to Etsy of late, there are some really gorgeous handmade goods on there. If you’ve not been on Etsy, pop over and you’re in for a wonderful surprise.  So in order to support handmade goods and other home workers, I’m going to feature an Etsy Shop of the month on Violet Posy.

I was delighted this week to be contacted by Nikki at Little Ginger’s Tea Shop who asked if I’d look at their Etsy shop and if I’d give them a mention on here.  As I like their beautiful hand embellished tableware so much, I’ve done it as a little interview with Nikki and her partners – hope you like it?.

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Kissing Birds Placemat

Tell me about your company?

Little Gingers Teashop is a student based company who believe it is important to produce beautiful handcrafted individual products which point away from the mainstream market. Since forming in October 2008 we have designed and produced versatile tableware, which are all hand crafted, limited edition products with unique and individual bird motifs. The company is run by five aspiring fashion and textile students from the University of Portsmouth.

What made you decide to set up?

We were given the opportunity to set up our own business because it is part of our degree course. The experience has been most rewarding and it has been exciting to run our own business.

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Kissing Birds Placemat

Who or what inspires you?

The main inspiration for our product designs has been birds and cakes. The birds offer a feminine aspect to our designs, whilst the cakes portray a fun attractive look. As a company we are all highly inspired by textile designs. Therefore we made our design motifs highly appealing and eye catching.

Who are your design influences

At Little Gingers Teashop we enjoy keeping up-to date with the latest trends, especially in homewares and textile design. During this project we have found the work of Cath Kidston, Emma Bridgewater and Lisa Stickley to be highly influential through the use of twee prints and candy-like colours. We also love looking at Rob Ryan‘s work as he has created so many beautiful designs and is always updating.

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Little Gingers Table Runner

What are your favourite design blogs/websites

Little Gingers Teashop enjoying reading blogs such as: Print and Pattern and Wee Birdy. At Little Gingers Teashop we believe it is essential to research inspiring designers and also support the work of new designers too.

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Thank you very much to the Little Ginger’s Tea Shop Team not only do I adore their product, they’ve bought new sites and blogs to my attention.  I wish them continued sucess with both their store and their studies.  I hope they remember me when they have a fabulous home store in London!

If you’d like your Etsy shop to be featured here next month drop me a comment or an e-mail

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HP Photosmart Premium Wifi Printer – Review

Early last month one of my lovely blogger friends recommended me to Hewlett Packard for a project they are doing to see how families use their printers within the home. Frankly I think she doesn’t know a bigger geek than me, so it seemed an ideal fit!

So kindly HP have sent me a HP Photosmart Premium, all-in-one printer/copier/fax machine for a couple of months, so we as a family can evaluate it.  Bear in mind it’s our household we’re talking about,  we’ve had an all-in-one printer for years.  So I was a bit scepical about it, after all what could it possible do that my old one couldn’t?  We pride ourselves on rarely printing anything, that’s for non-techies who need to print out every e-mail they’re sent (for people who do that please stop it, it drives your tech support nuts!).

Oh my how wrong I was!

picture-41It’s hard for a gadget to impress me these days,  I was an IT Manager with a ridiculous budget for buying new toys on a regular basis and it makes you a bit blase.  But I have to give credit, where credit is due this little machine rocks!

The reason?  It has Wifi built in..

I didn’t realise was the reason we weren’t printing was it was a pain.  The built in Wifi means I can print from any room in the house.  I don’t have to fiddle around with cables to attach it to any of our laptops and I can instantly print photos from my beloved iPhone (just add a free download from the App Store to your phone and away you go).  Oh and you can scan an image or a document on the printer, which then instantly add’s itself via Wifi into my iPhoto programme on my Mac or My Pictures on Windows.

It was a cinch to install it (as usual far too much packaging but that’s all printers!) and to set up the Wifi or Bluetooth should you choose to use that from a regular mobile phone.  There are the standard slots for memory cards and a cute little screen to see your images on before you print them.  So I’ve printed school work, colouring pictures from Cbeebies & Nick Jr for Miss L, more photos than I usually do in a year, behaviour charts, work documentation,  and holiday information. I’ve been scanning pictures like there’s no tomorrow.  I’ve had such a great time with it!

The only thing I’ve not been able to test is the fax as our phone line is miles away from a power source which is a real shame as we’re actually needing to use one at the moment so it would have come in handy but that’s our fault. And I’ve just noticed there is a simple forms button, I’m going to have to play with that as well.

On the upside one of my main gripes about HP (I’ve supported their printers for 13 years!) has always been the price of the cartridges. But for this model I’ve just had a surf and you can replace the whole lot for £34 from Argos which isn’t terrible considering how much it can do.

I only have a couple of bad things to say about it, one is the price £250 is a lot for a home printer and the other is it’s pretty big (see the above picture of it on my small side table).  If it were staying I’d make room for it in the office as it’s a hefty bit of kit for just leaving out in the home if you don’t have that much space.  But that aside, all in all……I love it….. I don’t want to give it back….I’m really hoping that they forget they lent it to me, but if they take it away it’s instantly going on my Christmas list, I don’t think I can live without it now!

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