Another day, another shed....

I think I am becoming obsessed with sheds! These were too lovely not to share though :)

The Shed, part 2......

So I spent a very productive afternoon in the glorious sunshine rummaging in The Shed.....I made a throwaway pile, a give-away pile - and a pile of lovely things for me :) I found two wooden fireplaces, a dozen or so wooden stair spindles, a huge pile of lovely grey slates, a large cupboard (more about that another day).....among my favourite finds (and things I will keep for us) were....

Two large old laundry hampers complete with their original leather fastenings....what would YOU do with these?

2 dozen little old tin dishes, perfect for brioches or creme caramel.....or to be put in a large drawer to store buttons and other little knick knacks....worn, a little battered and probably bought in Italy, I really like these.

A lovely old tin bath......perfect for the garden I think....

An old laundry box with leather corners.....I love this!

A butler sink hidden in the greenhouse......LOVE this!

Just add tea, pretty china, cucumber sandwiches, scones and jam......and your best girlfriends....the perfect summer afternoon....

And then there are these....

Of course, once you had finished creating your gorgeous shed/summerhouse, you might think about some extras....

There are sheds and then there are SHEDS....

One project we are working on at the moment is the house that belonged for 34 years to my late in-laws......the house will be sold sometime fairly soon and we are in the process of sorting through, decluttering and organising the house and tidying and re-designing the garden. It is a huge and emotional task, one which we are taking our time over.....fortunately the house is just ten minutes from our own home. My main job so far has been the garden.

My in-laws came from the mountains of Italy where they grew and produced everything they ate.....they continued this lifestyle in London and their garden here was very much a working garden.....right now there are apples, plums, figs, cherries and strawberries growing there.

The garden is a little overgrown right now, quite meadow-like in fact! At the bottom of the garden is a lovely greenhouse and then a collection of 3-4 sheds. My late father in law was a great collector and couldn't pass something abandoned in a street without visualising how he could transform it in some way. And so in the garden are a collection of sheds which can only be described as cobbled together but which have stood the test of time and which stand as a testament to his ingenuity and ability.

We have plans for the garden but before that I am continuing my work in the sheds which were jam-packed with all kinds of things. My aim is to clear the garden and the sheds while throwing as little away as possible.....and there are several lovely things in the shed that I have my eye on, one in particular will be my next project.

Spending time in the shed has really made me realise how that little space can be transformed into a personal space, a place full of hidden treasures.....and memories. My father in law's shed smells of wood, is full of tins which rattle, drawers full of bits and pieces (and enough nails to build a house!) and things put there long ago to be's just lovely - and so him.

So, of course I got to thinking that our own new home must absolutely have a shed.....not just a place to keep tools but somewhere to spend time......and this was when I found these beauties......
Wouldn't this look beautiful surrounded by flowers, lit up with candles.....and surrounded by good food and good friends?

The pleasure of your company is requested.....

Knickerbocker Glories

When I was little I can remember how I loved my favourite aunt visiting from Wales. She would take me out on shopping trips and we would go out for lunch - often to a hamburger restaurant as a treat.....this was in the days when hamburgers were still quite a novelty and would be served on a plate with a knife and fork as opposed to being wrapped in paper. This same restaurant also served knickerbocker glories.....which I never ever got to eat...possibly because they were almost half my size. I vowed to myself that when I grew up I would eat them every week, possibly more than once.

Of course, I never actually did.....and that particular restaurant chain no longer exists. My aunt (who remains my favourite aunt) must have taken turns taking my younger brother out because strangely he has a very similar recollection!!

I found this verse today which really reminded me of that memory.....

"Animal crackers, and cocoa to drink,
That is the finest of suppers, I think;
When I'm grown up and can have what I please
I think I shall always insist upon these."
Christopher Morley

Beach huts

The sunny weather we have been having this week and a photo I spotted this morning had me thinking how lovely it would be to own a beach hut. My good friend Lucinda is lucky enough to own one on the Norfolk coast....she spends her summers there and on a sunny day she entertains, cooks and just enjoys her beautiful hut - hers is painted pink and is decorated in bright colours and Cath Kidston which I think suit it perfectly!

Beach huts date from the Victorian era when they would actually be wheeled down the beach to the water and ladies would descend, dressed head to toe in their bathing suits, into the water....when they had finished their dip, they would be wheeled back up the beach and only emerge when they were fully dressed again. For many years, beach huts then languished on the beach, becoming popular again in the 1950's and again in the last few years when they have sold in certain areas for over $140,000!!

I think of them as very British but I am sure that they can be found on beaches in some other areas of the world. I would LOVE one!


Heidi Claire's beautiful and inspiring blog heidiclaire never fails to provide something that I will fall in love with and when I read it this morning, there it perfect kitchen....or at least, two photos which combined would make my dream kitchen. I love the warmth and elegance of the first kitchen with the beautiful chandelier and I love everything single thing in the other photo......just pure gorgeous-ness!

Thank you Heidi :)


Three words that are guaranteed to get my attention....I LOVE antique French mirrors.....I love their grandeur and their style, preferably the bigger the much character and such beautiful detail. My heart skipped a beat when I saw these.

What a difference a blog makes....

One whole week has passed since I started my blog and it almost feels like that feeling you have when your child is weeks old....and you can't remember a time when they weren't around!! Having already written as many posts in a week as some people write in a month, writing now seems an essential part of my day - how wonderful is that :)
I can't believe it is only a week.....I already feel inspired and uplifted.....feel I have accomplished so many things.....have seen many beautiful and inspiring blogs......have done some new ironing basket is almost empty (that's practically unheard of!). Another interesting side effect is that I haven't eaten ANY cookies for six whole days (that's practically unheard of too!)
Looking at so many stylish blogs has really made me think about what my style is.....I love a) that sunny white Californian look, delicious creams and whites b) French chic and beautiful antique furniture, old mirrors and delicate linens c) shabby chic....I adore floral prints, pink, Cath Kidston and pretty girly things.
So I guess my style is d) all of the above! There are definitely similarities though in those styles and I can clearly see how different things will work in different rooms. We will be house hunting in about six months time......I cannot wait. I don't want to wait but I will have to :)
To everyone who has inspired me, commented on my blog and made such lovely and encouraging comments, I thank you.

Ahhhhh Florence....

This week I will be planning and (hopefully) booking our summer trip to Italy which will include a few days in Florence. Since my husband has already been on two trips this year and was overheard planning a skiing trip with the Dads for 2010 no less, I am sure he will not mind saying "si, grazie" to a trip to Italy :)

If I haven't therefore booked it by this time next week, I would like you to ask me why not?!

And a few more....

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Today was also a holiday week-end in England, so we packed up a picnic and spent the day at The Royal Botanic Gardens in was WONDERFUL - and the weather was glorious!

Pretty as a picture....

Photo taken from

I love this style of house - most houses in England are brick or stone and clapboard houses look so pretty to me. This house is in Rye, New York which I have in fact visited - we have very good family friends who live there and I am sure we have driven past this gorgeous home.
I love everything about this house, the symetry of it, the chairs on the lawn, the lamps, the white clapboard, the steps up to the front door, the roof, the pink hydrangeas......something about it reminds me of the "Father of the Bride" house and I LOVED that house!
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