Wednesday, 5 August 2015

My Search For Vintage Tiles

Hello everyone!

Despite hunting on the internet high and low, I haven't been able to find the perfect tiles to go behind my bathroom sink.  I knew I wanted something whimsical and pretty, in pastel shades.  I'm pretty good at having an idea in my head of what I want, then realising that such an item doesn't exist!  So I've decided to be patient, and to wait, slowly collecting tiles as I find them to complete my little splashback.  I'm going for an eclectic look, with mismatching patterns, different shapes and sizes.  I found the white and blue patterned tile on holiday in France years ago, the turquoise tile on the right has been in my garden, and the garden before that for years.  The tiny pale green mosaic tiles are left over from a bathroom project 15 years ago from a flat I used to live in, too pretty to get rid of.  I found the large antique patterned tiles in a little vintage shop in Hastings when I was down at my parents the other week.  I'm fairly sure I had hearts in my eyes when I saw them!  I could have bought more but they were not cheap, and I didn't want their beauty to be diminished by having too many of them.  So my search continues, but I'm pretty pleased with the way it's coming together!

Tomorrow I am taking the children camping up on the north Norfolk coast for a couple of nights - I've managed to get a pitch by the dunes, so the children can explore whilst I cook on my little camping stove.  There's something very soothing about going back to basics for a couple of days - although I'm sure I won't be thinking that whilst I struggle to put the tent up! :D

Tamsyn x

Monday, 3 August 2015

Homegrown Dahlia

Hello everyone, I hope you had a lovely weekend!

Here are my some of my dahlia blooms which have finally burst into flower.  I bought the tubers from good old B&Q for a few pounds, and I adore the colours - the petals are two toned in gorgeous shades of pale pink and raspberry.  I have another couple of dahlias which are also ready to burst into flower.  It's so long ago that I bought and planted them, that I can't remember what colour they are.  It's like a lovely surprise waiting to unfurl!

Tamsyn x

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Hello August!

Well hell there August, how lovely to see you!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Tamsyn x

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Shabby Chic - Meeting Rachel Ashwell

Hello everyone!

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I was giddy with excitement to be invited down to London to meet Rachel Ashwell.  As the founder of Shabby Chic, she has created one of the most influential interior design movements of the last few decades.  Rachel had a book signing and seminar in her Notting Hill shop, to coincide with the launch of her beautiful new book, The World of Shabby Chic.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that Rachel's work is a huge inspiration to me.  I first came across one of her books many years ago, and instantly fell in love with the idea of reusing and re-loving vintage pieces, furniture and textiles, with their faded elegance and patina.  Her colour palette of soft whites, pastels and muted greys have shaped the palette I've used in my own home, and I was encouraged to embrace decorating and furnishing in white and pale shades, despite having a young family with sticky hands!

So as you can imagine, I felt pretty star struck (and nervous!) when I walked into the beautiful shop just off Portobello Road.  Rachel was kind enough to sit down with me and tell me a little bit more about the mantra behind Shabby Chic - Beauty, Comfort and Function.  When her children were very young, she wanted to have a beautiful home, but to not be that mother who worried about the children climbing over the sofas's with grubby hands and shoes - an idea which I found such a breath of fresh air when I first read one of her books when my daughter was little.  Washable covers for sofas and chairs, and furniture which celebrates the beauty in chipped and worn paint makes this the perfect interior style for families.  We had such a lovely chat, and I loved hearing about her treasure hunting at the flea markets and antique fairs across the States.  She is so passionate about the Shabby Chic lifestyle, and I came away feeling utterly inspired. 

I spent a good half an hour taking some snaps in the shop, which is the very essence of Shabby Chic - amazing, soft sofa's that you can snuggle into, tinkling chandeliers, divine vintage furniture and exquisite paintings by Laurenece Amelie.  
The seminar was wonderful,  we made ourselves comfortable on the huge sofas and Rachel talked us through her new book.  How she inherited her love of treasure hunting at flea and antique markets from her parents, her first job in Hollywood which meant she had access to the props rooms for both 20th Century Fox and Universal Studios (I love this story!) and the journey she has travelled over the years, from starting the business whilst bringing up small children, to the brand Shabby Chic as it is now.  I went down to London with two copies of her books and she kindly signed them for me - I even got a snapshot with her!
I have been sent a copy of the new book, and I'm very much looking forward to reading it cover to cover over the next few weeks - I will be posting a review once I finish it. You can follow Rachel on Instagram here and her beautiful blog is here.  

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tamsyn x 

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Tea Cup Towers

Hello everyone!

I display my vintage china in a huge old glazed cabinet.  I've piled the saucers and cups in a bit of a slap dash fashion, but there's something quite charming about the teacup towers, which seem to lean drunkenly to one side.  

Our little holiday in East Sussex has drawn to a close, and this the morning we make our way back to Norfolk.  We have had the most wonderful time, the perfect mix of beach, vintage shops and parks with good old fashioned swings and climbing frames for the children!  I wonder if any of my dahlia blooms will be out in the garden at home - I shall keep you posted!

Tamsyn x

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Pastel Houses on Portobello Road

Hello everyone, I hope you're having a lovely weekend!

I'm just working through the pictures I took at Shabby Chic, and I thought I'd share this picture with you of the pretty pastel houses on Portobello Road.

We're having a lovely time at my parents - we have been to the seaside, taken a trip down memory lane by visiting the village where my brother and I grew up, and I have found lots of vintage treasure which I will share with you soon.  

Have a wonderful day!

Tamsyn x

Friday, 24 July 2015

Styling The Seasons - July

Hello everyone!

It's been a bit of a technological learning curve posting this month's Styling the Seasons post!  I've been so spoilt with my super whizzy broadband at home, and I have my own little routine when it comes to sorting and watermarking my pictures for the blog.  It's all a bit of a long winded process, and my desktop recently (e.g. the last year) has looked like a cluttered jumble of pictures, files, documents and various bit and bobs.  Every time my computer has helpfully suggested that I need to update my browser, I of course have ignored it!  (Change?  What's that?!  No thanks!)  So, coming down to my parents with my middle aged laptop with it's outdated browser and no memory, coupled with their less whizzy broadband, meant that I had a bit of a challenge on my hands!  I'm ashamed to say that I almost had a teenage sulk, huffing and puffing and generally getting into a bit of a tizzy because I couldn't upload my pictures.  Such a silly thing to get in a tizz about, in the grand scheme of things.

So, I took a deep breath, removed about 3000 photographs and put them on my external hard drive.  Being the hoarder I am, this was a terrifying task.  I downloaded a new web browser, which took nearly all night.  Installed the browser.  Went to the village cafe this morning which has wifi, to upload my pictures and download a new watermark app.  And here we are!  It's funny how the smallest change to our routine or habits can send us into an indignant frenzy, but sometimes you just have to do it in order to move forward.  Sometimes change is for the best even if we don't realise it at first.  I'm feeling very zen and minimalist right now with my lovely new browser and empty desktop!  It feels like a fresh start.

For this month's Styling The Seasons post, I decorated my little white mantelpiece in my bedroom with some of my favourite pieces.  The vintage French urn on the left was a birthday present from a lovely friend, and the blooms are from my garden.  The pastel heart garland was a little present I gave to my daughter for her birthday, and it's from Paperchase.  My favourite Vernon Ward print, one of my best ever car boot fair finds takes centre stage, and the beautiful pink ribbon rosette was a purchase from the Shabby Chic store last week.

As always you can see lots of other beautiful and inspiring Styling The Seasons posts by heading over to Katy's blog Apartment Apothecary and Charlotte at Lotts and Lots, or by searching the hashtag #StylingTheSeasons on Instagram.  You can also join in on Instagram by styling a surface in your home according to what that month means to you (don't forget to use the hashtag!).

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Tamsyn x