Thursday 24 March 2011

Good morning sunshine...

The earth says hello...

You twinkle above us...

We twinkle below...

Good morning sunshine
You lead us along...

My love and me as we sing
Our early morning singing song...

Gliddy gloop gloopy...

Nibby nobby nooby...

La la la lo lo...

Sabba sibby sabba 
Nooby abba dabba
Le le lo lo
dooby ooby walla
dooby abba dabba
Early morning singing song...
(The beginning of Good Morning Starshine lyrics, from the musical Hair 
- the word 'starshine' changed here to 'sunshine'.)

With the exception of the thick sack fabric (hemp, jute?), bought in Turkey (4 m for £ 2) and the table runners from H&M, all other items are old and familiar 'friends'. Plates and glasses from IKEA, polystyrene apples that have been with me for decades, my home-made 'twig cutlery' from earlier this year, some junk shop bargain forks bent to work as napkin ' rings' or simply as decorative details, hazelnuts glued onto a ball of oasis (tricky to glue on to, polystyrene would work better, I think).

Wishing you all a SUNNY weekend, 
and a special hello to those of you who have just found your way here!


Wednesday 23 March 2011

A calm new friend and an award...

Ever since we had the extension built and new steps were constructed up to the garden...

... I have had a small Buddha sitting there, 
offering me a peaceful focal point whenever I look outside. 

However, last winter's frost did not treat him kindly, 
and without troubling you with the brutal details of a rather maimed ceramic friend,
 let's just say it was time to invite a successor. 

... and an award came my way...

A WARM and HUGE thank you to Sussi and Annika of the GORGEOUS blog Precious Sisters, who a little while ago honoured me by - and I love the way they put it - 'spreading a little blog love' my way with a "Gorgous Blogger" award. Thank you so much! If you have not yet discovered this lovely blog, their stunning photography, exciting craft projects and phenomenal floral compositions make a visit a moment well spent!

Wishing you all a lovely weekend and thank you, 
THANK YOU for all of your kind comments. 
Hello also to all new readers and followers - lovely to see you here!

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Modern meddling in the middle...

In the Middle Room, a k a the TV room (TV and stereo hidden in the cupboards under the stairs), a slightly more modern tone has snuck its way in. A coffee table much too large for this small space - but excellent to build Lego cities on. A sofa so treasured by the man in the house (what is it about men and their old sofas?), that it has moved from the UK to Sweden to Turkey to Sweden to the UK... - the firm fluffiness of its cushions a sweet but very distant memory... A fire place with exposed bricks, courtesy of the previous owners of the house and unfortunately not to our taste, still on our to do-list (together with many other 'wants' and 'needs' in the house)...

Through the door to the left is the kitchen, to the right: the hallway, stairs and front room (see Living Room). Behind me is the white sofa with the CALM letters above (see The Middle Room).

The ceiling light is my beloved Midsummer Light by Tord Boontje. Designer items are a very rare sight in The Swenglish Home, but this sensual paper 'skirt' makes me happy every day and brightens this window-less room in more ways than one.

The table lamp is one of my finds from my trip to Paris last week, and was found at Maisons du Monde, a -for me - new and VERY nice acquaintance in the world of shops... It had a minute, hardly visible scratch and voilà: 20% came off the price immediately and at  € 31 (£ 27) including the shade, I thought it was a good deal.

The fire place in this room is not working, but that does not mean a rusty greenhouse heater (another bargain at £ 8 at one of my local bargain hangouts in Bath...) filled with fairy lights can't have a go at offering a warm ambiance, does it...?

So, there we are, a peek into a room where it all happens... Drama and documentaries; numbing news and stories of hope and love, on paper, screen or CD; playtime and parents' naps; bundles with boys - our bundles of joy. Everyday life in a Swenglish home...


As many bloggers have pointed out recently, writing about mundane decorating dilemmas or, as above, the joy of lamps, is perhaps done with mixed feelings at the moment. With a world 'gone mad' and natural disasters changing the emotional 'decor' of so many people's lives forever, how can we carry on dwelling on where to place our tables and tulips? 

Personally, I think it is OK to do both. To focus on and deal with the horrifying news from Japan and elsewhere, choose to offer help in some physical form or just in our hearts, but at the same time carry on with whatever gives us the positive energy and the soul-nurturing that allow us to do just that, cope with the overwhelming pain that we may experience near us or from afar... 

So, I will carry on embracing signs of spring in my garden, but I do it now perhaps with a little more gratitude, humble to be here to experience yet another spring, joyful at the signs of life around me.


Friday 18 March 2011

Spring in a basket...

Yes, here it is again, my trusted garden bench. 
A little bit scruffier every day, but still a faithful companion. 
No, I don't mind a bit of 'rough and scruff' in furniture, not at all, 
but I think some spring cleaning would my wooden friend a world of good...!

With all decoration plans safely tucked away in my pocket, saved for a later date - as I had work dead-lines to attend to today - I was just going to stroll down the garden path for some fresh air...

And there they were, at the very bottom of the garden.
The ones with the big B.
The ones you know you can't resist, starved and hungry after months of not seeing a single one.
Buds, buds, everywhere buds.
Hope and joy encapsulated in hundreds of tiny, light green parcels...

So can you blame me for taking a little detour on my way back to my computer...?
Perhaps a moment of creative contemplation, some Rooibos tea and a juicy 
pear was just what I needed to boost my brain for the writing task ahead...? 
And do you know, the document actually seemed to write itself after that!

To my Scandinavian friends out there, 
whose world is still cold and steeped in white fluffy stuff,
 please do not let these spring-scented images be a 'slap in the face', 
but a whisper of what is to come...

Because it will come.


Ps. The latest issue of the Norwegian interior magazine VAKRE HJEM & INTERIøR (Beautiful Homes & Interiors) is out today, and some of my photos from The Swenglish Home can be found in the magazine (in a feature about Franciska Munck-Johansen's new book, Summer For All the Senses). This is a very proud but oh so impatient Swenglish lady, eagerly waiting for the magazine to arrive in the post...

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Paris infidelity...

Worry not, I am not talking about a French "affair" or any sort of naughty business or lust of the flesh. However, to those of you who visit my blog in the hope of some interior or crafty inspiration, I fear that lately my travel journals have pushed their way through to my blog space more than once, leading to what could be seen as 'infidel' straying from the themes normally offered here...

I have just returned from four days in a city I have always found magical. No work on this trip, just a huge dose of memorable and very French impressions for all the senses, mixed up with precious time with a close friend I have not seen for much too long. Girly giggles and crêpes with Nutella go so well together, don't you think...?

For the curious, I can reveal that a couple of flea markets were also on the menu, and I might, if I may, return in another blog post to some bargain treasures that ended up travelling with me home on the Eurostar train...

For now, I say 'merci' for your kind comments on previous posts and

 'À bientôt, chers amis!'

Sunday 13 March 2011

Guest blogging...!

Today I have the honour of being the guest blogger at Svenska Blomsterbloggar ("Swedish Flower Blogs"), where Emelie has gathered a lot of lovely blogs related to gardening and/or flowers. For those of you who would like to pop over to see my blog post there, but do not speak Swedish, I can reveal that the theme for my post is contrasts (rough stone or rusty metal meets delicate flower, for example) and unexpected materials and items in decorating with flowers.

Wishing you all a lovely Sunday!

Thursday 10 March 2011

Why think outside of the box... 

when you could think inside...?

A fruit box about to be thrown into the fire in a pub at Christmas, rescued and given a lick of paint (first green, then a thin layer of white), some letters cut out of paper and glued on... and voilà, my own box of loveliness... 

to be filled with whatever lovely things I fancy...

... and today I fancied spring flowers!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Monday 7 March 2011

Turkish treasures and trusty tulips...

How I have longed for you...

...with your squeeky freshness and colourful little faces...

Welcome tulips, YOU are SPRING to me!

Resting here in one of the Turkish wooden bowls from my trip last week,
looking...well good enough to eat! 

Behind the summer hat I dream of wearing one day 
(when I have shrunk my head enough for it not to look 
such a laughing matter squashed into a hat),
nestles a small cushion also found in Ankara...

Wishing you a spring-scented and altogether spectacular week!

Ps. Thank you for all your kind words about my photos from Turkey. 
What is it about scruffy old doors, I wonder, that 
make so many of us go weak at the knees....?