Tuesday, 26 February 2013

shed loads of space

As mentioned in Saturday's post we moved around the living room at the weekend ever so slightly to make space for a desk for little old me (as seen above). I have been loving it, me and my boyfriend Alex are currently sat at the opposite ends of our living room (but our house is so small if we stretch out our arms we'd be touching!) both getting on with our own things, bliss. I also treated myself to the indoor chrysanthemum and put a photo up and this is instantly a happy little space that feels like just mine.

That feeling of having your own space is very important to me, I know it's daft and I really do love living with Alex but I treasure those little spaces that are just mine. The garden for one is usually the space I escape to when I want a bit of time on my own, Alex hates gardening, his only job is sweeping up after I've made a right old mess of the path, to which he does a lovely job by the way. This winter though, and whenever the weather's bad, I can't escape outside and I start to feel cooped up. This desk, although it's only a tiny space, certainly helps but I do love to be outside, so...

I have been daydreaming of doing the shed up, I know, I know, I have a whole house that I am planning on doing up and which I still have yet to start and I'm already thinking of the next project. This is what makes my heart soar though, and I will try and do the shed up soon even if I die from exhaustion!

We were very lucky that a shed came with the house so I don't have to buy one. When we first moved in it was this awful brown colour and the roof was knackered.

Last summer my dad very kindly lent me his DIY expertise and together we repaired the roof, some may say we 'bodged' it but I was pretty darned proud of our handiwork. I also gave it a lick of paint (or three) and it was vastly improved. 

I did however do nothing to the inside, there are some major holes to the left hand side and I just crammed it full of stuff, without an ounce of organisation involved. Sheds seems to lend themselves well to that level of chaos and disorganisation though don't they, much like lofts, luckily I don't have one of those or I'd be in a similar situation. It does not look pretty in there and it's only purpose at the moment is as a dumping ground, but at least the spiders like it. It would be really handy if I could have somewhere to pot up seedlings when it's miserable outside, it would also be great to maybe have somewhere when I could draw, paint, write and hopefully just enjoy being in there.

Anyway, after seeing photos of these sheds I have serious shed envy! Yep if my shed didn't look pretty before, comparing it to these lovelies certainly hasn't helped.

The above images are from the shed of Artemis from Junkaholique which is my absolute favourite blog, do check it out. I love the simplicity and it's amazing what you can achieve with such a small space. Her husband Nao's shed is also pretty special too, images below.

Inspired? I'll say. If you want to see more amazing sheds why not check out the entries for this years Shed of the Year competition, I've been looking through these every lunchtime and they've only been fuelling the fire in my case to do the shed up.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

today has been a jolly good day. I...

...admired the foxgloves I planted under torch light last night (Illumination Pink from Thompson & Morgan)

...went all gooey at the sight of my boyfriend Alex and Bootsy cat having a little snuggle

...went antique shopping and spent money I didn't have on things I told Alex we desperately needed (sorry I didn't take any photos of the shops, I forgot in all the excitement! Must do better next time)

...came home and tidied our bombsite of a bedroom whilst Bootsy chilled amongst the tower of clothes

...admired my purchases

vintage lampshade from The Pad, Sheffield

teeny weeny old glass medicine bottle from Heeley Bank Antiques Centre, Sheffield
new mirror from Heeley Bank Antiques Centre

an amazing pair of 70's curtains from The Pad

wicker basket from Heeley Bank Antiques Centre

yet another vintage lampshade from The Pad

50's glasses from Langton's Antiques, Sheffield

...tidied the living room, making space for a little desk/workspace for moi (the little sewing machine is new too, do you think we went a bit mad?!)

...lit some candles

...and now I'm sat at my new little desk with Alex at my left typing merrily away and Bootsy cat to my right dreaming of rolling in soil and supping cat milk, most probably

I hope you're all having a lovely weekend too

Monday, 18 February 2013

blanket envy

After the busy weekend I've had all I want to do is snuggle up in a cosy (but beautiful) blanket. One of these little numbers would do quite nicely.

Now if someone could just lend me the money to buy myself one then I'd be a very happy lady. No I hear you say? Well a girl can dream can't she. 

Sunday, 17 February 2013

another busy day

The sun was out again today (yay!) so I managed to have another productive day like yesterday (double yay!). I'm trying to start preparing things ready for decorating the bedroom, as mentioned in a previous post I'm trying to do this cheaply as I have a somewhat limited budget, a.k.a. I'm thoroughly skint! I picked up a few bits recently with the plan that I'd do them up so taking advantage of the good weather, I popped round to my Grandparent's home to make a start.

I bought this chest of drawers last weekend for only £15 from Ashgate Hospice, which is an absolute bargain but they were in a bit of a state. Not sure if you can really tell on this picture but it had been painted with really thick gloss paint which had gone all gloopy and there were all lumps of dried paint over it and it was chipped in places, poor thing certainly needed some love.

I hadn't realised how much paint was actually on it, the layers were so think that it took hours of me and my Grandad trying to chisel, sand and even blow torch it off! It took a lot longer than I thought it would but we got there in the end. Below is it stripped but I still need to paint it, hopefully I'll have it done by next week. 

My boyfriend also recently bought me this small set of drawers for our bedroom. I think he may have just got them for me as an incentive to put away my jewellery for once, as it's usually scattered all over our room (I'm a bit of a messy bugger) but I don't mind as I love them. I wasn't keen on the the burgundy colour though. 

I only had time to do one coat of paint to the outside but already I prefer it a lighter colour. Sorry that the photo I took below isn't great, I took it inside my Grandad's garage and it doesn't really do the colour of the paint justice, it really is quite lovely though, Imperial Cream part of Crown's Period Colours range. I'm planning on painting the chest of drawers the same colour so will take photos of both when completed, but in day light next time.

As dark as it is I do love my Grandad's garage, I think that this could be a clue as to my hoarding nature, he keeps absolutely everything just in case it might ever be useful. To some people it would be their worst nightmare but I would love a garage like this one day, I could quite happily potter about in there.

There's also a few quirky details in my Nanan's and Grandad's garden that particularly make me smile. Couldn't resist sharing them. 

These are tulips by the way :)


Oh and my Nan's and Grandad's amaryllis was looking rather splendid today too.

Right I'm off to watch Friday's episode of Monty Don's French Garden's.


Saturday, 16 February 2013

saturday's rundown (or why I'm so tired)

I am officially exhausted. After quite a few weekends of snow and several months of freezing cold weather, the sun finally came out today from wherever it's been hiding (I'm sure you noticed too) and I must admit I got a bit giddy. After months of feeling sluggish I felt positively energised, so thank you Mr Sunshine. 

Anyway, here's a rundown of what I've been up to today....

I had a wee tidy up of the house and sorted out the kitchen sides. Just putting things on trays and in bowls has made it look a lot tidier me thinks.

I also cut down the indoor hyacinths that were in pots in a previous post as they were looked lopsided and past their best. I put them in vases to cheer them (and me) up. As you can see my amaryllis is also finally flowering so I am officially a very happy lady.

I tidied up the garden, cut back all the plants from last year and finally cleared the mass of leaves from my borders (I know, it's about time!) The borders still need quite a bit of work but they're vastly improved at least.

I planted the dogwood I recently found really cheaply with some ivy that had gone crazy in another pot and some snowdrops which were growing next to our drains, although I liked that the snowdrops were unexpected in their previous spot I felt they really did deserve a nicer home than next to a drain pipe!

I rearranged my pots (who needs a gym when you could just lift terracotta pots instead).

I re-painted the gate and painted the fence at the side of our front borders. The fence needs another coat but already it looks a lot better than it did previously.

I admired my garden, particularly these beauties.

Iris 'Katharine Hodgkin'

Snowdrops growing in my lawn

Sarcococca Confusa

I explored the woods across from my house with my cat Bootsy.



And now, why I'm curled up on my sofa with a blanket and a cup of tea of course. 

Sunday, 10 February 2013

spring 2012 - grange farm cottage

It's snowing yet again here at Grange Farm Cottage, disappointingly it's not pretty little snowflakes this time, it's this horrible slush so in the absence of staring wistfully out of the window I am thoroughly taking advantage of the dreary weather, using it as an excuse to snuggle up on my sofa with a blanket, my laptop and maybe a cup of tea or two. 

Whilst planning what changes I wanted to make to the garden and what I'd like it to look like this Spring I had a gander at last years photos of the garden in Springtime and thought you might enjoy a nosey.

I wish I'd taken some photos of the garden when we'd first moved in, it was a complete and utter mess as the previous tenants had just let the weeds take over. Below is what it looked like after a lot of hard graft and a hell of a lot of help from mine and my boyfriend's family. The garden looks bare but certainly a lot tidier than it did when we first moved in. 

We were very lucky that under all the mess there was some really nice plants left over from years before. Wilfred had apparently lived here for around 50 years and he really loved his garden. The photo below is off Google Maps, it's a glimpse at what the garden looked like in 2008. By this time unfortunately Wilfred had to have a gardener come to look after it but it does still look rather charming. I must get a rose or some sort of climber to ramble up the cottage, I do love that. I must admit I also prefer the green porch to our current brown varnished affair but as the house is rented that may have to stay as it is. 

Anyway, as I was saying we inherited many beautiful plants from Wilfred which have helped the garden to look slightly more established. Amongst them we have Roses, Aquilegias, Pulmonaria, Primroses, Asters, Phlox and a stunning Mock Orange Tree. 

Here's a couple of snaps of the garden April last year, this was when my obsession for gardening truly began... 

I never knew what an Aquilegia was before I moved here and now I love it (it's a good job though really as it's bleedin' everywhere!) Below is what the garden looked like come late Spring last year. I remember sitting out with my Geoff Hamilton, 'Cottage Gardens' book, officially hooked on gardening. 

And here are all those lovely Aquilegia...

Can't wait for Spring 2013!!