Wednesday 27 September 2017

September... with that spring feeling... ?!

Dear blog readers,

I hope you have had a lovely summer and that September and the reality of back-to-school/work did not hit you too hard... Perhaps you even welcomed it?

The leaves are beginning to change colour here in the UK and I find myself seeking out maples and other colour-generous autumn providers, just to see if they are "on fire" yet and marvel at nature's magic. 

And then there is the odd surprise to brighten one's Tuesday. Like the garden of my son's saxophone teacher, which yesterday greeted us with a sea of small cyclamens. Photo snapped with my phone, just before I lay down and rolled around on this pink blanket. No, not really. But very nearly. Decorum is overrated, don't you think...? đŸ˜‰

Wishing you a colourful, flower-rich week!


Friday 30 June 2017

A summer postcard...

Oh, go on then, why not make it two...

Dartmouth Castle, dating back to the 1380s.

... from stunning Dartmouth on the coast of Devon here in the UK. These photos are from a couple of years ago and I long to go back. Should you find yourselves anywhere in the area, I urge you to visit this gorgeous spot on the on the western bank of the estuary of the River Dart. Stay in Dartmouth or across the water in Kingswear and take the small ferry across to have dinner in Dartmouth, enjoying the sunset on the water. Great sea view walks in the area and for those longing for white sails, there is the annual Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta

The countdown has started. Summer holidays, come, come!!!

Summer greetings,

Monday 5 June 2017

What's for dinner..?

Oh dear. Not much, by the looks of it... ☺ 

But this is where dinner happens, when it happens. Prepared in the tiny kitchen at the back of the house, it is carried through a small "passage" and gobbled up at this Ebay bargain oak dining table. 

On one side an IKEA bench, reasonably comfortable for a long meal with friends, and on the other side, oh-so-uncomfortable plastic stools. As this space is quite small, I prefer to have small stools rather than space-craving chairs, but for the sake of my family and friends, I hope I will soon find some more comfortable ones!

I do have a penchant for small bird details on kitchenware... (This bowl is a recent find at IKEA.)

The quarry-tiled floor in the dining room I believe is the original floor in this old worker's cottage and dates back more than a century. When I came across this old and rusty (army?) barrel, I thought it would make a nice side table to match the slightly "rougher" look of this room. An old floorboard, a jigsaw and a few pearls of sweat later, a table top was born and now hosts my bowl of proud orchids.

So, there we are, a small tour of my small dining room. 
Now, time to start thinking about what to cook tonight! 

All the best,

Thursday 25 May 2017

Fairytale feathers...

It is quite a crazy creation, don't you think? (Good crazy!) This blue beauty, our 'town bird'. 

Yes, going for a stroll around our little town without stumbling over a peacock or five is actually quite an unusual thing. They live in the grounds of Corsham Court, the local Estate house, but often venture out into the streets, stopping for a casual rest on the side of the road, on top of a wall or in someone's garden... 

Even as I write this, just after midnight, I can hear them calling, in that "tooting" voice I have become so accustomed to, yet still find so peculiar. How can these, the prettiest of birds, make that noise? Fairytale birds who, you would think, ought to have vocal cords like silk to match their spectacular costume?

But don't get me wrong... I love these fancy feathers and their unusual way of communicating with the world. And I love stumbling on them on an almost daily basis, sometimes even in my road. Nature's own painter's masterpiece. The world's very real fantasy bird.

All the best,

Thursday 11 May 2017

Peaceful pickings...

Perhaps I should not be so light-hearted in my word play about something 
so crucially, urgently, desperately important. 

With so much conflict in the world, and so much pain, it may perhaps feel like making a peace sign of moss and bluebells is a decadent waste of time - time which might instead be used to try to make the world a better place? Like the whole idea of blogging about craft projects and pretty petals is a pointless luxury that is unlikely to feed hungry mouths or put an end to suffering, big or small?

Yes, I feel like that sometimes. But throughout history, different forms of art have helped people through difficult times, perhaps served as a balance to an uglier reality nearby. And perhaps that is what I am drawn to... an opportunity to balance bonkers* with beauty? For myself and for others. To offer a corner of tranquility with no demands on the reader, you, to do anything other than sit back, relax and hopefully find something that pleases your eye or inspires you in your own artistic expressions. 

Perhaps that sounded big-headed of me... to think that I could offer all of the above? Well, it is perhaps a wish more than a belief and with that, I think I may just have described the reason I am blogging...! However, this is not to say that we can't combine the two... Balancing bonkers with beauty AND work for a better world in any way we feel we can.


And on the topic of bloggable blue beauties...

The image above and the two below are recycled images from a few of my previous blog posts of bloggable bluebells. From the rougher, "untidier", or wilder looks (pic above and second of the two below) to a slightly more sophisticated setting in the first photo below - I love them all... sweet, sweet little blue friends!

The last photo above was snapped with my phone a few weeks ago, when I stumbled upon one of UKs many, many bluebell forests (and no, you are not drunk, the photo was taken on a slope!). I believe my squeals of bluebell delight are still echoing between the trees...

Wishing you peace in every form,
Helena x

* "bonkers" is British English for "crazy", or here: "madness"

Wednesday 26 April 2017

Green meditation...

In recent years, I have seen an increasing number of colouring books for grown-ups pop up in book stores everywhere. They are often designed to offer a form of meditative, anti-stress art therapy, or mindfulness, and often contain different mandala shapes for you to colour in. I completely see how they could offer all of the above, but have personally not been drawn to them. 

However, when I recently stumbled upon stunningly creative Hanna Wendelbo, (click on her name for link to her website and here for a link to her instagram account) a Swedish designer with a passion for all things floral and who, among other things, designs beautiful wallpaper and offers workshops in what I would call floral art, something clicked in me and I could not wait to experiment a little myself. 

A large black sheet of paper, a few leaves and buds snippety-snipped from my garden and I found myself absorbed in meditative petal positioning and a wonderfully symmetrical adventure that is right up my street! These first attempts are perhaps not so advanced or elaborate, but the marvellous thing about creating something for yourself is that it does not need to be advanced or elaborate - it can be what you would like it to be! I already have ideas for many other patterns and petals, and with any luck I will find the time for some more green meditation...

I will finish this blog post with one of Hanna Wendelbo's photos of one of her amazing flower art creations. For some reason, this photo has really stuck with me and I find these gerbera petal angel wings so breathtakingly beautiful.

(Image shown with Hanna's approval.)

So, dear friends, go on, pick some petals and try for yourselves. But a small warning might be appropriate here... I cannot guarantee that you will not become slightly addicted once you start! 😊


Ps. I just saw that another hugely talented and creative designer and influencer, Helena Lyth, recently attended and wrote about one of Hanna's workshops on her blog, where she also shows some of her own beautiful flower mandalas.

Ps 2. Thank you so much for your kind words on my last blog post and for welcoming me back so generously to the blog world, despite my long absence!

Friday 21 April 2017

Pretty in pink...

Dear readers, 
Greetings from a dormant blog...!
It has been a while. A very long while...

Having just spent a snowy (!) Easter in Sweden, it was rather lovely to come back to a very pink world in our small town in the UK. Eager to enjoy the floral fiesta before the petals fall to the ground, I walked down to the local cricket field, stroking the soft, fluffy cherry blossoms as I walked underneath them, spotting at least two benches where I could see myself with a picnic basket...

With a head so full of craft ideas and a heart full of blog-longing, I would love to take a few trembling steps back into the blog world. Life tends to demand my attention to be directed elsewhere, but I might just try a gentle re-entry... Baby steps...

Wishing you all a colourful day!