tirsdag, juli 31, 2012

There is no stopping...

This old book cabinet has been in my possession for years. It has served me well, and I am quite fond of it, never once having felt the need to replace it with something else, despite its boring brown colour.

In fact I used to be quite fond of the colour too. But lately I have felt that its dark brown presence has been rather dominating in my fairly small living room.

Enter Annie Sloan chalk paint and it is a different story! Two coats of Paris Grey (diluted with 1/3 Old white), a bit of distressing, then a coat of clear wax and a bit of darker brown wax (to give the effect of "dirty fingermarks") to top it all off.

It all started with the brown table and now there is no stopping... I have already my mind on the colour Provence, and all the wonders that can be achieved with it. To be continued...

søndag, juli 29, 2012

Random Sunday ramblings

After enormous amounts of water yesterday (is there really a never ending supply of it up there...?) the day today is, I am happy to report, much lighter and brighter. So once again I dare to venture outdoors to see how my garden and critters are faring.

And after a quick inspection it does indeed seem that they are dealing with the weather better than yours truly does... My veggies are growing, as are my cut flowers, and there is a pleasing variety of both to be cut and collected/consumed whenever the need arises.

As for my "Easter chicken" (which arrived newly hatched a few days before Easter, hence the name), they too are thriving, and I have finally been able to collect the first freshly laid (but ever so small) eggs. Which makes for a pleasant change, as I have not had "home grown" eggs for months.

But of course about half of the chicken turned out to be roosters (it is quite impossible to tell them apart until they are a fair size), but that is another matter that needs to be dealt with... (anyone for a handsome rooster or two...?)

My perennial garden has reached its prime, and is actually already well past it, leaving it for the roses and annuals (in the cutting garden) to bring the desired colour into the garden. Even though most of my roses are not repeat flowering ones, they do bloom for the longest time, like these two (Maiden´s Blush and Raubritter).

torsdag, juli 26, 2012

Paris Grey

Many a time have I admired those who with just a lick of paint seem to be able to transform even the dullest piece of furniture into something quite different and delectable. Yet just the idea of sanding down, priming and then adding several coats of paint seemed daunting enough for me ever to give it a go.

Not to mention the hundreds of different colours, with all their various hues, to choose from. But this was before I discovered Annie Sloan´s chalk paints. Voilà, a whole new different world was opened before my very eyes.

First of all, you can apply chalk paint directly onto varnished or previously painted furniture (even metal and plastic!) without sanding and priming. You just apply a coat or two of paint (which dries in an hour), then distress it (if you feel so inclined) and wax it. Easy peasy.

Chalk paint is water based, has now smell and comes in the most delicious "French" colours. I have painted my previously BB (boring brown) coffee table with Paris Grey diluted with Old White. And I have to say I am most pleased with the result.

Chalk paint has changed the way I look at furniture, and now no BB furniture of mine is safe any more...

mandag, juli 23, 2012

Another colourful one

My latest crochet cushion is finished. And I do like it! I think it includes all the colours (yes, even orange!) I like at the moment. I am quite fond of the cool turquoise, the bright green, the yummy pink...

Not to mention the blue and the lilac. And yellow, with a touch of red. I know, I know, red (along with orange) has not been on my favourites list, but this seems to be changing slowly.

And isn´t it a good thing...? Not just to stay put with old favourites, but to be able to embrace new ones. Like, in this case, such a simple thing as a new colour or two...

More colour coming up, as more wool has been bought....

fredag, juli 20, 2012


My roses are doing their best to bloom, despite the wet conditions they have to deal with. And I do have to give it to them... they really do make the most of it.

My roses range in a colour from white, light pink, hot pink to deep burgundy. I also like to surround myself with a wide range of colours, but when it comes to my bedroom, it is mostly creamy white.

This summer I have crocheted an all creamy cushion cover, in a (to me) new yarn of cotton and acrylic blend. I do usually prefer all natural fibers (be it fabric or yarn) but I do like the texture (and creamy colour) of this particular one.

The yarn (Tuva from Trysil Garn), feels soft and delicate to the touch. I have been so taken by this particular yarn that I have even started to knit (another!) cushion, in garter stitch. The result of this particular one is to be revealed later..

Delicate is also the word that comes to mind when I look at my pretty (but oh, so soggy) roses; Felicité Parmentier, Queen of Denmark and Henri Martin. Lovely "old fashioned" roses with the most delicate scent.

Thank you for all your lovely comments since my return to blogging. I do treasure each and every one of them.

torsdag, juli 19, 2012

Bucketing down...

I know we all seem to be talking about the weather this summer. And there really is no denying, this summer has turned out to be a particularly wet (and chilly) one. So what is a girl to do when it is bucketing down most days...?

I put on my gumboots and raincoat, and venture outdoors for just long enough to pick some flowers from my wet garden. Once the flowers are placed in the jug it is time to find some books to while away the wet afternoon.

Books seem to be "my only weakness", as I do not seem to be able to resist an alluring cover or an interesting storyline. Now murder mysteries are not usually my preferred reading, but "Death comes to Pemberley" seemed too good to pass. Reading about gardens is, though, and "The Ivington Diaries" is indeed a good read.

By accident the books of my choice seem to match my flowers. I know I have, in the past, had a somewhat ambivalent relationship with the colours orange, but lately it seems to be creeping up on me most everywhere, even in my garden...

How do you pass a wet summer afternoon, when the rain seems never ending...?

søndag, juli 15, 2012

The veggie- and cut flower garden

Despite the shifty summer weather (or maybe because of it...?) the veggie- and cut flower garden is doing fine (no flowers ready to cut yet though... it will be at least a couple more weeks before I can enjoy that particular pleasure).

But the beans and peas are doing splendidly. Every year, though, I struggle to support the peas, as they keep climbing upwards. This year I have tried something new. I have used birch branches (left over from the firewood cutting earlier this winter), and the peas seem to get the support they need (and I quite like the whole look too...)

This year I have once again given potatoes a go. I gave up that particular activity a few years back, as they really were not doing well in our heavy wet clay soil. But now I have vacated a few raised beds for them, and "so far so good".

The roses seem also to be doing well despite the frequent heavy rainfalls (or thanks to them...?) I have once read that roses love the summers we hate (frequent rain followed by bright sunshine, and not too warm temperatures).

The temperatures this summer are certainly nothing to write home about; on a good day we might get to low twenties, if we are lucky! But, like I said, the roses do not seem to mind, along with the rest of the garden. So who am I to complain?

fredag, juli 13, 2012

A new thrifty one...

While our summer weather remains fickle (more rain than shine this week) I seem to spend more time in my little studio than out in my garden (seeing it is summer I would prefer it to be the other way around...)

I am feeling quite thrifty, wanting to use up the fabrics in my stash before buying new ones (I seem to have been at it for the past few years). But it is becoming increasingly difficult as my stash really has reached an all time low.

Yet I am determined to make a quilt out of this pile of fabric. In my favourite nine-patch design. And yes, you are forgiven for thinking it looks a lot like many of my other quilts (like the one on the studio daybed...)

But it can not be helped... I tend to use the colours and fabrics I like (and only them), so a lot of my stuff ends up looking the same. On the bright side, it is easy to move things around in my house, as they seem to go everywhere and with everything else...

While I have been whiling away the hours in my studio, this little treasure has patiently been waiting for her turn. And now her time has come, as we are about to face the elements (rain and wind) and go for a long deserved walk.

But before we go... I seem to have failed to mention the Mias Landliv-Facebook page, that was set up in my absence (not by me, though). I am totally touched by the response and by the care so many of you have shown.

onsdag, juli 11, 2012

A bit of crochet

First things first; I am overwhelmed by your generous response to my return to Blogland, after a four month absence. It was totally unexpected, but oh so appreciated! Thank you all. You truly are the best!

Secondly; it seems I may have upset some of you by simply disappearing from the scene back in February, without as much as a word of farewell. For this I am truly sorry, as the last thing I wanted was to hurt a feeling.

And now to what I have been up to in my absence. I have taken quite a fancy to crocheting cushions. They are quick to make and when done they do make an impact. The first three photos show one I made out of left over wool, and includes most of the colours I have at some point been working with.

Now this one is the result of my attempt, back in February, to use the colour orange, that I had a craving for at the time. Truth be told I am quite pleased with the result, and today this colourful creation resides in a house overlooking the Irish sea.

So now I am working on a new one, quite similar to the one above, only this time I am using more yellow and less orange (not that I do not like the orange, only that I do not seem to have more of it left in my wool stash!)

And I am thinking this one is a keeper. At the same time I am wondering what a whole crochet blanket in these colours would look like? Not too bad, I like to think. Food for thought...