Thursday 29 March 2012

No bacon in my pan...


The glow of the afternoon sun is warm and wonderful...

With the last few days' "heat wave", the newly planted violets seek my attention 
with small gasps of thirst, and the watering can is always at the ready.

When the three bacon lovers in this family indulged their pork-yearning palates at 
Sunday morning breakfast, I filled my own pan with something - to me - much more palatable...

 ... idly ignoring the need for a proper scrub of both bench and patio... 
Instead I later sat back to enjoy the rays of sun reflected in the windows of the conservatory, 
casting a warm gleam on my little corner of violets, rust, pots and... spring!

Wishing you all a lovely weekend!

Monday 26 March 2012

Lunch on the lawn...


This past weekend offered glorious summer temperatures here in the South West UK. Everywhere, the sound of flip flops and lawn mowers enhanced the summery feel, and on Sunday, the boys and I decided to have lunch in the garden. As the young family members had spent the morning playing football, I did not bother with any fancy table settings for them...


... but after they had finished and I saw the small table there in the shade...


... a little tired and in need of some TLC...


... it seemed to be cajoling me to dress it up and make it feel pretty for a moment...


So, inspired by a few small Indian wooden stamps I picked up in London last week...

... I dug out my old wooden stamps bought in Turkey 
(some still with traces of paint after I used them for card making)...

... and let their oriental feel set the tone for the table décor...
(Yes, I know I have mixed very different Asian details here, such as the old Turkish book pages wrapped around the violet and the onions, mixed with East Asian chop sticks... oh, and yes, Moroccan style lanterns which obviously do not belong on that continent at all! Ah well, we will have to adopt a rather liberal view on theme loyalty here, I think...!)


As I was playing around with these - in my opinion - rather beautiful wooden stamps, another idea was born. I hope I will be able to show you some results of that idea in a few weeks. I just need to find the material and...ah, yes, the t-i-m-e....

Wishing you all a really lovely week!

Sunday 25 March 2012

Counting sheep...

It is the first few trembling minutes of Sunday here in the Swenglish house. We are trying to remind ourselves to forward the clocks in the house before we go to bed, and we are pulling funny faces in front of the mirror as we hope to spot a modest tan after today's summer experience.

Except for the golden light from a few candles, the house mostly rests in darkness now, and the photos bear that grainy, sleepy quality I wish I had the skills to avoid...

On the sofa where my favourite curling-up corner can be found (I can see through the dining area and into the garden from here), rests an inviting lambskin. Given the glorious temperatures today (+19-20!), this ought to be put away until next winter, but I am hesitating. I tell myself that the evenings might still be cold, and surely its cosy appeal can fight off the deceptive summer vibes and allow for it to linger a little longer...?

Yes, here we are, finally arrived at the theme of this blog post. 
The clue is in the "baah".
Bath is a very hilly city, and just outside the city, the countryside continues 
this up-y-down-y trend, however here painted in green, 
with a scattering of woolly wonders.

But, hang on a minute, could this be the world's cheekiest lamb? Let's zoom in for a second...

Yes, definitely! The little lamb is clearly sticking its tongue out at its mum, behind her back! 
Tss, tss, caught on camera, my woolly friend!

I know I risk some of my readers falling asleep during this blog post...  

... but I just could not resist introducing you to these sweet little fleecy friends, 
posing so kindly for me the other day...

To those of you who have managed to stay awake all the way through this post,
I wish you a  lovely Sunday and hope it brings you stunning weather and 
lots of fun and play!


Ps. A special hello to those of you who may have found your way here from lovely Annalisa at The Apple Market, who wrote a blog post about The Swenglish Home a few days ago. It was an honour to be featured in your blog, Annalisa, and thank you for all of your kind words!

Tuesday 20 March 2012

City life...


Dear readers,
I had hoped to show you some new decorating ideas that have been brewing in my head for a while, but as I have not yet had the time to transfer my ideas into my hands, today's blog post will feature some photos from a stroll around Bath about a month ago.

The Royal Crescent, Bath, UK

We live only 16 km (10 miles) outside of this stunning Roman city, yet I go in much too seldom!

Pulteney Bridge , Bath, UK

Wherever you turn your head, your eyes are invited to feast on stunning architecture, glorious views and inviting little shops and restaurants. The sand-coloured Bath Stone seems to enhance the majestic lines of some of Bath's many impressive buildings.

Bath is also know for its thermal baths, and the new Thermal Spa is a stone's throw away from the Roman Baths (whose oldest parts date back to 60-70 AD!), as is the 200-year old Royal Mineral Water Hospital, today known as the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases. 

Tempted to move here? Well, be prepared to cough up a substantial amount of Sterling, as Bath is allegedly second only to London as for sigh-worthy property price tags.

And just as you are strolling around, enjoying the hilly, green views, 
you may just spot an unexpected palm tree or two!

And here and there you may see a cheerful, seasonal window display, as for example in this oh-so-lovely interior cum clothes shop cum café, where I have been known to dribble and drool over an armchair or two. 

I think my next post might have a bit of a sheepish tone to it, so welcome to join me and some woolly wonders next time.

Thank you for visiting and a special thank you to those of you taking the time to leave such kind comments. I appreciate every word!


Wednesday 14 March 2012

Yellow spells spring...!

Mmmmm, yum, yum! Now, where are we likely to find a stunning stone planter like this...?

(Click on the images if you would like to view them larger and against a black background..)
Oh yes. I have brought you here a hundred and one times before, but as our Saturday walk again took us to the yummy village of Castle Combe, my camera just happened to be bouncing about in my backpack, the sun happened to be joining in with the general spring mood... and this village just cannot seem to offer anything BUT pretty views... well, what is a girl to do...?

Sometimes I do have to pinch myself and stroke the old stone walls just to check that they are indeed hundreds of years old and not just some card board film set. But no, everything is real. The old car in the previous photo, the horse riders having a rest by the old market place, the horse poo - all real, all part of life in the English countryside. All reasons to be grateful that this is on my doorstep, particularly in severe missing-Sweden moments ...

Yes, indeed a gorgeous house, but now focus for a moment on the top left corner of 
the photo... can you see them? Pink blossom on the tree!!! Yippey!

Yes, spring is definitely here. Saturday's walk was done without a coat, flowers greeted us on either side of the path through the forest, and the ice-cream intake increased by 200 % or so. All in the name of spring. Aaah...


Featured in Sanselig Jul, 
a Christmas book by Franciska Munck-Johansen

To those of you thinking that "this whole spring thing is a little overrated, why can't we look forward to Christmas instead?", I have got some good news for you too. Norwegian interior writer, stylist and photographer Franciska Munck-Johansen - whose book Sanselig Sommer (Summer For All The Senses), published last year, offering lots of decorative summer inspiration from herself and a number of other bloggers - has just announced that her new Christmas book, Sanselig Jul, will be out in November. I feel very proud to be part of this book too and look forward to 200 pages of Christmas inspiration from Franciska and some fellow bloggers.

I hope you are surrounded by spring-spirited people and flower-lined paths, 
wherever you are, and if not, have faith, spring (and Christmas!) is just around the corner! 


Sunday 11 March 2012

Feeling blue...

... but in a good way!

(The images in this post look better if you click on them to view them against a black background.)

Having returned from Lacock with blue & white inspiration from the Tearooms, I rummaged through my cupboards to find my blue and white second hand shop finds (50 p - £ 1 per piece), to organise my own little tea party...

But... ehm... you can't blaim a girl for being slightly distracted by newly bought pansies and stunning sunshine, can you? And so it was that no tea was ever brewed, but pretty pansies projecting their petal pride from the small coffee cups. 

These particular cups were bought second hand by some friends in Sweden, because they knew these were identical to the ones my grandparents used to sip their three o'clock coffee from. Just looking at these little  cups and saucers brings back so many memories, and I can almost hear my grandfather quietly slurp the coffee whilst holding a sugar cube between his teeth, the way he always did...

The garden table (spray-painted to look old and rusty) was brought in to 
the conservatory and decorated with some ivy from the garden...

There is something about the white and blue that oozes summer vibes, don't you think?
And if I am not mistaken, that is where we are heading, slowly but surely!

...and then one thing led to another...

... and a blue & white cushion was born!

The perceptive reader might recognize the photo on the cushion as the third one in this blog post, although a mirror image of it due to the transfer process. I used Iron-On T-Shirt Transfer paper, which can be found in most stationery shops (I made lavender sachets in the same way here.), and some white linen fabric I had in the cupboard. A couple of straight seams and voilà, a summer-inspired cushion. The images are not perfect, perhaps because of the not entirely smooth linen fabric surface, but we can perhaps call it...ahem... "rustic"...?

Wishing all you of you, new readers and old, the loveliest of weeks, 
and thank you for stopping by!

Friday 9 March 2012

It's tea o'clock...

... in lovely Lacock!

A few weeks ago, we decided to go for afternoon tea in Harry Potter territory again. Well, perhaps not exactly at Hogwarts (even if this is indeed Lacock village where Lacock Abbey was the setting for many Hogwarts scenes), but in a village so full of character, history and beauty that it is easy to believe that someone has put a prettifying spell on it...

An abundance of stunning old stone cottages line the streets of this gorgeous village, some with the classic Elizabethan wooden fronts (below), and all with several centuries' worth of stories to tell about the adventures and fates of their tenants...

The main part of King John's Hunting Lodge (below) dates back to the 13th century, and today hosts lovely tearooms with a roaring fire inside, adding both warmth and atmosphere during the colder months, and a cottage garden that in the summer is a dream of floral fabulousness...

With a selection of irresistible cakes, displayed temptingly 
on a classic old dresser, one is not likely to leave hungry....

A feast for the eyes and for the palate, it is perhaps no surprise that this is one of our favourite "hangouts", and only seven minutes by car from home, it is likely I will be back soon again!

If you have just found your way here through the feature in Country Homes & Interiors, welcome to my Swenglish corner of the blog universe. To all of you, old readers and new, thank you for stopping by and for leaving such lovely comments!

Next time, I will show you what the blue and white china in the tearooms inspired me to do at home...

All the best,

Ps. Nothing in this post was sponsored. I just happen to be very fond of Lacock village and these tearooms.