Guest room makeover 1

A brief miscellany this week, of projects either finished-but-not-photographed, or started-but-not-yet-finished.  A succession of gloomy, rain-filled days has meant a lack of good light to take pictures, but conversely we’ve spent a lot of time this weekend sheltering in the warm and making, baking, painting and sticking to alleviate the weather.

I’ve a whole host of things to share with you as soon as I find myself at home, in bright daylight, with 10 minutes and camera.  Until then, here’s a few pics of our work in progress – like the guest room, which used to look like this below…

old bedroom

… but now has beautiful oiled oak flooring, shaker-peg panelled walls, shutters, and seems somehow infinitely more welcoming and cosy than before.  I’ll give you a proper tour and pics next week. Also the story of this butchers block, which took two strong men and lots of swearing to manoeuvre from the hall to the first floor…

Guest room makeover 3

Two last pics, and then I’ll wait for the proper post. I just couldn’t resist..

Guest room 4

Guest room makeover 2

In other news, we’ve been continuing our festive preparations with some more card-making; Harry drew a Christmas tree which I’ve magicked onto cards for him to write in and sign (I’ll show you how we did this; very simple and fun).  The labour involved in forming careful letters when you’re 4 means that we’re doing a couple at a time to ensure that enthusiasm and concentration is sustained…


…and I’ve been playing around with my art supplies, forming wreaths and trees and other shapes with soft pastels and paint trays to make some imagery befitting of a crafter at Christmas…. I’m thinking these might make lovely gift tags or cards. Hmmm, watch this space.

Pastel wreath

paint palette christmas tree

The house looks more than usually chaotic; as I write, most of the kitchen surfaces are topped with pieces of coloured fondant as I figure out how to make a castle birthday cake for a would-be-knight who turns 5 in a matter of days (where did the time go? I can hardly believe it).  The Snug is becoming Christmas HQ and has rolls of paper and part-wrapped presents and tags strewn around.  Harry is bursting with the excitement and pressure of keeping secrets about the presents he is aware of for grandparents and for each of us, and keeps trying to drop heavy hints and clues, accompanied by  his newly-perfected wink; it’s very funny and poignant in equal measure.

If you too are feeling crafty and looking for holiday inspiration, here’s our take on advent calendars, paper star decorations and a few of the festive projects we were making last year  - enjoy.

Have a great week!

handbag logo


Quick crafts: DIY Santa!

DIY Torn-Paper Santa

Harry and I are beginning to feel a bit festive (if you’re in Bah Humbug-mode, look away and shush your tut-tutting…).  Perhaps it’s the steady thud of Christmas catalogues arriving in the post, or the relentless holiday music playing in every retail space we wander through.  By December, we’ll probably be fatigued, but right now …
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California Highlights

Sea Nettles

Sea Nettles at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

How was your weekend?  We had a lovely but strange one, adjusting to the timezone shift after a wonderful trip to California.  It was a magical break, and we came back with a suitcase full of sand, beach-treasures and 1,013 photos.  Count ‘em.  Sometimes digital cameras are not
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California, here we come!


MarisaMidori Illustration

We’re still not packed, we have at least two meals-worth of strange, incompatible-yet-perishable things in the fridge to eat up, but my goodness we’re excited; our long-awaited Californian road trip is almost here!  We’ve made the most of your tips and recommendations and are planning to start in San Francisco and then follow the coast, stopping at Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur – …
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DIY Dutch Canal House Luminaries

DIY Dutch House Luminaries

Back in the Springtime, Mum and I went to Amsterdam for a weekend which we spent in cafes, galleries, stores, bars and – most of all – walking along all the beautiful canal streets, picking the houses we most wanted to live in, transfixed by the rooflines with every conceivable shape and architectural feature. …
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Channelling Icarus, and a week in pictures…

Icarus wings master

You can imagine the moment when Icarus, full of hubris and exhilaration as he sailed above Crete with his home-made wings, began to question the wisdom of using wax.  Perhaps when the first rays of the sun warmed his back and he began to feel an alarming softening of his wingspan….  the rest, as they say, is history.  Or myth, more accurately.

If only …
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The Simple Guide to Making Secret Books

DIY Secret Books

I’ve always loved the idea of making secret boxes from books; the kind where you pull out a book from the shelves, lift the cover and find instead a beautiful box full of exciting things.  I’ve always been put off  by the method, which traditionally involves glueing all of the book pages together and cutting, carefully and precisely, through every single page to …
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The Letter Box: Preserving The Magic of Snail Mail

The Letter Box

I’ve written often on this blog about my love of letters and the abiding magic of good things in the post.  For someone who delights in receiving mail, I don’t write to others nearly often enough, so have gradually been gathering together lovely supplies to make it easier to scribble a pretty card or note in the moment I think of it, before …
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